Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

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

a

in Latin, Portuguese, Catalan, and in the circumstances, appeared prophethe dialect of Majorca. In the royal tic, consoled and encouraged Selim ; Museo at Madrid are two valuable he abandoned the vice of drunkenmosaic tables which were given by the ness, which had given him a shameful Pope to Philip II. and to Don John reputation, and applied all his energies of Austria. Upon that of the prince to the creation of fresh forces wherenaval trophies are depicted. Mes- with to avenge his reverse. He apsina raised a colossal bronze statue of pointed Uluch Aali his high admiral, Don John. In the Vatican are still in place of the slain Aali Pasha; and, to be seen paintings of the battle; as a title of honour, made him change others are to be found in churches in his name from Uluch to Kilich, which Andalusia; there is one in the naval signifies sword. Thenceforward the museum at Madrid; and in the royal renegade was the first man in the museum of the same capital is an Turkish empire after the sultan. allegorical picture representing the ac- Early in the following spring he was tion, painted by Titian, at the age of again at sea, with a hundred and ninety-four years. A long list might seventy galleys, besides other vessels; be made of the pictures, medals, and but he seems to have entertained a trophies wbich still exist to remind lively recollection of his defeat at the world of the battle of Lepanto, Lepanto, for although he had more and of its principal hero. At the end than one opportunity of bringing the of his work, Señor Rosell gives, be- Christians to battle, he avoided doing sides a small map of the action, en- so. On the 7th August 1572, the graved fac-similes of two medals in the two fleets met, the Turkish vessels numismatic museum of the Madrid numerically much superior to those of National Library. The obverse of the League, although the size of some one of these displays the likeness of of the latter made up the difference. Pius V., that of the other the very But Uluch Aali shunned a conflict, handsome head of Don John of Aus- and the same thing occurred on two tria. On the reverse of the latter subsequent occasions, the last being medal is a full-length of the conqueror, on the anniversary of Lepanto, when standing on a pedestal, whilst Vice a battle appeared so imminent that tory, a palm-branch in one hand, the Hispano-Venetians, with Don crowns bim with laurel. In the area John again at their head, made sure of the medal is a plan of the battle of of renewing their triumph of the preLepanto. Señor Rosell also gives a ceding year. But Uluch Aali, seeing vignette engraving of Sebastian Ve- his enemy bent upon attacking him, niero, after Tintoretto's portrait of took refuge under the gups of the him in the Madrid Gallery—a fine fortress of Modon. By the end of the head, at once venerable and martial, year, the Tark was considered to have but with a countenance expressing repaired all his losses, and to be even some of the irritability that charac- in a better state to take the field than terised the valiant Venetian.

he was before his terrible defeat. It Selim II., when news reached him was agreed to augment the forces of of his fleet's disaster, shut bimself up the confederates to three hundred in his room, and for three days would galleys, and sixty thousand fighting see nobody, and scarcely eat anything. men; but this was never dono, for On the fourth day his grand vizier the Venetians, who for some time was admitted to see him. It is said past had complained of the expense that Selim took the Koran, read two of the war, left the League, and made chapters, and shut the book; then, peace with the Porte upon disgraceful happening again to open it, he came terms, Selim retaining all his conupon the following. verse : “ In the quests, and receiving back the castle name of the merciful and compas- of Sopoto, which had been taken from sionate God, I suffer by reason of the him during the war, receiving also one victory of the Christians over the in- hundred thousand ducats a-year for habitants of the earth ; but they shall three years. Don John would not not have occasion to glorify them- credit this base desertion until it was selves in future on account of their confirmed to him by the Venetians victory." These words, which, under themselves. Then he struck the standard of the League, and hoisted mits that the immediate and material that of Spain, itself, in those days, a consequences of the battle of Lepanto terror to its enemies. Lepanto had were insignificant, defends his hero been the League's first and last tri- against the attacks of those who have umph. Although, owing to various said of Don John, as it has been said circumstances, it was not followed of Hannibal, that he knew how to up, either immediately, as many think conquer, but not how to profit by his it might advantageously have been, victory; and of others who, like Volor in the sterile year 1572, its import- taire, have maintained that the scanty ance was immense. " What would fruits of the battle made it almost have been the fate of Europe," asks appear as if the Turks had been the Señor Rosell, in his interesting final victors. He alleges the damaged chapter, " if upon that day the armada condition of the armada of the League, of the League had been destroyed and the heavy loss of fighting men by the scimitars of the janizaries ? it had suffered; he deems the plan of Master of Cyprus, Selim would quick- an advance on Constantinople rash, ly have conquered Candia, his squad- and hardly to be realised, since the rons:would have infested the gulfs of forces of the Porte were by no means the Mediterranean, and, aided by the exhausted by the destruction of its corsairs of Barbary, he would have fleet, nor was the Grand Seignior so subjugated the whole of the Adriatic defenceless that he would have had and Tyrrhenian shores. Soon extend- at once to take to flight. At the same ing his empire from the Sea of Azov time, he evidently has a lurking susto Corsica and the Balearic Isles, and picion that, in the first moment of the with Africa submitted to his will, Turk's dismay, a dash might bave neither the Muscovite, as yet feeble, been successfully made at his capital, nor Austria, hardly powerfal enough to capture the galleys there in port, to retain Hungary, nor the Catholic and perhaps to set fire to the rich King himself, discouraged and weak- arsenal of Constantinople. The best ened by his defeat, would have sufficed plea in exculpation of Don John from to check that torrent, when it pre- the charge of sluggishness after viccipitated itself from the mountains of tory, is to be found in the fact that the North to unite with the impetuous his powers were limited. His cautious, inundation of the South. It was not cold-blooded brother, who never stirred the destiny of Europe again to groan in any business without long previous in the bonds of barbarous nations ; reflection, feared that the ardour of but the obstinate and bloody strife youth and thirst for glory might lead would long have paralysed industry him into imprudence, and it was his and the arts, checking, and perhaps will and order that he should always frustrating, the development of its act in conformity with the vote of the genius, and the happy progress of its generals of the armada, and other conquests and institutions.”

experienced persons who were to form Don John of Austria has been his council. Don John never knew blamed for not promptly following up the king's exact motive for this prehis victory by another severe blow cautionary measure; but he yielded dealt at the Turkish power. Some implicit obedience to the brother who writers, amongst others General San stood him instead of a father. After Miguel in his History of Philip II., his victory, he declared his wish to have suggested the possibility that, follow it up by other exploits ; but if he had at once pushed on to Con the divisions in the council were stantinople, that capital might have many, winter was near at hand, time been conquered, the more so as its was lost, and nothing was done. Christian inhabitants, and especially The real results of the battle of Lethe numerous Genoese in the suburbs panto are perhaps best defined by of Pera and Galata, were ready to M. Poujoulat, in bis Histoire de Conrise against the Turks. Señor Rosell

, stantinople, where he says that, "from who discusses ingeniously, and at that triumph, glorious to the Chrisconsiderable length, a question which tians, may be dated the commencethe lapse of centuries' has not yet ment of the Turks' decline, because stripped of all interest, and who ad- it cost them not only men and ships

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;
The night-hawk screams a bolder note, and wheels a wider track;
Far to the right, all ghastly white, thick tents are dimly seen,
Barbaric music faintly wails, the river runs between ;
All blood-red on the western verge the skirts of twilight lie,
And two pale horns from the east go slowly up the sky.

Who walks at such an hour in the strange garb of the Frank,
And flings himself in gloomy guise on yonder grassy bank;
And mutters oft-" "Twere madness, sure, with such a force as ours,
To bide the brunt while yet the Moor unbroken holds his powers,
In hope to gain Moorshedabad or Patna's distant towers "?
Sore labours has that leader proved, but toil has worn him less

Than cares which weighed, and nigh dismayed, his soul with their distress.
For stronger is the chief to do, than steady to endure,

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;
The blood-stained rake, the tiger-prince, that laid their city low,
And slew their best and bravest by a cold-blood coward's blow,—
He marches now with all his force, and boasts, in drunken glee,
To drive the pale-faced traders down before him to the sea;
And well may those stout strangers rest content his speed to stay,
Or trust to wait till cools his hate, or his armies melt away.

Now sinks the din from either camp, and not a sound is heard
Except the roar of hungry beast, or scream of prowling bird;

And CLIVE still lies extended; but no more he mutters now,
For sleep has sealed his weary eyes, and soothed his aching brow.
'Tis strange and sad to see that MAN of action in repose,

As sleeps the child, or mother mild, to outward sense he shows:
To sense he shows; but who can say if all be peace within,
Or if the frame's mute trance allow full scope to wrath and sin?
Ha! mark you not that clenching hand, that wild convulsive start ;
And who but deems that angry dreams are surging at his heart?
The body sleeps, the spirit wakes; and in the unknown land
She visits then, she does what he could never understand.
Her jailor dull, he chains her down; but when his care grows slack,
Her flight she takes till he awakes, and quickly calls her back;
But what would it avail to tell of where her feet have been?
He could not understand her speech, or see what she has seen.
Sleep, warrior, sleep, the God of battles will have work for thee,
And well though thou canst toil at need, yet rested must thou be;
For, violent and bad, thou art JEHOVAH's servant still,
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 tiger-prince flies fast away, the far shout in his rear,
The echo falls on Delhi's walls, and rocky Jessulmere ;
The wild Mahratta hosts are broke, the proud Rohilla yields;
High kings are bending on their thrones, and peasants in their fields.

See WELLESLEY learn his deathless fight, see beams of glory take
The comely head of COMBERMERE, the gallant crest of LAKE,
The bayonet-push, the sabre-charge, through every realm of Ind,
From far Nepal to Cabul's heights and parks of sunny Sindh;
The red flood creeps from east to west, as goes the mighty sun
To where in disappointment turned the hosts of Macedon ;
From Martaban, from Comorin, to where Hydaspes flows,
Or holy Himalaya hoards her immemorial snows.
Sunlike it creeps; a flood of light, with blessings in its train;
The darkened land, the barren land, shall ne'er be so again.
O Western light! O light of blood! O hue of England's war!
He starts to life with a sudden bound, to speak of peace no more.
"Ho! call the chiefs; ho! bid the men to gather on the lawn,
Prepare the boats-in silence all-we cross before the dawn."
But those who heard the welcome word, still wondered that he said-
"Perplexed, I ween, my rest has been, but GOD is for the Red."

H. G. K.

« AnteriorContinuar »