Turkish War part 15


Once or twice he pulled at his sword whilst stammering forth imaginary petitions, then in despair threw himself on the ground and lay there begging for mercy. The Emperor [228] turned his horse to him and asked for what he was craving forgiveness, and the man pointed to his sword fixed in its sheath; at the same time he beat his breast in amazement and shouted out these words, ” Now I recognize thee as a true servant of God, now I behold with mine own eyes that the great God protects thee.

Emperor’s more loyal companions

For this sword here I prepared for thy murder, I fetched it from home and came here to plunge it into thy heart. Once, twice, nay thrice, I pulled at it but could not make it obey the strength of my arm.” And the Emperor, just as if he had not heard anything strange, had stayed in the same position unalarmed; suddenly all the others ran up to him either to hear what was being said or in alarm. The Emperor’s more loyal companions were about to tear the man to pieces, had not the Emperor checked them by gesture and hand and many expostulations.

And what was the end of the matter? that soldier-assassin obtained full pardon on the spot, and not only pardon but large gifts as well; and in addition he was allowed to enjoy his freedom. However, many of the, King’s friends were importunate in their demands that this assassin should be driven out of the capital; but the Emperor would not listen and quoted, ” Except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen wake but in vain. Therefore we must pray to God and ask Him to be our protection and guard.”

At that time it was whispered abroad that the man had attempted the Emperor’s life with the connivance of Diogenes. The Emperor did not give any credence to these stories, but became more angered by them, and continued being patient with Diogenes and pretended to know nothing until the point of the sword was literally almost touching his throat. So much of this. After the Great Domestic had reminded Diogenes of this and yet could not persuade him, he returned to the Emperor and told him that Diogenes was obstinate, and absolutely refused to speak in spite of his many entreaties.

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