"Mon. Is he well shipped?
Cas. His bark is stoutly timbered, and his pilot
Of very expert and approved allowance:
Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure.
Within. A sail! a sail!
Cas. What noise?
Fourth Gent. The town is empty: on the brow o' th' hill
Stand ranks of people,--and they cry, A sail!"
Then, my Lords," said Constantine, as a council of war had assembled in the Great Audience Hall of the palace, "that powder has failed."
"It has as good as failed, sire," said the Great Logothete. "At my bastion they have not fired more than twenty or thirty shots this morning--and now I have absolutely none at all."
"It is not quite so bad with me," said Justiniani; "but I do not think I have five barrels left--and we are so exposed at S. Romanus's Tower that we can hardly hope to beat them off without fire-arms."
"For me," said Phranza, "we did some execution early in the morning at the Adrianople bastion--but we have been forced to be idle all the forenoon, for we are reduced to a barrel and a half."
"It is strange beyond admiration what can have happened to the fleet," said Constantine:--"sometimes I begin to fear that it is cut off altogether: certain it is that, if it be not, De Rushton could never have reached it,--he would have made the attempt at all risks."
"If we are thus idle another day, sire," said Justiniani, "the Infidels will try a general assault: it is only the good service of our cannon that has kept them off hitherto."
"The wind is perfectly fair for their arrival," said Lucas Notaras. "I have marked it especially; last week it was principally east and north-east, so that they would have been pretty well wind-bound,--then we had a day or two of perfect calm--but yesterday the wind shifted to the south-west, and to-day there is a steady gale from that quarter."
"The watchman has orders to report half-hourly: but the message has ever been the same," said the Proto-vestiare.
"Ay," replied the Emperor: "and the question now is, whether to risk another adventurer. It is ten days since we despatched the Great Acolyth: he might have had ample time to return--to say nothing of the chance that the fleet might have sailed before his arrival."
"What is the precise number of men that we expect?" inquired the Curopalata. [Curopalata: this dignity, which answered to that of Count of the Palace in the West, assumed its importance, if not its name, under Leo the Philosopher. At its first origin, the Commander of the Life Guards was so denominated. Af the time of which we are writing, as so many other titles of dignity in the Byzantine Court, it was a mere sinecure.]
"Each of the Genoese vessels," replied Justiniani, "is to bring two hundred men at arms, and a hundred barrels of gunpowder. Then there will be a good cargo of wheat, barley, rye, wine, oil, and cheese."
"The Imperial vessel's cargo," said the Emperor, "must depend on its good fortune among the Islands,---but I look for more provisions and fewer men in her, than in the rest."
At this moment, one of the guards approached the Emperor, saying--
"May it please your Majesty, the watchman on S. Michael's Tower thinks that lie can make out some vessels to sea--but whether our fleet or not, he dare not say."
"Follow me, my Lords,--let us see for ourselves." And led by Constantine, the whole party passed along one of the corridors of the palace, till they reached the foot of the tower in question, and began to ascend the winding staircase.
And a magnificent view it was that presented itself to them when they stood on the balcony. The city, squares, domes, fountains, gardens, streets,--stretched at their feet like a map: the Golden Horn winding along like a silver river under its walls,--the fair houses and rich gardens of Galata beyond, to the north-eastj--the innumerable parties of Turks, in the trenches under the walls, in dark squares, in long lines, the tents, the banners, and cavalry, the single horsemen hurrying across the plain on some message--the advance of a solitary body of infantry,--here and there a white wreath of smoke, followed by the boom of a cannon--huge machines of destruction, stretching out their long thin arms, as if bearing witness, like gaunt preachers, of the impending ruin of the city: beyond all this again blue hills and green plains, stretching on and on and on, till limited at last by the dark ridge of the Balkan. Seaward, the eye ranged over the enormous mass of S. Sophia, over the black vessels that thronged the Bosporus, on to the cypress groves of Chal-cedon, the long narrow strait,--the interminable Fontus, and the lovely hills of Mysia and Bithynia.
But not one eye lingered on any part of this wonderful landscape eastward: every face was instantly turned, with intense and protracted gaze, down the Sea of Marmora,--to where Cyzicus and Proconnesus seemed to touch the European shore, and to shut out further view.
"What do you make out, Theophylact?" inquired the Emperor, hurriedly.
"I thought," said the watchman, "may it please your Splendour, that some ten minutes ago I made out sails--but the sun comes so strong from the south-west that I know not whether I saw sooth or not. There, your Highness--you see the dome of the Panaghia of Hope?"
"I see it," said Constantine.
"Bear a little to the right--not so much as to S. Theodore: your Highness is too far--and you see one tall house, by itself."
"Yes," said the Emperor.
"Straight over that, your Majesty, if I see them at all,--there it is."
The whole party shaded their eyes from the sun, and gazed in the direction pointed out. Phranza and Notaras, now elderly men, soon gave up the task: the Emperor, after a few minutes' perfect silence, said,--"I can see something, but it may be a white house at Proconnesus."
"I doubt, sire, I doubt," said Justiniani.
"How shows it to you?" asked the Curopalata of the watchman--"larger at the top, or at the bottom?"
"At the top, my Lord, if I see right."
"So it does to me," said the nobleman.
"That looks not like a house," observed the Emperor. "But half an hour will set us beyond doubt."
"There is one man in Constantinople," said Theophylact, "that has a sharper sight than I have--if your Majesty thought fit, he might be summoned."
"What is his name?" inquired Constantine.
"He is a lieutenant in the Varangians, sire, and his name is Contari."
"I know the man," cried the Emperor: "let him be called here instantly." And a guard went off with all expedition to fetch him.
While the party were waiting in eager expectation of his arrival, a cloud passed over the sun; and then the whole line of coast showed so clear, so unbroken, as it embosomed the Propontis, that even the most sanguine believed the hopes they had been entertaining to have no foundation. In about twenty minutes Contari had arrived.
"Lieutenant Contari," said the Emperor, "we hear that you have an excellent sight. Look westward, and see if you can make ought out."
Contari looked steadfastly for about a minute, and then said decidedly, "Yes, sire;--there are two great ships in sight."
"God be praised! God be praised!" cried Constantine.--"But only two?"
"Only two, sire, on this side Proconnesus, at least, as yet."
"I see them, I see them," said Theophylact, presently, "sure enough. But look, lieutenant--there yonder by the shore under yon hill, that must be another!"
"Yes, yes, there are three! there are three!" cried Contari, joyfully:--and now the foremost two of the squadron were clearly and distinctly visible.
"Let a procession be instantly made for their good passage," said the Emperor. "Let the Archbishop of Chalcedon--nay, he is indisposed--let the Bishop of Rhodosto take his place. We will join it ourselves. Where shall we see the passage best, Lord Phranza?"
"In no place, my Liege, so well as from the terrace of my garden," answered the Protovestiare, "if you will condescend to honour it."
"Excellently well thought of, my Lord. Thither will we all. Let some one call the despot Choniates--he is well versed in sea matters--his advice may be of use."
"There is another!" cried Theophylact and Contari simultaneously.
"Then there lacks only one. No doubt the number is full."
"Ay, sire," said Phranza. "God only send them a good passage!"
"He will, He will, Phranza. The wind holds very fair."
In the meantime the news was evidently spreading:--housetops and church roofs began to exhibit first one or two scattered spectators--then thicker groups, then to be crowded. Gradually, the sea-wall was thronged, though nothing, at present, could be seen from that.
"There it is, my Liege," cried Contari; "that makes the five."
"Let us go down, my Lord, to your terrace," cried the Emperor. "Contari, you will come too. As soon as the procession is formed, we will join it."
But such was the eager devotion of the populace, that even as they descended the tower stairs, the bells began to toll forth the summons; and falling in with the tide of the crowd, Constantine and his attendants passed through the Contoscalion and so on to the sea-wall.
Theodora had been drawn forth by the beauty of the afternoon into the garden of Phranza:--and with a heart sick with hope deferred, she was walking up and down the terrace, gazing on the Bosporus and the hostile armament, and almost renouncing the hope of again meeting him whom she had so lately seen depart with so sanguine expectation of success. It was about three o'clock, when the sounds of confusion were heard in the palace--and presently her attendant, Maria, hastened into the garden.
"Lady! dear lady! the ships are in sight!"
It was so: now, even from the shore there could be no doubt of the fact. For far to the west, the sun glanced on the white sails, flaking the sea as with spots of snow. A hum and buzz in the great city, like the wind in a distant forest: shouts here and there: horses galloping: then the bells rang out. Multitudes, multitudes on the sea-wall, on every vacant space, on every housetop.
Theodora's heart beat till she could hear no other sound. The servants were forgetful of all distinctions of rank in the excitement of the moment. Presently from the galley of the Capitan Pasha, as it rode proudly among the lesser vessels, the great green flag rose, and waved in the gale. Instantly all was confusion in the blockading fleet:--the approach of the enemy was at length seen; orders were issued in all directions; trumpets sounded, and atabals clanged; little boats were rowed hither and thither; and slowly and with difficulty, the three hundred vessels of the infidels, forming in a crescent, stretched from the Stable gate on the sea-wall to the landing-place now called the Harem Iskelehsi on the Asiatic side.
While Theodora was employed in watching these movements, there was a stir and a hum of voices in the palace itself; and presently the Emperor, her father, Justiniani, and three or four more of the principal officers of the court, entered the garden. After kneeling to Constantine, she was about to retire; but he said, kindly, "Nay, lady, you have as much interest in the end of this day's business as any one; pray you stay, and if it please you, be seated. Justiniani, let all the powder remaining in the city, every ounce of it, be brought down to the sea-wall; draw thither what artillery we can manage, and look that the guns be double shotted. We must take good heed of a surprisal on the other side, in the midst of all this excitement. My Lord Curopalata, that shall be your charge."
"Were it not well," said Phranza, "that orders be given forth in the Horn about the chain? It will be a delicate business, to admit those vessels and exclude the rest."
"Lieutenant Contari," said the Emperor, "go down to the harbour, show them that ring, and bid them follow your directions in all things. And when you have shown it them, wear it for our sake."
Contari kissed the hand that was held out to him, and withdrew.
"Had it not been for him," said Nicetas Choniates, who had joined the royal party previously to their entering the garden of Phranza, "I had not now stood by your Majesty."
"He is a right good soldier, and an honest man," replied Constantine.--"How fast they are nearing us!"
"Twenty minutes will bring him up with them," said the Exarch; "and I suspect that he will reserve his fire till he is close to them."
At this moment the wind, which had been steadily south-south-west, shifted two points to the north. Up immediately went the stud-sails of the vessels, fluttering for a moment like white birds at the end of the shrouds, and then steadily bellying out.
"That must mean that the wind has changed," said the Exarch. "Ay, by my faith, so it has!"--looking at a weather-cock on one of the turrets,--"and a good change too; it will carry their smoke right into the enemy's teeth."
In the meantime, the five great ships were steadily coming up the channel. The foremost carried the Genoese arms at her mast-head, and was named the Unicorn; she bore the character of the swiftest ship in the Mediterranean. Her forecastle--literally a castle rising up in the forepart of the deck--was crowded with archers and musketeers. She had ten cannon on deck; and at her gangways was an apparatus for discharging the Greek fire. Next came the S. Irene, the only imperial vessel; the great flag, bearing the double-headed eagle displayed towered aloft, and her deck, nearly as well manned as the Unicorn's, was far more lavish in its display of painting and gilding. The two next vessels were the Dolphin and the S. Francis; and about a quarter of a mile further back lagged the great Bucentaur.
De Rushton was on deck, surrounded by the officers of the vessel, among whom was the Great Drungaire of the Empire. [That is, the Lord High Admiral.] "Captain Bulgari," said he, "before we go into action, I wish you, and I wish all the officers to understand, that the Emperor's express orders are, that we run every risk to relieve the city. From what I know of its state when I left, I am sure that now--the wind having delayed us so fearfully long--it must almost be at extremity----"
"The green flag up on the Capitan Pasha's galley!" reported the man at the mast-head.
"Then we shall be in action in a quarter of an hour," said Sir Edward. "And you, gentlemen,--and you also, good yeomen,--remember that you will be fighting in sight of your wives and daughters, fighting for their safety and for their honour; that your Emperor himself will be the judge and the rewarder of your bravery; that your contest will be under the very walls of your cathedral; that you are going about God's service, and may look for God's blessing. We are but five vessels, it is true; but consider that our mariners are the best in Europe,--our ships the strongest that can be built,--our cause, above all, that of the Faith; while that host of boats were knocked up by men that never built a vessel before, are manned by men that never were on the sea, are fighting merely to escape the punishment that a tyrant can inflict. Gentlemen, I will not waste your time with more words: there is the enemy, and there is the city, and I am sure you know how to do your duty."
Then arose a shout from the vessels that rang as far as the Seven Towers; and still the dark waves foamed before their bows, and still their sails swelled steadily out, and still the great dome of S. Sophia rose clearer and clearer; and now they could hear the distant clang of its bells, mellowed as it stole over the Sea of Marmora.
"My Lord," said Captain Bulgari, "were it not well that we lay to for the Bucentaur?"
"Use your judgment," said De Rushton. "I were loth to lose unnecessary time."
"My Lord, I fear they may otherwise cut her off."
"Make the signal, then." And the signal was accordingly made.
Through the streets of Constantinople great pieces of artillery were rolling along, dragged by men, women, and children; the precious barrels that yet remained of powder were brought up under the immediate superintendence of Justiniani; smiths were stationed on the city side of the great chain, to drive out its staples when the moment should come; flags were floating from every turret; the houses were well-nigh deserted; many of the shops were closed; the more distant streets were still as death. Constantine maintained his position in Phranza's terrace.
"Ha! lying to!" cried the Exarch. "Well, well, he knows what he is about."
"What vessel is that which lags so much behind the others?" inquired the Emperor.
"I know not, sire."
"It must be the Bucentaur," replied Justiniani, who had shortly before returned from his mission. "I have seen her at Genoa. She is slow, in truth; but none will do greater execution when she is once among them. No fear of any attack, my Liege, from the land; the Infidels are as much excited as we are. I saw the Sultan himself, on that noble white horse of his, galloping down to the Seven Towers; and they say that Achmet Pasha, and Baltha Ogli, and Calil Pasha, are all in the fleet."
"Who commands it?" inquired Phranza.
"Baltha Ogli--so the report goes."
"The last ship is up with them--now, Phranza!"
The Bucentaur having come up abreast with the other ships, the squadron, again crowding all canvas, bore up the strait. When almost abreast of the Seven Towers, De Rushton gave orders that the Unicorn should allow the S. Irene to pass. The imperial eagle came proudly on, leading the way: the Unicorn and the Dolphin abreast behind her, the S. Francis and the Bucentaur last. At the same moment the sun, which had been behind a cloud, burst forth in its afternoon splendour, dazzling and perplexing the Infidels, rendering every object clear and distinct to the Christians. On their left, the walls of Constantinople were a living mass of heads; and as the eagle flag passed the Seven Towers, one long, loud, continued cheer rang along the city wall, and passed on and on, till it lost itself in the distance. Men threw up their caps, women waved their shawls and handkerchiefs, and the cheer was returned in quick succession from the five ships. Constantine had given orders that the great banner of the Empire should be planted where he stood; and the Sultan, on his white steed Pasha, was almost as conspicuous an object on the seashore.
At half-past three o'clock, Baltha Ogli made the signal to the wings of the crescent to get into action.
Instantly a flight of arrows and quarrels were volleyed forth from the right horn, that under the walls of the city; but they fell far short of the S. Irene, and the men replied by a derisive cheer.
"Justiniani," cried the Emperor, "spur to the Contoscalion, and bid them open their fire. If they wait till the ships are abreast, the opportunity will be lost."
Justiniani rode off, the great guns roared one after the other, and a dense cloud of smoke blotted out all view of the squadron. Presently the cannon boomed from the ships; and to those on the walls all was confusion. Shouts, cries, firing, hissing of Greek fire, shrieks, told that the fight was going on; but that was all.
Around the Emperor crowded the royal party,--all but Theodora. She was leaning on the wall of the terrace, and hiding her face in her hands.
"Cheer up, lady," said Constantine; "this will not last long."
"You had better go in, Theodora," said her father.
"No, I am best here," she said. "Oh, merciful Panaghia, what was that?"
From the midst of that dense cloud of smoke shot a perfect geyser of Greek fire, spreading far and wide, and followed in its descent by shrieks, groans, and outcries that echoed above all the other sounds from Chalcedon to Galata.
"Some one is hard pressed," said the Exarch; "hark to the cannon!"
They were fired for the time with such extreme velocity, that the excitement grew intense. On a sudden there was a dead pause.
"That's bad," said Justiniani.
"Boarding, I take it," cried the Exarch.
"Oh God, that a breeze would spring up!" burst from the lips of Constantine.
Not immediately, but it did spring up. Now the face of the battle was indeed changed. Far ahead of the other vessels was the Bucentaur, having won her way nearly so far as to be abreast of S. Sophia, and clearly certain to make the harbour. Surrounded on all sides with the Turkish boats, but still fighting at a distance with them, and every stitch of canvas set, bore along the Dolphin and the S. Francis; the Unicorn, once the first, was now running in right under the guns of the Contoscalion; while the S. Irene, driven out into the middle of the channel, was in a pitiable state. Ten or twelve boats were hooked to her side; the Turks were swarming up her like bees; Baltha Ogli's own galley lay close astern of her; everywhere the soldiers were pushing their assailants down with long pikes; the sails were cut to pieces with bolts from cross-bows and musket-balls.
"God help her!" cried the Exarch. Even Theodora, so close was the fight, could discern the imminent danger of De Rushton, and fell on her knees, clasping her hands together in an agony of supplication. At length--it seemed as a last resource--the Imperial Eagle was run up reversed, as a signal of distress, that the other ships might come to her assistance.
Too eager for their own safety to pay any attention to their over-matched companion, the Dolphin, the S. Francis, and the Unicorn fought on their way inch by inch; but, in a minute, the sails of the Bucentaur, now certainly free from danger, shivered, her helm was put down, and she swung round again into the heat of the battle.
"Bravo, Bucentaur! bravo, Bucentaur! The Virgin the Protectress!" was the shout that ran along the walls.
"S. Luke for Genoa!" shouted Justiniani; "all will be well yet."
On it went, the great lumbering ship, dashing aside the Turkish boats, as a whale might pass through a shoal of herrings; and bearing down on the windward side of the S. Irene, poured in a deadly shower of Greek fire on the boats, trapped, as it were, between the two vessels. Leaving that side to the care of his ally, De Rushton evidently concentrated all his efforts on the leeward side, and the Turks were clearly baffled there also. Boats were hurriedly pushed off, men leaped into the water, and presently the Imperial Eagle again floated proudly as before.
"Take her in tow, take her in tow, Bucentaur!" cried Justiniani, as if he could be heard.
"He will," said Constantine; "God be praised! But look! the other galleys are crowding up! they will have a hard fight of it yet."
"Two are safe, sire, at least," said Phranza; for now the Dolphin and the S. Francis had beaten off all their assailants, had rounded the Seraglio Point, and were tacking into the Golden Horn. Already the blacksmiths were at work, the great chain relaxed, and, amidst cheers that burst from both sides of the Horn, they sailed slowly and majestically into the harbour. The Unicorn was still hardly beset.
In the meantime, messengers were continually despatched by the Sultan, both by sea and land, to every portion of his vast armament. Now it was an order to Calil Pasha to urge on the transmission of the lighter artillery to the sea side; a command which the wily Pasha took all possible care to make every show of obeying, while in reality retarding the workmen: now it was an urgent injunction to Baltha Ogli to close in with the galleys around the vessels that yet lay in the power of the Infidels: now it was a threat to the Capitan Pasha if he allowed any one of the Christian vessels to enter the Horn. The sun was now almost in the very horizon; his slant rays shot along the channel, topping the waves with the lustre of rubies, or falling more mournfully on broken hulks, dismantled masts, useless oars, dead bodies, and all the wreck of a battle. Still the two great vessels, the Bucentaur and S. Irene, were fighting in a shoal of the Moslem boats; but gradually forcing their way onwards and approached so nearly by the Unicorn as to be able to render her some assistance in her great strait. Three times, however, that day, the Emperor gave up De Rushton and his Genoese ally for lost men: three times a vigorous effort drove back the boarders, and allowed some faint progress to be made. The wind kept steady the whole afternoon to the same point; yet it was past seven o'clock when the vessels rounded the Seraglio Point, and steered right up towards the harbour.
Here the Turkish boats dared not follow: the artillery, now reduced to two or three barrels of gunpowder in all, was too well served, from the city side: and the Genoese merchants of Galata brought one or two smaller pieces to bear upon the scene of action: less moved by the danger of Constantinople, than by that of the Bucentaur. But Baltha Ogli, dreading the rage of the Sultan beyond all other perils, crowded all sail on the six galleys that were the flower of the fleet, bade the slaves row their best, and pursued.
"Now, my Lords," said Constantine, who had till then kept his post in the gardens of Phranza, "our place is by the Horn. Follow me. Is there a horse in waiting?"
One was instantly brought; and followed by the whole party, some on horseback, and some on foot, but no one waiting for his neighbour, he galloped down to the entrance of the Horn, by the Fish Market Gate, where the chain was stapled on to the city side of the harbour. It was a strange scene that there met him. The S. Francis and her companion were now safely riding at anchor, close under the walls: the ramparts were crowded with Genoese sailors eagerly expatiating on the voyage from Chios, on the dangers of the fight, and as eagerly listened to by such as were fortunate enough to understand Italian, while those who did not were fain to pick up such brief and unsatisfactory explanations as their brethren could or would afford them. A broad bridge of planks was formed from the deck to the shore: men passed and repassed on it, staggering along under the weight of barrels of flour, sacks of beans, pease, or millet, and, equally welcome to the timorous population of Constantinople, kegs of gunpowder: oxen were lowing in the open space of the Fish Market; sheep were being driven off to the public stalls; the Great Logothete was giving directions for the safe bestowal and proper arrangement of the provisions; and the various officers of the Genoese inquiring into the accommodations provided for, and the duties at once falling on, themselves and their men. As Constantine rode along, one long shout of "The Caesar! The Caesar! The Virgin the Protectress!" rolled along the crowd, till he arrived at the spot where the chief interest was concentrated.
Close to the seashore a rock of immense size had been embedded in the ground; a staple, the thickness of two men's bodies, welded into it: the enormous chain that swept the Horn fastened on to this by a staple bar of polished and well-oiled steel. Round this a band of workmen were assembled: Contari was at their head: five or six smiths with bare brawny arms stood leaning on their sledgehammers and waiting for the signal to drive out the staple--others there were by the great crane, to which the chain was attached by cables, so as to be pulled up again, and replaced when necessary.
And now the S. Irene appeared in full view, having well rounded the Point; but still engaged in a running fight with the pursuing galleys. Close behind her was the Unicorn, while the sturdy Bucentaur bore the brunt of the battle, and kept off the most importunate of the enemy.
"A near thing, sire," said Contari, briefly.
"They can hardly fail now," replied Constantine.
"The devil himself cannot prevent them," cried the lieutenant. "Stand off! my masters! Stand off! We shall want more room anon."
"She is throwing them well behind," said Choniates. "Look! he is sending the men aft."
"Ay, ay," quoth Contari: "he knows his business--so do we ours. Cranemaster, slacken your cable."
The action of the crane was reversed; the cable ran out, and lay in a useless coil on the sand; the men stood to their winches; and all was expectation, till Contari should give the signal.
And now every face in the approaching vessel could be clearly distinguished; and the Caesar, raising the jewelled cap from his head, himself set the example in the lusty cheer that followed. Wives pressed frantically to catch a sight of their husbands,--fathers of their sons,--maidens of their lovers,--and still it was the same cry, "S. George the Callinicus! The Virgin the Protectress!"
But above all, the clear voice of Contari rang out,--"Now my masters!" Instantly the sledges were in the air: the strokes fell in measured order: bang, bang, went the iron upon the steel; the panting of the workmen was heard in the intervals of the strokes, and mingled with the shouts of the captains and mariners,--"Keep her off two points"--"Ay, ay, sir"--"Steady now!"--"Steady it is!" and the roar of the waters round the prow.
The staple fell--and lashing the waters into fury, the chain dashed into the sea, while the slackened cable of the crane ran out taut, and the men leant on the winches to keep it from passing too far.
"Slack away, men! slack away!" shouted Contari, "she draws more water."
As he spoke, a volley of spent arrows from the foremost Turkish galleys fell harmlessly around.
"Helm hard a-lee!" roared Captain Bulgari. And on glided the S. Irene, over the white path where the chain had sunk. And, in two minutes more, amidst deafening cheers, her companions were also in safety.
Baltha Ogli had done his worst. He put his galley about, and fled, slowly followed by the rest of the Turkish vessels. And that evening, as if by way of farce to the tragedy of the morning, his Royal Master, in the presence of all the Pashas, administered corporal chastisement to him with a golden rod, five pounds in weight.