The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volum 8


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Side 367 - The place and the object gave ample scope for moralizing on the vicissitudes of fortune, which spares neither man nor the proudest of his works, which buries empires and cities in a common grave...
Side 245 - 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...
Side 176 - 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 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.
Side 242 - In this world all was comfortless and gloomy; and neither the Gospel nor the church have proposed any conspicuous recompense to the heroes who fall in the service of their country. But the example of their prince, and the confinement of a siege, had armed...
Side 231 - Mohammed was an important and visible object in the history of the times ; but that enormous engine was flanked by two fellows almost of equal magnitude : the long order of the Turkish artillery was pointed against the walls ; fourteen batteries thundered, at once, on the most accessible places ; and of one of these, it is ambiguously expressed, that it was mounted with one hundred and thirty guns, or that it discharged one hundred and thirty bullets.
Side 239 - After a siege of forty days, the fate of Constantinople could no longer be averted. The diminutive garrison was exhausted by a double attack: the fortifications, which had stood for ages against hostile violence, were dismantled on all sides by the Ottoman cannon: many breaches were opened; and near the gate of St. Romanus, four towers had been levelled with the ground.
Side 247 - 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 Mahomet the Second. Her empire only had been subverted by the Latins: her religion was trampled in the dust by the Moslem conquerors.
Side 233 - A circumstance, that distinguishes the siege of Constantinople, is the reunion of the ancient and modern artillery. The cannon were intermingled with the mechanical engines for casting stones and darts ; the bullet and the battering-ram were directed against the same walls ; nor had the discovery of gunpowder superseded the use of the liquid and inextinguishable fire. A wooden turret, of the largest size, was advanced on rollers : this portable magazine of ammunition and fascines was protected by...
Side 253 - Constantine, but which in a few hours had been stripped of the pomp of royalty. A melancholy reflection on the vicissitudes of human greatness forced itself on his mind ; and he repeated an elegant distich of Persian poetry : " The spider hath wove his web in the imperial palace ; and the owl hath sung her watchsong on the towers of Afrasiab.
Side 394 - It was among the ruins of the Capitol that I first conceived the idea of a work which has amused and exercised near twenty years of my life, and which, however inadequate to my own wishes, I finally deliver to the curiosity and candour of the public.

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