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eleven have been burnt or taken; we have lost four or five hundred men, at least, and among them poor Contari, -and now we have absolutely nothing to oppose longer against the Turks." "But yet,

"It is sad, very very sad," said Theodora. we may have a better defence than our ships. Tell me, though, the Exarch Choniates; is he safe ?"

"Slightly wounded: a mere scratch,-and the brave old man thinks nothing of it."

"Euphrasia was in dreadful terror about him. She has not been so much used as I have to know that those I loved were in battle. But I have that to tell you that will please you much. The Lord Chrysolaras is certainly much better. I saw him qufte late last night. Theophrastus said that it would do him no harm; and you, I knew, would be glad I should."

"Most glad, my own love. That is indeed joyful news. I wish you could have seen the Emperor to-night, when he received the tidings of our failure. Great he has ever been: never so truly great as then; praising the courage and zeal of the men as much as if they had returned from a victory; telling them that he was satisfied that what could be done by human power, had been done by them,that he and they were in God's Hands,—that if He so pleased, He could interfere, even without a miracle, for their preservation,—that He might, perhaps, let the city be reduced so far, to the end He might at last stretch forth the Right Hand of His protection the more gloriously." "But we

"Oh that it might be so!" cried Theodora. will trust in Him still!"


"If we no more meet, till we meet in Heav'n,
Then joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford,

My dear Lord Glo'ster, and my good Lord Exeter,
And my kind kinsman,-warriors all,—adieu !"

Henry V.

EARLY on the following morning, De Rushton received an urgent summons from Constantine Palæologus. Bidding a hasty farewell to Theodora, he repaired to the Emperor's apartments, and there found him in a state of agitation in which he had never before known him.

"for a

"Here is a message, De Rushton," cried he, Christian monarch to receive! Here is a hard strait, if ever one was! Can you guess the terms the Sultan sends me here ?"

"I pray your Majesty to tell me," said the Great Acolyth.

"Here he sends me certain conditions," replied the Emperor, "with which I am to comply, under penalty of seeing all the prisoners made in the last night's attempt beheaded before the very walls of the city."

"GOD forbid, my liege! What are the terms ?"

"An absolute surrender of the city, with a reservation to myself of the Principality of Chios, or Lesbos, or some other of the Ionian isles; with a choice to the people generally of removal from Constantinople, with perfect safety of goods, persons, and lives,-circumcision, or tribute."

"Surely your Majesty cannot doubt," replied De Rushton, "what answer ought to be returned to such unheard-of insolence!"

"I do not, my lord. My only difficulty is this: will you, or will any one else honestly tell me that it is probable we can hold out the city a fortnight longer? To what purpose, then, resistance? Here we have the option of quite as favourable terms as we can possibly expect, or the bare chance of defending the city successfully, coupled with the certain destruction of at least forty youths, of the best families of Constantinople, in the prime of life."

"You are to remember, my liege, that the question, taking the darkest view of the case, is this,-how the Great Empire, with its existence of more than two thousand years, shall end most gloriously. All other considerations give way to that. Never let it be said that the last Cæsar was terrified into abdicating his crown and surrendering his capital. My liege, for the fate of those brave men, I feel it as deeply as any man can do: but, so help me GoD, if I, or any dear to me, were in their place, I would give the same counsel that I now give. Consider this, too: What guarantee have we that Mahomet will keep his terms! If he wishes to violate them, nothing so easy as to find a pretext. A suspected conspiracy-a pretended outbreak-and the soldiery are let loose among the conquered. Turkish perfidy is no new thing."

"I feel what you say," answered Constantine, "but I will offer all the terms that honour will allow. My proposal will be this,—and Phranza thinks that it may well be made that the city shall pay an annual tribute of a hundred thousand gold ducats, on condition of Mahomet's instantly raising the siege; that the extent of the Empire shall be a circle of ten miles from S. Sophia, with such of the Greek islands as still remain to us; and that Mahomet swears on the Koran faithfully to observe these

terms. But if he is not satisfied with this, then my resolution is fixed,-to find a grave within the walls, if I cannot deliver them. And if he lays hands on any one of his captives, I am resolved-and GOD so help me as I keep my resolution-to put to death the next hour every single Turk now a prisoner in the city: and, as I hear, there are two hundred and sixty of them. Now, Lord Acolyth, will you take a flag of truce, and propose these terms ?"

"Instantly, my liege."

"Remember," said Constantine, "they are strictly secret. Except yourself and Phranza, no one is acquainted with them: for I would not consult the Great Logothete, because his son is a prisoner."

"I will take care, my liege."

Accompanied, then, by Burstow, and one or two other attendants, Sir Edward De Rushton left the city together with the Sultan's messenger, and in twenty minutes was ushered into Mahomet's tent.

"I am come, Lord Sultan," said he, after the usual salutations, "with the Cæsar's definitive answer to your Highness's proposals. If our terms be not accepted, the negociation absolutely ends on our side."

"It is well," replied Mahomet.

"On the contrary, my lord Sultan, it may not be well. An experienced general like your Highness,-and how experienced that is, the events of the last few days have taught us,"-Mahomet looked pleased-"must know that the city, if taken at all, cannot be taken without great expenditure of ammunition and treasure, and at a loss of human life that it is fearful to think of."

"You say truly," replied the Sultan; "all this we have well considered, else should we never have stooped to make proposals at all for a place that absolutely lies in our power."

"On that point we will not dispute," said De Rushton : "the event of war is ever uncertain; an European fleet might even now enter the Sea of Marmora,"-Mahomet glanced over its blue waters rather restlessly, and De Rushton saw that he had touched the right chord—“ for we have absolute promises of succour from Genoa, from Florence, from Spain, from France, from England; this I pledge my word as a knight and Christian to be true.” "You speak of Constantine's answer," said the Sultan: "let me hear what it is."

"It is this, my lord: he will not surrender the city. He will have a throne within, or a grave under, its walls. But he offers your Highness an annual tribute of one hundred thousand ducats on condition of your raising the siege."

“Then, by the thirty-seven thousand Prophets," cried Mahomet, “you may return as you came. Take him my defiance. Two hours I will wait for his reply: if none comes, in the very sight of your walls I will behead every one of my prisoners, by the ruins of S. Nicetas' Tower."

"And be well assured," said De Rushton, rising, "that the next hour the Cæsar will do as much for his, who outnumber yours six to one."

"He dares not," said the Sultan. "Your Highness will see. Before I take my departure, might I crave leave to speak to the Christian prisoners whom you have that I may bid them prepare for death ?"

The Sultan paused.—“No,” replied he at length; “not with all: but if there be any one or two whom you would wish to see, you shall have licence so to do.".

“Then I would name, my lord, Sir Etienne d'Angouleme, and the Lord Gabriel Notaras."

"You hear," said Mahomet to the Interpreter, who stood by, more for the sake of etiquette than anything

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