« AnteriorContinuar »
and, other soldiers having come to his support, captured the vessel. Many other such deeds are related by Señor Rosell, deeds worthy, as he truly says, of the heroic days of ancient Greece. The sea was literally reddened with blood, and was covered for miles with human limbs and disfigured corpses, with clothes, fragments of galleys, planks, oars, arms, and masts. The storm broke forth in its fury, and the flames of Turkish galleys, set on fire because they were too much damaged to be of service, lit up the terrible scene - appropriate illuminations in honour of so signal a triumph. Night came on, and the allied fleet sought shelter in the adjacent port of Petala.
The trophies of this victory were, first, the two sons of Aali Pasha, one seventeen and the other thirteen years of age, whose father had brought them with him to accustom them to naval discipline and to the dangers of war. "It was a piteous spectacle," says Señor Rosell," to see the tears they shed on finding themselves orphans and captives." After the battle, Don John had them brought before him, and, embracing them, he deplored their hard fate and their father's death. He lodged them in his secretary's cabin, one of the best in his ship, ordered Turkish clothes to be bought for them, gave them shirts of his own, and treated them as if they were his brothers. "He then sent for Sebastian Veniero, and to show him that he harboured no resentment for past offences, he advanced to meet him as far as the ladder of his galley, embraced him most affectionately, and, calling him his father, extolled, as was just, his great valour, and could not finish what he would have said for the sobs and tears that choked him. The poor old man, who did not expect such a reception, wept also, and so did all who witnessed that scene." The armada of the League had lost twelve galleys; but 130 of the enemy's were taken and divided amongst the allies. It was calculated that eighty Turkish vessels were sunk. Of men, the loss of the allies amounted to 7600; namely, 2000 Spaniards-800 belong ing to the Pope's squadron, and the remainder Venetians. The loss of the enemy perhaps somewhat exaggerated-was said to be 25,000 dead,
and 5000 prisoners. More than 12,000 slaves, who rowed in the Turkish galleys, were that day liberated.
Don John remained four days in the port of Petala repairing damages, making arrangements for the care of the wounded, and taking counsel as to the best means of turning his victory to good account. Thence he sent Don Lope de Figueroa to Spain, with letters and despatches for the king his brother, and with Selim's standard, which had been taken from the enemy. He also sent despatches to the Pope, and to Venice, as did the generals Veniero and Colonna. Philip II. received the news without any sign of joy or surprise-imitating, in that respect, the calmness of his father on receiving intelligence of the victory of Pavia. He was at vespers at the time, and when the service was over, he directed the prior to have a Te Deum sung. On the following day he went to Madrid to offer up solemn thanksgivings for so great a blessing. At Venice the joy was extreme. Doge, senate, uobles, and people, all issued forth upon the square of St Mark, to rejoice and congratulate each other. The emotion of Pius V. was so great-although it is said that he had prophesied the victory-that he shed a flood of tears, and exclaimed, in the words of the evangelist, "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John," -a not very reverend application of the Gospel, but which, perhaps, was excusable in a pope, and on such an occasion. Few victories have been so variously celebrated, or acquired at the time so much fame for their winners, as that of Lepanto. Princes, prelates, and magnates vied with each other in their praises and congratulations; cities voted laurel crowns and rich presents to the illustrious conqueror; poets, sculptors, and painters, sung, carved, and painted memorials of the great fight, and of the valiant prince who gained it. The city of Messina, whose port Don John entered in triumph three weeks after the battle, presented him with thirty thousand crowns, which he distributed to the hospitals. Herrera, Rufo, Ercilla, and many other Spanish writers, composed poems in honour of the battle, and especially of the victorious chief. There were also poems written
in Latin, Portuguese, Catalan, and in the dialect of Majorca. In the royal Museo at Madrid are two valuable mosaic tables which were given by the Pope to Philip II. and to Don John of Austria. Upon that of the prince naval trophies are depicted. Messina raised a colossal bronze statue of Don John. In the Vatican are still to be seen paintings of the battle; others are to be found in churches in Andalusia; there is one in the naval museum at Madrid; and in the royal museum of the same capital is an allegorical picture representing the action, painted by Titian, at the age of ninety-four years. A long list might be made of the pictures, medals, and trophies which still exist to remind the world of the battle of Lepanto, and of its principal hero. At the end of his work, Señor Rosell gives, besides a small map of the action, engraved fac-similes of two medals in the numismatic museum of the Madrid National Library. The obverse of one of these displays the likeness of Pius V., that of the other the very handsome head of Don John of Austria. On the reverse of the latter medal is a full-length of the conqueror, standing on a pedestal, whilst Victory, a palm-branch in one hand, crowns him with laurel. In the area of the medal is a plan of the battle of Lepanto. Señor Rosell also gives a vignette engraving of Sebastian Veniero, after Tintoretto's portrait of him in the Madrid Gallery-a fine head, at once venerable and martial, but with a countenance expressing some of the irritability that characterised the valiant Venetian.
Selim II., when news reached him of his fleet's disaster, shut himself up in his room, and for three days would see nobody, and scarcely eat anything. On the fourth day his grand vizier was admitted to see him. It is said that Selim took the Koran, read two chapters, and shut the book; then, happening again to open it, he came upon the following verse: "In the name of the merciful and compassionate God, I suffer by reason of the victory of the Christians over the inhabitants of the earth; but they shall not have occasion to glorify themselves in future on account of their victory." These words, which, under
the circumstances, appeared prophetic, consoled and encouraged Selim; he abandoned the vice of drunkenness, which had given him a shameful reputation, and applied all his energies to the creation of fresh forces wherewith to avenge his reverse. He appointed Uluch Aali his high admiral, in place of the slain Aali Pasha; and, as a title of honour, made him change his name from Uluch to Kilich, which signifies sword. Thenceforward the renegade was the first man in the Turkish empire after the sultan. Early in the following spring he was again at sea, with a hundred and seventy galleys, besides other vessels; but he seems to have entertained a lively recollection of his defeat at Lepanto, for although he had more than one opportunity of bringing the Christians to battle, he avoided doing so.
On the 7th August 1572, the two fleets met, the Turkish vessels numerically much superior to those of the League, although the size of some of the latter made up the difference. But Uluch Aali shunned a conflict, and the same thing occurred on two subsequent occasions, the last being on the anniversary of Lepanto, when a battle appeared so imminent that the Hispano-Venetians, with Don John again at their head, made sure of renewing their triumph of the preceding year. But Uluch Aali, seeing his enemy bent upon attacking him, took refuge under the guns of the fortress of Modon. By the end of the year, the Turk was considered to have repaired all his losses, and to be even in a better state to take the field than he was before his terrible defeat. It was agreed to augment the forces of the confederates to three hundred galleys, and sixty thousand fighting men; but this was never done, for the Venetians, who for some time past had complained of the expense of the war, left the League, and made peace with the Porte upon disgraceful terms, Selim retaining all his conquests, and receiving back the castle of Sopoto, which had been taken from him during the war, receiving also one hundred thousand ducats a-year for three years. Don John would not credit this base desertion until it was confirmed to him by the Venetians themselves. Then he struck the
mits that the immediate and material
standard of the League, and hoisted
Don John of Austria has been blamed for not promptly following up his victory by another severe blow dealt at the Turkish power. Some writers, amongst others General San Miguel in his History of Philip II., have suggested the possibility that, if he had at once pushed on to Constantinople, that capital might have been conquered, the more so as its Christian inhabitants, and especially the numerous Genoese in the suburbs of Pera and Galata, were ready to rise against the Turks. Señor Rosell, who discusses ingeniously, and at considerable length, a question which the lapse of centuries has not yet stripped of all interest, and who ad
a loss easy to repair-but also that prestige which constitutes the chief power of conquering nations, a power but once acquired, and which, when lost, is never regained." Other writers have expressed the same opinion. "Turkey," says M. de Bonald, "never recovered the battle of Lepanto. She lost upon that day
the moral ascendancy that had been her strength for three centuries and a-half." If these opinions be accepted, it can hardly be said that the battle of Lepanto was not an immense benefit to Europe, or that Don John of Austria did not fairly and fully earn the lofty pedestal upon which he still stands in the temple of military fame.
CLIVE'S DREAM BEFORE THE BATTLE OF PLASSEY.
["THE majority (of the council) pronounced against fighting, and Clive declared his concurrence with the majority. But scarcely had the meeting broken up than he was himself again. He retired alone under the shade of some trees, and passed near an hour there in thought. He came back determined to put everything to the hazard, and gave orders that all should be in readiness for passing the river on the morrow."-MACAULAY.]
BENEATH the thick old mango-trees the trunks are growing black;
Who walks at such an hour in the strange garb of the Frank,
Than cares which weighed, and nigh dismayed, his soul with their distress.
And till to-day the swift with him has ever been the sure.
But now is come a direr strait than e'er the little band
Have known since first their venturous feet have trod this foreign strand;
Now sinks the din from either camp, and not a sound is heard
And CLIVE still lies extended; but no more he mutters now,
As sleeps the child, or mother mild, to outward sense he shows:
Her jailor dull, he chains her down; but when his care grows slack,
And e'en to thee a dream may be the angel of His will.
What changing cloud, what wreathing shapes float through that slumberer's breast!
What voices of vague augury, rejoicing or distrest!
While underneath and over all the tissue is of gore,
The crimson coat, the meteor flag, the hue of England's war,
The echo falls on Delhi's walls, and rocky Jessulmere ;
See WELLESLEY learn his deathless fight, see beams of glory take
H. G. K.