The Twenty Years Siege of Candia
By Edward Taylor Fletcher
[Originally published by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec in Transactions, Original Series, Vol. 4, No. 2 (1855)]
[Read before the Society, 19th January, 1853.]
IN the middle of the seventeenth century, the glory of I the Most Serene Republic of Venice was already on the wane. Cyprus was lost. The islands of the archipelago were under Moslem sway. The Turks were established in the Morea. Of the three subject kingdoms, whose flags were wont of old to wave in the great square of St. Mark, - Candia alone remained uninvaded. The commerce of I Europe was forsaking its former channels. The state offices of the Republic were fast becoming venal. And weakened I by the terrible struggle that followed the league of Cam-I brai, the government, since the period of that formidable I coalition, had appeared solicitous, in its relations with the other Christian powers, to confine itself solely to a cautious and defensive policy.
Nor were the Venetians less anxious, though two wars had since intervened, to avoid unnecessary collision with the sublime porte. When, in 1638, the proveditor Marino Capello attacked a piratical fleet lying in the Turkish port of Vallona, and fired upon the town itself, they entered into all reasonable explanations, and even paid a large sum of money to soothe the awakened wrath of the Moslems. And although the exploit of Capello was lauded by all Christendom, by none more than by the Venetians themselves, yet, to save appearances, no farther public rejoicing were allowed than a solemn thanksgiving and f celebration of high mass. They constantly maintained s bailo, or consul, at Stamboul, who was not unfrequently sufjected to indignities repugnant to the law of nations. Even; during the hostilities consequent on the invasion of Candify an agent with a semi-official character was always keptl at the Turkish capital, to receive the propositions of the; sultan. Without doubt, a conviction of the loss and annoyance, which the Turks had it in their power to inflict on their Mediterranean commerce, weighed heavily in inclining them to preserve amicable relations with the Ottoman porte.
But the Turkish Government had, for many years, cast a longing eye on the magnificent island of Candia. They could not forget that in the morning of Mohammedan; greatness the Crescent had once waved where the Lion of | St. Mark now held sway. They knew the productiveness: of the island, its richness in vines, olives, and fruits of 1 every kind, its strength in fortified places, its fine harbours, and the abundant population of its plains and vallies. It stood, too, in the very gateway of the Egean, in the track of their sea-trade with the mouth of the Nile. It seemed the natural birth-right of the Moslem, surrounded by Moslem shores, and whose very metropolis was the work of Saracen hands. The fervor of religious fanaticism was roused by the prospect of a holy war: the very difficulty of the enterprise increased the intensity of desire: and hope was strong among true believers that Candia would share the fate of Cyprus, and the last of the three kingdoms be torn from the grasp of their powerful commercial neighbours.
The ferocious Ibrahim, dragged almost by force from a prison to a throne, was at that time sultan. He seems to have labored under a moral as well as intellectual insanity. “Stolid,” says the historian Nani, "without intelligence, furious without an interval, with such a mixture of cruelty "and of fear, of prodigality and avarice that he appeared to "his own people a compound of opposite opinions, habits “and vices." Mehmet, formerly pacha of Damascus, was his vizier, a man chiefly notable for his intense hatred of '.the Franks. With such inflammable materials it needed but a spark to light the flames of war. And this was not long wanting.
In the autumn of the year 1644, a squadron of six Maltese gallies, under the command of Gabriel des Chambres Boisdanbran, was cruising in the Levant, on the look out for the rich caravan which at this season left Constantinople | for Cairo. On the morning of the 29th September the Turkish squadron hove in sight, consisting of two large galleons and a convoy of seven saicks. Boisdanbran having divided his squadron, and three gallies attacking each of the galleons, the smaller one after a sharp struggle was speedily taken and foundered soon afterwards. But the other, mounting sixty guns, and having six hundred men on board, made a long and determined resistance: the knights S endeavoring in vain to scale the lofty sides, while the Turks 1 from above showered down every species of shot and missile, putting to the sword the few who where able to achieve the perilous ascent. Boisdanbran himself, with upwards of a hundred men, was struck down: eight hours were consumed in this murderous conflict: until at length the constancy of the assailed, disordered by the cries of the women and lamentations of the faint-hearted, gave way before the united efforts of the six gallies, and the Maltese, elate with their rich prize, allowed the smaller craft to make their escape. An immense treasure rewarded the captors, and among the prisoners was one of Ibrahim's sultanas, with her son, a boy of four years, who subsequently became a Dominican friar. The victors taking their prize; in tow, bore away for the southern coast of Candia: and at Cala Limeones, an undefended port, they took in water; and disembarked fifty Greeks liberated from Turkish servitude. Coasting along Sfaccia they would have anchored at Castel Selino, but were prevented by the Venetian commandant. At Cerigo, from similar prudential motives, the proveditor of the Republic also declined to permit them to anchor: whereupon, the wind being unfavourable, they anchored in the cove of San Nicolo, and then in some solitary bays of Cephalonia. At length the wind shifting fair they set sail for Malta, and having cast off the prize, which had become unmanageable, they finally entered that port in the beginning of November, amid the plaudits of assembled thousands. "Vittoria," remarks Brusoni, "veramente funesta : perché. . . tiro sovra la Christianità quella crudel gueyra che con tanto sangue di tutte la più chiare Nazioni d'Europa l'ha spogliata del più forte antemurale nell Oriente contra le impressioni barbariche."
Venice was in a fever of apprehension. Participation in these proceedings was hastily disavowed. Letters inviting support and sympathy were despatched to the neighboring Christian powers. The Republic, with its spies everywhere, was but too well aware of the temper and inclination of the Porte. Ibrahim, on the other hand, fell into a transport of fury on receiving the news, exclaiming that the Maltese had robbed him of his slaves and merchandise, and that the Candiotes, by suffering them to anchor and land, had become accessory to the stain on his honor and reputation. Yet, after the first burst of anger, he professed, with profound dissimulation, and as if to lull the Republic into a fatal security, to be satisfied with the explanations of the Venetian Bailo. But, vast levies were raised throughout the empire: gallies were built; the fleet placed in an efficient state; and their barbarian allies invited to co-operate. The Republic, undeceived by the assurance that these preparations were directed against the knights of Malta, silently made its own dispositions, and awaited with anxiety, yet with no unmanly trepidation, the striking of the first blow.
They had not long to wait. Great was the alarm of the Candiote peasantry, when, on the 24th June, 1645, the approach of a Turkish fleet was signalized from Cape Spada, the north-west extremity of the island; and an armada of three hundred and sixty-eight gallies, with sails set, banners flying, and the clang of innumerable martial instruments, was seen approaching in the form of an immense half-moon. A landing was effected at Gogna, in the bight of the bay, between the Cape and Canea. Fifty thousand men were disembarked, with repeated salvoes of artillery. The fields, at the time, were full of grain and fruits, and the hamlets of people. In a moment, all was changed. The blessings of autumnal abundance were succeeded by terror and despair. "Some," in the words of the Venetian chronicler, "seized their effects in haste, others left them; "mothers, with their children, either followed weeping the "steps of their husbands, or hung upon them with unappeasable lamentations." The greater part fled to the mountains; some few reached Canea. The island castle of St. Theodore, a dismantled fortress, garrisoned by only sixty-five men, was next attempted to be carried by assault; but the brave commander, Biagio Giuliani, unable to resist the advancing deluge, fired the magazine, and blew up himself and his assailants together. The ruins stand there to this day. The tide of invasion continuing to roll eastward, Canea, the second fortified place in the kingdom, was immediately invested, and capitulated after a siege of fifty-seven days, thus giving the Turks a firm footing in the island. Rettimo was taken in November of the following year. The year 1647 was chiefly spent in ravaging the open country; and on the first day of May 1648, the first breaching battery opened its fire upon Candia, the metropolis, from a small eminence known as Santa Lucia, a short distance to the eastward of the town and by the sea side. From this battery, the lines of the besiegers were then extended, through a valley, to the front of Fort San Demetri, thence by a water-course towards the Church of Madonna de Diavatigi, where a strong corps-de-garde was posted, protected, by the lowness of the ground, from the fire of the town. Thence was thrown up a covered way connected with a redoubt, for the protection of those who worked at the approaches. And on the following day, though under a heavy fire from the besieged, another similar redoubt was formed, in front of the demi-lune of Santa Maria, and a line of communication then thrown up, with wonderful celerity, between the redoubts, during the night, so that the besiegers could now pass, without being exposed, from any part of their line to another. In fact, the engineering talent displayed by the Turks throughout this siege seemed even superior to that of the Venetians and their allies and taxed to the uttermost the skill and resources of the besieged. Voltaire has remarked this superiority, and has noted their adoption, for the first time, of parallel lines in their trenches: a usage since borrowed from them by the French, but which the Turks themselves are said to have taken from an Italian engineer.
A singular incident is recorded by Nani to have occurred shortly before the formation of the siege. The Pacha Hussein fell sick while observing the town from the hills of Ambrusta. His illness increasing, he requested the Captain General Moncenigo, at that time within the walls, to send him his own physician, the celebrated Circoletto. The noble confidence of the Turk was met in a kindred spirit by the brave Venetian. The physician was sent, the Pacha was restored to health, and in a few days afterwards the town was formally invested.
The resources of the metropolis were at this time scarcely adequate to the emergency. The plague had recently made fearful havoc among the citizens, and the hospitals were even yet filled with the sick. The dryness of the surrounding soil favored the approaches of an enemy. The garrison, of six thousand men, was insufficient to man the extensive works, some idea of which may be formed, if we consider the town with its enceinte as a triangle having its sides nearly equal and each about a mile and a half in length, the north side fronting the sea. On the eastern side, the bastion de la Sablonière was nearest the shore; then in order followed these of Vetturi and Gesù to Martinengo the southernmost; then, going northwards on the eastern side, we have those of Bethlehem, Panigra and St. Andrew, the latter being the westernmost. Besides those were the Fort St. Dimitri, in front of the Vetturi Bastion, several demi-lunes, and a multitude of lesser works. The feudatories of the kingdom, under Georgio Cornaro, were therefore called in. To the Candiote militia was confided the care of the bastions and outworks; while the feudatories, with fifteen hundred regulars, were posted in the Place d'Armes. Fort St. Dimitri, which from the eminence of its site looked like a citadel, was committed to the charge of Girolame Battaglia and the Count Valvason. Among the other commanders, to each of which some special post was assigned, were La Mar, Gil d'As and the Count Achille the Romorantin; the supreme command being vested in the Captain General. War being thus brought, as it were, to their doors, every citizen took an active part in the defence, and by bodily toil, by incessant watching, by frequent sorties and hand to hand contests, became hardened by degrees, and familiarised with every form of danger. The thunder of the cannon continued day and night. Strong counter-batteries were planted on the San Giovanni curtain. Shells and grenades streamed forth incessantly into the approaches. A mine was run under the outworks of Martinengo and Gesu in anticipation of an assault. Sometimes mine met counter-mine, and men fought underground in the darkness. "All around," says the historian, "seemed one vast cemetery." No effort was spared by the besieged. The master-mind of Moncenigo advised, directed, sustained and animated all.
The fire of the breaching-batteries was directed against four points: the lower part of San Demitri, the Della-Palma horn work in front of the bastion Gesu, the crown work of Santa Maria, in front, of the Martinengo bastion, and the ravelin St. Nicolo before the intervening curtain. In two successive assaults the Janissaries were driven back with heavy loss. But in the beginning of July they succeeded, after a severe struggle in retaining possession of part of the horn work, and on the night of the 5th, an immense nine being sprung under Santa Maria, a panic seized its defenders, they retired in headlong haste and without firing a shot, and the Turks with exultation established themselves in this important outwork. The annoyance of Moncenigo was excessive; the fugitives were punished with extreme rigour. On the 10th the General Delia Marra, a noble Neapolitan, while observing the field from an embrasure of the Gesu, was struck by a musket ball in the forehead. His remains were conveyed to the Metropolitan Church of San Tito; they were then embalmed and sent to his own country. The General Gil d'As succeeded him in his command. A number of women having volunteered to work in the new galleries, then being excavated, were drafted by him into companies, each receiving a lira as daily pay. On the 24th at midnight, a mine was sprung under the Martinengo bastion and on the 26th another; so much damage was effected that Major Belloret, a French engineer, expressed his written opinion that the place was indefensible, but the statement was ill-received by the Captain General, who briefly declared his intention of holding out to the last. On the 27th, the Osmanlis, impatient for the assault, blew up the rest of the salient angle of Martinengo, already shaken by the mine of the 24th and rushed on to the breach, but were again driven back with loss. On the followind day, the redoubt of Crevacuore, near San Demitri, was blown up. On the 29th, a breach thirty paces wide was effected in the east flank of the Gesu, and an incessant fire kept up upon it, to prevent its being repaired. On the 4th of August, a general assault took place on all sides; the Janissaries coming on with wild cries, while earth and heaven seemed shaken by the explosion of mines and the din of artillery. Hussein, sabre in hand, was seen threatening death to the falterers. Within the walls, the city-bells clanged unceasingly; the citizens flocked everywhere to their posts; those who from age or sex were incapable of bearing arms were divided into parties, some to carry ammunition, some to withdraw the dead, others to tend the wounded. The sharpest struggle was at the Martinengo bastion, where was stationed the flower of the Venetian forces. Borne down and wearied by press of numbers and hours of incessant conflict, the defenders receded for an instant, and the Turks succeeded in planting their banners on the bastions. Thereat a great cry of rejoicing went up from their host. But the soldiers of the Republic, in that terrible moment, regaining their lost ground with one last effort, charged the Janissaries with the fury of desperation; the storming party was trodden down, swept before them and hurled into. the ditch below. On the following day Hussein, induced by the reports of a fugitive Greek, who represented to him the weakness of the garrison, commanded another assault on the same bastioi. The works constructed by the besieged to repair the breach were blown down by three fourneaux, and again the Osmanlis advanced, animated as before by the voice and example of Hussein. In the thick of the mélee, some barrels of gunpowder accidentally exploded. Both Turks and Christians, fearing a mine, fell back from the breach and the rampart, for a brief space, remained deserted. Some faint-heart official, hastening to Moncenigo informed that the place was lost and recommended him to retire to the royal galley in the port for safety. Indignant at this pusillanimous advice, the Captain General struck him with his cane, and calling aloud on every one who had a heart to follow him, hurried on through the streets, inflaming all with his voice and carrying along with him a crowd of people, artizans, sailors and even women armed with stones, all answering with cries of excitement and loud cheers his stirring appeals to their loyalty and courage. At the same time came up the feudatories under Zeno, and a body of French auxiliaries led en by the Sieur de Fire, a young hero of noble aspect, says an eye witness, and approved valor. The Moslems gave way and the town was saved. Great numbers of the citizens and towns people were killed in the breach, among them a Friar of the Order de Predicatori and his brother a priest. The gallant De Fire, while combating with a pike, was also shot through the head. A mine had been run by the Turks under one of the curtains and intended to be fired during the assault, but a Greek Monk, praying alone in a neighboring Church, heard the men working below, and the mine was discovered and destroyed.
Thus was the town saved from imminent peril. Some minor assaults followed, but the great pressure was over, arid the besieged breathed again. Very remarkable as an episode was an attempt to storm the Martinengo breach by the Spahis or Turkish cavalry; an unprecedented and fool-hardy piece of daring on the part of these brilliant horsemen, said to have been called forth by the taunts of the Janissairies at their comparative inactivity during these repeated assaults.
On the 10th of October the rains set in. The Turks withd ew to their entrenched camp, about half a mile from the city, leaving only four batteries, one towards the sea, to annoy the shipping, another in front of San Demitri, a third directly opposite Vetturi and a fourth at San Panta-leone in face of the Martinengo. The besieged came out with drums beating and flags flying, took possession of all the outworks, repaired the breaches and restored the walls.
In August of the following year, 1649, the lines of the besieged were extended as far as the Bethlehem bastion. Violent assaults were made in the last days of August and beginning of September. The Turks kept possession of a demi-lune for some hours, but were at length expelled with loss. Hussein, after vainly tempting the fidelity of Moncenigo with a promise of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and despairing of immediate success, withdrew his whole forces in 1650, to the hills of Ambrusta overlooking the town from the South, and erected the spacious fortress subsequently known as Nuova Candia.
The Venetian chroniclers make mention of a certain Thomas Middleton, master of the ship Elizabeth Marie, chartered by the Republic, who in the summer of this year beat off a squadron of Turkish gallies, and was received in Venice with marks of honourable distinction.
And so months and years passed on, the siege frequently relaxing in vigor, but a watchful eye being ever kept on the town and its inmates. Sorties and skirmishes were of almost daily occurence, neither party appearing slow to take the other at disadvantage. In 1651, Moncenigo was deprived of his command through the jealousy of his rivals, to be restored within two years afterwards. In 1654 he died, a hero worthy of the days of Dandolo or Victor Pisani. In 1660 an attempt was made to storm the Turkish position at Candia nuova, weakened by the withdrawal of a large body of troops under the Pacha Catterzogli. The first onset was successful, and the prize seemed already secured. But the Venetians while disordered and plundering in the vicinity were alarmed by a sudden cry of "the Turks!" and seized with an unaccountable panic fled in the wildest confusion. The Captain General with a corps of reserve vainly endeavored to stay the fugitives. IT the list of those who on this occasion "diedero le gambe al vento," as Brusoni has it, it is an unpleasant surprise to find the name of one Major Thomas, an Englishman. As to who or what he was the chronicler says no word more. "Requiescat in pace."
The Empire of the Ottomans, at this time divided by faction, vaccillating in policy, and to all appearance tottering to its fall, was restored by the talents and energy of Mehmet Kiuprili, so called from a village of Dalmatia whence his family originated, who became vizier in 1656. With wonderful activity he banished the factions, reduced the discontented to obedience, covered the seas with his armaments, and revived everywhere the drooping forces of the empire. To the Venetian Secretary Ballarini he tendered peace with the Republic, but on humiliating terms, which the Senate at once rejected, expressing at the same time their desire for an adjustment, but on widely different conditions. The wrath of Kiuprili exploded in severe invectives against the unfortunate secretary, and it was only by the calm forbearance of the latter that he was at length restored to favor. But to the Republic, the accession of Kiuprili, his lofty pretentions and unquestioned talent, appeared significant of coming ills. Ambassadors were in consequence sent to most of the Christian courts. Among others, Giovanni Sagredo was sent in 1657 as ambassador to Oliver Cromwell. The astute protector had however no mind to embroil himself in this great passage of between the East and West. Possibly his commercial relations with the Gencese made him averse to befriend their bitter rivals. But their embassies to other courts" with greater encouragement, and the Senate after consideration of the terms offered by the Porte, resolved: continue the war to the last breath, "di continuar france mente la guerra fino all' ultimo sospiro,” a resolution applauded by every subject of Venice, and supported by the contributions of all, from the aged Doge, Bertucci Valier, to the poorest artizan. Once more then the old Republic, though bowed with centuries of toil and loss girt up its loins for the struggle; as a scarred veteran who catches the advancing din of arms, and shaking off in a (moment all thought of age, addresses himself with stern-composure to the inevitable fray. Not in vain had;, been the example of the Dege Contarini, who, in the war of Chioggia, being then fourscore years old, headed an attack in person and drove back the Genoese from the threshold of the City. The spirit of Contarini was yet strong in Venice.
But some brief breathing-time was yet allowed. The rising difficulties between the Sultan and the Emperor Leopold and the war in which they resulted, diverted for a few years the attention of the Porte. Achmet Kiuprili, who succeeded his father in 1661, and seemed to have inherited all his talent and energy, conducted this war with uninterrupted success, until, in 1664, he was routed at St. Gotthard, on the Raab, by Montecuculi, the Imperial Field-Marshal, who was assisted by the Comte de Coligny, the last scion of that famous house, with six thousand French auxiliaries sent by Louis XIV. headed by the young de la Feuillade, and comprising the élite of the noblesse of France. This victory saved Austria and arrested Achmet on his way to Vienna. Ten days afterwards, terms of pacification were arranged and the peace of Vasvar was the resuit. Rid of this enemy, the Sultan now turned his attention to the war with Venice. At Stamboul, the voice of the people inflamed, by accounts of the Venetian preparations, was loud for a prompt termination of affairs in, Candia. Obedient to the commands of the Sultan, though somewhat reluctant to leave himself exposed to the attacks of his enemies at court, Achmet left the capital in the month of May, 1666. From Negropont he sent over four thousand Janissaries with their Aga, and on ascertaining that the passage was clear, set sail himself from Malvasia On the 28th October and in a few days landed safely at the port of Canea, bringing with him four thousand more troops, abundance of gold for their pay and a quantity of metal for the casting of cannon.
The year 1667 opened gloomily on the city of Candia. Rumours of the approaching armament had reached the inhabitants. The succors afforded by the European States were too scanty and irregular to form any counterpoise to the vast levies of the Moslems, which poured in unceasingly and more than supplied the severe losses of the besiegers. On the twenty-seventh of April, the town-people beheld from their walls the Egyptians under Messir-Bey defile into the plain. On the fifth of May the Janissaries with their aga-general, were seen to encamp to the right of Candia Nuova; and on the twenty-second, Àchmet himself appeared with his splendid suite, received with a general salute from the Turkish guns. On the twenty-fourth, the citizens saw with astonishment the Turks demolish in an hour the fortifications at Candia Nuova, erected with immense toil seventeen years before. The materials were carried to valley of St. Gioffiro, on the west side of the to henceforth the head quarters of their forces which already" numbered forty thousand men, and were subsequent swelled to seventy thousand. On the following day the Janissaries took up their ground opposite Martinengo, and, the Defterdar Basha in front of the curtain between that bastion and Bethlehem. To Achmet Pacha, field vizier and to Silifeca.r Aga was confided the conduct of the| approaches against the Moncenigo outwork. To their right, again were stationed the Begler-Bey of Roumeli with the European Osmanlis, and the Pacha Catrezogli towards San Dimitri. The first battery immediately opened its fire on the Martinengo bastion. On the 27th a second opened on the Panigra and a third against the Bethlehem. Within the following week, a fourth and fifth were added; all mounted with guns of unusually large calibre and throwing shot of sixty, ninety, and even a hundred and twenty pounds weight. The fiery storms raged day and night without intermission. The rains of winter produced no cessation. Colonel Zanotti writing from the town on the 28th July, says: "Day and night blood is shed, but in two months the enemy has not taken a single outwork, nor will do so without severe loss. Sleep is banished from the eyes of all gallant men, the fatigues are incessant, the sufferings great, the peril greater, no one being safe in the churches and houses, still less in the streets.Incessantly shells are falling, cannon thundering, and stone and darts hurtling in the air." The town itself became a heap of ruins. "Nella città," writes the historian "ogni fabrica demolita, gli habitanti vivevano nelle "caverne." They lived many of them in dens and holes of the earth. The garrison was reduced from nine thousand to about half that number. The outworks of Sant Andrea were swept away like chaff, and innumerable stockades rise everywhere to prevent sorties from the town. But the warfare underground was even more singular and terrible. Far down in the earth, in gloomy and widebranching galleries, the sappers of both sides frequently met, lighting the darkness with hand-grenades and closing in murderous strife. The gallant Marquis de Ville, withdrawn by the Duke of Savoy, was replaced by the celebrated Marquis de St. André Montbrun, who had been in most of the famous sieges of his time. He had never seen a siege like this. He called it a war of giants. From the narrative of the Marchese Annibale Porrone, who served in the town it appears that in 1667, the four bastions Bethlehem, Panigra, Saint Andrew and Sabionera were attacked, but in the following years the attacks were confined to the two latter, which were indeed the weakest, having no outworks of any consequence and the ditch being but shallow. The year 1668 was fatal to many Venetian commanders. The General Bernard Nani was killed by a musket-shot on the 22nd June, Francesco Battaglia, Duke of Candia, on the 3rd October. Eight marchesi, thirteen colonels, eight lieutenant-colonels and four eminent engineers, Soubatiers, Quadruplan, Monpesson and Zeno, were also among the slain. On the 13th July the magazine near the Church of San Pictro exploded. On the 26th August, three attempts were made to storm the St. André breach: the assailants finally retired leaving two thousand dead. Great as were the losses of the besiegers they were rapidly restored by the constant arrival of reinforcements. The sultan in his impatience, advanced towards the Morea, and Achmet, knowing his own head was at stake, sacrificed his forces without scruple. A sudden attack of the Turks on the seaward side of the Sabionera nearly resulted in the capture of the arsenal: it was saved by the efforts of the Provençal levies. The October rains coming on, and the sea being driven inshore by the vento di tramontana, the approaches at this point were inundated and many Turks drowned in the trenches, but at the opposite angle of St, André the besiegers remained throughout the winter, frequently labouring breast-high in the water, and erecting a chain of redoubts on the rocky ledge along the shore. Towards the close of the year arrived a body of French volunteers under the Duke de Roannes, formerly Comte de la Feuillade, who had distinguished himself at St. Gotthard in 1664. With the impatient gallantry of his nation he insisted on heading a sortie, which, however daringly conducted, resulted in no benefit beyond the loss of a thousand Turks. Shortly afterwards he reimbarked for France. The defence of this year alone cost the Republic 4,392,000 ducats and 2,879,000 pounds of powder.
A gleam of sunshine appeared to usher in the year 1660. The hostilities between France and Spain having ceased, large reinforcements were promised by Louis XIV. In effect, the high-admiral, François de Vendôme, Duc de Beaufort, was sent to reinforce Candia with twelve regiments on board his fleet, under the command of the Duc de Navailles. The rejoicings at Venice were unbounded; and Pope Clement IX sent De Beaufort a rich standard on which was depicted a crucifix. On the 24th June, these reinforcements arrived, and despite of the remonstrances of Francesco Morosini, the captain general, a sortie was made on the same night, at the sabionera. Three lines of redoubts were carried by storms, but a few barrels of powder exploding by accident, the French in their turn were seized with a panic and fled in disorder towards the town. The unfortunate De Beaufort fell into the hands of the enemy: he was decapitated, according to the barbarous usage of the time; and his head, after being paraded in triumph, was sent to the Sultan at Larissa. Disheartened and weak with illness, De Navailles, in a few weeks, to the astonishment and indignation of the Venetians, reimbarked, leaving the city to its fate: an example immediately followed by the German and Maltese auxiliaries and by the papal gallies.
Further resistance now seemed hopeless. So reduced were the garrison, that the Candiote women had frequently borne arms, and served side by side with the soldiery. Nearly eleven hundred women and. children are said to have perished during the siege. Some of the main galleries were discovered to be filled with water arid useless. The Proveditor General, Caterino Cornaro, was dead. Struck by the fragment of a shell, while ordering the defence with his usual energy, he had fallen back into the arms of his brother commanders, and with his last breath reminded them, that born in the bonds of religion and liberty, it was their duty to die for these. The captain general, it is recorded, on seeing the body of the hero, his old companion in arms, could not refrain from weeping. "Non potè astenersi di piangere." In our day, we could scarcely understand such tears. A dark shadow of mourning fell on all the city. Its tutelary deities seemed to be one by one departing.
So the end came at last. On the 27th of August a military council of the chief commanders was convened by Morosini. In a few grave and sad words he solicited their advice and asistarice. The dispositions of providence he said, were not to be evaded. He knew the unconquerable valor of the few faithful hearts that remained, who were willing to attempt the impossible, to hope against hope. He saw around him the ruins of the city: not alone its splendor, but its very shape and form had departed. It had become a desert. They trod on the ashes of its defenders. For his own part, he would rather bury himself beneath these sacred ruins than survive unworthily the glory of so honorable a defence. He besought them to weigh maturely and prudently the condition of the city and what was due to themselves, their fellow-citizens, and their common country. A deep silence, broken with sighs, followed this discourse. Each looked upon the other, none caring to speak first. Many plans were at length submitted: but ultimately, in view of the impossibility of continuing the defence, it was resolved to cede the town if honorable terms of capitulation could be secured. These were accorded by Achmet, glad to secure the place on any terms, and the garrison with the inhabitants were permitted to withdraw in the ships of the republic, with their arms, ammunition, and effects; being allowed the first twelve days of fair weather to prepare for their departure.
On the twenty-fourth of September, the embarkation commenced. Fifteen ships and some smaller vessels sufficed to carry the remains of the garrison and the few surviving inhabitants. Even then, the unhappy citizens seemed pursued by the footsteps of some vengeful Erinnys. A storm smote them on their way: the greater part were drowned: some were cast on the coast of Barbary; a few only escaped, to tell in foreign lands the story of a struggle for hearth and altar, such as the world had never seen.
Such was the siege of Candia. It lasted twenty-one years, four months, and six days: from the 1st May, 1648 when the first breaching battery opened, to the 7th September 1669, the date of the capitulation. In that interval of time how many changes had swept over Europe! The head of a king of England had rolled upon the scaffold; a lord protector, "omne sacrum rapiente dextrâ," had converted his sword into a sceptre, and ruled with a despotism remarkable for its unsparing energy: to be follow ed by a Restoration, whose transports evinced the inextinguishable loyalty of the nation. The thunder-peals of the Fronde had long since died away into silence, and Mazarin and the Queen-mother were mouldering in their graves. Ibrahim and his minister Mehmet, prime movers of the Candian war, were mute and powerless now. Old land marks had been removed, old institutions swept away, and from the receding waters a new world had arisen, green with hopeful promise, but no longer the same. All had changed, but this siege had lasted on through all. Within these walls a generation had grown up amidst the unceasing din of arms. The children born at its commencement had become men and fought beside their fathers before its close. History has to record few such instances of patient endurance, of unshaken fortitude, and of that pure, unselfish patriotism which ennobles and sanctifies even war itself.
 See Nani II, 141.
 It is curious to see how a Venetian historian, writing within twenty years after Oliver's death, speaks of our sturdy protector. Cromwell, he says, had attained to such a height of power, that holding subject the kingdoms of Great Britain, he made himself feared by all states both far and near. Of ignoble origin obscure education, he had advanced from a small command to the supreme generalship of the army by whose aid, having condemned his king, abased his rivals, exiled those whom he suspected, and oppressed the parliament, he reigned under the title of protector, and with absolute tyrannical sway. He was not without a shew of excellent qualities, zeal for religion, valor in arms, prudence in counsel, and was moreover a lover of the people and defender of the right. But all this was either simulated or false; for conscience, though the most precious of possessions, is the most frequently assumed for venal purposes. At this time, hungry with ambition, in plenitude of power, he not only trod under foot his own people but threatened foreign powers, and holding the kingdom quiet with an admirably disciplined army, ruled the seas with formidable fleets. The Republic (of Venice,) so long as a shadow of the royal dignity had appeared remaining, had never vouchsafed either to the rebels or the protector the smallest correspondence, but now that every trace of the old dominion seemed obliterated it was thought fitting first to send missives and then following the example of other potentates to send over Giovanni Sagredo, cavalier, as special ambassador to re-establish the friendship formerly existing with the monarchy and to induce Cromwell, immeasurably fond of glory, to signalise himself by a powerful expedition against the common enemy. But, however, avid of fame, yet attentive only to self-interest and fearing that the commerce of the nation might be disturbed by the Turks, he replied at length to Sagredo's civilities, but in answer to his solicitations let fall only a bare uncertain hint of possibly affording the Republic a succour not wholly despicable by humiliating the Barbary corsairs. Thus far Battista Nani.