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altar, the place of honour. Not only were there the twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Martyrs, the four great Doctors of the Latin Church, each in his recognised form, and with his peculiar symbol,—the whole edifice swarmed with Saints within and without, on the walls, on the painted

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windows, over the side altars. For now the mystery was so awful that it might be administered more near to the common eye, upon the altar in every succursal chapel which lined the building : it was secure in its own sanctity. There were the Saints, local, national, or those especially to whom the building was dedicated ; and the celestial hierarchy of the Areopagite, with its ascending orders and conventional forms, the winged seraph, the cherubic face. The whole, in its vastness and intricacy, was to the outward sense and to the imagination what Scholasticism was to the intellect, an enormous effort, a waste and prodigality of power, which


confounded and bewildered rather than enlightened ; at the utmost, awoke vague and indistinct emotion.

But even therein was the secret of the imperishable power of the Gothic cathedrals. Their hieroglyphic language, in its more abstruse terms, became obsolete and unintelligible ; it was a purely hierarchical dialect ; its meaning, confined to

the hierarchy, gradually lost its signification even to theni. But the cathedrals themselves retired as it were into more simple and more commanding majesty, into the solemn grandeur of their general effect. They rested only on the wonderful boldness and unity of their design, the richness of their detail. Content now to appeal to the indelible, inextinguishable kindred and affinity of the human heart to grandeur, grace, and beauty, the countless statues, from objects of adoration, became architectural ornaments. So the mediæval churches survive in their influence on the mind and the soul of man. Their venerable antiquity comes in some sort in aid of their innate religiousness. It is that about them which was temporary and accessory, their hierarchical character, which has chiefly dropped from them and become obsolete. They are now more absolutely and exclusively churches for the worship of God. As the mediæval pageantry has passed away, or shrunk into less imposing forms, the one object of worship, Christ, or God in Christ, has taken more full and absolute possession of the edifice. Where the service is more simple, as in our York, Durham, or Westminster, or even where the old faith prevails, in Cologne, in Antwerp, in Strasburg, in Rheims, in Bourges, in Rouen, it has become more popular, less ecclesiastical : everywhere the priest is now, according to the common sentiment, more the Minister, less the half-divinised Mediator. And thus all that is the higher attribute and essence of Christian architecture retains its nobler, and in the fullest sense, its religious power. The Gothic cathedral can hardly be contemplated without awe, or entered without devotion.



DURING the siege of Constantinople the words of peace and capitulation had been sometimes pronounced ; and several embassies had passed between the camp and the city. The Greek emperor was humbled by adversity, and would have yielded to any terms compatible with religion and royalty. The Turkish Sultan was desirous of sparing the blood of his soldiers ; still more desirous of securing for his own use the Byzantine treasures, and he accomplished a sacred duty in presenting to the Gabours the choice of Islam, of tribute, or of death. The avarice of Mahomet might have been satisfied with an annual sum of one hundred thousand ducats ; but his ambition grasped the capital of the East. To the prince he offered a rich equivalent, to the people a free toleration, or a safe departure ; but after some fruitless treaty, he declared his resolution of finding either a throne or a grave under the walls of Constantinople. A sense of honour, and the fear of universal reproach, forbade Palæologus to resign the city into the hands of the Ottomans; and he determined to abide the last extremities of war.

Several days were employed by the Sultan in the preparations for the assault ; and a respite was granted by his favourite science of astrology, which had fixed on the 29th of May as the fortunate and fatal hour. On the evening of the 27th he issued his final orders ; assembled in his presence the military chiefs ; and dispersed his heralds through the camp to proclaim the duty and the motives of the perilous enterprise. In this holy warfare the Moslems were exhorted to purify their minds with prayer, their bodies with seven ablutions; and to abstain from food till the close of the ensuing day. A crowd of dervishes visited the tents, to instil the desire of martyrdom, and the assurance of spending an immortal youth amidst the rivers and gardens of Paradise. Yet Mahomet principally trusted to the efficacy of temporal and visible rewards. A double pay was promised to the victorious troops. “The city and the buildings,' said Mahomet, "are mine ; but I resign to your valour the captives and the spoil, the treasures of gold and beauty ; be rich and be happy. Many are the provinces of my empire ; the intrepid soldier who first ascends the walls of Constantinople shall be rewarded with the government of the fairest and most wealthy ; and my gratitude shall accumulate his honours and fortunes above the measure of his own hopes.' Such various and potent motives diffused among the Turks a general ardour, regardless of life, and impatient for action; the camp re-echoed with the Moslem shouts of God is God : there is but one God, and Mahomet is the apostle of God ;' and the sea and land, from Galata to the seven towers, were illuminated by the blaze of their nocturnal fires.

Far different was the state of the Christians; who, with loud and impotent complaints, deplored the guilt, or the punishment of their sins. The celestial image of the Virgin had been exposed in solemn procession ; but their divine patroness was deaf to their entreaties.

They accused the obstinacy of the emperor for refusing a timely surrender ; anticipated the horrors of their fate ; and sighed for the repose and security of Turkish servitude. The noblest of the Greeks, and the bravest of the allies, were summoned to the palace, to prepare them, on the evening of the 28th, for the duties and dangers of the general assault. The last speech of Palæologus was the funeral oration of the Roman Empire ; he promised, he conjured, and he vainly attempted to infuse the hope which was extinguished in his own mind. In this world all was comfortless and gloomy; and neither the Gospel nor the Church have proposed any conspicuous recompense to the heroes who fall in the service of their country. But the example of their prince, and the confinement of a siege, had armed these warriors with the courage of despair; and the pathetic scene is described by the feelings of the historian Phranza, who was himself present at this

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