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encompassed Constantinople; and the breast-plates of the horsemen, in reference to the more destructive implements of war, might then, for the first time, be said to be fire, and Jacinth, and brimstone. The musket had recently supplied the place of the bow. Fire emanated from their breasts. Brimstone the flame of which is jacinth, was an ingredient both of the liquid fire and of gunpowder. Congruity seems to require this more strictly literal interpretation, as conformable to the significancy of the same terms in the immediately subsequent verse, including the same general description. A new mode of warfare was at that time introduced, which has changed the nature of war itself, in regard to the form of its instruments of destruction, and sounds and sights unheard of and unknown before, were the death-knell and the doom of the Roman empire. Invention outrivalled force, and a new power was introduced, that of musketry as well as of artillery, in the art of war, before which the old Macedonian phalanx would not have remained unbroken, nor the Roman legions stood. That which John saw " in the vision,” is read in the history of the times.

And out of their mouth issued fire and smoke and brimstone, and by these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire and by the smoke and by the brimstone which issued out of their mouths. Ver. 18.

“ Among the implements of destruction, he studied with peculiar care the recent and tremendous discovery of the Latins, and his artillery surpassed whatever had yet appeared in the world. A founder of cannon, a Dane or Hungarian, who had been almost starved in the Greek service, deserted to the Moslems, and was liberally entertained by the Turkish sultan. Mahomet was satisfied with the answer to his first question, which he eagerly pressed on the artist, “Am I able to cast a cannon capable of Throwing a ball or stone of sufficient size to batter the walls of Constantinople ?” “I am not ignorant of their strength, but were they more solid than those of Babylon, I could oppose an engine of superior power; the position and management of that engine must be left to your engineers.” On this assurance a foundery was established at Adrianople; the metal was prepared ; and at the end of three months Urban produced a piece of brass ordnance of stupendous and almost incredible magnitude. A measure of twelve palms is assigned to the bore, and the stone bullet weighed about six hundred pounds. A vacant place before the new palace was chosen for the first experiment, but to prevent the sudden and mischievous effects of astonishment and fear, a proclamation was issued that the cannon would be discharged the ensuing day. The explosion was felt or heard in a circuit of a hundred furlongs; the ball, by the force of the gunpowder, was driven about a mile, and on the spot where it fell it buried itself a fathom deep in the ground. For the conveyance of this destructive engine, a frame or carriage of thirty waggons was linked together, and drawn along by a train of sixty oxen; two hundred men on both sides were stationed to poise or support the rolling weight; two hundred and fifty workmen marched before to smooth the way and repair the bridges, and near two months were employed in a laborious journey of an hundred and fifty miles. I dare not reject the positive and unanimous evidence of cotemporary writers. A Turkish cannon, more enormous han that Mahomet, still guards the entrance of the Dardanelles, and if the use be incon. venient, it has been found, on a late trial, that the effect is far from contemptible. A stone bullet of eleven hundred pounds weight was once discharged with three hundred and thirty pounds of powder; at the distance of six hundred yards it shivered into three rocky fragments, traversed the strait, and leaving the waters in a foam, again rose and bounded against the opposite hill."*

In the siege, " the incessant vollies of lances and arrows were accompanied with the smoke, the sound, and the fire of their musketry and cannon. Their small arms discharged at the same time either five or even ten balls of lead of the size of a walnut, and according to the closeness of the ranks and the force of the powder, several breast-plates and bodies were transpierced by the same shot. But the Turkish approaches were soon sunk in trenches, or covered with ruins. Each day added to the science of the Christians, but their inadequate stock of gunpowder was wasted in the operations of each day. Their ordnance was not powerful either in size or number, and if they possessed some heavy cannon, they feared to plant them on the walls lest the aged structure should be shaken and overthrown by the explosion. The same destructive secret had been revealed to the Moslems, by whom it was employed with the superior energy of zeal, riches, and despotism. The great cannon of Mahomet has been separately noticed; an important and visible object in the history of the times ; but that enormous engine was Hanked by two fellows almost of equal magnitude; the long order of the Turkish artillery was pointed against the walls; fourteen batteries thundered at once

* Gibbon's Hist. ib. pp. 197, 198, 199.

on the most accessible places, and of one of these it is ambiguously expressed that it was mounted with one hundred and thirty guns, or that it discharged one hundred and thirty bullets. Yet in the power and activity of the Sultan we may discern the infancy of the new science ; under a master who counted the moments, the great cannon could be loaded and fired no more than seven times in one day. The heated metal unfortunately burst; several workmen were destroyed; and the skill of an artist was admired who bethought himself of preventing the danger and the accident by pouring oil atier each explosion into the mouth of the cannon."*

Constantinople, when besieged by the Saracens in 683 and 718, twice owed its deliverance to the novelty, the terrors, and the real efficacy of the Greek fire. The important secret of compounding and directing this artificial fire was imparted by Callinicus, a native of Hieropolis in Syria, who deserted from the service of the caliph to that of the emperor. The skill ofa chemist and engineer was equivalent to the succour of fleets and armies; and the discovery or improvement of the military art was fortunately reserved for the distressful period when the degenerated Romans of the East were incapable of contending with the warlike enthusiasm and useful vigour of the Saracens. The historian who presumes to analyze this extraordinary composition, should suspect his own ignorance, and that of his Byzantine guides, so prone to the marvelous, so careless, and in this instance so jealous of the truth. From their obscure and perhaps fallacious hints, it should seem that the principal ingredient of the Greek fire was the naptha or liquid bitumen, a light, tenacious, and inflammable oil which springs from the earth and catches fire as soon as it comes in contact with the air. The naphtha was mingled, I know not by what methods or in what proportions, with sulphur, (brimstone,) and with the pitch that is extracted from the evergreen firs. From this mixture, which produced a thick smoke and a loud explosion, proceeded a fierce and obstinate flame, which not only rose in perpendicular ascent, but likewise burnt with equal vehemence in descent or lateral progress, and instead of being extinguished, it was nourished or quickened by the element of water. This powerful agent was justly denominated by the Greeks the liquid, or the maritime fire.”t

The Saracens as often repeated, were to hurt, or torment, but not to kill. The Roman empire survived all their attacks. The deliverance of Constantinople from their power was “ chiefly ascribed” to a novel and terrible invention at that period; and a deserter from the caliph betrayed the secret, and thus communicated the means of safety. But after their course was wholly run, and the first woe had passed, and also after the period of preparation was complete, and the prophetic history brought down to the time when the third part was named again, and that third part to be killed, which the Saracens never could effect, a Latin renegado, but be it remembered, an ill-requited engineer, if not a starved mechanic, passed over to the Moslems, communicated again a novel and more important discovery, and superintended the formation of new engines of destruction, by which, when its long-suspended day was come, a breach was for the first time made in the walls of Constantinople, by which the Turkish avengers of idolatry and transgressions entered. But the Greek fire, by which, when itself a novelty, Constantinople had been twice preserved, was, after being known for eight centuries, to be turned at last with destructive effect against the idolatrous and devoted city.

* Gibbon's Hist. ib. pp. 210, 211. † Ibid. vol. x. pp. 15—16. c. 52.

“A circumstance that distinguishes the siege of Constantinople is the reunion of the ancient and modern artillery, The cannon were intermingled with the mechanical engines for casting stones and darts; the bullet and the battering-ram were erected against the same walls; nor had the discovery of gunpowder” (of which also brimstone is an ingredient) “superseded the use of the liquid and unextinguishable fire. A wooden turret of the largest size was advanced on rollers: this portable magazine of ammunition and fascines was protected by a threefold covering of bull's hides; incessant vollies were securely discharged from the loop-holes; in the front, three doors were contrived for the alternate sally and retreat of the workmen. They ascended up a staircase to the upper platform, and as high as the level of that platform a scaling ladder could be raised up by pullies to form a bridge,

and grapple with the adverse rampart.° By these various acts.of annoyance, some as new as they were pernicious to the Greeks, the tower of St. Romanus was at length overturned," &c.*

Having traced, from the Book of Revelation and from Gibbon's History, the decline and fall of the

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* Gibbon's Hist. vol. xii. p. 213.

Roman empire, from the first irruption of the Goths on Rome to the last assault of the Turks on Constantinople,—the tragic scene,—the issue of a mad ambition and of a corrupted faith,-cannot be more appropriately closed, in reference to the Roman empire, than in the words of Gibbon with the prediction annexed..

“In the confusion of darkness an assailant may sometimes succeed; but in this great and general attack, the military judgment and astrological knowledge of Mahomet advised him to expect the morning, the memorable twenty-ninth of May, in the fourteen hundred and fifty-third year of the Christian era. The preceding night had been strenuously employed; the troops, the cannon, and the fascines were advanced to the edge of the ditch, which in many parts presented a smooth and level passage to the breach ; and his fourscore gallies, almost touched with the prows and their scaling ladders, the less defensible walls of the harbour. Under pain of death silence was enjoined ; each individual might suppress his voice and measure his footsteps; but the march and labour of thousands must inevitably produce a strange confusion of dissonant clamours, which reached the ears of the watchmen of the towers. At day-break, without the customary signal of the morning gun, the Turks assaulted the city by sea and land; and the similitude of a twined or twisted thread has been applied to the closeness and continuity of their line of attack. The foremost ranky consisted of the refuse of the host, a voluntary crowd, who fought without order or command; of the feebleness of age or child. hood, of peasants and vagrants, and of all who had joined the camp in the blind hope of plunder and martyrdom. The common impulse drove them onwards to the wall: the most audacious to climb were instantly precipitated; and not a dart or.a bullet of the Christians was idly wasted on the accumulated throng. But their strength and ammunition were exhausted in this laborious defence; the ditch was filled with the bodies of the slain; they supported the footsteps of their companions; and of this devoted vanguard the death was more serviceable than the life. Under their respective Bashaws and Sanjaks, the troops of Anatolia and Romania were successively led to the charge : their progress was various and doubtful; but after a conflict of two hours, the Greeks still maintained and improved their advantage ; and the voice of the emperor was heard encouraging his soldiers to achieve, by a last effort, the deliverance of their country. In that fatal moment the Janisaries arose fresh, vigorous, and invincible. The sultan himself on horseback, with an iron mace in his hand, was the spectator and judge of their valour; he was surrounded by ten thousand of his domestic troops whom he reserved for these decisive occasions; and the tide of battle was directed and impelled by his voice and eye. His numerous ministers of justice were posted

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