Page images
PDF
EPUB

cess made her so haughty, that she presently irri- J-c.i+io,

to 1436

tated her spouse, who would have none but Hcs- 832»

to 840.

(laves. Mary had been the seal of peace between v—v—» Amurath and her brother. The princess of Sinope, who had at first been sacrificed to her, more flexible and cunning than this haughty Greek, knew how to recover the heart of a master, as despotic in his pleasures as in the administration of his empire. It was then people saw for the first time at the Porte the black eunuchs, the guardians and confidants of the women, surround the monarch, treat with the foreign ministers, and prepare war or peace. The army was sent into Servia; the despot, brother to the disgraced sultaness, was attacked in Semendriah, his capital, under pretext of his entertaining intelligence with Hungary. This town was taken by assault. The despot fled to the court of Ladislaus, king of Poland and Hungary; and he hastened to put Belgrade, his most important place, under the protection of the Hungarians.

Ladislaus, king of Poland and Hungary, had Aster a

~ ° J long war

intrusted the defence of Belgrade to the cele- with u

. dislaus

brated Hunniade, waywode of Transylvania, one king of of the greatest generals of his time. It was at he con-' this siege that the Turks experienced, for the truce of first time, the effect of cannon, which much tenyears* surprised and frighted them. After six months, J.c.i436. they shamefully abandoned this place, whichHes* 84°* • • 'P they

j.c. H3«» they had been unable to reduce. Hunniade,

to 1444.

Heg. 8+o, having passed the Danube, pursued Amurath's

to 848."" «./*

v—v—-» army, greatly reduced both by fire and disease. The Hungarians ravaged and burnt the whole country which had been taken by the Turkish emperor: nevertheless we don't find that there was any considerable engagement. The protection of the Hungarians procured the prince of Servia the restitution os his dominions, for Amurath justly feared Hunniade's great reputation. The Hungarian and Turkish monarchs concluded a truce of ten years. Each ratified it by oath on the mysteries of his religion. The stipulated conditions were, that, in consequence of the restitution of Servia, neither the Turks nor Hungarians should pass the Danube.

Caraman Amurath's sister, the wife of Caraman Ogli,

Ogli raise! * o »

up a con- had several times exerted her credit with the

federacy

ofEuro- sultan, to procure this refractory vassal, more ess, who refractory than all the rest, a pardon for his fre

place La- . , . - ,

dinaus at quent infringement or treaties. Though Caraman was a good Mussulman, he wrote continually to the king of Hungary, the waywode of Bulgaria, the waywode of Walachi3, in short, to all the Christian princes, neighbours of the Turks, to irritate them against his brother-in-law, who had twice spared his possessions. They all offered to join the king of Hungary, provided Caraman would make a diversion on the other fide of the sea. Ladislaus was a lover of glory,

and and could not refuse the means of acquiring it. J-c-14j6,

* ° to 1444.

The state of Venice offered him vessels: the Hee-„84°»

r' to 848.

duke of Burgundy sent him money; he was «—**»-» besides certain of having considerable succours from his Polish dominions; but the solemn oath which he had taken, to observe a truce of ten years with the Turks, stopped his proceeding. Pope Eugene IV. sent cardinal Julian Cæsarini, the Hungarian legate, to appease the scruples of the king, and convince him, that however sacred an oath might be, it was no way binding with Infidels, and that it was a work agreeable to God, to perjure one's self in order to exterminate those who offended him. At length, a brief of absolution from Eugene, the legate's sophisms, the love of vain glory, superstition, and false zeal, stifled, in the heart of 'Ladislaus, the cries of conscience and the sentiments of equity.

The Pope and the Venetians armed a fleet at Pope their joint expence, the object of which was authorises to prevent the Turks from passing the straits. Hungary All the vessels bore the colours of the Holy See, hunger of the duke of Burgundy: for the republic co^fede. did not dare openly go to war with the Otto- TaLtTM mans. The Greeks were no way engaged in ^^etl this confederacy. A little before, at the council 3^TM*^ of Florence, it had been vainly endeavoured to from Pereunite them to the catholic church. The Greek int0 Eu*

» . rope.

prelates, called to this council, had in fact consented to the union; but they soon returned to

O 2 the

j.c.1436, the schism with the people, who had never been

to 1444. 1 .

Heg. 840,converted: and by this mean there was as much

to 848. *

<—r—1 hatred between the Latins and Greeks, as between the Mahometans and Christians. John Paleologus pleased himself in secret with the efforts that his enemies were making for their own destruction. The confederate fleet had taken possession of the entrance of the Bosphorus, called the sacred entrance; they flattered themselves with blocking up the Mussulmen; but Amurath, perfectly informed of all the motions of his enemies, had embarked at a more distant place, and taken another way. He found means to land a hundred thousand men in Europe, without being opposed by a Christian vessel. Amurath entered with his fleet the port of Gallipoli, and marched to Adrianople, where Ali bashaw, beglerbeg of Europe, came to join him with another body of troops equally considerable and disciplined: and in spire of the tumultuous efforts of a numerous confederacy, this junction was formed without any obstacle. varna.°f Tne confederate army was already near Varna, j.c.1444. on the borders of the Pont Euxine, where they 'Heg-?+s-were soon joined by the Turks; the king of Hungary had vainly flattered himself that the combined fleet would hinder the passage of the Ottomans. He had for lieutenants, the celebrated Hunniade, Julian Cæfarini the pope's legate, the bishops of Strigonia and Waradin,

and and some Hungarian and Polish lords. TheJ-c,I444»

° to 1+4.8.

army of the crusade appeared only a confused Hes- H%> heap of men of all nations, without experience <—v—t or discipline. Their cavalry alone had some consistency; it was composed of gentlemen and warriors by profession, who opposed, to the enemies' weapons, arms offensive and defensive, well trained horses, courage, and the love of glory. The infantry were for the most part idlers armed through drunkenness or debauchery, enthusiasm or misery, and who rather fancied themselves going to a pillage than a war.

Such soldiers were not formidable to these brave janissaries, who knew equally to obey and to fight, and whom the hope of a rich booty, or a mericed fortune, or the paradise of Mahomet, invariably animated. Notwithstanding this difference, the advantage of ground and the talents of Hunniade would have perhaps carried, or at least balanced, the victory, if he had been' permitted to dispose the order of battle to his mind. But every general who commands under a king has the flatterers and envious to fight against, who undoubtedly are much more dangerous than open enemies. Hunniade had chosen his field of battle before the arrival of the Turks; the Christian army had in its rear a chain of steep hills, and its right was defended by a large river. The general had fastened a number of waggons together, in order to guard the left,

and

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »