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discriminate the Janizaries, who have been gradually raised to an establishment of forty thousand men; a national cavalry, the Spahis of modern times; twenty thousand cuirassiers of Europe, clad in black and impenetrable armour; the troops of Anatolia, whose princes had taken refuge in the camp of Timour; and a colony of Tartars, whom he had driven from Kipzak, and to whom Bajazet had assigned a settlement in the plains of Adrianople. The fearless confidence of the sultan urged him to meet his antagonist; and, as if he had chosen that spot for revenge, he displayed his banners near the ruins of the unfortunate Suvas. In the mean while, Timour moved from the Araxes through the countries of Armenia and Anatolia: his boldness was secured by the wisest precautions; his speed was guided by order and discipline; and the woods, the mountains, and the rivers were diligently explored by the flying squadrons who marked his road and preceded his standard. Firm in his plan of fighting in the heart of the Ottoman kingdom, he avoided their camp, dexterously inclined to the left, occupied Caesarea, traversed the salt desert and the river Halys, and invested Angora; while the sultan, immoveable and .gnorant in his post, compared the Tartar swiftness to the crawling of
natue of a snail; " he returned on the wings of indignation to the
*..., relief of Angora; and as both generals were alike impatient
*** for action, the plains round that city were the scene of a memorable battle, which has immortalised the glory of Timour and the shame of Bajazet. For this signal victory the Mogul emperor was indebted to himself, to the genius of the moment, and the discipline of thirty years. He had improved the tactics, without violating the manners, of his nation,” whose force still consisted in the missile weapons and rapid evolutions of a numerous cavalry. From a single troop to a great army the mode of attack was the same: a foremost line first advanced to the charge, and was supported in a just order by the squadrons of the great vanguard. The general's eye watched over the field, and at his command the front and rear of the right and left wings successively moved forwards in their several divisions, and in a direct or oblique line; the enemy was pressed by eighteen or twenty attacks, and each attack afforded a chance of victory. If they all proved fruitless or unsuccessful, the occasion was worthy of the emperor himself, who gave the signal of advancing to the standard
* It may not be useless to mark the distances between Angora and the neighbouring cities by the journeys of the caravans, each of twenty or twenty-five miles; to Smyrna xx., to Kiotahia x., to Boursa x., to Caesarea viii., to Sinope x., to Nicomedia ix., to Constantinople xii. 3r xiii. (see Tournefort, Voyage au Levant, tom. ii. lettre xxi.).
* See the Systems of Tactics in the Institutions, which the English editors have illustrated with elaborate plans (p. 373–407).
and main body, which he led in person.” But in the battle of Angora the main body itself was supported, on the flanks and in the rear, by the bravest squadrons of the reserve, commanded by the sons and grandsons of Timour. The conqueror of Hindostan ostentatiously showed a line of elephants, the trophies rather than the instruments of victory: the use of the Greek fire was familiar to the Moguls and Ottomans; but had they borrowed from Europe the recent invention of gunpowder and cannon, the artificial thunder, in the hands of either nation, must have turned the fortune of the day.” In that day Bajazet displayed the qualities of a soldier and a chief; but his genius sunk under a stronger ascendant, and, from various motives, the greatest part of his troops failed him in the decisive moment. His rigour and avarice" had provoked a mutiny among the Turks, and even his son Soliman too hastily withdrew from the field. The forces of Anatolia, loyal in their revolt, were drawn away to the banners of their lawful princes. His Tartar allies had been tempted by the letters and emissaries of Timour,” who reproached their ignoble servitude under the slaves of their fathers, and offered to their hopes the dominion of their new or the liberty of their ancient country. In the right wing of Bajazet the cuirassiers of Europe charged, with faithful hearts and irresistible arms; but these men of iron were soon broken by an artful flight and headlong pursuit; and the Janizaries alone, without cavalry or missile weapons, were encompassed by the circle of the Mogul hunters. Their valour was at length oppressed by heat, thirst, and the weight of numbers; and the unfortunate sultan, afflicted with the gout in his hands and feet, was transported from the field on the fleetest of his horses. He was pursued and taken by the titular khan of Zagatai; and, after his capture and no. and the defeat of the Ottoman powers, the kingdom of Anatolia of submitted to the conqueror, who planted his standard at Bajazet. Kiotahia, and dispersed on all sides the ministers of rapine and destruction. Mirza Mehemmed Sultan, the eldest and best beloved
* The sultan himself (says Timour) must then put the foot of courage into the stirrup of patience. A Tartar metaphor, which is lost in the English, but preserved in the French, version of the Institutes (p. 156, 157).
* The Greek fire, on Timour's side, is attested by Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 47); but Woltaire's strange suspicion that some cannon, inscribed with strange characters, must have been sent by that monarch to Delhi, is refuted by the universal silence of contemporaries.
* Timour has dissembled this secret and important negociation with the Tartars, which is indisputably proved by the joint evidence of the Arabian (tom. i. c. 47, p. 391), Turkish (Annal. Leunclav. p. 321), and Persian historians (Khondemir apud D'Herbelot, p. 882).
* See W. Hammer, vol. i. p. 310, for to him of the wisdom of unlocking his the singular hints which were conveyed hoarded treasures.—M
of his grandsons, was despatched to Boursa with thirty thousand horse; and such was his youthful ardour, that he arrived with only four thousand at the gates of the capital, after performing in five days a march of two hundred and thirty miles. Yet fear is still more rapid in its course; and Soliman, the son of Bajazet, had already passed over to Europe with the royal treasure. The spoil, however, of the palace and city was immense: the inhabitants had escaped; but the buildings, for the most part of wood, were reduced to ashes. From Boursa the grandson of Timour advanced to Nice, even yet a fair and flourishing city; and the Mogul squadrons were only stopped by the waves of the Propontis. The same success attended the other mirzas and emirs in their excursions; and Smyrna, defended by the zeal and courage of the Rhodian knights, alone deserved the presence of the emperor himself. After an obstinate defence the place was taken by storm: all that breathed was put to the sword; and the heads of the Christian heroes were launched from the engines, on board of two carracks or great ships of Europe that rode at anchor in the harbour. The Moslems of Asia rejoiced in their deliverance from a dangerous and domestic foe; and a parallel was drawn between the two rivals by observing that Timour, in fourteen days, had reduced a fortress which had sustained seven years the siege, or at least the blockade, of Bajazet.” The iron cage in which Bajazet was imprisoned by Tamerlane, so Th long and so often repeated as a moral lesson, is now rejected e story - o, as a fable by the modern writers, who smile at the vulgar credulity.” They appeal with confidence to the Persian history of Sherefeddin Ali, which has been given to our curiosity in a French version, and from which I shall collect and abridge a more disproved by specious narrative of this memorable transaction. No sooner i.; was Timour informed that the captive Ottoman was at the ** door of his tent than he graciously stepped forwards to receive him, seated him by his side, and mingled with just reproaches a soothing pity for his rank and misfortune. “Alas!” said the emperor, “the decree of fate is now accomplished by your own fault; “it is the web which you have woven, the thorns of the tree which “yourself have planted. I wished to spare, and even to assist, the “champion of the Moslems: you braved our threats; you despised * For the war of Anatolia or Roum, I add some hints in the Institutions to the copious narratives of Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 44-65) and Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 20-35). On this part only of Timour's history it is lawful to quote the Turks (Cantemir, p. 53-55; Annal. Leunclav. p. 320-322) and the Greeks (Phranza, l. i. c. 29; Ducas, c. 15-17; Chalcocondyles, l. iii.). *The scepticism of Voltaire (Essai sur l’Histoire Générale, c. 88) is ready on this,
as on every occasion, to reject a popular tale, and to diminish the magnitude of vice and virtue; and on unost occasions his incredulity is reasonable.
“our friendship; you forced us to enter your kingdom with our “invincible armies. Behold the event. Had you vanquished, I am “not ignorant of the fate which you reserved for myself and my troops. “But I disdain to retaliate : your life and honour are secure; and I “shall express my gratitude to God by my clemency to man.” The royal captive showed some signs of repentance, accepted the humiliation of a robe of honour, and embraced with tears his son Mousa, who, at his request, was sought and found among the captives of the field. The Ottoman princes were lodged in a splendid pavilion, and the respect of the guards could be surpassed only by their vigilance. On the arrival of the haram from Boursa, Timour restored the queen Despina and her daughter to their father and husband; but he piously required that the Servian princess, who had hitherto been indulged in the profession of Christianity, should embrace without delay the religion of the prophet. In the feast of victory, to which Bajazet was invited, the Mogul emperor placed a crown on his head and a sceptre in his hand, with a solemn assurance of restoring him with an increase of glory to the throne of his ancestors. But the effect of this promise was disappointed by the sultan's untimely death: amidst the care of the most skilful physicians he expired of an apoplexy at Akshehr, the Antioch of Pisidia, about nine months after his defeat. The victor dropped a tear over his grave: his body, with royal pomp, was conveyed to the mausoleum which he had erected at Boursa; and his son Mousa, after receiving a rich present of gold and jewels, of horses and arms, was invested by a patent in red ink with the kingdom of Anatolia. Such is the portrait of a generous conqueror, which has been extracted from his own memorials, and dedicated to his son and grandson, nineteen years after his decease;” and, at a time when the truth was remembered by thousands, a manifest falsehood would have implied a satire on his real conduct. Weighty indeed is this evidence, adopted by all the Persian histories;" yet flattery, more especially in the East, is base and audacious; and the harsh and ignominious treatment of Bajazet is attested by a chain of witnesses, some of whom shall be produced in the order of their time and country. 1. The reader has not forgot the garrison of French whom the ..., marshal Boucicault left behind him for the defence of Con- or " stantinople. They were on the spot to receive the earliest "rench; * See the History of Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 49, 52, 53, 59, 60). This work was finished at Shiraz, in the year 1424, and dedicated to sultan Ibrahim, the son of Sharokh, the son of Timour, who reigned in Farsistan in his father's lifetime. * After the perusal of Khondemir, Ebn Schounah, &c., the learned D'Herbelot
(Biblioth. Orientale, p. 882) may affirm that this fable is not mentioned in the most authentic histories; but his denial of the visible testimony of Arabshah leaves some
room to suspect his accuracy.
and most faithful intelligence of the overthrow of their great adversary, and it is more than probable that some of them accompanied the Greek embassy to the camp of Tamerlane. From their account, the hardships of the prison and death of Bajazet are affirmed by the
, , a marshal's servant and historian, within the distance of seven
* years.” 2. The name of Poggius the Italian * is deservedly famous among the revivers of learning in the fifteenth century. His elegant dialogue on the vicissitudes of fortune” was composed in his fiftieth year, twenty-eight years after the Turkish victory of Tamerlane,” whom he celebrates as not inferior to the illustrious barbarians of antiquity. Of his exploits and discipline Poggius was informed by several ocular witnesses: nor does he forget an example so apposite to his theme as the Ottoman monarch, whom the Scythian confined like a wild beast in an iron cage, and exhibited a spectacle to Asia. I might add the authority of two Italian chronicles, perhaps of an earlier date, which would prove at least that the same story, whether false or true, was imported into Europe with the first tidings of the revolution.” 3. At the time when Poggius flourished at Rome,
a by the Ahmed Ebn Arabshah composed at Damascus the florid and
* malevolent history of Timour, for which he had collected materials in his journeys over Turkey and Tartary.” Without any possible correspondence between the Latin and the Arabian writer, they agree in the fact of the iron cage; and their agreement is a striking proof of their common veracity. Ahmed Arabshah likewise relates another outrage which Bajazet endured, of a more domestic and tender nature. His indiscreet mention of women and divorces
* Et fut lui-même (Bajazet) pris, et mené en prison, en laquelle mourut de dure mortl Mémoires de Boucicault, P. i. c. 37. These memoirs were composed while the marshal was still governor of Genoa, from whence he was expelled, in the year 1409, by a popular insurrection (Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. xii. p. 473, 474).
* The reader will find a satisfactory account of the life and writings of Poggius in the Poggiana, an entertaining work of M. Lenfant, and in the Bibliotheca Latina mediae et infimae AEtatis of Fabricius (tom. v. p. 305-308). Poggius was born in the year 1380, and died in 1459.
* The dialogue de Varietate Fortuna (of which a complete and elegant edition has been published at Paris in 1723, in 4to.) was composed a short time before the death cf pope Martin W. (p. 5), and consequently about the end of the year 1430.
* See a splendid and eloquent encomium of Tamerlane, p. 36-39, ipse enim novi (says Poggius) qui fuere in ejus castris . . . . Regem vivum cepit, caveague in modum ferae inclusum per omnem Asiam circumtulit egregium admirandumque spectaculum fortunae.
* The Chronicon Tarvisianum (in Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xix. p. 800), and the Annales Estenses (tom. xviii. p. 974). The two authors, Andrea de Redusiis de Quero, and James de Delayto, were both contemporaries, and both chancellors, the one of Trevigi, the other of Ferrara. The evidence of the former is the most positive.
* See Arabshah, tom. ii. c. 28, 34. He travelled in regiones Rumaeas, A.H. 839 (A.D. 1435, July 27), tom. ii. c. 2, p. 13.