« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
same officer, for the whole siege. One of bc 15**«
these commanders secretly warned the grand &9*9master, that a servant of Damaral's, called Blase Dies, came very often to his post; that, for a long time, he paid no attention to him, but having at length remarked, that this man appeared there every day at the fame hours, he had examined him nearer, and thought he was sure that Dies threw intelligence into the enemy's camp by means of arrows; and that the grand chancellor came there often with his servant. L'isle Adam paid attention to this information. Dies, carefully watched, was caught going to throw off one of these notes, which was taken in his hands. The wretch, interrogated, contradicted himself several times; on being put to the rack, he said, before he suffered it, that the intelligence which he sent to the enemy was dictated to him by Damaral, and that he threw it into the enemy's camp by order of his master. The chancellor was arrested immediately and .conducted to the tower of Sr. Nicholas. Two grand crosses were sent to interrogate him. Damaral defended himself with haughtiness. He replied to these commissioners, that he had not served the Order forty years to betray it in an advanced age; that the favors of the Turks could not compensate for the riches, dignities, and reputation he enjoyed; and that he opposed to his calumniators, the series of a long life without Rr2 reproach.
j-c. Ijm. reproach. When they confronted him with his & 929- accuser, he said, that that man accused him, only through revenge for having had him severely chastised several times, and perhaps with the hope of saving his life; that, if he, Damaral, had wished to betray, he had no occasion for the assistance of that wretch, as his quality of inspector of the defence gave him the right of visiting the posts at all hours, and to remain there as long as he should think proper, without ever being suspected.
A priest, chaplain to the Order, came and deposed, that, having advanced on a bastion one day, which he mentioned, he saw Damaral with this servant, both looking earnestly on the enemy's camp; that being both returned, he perceived in Dies's hands, a cross bow, with its bole or quarrel, to which a paper was fastened; that the chancellor haughtily demanded of him with an angry tone, what he was seeking; upon which he retired immediately, seeing his presence was disagreeable. On this deposition it was resolved that Damaral should be put to the rack. Before it was commenced, the grand crosses earnestly pressed him to put himself in a situation to experience the forgiveness of God, of the grand master, and of all the Order, by a sincere acknowledgment of his crime. The chancellor answered with firmness, that nothing should ever make him calumniate himself, that he would rather
ther suffer all the torments imaginable, than ren- J»c- x522? der himself contemptible in the eyey of the world & 529-» and his own. In the horrors of the torture, he.acknowledged solely, that at the time of the election of L'isle Adam, knowing that the Turks had for a long time menaced the. island, he had said to two knights, that that would be the last grand master of Rhodes; that his chagrin at not having carried it against his competitor, and his manner of thinking of L'isle Addrn, whom he had always considered as a man of little ability, / had drawn these indiscreet expressions from him. As to the rest, gentlemen, continued he, looking at his judges, this fault does not merit that you should deliver one of the first personages of your. Order to the executioner. Damaral preserved this firmness to the last moment. His judges however thought they saw sufficient to condemn him. The grand chancellor was therefore publicly stripped of the marks of his dignity, and the habit of his Order, after which he was delivered to the secular judges, who caused him to be carried in a chair, the next day, to the great square, where his servant was hanged before his eyes, and himself beheaded, always protesting his innocence and the error of his judges.
Meanwhile the Turks battered in breach faster than ever. The remaining knights, rather hid-* den and buried than fortisied in the ruins of their ramparts, fays Vertot, constantly flattered them
j.c. i5»|. selves with succours from the Christian princes, &929i without which they could not long hold out. But Charles V. and Francis I, had affairs more interesting for them than the siege of Rhodes. All the other Christian princes, without excepting the new pope Adrian VI. were engaged in the quarrel of these two illustrious rivals, and abandoned this monastery of warriors to the care of . / Providence and the valour of its knights. Three
convoys^one from Provence, another from Spain, ~, /V-* .and a third from England, had been wrecked in '*' L distant places or taken by the Turks. The janissaries, become masters of the out-works of the place, had obliged the grand master to have the churches and buildings in the suburbs pulled down, in order to deprive the enemy of them. The fire from the besiegers and the besieged was so close, that there was no intermission either by day or night. The Turks were continually re- lieving one another, in order to oblige the few soldiers who were yet in the place, to remain always on duty. Notwithstanding these extremities, L'isle Adam would net hear of a capitulatioh. He recollected always, that forty years before, the perseverance of Aubusson had tired the valour of the janissaries: not being less valiant nor less prudent, he flattered himself, though less seconded, with being equally fortunate. Athmet bashaw saw, that, notwithstanding the ground which his troops gained in the place, and
spite os the breaches in the new works, these lions J;c«i5«~
- He£* 9z8»
could not be forced in their fort. He caused &9*9honorable capitulations to be proposed to them several times; the grand master, having always rejected them, threatened, at last, to fire on those who were charged with these proposals; but the Rhodians saw with the greatest grief that their town would soon be sacked. Intelligence was continually throwing into the place, importing, that the Rhodians might, if they would, save their possessions, their fortunes, and the honor of their wives; that the grand seignior offered them treaties, but that the knights, their real enemies, were resolved to see them perish. These murmurs tncreased more and more against the obstinacy of L'isle Adam. At length, the Greek and The tin the Latin archbishop, for there was one for each ^j^fS** communion at Rhodes, went and told the errand ani aUtlK
O people, e»
master, that God was determined to take the &rXl""
island from the Order, since he deprived them of havc the
the means to defend it; that religion did not e"iren up*
permit him to sacrifice so many people to vain
glory; that humanity was not less a duty of the'
knights of St. John, than valour; that, besides,
it was to be feared that the Rhodians, grown
desperate, would become his enemies, and would
rather march on the bloody bodies of the few
knights who remained at Rhodes, to open their
gates and accept the capitulation offered, than
expose themselves to these horrors, which the