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The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 6
by Edward Gibbon
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[Footnote 70: From the original Lives of the Popes, in Muratori's Collection, (tom. iii. p. ii. tom. xxv.,) the manners of Eugenius IV. appear to have been decent, and even exemplary. His situation, exposed to the world and to his enemies, was a restraint, and is a pledge.]

[Footnote 71: Syropulus, rather than subscribe, would have assisted, as the least evil, at the ceremony of the union. He was compelled to do both; and the great ecclesiarch poorly excuses his submission to the emperor, (p. 290—292.)]

[Footnote 72: None of these original acts of union can at present be produced. Of the ten MSS. that are preserved, (five at Rome, and the remainder at Florence, Bologna, Venice, Paris, and London,) nine have been examined by an accurate critic, (M. de Brequigny,) who condemns them for the variety and imperfections of the Greek signatures. Yet several of these may be esteemed as authentic copies, which were subscribed at Florence, before (26th of August, 1439) the final separation of the pope and emperor, (Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xliii. p. 287—311.)]

[Footnote 73: Hmin de wV ashmoi edokoun jwnai, (Syropul. p. 297.)]

[Footnote 74: In their return, the Greeks conversed at Bologna with the ambassadors of England: and after some questions and answers, these impartial strangers laughed at the pretended union of Florence, (Syropul. p. 307.)]

[Footnote 75: So nugatory, or rather so fabulous, are these reunions of the Nestorians, Jacobites, &c., that I have turned over, without success, the Bibliotheca Orientalis of Assemannus, a faithful slave of the Vatican.]

[Footnote 76: Ripaille is situate near Thonon in Savoy, on the southern side of the Lake of Geneva. It is now a Carthusian abbey; and Mr. Addison (Travels into Italy, vol. ii. p. 147, 148, of Baskerville's edition of his works) has celebrated the place and the founder. AEneas Sylvius, and the fathers of Basil, applaud the austere life of the ducal hermit; but the French and Italian proverbs most unluckily attest the popular opinion of his luxury.]

[Footnote 77: In this account of the councils of Basil, Ferrara, and Florence, I have consulted the original acts, which fill the xviith and xviiith tome of the edition of Venice, and are closed by the perspicuous, though partial, history of Augustin Patricius, an Italian of the xvth century. They are digested and abridged by Dupin, (Bibliotheque Eccles. tom. xii.,) and the continuator of Fleury, (tom. xxii.;) and the respect of the Gallican church for the adverse parties confines their members to an awkward moderation.]

The journeys of three emperors were unavailing for their temporal, or perhaps their spiritual, salvation; but they were productive of a beneficial consequence—the revival of the Greek learning in Italy, from whence it was propagated to the last nations of the West and North. In their lowest servitude and depression, the subjects of the Byzantine throne were still possessed of a golden key that could unlock the treasures of antiquity; of a musical and prolific language, that gives a soul to the objects of sense, and a body to the abstractions of philosophy. Since the barriers of the monarchy, and even of the capital, had been trampled under foot, the various Barbarians had doubtless corrupted the form and substance of the national dialect; and ample glossaries have been composed, to interpret a multitude of words, of Arabic, Turkish, Sclavonian, Latin, or French origin. [78] But a purer idiom was spoken in the court and taught in the college; and the flourishing state of the language is described, and perhaps embellished, by a learned Italian, [79] who, by a long residence and noble marriage, [80] was naturalized at Constantinople about thirty years before the Turkish conquest. "The vulgar speech," says Philelphus, [81] "has been depraved by the people, and infected by the multitude of strangers and merchants, who every day flock to the city and mingle with the inhabitants. It is from the disciples of such a school that the Latin language received the versions of Aristotle and Plato; so obscure in sense, and in spirit so poor. But the Greeks who have escaped the contagion, are those whom we follow; and they alone are worthy of our imitation. In familiar discourse, they still speak the tongue of Aristophanes and Euripides, of the historians and philosophers of Athens; and the style of their writings is still more elaborate and correct. The persons who, by their birth and offices, are attached to the Byzantine court, are those who maintain, with the least alloy, the ancient standard of elegance and purity; and the native graces of language most conspicuously shine among the noble matrons, who are excluded from all intercourse with foreigners. With foreigners do I say? They live retired and sequestered from the eyes of their fellow-citizens. Seldom are they seen in the streets; and when they leave their houses, it is in the dusk of evening, on visits to the churches and their nearest kindred. On these occasions, they are on horseback, covered with a veil, and encompassed by their parents, their husbands, or their servants." [82]

[Footnote 78: In the first attempt, Meursius collected 3600 Graeco-barbarous words, to which, in a second edition, he subjoined 1800 more; yet what plenteous gleanings did he leave to Portius, Ducange, Fabrotti, the Bollandists, &c.! (Fabric. Bibliot. Graec. tom. x. p. 101, &c.) Some Persic words may be found in Xenophon, and some Latin ones in Plutarch; and such is the inevitable effect of war and commerce; but the form and substance of the language were not affected by this slight alloy.]

[Footnote 79: The life of Francis Philelphus, a sophist, proud, restless, and rapacious, has been diligently composed by Lancelot (Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. x. p. 691—751) (Istoria della Letteratura Italiana, tom. vii. p. 282—294,) for the most part from his own letters. His elaborate writings, and those of his contemporaries, are forgotten; but their familiar epistles still describe the men and the times.]

[Footnote 80: He married, and had perhaps debauched, the daughter of John, and the granddaughter of Manuel Chrysoloras. She was young, beautiful, and wealthy; and her noble family was allied to the Dorias of Genoa and the emperors of Constantinople.]

[Footnote 81: Graeci quibus lingua depravata non sit.... ita loquuntur vulgo hac etiam tempestate ut Aristophanes comicus, aut Euripides tragicus, ut oratores omnes, ut historiographi, ut philosophi.... litterati autem homines et doctius et emendatius.... Nam viri aulici veterem sermonis dignitatem atque elegantiam retinebant in primisque ipsae nobiles mulieres; quibus cum nullum esset omnino cum viris peregrinis commercium, merus ille ac purus Graecorum sermo servabatur intactus, (Philelph. Epist. ad ann. 1451, apud Hodium, p. 188, 189.) He observes in another passage, uxor illa mea Theodora locutione erat admodum moderata et suavi et maxime Attica.]

[Footnote 82: Philelphus, absurdly enough, derives this Greek or Oriental jealousy from the manners of ancient Rome.]

Among the Greeks a numerous and opulent clergy was dedicated to the service of religion: their monks and bishops have ever been distinguished by the gravity and austerity of their manners; nor were they diverted, like the Latin priests, by the pursuits and pleasures of a secular, and even military, life. After a large deduction for the time and talent that were lost in the devotion, the laziness, and the discord, of the church and cloister, the more inquisitive and ambitious minds would explore the sacred and profane erudition of their native language. The ecclesiastics presided over the education of youth; the schools of philosophy and eloquence were perpetuated till the fall of the empire; and it may be affirmed, that more books and more knowledge were included within the walls of Constantinople, than could be dispersed over the extensive countries of the West. [83] But an important distinction has been already noticed: the Greeks were stationary or retrograde, while the Latins were advancing with a rapid and progressive motion. The nations were excited by the spirit of independence and emulation; and even the little world of the Italian states contained more people and industry than the decreasing circle of the Byzantine empire. In Europe, the lower ranks of society were relieved from the yoke of feudal servitude; and freedom is the first step to curiosity and knowledge. The use, however rude and corrupt, of the Latin tongue had been preserved by superstition; the universities, from Bologna to Oxford, [84] were peopled with thousands of scholars; and their misguided ardor might be directed to more liberal and manly studies. In the resurrection of science, Italy was the first that cast away her shroud; and the eloquent Petrarch, by his lessons and his example, may justly be applauded as the first harbinger of day. A purer style of composition, a more generous and rational strain of sentiment, flowed from the study and imitation of the writers of ancient Rome; and the disciples of Cicero and Virgil approached, with reverence and love, the sanctuary of their Grecian masters. In the sack of Constantinople, the French, and even the Venetians, had despised and destroyed the works of Lysippus and Homer: the monuments of art may be annihilated by a single blow; but the immortal mind is renewed and multiplied by the copies of the pen; and such copies it was the ambition of Petrarch and his friends to possess and understand. The arms of the Turks undoubtedly pressed the flight of the Muses; yet we may tremble at the thought, that Greece might have been overwhelmed, with her schools and libraries, before Europe had emerged from the deluge of barbarism; that the seeds of science might have been scattered by the winds, before the Italian soil was prepared for their cultivation.

[Footnote 83: See the state of learning in the xiiith and xivth centuries, in the learned and judicious Mosheim, (Instit. Hist. Eccles. p. 434—440, 490—494.)]

[Footnote 84: At the end of the xvth century, there existed in Europe about fifty universities, and of these the foundation of ten or twelve is prior to the year 1300. They were crowded in proportion to their scarcity. Bologna contained 10,000 students, chiefly of the civil law. In the year 1357 the number at Oxford had decreased from 30,000 to 6000 scholars, (Henry's History of Great Britain, vol. iv. p. 478.) Yet even this decrease is much superior to the present list of the members of the university.]



Chapter LXVI: Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches.—Part IV.

The most learned Italians of the fifteenth century have confessed and applauded the restoration of Greek literature, after a long oblivion of many hundred years. [85] Yet in that country, and beyond the Alps, some names are quoted; some profound scholars, who in the darker ages were honorably distinguished by their knowledge of the Greek tongue; and national vanity has been loud in the praise of such rare examples of erudition. Without scrutinizing the merit of individuals, truth must observe, that their science is without a cause, and without an effect; that it was easy for them to satisfy themselves and their more ignorant contemporaries; and that the idiom, which they had so marvellously acquired was transcribed in few manuscripts, and was not taught in any university of the West. In a corner of Italy, it faintly existed as the popular, or at least as the ecclesiastical dialect. [86] The first impression of the Doric and Ionic colonies has never been completely erased: the Calabrian churches were long attached to the throne of Constantinople: and the monks of St. Basil pursued their studies in Mount Athos and the schools of the East. Calabria was the native country of Barlaam, who has already appeared as a sectary and an ambassador; and Barlaam was the first who revived, beyond the Alps, the memory, or at least the writings, of Homer. [87] He is described, by Petrarch and Boccace, [88] as a man of diminutive stature, though truly great in the measure of learning and genius; of a piercing discernment, though of a slow and painful elocution. For many ages (as they affirm) Greece had not produced his equal in the knowledge of history, grammar, and philosophy; and his merit was celebrated in the attestations of the princes and doctors of Constantinople. One of these attestations is still extant; and the emperor Cantacuzene, the protector of his adversaries, is forced to allow, that Euclid, Aristotle, and Plato, were familiar to that profound and subtle logician. [89] In the court of Avignon, he formed an intimate connection with Petrarch, [90] the first of the Latin scholars; and the desire of mutual instruction was the principle of their literary commerce. The Tuscan applied himself with eager curiosity and assiduous diligence to the study of the Greek language; and in a laborious struggle with the dryness and difficulty of the first rudiments, he began to reach the sense, and to feel the spirit, of poets and philosophers, whose minds were congenial to his own. But he was soon deprived of the society and lessons of this useful assistant: Barlaam relinquished his fruitless embassy; and, on his return to Greece, he rashly provoked the swarms of fanatic monks, by attempting to substitute the light of reason to that of their navel. After a separation of three years, the two friends again met in the court of Naples: but the generous pupil renounced the fairest occasion of improvement; and by his recommendation Barlaam was finally settled in a small bishopric of his native Calabria. [91] The manifold avocations of Petrarch, love and friendship, his various correspondence and frequent journeys, the Roman laurel, and his elaborate compositions in prose and verse, in Latin and Italian, diverted him from a foreign idiom; and as he advanced in life, the attainment of the Greek language was the object of his wishes rather than of his hopes. When he was about fifty years of age, a Byzantine ambassador, his friend, and a master of both tongues, presented him with a copy of Homer; and the answer of Petrarch is at one expressive of his eloquence, gratitude, and regret. After celebrating the generosity of the donor, and the value of a gift more precious in his estimation than gold or rubies, he thus proceeds: "Your present of the genuine and original text of the divine poet, the fountain of all inventions, is worthy of yourself and of me: you have fulfilled your promise, and satisfied my desires. Yet your liberality is still imperfect: with Homer you should have given me yourself; a guide, who could lead me into the fields of light, and disclose to my wondering eyes the spacious miracles of the Iliad and Odyssey. But, alas! Homer is dumb, or I am deaf; nor is it in my power to enjoy the beauty which I possess. I have seated him by the side of Plato, the prince of poets near the prince of philosophers; and I glory in the sight of my illustrious guests. Of their immortal writings, whatever had been translated into the Latin idiom, I had already acquired; but, if there be no profit, there is some pleasure, in beholding these venerable Greeks in their proper and national habit. I am delighted with the aspect of Homer; and as often as I embrace the silent volume, I exclaim with a sigh, Illustrious bard! with what pleasure should I listen to thy song, if my sense of hearing were not obstructed and lost by the death of one friend, and in the much-lamented absence of another. Nor do I yet despair; and the example of Cato suggests some comfort and hope, since it was in the last period of age that he attained the knowledge of the Greek letters." [92]

[Footnote 85: Of those writers who professedly treat of the restoration of the Greek learning in Italy, the two principal are Hodius, Dr. Humphrey Hody, (de Graecis Illustribus, Linguae Graecae Literarumque humaniorum Instauratoribus; Londini, 1742, in large octavo,) and Tiraboschi, (Istoria della Letteratura Italiana, tom. v. p. 364—377, tom. vii. p. 112—143.) The Oxford professor is a laborious scholar, but the librarian of Modena enjoys the superiority of a modern and national historian.]

[Footnote 86: In Calabria quae olim magna Graecia dicebatur, coloniis Graecis repleta, remansit quaedam linguae veteris, cognitio, (Hodius, p. 2.) If it were eradicated by the Romans, it was revived and perpetuated by the monks of St. Basil, who possessed seven convents at Rossano alone, (Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, tom. i. p. 520.)]

[Footnote 87: Ii Barbari (says Petrarch, the French and Germans) vix, non dicam libros sed nomen Homeri audiverunt. Perhaps, in that respect, the xiiith century was less happy than the age of Charlemagne.]

[Footnote 88: See the character of Barlaam, in Boccace de Genealog. Deorum, l. xv. c. 6.]

[Footnote 89: Cantacuzen. l. ii. c. 36.]

[Footnote 90: For the connection of Petrarch and Barlaam, and the two interviews at Avignon in 1339, and at Naples in 1342, see the excellent Memoires sur la Vie de Petrarque, tom. i. p. 406—410, tom. ii. p. 74—77.]

[Footnote 91: The bishopric to which Barlaam retired, was the old Locri, in the middle ages. Scta. Cyriaca, and by corruption Hieracium, Gerace, (Dissert. Chorographica Italiae Medii AEvi, p. 312.) The dives opum of the Norman times soon lapsed into poverty, since even the church was poor: yet the town still contains 3000 inhabitants, (Swinburne, p. 340.)]

[Footnote 92: I will transcribe a passage from this epistle of Petrarch, (Famil. ix. 2;) Donasti Homerum non in alienum sermonem violento alvea?? derivatum, sed ex ipsis Graeci eloquii scatebris, et qualis divino illi profluxit ingenio.... Sine tua voce Homerus tuus apud me mutus, immo vero ego apud illum surdus sum. Gaudeo tamen vel adspectu solo, ac saepe illum amplexus atque suspirans dico, O magne vir, &c.]

The prize which eluded the efforts of Petrarch, was obtained by the fortune and industry of his friend Boccace, [93] the father of the Tuscan prose. That popular writer, who derives his reputation from the Decameron, a hundred novels of pleasantry and love, may aspire to the more serious praise of restoring in Italy the study of the Greek language. In the year one thousand three hundred and sixty, a disciple of Barlaam, whose name was Leo, or Leontius Pilatus, was detained in his way to Avignon by the advice and hospitality of Boccace, who lodged the stranger in his house, prevailed on the republic of Florence to allow him an annual stipend, and devoted his leisure to the first Greek professor, who taught that language in the Western countries of Europe. The appearance of Leo might disgust the most eager disciple, he was clothed in the mantle of a philosopher, or a mendicant; his countenance was hideous; his face was overshadowed with black hair; his beard long an uncombed; his deportment rustic; his temper gloomy and inconstant; nor could he grace his discourse with the ornaments, or even the perspicuity, of Latin elocution. But his mind was stored with a treasure of Greek learning: history and fable, philosophy and grammar, were alike at his command; and he read the poems of Homer in the schools of Florence. It was from his explanation that Boccace composed [* and transcribed a literal prose version of the Iliad and Odyssey, which satisfied the thirst of his friend Petrarch, and which, perhaps, in the succeeding century, was clandestinely used by Laurentius Valla, the Latin interpreter. It was from his narratives that the same Boccace collected the materials for his treatise on the genealogy of the heathen gods, a work, in that age, of stupendous erudition, and which he ostentatiously sprinkled with Greek characters and passages, to excite the wonder and applause of his more ignorant readers. [94] The first steps of learning are slow and laborious; no more than ten votaries of Homer could be enumerated in all Italy; and neither Rome, nor Venice, nor Naples, could add a single name to this studious catalogue. But their numbers would have multiplied, their progress would have been accelerated, if the inconstant Leo, at the end of three years, had not relinquished an honorable and beneficial station. In his passage, Petrarch entertained him at Padua a short time: he enjoyed the scholar, but was justly offended with the gloomy and unsocial temper of the man. Discontented with the world and with himself, Leo depreciated his present enjoyments, while absent persons and objects were dear to his imagination. In Italy he was a Thessalian, in Greece a native of Calabria: in the company of the Latins he disdained their language, religion, and manners: no sooner was he landed at Constantinople, than he again sighed for the wealth of Venice and the elegance of Florence. His Italian friends were deaf to his importunity: he depended on their curiosity and indulgence, and embarked on a second voyage; but on his entrance into the Adriatic, the ship was assailed by a tempest, and the unfortunate teacher, who like Ulysses had fastened himself to the mast, was struck dead by a flash of lightning. The humane Petrarch dropped a tear on his disaster; but he was most anxious to learn whether some copy of Euripides or Sophocles might not be saved from the hands of the mariners. [95]

[Footnote 93: For the life and writings of Boccace, who was born in 1313, and died in 1375, Fabricius (Bibliot. Latin. Medii AEvi, tom. i. p. 248, &c.) and Tiraboschi (tom. v. p. 83, 439—451) may be consulted. The editions, versions, imitations of his novels, are innumerable. Yet he was ashamed to communicate that trifling, and perhaps scandalous, work to Petrarch, his respectable friend, in whose letters and memoirs he conspicuously appears.]

[Footnote *: This translation of Homer was by Pilatus, not by Boccacio. See Hallam, Hist. of Lit. vol. i. p. 132.—M.]

[Footnote 94: Boccace indulges an honest vanity: Ostentationis causa Graeca carmina adscripsi.... jure utor meo; meum est hoc decus, mea gloria scilicet inter Etruscos Graecis uti carminibus. Nonne ego fui qui Leontium Pilatum, &c., (de Genealogia Deorum, l. xv. c. 7, a work which, though now forgotten, has run through thirteen or fourteen editions.)]

[Footnote 95: Leontius, or Leo Pilatus, is sufficiently made known by Hody, (p. 2—11,) and the abbe de Sade, (Vie de Petrarque, tom. iii. p. 625—634, 670—673,) who has very happily caught the lively and dramatic manner of his original.]

But the faint rudiments of Greek learning, which Petrarch had encouraged and Boccace had planted, soon withered and expired. The succeeding generation was content for a while with the improvement of Latin eloquence; nor was it before the end of the fourteenth century that a new and perpetual flame was rekindled in Italy. [96] Previous to his own journey the emperor Manuel despatched his envoys and orators to implore the compassion of the Western princes. Of these envoys, the most conspicuous, or the most learned, was Manuel Chrysoloras, [97] of noble birth, and whose Roman ancestors are supposed to have migrated with the great Constantine. After visiting the courts of France and England, where he obtained some contributions and more promises, the envoy was invited to assume the office of a professor; and Florence had again the honor of this second invitation. By his knowledge, not only of the Greek, but of the Latin tongue, Chrysoloras deserved the stipend, and surpassed the expectation, of the republic. His school was frequented by a crowd of disciples of every rank and age; and one of these, in a general history, has described his motives and his success. "At that time," says Leonard Aretin, [98] "I was a student of the civil law; but my soul was inflamed with the love of letters; and I bestowed some application on the sciences of logic and rhetoric. On the arrival of Manuel, I hesitated whether I should desert my legal studies, or relinquish this golden opportunity; and thus, in the ardor of youth, I communed with my own mind—Wilt thou be wanting to thyself and thy fortune? Wilt thou refuse to be introduced to a familiar converse with Homer, Plato, and Demosthenes; with those poets, philosophers, and orators, of whom such wonders are related, and who are celebrated by every age as the great masters of human science? Of professors and scholars in civil law, a sufficient supply will always be found in our universities; but a teacher, and such a teacher, of the Greek language, if he once be suffered to escape, may never afterwards be retrieved. Convinced by these reasons, I gave myself to Chrysoloras; and so strong was my passion, that the lessons which I had imbibed in the day were the constant object of my nightly dreams." [99] At the same time and place, the Latin classics were explained by John of Ravenna, the domestic pupil of Petrarch; [100] the Italians, who illustrated their age and country, were formed in this double school; and Florence became the fruitful seminary of Greek and Roman erudition. [101] The presence of the emperor recalled Chrysoloras from the college to the court; but he afterwards taught at Pavia and Rome with equal industry and applause. The remainder of his life, about fifteen years, was divided between Italy and Constantinople, between embassies and lessons. In the noble office of enlightening a foreign nation, the grammarian was not unmindful of a more sacred duty to his prince and country; and Emanuel Chrysoloras died at Constance on a public mission from the emperor to the council.

[Footnote 96: Dr. Hody (p. 54) is angry with Leonard Aretin, Guarinus, Paulus Jovius, &c., for affirming, that the Greek letters were restored in Italy post septingentos annos; as if, says he, they had flourished till the end of the viith century. These writers most probably reckoned from the last period of the exarchate; and the presence of the Greek magistrates and troops at Ravenna and Rome must have preserved, in some degree, the use of their native tongue.]

[Footnote 97: See the article of Emanuel, or Manuel Chrysoloras, in Hody (p 12—54) and Tiraboschi, (tom. vii. p. 113—118.) The precise date of his arrival floats between the years 1390 and 1400, and is only confined by the reign of Boniface IX.]

[Footnote 98: The name of Aretinus has been assumed by five or six natives of Arezzo in Tuscany, of whom the most famous and the most worthless lived in the xvith century. Leonardus Brunus Aretinus, the disciple of Chrysoloras, was a linguist, an orator, and an historian, the secretary of four successive popes, and the chancellor of the republic of Florence, where he died A.D. 1444, at the age of seventy-five, (Fabric. Bibliot. Medii AEvi, tom. i. p. 190 &c. Tiraboschi, tom. vii. p. 33—38.)]

[Footnote 99: See the passage in Aretin. Commentario Rerum suo Tempore in Italia gestarum, apud Hodium, p. 28—30.]

[Footnote 100: In this domestic discipline, Petrarch, who loved the youth, often complains of the eager curiosity, restless temper, and proud feelings, which announce the genius and glory of a riper age, (Memoires sur Petrarque, tom. iii. p. 700—709.)]

[Footnote 101: Hinc Graecae Latinaeque scholae exortae sunt, Guarino Philelpho, Leonardo Aretino, Caroloque, ac plerisque aliis tanquam ex equo Trojano prodeuntibus, quorum emulatione multa ingenia deinceps ad laudem excitata sunt, (Platina in Bonifacio IX.) Another Italian writer adds the names of Paulus Petrus Vergerius, Omnibonus Vincentius, Poggius, Franciscus Barbarus, &c. But I question whether a rigid chronology would allow Chrysoloras all these eminent scholars, (Hodius, p. 25—27, &c.)]

After his example, the restoration of the Greek letters in Italy was prosecuted by a series of emigrants, who were destitute of fortune, and endowed with learning, or at least with language. From the terror or oppression of the Turkish arms, the natives of Thessalonica and Constantinople escaped to a land of freedom, curiosity, and wealth. The synod introduced into Florence the lights of the Greek church, and the oracles of the Platonic philosophy; and the fugitives who adhered to the union, had the double merit of renouncing their country, not only for the Christian, but for the catholic cause. A patriot, who sacrifices his party and conscience to the allurements of favor, may be possessed, however, of the private and social virtues: he no longer hears the reproachful epithets of slave and apostate; and the consideration which he acquires among his new associates will restore in his own eyes the dignity of his character. The prudent conformity of Bessarion was rewarded with the Roman purple: he fixed his residence in Italy; and the Greek cardinal, the titular patriarch of Constantinople, was respected as the chief and protector of his nation: [102] his abilities were exercised in the legations of Bologna, Venice, Germany, and France; and his election to the chair of St. Peter floated for a moment on the uncertain breath of a conclave. [103] His ecclesiastical honors diffused a splendor and preeminence over his literary merit and service: his palace was a school; as often as the cardinal visited the Vatican, he was attended by a learned train of both nations; [104] of men applauded by themselves and the public; and whose writings, now overspread with dust, were popular and useful in their own times. I shall not attempt to enumerate the restorers of Grecian literature in the fifteenth century; and it may be sufficient to mention with gratitude the names of Theodore Gaza, of George of Trebizond, of John Argyropulus, and Demetrius Chalcocondyles, who taught their native language in the schools of Florence and Rome. Their labors were not inferior to those of Bessarion, whose purple they revered, and whose fortune was the secret object of their envy. But the lives of these grammarians were humble and obscure: they had declined the lucrative paths of the church; their dress and manners secluded them from the commerce of the world; and since they were confined to the merit, they might be content with the rewards, of learning. From this character, Janus Lascaris [105] will deserve an exception. His eloquence, politeness, and Imperial descent, recommended him to the French monarch; and in the same cities he was alternately employed to teach and to negotiate. Duty and interest prompted them to cultivate the study of the Latin language; and the most successful attained the faculty of writing and speaking with fluency and elegance in a foreign idiom. But they ever retained the inveterate vanity of their country: their praise, or at least their esteem, was reserved for the national writers, to whom they owed their fame and subsistence; and they sometimes betrayed their contempt in licentious criticism or satire on Virgil's poetry, and the oratory of Tully. [106] The superiority of these masters arose from the familiar use of a living language; and their first disciples were incapable of discerning how far they had degenerated from the knowledge, and even the practice of their ancestors. A vicious pronunciation, [107] which they introduced, was banished from the schools by the reason of the succeeding age. Of the power of the Greek accents they were ignorant; and those musical notes, which, from an Attic tongue, and to an Attic ear, must have been the secret soul of harmony, were to their eyes, as to our own, no more than minute and unmeaning marks, in prose superfluous and troublesome in verse. The art of grammar they truly possessed; the valuable fragments of Apollonius and Herodian were transfused into their lessons; and their treatises of syntax and etymology, though devoid of philosophic spirit, are still useful to the Greek student. In the shipwreck of the Byzantine libraries, each fugitive seized a fragment of treasure, a copy of some author, who without his industry might have perished: the transcripts were multiplied by an assiduous, and sometimes an elegant pen; and the text was corrected and explained by their own comments, or those of the elder scholiasts. The sense, though not the spirit, of the Greek classics, was interpreted to the Latin world: the beauties of style evaporate in a version; but the judgment of Theodore Gaza selected the more solid works of Aristotle and Theophrastus, and their natural histories of animals and plants opened a rich fund of genuine and experimental science.

[Footnote 102: See in Hody the article of Bessarion, (p. 136—177.) Theodore Gaza, George of Trebizond, and the rest of the Greeks whom I have named or omitted, are inserted in their proper chapters of his learned work. See likewise Tiraboschi, in the 1st and 2d parts of the vith tome.]

[Footnote 103: The cardinals knocked at his door, but his conclavist refused to interrupt the studies of Bessarion: "Nicholas," said he, "thy respect has cost thee a hat, and me the tiara." *

Note: * Roscoe (Life of Lorenzo de Medici, vol. i. p. 75) considers that Hody has refuted this "idle tale."—M.]

[Footnote 104: Such as George of Trebizond, Theodore Gaza, Argyropulus, Andronicus of Thessalonica, Philelphus, Poggius, Blondus, Nicholas Perrot, Valla, Campanus, Platina, &c. Viri (says Hody, with the pious zeal of a scholar) (nullo aevo perituri, p. 156.)]

[Footnote 105: He was born before the taking of Constantinople, but his honorable life was stretched far into the xvith century, (A.D. 1535.) Leo X. and Francis I. were his noblest patrons, under whose auspices he founded the Greek colleges of Rome and Paris, (Hody, p. 247—275.) He left posterity in France; but the counts de Vintimille, and their numerous branches, derive the name of Lascaris from a doubtful marriage in the xiiith century with the daughter of a Greek emperor (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 224—230.)]

[Footnote 106: Two of his epigrams against Virgil, and three against Tully, are preserved and refuted by Franciscus Floridus, who can find no better names than Graeculus ineptus et impudens, (Hody, p. 274.) In our own times, an English critic has accused the AEneid of containing multa languida, nugatoria, spiritu et majestate carminis heroici defecta; many such verses as he, the said Jeremiah Markland, would have been ashamed of owning, (praefat. ad Statii Sylvas, p. 21, 22.)]

[Footnote 107: Emanuel Chrysoloras, and his colleagues, are accused of ignorance, envy, or avarice, (Sylloge, &c., tom. ii. p. 235.) The modern Greeks pronounce the b as a V consonant, and confound three vowels, (h i u,) and several diphthongs. Such was the vulgar pronunciation which the stern Gardiner maintained by penal statutes in the university of Cambridge: but the monosyllable bh represented to an Attic ear the bleating of sheep, and a bellwether is better evidence than a bishop or a chancellor. The treatises of those scholars, particularly Erasmus, who asserted a more classical pronunciation, are collected in the Sylloge of Havercamp, (2 vols. in octavo, Lugd. Bat. 1736, 1740:) but it is difficult to paint sounds by words: and in their reference to modern use, they can be understood only by their respective countrymen. We may observe, that our peculiar pronunciation of the O, th, is approved by Erasmus, (tom. ii. p. 130.)]

Yet the fleeting shadows of metaphysics were pursued with more curiosity and ardor. After a long oblivion, Plato was revived in Italy by a venerable Greek, [108] who taught in the house of Cosmo of Medicis. While the synod of Florence was involved in theological debate, some beneficial consequences might flow from the study of his elegant philosophy: his style is the purest standard of the Attic dialect, and his sublime thoughts are sometimes adapted to familiar conversation, and sometimes adorned with the richest colors of poetry and eloquence. The dialogues of Plato are a dramatic picture of the life and death of a sage; and, as often as he descends from the clouds, his moral system inculcates the love of truth, of our country, and of mankind. The precept and example of Socrates recommended a modest doubt and liberal inquiry; and if the Platonists, with blind devotion, adored the visions and errors of their divine master, their enthusiasm might correct the dry, dogmatic method of the Peripatetic school. So equal, yet so opposite, are the merits of Plato and Aristotle, that they may be balanced in endless controversy; but some spark of freedom may be produced by the collision of adverse servitude. The modern Greeks were divided between the two sects: with more fury than skill they fought under the banner of their leaders; and the field of battle was removed in their flight from Constantinople to Rome. But this philosophical debate soon degenerated into an angry and personal quarrel of grammarians; and Bessarion, though an advocate for Plato, protected the national honor, by interposing the advice and authority of a mediator. In the gardens of the Medici, the academical doctrine was enjoyed by the polite and learned: but their philosophic society was quickly dissolved; and if the writings of the Attic sage were perused in the closet, the more powerful Stagyrite continued to reign, the oracle of the church and school. [109]

[Footnote 108: George Gemistus Pletho, a various and voluminous writer, the master of Bessarion, and all the Platonists of the times. He visited Italy in his old age, and soon returned to end his days in Peloponnesus. See the curious Diatribe of Leo Allatius de Georgiis, in Fabricius. (Bibliot. Graec. tom. x. p. 739—756.)]

[Footnote 109: The state of the Platonic philosophy in Italy is illustrated by Boivin, (Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscriptions, tom. ii. p. 715—729,) and Tiraboschi, (tom. vi. P. i. p. 259—288.)]

I have fairly represented the literary merits of the Greeks; yet it must be confessed, that they were seconded and surpassed by the ardor of the Latins. Italy was divided into many independent states; and at that time it was the ambition of princes and republics to vie with each other in the encouragement and reward of literature. The fame of Nicholas the Fifth [110] has not been adequate to his merits. From a plebeian origin he raised himself by his virtue and learning: the character of the man prevailed over the interest of the pope; and he sharpened those weapons which were soon pointed against the Roman church. [111] He had been the friend of the most eminent scholars of the age: he became their patron; and such was the humility of his manners, that the change was scarcely discernible either to them or to himself. If he pressed the acceptance of a liberal gift, it was not as the measure of desert, but as the proof of benevolence; and when modest merit declined his bounty, "Accept it," would he say, with a consciousness of his own worth: "ye will not always have a Nicholas among you." The influence of the holy see pervaded Christendom; and he exerted that influence in the search, not of benefices, but of books. From the ruins of the Byzantine libraries, from the darkest monasteries of Germany and Britain, he collected the dusty manuscripts of the writers of antiquity; and wherever the original could not be removed, a faithful copy was transcribed and transmitted for his use. The Vatican, the old repository for bulls and legends, for superstition and forgery, was daily replenished with more precious furniture; and such was the industry of Nicholas, that in a reign of eight years he formed a library of five thousand volumes. To his munificence the Latin world was indebted for the versions of Xenophon, Diodorus, Polybius, Thucydides, Herodotus, and Appian; of Strabo's Geography, of the Iliad, of the most valuable works of Plato and Aristotle, of Ptolemy and Theophrastus, and of the fathers of the Greek church. The example of the Roman pontiff was preceded or imitated by a Florentine merchant, who governed the republic without arms and without a title. Cosmo of Medicis [112] was the father of a line of princes, whose name and age are almost synonymous with the restoration of learning: his credit was ennobled into fame; his riches were dedicated to the service of mankind; he corresponded at once with Cairo and London: and a cargo of Indian spices and Greek books was often imported in the same vessel. The genius and education of his grandson Lorenzo rendered him not only a patron, but a judge and candidate, in the literary race. In his palace, distress was entitled to relief, and merit to reward: his leisure hours were delightfully spent in the Platonic academy; he encouraged the emulation of Demetrius Chalcocondyles and Angelo Politian; and his active missionary Janus Lascaris returned from the East with a treasure of two hundred manuscripts, fourscore of which were as yet unknown in the libraries of Europe. [113] The rest of Italy was animated by a similar spirit, and the progress of the nation repaid the liberality of their princes. The Latins held the exclusive property of their own literature; and these disciples of Greece were soon capable of transmitting and improving the lessons which they had imbibed. After a short succession of foreign teachers, the tide of emigration subsided; but the language of Constantinople was spread beyond the Alps and the natives of France, Germany, and England, [114] imparted to their country the sacred fire which they had kindled in the schools of Florence and Rome. [115] In the productions of the mind, as in those of the soil, the gifts of nature are excelled by industry and skill: the Greek authors, forgotten on the banks of the Ilissus, have been illustrated on those of the Elbe and the Thames: and Bessarion or Gaza might have envied the superior science of the Barbarians; the accuracy of Budaeus, the taste of Erasmus, the copiousness of Stephens, the erudition of Scaliger, the discernment of Reiske, or of Bentley. On the side of the Latins, the discovery of printing was a casual advantage: but this useful art has been applied by Aldus, and his innumerable successors, to perpetuate and multiply the works of antiquity. [116] A single manuscript imported from Greece is revived in ten thousand copies; and each copy is fairer than the original. In this form, Homer and Plato would peruse with more satisfaction their own writings; and their scholiasts must resign the prize to the labors of our Western editors.

[Footnote 110: See the Life of Nicholas V. by two contemporary authors, Janottus Manettus, (tom. iii. P. ii. p. 905—962,) and Vespasian of Florence, (tom. xxv. p. 267—290,) in the collection of Muratori; and consult Tiraboschi, (tom. vi. P. i. p. 46—52, 109,) and Hody in the articles of Theodore Gaza, George of Trebizond, &c.]

[Footnote 111: Lord Bolingbroke observes, with truth and spirit, that the popes in this instance, were worse politicians than the muftis, and that the charm which had bound mankind for so many ages was broken by the magicians themselves, (Letters on the Study of History, l. vi. p. 165, 166, octavo edition, 1779.)]

[Footnote 112: See the literary history of Cosmo and Lorenzo of Medicis, in Tiraboschi, (tom. vi. P. i. l. i. c. 2,) who bestows a due measure of praise on Alphonso of Arragon, king of Naples, the dukes of Milan, Ferrara Urbino, &c. The republic of Venice has deserved the least from the gratitude of scholars.]

[Footnote 113: Tiraboschi, (tom. vi. P. i. p. 104,) from the preface of Janus Lascaris to the Greek Anthology, printed at Florence, 1494. Latebant (says Aldus in his preface to the Greek orators, apud Hodium, p. 249) in Atho Thraciae monte. Eas Lascaris.... in Italiam reportavit. Miserat enim ipsum Laurentius ille Medices in Graeciam ad inquirendos simul, et quantovis emendos pretio bonos libros. It is remarkable enough, that the research was facilitated by Sultan Bajazet II.]

[Footnote 114: The Greek language was introduced into the university of Oxford in the last years of the xvth century, by Grocyn, Linacer, and Latimer, who had all studied at Florence under Demetrius Chalcocondyles. See Dr. Knight's curious Life of Erasmus. Although a stout academical patriot, he is forced to acknowledge that Erasmus learned Greek at Oxford, and taught it at Cambridge.]

[Footnote 115: The jealous Italians were desirous of keeping a monopoly of Greek learning. When Aldus was about to publish the Greek scholiasts on Sophocles and Euripides, Cave, (said they,) cave hoc facias, ne Barbari istis adjuti domi maneant, et pauciores in Italiam ventitent, (Dr. Knight, in his Life of Erasmus, p. 365, from Beatus Rhemanus.)]

[Footnote 116: The press of Aldus Manutius, a Roman, was established at Venice about the year 1494: he printed above sixty considerable works of Greek literature, almost all for the first time; several containing different treatises and authors, and of several authors, two, three, or four editions, (Fabric. Bibliot. Graec. tom. xiii. p. 605, &c.) Yet his glory must not tempt us to forget, that the first Greek book, the Grammar of Constantine Lascaris, was printed at Milan in 1476; and that the Florence Homer of 1488 displays all the luxury of the typographical art. See the Annales Typographical of Mattaire, and the Bibliographie Instructive of De Bure, a knowing bookseller of Paris.]

Before the revival of classic literature, the Barbarians in Europe were immersed in ignorance; and their vulgar tongues were marked with the rudeness and poverty of their manners. The students of the more perfect idioms of Rome and Greece were introduced to a new world of light and science; to the society of the free and polished nations of antiquity; and to a familiar converse with those immortal men who spoke the sublime language of eloquence and reason. Such an intercourse must tend to refine the taste, and to elevate the genius, of the moderns; and yet, from the first experiments, it might appear that the study of the ancients had given fetters, rather than wings, to the human mind. However laudable, the spirit of imitation is of a servile cast; and the first disciples of the Greeks and Romans were a colony of strangers in the midst of their age and country. The minute and laborious diligence which explored the antiquities of remote times might have improved or adorned the present state of society, the critic and metaphysician were the slaves of Aristotle; the poets, historians, and orators, were proud to repeat the thoughts and words of the Augustan age: the works of nature were observed with the eyes of Pliny and Theophrastus; and some Pagan votaries professed a secret devotion to the gods of Homer and Plato. [117] The Italians were oppressed by the strength and number of their ancient auxiliaries: the century after the deaths of Petrarch and Boccace was filled with a crowd of Latin imitators, who decently repose on our shelves; but in that aera of learning it will not be easy to discern a real discovery of science, a work of invention or eloquence, in the popular language of the country. [118] But as soon as it had been deeply saturated with the celestial dew, the soil was quickened into vegetation and life; the modern idioms were refined; the classics of Athens and Rome inspired a pure taste and a generous emulation; and in Italy, as afterwards in France and England, the pleasing reign of poetry and fiction was succeeded by the light of speculative and experimental philosophy. Genius may anticipate the season of maturity; but in the education of a people, as in that of an individual, memory must be exercised, before the powers of reason and fancy can be expanded: nor may the artist hope to equal or surpass, till he has learned to imitate, the works of his predecessors.

[Footnote 117: I will select three singular examples of this classic enthusiasm. I. At the synod of Florence, Gemistus Pletho said, in familiar conversation to George of Trebizond, that in a short time mankind would unanimously renounce the Gospel and the Koran, for a religion similar to that of the Gentiles, (Leo Allatius, apud Fabricium, tom. x. p. 751.) 2. Paul II. persecuted the Roman academy, which had been founded by Pomponius Laetus; and the principal members were accused of heresy, impiety, and paganism, (Tiraboschi, tom. vi. P. i. p. 81, 82.) 3. In the next century, some scholars and poets in France celebrated the success of Jodelle's tragedy of Cleopatra, by a festival of Bacchus, and, as it is said, by the sacrifice of a goat, (Bayle, Dictionnaire, Jodelle. Fontenelle, tom. iii. p. 56—61.) Yet the spirit of bigotry might often discern a serious impiety in the sportive play of fancy and learning.]

[Footnote 118: The survivor Boccace died in the year 1375; and we cannot place before 1480 the composition of the Morgante Maggiore of Pulci and the Orlando Innamorato of Boyardo, (Tiraboschi, tom. vi. P. ii. p. 174—177.)]



Chapter LXVII: Schism Of The Greeks And Latins.—Part I.

Schism Of The Greeks And Latins.—Reign And Character Of Amurath The Second.—Crusade Of Ladislaus, King Of Hungary.— His Defeat And Death.—John Huniades.—Scanderbeg.— Constantine Palaeologus, Last Emperor Of The East.

The respective merits of Rome and Constantinople are compared and celebrated by an eloquent Greek, the father of the Italian schools. [1] The view of the ancient capital, the seat of his ancestors, surpassed the most sanguine expectations of Emanuel Chrysoloras; and he no longer blamed the exclamation of an old sophist, that Rome was the habitation, not of men, but of gods. Those gods, and those men, had long since vanished; but to the eye of liberal enthusiasm, the majesty of ruin restored the image of her ancient prosperity. The monuments of the consuls and Caesars, of the martyrs and apostles, engaged on all sides the curiosity of the philosopher and the Christian; and he confessed that in every age the arms and the religion of Rome were destined to reign over the earth. While Chrysoloras admired the venerable beauties of the mother, he was not forgetful of his native country, her fairest daughter, her Imperial colony; and the Byzantine patriot expatiates with zeal and truth on the eternal advantages of nature, and the more transitory glories of art and dominion, which adorned, or had adorned, the city of Constantine. Yet the perfection of the copy still redounds (as he modestly observes) to the honor of the original, and parents are delighted to be renewed, and even excelled, by the superior merit of their children. "Constantinople," says the orator, "is situate on a commanding point, between Europe and Asia, between the Archipelago and the Euxine. By her interposition, the two seas, and the two continents, are united for the common benefit of nations; and the gates of commerce may be shut or opened at her command. The harbor, encompassed on all sides by the sea, and the continent, is the most secure and capacious in the world. The walls and gates of Constantinople may be compared with those of Babylon: the towers many; each tower is a solid and lofty structure; and the second wall, the outer fortification, would be sufficient for the defence and dignity of an ordinary capital. A broad and rapid stream may be introduced into the ditches and the artificial island may be encompassed, like Athens, [2] by land or water." Two strong and natural causes are alleged for the perfection of the model of new Rome. The royal founder reigned over the most illustrious nations of the globe; and in the accomplishment of his designs, the power of the Romans was combined with the art and science of the Greeks. Other cities have been reared to maturity by accident and time: their beauties are mingled with disorder and deformity; and the inhabitants, unwilling to remove from their natal spot, are incapable of correcting the errors of their ancestors, and the original vices of situation or climate. But the free idea of Constantinople was formed and executed by a single mind; and the primitive model was improved by the obedient zeal of the subjects and successors of the first monarch. The adjacent isles were stored with an inexhaustible supply of marble; but the various materials were transported from the most remote shores of Europe and Asia; and the public and private buildings, the palaces, churches, aqueducts, cisterns, porticos, columns, baths, and hippodromes, were adapted to the greatness of the capital of the East. The superfluity of wealth was spread along the shores of Europe and Asia; and the Byzantine territory, as far as the Euxine, the Hellespont, and the long wall, might be considered as a populous suburb and a perpetual garden. In this flattering picture, the past and the present, the times of prosperity and decay, are art fully confounded; but a sigh and a confession escape, from the orator, that his wretched country was the shadow and sepulchre of its former self. The works of ancient sculpture had been defaced by Christian zeal or Barbaric violence; the fairest structures were demolished; and the marbles of Paros or Numidia were burnt for lime, or applied to the meanest uses. Of many a statue, the place was marked by an empty pedestal; of many a column, the size was determined by a broken capital; the tombs of the emperors were scattered on the ground; the stroke of time was accelerated by storms and earthquakes; and the vacant space was adorned, by vulgar tradition, with fabulous monuments of gold and silver. From these wonders, which lived only in memory or belief, he distinguishes, however, the porphyry pillar, the column and colossus of Justinian, [3] and the church, more especially the dome, of St. Sophia; the best conclusion, since it could not be described according to its merits, and after it no other object could deserve to be mentioned. But he forgets that, a century before, the trembling fabrics of the colossus and the church had been saved and supported by the timely care of Andronicus the Elder. Thirty years after the emperor had fortified St. Sophia with two new buttresses or pyramids, the eastern hemisphere suddenly gave way: and the images, the altars, and the sanctuary, were crushed by the falling ruin. The mischief indeed was speedily repaired; the rubbish was cleared by the incessant labor of every rank and age; and the poor remains of riches and industry were consecrated by the Greeks to the most stately and venerable temple of the East. [4]

[Footnote 1: The epistle of Emanuel Chrysoloras to the emperor John Palaeologus will not offend the eye or ear of a classical student, (ad calcem Codini de Antiquitatibus C. P. p. 107—126.) The superscription suggests a chronological remark, that John Palaeologus II. was associated in the empire before the year 1414, the date of Chrysoloras's death. A still earlier date, at least 1408, is deduced from the age of his youngest sons, Demetrius and Thomas, who were both Porphyrogeniti (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 244, 247.)]

[Footnote 2: Somebody observed that the city of Athens might be circumnavigated, (tiV eipen tin polin tvn Aqhnaiwn dunasqai kai paraplein kai periplein.) But what may be true in a rhetorical sense of Constantinople, cannot be applied to the situation of Athens, five miles from the sea, and not intersected or surrounded by any navigable streams.]

[Footnote 3: Nicephorus Gregoras has described the Colossus of Justinian, (l. vii. 12:) but his measures are false and inconsistent. The editor Boivin consulted his friend Girardon; and the sculptor gave him the true proportions of an equestrian statue. That of Justinian was still visible to Peter Gyllius, not on the column, but in the outward court of the seraglio; and he was at Constantinople when it was melted down, and cast into a brass cannon, (de Topograph. C. P. l. ii. c. 17.)]

[Footnote 4: See the decay and repairs of St. Sophia, in Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. 12, l. xv. 2.) The building was propped by Andronicus in 1317, the eastern hemisphere fell in 1345. The Greeks, in their pompous rhetoric, exalt the beauty and holiness of the church, an earthly heaven the abode of angels, and of God himself, &c.]

The last hope of the falling city and empire was placed in the harmony of the mother and daughter, in the maternal tenderness of Rome, and the filial obedience of Constantinople. In the synod of Florence, the Greeks and Latins had embraced, and subscribed, and promised; but these signs of friendship were perfidious or fruitless; [5] and the baseless fabric of the union vanished like a dream. [6] The emperor and his prelates returned home in the Venetian galleys; but as they touched at the Morea and the Isles of Corfu and Lesbos, the subjects of the Latins complained that the pretended union would be an instrument of oppression. No sooner did they land on the Byzantine shore, than they were saluted, or rather assailed, with a general murmur of zeal and discontent. During their absence, above two years, the capital had been deprived of its civil and ecclesiastical rulers; fanaticism fermented in anarchy; the most furious monks reigned over the conscience of women and bigots; and the hatred of the Latin name was the first principle of nature and religion. Before his departure for Italy, the emperor had flattered the city with the assurance of a prompt relief and a powerful succor; and the clergy, confident in their orthodoxy and science, had promised themselves and their flocks an easy victory over the blind shepherds of the West. The double disappointment exasperated the Greeks; the conscience of the subscribing prelates was awakened; the hour of temptation was past; and they had more to dread from the public resentment, than they could hope from the favor of the emperor or the pope. Instead of justifying their conduct, they deplored their weakness, professed their contrition, and cast themselves on the mercy of God and of their brethren. To the reproachful question, what had been the event or the use of their Italian synod? they answered with sighs and tears, "Alas! we have made a new faith; we have exchanged piety for impiety; we have betrayed the immaculate sacrifice; and we are become Azymites." (The Azymites were those who celebrated the communion with unleavened bread; and I must retract or qualify the praise which I have bestowed on the growing philosophy of the times.) "Alas! we have been seduced by distress, by fraud, and by the hopes and fears of a transitory life. The hand that has signed the union should be cut off; and the tongue that has pronounced the Latin creed deserves to be torn from the root." The best proof of their repentance was an increase of zeal for the most trivial rites and the most incomprehensible doctrines; and an absolute separation from all, without excepting their prince, who preserved some regard for honor and consistency. After the decease of the patriarch Joseph, the archbishops of Heraclea and Trebizond had courage to refuse the vacant office; and Cardinal Bessarion preferred the warm and comfortable shelter of the Vatican. The choice of the emperor and his clergy was confined to Metrophanes of Cyzicus: he was consecrated in St. Sophia, but the temple was vacant. The cross-bearers abdicated their service; the infection spread from the city to the villages; and Metrophanes discharged, without effect, some ecclesiastical thunders against a nation of schismatics. The eyes of the Greeks were directed to Mark of Ephesus, the champion of his country; and the sufferings of the holy confessor were repaid with a tribute of admiration and applause. His example and writings propagated the flame of religious discord; age and infirmity soon removed him from the world; but the gospel of Mark was not a law of forgiveness; and he requested with his dying breath, that none of the adherents of Rome might attend his obsequies or pray for his soul.

[Footnote 5: The genuine and original narrative of Syropulus (p. 312—351) opens the schism from the first office of the Greeks at Venice to the general opposition at Constantinople, of the clergy and people.]

[Footnote 6: On the schism of Constantinople, see Phranza, (l. ii. c. 17,) Laonicus Chalcondyles, (l. vi. p. 155, 156,) and Ducas, (c. 31;) the last of whom writes with truth and freedom. Among the moderns we may distinguish the continuator of Fleury, (tom. xxii. p. 338, &c., 401, 420, &c.,) and Spondanus, (A.D. 1440—50.) The sense of the latter is drowned in prejudice and passion, as soon as Rome and religion are concerned.]

The schism was not confined to the narrow limits of the Byzantine empire. Secure under the Mamaluke sceptre, the three patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, assembled a numerous synod; disowned their representatives at Ferrara and Florence; condemned the creed and council of the Latins; and threatened the emperor of Constantinople with the censures of the Eastern church. Of the sectaries of the Greek communion, the Russians were the most powerful, ignorant, and superstitious. Their primate, the cardinal Isidore, hastened from Florence to Moscow, [7] to reduce the independent nation under the Roman yoke. But the Russian bishops had been educated at Mount Athos; and the prince and people embraced the theology of their priests. They were scandalized by the title, the pomp, the Latin cross of the legate, the friend of those impious men who shaved their beards, and performed the divine office with gloves on their hands and rings on their fingers: Isidore was condemned by a synod; his person was imprisoned in a monastery; and it was with extreme difficulty that the cardinal could escape from the hands of a fierce and fanatic people. [8] The Russians refused a passage to the missionaries of Rome who aspired to convert the Pagans beyond the Tanais; [9] and their refusal was justified by the maxim, that the guilt of idolatry is less damnable than that of schism. The errors of the Bohemians were excused by their abhorrence for the pope; and a deputation of the Greek clergy solicited the friendship of those sanguinary enthusiasts. [10] While Eugenius triumphed in the union and orthodoxy of the Greeks, his party was contracted to the walls, or rather to the palace of Constantinople. The zeal of Palaeologus had been excited by interest; it was soon cooled by opposition: an attempt to violate the national belief might endanger his life and crown; not could the pious rebels be destitute of foreign and domestic aid. The sword of his brother Demetrius, who in Italy had maintained a prudent and popular silence, was half unsheathed in the cause of religion; and Amurath, the Turkish sultan, was displeased and alarmed by the seeming friendship of the Greeks and Latins.

[Footnote 7: Isidore was metropolitan of Kiow, but the Greeks subject to Poland have removed that see from the ruins of Kiow to Lemberg, or Leopold, (Herbestein, in Ramusio, tom. ii. p. 127.) On the other hand, the Russians transferred their spiritual obedience to the archbishop, who became, in 1588, the patriarch, of Moscow, (Levesque Hist. de Russie, tom. iii. p. 188, 190, from a Greek MS. at Turin, Iter et labores Archiepiscopi Arsenii.)]

[Footnote 8: The curious narrative of Levesque (Hist. de Russie, tom. ii. p. 242—247) is extracted from the patriarchal archives. The scenes of Ferrara and Florence are described by ignorance and passion; but the Russians are credible in the account of their own prejudices.]

[Footnote 9: The Shamanism, the ancient religion of the Samanaeans and Gymnosophists, has been driven by the more popular Bramins from India into the northern deserts: the naked philosophers were compelled to wrap themselves in fur; but they insensibly sunk into wizards and physicians. The Mordvans and Tcheremisses in the European Russia adhere to this religion, which is formed on the earthly model of one king or God, his ministers or angels, and the rebellious spirits who oppose his government. As these tribes of the Volga have no images, they might more justly retort on the Latin missionaries the name of idolaters, (Levesque, Hist. des Peuples soumis a la Domination des Russes, tom. i. p. 194—237, 423—460.)]

[Footnote 10: Spondanus, Annal. Eccles. tom ii. A.D. 1451, No. 13. The epistle of the Greeks with a Latin version, is extant in the college library at Prague.]

"Sultan Murad, or Amurath, lived forty-nine, and reigned thirty years, six months, and eight days. He was a just and valiant prince, of a great soul, patient of labors, learned, merciful, religious, charitable; a lover and encourager of the studious, and of all who excelled in any art or science; a good emperor and a great general. No man obtained more or greater victories than Amurath; Belgrade alone withstood his attacks. [101] Under his reign, the soldier was ever victorious, the citizen rich and secure. If he subdued any country, his first care was to build mosques and caravansaras, hospitals, and colleges. Every year he gave a thousand pieces of gold to the sons of the Prophet; and sent two thousand five hundred to the religious persons of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem." [11] This portrait is transcribed from the historian of the Othman empire: but the applause of a servile and superstitious people has been lavished on the worst of tyrants; and the virtues of a sultan are often the vices most useful to himself, or most agreeable to his subjects. A nation ignorant of the equal benefits of liberty and law, must be awed by the flashes of arbitrary power: the cruelty of a despot will assume the character of justice; his profusion, of liberality; his obstinacy, of firmness. If the most reasonable excuse be rejected, few acts of obedience will be found impossible; and guilt must tremble, where innocence cannot always be secure. The tranquillity of the people, and the discipline of the troops, were best maintained by perpetual action in the field; war was the trade of the Janizaries; and those who survived the peril, and divided the spoil, applauded the generous ambition of their sovereign. To propagate the true religion, was the duty of a faithful Mussulman: the unbelievers were his enemies, and those of the Prophet; and, in the hands of the Turks, the cimeter was the only instrument of conversion. Under these circumstances, however, the justice and moderation of Amurath are attested by his conduct, and acknowledged by the Christians themselves; who consider a prosperous reign and a peaceful death as the reward of his singular merits. In the vigor of his age and military power, he seldom engaged in war till he was justified by a previous and adequate provocation: the victorious sultan was disarmed by submission; and in the observance of treaties, his word was inviolate and sacred. [12] The Hungarians were commonly the aggressors; he was provoked by the revolt of Scanderbeg; and the perfidious Caramanian was twice vanquished, and twice pardoned, by the Ottoman monarch. Before he invaded the Morea, Thebes had been surprised by the despot: in the conquest of Thessalonica, the grandson of Bajazet might dispute the recent purchase of the Venetians; and after the first siege of Constantinople, the sultan was never tempted, by the distress, the absence, or the injuries of Palaeologus, to extinguish the dying light of the Byzantine empire.

[Footnote 101: See the siege and massacre at Thessalonica. Von Hammer vol. i p. 433.—M.]

[Footnote 11: See Cantemir, History of the Othman Empire, p. 94. Murad, or Morad, may be more correct: but I have preferred the popular name to that obscure diligence which is rarely successful in translating an Oriental, into the Roman, alphabet.]

[Footnote 12: See Chalcondyles, (l. vii. p. 186, 198,) Ducas, (c. 33,) and Marinus Barletius, (in Vit. Scanderbeg, p. 145, 146.) In his good faith towards the garrison of Sfetigrade, he was a lesson and example to his son Mahomet.]

But the most striking feature in the life and character of Amurath is the double abdication of the Turkish throne; and, were not his motives debased by an alloy of superstition, we must praise the royal philosopher, [13] who at the age of forty could discern the vanity of human greatness. Resigning the sceptre to his son, he retired to the pleasant residence of Magnesia; but he retired to the society of saints and hermits. It was not till the fourth century of the Hegira, that the religion of Mahomet had been corrupted by an institution so adverse to his genius; but in the age of the crusades, the various orders of Dervises were multiplied by the example of the Christian, and even the Latin, monks. [14] The lord of nations submitted to fast, and pray, and turn round [141] in endless rotation with the fanatics, who mistook the giddiness of the head for the illumination of the spirit. [15] But he was soon awakened from his dreams of enthusiasm by the Hungarian invasion; and his obedient son was the foremost to urge the public danger and the wishes of the people. Under the banner of their veteran leader, the Janizaries fought and conquered but he withdrew from the field of Varna, again to pray, to fast, and to turn round with his Magnesian brethren. These pious occupations were again interrupted by the danger of the state. A victorious army disdained the inexperience of their youthful ruler: the city of Adrianople was abandoned to rapine and slaughter; and the unanimous divan implored his presence to appease the tumult, and prevent the rebellion, of the Janizaries. At the well-known voice of their master, they trembled and obeyed; and the reluctant sultan was compelled to support his splendid servitude, till at the end of four years, he was relieved by the angel of death. Age or disease, misfortune or caprice, have tempted several princes to descend from the throne; and they have had leisure to repent of their irretrievable step. But Amurath alone, in the full liberty of choice, after the trial of empire and solitude, has repeated his preference of a private life.

[Footnote 13: Voltaire (Essai sur l'Histoire Generale, c. 89, p. 283, 284) admires le Philosophe Turc: would he have bestowed the same praise on a Christian prince for retiring to a monastery? In his way, Voltaire was a bigot, an intolerant bigot.]

[Footnote 14: See the articles Dervische, Fakir, Nasser, Rohbaniat, in D'Herbelot's Bibliotheque Orientale. Yet the subject is superficially treated from the Persian and Arabian writers. It is among the Turks that these orders have principally flourished.]

[Footnote 141: Gibbon has fallen into a remarkable error. The unmonastic retreat of Amurath was that of an epicurean rather than of a dervis; more like that of Sardanapalus than of Charles the Fifth. Profane, not divine, love was its chief occupation: the only dance, that described by Horace as belonging to the country, motus doceri gaudet Ionicos. See Von Hammer note, p. 652.—M.]

[Footnote 15: Ricaut (in the Present State of the Ottoman Empire, p. 242—268) affords much information, which he drew from his personal conversation with the heads of the dervises, most of whom ascribed their origin to the time of Orchan. He does not mention the Zichid of Chalcondyles, (l. vii. p. 286,) among whom Amurath retired: the Seids of that author are the descendants of Mahomet.]

After the departure of his Greek brethren, Eugenius had not been unmindful of their temporal interest; and his tender regard for the Byzantine empire was animated by a just apprehension of the Turks, who approached, and might soon invade, the borders of Italy. But the spirit of the crusades had expired; and the coldness of the Franks was not less unreasonable than their headlong passion. In the eleventh century, a fanatic monk could precipitate Europe on Asia for the recovery of the holy sepulchre; but in the fifteenth, the most pressing motives of religion and policy were insufficient to unite the Latins in the defence of Christendom. Germany was an inexhaustible storehouse of men and arms: [16] but that complex and languid body required the impulse of a vigorous hand; and Frederic the Third was alike impotent in his personal character and his Imperial dignity. A long war had impaired the strength, without satiating the animosity, of France and England: [17] but Philip duke of Burgundy was a vain and magnificent prince; and he enjoyed, without danger or expense, the adventurous piety of his subjects, who sailed, in a gallant fleet, from the coast of Flanders to the Hellespont. The maritime republics of Venice and Genoa were less remote from the scene of action; and their hostile fleets were associated under the standard of St. Peter. The kingdoms of Hungary and Poland, which covered as it were the interior pale of the Latin church, were the most nearly concerned to oppose the progress of the Turks. Arms were the patrimony of the Scythians and Sarmatians; and these nations might appear equal to the contest, could they point, against the common foe, those swords that were so wantonly drawn in bloody and domestic quarrels. But the same spirit was adverse to concord and obedience: a poor country and a limited monarch are incapable of maintaining a standing force; and the loose bodies of Polish and Hungarian horse were not armed with the sentiments and weapons which, on some occasions, have given irresistible weight to the French chivalry. Yet, on this side, the designs of the Roman pontiff, and the eloquence of Cardinal Julian, his legate, were promoted by the circumstances of the times: [18] by the union of the two crowns on the head of Ladislaus, [19] a young and ambitious soldier; by the valor of a hero, whose name, the name of John Huniades, was already popular among the Christians, and formidable to the Turks. An endless treasure of pardons and indulgences was scattered by the legate; many private warriors of France and Germany enlisted under the holy banner; and the crusade derived some strength, or at least some reputation, from the new allies both of Europe and Asia. A fugitive despot of Servia exaggerated the distress and ardor of the Christians beyond the Danube, who would unanimously rise to vindicate their religion and liberty. The Greek emperor, [20] with a spirit unknown to his fathers, engaged to guard the Bosphorus, and to sally from Constantinople at the head of his national and mercenary troops. The sultan of Caramania [21] announced the retreat of Amurath, and a powerful diversion in the heart of Anatolia; and if the fleets of the West could occupy at the same moment the Straits of the Hellespont, the Ottoman monarchy would be dissevered and destroyed. Heaven and earth must rejoice in the perdition of the miscreants; and the legate, with prudent ambiguity, instilled the opinion of the invisible, perhaps the visible, aid of the Son of God, and his divine mother.

[Footnote 16: In the year 1431, Germany raised 40,000 horse, men-at-arms, against the Hussites of Bohemia, (Lenfant, Hist. du Concile de Basle, tom. i. p. 318.) At the siege of Nuys, on the Rhine, in 1474, the princes, prelates, and cities, sent their respective quotas; and the bishop of Munster (qui n'est pas des plus grands) furnished 1400 horse, 6000 foot, all in green, with 1200 wagons. The united armies of the king of England and the duke of Burgundy scarcely equalled one third of this German host, (Memoires de Philippe de Comines, l. iv. c. 2.) At present, six or seven hundred thousand men are maintained in constant pay and admirable discipline by the powers of Germany.]

[Footnote 17: It was not till the year 1444, that France and England could agree on a truce of some months. (See Rymer's Fdera, and the chronicles of both nations.)]

[Footnote 18: In the Hungarian crusade, Spondanus (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 1443, 1444) has been my leading guide. He has diligently read, and critically compared, the Greek and Turkish materials, the historians of Hungary, Poland, and the West. His narrative is perspicuous and where he can be free from a religious bias, the judgment of Spondanus is not contemptible.]

[Footnote 19: I have curtailed the harsh letter (Wladislaus) which most writers affix to his name, either in compliance with the Polish pronunciation, or to distinguish him from his rival the infant Ladislaus of Austria. Their competition for the crown of Hungary is described by Callimachus, (l. i. ii. p. 447—486,) Bonfinius, (Decad. iii. l. iv.,) Spondanus, and Lenfant.]

[Footnote 20: The Greek historians, Phranza, Chalcondyles, and Ducas, do not ascribe to their prince a very active part in this crusade, which he seems to have promoted by his wishes, and injured by his fears.]

[Footnote 21: Cantemir (p. 88) ascribes to his policy the original plan, and transcribes his animating epistle to the king of Hungary. But the Mahometan powers are seldom it formed of the state of Christendom and the situation and correspondence of the knights of Rhodes must connect them with the sultan of Caramania.]

Of the Polish and Hungarian diets, a religious war was the unanimous cry; and Ladislaus, after passing the Danube, led an army of his confederate subjects as far as Sophia, the capital of the Bulgarian kingdom. In this expedition they obtained two signal victories, which were justly ascribed to the valor and conduct of Huniades. In the first, with a vanguard of ten thousand men, he surprised the Turkish camp; in the second, he vanquished and made prisoner the most renowned of their generals, who possessed the double advantage of ground and numbers. The approach of winter, and the natural and artificial obstacles of Mount Haemus, arrested the progress of the hero, who measured a narrow interval of six days' march from the foot of the mountains to the hostile towers of Adrianople, and the friendly capital of the Greek empire. The retreat was undisturbed; and the entrance into Buda was at once a military and religious triumph. An ecclesiastical procession was followed by the king and his warriors on foot: he nicely balanced the merits and rewards of the two nations; and the pride of conquest was blended with the humble temper of Christianity. Thirteen bashaws, nine standards, and four thousand captives, were unquestionable trophies; and as all were willing to believe, and none were present to contradict, the crusaders multiplied, with unblushing confidence, the myriads of Turks whom they had left on the field of battle. [22] The most solid proof, and the most salutary consequence, of victory, was a deputation from the divan to solicit peace, to restore Servia, to ransom the prisoners, and to evacuate the Hungarian frontier. By this treaty, the rational objects of the war were obtained: the king, the despot, and Huniades himself, in the diet of Segedin, were satisfied with public and private emolument; a truce of ten years was concluded; and the followers of Jesus and Mahomet, who swore on the Gospel and the Koran, attested the word of God as the guardian of truth and the avenger of perfidy. In the place of the Gospel, the Turkish ministers had proposed to substitute the Eucharist, the real presence of the Catholic deity; but the Christians refused to profane their holy mysteries; and a superstitious conscience is less forcibly bound by the spiritual energy, than by the outward and visible symbols of an oath. [23]

[Footnote 22: In their letters to the emperor Frederic III. the Hungarians slay 80,000 Turks in one battle; but the modest Julian reduces the slaughter to 6000 or even 2000 infidels, (AEneas Sylvius in Europ. c. 5, and epist. 44, 81, apud Spondanum.)]

[Footnote 23: See the origin of the Turkish war, and the first expedition of Ladislaus, in the vth and vith books of the iiid decad of Bonfinius, who, in his division and style, copies Livy with tolerable success Callimachus (l. ii p. 487—496) is still more pure and authentic.]

During the whole transaction, the cardinal legate had observed a sullen silence, unwilling to approve, and unable to oppose, the consent of the king and people. But the diet was not dissolved before Julian was fortified by the welcome intelligence, that Anatolia was invaded by the Caramanian, and Thrace by the Greek emperor; that the fleets of Genoa, Venice, and Burgundy, were masters of the Hellespont; and that the allies, informed of the victory, and ignorant of the treaty, of Ladislaus, impatiently waited for the return of his victorious army. "And is it thus," exclaimed the cardinal, [24] "that you will desert their expectations and your own fortune? It is to them, to your God, and your fellow-Christians, that you have pledged your faith; and that prior obligation annihilates a rash and sacrilegious oath to the enemies of Christ. His vicar on earth is the Roman pontiff; without whose sanction you can neither promise nor perform. In his name I absolve your perjury and sanctify your arms: follow my footsteps in the paths of glory and salvation; and if still ye have scruples, devolve on my head the punishment and the sin." This mischievous casuistry was seconded by his respectable character, and the levity of popular assemblies: war was resolved, on the same spot where peace had so lately been sworn; and, in the execution of the treaty, the Turks were assaulted by the Christians; to whom, with some reason, they might apply the epithet of Infidels. The falsehood of Ladislaus to his word and oath was palliated by the religion of the times: the most perfect, or at least the most popular, excuse would have been the success of his arms and the deliverance of the Eastern church. But the same treaty which should have bound his conscience had diminished his strength. On the proclamation of the peace, the French and German volunteers departed with indignant murmurs: the Poles were exhausted by distant warfare, and perhaps disgusted with foreign command; and their palatines accepted the first license, and hastily retired to their provinces and castles. Even Hungary was divided by faction, or restrained by a laudable scruple; and the relics of the crusade that marched in the second expedition were reduced to an inadequate force of twenty thousand men. A Walachian chief, who joined the royal standard with his vassals, presumed to remark that their numbers did not exceed the hunting retinue that sometimes attended the sultan; and the gift of two horses of matchless speed might admonish Ladislaus of his secret foresight of the event. But the despot of Servia, after the restoration of his country and children, was tempted by the promise of new realms; and the inexperience of the king, the enthusiasm of the legate, and the martial presumption of Huniades himself, were persuaded that every obstacle must yield to the invincible virtue of the sword and the cross. After the passage of the Danube, two roads might lead to Constantinople and the Hellespont: the one direct, abrupt, and difficult through the mountains of Haemus; the other more tedious and secure, over a level country, and along the shores of the Euxine; in which their flanks, according to the Scythian discipline, might always be covered by a movable fortification of wagons. The latter was judiciously preferred: the Catholics marched through the plains of Bulgaria, burning, with wanton cruelty, the churches and villages of the Christian natives; and their last station was at Warna, near the sea-shore; on which the defeat and death of Ladislaus have bestowed a memorable name. [25]

[Footnote 24: I do not pretend to warrant the literal accuracy of Julian's speech, which is variously worded by Callimachus, (l. iii. p. 505—507,) Bonfinius, (dec. iii. l. vi. p. 457, 458,) and other historians, who might indulge their own eloquence, while they represent one of the orators of the age. But they all agree in the advice and arguments for perjury, which in the field of controversy are fiercely attacked by the Protestants, and feebly defended by the Catholics. The latter are discouraged by the misfortune of Warna.]

[Footnote 25: Warna, under the Grecian name of Odessus, was a colony of the Milesians, which they denominated from the hero Ulysses, (Cellarius, tom. i. p. 374. D'Anville, tom. i. p. 312.) According to Arrian's Periplus of the Euxine, (p. 24, 25, in the first volume of Hudson's Geographers,) it was situate 1740 stadia, or furlongs, from the mouth of the Danube, 2140 from Byzantium, and 360 to the north of a ridge of promontory of Mount Haemus, which advances into the sea.]



Chapter LXVII: Schism Of The Greeks And Latins.—Part II.

It was on this fatal spot, that, instead of finding a confederate fleet to second their operations, they were alarmed by the approach of Amurath himself, who had issued from his Magnesian solitude, and transported the forces of Asia to the defence of Europe. According to some writers, the Greek emperor had been awed, or seduced, to grant the passage of the Bosphorus; and an indelible stain of corruption is fixed on the Genoese, or the pope's nephew, the Catholic admiral, whose mercenary connivance betrayed the guard of the Hellespont. From Adrianople, the sultan advanced by hasty marches, at the head of sixty thousand men; and when the cardinal, and Huniades, had taken a nearer survey of the numbers and order of the Turks, these ardent warriors proposed the tardy and impracticable measure of a retreat. The king alone was resolved to conquer or die; and his resolution had almost been crowned with a glorious and salutary victory. The princes were opposite to each other in the centre; and the Beglerbegs, or generals of Anatolia and Romania, commanded on the right and left, against the adverse divisions of the despot and Huniades. The Turkish wings were broken on the first onset: but the advantage was fatal; and the rash victors, in the heat of the pursuit, were carried away far from the annoyance of the enemy, or the support of their friends. When Amurath beheld the flight of his squadrons, he despaired of his fortune and that of the empire: a veteran Janizary seized his horse's bridle; and he had magnanimity to pardon and reward the soldier who dared to perceive the terror, and arrest the flight, of his sovereign. A copy of the treaty, the monument of Christian perfidy, had been displayed in the front of battle; and it is said, that the sultan in his distress, lifting his eyes and his hands to heaven, implored the protection of the God of truth; and called on the prophet Jesus himself to avenge the impious mockery of his name and religion. [26] With inferior numbers and disordered ranks, the king of Hungary rushed forward in the confidence of victory, till his career was stopped by the impenetrable phalanx of the Janizaries. If we may credit the Ottoman annals, his horse was pierced by the javelin of Amurath; [27] he fell among the spears of the infantry; and a Turkish soldier proclaimed with a loud voice, "Hungarians, behold the head of your king!" The death of Ladislaus was the signal of their defeat. On his return from an intemperate pursuit, Huniades deplored his error, and the public loss; he strove to rescue the royal body, till he was overwhelmed by the tumultuous crowd of the victors and vanquished; and the last efforts of his courage and conduct were exerted to save the remnant of his Walachian cavalry. Ten thousand Christians were slain in the disastrous battle of Warna: the loss of the Turks, more considerable in numbers, bore a smaller proportion to their total strength; yet the philosophic sultan was not ashamed to confess, that his ruin must be the consequence of a second and similar victory. [271] At his command a column was erected on the spot where Ladislaus had fallen; but the modest inscription, instead of accusing the rashness, recorded the valor, and bewailed the misfortune, of the Hungarian youth. [28]

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