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had been completely successful; and the league which had been formed against them by the Moldavians, Wallachians, Transylvanians, and Bulgarians, had proved of no avail, opposed to the impetuous shock of their attack. The hate of the Greek emperor was satisfied with this victory, but his son perceived that it had been gained but for the benefit of a more terrible enemy than that which it had prostrated. Andronicus was, by the law of succession, one day to ascend his father's throne, and he could not disguise to himself the condition of his parent; in this alliance with Amurath, he could not dissemble the humiliating conviction that he himself should mount the throne of the Greek emperors as the dependent of the Ottoman Sultan. In the ardor and the exultation of victory, it appeared easy to secure himself in the possession of a sovereignty which he had exercised already by delegated authority, and in which he had distinguished his ability. The son of Amurath was persuaded to believe the same, and both prepared to turn against their fathers the arms which had been confided to their valor and integrity. Paleologus and Amurath received the news of this rebellion in Asia Minor. With a celerity which the rebels had by no means expected, the Turkish Sultan crossed into Europe, and approaching the camp of his son, presented himself to the soldiers. The name of Amurath was dear to his people, and the claims of his illustrious achievements had rendered his presence little less than awful in their eyes. Andronicus and Contuz soon beheld themselves without force to oppose the anger of their offended father, and nothing was to be hoped from the clemency of Amurath. His humanity was lavished upon his subjects, and never had the enemies of the Turkish power a more relentless adversary. His justice has often been extolled as an attribute prominent among his manifold virtues, and every principle forbade him to pardon in a son the offence which in an enemy he was never known to forgive. Andronicus was sent to his father, but Amurath himself passed sentence upon his son. Contuz was ordered to be deprived of his eyes. This rigorous performance of justice against the heir of the Sultan, left little hope of a less rigorous enforcement against the son of Paleologus; and that unhappy father, now too late discovering himself a prisoner in the hands of his obdurate ally, was compelled to execute the same sentence upon his son which had been so sternly executed against the partner of his revolt.

Every thing now tended towards the consolidation of the Ottoman power. The few established laws and principles required by a military system, beyond the discipline and graduated subordination of a camp, were framed and adjusted; and the whole political machine, such as it remains at the present day, was fixed and constituted by Amurath, while yet his empire remained to be won. The office of Cadilesker, or chief of the Cadis', was instituted for the distribution of justice; and the Grand Vizier was created to assist with his counsel the deliberations of the Sultan, or to bear with the people the terrible responsibility of his master's despotism. During the time that Amurath was in Asia, the prince of Servia, Lazarus, had collected an army of confederated Wallachians, Hungarians, and other neighboring people, to oppose the progress of his irresistible march. The report of this preparation brought

Amurath into the field; he directed his force at once against the hostile array of the confederates, and met them in the plains of Carlsovia. The battle that ensued was a carnage; the impetuous Sultan headed the attack, and the Hungarian cavalry was annihilated by the long lances of the Timariot horsemen. The victory being achieved and the enemy put to rout, Amurath dismounted, and walked over the field to number the enemy that had fallen and the soldiers that he had lost. He was exulting at the ease with which he had obtained so signal a triumph; for he had dreamed the very night before of having perished in battle. There are many prophecies and presages that cause their own accomplishment. A Tribalkian soldier, hearing the words of the Sultan from among the heaps of the slain, sprang to his feet, and plunging his dagger in the breast of the conqueror, fulfilled the forebodings of the night, and deprived the Turkish victory of its triumph.

The reign of the Ottomans had now passed through three generations, still aiming at universal dominion, and so far unerring in its aim. The first impulse which communicated the original energy and vigor of attack, remained with it still; and while the spirit of an intolerant religion urged the whole mass upon Christendom, it destroyed the independent principle that generally accompanies a people acting from its own impulse by connecting the office of the monarch with the sanctity of religion, it wore away the pride of liberty, through which a conquering people usually preserve their own freedom in the extinction of the political rights of the conquered. The difference is partly here between the conquests of the Turks, and of those earlier barbarians who trampled on the Roman state and power.

At the time of the passage of the Turks from Asia, the political system of Europe was subsiding from its long ferment, and was about to assume that consistency and that character out of which arose the institutions which distinguished all the nations of the west. The shocks and tumults of the time but tended to confirm this character, and the hordes of Eastern people who poured into the empire could effect no modification or change beyond the limits of the territory which they subdued. Each body, therefore, was thrown upon its own system, and each system was perfected in its opposite and conflicting principles. At the dismemberment of the first or Western empire, the case was different; the barbarous nations by which that event had been produced, brought in with them a spirit unknown to the long-enslaved dependents of the emperors, and the governments which rose in the dark ages of the world were the result of the combined or discordant manners of the new and the old populations. These governments present an appearance perhaps unlike nothing so much as the picture which posterity has received for their likeness. Throughout all these ages, through the long period of baronical sovereignty, one characteristic, striking and predominant, presents itself. At no epoch in history has the principle of political liberty been more practically developed or more universally un

uestioned, if we may not call it acknowledged; but in equal proportion the principle of civil liberty was unknown. From the conflict which grew out of the assertion of their civil rights by the populations of the

more civilized countries, arose the despotisms by which all Europe was oppressed, till the first hope of disenthralment beamed in the progress of the French Revolution; and the support which the sovereign power received from the people, when they first began to contend against the nobles for civil emancipation, effected the absolute prostration of political liberty. If we pursue the parallel still farther, we find the distinctive characteristics still more marked, from the time that the various nations out of which the modern governments have grown, appeared for the first time upon the borders of the Roman state. In the organization of their march, we see the constituent principle of liberty; in the progress of the Turks we behold the constituted despotism which expanded with the extension of territory, but which, proceeding on its first principle, was subject to no change; namely, the merging of political and civil right in the absolute will of the prince. How impressed the Ottoman princes were themselves with the belief that their mission of conquest was from Heaven, is manifested in a thousand instances. Thus, when Amurath laid siege to Apollonia, the reputation of the place, believed to be impregnable, and the resolution of the inhabitants in its defence, made vain the efforts of the Turks to effect its reduction. In the midst of the slaughter of his troops, who were falling around him in a last assault, which seemed to promise still more disastrous defeat, the enthusiastic barbarian cast himself upon his knees, and invoking the favor of Heaven, declared that he fought in the name of the Prophet, whose truth was to make itself known in this conflict. In an hour afterwards the Sultan returned thanks to Mahomet for the miracle in the churches of the conquered city, and the miracle remains as such upon record to this day.

An th at his death two sons, of whom the eldest, Bajazet, succeeded him. His accession was marked by the commission of an act of cruelty which has formed a recognized feature in the policy of the Sultans, being repeated on the assumption of the government by almost every monarch of the Turkish race. Bajazet ordered his brother Thelebi to be put to death, while yet the remains of their common father lay unburied in his palace; and every precaution thus taken for the quiet of his reign, he prepared to pursue the career of his people. A succession of battles, in which, however, the arms of the Moslems were not always triumphant, extended his empire in Asia Minor over the few remaining places that had still maintained themselves against the Ottomans, while in Europe the tottering throne of the Byzantine princes seemed within the very grasp of its aspiring enemy. Yet even in this progress of his hopes, which seem to have fixed no goal short of the imperial city, a temporary check served to throw a glory round the fortunes of the Christian princes united for the defence of the eastern capital of Christendom.

Stephen of Moldavia had often beaten the best generals of Amurath, and the still more warlike Bajazet anxiously desired to match himself with the only enemy whose conquest seemed capable of ministering at once to his power and his pride. Crossing the Danube unexpectedly, Bajazet challenged the Moldavian to meet him as one who had already possessed himself of his realm, for the battle-field was in the dominion

of Stephen. No more obstinate conflict had taken place between the Christians and Mohammedans, but the moral necessity which governs wars and decides in the issue, independent of the moral right, yet lent, and was to lend for many generations, its irresistible power to the Turkish cause; and Stephen was compelled to abandon the fight. He retreated towards the fortified city of Nols, which was then in the care of his mother. In answer to her son's application to be received within the gates, she appears upon the walls: "Go," said she to her son, "return to the field; let me hear that you have perished with glory, to wash out the stain of this flight. Return then and conquer, to live-depart then, and die; but return not defeated to me." The Turks had already dispersed and abandoned their ranks, in eager distribution of the spoils; in this condition they were found by the prince, who, denied a refuge within the walls of his own city, and stung by his mother's rebuke, had returned in search of the death which she had sent him to court. Unprepared for this renewal of the fight, the Moslem soldiery offered no resistance to the fury of their assailants; and in a very few hours the gates of Nols were opened to receive the conqueror of the most formidable enemy that had yet threatened the religion of Europe.

When the news of this defeat was received by the tributaries of Bajazet in Asia, there were many who believed that the overthrow of his power was at hand, and some exalted at once the flag of revolt. But the energies of Bajazet were not even suspended by his late defeat; with that impetuous haste which in his passages from Europe to Asia, and from Asia to Europe, to fight at each a battle, and at each to gain a victory, had brought on him the surname of Hildris, (the lightning,) he poured upon the collected forces of his rebellious tributaries; and the cities that had been prepared for resistance, now opened their gates as if to share in the triumph of their victorious king, rather than as with rebellious arms to sue for his mercy.

With these conquests, Bajazet greatly increased the force of his cavalry, creating more Timars than any of his predecessors, and attaching the soldiery thus created to his person, by abandoning to them the entire spoils of every field. From this victory, the Sultan was recalled to Europe by the formation of a Christian league, at the head of which was Sigismund, of Hungary, and which furnished upwards of one hundred thousand men, for the express purpose of repelling the encroachments of the Mussulmans. Bajazet, on this occasion, vindicated his title of Hildris. He crossed into Europe at the head of his Spahis and Janizaries, proceeded to Nicopolis, which was then invested by the Christian league; on the very day on which he arrived within sight of the numerous host, forty thousand stronger than his own, he forced them to battle, and in less than three hours not a vestige remained of the magnificent confederation which had fondly contemplated the expulsion of the Moslems from Europe.

It was rather apparent that the last days of the empire were drawing nigh, and that the successors of the Romans were not long to be kept from the capital of Roman dominion. Resistance, it might be argued, was tried and had failed. One only means of opposing the progress of

the new power remained; but the sceptre had passed, in fact, from the hands of the emperors, and Constantinople must have fallen had the Turkish ensigns never crossed the Bosphorus. The maintenance of civil order in the empire, and of perfect peace among the Christian powers that surrounded it, might have checked the progress of Islamism in Europe; but disorder and anarchy ruled in the domestic concerns of the empire, and the Christian princes of Hungary, Moldavia, etc. though frequently united in temporary league, were much oftener engaged in wars with one another.

On the defeat of Sigismund, the occupation of the Byzantine throne became the proximate object of the Sultan's ambition, as it had all along been the ultimate aim of the Ottoman conquests. Then first the Turkish army appeared beneath the walls of the city, which, cut off from external aid, was left single-handed to cope with its determined enemy; and the power of the Sultan was then first admitted to a share in the administration of the public affairs by the recognition of his officer appointed to administer justice among the Mohammedan residents of Constantinople. Yet Bajazet for a moment refrained from seizing, with too bold a hand, the sceptre which he had learned to look on as an inheritance; a single step remained yet to be taken, and, inclined as were his soldiers and himself to arms, he felt that the fears of the powerful nations of Christendom required more on this occasion from his prudence than from his courage or strength.

The purblind son of Paleologus, postponed in the succession to a younger brother, had indicated to the child who should have been his successor, the means of restoration to his rank and birthright. John, the nephew of the emperor, at the suggestion of his father, therefore, threw himself into the willing arms of Bajazet. To support the claims of this young prince, the Turkish Sultan sat down before the walls of the imperial city, and as the only condition of safety to the people, demanded the abdication of Manuel in favor of his nephew and rival. Beset with cares and enemies, and seeing nothing in the aspect of affairs but the speedy dissolution of his empire, Manuel was willing that another, at least, should spare him the disgrace of yielding up the dominion of a Christian people into the hands of an infidel. He therefore abandoned it readily to his nephew, in the well-founded conviction that the reign of the Turks had already commenced in the seat of his predecessors; and John, the tributary of Bajazet, ascended the throne from which the father of that prince had excluded his father.

The conditions of this unnatural alliance had provided for the abandonment of Constantinople, and the confinement of the little that remained of the imperial dignity to the countries of Greece. On assuming the government of his realm, John desired, or seemed to desire, the fulfilment of his engagements with Bajazet ; but the estates and the people declared that they would not be transferred to the enemies of their religion; that they would perish rather in resistance for their faith. John was happy to be thus urged and compelled to the violation of his pledge, but it was not this show of resistance that preserved for a time the baseless fabric of the empire, and the departing glories of its name.


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