“Having said this he raised his hands to heaven and said: ’Omnipotent God, grant to the holy Church, and to these fathers, a pastor who will preserve her and increase her; give to them a good pastor who will rule and govern thy flock the most maturely that one can rule and govern. And I pray for you and comfort you as much as I know and can. Pray for me to God in your prayers.’ When he had ended these words he raised his right arm and, with a generous soul, gave the benediction,’ Benedict vos Deus, Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus’—speaking with a raised voice and solemnly, in modo pontificate”
These tremulous words, broken and confused by the weakness of his last hours, were taken down by the favorite scribe, Giannozzo Manetti, in the chamber of the dying Pope; with much more of the most serious matter to the Church and to Rome. His eager desire to soften all possible controversies and produce in the minds of the conclave about his bed, so full of ambition and the force of life, the softened heart which would dispose them to a peaceful and conscientious election of his successor, is very touching, coming out of the fogs and mists of approaching death.
In the very age that produced the Borgias, and himself the head of that band of elegant scholars and connoisseurs, everything but Christian, to whom Rome owes so much of her external beauty and splendor, it is pathetic to stand by this kind and gentle spirit as he pauses on the threshold of a higher life, subduing the astute and worldly minded churchmen around him with the tender appeal of the dying father, their Papa Niccolato, familiar and persuasive—beseeching them to be of one accord without so much as saying it, turning his own weakness to account to touch their hearts, for the honor of the Church and the welfare of the flock.
END OF THE EASTERN EMPIRE
By the greater number of historians the fall of Constantinople under the Moslem power is considered as the decisive event which separates the modern from the mediaeval period. From the same event dates the final establishment of the Ottoman empire both in Asia Minor and in Europe. At that moment, when the Moorish power in Spain had been almost destroyed, Christian Europe was threatened for the second time with Mahometan conquest.