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tianity. Gibbon's method of attacking our faith has been well described by Lord Byron, as
Sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer, The lord of irony, that master spell.
He nowhere openly avows his disbelief. By tacitly sinking the early and astonishing spread of Christianity during the time of the Apostles, and dwelling with exaggerated colouring and minuteness on the errors and corruption by which it afterwards became debased, the historian in effect conveys an impression that its divine origin is but a poetical fable, like the golden age of the poets, or the mystic absurdities of Mohammedanism. The Christian faith was a bold and successful innovation, and Gibbon hated all innovations. In his after life, he was in favour of retaining even the Inquisition, with its tortures and its tyranny, because it was an ancient institution! Besides the “solemn sneer’ of Gibbon, there is another cardinal defect in his account of the progress of the Christian faith, which has been thus ably pointed out by the Rev. H. H. Milman:• Christianity alone receives no embellishment from the magic of Gibbon's language; his imagination is dead to its moral dignity; it is kept down by a general tone of jealous disparagement, or neutralised by a painfully elaborate exposition of its darker and degenerate periods. There are occasions, indeed, when its pure and exalted humanity, when its manifestly beneficial influence can compel even him, as it were, to fairness, and kindle his unguarded eloquence to its usual fervour; but in general he soon relapses into a frigid apathy; affects an ostenta: tiously severe impartiality; notes all the faults of Christians in every age with bitter and almost malignant sarcasm; reluctantly, and with exception and reservation, admits their claim to admiration. This inextricable bias appears even to influence his manner of composition. While all the other assailants of the Roman empire, whether warlike or religious, the Goth, the Hun, the Arab, the Tartar, Alaric and Attila, Mahomet, and Zingis, and Tamerlane, are each introduced upon the scene almost with dramatic animation—their progress related in a full, complete, and unbroken narrative—the triumph of Christianity alone takes the form of a cold and critical disquisition. The successes of barbarousenergy and brute force call forth all the consummate skill of composition, while the moral triumphs of Christian benevolence, the tranquil heroism of endurance, the blameless purity, the contempt of guilty fame, and of honours destructive to the human race, which, had they assumed the proud name of philosophy, would have been blazoned in his brightest words, because they own religion as their principle, sink into narrow asceticism. The glories of Christianity, in short, touch on no chord in the heart of the writer; his imagination remains unkindled; his words, though they maintain their stately and measured march, have become cool, argumentative, and inanimate.” The second and third volumes of the history did not appear till 1781. After their publication, finding it necessary to retrench his expenditure, and being disappointed of a lucrative place which he had hoped for from ministerial patronage, he resolved to retire to Lausanne, where he was offered a residence by a friend of his youth, M. Deyverdun. Here he lived very happily for about four years, devoting his mornings to composition, and his evenings to the enlightened and polished society which had gathered in that situation. The history was completed at the time and in the circumstances which he has thus stated:— “It was on the day or rather night of the 27th of June 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve,
Residence of Gibbon at Lausanne.
walk of acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains. The air was temperate, the sky was serene, the silver orb of the moon was reflected from the waters, and all nature was silent. I will not dissemble the first emotions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and perhaps the establishment of my fame. But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind by the idea that I had taken an everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and that whatsoever might be the future date of my history, the life of the historian must be short and precarious.” The historian adds two facts which have seldom occurred in the composition of six or even five quartos; his first rough manuscript, without an intermediate copy, was sent to the press, and not a sheet was seen by any person but the author and the printer. His lofty style, like that of Johnson, was, in fact, “the image of his mind.” Gibbon went to London to superintend the publication of his three last volumes, and afterwards returned to Lausanne, where he resided till 1793. The French Revolution had imbittered and divided the society of Lausanne; some of his friends were dead, and he anxiously wished himself again in England. At this time the lady of his most intimate friend, Lord Sheffield, died, and he hastened to administer consolation: he arrived at Lord Sheffield's house in London in June 1793. The health of the historian had, however, been indifferent for some time, owing to a long-settled complaint; and, exhausted by surgical operations, he died without pain, and apparently without any sense of his damger, on the 16th of January 1794. In most of the essential qualifications of a historian, Gibbon was equal to either Hume or Robertson. In some he was superior. He had greater | depth and variety of learning, and a more perfect command of his intellectual treasures. It was not merely with the main stream of Roman history that he was familiar. All its accessaries and tributaries —the art of war, philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, | geography (down to its minutest point), every shade of manners, opinions, and public character, in Roman and contemporaneous history, he had studied with laborious diligence and complete success. Hume was elaborate, but it was only with respect to style. Errors in fact and theory were perpetuated through every edition, while the author was purifying his periods and weeding out Scotticisms. The labour of Gibbon was directed to higher objects—to the accumulation of facts, and the collation of ancient authors. His style, once fixed, remained unaltered. In erudition and comprehensiveness of intellect, Gibbon may therefore be pronounced the first of English historians. The vast range of his subject, and the tone of dignity which he preserves throughout the whole of his capacious circuit, also give him a superiority over his illustrious rivals. In concentrating his information, and presenting it in a clear and lucid order, he is no less remarkable, while his vivid imagination, quickening and adorning his varied knowledge, is fully equal to his other powers. He identifies himself with whatever he describes, and paints local scenery, national costume or manners, with all the force and animation of a native or eye-witness. These solid and bright acquirements of the historian were not, however, without their drawbacks. His mind was more material or sensual than philosophical—more fond of splendour and display than of the beauty of virtue or the grandeur of moral heroism. His taste was vitiated and impure, so that his style is not only deficient in chaste simplicity, but is disfigured by offensive pruriency and occasional grossness. His lofty ornate diction fatigues by its uniform pomp and dignity, notwithstanding the graces and splendour of his animated narrative. Deficient in depth of moral feeling and elevation of sentiment, Gibbon seldom touches the heart or inspires true enthusiasm. The reader admires his glittering sentences, his tournaments, and battle-pieces, his polished irony and masterly sketches of character; he marvels at his inexhaustible learning, and is fascinated by his pictures of military conquest and Asiatic luxury, but he still feels, that, as in the state of ancient Rome itself, the seeds of ruin are developed amidst flattering appearances: ‘the florid bloom but ill conceals the fatal malady which preys upon the vitals.” The want of one great harmonising spirit of humanity and genuine philosophy to give unity to the splendid mass, becomes painfully visible on a calm review of the entire work. After one attentive study of Gibbon, when the mind has become saturated with his style and manner, we seldom recur to his pages excepting for some particu| lar fact or description. Such is the importance of | simplicity and purity in a voluminous narrative, that this great historian is seldom read but as a study, while Hume and Robertson are always per| used as a pleasure. ... The work of Gibbon has been translated into French, with notes by M. Guizot, the distinguished philosopher and statesman. The remarks of Guizot, with those of Wenck, a German commentator, and numerous original illustrations and corrections, are embodied in a fine edition by Mr Milman, in twelve volumes, published by Mr Murray, London, in 1838. | M. Guizot has thus recorded his own impressions on reading Gibbon's history:—‘After a first rapid
* “The garden and summer-house where he composed are neglected, and the last utterly decayed, but they still show it as his “cabinet," and seem perfectly aware of his memory.*Byron's Letters.
* Hall on the Causes of the Present Discontents.
perusal, which allowed me to feel nothing but the interest of a narrative, always animated, and, notwithstanding its extent and the variety of objects which it makes to pass before the view, always perspicuous, I entered upon a minute examination of the details of which it was composed, and the opinion which I then formed was, I confess, singularly severe. I discovered, in certain chapters, errors which appeared to me sufficiently important and numerous to make me believe that they had been written with extreme negligence; in others, I was struck with a certain tinge of partiality and prejudice, which imparted to the exposition of the facts that want of truth and justice which the English express by their happy term, misrepresentation. Some imperfect quotations, some passages omitted unintentionally or designedly, have cast a suspicion on the honesty of the author; and his violation of the first law of history—increased to my eyes by the prolonged attention with which I occupied myself with every phrase, every note, every reflection—caused me to form on the whole work a judgment far too rigorous. After having finished my labours, I allowed some time to elapse before I reviewed the whole. A second attentive and regular perusal of the entire work, of the notes of the author, and of those which I had thought it right to subjoin, showed me how much I had exaggerated the importance of the reproaches which Gibbon really deserved: I was struck with the same errors, the same partiality on certain subjects; but I had been far from doing adequate justice to the immensity of his researches, the variety of his knowledge, and, above all, to that truly philosophical discrimination (justesse d'esprit) which judges the past as it would judge the present; which does not permit itself to be blinded by the clouds which time gathers around the dead, and which prevent us from seeing that under the toga as under the modern dress, in the senate as in our councils, men were what they still are, and that events took place eighteen centuries ago as they take place in our days. I then felt that his book, in spite of its faults, will always be a noble work; and that we may correct his errors, and combat his prejudices, without ceasing to admit that few men have combined, if we are not to say in so high a degree, at least in a manner so complete and so well regulated, the necessary qualifications for a writer of history.’
[Opinion of the Ancient Philosophers on the Immortality of the Soul.]
The writings of Cicero represent in the most lively colours the ignorance, the errors, and the uncertainty of the ancient philosophers with regard to the immortality of the soul. When they are desirous of arming their disciples against the fear of death, they inculcate, as an obvious though melancholy position, that the fatal stroke of our dissolution releases us from the
calamities of life; and that those can no longer suffer
who no longer exist. Yet there were a few sages of Greece and Rome who had conceived a more exalted, and in some respects a juster idea of human nature; though, it must be confessed, that in the sublime, inquiry, their reason had often been guided by their imagination, and that their imagination had been E. by their vanity. When they viewed with complacency the extent of their own mental powers; when they exercised the various faculties of memory, of fancy, and of judgment, in the most profound speculations, or the most important labours; and when they reflected on the desire of fame, which transported them into future ages, far beyond the bounds of death and of the grave; they were unwilling to o themselves with the beasts of the field, or to suppose that a being, for whose dignity they entertained the most sincere admiration, could be limited to a spot of earth, and to a few years of duration. With this favourable prepossession, they summoned to their aid the science, or rather the language, of metaphysics. They soon discovered, that as none of the properties of matter will apply to the operations of the mind, the human soul must consequently be a substance distinct from the body—pure, simple, and spiritual, incapable of dissolution, and susceptible of a much higher degree of virtue and happiness after the release from its corporeal prison. From these specious and noble principles, the philosophers who trod in the footsteps of Plato deduced a very unjustifiable conclusion, since they asserted not only the future immortality, but the past eternity of the human soul, which they were too apt to consider as a portion of the infinite and self-existing spirit, which pervades and sustains the universe. A doctrine thus removed beyond the senses and the experience of mankind might serve to amuse the leisure of a philosophic mind; or, in the silence of solitude, it might sometimes impart a ray of comfort to desponding virtue; but the faint impression which had been received in the school was soon obliterated by the commerce and business of active life. We are sufficiently acquainted with the eminent persons who flourished in the age of Cicero, and of the first Caesars, with their actions, their characters, and their motives, to be assured that their conduct in this life was never regulated by any serious conviction of the rewards or punishments of a future state.” At the bar and in the senate of Rome the ablest orators were not apprehensive of giving offence to their hearers by exposing that doctrine as an idle and extravagant opinion, which was rejected with contempt by every man of a liberal education and understanding.
Since, therefore, the most sublime efforts of philosophy can extend no farther than feebly to point out the desire, the hope, or at most the probability, of a future state, there is nothing except a divine revelation that can ascertain the existence and describe the condition of the invisible country which is destined to receive the souls of men after their separation from the body.
[The City of Bagdad—Magnificence of the Caliphs.]
Almansor, the brother and successor of Saffah, laid the foundations of Bagdad (A.D. 762), the imperial seat of his posterity during a reign of five hundredyears. The chosen spot is on the eastern bank of the Tigris, about fifteen miles above the ruins of Modain: the
* This passage of Gibbon is finely illustrated in Hall's Funeral Sermon for Dr Ryland:—
“If the mere conception of the reunion of good men in a future state infused a momentary rapture into the mind of Tully ; if an airy speculation, for there is reason to fear it had little hold on his convictions, could inspire him with such delight, what may we be expected to feel who are assured of such an event by the true sayings of God! How should we rejoice in the prospect, the certainty rather, of spending a blissful eternity with those whom we loved on earth, of seeing them emerge from the ruins of the tomb, and the deeper ruins of the fall, not only uninjured, but refined and perfected, “with every tear wiped from their eyes,” standing before the throne of God and the Lamb, “in white robes, and palms in their hands, crying with a loud voice, Salvation to God that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever!" What delight will it afford to renew the sweet counsel we have taken together, to recount the toils of combat and the labour of the way, and to approach not the house but the throne of God in company, in order to join in the symphony of heavenly voices, and lose ourselves amidst the splendours and fruitions of the beatific vision."
double wall was of a circular form ; and such was the rapid increase of a capital now dwindled to a provincial town, that the funeral of a popular saint might be attended by eight hundred thousand men and sixty thousand women of Bagdad and the adjacent villages. In this city of peace, amidst the riches of the east, the Abbassides soon disdained the abstinence and frugality of the first caliphs, and aspired to emu- | late the magnificence of the Persian kings. After his wars and buildings, Almansor left behind him in gold and silver about thirty millions sterling; and this treasure was exhausted in a few years by the vices or virtues of his children. His son Mahadi, in a single pilgrimage to Mecca, expended six millions of dinars of gold. A pious and charitable motive may sanctify the foundation of cisterns and caravanseras, which he distributed along a measured road of seven hundred miles; but his train of camels, laden with snow, could serve only to astonish the natives of Arabia, and to refresh the fruits and liquors of the royal banquet. The courtiers would surely praise the liberality of his grandson Almamon, who gave away four-fifths of the income of a province—a sum of two millions
four hundred thousand gold dinars—before he drew
his foot from the stirrup. At the nuptials of the same prince, a thousand pearls of the largest size were showered on the head of the bride, and a lottery of lands and houses displayed the capricious bounty of
fortune. The glories of the court were brightened
rather than impaired in the decline of the empire,
and a Greek ambassador might admire or pity the
magnificence of the feeble Moctader. ‘The caliph's whole army,” says the historian Abulfeda, ‘both horse and foot, was under arms, which together made a body of one hundred and sixty thousand men. His state-officers, the favourite slaves, stood near him in splendid apparel, their belts glittering with gold and gems. Near them were seven thousand eunuchs, four thousand of them white, the remainder black. The porters or doorkeepers were in number seven hundred.
Barges and boats, with the most superb decorations, Nor was the place itself less splendid, in which were hung up thirty-eight thousand pieces of tapestry, twelve thou
were seen swimming upon the Tigris.
sand five hundred of which were of silk embroidered with gold. The carpets on the floor were twenty-two
thousand. A hundred lions were brought out, with
a keeper to each lion. Among the other spectacles of rare and stupendous luxury, was a tree of gold and silver spreading into eighteen large branches, on which, and on the lesser boughs, sat a variety of birds made of the same precious metals, as well as the leaves of the tree. While the machinery affected spontaneous motions, the several birds warbled their
three hundred persons; and he was attended to the field by a guard of twelve thousand horse, whose belts and scimitars were studded with gold. In a private condition, our desires are perpetually repressed by poverty and subordination; but the lives and labours of millions are devoted to the service of a despotic prince, whose laws are blindly obeyed, and whose wishes are instantly gratified. Our imagination is dazzled by the splendid picture; and whatever may be the cool dictates of reason, there are few among us who would obstinately refuse a trial of the comforts and the cares of royalty. It may therefore be of some use to borrow the experience of the same Abdalrahman, whose magnificence has perhaps excited our admiration and envy, and to transcribe an authentic memorial which was found in the closet of the deceased caliph. “I have now reigned above fifty years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honours, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any o blessing appear to have | been wanting to my felicity. In this situation I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: they amount to fourteen. O man place not thy confidence in this present world.”
[Conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, A. D. 1099.]
Jerusalem has derived some reputation from the number and importance of her memorable sieges. It was not till after a long and obstinate contest that Babylon and Rome could prevail against the obsti!, nacy of the people, the craggy ground that might
supersede the necessity of fortifications, and the walls
and towers that would have fortified the most acces
sible plain. These obstacles were diminished in the
age of the crusades. The bulwarks had been completely destroyed and imperfectly restored: the Jews, their nation and worship, were for ever banished; but nature is less changeable than man, and the site of Jerusalem, though somewhat softened and somewhat removed, was still strong against the assaults of an enemy. By the experience of a recent siege, and a three years’ possession, the Saracens of Egypt had been taught to discern, and in some degree to remedy, the defects of a place which religion as well as honour forbade them to resign. Aladin or Iftikhar, the caliph's lieutenant, was intrusted with the defence; | his policy strove to restrain the native Christians by the dread of their own ruin and that of the holy sepulchre; to animate the Moslems by the assurance of temporal and eternal rewards. His garrison is said to have consisted of forty thousand Turks and Arabians; and if he could muster twenty thousand of the inhabitants, it must be confessed that the besieged were more numerous than the besieging army. Had the diminished strength and numbers of the Latins
allowed them to grasp the whole circumference of
four thousand yards (about two English miles and a | half), to what useful purpose should they have de
scended into the valley of Ben Himmon and torrent
of Cedron, or approached the precipices of the south and east, from whence they had nothing either to hope or fear? Their siege was more reasonably directed against the northern and western sides of the city. Godfrey of Bouillon erected his standard
on the first swell of Mount Calvary; to the left, as
far as St Stephen's gate, the line of attack was con| tinued by Tancred and the two Roberts; and Count Raymond established his quarters from the citadel to the foot of Mount Sion, which was no longer included within the precincts of the city. On the fifth day, the crusaders made a general assault, in the fanatic | hope of battering down the walls without engines, and
of scaling them without ladders. By the dint of
brutal force, they burst the first barrier, but they were driven back with shame and slaughter to the camp: the influence of vision and prophecy was deadened by the too frequent abuse of those pious stratagems, and time and labour were found to be the only means of victory. The time of the siege was indeed fulfilled in forty days, but they were forty days of calamity and anguish. A repetition of the old complaint of famine may be imputed in some degree to the voracious or disorderly appetite of the Franks, but the stony soil of Jerusalem is almost destitute of water; the scanty springs and hasty torrents were dry in the summer season; nor was the thirst of the besiegers relieved, as in the city, by the artificial supply of cisterns and aqueducts. The circumjacent country is equally destitute of trees for the uses of shade or building, but some large beams were discovered in a cave by the crusaders: a wood near Sichem, the enchanted grove of Tasso, was cut down: the necessary timber was transported to the camp by the vigour and dexterity of Tancred; and the engines were framed by some Genoese artists, who had fortunately landed in the harbour of Jaffa. Two movable turrets were constructed at the expense and in the stations of the Duke of Lorraine and the Count of Tholouse, and rolled forwards with devout labour, not to the most accessible but to the most neglected parts of the fortification. Raymond's tower was reduced to ashes by the fire of the besieged, but his colleague was more vigilant and successful; the enemies were driven by his archers from the rampart; the drawbridge was let down; and on a Friday, at three in the afternoon, the day and hour of the Passion, Godfrey of Bouillon stood victorious on the walls of Jerusalem. His example was followed on every side by the emulation of valour; and about four hundred and sixty years after the conquest of Omar, the holy city was rescued from the Mohammedan yoke. In the pillage of public and private wealth, the adventurers had agreed to respect the exclusive property of the first occupant; and the spoils of the great mosque—seventy lamps and massy vases of gold and silver—rewarded the diligence and displayed the generosity of Tancred. A bloody sacrifice was offered by his mistaken votaries to the God of the Christians: resistance might provoke, but neither age nor sex could mollify their implacable rage; they indulged themselves three days in a promiscuous massacre, and the infection of the dead bodies produced an epidemical disease. After seventy thousand Moslems had been put to the sword, and the harmless Jews had been burnt in their synagogue, they could still reserve a multitude of captives whom interest or lassitude persuaded them to spare. Of these savage heroes of the cross, Tancred alone betrayed some sentiments of compassion; yet we may praise the more selfish lenity of Raymond, who granted a capitulation and safe conduct to the garrison of the citadel. The holy sepulchre was now free; and the bloody victors prepared to accomplish their vow. Bareheaded and barefoot, with contrite hearts, and in a humble posture, they ascended the hill of Calvary amidst the loud anthems of the clergy; kissed the stone which had covered the Saviour of the world, and bedeved with tears of joy and penitence the monument of their redemption.
[Appearance and Character of Mahomet.]
According to the tradition of his companions, Mahomet was distinguished by the beauty of his person— an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused. Before he spoke, the orator engaged on his side the affections of a public or private audience. They applauded his commanding presence, his majestic aspect, his piercing eye, his gracious smile, his flowing beard, his counte
nance that painted every sensation of the soul, and his gestures that enforced each expression of the tongue. In the familiar offices of life he scrupulously adhered to the grave and ceremonious politeness of his country: his respectful attention to the rich and powerful was dignified by his condescension and affability to the poorest citizens of Mecca; the frankness of his manner concealed the artifice of his views; and the habits of courtesy were imputed to personal friendship or universal benevolence. His memory was capacious and retentive, his wit easy and social, his imagination sublime, his judgment clear, rapid, and decisive. He possessed the courage both of thought and action ; and although his designs might gradually expand with his success, the first idea which he entertained of his divine mission bears the stamp of an original and superior genius. The son of Abdallah was educated in the bosom of the noblest race, in the use of the purest dialect of Arabia; and the fluency of his speech was corrected and enhanced by the practice of discreet and seasonable silence. With these powers of eloquence, Mahomet was an illiterate barbarian ; his youth had never been instructed in the arts of reading and writing; the common ignorance exempted him from shame or reproach, but he was reduced to a narrow circle of existence, and deprived of those faithful mirrors which reflect to our mind the minds of sages and heroes. Yet the book of nature and of man was open to his view; and some fancy has been indulged in the political and philosophical observations which are ascribed to the Arabian traveller. He compares the nations and religions of the earth; discovers the weakness of the Persian and Roman monarchies; beholds with pity and indignation the degeneracy of the times; and resolves to unite, under one God and one king, the invincible spirit and primi|tive virtues of the Arabs. Our more accurate inquiry | will suggest, that instead of visiting the courts, the camps, the temples of the east, the two journeys of Mahomet into Syria were confined to the fairs of Bostra and Damascus; that he was only thirteen years of age when he accompanied the caravan of his uncle, and that his duty compelled him to return as soon as he had disposed of the merchandise of Cadijah. In these hasty and superficial excursions, the eye of genius might discern some objects invisible to his grosser companions; some seeds of knowledge might be cast upon a fruitful soil; but his ignorance of the Syriac language must have checked his curiosity, and I cannot perceive in the life or writings of Mahomet that his prospect was far extended beyond the limits of the Arabian world. From every region of that solitary world the pilgrims of Mecca were annually assembled, by the calls of devotion and commerce: in the free concourse of multitudes, a simple citizen, in his native tongue, might study the political state and character of the tribes, the theory and practice of the Jews and Christians. Some useful strangers might be tempted or forced to implore the rites of hospitality; and the enemies of Mahomet have named the Jew, the Persian, and the Syrian monk, whom they accuse of lending their secret aid to the composition of the Koran. Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius; and the uniformity of a work denotes the hand of a single artist. From his earliest youth Mahomet was addicted to religious contemplation : each year, during the month of Ramadan, he withdrew from the world and from the arms of Cadijah : in the cave of Hera, three miles from Mecca, he consulted the spirit of fraud or enthusiasm, whose abode is not in the heavens but in the mind of the prophet. The faith which, under the name of Islam, he preached to his family and nation, is compounded of an eternal truth and a necessary fiction—that there is only one God, and that Mahomet is the apostle of God.
[Term of the Conquest of Timour, or Tamerlane; his Triumph at Samarcand; his Death on the Road to China (A. D. 1405); Character and Merits of Timour.]
From the Irtish and Volga to the Persian Gulf, and from the Ganges to Damascus and the Archipelago, Asia was in the hand of Timour; his armies were invincible, his ambition was boundless, and his zeal might aspire to conquer and convert the Christian kingdoms of the west, which already trembled at his name. He touched the utmost verge of the land; but an insuperable though narrow sea rolled between | the two continents of Europe and Asia, and the lord of so many tomans, or myriads of horse, was not master of a single galley. The two passages of the Bosphorus and Hellespont, of Constantinople and Gallipoli, were possessed, the one by the Christians, the other by the Turks. On this great occasion they forgot the difference of religion, to act with union and firmness in the common cause: the double straits were guarded with ships and fortifications; and they separately withheld the transports, which Timour demanded of either nation, under the pretence of attacking their enemy. At the same time they soothed his pride with tributary gifts, and suppliant embassies, and prudently tempted him to retreat with the honours of victory. Soliman, the son of Bajazet, implored his clemency for his father and himself; accepted, by a red patent, the investiture of the kingdom of Romania, which he already held by the sword; and reiterated his ardent wish, of casting himself in person at the feet of the king of the world. The Greek emperor (either John or Manuel) submitted to pay the same
tribute which he had stipulated with the Turkish sultan, and ratified the treaty by an oath of allegiance, from which he could absolve his conscience so soon as the Mogul arms had retired from Anatolia. But the fears and fancy of nations ascribed to the ambitious Tamerlane a new design of vast and romantic compass—a design of subduing Egypt and Africa, marching from the Nile to the Atlantic Ocean, entering Europe by the straits of Gibraltar, and, after imposing his yoke on the kingdoms of Christendom, of returning home by the deserts of Russia and Tartary. This remote and perhaps imaginary danger was averted by the submission of the sultan of Egypt; the honours of the prayer and the coin attested at Cairo the supremacy of Timour; and a rare gift of a giraffe, or camelopard, and nine ostriches, represented at Samarcand the tribute of the African world. Our imagination is not less astonished by the portrait of a Mogul who, in his camp before Smyrna, meditates and almost accomplishes the invasion of the Chinese empire. Timour was urged to this enterprise by national honour and religious zeal. The torrents which he had shed of Mussulman blood could be expiated only by an equal destruction of the infidels; and as he now stood at the gates of paradise, he might best secure his glorious entrance by demolishing the idols of China, founding mosques in every city, and establishing the
rofession of faith in one God and his prophet Ma
omet. The recent expulsion of the house of Zingis
was an insult on the Mogul name; and the disorders
of the empire afforded the fairest opportunity for revenge. The illustrious Hongvou, founder of the dynasty of Ming, died four years before the battle of Angora; and his grandson, a weak and unfortunate youth, was burnt in his palace, after a million of Chinese had perished in the civil war. Before he evacuated Anatolia, Timour despatched beyond the Sihoon a numerous army, or rather colony, of his old and new subjects, to open the road, to subdue the pagan Calmucks and Mungals, and to found cities and magazines in the desert; and by the diligence of his lieutenant, he soon received a perfect map and description of the unknown regions, from the source