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13 the deliverance of their country. In that fatal moment
the janizaries arose, fresh, vigorous, and invincible. The sultan himself, on horseback, with an iron mace in his land, was the spectator and judge of their valor. He was surrounded by ten thousand of his domestic troops, whom he reserved for the decisive occasions; and the tide of battle was directed and impelled by his voice and eye. His numerous ministers of justice were posted behind the line, to urge, to restrain, and to punish; and, if danger was in the front, shame and inevitable death were in the rear of the fugitives. The cries of fear and of pain were drowned in the martial music of drums, trumpets, and atabals; and experience has proved that the mechanical operation of sounds, by quickening the circulation of the blood and spirits, will act on the human machine
more forcibly than the eloquence of reason and honor. 14 From the lines, the galleys, and the bridge, the Ottoman
artillery thundered on all sides, and the camp and city, the Greeks and the Turks, were involved in a cloud of smoke which could only be dispelled by the final deliverance or destruction of the Roman Empire. The single combats of the heroes of history or fable amuse our fancy and engage our affections; the skillful evolutions of war inform the mind and improve a necessary though pernicious science. But, in the uniform and odious pictures of a general assault, all is blood and horror and confusion; nor shall I strive, at the distance of three centuries and a thousand miles, to delineate a scene of which there could be no spectators, and of which the actors themselves
were incapable of forming any just or adequate idea. ... 15 The immediate loss of Constantinople may be ascribed to
the bullet or arrow 'which pierced the gauntlet of John Justiniani. The sight of his blood and the exquisite pain appalled the courage of the chief, whose arms and coun
sels were the firmest rampart of the city. As he withdrew from his station in quest of a surgeon, his flight was perceived and stopped by the indefatigable emperor. “Your wound,” exclaimed Palæologus, “is slight; the danger is pressing. Your presence is necessary, and whither will you retire ?” “I will retire,” said the trembling Genoese, “ by the same road which God has opened to the Turks,” and at these words he hastily passed through one of the breaches of the inner wall. By this pusillanimous act he stained the honors of a military life, and the few days which he survived in Galata, or the Isle of Chios, were embittered by his own and the public reproach. His example was imitated by the greatest part of the Latin auxiliaries, and the defense began to slacken when the attack was pressed with redoubled vigor.
The number of the Ottomans was fifty, perhaps a 16 hundred times superior to that of the Christians; the double walls were reduced by the cannon to a heap of ruins; in a circuit of several miles, some places must be found more easy of access, or more feebly guarded; and if the besiegers could penetrate in a single point, the whole city was irrecoverably lost. The first who deserved the sultan's reward was Hassan the janizary, of gigantic stature and strength. With his scimetar in one hand and his buckler in the other he ascended the outward fortification; of the thirty janizaries who were emulous of his valor, eighteen perished in the bold adventure. Hassan and his twelve companions had reached the summit; the giant was precipitated from the rampart; he rose on one knee, and was again oppressed by a shower of darts and stones. But his success had proved that the achievement was pos-17 sible; the walls and towers were instantly covered with a swarm of Turks, and the Greeks, now driven from the vantage ground, were overwhelmed by increasing multi
tudes. Amid these multitudes the emperor, who accomplished all the duties of a general and a soldier, was long seen, and finally lost. The nobles, who fought round his person, sustained, till their last breath, the honorable names of Palæologus and Cantacuzenus; his mournful exclamation was heard, “ Can not there be found a Christian to cut off my head ?” and his last fear was that of falling alive into the hands of the infidels. The prudent despair of Constantine cast away the purple ; amid
the tumult he fell by an unknown hand, and his body was 18 buried under a mountain of the slain. After his death,
resistance and order were no more; the Greeks fled toward the city, and many and many were pressed and stifled in the narrow pass of the gate of St. Romanus. The victorious Turks rushed through the breaches of the inner wall, and, as they advanced into the streets, they were soon joined by their brethren, who had forced the gate Phenar on the side of the harbor. In the first heat of the pursuit about two thousand Christians were put to the sword; but avarice soon prevailed over cruelty, and the victors acknowledged that they should immediately have given quarter if the valor of the emperor and his
chosen bands had not prepared them for a similar oppo19 sition in every part of the capital. It was thus, after a
siege of fifty-three days, that Constantinople, which had defied the power of Chosroes, the Chagan, and the Caliphs, was irretrievably subdued by the arms of Mohammed II. Her empire only had been subverted by the Latins; her religion was trampled in the dust by the Moslem conquerors.
WALTHAM ABBEY.-THE BURIAL-PLACE OF HAROLD,
LAST OF THE ANGLO-SAXON KINGS.
FREEMAN'S "NORMAN CONQUEST."
The student should compare this extract with Freeman's powerful delineation of the last days of William the Conqueror, “Norman Conquest,” vol. iv.
This brings us to the other story to which I have al-1 ready alluded, and which, in its main outline, I am prepared to accept. This is, that the body of Harold, first buried under the cairn by Hastings, was afterward translated to his own minster at Waltham. That Waltham always professed to be the burying-place of Harold ; that a tomb bearing his name was shown there down to the dissolution of the abbey; that fragments of it remained in the seventeenth century—are facts beyond dispute. But these local traditions would not, under the circumstances, be of themselves enough to lead us to accept a local claim which at first sight seems to be opposed to the witness of contemporary writers. But a little exami-2 nation will show that the two stories—the story of the cairn-burial, and the story of the burial at Walthammare not really contradictory. And there is a mass of evidence of all but the highest kind in support of the claims of Waltham to have at last sheltered the bones of its founder. I, then, accept the view that the body of Harold, like the body of Waltheof ten years later, was removed from a lowlier resting-place to a more honorable one-in short, from unhallowed to hallowed ground. Waltheof was first buried on the scene of his martyrdom by Winchester, and was afterward removed for more solemn burial in the Abbey of Crowland. Such I believe 3 to have been the case with Harold also. This view rec
onciles the main facts as stated by all our authorities, and it falls in with all the circumstances of the case. With our feelings we might wish that the body of Harold had tarried for ever under its South-Saxon cairn. In Williann's own words, no worthier place of burial could be his than the shore which he had guarded. But even modern feelings would be revolted at such a burial of any hero of our own time. And in those days the religious feeling of Harold's friends and bedesmen would never be satisfied till their king and founder slept in a spot where all the rites of the church could be offered
around him by the hands of those who were nourished 4 by his bounty. Nor was it at all unlikely that William
should relent, and should allow such honors to be paid to the memory of his fallen rival. The first harsh order exactly fell in with the policy of the first moment of victory. But, even before the end of the great year, a time came when William might well be disposed to listen te milder counsels. When the Conqueror had become the chosen and anointed king of the English, he honestly strove for a moment to make his rule as acceptable as might be to his English subjects. In those milder days of his earlier rule it would quite fall in with William's policy to yield to any petition, either from Gytha or from the brotherhood at Waltham, praying for the removal of Harold's body from its unhallowed restingplace. He had then no motive for harshness. The crown was safe
upon his own head; he was the acknowledged successor of Edward, and he could now afford to be generous to the memory of the intruder of a moment. 5 Then it was, as I believe, that the body of Harold was translated from the cairn on the hill of Hastings to a worthier tomb in his own minster at Waltham. There the king and founder was buried in the place of honor