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Title: Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean
Author: Currey, E. Hamilton
Language: English
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  "Ships be but boards, sailors but men:
  There be land rats and water rats, land thieves and water thieves,
  I mean pirates."

  _Merchant of Venice_.








When the ship is ready for launching there comes a moment of tense
excitement before the dogshores are knocked away and she slides down the
ways. In the case of a ship this excitement is shared by many thousands,
who have assembled to acclaim the birth of a perfected product of the
industry of man; the emotion is shared by all those who are present. It is
very different when a book has been completed. The launching has been
arranged for and completed by expert hands; she like the ship gathers way
and slides forth into an ocean: but, unlike the ship which is certain to
float, the waters may close over and engulf her, or perchance she may be
towed back to that haven of obscurity from which she emerged, to rust there
in silence and neglect. There is excitement in the breast of one man
alone--to wit, the author. If his book possesses one supreme qualification
she will escape the fate mentioned, and this qualification is--interest. As
the weeks lengthened into months, and these multiplied themselves to the
tale of something like twenty-four, the conviction was strengthened that
that which had so profoundly interested the writer, would not be altogether
indifferent to others. For some inscrutable reason the deeds of sea-robbers
have always possessed a fascination denied to those of their more numerous
brethren of the land; and in the case of the Sea-wolves of the sixteenth
century we are dealing with the very aristocrats of the profession.
Circumstances over which they had no control flung the Moslem population of
Southern Spain on to the shores of Northern Africa: to revenge themselves
upon the Christian foe by whom this expropriation had been accomplished was
natural to a warrior race; and those who heretofore had been land-folk pure
and simple took to piracy as a means of livelihood. It is of the deeds of
these men that this book treats; of their marvellous triumphs, of their
apparently hopeless defeats, of the manner in which they audaciously
maintained themselves against the principalities and the powers of
Christendom always hungering for their destruction.

The quality which Napoleon is said to have ascribed to the British
Infantry, "of never knowing when they were beaten," seems to have also
characterised the Sea-wolves; as witness the marvellous recuperation of
Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa when expelled from Tunis by Charles V.; and the
escape of Dragut from the island of Jerba when apparently hopelessly
trapped by the Genoese admiral, Andrea Doria. All through their history the
leaders of the Sea-wolves show the resourcefulness of the real seamen that
they had become by force of circumstances, and it was they who in the age
in which they dwelt showed what sea power really meant. Sailing through the
Mediterranean on my way to Malta in the spring of this year, as the good
ship fared onwards I passed in succession all those lurking-places from
which the Moslem Corsairs were wont to burst out upon their prey. Truly it
seemed as if

  "The spirits of their fathers might start from every wave,"

and in imagination one pictured the rush of the pirate galley, with its
naked slaves straining at the oar of their taskmasters, its fierce,
reckless, beturbaned crew clustered on the "rambades" at the bow and stern.
It might be that they would capture some hapless "round-ship," a
merchantman lumbering slowly along the coast; or again they might meet with
a galley of the terrible Knights of St. John or of the ever-redoubtable
Doria. In either case the Sea-wolves were equal to their fortune, to
plunder or to fight in the name of Allah and his prophet.

That which differentiated the Sea-wolves from other pirates was the
combination which they effected among themselves; the manner in which these
lawless men could subordinate themselves to the will of one whom they
recognised as a great leader. To obtain such recognition was no easy
matter, and the manner in which this was done, by those who rose by sheer
force of character to the summit of this remarkable hierarchy, has here
been set forth.



INTRODUCTORY                                                 1

THE CRESCENT AND THE CROSS                                  13

THE COMING OF THE CORSAIRS                                  28

URUJ BARBAROSSA                                             43

THE DEATH OF URUJ BARBAROSSA                                59

KHEYR-ED-DIN BARBAROSSA                                     75


THE APOTHEOSIS OF THE CORSAIR KING                         107


CHRISTIAN HOSTS                                            139


ROXALANA AND THE MURDER OF IBRAHIM                         172

  FLEETS                                                   189

THE BATTLE OF PREVESA                                      205

  AND THE NEF                                              221

DRAGUT-REIS                                                238

DRAGUT-REIS                                                254

DRAGUT-REIS                                                269

THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN                                    286

DRAGUT-REIS                                                306

THE SIEGE OF MALTA                                         324

ALI BASHA                                                  344

LEPANTO                                                    362

AUTHORITIES CONSULTED                                      383

  MASTERS OF MALTA FROM 1492 TO 1580                       385

  AFRICA                                                   387

INDEX                                                      389


I wish to record my cordial recognition of the kindness shown to me at
Malta by Mr. Salvino Sant Manduca. The picture of the carrack opposite to
page 300 was a gift from him. The galley of the Knights of Malta is a
reproduction of a picture hanging in his house. I should also like to thank
him for the time and trouble which he took on my behalf during my stay at
Malta, and the keen interest he displayed in my subject.



                                                            FACING PAGE

URUJ AND KHEYR-ED-DIN BARBAROSSA                                     44


SOLIMAN THE MAGNIFICENT                                             110

THE EMPEROR CHARLES V                                               150

MULEY HASSAN KING OF TUNIS                                          162

GALEASSE UNDER SAIL                                                 194

GALLEY UNDER OARS                                                   222

BRIGANTINE CHASING FELUCCA                                          236



  IN 1565                                                           324

DEATH OF DRAGUT AT THE SIEGE OF MALTA                               340

A GALLEY OF THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA                                    354

DON JOHN OF AUSTRIA                                                 362

SEBASTIAN VENIERO                                                   364


In all the ages of which we have any record there have been men who gained
a living by that practice of robbery on the high seas which we know by the
name of Piracy. Perhaps the pirates best known to the English-speaking
world are the buccaneers of the Spanish Main, who flourished exceedingly in
the seventeenth century, and of whom many chronicles exist: principally
owing to the labours of that John Esquemelin, a pirate of a literary turn
of mind, who added the crime of authorship to the ill deeds of a sea-rover.
The Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean in the preceding century did not raise
up a chronicler from among themselves: for not much tincture of learning
seems to have distinguished these desperate fighters and accomplished
seamen, descendants of those Spanish Moslems who had, during the Middle
Ages, lived in a land in which learning and culture had been held in the
highest estimation. Driven from their homes, their civilisation crushed,
their religion banned in that portion of Southern Spain in which they had
dwelt for over seven centuries, cast upon the shores of Northern Africa,
these men took to the sea and became the scourge of the Mediterranean. That
which they did, the deeds which they accomplished, the terror which they
inspired, the ruin and havoc which they wrought, have been set forth in the
pages of this book.

It was the age of the galley, the oar-propelled vessel which moved
independently of the wind in the fine-weather months of the great inland
sea. Therefore to the dwellers on the coast the Sea-wolves were a perpetual
menace; as, when booty was unobtainable at sea, they raided the towns and
villages of their Christian foes. During all the period here dealt with no
man's life, no woman's honour, was safe from these pirates within the area
of their nefarious activities. They held the Mediterranean in fee, they
levied toll on all who came within reach of their galleys and their
scimitars. Places unknown to the geography of the sixteenth century became
notorious in their day, and Christian wives and mothers learned to tremble
at the very names of Algiers and Tunis. From these places the rovers issued
to capture, to destroy, and to enslave: in Oran and Tlemcen, in Tenes,
Shershell, Bougie, Jigelli, Bizerta, Sfax, Susa, Monastir, Jerbah, and
Tripoli they lurked ready for the raid and the foray. At one time all
Northern Africa would thrill to the triumph of the Moslem arms, at another
there would go up the wail of the utterly defeated; but in spite of
alternations of fortune the Sea-wolves abode in the localities of their
choice, and ended in establishing those pirate States which troubled the
peace of the Mediterranean practically until the introduction of steam.

The whole record of the sixteenth century is one of blood and fire, of
torture and massacre, of "punic faith" and shameless treason; the deeds of
the sea-rovers, appalling as they were, frequently found a counterpart in
the battles, the sieges, and the sacking of towns which took place
perpetually on the continent of Europe.

There was so much history made at this period, the stage of world politics
was occupied by so many great, striking, and dazzling personalities, that
the Sea-wolves and all they accomplished were to a great extent
overshadowed by happenings which the chroniclers of the time considered to
be of greater importance. In this no doubt they were right in the main;
but, in spite of this opinion which they held, we find that time and again
the main stream of events is ruffled by the prows of the pirate galleys.
Such men as the Barbarossas, as Dragut, and Ali Basha could only have been
suppressed and exterminated had the whole might of Christendom been turned
against them, for they held in their hands two weapons, the keenest and
most powerful with which to attain the objects which they had in view.

The first and more powerful of these was the appeal in a rough and warlike
age to the cupidity of mankind. "Those who are content to follow us," they
said in effect, "are certain to enrich themselves if they are men stout of
heart and strong of hand. All around us lie rich and prosperous lands; we
have but to organise ourselves, and to take anything that we wish for; we
can, if we like, gather a rich harvest at comparatively small trouble."
Such counsels as these did not fall on deaf ears. Driven from the land of
plenty--from glorious Andalusia with its fruitful soil, its magnificent
cities, its vines and olives, its fruit and grain, its noble rivers and
wide-spreading _vegas_--the Spanish Moslem of the day of the Sea-wolves was
an outcast and a beggar, ripe for adventure and burning for revenge on
those by whom he had been expropriated.

Great historians like William Hickling Prescott tell us that, in the course
of the seven centuries of the Moslem domination in Spain, the Moors had
become soft and effeminate, that "the canker of peace" had sapped, if it
had not destroyed, the virile qualities of the race, that luxury and
learning had dried up at their source those primitive virtues of courage
and hardihood which had been the leading characteristics of those stark
fighters who had borne the banner of the Prophet from Mecca even to Cadiz.
Tom by faction, by strife among themselves, they had succumbed to the arms
of the Northern chivalry; by its warriors they had been driven out, never
to return.

When this was accomplished, when the curtain fell on the final scene of the
tragedy, and the Moors, after the fall of Granada, were driven across the
sea into Africa, there came to pass a most remarkable change in those who
had been expropriated. The learning, the culture, the civilisation, by
which they had been so long distinguished, seemed to drop away from them,
cast away like a worn-out garment for which men have no further use. In
place of all these things there came a complete and desperate valour, a
bitter and headstrong fanaticism.

It was one of the attributes of the Moslem civilisation in Spain, and one
of the most enlightened thereof, that religious toleration flourished in
its midst. Jew and Christian were allowed to worship at the altars of their
fathers, no man hindering or saying them nay; one rule, and one alone, had
to be preserved: none must blaspheme against Mahomet, the Prophet of God,
as he was considered to be by the Moslems. The penalty for infraction of
this rule was death; otherwise, complete liberty of conscience was

We have spoken of the two weapons held by the leaders of the Sea-wolves.
The first, as we have, said, was cupidity; the second was fanaticism, the
deadly religious hatred engendered, not only by the wholesale expropriation
of the Moslem population, but also by the persecution to which the
Moriscoes--as those Moslems were known who remained in Spain--were
subjected by their Christian masters. It requires little imagination to see
how these two weapons of avarice and intolerance could be made to serve the
purpose of those dominant spirits who rose to the summit of the piratical
hierarchy. Not only did they dazzle the imaginations of those who followed
in their train by promises of wealth uncounted, but they added to this the
specious argument that, in slaying and robbing the Christian wheresoever he
was to be found, the faithful Moslem was performing the service of God and
the act most grateful to his holy Prophet.

Could any rule of life be at the same time more simple and more attractive
to the beggared Mohammedan cast on the sterile shores of Northern Africa to

With the main stream of history, to which we have before referred, we have
no concern in this book. He who would embark thereon must sail a powerful
vessel which must carry many guns. Also for the conduct of this vessel many
qualities are necessary: a commanding intellect, acute perceptions,
indefatigable industry, complete leisure, are among those things necessary
to the pilot. These must be supplemented by a genius for research, a
knowledge of ancient and modern languages, and an unerring faculty for
separating the few precious grains of wheat from those mountains of chaff
which he will have to sift with the utmost care. There are, however,
subsidiary rivulets which feed the onward flow of events, and of such is
the story of the Sea-wolves of the Mediterranean. On these the adventurous
mariner can sail his little cockboat, discreetly retiring before he becomes
involved and engulfed in the main stream. That he cannot altogether avoid
it is shown by the fact that the men who are here chronicled took part in
events of first-class importance in the age in which they lived.
Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa fought the battle of Prevesa against his lifelong
antagonist, Andrea Doria. Dragut was killed at the siege of Malta, at the
moment almost of the fall of the castle of St. Elmo; had he lived it is
more than probable that Jean Parisot de la Valette and his heroic garrison
would have been defeated instead of being victorious. Ali Basha was the one
Moslem commander who increased his reputation at the battle of Lepanto,
because, as was usual in all maritime conflicts of the time, the corsairs,
who had the habit of the sea, were more than a match for soldiers embarked
to fight on an unfamiliar element.

We shall speak, later on, of the autocratic rule of these leaders who
possessed so absolute a domination over the men by whom they were followed.
The fact of this absolute supremacy on the part of the chiefs is very
curious, as theoretically in the confederacy of the Sea-wolves all were
equal; we are, in fact, confronted with pure democracy, where every man was
at liberty to do what seemed best in his own eyes. He was a free agent,
none coercing him or desiring him to place himself under discipline or
command. This, be it observed, was the theory. As a matter of fact the
corsairs, who were extraordinarily successful in their abominable trade,
abode beneath an iron and rigid discipline. This was enforced by the lash,
as we shall see later on when it is related how Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa
flogged one Hassan, a captain who, he considered, had failed in his duty:
or by the actual penalty of death, which Uruj Barbarossa inflicted on one
who had dared to act independently of his authority.

The theory of equality obtained among the Mediterranean pirates; but the
Barbarossas, Dragut, and Ali believed that, in practice, the less
interference there was with their designs by those, whom Cardinal Granvelle
denominated in a letter to Philip II. as "that mischievous animal the
people," the better it would be for all concerned. The conception held of
rights and duties of "the mischievous animal" by these militant persons
was, that it should behave as did those others recorded of the Roman
centurion in Holy Writ: if it did not, and difficulties arose, the leaders
were not troubled with an undue tenderness either towards the individual or
the theory. Of this we shall see examples as we go on.

This period has been called "The Grand Period of the Moslem Corsairs"
because it was in something less than a century, from the year of the
expulsion of the Moors from Granada in 1492 to the death of Ali Basha in
1580, that the Sea-wolves were at the height of their power, that the
piratical States of the Mediterranean were in the making. That subsequently
they gave great cause of trouble to Christendom is written in characters of
blood and fire throughout the history of the succeeding centuries; but the
real interest in the careers of these men resides in the fact that they
established, by their extraordinary aptitude for sea-adventure, the
permanent place which was held by their descendants. Time and again in the
sixteenth century the effort was made to destroy them root and branch: they
were defeated, driven out of their strongholds on shore, crushed apparently
for ever. But nothing short of actual extermination could have been
successful in this; as, no matter how severe had been the set-back, there
was always left a nucleus of the pirates which in a short time grew again
into a formidable force. The Ottoman Turk, magnificent fighter as he was on
land, seemed to lose his great qualities when the venue was changed from
the land to the sea. The Janissaries, that picked corps trained as few
soldiers were trained even in that age of iron, who never recoiled before
the foe but who fought only to conquer or die, seem to have failed when
embarked for sea-service. That which the hard teaching of experience alone
could show--that the man who fights best upon the sea is he who has the
habit of the sea--was at this time not generally recognised, and this it
was that rendered the corsairs so supreme on the element which they had
made their own. Some among the great ones of the earth there were who
appreciated this fact, who, like that great statesman Ibrahim, Grand Vizier
to Soliman the Magnificent, recognised what it was to lay their hands upon
"a veritable man of the sea"; but the rule was to embark men from the shore
and to entrust to them the duty of fighting naval actions.

When "the Grand Period" came to an end, as it did about the date already
indicated, the corsairs had become a permanent institution; they remained
established at Algiers, Tunis, and other ports on the littoral of Northern
Africa as a recognised evil. Pirates they remained to the end of the
chapter, the scourge of the tideless sea; but no longer did they array
themselves in line of battle against the mightiest potentates of the earth
allied for their complete destruction. It was the men of the sea who set up
this empire; it was they who defied Charles V., a whole succession of
Popes, Andrea Doria and his descendants, the might of Spain, Venice, Genoa,
Catalonia, and France. It was they who taught the so-called civilised world
of the age in which they lived that sea-power can only be met and checked
by those who dispose of navies manned by seamen; that against it the master
of the mightiest legions of the land is powerless.

This contention is by no means invalidated by the fact that frequently the
corsairs were defeated by land forces embarked on board ship. Thus when
Dragut was defending Tripoli against an expedition sent against him in 1559
by the combined forces of Spain, Tuscany, Rome, Naples, Sicily, and Genoa,
of one hundred sail which embarked fourteen thousand troops, he was
relieved by Piali, the Admiral of Soliman the Magnificent, who came to his
assistance with eighty-six galleys, each of which had on board one hundred
Janissaries, and who gained so striking a victory over the Christians that
the Turkish Admiral returned to Constantinople with no less than four
thousand prisoners. But in this case, as in so many others, the actual
hostilities took place on shore, where the troops had the opportunity of
displaying their sterling qualities.

There is very little doubt that critics will point out that the corsairs
were by no means universally successful; that, as in the case of the attack
by Hassem, the ruler of Algiers in 1563, on Oran and Marzaquivir (a small
port in the immediate vicinity of Oran), in the end the Moslems were badly
beaten. This undoubtedly was the case, and there is no desire to magnify
the deeds of the Sea-wolves or to minimise the heroic defence of
Marzaquivir by the Count of Alcaudete, or that of Oran by his brother, Don
Martin de Còrdoba, At the last moment of their wonderful defence they were
relieved by a fleet sent by the King of Spain, and Hassem had to abandon
his artillery, ammunition, and stores and beat a hasty retreat to the place
from whence he had come.

There was nothing remarkable in the fact that the corsairs were frequently
defeated; what is really strange is that they should have achieved so great
a success--success vouched for by the concrete instance that they
established those sinister dynasties on the coast of Northern Africa which
were the outcome of their piratical activities.

In speaking of them, historians of later date than that at which they
flourished are apt to hold them somewhat cheaply, to dismiss them as mere
barbarians of no particular importance in the scheme of mundane affairs; as
men who caused a certain amount of trouble to civilisation by their inroads
and their plunderings. That which is certain is that they were for
centuries a standing shame and disgrace to the whole of Christendom.

To those who may perhaps be called the pioneers--that is to say, the men
treated of in this book--a certain amount of sympathy and understanding may
be conceded; for they had been driven from the land which had been theirs,
it was their countrymen and their co-religionists who were being ground to
powder beneath the fanatical cruelty of the Spanish Inquisition. That which
they did was doubtless abominable, but it cannot be contended that they had
not received the strongest provocation both from the material and the
religious points of view.

Once the "Grand Period" was passed, that period in which such men as the
Barbarossas, Dragut, and Ali flourished, the chronicle of the Moslem States
founded by them sinks to the degraded level of sheer robbery and murder; of
a history of a tyranny established within one hundred miles of the shores
of Europe, and of great kings and princes bargaining with piratical
ruffians who held in thrall thousands upon thousands of their subjects. How
it came about that the Christian States tolerated such an abuse is one of
those mysteries which can never be explained; and if subsequent centuries
displayed a greater refinement of manners, a more apt appreciation of all
that is softer and kindlier in the human relationships of nation towards
nation and of people towards people, they have not perhaps so much to plume
themselves upon as had their rude forefathers of the sixteenth century,
who, seeing the evil and feeling the effects thereof, did their best to
extirpate those by whom this evil was caused.

The question may be asked, how can it be that the lives and actions of such
men as these are worth chronicling? It is because, not only that they
modified profoundly the course of history in the age in which they lived,
but also because that, hidden deep down, somewhere, in these men stained by
a thousand crimes, ruthless, lustful, bloodthirsty, cruel as the grave, was
the germ of true greatness, some dim spark of the divine fire of genius.
Contending against principalities and powers, they held their own; in the
welter of anarchy in which they lived they proved that there existed no
finer fighting men, which alone give them some claim to consideration; but
that which is most interesting to watch is the absolute domination obtained
by the leaders over their followers. There is no other record of pirates
who commanded on so large a scale; there is none which shows men such as
these bargaining on equal terms with the great ones of the earth.



There is, in the deeds of men of action, an interest which is never aroused
by those persons of brains and capacity by whom the world is really ruled.
The statesman in his cabinet is the god within the machine; it is he who
directs the acts of nations, it is he who moves the fleets and armies as if
they were pieces on the chess-board; to him, as a rule, is the man of
action subordinate, obeying his behests. Rule and governance are his, power
both in the abstract and the concrete. Seldom in the history of the world
do we come across the men who are at one and the same time statesmen and
soldiers, who, taking their destiny in their own hands, work it out to the
appointed end thereof. But, as we stray in the by-paths of history, we meet
with some who, in their day, have influenced not only the age in which they
lived themselves, but also the destinies of generations yet unborn. It
would seem incredible that mere pirates, such as the Moslem corsairs of the
Mediterranean, could be included in this category, and yet, as their story
is unfolded, we shall see how the Sea-wolves rose from the humblest
beginnings to trouble the peace of Europe, to found for themselves
dynasties which endured.

Uruj Barbarossa, Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, Dragut Reis, and Occhiali, or All
Basha, were men who, in the sixteenth century, did much to change the
conditions of the times in which they lived: it was the time of the
Renaissance in Europe, a period of splendour in all the arts and sciences.
These men added nothing to the knowledge of the civilised world as it then
existed, save and except in one particular, which was, as Kheyr-ed-Din
explained to Soliman the Magnificent on a certain memorable occasion, that
he who rules on the sea will rule on the land also. In the present day,
when all the nations and languages sit at the feet of Captain (now
Rear-Admiral) Mahan, and acclaim his "Sea Power" series of books, it is
interesting to find that he was anticipated in the most practical fashion
possible by a corsair of the sixteenth century.

This period was one in which great men abounded. The Emperor Charles V.,
Francis I. of France, and Henry VIII. of England, were on the thrones of
their respective countries; in Hungary was John Hunyadi, at Constantinople
Soliman the Magnificent held rule, while in Rome the "fatal house of
Medici" were the successors of Saint Peter. War was a commonplace state of
the times, but until the Crescent began to sweep the seas it had its
manifestation in the perpetual quarrels of the nations of Christendom,
which represented, as a rule, the insatiable ambitions of its rulers. But
now new men forced themselves to the front, a new power arose which was
very imperfectly understood, and which practically held the sea at its
mercy. Gone were the halcyon days of peaceful trade which had been pursued
for generations by Venetian and Genoese, by Spaniard and Frenchman; gone
also, apparently never to return, was all sense of security for the
wretched dwellers on the littoral of the Mediterranean, who lived in daily,
and particularly in nightly, dread of the falcon swoop of the pirate

It is amusing to read the old chroniclers, sticklers as they were for "the
dignity of history," continually having to turn aside from the main stream
of their narrative of emperors, popes, and kings to descend to the level of
the Sea-wolves, and to be constrained to set down the nefarious doings of
these rovers of the sea. Bell, book, and candle were invoked against them
in vain, and mighty monarchs had to meet them in the stricken field not
merely once or twice--to their utter undoing and discomfiture--but many
times, while victory inclined first to one side and then to the other.

The Osmanli had ever been warriors since the times of the Prophet, of
Abu-Bekr, of Othman, and of Ali; but so far their warlike achievements had
been always on land, their only sea experience being confined to the
crossing of the Straits of Gibraltar, when in the eighth century, under
Tarik, they had swarmed into Andalusia, conquered Roderick the Goth, and
set up that Moslem domination in Southern Spain which lasted until 1492,
just before the events set forth in this book took place. Piracy in all
ages is a thing in which a curious shuddering interest has been taken, and
the deeds of the outlaws of the sea have never lacked chroniclers. There is
for this a reason apart from the record of robbery and murder, which is the
commonplace of piratical deeds: it resides in the perennial interest which
men take in individual achievement, in the spectacle of absolute and
complete domination by one man over the lives and the fortunes of others.
This intense form of individualism is nowhere so well exhibited as in the
story of piratical enterprise, where a band of men, outside of the law and
divorced from all human kind by the atrocity of their deeds, has had to be
welded into one homogeneous mass for the purpose of preying upon the world
at large. Therefore he who would hold rule among such outlaws must himself
be a man of no common description, for in him must be that quality which
calls for instantaneous obedience among those with whom he is associated;
behind him is no constituted authority, discipline is personal, enforced by
the leader, and by him alone. Beneath him are men of the rudest and
roughest description, slaves to their lusts and their passions, prone to
mutiny, suspicious, and--worst of all--stupid.

It is with these constituent elements that the piratical leader had to
deal, trusting to the strength of his own arm, the subtlety of his own
unassisted brain. Some among these leaders have risen to eminence in their
evil lives, most of them have been the captains of single ships preying on
commerce in an indiscriminate manner; but this was not the case with the
Sea-wolves of the Mediterranean, Primarily sea-robbers they were of course,
but as time and opportunity developed their characters they rose to meet
occasion, to take fortune at the flood, in a manner that, had they been
pursuing any other career, would most certainly have caused them to rise to
eminence. Into the fierce and blood-stained turmoil of their lives there
entered something unknown to any other pirates: this was religious
fanaticism--a fanaticism so engrained in character, a belief held to with
such passionate tenacity, that men stained with every conceivable crime
held that their passage to Paradise was absolutely secure because of the
faith which they professed. Tradition, sentiment, discipline, were summed
up in one trite formula; but though we, at this distance of time, may hold
it somewhat in derision, it was a vital force in the days of Soliman the
Magnificent; and there was an added zest to robbery and murder in the fact
that the pirates, as good Mohammedans, were obeying the behests of the
Prophet every time that they cut a Christian throat, plundered a Christian
argosy, or carried off shrieking women into a captivity far worse than

That a pirate should be a warrior goes without saying, that a pirate should
be a statesman is a thing almost incredible; but those who will read the
story of the life of Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa will be forced to admit that
here, at least, was a pirate who achieved the apparently impossible.
Admiral Jurien de la Gravière has remarked that the Moslem corsairs of the
sixteenth century were great men, even when measured by the standard of
Henry VIII., of Charles V., of Soliman the Magnificent, of Ibrahim, his
Grand Vizier, or of Andrea Doria, greatest among contemporary Christian
mariners. To the seaman, of course, there is much that is fascinating in
the deeds of his forerunners, and the ships of the corsairs had in them
something distinctive in that they were propelled by oars, and were in
consequence, to a certain extent, independent of the weather. Like the
sailors of all ages, to the Sea-wolves gales and storms of all sorts and
descriptions were abhorrent; and in consequence they had a well-marked
piracy season, which, as we shall see, covered the spring and summer, while
they carefully avoided the inclement months of autumn and winter.

In a later chapter an attempt has been made to place before the reader
pictures of the galley, the galeasse, and the nef, which were the names
attached to the ships then in use; the name brigantine, far from having the
significance attached to it by the sailor of the present day, seems to have
been a generic term to denote any craft not included in the names already

Although the sixteenth century had outgrown the principle of the general
massacre of the enemy by the victors, still chivalry to the fallen foe was
far to seek, as all persons captured at sea were, no matter what their rank
and status, immediately stripped and chained to the rowers' bench, where
they remained until ransom, good fortune, or a kindly death, for which
these unfortunates were wont to pray, should come to their release. To a
large extent this savagery may be traced to the religious rancour which
animated the combatants on both sides, as the fanaticism of the Moslem, of
which we have already spoken, was fully matched on the side of the
Christians by the bigotry of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem,
otherwise known as the Knights of Malta, who were vowed to the
extermination of what they, on their side, called "the infidel." It was an
age of iron, when men neither gave nor expected grace for the misfortunes
which might befall them in the warrior life which they led. It was
distinguished by many gallant feats of arms on both sides, but pity formed
no part of the equipment of the fighting man bent on the death or capture
of his enemy. Honestly and sincerely each side believed that they were
doing the service of the Almighty in destroying the other party root and
branch. The amount of human misery and suffering caused by the rise and
progress of the Moslem corsairs was absolutely incalculable; the slavery of
the rower in the galley in the time of which we speak was an agony so
dreadful that in these days it is a thing which seems altogether
incredible, a nightmare of horror almost impossible even to imagine.

The life of the "gallerian" was so hard that his sufferings in many cases
were mercifully ended in death in a very short time, as none save those of
iron constitution could stand the strain imposed by the desperate toil and
wretched food. Yet there are cases on record of men who had worked at the
oar for actual decades, so unconquerable in their strength that even such a
life as this had not the power to break them down.

To the peaceful mariner who wished merely to trade, to the individual whose
business called him overseas, this epoch must have been one of terror
unspeakable. The ordinary perils of the deep were quite enough to keep
timid folk at home in those days of clumsy, ill-found sailing ships, which
could by no means work to windward, and did not sail remarkably well even
with the most favouring breezes; when to this we add that every ship which
started on a voyage in the Mediterranean had before her the chance of being
captured by the corsairs, it was no wonder that he whose business led him
oversea should make his last will and testament and bid a fond farewell to
all his relatives.

There is a record in the Mémoires of the Rev. Frère Pierre d'An, Bachelier
en Théologie de la Faculté de Paris, etc., who wrote in a most heartfelt
manner concerning the danger of the sea and the perils to be expected from
the Barbary corsairs. He says, date 1637:

  "An ancient writer, considering how little assurance can ordinarily be
  placed in the sea, and how hazardous it is to expose oneself and one's
  goods to its mercy, has remarked, with much reason, that it is
  infinitely preferable to be poor on shore than to be rich at sea. In
  which saying he mocks indeed at those ambitious, avaricious, and
  mercenary men who, in order to gain false glory and the things of this
  world, expose themselves rashly to the manifest perils which are most of
  the time the inevitable lot of the seaman. This same consideration
  causes him also to utter these remarkable words: that he repents himself
  of but one thing, and that is ever to have travelled by sea when it was
  possible to have done so by land. And, to say truth, he has good reason
  to speak as he does, because it is impossible for the most hardy
  navigators not to tremble with fear when it is represented before their
  eyes that they must combat with the winds, the waves, and the foam every
  time that they adventure upon the deep.

  "Because it is indisputable that this is the very Theatre of the storms,
  and the place in the world most capable of all sorts of violence and
  tragic adventure. This, however, does not prevent those who covet the
  perishable goods of this world from straying upon the sea, even in
  unknown and untraversed regions, without ceasing and without rest.

  "If, however, they abandon the ocean for a time, it is but to return to
  it again to seek once more war with their ships, in order unjustly to
  make themselves masters of the bodies and of the riches of others.

  "Of such it may be remarked to-day are, in all the maritime coasts, the
  implacable Corsairs of Barbary. For, however great may be the dangers of
  which we have just spoken, and no matter now many examples they may see
  of the fury and inconstancy of Neptune, they cease not their irritating
  performances, kindling warfare in all the coasts of the Christian
  nations. It is there that they exercise their infamous piracies, and
  there also that they glory in the most shameful of all commerce--the
  trade of the brigand.

  "Which in all towns that are well policed have always met with a swift
  and just retribution, because the law is ordained against those who
  maintain such practices.

  "But such does not happen among these pirates.

  "On the contrary, it may truthfully be said that, while in towns in
  which good persons dwell good actions receive the palms and the crown,
  it is among the Corsairs but to the wicked to whom are given recompense
  and praise.

  "In effect the most determined among them--I mean the most unworthy
  robbers who are best versed in all the infamies of their trade and most
  accustomed to the practice of violence--are those who are covered with
  honours, and who pass in the estimation of their fellows for men of
  heart and courage.

  "Indeed experience has taught all Christian merchants that the infidels
  of the coast of Barbary are all brigands.

  "Among these those of Algiers carry off the prize for riches, for ships,
  for strength, and for villainy."

The bachelor in theology is somewhat sweeping in his criticisms, and his
meaning is, perhaps, somewhat clearer than his grammar. One thing, however,
is perfectly plain, that, in the opinion of the reverend brother, those who
go to sea are to be divided into two categories, rogues and fools, with a
strong preponderance of the worse Element of the two.

Of the corsairs dealt with in this record of their deeds the two
Barbarossas were the sons of a Mohammedan father and a Christian mother.
Dragut Reis was a pure Mohammedan, and Ali Basha was a pure-blooded
Italian. All these men, as will be seen, raised themselves to eminence in
the profession of piracy; in each and every separate case starting at the
very bottom rung of the ladder and rising, by sheer stress of valour and
character, to the very top. Each in turn became Admiralissimo to the Grand
Turk at Constantinople. Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa commanded the Ottoman fleet
at the great battle of Prevesa, at which he met with his life-long
competitor at sea, the famous Genoese Admiral, Andrea Doria. Dragut Reis
was killed at the siege of Malta in 1565, and Ali Basha was the only Moslem
commander who increased his reputation at the battle of Lepanto in 1571,
when Don John of Austria shattered the power of the Moslem at sea for the
time being.

Although the "renegado" was very much in evidence in the vessels of the
Moslem corsairs, still of course the bulk of the fighting men, by which the
galleys were manned, were Mohammedans, the descendants of the warriors who
had swept through Northern Africa like a living flame in the early days of
the Mohammedan conquest.

Cut adrift from the homes which had been theirs for over seven
centuries--as we shall see in the next chapter--there was nothing left for
the erstwhile dwellers in Andalusia but to gain their living by the strong
hand. The harvest of the sea was the one which they garnered--a harvest of
the goods of their mortal enemies strung out in lines of hapless
merchant-vessels throughout the length and breadth of the tideless sea.

It booted not that the great Powers of Europe sent expedition after
expedition against them; these they fought to the death with varying
fortune, ready, when the storm had passed over their heads, to start once
more on the only career which promised them the chance of acquiring riches.
Their whole history is a study of warfare, waged as a rule on the petty
scale, but rising at times, as in the cases already mentioned, into events
of first-class historical importance.

The deeds of the buccaneers of the next century in the Spanish Main sink
into comparative insignificance when compared with what was accomplished by
such a man as Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, who was known, and rightly known, by
his contemporaries, and for many generations of Moslem seamen yet to come,
as "the King of the Sea." The capture of Panama by Sir Henry Morgan in
January 1671 was possibly as remarkable a feat of arms as was ever
accomplished, but it cannot rank in its importance to civilised mankind on
the same plane as those memorable battles in the Mediterranean of which
mention has been made as having been fought by the Moslem corsairs.

Fighting for their own hand, the booty reaped by these men was incredible
in its richness. Sea-power was theirs, and they took the fullest advantage
of this fact, fearing none save the great community of the Knights of Saint
John of Jerusalem, which, vowed to the destruction of the infidel, neither
gave nor accepted quarter.

We have said that the real interest in the lives of the corsairs arose from
the fact that it was personal ascendancy, and that alone, which counted in
the piratical hierarchy. Against Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa plots arose again
and again, only to be defeated by the address of the man against whom they
were directed.

It was one of the cruellest of ages, and rough cruelty was the principal
means adopted to ensure success; sheer terror was the weapon of the leader.
Thus when one Hassan, a subordinate of Kheyr-ed-Din, failed to take a
Spanish ship because she made too stout a resistance, his chief caused him
to be soundly flogged and then thrown into prison. Such methods naturally
raised up hosts of enemies in the wake of the piratical commanders, ready
at any time to do them a mortal injury, and it is little short of
miraculous that they should throughout a long period of years have been
able not only to maintain, but to increase, their supremacy over the wild
spirits of which their following was composed. It was, however, the golden
age of autocracy, when men surrendered their judgment to some great leader,
content to follow where he led, to endorse his policy at the cost of their

It is the autocrat who is made by the circumstances of his life who
ultimately becomes supreme. The leaders among the corsairs were tried by
every test of prosperity and of adverse fortune; they emerged from the ruck
in the first instance because it was in them to display a more desperate
valour than did their contemporaries, and it was only when they emerged
triumphant from this, the first test, that they could begin to impose their
will upon others. It was then that their real trials began, as the
undisciplined are ever prone to suspicion, much given to murmuring against
a leader who is not perpetually successful.

As a rule, however, there were but few to criticise, as the office of
critic was one fraught with far too much danger to be alluring. In
maintaining their authority the leaders stopped at nothing, and the heads
of the recalcitrant were apt to part with amazing suddenness from their
bodies if they repined overmuch. The Moslem leader was, it is true, merely
_primus inter pares_, and was distinguished by no outward symbol of the
power which he possessed; but life and death lay in his hands, and life was
cheap indeed.

We have spoken hitherto of the leaders, but what of the men of which their
following was composed? Rough, rude, and reckless, these latter lived but
to fight and to plunder; to them any other life would have seemed
impossible, and indeed this was practically the fact. In the communities in
which they lived the adult male had no other means of gaining a livelihood.
Since their expulsion from their ancient homes no ordered and peaceful
method of existence had been possible for them. In the surroundings in
which their forefathers had lived the arts of peace had been carried on in
a civilisation to which there had been none comparable in the world as it
then existed; on all this the Moslem had now to turn his back, and to earn
a precarious living by the strong hand. War, sanguinary and incessant, was
henceforward to be his lot, and it must be said that he turned to this
ancient avocation with a zest which left but little to be desired from the
point of view of those by whom he was led. In the new life of bloodshed and
adventure he seemed to delight. Like the free-lance in all ages, he seems
to have squandered his booty as soon as it was acquired, and then to sea
once more, to face the desperate hazard of an encounter with the knights,
to raid defenceless villages, to lie _perdu_ behind some convenient cape,
dashing out from thence to plunder the argosy of the merchantman.
Intolerable conditions of heat and cold he endured, he suffered from
wounds, from fever, from hunger and thirst, from hope deferred, from
voyages when no plunder came his way.

His reward was the joy of the fight, the delight of the ambush skilfully
laid, to see the decks of the enemy a dreadful shambles, with the Crescent
of the Prophet above the detested emblem of the Cross. Then the return to
Algiers laden with spoil: to tow behind him some luckless Christian ship,
while aboard his own war-worn galley the drums beat and the trumpets
sounded, and the banners floated free to the stainless Mediterranean sky.
Then the procession of the captives through the crowded streets laden with
what a short time before had been their own property--a mournful _cortège_
of men doomed to an everlasting slavery and of women destined for the
harems of the Bashas.

Thus was his life lived, and when death came it came as a rule from the
slash of a sabre or the ball from an arquebus or a bombard; and then what
matter, for had not Hassan Ali or Selim fallen in strife against the
enemies of his faith, and did not the portals of heaven open wide to
receive the man who had lost his life testifying to the fact that there was
but one God, and that Mahomet was the Prophet of God?

True in substance and in fact is that which was said by the Frère Pierre
d'An that "it is indisputable that the sea is the Theatre of the storms and
the place in the world most capable of all sorts of violence and tragic
adventure." Those who "coveted the goods of others straying on the sea,"
called by the reverend brother "the implacable, corsairs of Barbary," were
to make life intolerable on that element for centuries to come, and if the
Crescent did not supersede the banner of the Cross in the blue waters of
the Mediterranean Sea, it remained as a portent and a dread symbol of human
misery and unutterable suffering.



The rise and progress of the Moslem corsairs of the Mediterranean is a most
curious and interesting historical fact. The causes which led to results so
deplorable to commerce, civilisation, and Christianity are set forth in
this chapter in order that some idea may be formed of the state of affairs
in that region at the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the
sixteenth centuries, and also that the reflex action of the great triumph
of the Christian armies in Spain may be more fully understood.

The maritime Christian States of the Mediterranean at this epoch were at
the height of their power and prosperity, but were faced by the might of
the Ottoman Empire, against which they waged perpetual warfare. Bitter and
unceasing was the strife prosecuted by the Cross against the Crescent, and
by the Crescent against the Cross; and riding, like eagles on the storm
came the corsairs in their swift galleys ready to strike down the luckless
argosy of the merchantman wheresoever she was to be met. But this was not
all, as the shore as well as the sea yielded up to them its tribute in the
shape of slaves and booty, and Christian mothers trembling in the
insecurity of their homes would hush their wailing children with the terror
of the names of Barbarossa, of Dragut, or of Ali Basha.

Popes and emperors, kings and princes, found themselves compelled to form
leagues against these Sea-wolves who devoured the substance of their
subjects, and great expeditions were fitted out to fight with and destroy
the corsairs. Had Christendom been united no doubt the object would have
been attained; but, as will be seen at the end of this chapter, an
"Alliance of Christian Princes against the Turks"--which generic term
included the corsairs--was not always used in the manner best calculated to
injure those common enemies.

When in 1492 Granada was yielded up to "Los Reyes Catolicos," Ferdinand of
Aragon, and Isabella of Castile, by that luckless monarch known as Boabdil
el Chico (or "the little"), the last remnant of the power of the Moors in
Spain had gone never to return. On that small hill on the way to the coast
still known as "el ultimo suspiro del Moro" (the last sigh of the Moor),
Boabdil, as he looked for the last time on his lost capital of Granada, is
said to have burst into tears. His fierce mother Ayesha had, however, no
sympathy for her fallen son: "Thou doest well to weep like a woman for that
which thou daredst not defend as a man," was her biting--and totally
unjust--comment, and the cavalcade pursued its miserable journey to the
coast, from whence it embarked for the kingdom of Fez.

Great was the jubilation in Christendom; for more than seven centuries the
followers of the Prophet had dwelt in the land from which Tarik had
expelled Roderick the Goth in the eighth century. There they had dwelt and
held up a lamp of learning and comparative civilisation which shone
brightly through the miasmatic mists of cruelty and bloodshed in the Middle
Ages, and none can question that, under Moorish rule in Spain in those
centuries, the arts of peace had flourished, and that science, agriculture,
art, and learning had found generous and discriminating patronage in the
courts of Còrdoba and Granada.

And now all was over the iron chivalry of the North had broken in pieces
the Paynim hosts. They were expelled for ever from Christian soil, or else
were forced to live in a state of degrading servitude, sore oppressed by an
alien rule, in the land which their forbears had won and kept by the sword.

There was jubilation, as has been said, in Christendom, but the knights and
nobles who flocked from all parts of Europe to join the standard of the
Catholic monarchs had no prevision of the consequences, no idea of the
legacy that they were leaving to their descendants.

It is of this legacy that we have to speak, and there has been none more
terrible, none fraught with more awful suffering for the human race. The
broken hosts of the Moslem chivalry became the corsairs of the
Mediterranean: ruthless pirates freed from all restraint of human pity,
living only to inflict the maximum of suffering upon their Christian foes,
who, having sown the wind at the taking of Granada, reaped in the coming
centuries a whirlwind of blood and agony which continued down to the
bombardment of Algiers by Lord Exmouth in 1816, and even later than that

Warriors to a man, the hosts of Boabdil crossed the Straits of Gibraltar
into Africa; warriors but now broken men, from whom had been reft not only
their lands and houses but even the chance of remaining in their native
country. Religious toleration had been the rule of the Moslem States in
Spain. In the name of religion they had been expropriated; therefore
toleration was slain, and to exalt the Crescent above the Cross became the
duty of every fighting Mohammedan. Into all the ports and harbours of the
North African littoral the Moslems intruded themselves, their one
preoccupation to revenge themselves upon the Christians, of no matter what
race or nationality. There was at this date but small opposition from the
rulers of the Pagan States who held in their weak and inefficient hands
such strong places of arms as Algiers and Tunis.

Very soon the Moslems acquired the habit of the sea, and very soon the
Christian States discovered how different was the Mohammedan dwelling at
peace in Andalusia, or at worst fighting with his co-religionists, to the
desperate corsairs created by their own act who now ravaged the shores of
the tideless sea.

In the years succeeding to the conquest of Granada the corsairs became the
scourge of the Mediterranean. France, Spain, Genoa, Venice, were all at
odds with them; as the trading vessels, which had hitherto passed to and
fro unmolested, were now captured, haled into North African ports, their
cargoes sold, and their hapless crews forced to labour, naked and chained
to the benches of the pirate galleys, until death came and mercifully put
an end to their sufferings.

From Reggio to Genoa, from Venice to Taranto, the cry of rage and fear went
up; it was re-echoed from the coasts of France and of the Balearic Islands,
while Southern Spain seethed with disaffection, and the Moriscoes, as those
Moors who remained in the country were known, were ever on the lookout to
assist their bold brethren, the rovers of the sea. Christendom was
completely bewildered: hitherto the relations between the nations and the
Kings of Tunis, Tlemcen, Fez, and others of the North African potentates,
had been of the most agreeable description. Both parties had denounced
piracy, and had as far as in them lay done all in their power to discourage
this form of robbery. But now all was changed, and, as has been said in the
previous chapter, a situation arose analogous to that of the Spaniards in
the West Indies a century and a half later when Morgan and the buccaneers
were at the height of their maleficent prowess. The situation was
analogous, but whereas Morgan, Scott, L'Ollonais, and others terrorised
only such forces as Spain possessed in far-distant colonies, the corsairs
were a terror to all the great nations of the world.

Granada fell, as has been said, in 1492 amid the rejoicings of the
Christian States; but it had been well for Christendom as a whole if the
Caliphs of Còrdova and Granada had never been defeated, and they and their
subjects driven from their homes: to form the nucleus of those piratical
States which existed from this date until well into the nineteenth century,
as the scourge and the terror of all those who, during those ages, desired
to "pass upon the seas on their lawful occasions." The capture of Granada
was separated from the fall of the Byzantine Empire by a period of
thirty-nine years, as it was in the year 1453 that Constantinople was
captured by the Caliph Mahomet II. Byzantium fell, and perhaps nothing in
the records of that Empire became it so well as that last tremendous
struggle; and when on May 29th, 1453, the Ottoman legions were victorious,
the body of the last Emperor of Byzantium was found beneath a mountain of
the slain only recognisable by his purple mantle sewn with golden bees. The
Cross which Constantine the Great had planted on the walls 1125 years
before was replaced by the Crescent, and the Christian Cathedral became
that Mosque of St. Sophia which still endures.

From the earliest days of the Moslem corsairs of the Mediterranean they
were in close communication with their co-religionists of the Ottoman
Empire; and this for a very good reason, which was that the Turk had not
the habit of the sea, but was essentially a land warrior, and, as the story
of the Sea-wolves progresses, we shall see how in a sense the Grand Turk
and the pirates became interdependent in the ceaseless wars which were
waged in the epoch of which we treat.

The fall of Constantinople resounded throughout Christendom as though it
had been the crack of doom, and all men held their breath wondering what
next might portend. So stunned were the maritime States that they took no
action, letting "I dare not wait upon I would." Their indecision was fatal.
Had the Venetians, the Genoese, and the Catalans at this juncture formed an
alliance, they might have chased the Turks from off the face of the waters;
but to mutual jealousy and indecision was added fear--fear of this new and
mighty power which had arisen and had swept away one of the landmarks of
Europe. So it fell out that Genoa entered into an arrangement with the
Grand Turk, and Venice concluded a treaty of commerce on April 18th, 1454.
It was the Caliph Mahomet who first fortified the Dardanelles, where he
mounted thirty heavy guns before which Jacques Loredano, the Venetian
admiral, recoiled, reporting to the Republic that henceforward none could
pass the Straits. We have, however, nothing to do with the Grand Turk in
these pages, save, and except in so far, as he had an effect on the lives
of the corsairs. This effect will develop itself as we proceed.

There is one body of men, however, concerning whom it may be as well to
treat of briefly in this place, as the lives which they led and the deeds
which they performed were inextricably entangled with those of the
corsairs. These men were the members of that association first known as the
Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, later as the Knights of Malta. Between
them and the corsairs it was war to the death; and not only with these
robbers, but also with any ship which sailed beneath the insignia of the

In 1291 the Soldan of Egypt chased the Knights Hospitallers, as they were
also known, from the soil of the Holy Land; Philip IV. of France welcomed
them in the island of Cyprus, and gave them the town of Limasol as an
asylum. This for the time the knights were bound to accept, but they were
impatient of charity, resentful of tutelage, proud and independent.
Considering their own order as the greatest and most stable bulwark of the
Christian faith, they bowed before neither King nor Kaiser; and the only
boon they asked of great potentates, when allied temporarily with them in
their eternal warfare, was that on all occasions theirs should be the post
of the greatest danger.

This, indeed, they did not ask as a favour, but claimed as a right. It is
easily understood that such desperate warriors, who fought only to conquer
or die, were allies sought for eagerly by all professing the same faith.

Fulke de Villaret, Grand Master of the order in 1310, seized upon Rhodes,
which, though nominally belonging to Greece, was at this time a refuge for
bad characters of all nationalities. This island was in the most
advantageous position, as it commanded the sea-route from Constantinople to
Egypt and the ports of Asia Minor, and was also in close proximity to the
coast of Caramania, from whence the order could draw the necessary timber
for the building of their galleys and incidentally their motive power--in
the shape of slaves--for the oars by which they were propelled.

The knights fortified the island until it was practically unassailable in
that age. In the meanwhile their navy grew so rapidly that, in 1436, they
were actually in a position to fight the Turks in line of battle. To Rhodes
came the younger sons of noble families from every nation in Europe, all
aflame with ardour to fight for "the religion"; and the great nobles
themselves did not disdain to take service in so chivalrous an order.

Their former enemy, the Soldan of Egypt, made a descent on the island in
1440, and in 1444 besieged the place in form; but he was beaten off, after
forty-two days' ceaseless fighting, with great slaughter.

"Soldier and sailor too" were the bold Knights of Saint John; for them no
toil was too arduous, no danger too great. In heat and cold, in storm and
tempest, they plied their trade of war, their holy crusade to extirpate the
infidel from off the face of the waters. They looked for no material
reward, and riches and honours they contemptuously rejected. Strong in
their marvellous faith that on their shoulders rested the propagation of
Christianity in these latter days, they swept the seas with a calm
assumption of victory which caused it to be half assured before the fight
began. And when the battle was joined, where could be found such paladins
as these men who claimed it as an inalienable right to head the hurricane
rush of the boarders from the decks of their galleys, to be ever the
leaders when the forlorn hope should mount the breach? Life for the
knights of this order was looked at literally with a single purpose--the
advancement of Christianity and the downfall of that pestilent heresy which
proclaimed that Mahomet was the prophet of God. Against all who bowed the
knee in the mosques of the false prophet their lives were vowed, and it is
but the barest justice to them to record that on the altar of this their
faith these were ungrudgingly poured forth.

Naturally reprisals were the order of the day. Equally fanatical was he who
held to the Moslem faith; in consequence many were the attempts to stamp
out, once and for all, the prime enemies of the Ottoman Empire. In 1480 a
Turkish fleet of one hundred and forty ships issued from the Dardanelles,
an army awaited it on the coast of Caramania which was rapidly embarked,
and on May 23rd the fleet anchored a few miles from the town of Rhodes.
Here, then, was a trial of strength in which the Hospitallers delighted.
After repeated attacks in detail, on July 28th a grand assault was made
which the Turks considered would be absolutely decisive: it was decisive,
but not in the fashion which they anticipated.

The standard of the Janissaries already floated on the first curtain of the
rampart when Pierre D'Aubusson rallied the knights for one last desperate
effort. "Shall it be said in days to come that 'the Religion' recoiled
before a horde of Moslem savages; that the banner of Saint John was soiled
by their infamous touch? But this is no time for talk. Ye have swords,
Messires; use them!"

Thus the Grand Master; and then the knights, in their battered armour and
with their hacked and dinted swords, flung themselves once more upon the
foe. The Janissaries closed in around them; but these fine troops were not
what they had been two months before, and the close contact with the
Hospitallers, which had endured sixty-five days, had been to them a lesson
fraught with disaster: they had already lost six thousand men, and their
adversaries were still absolutely undismayed. His helmet gone, his banner
held aloft over his head, Pierre D'Aubusson was ever in the thickest of the
fray unconquered, unconquerable; and pressing close behind him came the
knights, each jealous for the glory of his "Auberge." French, Venetian,
Catalan, Genoese German, none can tell who fought best that day; but the
Janissaries were beaten, and three thousand of their corpses cumbered the
ditch into which they were hurled by their foes; there were besides fifteen
thousand wounded in the Turkish camp.

The heart was out of that great army which had embarked to the sound of
trumpets and the blessings of the Mullahs but ten weeks before, and they
sailed away a beaten force. Mahomet II. swore to avenge his defeat, but his
days were numbered, and he died at Scutari on May 3rd, 1481, at the age of
fifty-two, and in the thirteenth year of his reign.

In the year 1499 Daoud Pasha, Admiralissimo to Bajazet, the successor to
Mahomet II., defeated Antonio Grimani the Venetian admiral in that combat
known to the Republic as "La deplorabile battaglia del Zonchio." The
populace of Venice demanded that Grimani should be instantly beheaded, but
he not only escaped their vengeance but lived to be nominated as Doge
on June 6th, 1521, at the age of eighty-seven: certainly a curious record
for an unsuccessful admiral of that date.

In 1500 was formed the "Alliance of Christian Princes" at the initiative of
the Borgia Pope Alexander VII. Louis XII., King of France, and Ferdinand V.
of Spain announced their adherence to this effort against the Turk, and
Pierre D'Aubusson, the veteran Grand Master of the Knights of Saint John,
was nominated as Captain-General of the Christian armies. For the purposes
of this war the admiral of the Papal galleys in the Mediterranean, Lodovico
del Mosca, purchased from Ferdinand, King of Naples, all his artillery, of
which a description is given by the Padre Alberto Guglielmotti, a Dominican
friar, author of a work entitled, "La Guerra dei Pirati e la Marina
Pontifica dal 1500 al 1560 A.D." "There were thirty-six great bombards,
with eighty carts pertaining to them; some drawn by horses, some drawn by
buffaloes harnessed singly, or two, four, or even six together; two waggons
laden with arquebuses for ships' boats; nine with about forty smaller
bombards (_bombardelles_) placed three, four, or even six on each waggon;
twelve with ordinary pieces of artillery; as many more for the service of
twelve big guns; thirty-seven carts of iron balls; three with gunpowder;
and finally five laden with nitre, darts, and bullets. Splendid artillery
of most excellent workmanship and great power escorted by two thousand men
under arms, without mentioning the companies who marched before and after
each waggon."

The French king had prepared a fleet and army under Count Philip of
Ravenstein; the Spaniards were under the command of Gonsalvo de Còrdoba,
the "Great Captain." The history of the "Alliance of Christian Princes" is
illustrative of the methods of those potentates at that time. After one or
two unimportant skirmishes with the Turks, in which no great harm was done
on either side, the French and Spaniards joined together, and seized the
Kingdom of Naples: the prudent king of this territory, having sold his
artillery to Lodovico del Mosca, did not await the coming of his Christian

In the territory known to the Romans as Byzacena, which stretched from
Algiers to the confines of Tripoli, there was reigning at this period one
Abu-Abd-Allah-Mahomed, a Berber Moslem of the dynasty of Hafsit. Between
this dignitary and Genoa a treaty of commerce had been arranged and signed.
But treaties on the shores of the Mediterranean were capable of very
elastic interpretation; they never reckoned with the corsairs, and these
latter were in the habit of intruding themselves everywhere, and upsetting
the most carefully laid plans. Curtogali, a corsair who had collected a
great following, was now a power with which to reckon, and high in the
favour of the Grand Turk at Constantinople. This robber presented himself
at Bizerta--one of the ports of Abd-Allah-Mahomed--with a squadron of
thirty ships, and demanded hospitality. As Curtogali disposed of thirty
ships and some six thousand fighting men it would probably have been
impossible for Abd-Allah to have refused his request in any case; but he
was far from wishing to do so, as, by a convenient interpretation of the
Koran, the pirate had to deliver up one-fifth part of all the booty which
he reft from the Christians to the ruler of the country in whose harbours
he sheltered. There was no place so convenient for the purposes of the
pirate as Bizerta: from here he could strike at Sicily, at the Balearic
Islands, at Rome, Naples, Tuscany, and Liguria, while at the same time he
held the trade slowly sailing along the North African littoral at his
mercy. Great were the depredations of Curtogali, and even Pope Leo X.
trembled on his throne, while Genoa, Venice, and Sicily seethed with
impotent fury.

In the meanwhile who so happy as Abu-Abd-Allah-Mahomed? We cannot do better
than to take the description of his position from the pages of the good
Padre Alberto Guglielmotti. The Franciscan says: "He [that is, Abd-Allah]
desired peace with all and prosperity for his own interests. Friendly to
the merchants in their commerce; friendly to the corsairs in their spoils.
Let all hold by the law: the former contentedly paying customs dues, the
latter cheerfully handing over a fifth part of their robberies, and
Abd-Allah--their common friend--would ever continue at peace with them all.
Outside his ports the merchants and the pirates might fall by the ears if
they would: that was no reason for him to trouble his head. On the
contrary, he would joyfully await them on their return either with customs
dues or tribute of the fifth as the case might be."

However well this state of affairs may have suited Abd-Allah, the Genoese
held that the situation was far from satisfactory. In consequence they sent
an army against Curtogali, and on August 4th, 1516, they captured Bizerta,
set free a number of Christian captives, and plundered the town. But they
did not capture Curtogali, who, only five weeks after, made a daring
attempt to carry off the Pope in person from the sea-shore in the
neighbourhood of Rome. Curtogali ended his days as the Governor of Rhodes,
from which the Knights of Saint John were finally expelled by Soliman the
Magnificent on December 22nd, 1522. This was the greatest blow which the
fraternity ever received. On December 24th the Turks made a triumphal entry
into the town, and it was said that "Sultan Soliman was not insensible to
the sorrowful position of his vanquished enemies, and when he saw the
Christian Commander, Prince Philippe Villiers L'Isle Adam, he remarked: 'It
weighs upon me somewhat that I should be coming hither to chase this aged
Christian warrior from his house.'" At the beginning of the following year
the knights left the island, never to return. On the day of this desolate
embarcation the herald blew upon his trumpet the "Salute and Farewell" and
the identical instrument upon which this call was sounded is still
preserved in the armoury at Malta, to which barren island the knights were
forced to retreat.



In the year 1457 an obscure Roumelian or Albanian renegado named Mahomedi
was banished from Constantinople by the Grand Turk; he established himself
in the island of Mitylene and there married a Christian widow named
Catalina, by whom he had two sons, Uruj and Khizr. The father had been a
sailor and both sons adopted the same profession. It is from the pages of
El Maestro Don Fray Prudencio de Sandoval that we glean these bare facts
concerning the birth and parentage of these men who, in after-years, became
known to all the dwellers on the shores of the Mediterranean as the
"Barbarossas," from their red beards. Sandoval, Bishop of Pampluna,
published in the year 1614 his monumental history of the Emperor Charles
V., and through his splendid volumes the deeds of the Moslem corsairs run
like the scarlet thread which is twisted through a Government rope. It is
evident that the fact of having to deal with such rascals annoys the good
Bishop not a little, as his severe and caustic comments frequently display.
There was incident and accident enough in the life of the famous "Carlos
Quinto" without the historian having to turn aside to chronicle the deeds
of the pirates; but their exploits were so daring, the consequences thereof
were so far-reaching, that the ominous crimson thread had to be woven into
any narrative of the times in despite of the annoyance of the man by whom
the rope was twisted.

Of Mahomedi we possess no record save the remark concerning him to the
effect that "el qual fue gran marinero": in what way he displayed his gifts
as a seaman we are not told. We have remarked before on the curious fact of
how the "renegado," or Christian turned Mohammedan, became the most
implacable foe of his former co-religionists. We see in the case of the two
Barbarossas that they had no drop of Moslem blood in them, as both parents
came from Christian stock: and yet no greater scourges ever afflicted the
people from whom both their father and mother originally sprang than did
Uruj and Khizr Barbarossa.


The characters of the two brothers were widely different. The elder was no
doubt a "first-class fighting man," a fine seaman, a born partisan leader;
but here his qualities came to an end. Rough, cruel, imperious, brutal, he
imposed himself upon those who became his followers; but in him were to be
found none of the statesmanlike qualities which distinguished his far
greater younger brother. His was the absolutely finite intellect of the
tactician as opposed to the strategist, who, seeing his objective, was
capable of dealing with circumstances as they immediately arose; but,
partly no doubt from defective education, but principally from the lack of
intellectual appreciation of the problems of the time in which he lived,
could never rise to the heights which were scaled by Khizr, better known by
the title conferred upon him later on by the Grand Turk as "Kheyr-ed-Din,"
or "The Protector of Religion."

The sons of Mahomed, that "gran marinero," naturally took to the sea, and
as a young man Uruj became possessed of a ship--how we do not know, and it
were better perhaps not to inquire. In this small craft he repaired to the
coast of Caramania to make war upon the Christians; or, in other words, to
begin an independent piratical career. Uruj in these days was young and
inexperienced, or he would not have chosen this locality for his first
venture, as this coast was in close proximity to the island of Rhodes, from
whence the great galleys of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem set
forth to exterminate the enemies of their faith.

So it came about that Uruj, sailing out in his little ship from under the
shadow of a wooded point, came in full sight of _Our Lady of the
Conception_. There was nothing for it but immediate flight, and Uruj put
his helm up and scudded before the breeze; but the great galley
"goose-winged" her two mighty lateen sails, and turned in pursuit. The ship
which carried Uruj and his fortunes was both fast and handy, and for a time
she held her own; but it was only for a time, as those on board _Our Lady
of the Conception_, finding that they were not gaining on the chase, put
forth their oars and soon changed the aspect of affairs. The galley of the
knights carried twenty-seven oars a-side, and each of these oars was manned
by nine Moslem slaves. The sea was smooth and favourable for rowing, and
soon the ravening pursuit closed in on the doomed corsair. As the interval
between chaser and chased became less and less, those on board the pirate
ship could see for themselves the fate which was awaiting them, as on the
central gang-plank, which separated the rowers' benches, the boatswain and
his mates were unmercifully flogging the bare backs of the straining
oarsmen to urge them to greater exertions. He who was captured at sea in
those days was set to row until he died, and the calculating mercy which
causes a man to feed and treat his beast well in order that it may do the
better work was not to be relied upon here, as life was cheap and slaves
were plentiful. Very soon the beak of the galley overhung the stern of the
little ship. Escape was impossible, to fight would have meant the massacre
of all on board; the choice was instant submission or a watery grave. Uruj
lowered his sail, and he and his little company were ironed and flung into
the depths of the galley until such time as they should be wanted to take
their turn at the oars. In this ignominious fashion ended his first attempt
at independent piracy.

But a storm was brewing, and a heavy sea got up. The sails of the galley
were lowered, her beak was put head-on to the wind, and she made for the
shore. In this noisome confinement Uruj could hear above the crash of the
seas and the whistling of the wind the shrieks of the hapless slaves as the
whips of their taskmasters bit through skin and flesh: the galley-slave
rowed stark naked chained to his bench. This was to be his fate, and he was
well aware of the fact.

At last, after nightfall, the galley anchored under the Isle of Castel
Rosso, at the entrance of the Gulf of Satalie. It still blew hard, but, in
the comparative peace of the anchorage, sounds hitherto hidden by the war
of the elements now made themselves manifest. There were the snores of the
sleepers, the clank of the leg-chains as the wretched slaves shifted their
positions in the attempt to gain an easier place on the bench, there was
also the sound of men carousing with loud laughter in the stern of the
vessel; but above them all rose the hollow groaning as of one in mortal
agony. This proceeded from a slave who was quite close to Uruj. There came
a spell in the laughter and loud voices in the stern, and presently an
imperious voice spoke: "That noise disturbs me; see that it ceases at
once." An obsequious answer came from out of the prevailing darkness: "It
shall cease at once, Excellency." Then came men with lanterns, who
unshackled the wretch who groaned and--flung him overboard.

The night grew worse, the wind backed, and the galley began to drag her
anchors. The slaves were roused, and the oars got ready to shift her from
her dangerous position on what had now become a lee-shore. Uruj had managed
to slip his shackles, a defective bolt having given him his liberty; for
him it was now or never, and he was a bold swimmer. He had seen enough and
heard enough of _Our Lady of the Conception_, and, as the great oars
plunged once more into the sea, the corsair, preferring the mercy of the
elements to that of the knights, slipped over the side unobserved and swam
for the shore. He reached dry land by a miracle, and from Satalie he found
his way to Egypt, where he took service as a mariner in a ship of the
Soldan of Egypt which was bound for the coast of Caramania, from which
province the Egyptians, as well as the knights, drew the timber which they
required for shipbuilding. But again this neighbourhood proved disastrous
to Uruj, as the ship in which he sailed was attacked by a Christian galley,
and he once more had to save himself by swimming on shore. There was no
lack of incident in the life of a corsair of the sixteenth century.

This time he presented himself to Khorkud, the Governor of Caramania,
brother to Sultan Selim, the Grand Turk. The Governor, recognising him as
an intrepid mariner, ordered the Basha of Smyrna to furnish him with a ship
fitted for that _guerre de course,_ which he desired to pursue against the
Christians. The value of the corsair as an auxiliary was beginning to be
recognised among the high Turkish officials. For the complaisance of
Khorkud there were two reasons: in the first place, he was acting in the
interests of his brother in sending to sea any really capable man to make
head against his enemies, and the fact that Uruj was a pirate pure and
simple did not weigh for a feather in the balance; in the second place, it
was a decidedly good mercantile speculation as he ordered his inferior, the
Basha of Egypt, to bear the expense of fitting out the necessary
ship--which came to some 5,000 ducats--and doubtless received a handsome
percentage on all captures from his grateful protégé.

This latter, as may easily be imagined, had had quite enough of the
Caramanian coast, which had turned out a veritable nest of hornets; also,
he had no desire at present to cultivate the further acquaintance of the
knights, and therefore put the whole width of the Ionian Sea between
himself and them, and succeeded in taking several rich prizes. He avoided
Mitylene and returned to Egypt, wintering at Alexandria. It may here be
remarked that the corsairs, as a rule, regarded the winter as a close
season, as in those early days the mariner did not, if he could avoid it,
risk his ship by sailing her at this period of storm and tempest. In
consequence there was nothing to tempt the pirates to range the seas during
these months, and if they had had a successful summer and autumn, as they
generally did, they could well afford to lay up and await the coming of

But when storm and rain gave way to the smooth waters and balmy breezes,
the Sea-wolves were certain of their prey, as the whole length and breadth
of the tideless sea was sure to be filled with the ships of the detested
Christians trafficking in every direction. In the ethics of the Moslem all
ships which sailed under the banner of the Cross, no matter to what nation
they belonged, were fair game, even supposing that her insignia were the
Crescent--well, supposing the spot to be sufficiently remote, dead men tell
no tales, and the pirates were to be trusted to see to it that none

But, however this might have been, it is quite certain that no qualms of
conscience troubled Uruj concerning those others: Genoese, Neapolitans,
Catalans, Andalusians, French, or the dwellers of the Balearic Islands,
were all fish sent by a bountiful Providence to be enclosed in his net, and
he seized upon them without distinction. When in the full tide of his
success there was but one thing which preoccupied the mind of the corsair,
which was to find a ready market for his spoils and a convenient place in
which to rid himself of an embarrassing number of captives. This, however,
did not present an insuperable difficulty, as we have already seen in the
case of Curtogali, and a similar arrangement was carried out by Uruj
Barbarossa and his brother.

Uruj now established himself at the island of Jerba, on the east coast of
Tunis, which formed an admirable base from which to "work" the
Mediterranean from the piratical point of view. Jerba had originally been
conquered and occupied by the Spaniards in 1431, but the occupation had
been allowed to lapse, and the island was lying derelict when the
Barbarossas made it their headquarters. Here Uruj was joined by his younger
brother Khizr, destined to become so much the more famous of the two; he
had already made himself some reputation in piratical circles, and now
brought his cool judgment and wise counsel to the assistance of that fiery
fighting man his elder brother. The first question to be decided was that
which we have already mentioned, namely, the disposal of spoil from
prospective captures, and with this end in view the corsairs approached the
Sultan of Tunis. This potentate made a gracious response to their
overtures, and wished them all success in their enterprises. He promised
them succour and support on the same terms which Curtogali had obtained,
namely, one-fifth of all the spoil landed in his dominions.

The price to be paid was a stiff one, and was so regarded by the active
partners in this arrangement; they were, however, young and unknown, and
had not the least intention of holding to their bargain when more
favourable circumstances presented themselves. Now they held fair speech
with the puppet princes of North Africa; the day was to come when they
should chase them from their insecure thrones. It was at this time, shortly
after the treaty with the Sultan of Tunis was concluded, that the younger
Barbarossa received from the Grand Turk the glorious name of Kheyr-ed-Din,
or "The Protector of Religion." It was a somewhat remarkable title for a
pirate, but perhaps its bestower was slightly deficient in a sense of

Sailing from Tunis in the spring of the year 1512, the brothers, with three
galleys, fell in with _The Galley of Naples_, an enormous nef with a crew
of three hundred. They instantly attacked, but were repulsed, night falling
without either side having gained an advantage. This audacious proceeding
illustrates the hardihood of the Moslem corsairs at this time. They were
amply strong enough to range the Mediterranean and to capture, with no risk
to themselves, the weak and unprotected argosies plying their trade in this
sea; but this was not the method of the Barbarossas. Villains they may have
been according to modern standards, pirates they were unquestionably; but
they were grim, hard-bitten, fighting men, who shrank from no dangers in
the pursuit of their prey, who reckoned that the humiliation and defeat of
their Christian antagonists was as sweet a morsel as the booty reft from
their hands. All night the three Moslem galleys and the great nef lay
becalmed awaiting the conflict which was to come with the break of day; and
it is easy to imagine that there was not much quiet sleep on board of
either the Moslem or the Christian ships, for both on the one side and the
other the issues loomed large. The corsairs had, so far, made no such
important capture as this, which, could it be accomplished, would add
enormously to their prestige, in addition to such spoils as they might
acquire; but the combatants were fairly evenly matched in the matter of
numbers, and the fight was one to a finish. The advantage on the side of
the corsairs lay in the fact of their being three to one, and their being
thus enabled to attack in three separate places at the same time. Terrible
must have been that night of waiting for the unfortunates on board _The
Galley of Naples_; there was no escape, and on board of her among her
passengers were many women, whose fate was too terrible to contemplate
should the day go against them. The first assault had been beaten off, it
is true, but the struggle had been hard and bitter; would they be equally
successful when the assault was renewed?

Even such a night as this, however, comes at last to an end, and the
prospect of action must have been welcomed by the men on both sides; of the
women with so horrible a fate impending one can hardly bear to think. The
ghostly fingers of the dawn touched the grey sea with a wan yellow light,
outlining the nef and the slender, wicked-looking galleys with their banks
of oars; over the surface of the deep a slight mist hovered, as though some
kindly spirit of the sea would hide, if such a thing were possible, the
deeds which were to come. The three galleys lay close together, and Uruj
and his brother held a few last words of counsel.

"It is agreed, then," said the elder; "you, my brother, attack the
starboard side and I on the port side, while Hassan Ali [indicating the
captain of the third galley] will await the time when we are fully engaged,
and will then board over the stern."

"It is agreed," answered Kheyr-ed-Din, and Hassan Ali.

As the strong sun of a perfect May morning in the Mediterranean leapt above
the horizon, Uruj loosed his hounds upon their prey; the oars of the
galleys churned the clear blue waters into foam, and the air was filled
with the yells of the corsairs. "Allah! Allah!" and "Barbarossa!
Barbarossa!" they cried. It was a war-cry that was destined to re-echo over
many a conflict, both by land and sea, in the years that were to come.

In a simultaneous, and as we have seen a concerted attack, the beaks of the
galleys crushed into the broadsides of _The Galley of Naples_, and, ever
foremost in the fray, Uruj and Kheyr-ed-Din were the first two men to
board. Then, when men were hand to hand and foot to foot, when Moslem
scimitar rang on Christian sabre, and the air was filled with the oaths and
shouts of the combatants, the third remaining pirate craft grappled _The
Galley of Naples_ by the stern, and a tide of fresh, unwounded men burst
into the fray. This was the end; the Christians were both outnumbered and
outfought, for among them were many who were not by profession warriors,
whereas no man found a footing among the Sea-wolves, or was taken to sea as
a fighting man, unless he had approved himself to the satisfaction of his
captain that he was a valiant man of his hands. We have no record or list
of the dead and wounded in this battle, but among the latter was Uruj, who
was severely hurt. Not so Kheyr-ed-Din, who escaped scatheless and took
command now that his brother was incapacitated. The dead were flung
overboard with scant ceremony, and the wounded patched up as best might be,
and then _The Galley of Naples_ was taken in tow, and the corsairs returned
in triumph to Tunis. Faithful to their treaty, so far, they laid one-fifth
of their spoils at the feet of the Sultan.

A great procession was formed of Christian captives marching two and two.
Four young Christian girls were mounted on mules, and two ladies of noble
birth followed on Arab horses sumptuously caparisoned. These unfortunates
were destined for the harems of their captors. The Sultan was greatly
pleased at the spectacle, and as the mournful procession defiled before him
cried out, "See how heaven recompenses the brave!" Jurien de la Gravière
remarks: "Such was the fortune of war in the sixteenth century. A man
leaving Naples to go to Spain might end his days in a Moorish bagnio and
see his wife and daughters fall a prey to miscreants of the worse

It was not till the following spring that Uruj was fit once more to pursue
his chosen calling, so severe had been his wounds; but once he was whole
and sound again he put to sea accompanied by Kheyr-ed-Din, and this time he
had conceived a singularly bold and desperate enterprise. Two years before
the famous Spanish captain, Pedro de Navarro, had seized upon the coast
town of Bougie, and had unfortunately left it in the hands of a totally
insufficient garrison. This departure from the sound rules of warfare had
already been punished as it deserved, as the garrison was perpetually
harassed and annoyed by the surrounding Arab tribes. The idea of Uruj was
to seize upon Bougie by a _coup de main_. The corsair, however, was a far
finer fighter than he was a strategist, and was possessed of a most
impatient temper. All went well to begin with, as he managed to intercept
and to capture a convoy of Spanish ships sent to revictual the place, and
had he been content to wait he might have counted with certainty on
reducing the garrison by starvation, as it depended on this very convoy for
its supplies. In vain the wary and cool-headed Kheyr-ed-Din counselled
prudence and delay, but these words were not to be found in the vocabulary
of his elder brother. "What had to be done," he replied, "had better be
done at once," and at the head of only fifty men landed and assaulted the
still uncompleted ramparts of Bougie.

But if Uruj were rash and headstrong, so was not the commander of the
Spanish garrison, who, massing his men for the repulse of the assault,
waited till the last moment, and then received them with a volley of
arquebuses, which laid many of them low, and so badly wounded their leader
that he had to have his arm amputated on the spot: it says much for his
constitution that he survived the operation.

For the time being the brothers had had enough of shore enterprises, and
confined themselves strictly to their piratical business at sea, which
prospered so exceedingly that they became exceedingly rich and their fame
and power increased day by day. As time went on and the wealth of the
brothers and partners increased, there entered into the calculating brain
of Kheyr-ed-Din the idea that the payment of one-fifth share to the Sultan
of Tunis was but money thrown away. Twenty per cent, was eating into the
profits of the firm in an unwarrantable manner, he considered, and now that
the active partners therein had established so good a business connection,
they were quite strong enough to dispense with a sleeping partner. Times
had changed for the better, and Kheyr-ed-Din was anxious to take full
advantage of the fact; if possible he determined to seize upon and hold
some port, in which, not only would they be exempt from tribute, but also
in which he and his brother Uruj should be the supreme arbiters of the fate
of all by whom it might be frequented.

Of Bougie and its stout Spanish garrison the brothers had had quite enough
for the present: they sought, in consequence, for some harbour which
presented equal advantages of situation, and their choice fell upon
Jigelli, then belonging to the Genoese, who occupied a strong castle in
this place.

Jigelli lies well outside the confines of the kingdom of Tunis, about
equi-distant from Bougie and Cape Bougaroni, some forty miles from each. It
would appear that on this occasion it was the younger of the two brothers
who took charge of the enterprise, and there were no slap--dash,
unconsidered methods employed. By this time the fame of the Barbarossas had
gone abroad from Valencia to Constantinople, from Rome to the foot--hills
of the Atlas Mountains, and, to circumvent the Genoese garrison of Jigelli,
Kheyr-ed-Din called to his aid the savage Berber tribes of the hinterland
of this part of Northern Africa.

Turbulent, rash, unstable as water, were these primitive dwellers of the
desert; but they were fighters and raiders to a man, and ready for any
desperate encounter if only it held out the promise of loot: they were as
veritably the pirates of the land as were the Barbarossas pirates of the

Small chance, indeed, had the five hundred Genoese soldiers by which
Jigelli was garrisoned when attacked from the sea by the Barbarossas and by
land by an innumerable horde of Berbers who were reckoned to be as many as
20,000. Invested by land and sea, the garrison did all that it was possible
for men to do. Provisions and water ran short, ammunition was failing, the
ring of their enemies was encircling them day by day closer and ever
closer. From the land nothing could be expected but an augmentation of
their foes, and day by day the commander of the garrison strained his eyes
seaward to watch if haply the proud Republic, to which he and his men
belonged, would send succour, or the redoubtable Knights of Saint John
would come to his aid.

But the days lengthened into weeks, and the soldiers were gradually
becoming worn out by the perpetual strain imposed upon them. There was one
chance left, and one alone, which was to cut their way out through the
besieging lines. Massacre to a man was their fate in any case, and thus it
was that the commander, whose name has not come down to us, mustered his
men for the last supreme effort. At dead of night the garrison, having
destroyed as far as possible all that might be of use to the enemy, sallied
out to their doom. They fought as men fight who know that the end has come;
but valour could not avail against the numbers arrayed on the side of the
enemy, and they were wiped off the face of the earth. The tribes looted the
castle of everything portable, and then retired from whence they had come.
For this Kheyr-ed-Din cared nothing; they were welcome to the poor
possessions of some hundreds of half-starved Italian soldiers--let them
take the shell, for him remained the kernel in the shape of a strong place
of arms.

Hardly, however, had the brothers succeeded in this enterprise when that
tireless fighter Uruj again attempted the capture of Bougie; but his second
attempt was even more disastrous than his first, and he lost half his
flotilla. Then he asked for succour from Tunis; but the Sultan, much
offended at the idea of the brothers setting up in a piratical business in
which he was no longer a sleeping partner, angrily refused.



The events recorded in the last chapter bring us down to the end of the
year 1515, and while every endeavour has been made to present affairs in
chronological sequence, it must be remembered that the dates of piratical
expeditions are often impossible to obtain: the wrath of the chroniclers at
the nefarious deeds of the corsairs greatly exceeding their desire for a
meticulous accuracy in the matter of the exact time of their occurrence.
Uruj, as has been seen, had by his headstrong folly once again placed his
brother and himself in a decidedly awkward situation. By the losses which
he had incurred in his second ill-advised attempt on Bougie he had so
weakened the piratical confederation that the countenance of some potentate
had again become necessary for their continued existence, and the Sultan of
Tunis had now repudiated all connection with these ingrates.

But, if craft and subtlety were not to be found in Uruj there was one who
never failed to exhibit these qualities when they became necessary, and
Kheyr-ed-Din once more came to the front. The Russian peasantry have a
saying that "God is high and the Czar is far away." In the sixteenth
century the Grand Turk was in every sense "far away" from the struggling
corsairs on the littoral of Northern Africa, and was a sovereign of such
great and mysterious might that any man with a less fine instinct into the
psychology of the times in which he lived than Kheyr-ed-Din would have
hesitated long and anxiously before addressing him directly; would probably
in the end not have done so at all. But desperate diseases require
desperate remedies, and the politic corsair well knew that even the moral
support of such an one as the Sultan of Constantinople was worth more than
even material aid from a Sultan of Tunis.

Consequently, greatly daring, he sent an embassy to the Sublime Porte with
one of his most trusted captains at its head to lay the homage of the
corsairs at the feet of Selim I. Very naturally these ambassadors did not
go empty-handed, but took with them rich presents and numerous slaves.
Selim was much pleased at the attention, coming as it did from such a
distance--we have to remember that the coast of North Africa was an immense
journey from Constantinople in those days--and the insight of Kheyr-ed-Din
was triumphantly vindicated. Not only did the Sultan send a gracious reply
in return, but--what was far more to the purpose--he sent a reinforcement
of fourteen vessels to the corsairs bidding them to go on and prosper in
their efforts to spread the true faith among the Christian heretics.

There is nothing more curious in the history of the corsairs than the
perpetual ups and downs of their lives. Thus in the present instance the
ill-advised attack of Uruj on Bougie had reduced them to terrible straits;
immediately afterwards the action of the Grand Turk once more set them upon
their feet and enabled them to pursue an unchecked career of devastation.
Aided by the reinforcements sent by Selim, their depredations assumed ever
larger proportions, and, had they continued to receive this assistance, the
course of history itself might have been changed. Ground to powder beneath
the iron heel of their ruthless conquerors, the Moriscoes of Southern Spain
were ever waiting the chance to rise and shake off the yoke by which they
were so sore oppressed; from far and near reports were coming to hand of
the continued successes of the corsairs, and all Andalusia seethed with
passionate hope that the day of deliverance was at hand.

But, alas for the vanity of human wishes! in the opening months of the year
1516 Selim recalled his ships and the chance was gone, never again to

It may have been that "the sorrowful sighing of the captives" never reached
the ears of the successor of Othman in his palace on the shores of the
Golden Horn; in any case, the Sultan was preparing for the conquest of
Egypt, and in consequence recalled the ships which he had lent to assist
the corsairs. The Moriscoes were thus left without hope, but so far as the
corsairs were concerned they were enabled to strike another bargain with
the Sultan of Tunis. This monarch had now got over his fit of the sulks,
and discovered that customs dues from the peaceful trading mariners,
although desirable enough, were not by any means so lucrative a form of
revenue as was the one-fifth share of the booty of the pirates. Uruj and
Kheyr-ed-Din for their part, although they had captured Jigelli, were
totally unable to hold it: the capture had indeed been principally due to
the assistance which they had received from the Berber tribesmen, but these
nomads had disappeared into the deserts from whence they came, once the
looting of the town and fortress had been completed.

The corsair had to be armed at all points, in the moral as well as the
material sense, as he was the enemy of all men, and all were vowed to his
destruction. Every cruise which he took raised up against him fresh hatred
and a more bitter animus, and we must remember that it was not only men
individually, but Principalities and Powers that were arrayed in line of
battle for his destruction. At the present juncture Spain was specially
hostile, for not only had her possession of Bougie been twice attacked by
the Sea-wolves, but a valuable convoy had been captured. An expedition, in
consequence, was sent by the Spaniards against the Barbarossas, but this
effort did not result in much damage being done to the offenders. The
Spaniards destroyed four piratical vessels which had been abandoned by
their crews at Bizerta, and pushed a strong reconnaissance into the Bay of
Tunis itself. Here shots were exchanged between the Spanish fleet and the
forts--under which Kheyr-ed-Din had drawn up his ships--and the Spaniards
then abandoned the enterprise and returned from whence they had come.

In the year 1510 the Spaniard, Count Pedro Navarre, had seized upon
Algiers, which town was at this time one of the principal refuges of the
Moorish fugitives, who had been driven from Granada, from Còrdoba, and from
Southern Spain generally by Ferdinand and Isabella eighteen years
previously. To say that the condition of these people was desperate is to
speak but the bare truth, for what could exceed the misery of the situation
in which they were left after the successful incursion of their Christian
foes? What we are apt to lose sight of in the light of present-day
circumstances is the fact that these Spanish Moors were a most highly
civilised people, far more so indeed than their Christian contemporaries;
that they had been driven with fire and sword from the land in which they
and their forefathers had dwelt for over seven centuries, and that they now
had been cast out literally to starve on the inhospitable shores of
Northern Africa. So it came about that the common people exchanged the life
of the peaceful and prosperous artisan or husbandman for that of the
hand-to-mouth pirate, and the case of knight and noble among them was no
better--perhaps rather worse--than the meanest among those who had been

Those who know the region in which these unhappy folk lived are aware of
the material monuments which still exist and testify to the glorious past;
and, seeing what they have seen, it is no great stretch of the imagination
to picture to themselves the comfort, the elegance, and the luxury with
which the inhabitants of Granada and Còrdoba lived surrounded. Over there,
away across some few leagues of shining blue water, were the ruined homes
of which many of the banished people still possessed the keys, awaiting the
day when Allah and the Prophet should vouchsafe to them that return which
they so naturally and ardently desired. To this day the key of the great
Mosque at Cordoba is preserved at Rabat as a sacred relic of former dignity
and power--a symbol to the Moslem of his perpetual banishment. If Cordoba
with its mosque--still one of the wonders of the world, with its eleven
hundred marble columns--were the principal shrine and holy of holies to
these people, there were in addition hundreds of other temples of their
faith now for ever desecrated in their eyes by the misfortune which had
placed them in Christian hands. In Andalusia were the dishonoured graves of
their kinsfolk, and, last and worst of all, in this land still dwelt
thousands upon thousands of their co-religionists held in a degrading
bondage by their implacable enemies.

The capture of Algiers by Count Pedro Navarro was a crowning misfortune for
the exiles, and when this commander seized upon the place he extracted from
the inhabitants an oath of fidelity to the Spanish crown; he further
erected a strong tower to overawe the town, and to keep its turbulent
inhabitants in order. But such an oath as this, extracted at the point of
the sword, was writ in water; it meant, of course, the suppression of
piracy, and it also meant the starvation of most of those persons who dwelt
in the vicinity. How the Moslem population existed for the six years after
the incursion of Navarro is a mystery; but they probably moved their
galleys, of which they possessed some twenty, further along the coast out
of the range of the guns from Navarro's Tower, and secure from the
observation of those who held it for the Spanish king.

In the year in which Selim descended upon Egypt the King of Spain,
Ferdinand V., died, and grave troubles immediately broke out in Spain. This
was an opportunity too good to be missed, as no reinforcements could
possibly be expected for the garrison in Algiers as long as these
disturbances lasted, and the Algerines took counsel together as to the best
means of driving out their enemies. It is a commentary on the detestation
in which they held the Spaniards that they should have allied themselves
for this purpose with the savages of the hinterland. This, however, was
what they did. As in the case of Jigelli, these people could always be
relied upon to go anywhere in search of booty, and one Selim Eutemi entered
the town at the head of his tribe. But sheer, stark, savage valour could
make no impression on Navarro's Tower and the ordnance that was mounted on
its walls. The result was a stalemate, as the Spaniards could by no manner
of means get out, and neither could their enemies, who swarmed innumerable
in the town and the surrounding country, get in. In time, of course, they
might hope to bring the garrison to surrender by starvation; but time
pressed, and no man knew when the troubles in Spain might be adjusted and
help come to the beleaguered. In the meanwhile Selim Eutemi and his men,
who had been taught some rude lessons in the power of firearms, kept out of
range of the cannon, while the Algerines held yet another council of war,
the result of which was that they decided to ask help from Uruj and
Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, and to them they appealed. By this time their fame
was known to all men, and they could supply that which was lacking--namely
ships, artillery, a first-class fighting force, and last, and best of all,
the moral support which would stiffen and put heart into the motley horde
which at present surged around the gates of the fortress of Navarro.

The Algerines did not appeal in vain, and an instant promise of succour was
forthcoming. Kheyr--ed--Din was away at sea, but Uruj, that indomitable
fighter, started at once. From whence we are not told, but he must have
been somewhere in the neighbourhood, as he and his men marched along the
shore; while, keeping pace with them, came a fleet of eighteen galleys and
three barques laden with stores.

But before proceeding to the assistance of the Algerines Uruj had a
personal matter to which to attend, and he wished to combine pleasure with
serious business. One of his old companions had seceded from his command
and had established himself at Shershell, where he lived the life of an
independent corsair within easy striking distance of the Balearic Islands
and the coast of Spain, his following composed of a horde of those broken
men of whom mention has been made. Shershell was an unfortified town, and
surrendered unconditionally upon the arrival of Uruj and his army.
Kara-Hassan, for such was the name of this independent corsair, came out to
greet his old-time chief; he was met with violent reproaches, and the
altercation ended by Uruj having him beheaded on the spot. It was ill to
quarrel with the Barbarossas.

Freed from this rival, the Mitylene corsair had now uncontested supremacy
on the coast, a supremacy none was likely to contest in the future, as he
brooked no opposition, and had come to consider that independent piracy in
the Mediterranean was in some sort an infringement of the rights of himself
and his brother. One of the most salient peculiarities of the corsairs at
this time was the apparent recklessness with which they assailed others who
were participants in their nefarious business. Self-interest and policy
would seem, to the observer in the present day, to have dictated quite a
different course of action; but we shall see, when we come to deal with the
life-history of Kheyr-ed-Din, that this infinitely wiser and more
intellectual man apparently allowed himself to be swayed by gusts of
passion, in which he savagely maltreated those with whom he was associated,
and from whom dangerous hostility was certainly to be feared if they
escaped with their lives. At this distance of time it is impossible to
gauge the motives by which men such as these were actuated, more
particularly in the case of Kheyr-ed-Din, whose character was a blend of
the deepest subtlety and calculated ferocity.

Having settled with Kara-Hassan, Uruj continued his march along the coast.
Arrived at Algiers, he opened in form a siege of Navarro's Tower; but,
being unable to make any impression on its defences, he abandoned the siege
after twenty days' fruitless fighting, during which he lost a number of men
in his assaults. Baffled and furious, he turned on the Berber chieftain,
the luckless Selim Eutemi, and caused him to be assassinated, regarding him
as being responsible for the failure. The Spanish chroniclers relate, with
some wealth of detail, how Uruj personally fell upon Selim Eutemi, when
that chieftain was in his bath, and strangled him with his own hands.
However this may have been, the Spanish records of the deeds of the
corsairs cannot well be taken _au pied de la lettre_; there is no doubt
that Selim was murdered, and from that time the Berbers recognised that he
who had come to help was now remaining to plunder. Uruj now established
himself in the town, and set to work making raids into the adjoining
country, carrying off sheep, cattle, and slaves. For the Berbers this was a
true awakening. He who now oppressed them had come in the guise of a
champion to assist them in the sack and plunder of Navarro's Tower; they
had exchanged King Log, who dwelt securely locked up, for a King Stork of
the most active description. Although we cannot sympathise with such
people, it is quite possible to understand their very natural annoyance at
the turn which things had taken, and it does not surprise us (in this age
of "punic faith") that a conspiracy was set on foot between the dwellers of
the hinterland and the Spaniards of the fortress.

Uruj was informed of all that was going on through his own spies, and,
although he kept his finger on the pulse of the conspiracy, he acted as
though the tribesmen were still his very faithful friends and allies. The
corsair was more patient than his wont. In this affair he wished for ample
proof of delinquency, and also for a vengeance adequate to the occasion
when he should discover all the guilty parties; and so some weeks went by
while the plot was maturing, apparently, from the point of view of the
conspirators, to a successful conclusion. But Uruj had bided his time with
a subtlety and _finesse_ which would have done credit to Kheyr-ed-Din

It was the custom of the corsair and his chief adherents to attend the
principal mosque on Fridays; and therefore, when the conspirators were
cordially invited to attend on the following Friday, and, after the service
was over, to attend Uruj to his dwelling and there confer with him, they
went, nothing doubting, to their deaths. As the discourse of the Mullah
came to an end a crash resounded throughout the building: six stalwart
swordsmen had flung the great gates of the mosque together, and barred all
exit. Excepting the conspirators, twenty-two in number, the remainder of
the edifice was filled with the galley's crews of the corsair, men who, had
he given the order, would have cheerfully set alight to the sacred building
itself and roasted the Mullahs themselves in the flames.

To the corsairs, after they were seated in the mosque, the word had been
passed that the Berber tribesmen had meditated this treachery against them,
which, had it succeeded, would have meant the death or enslavement of them
all. It was therefore a trap of a singularly deadly description into which
the countrymen of Selim Eutemi walked on this Friday morning.

The doors being closed, the conspirators were one by one dragged before
Uruj, who, bitterly reproaching them, gave order for their instant death.
They were haled out through rows of jeering pirates, and beheaded in the
street immediately in front of the principal entrance of the mosque. When
the slaughter of the twenty--two was accomplished Uruj strode from the
mosque over the weltering corpses of the traitors amid the plaudits of his
own men, ever ready to acclaim deeds of blood and cruelty. After this there
were no more plots against the corsair in Algiers. News of all these
desperate doings in Algiers had by this time filtered across into Spain,
and El Maestro Don Fray Prudencio de Sandoval recounts how, when the
tidings came to Fray Francisco Ximenes, the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo,
that that prelate, much scandalised that the might of Imperial Spain should
be flouted by a mere pirate, sent Don Diego de Vera with some fifteen
thousand men to recapture the town, and relieve the beleaguered garrison in
the tower. This was in the month of September 1516.

Don Diego landed "en el dia de San Hieronymo," and threw up entrenchments
within gunshot of the town. Great things were expected of this expedition,
as Sandoval notes that in 1513 Don Diego de Vera, in the war against the
French, had gained the approval of Count Pedro Navarro ("avia bien aprovado
con el Conde Pedro Navarro"), and it was not expected that a mere pirate
rabble would ever make head against the Spanish troops. De Vera opened fire
on the walls of the town from his entrenchments, but hardly had he done so
when Uruj, leading his corsairs, which formed the spearhead to an
innumerable army of Berbers and Arabs, made a sortie.

  "Upon them one day did Barbarossa make an onslaught, and when he saw
  that the Spanish soldiers were ill commanded, he flung his forces upon
  them with loud cries. And so great was the fear inspired by Barbarossa
  that they were routed almost without loss to the Moors; and with much
  ease did these latter slay three thousand men and capture four hundred
  on the day of San Hieronymo in this year."

  ("Salio un dia à el Barbarossa y como vio los soldados Españoles
  desmandados diò en ellos con gran gritos. Y fue tan grande el miedo que
  vieron que Barbarossa los desbaratò casi sin daño y con mucho facilidad
  mato tres mil hombres y cautivo quatro cientos dia de San Hieronymo
  deste año.")

This quotation is given in full to set out the amazing fact that in this
battle over three thousand were killed while only four hundred were
captured, which shows that it must have been in the nature of an
indiscriminate massacre; the only captive of any note was the captain, Juan
del Rio. Diego de Vera had had enough of the corsairs, and sailed away with
the remainder of his force. Of what became of him or of them there is no
record, but he must have been a singularly incompetent commander when he
could not make head against a rabble of pirates and Moors with the army at
his disposition. Sandoval does not attempt to minimise the defeat, which,
of course, would have been impossible; he contents himself with the
following delightfully quaint reflection: "But many, many times Homer nods;
this disaster must have come upon us for our sins, upon which it is most
important that we should always think and meditate."

Who so triumphant now as Uruj Barbarossa? It is true that the fortress of
Pedro Navarro still remained in the hands of its splendid and undaunted
garrison, and was destined so to remain for some years to come; but they
were impotent for harm, and the conqueror of Don Diego now turned his arms
in another direction. Kheyr-ed-Din was at Jigelli when he heard of the
victory gained by his brother, and sailed at once with six ships to his
support. The town of Tenes fell into the hands of the brothers, with an
immense booty, and then Uruj marched on Tlemcen. The Sultan of Tlemcen, the
last of the royal race of the Beni-Zian, did not await the coming of the
corsair. All through the northern coasts of Africa the name of Barbarossa
was a synonym of terror; the sad fate of Selim Eutemi, of Kara-Hassan, of
the twenty-two conspirators of the mosque, had been noised abroad, and the
superstitious tribesmen firmly believed that these red-bearded corsairs
were the accomplices of Shaitan, even if they did not represent him
themselves in their own persons. Who were these men, they asked one another
tremblingly, who feared neither God nor devil, and who caused even the
redoubtable Spaniards to fly before them like the leaves in front of an
autumn gale?

When men begin to talk and to think like this there is not much fight left
in them, and so it came about that, after the most feeble of resistances,
the Sultan of Tlemcen fled to Fez. Thus, almost without striking a blow,
Uruj found himself master of a province from which the Spaniards were
accustomed to draw the necessary provisions for the upkeep of the garrison
of Oran. But Tlemcen is but some seventy miles from Oran, and Oran is so
close to Spain as to be easily reinforced; in consequence Uruj was soon
blockaded by the Spaniards, and remained so for seven months. But no
blockade could keep Uruj Barbarossa for long within stone walls; sortie
after sortie did the gallant corsair lead against the foe, and it was in
one of these that he characteristically came by his death. Ever rash and
impetuous, he allowed himself to be drawn too far away from possible
shelter or support; and, as there was something dramatic in the whole life
of this man, so also was there in the manner of his death. They had him
trapped at last, this grim Sea-wolf, and he stood at bay in a stone corral
used for the herding of goats.

  As the wolves in winter circle round the leaguer on the heath,
  So the greedy foe glared upward panting still for blood and death.

By his side was his faithful lieutenant Venalcadi. In a breathless mêlée
Christian sword and Moslem sabre clashed and rang. His turban gone, his
great curved scimitar red to the hilt, the undaunted corsair fought his
last fight as became the terror of his name. Almost had he succeeded in
breaking through the ring of his foes when Garzia de Tineo, _alferez_ (or
lieutenant) to Captain Diego de Andrade, wounded him severely with a pike.
Uruj stumbled, was struck on the head with another weapon; he reeled and
fell. The fight was over, and one of the Barbarossas bit the dust. Garzia
de Tineo leaped upon the fallen man and cut off his head. It is recorded
that Garzia de Tineo was wounded in the finger by Uruj in the course of the
combat, and that for the rest of his life he proudly exhibited the scar as
a sign that it was none other than he who had killed the famous corsair.

Uruj Barbarossa was undoubtedly a remarkable man. At a time when the
Mediterranean swarmed with warriors none was more feared, none was more
redoubtable than he. By sheer valour and tenacity he had fought his way to
the front, and the son of the obscure renegado of Mitylene died a king. It
is true that his sovereignty was precarious, that it was maintained at the
edge of the sword; none the less, in that welter of anarchy in which he
lived he had forced himself to the summit, and, pirate, sea-wolf, and
robber as he was, we cannot withhold from him a meed of the most hearty



Uruj had arrogated to himself the title of King of Tlemcen, but with his
death this shadowy sovereignty came to an end, and the Spaniards seized
upon the province. This, however, did not avail them much, as the Sultan of
Fez sent against them an innumerable army, and they in their turn were
dispossessed. It was in the year 1518 that Uruj fell beneath the pike of
Garzia de Tineo, and now the first place in the piratical hierarchy was
taken by Kheyr-ed-Din. In this man the genius of the statesman lay hidden
beneath the outward semblance of the bold and ruthless pirate; ever
foremost in the fight, strong to endure, swift to smite, he had by now long
passed his novitiate, had established an empire over the minds of men which
was to endure until the end of his unusually prolonged life. With a brain
of ice and a heart of fire, he looked out, serene and calm, upon the
turbulent times in which he lived, a monstrous egotist desiring nothing but
his own advancement, all his faculties bent upon securing more wealth and
yet more power.

He played a lone hand, for he brooked even less than did his truculent
brother any approach to an equality with himself among the men who followed
in his train. Absolute supremacy was his in the life which he lived, but
none knew better than he upon what an unstable basis his power rested. He
now called himself the King of Algiers, but still that lean, sun-dried
garrison held with desperate tenacity to the tower of the redoubtable
Navarro, and any moment a fresh Spanish relieving force might be upon him
and chase him forth even as Uruj had been chased from Tlemcen. He saw that
he must consolidate his power, must for the present, at any rate, have some
force at his back which would provide that material and moral backing which
was essential to his schemes. Once before he had successfully approached
the Grand Turk, the Padishah, the head of the Mohammedan religion, and from
him he had received that which he had asked; on this former occasion,
however, he had not been in the same position as he now occupied.

The corsair must have meditated long and anxiously on the best way in which
to approach the autocrat of Constantinople; in the end he probably hit upon
the best solution of the problem by again sending an ambassador with
precise instructions as to the manner in which he was to act. For this
important service his choice fell upon one of his captains, Hadj-Hossein by
name, and to him he imparted all that he was to say, and--what was almost
as important--what he was not to say.

The duty of the ambassador was to magnify the importance of his master, but
to do so in such a manner that the Padishah was not to imagine that a rival
to his own greatness had arisen at Algiers. Selim was at this time in
Egypt, where he had just completed the conquest of the Mamelukes, and
thither did Hadj-Hossein repair. He laid at the feet of the conqueror the
respectful homage of the King of Algiers, who, he assured Selim, desired
nothing better than to become the vassal of the Commander of the Faithful.
Also, he informed him, that in the name of Selim public prayer was offered
in the mosques on Fridays, that his image and superscription were struck on
the coins, that in every manner possible recognition was made of the fact
that he, and he alone, was the chosen of God upon earth. This manner of
stating the situation was both delicate and politic. A less wise man than
Kheyr-ed-Din might have assumed a note of equality from one Moslem
potentate to another, but the corsair was perfectly conscious of his
limitations--he knew exactly how the Grand Turk could be useful to him, and
he was not going to mar his chance by the display of an untimely arrogance.

Hadj-Hossein proved himself to be a tactful and successful ambassador. The
Sultan accepted the homage offered, and made many inquiries concerning the
war prosecuted by Hossein's master against the enemies of the true faith in
the distant region of Algiers. His queries were all answered with deep
submission and the most subtle of flattery, much of which latter was no
doubt a perfectly honest expression of opinion. As to the average
Mohammedan of this period the Padishah was a being set apart by Heaven to
fulfil the decrees of the Prophet.

The ambassador, when he rejoined his master, must have been a proud man, as
so well had he fulfilled his mission that he carried back with him to
Algiers not only a gracious message, but the insignia of the Sanjak,
Scimitar Horse and Tambour, conferred upon that loyal Moslem Kheyred-Din
Barbarossa, who, in the words of the Padishah, "abandoning a sterile
independence, sought in all the bloody hazards of his life nought but the
glory of God and His Prophet" To us this hyperbole, addressed to a pirate,
seems merely ridiculous, but in those days of fanaticism the beliefs of
men, both Christians and Moslems, are something which it is impossible for
us to realise. On either side the way of salvation was the path of
conquest, and the man who was heretic to the faith which you professed was
rightly served if you could cut him and his off from among the

It was well for the corsair to make as many friends as possible, as among
his enemies he counted all the kings of Christendom; and, looking back on
his career, it seems but little short of a miracle that he was not crushed
out of existence, not once but a hundred times. But, as has been said
already, the root of true statesmanship was in Kheyr-ed-Din. He watched
with eager eye the quarrels of the great kings on the continent of Europe;
he saw his life-long rival at sea, the greatest of all Christian mariners,
Andrea Doria, the Genoese admiral, transfer his allegiance from the French
King Francis I. to the Emperor Charles V. He noted and took full advantage
of the perpetual squabbles between the Genoese and Venetian Republics, and
all the time was in touch with the Sea-wolves, who swarmed on the coasts of
Africa, and lurked in every creek and harbour of the Ionian Sea. "In all
the bloody hazards of his life," to quote once again the words of the Grand
Turk, "he could, in the end, depend more or less on the corsairs, whether
they ostensibly sailed beneath his banner or whether they did not, as when
danger threatened what name was so potent as that of Barbarossa, which his
followers asserted to be worth ten thousand men, when shouted on the day of

That which is most extraordinary in the life of Kheyr-ed-Din is the
perpetual danger and stress in which it was lived. Time and again the heavy
menacing clouds gathered around his head; strenuous and unceasing were the
efforts made by his enemies to destroy his power, to capture the person of
this militant robber who flung an insolent defiance to the whole of
Christendom. The storms gathered and broke with various effects, which
sometimes sent the corsair flying for his life a hunted fugitive, as others
saw him once more victorious. But no reverses had the power to damp his
ardour, or to render him less eager to arise, like some ill-omened phoenix,
from the ashes of defeat: to vex the souls of those who held themselves to
be the greatest men on earth.

It was shortly after the death of his brother Uruj that the storm arose
which bade fair to sweep, not only Kheyr-ed-Din but all the corsairs of the
North African coast, clean out of their strongholds, for the Emperor
Charles V., at this time young, eager, and enthusiastic, gave orders for
their destruction. These robbers troubled the peace of Europe; they did
more than this, they insulted the Majesty of the Emperor, and Charles
regarded their perpetual incursions in the light of an affront to his
personal dignity. The divinity which hedged such a monarch as the grandson
of "Los Reyes Cathòlicos," Ferdinand and Isabella, was a very real thing,
and, if offended, was likely to find concrete expression in the most
vigorous form. Charles, much annoyed at the necessity for chastising a band
of robbers, determined that he would make an end of them once and for all.
To Don Hugo de Moncada, the Viceroy of Sicily, to Don Perisan de Ribera at
Bougie, to the Marquis de Comares at Oran, orders were sent to prepare
their forces for an attack on Algiers.

There was no lack of good-will on the part of the Christian princes,
nobles, and governors. The Spanish veterans in Sicily were rusting for want
of employment, the levies on the African littoral welcomed anything in the
way of war as a distraction from the deadly monotony of their lives. The
soldier in these days who rested too long upon his arms became in time
practically useless for the purpose for which he existed; but such rulers
as Charles V. gave their fighting men but small cause of complaint in the
matter of want of employment. The Pope sent his blessing and a contingent,
and, to show how serious was the purpose of the Emperor, who took the
command in person, let us set forth the total of the expedition which was
to utterly destroy and root out the corsairs and their leader:


  Galleys of the Pope               4
    "     of Malta                  4
    "     of Sicily                 4
    "     of Antony Doria           6
    "     of Naples                 5
    "     of Monaco                 2
    "     of Marquis of Terra Nova  2
    "     of Vicome de Cigala       2
    "     of Fernando de Gonzaga    7
    "     of Spain                 15
    "     of Andrea Doria          14

  Total Galleys                    65
  Add Transports                  451
  Total Fleet                     516


  The Frigate of Malta               1
  Division of Spezzia              100
    "      of Fernando Gonzaga     150
    "      of Spain                200

  Total Transports                 451

We now come to the military side of the expedition, which consisted of:

  The Household of the Emperor     200
  Noblesse                         150
  Knights of Malta                 150
  Servants                         400
  German Corps                   6,000
  Italians                       5,000
  Spanish from Naples and Sicily 6,000
  Soldiers from Spain              400
  Adventurers                    3,000
  Italian Cavalry                1,000
  Spanish Cavalry from Sicily      400
  Light Cavalry                    700
  Total Army                    23,900

We next come to the Armament of the Fleet:

  Soldiers of the Galleys (50 in each)            3,250
  Galley Slaves (average 70 in each)              4,500
    "      "    The Frigate of Malta                 80
  540 sailing ships of all sorts, mostly
        small (at an average of 10 each)          4,500
  Total _Personnel_ of the Fleet                 12,330
  Add Army                                       28,900
  Total _Personnel_ of the Expedition.      36,230 men.

It was late autumn when the expedition at last set sail, and the imperious
temper of Charles was such that he refused to be governed by the advice of
the seasoned mariners, such as Andrea and Antony Doria, and others who
dreaded the effect of the gales which the armada was likely to encounter on
the coast of Africa. The Emperor was not to be gainsaid, and the fleet set
sail. They arrived, says Sandoval, "en el dia de San Hieronymo," Saint
Bartholomew's day; and there then arose such a storm as the Mediterranean
seldom sees. Some of the army had landed, some were still afloat, the
corsairs accounted for the luckless soldiers ashore, the elements destroyed
many left in the ships: 26 ships and 4,000 men were lost.

Bitterly mortified, Charles, who had personally displayed valour and
conduct of unusual distinction in this disastrous expedition, returned to
Europe to turn his attention to his everlasting quarrels with the King of
France. Meanwhile Don Hugo de Moncada had escaped with a remnant of his
forces to Iviza, in the Balearics, where he wintered, and where his men
mutinied because he was unable to pay them.

As there was depression almost amounting to despair in the camps of
Christendom, so was there concurrently the widest rejoicing in the tents
and on board of the galleys which flew the Moslem flag. What mattered it
that it was the elements which had saved Kheyr-ed-Din from annihilation?
was it not a cause the more for jubilation, as had not the Prophet of God
himself come to the assistance of those who were upholding his holy
standard? Were not his favours made manifest in that he had sent, to lead
his votaries to victory, such an one as Kbeyr-ed-Din Barbarossa?

Pope and Emperor, King, Duke, and Viceroy had tried conclusions with the
pirates, and their fleet and army had melted away as the mists melt in the
hot sunshine on the Mediterranean; truly were the descendants of the
dispossessed Moors of Còdoba and Granada taking a terrible revenge on
those by whom they had been expropriated.

Barbarossa was never one to let the grass grow under his feet; he had the
Christians on the run, and he intended to take full advantage of this
pleasing circumstance. Accordingly he despatched a trusted lieutenant, one
Hassan, with instructions to harass the coast of Valentia, to ravage with
fire and sword all those unfortunate towns and villages which he could
reach. This corsair entered the Rio de Ampasta and destroyed all before
him, the inhabitants fleeing as the news was carried by escaped fugitives
and by the red glare of the villages flaming to heaven in the night.
Satiated with blood, laden with spoil, and burdened with many wretched
captives, Hassan put to sea once more in triumph.

It may here be mentioned how terrible was the damage wrought by the
piratical fraternity in the Mediterranean, and the manner in which it has
been brought to light in somewhat remarkable fashion quite recently. Since
the French occupation of Tunis it was charged against them that they had
taken away from the natives of the country those fertile lands which lay
upon the shores of the sea, and had given them to French subjects. The
facts of the case were that for centuries these lands had been entirely out
of cultivation, the reason being that, until the complete suppression of
piracy in the Mediterranean took place, none dared to dwell within raiding
distance of the sea for fear of being carried off into slavery.

But to return to Hassan. That warrior, having cleared the Spanish coast,
got separated from three of his consorts during the night. The next day, at
dawn, he sighted a Spanish sailing-vessel, which he thought to make an easy
prize. The wind was light, and the galleys--that is to say, the one on
which Hassan was aboard and his remaining consort--were soon churning up
the waters in pursuit as fast as their oars could carry them. Hassan
reckoned on an easy capture, as he made certain she was but a peaceful
trader with some score or so of throats to cut. He was, however, badly out
of his reckoning, as on board of her was a veteran company of Spanish
infantry, stark fighters to a man, who feared no odds, and who were
skilfully commanded by Captain Robeira, grown grey in the Moorish wars.
With bloodcurdling yells the galleys swept alongside with the fighting men
massed on the high poops and forecastles of their vessels. Behind the high
bulwarks of the "round ship" (as the sailing craft of the day were
denominated to distinguish them from the long ships, or galleys) crouched
the Spaniards, their muskets in their hands. Captain Robeira had them
perfectly in hand, and not a piece was discharged until the beaks of the
galleys crashed into her sides.

Robeira then gave the order to fire, and at the short range into packed
masses of men the volley did terrible execution. Completely surprised, the
corsairs attempted to board, but were repulsed and driven back with more
slaughter. His men becoming demoralised, Hassan withdrew amidst the
ferocious taunts of the Spaniards, who had escaped almost unscathed. Sore
and angry, the corsairs continued their voyage for another three days, at
the expiration of which they arrived at Algiers. Hassan, who had acquired
quite a considerable booty, expected a warm reception; this he received,
but hardly in the way that he expected. He told his tale to Kheyr-ed-Din,
which that commander received in frowning silence; when he had finished the
storm burst.

"O miserable coward! dost thou dare to stand in my presence and to confess
that thou hast been whipped like a dog by those sons of burnt fathers, the

The miserable Hassan attempted to justify himself by reference to the booty
which he had obtained and the number of captives with which he had
returned; but this, far from assuaging the wrath of Barbarossa, only made
it worse.

"Dastard and slave! thou boastest that, thou hast destroyed defenceless
villages and brought back many captives, but that shall avail thee nothing.
No profit shalt thou derive from that. Let the captives be brought before

This was done, and to the horror even of those hardened men of blood who
followed in the train of Barbarossa, they were all executed. Even this
wholesale massacre did not assuage the wrath of the corsair. Standing and
surveying the weltering shambles which tainted the air, he pulled
ferociously at his red beard, and commanded that they should whip Hassan
till the blood ran; when this was done thoroughly and to the satisfaction
of the despot, he gave orders that he should be chained and thrust into the
prison of the fortress.

Terror stalked abroad in Algiers. No man knew when his turn might come
after this awful example of what it meant to incur the wrath of Barbarossa.
The corsair gave orders for the execution of Venalcadi, who, it will be
remembered, was with Uruj when that warrior came by his death; but
Venalcadi was popular among the pirates, and they connived at his escape.

For so cool and politic a man as Kheyr-ed-Din this outburst is wholly
inexplicable. Judged by our standards, the flogging of Hassan was not only
brutal but silly, as raising up to himself enemies of the most bitter
description in the midst of his own followers; and yet cruelty was so
engrained in this man that he never forewent his revenge. It is a standing
miracle that he escaped assassination in the age in which he lived, and the
only explanation would appear to be that men were too much afraid of him to
make the attempt.

The immediate result of the flogging of Hassan and the attempted murder of
Venalcadi was that the latter collected a following and made war upon
Kheyr-ed-Din, who, with incredible folly, then released Hassan, and sent
him with five hundred men to fight against Venalcadi. The result was what
might have been anticipated: Hassan joined forces with Venalcadi, and
together they attacked the tyrant and drove him out of his stronghold.

Kheyr-ed-Din had the one supreme merit of never knowing when he was beaten.
Driven from the shore, there was for him always the sea to which to retire;
so on this occasion he embarked his family and such of his riches as were
portable, and took to the sea once more. "Yendo a buscar nuevos asientos y
nuevos amigos" (seeking a new home and new friends), says Sandoval.

It was well for the corsairs that the Christians had selected the previous
year for their attack, as, had they fallen upon them when Barbarossa was no
longer in power at Algiers and the pirates were fighting among themselves,
the latter would have been wiped out of existence. It was ill fighting with
Kheyr-ed-Din, whether you professed the religion of Christ or that of
Mahomet, and this the revolting corsairs were very soon to discover.
Barbarossa sailed away from Algiers a hunted fugitive, only to return again
as a conqueror.

Eastward the dispossessed ruler of Algiers took his course, and very soon
discovered that which he sought--allies to assist him against the revolted
Venalcadi and the recalcitrant Hassan. Lurking in the neighbourhood of
Bizerta, he discovered El Judeo (the Jew), Cachidiablo (Hunt the Devil),
Salaerrez, Tabas, and other corsairs, who collectively composed a
formidable force. These were all old acquaintances and some old followers
of Kheyr-ed-Din, and to them did he relate the piteous tale of the
cowardice of Venalcadi, whom he accused of having deserted his brother Uruj
in his direst necessity, thereby causing his death; the abominable conduct
of Hassan, who had turned and bitten the hand that fed him. With tears in
his eyes did this accomplished actor reluctantly reveal the base
ingratitude of which he had been the recipient; so much did he contrive to
work upon the feelings of his auditors that they one and all vowed to stand
by him, and to replace him as ruler of Algiers, from which he had been
thrust by men whose shameful treachery was only equalled by their

Forty sail in strength, they set out to avenge the wrongs of the gentle and
long-suffering Kheyr-ed-Din, that master of craft in every sense of the
word. Reaching Algiers, they disembarked artillery and stores and began an
attack in form; but Venalcadi, whose forces were equal, in fact slightly
superior, to those of his antagonists, made a sally, and battle was joined
in the open. A most sanguinary combat ensued, in which the forces of
Kheyr-ed-Din were decidedly worsted. For a considerable period his fate
hung in the balance. Then occurred one of those singular and remarkable
things only possible in such an age of anarchy and bloodshed. Barbarossa
had in his train sixty Spanish soldiers captured by him from the force of
Don Hugo de Moncada. Well did the corsair know their value: there were no
finer fighting men in all the Christian armies. Hastily summoning them, he
promised them their freedom if they would now throw in their lot with him
and assist in the downfall of Venalcadi.

The offer was no sooner made than accepted, and the Spanish veterans, fresh
and unwearied, threw themselves into the heart of the fray. Shoulder to
shoulder and blade to blade in their disciplined valour, they broke through
all opposition; they fought for liberty as well as life, to exchange the
noisome confinement of the piratical galley for the free air of their homes
and their country. Soon the soldiers of Venalcadi turned and fled back to
the city; the day was once again with Kheyr-ed-Din. For four days longer
did Algiers hold out, and then a traitor betrayed Venalcadi into the hands
of his enemies. Instantly his head was struck off, placed on a pole, and
paraded in full sight of the garrison, who were promised their lives on
condition of surrender.

The city opened its gates once more, and Barbarossa entered in triumph. The
corsair was as good as his word to his Spanish captives, and restored to
them their liberty. He went even further, and was liberal in his _largesse_
to those who had fought so well for him. If he can be credited with such an
emotion as gratitude, he must have felt it for Moncada's stout infantrymen,
as, had it not been for them, it would have been his head and not that of
Venalcadi which would have decorated the pole. The Spaniards departed to
their own country--that is to say, such of them as desired to do so; but
one Hamet, a Biscayan, declared that life was so intolerable for a common
man such as he in his own country that he desired to throw in his lot with
Barbarossa. Thirty-nine others followed his example, abjuring the Christian
faith and becoming renegadoes.

Those of the garrison left alive were glad enough to return once more to
their allegiance to their former master. The episode of the mutiny of
Venalcadi and Hassan was a lesson not only to them: the fame of it spread
far and wide throughout the Mediterranean. Who now could be found to combat
Barbarossa? and all along the coasts of the tideless sea echo shudderingly

With the new accession to his strength Kheyred-Din had no difficulty in
making himself master of Tunis, and he sent Cachidiablo with seventeen
galleys to harry once more the coast of Spain.



Although Kheyr-ed-Din had made himself master of Algiers, there still
remained the fortress of Pedro Navarro in the hands of the Spaniards. This
strong place of arms had now been in their practically undisputed
occupation for twenty years; from out of its loopholed walls and
castellated battlements the undaunted garrison had looked forth while the
tide of war both by land and sea had swept by. They had been unmolested so
far, but now their day was to come.

In command of the Peñon d'Alger, as it was called by the Spaniards, was a
valiant and veteran cavalier, by name Martin de Vargas. For twenty years,
as we have said, the gold-and-crimson banner of Spain had floated from its
crenulated bastions; since the days of Pedro Navarro it had held its own
against all comers. It must have been with a sinking heart that Martin de
Vargas and his brave garrison beheld the town fall once again into the
hands of Kheyr-ed-Din; they knew, as by this time did all the Mediterranean
and the dwellers on the coasts thereof, the implacable enmity of the
corsair to the Christians, and how short a shrift would be theirs should
they fall into his hands.

On his side Kheyr-ed-Din looked with longing eyes on this remnant of the
power of Spain in Africa. Could he but dislodge Martin de Vargas, he had
the whole of Northern Africa practically at his disposal; Algiers would
then be really his, to fortify for all time against the inroads of his
foes. He was master by land and sea, the time was propitious; the corsair
decided that the hour had come. He had seen the repulse of his brother
Uruj, none knew better than did he the temper of the men by whom the Peñon
was held, or the valiance and the unswerving fidelity of that caballero of
Spain, Martin de Vargas. He tried to induce that officer to surrender to
him, offering every inducement to the Spanish commander to come to terms.
He was met with a haughty refusal, couched in the most contemptuous
language. He tried the most blood-curdling threats, which were no empty
menaces, as his adversary well knew: these were received in silence.

One more embassy he tried, and to this he received the following answer:

  "I spring from the race of the De Vargas, but my house has never made it
  a practice to boast of the glory of their long descent: they professed
  merely to imitate the heroism of their ancestors. Spurred forward by
  this worthy desire, I await with calmness all your efforts, and will
  prove to you, with arms in my hands, that I am faithful to my God, my
  country, and my king."


Barbarossa summoned to his palace his kinsman and trusted adherent Celebi
Rabadan, and they mutually decided that there was nothing they could do
save take up arms against this most insolent and uncompromising warrior. In
the meanwhile they would try what craft would do; and accordingly two young
Moors were introduced into the Peñon, under the pretext that they had seen
the error of their ways and were anxious to embrace the Christian religion.
Martin de Vargas, like all Spanish caballeros, was an ardent proselytiser,
and he ordered the two young men to be taken into his own house and
instructed by the chaplain of the garrison. The next day was Easter Day,
and the two young Moors, while the entire garrison were at Mass, signalled
to their co-religionists a prearranged sign indicating that now was the
time to attack. Unfortunately for them, a woman in the employment of De
Vargas saw them, and they were immediately hanged from the battlements in
full view of Barbarossa. That potentate was filled with fury at what he
considered an insult to the Mohammedan religion, and again consulted with
Celebi as to the feasibility of another assault. It was true, he said, that
his messengers had been hanged, but they had made the prearranged signal.
Still, the walls were hardly sufficiently breached, he thought, and his own
men were singularly disheartened by the ill success of their previous
efforts. Did Celebi Rabadan think another attempt desirable?

That person was in a quandary, because he could not gather what it was that
Barbarossa wished him to say. He knew that if he recommended an assault,
and that it proved once again unsuccessful, that the full fury of the
tyrant would fall upon his head; at the same time he was almost equally
afraid to broach the idea which had been prevalent in Algiers for some time
that Martin de Vargas must assuredly be in league with Shaitan, or he could
never have held out in the way that he had done. In consequence he
temporised and hesitated, while Barbarossa pulled at his famous red beard
and regarded him with scowling brows.

The situation was saved for Celebi Rabadan by an accident. There swam off
to the ship a traitor from the Spanish garrison, and this man informed them
that his whilom comrades were positively at their last gasp, ammunition all
but exhausted, and the food-supply barely sufficient to last another two

"To such an end come those who deny the Prophet of God," exclaimed
Barbarossa, and gave orders that this news be communicated to all his men,
who were to prepare for the final assault on the morrow. He further offered
a reward for the capture of Martin de Vargas alive.

On May 16th, 1530, the corsairs once again advanced to the assault. By this
time the walls had been battered until a practicable breach had been
formed, and over this swarmed thirteen hundred of the starkest fighters of
the Mediterranean, In the breach, bareheaded, his armour hacked and dinted,
stood the undaunted chieftain of the Spaniards: over his head floated that
proud banner which had never cast its shadow on a worthier knight of Spain.
The garrison, worn to a shadow by their hardships and their hunger, most of
them wounded, and all of them sore spent, were in no case to resist this,
the most formidable attack to which they had been subjected. It was all
over in a very short time, and a dreadful massacre ensued.

Martin de Vargas, though sorely wounded, was taken alive and conducted to
the presence of Barbarossa. Wounded, shaken, bruised, his fortress in the
hands of his enemy, the dying shrieks of his murdered garrison still
ringing in his ears, the amazing spirit of the man was still utterly
unsubdued. "It is to the treason of a ruffian that you owe your triumph,"
he said to his captor, "and not to your valour: had I received the smallest
relief I could still have repulsed and kept you at bay. You have my maimed
and mutilated body in your possession, and I hope that you are satisfied.
But my body is accustomed to pain, and I therefore defy you and your
dastardly cruelty."

To do Barbarossa justice he admired the undaunted spirit of his prisoner,
and he replied:

"Fear nothing, De Vargas, I will do all in my power to ease your hurts if
you will do that which I ask of you."

De Vargas replied:

"As an earnest of your faith, I demand the punishment of the traitor
through whose information you were enabled to take the citadel."

Barbarossa ordered the soldier to be brought before them, and, having
nearly flogged him to death, had him beheaded. He then presented the head
to De Vargas, saying:

"You observe my complaisance. I now ask you to embrace the Mohammedan
faith; then I will overwhelm you with benefits and honours, and make you
the Captain-General of my guards."

De Vargas looked at him in indignation and replied:

"Dost thou believe that I, who but now demanded the just punishment of a
man who had forsworn himself, could stoop to such an act of baseness as
this? Keep your ill-gotten riches; confer your dignities on others; insult
not thus a caballero of Spain."

There was a breathless pause. None had ever used such language to
Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa and lived to tell the tale. Nor was it to be so in
this case.

"You and yours have caused me too much trouble," he answered indifferently.
He made a sign to the executioner who had beheaded the soldier, and the
next moment the head of De Vargas was swept from his body.

The gallant Spaniard, it is to be hoped, came by his end in the way just
narrated; but the chroniclers disagree among themselves, and "El Señor Don
Diego de Haedo, Arcobispo de Palermo y Capitan General del Reyno de Sicilia
por El Rey Felipe nuestro señor," states that Barbarossa kept De Vargas in
confinement for three months and then had him beaten to death. One can only
sincerely hope that the first account is the true one; but Haedo was nearer
to the time of the occurrence, and, as he wrote in the reign of Philip II.,
is more likely to have known the facts. But however this may have been,
there was an end for all time of Spanish domination on the north coast of
Africa, and from this we may date the permanent establishment of those
piratical States in that part of the world.

The star of Kheyr-ed-Din was once more in the ascendant. Not only had he
crushed out the incipient mutiny of Venalcadi and taken his life, but he
had consolidated his power by the taking of the Peñon d'Alger. He
celebrated this occasion in the most practical manner possible: a stop was
put to the indiscriminate massacre of the garrison, and five hundred of the
Spaniards were captured alive; it was their dreary fate to pull down
entirely the tower of Pedro Navarro, which they had defended so gallantly
and to utilise the material in making a causeway from the Peñon to the
shore. Barbarossa was determined that on no future occasion should his
enemies have the chance of dominating his town of Algiers. He was now a
sovereign in fact and in deed, regarding even so mighty a monarch as
Charles V. with comparative equanimity. Terrible was the wrath of the
latter when the news of the fall of the Peñon, the massacre of the
garrison, and the death of his trusty servant De Vargas, was brought to
him. The Sea-wolves seemed to exist but to exasperate him, and this latest
news came just at one of the most prosperous epochs of his career.

The titles of "Carlos Quinto," as recorded by Sandoval, read like the roll
of some mighty drum. Nor were these titles mere vain and empty boastings,
as was so often the case at that time among the minor rulers of the earth.
On February 22nd, 1580, just before the fall of the Peñon, he had placed on
his own head the iron crown of Lombardy; his viceroys ruled in Naples and
Sicily, his dukes and feudatories in Florence and Ferrara, in Mantua and in
Milan; there was no more Italy. All these recent acquisitions had been
rendered possible by the defection of Andrea Doria, the Genoese seaman,
from Francis I. of France to the side of the Emperor. From henceforward it
was against this modern Cæsar that Barbarossa had to contend; the monarch
under whose banner swarmed the terrible Schwartz-Reiters of Germany, for
whose honour marched the incomparable infantry of Spain, for whom the
fleets of the gallant Genoese sailed in battle-array under the orders of
the greatest admiral of the day, Andrea Doria. All these disciplined
legions of Christendom were arrayed against the corsair king; banded
together for the destruction of that daring pirate whose flag floated in
insolent triumph above the white walls of Algiers.

As from this time onwards we shall hear much concerning Andrea Doria, it is
fitting that some account should here be given of this great patriot, great
soldier, and still greater seaman. Andrea Doria, of the family of the
Princes of Oneglia, of Genoa, was born at Oneglia on November 30th, 1468,
and was the son of Andrea Coeva and Marie Caracosa, both of the family of
Doria. At the death of his mother the young Andrea, then nineteen years of
age, was sent to Rome, where his kinsman Dominique Doria, of the elder
branch of the family, was captain of the Papal Guard of Pope Innocent VIII.
Here he rose rapidly: owing to his extraordinary address in all military
exercises, he was marked out for preferment, and would probably have
succeeded his kinsman as grand officer, had it not been for the death of
Innocent VIII. The successor to Innocent, Alexander VI., was not favourable
to the claims of the Dorias; so young Andrea, acting on the advice of
Dominique, repaired to the court of Duke Urbino, then regarded as the best
school for young nobles desirous of following a military career. After some
time spent at the court of Urbino, Dominique counselled that Andrea should
enter some other service, as there was no glory to be obtained under a
prince who was never at war. Accordingly Andrea passed into the service of
the King of Aragon, who, having invaded Naples, was giving plenty of
employment to all would-be warriors.

In the record of his early days we find that in the year 1495 he made a
journey to Jerusalem to visit the holy places, and that he then returned to
Italy, where Ferdinand of Aragon was attempting to recover the kingdom of
Naples. "The Great Captain," Gonsalvo de Cordoba, was warring against
Doria's kinsman, Juan Roverejo; this commander had rendered a great service
to the Dorias by rescuing David Doria from imprisonment at Ancona, and
Andrea decided to throw in his lot with him. He accordingly armed
twenty-five cavaliers at his own expense, and joined Roverejo, who put him
in charge of the fortress of Rocca Guillelma. In this place Andrea was
besieged by Gonsalvo de Cordoba, the first warrior of the age; here he
displayed such extraordinary ability in defence that, on the occasion of a
truce, Gonsalvo urged upon Andrea to join the Spaniards. Andrea made answer
that honour bound him to Roverejo, but, could he be released from his
arrangement with him, he might then consider the proposition of "The Great
Captain." Roverejo refused, but, as Charles VIII. immediately afterwards
evacuated Italy, Andrea was free to follow his own inclinations, and took
service with Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.

From this time onward until 1503 Andrea was constantly employed in war, and
made for himself such a reputation that in this year the Republic of Genoa
requested him to take command of their navy. This offer he refused, as he
said that he knew nothing about the sea. They pressed him, saying that to a
man of his genius nothing was impossible, and in the end he gave a somewhat
reluctant consent. He soon proved his competence in his new sphere of
activity, as his first act was to capture the Fort of the Lantern, in the
neighbourhood of Genoa, which was then held by the French for Louis XII.
The Republic confirmed his appointment as General of the Galleys with many
compliments, and he put to sea and captured three of the war-galleys of the
corsairs, also two Turkish ships laden with valuable merchandise. He fitted
out the galleys for his own service, sold the merchantmen, and made an
immense sum of money.

His next act was to defeat the corsair, Cadolin, who had eight galleys to
Doria's six; these he added to his own fleet, which now consisted of
fourteen vessels, he having begun with three. As Cadolin was one of the
most famous corsairs of the day, this capture made an immense sensation,
and all men, Moslems as well as Christians, were asking one another, "Who
was this Doria?"

They had their answer, as time passed, in the career of this astonishing
warrior, who in his time played so many parts, who served under so many
flags, and yet who remained consistently a patriot all the time. As this is
not a history of Doria, we have no space to trace out his life step by step
as it was lived; suffice it to say that, disapproving of the government of
his native Republic under the family of the Adorno, Andrea offered his
sword and his fleet to the King of France, Francis I. His offer was
received with joy, and he was made Captain-General of the Galleys of
France. In his new capacity he sailed for the coast of Provence, which was
being devastated by the fleet of Charles V. He sank several of the Spanish
vessels, captured others, and secured sufficient booty to pay his soldiers
and sailors--a fact most welcome to Francis, who was in desperate straits
for money.

Eventually, however, a dispute arose between Francis and Doria, which was
to have disastrous effects for the King. At this time Charles V. was
suzerain of Genoa, which was held for him by the Adorno. Philippin Doria,
nephew of the admiral, met at sea with Hugo de Moncada outside the Gulf of
Salerno; a battle ensued, in which Philippin was victorious and Moncada was
slain. Amongst others who were captured was the Marquis de Guasto and
Camille Colonna; these high officers, together with three of the captured
galleys, were sent by Philippin to his uncle at Genoa.

In the meantime some malcontents reached the Court of France and complained
to the King that Andrea Doria had not captured Sicily, which they averred
he could easily have done. These men were backed up by a certain number of
the courtiers, who were bitterly jealous of the fame of Doria and the
esteem in which he had been held by Francis. The monarch, easily swayed by
any determined and persistent attack, decided to levy a fine on the
inhabitants of Genoa as a punishment for the supineness of their
countryman, who was his Captain-General of the Galleys; his argument being
that they must pay him for the plunder Doria had missed by not taking
Sicily when he should have done so.

This was worse than a crime--it was blunder of the very first magnitude,
and such a blunder as could only have been made by a very stupid as well as
a very arrogant man. Doria by this time was a warrior of European
celebrity, and one to whom even kings used the language of persuasion; to
attempt to browbeat him was to court disaster.

Francis sent the Vicomte de Tours to Genoa to levy the fine, but the
Vicomte did not prosper on his mission. Outside of Genoa he was met by the
outraged admiral on horseback at the head of some fifty Genoese nobles and
a numerous company of foot-soldiers. De Tours reported that the name and
authority of the King of France was held in derision by the fierce old
admiral, who so alarmed the envoy himself that he thought it prudent to
retire to Florence, from whence he wrote a long letter to his master
complaining of his reception by Doria.

This attempt to levy a fine on Genoa was not, however, the only deadly blow
which the King of France was aiming at her. The children of Francis were at
this time in Madrid, as hostages for the good behaviour of their father,
and that monarch was in treaty secretly with Charles to restore Italy to
the _status quo ante bellum_, which would have had the effect of handing
over Genoa to Antony Adorno. He also began the fortification of Savona, in
order that from there he might be in a position to strike at the
Genoese--from a military point of view, if necessary--but in any event to
cripple the trade of that city. Andrea Doria, as soon as he became aware of
this latter action on the part of Francis, was thoroughly roused, and wrote
him the letter quoted below, which illustrates the fact that he was quite
aware of his own great importance in Europe. It was not a time in which men
held such language as did Doria on this occasion unless they were very sure
of themselves and their followers.


  "It is an ill use of power to reverse order in human affairs. Genoa has
  always been the capital of Liguria, and posterity will see with
  astonishment that your Majesty has deprived it of this advantage with no
  plausible pretext. The Genoese are well aware how inimical to their
  interests are your projects with regard to Savona. They beg of you that
  these may be abandoned, and that you will not sacrifice the general good
  to the views of a few courtiers. I take the liberty to add my prayers to
  theirs, and to ask of you this grace as the price of the services I have
  rendered to France. Should your Majesty have been put to
  expense, I shall join to my request the sum of forty thousand gold

    "With the humble duty of Andrea Doria,
      Captain-General of the Galleys of France."

Theodore Trivulce, who held Savona for the King of France, was roundly told
by Doria that "the people of Genoa would never suffer the taking of Savona
by the King of France, as it had from time immemorial belonged to them,"
and added, "for myself I will sacrifice the friendship of the King in the
interests of my fatherland."

The last straw came, however, when the Marshal de Lautrec demanded from
Andrea the prisoners taken by Philippin Doria at Salerno. To this Doria
returned a curt negative, whereupon Francis sent one Barbezieux to
supersede Doria and to seize upon the person of the veteran admiral. But
that seaman, now sixty years of age, was not to be taken by any king or
soldier. He moved his twelve galleys from Genoa to Lerici, on the east
coast of the Gulf of Spezzia, and when Barbezieux arrived he sarcastically
told him to take the galleys. Barbezieux had no better fortune than his
predecessor, the Vicomte de Tours, and retired discomfited and boiling over
with rage to report matters to the King.

It has been said that among the prisoners of Philippin Doria was the
Marquis de Guasto. This nobleman had been an interested spectator of the
quarrel, and now approached Doria suggesting that he should throw in his
lot with Charles. The admiral, who all through had been acting in the
interests of his native country, seeing its ruin approaching from the
ambitions of Francis, consented, and wrote to his nephew Philippin telling
him of his decision, and his reasons for that which he proposed to do.
Philippin therefore rejoined his uncle at Lerici with his eight galleys.
The negotiations were short, sharp, and decisive, and were conducted
through the medium of De Guasto. Charles offered the admiral sixty thousand
ducats a year; this was accepted. The only other stipulation made by the
Emperor was natural enough, which was that all the Spanish galley-slaves in
the fleet of Andrea should be released and their places taken by men of
other nationalities. This was of course conceded, and the transaction was
complete. Henceforward the most formidable force at sea on the Christian
side was at the disposal of the Spanish King.

This transference took place in the year 1528, and it was in the same year
that the citizens of Genoa, in recognition of the unexampled services of
the admiral to the State, elected him perpetual Doge.

This honour Doria declined, declaring that it was more glorious to have
deserved than to possess the honour, and that he considered he could be of
more use to his fellow citizens by gaining for them the protection of great
princes than by remaining as chief judge in his own country.

The Senate of Genoa, astonished by his noble modesty, hailed him as the
father and liberator of his country, ordered that a statue of him should be
erected in the public square, that in the same place a palace should be
built for him at the public expense, and that it should be called Plaza
Doria; further, that he and his posterity should be for ever exempted from
taxation, and that a device should be engraved on a plate of copper and
attached to the walls of the palace, where it could be seen of all men,
announcing to posterity the services that this great man had rendered to
his fellow citizens, to be for ever a memorial of their gratitude.

The chronicler of these events draws a parallel between Doria and
Themistocles, who, when discontented with the Athenians, passed into Persia
and offered his services to Xerxes, to the great joy of that monarch, who
cried aloud, "I have Themistocles, I have Themistocles."



If Charles V. made no such outward manifestation of his joy as did the
Persian monarch, he possibly was no less pleased than Xerxes; this he
showed by his acts, and the value that he attached to the services of Doria
was instanced in the directions which he gave. He ordered the Governors of
all his possessions in Italy to do nothing without first consulting the
admiral; to lend him prompt aid, whether he demanded it in his own name or
in that of the Republic of Genoa. He made him Admiralissimo of his navy,
with power to act as he liked without even consulting him, as his Emperor.
It will be seen that Charles had in him sufficient greatness to trust
whole-heartedly when he trusted at all; the faith which he reposed in the
Genoese seaman was amply justified by events, and no action of his during
the whole of his singularly dramatic reign was ever to result so entirely
to his profit. When in after-life Charles had received from the Pope the
Imperial Crown, and when, on his return, he put into Aigues-Mortes in
Doria's galley, he there met with Francis, who, in a burst to confidence,
advised the Cæsar never to part with his admiral.

On that stage, which was the blue waters of the tideless sea, we shall,
from this time forward, watch the fortunes of those two great sea-captains,
Andrea Doria and Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa. With them the ebb and flow of
conquest and defeat alternated. Great as was the one, it cannot be said
that he was greater than the other; but when the supreme arbitrament was
within the grasp of both, as it was at the naval battle of Prevesa, neither
the Christian admiral nor the Moslem corsair would reach out his hand and
grasp the nettle of his fate. Hesitation at this moment, when, in the
fulness of time, the rivals stood face to face with arms in their hands,
was the last thing that would have been expected of such dauntless
warriors, such born leaders of men! and the battle of Prevesa presents a
psychological problem of the most baffling and perplexing description. We
are, however, anticipating events which will fall into their proper
sequence as we proceed.

Kheyr-ed-Din, now firmly established in Algiers, devoted his energies to
the undoing of his Christian foes by the systematic plunder of their
merchant-vessels. At this period he, personally, seems to have remained
ashore, and sent his young and aspiring captains to sea to increase his
wealth by plunder, his consequence by the hordes of slaves which they swept
into the awful bagnios of Algiers; and Sandoval, that quaint and delightful
historian, is moved to indignation and complains with much acrimony of "las
malas obras que este corsario hizo a la Christiandad" (the evil deeds done
to Christianity by this corsair). These were on so considerable a scale at
this time that he had to devote to them far more space than he considered
consonant with the dignity of history.

But if all were going on well on the coast of Africa for the Crescent, such
was far from being the case in the northern waters of the Mediterranean;
for Andrea Doria, serving His Most Catholic Majesty at sea, had defeated
the Turks at Patras and again in the Dardanelles, which unpleasant fact
caused no little annoyance to Soliman the Magnificent. On land the Sultan
was sweeping all before him; at sea this pestilent Genoese was dragging
into servitude all the best mariners who sailed beneath the banner of the
Prophet. There was wrath and there was fear at Constantinople, and the
captains of the galleys which sailed from the Golden Horn felt that their
heads and their bodies might at any moment part company--the Grand Turk was
in an ill humour, which might at any moment call for the appeasement of
sacrifice; so it was that men trembled.

It was at this time, in 1533, that Soliman bethought himself of
Kheyr-ed-Din. There was no better seaman, there was no fiercer fighter,
there was no man whose name was so renowned throughout the length and
breadth of the Mediterranean, than was that of the corsair king who was
vassal to the Sublime Porte. Soliman was confronted with a new, and, to
him, an almost mysterious thing, for the onward conquering step of the
Moslem hosts was being checked by that sea-power so little understanded of
the Turk, and the imperious will of the Sultan seemed powerless to prevent
the disasters conjured from the deep.


Soliman the Magnificent, who was not inaptly described by this title, for
he was successful as both warrior and statesman, meditated both long and
anxiously on the new development of affairs before he made up his mind to
the step of calling to his assistance the corsair king. But he possessed
that truest attribute of greatness in a ruler, the faculty of discerning
the right man for any particular post. Brave and reckless fighters he
possessed in super-abundance, but somehow--somehow--none of these fiery
warriors had that habit of the sea which enabled them to make head against
such a past-master in the craft of the seaman as Andrea Doria. The Genoese
was chasing the Turkish galleys from off the face of the waters.
Constantinople itself was a sea-surrounded city; it was necessary that a
check should be administered to the arms of the Christians on this element.
It is easy to imagine the preoccupations of the Turkish monarch. The despot
rules by force, but he also holds his power by the address with which it is
wielded, and he can by no means afford to disregard his personal popularity
if he is to make the best use of his fighting men in such a turbulent epoch
as was the first half of the sixteenth century. Soliman had the wit to know
that he had no mariner who was in any way comparable to Doria; he was also
aware that Kheyr-ed-Din had risen from nothing to his present position by
his sheer ability as a seaman. It would appear, therefore, a very natural
thing that he should invite the co-operation of the King of Algiers, but
that with which he had to reckon was the furious jealousy that such an
appointment must inevitably arouse among his own subjects.

It says much for the steadfast moral courage of the man that he eventually
decided to take the risk; it says even more for the absolute correctness of
his judgment that he never afterwards repented of the step which he then

Once the mind of the Grand Turk was made up he hesitated no longer. The
Capitan de Rodas, one of his personal guard, was sent to Barbarossa to
request him to come to Constantinople and take command of the Ottoman
fleet. There were no conditions attached; the honour was supreme.
Barbarossa loaded the messenger with rich gifts, and overwhelmed him with
honours. For Kheyr-ed-Din this was in a sense the apotheosis of his career.
The Grand Turk, the head of the Mohammedan religion, had not only
recognised his kingship, but had conferred on him an honour unprecedented,
unlooked for, and one of the highest value to a man of such an insatiable
ambition. Into the cool and crafty brain of this prince among schemers
instantly sprang the thought that now at last his kingdom was secure, that
in future the whole of the Barbary coast would own no other lord than he.

Preparations for the voyage were immediately begun, and, as an earnest of
the new importance which he derived from the advances of Soliman, the
corsair actually sent presents to the King of France and proffered him his
aid against his enemies. To such a pass as this had one of the most
powerful monarchs in Christendom been reduced by the defection of Andrea
Doria. Algiers he left in the keeping of his son Hassan, and in charge of
Hassan his kinsman Celebi Rabadan and a captain of the name of Agi. In the
middle of August, 1533, Barbarossa left Algiers, his fleet consisting of
seven galleys and eleven fustas. Sailing northward, he fell in with a fleet
which he at first feared was that of Doria, but which, fortunately for him,
was that of a corsair named Delizuff from Los Gelues. Courtesies were
interchanged between the two leaders, and Barbarossa succeeded in
persuading Delizuff to accompany him to Sicily, where it was possible they
might fall in with Doria, and with their combined forces inflict defeat
upon the Christian admiral. Delizuff was nothing loath to join forces with
so noted a commander as Kheyr-ed-Din, as he had no desire to tackle Doria
single-handed, and at the same time wished to extend the sphere of his
plunderings, which had been cruelly restricted recently by the wholesome
fear instilled into the Sea-wolves by the new admiral of Charles V.

Accordingly, reinforced by the fifteen fustas and one galley of Delizuff,
the Algerian fleet once more proceeded on its voyage. Although bound for
Constantinople at the request of Soliman, at a time when it would have been
thought that delay was not only dangerous but impolitic, and although the
corsair was endeavouring to merge the pirate in the king who dealt on terms
of equality with those whom he now regarded as his brother monarchs, still
the old instinct of robbery was too strong to be resisted; the lust of gain
and the call of adventure were still inherent in the man whose famous beard
was now far more white than red. Advancing age had not tamed the spirit nor
weakened the frame of this leader among the Moslems.

Sailing through the Straits of Bonifacio, they touched Monte Cristo, a
small island where they found a slave who had formerly belonged to
Delizuff. This man was base enough to betray his own native island of Biba
into the hands of the corsairs, who sacked it thoroughly and carried off
its inhabitants; they also captured thirteen large ships going to Sicily
for wheat, and burnt them, making slaves of their crews. In the fight with
these vessels Delizuff was killed. Shortly after this, some disagreement
arising between the crews of the ships of Barbarossa and the men in
Delizuff's fleet, the Algerian commander seized a man out of one of
Delizuff's galleys and had him summarily shot. The death of Delizuff
naturally caused some confusion in his command, and the high-handed
proceeding of Kheyr-ed-Din caused great resentment, not unmixed with fear,
as the terror inspired by the Barbarossas was a very real sentiment. Under
their command no man knew when or at how short notice his life might not be
required of him; but the glamour of success was ever around them, and they
never, in consequence, lacked for followers. But the taking out and
shooting of one of their comrades was too much for the pirates from the
islands of Los Gelues, from whence Delizuff was in the habit of
"operating." In the words of Sandoval, "they were not used to such tyranny
and cruel usage." In consequence they concerted among themselves and one
dark night sailed off, leaving Kheyr-ed-Din to continue his voyage with his
original following.

That warrior, nothing disconcerted, pursued his way to the island of Zante,
where he fell in with a Turkish "flota," under the command of the Bashas
Zay and Himeral. To these officers of the Grand Turk Barbarossa used most
injurious language, bitterly reproaching them with not having sought out
and destroyed Andrea Doria, which he declared they ought to and should have
done. This is yet another instance of the extraordinary character of the
man. These persons were the highest officers in the fleet of the Ottoman
Empire; it was more than possible that they would be placed under the
command of Barbarossa as soon as his new position as Admiralissimo was
adjusted at Constantinople; and yet, in spite of these facts, the corsair
had taken the very first opportunity which presented itself grossly to
insult these men. It is true, as we shall see, that his injurious words
came home to roost in the future; but arrogant, conquering, contemptuous,
Barbarossa seems to have shouldered his way through life, fearing none and
feared by all.

The fact of his known cruelty accounts for much of the dread which he
inspired, but it was something far more than this which caused the son of
the Albanian renegado to ride roughshod as he did over all with whom he was
brought into contact. Men felt, in dealing with Barbarossa, that here was a
rock against which they might dash themselves in vain. In all his
enterprises he spared not himself. He asked no man to do that which he was
not prepared to do, but if any failed him there was no mercy for that man;
and, although in deference to modern susceptibility no mention is made of
the tortures he so frequently caused to be inflicted on his victims, they
were none the less a daily spectacle to those who lived under his rule. He
possessed, it is true, the rough geniality of the fighting man, a certain
"Hail fellow, well met!" manner in greeting old comrades, and yet none of
these men there were who did not tremble in an agony of fear when the bushy
brows were bent, when the famous red beard bristled in one of his
uncontrollable furies. The real secret of his success must have been that,
no matter how uncontrollable did his passions appear to be, the man was
always really master of himself. Further, he possessed a marvellous insight
as to where his own interests lay. He used as his tools the bodies and the
minds of the men who were subject to him, and he carried his designs to an
assured success by the aid of that penetrating, far-seeing mental power
with which, above all else, he must have been gifted. He could drive men,
he could lead them, he could invariably persuade when all else failed him.
In this we have had an instance when he was chased from Algiers by the
combined efforts of Venalcadi and Hassan, whom he had flogged; for no
sooner did he meet with other corsairs than he persuaded them to take up
his quarrel--which, it must be understood, was none of theirs--and to
replace him on that precarious throne from which he had been so rudely
thrust. We have already said that he was a man who never knew when he was
beaten, and in the years which we have yet to chronicle this characteristic
appears again and again; for age had no effect apparently, either mentally
or physically, on this man of iron who had by this time reached the age of

Leaving the high officers of his future master, the Grand Turk, smarting
under the opprobrium which he had heaped upon their heads, Barbarossa fared
onward with his fleet to Salonica, capturing a Venetian galley on the
voyage: from thence he made his way to the Dardanelles, where he anchored
and remained several days, to make ready his fleet for the spectacular
entry which he intended to make into Constantinople.

The city on the Golden Horn was all agog for the arrival of Barbarossa; no
matter what private opinions the inhabitants might have had concerning him,
of which we shall hear more presently, they were none the less all curious
to a degree to catch sight of this man, so famous in his evil supremacy on
that distant shore of Northern Africa.

Kheyr-ed-Din, among his other qualities, possessed in the highest degree
that of a successful stage-manager; no pageant which he undertook was ever
likely to fail from the want of the striking and the dramatic. It was now
his business to impress the citizens of Constantinople with an idea of his
greatness, and none knew better than he that it is the outward and visible
sign which counts among the orientals, more perhaps than the inward and
spiritual grace: he may also possibly have felt that he did not possess the
latter to any overwhelming extent.

Even before he left Algiers this entry to the chief city of the Ottoman
Empire had been in the mind of Barbarossa, who had caused to be embarked a
quantity of flags and pennons for the decoration of his grim war-galleys
when they should stream into the Golden Horn. There were also bands of
music, which, it is to be presumed, utilised the delay in the Dardanelles
to attain to something like "a concord of sweet sounds," as the incidents
of the voyage from Algiers, so far, had hardly been conducive to much time
to spare for band-practice. The galleys were scrubbed and gaily painted;
round the ship of Kheyr-ed-Din ran a broad streak of gold on the outer
planking to denote the presence of a King of Algiers, and at last all was
ready. The fleet weighed anchor, and, with banners flying and bands
playing, entered the harbour. The shores were black with spectators; even
the Sultan himself deigned to look forth on the coming of the man from whom
he expected such great things.

Ceremonial was the order of the day. Soliman the Magnificent was too wise a
man not to know what was being said in his capital that day; it was his
part to accustom the minds of men to the fact that he, Soliman, had chosen
Barbarossa to command his fleet, and that there could be no looking back.
The decree had been signed, the invitation had been sent, the man had
arrived, there could be no possible retreat from the situation. The anchors
splashed into the placid waters close to the shore, and the ships were soon
so surrounded by boats as to be almost unapproachable; then came official
persons from the Sultan with greetings to the famous seaman; also came
Bashas and officers ("con carga de guerra," says Sandoval), to offer a
welcome and to stare in undisguised curiosity at the man chosen by their
sovereign to make head against the famous Andrea Doria. This preliminary
courtesy completed, there came the next act in the drama, which consisted
in the immemorial custom of the East in the offering of gifts from
Barbarossa to the Sultan, from the vassal to his suzerain. The Janissaries,
splendid in scarlet and gold, tall above the ordinary stature of man,
bristling with weapons inlaid in gold and silver, cleared the common vulgar
from the streets approaching the palace of the Sultan; they formed the
spearhead of the procession clearing a way for the King of Algiers, who,
mounted on a splendid bay stallion, the gift of the Sultan on his arrival,
headed the captives who bore the gifts. Of these the exact number is not
stated, but the procession was headed by two hundred women and girls, each
of whom carried in her hand a gift of gold or silver; one hundred camels
were loaded with silks and golden ornaments, and other "curious riches"
("con otras mil cosas de que hizo ostentacion"), says Sandoval. There were
also lions and other animals, brocades and rich garments.

All of this reads no doubt somewhat too like the tales in the "Arabian
Nights"; but we have to remember that, if you have led a long and eminently
successful life as a robber, you have necessarily accumulated a store of
riches. In the case of Barbarossa he had begun in extreme youth, and was
now an old man; he had been quite in the wholesale way as a thief, and now
desired to pay a good price for that which he coveted, namely, the post of
Admiralissimo to the Grand Turk. It may be objected that he had already
been offered and had already accepted the post; this is quite true, but
there were certain conventions to be fulfilled on the side of the recipient
of the bounty of the Sultan quite understood on both sides, although no
word had passed on the subject. In those days the man who desired the
favour of an Eastern potentate never dreamed of approaching him
empty-handed, and the more liberal that he was in the matter of gifts the
greater was the favour with which he was regarded. Therefore the principle
acted upon by Kheyr-ed-Din on this occasion was both wise and politic; that
is to say, he placed certain of his riches in a perfectly sound investment,
certain to yield him an admirable percentage, not only in added personal
prestige, but also in the placing under his command of such a force as he
had never before commanded, with unlimited opportunities of preying on the
detested Christian on a far larger scale than it had ever been his good
fortune to do before.

The Sultan Soliman was not called "the Magnificent" without just cause; his
life was splendid in its social prodigality, as it was in war and in
statesmanship; yet even he was somewhat astonished at the amazing richness
of the gifts which were laid at his feet by a man whom he knew to be, in
spite of the kingly title which he had assumed, merely a rover of the sea.
Therefore, in spite of himself, he was impressed. To him, it is true, in
his splendour and magnificence, the intrinsic value of that which was
brought to him by Barbarossa mattered but little; but the fact that the
corsair was in a position to do so opened the eyes of the Sultan to the
manner of man with whom he had to deal. Hitherto he had but known of him by
hearsay, as the one Moslem seaman who was likely to be capable of making a
stand against the terrible Doria, who had now become the plague of the
Sultan's existence. He now knew that the man who disposed of such
incredible riches must be, no matter what his moral character, a man who
stood a head and shoulders over any commander in the Ottoman fleet sailing
out of the Golden Horn.

Both materially and psychologically this man somewhat bewildered the
despot: and his _alter ego_, the Grand Vizier, happening to be away on a
mission to Aleppo, Soliman had no one with whom to confer in a strictly
confidential manner; for, after the manner of autocrats, he had but few
familiars, in fact it may be said none at all save the statesman mentioned.
His reception of the corsair lacked, however, nothing in cordiality. He
inquired after the incidents of the voyage, interested himself graciously
in all that he was told concerning Africa and the conflicting claims of
Christian and Moslem in that region, and was generally courteous to his
distinguished visitor. He placed at his disposal a palace and attendants on
a scale commensurate with the state of a reigning sovereign, and sent his
most distinguished generals to confer with Kheyr-ed-Din. The latter, for
the first time in his life, was thoroughly out of his element. His had been
the life of the seaman and the soldier to begin with, and of later years
that of a rude and unquestioned despot on a savage coast, surrounded by
myrmidons to whom his voice had been as the voice of a god. Never had it
been his lot before to dwell within the limits of such a comparative
civilisation as that which obtained in Constantinople at this date; never
before had it been necessary for him to restrain that naturally fiery and
impetuous temper of his and to speak all men fairly.

The strain must have been great, the effort enormous, and he knew, as he
was bound to know, that his coming had unloosed jealousies and
heart-searchings innumerable, with which he could not deal in the usual
drastic fashion common to him. The winter was coming on, which was, as we
have before remarked, very much of a close season both for the pirate and
the honest merchant seaman. In consequence there was not very much chance
against the foes of Soliman for the present. When that opportunity offered
he promised himself that the courtiers and the soldiers of the Grand Turk
would very soon discover that the fame of Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa was no
empty matter, and that there existed no seaman in all the Ottoman dominions
with whom they could compare the "African pirate," as he had reason to
believe that he was scornfully called behind his back.

A weaker man would have been daunted by his surroundings, by the manifestly
unfriendly atmosphere in which he lived, and by the dread that perhaps,
after all, Soliman might go back upon his word. There were no lack of
counsellors, he knew very well, who would advise the Sultan to his undoing,
if that monarch gave them the opportunity; and, as time passed, so his
anxiety grew. Soliman also could not have felt particularly comfortable at
this juncture, with a sullen spirit possessing his men "con carga de
guerra," bitterly resenting the step which he had taken, and the
appointment which he had made. For the present, however, he made no sign,
treating Kheyr-ed-Din with distinguished courtesy, but making no reference
to the future. Soliman was revolving the problem in his acute mind,
doubtless weighing the unpopularity of the step which he had taken against
the services likely to be rendered to him by his strange guest. And thus
several weeks passed at Constantinople, probably amongst the most trying of
all those in the unusually prolonged life of Kheyr-ed-Din.



The Grand Turk had spoken, the appointment had been made, Barbarossa had
arrived; but though autocrats can cause their mandate to be obeyed, they
cannot constrain the inward workings of the minds of men. In spite of the
awe in which Soliman the Magnificent was held, there were murmurs of
discontent in the capital of Islam. The Sultan had been advised to make
Barbarossa his Admiralissimo by his Grand Vizier Ibrahim, who was, as we
have said, his _alter ego_. This great man had risen from the humblest of
all positions, that of a slave, to the giddy eminence to which he had now
attained by the sheer strength of his intellect and personality. The Grand
Vizier it was who had pointed out to his master that which was lacking in
the Ottoman navy: brave men and desperate fighters he had in plenty, but
the seaman who cleared the Golden Horn and made his way through the
archipelago into the open sea beyond had forces with which to contend
against which mere valour was but of small avail. Out there, somewhere
behind the blue line of the horizon, did Andrea Doria lie in wait; and if
the Moslem seaman should escape the clutches of the admiral of the
Christian Emperor, were there not those others, the Knights of Malta, who,
under the leadership of Villiers de L'lsle Adam, swept the tideless sea in
an unceasing and relentless hostility to every nef, fusta, and galley which
flew the flag of the Prophet?

It had come to a pass when the Ottoman fighting man was by no means anxious
to go to sea. He was still as brave as those marvellous fanatics of seven
centuries before, who, in the name of God and of His Prophet Mahomet, had
swept all opposition aside from the path of Islam, had conquered and
proselytised in a manner never paralleled in the world before. At the call
of the Padishah, for the honour of the Prophet, the sons of Islam were as
ready to march and to fight as had ever been the warriors of the earlier
Caliphs. But they had ever been soldiers; the habit of the sea was not
theirs, and they found that, time after time, such sea-enterprises as they
did undertake were shattered by the genius of Doria, or broken into
fragments by the reckless, calculating assaults of the knights. And so it
came about that there was but little heart in the navy of the Padishah, and
those who served therein had but slight confidence in those by whom they
were led. To use a metaphor from the cricket-field, it was time "to stop
the rot" by sending in a really strong player. He was not to be found
within the confines of orthodox Islam, and must be imported from outside.

The man had been found; could he be forced on an unwilling and discontented
populace? Who, it was asked in Constantinople, was this man who had been
called in to command the ships of the Ottomans at sea? They answered their
own question, and said that he was a lawless man, a corsair: were there not
good seamen and valiant men-at-arms like the Bashas Zay and Himeral, who
should be preferred before him; this man who had come from the ends of the
earth, and of whom nobody knew anything good? Again, could he be trusted?
Something of the history of the Barbarossas had penetrated to the capital
of Turkey, and it was known that scrupulous adherence to their engagements
had not always characterised the brothers: who should say that he might not
carry off the galleys of the Grand Turk on some marauding expedition
designed for his own aggrandisement? There was yet more to be urged against
him: not only was he infamous in character, but he was no true Mussulman,
for had not his father been a mere renegado, and--worst of all--had not his
mother been a Christian woman?

It was thus that the talk ran in that blazing autumn in Constantinople.
Naturally there were plenty of persons who carried reports to Kheyr-ed-Din,
and that astute individual soon made up his mind as to the most
advantageous course for him to pursue. With the full concurrence of the
Sultan, he left Constantinople and journeyed to Aleppo to see Ibrahim. The
latter was both cunning and tenacious. Removed from the capital, the tide
of gossip and discontent only reached him at second-hand; but he was not to
be deterred by popular clamour even had he been in the midst of it. None
knew better than he who and what was Barbarossa; in fact, it may be
confidently asserted that none in Constantinople had anything like the same
knowledge of this man and all that concerned him. Ibrahim had not named
Barbarossa to his sovereign without weighing all the pros and cons of the
matter, and that which was now happening in the capital had been fully
anticipated by him. It pleased the Grand Vizier very much that Kheyr-ed-Din
should take this long journey to see him; not from any ridiculous idea that
this was an act of homage due to the dignity of his position--Ibrahim was
far too great a man for such pettiness--but because it enabled him to see
for himself what manner of man was this redoubtable pirate on whom he was
relying to defeat the enemies of the Sublime Porte at sea. The corsair must
have made the most favourable impression possible on the Grand Vizier, as
that statesman wrote to Soliman:

  We have put our hands on a veritable man of the sea. Name him without
  hesitation Basha, Member of the Divan, Captain-General of the Fleet.

The Grand Turk had no intention of going back upon the appointment already
made, but he was none the less pleased to receive from his Vizier so strong
an endorsement of his policy; and now the time had come to stop the mouths
of the murmurers and scandal-mongers of Constantinople. Accordingly he
formally recalled Barbarossa from Aleppo, gave him, with his own hand, a
sword and a royal banner, and invested him with plenary power over all the
ports of his kingdoms, over all the islands owning his jurisdiction,
command of all ships, vessels, and galleys, and of all soldiers, sailors,
and slaves therein. The die was cast, the erstwhile corsair, the son of the
renegado of Mitylene and his Christian wife was henceforward the supreme
head of the Ottoman fleet.

The following description of the famous corsair may be found interesting at
this juncture.

Barbarossa was at this time seventy-seven years of age. Courageous and
prudent, he was as far-seeing in war as he was subtle in peace. A tireless
worker, he was, above all things, constant in reverse of fortune, for no
difficulties dismayed him, no dangers had power to daunt his spirit. His
ruddy skin, his bushy eyebrows, his famous red beard, now plentifully
streaked with white, his square, powerful frame, somewhat inclined to
stoutness, above all, his penetrating and piercing eyes, gave to his aspect
a certain terror before which men trembled and women shrank appalled.

All this harmonised well with his reputation as a chief so resolute, so
pitiless, that it was the boast of his followers that his very name shouted
in battle put to flight the Christian vessels. His smile was fine and
malicious, his speech facile, revealing beneath the rude exterior of the
corsair the subtle man of affairs, who, from nothing, had made himself King
of Algiers, and was now, by the invitation of Soliman the Magnificent,
Admiralissimo of the Ottoman navy.

Well may Jurien de la Gravière say that "in the sixteenth century even the
pirates were great men."

It has been stated that in speech Barbarossa was facile. He was not only
so, but he possessed a power of addressing such a man as Soliman in terms
which, while delicately flattering that mighty monarch, gave him also a
lead which he might follow in the future disposition of such power as he
possessed at sea.

On his return from Aleppo Kheyr-ed-Din was received in audience by the
Sultan. We must be pardoned if we give the long speech which he addressed
to his new master in its entirety; and we have to remember that the man who
made it was now an old man who, all his life, had been absolutely free and
untrammelled, owing allegiance to no one, following out his own caprices,
and sweeping out of his path any whom he found sufficiently daring as to
disagree with him. That this ruthless despot should have been able so to
change the whole style and manner of his address so late in life is only
one proof the more of the marvellous gifts which he possessed.

It was in the following words that the corsair addressed the Sultan:

  Dread Sovereign, fortune itself has made it a law to second you in all
  your enterprises because that you are always ready to declare war upon
  the enemies of Mahomet the Prophet of God, on whom be peace. You have
  extended the limits of your vast possessions, you have vanquished and
  slain the King of Hungary, you have humiliated Charles V., this Emperor
  with whom the Christians dare hold you in comparison. These have been
  the recompenses received by you for the pure flame with which
  your zeal for the religion of Mahomet has ever burned.

  "But these successes and these triumphs are not capable of contenting
  that thirst for glory with which your being is animated, and I am humbly
  desirous of indicating to you the means of culling fresh laurels.
  Experience has taught me the way, and I can assert, without fear of
  being accused of vanity, that in this matter I can be of great
  assistance to your Majesty.

  "That which fortune has done for me in the past that will it continue to
  do for me in the future. Age has not enfeebled me, continual exercise
  has but rendered me stronger; I can therefore promise to you the most
  ready service both by land and sea. The desire which has always been
  mine to persecute the Christians caused me to conceive the idea of
  serving in your sea-army.

  "If Heaven is favourable to my vows, the Spaniards will soon be chased
  from Africa; the Carthaginians, the Moors, will soon be your very
  submissive subjects; Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, will obey your will. As
  for Italy, it will soon be desolated by famine when I attack it in
  formidable force, without fearing that the Christian Princes will come
  to its aid.

  "Mahomet II., your illustrious grandfather, formed the project of
  conquering this country; he would have succeeded had he not been carried
  off by death. If I counsel you, dread Sovereign, that you should carry
  war into Europe and Africa, it is not that I desire your arms should be
  turned back in Asia from against the Persians, the ancient enemies of
  the Ottomans. I require but your sea-army, which is no use against the
  Persians. While you shall be conquering Asia I shall be
  subduing Africa. The first enterprise which I shall undertake will be
  against Muley Hassan, the King of Tunis; he has all the vices and
  possesses not one single virtue. He is a man of sordid avarice, of
  unexampled cruelty; he has rendered himself odious to the entire human

  "He had twenty-two brothers, all of whom he has caused to be murdered.
  That which is a common failing among tyrants is his: he dare not place
  himself at the head of his troops. He prefers to endure the outrages
  which he suffers at the hands of the Moors to taking up arms and
  inflicting upon them a salutary vengeance. He had the baseness to enter
  into an alliance with the Spaniards, and to favour their conquests in
  Africa. It will be all the easier for me to exterminate this wild beast
  because I have with me his brother, who prayed me to save him from the
  cruelty of Muley Hassan.

  "When I besiege Tunis I shall present him to the inhabitants, who love
  him as much as they hate Muley Hassan. They will open their gates to me,
  and I shall gain the town without the loss of a single man: it will be
  then you who will be master. On my way thither I will do what harm I can
  to the Christians; I will endeavour to defeat Andrea Doria, who is my
  personal enemy and my rival in glory: should I succeed in defeating him
  your Majesty will possess the empire of the sea. Be then persuaded,
  great Prince, by me, and believe that he who is master of the sea will
  very shortly become master on land."

It is somewhat difficult to fathom the reasons which induced Barbarossa to
treat Soliman to his sanctimonious diatribe concerning the King of Tunis;
coming, as it did, from a pirate, it was merely ludicrous, and could not
for one instant have deceived the remarkably shrewd person to whom it was
addressed. The corsair stated the facts correctly, but the reasons which
led to an Eastern autocrat disposing of his family in this manner were so
obvious at the time that, if Soliman felt any emotion at all concerning the
event, it was probably one of admiration! Regarded from the practical,
apart from the sentimental side, what the proposition amounted to was that
Barbarossa should attack a king with whom the Grand Turk had no sort of
quarrel, and that, once his territory had been reft from him, that it
should be handed over to the ruler of Constantinople for the greater glory
of the Sublime Porte. What mental reservations there were on the part of
the corsair we are not told, but had Soliman known him better he would have
been aware that never had Barbarossa pulled any chestnuts from the fire of
life which were not intended for his own eating; and that it was extremely
unlikely, at his time of life, that he was now going to alter the habits of
his long and strenuous career.

There was one thing, however, that Kheyr-ed-Din was not; he was no bragger
or boaster, and, whatever may have been his mental reservations in his
interview with the Sultan, that which he stated he would do, that he did.
And now the time had come when the grim old Sea-wolf had done with intrigue
and the unaccustomed atmosphere of a Court and went back to his native
element, the sea.

Soliman, it must be said to his credit, was no man to deal in
half-measures, and when once he had given his trust he gave it
whole-heartedly, generously. In consequence he gave Barbarossa eighty
galleys, eight hundred Janissaries, eight thousand Turkish soldiers, and
eight hundred thousand ducats for expenses (some three hundred thousand
pounds sterling of our money). All the necessary preparations were carried
out under the orders of Barbarossa, who was given a roving commission to do
what seemed best to him for the advancement of the glory of his master and
the discomfiture of his Christian foes. The commission which he now
received was practically that which had been given by Charles V. to Doria,
the most flattering with which any man can be entrusted, as in his hands
were left issues of peace and war usually only vested in the sovereign.

All through the early summer of 1534 the dockyards and the arsenals of
Constantinople hummed with the note of preparation; Ibrahim had returned
from Aleppo and threw himself, heart and soul, into these activities, which
meant the sailing of the Ottoman fleet under the command of "that veritable
man of the sea," Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa. Stilled were the murmurs of the
year before; the corsair, invested with plenary powers by the Sultan
himself, was now in a position to make his authority felt; added to this,
the more sensible of the malcontents had been won round by the Grand Vizier
to the view that as, so far, the Ottoman navy had been conspicuously
unsuccessful at sea, it was just as well to make use of the most capable
Moslem seaman upon whom they could lay their hands. As to his moral
character, that they could afford to discount, and as to the question of
his faithfulness or the reverse, it was pointed out with irresistible logic
by Ibrahim, that never before had the Sea-wolf had such glorious
opportunities of plunder as now, when he could count ten ships for every
one that had followed in his wake before.

It was in July 1534 that the Ottoman fleet left Constantinople, and
Kheyr-ed-Din began operations by a descent upon Reggio, which he sacked. On
August 1st he arrived at the Pharos of Messina, where he burnt some
Christian ships and captured their crews; then he worked north from Reggio
to Naples, ravaging the coast and depopulating the whole littoral, burning
villages, destroying ships, enslaving people. In this expedition he is said
to have captured eleven thousand Christian slaves. There is perhaps nothing
more amazing in the whole history of this epoch than the number of the
slaves captured by the corsairs, and the damnable cruelties exercised upon
them; these were, of course returned by the Christians with interest
whenever possible. As an instance of the treatment to which the slaves were
subjected it is only necessary to mention the course taken by Barbarossa
when he left Algiers in the previous year. There were at that time seven
thousand Christian captives in his power; immediately before starting he
had the entire number paraded before him, and, under the pretext of having
discovered a plot, which in no circumstances could possibly have existed,
owing to the supervision of the slaves, he caused twenty of them to be
beheaded on the spot in order to strike terror into the remainder during
his absence.

Back to the Golden Horn streamed ship after ship laden with plunder and
with slaves. "The veritable man of the sea" was proving the correctness of
the choice of the Sultan, the acumen of the Grand Vizier who had
recommended his appointment. Barbarossa was determined to leave nothing
undone to prove to Soliman that his choice had indeed been a worthy one
when he had selected him as admiral of his fleet: also he had in his mind
those others who spoke slightingly of him as "the African pirate"; they
should know as well as their master of what this pirate was capable.
Northward the devastating host of Barbarossa took its way; the fair shores
of Italy smoked to heaven as the torches of the corsairs fired the
villages. Blood and agony, torture and despair, followed ever on the heels
of the Sea-wolves of the Mediterranean. And now a fresh pack had been
loosed, as it was, of course, in enormously increased strength that
Barbarossa returned to the scene of so many of his former triumphs.

Plunder and slaves were all very well in their way, and acceptable enough
on the shores of the Golden Horn; but Kheyr-ed-Din had a pet project in
view on this particular cruise, which was to capture Julia Gonzaga and to
present her to Soliman for his harem. The lady destined by him for this
pleasant fate was reported to be the loveliest woman in Europe, a fitting
gift for such an one as the Grand Turk. The fame of her surpassing
loveliness had reached even the corsairs. She was the widow of Vespasian
Colonna, Duchess of Trajetto, and Countess of Fundi; she had now been a
widow since 1528, and lived at Fundi, some ninety miles north-east of
Naples. Barbarossa laid his plans with his accustomed acuteness, and it was
only through an accident that they miscarried.

There was one undeniable advantage in the system which swept off into
slavery the whole of the inhabitants of a country-side, and that was, if at
any time you required a guide at any particular point on the coast, he was
sure to be forthcoming from one of the vessels in the fleet. Now Barbarossa
did not exactly know where Julia Gonzaga was to be found, so he set his
captains to work to discover the necessary slave. This was soon
accomplished, and there was really no occasion for a slave on this
occasion, as a renegado of Naples knew the castle in which Julia Gonzaga
was residing at the time, and readily agreed to act as guide to the
expedition sent to accomplish her capture. Kheyr-ed-Din had made a sudden
dash along the coast with some of the swiftest of his galleys for the
purposes of this capture. In consequence the people in Naples and the
neighbourhood were not even aware that the piratical squadron was on the
coast before they anchored, as near as it was practicable to do, to the
residence of the Duchess of Trajetto. The fleet actually arrived after
dark, having kept out to sea and out of sight during the day.

As soon as the anchors were down a party of two thousand picked men were
landed and marched silently and with all expedition to the castle of Fundi.
The escape of the Duchess was really providential. She had already gone to
bed, and the fierce marauders were actually within the grounds of the
castle before her distracted people became aware of their presence. But
fortunately some among them kept their heads, and it also so happened that
her bed-chamber was the opposite side of the castle to that by which the
pirates approached. A horse was brought round under the window of the room,
and, in her night-dress with nothing but a shawl wrapped around her, was
Julia Gonzaga lowered out of her window on to the back of her horse. As she
galloped for dear life down the avenue of her home she heard the shrieks of
her miserable household murdered in cold blood by the furious pirates who
had thus been balked of their prey.

Dire was the vengeance taken by the corsairs. They sacked Fundi and burned
the town; they killed every man on whom they could lay their hands, and
carried off the women and girls to the fleet.

Kheyr-ed-Din was furious with anger and disappointment. "What is the value
of all this trash?" he demanded, with a thundering oath, of the commander
of the unsuccessful raiders, surveying as he spoke the miserable, shivering
women and girls. "I sent you out to bring back a pearl without price, and
you return with these cattle."

Thus balked of his prey, Barbarossa swung his fleet round to the southward
and westward and sailed for Sardinia, where, from the Straits of Bonifacio
to Cape Spartivento, he left no house standing that would burn, or man
alive who was not swept in as a captive. The descent of the corsairs in
force, such as Kheyr-ed-Din now had at his disposal, was one of the most
awful calamities for a country that it is possible to imagine. When
Sardinia had ceased to yield up either booty or slaves the fleet sailed for
Tunis, where it arrived before Bizerta on August 15th. The arrival of the
corsairs was totally unexpected, and caused the greatest consternation. The
story which Barbarossa had told to Sultan Soliman concerning the reigning
King Muley Hassan was correct in every detail, and there is no doubt that
he was a bloody and cruel tyrant of the worst description.

Therefore when the wily Barbarossa sent on shore and informed the sheiks
and ulemas of the place that he had come in the name of the head of the
Mohammedan religion to free them from this monster by whom they were
oppressed, and that he intended to place on the throne the brother of Muley
Hassan, Raschid, who had miraculously escaped from the fate which had
overtaken all the other members of his house, the townspeople were inclined
to listen to his advances and to admire the picture which he drew of the
peace and prosperity which would accrue to them should Raschid, and not
Muley Hassan, be on the throne of their country. That which he inferred in
all his dealings with these people was that he had Raschid with him ready
to step into the shoes of his unpopular brother as soon as the latter
should be deposed by a justly indignant populace. The fact of the matter
was that Kheyr-ed-Din had taken the fugitive prince with him to
Constantinople, thinking to make use of him, and that, when he was sailing,
Soliman had absolutely forbidden him to remove Raschid from his capital.

Completely deceived, the townspeople allowed the landing of eight hundred
Janissaries. The tyrant, who was, as Barbarossa had told the Sultan, a
craven coward, waited for no further demonstration of force, but
incontinently fled into the interior with such valuables as he could carry.
As soon as this was reported to Barbarossa he landed in force and entered
the town, and then the townspeople noticed that the soldiers were all
shouting for Soliman and for Barbarossa. They then demanded that Raschid
should be produced according to promise, but naturally he was not
forthcoming. Those who had acclaimed the soldiers of Soliman as liberators
now began to arm against them, and they very shortly discovered, from some
Tunisians who had come in the fleet from Constantinople, that Raschid had
been left behind in that city.



Some idea of the terror inspired by the actions of the Sea-wolves at this
date is contained in the following extract from "The Golden Age of the
Renaissance," by Lanciani:

  "The Bastione del Belvedere, which towers in frowning greatness at the
  north-east end of the Vatican Garden and commands the approach to the
  Borgo from the upper-end valley of the Tiber, was begun by Antonio de
  Sangullo the younger, and finished by Michel Angelo after the death of
  Antonio, which took place on September 30th, 1546. This great piece of
  military engineering must not be considered by itself, but as a part of
  a great scheme of defence conceived by Paul III, to protect the city
  against a hostile invasion from the sea. The Pope could not forget that,
  in August 1534, the fleet of infidels commanded by Barbarossa had cast
  anchor at the mouth of the Tiber to renew its supply of water, and that
  if its leader had thought fit they could have stormed, sacked, and
  plundered the city, and carried off the Pope himself into slavery
  without any possibility of defence on the Christian side. This point has
  not been taken into due consideration by modern writers; the
  fortifications of Rome, designed or begun or finished at the time of
  Paul III., have nothing to do with the sack of 1527, with the Connétable
  de Bourbon, or with the Emperor Charles V. All the bastions, that of the
  Belvedere excepted, point towards the sea-coast, which was perpetually
  harried and terrified by Turkish or Barbary pirates. These would appear
  with lightning-like rapidity in more than one place at a time, and carry
  off as many unfortunate men, women, and children as they could
  collect.... To prevent the recurrence of such disasters the sea-coast
  was lined with watch-towers, the guns of which could warn the peasants
  of the approach of suspicious vessels."

That Paul III. had good warrant for the precautions which he designed to
take is not only instanced by the fact of Barbarossa anchoring in the mouth
of the Tiber on the occasion of the raid with which we are at present
concerned, but from what had occurred to his predecessor on the Papal
throne in 1516. Pope Leo, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, was accustomed to
leave Rome in the autumn for hunting, and fishing in the sea, of which
latter pastime he was particularly fond. One of his favourite resorts was
the castle of Magliana, five miles from Rome, on the banks of the Tiber. On
September 18th, 1516, he left Rome and proceeded to Civita Lavinia, on the
Laurentian coast. Here he was waited for by the corsair Curtogali, who,
with fifteen ships off the coast and an ambush on shore, was ready to carry
him off. Curtogali is supposed to have derived his information as to the
movements of the Pope from some traitor about the Papal Court who desired
the downfall of "the fatal House of Medici."

Some one, however, warned the Pope, who fled, accompanied by his retinue,
at a headlong gallop to Rome, never drawing bridle until he reached the
safe seclusion of the Vatican.

We must now return, however, to that eagle who fluttered so sorely the
dovecotes, both Christian and Moslem, and whose loudly proclaimed faith in
the Prophet never permitted his religion to stand inconveniently in the way
of his material advancement in the world. The soldiers and sailors of the
corsair entered Bizerta shouting for Soliman and Barbarossa. There was no
mention of Raschid, that Prince of the Hafsit dynasty, whom Kheyr-ed-Din
had declared to the townspeople he had come to restore to the throne of his
ancestors. Too late the town sprang to arms, under a chief named Abdahar,
and in the first instance accomplished a considerable success. Barbarossa's
men were unprepared, and a number of them were slain. Driven into a bastion
of the walls, a party of the corsairs were desperately defending
themselves, when one Baetio, a Spanish renegado, discovered that a cannon
behind them pointing seawards was loaded. He succeeded, with the assistance
of others, in slewing it round and discharged it at close quarters into the
packed masses of the enemy. This caused a frightful demoralisation to set
in; the corsairs rallied and soon swept all before them. The massacre
turned from the one side to the other, and it is said that no less than
three thousand of the unfortunate townspeople were slain. Barbarossa only
called off his men when they were wearied out by the slaughter.

Kheyr-ed-Din now graciously accepted the submission of the townsfolk; that
is to say, such of them as were left, and took charge of the entire kingdom
as governor for the Sultan of Turkey. He sent out ambassadors to the
neighbouring Arab and Berber chieftains of the hinterland, repaired
fortifications, appointed magistrates--all ostensibly in the name of that
phantom prince whom the Tunisians were destined never to see, and who never
returned to his native country.

King of Algiers, _de facto_ King of Tunis, Admiralissimo to Soliman the
Magnificent, his name a portent in Christendom, his fame reaching from
Spartel to Tunis, and from the shores of France to the foothills of the
Atlas, Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa was at the height of his power. Never before
had a corsair risen to such eminence, never again was there destined to be
so magnificent a sea-robber. Thus it was that the year 1535 opened gloomily
for all those Powers whose coasts were washed by the tideless sea. Italy,
torn and bleeding, her strong men slain, her fairest matrons and maids
carried off into the most odious captivity, was lamenting the terrible fate
to which she had been exposed by the raids of the pirate admiral. In
Catalonia, in Genoa, in Venice, along what is now known as the Riviera, men
trembled and women wept; for who could say that it might not be upon them
that the next thunderbolt might fall? In Venice taxation was raised to the
breaking strain to provide galleys wherewith to combat the foe, while the
Genoese fortified their coasts and poured out money like water upon arms,
armaments, and ammunition. Says Sandoval:

  "Desde el Estrecho de Meçina hasta el de Gibraltar ninguno de la parte
  de Europa pudiera tomer comida ni sueño seguro de lo que viviera en las
  riberas del mar." (From the Straits of Messina to those of Gibraltar
  none living in Europe on the shores of the sea were able to eat in peace
  or to sleep with any sense of security.)

The Emperor Charles V. was roused to action, stung by the intolerable
humiliation of the position into which he had been placed by a mere

King of Sicily, Naples, and Spain, as well as Emperor of Germany, in any
direction he might turn he would find a trail of blood and fire over the
fair face of his dominions in the Mediterranean. Although it might gall his
pride to admit that his enemy was formidable, Charles was too wise a man,
too experienced a warrior to underrate his foe. He repaired the
fortifications of Naples and Sicily at great cost: he wrote letters to the
Pope, to Andrea Doria, to the Viceroys of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, to
the Marquis de Vasto, and Antonio de Leyva to collect all the arms and
munitions necessary for the attack on Barbarossa. He sent orders to Don
Luis Hurtado de Mendoza, Marquis de Mondejar, Captain-General of the
Kingdom of Granada, to collect money and to have men ready in the ports of
Andalusia. He gave orders for eight thousand German soldiers to hold
themselves in readiness; these were to be joined by the veterans of Coron
and Naples, which body counted four thousand more; in Italy he also raised
another eight thousand men. All this was done under the seal of secrecy,
which the Emperor most peremptorily ordered was to be observed.

But news travelled in the first half of the sixteenth century, although
newspapers, war correspondents, and telegraphs were not; when all the
feudatories of the greatest king in Christendom were busy it was impossible
for the matter to remain hidden. Even had it been within the range of
possibility to conceal what was going on there was one circumstance which
would have rendered all effort to this end nugatory. Charles had invited
Francis of France to join in this holy war against the scourge of
Christendom: not only did Francis refuse to join, but he had the incredible
baseness to betray the scheme to Barbarossa. It would be pleasanter to
think that some mistake had been made in this matter, but unfortunately it
is beyond dispute, as the facts have been placed on record by Sandoval,
whose history, it must be remembered, was published in 1614. In this matter
he is quite precise, as he states that a "Clerigo Francese," one Monsieur
de Floreta, was sent with despatches from Francis to Barbarossa at Tunis,
and that this treacherous envoy from Christendom gave the corsair king all
the available information that he had been able to collect before starting.

This was typical of that "Golden Age of the Renaissance" in which it took
place; when real devotion to all arts, sciences, and amenities of a higher
civilisation went hand in hand with crime of the vilest and treachery of
the basest description. Well might Barbarossa, and such as he, laugh to
scorn the pretension that his Christian enemies were one whit better than
were they, when they could point to the fact that, to serve a private
revenge, a great Christian king could betray his co-religionists to their
Moslem foes. Shamelessly did the Sea-wolves seek their prey wherever it was
to be found; their methods were villanous and seemingly without excuse,
but, after all, there was some colour, some shadow of right in what they
did, for their argument was that they were merely getting back from
Christendom that which had been reft from them in the near past in the
kingdoms of Còrdova and Granada. But who shall find excuse for the
Christian kings, governors, and princes at this epoch? They sought their
prey no less ravenously than did the pirates, and with just about the same
amount of justification: witness the sacking of Rome by Charles V. in 1527,
and the unexampled act of treachery just recorded of Francis of France.

Kheyr-ed-Din had lived all his turbulent life among wars and rumours of
wars: the head of the tiller, the hilt of the scimitar, the butt of the
arquebus, had been in his hand since early youth; bloodshed and strife were
the atmosphere in which he lived and breathed. Desperate adventures by land
and sea had been his ever since he could remember; there was no hazard that
he had not run, no peril which he had not dared. But now even he, the
veteran of far more than one hundred fights, was grave and preoccupied when
he considered the greatness, the imminence of his peril. The "Clerigo
Francese" had put him in possession of the fact that Carlos Quinto was
exerting all his strength for the combat which was to come; and Barbarossa
was far too old a fighter, far too wise a warrior, to underrate by one
soldier or by one galley the forces that the Emperor could put into line
against him; from far and near his foes were gathering for his destruction,
and he did not deceive himself in the least as to what the fate of his
followers and himself would be should the Christian hosts be victorious.

But, nevertheless, such an emergency as this found the man at his best:
ready to take fortune at the flood when she smiled upon him, he was perhaps
at his very greatest in adversity; and when all around him trembled and
paid one of their infrequent visits to the Mosque to implore the aid of the
Prophet, the veteran corsair was coolly reviewing the situation, seeking a
way to weather the tempest before which lesser men shrank appalled,
declaring that the end had come. The storm was coming in a squall of such
violence as even he had never before experienced, but, thanks to his friend
the King of France, he had been forewarned. He sent at once to his master,
Soliman the Magnificent, at Constantinople, to impart to him the direful
intelligence; then the bagnios were thrown open, and, under pitiless lash
and scourge, the Christian captives toiled from dawn till dark to repair
the fortifications of Tunis. Silent and unapproachable, conferring with
none, the grim old Sea-wolf sat in his palace overlooking the bay and
considered the question of whether he should give battle by land or sea
when the time came. If it were possible, he came to the conclusion that it
should be the latter; he had been evicted from his kingdom on land once
before, but he knew that in the open ocean few cared to face Barbarossa,
and he might fall on Doria first and the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem
second if matters turned out favourably for him. In any case, he must
summon all the aid that was possible.

East and west flew the galleys of Kheyr-ed-Din, scudding before the wind if
that were favourable, or churning the surface of the sea with straining,
strenuous oars should the wind be foul or a calm prevail.

It was an appeal for aid to the Moslem corsairs from Algiers, from Tlemcen,
from Oran, from Los Gelues (or Jerbah), and from all the countless islands
of the Archipelago, where they lurked to seize their prey--Tunis, which
flew the Crescent flag of the Prophet, was in danger--let them rally
against the grandson of the man who expelled the Moors from Spain.

Grim and sinister, the corsairs came flocking to the standard of
Barbarossa. Well they knew that, should he fall, it was but a matter of
time for them all to be chased from off the face of the waters. Of cohesion
there was but little among them, and, in spite of the bond of a common
religion and a common hatred of the Christian, they were swayed far more by
a lust for plunder than by such considerations as these. In times of
imminent danger, however, men naturally crave for a leader, and in
piratical circles all was now subordinated to the instinct of

Meanwhile, in Christendom their great enemy was maturing his plans. To the
Marquis de Cañete, Viceroy and Captain-General of the Kingdom of Navarre,
Charles wrote, confiding to his care the charge of the Empress, with
instructions that her orders were to be implicitly obeyed during his
absence. Having done this he journeyed to Barcelona, at which city he
arrived on April 8th, 1535. Here he was immediately joined by the armada of
Portugal--twenty caravelas raised, armed, and paid for by the King, Don
Juan of Portugal. This fleet was commanded by the Infante Don Luis, brother
to the Empress, and carried on board the vessels of which it was composed a
whole host of nobles and gentlemen of quality, who had come to fight under
the approving eyes of the Cæsar of the modern world.

On May 1st came Andrea Doria with twenty-two galleys, and those already in
the harbour crowded the sides of their vessels to watch the arrival of the
famous Genoese seaman.

Four abreast in stately procession the great galleys swept into the
harbour. With that love of "spectacle" so inherent in the southern nature,
everything was done to ensure the military pomp and circumstance of the
coming of the first sea-commander of the Emperor. At first with furious
haste, and then slowing down to make the approach more stately, the fleet
of Andrea moved on. From mast and yard and jackstaff of the galleys of the
admiral floated twenty-four great banners of silk and gold embroidered with
the arms of the Emperor, with those of Spain, of Genoa, and of the Dorias,
Princes of Oneglia. The principal standard bore upon it a crucifix,
broidered at the sides with pictures of Saint John and the Virgin Mary;
another represented the Virgin with her Son in her arms. With the sound of
trumpets, clarions, chirimias, and atambours the fleet moved to within a
short distance of the Portuguese and saluted them; then, as the thunder of
the guns ceased and the light wind blew away the smoke, they circled round
and stopped abreast of the royal vessel on which Charles had embarked. Once
again the guns barked a royal salute, while knights and nobles, seamen and
soldiers hailed their Emperor with frenzied shouts of "Imperio! Imperio!"

Then Andrea Doria stepped into his boat and was rowed across the shining
water to visit the Emperor, who received him, we are told, "with great
honour and many tokens of love."

On May 12th arrived Don Alvaro de Bazan, General of the Galleys of Spain.
This magnificent caballero made an entrance in much the same state and
circumstance as did Doria, and during the remainder of the stay of the
armada in Barcelona there was much banqueting and feasting and drinking of
healths to the Emperor and confusion to the Moslem foe. It was once again
as it had been in those days in which Ferdinand and Isabella had descended
upon the doomed city of Granada, and had built, in full sight of its
defenders, the town which they called Santa Fe (or the Holy Faith) as an
earnest that they would never leave until that symbol of their faith had
triumphed. To witness this victory the best blood of Europe had flocked,
and now, forty-three years later, when the audacious Moslem had raised his
head once more, the descendant of the warriors who had followed "Los Reyes
Católicos" rallied to that standard which Carlos Quinto, their grandson,
had set up on the shores of Catalonia. Sandoval devotes pages of his work
to the names, styles, and titles of the noble caballeros who joined the
army for the destruction of Barbarossa.

On May 16th Charles embarked in the _Galera Capitana_ of Andrea Doria,
accompanied by many grandees and caballeros of the Court, as well as
illustrious foreigners like Prince Luis of Portugal, and held a review of
the armada. There was much expenditure of powder in salutes to the Emperor,
and all vied with one another in shouting themselves hoarse in honour of
the great monarch who deigned to lead in person the hosts of Christendom
against the infidel, who had defied his might and dared to offer him
battle. On May 28th the Emperor travelled some leagues inland, starting
before dawn, to visit the Monastery of Nuestra Señora de Monferrato, in
which was kept a singularly holy image of the Virgin. Here he confessed and
received the sacrament, and then returned to Barcelona.

[Illustration: THE EMPEROR CHARLES V.]

On May 30th he embarked in the Royal Galley, the _Galera Bastarda_, which
had been prepared for him by Andrea Doria, his Captain-General of the
Galleys. This vessel seems to have somewhat resembled the barge of
Cleopatra in the magnificence of its appointments, as its interior was
gilded, and it was fitted up with all the luxury that could be devised at
this period. Silken carpets and golden drinking-vessels, stores of the most
delicate food and of the rarest wines, were embarked to mitigate, as far as
possible, the inevitable hardships of a sea-passage, and there were not
lacking instruments of music wherewith to beguile the Cæesar with concord
of sweet sounds. Perhaps that which strikes the modern seaman most in this
recital of all the useless matters with which the vessels of the great were
burdened at this period is the extraordinary number of flags and banners
with which they went to sea.

The catalogue of those in the _Galera Bastarda_ makes one rather wonder how
there was room for anything else of more practical usefulness when it came
to fighting. There were in this galley twenty-four yellow damask banners,
inscribed with the imperial arms; a pennon at the main of crimson taffeta
of immense length and breadth, with a golden crucifix embroidered thereon.
Two similar ones bore shields with the arms of the Emperor, and there was a
huge flag of white damask sewn with representations of keys, communion
chalices, and the cross of Saint Andrew, in crimson, with a Latin
inscription. There were yet two others of scarlet damask "of the same
grandeur," embroidered round the edge with "Plus Ultra," the device of
Spain. Among a further varied assortment was one which bore the
inscription: "Send, O God, thine angel to guard him in all his goings."

The fleet under the command of Andrea Doria numbered sixty-two galleys and
one hundred and fifty nefs. There were also a miscellaneous assortment of
small craft, known in those days as "brigantines," employed in the carriage
of stores and ammunition. We have seen, on a former occasion, what terrible
losses attended one of these armadas when really bad weather was
encountered, and therefore it is not surprising that, on his second
venture, Charles should have selected the finest season of the year for his
descent upon the coast of Africa. They were brave men, these Mediterranean
seamen, and the risks which they ran in their strangely formed, unseaworthy
craft were of course much enhanced when they were loaded to the gunwale
with stores, provisions, horses, banners, and last, but by no means least,
a mob of seasick soldiery.

Into this armada were crowded twenty-five thousand infantry and six hundred
lancers with their horses.

Cagliari, in Sardinia, was the last rendezvous of the expedition, and here
it arrived in the early part of June, where a week was spent in making the
final preparations; and at last, on June 10th, a start was made for the
coast of Africa.

Meanwhile in Tunis Kheyr-ed-Din was working double tides. He was kept well
informed by his spies of all that was going on, and his preparations for
defence were as adequate as they could be made; the corsairs, as we have
said, had come flocking in at his call. He had withdrawn as many of his
fighting men from Algiers as he deemed prudent. Knowing that the attack was
directed against him personally, he had not much fear that it would be
diverted at the last moment. It would have been true strategy on the part
of Charles to have done this, but the Emperor considered that his honour
required that the attack should be an absolutely direct one, and so Algiers
was left on one side, to the ultimate upsetting of his plans. We say this
because, although in this case he was to take Tunis and to restore to the
throne of that country the puppet King Muley Hassan, and although he was to
rescue some twenty thousand Christian captives, he did not capture
Barbarossa, who was to live for many years to continue and to carry on his
unceasing war against the Christians.

There was no artifice left untried by the despot of Tunis. To the African
princes, Moors as well as Arabs and Berbers, did Kheyr-ed-Din send
embassies. For these he chose cunning men well versed in the means of
exciting the furious passions of these primitive and ferocious peoples, and
it was their mission to represent Muley Hassan as an infamous apostate who
was prompted by ambition and revenge, not only to become the vassal of a
Christian king, but to conspire with him to extirpate the Mohammedan faith.
The subtle policy inflamed these ignorant and bigoted Mohammedans to the
point of madness, and from far and near they threw in their lot with the
man who represented himself to be the rallying-point for all those in
Africa who desired not only to preserve their holy religion but also their
personal liberty. From Tripoli and Jerba, from Bougie and Bona, from the
shores of Shott-el-Jerid, through all the dim hinterland that stretches
from thence north-westwards to Algiers, the tribesmen came flocking in. The
wild riders of the desert had been rounded up, and it is said that no less
than twenty thousand horsemen, in addition to an innumerable crowd of
infantry, responded to the call of the master schemer who was but using
these guileless savages to further his own personal ends. The land-pirates
of the desert, those stormy petrels whose lives only differed from those of
the followers of Kheyr-ed-Din in that they carried on their depredations on
the land instead of on the sea, camped in their thousands in the environs
of Tunis and boasted of the deeds which they were about to perform.
Kheyr-ed-Din stimulated their enthusiasm with presents of the most costly
description. Ever wise and politic, he knew when it was necessary to pay
royally, and on this occasion surpassed himself in prodigality. For all
this he himself cherished no illusions; he had the measure of the fighting
men of his foes at his fingers' ends, and the most that he expected from
these wild irregulars was that they might, perchance, stay an onset and
worry the imperial army with dashing cavalry raids. But that they should
hold their own with the incomparable infantry of Spain, or make head
against the stolid valour of the German men-at-arms, was not contemplated
by Barbarossa. In his Janissaries, in his hard-bitten fighting men from the
galleys, he could expect much; but there were but some few thousands of
these, while the disciplined host against which he was called upon to
combat was at the least twenty-five thousand--the flower of the imperial
forces. The situation was unique, one on which the world had never looked
before--all the might of Christendom going up against one who, no matter by
what titles he might choose to describe himself, was no more than a vulgar
robber. He was, however, a robber on such a scale as had never before been
equalled--a force which remained unsubdued during the whole of his
extraordinary and unusually protracted career.



Autocracy in the sixteenth century was a very real and concrete fact. The
orders of great kings were, as a rule, implicitly obeyed, and, when they
were not, there was likely to be trouble of the worst description for those
by whom they had been contravened. It is this that causes us to regard as
most extraordinary one of the happenings in the armada which sailed from
Barcelona for the coast of Africa. A most peremptory order was issued that
no women, no boys, no one, in fact, save fighting men of approved worth,
should find a place in the ships. Says Sandoval, "No se consintiesen en la
armada mugeres ni muchachos ni otra gente inutil, mas de aquellos solos que
eran para pelear." (There were not allowed in the armada women, boys, or
useless persons, but only those who were capable of fighting.) It appears,
however, that the women paid no sort of attention to this ordinance, and
the historian gravely relates that "it was no use turning them out of the
ships as, as soon as you sent them down one side they returned and climbed
up the other," It seems almost incredible, but is none the less a fact,
that four thousand women accompanied the expedition and landed at Tunis.
The autocracy of the Emperor apparently stopped short where women were
concerned, or else he was indifferent whether they came or not.

On June 16th the armada arrived before Tunis, and the army disembarked to
attack the fortress known as La Goletta. Into this strong place of arms
Barbarossa had sent some six thousand of his best men, mostly Turkish
soldiers, under the command of Sinan-Reis, a renegado Jew, and one of the
fiercest and most faithful of his followers. To the camp of the Emperor
came the fugitive King, Muley Hassan, in whose cause the armada had
nominally been assembled--how nominal this was we shall see later by the
light of the treaty concluded between him and the Emperor. Charles had
complete command of the sea for the time being, and, in consequence, the
ex-Sultan was amazed at the profusion and luxury which reigned in the camp
of the Christians; and he concluded that these indeed must be the lords of
the earth, as luxury and profusion was hardly the note of such courts as
then existed in the northern portion of the African continent.

Although the army was landed, and with it artillery for the bombardment of
the Goletta, there remained, of course, "the army of the sea," under the
orders of the redoubtable Doria; and while the Marquis del Guasto, who was
in supreme command on shore, prepared to batter down the defences of the
fortress on the land side, the attack was carried on simultaneously from
the sea by the galleys. The actual presence of the Emperor stimulated the
various nationalities under his eyes to vie with one another in deeds of
daring, and they contended among themselves for the posts of the most
honour and danger. The attacks of the African horsemen were brushed on one
side by the disciplined valour of the Andalusian cavalry, while the great
guns thundered from land and sea against the walls of the doomed Goletta.
Sinan and his Ottoman soldiers performed prodigies in the way of repairing
breaches in the walls as soon as they were made; but Kheyr-ed-Din from the
city watched the progress of the bombardment gloomily, as he saw and knew
that the fall of the Goletta was but a matter of days. All this time he was
far from idle; sortie after sortie did the dauntless old warrior lead in
person against those engaged in the task of bombardment. Time and again he
heartened the Arab and Berber levies to attack, but the sallies were
repulsed, and the lightly armed Africans were driven like chaff before the
wind when they swooped down on the lines of investment.

But the time came at last when Sinan and his gallant Turks could hold the
place no longer; the walls were breached in six or seven places, and
Spaniards, Germans, and Italians made a simultaneous attack. Sinan fighting
to the last, evacuated the fortress, and retired actually through the water
across a shallow part of the bay to the city, with the remnant of his once
magnificent force; and now Barbarossa knew that the end was come, and that
Tunis must pass from his hands to those of the Christian Emperor. It was
not only the fall of the Goletta that troubled him, but the equally
important fact that by this the fleet of the enemy was enabled to lay hands
upon his own fleet, consisting of eighty-seven galleys and galliots,
together with his arsenal, and no less than three hundred cannon, mostly
brass guns of excellent construction, mounted on the walls and planted on
the ramparts. The surprising amount of this artillery gives a measure of
the strength of the fortress and the efforts it must have cost the
besiegers with such a man as Sinan in command.

That the end was near was known to all, and not the least of their
embarrassments was the presence within the city walls of some twenty
thousand Christian captives. The city was large, the defences were spread
out over a great area, it was abundantly evident that it could not be held,
and, in consequence, Barbarossa summoned his principal officers and
communicated to them his decision.

  "We will not remain here to be slain like rats in a trap by the accursed
  of God by whom we are attacked. No, rather will we perish, sword in
  hand, as our fathers have done before us; but first there is a danger
  against which we have to guard. Within these walls are twenty thousand
  prisoners who will rise against us at the first opportunity; let us,
  then, first put them to death, and then we will leave this place and
  show our enemies how the true Moslems can die."

Even those hardened men of blood shrank before the horror which was
proposed to them by their chief, and Sinan-Reis took up his parable and
spoke the minds of all when he said that follow him to the death they would
cheerfully do, but stain themselves with so awful a massacre was to place
themselves outside the pale of humanity for ever. It was seldom that they
crossed his mood, and Barbarossa listened in frowning silence, accepting as
a partial excuse that time pressed, and to put to death twenty thousand
persons would occupy longer time than they could spare. On the morrow a
battle was fought which, as Kheyr-ed-Din anticipated, ended in the complete
rout of the Moslems. Everywhere the Corsair King was in the forefront of
the battle, and it is said that he disposed of fifty thousand men on this
occasion; but this is probably an exaggeration, and in any case the bulk of
his forces consisted of those African levies which, in a pitched battle
against European troops, were practically useless owing to their want of
discipline and cohesion. Very soon the hosts of the Emperor had prevailed,
and the Arabs and Berbers had fled back into the wilderness from whence
they had come and whither it was useless to pursue. Barbarossa, at the head
of such of his corsairs and Turks as were left--a number estimated at some
three to four thousand--burst through all opposition and also escaped,
travelling so rapidly that pursuit was abandoned almost at once. And then
the event happened which the Moslem leader had foreseen: some of the
Christian captives managed to get free from their shackles within the city
and released others; they overpowered those left to guard them, and threw
open the gates to the soldiery of the Emperor.

Then occurred one of those awful horrors of which this time was so
prolific: before Charles or his generals could prevent them the soldiery
had swept into the town and commenced to slay, to plunder, and to ravish,
without distinction of age, sex, or nationality. Ostensibly these Christian
warriors had come to rescue the inhabitants of Tunis from the oppression of
Barbarossa, but while that chieftain was in full flight across the
mountains to Bona, those by whom he had been defeated entered the town,
which they had come to save, and perpetrated a massacre so awful that it is
said that no less than thirty thousand people perished. It is a terrible
blot on the escutcheon of the Emperor; as, although he and his generals
deprecated the massacre--and indeed to do them justice tried to prevent
it--this is no excuse for allowing their men to get out of hand, when they
must have been aware of the inevitable result: as the Moslem corsairs at
their worst were equalled in their iniquities by the European soldiery,
once the strong hand of discipline had relaxed its grip.

It may have been that the Emperor was displeased with this excess of zeal
on the part of his army; but, if it were so, the chroniclers are silent
concerning the matter, being far too busy singing the praises of the Cæsar
to think of such a trifle as the massacre of most of the persons whom he
had come to deliver. The wretched inhabitants of Tunis must have found it
somewhat difficult to distinguish between the corsair, who killed three
thousand of their fellow townsmen, and the Christian Emperor, who had
massacred ten times that number. Charles, however, reaped great glory from
an expedition which had but one good result, which was, that he succeeded
in rescuing twenty thousand captives; these men, very naturally, on their
return to their homes in every corner of Europe, magnified the wonderful
deeds of that prince who had been instrumental in securing their release,
and the massacre of the Tunisians was conveniently ignored. Charles had
defeated Barbarossa and expelled him from Tunis; he had now displayed his
magnanimity and altruism by the terms which he imposed on the miserable
Muley Hassan. As far as that individual was concerned, he certainly
deserved nothing better; but, as a _finale_ to an expedition blessed by the
Pope, and looked upon almost in the light of a modern crusade, it certainly
displays a remarkably keen eye for the main chance.

The preamble of the treaty runs as follows:

  That the King of Tunis, recognising that he had been expelled from his
  kingdom by Barbarossa, and that the Emperor in person, with a powerful
  armada, had come and expelled this tyrant, taking from him the fortress
  and town of Tunis and restoring them to the King Muley Hassan: that this
  monarch is most grateful for so magnificent a service, and in
  recognition thereof contracts to liberate all Christian captives who may
  be in his realm, to give them a free passage to their homes, and from
  this time forward binds himself to extend to all Christians kind and
  generous treatment.

There can be no exception taken to this, which was the least which the
Emperor had the right to expect; but this was only, as we have said, the

Muley Hassan was further made to contract to hold his kingdom in fee to the
Spanish Crown, to covenant that no corsair should use his ports for any
purpose whatsoever, that the Emperor should not only retain the Goletta but
that all other fortified seaports should be put into his hands, that the
King of Tunis should in future pay twelve thousand crowns per annum 'for
the subsistence of the Spanish garrison of the Goletta, that he should
enter into no alliance with the enemies of the Emperor, and should annually
present, as an acknowledgment of his vassalage, six Moorish horses and six

Muley Hassan had exchanged the comparatively dignified position of a prince
in exile, who has been expropriated by the strong hand, for that of the
puppet of one of the greatest enemies of his religion. Neither he nor his
people were one whit the better for the change, and, as far as vassalage
was concerned, they would in all probability, in the state of religious
feeling at the time, have sooner been subordinate to the Moslem corsair
than to the Christian King.


Barbarossa, as we have seen, frankly acknowledged that he sought his own
advantage, and, when he possessed himself of Tunis, made no pretence of any
altruistic motive. The Emperor, on the other hand, having come in the guise
of a Christian reformer, simply stole the kingdom from Barbarossa and kept
it for himself. Incidentally he released the captives, which enabled him to
pose once more as the great champion of the oppressed. But, however this
may have been, there is no doubt that he had performed a notable feat of
arms, and even the most mighty monarch then in Europe felt uplifted by the
fact that he had defeated the greatest of the corsairs: accordingly, on
July 25th Charles wrote to England, France, Portugal, Milan, Florence,
Venice, Genoa, Siena, Mantua, and Naples: "De manera que en pocas dias se
supo in toda Europa su buena fortuna." (So it was in a few days the whole
of Europe was acquainted with his good fortune.)

Martin Nunez, "Caballero de Toledo," was sent on a special embassy to the
Pope to acquaint the Pontiff at first hand of all that happened, and the
success which had attended the arms of the Emperor, and also to thank his
Holiness for the assistance which he had rendered by sending the Papal
galleys. Jorge de Melo, a Portuguese caballero, was sent to his own country
with despatches, and other nobles and high officials were despatched to the
Emperor's Viceroys in the various parts of his dominions. In the long
circular letter which Charles addressed to all these potentates--and which
is reproduced in its entirety by Sandoval--he says "that the Christian
captives found in Tunis amounted to something like eighteen to twenty
thousand, that Barbarossa had escaped with some five thousand Turks,
corsairs, and renegadoes, of which three thousand were on horseback and two
thousand afoot; that, as they suffered from great scarcity of provisions,
and the almost total lack of water, many were falling by the way, and many
others were being murdered by their quondam allies for such goods as they
possessed, or for the value of their arms and clothing."

We must now return to Kheyr-ed-Din. What the sufferings of that chieftain
and the remnant of his gallant army must have been in their flight to Bona
they alone knew. It was the height of summer, and burning tracks of desert
and rugged mountain passes had to be surmounted; naturally they could have
carried but very little food, and water they had to find on the way. In
addition to this, as we have seen in the despatch of Charles, the tribesmen
turned against them, cutting off stragglers and murdering and plundering as
opportunity offered. Barbarossa himself was an old man, so old that it
seems nothing short of a miracle that he should have survived the hardships
of this awful march. Not only did he do this, but apparently arrived at
Bona in condition to continue his journey by sea at once, had he cared to
do so. He had lost his newly acquired kingdom, he had lost nearly his
entire fleet, his arsenal and stores were in the hands of his enemies; if
ever a man was completely crushed it was he on this memorable occasion. As
we have said before, however, it was in times of the greatest stress when
the indomitable character of this man rose to meet the occasion, and, while
his foes were congratulating one another that at last there was an end of
the scourge of the Mediterranean and the bugbear of Christendom, the hunted
fugitive was merely preparing himself for fresh acts of aggression.

The real fact of the matter was that he was above all and before all a
seaman. The defeat of Kheyr-ed-Din meant merely the transference of his
malign activities from one sphere to another--from the sea to the land, or
from the land to the sea. King he called himself, and king _de facto_ he
was both in Algiers and Tunis, reigning with unexampled cruelty, a
prototype of those other corsair kings by whom he was succeeded. But the
real source of his power lay, not in stone walls and fortifications, nor in
ill-trained levies of African tribes, but in his own genius for command at
sea, and the manner in which he was able to inspire with his own dauntless
and desperate spirit those hardy mariners who followed in his train, the
descendants of the "Moriscoes" who hailed from the ancient Moorish kingdoms
of Cordoba and Granada.

Thus it was in the present instance. He had been unable to withstand the
might of Cæsar and his legions, but Tunis was not the whole of Northern
Africa, nor had quite all his eggs been kept in that one basket. He had
kept fifteen galleys in reserve at Bona, and, in consequence, on his
arrival there, was able to embark at once. This he did, and hardly had he
done so when there appeared upon the scene fifteen galleys commanded by
Adan Centurion and John Doria. Kheyr-ed-Din had had enough of fighting just
for the present; his men and he were wearied out by the hardships of their
flight, and accordingly he drew up his galleys under the fort at Bona and
awaited an attack, should the enemy care to deliver one. But Adan
Centurion's heart failed him; to cut out the old Sea-wolf from under one of
his own batteries was more than he had the stomach for, and he accordingly
sailed away. "Fue sin duda la perdida grande" (this no doubt was a great
pity), is the comment of Sandoval, who goes on to say that, had the Genoese
been the men that they had been aforetime, this would never have been, and
that they would have gone in and burnt or disabled the galleys of the
corsair, slain their leader, or driven him ashore. Hot on the tracks of
Adan Centurion and his nephew John came the veteran Andrea Doria with forty
galleys, but he was too late, and the bird had flown; had it been he who
had arrived in the first instance, then it is more than probable that
matters would have turned out differently, and Kheyr-ed-Din had then and
there terminated his career. It is true that Andrea possessed himself of
Bona, and the Corsair King was shorn of yet another of his land-stations,
but for the time he had cut himself adrift from the land, and had gone back
to that element in which he was particularly at home.

Doria left Bona in the charge of Alvar Gomez and a company of Spanish
troops and then sailed away, if possible to find and capture Barbarossa,
thus to set the seal of completeness on the victory which had been won by
his master the Emperor. Another stronghold of the corsairs was now in most
competent hands, as Alvar Gomez Zagal was one of the most renowned
caballeros of Spain, son of that Pero Lopez de Horusco on whom the Moors
themselves had bestowed the title of "Al Zagal," or "The Valiant," on
account of his extraordinary bravery.

On August 17th Charles re-embarked his army and evacuated the country,
leaving, however, one thousand Spanish veterans, under the command of
Bernard de Mendoza, in charge of the Goletta, as a permanent memorial of
the expedition, and as a guarantee that the wretched Muley Hassan should
fully comply with the treaty obligations which had been imposed upon him.
It is true that Barbarossa had not been captured, but his city had been
taken, his fleet had been destroyed, and he himself was now a fugitive,
unable any further to trouble the peace of Christendom or the dignity of
the Emperor by whom he had been so soundly chastised. In consequence the
Cæsar departed well pleased with himself and with those who had been acting
under his orders, to whom he distributed orders and titles, as a memento of
the occasion upon which they had finally broken up the power of those by
whom his peace had so long been troubled.

One of the difficulties in dealing with the career of Kheyr-ed-Din
Barbarossa is that, in times when he was unsuccessful, or when, as on the
present occasion, he had received a severe setback, it is next to
impossible to find out what he was doing or where exactly he was preparing
for his next coup. In this case, in particular, the old-time historians
were thanking God that the Emperor had rid the world of a particularly
pestilent knave, and ceased to trouble themselves much about him until he
forced himself once more upon their notice. Had Charles at this time
recognised the greatness of the man whom he had just so signally defeated
he might have changed the course of history. Had he, instead of sailing
back to Europe, content with that which he had accomplished in Tunis,
pushed his attack home on Algiers, he might have made himself master of the
whole of Northern Africa, as, in the disorganised state in which the
corsairs now found themselves, they could certainly have offered no
effective resistance. But to the Emperor these rovers of the sea presented
themselves merely in the light of robbers. Robbers, it is true, on a
somewhat large scale, but still not persons of sufficient importance to
detain him from the infinitely more pressing affairs which awaited him on
the opposite shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition to the fifteen galleys which Kheyr-ed-Din picked up at Bona he
had in reserve at Algiers some fifty others. Escaping the attention of Adan
Centurion and John Doria, and the infinitely more formidable squadron of
Andrea, he headed once more for Algiers, and for a time seems to have
remained quiet, no doubt recuperating from the fatigues, disappointments,
and physical hardships which he had so recently undergone. He was
apparently undisturbed during the winter by his Christian enemies, and was
in consequence able to think out his future plans of campaign and to
collect and put heart into his scattered followers, who, in ones and twos,
were gradually, such of them as were left, finding their way back to the
headquarters of piracy and its indomitable chieftain.

That cool calculator of the chances of life knew that this must be so; the
power of the corsairs generally had received the worst blow it had ever
encountered since the dispossessed Moriscoes had taken to the sea for a
living; those of them who remained alive were without ships--that is to
say, without their only means of making a livelihood--and that they should
gravitate towards Algiers and its master was as nearly a certainty as
anything human could be. And, as was anticipated by the chief, so it came
to pass. Into the city straggled broken, starving, sullen men who had lost
their all, for whom the future held nothing but misery and despair unless
they could get to sea once more.

It was on occasions such as this that the intellectual eminence of
Barbarossa was so marked. Rough and cruel as he was, he possessed
nevertheless a magnetic power over the minds of men, on which, when it so
pleased him, he could play with the most extraordinary effect. And now,
when the rank and file of the corsairs were ragged, hungry, and smarting
under defeat, he dealt with them tenderly and graciously; and the sum of
his teaching was to the effect that they had but to follow him once more
and all the evils from which they were suffering would be presently
remedied. So it came about that men who, before the defeat, had commanded
ships of their own, were glad enough to become units on board the galleys
of Kheyr-ed-Din, animated by the pleasing hope that soon again, under the
leadership of this man, they might regain all, nay more, than they had
lost. It must be remembered that Barbarossa argued from sound premises when
he held out such hopes as these to the desperate remnant of the corsairs in
Algiers in that sad winter of 1535. He was the greatest of them all, and
they, as well as he, knew this to be a fact: if they had lost their all in
the past battles, they had been fighting in a common cause to preserve
their own lives and their liberty to plunder the Christian at sea. And now
there was work and there was bread to eat for those who once again would
throw in their lot with their old leader; and, although it may be said that
these men had no alternative, still they threw themselves with heartiness
into that which the master mind decreed should be their work, and this was
none other than the preparation of the galleys for another campaign against
the Christian.

"What matter, comrades?" said the veteran on one occasion when he was
superintending the fitting out of the galleys. "These dogs have gone back
from whence they came, and they have left that creature, Muley Hassan, to
do their will in Tunis. It is true that there is Mendoza and his thousand
Spaniards in the Goletta, but did not Martin de Vargas hold the Peñon here?
And where is De Vargas, and in whose hands is the Peñon now? We know from
whence the garrisons of Spain draw their supplies, and believe me that
there will be hungry men in the Goletta in this coming year. Once we get to
sea again, there will be more than enough for every good man who believes
in the Prophet, and who has the sense to follow Barbarossa. For every ducat
that you have lost see, in the coming year, if you do not gain ten; the
Christians are off their guard now, and they think that they have done with
me because they have captured Tunis." He laughed his great, jovial laugh.
"By the beard of the Prophet--upon whom be peace!--they have yet to find
out the man with whom they have to deal."

It took a master mind to instil heart of grace into men who so recently had
had so bad a beating as these; but in the end they began to cheer up, and
to recollect how Barbarossa had sooner or later always risen from defeat as
strong or stronger than before; also they recalled the fact that he was the
chosen of the Padishah, and that that potentate, the representative of the
Prophet on earth, would assuredly come to his assistance now that Tunis,
which had been taken in his name, had been reft from Barbarossa by the
Christians. Gradually hope took the place of despair, and when the corsairs
took to the sea in the early part of the following year it was with renewed
confidence in both themselves and their leader.



At the coming of spring Barbarossa was at sea again with thirty-two ships
ready for any eventuality, his crews aflame with ardour for revenge against
those by whom they had been so roughly handled. He chose for the scene of
operations a place on the coast of Majorca some fifteen miles from Palma;
from here he commanded the route of the Spaniards from their country to the
African coast, and it was against this nation that he felt a great
bitterness owing to recent events. Eagerly did the corsair and his men
watch for the Spanish ships, the heavier vessels lying at anchor, but the
light, swift galleys ranging and questing afar so that none might be
missed. Very soon the vigilance of the Moslems was rewarded by the capture
of a number of vessels, sent by Bernard de Mendoza laden with Turkish and
Moorish slaves, destined to be utilised as rowers in the Spanish galleys.
These men were hailed as a welcome reinforcement, and joyfully joined the
forces of Kheyr-ed-Din when he moved on Minorca, captured the castle by a
surprise assault, raided the surrounding country, and captured five
thousand seven hundred Christians, amongst whom were eight hundred men who
had been wounded in the attack on Tunis--all these unfortunates were sent
to refill the bagnio of Algiers.

This private war of revenge was, however, destined soon to come to an end,
as Soliman the Magnificent in this year became involved in disputes with
the Venetian Republic, and recalled "that veritable man of the sea," as
Barbarossa had been described by Ibrahim, to Constantinople.

In this city by the sea there had taken place a tragedy which, although it
only involved the death of a single man, was nevertheless far-reaching in
its consequences; for the man was none other than that great statesman
Ibrahim, Grand Vizier, and the only trusted counsellor of the Padishah. He
who had been originally a slave had risen step by step in the favour of his
master until he arrived at the giddy eminence which he occupied at the time
of his death. It is a somewhat curious commentary on the essentially
democratic status of an autocracy that a man could thus rise to a position
second only to that of the autocrat himself; and, in all probability,
wielding quite as much power.

Ibrahim had for years been treated by Soliman more as a brother than as a
dependent, which, in spite of his Grand Viziership, he was in fact. They
lived in the very closest communion, taking their meals together, and even
sleeping in the same room, Soliman, a man of high intelligence himself, and
a ruler who kept in touch with all the happenings which arose in his
immense dominions, desiring always to have at hand the man whom he loved;
from whom, with his amazing grip of political problems and endless
fertility of resource, he was certain of sympathy and sound advice. But in
an oriental despotism there are other forces at work besides those of _la
haute politique_, and Ibrahim had one deadly enemy who was sworn to compass
his destruction. The Sultana Roxalana was the light of the harem of the
Grand Turk. This supremely beautiful woman, originally a Russian slave, was
the object of the most passionate devotion on the part of Soliman; but she
was as ambitious as she was lovely, and brooked no rival in the affections
of Soliman, be that person man, woman, or child. In her hands the master of
millions, the despot whose nod was death, became a submissive slave; the
undisciplined passions of this headstrong woman swept aside from her path
all those whom she suspected of sharing her influence, in no matter how
remote a fashion. At her dictation had Soliman caused to be murdered his
son Mustafa, a youth of the brightest promise, because, in his intelligence
and his winning ways he threatened to eclipse Selim, the son of Roxalana

This woman possessed a strong natural intelligence, albeit she was totally
uneducated; she saw and knew that Ibrahim was all-powerful with her lover,
and this roused her jealousy to fever-heat. She was not possessed of a cool
judgment, which would have told her that Ibrahim was a statesman dealing
with the external affairs of the Sublime Porte, and that with her and with
her affairs he neither desired, nor had he the power, to interfere. What,
however, the Sultana did know was that in these same affairs of State her
opinion was dust in the balance when weighed against that of the Grand

Soliman had that true attribute of supreme greatness, the unerring aptitude
for the choice of the right man. He had picked out Ibrahim from among his
immense entourage, and never once had he regretted his choice. As time went
on and the intellect and power of the man became more and more revealed to
his master, that sovereign left in his hands even such matters as despots
are apt to guard most jealously. We have seen how, in spite of the
murmurings of the whole of his capital, and the almost insubordinate
attitude of his navy, he had persevered in the appointment of Kheyr-ed-Din
Barbarossa, because the judgment of Ibrahim was in favour of its being
carried out. This, to Roxalana, was gall and wormwood; well she knew that,
as long as the Grand Vizier lived, her sovereignty was at best but a
divided one. There was a point at which her blandishments stopped short;
this was when she found that her opinion did not coincide with that of the
minister. She was, as we have seen in the instance of her son, not a woman
to stick at trifles, and she decided that Ibrahim must die.

There could be no hole-and-corner business about this; he must die, and
when his murder had been accomplished she would boldly avow to her lover
what she had done and take the consequences, believing in her power over
him to come scatheless out of the adventure. In those days, when human life
was so cheap, she might have asked for the death of almost any one, and her
whim would have been gratified by a lover who had not hesitated to put to
death his own son at her dictation. But with Ibrahim it was another matter;
he was the familiar of the Sultan, his _alter ego_ in fact, It says much
for the nerve of the Sultana that she dared so greatly on this memorable
and lamentable occasion.

On March 5th, 1536, Ibrahim, went to the royal seraglio, and, following his
ancient custom, was admitted to the table of his master, sleeping after the
meal at his side. At least so it was supposed, but none knew save those
engaged in the murder what passed on that fatal night; the next day his
dead body lay in the house of the Sultan.

Across the floor of jasper, in that palace which was a fitting residence
for one rightly known as "The Magnificent," the blood of Ibrahim flowed to
the feet of Roxalana. The disordered clothing, the terrible expression of
the face of the dead man, the gaping wounds which he had received, bore
witness that there had taken place a grim struggle before that iron frame
and splendid intellect had been levelled with the dust. This much leaked
out afterwards, as such things will leak out, and then the Sultana took
Soliman into her chamber and gazed up into his eyes. The man was stunned by
the immensity of the calamity which had befallen him and his kingdom, but
his manhood availed him not against the wiles of this Circe. Ibrahim had
been foully done to death in his own palace, and this woman clinging so
lovingly around his neck now was the murderess. The heart's blood of his
best friend was coagulating on the threshold of his own apartment when he
forgave her by whom his murder had been accomplished. This was the
vengeance of Roxalana, and who shall say that it was not complete?

The Ottoman Empire was the poorer by the loss of its greatest man, the
jealousy of the Sultana was assuaged, the despot who had permitted this
unavenged murder was still on the throne, thrall to the woman who had first
murdered his son and then his friend and minister. But the deed carried
with it the evil consequences which were only too likely to occur when so
capable a head of the State was removed at so critical a time. Renewed
strife was in the air, and endless squabbles between Venice and the Porte
were taking place. With these we have no concern, but, in addition to other
complaints, there were loud and continuous ones concerning the corsairs.
Venice, "The Bride of the Sea," had neither rest nor peace; the pirates
swarmed in Corfu, in Zante, in Candia, in Cephalonia, and the plunder and
murder of the subjects of the Republic was the theme of perpetual
representations to the Sultan. The balance of advantage in this guerilla
warfare was with the corsairs until Girolame Canale, a Venetian captain,
seized one of the Moslem leaders known as "The Young Moor of Alexandria,"
The victory of Canale was somewhat an important one as he captured the
galley of "The Young Moor" and four others; two more were sunk, and three
hundred Janissaries and one thousand slaves fell into the hands of the
Venetian commander. There being an absence of nice feeling on the part of
the Venetians, the Janissaries were at once beheaded to a man.

The whole story is an illustration of the extraordinary relations existing
among the Mediterranean States at this time. Soliman the Magnificent,
Sultan of Turkey, had lent three hundred of his Janissaries, his own picked
troops, to assist the corsairs in their depredations on Venetian commerce.
Having done this, and the Janissaries having been caught and summarily and
rightly put to death as pirates, the Sultan, as soon as he heard of what
had occurred, sent an ambassador, one Yonis Bey, to Venice to demand
satisfaction for the insult passed upon him by the beheading of his own
soldiers turned pirates. The conclusion of the affair was that the
Venetians released "The Young Moor of Alexandria" as soon as he was cured
of the eight wounds which he had received in the conflict, and sent him
back to Africa with such of his galleys as were left. There was one rather
comical incident in connection with this affair, which was that when Yonis
Bey was on his way from Constantinople to Venice he was chased by a
Venetian fleet, under the command of the Count Grandenico, and driven
ashore. The Count was profuse in his apologies when he discovered that he
had been chasing a live ambassador; but the occurrence so exasperated
Soliman that he increased his demands in consequence.

Barbarossa, who had spent his time harrying the Spaniards at sea ever since
the fall of Tunis, was shortly to appear on the scene again. He received
orders from the Sultan, and came as fast as a favouring wind would bring
him. Kheyr-ed-Din had been doing well in the matter of slaves and plunder,
but he knew that, with the backing of the Grand Turk, he would once again
be in command of a fleet in which he might repeat his triumph of past
years, and prove himself once more the indispensable "man of the sea."

Soon after his arrival his ambitions were gratified, and he found himself
with a fleet of one hundred ships. Since the death of Ibrahim, and the
incident which terminated with the despatch of Yonis Bey to Venice, the
relations between the Grand Turk and the Venetian Republic had become
steadily worse, and at last the Sultan declared war. On May 17th, 1537,
Soliman, accompanied by his two sons, Selim and Mohammed, left
Constantinople. With the campaign conducted by the Sultan we are not
concerned here; it was directed against the Ionian Islands, which had been
in the possession of Venice since 1401. On August 18th Soliman laid siege
to Corfu, and was disastrously beaten, re-embarking his men on September
7th, after losing thousands in a fruitless attack on the fortress. He
returned to Constantinople utterly discomfited. It was the seventh campaign
which the Sultan had conducted in person, but the first in which the
ever-faithful Ibrahim had not been by his side.

This defeat at the hands of the Venetians was not, however, the only
humiliation which he was destined to experience in this disastrous year;
for once again Doria, that scourge of the Moslem, was loose upon the seas,
and was making his presence felt in the immediate neighbourhood of Corfu,
where the Turks had been defeated. On July 17th Andrea had left the port of
Messina with twenty-five galleys, had captured ten richly laden Turkish
ships, gutted and burned them. Kheyr-ed-Din was at sea at the time, but the
great rivals were not destined to meet on this occasion. Instead of
Barbarossa, Andrea fell in with Ali-Chabelli, the lieutenant of Sandjak Bey
of Gallipoli. On July 22nd the Genoese admiral and the Turkish commander
from the Dardanelles met to the southward of Corfu, off the small island of
Paxo, and a smart action ensued. It ended in the defeat of Ali-Chabelli,
whose galleys were captured and towed by Doria into Paxo. That veteran
fighter was himself in the thickest of the fray, and, conspicuous in his
crimson doublet, had been an object of attention to the marksmen of
Chabelli during the entire action. In spite of the receipt of a severe
wound in the knee, the admiral refused to go below until victory was
assured. He was surrounded at this time by a devoted band of nobles sworn
to defend the person of their admiral or to die in his defence. His
portrait has been sketched for us at this time by the Dominican Friar,
Padre Alberto Gugliel-motto, author of "La guerra dei Pirati e la marina
Pontifica dal 1500 al 1560." The description runs thus: "Andrea Doria was
of lofty stature, his face oval in shape, forehead broad and commanding,
his neck was powerful, his hair short, his beard long and fan-shaped, his
lips were thin, his eyes bright and piercing."

Once again had he defeated an officer of the Grand Turk; and it may be
remarked that Ibrahim was probably quite right in the estimation, or rather
in the lack of estimation, in which he held the sea-officers of his master,
as they seem to have been deficient in every quality save that of personal
valour, and in their encounters with Doria and the knights were almost
invariably worsted. For the sake of Islam, for the prestige of the Moslem
arms at sea, it was time that Barbarossa should take matters in hand once

The autumn of this year 1537 proved that the old Sea-wolf had lost none of
his cunning, that his followers were as terrible as ever. What did it seem
to matter that Venetian and Catalan, Genoese and Frenchman, Andalusian and
the dwellers in the Archipelago, were all banded together in league against
this common foe? Did not the redoubtable Andrea range the seas in vain, and
were not all the efforts of the Knights of Saint John futile, when the son
of the renegado from Mitylene and his Christian wife put forth from the
Golden Horn? What was the magic of this man, it was asked despairingly,
that none seemed able to prevail against him? Had it not been currently
reported that Carlos Quinto, the great Emperor, had driven him forth from
Tunis a hunted fugitive, broken and penniless, with never a galley left,
without one ducat in his pocket? Was he so different, then, from all the
rest of mankind that his followers would stick to him in evil report as
well as in the height of his prosperity? Men swore and women crossed
themselves at the mention of his name.

"Terrible as an army with banners," indeed, was Kheyr-ed-Din in this
eventful summer: things had gone badly with the crescent flag, the Padishah
was unapproachable in his palace, brooding perchance on that "might have
been" had he not sold his honour and the life of his only friend to gratify
the malice of a she-devil; those in attendance on the Sultan trembled, for
the humour of the despot was black indeed.

But "the veritable man of the sea" was in some sort to console him for that
which he had lost; as never in his own history--and there was none else
with which it could be compared--had the Corsair King made so fruitful a
raid. He ravaged the coasts of the Adriatic and the islands of the
Archipelago, sweeping in slaves by the thousand, and by the end of the year
he had collected eighteen thousand in the arsenal at Stamboul. Great was
the jubilation in Constantinople when the Admiralissimo himself returned
from his last expedition against the infidel; stilled were the voices which
hinted disaffection--who among them all could bring back four hundred
thousand pieces of gold? What mariner could offer to the Grand Turk such
varied and magnificent presents?

Upon his arrival Barbarossa asked permission to kiss the threshold of the
palace of the Sultan, which boon being graciously accorded to him, he made
his triumphal entry. Two hundred captives clad in scarlet robes carried
cups of gold and flasks of silver behind them came thirty others, each
staggering under an enormous purse of sequins; yet another two hundred
brought collars of precious stones or bales of the choicest goods; and a
further two hundred were laden with sacks of small coin. Certainly if
Soliman the Magnificent had lost a Grand Vizier he had succeeded in finding
an admiral!

All through the earlier months of 1538 the dockyards of Constantinople
hummed with a furious activity, for Soliman had decreed that the maritime
campaign of this year was to begin with no less than one hundred and fifty
ships. His admiral, however, did not agree with this decision; to the
Viziers he raged and stormed. "Listen," he said, "O men of the land who
understand naught of the happenings of the sea. By this time Saleh-Reis
must have quitted Alexandria convoying to the Bosphorus twenty sail filled
with the richest merchandise; should he fall in with the accursed Genoese,
Doria, where then will be Saleh-Reis and his galleys and his convoy? I will
tell you: the ships in Genoa, the galleys burned, Saleh-Reis and all his
mariners chained to the rowers' bench."

The Viziers trembled, as men did when Barbarossa stormed and turned upon
them those terrible eyes which knew neither fear nor pity. "We be but men,"
they answered, "and our lord the Sultan has so ordained it."

"I have forty galleys," replied the corsair; "you have forty more. With
these I will take the sea; but, mark you," he continued, softening
somewhat, "you do right to fear the displeasure of the Sultan, and I also
have no wish to encounter it; but vessels raised and equipped in a hurry
will be of small use to me. In the name of Allah the compassionate and his
holy Prophet give me my eighty galleys and let me go."

In Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa sound strategical instinct went hand in hand
with the desperate valour of the corsair. To dally in the Golden Horn while
so rich a prey was at sea to be picked up by his Christian foes was
altogether opposed to his instincts: never to throw away a chance in the
game of life had ever been his guiding principle.

Soliman, great man as he undoubtedly was, had not the adamantine hardness
of character which enabled his admiral to risk all on the hazards of the
moment; or possibly the Grand Turk was deficient in that clearness of
strategical instinct which never in any circumstances forgoes a present
advantage for something which may turn out well in a problematical future.
Soliman, sore, sullen, and unapproachable, dwelt in his palace brooding
over the misfortunes which had been his lot since the death of Ibrahim.
Barbarossa, who so recently had lost practically all that he possessed, and
who had reached an age at which most men have no hopes for the future, was
as clear in intellect, as undaunted in spirit, as if he had been half a
century younger: to be even once more with those by whom he had been
defeated and dispossessed was the only thing now in his mind. The capture
of Saleh-Reis and his convoy would be a triumph of which he could not bear
to think. Further, it would add to the demoralisation of the sea forces of
the Sultan, which were sadly in need of some striking success after the
defeats which had so recently been their portion. The Sultan had decided
that one hundred and fifty ships were necessary; his admiral thought
otherwise. There was too much at stake for him to dally at Constantinople;
his fiery energy swept all before it, and in the end he had his way. On
June 7th, 1538, he finally triumphed over the hesitations of the Viziers
and put to sea with eighty sail.

The Sultan, from his kiosk, the windows of which opened on the Bosphorus,
counted the ships.

"Only eighty sail; is that all?" he asked.

The trembling Viziers prostrated themselves before him.

"O our Lord, the Padishah," they cried, "Saleh-Reis comes from Alexandria
with a rich convoy; somewhere lurking is Andrea Doria, the accursed; it was
necessary, O Magnificent, to send succour."

There was a pause, in which the hearts of men beat as do those who know not
but that the next moment may be their last on earth.

The Sultan stared from his window at the retreating ships in a silence like
the silence of the grave. At last he turned:

"So be it," he answered briefly; "but see to it that reinforcements do not
lag upon the road."

If there had been activity in the dockyards before it was as nothing to the
strenuous work that was to be done henceforward.

Before starting on this expedition Kheyr-ed-Din had made an innovation in
the manning of some of the most powerful of his galleys, which was of the
utmost importance, and which was to add enormously to the success of his
future maritime enterprises. The custom had always been that the Ottoman
galleys had been rowed by Christians, captured and enslaved; of course the
converse was true in the galleys of their foes. There were, for the size of
the vessels, an enormous number of men carried in the galleys of the
sixteenth century, and an average craft of this description would have on
board some four hundred men; of these, however, the proportion would be two
hundred and fifty slaves to one hundred and fifty fighting men. That which
Kheyr-ed-Din now insisted upon was that a certain proportion of his most
powerful units should be rowed by Moslem fighting men, so that on the day
of battle the oarsmen could join in the fray instead of remaining chained
to their benches, as was the custom with the slaves. It is, however, an
extraordinary testimony to the influence which the corsair had attained in
Constantinople that he had been able to effect this change in the
composition of some of his crews; it must have been done with the active
co-operation of the Sultan, as no authority less potent than that of the
sovereign himself could have induced free men to undertake the terrible
toil of rower in a galley. This was reserved for the unfortunate slave on
either side owing to the intolerable hardship of the life, and results, in
the pace at which a galley proceeded through the water, were usually
obtained by an unsparing use of the lash on the naked bodies of the rowers.

This human material was used up in the most prodigal manner possible, as
those in command had not the inducement of treating the rowers well, from
that economic standpoint which causes a man to so use his beast of burden
as to get the best work from him. In the galley, when a slave could row no
more he was flung overboard and another was put in his place.

The admiral, however, even when backed by the Padishah, could not man a
large fleet of galleys with Moslem rowers, and, as there was a shortage in
the matter of propelling power, his first business was to collect slaves,
and for this purpose he visited the islands of the Archipelago. The lot of
the unhappy inhabitants of these was indeed a hard one. They were nearer to
the seat of the Moslem power than any other Christians; they were in those
days totally unable to resist an attack in force, and in consequence were
swept off in their thousands.

Seven islands cover the entrance to the Gulf of Volo. The nearest to the
coast is Skiathos, which is also the most important; it was defended by a
castle built upon a rock. This castle was attacked by Barbarossa, who
bombarded it for six days, carried it by assault, and massacred the
garrison. He spared the lives of the inhabitants of the island, and by this
means secured three thousand four hundred rowers for his galleys. He had to
provide motor-power for the reinforcements which he expected. In July he
was reinforced from Constantinople by ninety galleys, while from Egypt came
Saleh-Reis, who had succeeded in avoiding the terrible Doria, with twenty
more; the fleet was thus complete.

Barbarossa ravaged Skios, Andros, and other islands, putting them under
contribution, and in this manner raised some eight thousand ducats; from a
pen of guinea-fowl to a king's ransom, nothing escaped the maw of this most
rapacious of corsairs. Candia and some other islands yielded up some small
spoil, but the sufferings of such insignificant folk as the wretched
islanders were soon lost to the sight of the Christian world in the
magnitude of the events which were now impending.

Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, Corsair, Admiral, and King, the scourge of the
Mediterranean, and Andrea Doria, Prince of Oneglia, Admiral of the modern
Cæsar, Charles V., Emperor and King, were at last to meet face to face.



Some thirty-five miles to the south-eastward of Cape Bianco (the
southernmost point of the island of Corfu) lies Prevesa, at the entrance of
the Gulf of Arta, or, as it was known in classic times, the Ambracian Gulf.
In these seas, in the year 31 B.C., was fought one of the most memorable
battles of antiquity, for it was here that Octavius, afterward Augustus
Cæsar, defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra. There have been many
controversies of late years as to whom the original idea of breaking the
line in naval combats is due: anyhow, it can claim a respectable antiquity,
as it was practised at the battle of Actium by Octavius, who by a skilful
manoeuvre caused Antony to lengthen his line, which he then cut through and
attacked the ships of Cleopatra, which were in support: this was too much
for the lady, who fled with her sixty ships, followed by Antony, to his
eternal disgrace. The remainder of his fleet fought bravely for a time, but
was eventually defeated, the land army also surrendering to Octavius. The
date of the actual battle of Actium was September 2nd, 31 B.C.: it was in
September 1538 that the battle of Prevesa between Andrea Doria and
Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa took place, and the conditions of the battle were
almost exactly similar.

To this very place came, 1569 years later, the Christian and the Moslem,
the Crescent and the Cross, each under its most renowned leader, each side
burning with an inextinguishable hate. It was one of the peculiarities of
this warfare that into it entered so much actual personal feeling, each
side hating the other for the love of God in the most poisonous fashion.
Save and except the battle of Lepanto in 1571 (with which we shall deal
later in the story of Ali Basha, or Occhiali as he was called by his
Christian opponents) the contest at Prevesa was far the most important ever
fought by those strange oar-propelled vessels known as galleys. It was
memorable in many ways, but particularly so for the ages of the men in
chief command. Andrea Doria was at this time seventy years of age; in fact,
Guglielmotti gives the date of his birth as 1466, thus making him two years
older. That amazing veteran Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, who died in his bed at
Constantinople on July 4th, 1546, at the age of ninety, must have been
eighty-two. Vicenzo Capello was sixty-eight, as the epitaph on his tomb at
Venice in the church of Santa Maria Formosa says that he was seventy-two in
the year of his death, 1542.

Once again Christendom was nerving itself for a supreme effort against the
corsairs, and, during the time that Barbarossa was raiding and ravaging
among the islands of the Archipelago, the Christian fleet was gradually
assembling. At first it numbered some 150 galleys, 81 Venetian, 36
Pontifical, and 30 Spanish; Charles V. sent, at the last moment, 50 ships
on which were embarked 10,000 troops. The force totalled altogether 59,000
to 60,000 men, 195 ships, and 2,594 cannons. This was no doubt a most
formidable armada, but the policy of those by whom it was composed was not
all directed to the same end. While Charles desired, above all things, to
exterminate the corsairs for good and all, which was, in the circumstances,
the only sound view of the matter, the Venetians were for fighting
defensive actions to maintain their supremacy in the Ionian Islands, and
were disposed to let the future take care of itself. There was not, in
consequence, that absolute unanimity among the various commanders of the
expedition as was necessary for its complete success.

The concentration of the Christian fleet took place at Corfu. The Venetians
arrived first, with Vincenzo Capello in command; Marco Grimani brought
thither the Papal contingent; they anchored and waited, but Andrea Doria
did not appear. Days lengthened into weeks, and Grimani and Capelli chafed
and fumed; provisions were running low and the dignity of Venice and of the
Pope were flouted by this strange remissness on the part of the Admiral of
the Emperor. At last, furious with impatience, Grimani made a raid into the
Gulf of Arta, which was defended at the entrance by the fortress of
Prevesa. The only result of this ill-timed attack was that two Papal
captains and a number of soldiers were killed. Grimani then returned to
Corfu, to find Capello irritated to the last extent by the non-appearance
of Doria.

At last, on September 5th, the Imperial fleet hove in sight. It was
composed of forty-nine galleys, but these were supplemented by a great
number of sailing ships; the sailing craft, however, did not arrive till
September 22nd. These vessels were gradually making way among the Spaniards
since the discovery of the new world.

At this time the Venetians possessed fourteen nefs. Doria had augmented
these by twenty-two of his own, and the total number of thirty-six was
commanded by Franco Doria, a nephew of the admiral. The Venetian nefs were
commanded by Alessandro Condalmiero, captain of the _Galleon of Venice_.
This was the most formidable fighting vessel in the Mediterranean; she was
reckoned an excellent sailor, she was by far the most heavily armed sailing
ship then afloat; in fact, in the opinion of contemporary seamen, she was
"an invincible fortress."

Doria, Grimani, and Capello had now nearly 200 ships carrying nearly 60,000
men. Such a force, in all ages, has been considered great. William the
Conqueror conquered Britain with a less number; it is almost half the total
of the personnel of the British fleet in the present day which has to
defend a country with 40,000,000 inhabitants, and all this force had been
raised, armed, and equipped to combat with a Moslem corsair.

Barbarossa had succeeded in assembling 122 ships. He was accompanied by all
the most famous corsairs of the day, among whom was Dragut, who fell at the
siege of Malta, and of whom we shall have more to say in due time. Far and
wide ranged the swift galleys of the Ottoman fleet, for the plan of the
commander of the Moslems was to locate and destroy his enemies in detail if
possible. At last news came to him that Grimani's ships had been sighted in
the Gulf of Arta. Not one moment did he lose; he would fall upon the Papal
contingent with his whole force and destroy it utterly. Such, at least, was
his plan when he sailed for Prevesa; but, notwithstanding his haste, he was
too late. Happily for himself, Grimani had returned to Corfu before the
arrival of his enemy.

At this juncture Barbarossa hesitated; had he not done so, and had he
followed Grimani to Corfu, he might have destroyed both him and Vincenzo
Capello in detail before the arrival of Doria. The Prevesa campaign is a
curious study of hesitation on both sides, and the idea naturally occurs
were not the corsair and the Christian commanders-in-chief too old for the
work on which they were engaged? Men of over seventy are not impetuous, but
grave and deliberate as a rule; but there is no rule without its
exceptions, and Doria and Barbarossa were not as other leaders. Up to the
present their dash and initiative had been unimpaired. There was no
question that Barbarossa not only made a mistake in hesitating, but that by
it he lost the game. Instead of striking at once he did what he had never
done before in the whole of his career, which was to send to Constantinople
for instructions. Some of his galleys had captured a fishing-boat off
Corfu, the crew of which had seen Doria's fleet. The Moslem leader sent the
fishermen themselves to report to Soliman exactly what they had seen, and
to ask for and bring back instructions from that potentate. What Barbarossa
had discovered was that the odds were very much against him; so much, in
fact, that he would have to act on the defensive. In consequence, he
steered for Prevesa and entered the Gulf of Arta, which is approached by a
long narrow strait, dominated by the castle of Prevesa. Once inside he
anchored his galleys in such a position that they could fire direct out to
sea, thus overwhelming with their fire any vessel attempting to enter.

Barbarossa now occupied the same position as did Octavius in his combat
with Antony. The rôle of the latter general was now taken by Doria. Antony,
like Doria, had heavy ships which could not advance to the attack owing to
their too great draught. Octavius, with his light-draught ships, could both
attack and retreat into safety if overmatched.

On September 22nd Doria, having collected all his ships, gave orders to
fill up with wood, water, and fresh provisions. On the 25th, to the sound
of the trumpet, the Commander-in-Chief, with his fleet of two hundred sail,
weighed anchor and sped before the wind rapidly southwards. Grimani
commanded the advance-guard, Doria was in the centre, Vincenzo Capello,
with his Venetians, brought up the rear. Formed in two columns, the nefs
followed the galleys; the _Galleon of Venice_, commanded by Condalmiero, a
squadron in herself, preceded them.

[Illustration: GALEASSE UNDER SAIL.]

From the anchorage at Corfu to the entrance of the Gulf of Arta is about
fifty-eight miles, and, traversing this distance during the hours of
daylight, the fleet anchored, as night fell, under Cape Prevesa. The
Galleon which acted as what we should now call the guide of the fleet,
anchored in sixteen feet of water, which was barely sufficient to keep her

The Gulf of Arta, in which, as we have said, the fleet of the Moslems were
now anchored, presents very curious physical peculiarities: it is
twenty-two miles in length from east to west, and fifteen miles in breadth
from north to south. This sheet of water is formed into an immense bay by
the configuration of the land, and its depth, in places, is from one
hundred and thirty to two hundred feet. Inside it all the navies in the
world might ride at anchor, were it not for the fact that the entrance is
closed by a bar upon which the depth varies from six and a half to thirteen
feet. With his light-draught ships Barbarossa occupied the interior
position, while the heavy ships of Doria must in any event remain outside.
A strong sea-breeze was blowing on shore; all night the nefs and the
galleys were nearly rolling their gunwales under. In these packed and
crowded vessels the misery and discomfort of their crews may be imagined.
On the morning of the 26th, however, the west wind dropped, and a light
wind sprang up from the northward.

The position at this time was one of surpassing interest. Here at long last
the two most renowned sea-captains of the time were face to face. Each was
aware that his antagonist was worthy of his steel, also that great issues,
political and national, hung upon this conflict; which was no mere affair
of outposts, but a struggle to the death as to whether the Crescent or the
Cross was in time to come to be supreme in the tideless sea. And yet--such
is the irony of fate--this battle proved indecisive, and it was not until
thirty years later, at the battle of Lepanto, that this momentous question
was set at rest for a time.

Would Doria, greatly daring, go in and risk all in attacking a fortified
position; or would Barbarossa make a sally and fight it out to the death on
the element on which he was so supremely at home?

But Doria had no mind to attack a fleet anchored under the guns of a
fortress; Barbarossa would not risk all in an encounter with a foe
possessed of great numerical superiority without orders from
Constantinople. On Doria's side nothing but a disembarkation and a
land-attack would offer a fair security for success, Kheyr-ed-Din, who
held, as we have said, the interior position, was well aware of this fact,
and in this supreme moment of his career was not disposed to give away any
advantage. The situation occupied by Kheyr-ed-Din at the battle of Prevesa
was, in a sense, different from any which he had held before, as he was in
this case hampered by his sense of responsibility as Admiralissimo to the
Grand Turk. What happened on the distant shores of Africa mattered but
little to that monarch, and he had been content to allow his admiral an
entirely free hand; here in Europe, on the shores of Greece, so close
relatively to his own capital city, it was a very different matter, and
Soliman was kept in touch with the happenings of his fleet as far as was
possible in those days. But if the great corsair did not add to his
reputation in this eventful campaign he still displayed an aptitude in
realising the situation which, it is safe to say, was shown by none of
those under his command.

Prevesa illustrates for us more than any other action the difficulties with
which the path of the partisan leader in these days must always have been
filled; and how it was that personal ascendancy was the only force to which
such a leader had to trust Sheer dominance of the minds, the wills, and the
bodies of others had placed Kheyr-ed-Din where he was; all his life he had
commanded undisciplined pirates, and yet now, when he was the properly
accredited officer of a mighty monarch, when he might have expected far
more discipline and subordination than had ever been his lot in the past,
he was met with a contumaciousness which he was unable to quell, and was
forced into taking steps which, in his own unequalled knowledge of war, he
knew to be doomed to disaster.

Around him the Reis, or captains of the Moslem galleys, clamorously
demanded that he should take precautions against a land-attack. It was true
that the raid which had been made by Grimani had been easily repulsed, but
in present circumstances there was no question of a mere raid, as, should
the Christian admiral so decide, he could land twenty thousand men. Sinan
Reis, an old Osmanli warrior, furious with jealousy that the chief command
should be in the hands of a corsair, sustained his opinion in a manner
which augured ill for the hearty co-operation of all the Turkish forces.
Sinan was just one of those blindly valiant fighters from whom the politic
Ibrahim had desired to deliver his master when he had urged the appointment
of Kheyr-ed-Din: brave as a lion, keen as the edge of his own good
scimitar, fanatical, as became a Hodja who had visited the Holy Places,
Sinan was a type of the Turkish sea-officer: devoid of strategical instinct
and tactical training, his one idea was a headlong attack, then victory or
the houris of Paradise. It will be seen that Barbarossa had not only Doria
and the Christian fleet and army against which to contend on this occasion.

The peril conjured up by Sinan Reis on this occasion was not altogether an
imaginary one: the idea of a disembarkation had, in point of fact, been
seriously discussed that very morning by Andrea Doria and his council of
war, at which Hernando de Gonzaga, Generalissimo of the troops embarked,
had advised a landing. His argument, embodied in a long and technical
harangue, may be reduced to the following:

  If we cannot go straight at the enemy and force our way through the
  entrance under his cannon why should we not reduce the fortress of
  Prevesa by a siege? Once masters of this height, we could close the
  strait by sinking in it vessels laden with stones, and we then have the
  Ottoman fleet at our mercy.

But Doria the sailor was not to be led by Gonzaga the soldier. He said:

  The advice seems sound, but in reality it would prove most dangerous if
  followed. Barbarossa must have landed some of his men, the cavalry which
  defeated Grimani's raid will no doubt come again from the interior, if
  necessary. If we deprive our ships of their soldiers we expose ourselves
  to a sea-fight under most disadvantageous conditions. But most,
  important of all is the fact that time presses; the season is far
  advanced; at any time the fleet may be driven off these shores by a
  storm, in which case what would become of the troops left on shore?
  Again, if it comes on to blow a tempest from the westward we may lose
  not only our troops, but our ships, in fact the whole expedition.

At the battle of Actium, Octavius occupied the shore upon which Hernando
Gonzaga wished to land and assault; but notwithstanding this fact Octavius
did not attempt the passage of the gulf but waited for his enemy outside.
Doria was therefore all the more justified in not sacrificing ships and men
in attempting to force an entrance now that this same shore was in the
hands of the enemy. He was asked, he said, to thrust his head into the
mouth of the wolf, and this he was determined not to do.

In the meanwhile Barbarossa was using much the same language to his
captains as was Doria.

"My brothers," said he, "you wish to transport cannon and raise redoubts on
this uncovered shore because you think that the Christians will disembark
and seize it: if you attempt this I tell you that the guns of the enemy
will annoy you terribly., Not only this, supposing that Doria, profiting by
the moment that our vessels are empty of troops, should attack in force, we
cannot with five thousand men repulse twenty thousand. The fort of Prevesa
will defend itself quite sufficiently well with its own garrison; our
business is to think of the fleet and not to weaken in any way our means of
attack and defence, If the infidels force, or attempt to force, an entry
into the port, they will be most likely merely losing time and ammunition
in cannonading us. You know that it is principally in this that these
accursed dogs do trust, whereas we, O men of Islam, will place our
confidence in God, in Mahomet his Prophet, in the strength of our right
arms, in the keenness of our scimitars; we will carry them by boarding,
therefore we must keep our crews on board,"

But Barbarossa had not that absolute domination of the forces under his
command which should be the prescriptive right of any leader. Sinan-Reis,
the implacable be-turbaned old Osmanli, held him in bitter scorn. "Your
advice may be good," he retorted, "but we think our plan the better."

The admiral suggested a reconnaissance of the site, which was merely a ruse
to gain time. This was carried out under his own supervision, and confirmed
him in the idea that disembarkation was folly; but Sinan-Reis and the
Janissaries held obstinately to their opinion, while the "Joldaks," or
Turkish soldiers in the galleys, grumbled among themselves that
Kheyr-ed-Din must indeed be full of vanity to reject the counsels of one
like Sinan-Reis.

Both commanders-in-chief, Christian and Moslem, seem on this occasion to
have taken an absolutely correct view of the problem as it was presented;
but whereas Andrea Doria was a real commander-in-chief, Barbarossa was
forced to consider and to defer to the opinions of men whom he knew to be
in the wrong.

It was against his better judgment that Kheyr-ed-Din at last yielded; the
men were backing up their officers, a spirit of disaffection was abroad in
the armada: such a thing as this a wise chief must gauge at its true value,
and stop before it goes too far. The Osmanli were murmuring against "the
corsair"; it was time to let them see whether they or their war-worn leader
possessed the greater wisdom.

According to Moslem chroniclers the valour of Kheyr-ed-Din was only
equalled by his piety; consequently he murmured a prayer into that famous
beard of his, which was now so much nearer to white than red, and gave
orders that the cannon shall be immediately disembarked. "Let the will of
God and of His Prophet be accomplished; that which is written is that which
will take place," exclaimed this pious man as he watched the preparations
being carried out under the supervision of Mourad-Reis.

That which "took place" was precisely and exactly what the Commander-in-
Chief had predicted from the first: no sooner had Mourad-Reis landed upon
the exposed beach, and attempted to open a trench, than he was met by a
furious and concentrated fire from the galleys and nefs of the Christian
fleet. To entrench themselves was impossible in the circumstances, as they
had been told by the Admiral before they started on this harebrained
adventure. There could be only one result, which was that, after a cruel
and perfectly useless slaughter, the soldiers of Mourad-Reis had to retreat
before the hail of shot poured upon them, and to return ignominiously to
their vessels.

It is not on record what Kheyr-ed-Din said to Sinan, Mourad, and those
other tacticians who had recommended the landing; which perhaps is a pity.

Doria then made a tentative movement against the strait by a detachment of
galleys; Barbarossa told off an equal number to oppose them, and they
mutually cannonaded and skirmished during the day. There was much noise and
excitement, but practically no advantage was gained by either side, as
Doria's men could not risk passing the guns of the fort, nor could those of
Barbarossa the chance of being cannonaded by the heavy vessels lying in
wait-for them outside. And so the day closed down with no success on either
side, but with a decisive demonstration to the Moslems that, if they
desired victory, to their admiral had better be left the organisation by
which it was to be obtained.

Whether Doria really desired a pitched battle can never be known; that
which is certain is that, during the whole time the fleets were in touch,
all his dispositions make it appear there was nothing of which he was so
much afraid. And yet it was the opportunity of his life; he had superiority
in numbers, he had valiant and experienced leaders, and sixty thousand men
thirsting for battle, under his command. Also he had his opportunity,
which, had he seized upon, must have ended in victory, did those who were
under his orders only fight as he had every reason to believe that they
would. As it was, he threw away the gift of fortune, and left to the
Osmanli the practical dominance of the Mediterranean Sea until that great
day in 1571 when Don John of Austria, the natural son of Charles V., proved
to the world at Lepanto that the Turk was not invincible upon the waters.

It is true that Doria was awkwardly situated; Kheyr-ed-Din held the
interior position, and that leader was a great believer in the adage that
"if Brag is a good dog, Holdfast is a better." He was well aware of his
numerical inferiority, and in consequence refused to listen to the frenzied
appeals of the excited Moslems to be led against the Christian dogs. It may
seem a contradiction in terms to speak of the moral courage of a pirate;
but if ever that quality were displayed to its fullest extent it was
exhibited by Barbarossa in the Prevesa campaign. In his intellectual
outlook on all that was passing, both inside and outside of the Gulf of
Arta, in this September of 1538, we see Kheyr-ed-Din at his best. Ever a
fighter, he knew when to give battle and when to refrain, when to sweep
headlong upon the foe, but also when to hold back and to baffle by waiting
till the psychological moment should arrive. Around him Sinan-Reis,
Mourad-Reis, and half a hundred others of their kidney were clamouring;
they hurled insults at his head, they heaped opprobrium on "the corsair,"
they practically incited their troops to mutiny in their mad appeals to be
led against the foe.

But "the corsair" kept his head, and kept his temper, and saved the Ottoman
fleet for his master from his great rival, Doria. That noble Genoese seaman
was for once in his life "letting I dare not wait upon I would"; he would
not order the attack for which his men were waiting, and no provocation,
apparently, could tempt Barbarossa to play Antony to the Octavius of Doria;
the Christian admiral was tempting Providence at that advanced season of
the year in keeping the sea on an hostile coast on which at any time he
might be driven by a tempest. His old and experienced antagonist was well
aware that the winds and the waves might save him the trouble of destroying
the fleet of the enemy; an equinoctial gale would do that far more
effectually than could he. If Doria had an uneasy consciousness that he
might at any time see the shore littered with oarless galleys and dismasted
nefs, while the sea was filled with drowning men, the same vision had been
vouchsafed to his imperturbable adversary. Had it been left to the entire
initiative of Barbarossa, his Fabian tactics would assuredly have prevailed
in the end; but as it was he was surrounded by a clamouring host of men,
soldiers by trade, who, understanding nothing of the happenings of the sea,
merely derided as cowardice any postponement of what they regarded as the
inevitable battle. The admiral of the Sultan held out as long as it was
possible, but at last, owing to a new factor in the case, was forced,
against his better judgment, to offer the battle which it was in his power
to have withheld.



  How Alessandro Condalmiero fought the _Galleon of Venice_--"The
  King of the Sea is dead."

There is something almost pathetic in the spectacle of a really great
leader badgered and importuned by lesser men to adopt a course which he,
with a superior insight, knows to be unsound. In the matter of the landing
Barbarossa had demonstrated that it was he whose knowledge of war was
superior to those who were so ready to thrust upon him their opinions;
this, however, did not content them, and they now desired to close with the
foe waiting for them outside. If ever a commander was justified in waiting
on events it was Barbarossa at this juncture; the business of a
commander-in-chief is to ensure victory, and if he sees, as did the Moslem
admiral on this occasion, that more is to be gained by delay than by
fighting, then he is justified in refusing battle: particularly is this the
case when the enemy is in greatly superior force blockading on an open and
dangerous coast at an inclement season of the year. Every day that Doria
was kept at sea added to his difficulties, as fresh water and provisions
would be running short, and the energies of the human engines by which his
galleys were propelled would be weakened; naked men chained to a bench were
suffering from the blazing heat of the days, the cold and drenching dews of
the nights. All these things had the veteran seaman weighed in his mind,
they all inclined him to wait still longer in that secure anchorage where
he could not be touched by his foe.

There was one counsellor, however, whom even Kheyr-ed-Din could not resist,
and who had hitherto kept silence; this was the eunuch Monuc, legal
counsellor to Soliman, who had accompanied the armada. He now brought the
weight of his influence to bear upon the side of Sinan-Reis and his

"Are you going," he asked the admiral, "to allow the infidels to escape
without a battle? Soliman can find plenty of wood to build new fleets,
plenty of captains to command them; he will pardon you if this fleet is
destroyed: that which he will never pardon is that you should allow Doria
to escape without fighting. You have brave men in plenty; why not lead them
to the attack?"

The patience of the veteran gave way at last; none who knew Barbarossa had
ever seen him shrink from fighting--to this his whole career bore witness.
He had delayed the issue from the soundest of strategical reasons, which
those under his command were too stupid and too prejudiced to understand:
what cared they for reason in their blind valour?--they wished only to do
or die heedless of the fact that their lives might be spent in vain. Truly
it was no thanks to the subordinates of Kheyr-ed-Din that this campaign did
not end in disaster to the arms of the Ottoman Porte. Such backing as the
admiral had came from among his own men, the corsairs whose lives had been
spent at sea, but their opinions were but dust in the balance once the
all-powerful Monuc ranged himself on the side of the malcontents.

"Let us then fight," said the admiral to Saleh-Reis, "or this fine talker
who is neither man nor woman will accuse us before the Grand Turk and we
shall all probably be hanged."

The Christian fleet during the night of September 26-7th had made some
thirty miles to the southward; just before daybreak the wind freshened and
drew right ahead; Doria approached the island of Santa Maura and anchored
under the small islet of Sessola.

Barbarossa had now decided to leave his anchorage, but the veteran seaman
did not disguise from himself the risks which he ran: a greater sea captain
than he once said "only numbers can annihilate," and it was at annihilation
that both the Moslem and the Christian aimed: in this case, however, he
knew that he could but hope for a hard-won victory, and only that if Allah
and his Prophet were unusually favourable to his cause. He assembled his
captains, many of whom had served with him during long periods of his
career, and directed them to form line: he said, "I have but one order to
give, follow my movements attentively and regulate your own accordingly."

With fustas, brigantines, galleots, and galleys, the Ottoman fleet amounted
in all to one hundred and forty sail. With shouts of joy the soldiers
hailed the command to weigh the anchors, and in a very short time all were
slowly moving seaward.

The die was cast: Doria from his anchorage at Sessola saw the sea white
with the sails of the enemy, the blue water churning to foam beneath the
strokes of his oars; the Ottoman fleet was issuing from the Gulf of Arta
manoeuvring with precision and deploying into a single line abreast; which
line being slightly concave, either from accident or design, resembled the
form of a crescent. In advance came six great fustas commanded by Dragut;
the left wing hugged the shore as closely as possible; the Ottoman
commander-in-chief intended to commence operations on the first principles
of strategy by flinging his whole force on a portion of that of the enemy.

Andrea Doria remained undecided: he was on a lee shore, and that shore was
the coast of the enemy; although his foes were advancing to the attack it
seemed as if he had no mind to fight: whether he had or had not he
displayed a most remarkable sluggishness, hesitating for three hours before
getting up his anchors; these he only weighed at last under pressure from
the bellicose Patriarch of Aquilea, Vincenzo Capello, and the Papal
captain, Antonio Grimani. Doria had counted on the support of the _Galleon
of Venice_ and the nefs; but the galleon was becalmed four miles from the
land and ten miles from Sessola, where Doria was at the beginning of the

Condalmiero sent a light skiff from the _Galleon of Venice_ to the
commander-in-chief demanding orders and help from the galleys.

"Begin the fight," answered the admiral, "you will be succoured."

The position of Condalmiero was that of a modern battleship which is
disabled and surrounded by foes in full possession of their motive power;
the great galleon floated inert upon the waters while the galleys could
fight or fly as they wished. The captain of the galleon, however, had no
alternative save to surrender or fight; but there was no hesitation on his
part, for a more gallant officer never trod the decks of a warship of the
proud Republic to which he belonged.

The Moslem galleys were now close upon him, although as yet out of
gun-shot; around him they wheeled and circled like a flight of great
sea-birds, their ferocious crews shouting their war-cries calling upon
Allah and the Prophet to give them the victory for which they craved; many
a brave Venetian who heard for the first time the name of Barbarossa
shouted in battle must have braced himself for the coming conflict, knowing
all that was imported by that terrible name. The sun shone in a cloudless
sky, the galleon lay becalmed in the middle of furious and ravening foes,
the succour promised by Doria was ten miles away; they saw no movement
which indicated help, and the odds against them were heavy indeed. But all
the nervousness was not on one side, for the _Galleon of Venice_ was
something new in the naval warfare of the time; she carried engines of
destruction in the shape of great guns which the corsairs could by no means
equal. Of this they were well aware, and the attack was delayed while the
oarsmen in the galleys rested on their oars out of range to allow them
breathing time before the supreme moment arrived. But the hounds were only
held in leash; there came a signal which was answered by a concentrated
yell of fury and of hate; then from right ahead, right astern, on the port
side and the starboard, the galleys were launched to the attack. But all on
board the great Venetian vessel was as still as that death which awaited so
many of the combatants in this supreme struggle.

Condalmiero had caused the crew of the galleon to lie down upon her decks,
and stood himself, a gallant solitary figure in his shining armour, a mark
for the hail of shot so soon to be discharged. It came, and with it the
mast of the galleon bearing the Lion Standard of St. Mark crashed over the
side into the water; renewed yells of triumph came from the Moslems, but
still that ominous silence reigned on board the galleon. Untouched,
unharmed, the Osmanlis came on firing as rapidly as possible until they
were absolutely within arquebuss range. Closer they came and closer; then
the sides of the galleon burst into sheeted flame, and the guns levelled at
point-blank range tore through the attacking host. Condalmiero was throwing
away no chances; he had directed his gunners to allow their balls to
ricochet before striking rather than to throw them away by allowing them to
fly over the heads of the enemy.

The first broadside did terrible execution; a ball one hundred and twenty
pounds in weight, fired by the chief bombardier, Francisco d'Arba in
person, burst in the prow of a galley so effectually that all her people
flew aft to the poop to prevent the water rushing in; but the vessel was
practically split in twain, and sank in a few moments. All around were dead
and dying men, disabled galleys, floating wreckage; the _Galleon of Venice_
had taken a terrible toll of the Osmanli; the order to retreat out of range
was given, and never was order obeyed with greater alacrity.

With accuracy and precision the galleon played upon such vessels as
remained within range, doing great execution. But she was now to be
subjected to an even severer test than the first headlong attack. She had
demonstrated to the Moslem leaders that here was no vessel to be carried by
mere reckless valour; a disciplined and ordered offensive was the only plan
which promised success; the Osmanli must use their brain as well as their
courage if that tattered flag, rescued from the water, and nailed to the
stump of the mast of the galleon, was ever to be torn down. There was
something daunting in the very aspect of the solid bulk of the huge
Venetian, something weird in the manner in which her crew never showed,
save only the steadfast figure of her captain immovable as a statue of
bronze, where he stood on her shot-torn poop.

This Homeric conflict was a triumph of discipline and gunnery on the part
of the Venetians; alert, accurate, and cool, the gunners of the galleon
threw away none of their ammunition: inspired by the heroic spirit of their
captain, great was the honour which they did on this stricken field to the
noble traditions of their forbears and the service to which they belonged.

The first attack had been most brilliantly repulsed, but this was only
preliminary to a conflict which was to last all through the day; the Moslem
galleys withdrew out of gunshot and re-formed; then a squadron of twenty
advanced, delivered their fire, and retired; their place was then taken by
a second squadron, which went through the same performance, and then came
on a third. In this manner the attack, which began one hour after noon, and
which was continued until sunset, was conducted. The galleon had thirteen
men killed, and forty wounded; no doubt the slaughter would have been much
greater had it not been for the enormous thickness of her sides and for the
fact that the guns carried by the galleys were necessarily light.
Notwithstanding, the galleon suffered terribly, she was a mass of wreckage;
twice fire had broken out on board of her, she was cumbered by fallen
masts, battered almost out of recognition, but still Condalmiero and her
gallant crew fought on imperturbably with no thought of surrender. Covered
with blood, wounded in the face and the right leg by flying splinters, her
captain preserved his magnificent coolness, and his decimated crew
responded nobly to his call. At eventide the fire from the galleon was
almost as deadly as it had been at the first onslaught, and many galleys of
the Turks were only saved from sinking by the activity and bravery of their
carpenters, who, slung over their sides in "boatswains' chairs," drove home
huge plugs of wood with their mallets into the shot-holes made by the
Venetian guns.

At the hour when the sun dipped below the horizon all the Turkish fleet
seemed assembled to assault the colossus which so long had resisted their
attack; there was a pause in the combat, and the firing died down.
Condalmiero and his men braced themselves for the assault which they felt
to be inevitable: for now the darkness was swiftly coming, in which they
could no longer see to shoot, and under cover of which their numerous foes
could assail them by boarding in comparative safety. Now the moment had
come for the last act in this terrible drama of the sea. They had held
their own at long odds throughout the whole of a hot September day, and as
the level beams of the setting sun shone on their shattered ship they were
prepared to die, fighting to the last man for the honour of Venice and the
glory of St. Mark.

Stiff and worn, wearied almost to the breaking strain, there was no man on
board who even dreamt of surrender; all the guns were charged to the muzzle
with bullets and broken stone, the artillerists match in hand stood grimly
awaiting the order to fire, straining their eyes and their ears in the
gathering darkness; in a few minutes at most they knew that the fate of the
_Galleon of Venice_ must be decided.

On board his galley, decorated for this occasion with scarlet banners,
Barbarossa himself directed the assaulting line. Never before when the
battle was joined had the gallant corsair been known to draw back; and yet
on this occasion he not only hesitated but actually hauled off. The
Venetians saw to their amazement that the expected attack was not to be
pushed home; for Barbarossa and his captains fell upon some lesser vessels:
the _Galleon of Venice_ was victorious.

Meanwhile Doria was displaying his mastery of tactics when it was hard
fighting that was wanted; he pretended that he wished to draw the Ottoman
fleet into the high seas in order that he might destroy their galleys by
means of the broadsides of his nefs; consequently he executed useless
parade movements when he should by all the rules of warfare have closed
with his enemy who was in distinctly inferior force; as he had a fair wind
there is only one conclusion to be drawn, and that is that he did not want
to fight.

His manoeuvres certainly mystified the Turks, who viewed his tactics with
mistrust, thinking them the outset of some deeply laid scheme; it never
entered into their calculations for one moment that the great Andrea Doria,
the terror of the Mediterranean sea, and the victor in scores of desperate
engagements, was anxious to avoid a fight.

Grimani and Capello, docile to the orders of their admiral, followed him
full of uneasiness and distrust; they were fighting men of the most fiery
description; to them the issue seemed of the simplest: there was the enemy
in inferior force to themselves, they had the weather gauge, why delay the

"For much less than this," says Admiral Jurien de la Gravière, "the English
shot Admiral Byng in 1756." The conduct of Doria on this occasion has
certainly never been explained; the two other leaders went on board and
remonstrated with their commander-in-chief; they were neither of them men
who could be treated as negligible quantities on the field of battle; both
belonged to that brilliant Venetian nobility so renowned in commerce and in
war. Marco Grimani was in command of the Papal galleys, in itself a mark of
the highest esteem and confidence from a potentate second to none in his
influence in the civilised world. To Vincenzo Capello, Henry the Seventh of
England confided his royal person and the command of his fleet when he
crossed the Channel to encounter Richard the Second at Bosworth field. Five
times had he filled the office of Providiteur in Venice, twice had he been
commander-in-chief of her fleet, he was in perpetuity Procureur of St.
Mark, to him Venice owed her naval discipline. He wore on this day the
mantle of crimson silk with which the Republic invested her generals.
Bitter was the rage in his heart, and bitterly must he have spoken to
Doria, who, in spite of all remonstrances, continued his futile

There was glory won on this day, but it was gained neither by Andrea Doria
nor Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa. The _Galleon of Venice_ with Alessandro
Condalmiero and his gallant crew had shown to all a splendid example of
disciplined valour unexcelled in sixteenth-century annals.

Barbarossa had captured a Venetian galley, a Papal galley, and five Spanish
nefs, but he had recoiled from the assault on Condalmiero when the prize
was actually within his grasp. For the rest it was a day of manoeuvring and
tactics; tactics when sixty thousand men had been embarked on board two
hundred ships for a specific and definite object on the side of the
Christians and under the command of their most celebrated admiral; and yet
the balance of advantage was actually gained by the inferior force. No
subsequent glories can ever wipe this stain from the scutcheon of Doria, or
can excuse the fact that at the most supreme moment of his career he failed
to fight the battle that he was in honour, in conscience, and in duty bound
to deliver. Next day the wind came fair for Corfu, and Doria, his ships
untouched, unscathed, unharmed, put his helm up and sailed away followed by
his fleet.

Sandoval records the fact that Barbarossa, roaring with laughter the while,
was accustomed to say that Doria had even put out his lanterns in order
that no one might see whither he had fled. This was an allusion to the
fact--or supposition--that Doria extinguished on that night the great poop
lantern carried by him as admiral.

When Soliman the Magnificent heard of the result of this battle he caused
the town of Yamboli, where he was at the time, to be illuminated, and in
the excess of his joy he added one hundred thousand aspres to the revenues
of the conqueror; there were processions to the Grand Mosque, and all Islam
rejoiced and sang the praises of the invincible admiral who had humbled to
the dust the pride of the Christian and caused the dreaded Doria to fly
from before the fleet of the Sultan.

This, the most historical, if not the greatest feat in the life of
Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, was for him a triumph indeed; with a vastly
inferior force he had driven from the field of battle his "rival in glory,"
as he himself had denominated Andrea Doria, and he had accomplished this
feat notwithstanding the almost mutinous condition of his own forces. In
spite of this it is with Condalmiero and with him alone that the glory of
this day must rest; alone, absolutely unsupported as we have seen, he
fought one of those fights which bring the heart into the mouth when we
read of them; the stern pride of the Venetian noble, who despised as
canaille the pirate hosts by whom he was assailed, had its counterpart in
the sturdy valour of Chief Bombardier Francisco d'Arba and the other
nameless heroes of which that good company was composed; to them we render
that homage which so justly is their due.

The whole campaign of Prevesa, as we have said, is a curious study in
hesitation, in dilatoriness, in absolute lack of initiative and virility on
the part of the two chief actors in the drama: that Doria should fly from
the field of battle in an untouched ship is only one degree less incredible
than that Barbarossa should have relinquished his attack on the _Galleon of
Venice_. It would almost seem as if on this occasion each of the great
rivals was hypnotised by the presence of the other; all their lives they
had been seeking honour and riches on the sea, they knew, of course, that
all men in both the world of Islam and that of Christendom looked upon them
in the light of the special champions of the opposing sects, that the eyes
of the entire world were fastened on this meeting of theirs in the classic
waters of the Ambracian Gulf. In consequence neither man was at his best;
indeed, we might go further than this, and say that on this occasion both
lamentably failed. There is no fault to be found with the strategic
preliminaries to the final conflict, each admiral acting with prudence and
wisdom in the situation in which he found himself placed. That the
perfectly correct idea of not giving battle to a superior force when he
held so strong an interior position was given up by Barbarossa, was, as we
have seen, not his fault; and when he issued from his anchorage, in
deference to a sentiment among those under his command which he could no
longer resist, his dispositions seem to have been made with his usual
skill. Where he failed, however, was where, from all his previous history,
we should least have expected failure, in his abandonment of the attack on
the _Galleon of Venice_; this, of course, was inexcusable, and can only be
set down to failure of nerve at the supreme moment. The ship had been
battered by artillery all day long, a huge percentage of her company were
dead and wounded, and the remainder worn out with fatigue. On the Moslem
side we have seen that there were squadrons of galleys able to relieve one
another with no interference from Doria, who was persisting in his futile
manoeuvring miles away. Had the galleon been boarded, as she might and
should have been, at nightfall, nothing could have saved Condalmiero and
his crew: so strenuous, however, had been their resistance, that the
Turkish seamen feared the issue; in consequence the battle between them and
the Venetians was a drawn one, with all the honours on the Christian side.

It is here that we shall take leave of Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, as although
he was yet to live another eight years before he died in his bed at
Constantinople in July, 1548, there are no further happenings of any great
importance in his career.

"Valorous, yet prudent, furious in attack, far-seeing in preparation, he
ranks as the first sea-captain of his time;"[1] as the story of his life
has unfolded itself in these pages we have seen what manner of man it was
who terrified Europe, who made for himself a reputation which stands out
clear and distinct among all the great men of which this century was so
prolific. One of the surest methods of estimating a strenuous man of action
is to seek for the names of those by whom he was surrounded: the men
selected by him to assist in the carrying out of the work of his life; thus
in reading of Napoleon Bonaparte we interest ourselves in his marshals, in
reading of Nelson we note the captains by whom he was supported. In the
case of Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, a great man of action if one ever lived,
we find no trace of devoted adherents on that high plane of command we have
indicated in the cases cited above. That he had devoted followers enough is
absolutely certain, but of high officers we very seldom find a trace, and
these he treated with contumely and offence on many occasions; witness the
treatment meted out to Hassan and to Venalcadi. There is practically no
trace of his domestic life to be found, we cannot discover that he
possessed any intimate friend. There is none other in all history to whom
he can be satisfactorily compared; there are few who in their generation
have wielded such enormous powers, who have climbed so high from the sheer
unassisted force of their own intellect and their own character.

[Footnote 1: Stanley Lane Poole.]

Physical strength such as is vouchsafed to one man in a million, a
constitution nothing could impair, endurance incomparable, were his bodily
attributes: an intellect cold, clear, and penetrating was his, joined to an
imperturbability of temperament which enabled him to accept with a cheerful
philosophy blows by which weaker men were absolutely prostrated; his
outlook on life was not dimmed by any affections, and pity was a sensation
which to him was entirely alien. In this record of his deeds the reader has
been spared all mention of the atrocious tortures he was in the habit of
inflicting on his victims for any or no provocation, and many of them are
as incomprehensible as they are sickening. That in which he was supreme was
his craft as a seaman in an age when real seamen were rare; on land he was
frequently defeated, at sea there seems to be no record of such an
occurrence. To sum up, he appears to us in the light of history as a body,
a brain, and an intellect, without any trace of a heart. His path through
life was one unending trail of blood and fire, moistened by the tears of
his countless victims, followed by the curses of those whom he despoiled.
Yet, in spite of this, it is impossible not to admire the man who, by his
own superhuman energy, ever swept all obstacles from his path, and caused
the whole of the civilised world to quail at the name of Barbarossa.

He died peacefully in his bed at Constantinople in July, 1546, to the grief
of the world of Islam and the inexpressible joy of Christendom. "The king
of the sea is dead," expressed in three Arabic words, gives the numerical
value 953, the year of the Hegira in which he died.

For many years after his death no Turkish ship ever left the Golden Horn
without her crew repeating a prayer and firing a salute over the tomb of
Beshiktsah, where lie the bones of the first and greatest of Turkish
admirals, the corsair who was at one and the same time admiral, pirate, and



In the sixteenth century the vessel of war in the Mediterranean was
essentially that oar-propelled craft known to us as the galley. As time
went on she was gradually superseded by the sailing man-of-war which was
able to carry that heavy ordnance which the light scantling of the galley
did not permit of her mounting; but for the use of the corsairs who lived
by means of raids and surprise attacks, whose business it was to lie perdu
on the trade routes, the mobility of the galley was of prime importance,
and they could not afford to trust to the wind alone as a motive power. The
galley was analogous to the steam vessel in that it was independent of the
wind to a large extent: human bone and muscle supplied the part of engines,
and those who fought upon the sea caused themselves to be moved over the
face of the waters by the exertions of their enemies. It is true that upon
one occasion, as we have seen, Kheyred-Din Barbarossa did possess a fleet
of galleys the rowers of which were all Moslems, which crew upon battle
being joined dropped their oars, seized their weapons and assisted in the
conquest of the foe. But this was an isolated instance, as it was almost
impossible at any time and in any circumstances to procure free men ready
to undertake a life of such intolerable suffering as that of a rower on
board a galley; in consequence these men were almost invariably slaves, or
else in later times condemned felons whose judges had sent them to work out
their sentences upon the rowers' bench. The great characteristic of the
galley was her mobility, and in a comparative degree her speed, as for a
short burst, when her crew of rowers were fresh, their trained muscles were
capable of tremendous exertion; for any length of time, however, it is
obvious that her speed must have declined as the rowers became exhausted.
She was long, narrow, of extremely low freeboard, and slight depth of hold;
a galley of 125 feet between perpendiculars would perhaps be 180 feet over
all taking in the poop and the prow. A galley of this length would only
have a beam of 19 feet and a depth of hold of 7 feet 6 inches. The sailing
ship of contemporary times would for the same length have had a beam of
about 40 feet and an extremely high freeboard; she was in consequence
necessarily slow and incapable of sailing on a wind.

So distinct at this time was the line drawn between the sailing vessel and
the galley that the actual terminology used was entirely different; that is
to say, the names of such things as masts, sails, rudder, tiller, stern,
stempost, cutwater, etc., were not the same words; the sailor who used
sails could not understand his brother mariner who used oars, and _vice

[Illustration: GALLEY UNDER OARS.]

What was necessary of course in the galley was many oars and many hands to
use them; the vessel was most skilfully constructed for this purpose so as
to get the fullest power from her human engines; the result was that men
were crowded on board of her to such an extent that there was scarcely room
to breathe, such a craft as the one of which the dimensions have been given
having on board some four hundred men.

Barras de la Penne, a French officer who in 1713 first went on board a
galley, thus describes what he saw:

  "Those who see a galley for the first time are astonished to see so many
  persons; there are an infinite number of villages in Europe which do not
  contain an equal number of inhabitants; however, this is not the
  principal cause of one's surprise, but that so many men can be assembled
  in so small a space. It is truth that many of them have not room to
  sleep at full length, for they put seven men on one bench; that is to
  say, on a space about ten feet long and four broad; at the bows one sees
  some thirty sailors who have for their lodging the floor space of the
  rambades (this is the platform at the prow of the galley) which consists
  of a rectangular space ten feet long by eight in width. The captain and
  officers who live on the poop are scarcely better lodged, and one is
  tempted to compare their grandeur with that of Diogenes in his tub.

  "When the unpitying Libyan Sea surprises these galleys upon the Roman
  coasts, when the Norther lashes to foam the Gulf of Lyons, when the
  humid east wind of Syria is driving them off shore, everything combines
  to make life on board a modern galley a hell of misery and discomfort.
  The creaking of the blocks and cordage, the loud cries of the
  sailors, the horrible maledictions of the galley slaves, the groaning of
  the timbers, mingled with the clank of chains and the bellowings of the
  tempest, produce sentiments of affright in the most intrepid breasts.
  The rain, the hail, the lightning, habitual accompaniments of these
  terrific storms, the waves which dash over the vessel, all add to the
  horror of the situation, and although devotion is not as a rule very
  strongly marked on board a galley, you will hear these folk praying to
  God, and others making vows to the Saints; these would do much better
  not to forget God and his Saints when the danger is past.

  "Calm itself has also its inconveniences, as the evil smells which arise
  from the galley are then so strong that one cannot get away from them in
  spite of the tobacco with which one is obliged to plug one's nostrils
  from morning till night."

The gallant officer here goes into further details concerning the vermin on
board which it will be as well to spare the reader.

Jean Marteille de Bergeraq, who died at Culenbourg in 1777, was condemned
to serve on board the galleys in 1707 "in his quality of Protestant"; he
must indeed have been a man of iron constitution as he lived to the age of
ninety-five. This is his description of the life of a _forçat_:

  "They are chained six to a bench; the benches are four feet wide covered
  with sacking stuffed with wool over which are thrown sheepskins which
  reach to the floor. The officer who is master of the galley slaves
  remains aft with the captain to receive his orders; there are two under
  officers, one amidships and one at the prow; all of these are armed with
  whips, with which they flog the absolutely naked bodies of the
  slaves. When the captain gives the order to row, the officer gives the
  signal with a silver whistle which hangs on a cord round his neck; the
  signal is repeated by the under officers and very soon all the fifty
  oars strike the water as one. Imagine six men chained to a bench as
  naked as they were born, one foot on the stretcher the other raised and
  placed on the bench in front of them, holding in their hands an oar of
  enormous weight, stretching their bodies towards the after part of the
  galley with arms extended to push the loom of the oar clear of the backs
  of those in front of them who are in the same attitude. They plunge the
  blades of the oars into the water and throw themselves back, falling on
  to the seat which bends beneath their weight. Sometimes the galley
  slaves row thus ten, twelve, even twenty hours at a stretch, without the
  slightest relapse or rest, and on these occasions the officer will go
  round putting into the mouths of the wretched rowers pieces of bread
  soaked in wine to prevent them from fainting. Then the captain will call
  upon the officers to redouble their blows, and if one of the slaves
  falls fainting upon his oar, which is a common occurrence, he is flogged
  until he appears to be dead and is then flung overboard without

The Italian captain, Pantero Pantera, of the _Santa Lucia_ galley, in his
work on "L'Armata Navale" published in 1614, gives it as his opinion that
although soldiers and sailors could be obtained for service in the galleys
if good pay were given, still no money could tempt any free man to
adventure himself as a rower for any length of time owing to the
intolerable sufferings which the "gallerian" was called upon to endure. As,
however, in the opinion of the captain it was most necessary that the
galleys should be manned, he thought that all judges should in future send
criminals aboard; those who had committed murder as "lifers," those who had
committed lesser crimes _pro rata_. Those who by the nobility of their
birth or their physical incompetence were unable to handle the oar should
be called upon to pay for substitutes to act for them; these were called

There was not much difference after all between the methods used by the
seventeenth-century Italian to those actually in force in England at a much
later date when the Press Gang swept the honest and the dishonest into its
net in its midnight raids.

"The galley slaves," observes Pantera, "cherish repose and sincerely wish
to avoid fatigue; in order to incite them to do their duty it is necessary
to use the whip as well as the whistle; by using it with severity the
officers will find that they are better obeyed, and it will in consequence
be good for the service, for fear of the whip is the principal cause of
good behaviour among the gallerians." Further on he observes that it is
well not to flog them too severely and without reason, "for this irritates
the gallerians, as I have frequently observed: this may cause them to
despair and to wish for death as the only sure way out of their troubles."
The excellent Pantera a little later on even says that he cannot agree that
the attempt to cure a sick gallerian "is all nonsense, as is maintained by
some persons," as sick men are a source of danger on board. He apparently
was not prepared to throw them overboard alive, but urges that the best way
to avoid such pestilences among them as killed forty thousand Venetians at
the port of Zara in 1570 is to embark sound and good victuals.

It is interesting to have a contemporary view of the correct treatment of
the galley slave from those who had to do with him. In the case of the
corsairs and their adversaries the gallerians were as a rule prisoners of
war, but as time went on and wars became less frequent than they were
throughout the sixteenth century, another source of supply was tapped by
sending to the galleys the criminals of any country which desired to fill
up the rowers' benches. In consequence there was always one thing which was
feared above all others on board a galley, and that was a rising of the

If they were not your enemies officially, they were a set of desperate
criminals ripe for any mischief should they get loose, and chained,
starved, beaten, frozen with the cold, baked by the summer heats, tortured,
murdered, they had nothing earthly for which to hope except escape. If in
the heat of battle there should occur a rising of the slaves, then their
masters knew that victory would declare itself surely on the side of the
enemy. Therefore that they should be securely chained was the first and
most important thing to which the boatswain of a galley and his mates had
to see. If by a bold stroke they once freed themselves from their shackles
it was a fight to the death for those who erstwhile had been in command, as
the gallerians, outnumbering them and caring nought for their lives in
comparison to their liberties, were far the most formidable foes that they
could be called upon to encounter. When men are so treated that their daily
life is one long martyrdom they become the most dangerous force in
existence, and on the occasions which sometimes happened that the slaves
got the upper hand, there were none left of the fighting men of the galley
to tell the tale of their discomfiture.

In time of battle the gallerians were of course equally exposed to death
and wounds from the projectiles of the enemy as were the orthodox fighting
men; but to them came no rejoicing at the sound of victory; rather they
prayed for the defeat of their masters, as it frequently happened that
those against whom they were arrayed were their own countrymen and friends
by whom they hoped for release. Thus at Lepanto, the Christian slaves,
seeing the right wing of the Turkish fleet thrown into disorder by the
galleys of the Allies, broke out into furious mutiny, succeeded in
shattering their fetters and chains, attacked their masters the Turks in
the rear with incredible energy with any weapons upon which they could lay
their hands, and thus contributed in no small measure to the ultimate
triumph of the Christian arms.

The Captain Pantero Pantera and Barras de la Peine have written
exhaustively on the galley, her crew, her armament, her manner of
provisioning, her masts, sails, rigging, etc., and Admiral Jurien de la
Gravière has given a most painstaking exposition concerning the
technicalities of these craft. But to enter into too much detail would be
to weary the reader unnecessarily, who, it is apprehended, merely desires
that a general idea should be given of the way in which these vessels were
handled and fought.

It would appear that during the whole time that oar-propelled vessels were
used as warships their form did not differ to any material extent, as
certain limitations of size were obviously imposed on them by the mere fact
that they had to be moved by so finite and feeble a force as human muscles,
hearts, and lungs. No cruelty, however ghastly, could extract from the
gallerians more than a certain amount of work, and the Captain Pantero
Pantera, as we have seen, even advocates that a certain minimum of
consideration should be shown to them in order that better work might be
obtained. It was probable, however, that in the case of the Christian
slaves captured by the corsairs even this minimum was to seek, as the
numbers swept off by them were so enormous that they could be used up and
replaced without inconveniencing these rovers of the sea, to whom
compassion for suffering was absolutely unknown.

The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, or the Knights of Malta as they were
also called, used the galley in their unceasing warfare with the Moslem.
The General of the Galleys was a Grand Cross of the Order; the captains
were knights, and the second officer, or first lieutenant, was known as the
Patron. The crew of a galley of the knights had twenty-six rowing benches
and carried two hundred and eighty rowers and two hundred and eighty
combatants; the armament consisted of one bow cannon which discharged a
forty-eight pound ball, four other small guns, eight pounders, and fourteen
others which discharged stones.

"The Religion," as the Knights were in the habit of describing themselves,
had certain definite stations assigned to each knight, seaman, or officer
during action. It is to be imagined, however, that these were merely for
the preliminary stages of the fight, as it was seldom that time allowed for
more than one discharge, or at the most two, of the artillery, before the
opposing galleys met in a hand-to-hand conflict which must have immediately
become an indiscriminate mêlée.

The manner in which the galley should engage is thus contained in an answer
to a question of Don John of Austria, the victor of Lepanto. He wrote to
Garcia de Toledo, fourth Marquis of Villafranca, and General of the Galleys
of Sicily, to ask his opinion as to what distance it was most efficacious
to open fire in a naval action. Toledo replied that "one cannot fire more
than twice before the galleys close. I should therefore recommend that the
arquebussiers should hold their fire until they are so close to the enemy
that his blood will leap into the face of him who discharges his piece.
have always heard it said, and this by captains who are well skilled in the
art of war, that the last discharge of the cannon should be coincident with
the noise made by the breaking of the spurs carried in the prows of the
galleys; in fact that the two noises should be as one; some propose to fire
before the enemy does: this is by no means my advice."

Artillery, it will be seen from this, played a comparatively unimportant
part in the combats between galley and galley; that in these craft men
still relied on the strength of their right arm and the edge of their
swords; there was still a certain contempt for villainous saltpetre, which
was looked upon as a somewhat cowardly substance, preventing the warrior
from settling his disputes in the good old fashion of his forbears. In any
case, when you practically had to push the muzzle of your gun against your
enemy's body in order to hit him, it was not a weapon upon which much
reliance was to be placed.

There were, in addition to the galley, the nef and the galeasse; the former
of these was a sailing vessel pure and simple like those remarkable
caravels in which Columbus discovered America.

What these caravels were exactly like it was the good fortune of the writer
to see in the year 1893. This was the date of the great exhibition of
Chicago, and the American Government were most anxious to have, and to
exhibit if possible, an exact replica of these historic craft. They
accordingly communicated with the Spanish Government and inquired if by any
chance they possessed the plans and specifications of the caravels of
Columbus? Search was made in the archives of Cadiz Dockyard and these
priceless documents were discovered. From them the ships were built in
every respect the same as the wonderful originals and then towed across the
Atlantic by the United States cruiser _Lancaster_. On their way they were
brought to Gibraltar, where the writer's ship was then stationed, and were
anchored inside the New Mole. The _Santa Maria_, the flagship of Columbus,
was a three-masted vessel with a very high "forecastle" and "sterncastle"
and very deep in the waist; she had three masts, the foremast carrying one
square sail, the mainmast having both mainsail and main-topsail, the mizzen
was rigged with a lateen sail, on the mainsail was painted the Maltese and
on the foresail the Papal cross, and on deck she carried a brick-built
cooking galley. A most beautiful model of this vessel is to be seen in the
Science and Art Department of the South Kensington Museum.

The nef in its later manifestations became a much more seaworthy vessel
than this, with four masts, the two foremost ones square-rigged and
carrying courses and topsails, the two after ones carrying lateen sails;
the latter from their small size and their proximity to one another could
not have had much effect on the sailing qualities of the ship. The nefs in
the fleet of Don John of Austria in 1571 were rigged in this fashion and
comprised vessels of eight hundred, nine hundred, and even one thousand
tons, while a contemporary English vessel, the _Great Harry_ or _Henri
Grace à Dieu_, was as much as fifteen hundred tons, and carried no less
than one hundred and eighty-four pieces of ordnance. It was from the nef
and the galeasse that the sailing man-of-war arrived by the process of
evolution. The galley in the first instance was the vessel of men who
fought hand to hand, the men in whom personal strength and desperate valour
were blended, who desired nothing so much as to come to close grips with
their enemy. Such rude engines of war as the pierriers, or short cannons
which discharged some forty or fifty pounds of broken stone upon the enemy,
were first mounted in the galley; these were followed by improved artillery
as time went on. But although the galleys eventually carried quite big
guns, as instanced by the forty-eight pounder in the galleys of the Knights
of St. John, still it soon became apparent that the limit was reached by
guns of this weight; the galley was essentially a light vessel and was not
built to withstand those rude shocks caused by firing heavy charges of

The galeasse was the connecting link between the navy of oars and the navy
of sails. The navy of oars was in its generation apt for warlike purposes;
but it was in its essence a force analogous to the light cavalry of the
land; useful for a raid, a sudden dash, but without that great strength and
solidity which came in later years to the building of the sailing line of

The galeasse was really a magnified galley, one which used both sails and
oars, on board of which the rowers were under cover; she was built with a
forecastle and a sterncastle which were elevated some six feet above the
benches of the rowers, and her very long and immensely heavy oars were of
course proportionate to the size of the vessel. The description of a
galeasse of nearly one thousand tons burden is set forth as follows by
Jurien de la Gravière:

  "Her draught of water was about 18 feet 6 inches, she was propelled by
  52 oars, 48 feet in length, each oar being worked by 9 men. Her crew
  consisted of 452 rowers, 350 soldiers, 60 marines, 12 steersmen, 40
  ordinary seamen, 86 cannoneers, 12 petty officers, 4 boatswains' mates,
  3 pilots, 2 sub-pilots, 4 counsellors, 2 surgeons, 4 writers, 2
  sergeants, 2 carpenters, 2 caulkers, 2 coopers, 2 bakers, 10 servants, a
  captain, a lieutenant, a purser. In all some thousand men, or about the
  same number as the crew of a three-decker of a later date."

The fleet of the "Holy League" at the battle of Lepanto had in it six
galeasses from the arsenal of Venice; and whereas an average galley carried
110 soldiers and 222 galley slaves, the crews of these galeasses comprised
270 soldiers, 130 sailors, and 300 galley slaves.

The speed of the galley was calculated by the French engineer Forfait to be
in the most favourable circumstances, that is to say in a flat calm, but
four and a half knots for the first hour, and two and a quarter to one and
a half miles per hour for subsequent hours; the exhaustion of the rowers
consequent on their arduous toil would not admit of a greater speed than
this. The studies of Forfait were made when the invasion of England by
rowing boats was a topic of burning interest. It is evident from this that
long voyages, trusting to the oar alone, could not be undertaken; but as we
have seen, the galley was also provided with motive power in the shape of
two masts carrying the lateen sail, which may be still seen in so many
Mediterranean craft.

That the galley was no vessel in which to embark in bad weather is
instanced for us by the disasters which befell a Spanish fleet of these
craft in 1567 under the Grand Commander of Castile, Don Luiz de Requesens.
A revolt of the Moors in Granada had caused Philip the Second to wish to
withdraw a certain number of Spanish troops from Italy. Requesens was sent
to Genoa with twenty-four galleys to embark a detachment of an army corps
then stationed in Piedmont. Each galley embarked one hundred and fifty
soldiers; they then got under way and reached the island of Hyères, where
they anchored, the weather being too bad to proceed. At the end of their
eighth day in port a number of vessels were seen flying to the eastward
before the wind; it was a squadron of Genoese.

Requesens, who was no seaman, was furious. Here were the Genoese at sea,
and he wasting his time in harbour; if they could keep the sea why could
not he, he demanded? He instantly ordered the anchors to be weighed. The
commander of the Tuscan galleys, of which there were ten in the fleet,
immediately went on board the galley in which Requesens was embarked and
represented that the wind was foul and that should they leave their
anchorage they could make no headway once they got clear of the land. But
Requesens was obstinate: "if others can go on their way it is shameful that
I should not proceed on mine," he protested. Alfonso d'Aragona argued with
him in vain, representing that his master, the Duke of Tuscany, would hold
the Grand Commander responsible for damage to his galleys. It was all in
vain, as the Grand Commander was too arrogant and stupid to listen to
advice from anybody. The fleet put to sea and struggled out a mile from the
land; when they got thus far Requesens discovered his mistake and regretted
that he had not taken the advice of the mariners; but it was now too late,
they had drifted to leeward of their anchorage and could not get back

One galley, a new vessel, ran into another which was an old one, and sank
her on the spot, carrying all her luckless crew to the bottom. The
remaining vessels scattered far and wide; Alfonso d'Aragona found refuge in
the Bay of Alghieri, two more of his galleys reached an anchorage in the
Isle of St. Pierre, another sheltered in the Gulf of Oristano; three
galleys were shipwrecked on the coast in this neighbourhood and lost many
of their men; yet another, called the _Florence_, was twice nearly wrecked
on the coast of Barbary, and eventually reached the Bay of Cagliari. A
Genoese captain found himself as far afield as the Island of Pantellaria,
two galleys were never heard of again, and the Grand Commander himself
anchored eventually in the Bay of Palamos on the Spanish coast. Of the
twenty-four galleys which left their anchorage twelve were lost and the
twelve which remained were practically valueless until large sums had been
spent in repairs.

It is small wonder in the light of these events that the seamen who ranged
the Mediterranean in vessels propelled by oars regarded the winter as a
close season and laid up their galleys in harbour. They were seaworthy
enough for ordinary weather, but could not withstand such a tempest as the
one in which Requesens put to sea. The whole story is only a further proof
of the folly of putting supreme command of a sea-going venture in the hands
of a man totally ignorant of the hazards he was called upon to encounter.
In the sixteenth and even in the seventeenth centuries this was done
perpetually, and if no disaster occurred it was because no bad weather was

[Illustration: Brigantin donnant chasse a une Felouque, et prest a la

As time went on the sailing ship became larger and larger and was able to
mount more and more powerful ordnance; this had the effect of discounting
the value of the galley as a fighting ship; in consequence she became
practically obsolete, for the line of battle, after the combat at Lepanto.
In spite of this she was to linger on for many long years to come as the
weapon of the corsairs who had established themselves on the coast of
Africa. The "long ship" was still to be the cause of many an awful sea
tragedy, whether the actors therein were the pirates who hailed from the
Barbary coast or their most capable imitators the notorious rovers of



  How he became Lieutenant to Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa--His capture by
  Jannetin Doria--His four years as a galley slave--His ransom by his old

In character, in capability, in strategic insight, in tactical ability, not
one of the predecessors or the successors of Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa can be
compared to him; he was the greatest and most outstanding figure of all
those corsairs of whose deeds we hear so much during the sixteenth century,
the man above all others who was feared and hated by his contemporaries in
Christendom. He lived, as we have said, for another eight years after the
battle of Prevesa, but his great age prevented him from pursuing a very
active career. There were, however, other and younger men, trained in the
terrible school of hardship in which his life had been passed, who proved
themselves to be his very worthy successors, even if they did not display
the same genius in war and statecraft. The conditions of this period are
somewhat remarkable when we come to consider them; Europe, which had been
sunk in a rude and uncultured barbarism during the middle ages, was
emerging under the influence of the Renaissance into a somewhat higher and
nobler conception of life. It is true that the awakening was slow, that
morally the plane on which the peoples stood was far from being an elevated
one, that altruism was far from being the note of the lives lived by the
rulers of the so-called civilised nations. For all this they had emerged
from that cimmerian darkness in which they had lived so long, and the dawn
of better things, of more stable government, of some elementary recognition
of the rights of those governed, was beginning to show above the murky

But if the sun of European progress was slowly and painfully struggling
through the clouds, the light which had shone brightly for over seven
centuries of Moslem advance was certainly and surely dying. Beneath the
mail-clad heel of the Christian warrior the torch of learning which had
burned so brightly in Cordova and Granada had been extinguished and ground
into the dust, and the descendants of the alumni of those universities were
seeking their bread in the Mediterranean Sea in the guise of bloodthirsty
and desperate pirates.

There were no longer among the Moors of Andalusia learned philosophers,
expert mathematicians, wise astronomers, and practical agriculturists;
there was among them but one art, one science, one means of gaining a
livelihood--the practice of war--and their very existence depended on the
spoils which could be reft from the hereditary enemy. The corsair who grew
to man's estate, brought up in Algiers, Tunis, Tenes, Jerba, or any other
of the lurking places in which the sea-wolves congregated, had as a rule no
chance but to follow the sea, to exist as his father had existed before
him; he must fight or starve, and in a fighting age no youngster was likely
to be backward in taking to the life of wild excitement led by his elders.
Unless following in the train of one of the leaders, such as Barbarossa,
the Moslems were apt to take to the sea in a private capacity; a certain
number of them joining together to man a small craft which was known as a
brigantine. As has been said in a previous chapter, this word must not be
understood in the light of the terminology of the modern seaman: the
brigantines of the Moslem corsairs were really large rowing boats, carrying
fourteen to twenty-six oars, and made as seaworthy as the small size of
such craft would allow. Should the venture of the crew of a brigantine
prove successful, then the reis, or captain, might blossom out into the
command of a galley, in which his oars would be manned by his slaves; but,
in the first instance, he would man his brigantine with a crew of Moslem
desperadoes working on the share system and dividing anything that they
could pick up; in this manner most of those corsairs who became famous
commenced their careers, and rose as we have seen from the thwart of a
brigantine to the unstable eminence of a throne in Algiers, Tunis, or

This life which they led made of them what they were, namely desperate
swordsmen, efficient men at arms, incomparably skilful in the management of
the craft in which they put to sea; but it did nothing else for them in the
way of education; in consequence he who would rise to the top, who aspired
to be a leader amongst them and not to remain a mere swash-buckling
swordsman all his life, was bound to acquire that dominance necessary for
control of the wild spirits of the age. Nor was this ascendancy by any
means easy to obtain, as the rank and file led lives of incredible
bitterness, almost inconceivable to modern ideas. What they suffered they
alone knew, but it was compounded of hunger, thirst, heat, cold, sickness
unrelieved by care or tending, wounds which festered for lack of
medicaments, death which ever stared them in the face, and last, and worst
of all, the risk of capture by some Christian foe, by whom they would be
chained to the rowers' bench and taste of a bitterness absolutely
unimaginable. As a set-off to this the man who aspired to lead must offer
to his followers at least a record of success in small things; also he had
to be something of an enthusiast, something of an orator, some one subtly
persuasive. Against all the disagreeables of the strenuous life of the
corsair he had to hold before the dazzled eyes of Selim, Ali, or Mahomet
the promise of fat captures of the merchant vessels of the foe; when they
had but to slit a few throats and to return with their brigantines laden to
the gunwale with desirable plunder. Again he had to hearten them for
possible encounters with Spaniards, with the terrible Doria, or worst of
all with the dreaded Knights of St. John themselves; to point out that to
die in conflict with the infidel was a sure passport to heaven and its
houris, and to invoke great names, such as that of Barbarossa to show to
what dizzy heights the fighting Moslem could climb. In such an age and
among such men as these it was no mean feat to become a leader by whom men
swore and to whom they yielded a ready obedience.

Fashioned by the hammer of misfortune on the anvil of racial expropriation,
such leaders arose among the Moslems, men of iron, before whom all who
worshipped at the altars of Islam bowed the knee. These men, whose fame
extended throughout all the length and breadth of the Mediterranean, taught
to European rulers something of the value of that great force which is
known to us under the modern name of "Sea Power."

Next in importance to Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa himself and in many ways his
very worthy successor, was Dragut Reis. We have it on the authority of
Messire Pierre de Bourdeille, the Seigneur de Brantôme, that Dragut was
born at a small village in Asia Minor called Charabulac, opposite to the
island of Rhodes, and that his parents were Mahommedans. Being born within
sight and sound of the sea, the youthful Dragut naturally graduated in the
school of the brigantine and completed his education on board of a galley.
His training was that which makes the best of fighting seamen, as from
contemporary records he appears to have passed all his life actively
engaged on board ship. At a very early age he entered the service of a
master gunner who served on board the galleys of the Grand Turk. Under his
auspices the youngster became an expert pilot in his own home waters, and
likewise a most excellent gunner. Dragut was evidently a youth of ability
and determination, as almost before he reached man's estate he had
succeeded in buying a share in a cruising brigantine where his venture
prospered so exceedingly that he was soon able to become sole proprietor of
a galeasse. Here again fortune favoured the enterprising young man; his
name began to be known as a formidable corsair in the Levant, where he was
remarkable for his knowledge of that portion of the Mediterranean.

To better his condition he offered his services to Barbarossa at Algiers,
who accepted this new subordinate with joy, delighted to have so valiant
and capable a man under his orders.

"During some years," says J. Morgan in his _Compleat History of Algiers_,
1728, "he was by that basha intrusted in the direction of sundry momentous
expeditions; in which he acquitted himself much to the satisfaction of his
principal: as having never once been unsuccessful." When we remember the
treatment meted out by Barbarossa to some of his unsuccessful lieutenants,
Dragut must be esteemed a very fortunate man. His master, we are told,
advanced him to all the military offices of the State--it would be
interesting to know what these were in a purely piratical confederation
ruled by a pirate! In the end Dragut was appointed to be kayia, or
lieutenant, and given entire command of twelve galleys.

  "From thenceforward this redoubtable corsair passed not one summer
  without ravaging the coasts of Naples and Sicily; nor durst any
  Christian vessel attempt to pass between Spain and Italy; for if they
  offered it he infallibly snapped them up, and when he missed his prey at
  sea, he made himself amends by making descents along the coasts
  plundering villages and towns and dragging away multitudes of
  inhabitants into captivity."

That "no vessel durst pass from Spain to Italy" is no doubt a picturesque
form of exaggeration on the part of the historian; at the same time, when
Dragut was at the height of his activities there is no doubt that any one
passing through those seas ran a great risk of capture; so much so in fact
that at this period, from 1538, the date of the battle of Prevesa, until
Lepanto in 1571, all maritime commerce in the Mediterranean was greatly
circumscribed. At the beginning of this epoch, which saw the rise of the
Moslem corsairs, these robbers perforce confined themselves more to the
North African coast than was the case later on. The pioneers of the
piratical movement, after the fatal date 1492, which saw the wholesale
expulsion of the Moors from Spain, were comparatively speaking inexpert
practitioners in the art and mystery of piracy; they had not the habit of
the sea, and in consequence confined their depredations to the
neighbourhood of their own selected ports in Africa, which dominated that
sea lane running east and west through the Mediterranean, which then, as
now, was one of the greatest highways of commerce of the world. Gradually,
as we have seen, under the able guidance of the two Barbarossas, but
particularly that of the second and greater of the two, piracy became a
commonplace in the north, as well as in the south, of the tideless sea; the
corsairs, as time went on, even devoting more time and attention to the
coast of Italy and the islands of the archipelago than they did to the
recognised trade routes. These latter had become by 1540 similar to an
estate which has been shot over too frequently; birds had become both wild
and scarce, it was hardly worth while to go over the ground, except now and
again on the chance of picking up a straggler. Towns and islands, on the
other hand, even if they did not yield much in the way of actual plunder,
were always good cover to beat for slaves, which had a certain value in the
markets of Algiers and Tunis. Another circumstance which had led to the now
frequent raids on the littoral of the European countries was the
countenance and support accorded to the corsairs by the Grand Turk: so
admirably did they fit into the scheme of his ambitions, that by the time
Dragut arrived at a commanding position they were, so to speak, officially
recognised as a fighting asset of the Sublime Porte; and, as we have seen,
the Sultan did not hesitate to lend his picked troops, the Janissaries, to
the corsairs when engaged in their ordinary piratical business. To the
Grand Turk the corsairs were Moslems who were prepared to fight on his
side, and who, taking it all in all, really cost him hardly anything; in
fact, at this date, owing to the magnificent gifts made to the Sultan by
Kheyr-ed-Din, the Padishah must have made something out of his association
with the sea-wolves.

By the year 1540 Dragut had distinctly "arrived"; that is to say, he had
succeeded in making himself so dreaded that Charles V. ordered Andrea Doria
to seek him out and destroy him at any cost. The Christian admiral was "to
endeavour by all possible means to purge the sea of so insufferable a

Andrea got ready a fleet, which he entrusted, together with the care and
management of this affair, to his nephew Jannetin Doria. This was the
nephew who, in the disastrous attack by Charles on Hassan Aga at Algiers in
the following year, was so nearly lost in the storm which destroyed the
fleet of the emperor; and of whom Andrea Doria is reported to have said,
"It was decreed that Jannetin should be reduced to such an extremity
purposely to convince the world that it was not impossible for Andrea Doria
to shed a tear." Certainly from what we know of the celebrated Genoese
admiral it is hard to imagine him in a tearful mood. Jannetin Doria put to
sea, and, after a long hunt, found the object of his quest at Andior on the
coast of Corsica; Dragut was at anchor in the road of Goialatta, under a
castle situated between Cabri and Liazzo. The corsair knew nothing of his
enemies being at sea, and was in consequence keeping no particular
look-out. Although we are not told the composition of the fleet of Jannetin
Doria, it must have been a large one, as Dragut had under his orders
thirteen galleys, and was unable to withstand the attack to which he was
subject. He was also assailed from the shore, as well as the sea, as the
castle under which he was at anchor opened fire upon him as soon as it was
discovered by its garrison that the new arrivals were Christians. The fire
was too hot for the corsair to withstand, and, to add to his
embarrassments, the beach soon became lined by hundreds of the fierce
Corsi, awaiting the inevitable end when they should be able to fall upon
the defeated Moslems and wipe them from off the face of the earth; it was a
warfare in which there was no mercy, and if the pirates were to fall into
the hands of the islanders they knew well that they would be exterminated.

In all his venturesome life things had never gone so badly with Dragut as
upon this occasion. On the one side, should he and his men land they would
be massacred; on the other hand, his road to the open sea was barred by an
immensely superior force. Recognising the logic of circumstances, and
seeing no way of escape, the white flag was hung out by the Moslem leader.
The only terms, however, which he could obtain were immediate surrender or
instant death. It must have been a moment of anguish to the man who
hitherto had always ridden on the crest of the wave of success and
achievement to be thus trapped like a rat; and to have the added bitterness
of the thought that had he exercised seamanlike care and precaution in
keeping a good look-out he might have escaped. As it was, he was allowed no
time for reflection, but had to decide on the instant: he did the only
thing possible in the circumstances, which was to haul down his flag and to
become the thrall of his lifelong foes.

The principal captives were made to pass before young Doria. When Dragut
beheld him he cried out in a fury: "What! Am I a slave to that effeminate
Caramite?" for Doria was but a beardless youth. These opprobrious epithets
being interpreted to the young nobleman, "highly incensed he flew at
Dragut, tore out his beard and moustaches, and buffeted him most
outrageously: nay his passion was so great it is said that had he not been
prevented, he certainly would have sheathed his sword in the bowels of that
assuming prisoner."

For four long years Dragut rowed in Doria's galley. No distinctions were
made in those days, and knight or noble, companion or grand master, basha
or boy, was, if caught, condemned to the rowers' bench to slave at the oar
beneath the boatswain's lash, perchance alongside some degraded criminal,
filthy and swarming with vermin. While Dragut was employed as a galley
slave there came on board the craft in which he rowed Monsieur Parisot,
Grand Master of the Knights of Malta. This high officer, recognising his
old enemy, called out to him in Spanish:

"Hola, Señor Dragut, usanza de guerra" ("The usage of war, Señor Dragut").

To which the undaunted corsair merely replied with a laugh:

"Y mudanza de fortuna" ("And a change of luck").

The Grand Master, who had known the chain and lash himself, smiled and
passed on--there was no pity in those days.

But Dragut was not destined to end his life as a galley slave, for, when
indeed hope must have died within him, after more than four years of this
veritable hell upon earth, there sailed one day into the harbour of Genoa
the great Kheyr-ed-Din himself. The Admiralissimo of the Grand Turk, full
of years, honours, and booty, was on his last cruise, and one of the last
acts of his active life was the rescue of Dragut, the man who had served
him so well, and for whom he had so high a regard as a resourceful mariner,
from the degrading servitude into which he had fallen. The Spanish
historian, Marmol, recounts that the sum of three thousand ducats was paid
by Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa for the redemption of Dragut. As this history
was published in 1573, we must conclude that the author who wrote of these
events so soon after they had happened is correct; at the same time,
Barbarossa was in command of one hundred galleys of the Grand Turk, and it
was never his custom to pay for anything which he could take by force.
However this may have been, and the point is not one of very great
importance, the Genoese Senate was terrified lest their territory should be
ravaged; they wrote accordingly to their Grand Admiral, requesting that
Dragut might be released and sent on board of the galley of the admiral
basha. This was immediately done, and the man who for four years had tugged
at the Christian oar was once again in a position to make war on those who
had been for that period his masters.

Not only had he tugged at the Christian oar, but also he had tasted of the
Christian whip--and of very little else, as the food of the rower was as
scanty as it was disgusting; in consequence, if he had been an implacable
foe to Christendom before this event, he was not likely to have become less
so while toiling in the Genoese galley.

The practical retirement of Barbarossa from that sphere of activity in
which his life had been passed now left Dragut-Reis the most feared and the
most formidable of all the Moslem corsairs in the Mediterranean. From the
time of his release by Barbarossa until the day of his death at the siege
of Malta in 1565, he followed the example shown him by that prince among
pirates with so much assiduity as to render him only second to Kheyr-ed-Din
in the detestation in which he was held. Says Morgan: "The ill-treatment he
had met with during his four years' captivity was no small addition to the
Innate Rapaciousness of his Disposition."

In the year 1546, Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa died, and to replace him the
Sultan Soliman ordered all the mariners in his dominions to acknowledge
Dragut-Reis as their admiral, and to obey him in the same manner as they
had obeyed his predecessor. From this date he was the foremost corsair in
the Mediterranean, and the feats which were performed by him showed that
the Padishah had not erred in his selection.

The ambition of Dragut increased with his power, and he determined,
following the example of the Barbarossas, to seize and hold some strong
place of arms possessed of a commodious port in which he might be the
supreme ruler. Accordingly, in the depth of winter in the year 1548, at a
time which was, as we have pointed out, a close season for piratical
enterprises, and during which attack from the sea was not expected, he
collected all the corsairs whom he could gather, and fell upon the
Spaniards on the coast of Tunis, at Susa, at Sfax, and at Monastir. These
places had been taken from the corsairs in the previous summer by Andrea
Doria; they formed a sort of regular battle-ground when the combatants were
in want of something to do, and were held alternately by the King of Tunis,
the Spaniards, and the corsairs.

Dragut was well aware that as soon as the spring arrived he would be
attacked; he also knew that the attack would come in sufficient force to
drive him out, as none of these towns was really strong or easily defended;
in consequence he concentrated his attention on the town of "Africa,"
otherwise known as Mehedia, and in the Roman histories as Adrumentum.

This great city lay some leagues to the east of Tunis on a tongue of land
projecting into the sea; its fortifications were regular, its walls of
great thickness, height, and solidity, and were strengthened by many towers
and bulwarks; the guns were large, numerous, and in good condition. At the
back of the town, on an eminence, stood a large fortress, the citadel of
the place; the harbour was large and secure, with an inner basin forming a
port for galleys; the entrance to this was closed by a strong chain. The
sea washed the walls of the city; indeed, it was entirely surrounded,
except where by a narrow neck of land it joined the shore.

The inhabitants, natives of the place, had shaken off the yoke of the King
of Tunis, and had formed themselves into a kind of independent republic.
They admitted neither Turk nor Christian within their walls, trusting
neither party, and fearing from them the fate which befell Susa, Sfax, and

"Africa" was the goal of the desires of Dragut-Reis: once in possession of
this, by far the strongest city on the littoral of Northern Africa, he
thought that he might abide secure against the attacks of Charles and of
Andrea Doria. He had seen the enormous expedition of 1541 against Algiers
come to naught on account of the wholesale wrecking of the fleet in which
it had sailed by a tempest of unexampled violence. But he was too
level-headed a man to think that a miracle like this would be likely to
come to pass a second time for his own special behoof, and preferred to act
the part of the strong man armed who keepeth his goods in peace. He had,
however, first to gain over the inhabitants of "Africa" to his views, and
they proved anything but anxious to listen to his blandishments. The more
he tried to ingratiate himself the less inclined did these people seem to

"My ambition," said the silver-tongued corsair, "is to become a citizen of
your great and beautiful city. If you will admit me to its privileges it
shall be my business to render you the richest people in the whole
Mediterranean, and your city the most dreaded place in the world."

The "Africans," however, were obdurate; they knew a pirate when they saw
him quite as well as any one else, and they were quite aware that, should
they open their gates to Dragut, sooner or later they would have to stand a
siege from the Christian forces, which was a thing they by no means

But Dragut was not yet at the end of his resources; he was rich, and he
spent money freely in order to gain over to his side those men of
importance by whom such a question as this was bound to be decided. By rich
presents and other blandishments he succeeded in securing the friendship of
one Ibrahim Amburac, who was not only a leader among the inhabitants, but
also governor of one of the towers by which the city was surrounded.
Through him he approached the Council by which the town was ruled, only to
receive a very decided negative: the Council observed the outward forms of
politeness to this formidable person who was speaking them so fair: in
reality, they hated and feared the corsairs only one degree less than they
did Andrea Doria and his Christians. To admit the one was to bring upon
themselves the vengeance of the other; therefore if they could keep them
both out they intended so to do. The ill-omened courtesy of the corsair
filled their hearts with apprehension, and they viewed his immediate
departure, after the refusal of the council had been conveyed to him, with
undisguised relief. Had they but known their man a little better, their
uneasiness would have been far greater than their joy at his temporary
absence. Those things desired by Dragut which he could not obtain by fair
means he usually seized by the strong hand; and when he left so hurriedly,
and at the same time so unostentatiously, he had already entered into a
plot with Ibrahim Amburac. This leader, furious at the rebuff which he had
received at the hands of his fellow councillors on the subject of the
admittance of Dragut to the citizenship of "Africa," was now ready to
deliver that city into the hands of the corsairs by treachery.



  How the corsairs captured the town of "Africa"; of its recapture by
  Andrea Doria and its eventual total destruction by Charles V.

Dragut had made it a practice never to appear in the harbour of "Africa" in
any great force, as he had no desire to frighten the birds whom he desired
to snare; on the occasion of which we are now speaking he had but two
galleys, and their departure from the outer harbour passed almost
unnoticed, as the ruck of the population were accustomed to visits from the
corsairs, who came to fill up with provisions and fresh water. Swiftly as
hawks his vessels swept along the coast collecting the garrisons of Susa,
Sfax, and Monastir to aid him in his latest design; they were all picked
men and singularly apt for the stern business which their leader destined
them to undertake. In this manner he soon collected five hundred of the
stoutest and most reckless fighters who sailed out of the ports of Northern
Africa, and, when it became noised abroad among them what the service was
for which they were required, there was universal joy and eagerness. True
the adventure was a formidable one: to capture "Africa" was no light task,
even for such men as these under so renowned a leader; there was further
the difficulty that the persons against whom they went up to fight were no
Christians but Moslems like themselves. But against this was the
declaration of Dragut, who represented to his following that there was
really no choice in the matter; that to these stiffnecked and singularly
ungrateful people he had offered the protection of the corsairs, that they
had refused in the most contumelious manner, and in consequence there was
nothing for it but the strong hand. They--that is to say the corsairs--knew
right well that some strong place of arms in which to shelter themselves
and their vessels was an absolute necessity for their continued existence,
as at any moment Doria or the Knights of Malta might be on their track in
superior force, and then what was their fate likely to be if they had no
harbour under their lee in which to shelter? Further it was hinted that
"Africa" would provide very nice pickings in the way of loot, and when this
came to be generally understood the promptings of the Mahommedan conscience
yielded easily to the sophistries with which it was lulled.

The council of the town of "Africa" troubled themselves but little more
concerning Dragut, his ships, and his corsairs; he had departed, and as the
days wore on and no further tidings of him came to hand, these simple folk
thanked God that they were rid of a knave and went about their usual
avocations as unconcernedly as if no sea-wolves lurked under the shadowed
headlands of that continent in which their homes were situated. They were a
people essentially of the land; although they dwelt on the confines of the
ocean the ways and habits of those who earned a precarious living on the
waters were a sealed book to them, and with the "Africans" it was a case of
"out of sight out of mind" so far as the corsairs were concerned. But that
black-hearted traitor Ibrahim Amburac and the few others who had been
gained over by the gold of Dragut watched and waited for the attack which
they knew to be impending.

The inhabitants of the doomed city never saw their assailants until they
were actually upon them, so well had the surprise attack been planned by
the leader of the corsairs. He had collected five hundred men, and this was
but a small number with which to assail so strong a place; but Dragut knew
exactly what he was doing and the effect likely to be produced by the
introduction of this number of highly trained men-at-arms among a
population which, although brave and warlike, lacked the elements of
organisation for the defence of their city.

So it was that, all preparations being completed, he stood along the coast
anchoring out of sight of his objective, but close enough to reach it by
midnight after darkness had fallen. He had every confidence in himself, an
absolute trust in the hardbitten fighters whom he was about to lead;
success or failure now rested in the hands of traitors within the city.

"Faith unfaithful kept them falsely true," for when Dragut and his
followers arrived at a certain rendezvous outside the walls which had been
agreed upon previously, there they found Ibrahim Amburac and his men ready
to assist them in scaling this obstacle. It will be remembered that Ibrahim
Amburac was personally in charge of one of the towers with which the walls
were guarded, and thus his task of aiding those who came from without was a
singularly easy one. But even at midnight the passage of five hundred men
could not remain long undiscovered as they clambered in over the walls.
Soon an alarm was raised and the "Africans" rushed to arms and hurried to
the quarter from which danger threatened. The townsmen were well armed and
brave, also they were numerous; but it was the old story of the break-up of
undisciplined valour by highly organised attack.

In the choking heat of the African night townsmen and corsairs wrestled in
deadly conflict hand to hand and foot to foot; but these untrained landsmen
stood but a poor chance against the picked fighting men of the Moslem
galleys who had been inured to bloodshed from their earliest youth and
trained by such a master in the art of war as Dragut. That warrior, his
great curved scimitar red to the hilt, the blood dripping from a gash in
his cheek, his clothing torn and in disarray, followed by a gigantic negro
bearing a flaming torch, was ever in the thickest of the fray. Behind him
his lieutenants Othman and Selim strove to emulate his prowess, while all
around surged his devoted band of fanatics.

"Allah! Allah!" and "Dragut! Dragut!" pealed the war-cry of the corsairs;
foot by foot and yard by yard that spearhead of dauntless dare-devils
pressed onwards into the packed masses of the "Africans," who, fighting
stubbornly, nevertheless were borne back by the fury of the terrible
onslaught. Torch-bearers among the pirates leaped into houses and set them
ablaze, the flames volleyed and crackled, the dense smoke rolled upwards to
the stainless sky, the night was a hell of blood and fire.

There was a sharp order repeated and passed on, the corsairs drew back, and
the "Africans" shouted that the triumph was theirs; but they little knew
Dragut, the sea-hawk who poised to strike anew. A blazing beam dropped
across the street, the townsfolk shouted in insult and derision; but the
joy which they had experienced at seeing their adversaries recoil was but a
short and fleeting emotion. Giving himself and those who had hitherto been
engaged time to breathe and recover themselves, Dragut waited while the
noise of the strife died down, and nought was heard but the roar of the
flames and the crash of the burning buildings.

The leader turned to his followers, among whom dwelt an ominous silence.
"Dost remember Prevesa," he cried, "when Andrea Doria and the best of the
Christian warriors fled before you like sheep before a dog: are these
miserable townsmen to stay your onward march?"

There remained for an appreciable period after he had spoken a tense
silence; the red light from the burning houses shone on the lean faces
alight with the fierce fire of fanaticism, with an inextinguishable lust of
slaughter. There came an answering frenetic roar, "Lead! Lead! Dragut!
Dragut! Dragut!" It was enough: the corsair had tried the temper of the
steel, he had now but to use the edge. There was an ordered movement on the
part of the pirates: a fresh hundred men, who had hitherto taken no part in
the combat, now pressed to the front and formed the advance, those who had
been before engaged now forming the supports; that which had been the shaft
of the spear now forming its head. With Dragut leading, these fresh
unwounded men swept forward over the burning beam; irresistible as some
mighty river in spate, these disciplined ruffians, headed by this master
spirit, burst through the ill-organised resistance opposed to them, and
slew and slew and slew.

Behind them, alert and wary, came the supports, asking no quarter and
giving none, cutting up the wounded, trampling under foot friend and foe
alike who fell in the weltering shambles which marked the onward path of
their leader and the advanced party. Very soon the broken hosts of the
"Africans" cried piteously for mercy; the fight was over, and Dragut-Reis,
wounded, breathless, but victorious, stood master of the strongest place of
arms in all the continent of Africa. It is true that treachery had given
him his opportunity, but once that was obtained the rest he had done for
himself: the stealthy advance by sea, the midnight march to the exact spot
on the walls where he was awaited by Ibrahim Amburac, the marshalling of
his five hundred for the conflict, and the actual conduct of the fight
itself, were all to the credit of this apt pupil of the great Kheyr-ed-Din
Barbarossa, As warriors his followers were worthy of their leader: defeated
the corsairs frequently were, but, in the combats in which they engaged,
they were frequently, as we have seen in the course of this story, largely
dependent upon auxiliaries in whom no trust could be placed; and at
Prevesa, at the siege of Malta, and later on at the battle of Lepanto, the
spot on which they fought, were it on the land or on the sea, was ever the
one which formed the nucleus of resistance. It was not only that fighting
was their particular trade; that, of course, might be said also of any man
who trailed a pike or carried an arquebus and marched in the ranks of
Spain, France, Genoa, or Venice. In the case of the sea-wolves it was the
perpetual practice in the art of war, as it was then understood, that
caused them to be the men that they were. Much of their fighting could
hardly be dignified by such a name, as in their everlasting raids on
villages and undefended places they seldom lost many of their number: when,
however, it came to the real thing, as it did on the occasion we have just
recounted, the long years of training told, and opposition had to be strong
indeed if it were not to be beaten down by such a leader as Dragut, by such
men as his picked five hundred.

What passed between Dragut and the council of "Africa," who in so
unqualified a manner had refused that warrior as a citizen, is not on
record; all that we know is that the Moslem leader dispensed with their
services, and did not invite his new fellow-townsmen to share with him the
burden of government. There was hurry in the administration of the corsair
states, as the form of rule which they adopted was apt to irk the rulers in
Christendom. In this particular instance Dragut, having expelled the
Spaniards from the coast towns, knew that a reckoning with the Emperor and
his militant admiral, Andrea Doria, was but a matter of time, and, in all
probability, of a very short time.

Promptly, hurriedly, but efficiently, the corsair organised his new
possession: such laws as he decreed did not err on the side of tenderness
towards a people so ungrateful as to have refused his protection in the
first instance, and who had only accepted the gift at the point of the
sword. His nephew Aisa, a man young in years but a past-graduate in the
school of his terrible uncle, was left in charge, while Dragut himself
sailed once more with his fleet, for, as it is put by the Spanish historian
Marmol, "truly the sea was his element."

Once again had a Moslem corsair bid defiance to that ruler whom Sandoval
and Marmol in their histories greet by the name of the "Modern Cæsar." It
was told to Charles that Susa, Sfax, and Monastir had fallen, that "Africa"
was in the hands of the corsairs; "was he never to be free from these
pestilent knaves," he demanded of his trembling courtiers? Hot-foot came
the couriers from Charles to Andrea Doria, with orders to take Dragut dead
or alive, but alive for choice; and up and down the tideless sea in the
summer of 1549 did the great Genoese seaman range in search of the bold
corsair. Doria was getting a very old man now, but his eye was undimmed,
his strength yet tireless, his vigilance and zeal in the service of his
master unabated.

Dead or alive, great was the reward offered for the capture of Dragut, but
the veteran admiral required no stimulus of this sort to urge him to put
forth his utmost endeavours, to strain every nerve and sinew in the chase.
All his life he had been fighting the corsairs, mostly with conspicuous
success; but what Andrea could never forget--and what his enemies never
allowed him to forget even had he been so inclined--was the fact that, at
the supreme crisis of his valiant life, when he met with Kheyr-ed-Din
Barbarossa at the battle of Prevesa, he had come off so badly that his
under officers of the Papal and Venetian fleets had made representations,
on their return to their respective headquarters, which had detracted from
his fame, and lowered him in the estimation of Europe. Further than this,
he knew that Barbarossa had laughed at and made game of him among his wild
followers: this to the aristocrat, the Prince of Oneglia, the admiral who
treated on almost equal terms with such men as the Pope, Charles of Spain,
and Francis of France, was an insult hard to be borne; the next corsair
with whom he should meet should not escape so easily as had Kheyr-ed-Din,
that the admiral had sworn.

Personal pique and vanity, racial detestation, and religious fanaticism
were in his case all allied together to spur him on in the chase of this
the last of the Emperor's foes; but, search as he might, during that summer
Doria could never get on to the track of Dragut. The corsairs, as we have
just remarked, were fine fighters on occasion when it was necessary for the
purposes of loot, or of escape from those who, like Doria, interfered with
their particular method of gaining a livelihood; but, on the other hand,
they were no fools, they did not covet hard knocks and the possibility of
defeat from such a one as the admiral of the Emperor, when by the exercise
of a little ingenuity they could keep out of his way. Dragut was not going
to fight a general action at sea merely to please Doria; in this summer his
luck stood to him, and he never came across this man, who, with a sombre
hatred in his heart, was seeking him high and low. If the corsair were bold
as a lion when occasion offered, he was no less as slippery as an eel when
he desired to escape; to face twenty-two royal galleys with Doria in
command was no part of his programme. An occasion might arise when he would
be forced to action; should this happen Dragut had not forgotten his four
years in the galley of Jannetin Doria, the nephew of the admiral, and next
time he intended to fight to win. Just at present the Christian admiral was
in too great strength for him to do aught but keep out of his way, and much
to Andrea's annoyance this was what he succeeded in doing.

Doria got information that Dragut was at Monastir, information that was
perfectly correct; but by this time the corsair knew that not only had he
raised all Christendom, but that the admiral was on his track. In
consequence, he slipped out of Monastir, "for," as it is pithily put by
Marmol, "our corsair cared not to be shut up in so defenceless a port; he
had good heels and loved sea-room."

Dragut did not fear for his new possession, "Africa," as he knew that Doria
had not sufficient force to attack so formidable a place; therefore,
leaving it to its destiny and the valour and conduct of his nephew Aisa, on
whom he knew that he could rely, "he went," according to the chronicler,
"on his old trade making Horrid Devastations on the coast of Spain and its

While Dragut was pursuing his "Horrid Devastations," Doria was not idle,
but was ranging the northern coast of Africa in his fruitless search; in
the course of this he landed at Cape Bona, on which was the castle of
Calibia, held by the corsairs; these men, who were a portion of Dragut's
following, made a most valiant defence; they were, however, few in number,
and when their captain was killed by the ball from an arquebus they
surrendered. Encouraged by this success, the Christian fleet then stood
along the coast to inspect "Africa." Sailing quite close to the shore they
came within range of the guns of the garrison, who, under the direction of
Aisa, were very much on the alert. As the admiral's galley at the head of
the line passed the walls of the town, she was received with a hot fire,
and one large cannonball struck the stern of Doria's ship, doing
considerable structural damage, and killing five of his men. This
occurrence took place in broad daylight in full view of all the garrison,
who signalled their delight at the discomfiture of their foes by the noise
of cymbals and atambours, and by wild and ferocious yells. Doria, who was
in no position to land and make reprisals, fell into the greatest paroxysm
of fury, and we are told that "he swore the destruction of that detested

The season being now advanced, Doria returned home, where he found orders
awaiting him from Charles that preparation was to be made for the capture
of "Africa". While the admiral was in harbour, Dragut, finding the seas
open to him once more, returned from his "Horrid Devastations," and
employed his time profitably in throwing provisions and men into the city,
which he knew would be beleagured in the following year.

During the ensuing winter Doria, in conjunction with the viceroys of Naples
and Sicily, prepared the expedition which was to accomplish not only the
capture of "Africa," but what was, in his opinion, equally important, the
destruction of Dragut-Reis, Early in the spring of 1550, all was in
readiness, and the armada of Charles sailed from Palermo to Trapani, where
it met with the forces of Don Juan de Vega, Viceroy of Sicily, those of Don
Garcia de Toledo, the son of the Viceroy of Naples, and likewise the
Maltese squadron. The galleys, accompanied by a fleet of transports, set
sail early in June, and on the 20th of that month landed an army a little
to the east of Mehedia or "Africa".

It must be remembered that the inhabitants of Mehedia were by no means
enamoured of Dragut-Reis and his piratical followers: King Stork had
succeeded to King Log, the part of the former monarch being taken by that
singularly capable and ferocious person, Aisa, whose rule was far from
being to the liking of the richer and more respectable portion of the

When, therefore, Andrea Doria and his captains laid siege to the city, they
murmured against its defence, desiring ardently to enter into some sort of
treaty with the besiegers; they had had enough of war, they said, and
wished to end their days in peace if possible.

Aisa Reis, however, would hear no word of surrender, telling those who
murmured against the defence that "if he heard a word more of these plots
he would infallibly sacrifice every mother's son amongst them, and then lay
the town in ashes." Having already had a taste of the quality of this
redoubtable corsair, and feeling perfectly certain that should the occasion
arise he would be as good as his word, there was no more disaffection among
the inhabitants, who had to put up with their native place being made a
cockpit for Doria and Dragut to fight out their quarrel. It is permissible
to sympathise very sincerely with these unfortunates, who, having been
betrayed in the first instance, were compelled to stand a siege in the

Aisa had a picked force of his uncle's men, some seventeen hundred foot and
six hundred horse, all seasoned and formidable veterans, inured to warfare
by land and sea. On these of course he could rely to the death. The common
folk of the town were inclined to make common cause with the corsairs in
resistance to their hereditary enemy the Christians; but the magistrates
and members of the council, the grave and reverend signiors, held so
conspicuously aloof that Aisa was constrained into forcing them to aid in
the defence when he had time to attend to the matter. As Dragut was not
actually present at the siege it falls outside the scope of this chronicle;
he was without the walls when the besiegers arrived, but all that he could
do, that he did. With a body of his own men reinforced by a rabble rout of
Berber tribesmen, he harassed the Christian army; they were, however, in
far too great numbers for him to make any impression, and after several
desperate skirmishes he recognised that the day was lost, and re-embarking
in his galleys sailed away. The town after a desperate and prolonged
resistance was at last taken by storm; and Doria captured Aisa, a Turkish
alcaid, and ten thousand prisoners of the baser sort. Of these, however,
there was scarce one who owed allegiance to Dragut; the warriors of this
chief neither gave nor accepted quarter, as they feared the wrath of the
terrible corsair even more than death itself.

Don Juan de Vega put his son Don Alvaro in command of the city and set out
in search of Dragut with twenty galleys, but the sea leaves no traces by
which a fugitive can be tracked, and his search proved as fruitless as had
been that of Doria in the previous year. The rage and the disappointment of
the admiral were beyond all bounds; what to him was the value of the
capture of Aisa, of the Turkish alcaid, of the ten thousand of the baser
sort; nay, what to him was the value of "Africa" itself when once again
like a mocking spirit Dragut had glided beyond the sea horizon to
devastate, to plunder, and to slay once more, the scourge and the menace of

It will be interesting to record briefly the fate of this city which we
have seen taken and retaken. Don Alvaro de Vega remained as governor till
the end of July, 1551, when his place was taken by Don Sancho de Leyva; at
which time there took place one of those curious military mutinies so
characteristic of the sixteenth century. The soldiers, unpaid for months,
possibly for years, mutinied, expelled the governor and other officers,
even the sergeants, from the city, and placed themselves under the
direction of a stout soldier called Antonio de Aponte, to whom they gave
the title of "Electo Mayor."

Don Sancho repaired to Brussels to report matters to the Emperor, and
during his absence a circumstance which is also singularly characteristic
of this faithless epoch took place, for the Prior of Capua, then general of
the French galleys, entered into negotiations with the mutineers for the
surrender of the city to the French King.

Bluff Antonio de Aponte would have none of this treachery; he held the city
for the Emperor Charles and only wanted his pay. Eventually a mutiny within
a mutiny was fomented from without, and with the mutineers divided the
Emperor regained possession of the city; some of the mutineers were hanged,
and Aponte, who had been captured by the Turks, died at Constantinople.

The Emperor offered "Africa" to the Knights of Malta with a yearly
allowance of twenty-four thousand ducats; the Knights refused, much to the
chagrin of Charles, who gave orders for its complete destruction. This was
accomplished by blowing up with gunpowder the walls, towers, and
fortifications which Al-Mehedi, after whom the city had been named, "had
erected with such art and strength, and had his mind so fixed upon that
work that he used to say, 'If I thought building these fortifications with
iron and brass would render them more durable, I would certainly do it.'"



  How Dragut was blockaded in the Island of Jerbah--How he left Andrea
  Dona "with the dog to hold"--His return to Constantinople, and how he
  sailed from thence with a great expedition against the Knights of Malta.

Charles V. had "smoked out the fox," but his admiral in so doing had not
succeeded in capturing that remarkably wily animal; for Dragut was not only
still at liberty, but was burning for revenge on those by whom he had been
dispossessed. He had lost "his city," as he called "Africa"; he had lost
two thousand five hundred men--among them some of the fiercest and most
experienced of his corsairs; he had lost ten thousand slaves, representing
a large sum of money, and much wealth besides. The corsair, however, was
not one of those who merely sit down and repine; for him strenuous and
continued action was the law of his being, and he at once repaired to
Constantinople. Here he was well known as an adroit and skilful seaman and
a most determined enemy of the Christians, and, in consequence, was not
only certain of a welcome, but of substantial help as well, if he could but
win over the Grand Turk to take the same view of his grievances as he did
himself. In reality, the corsairs, as we have seen, played the game of the
Padishah, as a rule, at no expense to that potentate; when they were in
trouble he was therefore by no means indisposed to render them assistance.

Dragut, like all the sea-wolves, was fond of money, fonder still of what
money could buy; he now hankered after revenge as the sweetest morsel that
his hoarded ducats could procure for him. That the Sultan was well disposed
to him he had every reason to think; none the less did he spend royally
among the venal favourites of the Court in order that nothing might be left
undone to inflame the ardour of Soliman against those whom he considered to
be his hereditary foes.

With such skill and address did the corsair manage his suit that he
prevailed upon the Sultan to address a letter to Charles demanding the
immediate return of the towns of Susa, Sfax, Monastir, and "Africa." This,
of course, meant war; as Charles immediately replied that these places were
dependencies of the King of Tunis, and that that ruler was under his
special protection; further that they were his by right of conquest;
finally that the matter was no concern whatever of the Sultan of
Constantinople. The stern and imperious Christian Emperor was in no mood to
brook interference, the more so that he discerned plainly that though the
demand was that of Soliman, the mover in the affair was none other than
Dragut. He therefore by way of a rider to his answer to the Sultan informed
that monarch that these places which he had taken on the coast of Africa
had been reft by him "from one Dragut, a corsair odious to both God and
man"; that without in any way departing from the treaty which he had made
with Soliman "he intended to pursue this pirate whithersoever he might go."

Whether or no this denunciation of Dragut had any influence on the Sultan
it is impossible to say; he was in the habit of employing the corsairs, and
apparently cared nothing about their piratical reputation, so long as their
depredations were confined to Christian vessels. Shortly after the receipt
of the answer of Charles, however, the Sultan conferred upon Dragut the
title of Sandjak or governor of the island of Santa Maura, thus
constituting him a Turkish official.

Once again was Andrea Doria ordered to put to sea to fight against neither
small nor great save Dragut alone; he was to take him dead or alive, but
alive for choice, in order that he might be made to answer at the bar of
Christian justice for all the atrocities committed by him both by land and
sea. The corsair had returned in the meanwhile to Jerbah, an island on the
east coast of Tunis much affected by the sea-wolves, and which in
contemporary histories is known as Jerbah, as Los Gelues (by the Spanish
writers), as Gelves, and various other names which greatly confuse its

Doria put to sea with twenty-two royal galleys before Dragut was aware of
the fact. The Genoese admiral heard that his prey was at Jerbah; he
repaired thither without losing a moment, found that he had been correctly
informed, and anchored at the mouth of the harbour, at a place known as La
Bocca de Cantara. Dragut was completely hemmed in, Doria was in such
strength that he could not, reckless as he was, attempt to force the
passage. But as the hour came the spirit of the corsair rose to answer the
challenge: it was one thing to get Dragut-Reis into a trap, it was quite
another to keep him there. Accordingly, he assembled all his troops,
dragged cannon to the mouth of the harbour, and opened so brisk a foe on
the Christian ships as to compel them to haul out of range. These tactics
left Doria unaffected; there was but one way out of the harbour, and he
felt quite convinced that when Dragut had had enough of starvation he would
either surrender or else fight a hopeless action. The admiral surveyed his
anchored fleet with a contented mind; his enemy had been delivered into his
hand, he had nothing to do now but wait for that final triumph of appearing
before his master the Emperor with the famous corsair as his prisoner. He
saw a great fort rising before his very eyes at the mouth of the harbour,
and merely smiled serenely; he sent off to Sicily and Naples for
reinforcements in order that when the psychological moment should arise he
might crush the corsair stronghold so thoroughly that it should never rise
again. In the despatches which he sent he said "the fox is trapped"--"which
news rejoiced all parts of Christendom, and most powerful succours came
daily flocking to the seaports from every quarter; so eager were the
sufferers to revenge themselves on this so much dreaded corsair."

The history of what now happened is given by Don Luys de Marmol Caravajal
in his "Descripcion general de Affrica," which was printed in Granada, "en
casa de Rene Rabat impresor de libros año de 1573," or only some twenty
years or so after these occurrences; it is set forth in his chapter
entitled "Como Andrea Doria fue en buscar de these occurrences; it is set
forth in his chapter Dragut Arraez." We have also the authority of that
eminent historian, M. L'Abbé de Vertot.

Captain Juan Vasquez Coronado journeyed to Naples carrying with him letters
from Andrea Doria to Don Pedro de Toledo, requesting that the Viceroy would
send him all the galleys in Naples, carrying as many soldiers as possible,
pointing out that he had Dragut in a trap, from which he could not possibly
escape, but that this time he wished to make security doubly secure.
Letters to the same purport were also sent to Don Juan de Vega, the Viceroy
of Sicily, and to Marco Centurion at the admiral's own city of Genoa. Doria
was leaving nothing to chance this time. Meanwhile, great earthworks had
been thrown up at the Bocca de Cantara at the entrance of the harbour by
Dragut, and any ship which approached within range was most furiously
bombarded. This served to amuse Andrea Doria, who, confident that the jaws
of the trap had closed, kept a sharp look-out for vessels issuing from the
harbour, but otherwise concerned himself not at all about the
entrenchments. Was not Naples humming with the note of preparation? Would
not the Genoese come in their thousands to the summons of their renowned
chieftain? Could not the Viceroy of Sicily be trusted to work his best to
gain the favour of his Imperial master?

"Time and I are two" was the favourite expression of King Philip II. of
Spain; the same idea might have crossed the mind of Doria on this memorable
occasion. He had only to wait; the longer he waited the more secure he
would be of success, the more certain would he be of the complete undoing
of his enemy. But even yet the admiral did not know the man to whom he was
opposed; in all the years in which he had done battle against Dragut, he
had never gauged the limitless resource and calculated audacity of this
lineal successor of Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa. While the admiral had been
sending his despatches, and idly watching that which he considered to be
the futile construction of earthworks on the shore at the Bocca de Cantara,
his enemy was preparing for him that surprise which was shortly afterwards
to make of him the laughing-stock of the whole of Europe. Dragut was in a
trap, and he was quite aware of the fact; by way of the Bocca de Cantara
escape was impossible, and neither a tame surrender nor complete
annihilation was by any means to the taste of the pirate leader. Had Doria
gone in and attacked at once, the fate of the corsair had been sealed; the
policy of delay adopted by the Christian admiral was his salvation.

A man less able, less determined, than Dragut, might well have despaired;
but he brought to bear on the problem with which he was confronted all the
subtlety of his nature, all the resourcefulness of the born seaman that he
was. His mind had been made up from the very beginning: the earthworks at
the Bocca de Cantara, the movements of troops, the furious cannonading, had
all been nothing but a blind to hide the real design which he had in view.
In addition to his fighting men he had at his command some two thousand
islanders, stout Mohammedans to a man, ready and willing to assist him in
his design of cheating the Christians of their prey. Day and night, with
ceaseless silent toil, had garrison and islanders been at work on the
scheme which the leader had devised. From the head of the harbour Dragut
had caused a road to be made right across the island to the sea on the
opposite side: on this road he caused planks to be laid, bolted to sleepers
and then thickly greased. The vessels of the day were of course
comparatively speaking light, and capable of being manhandled, supposing
that you had sufficient hands. At dead of night Dragut assembled his
forces, and before morning every galley, galeasse, and brigantine had been
dragged across the island and launched in the sea on the opposite side.
There was then nothing left to do but to embark stores, guns, and
ammunition and to sail quietly away, and this was what happened. Once again
Dragut faded away beyond the skyline, "leaving Andrea Doria with the dog to
hold," in the quaint language of the chronicler of these events, Don Luys
de Marmol Caravajal.

Not only did the indefatigable corsair get clear away without any suspicion
on the part of the admiral, but his first act on gaining the open sea was
to capture the _Patrona_ galley sent from Sicily by Don Juan de Vega to say
that reinforcements were on the road. In this ill-fated craft was Buguer,
the son of Muley Hassan, King of Tunis, who was sent as prize to Soliman at
Constantinople, where the Sultan caused him to be shut up in the "Torre del
Mar Negro." Here he remained till he died, as a punishment for that he, a
Mussulman, had aided the Christians.

Never again was Dragut to be in such sore straits as he was on this
occasion at the island of Jerbah, when, by sheer wit and cunning, he
escaped from the trap in which he had been held by Doria. What the emotions
of the admiral must have been when he found that once again he had been
fooled, it is not difficult to imagine, as by no possible means could the
story be hushed up; and, in spite of the annoyance of Christendom generally
at the escape of Dragut, no one could help admiring his extraordinary
cleverness, or roaring with laughter at the discomfiture of Doria and the
viceroys of Naples and Sicily.

Dragut now returned to Constantinople to receive congratulations upon his
escape, and to take part in a fresh design of stirring up the Sultan
against the Christians. All who professed this faith were naturally
obnoxious to the corsair; but his private and personal hatred was entirely
directed against the Knights of Malta, with whom he had been at war all his
life. The present preoccupation of the Sultan was to regain the towns on
the coast of Africa which had been taken by the Spaniards; but it was
represented to him by Dragut that "until he had smoked out this nest of
vipers he could do no good anywhere." The Bashaws and the Divan, heavily
bribed by the corsair, held the same language, until Soliman heard of
nothing from morning till night but the ill deeds of the Knights of Malta.
They were represented to him as corsairs who ruined his commerce and
defeated his armadas, who let slip no opportunity of harrying the Moslem
wheresoever he was to be found. In this there was more than a grain of
truth, as we shall see when we come to the next chapter, which will be
devoted to a sketch of this militant order. Suffice it to say here that the
Knights fought for what they termed "the Religion" (it was in this manner
they designated their confederacy), and to harry and enslave the Mussulman,
to destroy him as a noxious animal wherever he was to be found, was the
reason for which they existed. It is true that they plundered not for
individual gain, but many was the rich prize towed into Malta past St. Elmo
and the ominously named "Punta delle Forche" (the "Point of the Gallows,"
where all captured pirates were hanged), the proceeds of which went to the
enrichment of the Order; to buy themselves the wherewithal to fight with
the Mahommedan again.

The abuse of the Knights fell upon sympathetic ears; in his early days
Soliman the Magnificent had expelled the Knights from Rhodes; since then
Charles V. had given them the islands of Malta and Gozo, and the town of
Tripoli in Barbary as their abiding place; from Malta they had never ceased
their warfare against the corsairs, and incidentally against the Sultan and
his subjects. Therefore, in this year 1551, Soliman ordained that an
expedition should be prepared with the object of crushing once and for all
these troublers of the peace of Islam. The preparations were on so large a
scale that very soon it became noised abroad in Europe that something
really serious was in the wind: in Constantinople, however, men kept their
own counsel; it was ill talking of the affairs of the Padishah, and,
further than that, beyond Dragut and the proposed leaders of the
expedition, the Sultan took no one into his confidence. Charles V., well
served as he was by his spies, was as much in the dark as to the
destination of this new armada as were humbler folk; in it he recognised
the hand of Dragut again, and Doria had standing orders to catch that
mischievous person if he could. At present, however, there was no chance of
so desirable a thing happening, as Dragut was superintending the fitting
out of the new expedition at Constantinople.

Anxious and suspicious of the designs of the Turks, Charles ordered a
concentration of his fleet at Messina.

The Grand Master of the Knights of Malta at this time was a Spaniard, one
Juan d'Omedes; he was, says de Vertot, "un Grand Maître Espagnol," meaning
by this that he was completely under the domination of the Emperor and
ready at any time to place the galleys of "the Religion" under the orders
of that monarch. The Knights, like every one else, had watched with anxiety
the preparation of this great expedition in Constantinople, and when the
Grand Master proposed to send the galleys of the Order to join forces with
Doria at Messina, there was great dissatisfaction at the Council Board.
That which it behoved them to do, the members informed the Grand Master,
was not to help a great potentate like Charles, but to make provision for
their own security by attending to their fortifications, which were in
anything but a satisfactory condition. D'Omedes maintained that this
expedition was destined to serve with the King of France against the
Emperor, and that Malta was not the objective. He accordingly sent away the
galleys of "the Religion" under the Chevalier "Iron-Foot," the General of
the Galleys, to join the fleet which had its rendezvous at Messina. Hardly
had he done so when news came from the Levant that the fleet of the Grand
Turk was at sea heading for Sicily. The fleet was composed of one hundred
and twelve royal galleys, two great galeasses, and a host of brigantines
and transport vessels. Sinan-Reis was in command with twelve thousand
Janissaries, numerous pioneers and engineers, and all the necessary
appliances for a siege.

The embarkation of so large a number of Janissaries was the measure of the
serious purpose of the expedition, as the Sultan did not readily part with
the men of this _corps d'élite_ unless he was in person taking the command.
It may be as well to explain here exactly what the Janissaries were, and it
cannot be better done than by an extract from the famous historian

  "The most remarkable of the Turkish institutions, the one which may be
  said to have formed the keystone of the system, was that relating to the
  Christian population of the Empire. Once in five years a general
  conscription was made by means of which all the children of Christian
  parents who had reached the age of seven and gave promise of excellence
  in mind or body were taken from their homes and brought to the capital.
  They were then removed to different quarters and placed in seminaries
  where they might receive such instruction as would fit them for the
  duties of life. Those giving greatest promise of strength and endurance
  were sent to places prepared for them in Asia Minor. Here they were
  subjected to a severe training, to abstinence, to privations of every
  kind, and to the strict discipline which should fit them for the
  profession of a soldier. From this body was formed the famous corps of
  the Janissaries.... Their whole life may be said to have been passed in
  war or in preparation for it. Forbidden to marry, they had no families
  to engage their affections, which, as with the monks and friars of
  Christian countries, were concentrated in their own order, whose
  prosperity was inseparably connected with that of the State. Proud of
  the privileges which distinguished them from the rest of the army, they
  seemed desirous to prove their title to them by their thorough
  discipline and by their promptness to execute the most dangerous and
  difficult services. Clad in their flowing robes, so little suited to
  war, armed with the arquebus and the scimitar--in their hands more than
  a match for the pike or sword of the European--with the heron's plume
  waving above their head, their dense array might ever be seen bearing
  down in the thickest of the fight; and more than once when the fate of
  the Empire trembled in the balance it was this invincible corps which
  turned the scale, and by their intrepid conduct decided the fortune of
  the day. Gathering fresh reputation with age, so long as their
  discipline remained unimpaired they were a match for the best soldiers
  in Europe. But in time this admirable organisation experienced a change.
  One Sultan allowed them to marry; another to bring their sons into the
  corps; a third opened the ranks to Turks as well as Christians; until,
  forfeiting their peculiar character, the Janissaries became confounded
  with the militia of the Empire. These changes occurred in the time of
  Philip the Second."

But to resume: just before the sailing of the galleys of "the Religion"
from Malta there had arrived in that island from France the famous
Chevalier, the Commandeur de Villegagnon. This great noble told the Grand
Master to his face that he was neglecting his duty, that the expedition of
the Grand Turk was bound for Malta and Tripoli: further, that he was
charged by Anne de Montmorency, Constable and First Minister of France, to
advise the Grand Master that this armament was directed against "the
Religion." The interview between the Grand Master and de Villegagnon took
place at a chapter of the Grand Crosses of the Order; when the Commandeur
had finished speaking, he was coldly thanked by D'Omedes, who then bowed
him out. Turning to the Knights Grand Cross he said with a sneer, "Either
this Frenchman is the dupe of the Constable or he wishes to make us his."
He then proceeded to give at length the reasons why Soliman would not
direct so huge an expedition against "the Religion." Many of the Knights
dissented vehemently from his conclusions, but D'Omedes refused to listen
to their arguments. Even advices which arrived on July 13th, representing
that the armada was moving southwards devastating the Italian ports, did
not move him from his obstinate pre-occupation; till on July 16th the
arrival of the Ottoman fleet put an end to all speculation.

The armada which had sailed from Constantinople was under the command of
Sinan Basha: but he had explicit orders that he was to take no important
step without first consulting Dragut, who was nominally his lieutenant. It
was well for the Knights that on this occasion the corsair was not in
supreme command; had this been the case the islands must have been taken,
as no preparations had been made to repulse an attack in force, and Juan
D'Omedes was a Grand Master who excited little enthusiasm either among the
Knights or the inhabitants. The choice of Sinan was not one which did great
credit to the penetration of the Sultan. Let us explain. We are all of us
conscious at one time or another of a desire to express some fact in the
fewest possible words; to place the transaction or the circumstance which
we wish to describe in the searchlight of truth in so undeniable a fashion
that the illumination consequent upon this mental effort of our own shall
throw up our meaning in immediate relief on the intelligences of those whom
we address. This attribute is possessed by but few even among great
writers--indeed, some historic sayings which have come down to us have not
emanated from the writing fraternity at all, but from soldiers, sailors,
statesmen, and other busy men of affairs. The quality which distinguishes a
man of action above all others is fearlessness of responsibility; the
possession of sufficient greatness of soul and of moral fibre to seize upon
an opportunity and to make the most thereof when an occasion arises which
has not been foreseen by those in authority over him. But far more often in
the history of the world has it happened that brave and capable leaders
have failed for the lack of the indefinable quality that separated their
sterling merits from that absolute and real supremacy which marks the
first-class man.

How then is it possible to differentiate, to describe where and in what
manner this luck occurs?

Fortunately, this has been done for us in seven words by Seignelay, the
Minister of Marine to Louis Quatorze in 1692. Speaking of Admiral de
Tourville, who defeated the English and Dutch at the Battle of Beachy Head,
July 10th, 1690, Seignelay says of him that he was "poltron de tête mais
pas de coeur." The judgment was just: de Tourville, as recklessly gallant
as any French noble of them all, failed to live up to his responsibilities
two years later at the Battle of La Hogue. Mahan says: "The caution in his
pursuit of the Allies after Beachy Head, though so different in appearance,
came from the same trait which impelled him two years later to lead his
fleet to almost certain destruction at La Hogue because he had the King's
order in his pocket. He was brave enough to do anything, but not strong
enough to bear the heaviest burdens."

We see the application of this truth in the period which we are
considering; particularly is it borne in upon us in the case of the leaders
of the Ottoman Turks. Serving as they did a despot of unlimited powers,
failure in the success of his arms was apt to lead to the immediate and
violent death of the man in command. If, therefore, precise instructions
were issued, they were, as a rule, carried out to the letter; as in case of
defeat an effort could be made to shift responsibility on to the shoulders
of the Padishah. Failure owing to initiative was certain of prompt
retribution; success complete and absolute would be the only justification
for a departure from orders.

Far otherwise was it with the Sea-wolves, who were a law to themselves and
to themselves alone. Should they care "to place it on the hazard of a die
to win or lose it all," there was none to say them nay, there was no
punishment save that of defeat. This it was that so often conduced to their
success. Despots as were such men as Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa and Dragut,
they were none the less dependent on the goodwill of their followers. If,
therefore, they decided on a desperate enterprise, they appealed to the
fighting instincts, the cupidity, and the fanaticism of these men. Should
they succeed in gaining their good will for the attempt which they
meditated, then all was well with them, and behind them was no grim
sinister figure whose word was death and whose breath was destruction.

Freed from all the trammels which bound the ordinary warrior of the day in
which they lived, they were able, as we have seen, to go far; for the man
in whom supreme ability is united to absolute unscrupulousness is the most
dangerous foe of the human race. The despotism of the leaders among the
sea-wolves was not theirs by right divine, as men considered it to be in
the case of the Padishah; none the less in its practical application it was
but little inferior to that wielded by the Sultan. For reasons of policy,
the Sea-wolves allied themselves to the Grand Turk; for reasons of policy
that monarch employed them and entrusted them with the conduct of important
affairs. The bargain was really a good one on both sides; as to the
sea-wolves was extended the ægis of one of the mightiest empires of the
earth; while to the Sultan came "veritable men of the sea," hardened in
conflict, as fearless of responsibility as of aught else; capable in a
sense that hardly any man could be capable who had grown up in the
atmosphere of the court at Constantinople. To Kheyr-ed-Din the Sultan had
extended his fullest confidence; he had been rewarded by seeing the
renowned Doria forsake the field of battle at Prevesa, and by the perpetual
slights and insults put upon his Christian foes by that great corsair. To
Dragut he had now turned, and, as we have said, when Sinan Basha sailed
from the Golden Horn he had orders to attempt nothing important without the
advice of the corsair. It is impossible to say why the command-in-chief had
not been entrusted to him, as the Sultan had the precedent of Kheyr-ed-Din
upon which to go. It can only be conjectured that Soliman, having
discovered how unpopular that appointment had been amongst his high
officers, did not care to risk the experiment the second time; and in
consequence employed Sinan. To this officer the aphorism of Seignelay
applies in its fullest force. He was as brave a man as ever drew a sword in
the service of his master; he was, however, a hesitating and incompetent
leader, with one eye ever fixed on that distant palace on the shores of the
Golden Horn in which dwelt the arbiter of his destiny and of all those who
sailed beneath the banner of the Crescent.



  The Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, afterwards known as the Knights
  of Rhodes, and eventually as the Knights of Malta--A brief sketch of the
  Order, including the relation of how Gozon de Dieu-Donné, subsequently
  Grand Master, slew the great Serpent of Rhodes; also some account of
  Jean Parisot de la Valette, forty-eighth Grand Master, who commanded at
  the Siege of Malta, in which the arms of Soliman the Magnificent were
  defeated after a siege lasting one hundred and thirteen days.

Amongst all those principalities and powers against which Dragut contended
during the whole of his strenuous existence, there was no one among them
which he held in so much detestation as the famous Knights of Saint John,
known in the sixteenth century as the Knights of Malta. This militant
religious organisation had its origin in Jerusalem in peculiar and
interesting circumstances. After the death of Mahomet, his followers,
burning with zeal, put forward the tenets of their religion by means of
fire and sword; during the years which followed the Hegira, 622 A.D., the
arms of the Moslems were everywhere successful, and amongst other places
conquered by them was Palestine. So great was the renown acquired by the
Emperor Charlemagne that his fame passed even into Asia, and Eginard states
that the Caliph Haroun Raschid permitted the French nation to maintain a
house in Jerusalem for the reception of pilgrims visiting the holy places,
and that, further, the Prince permitted the Patriarch of Jerusalem to send
to the Christian Emperor, on his behalf, the keys of the Holy Sepulchre and
those of the Church of Calvary, together with a standard which was the sign
of the power and authority delegated by the Moslem ruler to his mighty
contemporary. In the middle of the eleventh century Italian merchants
coming from Amalfi, who had experienced the hard lot of the Christian
pilgrims in reaching the Holy City, secured from the Caliph Moustafa-Billah
a concession of land, on which they built a chapel known as St. Mary of the
Latins, to distinguish it from the Greek church already established at
Jerusalem, and also constructed a hospice in which to receive the pilgrims,
whether in sickness or in health, known as the Hospice of St. John.

In 1093 the untiring efforts of Peter the Hermit, with the support of Pope
Urbain II., brought about the first Crusade, and in 1099 we first hear of
Gerard, the founder of the Order of St. John. Gerard was a French monk who,
seeing the good work done by the Hospice of St. John, had attached himself
to it, and had at this time been working in the cause of charity, and
devoting himself to the pilgrims for many years.

Godfrey de Bouillon, having defeated the Saracens outside the walls of
Jerusalem, entered that city and visited the Hospice of St. John; he there
found many of the Crusaders who had been wounded during the siege, and who
had been carried thither after the taking of the place: all of these men
were loud in their praises of the loving kindness with which they had been
received and tended.

Great was the honour and reverence in which these simple monks were held
ever after by the Crusaders; for was it not common talk that these holy men
had themselves subsisted on the coarsest and most repulsive fare in order
that the food in the hospice should be both pure and abundant? Fired by
this fine example of Christian charity, several noble gentlemen who had
been tended in the hospice gave up the idea of returning to their own
countries, and consecrated themselves to the Hospice of St. John, and to
the service of the pilgrims, the poor, and the sick. Among these was
Raimond Dupuy.

The great Prince Godfrey de Bouillon fully approved of the steps taken by
these gentlemen, and for his own part contributed to the upkeep of the
hospice the seigneurie of Montbirre, with all its dependencies, which
formed a part of his domain in Brabant. His example was widely copied by
the Christian princes and great nobles among the Crusaders, who enriched
the hospice with many lands and seigneuries, both in Palestine and in
Europe. All these lands and properties were placed unreservedly in the
hands of the saintly Gerard to do with as he would for the advancement of
his work. In 1118 Gerard died in extreme old age; "he died in the arms of
the brothers, almost without sickness, falling, as it may be said, like a
fruit ripe for eternity."

The choice of the Hospitallers as his successor was Raimond Dupuy, a
nobleman of illustrious descent from the Province of Dauphiny, and it is he
who first held rule under the title of Grand Master. In all charity and
loving kindness the life of Gerard had been passed, the brethren of St.
John occupying themselves merely in tending the sick, in helping the poor
and the pilgrims; but Raimond Dupuy was a soldier of the Cross, and he laid
before the Order a scheme by which, from among the members thereof, a
military corps should be formed, vowed to a perpetual crusade against the
Infidel. This, in full conclave, was carried by acclamation, and the most
remarkable body of religious warriors that the world has ever seen then
came existence.

This pact against the Infidel was in the first instance directed against
the barbarians who swarmed around the Holy City, and the Hospitallers, who
nearly all had been knights and soldiers of Godfrey de Bouillon, joyfully
took up their arms again to employ them in the defence of this locality
which they cherished, and in defence of the pilgrims who were robbed,
murdered, and maltreated in all the surrounding country. In becoming
warriors once more, they vowed to turn their arms against the Infidel, and
against him alone; to neither make nor meddle with arms in their hands in
any dispute between men of their own faith. The composition of the Order as
it was arranged by Raimond Dupuy caused it to consist of three classes. In
the first were placed men of high birth and rank who, having been bred to
arms, were capable of taking command. In the second came priests and
chaplains, who, besides the ordinary duties attached to their religious
profession, were obliged, each in his turn, to accompany the fighting men
in their wars. Those who were neither of noble houses nor belonging to the
ecclesiastical profession were known as "serving brothers": they were
employed indifferently in following the knights into battle or in tending
the sick in the hospital, and were distinguished by a coat-of-arms of a
different colour from that worn by the knights.

As the Order prospered amazingly, and as to it repaired numbers of the
young noblesse from all parts of Europe to enrol themselves under its
banner, it was accordingly divided into seven "Languages"; those of
Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Arragon, Germany, and England. To the
Language of Arragon was in later years allotted those of Castile and of
Portugal. The dress consisted of a black robe, with a mantle of the same
colour, the whole being called _manteau à bec_, having upon the left side
thereof a white cross in cloth, with light points. The eight-pointed cross,
or the Maltese Cross, as it came to be known in subsequent centuries, will
be seen upon the armour, engraven on the breastplate, of all the pictures
of the Grand Masters.

In the year 1259 the Pope, Alexander IV., finding that men of noble birth
objected to be habited as were the "serving brothers," ordained that the
knights on a campaign should wear a "sopraveste" of scarlet embroidered
with the cross in white; further, that should any knight abandon the ranks,
and fly from the battle, he should be deprived of his order and his habit.
The form of government was purely aristocratic, all authority being vested
in the Council, of which the Grand Master was the chief, the case of an
equal division of opinion being provided for by giving to the Grand Master
the casting vote. There were in the Order certain aged knights who were
called "Preceptors," who, under authority delegated to them by the Council,
administered the estates and funds accruing, and also paid for the hire of
such soldiers or "seculars" whom the Knights took into their service.

Incidentally, it may be mentioned that the establishment of the Knights of
St. John led to the foundation of the famous Order of the Knights Templars.
In 1118 Hugues de Payens, Geoffrey de St. Aldemar, and seven other French
noblemen, whose hearts were touched by the sufferings which the pilgrims
underwent in their journey to Jerusalem, formed themselves into a society
with the object of the protection of these inoffensive persons on their
transit from the coast inland. Hugues de Payens, received in audience by
Pope Honoré II., was sent by the Pontiff to the Peers of the Council, then
assembled at Troyes in Champagne; the Council approving of so charitable an
enterprise, the Order was formed, and Bernard, known as "Saint" Bernard,
drew up the code of regulations by which it was to be governed. The
movement spread, and many princes and nobles returned to the Holy Land in
the train of de Payens and his companions.

So famous did the Order of St. John become, that in 1133 Alfonzo, King of
Navarre and Arragon, who called himself Emperor of Spain, carried his zeal
so far as to bequeath to the knights his kingdoms of Navarre and Arragon:
this, however, was naturally and hotly contested in these places, and
Raimond Dupuy, who attended a Council to regulate the matter, was content
to compromise on certain lands and benefits being allocated to those whom
he represented.

On August 15th, 1310, the knights, under the Grand Master, Fulke de
Villaret, conquered the Island of Rhodes and established themselves there,
and from this time onward, while they held the island, were known as the
Knights of Rhodes. No sooner were the knights firmly established in Rhodes
and the fortifications placed in a proper state of repair, than a tower was
built on the highest point of the island, of great height, from which a
view could be obtained of the sea and the surrounding islands, and from
which information could be signalled as to the movements of any vessels
which were observed. It was then decided to fortify the small island of Cos
or Lango in the vicinity, as it contained an excellent harbour; a fortress,
planned by the Grand Master himself, was erected on the island, a knight
was left in command, and we are told that under the successors of de
Villaret--himself twenty-fourth Grand Master--the island, which was very
fertile, flourished exceedingly, producing much fruit and some most
excellent wine.

There was reigning in Bithynia, at the time when the knights seized upon
Rhodes, that Ottoman whose name has come down to us when we speak of the
Ottoman Empire; it is a somewhat strange coincidence that the Christian
warriors, sworn foes of the Mussulman, should have so established
themselves just when the tide of the Mohammedan conquest was about to rise
and sweep away Byzantium; that they should arrive upon the scene just as
the curtain was about to rise on the tragedy which, in its onward march,
was to make of the church of St. Sophia a mosque for the worship of the
Ottoman Turks.

Ottoman--the descendant of one Soliman, the chief of a nomadic tribe of
Tartars who had been chased from the Empire of Persia in the year 1214--was
not only a soldier and a conqueror, but also a great and beneficent ruler
in those regions in which he held sway. Approached by those of his
co-religionists who had been driven out of Rhodes by the Knights, Ottoman
embarked an army and attacked the place, assuring himself of an easy
conquest. In spite, however, of the fortifications having been hastily
constructed, his troops were defeated with great loss, and he was obliged
to raise the siege. In this manner did the indomitable champions of
Christendom begin that long and bloodthirsty war between the Cross and the
Crescent in the Mediterranean which was to endure for nearly another five


In the long, chequered, and glorious history of the Knights there are many
strange and semi-miraculous deeds recounted of them in the wars and
adventures in which they took so prominent a part; the following, which is
gravely set out by the historians of the time, may be left to the judgment
of the reader. In 1324 Fulke de Villaret was succeeded in the Grand
Mastership by Helion de Villeneuve, a knight of exemplary piety and a
strict disciplinarian. Under his rule the Order regained those habits of
severe simplicity from which they had been allowed to lapse by his
predecessor. In 1329 Rhodes was greatly agitated by the fact that a
crocodile or serpent--as it is indifferently described--had taken up its
abode in the marshes at the foot of Mount St. Etienne, some two miles from
the town. This ferocious creature devoured sheep and cattle; also several
of the inhabitants had lost their lives by approaching the neighbourhood in
which it dwelt. Several attacks were made upon it, but, as there were no
firearms, all the missiles projected against it rebounded harmlessly from
the scales with which it was covered. So dangerous had it become, that the
Grand Master thought it his duty to forbid any of the knights to attempt
its destruction; an order which was obeyed with a right good will. There
was, however, a knight of the Language of Provence called Gozon de
Dieu-Donné, who secretly determined that he would slay the serpent, and he
accordingly made it his occupation to observe as closely as possible the
habits of the monster. Having satisfied himself on certain points, he then
returned to his chateau of Gozon in the province of Languedoc. The point
which Gozon had wished to determine was in what portion of its body was the
serpent vulnerable; and he had convinced himself that the belly of the
creature was unprotected by scales. He accordingly modelled in wood as
exact a representation of the serpent as he could accomplish, colouring it
the same as the original; the belly of the model was constructed of
leather. He then trained some large and ferocious hounds, at a certain
signal, to dash in under the model and fix their teeth in its leathern
underpart. For months did the ingenious knight persevere with the training
of his dogs, himself on horseback in full armour cheering them to the
assault. At last he considered them to be perfect in their parts, and,
taking two servants and the hounds with him, returned to Rhodes. Avoiding
everybody, he caused his arms to be carried to a small church in the
neighbourhood of Mount St. Etienne by his servants. The knight went into
the church, where he passed some time in prayer, recommending his soul to
God in the enterprise which he was about to undertake.

He then donned his armour and mounted his horse, ordering his servants, if
he were killed, to return to France but if he succeeded in killing the
serpent to come at once to him, or to aid him if he were wounded. He then
rode off in the direction of the marsh accompanied by his hounds. No sooner
did the serpent hear the ring of bit and stirrup-iron, the trampling of the
charger and the baying of the hounds, than it issued forth with wide-open
slavering jaws and terrible burning eyes to slay and to devour. Gozon,
recommending his soul to his Maker, put spurs to his horse and charged. But
his lance shivered on the hide of the serpent as though it had struck a
stone wall. His horse, mad with terror at the sight and the foul odour of
the serpent, plunged so furiously as to unseat him. He fell to the ground,
uttering as he did so his call to the hounds; had it not been for these
faithful auxiliaries he would instantly have been slain, but they rushed in
and, fastening their teeth in the belly of the serpent, caused it to writhe
and twist in its anguish. Instantly Gozon was upon his feet again, and,
watching his opportunity, plunged his sword into the exposed vitals of his
enemy. Mortally wounded, the serpent flung itself high in the air with a
convulsive effort, and falling backwards pinned the knight to the ground
beneath its enormous bulk. The servants, who had been the horrified
spectators of this terrific conflict, now rushed to the assistance of their
master, and succeeded in freeing him from his unpleasant predicament.
Gozon, they thought, was dead, but upon dashing some water in his face he
opened his eyes, to behold the pleasing spectacle of his monstrous enemy
lying by his side a corpse.

Naturally elated, he returned to Rhodes, where he became on the instant the
popular hero; for who could say or do enough for the man who had slain the
serpent. He was conducted in triumph to the palace of the Grand Master by
his fellow knights, but here a remarkably unpleasant surprise was in store
for him. Very austerely did Helion de Villeneuve regard the triumphant
warrior, and stern and uncompromising was the voice in which he asked him
how he had dared to contravene the express order of his Grand Master by
going forth to combat with the serpent? Calling a Council immediately the
implacable de Villeneuve, in spite of all entreaties, deprived Gozon de
Dieu-Donné of the habit of a knight. "What," said this just and severe
disciplinarian, "is the death of this monster, what indeed do the deaths of
the islanders matter, compared with the maintenance of the discipline of
this Order of which I am the unworthy chief?"

But Helion de Villeneuve was of too wise and kindly a nature to make his
decree absolute, and having thus vindicated his authority he shortly
afterwards released Gozon and made him happy by his praises and more
material benefits.

The Abbé de Vertot tells us that the learned Bochart argues that the
Phoenicians gave to this island the name of Gefirath-Rod (from whence the
name "Rhodes"), or the Isle of the Serpents, and that when the Romans were
at war with the Carthaginians Attilius Regulus slew a monster in the island
of Rhodes the skin of which measured one hundred feet. Thevenot, in his
Travels published in 1637, states that he saw the head of Gozon's serpent
still attached to one of the gates of the town of Rhodes, and that it was
as large as the head of a horse.

Upon the death of Helion de Villeneuve in 1346, a Chapter of the Order was
held as usual to elect his successor. When it came to the turn of the
Commander Gozon de Dieu-Donné to speak, he said:

  "In entering this conclave I made a solemn vow not to propose any knight
  whom I did not consider to be most worthy of this exalted office, and
  animated by the best intentions for the glory and well-being of the
  Order. After considering carefully the state of the Christian world, of
  the wars which we are perpetually obliged to wage against the infidel,
  the firmness and vigour necessary for the maintenance of discipline, I
  declare that I find no person so capable of governing our 'Religion' as

He then proceeded to speak in a purely impersonal tone of the magnificent
services which he had rendered, not forgetting the famous episode of the
serpent, and drew their attention to the fact that the late Grand Master
had constituted him, Gozon, his principal lieutenant. He ended: "You have
already tried my government, you know well that which you may hope to
expect. I believe that in all justice I shall receive your suffrages."

Naturally the assemblage was stupefied at hearing a man thus recommend
himself; on reflection, however, they decided that he had spoken no less
than the truth, and Gozon de Dieu-Donné, "the hero of the serpent," became
twenty-sixth Grand Master of the Order. He died in 1353, when he was
succeeded by Pierre de Cornillan, and upon his tomb were graven these

  "Cy Gist le Vainqueur du Dragon."

In the years 1480 and 1485 under the Grand Master Pierre D'Aubusson, Rhodes
withstood two great sieges from the Turks. The first of these is described
at length by the knight Merri Dupuis "temoin oculaire" who sets down: "Je,
Mary Dupuis gros et rude de sens et de entendement je veuille parler et
desscrire au plus bref que je pourray et au plus pres de la verite selon
que je pen voir a lueil." The description of that of 1485 is written by
another eye-witness, the Commandeur de Bourbon, to whom "ma semble bon et
condecent a raison declairer premierement les causes qui out incite mon
poure et petit entendement a faire cest petit oeuvre."

But we have no space to follow these gallant Knights, and it must suffice
to say that on both occasions, after incredible exertions and terrible
slaughter on both sides, the attacks of the Turks were eventually repulsed.

It was reserved for Soliman the Magnificent to finally vanquish the Knights
and to expel them from Rhodes; from July 1522 until January 1523 the
Knights under the heroic Villiers de L'Isle Adam maintained an all unequal
struggle against the vast hosts of the Crescent, which were perpetually
reinforced. At last, on January 1st, 1523, the Knights, by virtue of a
treaty with Soliman, which was honourably observed on both sides, evacuated
the island in which they had been established for nearly two hundred and
twenty years.

By favour of Charles V. the Knights on October 26th, 1530, took charge of
the islands of Malta and Gozo, and established themselves therein; still
under the Grand Mastership of L'Isle Adam, whose sword and helmet are still
religiously kept in a small church in Vittoriosa, just at the back of the
Admiral Superintendent's house in the present dockyard.

The knights fortified the islands and there abode, until in 1565 the
Ottoman returned once more to the attack.

It may be said that heroism is a relative term, that it has many uses and
applications all equally truthful. On the side of mere physical courage
almost every man who took part in that memorable siege of Malta in the year
1565 may have been said to have earned the title of hero. No man's foot
went back; no man's courage quailed; no man's face blanched when called
upon to face perils so appalling that they meant an almost inevitable and
speedy death; this was true or Christian and Moslem alike. The death-roll
on either side was so tremendous as to prove this contention up to the
hilt. From May 18th to September 8th, 1565--that is to say, in one hundred
and thirteen days--thirty thousand Moslems and eight thousand Christians
perished--an average of some three hundred and thirty-six persons per day.
In that blazing torrid heat the sufferings of those who survived from day
to day must have been accentuated beyond bearing by the myriads of unburied
corpses by which they lived surrounded; and that the contending forces were
not swept away by pestilence is an extraordinary marvel.


In many, nay, in most campaigns, personal feeling enters but little into
the contest. Nationality strikes against nationality, army against army, or
navy against navy; but no burning hatred of his adversary animates the
breast of the combatant on either side; it may even be said that frequently
some pity for the vanquished is felt, when all is over, by the side which
has conquered. At Malta the element of actual personal individual hatred
was the mainspring by which the combatants on both sides were moved; each
regarded the other as an infidel, the slaying of whom was the sacrifice
most acceptable to the God they worshipped. "Infidel" was the term which
each hurled at the other; to destroy the infidel, root and branch, was the
act imposed upon those whose faith was the one only passport to a blessed
eternity, and those who fell in the strife, whether Christian or Moslem,
felt assured that for them the gates of heaven stood wide open. Great as
were those others who perished, faithful to the death as were those noble
knights who died to a man in the culminating agony of St. Elmo, adroit,
resourceful, master of himself and others as was the famous Dragut, there
is one name and one alone that shines like a beacon light upon a hill-top
when we think of the siege of Malta. Jean Parisot de la Valette, whose name
is enshrined for ever in that noble city which crowns Mount Sceberass at
the present day, was the forty-eighth Grand Master of the Noble Order of
the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem the charter for which, contained in
the original Bull of Pope Paschal II., dated 1113 (in which the Holy Father
took the Order under his special protection), may be seen to this day in
the armoury of the palace at Valetta. At the time when the supreme honour
was conferred upon him, in the year 1557, he had passed through every grade
of the Order: as soldier, captain, general, Counsellor, Grand Cross: in all
of them displaying a valour, a piety, a self-abnegation beyond all praise,
A man of somewhat austere manner, he exacted from others that which he gave
himself--a whole-hearted devotion to the Order to which he had consecrated
his life. Fearing no man in the Council Chamber, even as he feared no foe
in the field, he ever spoke his mind in defence of that which he deemed to
be right. Proud, with the dignity becoming a man of his ancient lineage, he
merged all personal haughtiness in the zeal he felt in upholding the rights
and privileges of that splendid confederation of knights of the best blood
in Europe over which he had been called upon to preside at the mature age
of sixty-three. There is no instance in history of any man more absolutely
single-minded than La Valette; that in which he believed he cherished with
an ardour almost incredible in these days, and that the sword of the Lord
had been confided into his hand for the utter extermination and extirpation
of the Moslem heresy was the leading feature in his creed. That he had been
advanced to a dignity but little less than royal in achieving the Grand
Mastership was but as dust in the balance to him compared with the
opportunities which it gave him to harry his life-long foes; and he who had
known so well how to obey throughout all his youth and manhood was now to
prove, in the most emphatic manner, that he had learned how to command. In
all those terrible hundred and thirteen days during which the siege lasted
there was none to be compared to him. As occasion occurred this man's soul
rose higher and ever higher; beseeching, imploring, commanding, by sheer
force of example did he point out the way to the weaker spirits by whom he
was surrounded.

To speak of weaker spirits in connection with the siege of Malta seems
almost an insult; these gallant knights and soldiers were only so in
comparison with their leader. Twice during the siege of St, Elmo did the
garrison send to La Valette and represent that the place was no longer
tenable; but Garcia de Toledo, Viceroy of Sicily for Philip of Spain, was
writing specious letters instead of sending reinforcements, and every
moment gained was of importance. Coldly did La Valette remind the Knights
of their vows to the Order, and when renewed assurances came that it was
only a matter of a few hours before they should be overwhelmed he replied
that others could be found to take their places, that he, as Grand Master,
would come in person to show them how to die. A passion of remorse overcame
these noble gentlemen, who, thus nerved by the indomitable spirit of their
chief, died to the last man in the tumbled ruins of that charnel-house
which had once been a fortress.

La Valette was ready to die; there was no man in all that garrison so
ready. With pike and sword this veteran of seventy-one years of age was
ever at the post of the greatest danger, repelling the assaults of
Janissaries and corsairs, fighting with the spirit of the youngest among
the Knights in the breaches rent in the walls of Il Borgo. In vain did his
comrades try to prevent him from this perpetual exposure; in vain did they
point out that the value of his life outnumbered that of an army. He was
very gentle with these remonstrances, but quite firm. There were plenty as
good as he to take his place should he fall, he insisted; till that time
came it was his duty to inspire all by his example, to show to the simplest
soldier that he was cared for by his Grand Master.

As things went from bad to worse, when Il Borgo became in little better
case than had St. Elmo before it, La Valette never hesitated, never looked
back, never ceased to hope that the sluggard Garcia de Toledo might send
relief; and, if he did not, then would they all perish with arms in their
hands, as had their brethren across that narrow strip of water who had held
St. Elmo to the last man. What man or woman can read without something of a
lump coming in their throat of those noble words of the Grand Master in the
last few days of the siege when all had utterly abandoned hope?

Grimed, emaciated, covered with sweat and blood and dust, did La Valette
move from post to post exhorting and encouraging his soldiers. So few had
the gallant company of the Knights become that command was necessarily
delegated to the under-officers; yet who among them did not find fresh
courage and renewed strength when that great noble, the head of the Order,
stood by their sides and spoke thus to them as man to man?--

  "My brothers, we are all servants of Jesus Christ; and I feel assured
  that if I and all these in command should fall you will still fight on
  for the honour of the Order and the love of our Holy Church."

We have to think of what it all meant, we have dimly to try and realise the
burden which was laid upon this man, before we come to a right conception,
not only of what he endured but the terrible sacrifices he was called upon
to make. Here was no man of iron lusting for blood and greedy of conquest
for the sake of the vain applause of men; but one full of human love and
affection for those among whom he had lived all the days of his life. Upon
him was laid the charge of upholding the honour of the Order, the majesty
of the God whom he served. To this end he doomed to certain death those
brethren of his in St. Elmo, his own familiar friends, reminding them that
it was their duty so to die, while his heart was breaking with the agony of
this terrible decision, which no weaker man could have given. When his
beloved nephew was slain, together with another gallant youth, he smiled
sadly and said that they had only travelled the road which they all had to
tread in a few days; that he grieved as much for the one as for the other.
In speaking of this man, it may truly be said that there is no character in
history more elevated; there is none which shows us the picture of a more
perfect, gentle, and valiant knight.



  How Sinan Basha and Dragut raided the islands of Malta and Cozo and
  captured the town of Tripoli. How the Knights of Malta captured "the
  puissant galleon" belonging to the Kustir-Aga and the Odalisques of the
  harem of the Grand Turk. The despair of the ladies and the advice of the
  Imaum to Soliman the Magnificent. A great armada is fitted out in
  Constantinople. The preparations for defence on the part of La Valette
  and the Knights. The expedition sails from Constantinople and lands in

Great must have been the consternation of the Knights when the armada,
commanded by Sinan Basha, appeared off their coasts, and bitter must have
been the reflections of Juan d'Omedes, the Grand Master, who had all along
contended that so formidable an expedition could not possibly be directed
against Malta. The inhabitants of that island were, however, not left long
in doubt, as Sinan, immediately on his arrival, entered the Grand Harbour,
or "the Great Port," as it was called in those days. Sinan, in his royal
galley, led the way in, contemptuously assured of an easy victory over so
insignificant a place of arms. He had his first rude awakening before he
had traversed some quarter of a mile of the placid waters of the Great
Port. The harbour, as is well known, though long, is very narrow, and, on
the starboard hand of the Turkish galleys as they entered, the Commandeur
de Guimeran, a Spanish Knight, had ambushed three hundred arquebusiers. As
the galley of Sinan came abreast of the ambush, the Commandeur gave the
order to fire. The volley at so close a range had a terrible effect,
especially among the "chiourme," or the slaves who rowed the galley, some
hundred of whom were placed _hors de combat_. Sinan, in a furious rage,
ordered an immediate disembarkment; but when his men landed and scaled the
heights of Mount Sceberras (the elevated land on which the city of Valetta
now stands) there was no one to be found, the Commandeur and the men who
had formed the ambush having disappeared. Gazing from the heights at Il
Borgo, the fortress on the opposite side of the harbour where the Knights
then dwelt, Sinan demanded of Dragut, "If that," pointing to the fortress,
"was the place which he had told the Sultan could easily be taken?"

Dragut, whom no peril ever daunted, coolly replied:

"Certainly, no eagle ever built his nest on a rock more easy of access."

A corsair, who had been slave to the Knights, now approached Sinan, and
told him that he had assisted at the building of the fortress; which, he
averred, was so strong that if the admiral delayed until he had taken it
that the winter would be upon them, although it was then only the month of
July. Sinan, as we have said, was a hesitating commander. He had the
ever-present fear of the Grand Turk before his eyes, and was not inclined
for so difficult and dangerous an enterprise as this was represented to be.
Leaving the fortress in his rear, he marched off to the high land in the
centre of the island, on which was situated the Città Notabile, the capital
of Malta, some seven miles distant from the sea. On their march through the
island the Turks committed their usual atrocities, murdering the wretched
inhabitants, firing their dwellings, destroying their crops, and carrying
off their women. Had the siege of Notabile been pressed, the city must have
fallen; but Sinan declared to Dragut that the principal object of the
expedition was the reduction of Tripoli, and, in consequence, he had not
the time to devote to its reduction. Dragut, furious at this temporising
policy, urged an immediate assault, and, while the contention was waxing
sharp between the two leaders, a letter was brought to Sinan which had been
captured in a Sicilian galley. It was from the "Receiver" of the Order, who
dwelt at Messina, to the Grand Master, informing him that he had expressly
sent this ship to inform him that Andrea Doria had just returned from Spain
and was hastening with a large fleet to attack the Turks. The letter was a
ruse on the part of the "Receiver," and contained not a particle of truth.
It was, however, quite enough for Sinan, who immediately called a council
of war and imparted this alarming news to its members. The council, after
the invariable fashion of such bodies, decided to take the safest and
easiest course: the name of the terrible Andrea was one of evil omen to the
Ottomans, and, as one man, they voted for prosecuting their voyage to
Tripoli before the Genoese seaman should put in an appearance. In vain was
the fury of Dragut, who had counted on a full revenge on his ancient
enemies the Knights. The armada sailed to the adjacent island of Gozo,
which was thoroughly sacked with every refinement of cruelty. Every house
on the island was burned, and six thousand of its inhabitants carried off
to slavery. One incident is deserving of record. In Gozo dwelt a certain
Sicilian with his wife and two daughters: sooner than that they should fall
into the hands of the Turks this man stabbed his wife and daughters and
then threw himself, sword in hand, into the ranks of his enemies, where he
slew two of them, wounded several others, and was then hacked to pieces.
The fleet then proceeded to Tripoli, which was taken almost without
opposition, as it was defended by a mere handful of the Knights and some
utterly unreliable Calabrian infantry, who had never before seen a shot
fired: these men very soon mutinied and refused to fight any longer. Dragut
became the autocrat of Tripoli, as his great predecessor Kheyr-ed-Din
Barbarossa had been of Algiers: from hence, in the years that were to come
before his death, he carried on his sleepless and unending warfare with his
Christian foes, on whom he was destined to inflict another terrible defeat
when they attacked this stronghold which he had made his own.

Claude de la Sangle dying on August 18th, 1557, Jean Parisot de la Valette
was chosen Grand Master of the Knights of Malta in his stead on August 21st
of the same year. He was, as we have said before, in succession, soldier,
captain, councillor, general, and Grand Cross; he was as wise in council as
he was terrible in battle; he was as much esteemed by his brethren as he
was feared by the infidel. Under his governorship "the Religion" regained
the ancient authority which it had once possessed, especially in some of
the German Provinces and in the Republic of Venice. So great was the
influence of La Valette that he succeeded in making the "Languages" (or
confederations of Knights) of Germany and Venice pay their "responsions,"
which had been allowed to get into arrear. These "responsions" were a tax
levied on the "Languages " exclusively for the purpose of combatting the
infidel, and La Valette brought all the firmness of his high character to
bear, in order to induce these Knights to do what, he reminded them, was
their simple and obvious duty. Fired by the highest conception of the
office he had been called upon to execute, La Valette allowed none of those
under his command to be slack in their performance of their duties. In him
dwelt the real old crusading spirit. He saw life with the single eye, for
that which was paramount was the utter destruction of the infidel. There
are many men who have a high conception of duty; there are but few who can
inspire those with whom they are brought in contact. Of these latter was
Jean Parisot de la Valette; in him the pure flame of religious enthusiasm
burnt with so clear a light as to act as an illuminant for the paths of
others. In him dwelt that rare quality of lifting others almost to that
plane on which he dwelt himself, of making men nobler and better almost in
spite of themselves. So it was that, when La Valette stooped to remind
others of his brother Knights that they owed money to the Order, that money
was paid at once.

Having thus restored order to the finances, the Grand Master turned his
attention to the state of affairs (as he had received them from his
predecessor) connected with the territorial possessions of the Knights. For
long years now the fortress of Tripoli had been in the hands of the
renowned Dragut, who was the scourge and the terror of the Christians. The
corsair dwelt in his stronghold in insolent defiance of the Knights, whose
property it once had been. Years before he had wrested it from them by the
strong hand: what, then, more necessary in the eyes of such an one as La
Valette than to expel this audacious pirate? The Grand Master invited the
co-operation of Juan la Cerda (a Spanish Grandee, Duke of Medina-Celi, and
Viceroy of Sicily for the King of Spain) in this enterprise. The Viceroy
joyfully acceded to the request, and informed his master. Philip II.
approved the project, and sent orders to the Duke of Sesse, Governor of
Milan, to the Duke of Alcala, Governor of Naples, and to John Andrea Doria,
General of the Galleys, to join forces and to repair to Sicily, placing
themselves under the orders of the Duke of Medina-Celi, who was expressly
charged to take no action save by the advice of the Grand Master. The
expedition assembled, the Duke took it to Malta, where it wintered, and in
the spring it sailed and attacked Tripoli.

They found this fortress, however, in a very different state from that
which they expected. Dragut, says De Vertot, "avoit faire terasser les
murailles de cette place." Bastions had been constructed, and every
advantage taken for defence which was permitted by the terrain, or that the
art of fortification admitted at this epoch. The castle, which was not
advantageously placed, was, notwithstanding, put in a state of defence by
an enormous expenditure of money. Great towers, in which were mounted many
big guns, defended the entrance to the port, which had become the
headquarters of the vessels owned by Dragut, and also of those corsairs who
sailed their craft under the crescent flag of the Sultan of Constantinople.
It was against such a fortress as this that the Duke of Medina-Celi went
up: we have no space to deal here with the details of this attack, which
ended in the hopeless and irremediable defeat of the Christian forces. The
Duke was an incompetent commander; he was opposed to one of the greatest
leaders of the age--an expert in almost every branch of the science of war,
in command of a large body of the fiercest fighters of the day, who ever
feared the wrath of Dragut more than the swords of the enemy.

La Valette, though he mourned over the repulse of the Christian forces from
Tripoli, did not on that account allow his pursuit of the infidel to grow
faint; the galleys of "the Religion" were always at sea, and both the
corsairs and the Ottoman Turks were perpetually losing valuable ships and
costly merchandise. Under the General of the Galleys, the Commandeur Gozon
de Melac, and that celebrated chevalier, the Commandeur de Romegas, the sea
forces of the Knights were everywhere in evidence. Into the hands of the
Christians fell the Penon de Velez, situated on the northern coast of
Africa opposite to Malaga--a fortress much frequented by the corsairs; the
Goletta at Tunis was also taken, and the pirates became so much alarmed
that they demanded succour from Constantinople. They represented to Soliman
that, at this rate, the whole of Northern Africa would soon be in the hands
of the Christians to the total exclusion of the true believer.

Soliman listened to their complaints and promised that soon he would send
forth an armament which should put an end to the misfortunes from which
they were suffering. Once again preparations were begun in the arsenals of
Constantinople, and while these were in progress an event took place which
had an important bearing on the situation. Just after the taking of the
Penon de Velez seven galleys of "the Religion," under the command of the
chevaliers de Giou and De Romegas, which were cruising in the neighbourhood
of Zante and Cephalonia, fell in with "a puissant galleon" filled with the
richest merchandise of the East, armed with "twenty great cannons of
bronze," and a number of smaller guns, under the command of the Reis
Bairan-Ogli, having on board "excellent officers of artillery," as well as
two hundred Janissaries for her defence. This great ship was the property
of Kustir-Aga, the chief Eunuch of the Seraglio of the Sultan, and many of
the ladies of the harem were interested in a pecuniary sense in the safe
arrival of this vessel at Constantinople. The galleys of "the Religion"
attacked, and, after a most obstinate resistance, in which one hundred and
twenty of the Christians and an even larger number of the Turks were
killed, the galleon was captured. If there had been an outcry in
Constantinople before this occurrence it was all as nothing to that which
now arose. Kustir-Aga and the Odalisques of the Harem prostrated themselves
at the feet of Soliman the Magnificent, and with streaming eyes,
dishevelled hair, and frantic gestures, demanded the instant despatch of an
expedition to utterly exterminate these barbarian corsairs, the Knights of
Malta, who had thus injured them and lacerated their tenderest
susceptibilities. The Grand Turk, autocrat as he was, had no peace day or
night; he was surrounded by wailing women and sullen officials, all of whom
had lost heavily by the capture of the puissant galleon. The Imaum, or
preacher in the principal mosque, called upon the Sultan in his discourse
to fall upon the audacious infidel and smite him hip and thigh. He reminded
the Padishah that, in the dungeons of the Knights, true believers were
languishing; that on the rowers' benches of the galleys of "the Religion"
Moslems were being flogged like dogs. In a furious peroration he concluded:
"It is only thy invincible sword which can shatter the chains of these
unfortunates, whose cries are rising to heaven and afflicting the ears of
the Prophet of God: the son is demanding his father, the wife her husband
and her children. All, therefore, wait upon thee, upon thy justice, and thy
power, for vengeance upon their cruel and implacable enemies."

Contrary to all precedent, which enjoins the most perfect silence in the
mosque, these bold utterances were received with something more than
murmurs of applause: never in all his long and glorious reign had the great
and magnificent despot heard so plainly the voice of his people. Apart,
however, from eunuchs, women, and Mullahs, Soliman had long been importuned
by Dragut to take the course which was now being urged upon him with so
much insistence. There was at this time no warrior in all his _entourage_
for whose opinion the Sultan had the same respect as he had for that of the
ruler of Tripoli. Dragut had more than a tincture of learning: he was first
of all an incomparable leader of men and an entirely competent seaman. He
was also a scientific artillerist, and was learned in the technique of the
fortification of his time. Added to this he was--albeit by no means so
cruel as most of his contemporaries--one of those men before whom all
trembled: as we have seen in the case of the corsairs who defended
"Africa," "they feared the wrath of Dragut more than death itself."

It was this renowned leader who warned Soliman against the Knights; he
pointed out that they were far more dangerous now than they had been in
1523, the year of their expulsion from Rhodes. When established there they
were, so to speak, surrounded by the Turkish Empire; in Malta, on the
contrary, they were easily succoured from Sicily, which belonged to Spain,
another implacable enemy of the Moslem; that Malta lay right on the route
which all the ships of the Sultan must take on passage from the East to
Constantinople; and in consequence the Order was a standing and perpetual
menace to the trade of the Empire. All this was so undeniably true that so
shrewd a man and so competent a ruler as Soliman could not fail to be
impressed by the soundness of the reasoning.

Besides all this, he knew quite well that now he could not hold back, had
it been even against his inclination--which was by no means the case; for
there had arisen one of those storms of popular opinion--all the more
formidable because of their infrequency--before which even the most
hardened of despots must bend. Accordingly the Sultan called a conference
of his fighting men, which was held on horseback in the open-air. The
inclination of the Sultan being known, most of the generals, like good
courtiers, voted for immediate war with the Knights. At this conference was
present that Ali Basha, or Occhiali, or Uluchali, as he was indifferently
called, of whom we shall have more to say later on. Upon this occasion he
was present as the representative of Dragut, and urged, on behalf of his
master, that the time was not yet ripe for an attack on Malta. First, he
contended, it was necessary to recapture the Goletta and the Peñon de
Velez, and to defeat the Moors of Tunis, who were feudatories of the
Spanish king and avowed enemies of the Ottoman Empire. Ali was supported by
one Mahomet, an old warrior who had grown white in the service of the
Sultan, who strongly opposed the contemplated campaign on the ground that
the Knights would in all probability have the full strength of Europe at
their backs.

Numbers, however, added to the personal inclination of the Sultan, carried
the day. The die was cast, the memorable expedition was decided upon, and
all the Sultan's vast Empire soon rang with the note of preparation. The
Capitan Basha, Piali, was in command of the fleet, and the direction of the
land forces was confided to Mustafa, an old officer sixty-five years of
age, a severe disciplinarian, and of a sanguinary and cruel disposition to
any of his enemies who had the misfortune to fall into his hands.

Once again did Europe lose itself in speculation: against whom, all men
were asking, was this new expedition to be directed? Spain feared for her
African possessions, as the Goletta was the key to the kingdom of Tunis,
while the Peñon de Velez was one of the bulwarks of Algeria. In consequence
Don Garcia de Toledo passed over from Sicily to confer with the Grand
Master of the Knights. Garcia de Toledo was by no means a favourable
specimen of the illustrious race from which he sprang, and was a complete
antithesis to La Valette; he was to prove himself in the terrible days that
were to come to be sluggish, incompetent, a ruler who could not rule, a
person for ever letting "I dare not wait upon I would." Just as long as
Spain considered this new expedition was directed against herself
considerable activity was shown; when the attack developed and it was seen
that the objective of the Turks was Malta, the procrastinating Spanish king
and his incompetent viceroy allowed matters so to drift that, had any other
man than La Valette been in command at Malta, the fall of that island had
been inevitable.

We have seen how Juan d'Omedes had dealt with a previous crisis in the
affairs of the Order; very different was it in the opening months of the
year 1565. La Valette was well served by his spies in Constantinople, and
the Grand Master was under no illusions from the very first as to what the
destination of the army of the Sultan would be. He recognised that against
the small islands of Malta and Gozo all the strength of the mightiest
Empire in the world was about to be directed, and with serene confidence
set about the task of preparation. His first care was to send out "a
general citation" to those Knights living in their own homes in different
countries in Europe, commanding them to repair at once to Malta and take
part in the defence of that Order to which they had vowed to consecrate
their lives. The agents of the Order in Italy succeeded in raising two
thousand infantry, and the Viceroy of Sicily sent over two companies of
Spanish infantry which he had promised. All the galleys of "the Religion"
were called in from distant service and were set to work importing
ammunition, stores, provisions, and all requisites for the withstanding of
a siege. As the galleys passed backwards and forwards to Sicily, in each
returning vessel came noble gentlemen of every country in Europe, in answer
to the summons of their Grand Master. They were received with the tenderest
affection by him and by those others already assembled; never in all its
long and glorious history had the Order assembled in circumstances more
grave; never in its history, either in the past or in the future, did it
quit itself with so supreme a heroism as in those days of 1565 which were
yet to come. In Malta the orderly bustle of preparation went on
ceaselessly; the Italian and Spanish troops and the inhabitants of the
island, for the most part hardy mariners well accustomed to the ceaseless
_guerre de course_ of the Knights, were formed into companies, officered by
the members of the Order, and assigned to different posts.

Meanwhile the Grand Master caused copies of the letters which he had
received from Constantinople to be sent to all the great princes of Europe;
showing them the straits to which the Order was shortly to be reduced and
imploring of them to send timely succour. But it was not upon outside aid
that La Valette counted overmuch; he was preparing to confront the Turks
with such forces as he had at his own disposal; content, if necessary, to
leave the issue in the hands of the God in whom he trusted. As the
chevaliers came flocking to the standard of St. John he received them, we
are told, "as a kind father receives his beloved children, having provided
in advance for their food and lodging." He personally entered into the most
minute details of his charge; he reviewed his infantry, he instructed his
artillery, he planned sites for hospitals, he sketched out new
fortifications, and then went among the humblest of his followers and
wielded the pick and shovel in the burning sun. Everywhere his cheering
presence was felt, his equable and serene temperament diffused confidence
and hope.

All things being thus in train he assembled his brethren and addressed them
in the following terms:

  "A formidable army, composed of audacious barbarians, is descending on
  this island; these persons, my brothers, are the enemies of Jesus
  Christ. To-day it is a question of the defence of our faith as to
  whether the book of the Evangelist is to be superseded by that of the
  Koran? God on this occasion demands of us our lives, already vowed to
  His service. Happy will those be who first consummate this sacrifice.
  But that we may indeed be worthy to render it come, my dear brothers, to
  the foot of the altar, where we may renew our vows. Let each one rely on
  the blood of the Saviour of men and in the faithful practice of the
  sacraments; in them we shall find so generous a contempt for death that
  we shall indeed be rendered invincible."

The Knights then, headed by the Grand Master, took themselves in procession
to the church. Here they confessed and received the sacrament. "They went
out from thence as men who had received a new birth." The Knights, we are
then told, tenderly embraced one another in all solemnity; vowing to shed
the last drop of their blood in defence of their religion and its holy
altars. It was in this lofty frame of mind that the Knights of Malta
awaited the coming of their hereditary foe. Into the hearts and minds of
these gallant gentlemen of the best blood in the world the Grand Master had
instilled some leaven of the greatness by which he himself was inspired.
When belief is so wholehearted as it was in the case of La Valette; when it
is allied to a genius for war, and a supreme gift for the inspiration of
others, then that man and the force which he commands are as near to
invincibility as it is permitted to fallible human beings to attain. There
were two things in which the Knights were supremely fortunate on this
occasion: the first was that they had La Valette as Grand Master, the
second that Dragut was not in supreme command of the Turks, and that the
siege had opened before he arrived upon the scene. In this expedition, as
in previous ones, the Turkish commanders had orders to attempt nothing
really important without the advice of Dragut. They found themselves
without him when they arrived and made an initial mistake. With La Valette
in command there was no room for blundering; the ultimate result of their
blunder was the defeat which they sustained.

Grand Master, Knight, and noble, soldier, peasant, and mariner, strove
valiantly with the task of putting the island into a state of defence, and
when at last the long-expected armada of their foes rose above that distant
blue horizon in the north all had been done that skill and experience could

It was upon May 18th in the year 1565 that the Turkish fleet arrived at
Malta. It was composed of one hundred and fifty-nine galleys and vessels
propelled by oars: on board of these was an army for disembarkation of
thirty thousand men, composed of Janissaries and Spahis, the very pick and
flower of the Turkish army. Soliman the Magnificent was leaving as little
to chance as was possible on this occasion; he well knew the temper of the
Knights, and that this expedition had before it a task which would try both
the army and its leaders to the very utmost of their strength. Behind the
main body of the fleet came a host of vessels, charged with provisions, the
horses of the Spahis, the siege-train of the artillery, all the innumerable
appliances and engines of war which were in use at that day. The initial
mistake on the part of the Turks was in embarking cavalry for a siege; they
knew, or they should have known, of the extreme smallness of the island
which they were about to attack, and that they were by no means likely to
be met with armies in the field owing to the enormous preponderance of
numbers which they had assured to themselves.

Piali, as we have said, was in command of the fleet, and Mustafa of the
army; the corsairs did not arrive on the scene till some days afterwards.

The Turks landed some men who encountered the Chevalier La Riviere and some
Maltese troops, with whom they had some lively skirmishes. Unfortunately,
in one of these the Chevalier was captured, put to the torture, and
eventually beheaded for having wilfully misled the Turks. A council of war
was held by Piali, Mustafa, and their principal officers, to deliberate on
the best manner of prosecuting the enterprise on which they were engaged.
The admiral, wishing to conform strictly with the instructions of Soliman,
voted to delay all initiative until the arrival of the famous corsair.
Mustafa, however, held a different opinion: the unfortunate Chevalier La
Riviere had, before his death, informed the Turkish general that large and
powerful succours were expected daily from Sicily. Secretly disquieted by
this news, which he had at the time affected to disbelieve, Mustafa now
urged immediate action. His opinion was that, in the first instance, they
had better attack the castle of St. Elmo. It was a small and insignificant
fort which at best would only delay them some five or six days; when this
had fallen they could proceed to the more serious business of taking Il
Borgo, the principal fortress on the island in which the Grand Master and
most of the Knights were established. By the time St. Elmo had been taken
they might reasonably expect that Dragut and his corsairs would have
arrived, and, with these seasonable reinforcements, proceed to the really
formidable portion of their task. In their decisions both admiral and
general were wrong; to delay attack, once the troops were landed, was a
counsel of pusillanimity hardly to be expected of Piali, but showing at the
same time how he dreaded above all else departing one iota from the
instructions which he had received. To attack the castle of St. Elmo first
was a military mistake, because it could be--and was during the whole of
the siege--reinforced from its larger sister Il Borgo.

The discourse of Mustafa prevailed in the council of war, and the siege of
St. Elmo was decided upon and immediately begun.



  The siege of Malta by the Turks; The capture of the fortress of St.
  Elmo; The death of Dragut-Reis


There was an entire disregard of human life among the leaders of the
Ottoman Turks at this time which is almost incredible; to attain their end
in war they sacrificed thousands upon thousands of men with an absolutely
callous indifference. In no chapter of the bloodstained history of their
Empire was this trait more in evidence than it was at the siege of Malta.
There was, however, a reason for this, which developed itself more and more
as the ceaseless assaults on the positions of the Knights went on. From a
military point of view, all the operations which took place were those of
the siege of a fortress; as when at length St. Elmo fell the Turks turned
their attention to the fortress of Il Borgo. The time-honoured method of
the attack on a fortress, of approaching it by sap and mine, was here
almost an impossibility, as the island of Malta is composed of solid rock
through which it was practically impossible to drive trenches. It is true
that the rock is of an exceptionally soft nature, easily cut through with
proper tools; but you cannot cut through rock, no matter how soft it may
be, when your operations are opposed at every step by a brave and vigilant
enemy. Mustafa and the council of war had, as we have said, decided to
begin operations by the siege of the fortress of St. Elmo. This place had
been built from the designs of the Prior of Capua, an officer of the Order,
and was situated at the extreme end of the promontory of Mount Sceberass,
which juts out between the Great Port and the harbour of Marsa Muzetto. The
fort was in a commanding position and dominated the entrance to the two
principal harbours in the island. It was admirably adapted for repulsing an
attack from the sea; but, owing to the proximity of other points of land
upon which artillery could be mounted, was easily capable of attack by such
an enemy as that by which it was now assailed.

The principal preoccupation of the militant Prior of Capua had been to make
it formidable on the side facing the sea; perhaps the designer had never
contemplated the possibility that the day might dawn when it would be
attacked from the landward side! However this may have been, Mustafa
decided that it could and should be carried on this, its weakest face, and
made his preparations accordingly.

As far as it was possible to open trenches this was done, at the most
prodigal expenditure of the lives of the pioneers. Where the rock proved
absolutely impossible of manipulation redoubts were constructed of massive
beams on which thick planks were bolted, the whole covered with wet earth
which had to be collected with incredible toil from the country at the
back. Disembarking their siege-guns, and utilising the cattle of the
islanders for transporting them, the great cannon of the Turks were dragged
up the slopes of the Mount and got into position; and by the 24th of May
fire was opened on St. Elmo with ten guns which threw balls weighing eighty
pounds. Besides these there were two culverins which threw balls of sixty
pounds, and a huge basilisk, the projectile from which weighed no less than
one hundred and sixty pounds. A terrible fire was opened against the walls
of the fort, and so destructive did it immediately become that the Bailli
of Negropont, the Knight in command, very soon became aware that his trust
must be in the stout hearts and strong arms of his garrison; as the walls
by which they were surrounded were hourly crumbling into nothingness.

Regarding the matter from this point of view, he sent at once to the Grand
Master by the Chevalier La Cerda demanding succour; this officer, "rendered
eloquent by fear," exaggerated the peril to which the fort was exposed and
stated that it could not possibly hold out for more than another eight

"What losses have you had?" demanded the Grand Master.

"Sire," replied La Cerda, "the fort may be compared to a sick man in his
extremity, in the last stage of weakness, unable to sustain himself except
by perpetual cordials and remedies."

"Then I myself will be your physician," said the Grand Master with
contempt, "and I will bring others with me. If that cannot cure you of fear
it will, at all events, prevent the infidels from seizing upon the fort."

There was no real hope in the mind of La Valette that St. Elmo could be
saved from the enemy. The place was too weak, and none knew this fact
better than the man to whom all the defences of the island were as familiar
as the hilt of his own good sword; but, though he secretly deplored the
necessity, he felt that if Malta were to be preserved it could only be done
by delaying until succour should come from outside; every day, nay, every
hour, was of importance, and he was prepared to sacrifice St. Elmo and the
lives of its entire garrison to attain his end. He did not, however--to
continue the simile of La Cerda--prescribe for others a medicine which he
himself was not prepared to take, and when he said that he would go to the
fort of St. Elmo it was no mere figure of speech. The council of the
Knights, however, would not hear of the Grand Master thus sacrificing
himself; well did these noble gentlemen know that there was none among them
like unto him, that his name and his influence were worth an army in
themselves. The outcry was so loud that La Valette had to yield; which he
did the more readily when he saw the splendid emulation among his brethren
to cross over to the beleaguered and crumbling fortress which promised
nothing but the grave to those who should pass within the circle of fire by
which it was now surrounded. To the Chevaliers Gonzales de Medran and de la
Motte was conceded the proud privilege for which all the Knights were
clamouring; and, accompanied by the tears and the prayers of their
brethren, they passed to that place where, if death were certain, honour at
least was immortal. Truly the heart warms somewhat to the days of chivalry
when one reads of what was done at the siege of Malta. The motto of
_Noblesse oblige_ was no dead letter in the sixteenth century. By this time
the whole of Europe was awake to the peril of the Order, and, galloping for
dear life across Europe, came the Knights, anxious and willing to share in
the danger. For most of these gentlemen Sicily was the goal at which they
aimed; arrived there they flung themselves into any boat or shallop which
they could hire, and, heedless of the risk of capture by the Turkish fleet,
totally ignorant of what was passing in Malta save that the infidel was at
her gates, they passed across the channel which separates the two islands
and joined their fellows at Il Borgo.

Greatly heartened by the reinforcements brought to them by de Medran and de
la Motte, the garrison of St. Elmo made a sortie, surprised the Turks in
their entrenchments, and, under cover of the guns of the fort, succeeded in
destroying nearly all the works which the enemy had so painfully built up.
The Turks, however, when they had recovered from the surprise, were in such
large numbers as to be able to rally and drive the Christians from the
vantage points which they had gained; and to oblige them once again to
retire into the fort. From this time onward there was never a day in which
the garrison and the besiegers were not hand to hand in the trenches.

Just after the first reinforcements had been thrown into St. Elmo there
arrived on the scene Ali, the Lieutenant of Dragut. This corsair came from
Alexandria with six galleys, on board of which were nine hundred men,
reinforcements for the Turkish army. A few days after this the famous
Dragut himself appeared, with thirteen galleys and two galleots, on board
of which were sixteen hundred men.

What must not have been the despairing feelings with which the defenders
viewed the arrival of this augmentation to the swarming ranks of their
foes! From afar they noted the vessels and knew, while Philip of Spain and
Garzia de Toledo still procrastinated, that now was added to the number of
their enemies the most famous captain who served the autocrat of the
Eastern world. Very naturally the arrival of Dragut was hailed with
acclamation by the Turks: every gun in that vast armada spoke in salute,
every trumpet blared, every drum rolled to welcome the man honoured of the
Padishah, notorious throughout the whole world of Europe for his implacable
enmity to the Knights. The first preoccupation of the corsair was to inform
himself as to the conduct of the operations. These, when disclosed to him,
by no means met with his approval. This real leader immediately made it
clear to Piali and Mustafa that which they should have done. In the first
place they should have made themselves masters of the castle of Gozo, and
then captured the Città Notabile. By doing this the supplies to the town
and fortress of Il Borgo would have been cut off: besides--and more
important than aught else--they would in this manner have closed the road
to those succours expected by the Christians. Piali, who had desired from
the first to undertake nothing without the advice of Dragut, now said that
the siege of St. Elmo was not so far advanced after all, and, if the Basha
of Tripoli should so direct, it could be raised at once. To this, however,
Dragut would by no means consent.

"That would have been well enough," he said, "if the affair had not gone so
far; but, after the opening of the trenches and several days of attack, it
is not possible to raise the siege without sullying the honour of the
Sultan and discouraging the valour of the soldiers."

It cannot be denied that, in acting as he did, the corsair displayed a
self-restraint and a loyalty to the Sultan hardly to be expected in the
circumstances. The jealousy which so often obtains among rival commanders
was singularly in evidence in the forces of the Padishah: Dragut had good
cause to be dissatisfied with the dispositions which had been made, and
yet, for the reasons which we have quoted, he allowed them to proceed.
Before the Basha had left Tripoli he had been engaged in communications
with Muley Hamid, the then King of Tunis, who was feudatory of Spain.
Anxious as was the corsair to aid in attacking his implacable enemies, the
Knights, he could not afford to leave his own flank unguarded in Africa. He
succeeded, however, in arriving at an understanding with the King of Tunis,
and, further than this, he had assured himself, by means of his spies, that
the succours which were to be sent from Sicily by the Spanish King could
not possibly arrive for another two months. It was the negotiations which
he was obliged to undertake with Muley Hamid which had caused his late
arrival. As far as it is possible to judge, it was this circumstance, which
(added to their own incomparable valour) turned the scale in favour of the

Among all those brave men at Malta, on both sides, in this flaming month of
June 1565, there were none who excelled the Basha of Tripoli. "No one had
ever seen a more intrepid general officer," says de Vertot. "He passed
entire days in the trenches and at the batteries. Among his different
talents none understood better than did he the direction and conduct of
artillery, which was his special _métier_. By his orders on June 1st a
second battery was constructed closer to the fort and parallel to the one
already in existence, in order that an absolutely continuous fire might be
maintained. He mounted four guns on the opposite side of Marsa Muzetto
Harbour on a projecting point of land, from which a further enfilading fire
smote the doomed fortress on the flank: this point has been known ever
since as the Point Dragut."

A ravelin in advance of the fortress on the land side was scourged without
ceasing by the arquebus fire of the Janissaries. One evening, as the return
fire had slackened and all seemed quiet within this work, some Turkish
engineers stole forth from the trenches to reconnoitre. Approaching the
cavalier, all was still as death; the bold sappers pushed on as far as the
ditch by which the work was surrounded, creeping on hands and knees. They
let themselves down noiselessly into the ditch, and then, one standing on
the shoulders of another, peeped in upon their Christian foes. Whether or
no the sentry had been slain by a stray shot, or whether he too slept, can
never be known; but the cavalier was unguarded; all within it slept the
sleep of men utterly exhausted. The sappers crept back to their trenches,
fetched scaling-ladders, swept like a flood over the rim of the cavalier,
and put to death every man whom they found. Profiting by their advantage,
the Turks dashed over the bridge connecting the cavalier with the fort;
here, however, they were met by Sergeant-Major Guerare and a handful of
soldiers aroused by him. These men were instantly succoured by the
Chevaliers de Vercoyran and de Medran, who were immediately followed by the
Bailli of Negropont and several other Knights. An obstinate hand-to-hand
combat now ensued; fresh Turks came up to the attack, but were mown down in
swathes by an enfilading fire from two cannons which the defenders of the
fort managed to bring to bear upon them. More pioneers arrived from the
trenches, carrying planks and sacks filled with wool. These men tried to
effect a permanent lodgment, but the fire was too hot on the Christian
side, and men fell in hundreds. Nothing daunted, the Turks reared their
scaling-ladders against the sides of the fortress itself, and attempted to
scale the walls; but for this the ladders were too short, and the
assailants were hurled back into the ditch. This attack, in which the
Turkish arms were rewarded by the capture of the ravelin behind the
cavalier, is said to have cost them the lives of three thousand men. It
lasted from daybreak until midday.

On the side of the Christians twenty Knights and one hundred soldiers were
slain; but worst of all, from their point of view, the ravelin remained in
the hands of their enemies. The chevalier Abel de Bridiers de la Gardampe
having received a ball through his body, some of his comrades ran to place
him under cover. "Count me no longer among the living," said the Knight.
"You will be better employed in defending the rest of our brethren." He
then, unassisted, dragged himself to the foot of the altar in the chapel,
where his dead body was discovered when all was over.

So far communication remained established between St. Elmo and their
comrades in Il Borgo on the opposite side of the harbour; in consequence
the wounded were removed and their places taken by one hundred fresh men
under the Chevalier Vagnon. To the Bailli of Negropont and the Commandeur
Broglio, La Valette sent a message to return to Il Borgo. These gallant and
aged veterans, both of whom were wounded, whose faces were scorched by the
sun and blackened with powder, whose bodies were well-nigh worn out with
perpetual vigil and hand-to-hand fighting, refused stoutly to quit their
post, which now was naught but a dreadful shambles filled with corpses
mangled out of recognition and heads and limbs which had been torn and
hacked from their bodies.

Dragut now proposed to erect batteries on the same side of the Great Port
as that on which Il Borgo was situated; on the point now known as Ricasoli,
but which was then and for centuries afterwards known as the Punta Delle
Forche (or Point of the Gallows, because it was here that all pirates was
executed; and their bodies, swinging in chains, were the first objects that
met the eye on entering the Great Port). In this he was overruled ruled by
Piali, who declared that he had not sufficient men to spare, and the
Knights of II Borgo would soon render the battery untenable even if they
should succeed in erecting it, which the Turkish admiral now considered
extremely doubtful. The siege of St. Elmo, which Mustafa had said would
last at the outside for five or six days, had now been in progress for four
weeks; and, although the fort was in a ruinous condition, nothing seemed
capable of daunting those invincible warriors by which it was held.

The position in St. Elmo now was that the Turks still held on to the
ravelin which they had captured; this they had built up to such a height
that they could look over the parapet of the fortress and shoot down with
arquebus fire any one whom they could see. Meanwhile the Turkish sappers
delved night and day in their endeavour to undermine the parapet, which, if
blown up, would give them free access to the interior of the fort; while
another party, by use of the yards of galleys and huge planks of wood,
busied themselves in constructing a bridge to connect the ravelin with the
parapet. Lamirande, one of the most active of the defenders of the fort,
viewed these preparations without undue alarm, as he was aware that, by the
nature of the ground, it would be almost impossible to excavate
sufficiently under the parapet to place an effective mine. As, however, the
sapping was causing the parapet to incline outwards, and it was possible
that it might almost at any moment fall over into the ditch, he caused a
second parapet to be erected inside the first and artillery to be mounted
thereon. Having done this he caused a false sortie to be made on the
following night, and when the Turks rushed to the attack he, accompanied by
a party of sappers, sallied out into the ditch and burned the bridge which
had been made. The Turks, returning after their fruitless assault, found
their bridge destroyed, but with untiring activity set to work and
constructed it afresh. Dragging cannon to the very edge of the ravelin,
they, on the very next evening, revenged themselves by also making a false
attack: they swarmed into the ditch, and, placing their scaling-ladders
against the walls, pretended that an escalade was to be attempted. The
garrison, deceived, appeared on the parapet in large numbers, when a
murderous fire at point-blank range was opened upon them from the ravelin.
So great was the execution done on this occasion that the garrison lost
more men than had hitherto been the case in the most determined attacks
which they had sustained.

It now seemed as if indeed the end had come, that the garrison had done all
that was in the power of mortal man and nothing was left for them but to
retire while there was yet time. Accordingly choice was made of the
chevalier Median to represent the desperate extremities to which they were
reduced to La Valette. It was well known that for none among the Knights
had the Grand Master more respect than he had for Medran, one of the
bravest and most chivalrous of them all. He, at least, could never be
suspected of cowardice, feebleness, at a desire to desert his post. This
gallant Knight crossed the harbour on his dolorous errand and was received
by his chief: to him he represented the state of affairs as it has here
been set down, assuring him that at best the fort could but hold out for a
few days longer.

A chapter of the Knights Grand Cross was immediately held and the most part
of them were of opinion that the time had come to abandon a hopeless
position. But this decision did not meet with the approval of the Grand
Master. No one was more sensible than he of the peril to which their
brethren were exposed; at the same time, he contended, that there were
occasions on which it was necessary to sacrifice a certain number for the
good of the whole Order. He had certain information that, if St. Elmo were
abandoned, the Viceroy of Sicily would hazard nothing for the relief of the
island; that upon the arrival of succours depended the existence of their
ancient and honourable confederacy: therefore, at no matter what cost, they
were bound to hold out as long as possible. So dominant was the personality
of the Grand Master that, in a short time, he had won over the votes of the
chapter and Medran was ordered to return to St. Elmo and deliver to the
garrison a message that the siege must take its course.

Medran accordingly returned and reported to his comrades the result of his
embassy. Several of the older Knights received the command with due
submission, but among those who were younger there were murmurings. These
men deemed the answer to their appeal hard and cruel; they could see no
object in the loss of their lives, which they well knew would all be
sacrificed in the next assault. They accordingly, to the number of
fifty-three, wrote a letter to the Grand Master, demanding permission to
abandon St. Elmo and retire to Il Borgo. If their request were denied they
announced their design to sally forth, sword in hand, and perish in the
ranks of the enemy. The Commandeur de Cornet was the bearer of this letter,
which was received by the Grand Master with sorrow and indignation. To
reassure them, he sent three commissioners to inspect the place. This was
done, and one of them, a Knight of Greek descent named Constantine
Castriot, reported that the fort could still hold out a while longer. When
he announced this at St. Elmo the recalcitrant Knights were so furious with
him that the Baili of Negropont had to sound "the alarm" to prevent a
disgraceful fracas. The commissioners returned to Il Borgo. After hearing
their report La Valette wrote a letter to those by whom he had been
memorialised to the following effect:

  "Return to the convent, my brothers; you will there be in greater
  security; and on our part we shall feel a greater sense of security in
  the conservation of so important a place, on which depends the safety of
  the island and the honour of our Order."

Never were men so taken aback as were the Knights in St. Elmo when they
received this response; here it was intimated to them that that which they
refused to do on account of the danger thereof was to be undertaken by
others. This was no more than a fact, as La Valette was besieged with
applications from, not only the Knights, but also the simple soldiers of
the garrison, to be allowed to pass over to St. Elmo and die if necessary
to the last man. It was, therefore, with prayers and tears that the Knights
besought the Grand Master to allow them to remain. At first La Valette was
adamant. He preferred, he said, the rawest militia which was prepared to
obey his orders, to Knights who knew not their duty. In the end, however,
he yielded, and in the fortress of St. Elmo, that crushed and ruined
charnel-house, its defences gaping wide, its every corner exposed night and
day to a sweeping murderous fire, there remained a host of men sadly torn
and battered, but animated by such a spirit that nothing the Turks could
devise made upon it the least impression. These great and gallant gentlemen
had had their moment of weakness; they had been heartened to the right
conception of their duty by the noble veteran who was their chief. To him
had they turned at last, as his obedient children who had had their moment
of rebellion in a trial as hard as was ever undergone by man. And now, as
the inevitable end drew near, it was as if they would imitate the Roman
gladiator with that terrible chorus of his: "Ave Cæsar morituri te

All day and every day did the garrison fight, snatching such repose as was
possible when their pertinacious enemies, worn out by fatigue and the
terrible heat, could no longer be led to the attack against those whom they
now firmly believed to be in league with Shaitan himself; "For how else,"
demanded Janissary and Spahi alike, "could infidels like these make head
against those chosen of the Prophet like ourselves."

At this time the garrison took into use a device attributed to the Grand
Master himself. This consisted in hoops of wood which were first thoroughly
soaked in alcohol and then boiled in oil; they were then tightly bound with
cotton or wool, also soaked in inflammable liquids mixed with saltpetre and
gunpowder. Once these fiendish contrivances were set alight nothing availed
to put them out, and they were feared as was naught else by the Turks
during the remainder of the time they were in Malta. They were particularly
deadly against the Turks, and at times two or more soldiers mounting the
breach would be caught in one of these fiery circles, and the unfortunate
wretches would be burnt alive. Even the Janissaries refused to advance at
times when these fireworks were being flung down upon their flowing

On June 16th another attack was made on the fortress, and, incredible as it
may seem, it was repulsed with such awful slaughter that at last the Turks
would not face the swords of the garrison. Alter this the enemy succeeded
in drawing so close a cordon round the place that no more succours could
reach it, and the end was but a matter of time. The day before it came
Dragut, who, with his usual intrepidity, was standing in the midst of a hot
fire, was struck on the side of the head by a stone dislodged from a wall
by a cannon-ball. At the moment when this happened he was holding a council
of war in the trenches with Piali, a Sanjak, and the principal Turkish
engineer. The same shot which wounded Dragut killed the Sanjak on the spot.
Piali caused a cloak to be thrown over the body of the corsair in order
that his state should not be observed by the soldiers, and as soon as
possible had him removed to his tent, where he lay unconscious till the
following day.

The council on which the corsair had been engaged when he received his
mortal wound had for its object the complete isolation of St. Elmo from Il
Borgo; his dispositions were completed and his orders given to the engineer
just before he was struck.

The agony of St. Elmo was drawing to an end; completely hemmed in by the
latest dispositions of Dragut, the fortress was at its last gasp; a brave
Maltese swimmer managed to slip through the cordon, swim the harbour, and
deliver to the Grand Master a letter from the Bailli of Negropont. The
Grand Master made one last effort to throw succours and reinforcements into
the place, but these were beaten off with terrible slaughter: nothing now
remained but to await the inevitable tragedy.


On the night of June 22nd the defenders of St. Elmo, having now lost all
hope of being supported, made ready for death. Into them La Valette had
breathed his own heroic spirit, and none among them counselled or dreamed
of surrender. The Order to which they had given their allegiance now
demanded of them the last sacrifice which it was in their power to make,
and this was offered in the manner most fitting to its tenets. These
exhausted, war-worn, battle-scarred warriors repaired to the chapel, where
they confessed, and made ready by partaking together of the sacrament,
"and, having thus surrendered their souls to God, each retired to his post
to die on the bed of honour with arms in his hand." Those among the Knights
who were too severely wounded or too ill to stand caused chairs to be
carried to the breach in which they seated themselves and awaited the
assault. For four hours did these indomitable men withstand the might of a
host innumerable: at the conclusion of this period there remained alive but
sixty of the garrison. Mustafa ceased the assault for a few moments only to
replace the storming party by fresh troops, and then the end came. Almost
the last to fall were the Chevalier Lamirande and the veteran Bailli of
Negropont, and when the crescent banner was planted on the walls there
remained alive not one of those defenders who had held the fort. Several of
Dragut's officers ran to his tent and announced the taking of St. Elmo. The
great captain was in his last extremity and unable to speak, "He, however,
manifested his joy by several signs, and, raising his eyes to heaven as if
in thankfulness for its mercies, immediately expired: a captain of rare
valour and even abundantly more humane than are ordinarily these corsairs."

The Basha Piali, on entering the fort and observing with what miserable
resources it had so long been held exclaimed, as he looked across the
harbour to Il Borgo:

"What will not the parent do to us, when so small a son has cost us the
lives of our bravest soldiers?"

There is no record of what that cruel savage, Mustafa, said on this
occasion; his deeds, however, spoke eloquently. He caused the bodies of the
Knights to be decapitated and nailed to wooden crosses, while across their
corpses were slashed a cross in derision of the religion of his foes. The
bodies were then cast into the harbour, and were washed up at the foot of
Il Borgo. Instantly the Grand Master ordered the decapitation of all the
Turkish prisoners, and their heads were fired from cannon into the camp of

With the remainder of the siege, which was yet to last till September 18th,
we have no concern in this book. It is only necessary to say that the men
of Il Borgo were worthy to stand in the same category with the defenders of
St. Elmo, which is equivalent to stating that in them also was discovered
the last limit of heroism. The Grand Master survived the siege, his
monument is the noble city of "Valetta" built on Mount Sceberras. The Turks
abandoned the siege and returned to Constantinople on the arrival of some
insignificant reinforcements from Sicily. So terrible had been the
resistance of the Knights that no heart was left in their armada. Of Dragut
there remains but little to be said: he was perhaps the best educated of
the corsairs and less cruel than was usually their habit. Although not so
renowned as his more celebrated master, Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, this is,
perhaps, because his career was cut short at the siege of Malta at a
comparatively early age. Although he never attained the rank of
Admiralissimo to the Grand Turk, that potentate, as we have seen, placed in
him the greatest confidence, and relied largely on his judgment, especially
when sea-affairs were in question. Like the Barbarossas before him, he rose
from nothing to the height to which he eventually attained by sheer force
of intellect and character. In the stormy times in which his lot was cast
he never faltered in his onward way, never repined, never looked back,
sustained as he was by a consciousness of his own capability to rule the
wild spirits by whom he lived surrounded. So it is that, whatever other
opinion we may hold of Dragut, we cannot deny that in this captain of the
Sea-wolves were blended rare qualities, which caused him to shine as a
capable administrator, a fine seaman, but above all as a supreme leader of
men. Dragut died with arms in his hands fighting those whom he considered
to be his bitterest enemies. He did not live to see the repulse of Piali
and Mustapha, and it is to be presumed that he died assured in his own mind
that victory would rest with the Moslem host. For such a man as this no
death could have been more welcome.



  Ali, the Basha of Algiers, succeeds to Dragut--He conquers the Kingdom
  of Tunis, captures four galleys from the Knights of Malta, joins Piali
  Basha in his raidings preliminary to the battle of Lepanto--The
  gathering of the Christian hosts and the arrival of Don John of Austria
  in the Mediterranean to take command.

"Now I have heard several mariners and captains of the sea, nay, even
Knights of Malta, debate among themselves this question, as to which was
the greater and better seaman, Dragut or Occhiali? And some held for one
and some for the other; those who held for Occhiali declaring that he had
held greater and more honourable charges than Dragut, because he commanded
as General and Admiral for the Grand Turk and that _il fit belle action_ at
the battle of Lepanto." Pierre de Bourdeille, the Seigneur de Brantôme,
from whom we make the above quotation, was himself present at the siege of
Malta and, besides this, as is well known, gossiped in his own inimitable
way concerning men and women of his time, from corsairs to courtesans. When
such contemporary authorities as those mentioned could not agree it is
quite certain that we of the twentieth century cannot decide on the rival
claims to distinction between the Bashaw of Tripoli and his follower
Occhiali, as he was known to the Christians, or Ali Basha, as he was called
by the Turks. Ali Basha has a title to fame in the fact that he is
mentioned by Cervantes in his _Don Quijote de la Mancha_ under the name of
"Uchali" in chapter xxxix., "Donde el cautivo cuenta su vida y sucesos."
The captive is supposed to have been no less a person than the famous
Cervantes himself, and he briefly describes how Uchali became "Rey de
Argel," or King of Algiers.

Ali was a Christian, having been born at a miserable little village in
Calabria called Licastelli. Nothing whatever is known of his birth and
parentage, and he does not appear even to have possessed a Christian name,
although born in a Christian land. He followed from his earliest youth the
calling of a mariner; "he was from infancy inured to salt water," says
Joseph Morgan, in his _Compleat History of Algiers_, and he was, as a mere
boy, captured by Ali Ahamed, Admiral of Algiers, and was chained to the
starboard-bow oar in the galley of that officer. He was thus very early in
life "inured" to suffering, and must have possessed a constitution of iron
to withstand thus, in boyhood, the hardships of the life of a galley-slave,
which as a rule broke down the endurance of strong men in a very few years.
Morgan presents us with a description of him at this period which in these
more squeamish days can certainly not be set down in its entirety: suffice
it to say that he suffered all his days from what is known as "scald-head,"
and that personal filthiness was one of his principal characteristics.

For some years Ali remained at the heart-breaking toil of the rower's
bench: cut off from home, which to him meant nothing, devoid of kinsfolk,
alone--miserably alone in a world which, so far, had given him naught but
the chain and the whip--it is not a matter for surprise that he became a
Mussulman, thus freeing himself from slavery. From the time that he took
this step his fortunes mended rapidly in that strange medley of savagery
and bloodshed in which his lot was cast.

Alert, strong, capable, and vigorous, he became in early manhood chief
boatswain in the galley in which his apprenticeship had been passed--a
position which enabled him to accumulate a small store of ducats, with
which he bought a share in a brigantine. Here he soon acquired sufficient
wealth to become captain and owner of a galley, in which he soon gained the
reputation of being one of the boldest corsairs on the Barbary coast.
Having in some sort made a name for himself, his next step was to seek for
a patron who could make use of his valour, address, and capability for
command. His choice was soon made, as who in all the Mediterranean, in his
early days, held such a name as Dragut? He accordingly entered the service
of the Basha of Tripoli, and, under his command, became well known to the
officers of the Grand Turk, particularly to the Admiral, Piali Basha, to
whom he was able to render some important services.

There is no object to be gained in lingering over the earlier years of this
notable corsair, as we should thus only be repeating what has been said
about Dragut, whose lieutenant and trusted follower he became. He
accompanied his master to the siege of Malta, and when Dragut was slain the
Capitan-Basha, Piali, named him as successor to his chief as Viceroy of
Tripoli. Ali sailed from Malta to Tripoli, taking with him the remains of
Dragut, to be buried as that chieftain had directed. When he arrived on the
Barbary coast he made himself master of the slaves and treasure which had
been left behind by Dragut; shortly after this he was confirmed in his
Vice-royalty of Tripoli by the Grand Turk; thenceforward increasing, both
his wealth and the terror in which his name was held, by continual raids
upon the Christians, more particularly on the coasts of Sicily, Calabria,
and Naples. It is curious to observe the sort of spite which all the
renegadoes seem to have harboured against the countries in which they were

In March 1568, owing to the fall of Mohammed Basha, the Vice-royalty of
Algiers became vacant, and, through the good offices of his old friend
Piali, Ali became Governor. He thus returned to occupy a position of
literally sovereign power to the city which he had first entered as a

That he was no negligent Governor and that he took an entirely intelligent
view of his functions, is proved by an occurrence which took place in this
same year in Spain. The Moriscoes in the Kingdom of Granada revolted
against their Spanish Governor, by whom they were sorely oppressed. They
sent messages to Ali at Algiers, begging for succour against their
persecutor. But the Basha would send no expedition; he permitted all and
sundry to go as volunteers, but gave out publicly that "it more concerned
him to defend well his own State than to interfere in the affairs of
others." He even went farther than this, and when a number of Moriscoes,
who were settled at Algiers, embarked a quantity of arms for transportation
to the coast of Andalusia, he put an embargo on the vessels and would not
allow them to sail, saying "he would never suffer the exportation of what
was so necessary for the defence of his own dominions." At last, after much
importunity, he consented "that all such as had two of a sort--as muskets,
swords, or other weapons--might, if they thought fit, send over one of
them, provided they did it gratis and purely for the cause' sake; but he
would never allow any of them to strip themselves of their arms for lucre."

Ali, being now firmly established at Algiers, took up arms against the
neighbouring State of Tunis. For long years now the King of Tunis had been
protected by the Spaniards--a nation whom the Sea-wolves always held in
singular abhorrence as the most bigoted of the Christian Powers, and who
held in thrall many of their co-religionists. Hamid, son of Hassan, who now
ruled in Tunis, had reduced that unfortunate State to anarchy bordering on
rebellion, and the whole country, torn by internal feud, was ready to rise
against him. The Goletta was in the hands of the Spaniards; Carouan, an
inland town, had set up a king of its own, while the maritime towns passed
from the domination of the Sea-wolves to that of the Christians, and from
the Christians back to the Sea-wolves, according to which party happened to
be the stronger for the time being.

El Maestro Fray Diego de Haedo, "Abad de Fromesta de la Orden del Patriarca
San Benito" and "natural del Valle de Carranca," whose _Topografia e
Historia de Argel_ (or Algiers) was printed in Valladolid in the year 1612,
gives an account of Hamid at this time in which he describes that monarch
as an "unpopular tyrant who sadly persecuted his vassals and the friends of
his father; who could by no means suffer his tyrannies and those of his
ministers, the scum of the earth ("hombres baxos"), to whom he had given
the principal offices of the kingdom. Accordingly, since the time that Ali
had become Basha of Algiers, letters had been written to him importuning
him to come to Tunis that he might possess himself of that city and

There were three principal conspirators--the Alcaid Bengabara, General of
the Cavalry, the Alcaid Botaybo, and the Alcaid Alcadaar. Ali, however, was
too shrewd a man to move until he had satisfied himself by reports from his
own adherents; he, therefore, awaited the result of investigations made by
spies from Algiers. At last, in the beginning of the year 1569, when the
offers from the Alcaids had been three times renewed and the Basha was
assured that the people in Tunis were sincere in their offer to him of the
sovereignty of the kingdom--which they begged him to conquer and hold in
the name of the Ottoman Empire--the ex-galley-slave no longer hesitated. He
left Algiers in the month of October, leaving that city in charge of one
Mami Corso, a fellow renegado. Unlike Dragut, who would have gone by sea,
he set out by land with some five thousand corsairs and renegadoes. On the
way he was reinforced by some six thousand cavalry of the wild tribes of
the hinterland, then as ever ready to join in a fray with promise of booty:
doubly ready in this case, as it was to harass so unpopular a tyrant as
Hamid. Passing through Constantine and Bona, he continued to march towards
Tunis, his following augmenting as he proceeded, and adding to his forces
ten light field-guns. Arriving at Beja, a town which Haedo describes as
being but two short days' march from Tunis, he came upon a fortress,
recently erected by Hamid, mounting fourteen brass cannon. Here he halted,
whereupon Hamid sallied out to give him battle at the head of some three
thousand troops, horse and foot. The engagement had scarcely begun when the
three Alcaids, who had been in communication with Ali, deserted with all
their following. Hamid fled to Tunis, expecting to find shelter there, but
he was hotly pursued by the corsairs, who followed him up to Al-Burdon,
where his summer palace was situated. Hamid, finding that his people were
everywhere in revolt, fled to the Goletta, carrying with him a quantity of
money, jewels, and portable valuables, and placed himself under the
protection of the Spanish garrison--not, however, without the loss of the
major portion of his baggage, plundered from him by certain Moors in the
course of his flight.

Like Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, Ali was now lord of Algiers and Tunis, and as
he was, for a corsair, a man of wide views, he treated his new subjects
with consideration. He made, however, one curious mistake not to have been
expected from one so politic: he demanded tribute from the tribes of the
hinterland. In those days, particularly in Northern Africa, men paid
tribute to an overlord because he was stronger than they; because
retribution followed swiftly and suddenly upon refusal. To order tribute to
be paid without being ready to strike was merely to expose the man making
the demand to derision. Particularly was this the case with the fierce
land-pirates of the desert, whose habit it was to exact and not to pay
tribute. To Ali the Sheiks replied that "if he wanted tribute from them he
must demand it lance in hand in the field, for there and nowhere else were
they accustomed to pay: that their coin was steel lance-heads and not
golden aspers." After this, says Morgan, "the Basha thought it well to

Ali, being in no position to wage war in the desert against these people,
had to swallow the insult and to turn his attention to regulating the
internal affairs of his newly acquired kingdom. This he succeeded in doing
sufficiently by the month of June in the following year to enable him to
leave Tunis in the hands of one Rabadan, a Sardinian renegado, and to start
himself for Constantinople. His reason for doing this was the old one of
attempting to consolidate his power in Northern Africa by appealing to the
Sultan for help. As long as the Goletta remained in the hands of the
Spaniards no corsair could feel himself secure in either Tunis or Algiers.
The object of Ali was to beg from the Grand Turk men and ships to assist
him to chase the Spaniards out of Africa.

The month of June 1570, in consequence, saw Ali once more at sea in his
"Admiral galley," steering northwards to the Golden Horn. Carrying with
them a favourable breeze from the south-east, the galleys spread their huge
lateen sails, and the straining rowers had rest awhile. The squadron
consisted of twenty-four galleys. Off Cape Passaro, in Sicily, a small
vessel was captured which gave information that five galleys of the Knights
of Malta were at anchor at Licata, a small harbour in the neighbourhood,
and that they were on the point of sailing for Malta. The decision of Ali
was taken on the instant: were he to go in and attack them with the
overwhelming force at his command the crews might escape to the shore; even
the Knights of Malta could hardly be expected to fight twenty-four galleys
with five. He was anxious to capture the ships, but above all to capture
those by whom they were manned: to have the satisfactory revenge of seeing
the proud Knights stripped naked and chained to the benches of his own

The hot Mediterranean sun poured down out of a cloudless sky as the
Sea-wolves made their offing; out of sight of land they lay, but right in
the course which the galleys of the Christians were bound to take. The
great yards, with their lateen sails, were got down on deck, and, oar in
hand, the Moslems awaited their prey. Presently the Maltese galleys were
discovered coming leisurely along, under oars and sails, and then--when it
was too late--the Knights discovered the snare into which they had fallen.
There was but scant time for preparation or deliberation, and who shall
blame four out of the five if they decided to try to escape? for it was
escape or annihilation.

But there was one which did not fly, "Una galera hizo cara a los Turcos"
(One single galley turned her bows towards the Turks), says that faithful
chronicler Haedo. She was named the _Santa Ana_, but the name of her heroic
commander has not come down to us. Even as Grenfell "at Flores in the
Azores," stood upon the deck of the little _Revenge_ on that memorable
August day in 1591, when "he chose to die rather than to dishonour himself,
his country, and her Majesty's ship," so also did this Knight of Malta bear
down on the twenty-four that were his foes.

When Don John of Austria, being at the time young and inexperienced in
warfare on the sea, wrote to the Marquis of Villafranca, General of the
Galleys of Sicily, requesting advice on the subject of galley attacking
galley, that officer replied to him, "Never fire your arquebus at the foe
until you are so close at hand that his blood will leap into your face at
the discharge." If we bear in mind such an instruction as this it will help
us to picture that close-packed sanguinary conflict upon which the
Mediterranean sun looked down on this day. Eight to one, all that could
find room to get alongside of the _Santa Ana_, fought with the Knight and
his followers. The issue was, of course, never in doubt for a moment.
"Muertos y cansados" (Dead and deadbeat), says Haedo, the caballeros and
soldados of the Christian ship could at length hold out no longer. The
Sea-wolves were victorious, the proud banner of Saint John was lowered; but
never in all its history had it been more nobly upheld, and the galley
_Santa Ana_, commanded by that unknown member of the great Christian
military hierarchy of the sixteenth century, may well stand in the roll of
fame alongside of the _Revenge_, the _Vengeur_, and the _Victory_.

The _Capitana_, or "Admiral's galley," of the Knights, being hotly pursued,
ran ashore with one of her consorts at Licata: the crews landed, but were
pursued and overtaken. One galley escaped altogether, but four out of the
five were taken. So notable a victory as this over the Knights caused so
much rejoicing in the fleet of the Sea-wolves that Ali determined to
celebrate it by a triumphal return to Algiers instead of proceeding
directly to Constantinople. Accordingly, the ships' heads were turned south
once more, and upon July 20th, 1570, the fleet arrived in the African port,
"on sus galeras todas llenas de muchas banderas"--with galleys gaily


The procession entered the harbour in three divisions of eight galleys: and
towing behind each division was one of the captured galleys of the Knights.
In memory of his prowess Ali ordered that the shields and bucklers taken
from the Maltese galleys, which bore upon them emblazoned the white cross
of "the Religion," should be hung up in the great arched gate of the
Marina. Also there was placed here the image of Saint John the Baptist,
taken from the _Capitana_ galley, "all of which remain," says Haedo, "until
this day" _(i.e._ 1612), except the image of Saint John, which in the reign
of Hassan Basha, a Venetian renegado, was taken down and burned at the
instance of the Morabutos, "los letrados de los Moros" (the learned among
the Moors). It is an instructive commentary on the fear and respect in
which the Knights of Malta were held that such a man as Ali should have
considered it a triumph worth the celebrating when he defeated five of
their vessels with twenty-four of his own.

The next occurrence in the life of Ali was one of those to which the
Sea-wolves were subjected from time to time, and which do not seem to have
caused them much trouble or anxiety. This was a mutiny of the Janissaries
in Algiers, who very reasonably objected to being left without their pay. A
mutiny of the Janissaries, however, was somewhat a serious matter, as they
were accustomed to the enjoyment of many privileges, and were, as we have
said elsewhere, a picked corps who had it in their power even to coerce the
Sultan himself upon occasions.

Those of them who were in Algiers demanded "Who was this corsair who dared
to keep the picked men of the army of the Grand Turk waiting for their pay,
as if they were no better than his slaves?" Such a thing as a mutiny was,
in the days of which we speak, a matter for which any prudent corsair had
to be prepared. Ali was in no means discomposed, and, as the crisis had
become acute on shore, he went to sea, where he was under no obligation to
pay his men, who paid themselves at the expense of their enemies. He put to
sea with twenty galleys, and, shortly after leaving Algiers, he met with a
galley from the Levant, from which he received information that a powerful
armada was preparing in Constantinople for an expedition against the
Christians. He steered for Coron in the Morea, where he was almost
immediately joined by the Ottoman fleet, the commander of which force was
overjoyed to find so formidable a reinforcement under so renowned a captain
as Ali.

Soliman the Magnificent had died in 1566, and had been succeeded by his
son, Selim; this prince, bred in the Seraglio, was weak and licentious,
given to that strong drink forbidden by the Prophet to an extent which
caused him to be nicknamed by the Spaniards as "el ebrio," or "el bebedor."

This was a state of affairs which boded ill for the Turkish Empire, and
Selim II. had been educated in a very different manner from that which had
hitherto been the custom. Speaking of this, Gibbon says, "Instead of the
slothful luxury of the Seraglio, the heirs of royalty were educated in the
council and the field. From early youth they were entrusted by their
fathers with the command of provinces and of armies; and this manly
institution, which was often productive of civil war, must have essentially
contributed to the discipline and vigour of the monarchy."

Drunkard and weakling as he was, Selim had his ambitions. He wished to
signalise his reign by some great conquest, such as had added lustre to the
rule of his father; and in consequence he laid claim to the island of
Cyprus, then belonging to Venice, The Venetians, having strengthened the
fortifications of the island and fitted out their navy, sought alliances in
Europe to curb the pretensions of the Porte. In this they found support,
instant and generous, from the Pope Pius V. Of this great ecclesiastic
Prescott says: "He was one of those Pontiffs who seemed to have been called
forth by the exigencies of the time to uphold the pillars of Catholicism as
they were yet trembling under the assaults of Luther."

The Pope, Philip II. of Spain, and Venice formed what was known as the
"Holy League," and, having formed it, immediately began to quarrel among
themselves as to what its functions were to be. The Venetians wished all
its efforts to be directed to safeguarding Cyprus, while Philip and his
viceroys were anxious to attack the Sea-wolves on the coast of Africa in
their strongholds. After much squabbling, an agreement was come to. The
principal items of this were, that the Pope should pay one-sixth of the
expenses, Venice two-sixths, and Spain three-sixths; that each party should
appoint its own Commander-in-Chief, and that Don John of Austria should be
in supreme command of the whole forces assembled. The contracting parties
were to furnish 200 galleys, 100 transports, 50,000 foot, 4,500 horse, and
the requisite artillery and stores.

While the Christians were negotiating and talking, the Turks were acting.
It was in May that the Pope caused the treaty to be publicly read in full
consistory; in April the Turkish fleet had got to sea and committed
terrible ravages in the Adriatic, laying waste to Venetian territory.

While ships and men were gathering, and while the fleet which it was to be
his fortune to defeat was pursuing its career in the Mediterranean, Don
John of Austria left Madrid for the south on June 6th, 1571. When he
arrived at Barcelona he made a pilgrimage to the Hermitage of Our Lady of
Montserrat, where his father Charles V. had confessed and received the
sacrament before he sailed on his voyage to the Barbary coast in his
expedition against Barbarossa. From Barcelona he sailed with thirty galleys
to Genoa, where he arrived on the 25th, and was lodged in the palace of
Andrea Doria. In August he arrived by water at Naples.

By this time all Europe was aflame with excitement: warriors of noble birth
were flocking to serve under the standard of the brother of the King of
Spain, who was regarded as the very mirror of chivalry. The following
description of Don John, at Naples, is from the pen of that great historian

  "Arrangements had been made in that city for his reception on a more
  magnificent scale than any he had witnessed on his journey. Granvelle,
  who had lately been raised to the post of Viceroy, came forth at the
  head of a long and brilliant procession to welcome his royal guest. The
  houses which lined the streets were hung with richly tinted tapestries
  and gaily festooned with flowers. The windows and verandahs were graced
  with the beauty and fashion of the pleasure-loving capital, and many a
  dark eye sparkled as it gazed upon the fine form and features of the
  youthful hero, who at the age of twenty-four had come to Italy to assume
  the baton of command and lead the crusade against the Moslems. His
  splendid dress of white velvet and cloth of gold set off his graceful
  person to advantage. A crimson scarf floated loosely over his breast,
  and his snow-white plumes drooping from his cap mingled with the yellow
  curls that fell in profusion over his shoulders. It was a picture which
  the Italian maiden might love to look on. It was certainly not the
  picture of the warrior sheathed in the iron panoply of war. But the
  young Prince, in his general aspect, might be relieved from the charge
  of effeminacy by his truly chivalrous bearing and the dauntless spirit
  which beamed from his clear blue eyes. In his own lineaments he seemed
  to combine all that was comely in the lineaments of his race."

At Naples Don John found a fleet at anchor under the command of Don Alvaro
de Bazan, first marquis of Santa Cruz, of whom much was to be heard in the
future in his capacity as Admiral of Castile. Here also he received from
the hands of Cardinal Granvelle a consecrated banner sent to him by the
Pope at a solemn ceremony in the church of the Franciscan Convent of Santa
Chiara. On August 25th he left Naples and proceeded to Messina, where he
landed under a triumphal arch of colossal dimensions, embossed with rich
plates of silver and curiously sculptured with emblematical bas-reliefs.
The royal galley in which the hero embarked was built at Barcelona: she was
fitted with the greatest luxury, and was remarkable for her strength and
speed; her stern was profusely decorated with emblems and devices drawn
from history; no such warship had ever been seen in the world before.

Cayetano Rosell, in his _Historia del combate naval de Lepanto_, says that
the number of vessels, great and small, in the Christian armada was over
300, of which 200 were galleys, the ordinary warships of the time. He goes
on to say:

  "In this spacious harbour [Messina] there were collected the squadrons
  of the League; the people who managed the oars and sails and the
  innumerable combatants making an immense number when added together.
  Since the days of Imperial Rome, never had been seen in these seas so
  imposing a spectacle, never had there been collected so many ships
  moving towards a single end dominated by a single will. Never was there
  a spectacle more gratifying in the eyes of justice, nor of greater
  incentive to men to fight for the cause of religion."

The Spanish fleet comprised 90 royal galleys, 24 nefs, and 50 fregatas and
brigantines "los mejores que en tiempo alguno se habrian visto" (the finest
that ever were seen at any time), as they were described by Don John. The
Pope sent 12 galleys and 6 fregatas, under the command of Mark Antony
Colonna. The Pope had also made a grant of the "Crusada" and "Excusada,"
and other ecclesiastical revenues which he drew from Spain, to the King of
that country, to meet expenses.

Venice appointed Sebastian Veniero to the command of her fleet, which
consisted of 106 galleys, 6 galeasses of enormous bulk and clumsy
construction carrying each 40 guns, 2 nefs, and 20 fregatas. These vessels
were, however, so miserably manned and equipped that Don John had to send
on board Spaniards and Genoese to complete their complements. In a
manuscript of the Bibliothèque du Roi (Number 10088) is an account of the
battle of Lepanto by Commandeur de Romegas. He gives the number of the
Turkish fleet at 333 ships, of which 230 were galleys, the rest galeasses
and smaller craft. The total which he gives for the Christian fleet is 271.
Ali Basha was in supreme command of the Turkish forces, "a man of an
intrepid spirit, who had given many proofs of a humane and generous
mature--qualities more rare among the Turks, perhaps among all nations,
than mere physical courage." With Ali was the Basha of Algiers, that other
Ali, the corsair, who since his arrival at Coron had done more than his
share of the fighting, marauding, and devastating which were the
preliminaries to the battle of Lepanto. In this historic conflict he was to
show once again how, on the face of the waters, the Sea-wolves were
supreme; as it was he and his corsairs, out of the whole of the Moslem
host, who acquitted themselves with the greatest credit on that day so
fatal to the arms of the Ottoman Turk.



  How Ali Basha fought at the battle of Lepanto: his subsequent

Lepanto, the last battle of first-class importance in which the Sea-wolves
bore a leading part, is memorable in many ways. It is one of the most
sanguinary which was ever fought, the element of personal hatred between
the combatants, to which we have alluded more than once, being singularly
in evidence on this occasion. As we have said, this campaign was brought
about at the initiative of the Venetians, and an incident which occurred
not long before the battle exacerbated the feelings with which the Turks
were regarded by the Christians to the point of madness. The city of
Famagusta, in Cyprus, had been captured by that Mustafa of whom we heard so
much at the siege of Malta. The Venetian defenders made an honourable
capitulation, but when the four principal Venetian captains were brought
before Mustafa, that general caused three of them to be beheaded on the
spot; the fourth, a noble and gallant gentleman who had been responsible
for the magnificent defence of the city entrusted to his charge, he caused
to be flayed alive in the market-square. He then had the skin stuffed with
straw, and, with this ghastly trophy nailed to the prow of his galley,
returned in triumph to Constantinople. Bragadino, the defender of
Famagusta, did not die in vain; his terrible fate excited such a passion of
anger in the whole of the armada of Don John that each individual of which
it was composed felt that the sacrifice of his own life would be but a
small thing if it only led to the destruction of such fiends as those
against whom they were arrayed.

[Illustration: DON JOHN OF AUSTRIA.]

Lepanto was a magnificent triumph for the arms of Christendom, and taught a
much-needed lesson to Europe that the Ottoman Turk was not invincible upon
the sea; it was not, however, an interesting battle from the point of view
of the student of war and its combinations. Of all the high officers in
command on that memorable day there was only one who displayed real
generalship and a proper appreciation of the tactical necessities of the
situation; that officer was Ali Basha, the leader of the Sea-wolves. The
account of the battle is somewhat obscured by the fact that on the side of
the Moslems the name of the Ottoman Commander-in-Chief was also "Ali"; in
order to avoid confusion in this narration, we shall allude to the Basha of
Algiers by the name given to him by the Christians, "Occhiali."

It was on Sunday, October 7th, 1571, that the Christian fleet weighed
anchor from Cephalonia and stood southwards along the Albanian coast, which
is here fringed with rocky islets. The right wing was commanded by John
Andrea Doria, the left wing by the Provéditeur Barbarigo, the centre, or
"battle," as it was called, by Don John in person, who had on the one side
of him Mark Antony Colonna, the General of the Galleys of the Pope, and on
the other that fiery veteran Sebastian Veniero, the commander of the
Venetians. Here also were stationed the Prince of Parma, nephew to Don
John, Admiral of Savoy; Duke Urbino, Admiral of Genoa; the Admiral of
Naples, and the Commandeur of Castile. The reserve, under the command of
the Marquis of Santa Cruz, consisted of thirty-five galleys. Immediately in
rear of the _Real_, or royal galley of Don John, was that of the Grand
Commander Requesens. The number of seamen, soldiers, officers, and
galley-slaves in the fleet amounted to over eighty thousand persons;
twenty-nine thousand infantry had been embarked, of which number nineteen
thousand were Spaniards. Opposed to the Christians on this day was a
Turkish fleet which had on board no less than one hundred and twenty
thousand men embarked in two hundred and fifty galleys, without counting an
innumerable host of smaller vessels.

[Illustration: SEBASTIAN VENIERO. Inset, portraits of Don John and Pope
Pius V. Heroic statue of Don John dominating Christian and Turkish Fleets.
The breath of the Almighty destroying the Turkish fleet at Lepanto.]

The authorities on whose accounts of the battle this description is based
are Prescott, the famous historian; P. Daru, a member of the Académie
Française, who wrote an exhaustive _Histoire de Venise_ and Don Cayetano
Rosell, member of the Spanish Academy, who is responsible for an exposition
of the subject, known as _Historia del combate naval de Lepanto_. From a
comparison of the works of these eminent men one fact emerges with great
clearness, which is that the battle of Lepanto was an indiscriminate mêlée
which was decided by some of the most desperate fighting ever recorded, but
which depended hardly at all upon the tactical abilities of the men in
chief command. It is true that we are told Don John issued written
instructions to the commander of each ship, but we are left in the dark as
to what these instructions were, while at the same time we discover that in
his line of battle, which in the first instance appears to have been that
of "single line ahead," the galleys of all nationalities were inextricably
mixed up; making it thereby impossible for the Papal, Spanish, and Venetian
commanders to deal, as they should have done, exclusively with their own
men. On the other hand, Occhiali kept together the squadron of the
Sea-wolves; he outgeneralled and had all but defeated John Andrea Doria,
when the end came and he was obliged to retreat.

We are, however, anticipating. Don John passed down his own line in a light
"fregata" giving a few words of exhortation and advice to each ship under
his command. If the bastard brother of the King of Spain did not exhibit
any large measure of ability as a leader on this occasion, he was perhaps
none the less the right man in the right place, as he had about him so
winning a way, he was so striking and gallant a figure, that the hearts of
all under his command went out to him. The seamen and soldiers of the great
armada greeted him with enthusiastic shouts of delight as he bade them
remember in whose cause it was that they fought. The last of the
Knights-errant must have made a brave show as he passed down that line four
miles in length, the sun shining on his damascened armour, and his yellow
curls streaming out from beneath his helmet.

Soon after sunrise the Turkish fleet was descried sailing towards the
Christians, in such apparently overwhelming force that several of the
Spanish commanders represented to Don John that it would be imprudent to
risk a battle. To his honour be it recorded that he replied he had come out
to fight the Turks and that the time for talk was now over. He then hoisted
all his banners, and the executive signal for the combat to begin was given
by displaying at his mainmast head the sacred banner blessed by the Pope.
As this standard floated out upon the breeze there went up a great shout in
unison from all that were under the command of Don John. The scene of the
combat was that area of the Ionian Sea which is enclosed on the east by the
coasts of Albania and Morea and on the west by the islands of Ithaca and
Cephalonia, Just to the northward, at the entrance to the Gulf of Arta,
sixteen hundred years before had been fought the battle of Actium between
Antony and Octavius; the same spot had witnessed, in 1538, the memorable
battle of Prevesa between Andrea Doria and Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa.

From the point of view of the seaman, who is naturally anxious to discover
the dispositions of their fleets made by the rival Commanders-in-Chief,
Lepanto is an almost hopeless puzzle. As far as can be gathered, however,
it was that the two armadas approached one another in what is known as
"line ahead," each ship being immediately astern of its next ahead in one
long continuous line; and that, when they got within striking distance,
these lines turned so that they formed "line abreast," when each ship,
having turned at right angles, simultaneously the line advances abreast,
the ships forming it being broadside to broadside.

When the Turks discovered the allies they were issuing from between the
islets and the shore. Seeing John Andrea Doria moving to the right, they
judged that he was executing a turning movement with the object of escaping
to the northwards, from whence he had come; they were, at the time, unable
to see the rest of the fleet, which was hidden by the land. With sound
tactical judgment they accordingly advanced to attack the allies before
they should have time to issue from the strait. They were, however, too far
off to accomplish this, and, by the time they arrived within striking
distance, the Christian fleet had cleared the strait and was ready for
them, "drawn up for battle," says Monsieur Daru, which is somewhat vague in
describing the disposition of a fleet. What is certain, however, is that in
advance of the galleys of Don John were six great galeasses, which were
armed with guns of immensely superior power to anything which could be
mounted in galleys. As the Turks advanced to the attack these vessels
opened fire, and did so much execution that Ali, the Turkish
Commander-in-Chief, ordered his line to open out and thus avoid their fire.
Whatever formation the fleet was in at the time--which was, as far as we
can gather, "line abreast"--this opening-out process, to avoid the
galeasses, threw it into hopeless confusion. The Turkish right wing, which
was hugging the coast, and was the first to come into action, passed on in
an endeavour to turn the left wing of the allies. While this manoeuvre was
in progress Ali, the Capitan-Basha of the Turks, arrived in his vessel
opposite to the royal galley of Don John. At the masthead of the galley of
the Capitan-Bashaw floated the sacred standard of the Ottomans. This, the
ancient banner of the Caliphs, was covered with texts from the Koran, and
had upon it the name of Allah emblazoned no less than twenty-eight thousand
nine hundred times in letters of gold. "It was," says Prescott, "the banner
of the Sultan, having passed from father to son since the foundation of the
dynasty, and was never seen in the field unless the Grand Seigneur or his
lieutenant was there in person." Ali, the Commander-in-Chief, a favourite
of the Sultan, had been entrusted with this most precious of all the
possessions of the Padishah, as an incentive to him and all under his
command to fight their hardest to do honour to the Prophet, and to prevent
this symbol of their religion from falling into the hands of the Christian.
Ali, like Don John, was young, and burning to distinguish himself;
accordingly, as soon as the ships of the two leaders came opposite to each
other neither regarded any enemy save his rival Commander-in-Chief. Ali
drove his great galley straight on board of the vessel of Don John, and a
most obstinate conflict ensued. Veniero and Colonna hastened to the
assistance of their chief, who was sore beset.

The combat now became general, and, as has been said, was for the most part
nothing but a melee, in which each ship sought out the nearest of her foes
and closed with her. For some time the fight went hard with Don John; time
and again the galley of the Moslem leader was boarded, but on each occasion
the Spaniards were hurled back upon their own decks. Loredano and Malipier,
two Venetian captains, fell upon seven Turkish galleys which were hastening
to reinforce the attack on Don John, and sank one of them. They then fought
with such fury and resolution with the six that remained that, although
both captains were killed, it was conceded that they had saved their
general, entirely altered the complexion of the battle in their
neighbourhood, and facilitated the capture of the Turkish admiral. The
determined conduct of the two Venetians allowed the Spanish division to
close in on the Turkish flagship, which, after an heroic resistance, was
captured, principally because there were practically none left alive to
fight. The head of Ali was struck off by a Spanish soldier, the banner of
the Moslems was replaced by the flag of the Cross, the head of Ali on a
pike being exhibited in derision above it. The conquerors seem to have seen
no incongruity in this performance. The lowering of the sacred standard of
the Capitan-Basha had a disheartening effect upon the Turks; they knew by
this that their Commander-in-Chief was dead and his ship captured, the
result being that the resistance of the Ottomans began to weaken. Then
thirty galleys took to flight from the neighbourhood of the Christian
flagship; so hotly were they pursued that they ran on shore, the crews
swimming or wading to the beach and making off inland.

On the right of the Christian line things had not been going so
propitiously for them. Here Occhiali had managed, by his apparently
persistent attempts to outflank John Andrea Doria, to decoy that commander
away from his supports and from the main body of the Christians. This
tactical manoeuvre of the corsair was successful; having drawn off some
fifteen of the Christian galleys, he suddenly flung the whole of his
greatly superior force into the gap and surrounded them. These galleys were
Spanish, Venetian, and Maltese, and, although they offered a most vigorous
resistance, they were mostly destroyed or captured. Doria, in spite of all
his efforts, was on this day both outgeneralled and outfought: the
Sea-wolves, under their grim leader, manoeuvring for position, obtaining
it, and then falling like a thunderbolt on the foe. They were all brave men
at Lepanto on this memorable October day; but few there were like the
corsair king, in whom a heart of fire was kept in check by a brain of ice,
who, during the whole combat, never gave away a chance, or failed to swoop
like an eagle from his eyry when the blunders of his enemy gave him the
opportunity for which he watched. It was the old story of "the veritable
man of the sea" pitted against gallant soldiers fighting on an unfamiliar
element. And yet it was against the best seaman on the Christian side that
Occhiali pitted himself on this stricken field; and none can deny that with
him rested such honour as was gained by the Turks on this day, the day
which broke up for ever the idea of the invincibility of the Ottomans on
the water. It needs not to say, to those who have read the story of the
siege of Malta, how the Knights comported themselves in the battle; and yet
Occhiali captured the _Capitana_, or principal galley of the Order, He was
towing her out of action, a prize, when the Marquis of Santa Cruz bore down
upon him with the reserve. By this time the battle was lost; the Moslems
were in full retreat.

The corsair recognised that he could do no more: sullenly he cast off the
tow, and, forming up some thirty of his galleys, still in a condition to
navigate, stood boldly through the centre of where the battle had once
raged, and escaped. The _Capitana_ of Malta had been taken; and to the
Sultan did Occhiali present the great standard of Saint John, as an earnest
of his achievement.

Bernardino de Escalente, in his work _Diálogos del arte militar_, printed
in Seville in 1583, says that the Captain Ojeda, of the galley _Guzmana_,
recaptured the _Capitana_ of Malta; and that, in recognition thereof, "the
Religion" pensioned him for life. Ojeda, it is to be presumed, was under
the orders of the Marquis of Santa Cruz during the battle.

There remains one incident connected with the battle of Lepanto which must
be told. In the _Marquesa_ galley, in the division of Doria, was lying in
his bed sick of a fever a young man twenty-four years of age; a Spaniard of
Alcala de Henares, "de padres hidalgos y honrados," we are told, although
these parents were poor. When this young man heard that a battle was
imminent he rose from his bed and demanded of his captain, Francisco San
Pedro, that he should be placed in the post of the greatest danger. The
captain, and others, his friends, counselled him to remain in his bed.
"Señores," replied the young man, "what would be said of Miguel de
Cervantes should he take this advice? On every occasion up to this day on
which his enemies have offered battle to his Majesty I have served like a
good soldier; and today I intend to do so in spite of this sickness and
fever." He was given command of twelve soldiers in a shallop, and all day
was to be seen where the combat raged most fiercely. He received two wounds
in the chest and another which cost him the loss of his left hand. To those
to whom he proudly displayed them in after-years he was accustomed to say,
"wounds in the face or the chest are like stars which guide one through
honour to the skies." Of him the chronicler says: "He continued the rest of
his life with honourable memory of this wonderful occurrence, and, although
he lost the use of his left hand, it added to the glory of his right." How
glorious was that right hand is known to all readers of _El Ingenioso
Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha._

The losses at the battle of Lepanto are something so prodigious that
imagination boggles at them. It is said that the Christians lost five
thousand men and the Turks no less than thirty thousand. Enormous as these
numbers are, they represent probably a very conservative estimate of the
loss. The Turks lost two hundred vessels, and when we recollect the number
of men embarked on board of the sixteenth-century galleys we can see that
the numbers are by no means exaggerated, especially as no quarter was given
on either side. When the Captain Ojeda recaptured the battered wreck which
had been the _Capitana_ of Malta, we are told that on board of her were
three hundred dead Turks; if this were the cost of the capture of one
galley we need not be surprised at the total.

With the results to Europe of this amazing battle we have nothing to do in
this book. That which it demonstrated, as far as the Sea-wolves were
concerned, was that they still remained the most competent seamen and
sea-fighters in the Mediterranean, and that the legend of the invincibility
of the Ottomans at sea rested on what had been accomplished during a long
period of years by these insatiable pirates and magnificent warriors.

That which the fighting Pontiff, Pius V., said when he heard of the victory
is in character with everything which history has told us of this
remarkable occupant of the chair of Saint Peter. It was short but very much
to the point, consisting of the one sentence, "Fuit homo misus a Deo cui
nomen erat Joannes."

In a collection of epitaphs printed in Colonia in 1623 (and edited by one
Franciscus Swertius) is one in Spanish by an anonymous author on Don John
of Austria. In this, which takes the form of question and answer, it is
asked of him "who with so much real glory lies so humbly 'neath this
stone," what it is that Spain can do for him, what temple or what statue
can she raise to his honour. To this the hero is made to reply that "My
temple is found in my works, my statue has been my fame." This is not only
a pretty conceit, but it is very substantially true when we think of the
place in history which this man attained.

It remains to speak of the future career of Ali Basha after his experiences
at Lepanto. He now returned to Constantinople, where he found that the
bitter complaints of the Janissaries concerning their lack of pay had
preceded him; this must have been annoying, as by this time so
insignificant a circumstance had probably escaped his memory. His old
friend and patron Piali Basha was still in power; the Basha used his
influence, and the corsair laid at the feet of the Sultan the great
Standard of Saint John captured by him from the Knights--which was the only
trophy which came to Constantinople from that disastrous battle; and in
consequence we are told that "instead of reprimands he was loaded with
caresses and applauses."

There was in Ali the same dauntless quality of never knowing when he was
beaten which had distinguished Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa. His exploits at
Lepanto had secured him the high favour of the Sultan, which he used in a
manner most grateful to that sovereign by approaching him with a request
that he might be allowed to fit out another fleet to revenge himself on the
Christians. The Sultan acceded to his request, and such diligence did he
use that in June 1572, only eight months after the crushing defeat of the
Turks, Ali took the sea with two hundred and fifty galleys besides smaller
vessels. So powerful had he now become that Selim nominated him as his
Admiralissimo, allowing him also to retain the Bashalic of Algiers. With
his new fleet he sought out the allies once more, finding them at anchor in
a port in the Morea. He lay outside the harbour defying them to come out,
which they refused to do--"but they parted without bloody noses"--is
Morgan's comment. Haedo attributes this inertia on the part of the allies
to dissension among their leaders; but, however that may have been, Ali
gained almost as much favour with the Sultan as if he had defeated them in
a pitched battle. "But these are the judgments of God and things ordered by
His divine providence and infinite wisdom," says Haedo. The connection is
somewhat hard to establish.

In 1573 the Bashalic of Algiers passed into the hands of Arab Ahmed, and in
this same year Don John of Austria recaptured Tunis from the Turks. Ali,
with a fleet of two hundred and fifty galleys and forty smaller vessels,
recaptured it again in a siege lasting forty days, and once more returned
to Constantinople in triumph with thousands of Spanish captives. He was yet
to live some years to harass the Christians, against whom he ever displayed
a most inveterate rancour. In 1576 he set out from Constantinople with
sixty galleys and ravaged the Calabrian coast, where he had been born. In
1578, the Janissaries of Algiers having assassinated Arab Ahmed the Basha,
he was sent to chastise them, which he did with a heavy hand.

Ali was never married, and left no descendants; in the later years of his
life he built himself a sumptuous palace some five miles from
Constantinople, and no man in all the realm save the Sultan himself was so
great a man as the Calabrian renegado, the unknown waif from Southern Italy
who possessed neither name nor kindred. He was tall and robust in stature,
but all his life suffered from "scald-head"; for a definition of which
ailment we may refer the curious to the dictionary. He possessed, for a
chieftain and a fighting man, the disadvantage of a voice so hoarse as to
be inaudible at a few paces distant. In default of offspring he maintained
at his charges five hundred corsairs, whom he called his children. He died
in the year 1580, and with him what has been called the "Grand Period of
the Moslem Corsairs" in this book may be said to have come to an end.

By the men whose deeds have been here chronicled the pirate States of
Northern Africa were established; and, as we have seen, they maintained an
unceasing warfare against all that was mightiest in Christendom, aided and
abetted by the Sultans of Constantinople. In the sixteenth century the
Sea-wolves had this at least to recommend them, that they feared neither
King nor Kaiser, albeit these great ones of the earth were bent on their
destruction. Villains as they were, they were none the less men to be
feared, men in whom dwelt wonderful capabilities of leadership. Such,
however, was not the case with those by whom they were succeeded; and the
great and civilised nations of the world tolerated for centuries in their
midst a race of savage barbarians whose abominable insolence and fiendish
cruelty were only equalled by their material weakness and military
impotence. Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli became recognised States, and the
Great Powers degraded themselves by actually accrediting diplomatic agents
to the "Courts" of these people.

"The Algerines are robbers, and I am their chief," was the remark made by
the Dey of Algiers to the English Consul in 1641, and the man spoke the
plain unvarnished truth. Yet at this time the Algerines had no more than
sixty-five ships, and no organisation which could have held out for
twenty-four hours against such attacks as had been successfully resisted on
many occasions in the previous century.

On April 10th, 1682 (O.S.), "Articles of peace and commerce between the
most serene and mighty Prince Charles II., by the Grace of God King of
Great Britain, etc., and the most illustrious (_sic_) Lord, the Bashaw,
Dey, and Aga, Governor of the famous city of Algiers in Barbary," were
concluded by "Arthur Herbert, Esquire, Admiral of His Majesty's Fleet." It
need hardly be said that such a treaty as this was not worth the paper on
which it was written; that the barbarians by whom it was signed were as
ignorant as they were unprincipled, and that the only argument which they
understood at that, or any other time, was that of the right of the

When we of the present day read of the deeds of the corsairs we are filled
with horror, we fail to understand how such things could have been
tolerated, we seek for some explanation. When we hear of a "League of
Christian Princes," and find that all its members could accomplish was to
turn their arms the one against the other, we are even still more puzzled.
What was it, then, that lay at the root of this problem? The answer would
appear to be in the ethical standpoint of the sixteenth century. We are so
accustomed in the present day to hear of the rights of man that we are apt
to forget that, in the time of Barbarossa, of Dragut, of Charles V., and
the Medicean Popes such a thing did not exist, and the only rights
possessed by the common man were those vouchsafed to him by his sovereign
lord. We have also to take another factor into consideration, which is that
what we call "humanity" simply did not exist, the result being that the
raids of the Sea-wolves were not judged by the great ones of the earth from
the standpoint of the amount of suffering which they inflicted, but in what
manner these proceedings affected the wealth and power of the lord of the
territory which had been despoiled. So differently was society constituted
in those days that the very victims acquiesced more or less meekly in their
fate, each one unconsciously voicing that most pathetic saying of the
Russian peasant that "God is high and the Czar is far away."

The fact of the intolerable lot of the common man in these times helps us
to understand one thing which otherwise would be an insoluble problem:
which was, why did Christian soldiers so often become renegadoes and fight
for the corsairs under the banner of those who were the fiercest and most
irreconcilable foes of themselves and their kindred? The life of the common
soldier or sailor did not offer many advantages; it was generally a short
and anything but a merry one, and the thing by which it was most
profoundly affected was capture by the corsairs.

When this happened he became either a "gallerian," rowing out his heart on
the benches of the Moslem galleys, or he festered in some noisome dungeon
in Algiers, Oran, or Tlemcen. For him, however, there was always one avenue
of escape open: he had but to acknowledge that Mahomet was the Prophet of
God and the prison doors would fly open, or the shackles be knocked off the
chain which bound him to the hell of the rower's bench. Many of the
Christian captives had really nothing to bind them to the faith of their
fathers--neither home nor lands, wealth nor kindred, and they were
doubtless dazzled by the amazing success which accompanied the arms of the
leaders of the pirates. Is it wonderful, then, that such men in such an age
should grasp at the chance of freedom and throw in their lot with their

It was treachery, it was apostasy, and no amount of sophistry can prove it
to have been otherwise; but the man who would sit in judgment in the
present day must try to figure to himself what the life of a galley-slave
meant--a life so horrible and so terrible that it is impossible, in the
interest of decency, to set down a tithe of what it really was.

We who in the present day sit in judgment upon the virtues and vices of a
bygone age can, in the ordered security of our modern civilisation, see
many things which were hidden from our forefathers, even as in another
three hundred years our descendants will be able to point the finger of
scorn at the mistakes which we are now committing. We have seen how it was
that the pirate States arose; we have seen also how, in future generations,
they were allowed to abide. We cannot, in common honesty, echo the words
already quoted of the historian that "these are the judgments of God, and
things ordered by His divine providence and infinite wisdom," neither can
we acquit the heirs of the ages for that slackness which prevented them
from doing their duty; we have, however, to ask ourselves this question,
that, had it fallen to our own lot to deal with the problem of the
extermination of the pirates, should we have done better?

One word in conclusion. That which they did has been set down here; the
record, however, is not complete, as many of their acts of cruelty, lust,
and oppression are not fitted for publication in the present day. It has
been said, with truth, that no man is much better or much worse than in the
age in which he lives; and to hold the scales evenly--if one were tempted
to shock contemporary opinion by too literal a transcript of all that was
done by the corsairs--it would also be necessary to cite the reprisals of
their Christian antagonists. It has seemed better to leave such things
unchronicled: to present, with as much fidelity as possible, the public
lives and acts of these troublers of the peace of the sixteenth century.
Looking back, as we do, over three hundred and fifty years, and judging as
fairly as is possible, it would seem that there is little which can be said
in their favour.

But we may at least concede that, no matter how infamous were the
Barbarossas, Dragut, and Ali, they proved that in them dwelt one rare and
supreme quality, which, in all the ages, has covered a multitude of sins.
At a time when every one was a warrior and the whole world was an armed
camp, men sought great captains in whose following to serve. Among the
Moslems of Northern Africa, in ordered succession, there rose to the
surface "veritable men of the sea," in the wake of whose galleys ravened
the Sea-wolves. When we consider how undisciplined and how stupidly violent
these pirates were by nature, and how they were welded into a homogeneous
whole by those of whom we speak, we are forced to the conclusion that
seldom, in all the ages, have abler captains arisen to take fortune at the
flood, to dominate the minds and the bodies of a vast host, to prove that
they were, in deed and in truth, supreme as leaders of men.


Sailing Ships and their Story. E. Keble Chatterton.

Barbary Corsairs: Story of the Nations. Stanley Lane Poole.

Compleat History of the Present Seat of War in Africa between Spaniards
  and Algerines. 1632. Joseph Morgan.

History of Philip II. William Hickling Prescott.

History of Charles V. Robertson.

Histoire de Barberousse. Richer.

Vie des plus célèbres marins. Richer.

Histoire de Barberousse. Sander Rang et Ferdinand Denis.

Doria et Barberousse. Les derniers jours de la Marine aux Rames. Admiral
  Jurien de la Gravière.

Histoire de Barbarie et ses corsaires. Pierre d'An. Paris, 1637.

Histoire d'Alger. Laugier de Tassy.

Messire Pierre de Bourdeille Seigneur de Brantôme. Vie des hommes
  illustres et grands capitaines etrangers de son temps. 1594.

Histoires de les Chevaliers de Malte. Mons l'Abbé de Vertot. Paris, 17S6.

Histoire de Venise. P. Daru.

Topografia e Historia general de Argel El Señor Don Diego de Haedo.

Reverendissimo Arcobispo de Palermo. Presidente y Capitan-General del
  Reyno de Sicilia por el Rey Felipe Segundo. Nuestro señor.
  Valladolid, 1612.

Descripcion general de Africa. Don Luys de Marmol Caravajal. Granada,

Historia de Carlos Quinto. El Maestro Don Fray Prudencio
  de Sandoval, Obispo de Pampluna. 1612.

El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha. Cervantes.

Arte de Navegar. Martin Cortes.

Diálogos del arte militar. Bernardino de Escalante.
  Seville, 1583.

Historia del combate naval de Lepanto. Cayetano Rosell.

Epitaphia joco-seria. Francisco Swertius. 1623.

La Guerra dei pirati e la marina Pontifica dal 1500 al 1560.
  Padre Alberto Guglielmotti.

Storia della sacra religione et illustrissima milizia de San
  Giovanii Gerosolimitano. Jacopo Bosio.

Lo Assedio di Malta, 18 Maggio-8, Settembre, 1565. Conte
  Carlo, Sanminiatelli, Zabarella, Colonello.



Henry VII., 1485-1509.
Henry VIII., 1509-47.
Edward VI., 1547-53.
Mary, 1553-58.
Elizabeth, 1558-1603.


Charles VIII., 1483-98.
Louis XII., 1498-1515.
Francis I., 1515-47.
Henry II., 1547-59.
Francis II., 1559-60.
Charles IX., 1560-74.
Henry III., 1574-89.


Granada, taken by Ferdinand and Isabella, the sovereigns of Aragon and
Castile ("Los Reyes Catolicos") in 1492. Their daughter, Joanna, married
Philip, son of the Emperor Maximilian of Germany. Ferdinand died 1516, and
was succeeded by Charles V., son of Philip and Joanna, as King of Spain, in
1517. On the death of his grandfather Maximilian, in 1519, Charles was
elected Emperor of Germany. He resigned all his dignities and retired to
the monastery of Yuste in 1555, and was succeeded by his son, Philip II.
Charles died 1558. Philip II., who married as his first wife Mary Tudor, of
England, reigned from 1555 till 1598.


Bajazet II., 1481-1512; Selim the Cruel, 1512-20; Soliman the Magnificent,
1520-66; Selim II., known to the Spaniards as "el bebedor" (the
drunkard), 1566-74; Murad III., 1574-95.


Pius III., 1503; Julius II., 1503; Leo X., 1513; Hadrian VI., 1522; Clement
VII., 1523; Paul III., 1534; Julius III., 1550; Marcellus II., 1555; Paul
IV., 1555; Pius IV., 1559; Pius V., 1566; Gregory XIII., 1572; Sixtus V.,


Pierre d'Aubusson, 1476-1503; Emeri d'Amboise, 1503-13; Fabrice Carette,
1513-21; Villiers de L'Isle Adam, 1521-36; Juan d'Omedes, 1536-53; Claude
de la Sangle, 1553-57; Jean Parisot de la Valette, 1557-68; Pierre Dumont,
1568-72; Jean Levesque de la Cassière, 1572-82.


Gibraltar to Oran                                   225'
Oran to Tenes                                       110'
Tenes to Shershell                                   41'
Shershell to Algiers                                 40'
Algiers to Bona                                     104'
Bona to Jigelli                                      30'
Jigelli to Bizerta                                  205'
Bizerta to Tunis                                     55'
Tunis to Susa                                       120'
Susa to Sfax                                         86'
Sfax to Jerbah, otherwise known as Los Gelues        54'
Jerbah to Tripoli                                   130'
Gibraltar to Algiers                                410'
Algiers to Tunis                                    391'
Algiers to Tenes                                     91'
Tunis to Malta                                      232'
Malta to Tripoli in Barbary                         200'
Tripoli to Cape Serrano                             350'
Jerbah to Malta                                     210'


Abdahar, 141.

Abu-Abd-Allah-Mahomed, 40.

Actium, battle of, 189, 199, 366.

Adam, Prince Philippe Villiers L'Isle, Grand Master of the Knights of St.
    John, 42, 124, 299.

Adorno, Antony, 103.

Adriatic, coasts of the, 182.

Adrumentum, 251.

"Africa," town of, position and fortifications, 251,
  attacked and taken by Dragut, 257-259;
  besieged by Andrea Doria, 265;
  captured, 267;
  mutiny, 268;
  blown up, 268.

Ahmed, Arab, Basha of Algiers, 375,
  assassinated, 375.

Albania, coast of, 363, 366.

Al-Burdon, 350.

Alcadaar, Alcaid, 349.

Alcala, Duke of, 311.

Alcala de Henares, 371.

Alcaudite, Count of, his defence of Marzaquivir, 10.

Aldemar, St., Geoffrey de, 291.

Aleppo, 120, 125.

Alexander IV., Pope, 290.

Alexander VI., Pope, 99.

Alexander VII., Pope, initiates the "Alliance of Christian Princes," 38.

Alexandria, 49.

"Alexandria, The Young Moor of," defeated, 177,
  released, 178.

Alfonso, King of Navarre and Aragon, 291.

Alghieri, Bay of, 235.

Algiers, 2,
  attacks on, 30, 88;
  captured, 62, 64;
  Moorish refugees at, 63;
  appeal for help, 66;
  surrenders, 89;
  mutiny of Janissaries, 355;
  treaty with King Charles II., 377.

Ali Ahamed, Admiral of Algiers, 345.

Ali, at the siege of Malta, 328.

Ali Basha, or Occhiali or Uluchali, 6, 14, 22,
  present at the conference held by Soliman, 316;
  his birthplace, 345;
  endures the life of a galley-slave, 345;
  becomes a Mussulman, 346;
  enters the service of Dragut, 346;
  at the siege of Malta, 346;
  appointed Viceroy of Tripoli, 347;
  Governor of Algiers, 347;
  view of his duties,347;
  offered the sovereignty of Tunis, 349;
  expedition against Hamid, 349;
  captures Tunis, 350, 375;
  captures galleys of the Knights, 352-355;
  at the battle of Lepanto, 363,368-371;
  his banner, 368;
  captures the _Capitana_, 370;
  withdraws and escapes, 371;
  returns to Constantinople, 373, 375;
  nominated Admiralissimo, 374;
  his palace, 375;
  ailment of "scald-head," 375;
  death, 376.

Ali Basha, in command of the Turkish forces, 361,
  at the battle of Lepanto, 367;
  beheaded, 369.

Ali-Chabelli defeated, 180.

Al-Mehedi, his fortifications of "Africa" blown up, 268.

Amalfi, 287.

Ambracian Gulf, 189.

Amburac, Ibrahim, his plot with Dragut, 253, 256.

Ampasta, Rio de, 83.

An, Rev. Frere Pierre d', on the dangers from the corsairs of
    Barbary, 20-22, 27.

Andalusia, 4, 15.

Andior, 246.

Andrade, Captain Diego de, 73.

Andros, island of, 187.

Angelo, Michel, 139.

Aponte, Antonio de, "Electo Mayor" of "Africa," 268.

Aragon, Alfonso d', 235.

Aragon, Ferdinand of, acquires Granada, 29,
  attempts to recover Naples, 99.

Arba, Francisco d', 210, 217.

Archipelago, islands of the, 182,
  raid on, 187.

Arta, Gulf of, 189, 191, 195, 366.

Aubusson Pierre D', Grand Master of the Knights of St. John, 37,
    38, 39, 298.

Augustus Caesar, at the battle of Actium, 189, 199.

Austria, Don John of, 23, 230,
  in command of the forces of the "Holy League," 357;
  at Barcelona, 357;
  reception at Naples, 358;
  dress, 358;
  appearance, 359, 365;
  at Messina, 359;
  his fleet, 364;
  instructions, 365;
  at the battle of Lepanto, 366-371;
  recaptures Tunis, 375

Baetio, 141.

Bairan-Ogli, the Reis, in command of the "puissant galleon," 313.

Balearic Islands, 32, 66.

Barbarigo, Provéditeur, at the battle of Lepanto, 363.

Barbarossa, Hassan, left in charge of Algiers, 312.

Barbarossa, Khoyr-ed-Din, 6, 14, 17, 22, 108,
  King of the Sea, 24;
  his birth, 43;
  title, 45, 51;
  joins his brother at the island of Jerba, 50;
  attacks _The Galley of Naples_, 51-54;
  his wealth, 56;
  captures Jigelli, 56-58;
  his embassy to Soliman, 60, 76;
  character, 67, 75, 114-116, 127, 219;
  treatment of Hassan, 85-87;
  defeated by Venalcadi, 87;
  his allies, 88;
  fight against Venalcadi, 88;
  assisted by Spanish captives, 89;
  captures Algiers, 89;
  lays siege to the fortress of Navarro, 92-95;
  his plunder of the Christians, 108;
  requested to take the command of the Ottoman fleet, 111;
  voyage to Constantinople, 112-117;
  his captures, 113, 133;
  cruelty, 115, 133, 220;
  entry into Constantinople, 117;
  gifts to Soliman, 118;
  reception, 120;
  at Aleppo, 125;
  appointed head of the fleet, 127;
  his age, 127, 190;
  appearance, 127;
  speech to the Sultan, 128-130;
  raids on the coast of Italy, 133-137;
  sacks Reggio, 133;
  captures 11,000 Christian slaves, 133;
  his attempt to capture Julia Gonzaga, 134-136;
  enters Tunis 138;
  massacre of the inhabitants, 141;
  his fame, 142;
  appeal for help against the Christian hosts, 146;
  preparations for defence, 152;
  joined by the tribesmen, 153;
  defeated, 158;
  flight, 159;
  sufferings of his army, 163;
  at Bona, 164;
  embarks, 165;
  retires to Algiers, 168;
  return of his men, 169;
  captures the castle of Minorca, 172;
  recalled to Constantinople, 173, 178, 182;
  ravages, 182;
  number of slaves, 182;
  sets sail, 185;
  his innovation in the manning of galleys, 185-187;
  raid on the islands of the Archipelago, 187;
  his age, 190;
  hesitates to fight, 193;
  anchored in the Gulf of Arta, 194-207;
  at the battle of Prevesa, 208-216;
  withdraws from the battle, 213, 2l5, 2l7;
  his death, 220, 250;
  ransoms Dragut, 248.

Barbarossa, Uruj, 7, 74,
  his birth, 43;
  character, 44;
  first attempt at piracy, 45;
  taken prisoner, 46;
  escapes, 47, 48;
  presented with a ship, 48;
  winters at Alexandria, 49;
  at the island of Jerba, 50;
  joined by his brother, 50;
  treaty with the Sultan of Tunis, 51;
  attackes _The Galley of Naples_, 51-54;
  wounded, 54;
  attacks on Bougie, 55, 58;
  loses an arm, 55;
  appeal from the Algerines, 66;
  treatment of Kara-Hassan, 66;
  besieges Navarre's Tower, 67;
  slaughters the Berbers, 68-70;
  defeats Don Diego, 71;
  marches on Tlemcen, 72;
  blockaded, 73;
  killed, 73.

Barbary, coast of, 236.

Barbary, corsairs of, their character, 21.

Barbezieux, his attempt to seize Andrea Doria, 104.

Barcelona, 148, 357.

Bazan, Don Alvaro de, General of the Galleys of Spain, at Barcelona, 149,
  Admiral of Castile, 359.

Beachy Head, battle of, 283.

Beja, 350.

Bengabara, Alcaid, 349.

Berber tribes, their character, 57,
  number, 57;
  conspiracy against Uruj Barbarossa, 68;
  slaughtered, 69.

Bergerac, Jean Marteille de, on the treatment of slaves on board
    the galleys, 224.

Bianco, Cape, 189.

Biba, island of, 113.

Bizerta, 2, 40,
  captured, 41;
  massacre of, 141.

Boabdil el Chico, yields up Granada, 29.

Bona, 153, 164, 350,
  Cape, 264.

Bonifacio, Straits of, 113, 136.

Borgo, Il, fortress, siege of, 32, 324, 342.

Bosworth, battle of, 215.

Botaybo, Alcaid, 349.

Bougaroni, Cape, 56.

Bougie, 2, 153,
  attacks on, 55, 58.

Bouillon, Godfrey de, defeats the Saracens, 287.

Bourdeille, Pierre de, 242, 344.

Bragadino, his defence of Famagusta, 362,
  killed, 362.

Brigantines, 18, 151, 240.

Broglio, Commandeur, at the siege of Malta, 333.

Byzacena, 40.

Byzantine, Empire, fall of the, 33.

Cabri, 246.

Cachidiablo, 88, 90.

Cadiz, 4.

Cadolin, defeated, 100.

Cagliari, Bay of, 152, 236.

Calabria, 345.

Calibia, castle of, surrender, 264.

Canale, Girolame, his victory over the Moslems, 177.

Candia, 187.

Cañete, Marquis de, Viceroy and Captain General of Navarre, 147.

Cantara, La Bocca de, 272, 274.

Capello, Vicenzo, his age, 190,
  in command of the Venetian fleet, 191, 215;
  at Corfu, 191.

_Capitana_, the, captured, 354, 370,
  retaken, 371.

Capua, Prior of, his designs for the building of St. Elmo fortress, 325.

Caracosa, Marie, 98.

Caramania, coast of, 35, 37, 45, 48.

Caravajal, Don Luys de Marmol, his "Descripcion general de Affrica," 272.

Caravels, 231.

Carouan, 348.

Castel Rosso, Isle of, 47.

Castile, Isabella of, 29.

Castriot, Constantine, his report on the condition of St. Elmo, 337.

Centurion, Adan, fails to attack Barbarossa, 165.

Cephalonia, 313, 363, 366.

Cervantes, Miguel de, his mention of Ali Basha, 345,
  at the battle of Lepanto, 371;
  his wounds, 372.

Charabulac, 242.

Charlemagne, Emperor, his renown, 286.

Charles II., King of England, his treaty with Algiers, 377.

Charles V., Emperor, 14, 79,
  history of, 43;
  determines to crush the corsairs, 80;
  total fleet and army, 81,191;
  caught in a storm, 82;
  his wrath on the fall of Navarro, 97;
  acquisitions, 98;
  suzerain of Genoa, 101;
  joined by Andrea Doria, 105;
  his trust in him, 107;
  preparations for his attack on Barbarossa, 143;
  at Barcelona, 148;
  joined by his allies, 148-150;
  reviews the armada, 150;
  embarks in the _Galera Capitana_, 150;
  attack on the fortress of La Goletta, 156;
  defeats Barbarossa, 159;
  letter to the potentates, 163;
  evacuates Tunis, 166;
  his mistaken policy, 167;
  at Corfu, 191;
  orders the destruction of Dragut, 245, 261;
  orders the capture of "Africa," 265;
  denunciation of Dragut, 271;
  concentrates his fleet at Messina, 278.

"Christian Princes, Alliance of," formed, 38,
  artillery, 39;
  seize Naples, 40.

Christian slaves, number of, captured, 133.

Città Notabile, 308.

Civita Lavinia, 140.

Coeva, Andrea, 98.

Colonna, Camille, taken prisoner, 101.

Colonna, Mark Antony, in command of the Papal fleet, 360, 364.

Colonna, Vespasian, 134.

Columbus, his caravels, 231.

Comares, Marquis de, 80.

Condalmiero, Alessandro, Captain of the _Galleon of Venice_, 192, 194,
  attacked by the Moslems, 209-213;
  his victory, 213.

Constantine, 350.

Constantinople, fall of, 33,
  entry of Barbarossa into, 117.

Còrdoba, Don Martin de, his defence of Oran, 10.

Còrdoba, Gonsalvo de, the "Great Captain," 39,
  war against Roverejo, 99;
  besieges the fortress of Rocca Guillelma, 99.

Còrdoba, Mosque at, 64.

Corfu, siege of, 179.

Cornet, Commandeur de, 337.

Cornillan, Pierre de, appointed Grand Master of the Knights of
    St. John, 298.

Coron, 355.

Coronado, Capt. Juan Vasquez, 273.

Corsairs, Moslem, their iron and rigid discipline, 7.
  _See_ Moslem

Corsica, coast of, 246.

Corso, Mami, left in charge of Algiers, 349.

Cos, or Lango, island of, fortifications of, 292.

Curtogali, at Bizerta, 40,
  his depredations, 41;
  attempt to carry off the Pope, 41, 140;
  Governor of Rhodes, 42.

Cyprus, island of, 34, 356.

Daoud Pasha, Admiral, defeats Grimani, 38.

Dardanelles, 116,
  fortification of the, 34.

Daru, P., _Histoire de Venise_, 364, 367.

Delizuff, joins forces with Barbarossa, 112,
  killed, 113.

Diou-Donnè, Gozon de, his mode of killing a serpent, 294-296,
  praises of his services, 297;
  appointed Grand Master of the Knights of St. John, 298;
  his death, 298.

Doria Andrea, 6, 22, 108,
  his birth, 98;
  parents, 98;
  sent to Rome, 98;
  at the court of Urbino, 99;
  in the service of the King of Aragon, 99;
  joins Roverejo, 99;
  takes service with Lodovico Sforza, 100;
  appointed General of the Galleys, 100;
  captures the Fort of the Lantern, 100;
  defeats Cadolin, 100;
  appointed Captain-General of the Galleys of France, 101;
  the treatment of Francis I., 102, 104;
  letter to him, 103;
  joins Charles V., 105;
  honours received from Genoa, 105;
  Admiralissimo of the Navy, 107, 151;
  defeats the Turks at Patras, 109;
  at Barcelona, 148;
  captures Bona, 166;
  pursuit of Barbarossa, 166;
  defeats Ali-Chabelli, 180;
  wounded, 180;
  appearance, 180;
  age, 190;
  his fleet, 192;
  anchors outside the Gulf of Arta, 194-207;
  at Sessola, 207;
  tactics at the battle of Prevesa, 214;
  sails away, 216;
  ordered to capture Dragut, 261, 271;
  his pursuit of him, 262-264;
  expedition against "Africa," 265;
  blockades Dragut at Jerbah, 271-275;
  allows him to escape, 275.

Doria, David, 99.

Doria, Dominique, 98.

Doria, Franco, 192.

Doria, Jannetin, captures Dragut, 245-247.

Doria, John, 165.

Doria, John Andrea, at the battle of Lepanto, 363, 367, 370.

Doria, Philippin, defeats Moncada, 101.

Dragut-Reis, 10, 14, 22,
  his birth and parents, 242;
  career, 242;
  offers his services to Barbarossa, 243;
  in command of twelve galleys, 243;
  his destruction ordered, 245, 261;
  captured by Jannetin Doria, 245-247;
  employed as a galley slave, 248;
  ransomed, 248;
  increase of power, 250;
  his desire to capture "Africa," 251;
  plot with Ibrahim Amburac, 253;
  preparations for the attack, 254-256;
  wounded, 257;
  attack on the city, 257-259;
  pursued by Andrea Doria, 262-264, 271;
  his "Horrid Devastations," 264;
  in the siege of "Africa," 265;
  escapes, 267;
  at Constantinople, 269, 276;
  denounced by Charles V., 270;
  appointed Sandjak, or governor, of the island of Santa Maura, 271;
  blockaded at Jerban, 271-275;
  mode of escape, 275;
  hatred of the Knights of Malta, 276, 286;
  autocrat of Tripoli, 309;
  characteristics, 315;
  at the siege of Malta, 329-339;
  mortally wounded, 339;
  death, 341.

Dupuy, Raimond, joins the Hospice of St. John, 288,
  appointed Grand Master, 289;
  forms a military corps, 289.

Eginard, 286.

Egypt, Soldan of, his treatment of the Knights of Saint John, 34,
  besieges Rhodes, 36.

Elmo, St., siege of, 6, 301-305, 323-341,
  appeal of the garrison to abandon the fortress, 335-337;
  their use of fireworks, 339;
  fall, 341.

Escalente, Bernardino de, his "Diálogos del arte militar," 371.

Esquemelin, John, his literary labours, 1.

Etienne, St., Mount, 294.

Eutemi, Selim, besieges Algiers, 65,
  assassinated, 68.

Exmouth, Lord, bombards Algiers,30.

Famagusta, captured, 362.

Ferdinand V., King of Spain, joins the "Alliance of Christian Princes," 38,
  his death, 65.

_Florence_, the, 236.

Floreta, M. de., 144.

Forfait, on the speed of the galley, 234.

Francis I., 14,
  appoints Andrea Doria Captain of his fleet, 101;
  attempts to levy a fine, 102;
  treatment of him, 102;
  fortifies Savona, 103;
  letter from Andrea Doria, 103;
  attempts to take him prisoner, 104;
  refuses to join in the war against Barbarossa, 144;
  treachery, 144.

Fundi, 134,
  sacked by the corsairs, 136.

Galeasse, the, 18,
  description of a, 233.

_Galera Capitana_, 150,
  number of flags and banners on board, 151.

_Galleon of Venice_, 192, 194, 208,
  attacked by the Moslems, 209-213;
  victory, 213.

Galley, 2, 18,
  sufferings of the rower, 19, 221;
  innovation in the manning, 185;
  mobility, 222;
  length, 222;
  number of men on board, 223;
  treatment of the slaves, 223-229, 379;
  size, 229;
  mode of opening fire, 230;
  speed, 234;
  obsolete, 236.

_Galley of Naples, The_, attacked by the brothers Barbarossa, 51-54.

Gardampe, Chevalier Abel de Bridiers de la, killed at the siege of
    Malta, 333.

Gelves, 271.

Genoa, 32,
  arrangement with the Grand Turk, 34;
  confers honours on Andrea Doria, 105.

Gerard, the founder of the Order of St. John, 287,
  death, 288.

Gibraltar, Straits of, 15.

Giou, Chevalier de, 313.

Goialatta, 246.

Goletta, La, 348,
  attack on the fortress, 156;
  fall, 157;
  captured, 313.

Gomez, Alvar, left in charge of Bona, 166.

Gonzaga, Hernando de, his advice at the battle of Prevesa, 198.

Gonzaga, Julia, attempt to capture her, 134-136,
  escape, 136.

Gozo, island of, Knights of St. John at, 277, 299,
  sacked, 309.

Granada, fall of, 4, 8, 22,
  expulsion of the Moors from, 8, 29;
  revolt in, 347.

Grandenico, Count, 178.

Granvelle, Cardinal, 7, 359.

Gravière, Admiral Jurien de la, 17, 54, 127, 214,
  his description of a Galeasse, 233.

_Great Harry_, 232.

Grimani, Antonio, the Venetian Admiral, defeated at Zonchio, 38.

Grimani, Marco, in command of the Papal contingent, 191, 214,
  at Corfu, 191;
  raid on Arta, 191.

Guasto, Marquis de, taken prisoner, 101,
  his suggestion to Andrea Doria, 104;
  in command of the army, 156.

Guerare, Sergeant-Major, at the siege of Malta, 332.

Guglielmotti, Alberto, his work "La Guerra dei Pirati," 39, 41, 180.

Guimeran, Commandeur de, success of his ambush, 307.

_Guzmana_, the galley, 371.

Hadj-Hossein, his embassy to Selim I., 76-78.

Haedo, Don Fray Diego de, his _History of Algiers_, 96, 348, 353, 374.

Hamid, King of Tunis, character of his rule, 348,
  conspiracy against, 349;
  flight, 350.

Hassan Ali, 53,
  ravages towns and villages, 83;
  repulsed by Spaniards, 84;
  flogged and imprisoned, 86;
  released, 87;
  attacks Barbarossa, 87.

Hassem, his attack on Oran, 10,
  retreat, 10.

Henry II., 34.

Henry VII., 215.

Henry VIII., 14.

Herbert, Arthur, concludes a treaty with Algiers, 377.

Himeral, Basha, 114, 125.

Hogue, La, battle of, 283.

Honoré II., Pope, 291.

Horusco, Pero Lopez de, 166.

Hunyadi, John, 14.

Hyères, island of, 234.

Ibrahim, Grand Vizier to Soliman, 9,
  his mission to Aleppo, 120;
  advice, 123;
  impressions of Barbarossa, 126;
  return from Aleppo, 132;
  his relations with Soliman, 173;
  murdered, 176.

Innocent VIII., Pope, 98.

Ionian Islands, 179.

Ionian Sea, 49.

Ithaca, island of, 366.

Iviza, 82.

Janissaries, their character as soldiers, 8,
  institution, 279;
  system of training, 280;
  mutiny in Algiers, 355.

Jerbale, 2, 50, 153, 251.

Jerusalem, Hospice of St. John at, 287.

Jigelli, 2, 56,
  siege of, 57.

John of Jerusalem, St., Knights of, 18.
  _See_ Knights

Judeo, El, 88.

Kara-Hassan, takes possession of Shershell, 66,
  beheaded, 67.

Khorkud, Governor of Caramania, 48.

Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, or Knights of Malta, their bigotry, 18,
  take refuge at Limasol, 34;
  characteristics, 35, 36;
  fortifications of Rhodes, 35;
  faith, 36;
  repulse the Turks, 37;
  expelled from Rhodes, 42, 277;
  forced to retreat to Malta, 42, 277, 292;
  their use of galleys, 229;
  fight for their "Religion," 277;
  warfare against the corsairs, 277;
  history of the Order, 286-291;
  founded at Jerusalem, 287;
  Grand Masters, 289-298, 301;
  crusade against the Infidel, 289;
  composition of the Order, 289;
  languages, 290;
  dress, 290;
  form of government, 291;
  in the siege of Malta, 300, 324-342;
  number of deaths, 300;
  capture fortresses, 312;
  capture the "puissant galleon," 313;
  at Licata, 352;
  their galleys captured by Ali Basha, 352-355.

Knights Templars, foundation of the Order, 291,
  code of regulations, 291.

Kustir-Aga, chief Eunuch of the Seraglio, 313.

Lamirande, Chevalier, at the siege of Malta, 334,
  killed, 341.

_Lancaster_, the cruiser, 231.

Lanciani, extract from "The Golden Age of the Renaissance," 139.

Lantern, Fort of the, captured, 100.

Lautrec, Marshal de, 104.

Leo X., Pope, 41,
  attempt on his life, 140;
  flight to Rome, 141.

Lepanto, battle of, 6, 23, 362-372;
  number of killed and wounded, 372.

Lerici, 104.

Leyva, Antonio de, 143.

Leyva, Don Sancho de, Governor of "Africa," 267.

Liazzo, 246.

Licastelli, 345.

Licata, 352.

Limasol, 34.

Loredano, Jacques, 34.

Loredano, Captain, at the battle of Lepanto, 369.

Los Gelues, 112, 271.

Louis XII., 100,
  joins the "Alliance of Christian Princes," 38.

Magliana, Castle of, 140.

Mahan, Rear-Admiral, his books on "Sea Power," 14.

Mahomedi, banished from Constantinople, 43,
  his sons, 43.

Mahomet, result of his death, 286.

Mahomet II., Caliph, captures Constantinople, 33,
  fortifies the Dardanelles, 34;
  defeated Rhodes, 38;
  death, 38.

Majorca, 172.

Malipier, Captain, at the battle of Lepanto, 369.

Malta, siege of, 6, 22, 299-305, 324-342,
  number of deaths, 300;
  position, 315;
  expedition against, 316;
  preparations for the siege, 318-321.

Malta, Knights of.
  _see_ Knights

_Marquesa_, the galley, 371.

Marsa Muzetto harbour, 325, 331.

Marsaquivir, attack on, 10.

Maura, Santa, island of, 207, 271.

Mecca, 4.

Medina-Celi, Juan la Cerda, Duke of, expedition against Tripoli, 311.

Medran, Chevalier Gonzales de, at the siege of St. Elmo, 327, 332, 335.

Mehedia, 251.

Melac, Commandeur Gozon de, 312.

Mendoza, Bernard de, in command of La Goletta, 166.

Mendoza, Don Luis Hurtado de, 143.

Messina, 180, 278, 359.

Minorca, 172.

Mitylene, island of, 43.

Monastir, 2, 250.

Moncada, Don Hugo de, Viceroy of Sicily, 80,
  escapes to Iviza, 82;
  defeated and slain, 101.

Mondejar, Marquis de, 143.

Monferrato, Monastery of Nuestra Señora de, pilgrimages to, 150, 357.

Monte Cristo island, 113.

Montmorency, Anne de, 281.

Monuc, the eunuch, 206.

Moors, their characteristics, 4,
  expulsion from Granada, 8, 29;
  their condition in Algiers, 63.

Morea, the, 355, 366.

Morgan, Sir Henry, his capture of Panama, 24.

Morgan, J., his _Compleat History of Algiers_, 243, 250, 345.

Moriscoes, their persecutions, 5,
  revolt in Granada, 347.

Mosca, Lodovico del, 39.

Moslem corsairs, their cupidity, 3,
  driven out of Spain, 4, 29;
  characteristics, 4, 67, 241;
  fanaticism, 5, 17;
  supremacy on the sea, 8;
  frequent defeats, 10;
  tyranny, 11;
  ships, 18;
  booty, 24;
  cruel methods, 24, 32;
  retrogression, 239;
  mode of commencing their careers, 240;
  conquer Palestine, 286;
  at the siege of Malta, 300;
  number of deaths, 300.

Motte, Chevalier de la, at the siege of St. Elmo, 327.

Mourad-Reis, 201.

Moustafa-Billah, Caliph, 287.

Muley Hamid, negotiations with, 330.

Muley Hassan, King of Tunis, 130, 137,
  restored to his kingdom, 161;
  terms of his vassalage, 162.

Mustafa, in command of the land forces against Malta, 316, 322,
  captures Famagusta, 362.

Naples, seized, 40,
  invasion of, 90;
  reception of Don John of Austria at, 358.

Navarro, Count Pedro de, seizes the town of Bougie, 55,
  captures Algiers, 62, 64;
  his Tower, 64.

Navarro's Tower, siege of, 65, 67, 91-95,
  captured, 95;
  pulled down, 97.

Nef, the, 18, 232.

Negropont, Bailli of, at the siege of Malta, 326, 332, 333,
  killed, 341.

Nunez, Martin, his embassy to the Pope, 163.

  _See_ Ali Basha.

Ojeda, Captain, rescues the _Capitana_ at the battle of Lepanto, 371.

Omedes, Juan d', Grand Master of the Knights of St. John, 278,
  warned of the approach of the corsairs, 281;
  refuses to take alarm, 281, 306.

Oneglia, 98.

Oran, 2, 73,
  attack on, 10.

Oristano, Gulf of, 236.

Osmanli, their warlike achievements on land, 15.

Ottoman, 292,
  his siege of Rhodes, 293.

_Our Lady of the Conception_, 45.

Palamos, Bay of, 236.

Palermo, 265.

Palestine, conquered by Moslems, 286.

Palma, 172.

Panama, capture of, 24.

Pantellaria, island of, 236.

Pantera, Captain Pantero, "L' Armata Navale," 225.

Parma, Prince of, at the battle of Lepanto, 364.

Paschal II., Pope, 301.

Passaro, Cape, 352.

Patras, Turks defeated at, 109.

_Patrona_ galley, capture of, 275.

Paul III., his scheme of defence for Rome, 139.

Paxo, island of, 180.

Payens, Hugues de, founds the Order of the Knights Templars, 291.

Pedro, Francisco San, 371.

Penne, Barras de la, on the treatment of men on board the galleys, 223.

Peter the Hermit, 287.

Philip II., King of Spain, 274, 311,
  forms the "Holy League," 357;
  his fleet, 360.

Piali, Admiral, 10,
  in command of the fleet against Malta, 316, 322.

Pierre, St., Isle of, 235.

Pius V., Pope, 356, 373,
  forms the "Holy League," 357.

Portugal, Don Juan, King of, his armada at Barcelona, 148.

Portugal, Prince Luis of, at Barcelona, 148, 150.

Prescott, William Hickling, 4,
  his description of the Janissaries, 279;
  of Don John of Austria, 358;
  of the battle of Lepanto, 364, 368.

Press-gang, methods of the, 226.

Prevesa, battle of, 6, 22, 108, 189, 190, 194-218, 366.

Punta delle Forche, 277, 333.

Rabadan, Celebi, 92, 112.

Rabadan, left in charge of Tunis, 351.

Raschid, 130, 137.

Raschid, Caliph Haroun, 287.

Ravenstein, Count Philip of, 39.

_Real_, the, 364.

Reggio, 32,
  sack of, 133.

Reis, Aisa-, left in charge of "Africa," 261, 264,
  his defence, 266;
  captured, 267.

Reis, Dragut-,
  _See_ Dragut

Requesens, Don Luiz de, disaster to his fleet, 234.

_Revenge_, the, 354.

Rhodes, island of, 242,
  seized by the Knights of St. John, 35, 292;
  besieged, 36, 293;
  serpent at, 294-296;
  derivation of the name, 297.

Ribera, Don Perisan de, 80.

Ricasoli, 333.

Richard II, 215.

Rio, Juan del, taken captive, 71.

Rivière, Chevalier La, 322.

Robeira, Captain, repulses the corsairs, 84.

Rocca Guillelma, fortress of, besieged, 99.

Rodas, Capitan de, 111.

Roderick the Goth, conquered by the Osmanli, 15, 29.

Rome, fortifications of, 139.

Romegas, Commandeur de, 312, 313,
  his account of the battle of Lepanto, 360.

Rosell, Don Cayetano, his _Historia del combate naval de
    Lepanto_, 359, 364.

Roverejo, Juan, war with Cordoba, 99.

Roxalana, Sultana, her influence over Soliman, 174,
  characteristics, 174;
  jealousy, 174;
  murders Ibrahim, 176.

Salaerrez, 88.

Saleh-Reis, 187.

Salerno, Gulf of, 101.

Sallee, the rovers, 237.

Sandoval, El Maestro Don Fray Prudencio de, his history of
    Charles V., 43, 70, 71, 108, 142, 144, 150, 155.

Sangle, Claude de la, his death, 309.

Sangullo, Antonio de, 139.

_Santa Ana_, bravery of the, 353.

Santa Cruz, Marquis of, at the battle of Lepanto, 364,
  rescues the _Capitana_, 371.

_Santa Maria_, the flagship of Columbus, 231.

Sardinia, 136.

Satalie, Gulf of, 47.

Savona, fortification of, 103.

Sceberass, Mount, 301, 307, 325, 342.

Scutari, 38.

Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean,
  take refuge in Northern Africa, 1;
  their deeds of terror, 2;
  cupidity, 3;
  fanaticism, 5, 17;
  autocratic rule, 7, 25;
  equality, 7;
  aptitude for the sea, 8;
  defeats, 10;
  nefarious doings, 15;
  characteristics of their leaders, 16, 25, 284, 376;
  ships, 18;
  character of the men, 26;
  leagues against, 29;
  relations with the Turks, 33.

Seignelay, his criticism of Admiral de Tourville, 283.

Selim I., Sultan of Turkey.
  _See_ Soliman

Selim II., Sultan of Turkey, 356,
  his character, 356;
  lays claim to the island of Cyprus, 356.

Serpent, method of killing, 294-296.

Sesse, Duke of, 311.

Sessola, islet of, 207.

Sfax, 2, 250.

Sforza, Lodovico, Duke of Milan, 100.

Shershell, 2, 66.

Shott-el-Jerid, 153.

Sinan-Reis, in command of La Goletta fortress, 156,
  at the battle of Prevesa, 197;
  in command of the Janissaries, 279, 281;
  character as a leader, 285, 307;
  his expedition against Malta, 306;
  sacks the island of Gozo, 309;
  captures Tripoli, 309.

Skiathos, 187.

Skios island, 187.

Slaves, on board galleys, their treatment, 223-229,
  mutiny at Lepanto, 228.

Smyrna, Basha of, 48.

Soliman the Magnificent, Sultan of Turkey, 9, 14, 109,
  expels the Knights of St. John from Rhodes, 42, 277, 299;
  embassy from Barbarossa, 60, 76;
  sends reinforcements, 61;
  recalls his ships, 61;
  his conquest of the Mamelukes, 77;
  invites the cooperation of Barbarossa, 110;
  appoints him commander of his fleet, 111, 117, 127;
  receives gifts from him, 118;
  his reception of him, 120;
  relations with Ibrahim, 173;
  under the influence of Roxalana, 174;
  declares war against Venice, 179;
  defeated, 179;
  preparations for campaigns, 183, 277, 316;
  his demands from Charles V., 270;
  loss of his "puissant galleon," 313;
  lamentations of his people, 314;
  holds a conference, 316;
  expedition against Malta, 316;
  his death, 356.

Spaniards, under Moorish rule, 30,
  expedition against the Barbarossas, 62;
  repulse Hassan, 84;
  captives, assist in the capture of Algiers, 89;
  restored to liberty, 89.

Spartivento, Cape, 136.

Spezzia, Gulf of, 104.

Susa, 2, 250.

Swertius, Franciscus, his collection of epitaphs, 373.

Tabas, 88.

Taranto, 32.

Tarik, 15, 29.

Tenes, 2,
  fall of, 72.

Thevenot, his Travels, 297.

Tiber, the, 139.

Tineo, Garzia de, kills Uruj Barbarossa, 73.

Tlemcen, 2.

Tlemcen, Sultan of, his flight to Fez, 72.

Toledo, Don Garcia de, 230;
  in the expedition against Dragut, 265;
  his character as a ruler, 317.

Toledo, Don Pedro de, 273.

Tours, Viscomte de, sent to Genoa, 102.

Tourville, Admiral de, criticism on, 283.

Traparni, 265.

Tripoli, 2, 153,
  defence of, 10;
  capture, 309;
  fortifications, 311;
  expedition against, 311.

Trivulce, Theodore, 104.

Tunis, 2,
  captured by the corsairs, 137, 375;
  massacre in, 141, 159;
  fortifications repaired, 146;
  rebellion in, 348;
  appeal to Ali Basha, 349;
  flight of Hamid, 350.

Tunis, Sultan of, his treaties with the Barbarossas, 51, 61,
  repudiates treaty, 59.

Turks, their character as soldiers, 8, 124,
  relations with the Sea-wolves, 33;
  attack on Rhodes, 37;
  defeated at Patras, 109.

Tuscany, Duke of, 235.

Urbain II., Pope, 287.

Urbino, Duke of, 99,
  at the battle of Lepanto, 364.

Vagnor, Chevalier, 333.

Valentia, ravaged by corsairs, 83.

Valetta, position of, 307, 342.

Valette, Jean Parisot de la, Grand Master of the Knights of
  St. John, 6, 248;
  his characteristics, 301, 309;
  creed, 302;
  personal example in the siege of Malta, 302-305;
  his high conception of duty, 310;
  expedition against Tripoli, 311;
  repulsed, 312;
  summons help, 318;
  preparations for the siege, 318-321;
  address to his brethren, 319;
  at the siege of Malta, 324-328;
  reinforcements, 328.

Vargas, Martin de, in command of the fortress of Navarro, 91,
  besieged, 91-95;
  wounded and taken prisoner, 95;
  beheaded, 96.

Vasto, Marquis de, 143.

Vega, Don Alvaro, in command of "Africa," 267.

Vega, Don Juan de, Viceroy of Sicily, 273,
  in the expedition against Dragut, 265.

Velez, Peñon de, captured, 312.

Venalcadi, 73,
  escapes, 86;
  attacks Barbarossa, 87;
  fight, 88;
  beheaded, 88.

_Vengeur_, the, 354.

Venice, 32,
  treaty of commerce concluded, 34;
  relations with Soliman, 179;
  war declared, 179;
  "Holy League" formed, 357.

Veniero, Sebastian in command of the Venetian fleet, 360, 364.

Vera, Don Diego de, sent to capture Algiers, 70,
  defeated, 71.

Vercoyran, Chevalier de, at the siege of Malta, 332.

Vertot, M. L'Abbé de, 273, 297, 311.

_Victory_, the, 354.

Villaret, Fulke de, Grand Master of the Knights of St. John, 35,
  seizes Rhodes, 35, 292.

Villegagnon, Commandeur de, his interview with the Grand Master, 281.

Villeneuve, Helion de, Grand Master of the Knights of St. John, 293,
  character of his rule, 293;
  death, 297.

Vittoriosa, 299.

Volo, Gulf of, 187.

Ximenes, Fray Francisco, Cardinal Bishop of Toledo, 70.

Yamboli, 216.

Yonis Bey, sent to Venice, 178.

Zante, island of, 114, 313.

Zara, port of, 227.

Zay, Basha, 114, 125.

Zonchio, battle of, 38.




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