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His return 1o Constan tinople, A.D, 1370.
Visit of the emperor Manuel
sessed, embarked for Venice, relieved his father, and pledged his own freedom to be responsible for the debt. On his return to Con
stantinople the parent and king distinguished nis two sons with suitable rewards; but the faith and manners of the
slothful Palæologus had not been improved by his Roman pilgrimage ; and his apostacy or conversion, devoid of any spiritual or temporal effects, was speedily forgotten by the Greeks and Latins. 14 Thirty years after the return of Palæologus, his son and successor
Manuel, from a similar motive, but on a larger scale, again visited the countries of the West. In a preceding chapter I
have related his treaty with Bajazet, the violation of that treaty, the siege or blockade of Constantinople, and the French succour under the command of the gallant Boucicault.! By his ambassadors Manuel had solicited the Latin powers; but it was thought that the presence of a distressed monarch would draw tears and supplies from the hardest barbarians,16 and the marshal who advised the journey prepared the reception of the Byzantine prince. The land was occupied by the Turks; but the navigation of Venice was safe and open : Italy received him as the first, or at least as the second, of the Christian princes; Manuel was pitied as the champion and confessor of the faith, and the dignity of his behaviour prevented that pity from sinking into contempt. From Venice he proceeded to Padua and Pavia; and even the Duke of Milan, a secret ally of Bajazet, gave
him safe and honourable conduct to the verge of his dominions.!? On the confines of France 18 the royal officers
undertook the care of his person, journey, and expenses; and two thousand of the richest citizens, in arms and on horseback, came forth to meet him as far as Charenton, in the neighbourhood of the capital. At the gates of Paris he was saluted by the chancellor and the parliament; and Charles the Sixth, attended by his princes and nobles, welcomed his brother with a cordial embrace. The successor
to the court of France, A.D. 1400, June 3;
" His return in 1370, and the coronation of Manuel, Sept. 25, 1373 (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 241), leaves some intermediate æra for the conspiracy and punishment of Andronicus.
15 Mémoires de Boucicault, P. i. c. 35, 36.
16 His journey into the west of Europe is slightly, and I believe reluctantly, noticed by Chalcocondyles (1. ii. p. 44-50 [p. 84-97, ed. Bonn]) and Ducas (c. 14).
17 Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. xii. p. 406. John Galeazzo was the first and most powerful duke of Milan. His connection with Bajazet is attested by Froissard, and he contributed to save and deliver the French captives of Nicopolis.
18 . For the reception of Manuel at Paris, see Spondanus (Annal. Eccles. tom. i. p. 676, 677, A.D. 1400, No. 5), who quotes Juvenal des Ursins, and the monk of St. Donys; and Villaret (Hist. de France, toin. xii. p. 531-334), who quotes nobody, socording to the last fashion of the French writers.
of Constantine was clothed in a robe of white silk and mounted on a milk-white steed, a circumstance, in the. French ceremonial, of singular importance: the white colour is considered as the symbol of sovereignty; and in a late visit the German emperor, after an haughty demand and a peevish refusal, had been reduced to content himself with a black courser. Manuel was lodged in the Louvre: a succession of feasts and balls, the pleasures of the banquet and the chase, were ingeniously varied by the politeness of the French to display their magnificence and amuse his grief; he was indulged in the liberty of his chapel, and the doctors of the Sorbonne were astonished, and possibly scandalised, by the language, the rites, and the vestments of his Greek clergy. But the slightest glance on the state of the kingdom must teach him to despair of any effectual assistance. The unfortunate Charles, though he enjoyed some lucid intervals, continually relapsed into furious or stupid insanity; the reins of government were alternately seized by his brother and uncle, the dukes of Orleans and Burgundy, whose factious competition prepared the miseries of civil war. The former was a gay youth, dissolved in luxury and love: the latter was the father of John count of Nevers, who had so lately been ransomed from Turkish captivity; and, if the fearless son was ardent to revenge his defeat, the more prudent Burgundy was content with the cost and peril of the first experiment. When Manuel had satiated the curiosity, and perhaps fatigued the patience of the French, he resolved on a visit to the adjacent island. In his A.D. 1400, progress from Dover he was entertained at Canterbury with due reverence by the prior and monks of St. Austin, and, on Black heath, king Henry the Fourth, with the English court, saluted the Greek hero (I copy our old historian), who, during many days, was lodged and treated in London as emperor of the East." But the state of England was still more adverse to the design of the holy war In the same year the hereditary sovereign had been deposed and murdered : the reigning prince was a successful usurper, whose ambition was punished by jealousy and remorse ; nor could Henry of Lancaster withdraw his person or forces from the defence of a throne incessantly shaken by conspiracy and rebellion. He pitied, he praised, he feasted, the emperor of Constantinople ; but if the English monarch
19 A short note of Manuel in England is extracted by Dr. Hody from a MS. at Lambeth (de Græcis illustribus, p. 14), C. P. Imperator, diu variisque et horrendis Paganorum insultibus coarctatus, ut pro eisdem resistentiam triumphalem porqui. reret, Anglorum Regem visitare decrevit, &c. Rex (says Walsingham, p. 364) [cum] nobili apparatú . . . . suscepit (ut decuit) tantum Heroa, duxitque Londonias, et per multos dies exbibuit gloriose, pro expensis hospitii sui solvens, et eum respiciens (diguis) tanto fastigio donativis. He repeats the same in his Upodigma Neustrive (p. 556).
assumed the cross, it was only to appease his people, and perhaps his conscience, by the merit or semblance of this pious intention.20 Satisfied, however, with gifts and honours, Manuel returned to Paris ;
and, after a residence of two years in the West, sh.aped his to Greece, course through Germany and Italy, einbarked at Venice, and
patiently expected, in the Morea, the moment of his ruin or deliverance. Yet he had escaped the ignominious necessity of offering his religion to public or private sale. The Latin church was distracted by the great schism : the kings, the nations, the universities of Europe, were divided in their obedience between the popes of Rome and Avignon ; and the emperor, anxious to conciliate the friend. ship of both parties, abstained from any correspondence with the indigent and unpopular rivals. His journey coincided with the year of the jubilee; but he passed through Italy without desiring or deserving the plenary indulgence which abolished the guilt or penance of the sins of the faithful. The Roman pope was offended by this neglect, accused him of irreverence to an image of Christ, and exhorted the princes of Italy to reject and abandon the obstinate echismatic. 21 During the period of the crusades the Greeks beheld with astonish
ment and terror the perpetual stream of emigration that Indge and de- flowed, and continued to flow, from the unknown climates
of the West. The visits of their last emperors removed the veil of separation, and they disclosed to their eyes the powerful nations of Europe, whom they no longer presumed to brand with the name of barbarians. The observations of Manuel and his more inquisitive followers have been preserved by a Byzantine historian of the times : 22 his scattered ideas I shall collect and abridge ; and it may be amusing enough, perhaps instructive, to contemplate the rude pictures of Germany, France, and England, whose ancient and modern
state are so familiar to our minds. I. GERMANY (says the
Greek Chalcocondyles) is of ample latitude from Vienna to the Ocean, and it stretches (a strange geography) from Prague, in
* Shakespeare begins and ends the play of Henry IV. with that prince's very of a crusade, and his belief that he should die in Jerusalem.
* This fact is preserved in the Historia Politica, A.D. 1391-1478, published by Martin Cousius (Turco-Græcia, p. 1-43). The image of Christ, which the Greek em. peror refused to worship, was probably a work of sculpture.
» The Greek and Turkish history of Laonicus Chalcocondyles ends with the winter of 1463, and the abrupt conclusion seems to mark that he laid down his pen in the same year. We know that he was an Athenian, and that some contemporaries of the same name contributed to the revival of the Greek language in Italy. But in his numerous digressions the modest historian has never introduced himself; and his editor Leunclavius, as well as Fabricius (Biblioth. Græc. tom. vi.
p. 474), seems ignorant of his life and character. For his descriptions of Germany, France, and England, Bee 1. ii. p. 36, 37, 44-50 [p. 70-72, 85-96, ed. Bonn).
of France ;
Bohemia, to the crer Tartessus and the Pyrenæan mountains. The soil, except in figs and olives, is sufficiently fruitful; the air is salubrious, the bodies of the natives are robust and healthy, and these cold regions are seldom visited with the calamities of pestilence or earthquakes. After the Scythians or Tartars, the Germans are the most numerous of nations: they are brave and patient, and, were they united under a single head, their force would be irresistible. By the gift of the pope, they have acquired the privilege of choosing the Roman emperor ;
24 nor is any people more devoutly attached to the faith and obedience of the Latin patriarch. The greatest part of the country is divided among the princes and prelates ; but Strasburg, Cologne, Hamburg, and more than two hundred free cities, are governed by sage and equal laws, according to the will and for the advantage of the whole community. The use of duels, or single combats on foot, prevails among them in peace and war; their industry excels in all the mechanic arts; and the Germans may boast of the invention of gunpowder and cannon, which is now diffused over the greatest part of the world. II. The kingdom of FRANCE is spread above fifteen or twenty days' journey from Germany to Spain, and from the Alps to the British Ocean, containing many flourishing cities, and among these Paris, the seat of the king, which surpasses the rest in riches and luxury. Many princes and lords alternately wait in his palace and acknowledge him as their sovereign : the most powerful are the dukes of Bretagne and Burgundy, of whom the latter possesses the wealthy province of Flanders, whose harbours are frequented by the ships and merchants of our own and the more remote seas. The French are an ancient and opulent people, and their language and manners, though somewhat different, are not dissimilar from those of the Italians. Vain of the Imperial dignity of Charlemagne, of their victories over the Saracens, and of the exploits of their heroes Oliver and Rowland, as they esteem themselves the first of the western nations; but this foolish arrogance has been recently humbled by the unfortunate events of their wars against the
* I shall not animadvert on the geographical errors of Chalcocondyles. In this instance he perhaps followed, and mistook, Herodotus (1. ii. c. 33), whose text may be explained (Herodote de Larcher, tom. ii. p. 219, 220), or whose ignorance may be excused. Had these modern Greeks never read Strabo, or any of their lesser geographers!
27 A citizen of new Rome, while new Rome survived, would have scorned to dignify the German Ρήξ with the titles of Βασιλεύς or Αυτοκράτωρ Ρωμαίων; but all pride was extinct in the bosom of Chalcocondyles, and he describes the Byzantine prince and his subject by the proper, though humble, names of "Elamues and Basiliùs 'Exnúvwr.
* Most of the old romances were translated in the xivth century into French prose, and 800a became the favourite amusement of the knights and ladies in the court of Charles VI. If a Greek believed in the exploits of Rowland and Oliver, he may surely be excused, since the monks of St. Denys, the national historians, have inserted the fables of Archbishop Turpin in their Chronicles of France.
English, the inhabitants of the British island. III. Britain, in the
ocean and opposite to the shores of Flanders, may be conof England.
sidered either as one or as three islands; but the whole is united by a common interest, by the same manners, and by a similar government. The measure of its circumference is five thousand stadia: the land is overspread with towns and villages; though destitute of wine, and not abounding in fruit-trees, it is fertile in wheat and barley, in honey and wool, and much cloth is manufactured by the inhabitants. In populousness and power, in riches and luxury, London,26 the metropolis of the isle, may claim a pre-eminence over all the cities of the West. It is situate on the Thames, a brcad and rapid river, which at the distance of thirty miles falls into the Gallic Sea; and the daily flow and ebb of the tide affords a safe entrance and departure to the vessels of commerce. The king is the head of a powerful and turbulent aristocracy: his principal vassals hold their estates by a free and unalterable tenure, and the laws define the limits of his authority and their obedience. The kingdom has been often afflicted by foreign conquest and domestic sedition ; but the natives are bold and hardy, renowned in arms and victorious in war. The form of their shields or targets is derived from the Italians, that of their swords from the Greeks; the use of the long bow is the peculiar and decisive advantage of the English. Their language bears no affinity to the idioms of the continent: in the habits of domestic life they are not easily distinguished from their neighbours of France ; but the most singular circumstance of their manners is their disregard of conjugal honour and of female chastity. In their mutual visits, as the first act of hospitality, the guest is welcomed in the embraces of their wives and daughters : among friends they are lent and borrowed without shame; nor are the islanders offended at this strange commerce and its inevitable consequences.? Informed as we are of the
Λονδρών δε ή πόλις δυνάμει τι προέχουσα των εν τη νήσω ταύτη πασών πόλεων, όλων τε και σή άλλη ευδαιμονία ουδεμιάς των προς εσπέραν λειπομένη [. ii. p. 93, ed. Bonn]. Even since the time of Fitzstephen (the xììth century), London appears to have maintained this pre-eminence of wealth and magnitude; and her gradual increase has, at least, kept pace with the general improvement of Europe.
* If the double sense of the verb Kúw (osculor, and in utero gero) be equivocal, the context and pious horror of Chalcocondyles can leave no doubt of his meaning and mistake (p. 49 (p. 93, ed. Bonn])."
• I can discover no
pious horror" in κας εν τοις επιτηδειοις well bear a less coarse the plain manner in which Chalcocondyles interpretation. Gibbon is probably right relates this strange usage. He says, ovde as to the origin of this extraordinary misvirzúrny toūto pigu laurois xviotas càs è take.:-M. It may be observed, however, γυναίκας αυτών και τας θυγατέρας; yet these that this notion of the unchastity of the are expressions beyond what would be English seems to have been prevalent used if the ambiguous word nuiolas were among the Greeks, as it is likewise retaken in its more innocent sense. Nor corded by Phrapza, Lir. ü. c. 2, p. 218 an the phrase παρέχονται τας αυτών γυναί- ed. Bonn