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progress, both in the north, where Belgrade fell, and in the south, where Rhodes became Turkish. This was not a brilliant period of Venetian history. During Soliman's reign, in the year 1540, a humiliating peace was concluded between Venice and the Porte. By this treaty, besides the payment of an exorbitant sum, the republic gave up several Albanian ports, and most of the Venetian islands in the Archipelago. These onerous and shameful terms were acceded to by Venice almost without a blow having been struck, and at a time when she had the support of the Emperor Charles V., and of the Pope, who had formed a league with her against the Porte. There then was evidently little of that determined spirit in her councils which, a century later, supported her through the glorious war for the possession of Candiaa desperate struggle, illustrated by countless heroic deeds, and during which a Venetian fleet was seen to blockade the Dardanelles, whence the Turkish ships dared not attempt to issue forth. In 1540, a far meeker and less honourable spirit guided the chiefs of the republic. Almost at the first clash of arms they sought peace, and, freed at heavy cost from their unworthy apprehensions, they suffered their country to sink into inaction. For thirty years Venice remained inert and declining. During that long slumber, nothing was done to reform her institutions, or increase her resources; her fleet and army were neglected, as were also the necessary fortifications of her coasts and islands. This was notably the case with Cyprus, a rich and valuable possession, whose remote position relatively to Venice should of itself alone have suggested the necessity of a strong guard and many precautions. The island was well worth keeping, for it produced great abundance of corn, saffron, sugar, cotton, and fruits, although, under the Venetian sway, historians affirm that more than three-fourths of its superficies were uncultivated. As for its defences, its military posts were neglected, the fortifications of its towns were suffered to decay, and a force of seven hundred cavalry, established for the guard of its coast, was allowed to dwindle to one hundred wretched
horses. The unprotected condition of the island was well known at Constantinople, and Soliman's son and successor, Selim II., surnamed El Mest, or the Drunkard, coveted Cyprus, and formed plans for its conquest.
It is at this period of history, about the year 1568-9, that Señor Rosell commences a volume to which a crown was unanimously awarded by the Spanish Royal Academy of History, and which, as well by the research it displays as by the manner of its execution, certainly does great credit to its author. In Spain the appearance of works of this class is now exceedingly rare. There are few readers in that country at the present day, and very few writers whose names are worthy of mention. Literature of all kinds is much neglected, and the few books published consist chiefly of third-rate poetry and plays, and of translations from the French and English. Good historical works are seldom produced, and that of Señor Rosell may be looked upon almost as an event. He has made excellent use of the works of a host of writers, chiefly Spanish and Italian, many of them contemporaries of, some of them sharers in, the battle of Lepanto; of the Coleccion de documentos inéditos of Messrs Navarrete, Salvá, and Baranda, and of papers and correspondence existing in the National Library of Madrid, and in the archives of Siman
The general interest of his book is heightened by the many characteristic traits and anecdotes he has introduced, and the style in which it is written induces a regret that a language so well suited to the narration of stirring events and martial exploits should not be more frequently employed for that purpose by those whose native tongue it is.
The profound peace existing between Venice and the Porte at the time of Selim's accession, was no obstacle to his designs upon Cyprus; so long as his object was gained, he cared little about the justice of his cause. If scruples he had, which is unlikely, he quieted them by a singular chain of reasoning. Venice had received Cyprus as a gift from Catharine Cornaro, daughter of a Venetian, and widow of a king of that island. But this king was a usurper, who had dis
possessed his sister of the crown; and thus, although the republic had for eighty years been undisputed mistress of Cyprus, Selim maintained that she had no legitimate right to its possession. Moreover, he looked upon the Venetians as feudatories of his own, since they paid him various tributes, and did homage to him as successor of the Soldan of Egypt. But he had probably no need of thus excusing to himself the prosecution of an enterprise whose success would in some degree obliterate the stain cast upon the Moslem arms by their repulse at Malta, whilst it would give him a welcome addition to his dominions in the shape of a fertile island situated in the very midst of them. Some historians have set down amongst the thirsty monarch's motives his great fondness for the famous Cyprus wine, but it is unnecessary to seek trivial incentives, when so many more potent naturally present themselves. Whilst pondering his plans, an unexpected event facilitated their execution, and induced him to accelerate it. In the night of the 13th September 1569, a terrible explosion and shock roused Venice from her slumbers. It was succeeded by a universal shriek of terror, as the Venetians sprang from their beds, and hurried out of their houses, believing in an earthquake. The evil was not so great. Fire had broken out in the arsenal, and the powdermagazine had exploded. The first alarm over, measures were taken to extinguish the flames, and were speedily successful. The explosion was heard at a distance of thirty miles; four churches were in ruins, and various edifices suffered more or less, but few persons perished, and only four of the galleys in the arsenal were lost. Report exaggerated the disaster; it was said that the whole Venetian fleet had been destroyed, and that a multitude of nobles and citizens had perished. Selim heard and believed this, and redoubled the activity of his warlike preparations, getting together troops, provisions, and ammunition, and stimulating by his presence the arming of galleys and founding of cannon in the arsenal at Constantinople. Whilst
concealing these measures as far as possible from the ambassador of the republic at his court, he ordered his cruisers to capture, upon futile pretexts, all the Venetian merchantmen they fell in with. This might have sufficed to open the eyes of the government of Venice, but they remained strangely blind, until the repeated warnings of their ambassador, and the positive information he sent, forcibly dispelled their illusion, and filled them with anxiety and alarm. Seeking to repair by activity their want of foresight, they hastily adopted various extraordinary means of raising money, selling state property to the amount of three hundred thousand crowns, imposing a contribution on the clergy, putting up to auction the high office of procurator, eight of which places were sold for twenty thousand ducats each, and permitting a number of young nobles to purchase seats in the grand council. A fleet was equipped, consisting of 136 galleys, eleven galeas, or larger vessels of the class specially known as Venetian galleys, fourteen ships, and some transports and smaller vessels, and was put under the orders of the cavaliero Jeronimo Zanne, procurator of St Mark's, whilst Sforza Palaviccino took command of the land forces. This done-and it was all that the penury of the treasury permitted to be done-Venice sought, through the Pope, the assistance of the Catholic princes of Europe. The days were gone when all nations courted the alliance of the Queen of the Adriatic, and beheld in it an assurance of triumph it was now her turn to supplicate, and her fate to meet refusals. France had little or no fleet, and was on terms of amity with the Turk; moreover, she was distracted by internal dissensions. The Huguenots, under Condé and Coligny, pressed the Catholics hard; Catherine of Medicis assured the Pope and the Venetians of her good wishes, but could afford them no aid. From England nothing was to be expected, since its sovereign was then Elizabeth, a greater enemy to Rome, says a writer of that time, than the Turks themselves. More might be hoped
Marco Antonio Arroya, Relacion del Progreso de la Armada de la Santa Liga, chap. i. Milan, 1576, (note by Don C. Rosell).
from Austria, but the Emperor Maximilian did not choose to abandon the state of peace in which he then was with the Porte, and, moreover, he was not well pleased with the Pope for having sanctioned the elevation of Cosmo de Medicis, second Duke of Florence, to the sovereign title of Grandduke of Tuscany. So he excused himself, making promises for the future. Don Sebastian of Portugal, who perhaps already meditated the rash expedition to Africa which cost him his crown and dominions, and, as most believe, his life, pleaded the ravages the plague had made in his dominions, and the necessity of attending to the defence of his own coasts, as motives for declining to co-operate. Even Persia was invited by the republic to join the league against the Turks, but declined provoking so powerful an enemy. The Italian princes, weakened by the frequent wars of the sixteenth century, and divided amongst themselves, could render but small assistance. Genoa sent a single galley, the Duke of Savoy another, the Knights of Malta three galleys, and the Dukes of Florence and Urbino a small number of soldiers. The Pope, foreseeing future danger to his own dominions from the ambition of the Turk, but having no galleys, agreed to equip and maintain twelve of those that lay useless in Venetian ports.
There was one potentate whose assistance, if obtainable, would compensate the numerous disappointments encountered by Venice in her quest of allies, and that was Philip II. of Spain. At that time, says Tomaso Contarini, in his Relatione di Spagna, "the states and powers of the world were almost all united under those two great monarchs, the Turk and the King of Spain." It was for the interest of Spain, as mistress of Sicily and Naples, and of part of the African coast, to check the intrusion of the Turks; but, upon the other hand, Venice had on similar occasions refused her aid, and had maintained her alliance with the Infidel, suffering Rhodes to be captured, and leaving to the Spaniards the glorious task of relieving Malta. The conscience of the Republic reproached her with these derelictions, and made her fear a refusal; but the case was urgent,
and the attempt must be made. The Pope sent Monsignore Luigi Torres, a churchman of much prudence and diplomatic skill, to the King of Spain. Philip, after due reflection, replied that he could not then make up his mind about joining the league, which required further consideration, but that he would assist the Venetians, and would at once give orders to Juan Andrea Doria, his admiral in Sicily, to join the papal and Venetian squadrons with the galleys under his command. The Pope had named Marco Antonio Colonna to the command of the twelve vessels equipped at his cost.
Meanwhile Selim II. had sent an ambassador to Venice to demand the cession of Cyprus, declaring that he would consider a refusal tantamount to a declaration of war. In the letter intrusted to his envoy he styled himself Sovereign of Cyprus, as heir to the rights of the Soldan of Egypt. He complained of imaginary aggressions of Venetian subjects, of shelter afforded to pirates in the ports of Cyprus, and of the molestation of pilgrims to Mecca; he offered his friendship if the kingdom in question was given up to him, and swore in the contrary case to conquer it by force of arms, and to carry fire and sword into all the other provinces of the republic. To so arrogant and injurious a message as this there could be but one reply. On receiving it Selim rejoiced at the rejection of his terms, and prepared for instant action. Mustafa, pasha of Cairo, was named chief of the whole invading force, and sailed from the Dardanelles at the end of May (1570), with thirty-six galleys and a large number of transports laden with artillery, ammunition, horses, and necessary stores, under command of Aali Pasha, Selim's brother-in-law. He had been preceded by eighty galleys and thirty galiots, commanded by Piali Pasha, a Hungarian renegade, in whom Selim had great confidence, and who was appointed general of the naval forces of the expedition. The two fleets joined upon their way, and after pausing at Rhodes to take on board some janizaries and other soldiers necessary for the sieges they projected, on the 1st of July they reached the shores
of Cyprus. The Venetians were less prompt in their proceedings. Zanne and Palaviccino lay for two months at Zara, waiting orders, ill supplied with provisions, and with a contagions malady decimating their crews. At last they quitted that anchorage, and on the 23d June reached Corfu with seventy galleys. There they were to wait for the rest of the fleet, and for the Spanish and Roman squadrons. The former was expected from Messina, the whereabout of the latter was unknown. During the stay of Zanne at Zara, the Doge of Venice, Pietro Loredano, died suddenly, many said by poison, administered because he was one of the few Venetians who desired at any cost to preserve peace with the Turk. He was succeeded by Luigi Mocenigo, the fourth doge of that family; and the place of procurator, vacated by that election, was conferred upon Sebastian Veniero, proveditore of Corfu, a valiant officer, but too impetuous and irritable, whose name frequently recurs in the history of the war then about to commence. Before Zanne's arrival at Corfu, he had accomplished an enterprise of some consideration, capturing by surprise the Turkish fortress of Sopato; and at about the same time Marco Quirini, captain of the gulf of Venice, took and utterly destroyed the fort of Maina, returning unmolested to Corfu with slaves and booty. But meanwhile that which should have been the main object of the Venetian fleet was unattended to, and Cyprus remained without reinforcements. It was not until the 23d July that Zanne quitted Corfu for Candia, in order to recruit his crews, whose numbers were greatly reduced by disease, and to be nearer to Cyprus, in case it should need his aid. At that date Mustafa had already been for three weeks in Cyprus, with one hundred and sixty galleys, an army of at least fifty-six thousand men, and thirty pieces of heavy artillery. Seeing himself unopposed on disembarkation, he resolved to march at once upon Nicosia, the capital of the island, in whose centre it was situated. This was contrary to the expectation of Astor Baglione, the governor of Cyprus, who expected Famagusta to be first attacked, as nearer to the sea
and of less strength, and who had consequently shut himself up in the latter place, leaving Nicosia in charge of his lieutenant, Nicolo Dandolo, an officer of very moderate capacity. The fortress of Nicosia was some miles in circumference, and required a large garrison; instead of which it contained but ten thousand men, most of them inexperienced in war, and so scantily provided with fire-arms that they had to use halberts. There were but fifteen hundred regular troops, more than half of the remainder consisting of civilians belonging to the town and to the surrounding country. The fortifications, recently repaired by engineers from Venice, were in a pretty good state; but before there was time to lay in the necessary supplies of ammunition and provisions, Mustafa was before the walls, and commenced a vigorous cannonade. Piali had advised him to begin with Famagusta, as the easiest prey; but Mustafa held it unworthy of his reputation to begin where there was least peril and difficulty. In numbers, in warlike appliances, and in military skill, the Nicosians were infinitely overmatched by the Turks; and they felt that their only chance of intimidating the besiegers, and of seriously diminishing their numbers, was by assuming the offensive. Accordingly, on the 15th August, a furious sortie was made, the hour chosen being that at which the Turks usually were asleep in their quarters. So vigorous was the sally that the assailed fled in all directions, suffering great loss; and the confusion extended soon to Mustafa's tents, and to the ranks of his janizary guard. But presently the Turks recovered from their panic: the cavalry came up, and the Venetians, having no reserve to cover their retreat, suffered severely, losing some of their principal officers, and leaving one hundred prisoners in the hands of the enemy. This was their first and last sortie. Considering, however, the circumstances under which it was made, it was a most daring exploit, and it greatly revived the hopes of the besieged, and gave some uneasiness to Mustafa. He repeatedly assaulted the place, but his troops were invariably repulsed with considerable loss; and as the garrison refused to capitu
late, he began to think they relied upon relief from some unknown quarter. Doubly desirous, therefore, quickly to terminate the siege, he sent to Piali and Aali Pashas, requesting them to send him a hundred men from each one of their galleys, to reinforce his army and make a final assault. The pashas would willingly have complied at once with his demand, had they not first had to make sure that the combined squadrons of Venice, Rome, and Spain, were not on their way to succour Cyprus. But it was the last day of August before Doria and Colonna joined Zanne at Candia. Their combined force amounted to a hundred and eighty galleys, twelve of them very large, fourteen ships, and a great number of transports. In a council of war, composed of the three generals and of the chief officers, some were of opinion that it was too hazardous an enterprise to relieve Nicosia, and that it was better to effect a diversion, and draw off the enemy from Cyprus by an attack on some Turkish possession. General Zanne combated this opinion, insisting that the sole object of their junction was to go to the assistance of Cyprus, and that it were a stain upon their honour to leave it undone. Doria, a cautious and experienced officer, skilful and prompt in action, agreed with Zanne, but insisted first on an inspection of the fleet, to ascertain the condition of the vessels, and the numbers and quality of their crews.
ready at any moment, he said, to show that his ships were well armed, supplied, and equipped, and had their full complement of courageous and well-trained soldiers. Zanne, whose crews had been sadly thinned by disease, yet could not object to the proposed inspection, but found pretexts for postponing it, profiting by the delay to get in stores and recruits. At last it took place, on the 16th September, at Sitia, the easternmost port of Candia, and, according to the present Spanish historian, the Venetian fleet was "in so pitiable a state that Doria marvelled at their daring to attempt any enterprise with it. Nevertheless, by disarming some of the galleys, the crews of the others were reinforced, all being deficient in soldiers and rowers; and this the Venetians thought sufficient to entitle
them to exact from their allies that they should carry their co-operation even to the extent of sacrifice." So the fleet proceeded on its voyage. But on the night of the 22d, when it was at anchor in a port near the Karamanian coast, within a short sail of Cyprus, Marco Quirini, who had been out to reconnoitre, returned, almost beside himself with grief, to announce the fall of Nicosia, whose walls had been razed, and its wretched inhabitants massacred.
Early in September, the two pashas, Piali and Aali, hearing nothing of the approach of the Christian fleet, took a hundred men from each one of their galleys, thus forming an army twenty thousand strong, which they sent to Mustafa, who greatly needed it, for the troops he had with him were discouraged by repeated failures, and by the obstinate defence of the besieged. On Sunday the 9th September 1570, a day ever memorable in the annals of unfortunate Cyprus, a general assault was made on all four sides of the town. The attack was furious, the defence heroic. The Venetians and Cypriots, certain of death, fought with desperation. At last, and on a sudden, in consequence of some accident or neglect on the part of the besieged, the nature of which has been variously stated, but is not exactly known, the Turks gained one of the bastions, and thronged into the place. They gave no quarter, and the excesses that ensued were horrible. No sex nor age was exempted from their brutality. The rapine and slaughter lasted the whole day; there were more than twenty thousand victims, and the few nobles who were spared only escaped to bear captives' fetters, and to endure the derision and mocking of a Constantinople mob. Dandolo, the Bishop of Baffa, and some other nobles and chiefs, who defended themselves in the court of the palace, capitulated on condition of being allowed to quit the city uninjured, but were at once inhumanly slaughtered. Mustafa's joy at his triumph was, however, notably diminished by a singular incident. He had embarked on board the Grand Vizier's galley and two other vessels a number of beautiful youths of both sexes, and a great quantity of rich booty taken in Nicosia,