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days that were passed. But dissensions at home during the first half of the fourteenth century, and the general conviction of hopelessness which had seized the public mind respecting all armaments against the Moslems, occasioned the failure of every attempt to unite once more the powers of Christendom in the common cause.
In the following century, the ascendency of the Turks, not only in the East, but on the banks of the Danube and the northern shores of the Mediterranean, compelled the people of Europe to act on the defensive. The fall of the Grecian empire, too, rendered the intercourse with Syria at once more difficult and dangerous. Egypt in like manner was shut against the Christians, being subjected to the same yoke which pressed so heavily on the western parts of Asia. Hence, during more than two centuries a cloud hung over the affairs of Palestine, which we in vain attempt to penetrate. Suffice it to remark, that it remained subject to the Mamlouk sultans of Egypt till the year 1382, when they were dispossessed by a body of Circassians, who invaded and overran the country. Upon the expulsion of these barbarians, it acknowledged again the govern. ment of Cairo, under which it continued until the period of the more formidable irruption of the Mogul Tartars, led by the celebrated Tamerlane. At his death the Holy Land was once more annexed to Egypt as a province; but in 1516, Selim the Ninth, emperor of the Othman Turks, carried his victorious arms from the Euphrates to the Libyan Desert, involving in one general conquest all the intervening states. More than three hundred years have that people exercised a dominion over the land of
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Judea, varied only by intervals of rebellion on the part of governors who wished to assert their independence, or by wars among the different pashas, who, in defiance of the supreme authority, have from time to time quarrelled about its spoils.
From the period at which the Crusaders were expelled from Syria down to the middle of the last century, we are chiefly indebted for our knowledge of the Holy Land to the pilgrims whom religious motives induced to brave all the perils and extortions to which Franks were exposed under the Turkish government. The faith of the Christians survived their arms at Jerusalem, and was found within the sacred walls long after every European soldier had disappeared. The Jacobite, Armenian, and Abyssinian believers, were allowed to cling to those memorials of redemption which have at all times given so great an interest to the localities of Palestine; and occasionally a member of the Latin Church had the good fortune to enter the gates of the city in disguise, and was permitted to offer up his prayers at the side of the Holy Sepulchre. In 1432, when La Broquiere undertook his pilgrimage into the East, there were only two French monks in Jerusalem, who were held in the most cruel thraldom.
The increasing intercourse between the Turks at Constantinople and the governments of Europe, gradually produced a more tolerant spirit among the former, and paved the way for a lasting accommodation in favour of the Christians in Palestine, We find, accordingly, that in the year 1507, when Baumgarten travelled in Syria, there was at Jerusalem a monastery of Franciscans, who possessed
influence sufficient to secure his personal safety, and even to provide for his comfort under their own roof. At a somewhat later period, the Moslem rulers began to consider the reception of pilgrims as a regular source of revenue; selling their protection at a high price, and even creating dangers in order to render that protection indispensable. The Christians, meantime, rose by degrees from the state of depression and contumely into which they were sunk by the conquerors of the Grecian empire. They were allowed to nominate patriarchs for the due administration of ecclesiastical affairs, and to practise all the rites of their religion, provided they did not insult the established faith,-a condition of things which, with such changes as have been occasioned by foreign war or the temper of indivi. dual governors, has been perpetuated to the present day.
As the civil history of Palestine for three centu: ries is nothing more than a relation of the broils, the insurrections, the massacres, and changes of dynasty, which have periodically shaken the Turkish empire in Europe as well as in Asia, we willingly pass over it, as we thereby only refrain from a mere recapitulation of names and dates which could not have the slightest interest for any class of readers. At the close of the eighteenth century, however, its affairs assumed a new importance. Napoleon Bonaparte, whose views of dominion were limited only by the bounds of the civilized world, imagined that, by the conquest of Egypt and Syria, he should open up for himself a path into the remoter provinces of the Asiatic continent, and perhaps establish his power on either bank of the Ganges.
It was in the spring of 1799 that the French general, who had been informed of certain preparations against him in the pashalic of Acre, resolved to cross the desert which divides Egypt from Palestine at the head of ten thousand chosen men. El Arish soon fell into his hands, the garrison of which were permitted to retire on condition that they should not serve again during the war. Gaza likewise yielded without much opposition to the overwhelming force by which it was attacked. Jaffa set the first example of a vigorous resistance; the slaughter was tremendous; and Bonaparte, to intimidate other towns from showing a similar spirit, gave it up to plunder and the other excesses of an enraged soldiery. A more melancholy scene follow. ed,—the massacre of nearly four thousand prisoners who had laid down their arms. Napoleon alleged, that these were the very individuals who had given their parole at El Arish, and had violated their faith by appearing against him in the fortress which had just fallen. On this pretext he commanded them all to be put to death, and thereby, brought a stain upon his reputation, which no casuistry on the part of his admirers, and no considerations of expediency, military or political, will ever succeed in removing. *
* The motives for the massacre of Jaffa are given by Bourienne in so impartial a manner, that we are inclined to believe he has given a true transcript of his master's mind. « Bonaparte sent his aides-de-camp, Beauharnois and Croisier, to appease as far as possible the fury of the soldiery, to examine what passed, and to report. They learned that a numerous detachment of the ga had retired into a strong position, where large buildings surrounded a court-yard. This court they entered, displaying the scarfs which marked their rank. The Albanians and Arnauts, composing nearly the entire of these refugees, cried out from the windows that they wished to surrender, on condition their lives were spared ; if not,
Acre, so frequently mentioned in the History of the Crusades, was again doomed to receive a fatal celebrity from a most sanguinary and protracted siege. Achmet Djezzar, the pasha of that division of Palestine which stretches from the borders of Egypt to the Gulf of Sidon, had thrown himself into this fortress with a considerable army, determined to defend it to the last extremity. After failing in an attempt to bribe the Mussulman chief, Bona. parte made preparations for the attack, with his usual skill and activity ; resolving to carry the place by assault before the Turkish government could send certain supplies of food and ammunition, which
threatening to fire upon the officers, and to defend themselves to the last extremity. The young men conceived they ought, and had power, to accede to the demand, in opposition to the sentence of death pronounced against the garrison of every place taken by assault. I was walking with General Bonaparte before his tent when these prisoners, in two columns, amounting to about four thousand men, were marched into the camp. When he beheld the mass of
nen arrive, and before seeing the aides-de-camp, he turned to me with an expression of consternation, "What would they have me to do with these ? Have I provisions to feed them; ships to transport them either to Egypt or France? How the devil could they play me this trick! The two aides-de-camp, on their arrival and explanations, received the strongest reprimands. To their defence, namely, that they were alone amid numerous enemies, and th had recommended to them to appease the slaughter, he replied in the sternest tone, “Yes, without doubt, the slaughter of women, children, old men, the peaceable inhabitants, but not of armed sols diers: you ought to have braved death, and not brought these to me. What would you have me do with them ?-But the evil was done. Four thousand men were there their fate must be de termined. The prisoners were made to sit down, huddled together before the tents, their hands being bound behind them. A gloomy rage was depicted in every lineament. A council was held in the general's tent," &c.
On the third day an order was issued that the prisoners should be shot an order which was literally executed on four thousand men. “ The atrocious crime,” says M. Bourienne, “ makes me yet shudder when I think of it, as when it passed before me. All that can be imagined of fearful on this day of blood would fall short of the reality!”-Memoirs, vol. i. p. 156.