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.

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 king of capital of the Bulgarian kingdom. In this expedition they Hungary, obtained two signal victories, which were justly ascribed to against the valour 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 Hæmus, 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 Turkish The most solid proof, and the most salutary consequence, of peace. 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

32 In their letters to the emperor Frederic III. the Hungarians slay 30,000 Turks

one battle; but the modest Julian reduces the slaughter to 6000 or oven 2000 nhdeis (Æneas Sylvius in Europ. c. 5, and epist. 44, 81, apud Spondanum).


Violation of the peace, A.D. 1444.

forcibly bound by the spiritual energy than by the outward and visible symbols of an oath.23 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, “tnat you have pledged your faith ; and that prior obligation anni“hilates 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 licence, 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

23 See the origin of the Turkish war, and the first expedition of Ladislaus, in the vth and vith books of the irid decad of Bonfinius, who, in his division and style, copies Livy with tolerable success. Callimachus (1. ii. p. 487-496) is still more pure and suthentic.

* I do not pretend to warrant the literal accuracy of Julian's speech, which is variously, worded by Callimachus (1. iii. p. 505-507), Bonfinius (dec. iii. I. vi. p. 457, 458), and other historians, who might indulge their own eloquence, while they ropresent one of the orators of the age. But they all agree in the advice and argumenta 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 Varpa

marched in the second expedition were reduced to an inadequate force of twenty thousand men. A Wallachian 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 Hæmus; 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 moveable fortification of waggons. 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 Varna, near the sea-shore; on which the defeat and death of Ladislaus have bestowed a memorable name.

It was on this fatal spot that, instead of finding a confederate fleet to second their operations, they were alarmed by the ap- Battle of proach of Amurath himself, who had issued from his Magnesian solitude and transported the forces of Asia to the Nov. 10. 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


A.D. 1444,

25 Varna, under the Grecian name of Odessus, was a colony of the Milesians, which they denominated from the hero Ulysses (Collarius, 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 or promontory of Mount Hæmur, which advances into the sea.

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, ifting 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 forwards 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 Ladislaus 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, til. 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 Wallachian cavalry. Ten thousand Christians were slain in the disastrous battle of Varna : 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. 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 valour and bewailed the misfortune of the Hungarian youth.28

Death of

20 Some Christian writers affirm that he drew from his bosom the host or wafer on which the treaty had not been sworn. The Moslems suppose, with more simplicity, an appeal to God and his prophet Jesus, which is likewise insinuated by Callimachus (1. iii. p. 516; Spondan. A.D. 1444, No. 8).

37 A critic will always distrust these spolia opima of a victorious general, so difficult for valour to obtain, so easy for flattery to invent (Cantemir, p. 90, 91). Callimachus (1. iii. p. 517) more simply and probably affirms, supervenientibus Janizaris, telorum multitudine, non tam confossus est, quam obrutus.

23 Besides some valuable hints from Æneas Sylvius, which are diligently collected by Spondanus, our best authorities are three historians of the xvth century, Philippus Callimachus (de Rebus a Vladislao Polonorum atque Hungarorum Rege gestis, libri iii,

Compare Von Hammer, p. 463.-M.

Before I lose sight of the field of Varna I am tenipted to pause on the character and story of two principal actors, the cardinal The cardinal Julian and John Huniades. Julian 29 Cæsarini was born of Julian. a noble family of Rome : his studies had embraced both the Latin and Greek learning, both the sciences of divinity and law; and his versatile genius was equally adapted to the schools, the camp, and the court. No sooner had he been invested with the Roman purple than he was sent into Germany to arm the empire against the rebels and heretics of Bohemia. The spirit of persecution is unworthy of a Christian; the military profession ill becomes a priest ; but the former is excused by the times; and the latter was ennobled by the courage of Julian, who stood dauntless and alone in the disgraceful flight of the German host. As the pope's legate he opened the council of Basil ; but the president soon appeared the most strenuous champion of ecclesiastical freedom; and an opposition of seven years was conducted by his ability and zeal. After promoting the strongest measures against the authority and person of Eugenius, some secret motive of interest or conscience engaged him to desert on a sudden the popular party. The cardinal withdrew himself from Basil to Ferrara ; and, in the debates of the Greeks and Latins, the two nations admired the dexterity of his arguments and the depth of his theological erudition.30 In his Hungarian embassy we have already seen the mischievous effects of his sophistry and eloquence, of which Julian himself was the first victim. The cardinal, who performed the duties of a priest and a soldier, was lost in the defeat of Varna. The circumstances of his death are variously related; but it is believed that a weighty incumbrance of gold impeded his flight, and tempted the cruel avarice of some Christian fugitives.

From an humble, or at least a doubtful, origin the merit of John Huniades promoted him to the command of the Hungarian armies. His father was a Wallachian, his mother a Greek : v.nus Humiher unknown race might possibly ascend to the emperors of Constantinople; and the claims of the Wallachians, with the sur

John Cor


in Bell. Script. Rerum Hungaricarum, tom. i. p. 433-518), Bonfinius (decad iii. 1. v. p. 460-467), and Chalcocondyles (l. vii. p. 165-179 [p. 312, seq. ed. Bonn]). The two first were Italians, but they passed their lives in Poland and Hungary (Fabric. Biblioth. Latin. med. et infimæ Ætatis, tom. i. p. 324; Vossius, de Hist. Latin, l. iii. c. 8, 11; Bagle, Dictionnaire, BONFINIUS). A small tract of Fælix Petancius, chancellor of Segnia (ad calcem Cuspinian. de Cæsaribus, p. 716-722), represents the theatre of the war in the xvth century.

* M. Lenfant has described the origin (Hist. du Concile de Basle, tom. i. p. 247, &c.) and Bohemian campaign (p. 315, &c.) of Cardinal Julian. His services at Basil and Ferrara, and his unfortunate end, are occasionally related by Spondanus and the continuator of Fleury.

* Syropulus honourably praises the talents of an enemy (p. 117): roauta Tira dan ο Ιουλιανός, πιπλατισμένος ογάν και λογίκως, και μετ' επιστήμης και δεινόσησος ρητορίκης.

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