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TOE omale had been reduced fifty years before the establishment of TO E mism on the ruins of that most contemptible of Christian Seb: rhes, is recorded by an eye-witness, who, as he cordially Tu tie roved of every thing he saw, cannot be suspected of any inTot L tion to caricature the picture. In October 1403, the ambas

It depelHors sent by Henrique III. of Castille to Tamerlane arrived Ton I : Constantinople, and continued there for some time, occupied

** LE tewing every thing remarkable. They were attended through tight 1": city by a son-in-law of the Emperor Manuel II. The account strom what they saw occupies a considerable part of the artless and restaureresting narrative of the whole journey to Samarcand, still Tags free - vserved, in antiquated Spanish, as it was written by Ruy

She-enzalez de Clavijo, the only one of the three ambassadors who alia ed to return to his native country.* Now, all that was consi10: "ed worthy of the attention of the distinguished strangers was

relics which were preserved in the innumerable monasteries of city. It would be trifling away the reader's time and our own, Te attempted any thing like an enumeration of the more than ildish absurdities implied in the very names of the pretended

ics. But we must remark, that whilst the persons of rank lo attended the ambassadors proved themselves most loqua

us Ciceroni in describing the images, relics, and their annuily-returning miracles, they could give no better account of the

lippodrome, than that it had been a place for tournaments, where ancient knights had shown their prowess; and of the celeurated Delphic tripod, of which the history is so ably traced OV Gibbon (ch. xvii, note 48), than that the three serpents which had supported it had been set up by a great magician

* Gibbon, one would think, was not acquainted with this interesting historical dorument, by means of which he might have corrected a few mistakes in his life of Tamerlane. That extraordinary man's death is divested, in Clavijo's narrative, of all the Oriental pomp which Gibbon evidently was delighted to copy from Petit de la Croix's Translation of Shereffeddin. It is true, that in the note 59 to chapter Ixv, Gibbon refers to a Spanish ambassador, and quotes a French translation mentioned under the title Vie de Timour. It happens, however, that Garcia de Silva, another Spanish ambassador to Abu Shabas of Persia, in 1618, wrote a life of Tamerlane, which forms a kind of episode in his Commentaries of the Embassy. We have not seen the French translation referred to; but the passage to which Gibbon alludes is found page 226, beginning at line 35 of Llaguno's edition of Garcia de Silva's Life of Tamerlane. Clavijo's account of his Embassy, which, strangely enough, was published with the same title of The Life of Tamerlane, is full of very interesting and amusing matter. Clavijo describes the giraffe, or cameleopard, sent to Tamerlane by the Sultan of Egypt, which, with nine ostriches (the Spaniard reckons only six), are said, 'in Gibbon's language, to have “ represented at Samarcand the tribute of the African world.” The more plain-spoken Clavijo tells us that he met a strange animal called Jornufa; gives the dimensions of the different parts of the body with the greatest accuracy, and paints the motions of the animal with equal simplicity and vividness,

Schlosser himself, for he alone can have measured the extent and nature of his early delusion; but, however that may be, Germany and the rest of Europe, in proportion as it may become acquainted with Schlosser's works, may well congratulate themselves that the spiritual vampire which, more than any other, “ fans and soothes the wound” through which it is able to suck the life-blood of the most valuable minds, was scared away in time to leave the gigantic powers of Schlosser unimpaired.

The results of Schlosser's historical studies must have begun to appear before the year 1812, the earliest date of his works here mentioned; for it is the established custom in Germany that every young man whose talents and acquired knowledge give him a fair prospect of being advanced to the honourable, and every way desirable, rank of a public teacher in one of the leading Universities, must make himself known to the country by means of some important work, produced on the occasion of his taking the licentiate's or doctor's degree; but we are not acquainted with any writing of Schlosser anterior to his History of the Iconoclast Emperors. Of that work it must be said, that it cannot fail to obtain a high degree of approbation from every qualified and unprejudiced judge. Combining, as it does, the double character of a political and ecclesiastical history, the author did not neglect the opportunity of displaying the great justness and comprehensiveness of his mind, in drawing the difficult and very peculiar picture of a naturally powerful and highly-favoured nation, visibly, though lingeringly, perishing by the poison of a peculiar superstition, which, under the assumed name of Christianity, the founder of the eastern capital of the Roman empire had inseparably connected with the throne.

The clergy of the Greek empire, especially its army of monks, was its ruin, although (and this is a remarkable circumstance) no church, among the very few which have completely acknowledged the supremacy of the State, was ever more under the authority or rather caprice of the Government. That church nevertheless grew into an ungovernable power, in spite of the theological taste of many of the emperors, which, by mixing them personally with the strange controversies which bewildered the nation, and thus identifying them with one party of the priests, would, in a certain degree, secure to them ecclesiastical support.

One of the least satisfactory portions of Gibbon's “Decline and Fall” is that which relates to the Greek empire. The Byzantine writers are indeed too much for the patience of any but a German investigator of historical facts; and our certainly great historian had not a few grains of the fine gentleman's fop

pery of his day; too many indeed to allow him to go heartily through that drudgery. It would seem as if he had employed his choicest “holiday and lady terms” to impress the reader with the notions of difficulty and unimportance in regard to the subject. * In the whole of Gibbon's work—the great merit of which depends chiefly on its admirable general plan, and the execution of some favourite subjects, but from which he who comes unprepared by previous historical knowledge can derive but slight instruction—the account of the eastern empire is the part from which the reader is likely to rise with the scantiest recollection of definite facts, and the strongest sense of annoyance, from the author's affected phraseology.

Schlosser's History of the Iconoclast Emperors may be placed in full contrast with Gibbon's. His style is straightforward and plain. Of the characters of the emperors whom the latter passes in review, it is hardly possible to form a distinct idea : the moral pictures drawn by the former have the most marked and individual features. We would refer the comparatively few who at present can read German among us, to the accounts given of the Greek Church's favourite saint, the Empress Irene; of Leo the Armenian,-especially of his death, which, in its simple narrative, presents the plan of an interesting tragedy, fit for the stage; of Leo's rival and successor, Michael the Stammerer, and his attempts to improve education, and establish toleration. A greater number of passages, especially out of the portraits of the leading bishops and abbots, would be pointed out, if the work recommended were more accessible: but on the state of things which generally forbids that access, it is intended to dweli hereafter.

The great moral fact which rises in bold relief from the plain and, for that purpose, unsolicited narrative of Schlosser, is the total inutility of a great church establishment for the improvement and instruction of a people. We say inutility, in order to avoid all appearance of exaggeration in the results of the facts before us; for they cannot but prove to any attentive and unprejudiced observer, that the tendency of wealthy and numerous priesthoods connected with the State, even when their members live in a way which in most Christian countries, as they are, would be called exemplary, is to increase the ignorance and degrade the mental faculties of a nationt.

rative,rmenian, urch's favon among the compost mar

* See the beginning of chap. xlviii.

“Quand je pense à l'ignorance profonde dans laquelle le clergé grec plongea les laïques, je ne puis m'empêcher de le comparer à ces Scythes dont parle Hérodote, qui crevoient les yeux à leurs esclaves, afin que rien ne pût les distraire et les empêcher de battre leur lait.”—Montesquieu, Grand, et Décad., c. xxii, It is, however, quite necessary to observe that the word tendency does not involve individuals in the charge ; and that when circumstances (as we are ready to admit in regard to this country) frequently oppose that tendency, the influence of clergymen, without exclusion of sect or denomination, is, in a multitude of cases, most usefully applied ; but this is so only in proportion as they are free from the hierarchical, the church spirit, which never was, and never can, as such, be serviceable to the cause of mankind.---See, for many valuable exemplifications and illustrations of this truth, the work of Benjamin Constant, De la Religion considérée dans sa source, ses formes et ses dévéloppements.

A sufficient number of facts may be collected, even out of Gibbon's delicate hints and metaphors, to establish the conviction that a more mean, slavish, cruel, and immoral people than the generality of those who polluted the name of Romans under the Byzantine emperors, never occupied an equal portion of the inhabitable globe. We do not exclude from this judgment any portion of the people whatever; for it is grounded on transactions to which there is not the least trace of resistance from the public opinion, in cases where the high as well as the low must have been approving parties. We need only refer for proof to the frequent punishments of mutilation inflicted on deposed emperors, generals, and their families; to the application of the cane, without any exclusion of rank, or the least effect in degrading the person so treated in the eyes of the Court or the people. What nation, if not barbarized by superstition at the hands of a powerful priesthood, could behold a human being delivered to be dissected by the surgeons, alive, because he had embraced the religion and joined the army of the Bulgarians ? * Neither this nor the following horrible deed are (unless memory deceives us) recorded by Gibbon, though they are more important to the student of history than many a celebrated siege and battle :-As the funeral of Eudocia, the first wife of Heraclius, was passing along, a foreign female slave, who was looking out in one of the higher stories of a house, most probably from unconquerable habit, happened to spit, and the saliva was carried by the wind upon the coffin. The miserable creature was instantly condemned by the leaders of the funeral to be burnt alive, and her mistress was actively sought for the same purpose. The latter was fortunate enough to escape, probably by the connivance of her own countrymen; but not so the unhappy stranger. The sentence was executed upon the slave, in the eyes of the clergy and people of Constantinople. Some of the principal ecclesiastics, who from the nature of the ceremony could not but have been present, must have suggested, or at all events countenanced, that act of refined barbarity.

The state of abject superstition to which the people of Constantinople had been reduced fifty years before the establishment of Islamism on the ruins of that most contemptible of Christian churches, is recorded by an eye-witness, who, as he cordially approved of every thing he saw, cannot be suspected of any intention to caricature the picture. In October 1403, the ambassadors sent by Henrique III. of Castille to Tamerlane arrived at Constantinople, and continued there for some time, occupied in viewing every thing remarkable. They were attended through the city by a son-in-law of the Emperor Manuel II. The account of what they saw occupies a considerable part of the artless and interesting narrative of the whole journey to Samarcand, still preserved, in antiquated Spanish, as it was written by Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, the only one of the three ambassadors who lived to return to his native country.* Now, all that was considered worthy of the attention of the distinguished strangers was the relics which were preserved in the innumerable monasteries of the city. It would be trifling away the reader's time and our own, if we attempted any thing like an enumeration of the more than childish absurdities implied in the very names of the pretended relics. But we must remark, that whilst the persons of rank who attended the ambassadors proved themselves most loquacious Ciceroni in describing the images, relics, and their annually-returning miracles, they could give no better account of the Hippodrome, than that it had been a place for tournaments, where ancient knights had shown their prowess; and of the celebrated Delphic tripod, of which the history is so ably traced by Gibbon (ch. xvii, note 48), than that the three serpents which had supported it had been set up by a great magician

* Schlosser's Geschichte, p. 227, note.

* Gibbon, one would think, was not acquainted with this interesting historical document, by means of which he might have corrected a few mistakes in his life of Tamerlane. That extraordinary man's death is divested, in Clavijo's narrative, of all the Oriental pomp which Gibbon evidently was delighted to copy from Petit de la Croix's Translation of Shereffeddin. It is true, that in the note 59 to chapter Ixv, Gibbon refers to a Spanish ambassador, and quotes a French translation mentioned under the title Vie de Timour. It happens, however, that Garcia de Silva, another Spanish ambassador to Abu Shabas of Persia, in 1618, wrote a life of Tamerlane, which forms a kind of episode in his Commentaries of the Embassy. We have not seen the French translation referred to; but the passage to which Gibbon alludes is found page 226, beginning at line 35 of Llaguno's edition of Garcia de Silva's Life of Tamerlane. Clavijo's account of his Embassy, which, strangely enough, was published with the same title of The Life of Tamerlane, is full of very interesting and amusing matter. Clavijo describes the giraffe, or cameleopard, sent to Tamerlane by the Sultan of Egypt, which, with nine ostriches (the Spaniard reckons only six), are said, in Gibbon's language, to have “ represented at Samarcand the tribute of the African world.” The more plain-spoken Clavijo tells us that he met a strange animal called Jornufa; gives the dimensions of the different parts of the body with the greatest accuracy, and paints the motions of the animal with equal simplicity and vividness.

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