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and new subjects in the heart of Moldavia.88 Whatever yet adhered to the Greek empire in Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly, acknowledged a Turkish master. An obsequious bishop led him through the gates of Thermopylæ into Greece; and we may observe, as a singular fact, that the widow of a Spanish chief, who possessed the ancient seat of the oracle of Delphi, deserved his favour by the sacrifice of a beauteous daughter. The Turkish communication between Europe and Asia had been dangerous and doubtful, till he stationed at Gallipoli a fleet of galleys, to command the Hellespont and intercept the Latin succours of Constantinople. While the monarch indulged his passions in a boundless range of injustice and cruelty, he imposed on his soldiers the most rigid laws of modesty and abstinence; and the harvest was peaceably reaped and sold within the precincts of his camp. Provoked by the loose and corrupt administration of justice, he collected, in a house, the judges and lawyers of his dominions, who expected that in a few moments the fire would be kindled to reduce them to ashes. His ministers trembled in silence; but an Æthiopian buffoon presumed to insinuate the true cause of the evil; and future venality was left without excuse by annexing an adequate salary to the office of Cadhi. The humble title of Emir was no longer suitable to the Ottoman greatness; and Bajazet condescended to accept a patent of Sultan from the caliphs who served in Egypt under the yoke of the Mamalukes : 91 a last and frivolous homage that was yielded by force to opinion, by the Turkish conquerors to the house of Abbas and the successors of the Arabian prophet. The ambition of the sultan was inflamed by the obligation of deserving this
88 Cantemir, who celebrates the victories of the great Stephen over the Turks (p. 47), had composed the ancient and modern state of his principality of Moldavia, which has been long promised, and is still unpublished.
89 [The reign of Bayezid (Bãyezid] was marked by a general corruption of morals and manners, propagated by the example of the court—especially of Bayezid himself and his grand vizir, Ali Pasha. See Zinkeisen, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches, i. p. 384-6.]
90 Leunclav. Annal. Turcici, p. 318, 319. The venality of the cadbis has long been an object of scandal and satire ; and, if we distrust the observations of our travellers, we may consult the feeling of the Turks themselves (d'Herbelot, Bibliot. Orientale, p. 216, 217, 229, 230).
91 The fact, which is attested by the Arabic history of Ben Schounah (IbnShihna), a contemporary Syrian (de Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. iv. p. 336), destroys the testimony of Saad Effendi and Cantemir (p. 14, 15), of the election of Othman to the dignity of Sultan.
august title; and he turned his arms against the kingdom of Hungary, the perpetual theatre of the Turkish victories and defeats. Sigismond, the Hungarian king, was the son and brother of the emperors of the West; his cause was that of Europe and the church; and, on the report of his danger, the bravest knights of France and Germany were eager to march under his standard and that of the cross. In the battle of Battle of Nicopolis, Bajazet defeated a confederate army of an hundred A.D. 139, thousand Christians, who had proudly boasted that, if the sky should fall, they could uphold it on their lances. The far greater part were slain or driven into the Danube; and Sigismond, escaping to Constantinople by the river and the Black Sea, returned after a long circuit to his exhausted kingdom. 92 In the pride of victory, Bajazet threatened that he would besiege Buda; that he would subdue the adjacent countries of Germany and Italy; and that he would feed his horse with a bushel of oats on the altar of St. Peter at Rome. His progress was checked, not by the miraculous interposition of the apostle, not by a crusade of the Christian powers, but by a long and painful fit of the gout. The disorders of the moral, are sometimes corrected by those of the physical, world; and an acrimonious humour falling on a single fibre of one man may prevent or suspend the misery of nations.
Such is the general idea of the Hungarian war; but the Crusade disastrous adventure of the French has procured us some tivity of memorials which illustrate the victory and character of Baja- princes,
The duke of Burgundy, sovereign of Flanders, and uncle 1398
92 See the Decades Rerum Hungaricarum (Dec. iii. 1. ii. p. 379) of Bonfinius, an Italian, who, in the avth century, was invited into Hungary to compose an eloquent history of that kingdom. Yet, if it be extant and accessible I should give the preference to some homely chronicle of the time and country. (There is an account of the battle by John Schiltberger of Munich (who was made prisoner), in his story of his Bondage and Travels, 1394-1427, which has been translated into English by J. B. Telfer, 1879 (Hakluyt Society). Mirtschea the Great, prince of Walachia, who had been made prisoner at Kosovo, was also engaged at Nicopolis, as the ally of Sigismund; but seeing that the battle was hopeless, he drew off his forces in good time. He was followed by a Turkish force to Walachia, and defeated it near Craiova. For his rôle cp. the pamphlet of Charles I. (King of Roumania), Nikopolis, 1396-1877-1902, published in Breslau, 1905. On the confusion in the Turkish historians on the Nicopolis campaign, see Thúry, Török történetírók, i. p. 50, note.]
93 I should not complain of the labour of this work, if my materials were always derived from such books as the Chronicle of honest Froissard (vol. iv. c. 67, 69, 72, 74, 79-83, 85, 87, 89), who read little, inquired much, and believed all. The ori. ginal Mémoires of the Maréchal de Boucicault (Partie i. c. 22-28) add some facts, but they are dry and deficient, it compared with the pleasant garrulity of Froissard.
of Charles the Sixth, yielded to the ardour of his son, John count of Nevers; and the fearless youth was accompanied by four princes, his cousins, and those of the French monarch. Their inexperience was guided by the Sire de Coucy, one of the best and oldest captains of Christendom; 4 but the constable, admiral, and marshal of France 96 commanded an army which did not exceed the number of a thousand knights and squires. These splendid names were the source of presumption and the bane of discipline. So many might aspire to command that none were willing to obey; their national spirit despised both their enemies and their allies; and in the persuasion that Bajazet would fly or must fall, they began to compute how soon they should visit Constantinople, and deliver the holy sepulchre. When their scouts announced the approach of the Turks, 96 the gay and thoughtless youths were at table, already heated with wine; they instantly clasped their armour, mounted their horses, rode full speed to the vanguard, and resented as an affront the advice of Sigismond, which would have deprived them of the right and honour of the foremost attack. The battle of Nicopolis would not have been lost, if the French would have obeyed the prudence of the Hungarians; but it might have been gloriously won, had the Hungarians imitated the valour of the French. They dispersed the first line, consisting of the troops of Asia; forced a rampart of stakes, which had been planted against the cavalry; broke, after a bloody conflict, the Janizaries themselves; and were at
[Very important is the Chronique du religieux de Saint Denys, published in & French translation under the title Histoire de Charles VI., roy de France, in 1663. The original Latin was first published by Bellaguet (in 6 vols.) in 1839-52. There is a study on the work by H. Delaborde, La vraie Chronique du Religieux de Saint Denis, 1890.]
$4 An accurate Memoir on the life of Enguerrand VII. Sire de Coucy, has been given by the Baron de Zurlauben (Hist. de l'Académie des Inscriptions, tom. xxv.). His rank and possessions were equally considerable in France and England; and, in 1375, he led an army of adventurers into Switzerland, to recover a large patrimony which he claimed in right of his grandmother, the daughter of the emperor Albert I. of Austria (Sinner, Voyage dans la Suisse Occidentale, tom. i. p. 118-124);
95 That military office, so respectable at present, was still more conspicuous when it was divided between two persons (Daniel, Hist. de la Milice Françoise, tom. ii. p. 5). One of these, the marshal of the crusade, was the famous Boucicault, who afterwards defended Constantinople, governed Genoa, invaded the coast of Asia, and died in the field of Azincour.
** [Bayezid was engaged in besieging Constantinople when he received news that the Franks were besieging Nicopolis.]
length overwhelmed by the numerous squadrons or that issued from the woods, and charged on all sides this handful of intrepid warriors. In the speed and secrecy of his march, in the order and evolutions of the battle, his enemies felt and admired the military talents of Bajazet. They accuse his cruelty in the use of victory. After reserving the count of Nevers, and four-and-twenty lords, whose birth and riches were attested by his Latin interpreters, the remainder of the French captives, who had survived the slaughter of the day, were led before his throne; and, as they refused to abjure their faith, were successively beheaded in his presence. The sultan was exasperated by the loss of his bravest Janizaries; and if it be true that, on the eve of the engagement, the French had massacred their Turkish prisoners, 98 they might impute to themselves the consequences of a just retaliation. A knight, whose life had been spared, was permitted to return to Paris, that he might relate the deplorable tale and solicit the ransom of the noble captives. In the meanwhile the count of Nevers, with the princes and barons of France, were dragged along in the marches of the Turkish camp, exposed as a grateful trophy to the Moslems of Europe and Asia, and strictly confined at Boursa, as often as Bajazet resided in his capital. The sultan was pressed each day to expiate with their blood the blood of his martyrs; but he had pronounced that they should live, and either for mercy or destruction his word was irrevocable. He was assured of their value and importance by the return of the messenger, and the gifts and intercessions of the kings of France and of Cyprus. Lusignan presented him with a gold salt-cellar of curious workmanship and of the price of ten thousand ducats; and Charles the Sixth dispatched by the way of Hungary a cast of Norwegian hawks, and six horse-loads of scarlet cloth, of fine linen of Rheims, and of Arras tapestry, representing the battles of the great Alexander. After much delay, the effect of distance rather than of art, Bajazet agreed to accept a ransom of two hundred thousand ducats for the count of Nevers and the surviving princes and barons; the marshal Boucicault, a famous warrior, was of the number of the fortunate; but the admiral
87 (About half the Turkish army, wbich amounted altogether to about 100,000.]
Us For this odious fact, the Abbé de Vertot quotes the Hist. Anonyme de St. Denys (see above, note 93], l. xvi. c. 10, 11 (Ordre de Malthe, tom. ii. p. 310).
of France had been slain in the battle; and the constable, with the Sire de Coucy, died in the prison of Boursa. This heavy demand, which was doubled by incidental costs, fell chiefly on the duke of Burgundy, or rather on his Flemish subjects, who were bound by the feudal laws to contribute for the knighthood and captivity of the eldest son of their lord. For the faithful discharge of the debt, some merchants of Genoa gave security to the amount of five times the sum: a lesson to those warlike times that commerce and credit are the links of the society of nations. It had been stipulated in the treaty that the French captives should swear never to bear arms against the person of their conqueror; but the onerous restraint was abolished by Bajazet himself. “I despise,” said he to the heir of Burgundy, “thy oaths and thy arms. Thou art young, and mayest be ambitious of effacing the disgrace or misfortune of thy first chivalry. Assemble thy powers, proclaim thy design, and be assured that Bajazet will rejoice to meet thee a second time in a field of battle." Before their departure, they were indulged in the freedom and hospitality of the court of Boursa. The French princes admired the magnificence of the Ottoman, whose hunting and hawking equipage was composed of seven thousand huntsmen, and seven thousand falconers.99 In their presence, and at his command, the belly of one of his chamberlains was cut open, on a complaint against him for drinking the goat's milk of a poor woman.
The strangers were astonished by this act of justice; but it was the justice of a sultan who disdains to balance the weight of evidence or to measure the degrees of guilt.
After his enfranchisement from an oppressive guardian, John Palæologus remained thirty-six years the helpless and, as it should seem, the careless spectator of the public ruin.100 Love, or rather lust, was his only vigorous passion; and in the embraces of the wives and virgins of the city the Turkish slave forgot the dishonour of the emperor of the Romans. Andronicus, his eld
99 Sherefeddin Ali (Hist. de Timour Bec, 1. v. c. 13) allows Bajazet a round number of 12,000 officers and servants of the chase. A part of his spoils was afterwards displayed in a hunting-match of Timour: 1. Hounds with satin housings; 2. leopards with collars set with jewels; 3. Grecian greyhounds; and, 4. dogs from Europe, as strong as African lions (idem, l. vi. c. 15). Bajazet was particularly fond of Aying his hawks at cranes (Chalcondyles, 1. ii. p. 35 (p. 67, ed. Bonn)).
100 For the reigns of John Palæologus and his son Manuel, from 1354 to 1402, see Ducas, c. 9-15, Phranza, l. i. c. 16-21, and the ist and iid books of Chalcondyles, whose proper subject is drowned in a sea of episode.
The emperor John Palæologue, A.D. 1355, 8th Jan.-A.D. 1391