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The second half of the seventeenth century is perhaps the most critical period in the history of Austria, as it certainly is in the history of the great House of Habsburg, with whose fortunes those of Austria have for ages been inextricably intertwined. The Spanish monarchy, in the hands of the elder branch, was steadily sinking through impotence towards partition. Portugal had to be surrendered in 1668; and the feeble throne of Charles II was only preserved till the close of the century by constant cessions of territory to French greed and by the costly aid of European coalitions. The Austrian Habsburgs seemed to be threatened with a similar fate. Their dreams of a revived Imperial control over Germany, which might have been realised if FerdinandII could have heen his own Wallenstein, instead of having to employ so unmanageable an agent, were shattered by the victories of Gustavus Adolphus, by the disintegrating diplomacy of Richelieu, and in the end by the military strength of France. The Treaty of Westphalia not only transferred the Habsburg rights in Elsass to the Bourbon, but, by securing to the Princes of the Empire the independent control of their foreign relations, it made Germany the loosest and most impotent of federations. Nothing held it together except the survival of a great tradition and a grandiose title, together with the more practical unifying force of the dread of Turkish aggression. This danger enabled Leopold I, the son and successor of Ferdinand III, to obtain his election to the Imperial dignity in 1658, in spite of the intrigues of Mazarin. But, with the aid of French gold, the Electors were induced to extort from the young Emperor in his capitulation a pledge that he would abstain from sending assistance to Spain. And France gave added force to the pledge by joining in the same year the League of the Rhine, formed by those Electors and Princes whose territories would have to be traversed by troops on their way from Austria to the Netherlands.

In face of the League of the Rhine and the continued danger of cooperation between France and Sweden, it was impossible to gain substantial power for the German monarchy. If the Austrian Habsburgs were to retain their position among the great dynasties of Europe, they must rely solely upon their personal dominions. These, however, were not to be compared in the matter of unity and cohesion with the territories of any other first-rate Power. It is true that Bohemia, whose revolt had given occasion to the Thirty Years’ War, had been coerced into orthodoxy and sullen submission. It is also true that the fatal practice of subdivision, revived in the last century by Ferdinand I, was now abandoned, and that, on the extinction of the Tyrolese branch in 1665, the whole bundle of Habsburg territories was permanently combined under the personal rule of the head of the House. But these territories were held together by nothing more substantial than the recognition of a common ruler. Each province had its own estates, its own officials, and its own rule or custom of succession. Leopold I ruled in each by a separate title; and, though he had absolute control of foreign relations, he was by no means possessed of equal authority in domestic matters. While Louis XIV could raise taxes at will, Leopold I could only augment an inadequate revenue by bargaining with the various estates. The Habsburg succession in Hungary and Bohemia had to be secured by carefully arranging for the recognition of the heir during his father’s lifetime. And the provinces were not only independent units; many of them were divided by differences of race and religion. The greatest difficulties, now that Bohemia was subdued, presented themselves in Hungary. Since 1526 the Habsburgs had claimed to be Kings of Hungary; but they had never governed more than a few of the western counties with their capital at Pressburg. Buda (Ofen) was the seat of a Turkish Pasha who ruled some seven-tenths of Hungary proper. And further east was the principality of Transylvania, inhabited by Magyars, Saxons and Roumanians. Transylvania had been ruled by a voivod in dependence upon the Hungarian Crown since the eleventh century, until, in the sixteenth, John Zapolya, after disputing that Crown itself with Ferdinand I, succeeded in casting off all Hungarian control; and his successors, by playing off the Turks against the Habsburg dynasty, were able to maintain a stormy and aggressive independence. In the middle of the seventeenth century it seemed that Transylvania would become hereditary in the House of Rákóczy, and that this family, by extending its power over Poland, Moldavia and Wallachia, might for a time hold the balance between the Crescent and the Cross. The injury which this would have done to Austria was not merely political. The rulers of Transylvania, Bethlen Gabor and the two George Rákóczy, had allied themselves in the course of the Thirty Years’ War with the Protestant opponents of the House of Habsburg. Both Transylvania and Austrian Hungary contained a large and restless Protestant element, which resisted all efforts at proselytism as vigorously as the national spirit of the Magyars resented the Habsburg attempts to subject them to German domination. The presence of German troops upon Hungarian soil provoked bitter resentment, even when they came to defend the country against foreign invasion; while it was an equally grievous wrong to ask Hungarian soldiers to serve beyond the limits of their native land. And these mutinous subjects were always ready to appeal to the Turk for assistance against their alien ruler. The Protestants, especially, preferred the tolerant government of the Pasha of Buda to the bigotry and persecution of the Jesuit-ridden Court of Vienna.

Critical period in Austrian history. [1658-99

In spite of all her difficulties, external and internal, Austria, unlike Spain, emerged from the critical half century, not only with undivided dominions, but on the whole with increased strength and prestige. In the series of coalitions which first checked and then foiled the ambitious designs of Louis XIV the Austrian ruler played a part hardly second to that of William III of Orange. But for the momentous decision of Leopold I to come to the assistance of the sorely-pressed Dutch in 1673, the French King, with the interested connivance of the degenerate Stewarts, and with the help of Turenne, Condé, and Luxembourg, must have firmly founded his supremacy in western Europe. Without Austria and Prince Eugene, no league could have been formed strong enough to prevent the retention by Philip of Anjou of the whole dominions of Spain. The western policy of Austria in this period, though chequered by reverses and leading to some bitter disappointments, is in itself no discreditable part of Austrian history. And any apparent discredit is removed when it is remembered that, all the time, the Habsburgs were fighting a double battle against domestic disaffection and Turkish aggression. Moreover, from this eastern struggle, of which only one salient episode, the relief of Vienna in 1683, has succeeded in fixing the attention of western Europe, Austria emerged victorious. By the end of the century Transylvania had been reunited to the Hungarian Crown, the Turks had been driven from almost the whole of Hungary, and that kingdom had been permanently subjected to the House of Habsburg. It is this eastern side of Austrian history which is the subject of the present chapter. The interest and importance of the events narrated in it may appear slight to the western reader, and the policy of Austria may often be blamed as vacillating, short-sighted and oppressive. But how different would have been the history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, if Austria had fallen from her rank among the foremost Powers of Europe!

The ruler whose long reign witnessed some of the most critical moments in the fortunes of Austria, was singularly unfitted by nature and training to guide the State through troubled times. Leopold I, “the little Emperor in red stockings,” was the second son of Ferdinand III and the Infanta Maria Anna of Spain. He was originally brought up for the Church until the death (from small-pox) in 1654 of his elder brother made him heir to the Austrian dominions. He never lost the impress of his early education, and never freed himself from the control of the Jesuits, whose power was even more unrestricted during his reign than in those of his father and grandfather. In private life Leopold was irreproachable. He was chaste, pious, a lover of justice and honesty. The time which he could spare from the labours of state and from punctilious attendance at religious services was devoted to the chase, to music, and to the collection of rare books and curios. As compared with contemporary sovereigns like Louis XIV of France and Charles II of England, he was a model of virtue, and the Jesuits were never tired of extolling the merits of their august pupil. But Machiavelli declared that a perfectly good Prince must be ruined among so many who are evil, and a less cynical observer must admit that a ruler needs other qualities than the virtues which adorn a private station. With these qualities Leopold was inadequately endowed. He did not shirk the labour of audiences or of signing public documents; but he had little insight or initiative, an imperfect knowledge of men or power of choosing fitting instruments, and no consistency of purpose except what was inspired by his religious counsellors. Nor were his defects counterbalanced by the help of Ministers of exceptional ability. Prince Wenceslas von Lobkowitz, the only member of the Emperor’s council who rose above mediocrity, was opposed to the anti-French policy by which alone Austria could maintain either safety or dignity. The eminent generals whose victories saved Austria from annihilation, Montecuculi, Charles of Lorraine, Lewis of Baden, and Eugene of Savoy, were all of alien birth. The most invaluable service of all, the relief of Vienna, was rendered by a foreign king, John Sobieski. Yet, in spite of the bigotry and the childish pedantry which sometimes exposed Leopold to deserved contempt, he had one quality which has often redeemed the rule of a feeble prince—a sublime confidence in the justice of his cause, and a belief, which never wavered, in the fortunes of his dynasty and his Church.

The Turkish power. Decline and revival [1566-1663

The clue to the difficulties and dangers of Leopold I in the east, and also to such success as he ultimately achieved, is to be found in his relations with the Ottoman Turks. Throughout the sixteenth century the Austrian dominions had been the most substantial barrier between central Europe and the threatened advance of Turkish power; and this had done more than anything else to secure the election of successive Habsburgs to the Imperial throne. Fortunately for Europe, the unique opportunity offered by the Thirty Years’ War had been lost by the Turks, in consequence of the internal decline of their State. Since the death of Solyman the Magnificent in 1566 the iron discipline which held together the Turkish forces had been sensibly relaxed. Degenerate Sultans ceased to lead their armies into the field, passed their lives in the enervating atmosphere of the harem, and became the puppets of female intrigue. The constitution of the once invincible army gradually underwent a momentous change. The Janissaries and Sipahis, originally celibate, were allowed to marry, and speedily began to demand admission to the corps as a right for their sons. The tribute of Christian children, upon which the military and civil administration had so long rested, ceased to be exacted with regularity, and in the course of the seventeenth century became obsolete. The need for it disappeared, when the supply of orthodox recruits was more than sufficient to fill the ranks; and the Christian subjects of the Porte were more valuable as cultivators and tax-payers than as breeders of soldiers. A hereditary fighting force was more interested in struggling for pay and privilege than in keeping up its own efficiency; and, as the numbers of the regular troops increased, they grew more formidable to their own Government than to its enemies. Meanwhile the civil administration became equally unsatisfactory. Favouritism and corruption, the twin cankers of Oriental rule, determined the choice of the highest officers in the State. The Pashas in the various provinces thought more of enriching themselves than of serving their master, and the subject peoples began to resent unlicensed oppression. The evils which had undermined the empire of Rome seemed to be reproduced in the dominions of the Sultan. For nearly eighty years the Turkish power ceased to expand. The frontier in Hungary fluctuated till the Treaty of Zsitva-Torok in 1606, after which it remained without important change till 1663. In maritime enterprise, which had been forced upon the Turks (as formerly upon the Romans) against their habits and prepossessions, the decline was even more marked than on the mainland The battle of Lepanto, fruitless as it was in many ways, had shown the vulnerable point of Turkish domination. In the seventeenth century the Christian sailors of the Mediterranean began, not merely to hold their own, but to venture on reprisals for past injuries. It was these insults which roused the Turks to enter upon the first war of conquest which they had undertaken since the reduction of Cyprus. The Knights of Malta had been the most daring aggressors; but with characteristic prudence the Porte sought a more vulnerable and a more remunerative victim in the republic of Venice. In 1645, in the time of Ibrahim, an ambitious but incompetent Sultan, a Turkish fleet escorted a considerable army to the island of Crete. The harbour of Canea was speedily taken, and in 1648 the Turks began the long and famous siege of Candia. The defence was obstinately maintained for twenty years, and in this protracted war the Venetians showed some of their old maritime skill and daring. Not only did they succeed in frequently interrupting the Turkish communications with the island, but they won victories in naval encounters, and even recovered for a time the islands of Lemnos and Tenedos. They were aided and encouraged by anarchy and revolutions in the Turkish capital which, in a more civilised and coherent State, would probably have put an end to foreign war. Ibrahim was deposed in 1648 in favour of his son Mohammad IV, a boy of seven, and was soon afterwards murdered. The Turks were unaccustomed to minorities, and during the early years of the new reign power was obstinately disputed between the mother and the grandmother of the young Sultan. At last the younger Sultana rid herself by assassination of her rival, and in 1656 gave the office of Vezir to an Albanian septuagenarian, Mohammad Kiuprili, the founder of a ministerial dynasty which for forty years made the Turks once more an object of dread to Europe. In spite of his advanced years, Kiuprili displayed equal energy and ability. By ruthless severity he crushed disaffection and disorder, restored discipline in the army, and deprived the provincial Governors of the independence which they had so grossly misused. At the same time, he determined to prosecute the war in Crete and to restore Turkish supremacy in Hungary. The Turkish army was no longer as efficient as in the days of the great Sultans; and in the interval the forces of the great States of Europe had been enormously improved. But the Turks were still a formidable fighting force, and in the organisation of their commissariat and of all the auxiliary departments of military administration they were superior to any nation except the French.

The revival of Turkey, which was contemporaneous with the accession of Leopold I, constituted a danger of the first magnitude to Austria, and also to two other eastern States, Russia and Poland, which, in spite of mutual rivalry, were forced by common defensive interests into cooperation with Austria. Russia under the House of Romanoff had recovered unity after the internal disturbances at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and in the reign of Alexis (1645-76) was beginning to feel her way towards a place among European Powers. Her progress westwards was barred by Sweden and Poland, and southwards by the Tartar tribes of the Crimea and the Kuban, which had been under vassalage to Turkey since the fifteenth century. But, though Russian aggrandisement was destined to be ultimately ruinous to Poland, her most immediate enemies were Sweden, which blocked the way to the Baltic, and Turkey, which stood between Russia and the Black Sea. And both Sweden and Turkey were the enemies of Austria. Poland was in a somewhat similar position as regards external relations, though her domestic government was wholly different. For centuries Poland had been the foremost Slav State in Europe, but she had begun to decline since 1572 when, on the extinction of the male line of Jagello, she had made her monarchy elective and adopted a constitution which transformed the kingdom into an oligarchical republic. Geography made Poland the enemy of Turkey; the history of the State had involved it in a prolonged and bitter quarrel with Sweden. In 1587 the Poles had elected as King the Roman Catholic Sigismund Vasa, whose mother was a Jagello princess and who in 1592 inherited the Swedish throne. His advent in Sweden was followed by the revolt of that country under a younger and Protestant branch of the House of Vasa, and in the resultant war Poland had been stripped of her provinces on the eastern Baltic. This war was, as has been related in a previous volume, renewed in 1656, when the bellicose Charles X attacked John Casimir of Poland, who had refused to recognise the former’s accession to the Swedish throne. One of the last acts of Ferdinand III was to conclude a treaty for the defence of Poland against the dreaded power of Sweden. Leopold I inherited this alliance and did not hesitate to fulfil its obligations. The Tsar of Russia, though he was actually quarrelling with John Casimir over the Ukraine, was equally ready to oppose the Swedes. Charles X, who might have called in the Turks to help him against this coalition, appealed to a more congenial though weaker ally, the Prince of Transylvania. George Rákóczy II, who had succeeded his father in 1648, found his mountainous principality, over which both Turkish Sultan and Hungarian King claimed the suzerainty, by no means adequate to his ambition. He accepted the overtures of Sweden in the hope that, like his predecessor Stephen Báthory, he might find his way to the Polish throne. But Charles X was recalled by the news that the Danes, the inveterate enemies of Sweden, had attacked his peninsular kingdom. In his absence the combination of Poles, Russians, and Austrian troops under Montecuculi, made short work of R&koczy, who was driven back to Transylvania. Charles X found consolation and revenge in the rapid reduction of Denmark; but, as has been related, his enemies were too many for him. After profiting by his enterprise to throw off Polish suzerainty over East Prussia, the Great Elector of Brandenburg cooperated with Montecuculi; and the English and Dutch fleets threatened to carry the allied forces into Zealand and even into Sweden itself. Louis XIV had found it necessary to threaten a diversion in western Germany in favour of his ally, when, at the critical moment, the death of Charles X brought about the pacification of the North by the treaties of Oliva (between Sweden and Poland, May 3, 1660), Copenhagen (between Sweden and Denmark, June 5,1660), and Kardis (between Sweden and Russia, June 21, 1661).

Meanwhile, Mohammad Kiuprili had found in this war the pretext which he desired for intervention in eastern Europe. He had no reason to support the integrity of Poland or to desire the victory of the Poles; but he was determined to restore Turkish control over Transylvania, and he had reason to suspect Rákóczy of tampering with the fidelity of the rulers of Wallachia and Moldavia. On the pretext that the invasion of Poland was a breach of Rákóczy’s obligations as a vassal, he decreed his deposition and ordered the Estates to choose a successor. They submissively chose Francis Redei; but Rákóczy speedily deposed his feeble rival, in the confident hope that the Turks would be too fully occupied in Crete to pay much attention to the affairs of a distant province. Kiuprili met this defiance by leading an overwhelming army in 1658 to cooperate with the Pasha of Buda against Transylvania. The open country was laid waste, and the population sold into slavery. The towns only saved themselves from the same fate by payment of heavy contributions. The haughty Vezir nominated Achatius Barczai Prince of Transylvania, and forced the Estates to acknowledge him. All pretence of free election was disregarded. The annual tribute was raised from 15,000  to 50,000 florins, and a large war indemnity was demanded. But Rákóczy obstinately continued the struggle against overwhelming force, and appealed to Leopold I as King of Hungary to send him assistance. The Court at Vienna was watching with growing uneasiness the treatment of Transylvania as a dependency of the Porte. But Leopold had no standing army; he was anxious to avoid a great eastern war; and Rakoczy’s recent action in Poland was not yet forgiven. All that Austria would do in 1658 was to offer diplomatic remonstrances, which the Porte treated with contempt. In spite of the return of John Kemenyi, Rákóczy’s lieutenant in the Polish war, who had been carried off into captivity by the Crimean Tartars, and in spite of assistance from the deposed Hospodars of Wallachia and Moldavia, Rákóczy’s cause was hopeless. In May, 1660, he was mortally wounded in a heroic struggle against heavy odds, and a fortnight later he died at Grosswardein.

In August, after an obstinate resistance, Grosswardein was forced to surrender to the Turks. But the patriots were not yet reduced to despair. In January, 1661, John Keményi was chosen Prince of Transylvania; and soon afterwards Achatius Barczai, whose troubled reign was identified in the people’s mind with humiliating submission to the oppressive invader, was put to death. Keményi renewed the appeal for help to Vienna, where, as a bom Hungarian, he was more acceptable than Rákóczy had been. The appeal was supported by the Palatine and the chief nobles of Hungary, and Leopold could hardly refuse to help in the defence of his own kingdom, which was now threatened by the victorious Turks, though he was still desirous of avoiding any open declaration of war. In 1661 Montecuculi was sent into Hungary with the wholly inadequate force of 10,000 men, which were to be reinforced by Hungarian levies. This was a virtual recognition of Keményi; and the Turks replied by forcing the Estates of Transylvania to accept another nominee of their own, Michael Apaffy, the fifth holder of the perilous dignity within three years. Meanwhile Montecuculi’s campaign had produced little result. His original plan of diverting the Turks from Transylvania by an attack upon Buda was overruled from Vienna, and he was ordered to effect a junction with Keményi on the Theiss in Upper Hungary. Together they advanced into Transylvania as far as Klausenburg (Kolozsvár); but the population gave them a cold welcome. The Turks refused to fight a battle, and the army was seriously weakened by disease and privation. Montecuculi, a cautious and methodical general, determined to retreat towards his base. Leaving a garrison in Klausenburg, and 2000 men to act with Keményi, he returned to the valley of the Theiss. During the winter Keményi nearly succeeded in surprising Apaffy at Schassburg in the Saxon region, but he was detained by artful pretence of negotiation until the arrival of a Turkish relieving force, and in the encounter which followed he was slain, whether by the enemy or by treachery was never known (January 23,1662).

Austria involved in war with the Turks. [1661-3

After the death of Keményi hostilities languished for a year; Mohammad Kiuprili had died in November, 1661, and the Sultan gave the vacant office to his son Ahmad Kiuprili, the ablest and most famous Turkish commander of the century. The success which had attended the father’s severity enabled the son to rule with greater leniency; and for a time Europe hoped that the Porte under new guidance might abandon its aggressive policy. The Hungarians demanded the withdrawal of the German troops, whom they had called to their assistance. The Protestants clamoured for the redress of their grievances and resisted all proposals in the Diet for a reasoned plan of defence. The Austrian Ministers were so irritated by what they considered gross ingratitude that they opened negotiations with the Turks; and the Vezir was only too glad to lull suspicions while he made preparations for a campaign on a grand scale, which was intended to complete the conquest of Hungary and to carry the Crescent to the walls of Vienna. The result was a futile congress at Temesvar, and a complete neglect of military preparations on the part of Austria. In 1663 the Turks threw off all concealment, and commenced open war against the Emperor. At Adrianople Ahmad Kiuprili received the sacred standard from the hands of the Sultan, and in June he led an imposing army of over 120,000 men to Belgrade. In face of such a force it was hopeless to think of defending Transylvania. Klausenburg opened its gates to Apaffy, whose authority remained undisputed till his death. Meanwhile, the Vezir had advanced from Belgrade to Buda, whence his army threw itself like a slow but irresistible flood upon western Hungary. The Austrian Government was wholly unprepared for resistance. Leopold was ill with small-pox, and all that the Ministers could do was to send Montecuculi with some 6000 troops to “play the Croat” in face of the overwhelming enemy. Fortunately the Turks, in spite of their strength, were delayed by the necessity of capturing the various fortresses which defended the course of the Danube and its tributaries. One of these, Neuhausel (Ursek Ujvar), offered an invaluable resistance, and it was not till September 25 that the garrison surrendered with the honours of war. Montecuculi, too weak to attempt the relief of Neuhausel, sought to cover Pressburg and the eastern frontier of Austria by throwing himself into the long island of Schutt, formed by two channels of the Danube, where he was joined by the tardy levies of Hungarian militia, and by the warlike Ban of Croatia, Niklas Zrinyi, whose dashing guerilla tactics were lauded by fiery patriots in contrast to the methodical procedure of the Commander-in-Chief. The strength of Montecuculi’s position was never seriously tested, as Kiuprili contented himself with the capture of Neuhausel, and retired into winter-quarters to prepare for a more energetic advance in the following year.

1664] Battle of St Gothard.

The news that, after the interval of a century, a Turkish army comparable to that of Solyman the Magnificent was advancing westwards under a young and capable leader, made a profound impression in Europe, and woke some faint echo of the old crusading ardour. Hungarian malcontents rallied to the House of Habsburg when they found their homes desolated by the Tartar bands, whose predatory instincts were imperfectly restrained by the discipline enforced among the regular troops of Turkey. The sluggish Diet at Ratisbon, to which Leopold appealed in person, voted a levy of money and troops from the Empire. Even Louis XIV, abandoning the selfish alliance with the Turks which his predecessors had maintained, and not unwilling to pose as the disinterested protector of a rival State, sent 4000 men under General Jean de Coligny to serve with Montecuculi. The prospect of external assistance encouraged the Austrian troops to begin the campaign instead of waiting to be attacked. The cavalry under Souches defeated and harassed the outlying forces on the right wing of the Turks, and even recovered some of the forts which had been taken in the previous year. Kiuprili was slow to commence his march, and his delay enabled the French and German auxiliaries to effect their junction with the main army. When the Turks advanced, it was seen that they kept to the southern side of the Danube, and that they were diverging from the main valley towards Styria in order to turn the defences of Pressburg. Montecuculi waited for them behind the Raab. As the Turks marched south-westwards along the right bank of the river, the Christians kept pace with them on the other side. At last, under the convent of St Gothard, Kiuprili found a convenient angle of the river at which the passage of troops could be protected by artillery placed at the two comers of the arc. Here he determined to brush away the one serious obstacle to his advance. A victory would give him unimpeded entry into the main Austrian dominions; and already the Imperial Court was preparing to abandon Vienna for greater safety in Linz. On August 1 large bodies of Janissaries were thrown across the Raab and began to fortify a position on the left bank. Montecuculi, unable to dispute the actual passage, drew up his army in three divisions. The centre was formed by the troops of the Imperial Diet, the French were on the left wing, and the Austrians and Hungarians were on the right. Their great advantage was that the Turks could only cross in detachments, and were therefore unable to make full use of their superior numbers. But the first onslaught of the infidels, delivered with the confidence begotten of past victories, broke the ill-organised Germans in the centre and produced serious disorder. The Austrian right wing, however, taking the advancing Turks on the flank, gave the Germans time to rally, and the impetuous onslaught of the French completed the rout of the Janissaries, who refused quarter and were cut to pieces. Meanwhile, Turkish reinforcements had crossed the Raab in the rear, and against them Montecuculi hurled his united forces. After an obstinate conflict, the Turks were utterly broken and driven back into the river. Most of the cannon on the right bank were captured, and the projected invasion of Austria had perforce to be abandoned.

The battle of St Gothard is of supreme importance in the light of future events, because it gave the first proof that the Turks had lost their military superiority. Their courage and their obstinate fighting power were as indisputable as ever; but their arms and their tactics were those of the time of Solyman, and they had made no progress in the art of war. On the other hand, the Christian troops had profited by the lessons and experience of the Thirty Years’ War. In artillery, in cavalry, and above all in the use of the pike, the supreme infantry weapon of that day, they were the masters of their opponents. The great achievement of Montecuculi foreshadowed the later victories of Charles of Lorraine and Prince Eugene. But while Europe was exulting at the disappearance of a great danger, it was astounded to learn that the victor had made a hasty and not very creditable peace. Montecuculi’s army was too exhausted and too ill-united to attempt the arduous task of driving the Turks out of Hungary; and there were Ministers in Vienna who held that the continuance of the Turkish peril served a useful purpose in making Hungary dependent upon Austria. By the Treaty of Vasvar, signed on August 10, a truce for twenty years was arranged between Austria and the Turks. Apaffy was recognised as Prince of Transylvania; the free election of his successor was guaranteed, and the principality was to be evacuated both by Turkish and Austrian troops; but the Sultan’s suzerainty over it was maintained. The Turks kept their most important conquests, Grosswardein and Neuhausel; but, in compensation for the latter, the Emperor was to be allowed to build a new fortress on the Waag. Finally, a sum of 200,000 florins was to be given to the Porte. The Austrians called it a gift; but it was easy to regard it in Constantinople as a tribute. Ahmad Kiuprili, in spite of his defeat, was able to return with the credit of one who had enlarged the bounds of Turkish rule, and he set himself to maintain and enhance his reputation by bringing the long war of Candia to an end. In 1666 he took the command in person, and against his iron determination the heroic efforts of the great Venetian general, Francesco Morosini, and of the volunteers who flocked from all countries to the service of the Republic proved unavailing. In September, 1669, the defenders of Candia capitulated, and the whole island of Crete, with the exception of the coast fortresses of Suda, Spinalonga, and Karabusa, passed from Venetian to Turkish rule. The natives had shown little courage or loyalty during the war, and a large number of them hastened to curry favour with their conquerors by adopting the Mohammadan religion.

1648-69] Austria, France, and Poland.

While the Turks were restoring and strengthening their ascendancy in the Mediterranean, the Austrian Government had three difficult questions to deal with. The War of Devolution, provoked by the preposterous claims of Louis XIV in the Netherlands, led to the earliest proposals of a European coalition to check the ambition of France. Of such a coalition Leopold I, who had just married the Infanta Margaret, the presumptive heiress of her brother Charles II, was the natural leader, and its most energetic advocate was the Austrian ambassador, Francis de Lisola, who was the first to formulate that policy of vigorous opposition to Louis XIV which was afterwards pursued hy his master and by William of Orange. But at this time the Austrian Ministers, the Princes von Auersperg and Lobkowitz, were dominated by the French envoy, Bretel de Gremonville. Not only did Leopold remain neutral in the Netherlands war, but on January 19,1668, he was induced by his love of peace to conclude a secret treaty with France for the eventual partition of the Spanish inheritance. By this he virtually admitted the force of Louis XIV’s contention that his wife’s renunciation of her claims was invalid.

As against this weakness of Austrian policy in the west must be set a strenuous struggle to oppose the dangerous growth of French influence in Poland. John Casimir, the last of the Vasa Kings, had in 1648 renounced his Orders, to succeed his brother on the Polish throne and to marry his widowed sister-in-law, Mary di Gonzaga, daughter of the Duke of Nevers. On his death the right of election would be freed from any strong dynastic claims, and the prize of the Polish Crown would be thrown open to unlimited competition. The reign of John Casimir was a time of unrest. Poland was saved by its allies from the attack of Charles X of Sweden; but the Peace of Oliva was followed by a renewal of the long struggle with Russia for the hazardous right of ruling the turbulent Cossacks of the Ukraine. During the Swedish war Poland had relied upon the Emperor’s help, and Austrian influence had been so predominant at Warsaw that schemes were entertained for adding the great Slav kingdom to the possessions of the House of Habsburg. But since 1660 the influence of the Queen had been actively exerted on the side of France, and a strong party was formed to support the candidature of a French prince as John Casimir’s successor. In 1663 Mary brought about a marriage between her favourite niece, Anne of Bavaria, and the Due d’Enghien, son of the great Conde. A strenuous effort was now made to induce the Poles to elect either Enghien or his father during the lifetime of the reigning King. As soon as this should be done, John Casimir pledged himself to abdicate and to retire to a more congenial life in France, where rich benefices were allotted for his maintenance. The intrigue was so openly carried on that it was not difficult for Austrian diplomacy to excite ill-feeling in Poland against the attempt to interfere with freedom of election by allowing a reigning king to dictate the choice of his successor. An opposition party was formed under Lubomirski, the Grand Hetman or commander-in-chief of the Polish forces. The Court attempted to put down this opposition by force. Lubomirski’s command was transferred to John Sobieski, whose wife, Mary d’Arquien, was a Frenchwoman, and who now becomes identified with French interests in Poland. Civil war broke out; but John Casimir was as unable to defeat domestic enemies as he was to gain a triumph over foreign foes. In 1667 he lost his wife, and in the following year he insisted upon abdication. The election which followed was a wild scramble. The most prominent candidate was Philip William of Neuburg, who had married the sister of John Casimir. He had originally been supported by Austria, in order to checkmate the dangerous pretensions of the Conde princes. But the War of Devolution had modified the situation. Louis XIV had set himself to isolate the Netherlands by preventing the entry of foreign troops to their assistance. With this aim he had appealed to Philip William, the acknowledged owner since 1666 of the border duchies of Jülich and Berg; and to secure his aid he had promised the official support of France to his candidature in Poland. Secretly, however, the French envoys were instructed to gain votes for Condé. On the other hand Leopold’s advocacy of Philip William was cooled by the agreement between the latter and France, and the influence of Austria was employed on behalf of Prince Charles Leopold of Lorraine, the nephew of the reigning Duke Charles III; and the life-long enemy of France. But in the end the foreign intrigues served only to counterbalance each other, and on June 19, 1669, the choice of the Diet fell upon a Lithuanian Piast (descendant of the ancient royal house of Poland), Michael Korybut Wisniowiecki, who had neither wealth nor ability to excite the jealousy of his compeers, and who accepted the Crown with tears of genuine reluctance. The election was a bitter disappointment to Louis XIV, who had been led by his agents to anticipate Conde’s success; and the defeat of France was emphasised in the following year, when the new King was married to the Emperor’s sister Eleonora Maria.

Alike in his relations with France and with Poland, the Emperor was constantly hampered by the continuance of dangerous discontent in Hungary. Any gratitude which might have been felt for the great service rendered at St Gothard was obliterated by the hasty conclusion of the Peace of Vasvar. The treaty itself was denounced, not only as a betrayal of Hungarian interests, but as a breach of the coronation oath, by which Leopold was pledged not to make peace or war without con­sulting the Estates. The fortress of Leopoldstadt, erected on the Waag in accordance with the treaty, was regarded as a new stronghold of Austrian oppression rather than as a barrier against the Turks. The old demand was raised for the removal of all German troops from Hungarian soil. A widespread suspicion prevailed that Hungary was to be deprived of its liberties and coerced into religious uniformity by the same methods which had been employed in Bohemia in the time of Ferdinand II. The most formidable malcontents were the nobles, who felt their privileges as well as the cause of national independence to be at stake. Neither their exemption from taxation nor their right to defend their interests with arms was likely to survive the establishment of a Habsburg despotism. Niklas Zrinyi, the fiery champion and poet of the Hungarian nationality, had died on a boar-hunt near Vienna soon after the Turkish war. His brother, Peter Zrinyi, succeeded as Ban of Croatia, and also to some share of Niklas’ influence and popularity. With him were associated his brother-in-law, Francis Frangipani, the descendant of a family which had come to Hungary with the Angevin Kings in the thirteenth century; Francis Nadasdy, who had long enjoyed the special favour and confidence of Leopold; Stephen Tokolyi, a wealthy landowner in northern Hungary; the Styrian Count Tattenbach; and, above all, the Palatine of Hungary, Francis Vesselenyi. In 1666 an important recruit was gained by the marriage of Zrinyi’s beautiful daughter, Helen, to Francis Rákóczy, the son of the former Prince George II of Transylvania, who inherited from his father a great name and from his mother the immense wealth of the Báthory family. The wedding served, like many such ceremonies, to cover a conference of the great nobles, in which the growing conspiracy against Habsburg rule was extended and consolidated. A whole network of threads was woven between the chief conspirators and with the foreign States from which assistance was hoped or desired. Michael Apaffy, as an interested enemy of the Habsburgs, was early in the confidence of the malcontents, and served as a medium of communication with the Turks. Overtures were also made to John Sobieski and the anti-Austrian party in Poland, and to certain of the German Princes, especially those belonging to the League of the Rhine. But the most intimate relations were established with Gremonville, the restless envoy of France at Vienna, who was prepared, if necessary, to play a Hungarian rebellion as a card in his diplomatic game with the Ministers of the Imperial Court.

So vast and many-sided a plot—resembling in many ways the Jacobite organisation in England in the early eighteenth century— could hardly have escaped detection, if all the parties had been loyal and disinterested. Its disclosure became certain, when a jealous rivalry grew up among the leaders, when personal ambition became stronger than devotion to a common cause, and when the failure to gain any assurance of foreign aid began to excite disappointment and alarm. Apaffy’s zeal rapidly cooled, as he saw in the young Rákdózy a dangerous rival in the affections of the Transylvanians. Ahmad Kiuprili would undertake no other enterprise until his work in Crete was completed. All prospect of help from Poland was removed by the election of Wisniowiecki. The German Princes had no love for Hungary, nor Hungary for them. Worst of all, Louis XIV, so long as he was negotiating with Leopold about a Spanish partition, and so long as there was a chance of this partition treaty being carried out, was compelled to disavow all the formal and informal promises of Gremonville. The death in March, 1667, of Vesselenyi, the most sincere patriot among the confederates, was a serious blow to the cause. Zrinyi, giving the reins to his imagination, aimed at an independent principality in Croatia and Slavonia, if not at the Crown of Hungary, while his son-in-law was to recover Transylvania for the House of Rákdózy. Nadasdy, a rival rather than a colleague, was chiefly anxious to assert his own claim to the office of Palatine. From one quarter and another information came to Lobkowitz, who in 1669 succeeded in supplanting Auersperg as chief Minister. In 1670, when sufficient damnatory evidence had been collected, he struck hard and promptly. Troops were sent into Hungary to cope with any attempt at armed rebellion. The leading plotters were seized and brought to trial. The enquiry which followed was secret and was in all probability biassed and unfair. But it is hardly possible to doubt the substantial justice of the sentences which were pronounced. On April 30, 1671, Zrinyi, Frangipani and Nadasdy were put to death. Tattenbach shared their fate in December. The life of Francis Rákdózy was saved by the mediation of his mother, Sophia Báthory, who had the double merit of being wealthy and also a devout Roman Catholic; but he had to abandon all his ambitious designs, and died in obscurity in 1676. Stephen Tokolyi died in 1670, while obstinately defending his castle against the Imperial troops; but he bequeathed the championship of the Hungarian cause to his more famous son Emeric.

On the suppression of the famous conspiracy of the Hungarian magnates followed a reign of terror, which has loaded the name of Lobkowitz with obloquy in Hungarian tradition. All the designs which had been attributed to the Austrian Government were now put into practice. The nobles could only escape suspicion and trial by the most abject submission. The Protestants were punished for treason as well as for heresy. Their preachers were sent to the galleys, and their churches were either closed or handed over to the Catholics. The time-honoured office of Palatine was suppressed; and Caspar von Ampringen, High Master of the German Order, was sent with full powers as Governor to Pressburg. The Jesuit advisers of Leopold believed that Hungary might be reduced by the methods which had proved successful in Bohemia. The Magyar, though inferior as a plotter, is, however, a more resolute rebel than the Slav. Possibly, if there had been no external difficulties, his obstinacy might have been overcome. But European affairs at this time underwent a momentous change. In 1673 Leopold, after more than ample provocation, broke loose from France and allied himself with Brandenburg for the defence of the United Provinces. It is true that, until the fall of Lobkowitz in October, 1674, there was still a curious reluctance at Vienna to make the breach with Louis XIV irreparable. The Great Elector was so disgusted that he forsook the coalition for a time; and Montecuculi resigned his command because, as he is represented to have said, he preferred to receive commands direct from Paris rather than roundabout by way of Vienna. But enough had been done to convince Louis XIV that the secret treaty of January 19, 1668, was waste-paper, that the old quarrel with the Austrian Habsburgs was still to be fought out, and that he must make use of any weapons which lay to his hand. He was therefore willing and eager in 1674 to encourage those Hungarian rebels who were urged either by patriotism or by Protestant zeal to resist the oppressive and persecuting rule of Ampringen. Ever since 1671 they had conducted a guerilla war in northern Hungary against the Imperial troops. Their nearest patron was Michael Apaffy, whose right-hand man, Michael Teleki, became the commander of the rebel forces. As Louis XIV was too busied in the west to give direct assistance to the Hungarian rising, he set himself to bring about the intervention of Poland. There the rule of the unfortunate Michael Wisniowiecki had been hopeless from the first. The French faction treated his authority with contempt, and their opposition would probably have kindled a civil war, but for the outbreak of a new struggle with the Turks.

1672-4] War between Poland and Turkey.

This conflict had its origin in the Ukraine, which in 1667 had been divided between Russia and Poland, the whole district on the left bank of the Dnieper being assigned to Russia, while the town of Kieff was to remain in her occupation for two years. The partition was a grievance to the turbulent Cossacks, who desired to recover their unity and who equally resented control from Warsaw or from Moscow. After two years of desultory warfare the Cossack Hetman Doroszenko appealed for aid to the Turks. Ahmad Kiuprili responded to the appeal in 1672 by once more leading an imposing army northwards. The Sultan was induced to accompany his troops on what was little more than a triumphant march. Kameniec was carried by storm; Lemberg surrendered; and the whole of Podolia was at the mercy of the invaders. The timid King Michael became a supp liant for peace, and agreed by the Treaty of Buczácz (October 18,1672) to cede Podolia, to acknowledge Turkish suzerainty over the Ukraine, and to pay an annual tribute of 220,000 ducats. Mohammad IV returned in triumph to Adrianople.

But the elation of the Turks was premature. The haughty spirit of the Poles was roused by the news of the King’s abject surrender. In response to the fiery appeals of Sobieski, the shameful treaty was repudiated. Kiuprili had to return northwards, where he threw a strong garrison into Kameniec and advanced to the siege of Khoczim. Under its walls he was attacked by Sobieski, and suffered a defeat hardly less signal and complete than that of St Gothard (November 11, 1673). On the previous day King Michael had died, and the throne of Poland was once more vacant. In spite of the perilous condition of the kingdom, there was no lack of foreign candidates. Among the princes discussed was James, Duke of York, who had just been deprived of office in England by his notable refusal to comply with the provisions of the Test Act. But the most formidable competitors were those who could count on the support of either France or Austria. The Emperor again favoured Charles Leopold of Lorraine, whose prospective duchy had been in French occupation since 1670. To strengthen his candidature Charles Leopold was eager to marry the widow of the late King. Philip William of Neuburg was still living, but on this occasion put forward his son, who could claim descent through his mother from King Sigismund III, and who was equally willing to marry the dowager Queen. The French, envoy was instructed to oppose at all costs the: election of Charles of Lorraine, to give a sort of official support to the Neuburg prince, but to act with such prudent opportunism that whoever gained the Crown should believe himself indebted for it to the support of France.

As might have been anticipated, the choice of the Diet fell upon the vigorous champion of the nation’s honour, John Sobieski (May 21, 1674). His accession was a triumph for Louis XIV, as that of his predecessor had been for the Emperor. Sobieski was bound to France by early associations, by the influence of his wife, Mary d’Arquien, and by his identification during recent years with the French party in Poland. Louis naturally sought to make the most of what might prove invaluable assistance in the east. He sent the Marquis of Béthune, who had married an elder sister of the new Queen of Poland, to carry his congratulations to Sobieski; and on June 11,1675, a treaty of alliance was signed between France and Poland. The Polish King was to receive a subsidy of 200,000 crowns, and French assistance in the design of restoring Polish suzerainty over East Prussia. In return, he was to allow recruiting in his dominions for the French service and to give a helping hand to the Hungarian rebels. Thus Louis had it in his power to stir up formidable difficulties which would divert the forces of Austria and also those of the Elector of Brandenburg, who had rejoined the coalition against France. On May 27,1677, Bethune signed a treaty with Apafty and his allies by which, in return for French subsidies tnd aid from Poland, an army of 15,000 men was to make war upon the Emperor under the command of Teleki. Between these two dates, great efforts were made by France to bring about peace between Poland and Turkey. So long as the war lasted, neither Power could give effective assistance to Hungary; but its termination would enable France to bring either the Turks or the Poles into the field against the Emperor. The task was a difficult one, because Kiuprili refused to surrender any of the conquests of 1672, and Sobieski could only hope to make the Crown hereditary in his family by freeing Polish soil from the infidel. In 1675 the Polish King won a second brilliant victory at Lemberg. But the Turk had the more lasting resources, and in 1676 Sobieski found himself hemmed in by superior numbers. In October he agreed to the Treaty of Zurawna, by which the Turks retained the greater part of Podolia with the town of Kameniec, but recognised Polish suzerainty over western Ukraine.

In spite of all this diplomatic activity, the Hungarian revolt gained little from foreign assistance, and exerted far less influence upon the western war than had been anticipated at Versailles. Apaffy found it necessary to regulate his actions in accordance with the will of the Porte, which was not yet prepared for an open rupture with Austria. Ahmad Kiuprili, who had extended the empire of Turkey to its furthest bounds in Europe by the inclusion of Neuhausel in its Hungarian dominions and by the acquisition of Podolia and Crete, died a few days after the signing of the Treaty of Zurawna. His successor, Kara Mustafa, had by his energy and strength of will gained the confidence of the two Kiuprilis and the favour of the Sultan. He had become son-in-law of Mohammad, and thus brother-in-law of Ahmad Kiuprili. In all his actions he displayed that hatred and haughty contempt for the Giaours which had been handed down from the days of Turkish triumph. Already, as Kamakam (deputy of the Vezir), he had persuaded Mohammad IV to express to the French Minister his willingness to make war upon the Emperor as soon as peace was made with Poland. This momentous decision was formally approved by the French Council of State, and the conclusion of the Treaty of Zurawna was welcomed with enthusiasm at Versailles. But, though Kara Mustafa never abandoned his design, he was compelled to postpone its execution. The Cossack Hetman Doroszenko, profoundly disappointed by the Treaty of Zurawna, appealed to the Tsar for assistance against his recent allies. In 1677 the Turks found themselves involved in a war with Russia—the one Christian Power for which they entertained a vague but real respect. So long as this war continued, it was hopeless for France or any other Power to expect Turkish intervention. Apaffy found it advisable to restrain his enthusiasm for the Hungarian rebels. In 1678 his representative, Teleki, withdrew of his own accord from the command of the insurgent forces and adroitly suggested as his successor Emeric Tokolyi, who was betrothed to his daughter. The new Hungarian leader possessed all the personal qualities which gain affection and loyalty; and his name still holds a high place in the traditions of his countrymen.

But, in spite of his fiery courage, his persuasive eloquence, his constancy in misfortune, and the dramatic vicissitudes of his career, it is clear that the hatred of Austria which he inherited from his father was stronger than his devotion to the real interests of his country, and that his action on more than one momentous occasion was determined by personal ambition. It was of evil omen that he celebrated his acceptance of the national leadership by the issue of coins which had on their reverse the legend, “Tokolyi princeps partium Hungariae dominus,” and on their obverse, “Ludovicus XIV, Galliae Rex, Protector Hungariae

The disappointment caused in France by the failure of the Turks to take up arms against Austria was neither so bitter nor so lasting as the resentment excited by the defection of Poland. Both personal and political motives combined to bring this about. The grasping Mary d’Arquien complained that the pension given her as Queen was no larger than that which she had received as the wife of the Grand Hetman, and demanded the elevation of her father, a dissipated elderly nobleman, from the rank of marquis to that of duke and peer of France. Louis XIV refused to grant this impudent request, and excused his apparent parsimony by recalling the large sums which he had expended in the Polish election. Sobieski himself, while as a doting husband he supported his wife’s demands, felt that Louis had, for his own reasons, urged him into the Treaty of Zurawna, though he could have extorted better terms if he had waited for Russian assistance. Besides, Poland was overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, and its clergy, as well as the Pope, opposed the giving of aid to the Hungarian Protestants. In truth, had Sobieski followed the dictates of France, he must have incurred the hostility of his subjects. Although he received the crown on less onerous terms than his predecessor, he was only the first magistrate of a republic. Thus, in spite of the efforts of Béthune, the Polish King drifted further from France and nearer to the Emperor, who held out a prospect of his daughter’s hand being given to Sobieski’s son, and of the King’s father-in-law becoming a Prince of the Empire and being endowed with lands in Silesia. In 1677 Sobieski pledged himself to give no aid to Leopold’s rebellious subjects, and went so far as to prohibit the departure of troops which Bethune had recruited in Poland for aiding the Hungarians.

1679-81] Religious toleration in Hungary.

In 1679 Leopold, after a good deal of hesitation, followed the example set by his allies, Holland and Spain, in making the Treaty of Nymegen with France. His troops had at the end of 1678 driven Tokolyi from his strongholds in Upper Hungary; he was secure from opposition on the part of either Poland or Turkey; and, now that his hands were free in the west, it was naturally expected that he would complete the task of subjugating Hungary, which he had begun in 1670 and which had been interrupted in 1673 by his war with France. But the Emperor, though slow and timid, was not without intelligence, and what his mind had once grasped was not readily forgotten. He had learned one lesson thoroughly since 1668. The dream that the peace of Europe could be assured by a friendship between Bourbon and Habsburg had proved wholly illusory. Leopold realised that the ambition of France could only be satisfied by the ruin of his own House, and that all other interests, even that of religion, must be subordinated to the supreme necessity of fighting his relentless enemy. He had learned yet another lesson also, but this less thoroughly. He was convinced, for the time at any rate, that his policy of harshness and persecution in Hungary had been ill-judged and unsuccessful, and he was prepared to try the alternative method of conciliation. He was further impelled in the same direction by the dictatorial measures of Louis XIV, the Chambers of Reunion, the ominous annexation in 1681 of Strassburg and Casale, and the difficulty of inducing the States of Europe or even of Germany to take any active measures against the monstrous encroachments of France. Under these circumstances it was eminently desirable to adopt any means of healing the open sore in Hungary. And so, in 1679, Leopold recalled Ampringen, whose rule was as distasteful to patriotic Catholics as to oppressed Protestants. In the next year he concluded a truce with Tokolyi which was later extended for two years. In 1681 he convened a Diet at Oedenburg, at which very great concessions were offered. The office of Governor was abolished, while that of Palatine was restored and conferred upon the popular Paul Esterhdzy. A complete amnesty was promised for past disloyalty, and even the Catholics consented to a decree that no Hungarian should henceforth be molested in the free exercise of his religion. A large number of towns and villages were named in which the erection of Protestant churches was allowed. The Emperor was to observe his coronation oath with regard to the maintenance of foreign troops, and was to take the advice of a Hungarian council upon Hungarian affairs. 

Substantial as these concessions were, and extremely distasteful to the Catholic party, they failed to satisfy either the extreme Protestants or the extreme nationalists. Emeric Tokolyi declined to attend the Diet at Oedenburg, rejected its decrees as inadequate and insincere, and at the close of 1681 sent three envoys to Constantinople to offer to the Sultan the suzerainty over Hungary. His motives and their justification will always be open to dispute. From the Austrian point of view, he acted as the hireling of France and as an ambitious and unscrupulous rebel who was resolved at all costs to gain a principality for himself. From the opposite point of view, he was the resolute defender of political and religious liberty who refused to be deluded by the deceptive promises of an intolerant despot—promises which were only extorted by the fear of France and Turkey and would be withdrawn as soon as that fear had disappeared. The truth probably lies between the two extremes, and the desire to avenge the deaths of his father’s associates in 1671 may have weighed quite as much with Tokolyi as the love of liberty or personal ambition.

The conduct of the Imperial Government in the year 1682 displayed equal short-sightedness and irresolution. In the previous year the Turks had concluded the war with Russia by abandoning the Ukraine and leaving Kieff to be a Russian city. In January, 1682, the envoys of Tokolyi received the definite assurance of Turkish support. Kara Mustafa never wavered in his intention of undertaking the direct attack upon Vienna which he had planned six years before. The very fact that the plan was opposed by rival aspirants to the Sultan’s favour made him the more resolute to insist upon a policy which had become essential to the maintenance of his own ascendancy. But, in spite of warnings, Leopold and his Ministers refused to believe in the imminence of danger from the east. They had decided at the end of 1681 to send Count Albert Caprara as a special envoy to demand the prolongation of the Truce of Vasvar, which would expire in 1684. Although their resident ambassador warned them that a special mission would be interpreted as a proof of fear and weakness, they had little doubt as to the acceptance of their demand. They continued the policy of conciliation in Hungary, and carried complaisance so far as to give approval to a marriage between Tokolyi, who had repudiated his betrothal to Teleki’s daughter, and Helen Zrinyi, the widow of Francis Rákdózy. A representative of the Emperor attended the wedding, which was celebrated on June 15, 1682, at the bride’s castle of Munkács. By this marriage Tokolyi strengthened his hold upon the patriotic party, and brought under Ids control not only the greatest inheritance in Hungary but also the person of his stepson, Francis Rdkdczy II, the heir to a great name and an inspirng tradition.

Louis XIV and the Turks.

In the summer the confidence of the Austrian Ministers received a rude shock. Caprara reported that the Turks evaded his demands by suggesting impossible conditions for the renewal of the treaty, and that in his opinion the Vezir was resolved upon war. Tokolyi, once secure of his bride (who was fourteen years his senior), concluded a treaty with the Pasha of Buda, raised the standard of revolt in the name of “God and liberty,” and overpowered the surprised garrisons in Upper Hungary. But blindness still prevailed in Vienna. In September the truce with Tokolyi was renewed, leaving him in possession of his recent conquests; and the triumphant rebel was actually accepted as mediator to endeavour to bring about the prolongation of peace with the Turks. Under the influence of the Spanish ambassador, Marquis Borgomainero, more time was spent in discussing the measures for checking the distant aggressions of Louis XIV than in providing for the defence of Austria and its capital. Meanwhile Kara Mustafa was deceiving Caprara by artfully spaced-out interviews, and was employing the time in making elaborate preparations for a campaign which might, so far as official intimations went, be directed against Austria or Poland or the republic of Venice. It was not until December 21 that the mask was finally thrown aside. In a last interview Caprara was informed that the Turks would not renew the treaty unless Leopoldstadt were razed, a number of towns near Neuhausel surrendered, and Tokolyi recognised as King of Upper Hungary under Turkish suzerainty. Such demands were equivalent to a declaration of war from a State which refused to respect the rules of international etiquette. In the spring of 1683 the nucleus of an enormous army was collected at Adrianople; and on March 31 the Sultan and his Vezir started on their eventful march. At Belgrade Mohammad IV entrusted the sacred banner to Kara Mustafa, who now assumed the supreme command. As the army advanced, it received recruits from all the vassal provinces of Turkey; and, by the time it reached Essek on the Drave, its numbers had swollen to over 250,000 men.

Once convinced that Austria was again threatened with a Turkish invasion, the Imperial Ministers showed no lack of energy. Agents were sent to all Christian States to urge them to combine their efforts against the common foe. Although, as Louis XIV sneeringly remarked, crusades had gorfe out of fashion since the days of St Louis, the response was not wholly discreditable to the fellow-feeling which still feebly survived in Christendom. It is true that some States held selfishly aloof. Charles II of England was the pensioner of France, and had had quite enough of wars and of parliaments. William of Orange was powerless, against the opposition of the republican party, to send aid to an ally whose overthrow would be as fatal to Holland as to Austria itself. Frederick William of Brandenburg was playing his own game, and it was not the correct move at the moment to support a prince who disputed his claims in Silesia and who would not agree to help him to drive the Swedes from Pomerania. Spain was too anxiously watching France to be able to spare assistance even for her closest ally. But Innocent XI worthily discharged the duties of the first bishop of western Christendom. He sent money to Austria, and fatherly exhortations to all the rulers who belonged to his communion. Venice eagerly promised help against its old oppressor. The sluggish Germanic Diet voted money, and among the Princes who promised to lead their troops to the defence of their suzerain were Maximilian Emanuel of Bavaria, Leopold’s prospective son-in-law, John George of Saxony, and the young George Lewis of Brunswick-Lüneburg, afterwards King George I of Great Britain (four of whose brothers likewise served against the Turks). But the nearest and most invaluable ally was the most experienced and successful of living combatants against the Turk, the King of Poland. On March 31, 1683, John Sobieski signed the momentous treaty by which he undertook to furnish a force of 40,000 men. The French envoy, Vitry, resorted to the tactics which Louis XIV bad prescribed as the only safeguard, if Poland were alienated from France, and tried to stir up opposition in the Diet. But he had to deal with a King who knew all the methods of French diplomacy in the past. His letters were discovered, and he was dismissed with contumely from Warsaw. Louis had to pay a heavy penalty for his creditable refusal to bestow unmerited rank upon the Marquis d’Arquien. For, after all, the French King was as keenly interested in the Turkish invasion as the Emperor himself—not that, as some thought, he had brought it about. Constantinople was the only European Court at which his influence counted for nothing. The most haughty and imperious of rulers in insisting upon the privileges of his representatives, he could not protect his envoys from contemptuous treatment and even from imprisonment at the hands of the Turks. But he had known of Kara Mustafa’s design in 1676, had welcomed the Turkish peace with Russia as enabling the Vezir to put it into execution, had planned his aggressive Reunions in the confident hope that his foremost opponent would be paralysed by the task of defending his own country. Louis XIV would never have admitted that he was a traitor to the Christian cause. The Turk, according to Louis’ purpose, was to be a tool and not a master. As soon as he had swept the Habsburgs out of the way and advariced with his hordes to the upper Danube, Germany must appeal to the Most Christian King, and Louis as the victorious champion of the Cross would recover that imperial dignity which, according to the belief and teaching of French historians, had been wrongfully wrested from their kings as the heirs of Charlemagne. Crusades would have come into fashion again, when they fitted in with the interests of France.

The criminal blindness of the Austrian Government had delayed the appeal for help so long that it nearly came too late. For some months the Habsburg dominions had to provide their own defence. The veteran Montecuculi, who had so often urged the maintenance of a standing army as the one defence against the Turks, had died in 1681. His last service was to persuade his master to retain some 30,000 of the troops which had been raised in the recent war with France. These formed the nucleus of the Imperial army which was placed under the command of Leopold’s brother-in-law, Charles of Lorraine, and which was joined by the youthful Eugene of Savoy, among other volunteers. For a moment the Imperial general meditated aggression as the best method of defence and advanced to attack Neuhausel. But the risk of being cut off from the Austrian frontier was too great, and the Duke fell back to cover Vienna. On July 7, the Emperor with his wife and family quitted his capital amidst the murmurs of his subjects, to seek a safer refuge in Fassau. Only at the last moment were measures taken to destroy the defenceless suburbs and to strengthen the neglected fortifications of the city. If Kara Mustafa had hurried his advance, he could hardly have failed to carry Vienna by storm. But he lost several precious days on the way, and it was not till July 17 that he completed the blockade of the city, which was to last for two anxious months. Charles of Lorraine had left a garrison of 13,000 regular troops, but had himself withdrawn with his main force, in order to harass the besiegers until the arrival of foreign aid should enable him to make a strenuous attempt to force the raising of the siege. 

1683] Siege of Vienna.

The story of the defence of Vienna is the most heroic page in the stirring annals of the city. Grateful recollection has preserved the memory of all who played a prominent part in the obstinate resistance which was offered to the overwhelming force of the enemy, from the Governor, Count Rudiger Starhemberg, to the leader of the corps of University volunteers. Local tradition preserved a record of every sally, of the desperate struggles which raged round each bastion. Kara Mustafa might have taken the city over and over again, if he had pressed the attack with that obstinate determination and that disregard of human life which had been shown by Mohammad II in the storming of Constantinople. But he preferred to wait until exhaustion, plague, and famine compelled an unconditional surrender. And even so he came within measurable distance of success. The limits of human endurance had almost been reached, when on September 11 the relieving army appeared on the slopes of the Kahlenberg. Charles of Lorraine had played his part manfully. He had impeded the supplies and interrupted the communications of the besiegers, and he had successfully defended Pressburg from the attack of Tokolyi. But his chief care had been to hasten the assembling, of the relieving forces from Germany and from Poland. In response to the Duke’s urgent appeals, John Sobieski commenced his march with only 26,000 men, instead of waiting for the collection of the full contingent fixed by the treaty. At Hollabrunn he was joined by Charles of Lorraine, who accompanied him to Tuln, where a bridge of boats had been carefully protected to secure the crossing of the Danube. To Tuln came the Bavarians and Saxons with a number of German volunteers, who had already assembled at Krems. On the southern bank of the river the whole Christian force, numbering nearly 70,000  men, was marshalled, and without delay set out on the difficult march through the Wiener Wald to the hills commanding a view of the city of Vienna and the eastward plain. Some fears had been entertained that difficulty might be caused by the jealous rivalry of a King, two Electors, and an Imperial general. To avert this, the Emperor actually started down the river with the intention of assuming the command in person. But his arrival would certainly have irritated the Polish King, whose superior rank and experience were not disputed by his colleagues. It was under his supreme command that the army was drawn up on the morning of the eventful September 12. On the left, nearest the river, were the Imperial troops under the Duke of Lorraine; in the centre were the Germans under the two Electors; while the right wing was formed by the Poles with an Austrian contingent.

It was no easy task which lay before them; but it was facilitated by the gross ignorance and incompetence of Kara Mustafa. He had refused to believe till the last minute in the arrival of the Poles, and he had taken no precautions to cover the besieging army. He could easily have detached sufficient troops to destroy the bridge at Tuln or to hold the passes of the Wiener Wald. Even when the enemy was in sight, he refused to follow the advice of Ibrahim, the Pasha of Buda, to withdraw his seasoned troops from the trenches and to fortify a strong position on his western front. Between the Kahlenberg and the plain were a number of valleys formed by streams running into the Danube. Each of the intervening slopes might have been held by the Turks, and days must then have been spent in forcing an arduous path to the city walls. But all precautions had been neglected. The left wing of the allies, which had the hardest task, swept away the Moldavian and Wallachian auxiliaries, and the whole line threw itself with the impetuosity of assured success upon the Turkish camp. The Vezir was carried away with his panic-stricken troops. The Janissaries, surprised in the trenches between the relieving vanguard and the exultant garrison, were cut to pieces. Darkness was setting in, when the eight hours combat came to an end, and the relief of Vienna was accomplished. The victors had so little anticipated such a speedy and complete triumph that they remained under arms all night, in the belief that the Turkish retreat must have been of the nature of a stratagem. It was not till day dawned that they discovered that the vast encampment which surrounded Vienna was deserted. As a matter of fact the flight of the Turks was so hasty that by 10 o’clock the next morning the foremost fugitives had reached Raab, a journey which it had taken the army eight days to cover on its advance.

It is saddening to turn from a heroic deed of arms, in which all worked together with complete enthusiasm and harmony, to the pitiful misunderstandings which followed. To a coalition success is almost as disintegrating as defeat. The Elector of Saxony stayed to escort the Emperor to the thanksgiving service in St Stephen’s on the 14th, but started homewards with his troops that very eveniug, declaring that Protestants were regarded with little favour in Vienna and that the Saxons had no share in the spoils. He had some grounds for the co­plaint that the saving of Vienna was celebrated rather as a Roman Catholic than as a Christian victory. More serious was the want of concord between the Emperor and the King of Poland, and yet it was almost inevitable. Leopold, grateful as he was, could not but feel that he was dwarfed in his own and in his subjects’ estimation by the magnificent achievements of his preserver. He had been willing to take the command, but had feared to come forward, lest he should hurt the susceptibilities of his ally; and now he was an outsider in the celebration of the defence of his own capital. The susceptible Viennese had crowded to kiss the hands of Sobieski; they looked with some coldness on the ruler who had been safe on the upper Danube during both the siege and the final battle. John III of Poland, on his side, was eager for fame, greedy of praise, and inclined to resent anything which seemed to suggest an inadequate recognition of his own or his soldiers’ services. But he could not prevent people from saying, with truth, that the Poles (through no fault of their own) had had less fighting to do than the Germans, and, with equal truth, that they had taken a larger share of the booty. From this it was easy to deduce the insulting insinuation that they were more efficient plunderers than soldiers. The two rulers did not meet till the 17th, and their interview did not make them better friends. Leopold strove to be cordial; but it was not in his nature to unbend, and he was bound by the strictest rules of imperial etiquette to remain covered and to withhold the coveted title of “Majesty.” The King naturally thought that it was an occasion when strict etiquette was rather out of place; and he was still more annoyed when his eldest son on his approach failed to attract the notice of the preoccupied Emperor. He withdrew rather sullenly to his tent, and left his marshal to do the honours of the Polish camp to his visitors.

Incipient quarrels, and the miasma emitted by the imperfectly cleared battlefield, made it imperative to remove the troops from Vienna; and on September 18 the pursuit of the enemy was begun. It was, however, too late to overtake the Turkish army. At Raab Kara Mustafa had put to death Ibrahim Pasha, whose advice he had rejected, and whose accusations before the Sultan he had good reason to dread. Thence the defeated Vezir made his way to Buda. Meanwhile, the Christian army had crossed the Danube at Pressburg by the bridge of boats which had been brought down from Tulh, and after a few days’ rest continued their march along the north bank. Near Parkány the Poles, who were in advance, were routed on October 7 by a superior Turkish force; but their flight was stopped by the arrival of the Imperial cavalry under Charles of Lorraine. Two days later, when the infantry had come up, the Turks were again attacked and completely routed. This victory was followed not only by the surrender of Parkány, but also by the capture of Gran, the frontier fortress of the Turkish dominions on the right bank of the Danube. This disaster, the first in which an actual possession of the Turks had been regained by a Christian force, completed the alienation of the Sultan from his Vezir. Kara Mustafa, instead of attempting to relieve Gran, had continued his retreat to Essek and Belgrade. The blame for the defeat at Parkány he laid upon Tokolyi, who had been within easy march of the battlefield but had rendered no assistance to his allies. The Hungarian leader, whose following had been diminished by a well-timed offer of amnesty from the Emperor, and whose efforts to make terms for himself through Sobieski had failed, was now absolutely dependent upon Turkish assistance. To defend himself against the charges of the Vezir, he risked his safety by a personal visit to the Sultan at Adrianople. His eloquence, strengthened by the support of Kara Mustafa's numerous enemies, prevailed with; Mohammad IV. Not only was he allowed to depart with renewed promises of aid, but his personal enemy was removed by death. On December 25 the emissaries of the Sultan carried to Kara Mustafa at Belgrade the fatal bowstring, and the immense wealth which his avarice had accumulated was confiscated by his sovereign.

The Holy League against the Turks. [1683-98

No sooner had the glorious campaign of 1683 closed, than the Emperor Leopold was confronted by the same momentous question which had been so hotly debated by the Austrian Ministers in the previous year. Were his most vital interests in the east or in the west? Would he transform a war which had been forced upon him for the defence of his own dominions into an aggressive crusade for wresting from the Turks the Christian lands which had so long groaned under their rule? Or would he make peace with the disappointed invaders of Austria, and turn his whole strength to the task of resisting Louis XIV, who remained in possession of Strassburg, and who, at the time when Vienna was in its greatest straits, had renewed the attack upon Luxemburg, which with a parade of magnanimity he had suspended in 1682? On the one side was the influence of the Spanish ambassador at Vienna, Borgomainero, who hoped to gain the support of Charles of Lorraine for a scheme which might lead to recovering his lost duchy. On the other side were the urgent representations of Pope Innocent XI and of the victorious generals, including the chivalrous Duke of Lorraine, who placed the interests of Christendom far above the recovery of his own inheritance. Leopold, with equal wisdom and docility, followed the guidance of the Church. On March 5,1684, at Linz, where the Emperor resided while his capital was purified and rebuilt, was signed the Holy League between Austria, Poland, and Venice. The three Powers pledged themselves to carry on war against the Turks and to conclude no separate peace with the infidel. Each State was to retain any conquests which it might make. The Pope was recognised as the patron and protector of the League, and a solemn oath to carry out its terms was transmitted to him from each of the members.

From this treaty dates the continuous war which lasted till the Peace of Carlowitz (1684-98), which finally freed Europe from the Turkish terror, and which assured to the Austrian Habsburgs a foremost place among the Great Powers. The contributions of the three allies to the ultimate success were unequal in merit and in extent. That of Poland was unquestionably the least. John Sobieski did little to maintain, and nothing to enhance, the fame which he had won at Khoczim, at Lemberg, and in the relief of Vienna. He was not un­faithful to his allies, but he was fatally hampered by domestic difficulties, by the opposition of interested partisans of France among the nobles of Poland and Lithuania, and by the influence of his wife, who returned to her old love for her native country. These troubles broke the spirit and clouded the later years of the hero-King. Sobieski died in 1696 without having achieved either of the objects dearest to his heart. He had failed to drive the Turks from Kameniec and Podolia, and he did not succeed in securing the succession of his son to the throne of which he was the last illustrious occupant.

In the case of Venice, on the other hand, the war was signalised by many creditable achievements. Taking full advantage of the fact that the main Turkish forces were occupied in the north, the Republic organised simultaneous attacks upon the Dalmatian coast and upon Greece. In the latter the chief command was entrusted to Francesco Morosini, the hero of the defence of Candia. He began the campaign in 1684 by capturing the island of Santa Maura and the town of Prevesa. In 1685, with the help of an army of German mercenaries, he commenced his great enterprise, the conquest of the Morea, which gave him the name of “the Peloponnesian.” Koron was taken in August, and the fall of Kalamata made him master of the peninsula of Maina. In the next year the Turks were defeated in an attempt to relieve Nauplia by Count Konigsmarck, who commanded the German troops; and the surrender of the garrison gave to Venice almost complete mastery of the southern Morea. The campaign of 1687 is the most famous in the history of the war. In July the Turkish entrenchments near Patras were carried by storm, and an entry was secured into the gulf of Corinth. Accompanied by the fleet, the army marched along the coast to Corinth, which was occupied on August 7. After fortifying the Isthmus, the Venetian forces proceeded into Attica and laid siege; to Athens. The bombs of the besiegers reduced to ruin the Parthenon and the Propylaea, and the Turks surrendered the city on September 28. With the fall of Athens the record of uninterrupted success came to an end. In 1688 the city was evacuated, partly on account of an outbreak of plague, and partly in order to concentrate all the forces of the Republic on the conquest of Negropont. This enterprise ended in complete and disastrous failure. Konigsmarck died in September; and on their de­parture from Negropont in October the German troops were disbanded and sent home. The later history of the war is comparatively unevent­ful. Morosini resigned his command in 1689; and in the next year Monemvasia, the last Turkish stronghold in the Morea, was starved into surrender. But all attempts to extend or retain Venetian domination beyond the Isthmus ended in failure. Morosini tried to encourage his fellow-countrymen by returning to Greece at the age of seventy-five; but he died at Napoli (January 16, 1694) before he had time to put his reputation to a new test. His successor Zeno attacked Chios, but was completely defeated by a Turkish fleet and was punished for his incompetence by imprisonment in Venice. The Turkish Government was steadily, improving its naval and military forces as the war went on; and the Republic owed the retention of most of its conquests in Greece and Dalmatia to the obstinate exertions of Austria.

As compared with her allies, Austria bore the brunt of the war, and to her fell the largest and the most durable share of the spoils. Four eminent commanders, Duke Charles of Lorraine, the Elector Max Emanuel of Bavaria, Margrave Lewis of Baden-Baden, and Prince Eugene of Savoy, had taken part in the relief of Vienna; and they became the protagonists in the great eastern struggle. With the exception of 1684, when an over-confident attack upon Buda ended in the complete repulse of the besiegers, each of the early years of the war was marked by at least one distinguished feat of arms. In fact the superiority of the German arms and tactics, thanks largely to the teaching of Montecuculi, was so great that some contemporary critics complained that the successes gained were not more rapid and complete. For this they blamed the lateness of the season in which the campaigns were begun, and the jealousy with which both the Elector of Bavaria and the Margrave of Baden regarded the Duke of Lorraine. But it must also be remembered that, in addition to the main campaigns, the Austrians were fighting against rebels in northern Hungary and against the Turks in Slavonia and Bosnia; that the central war was mainly a war of sieges; and that the Turks, if inferior in the open field, were still stubborn opponents behind walls or entrenchments. A series of almost unbroken victories began in 1685 with the siege of Neuhausel. The Turks, instead of attempting to effect a direct relief, marched to attack Gran, where they were defeated with great loss by Charles of Lorraine with his main army (August 16). Three days later Aeneas Caprara, who had been left with a small force to maintain the siege till the Duke’s return, succeeded in storming the fortress which had been originally constructed by Ferdinand I, and had been the great prize of Ahmad Kiuprili in 1663. In the next year the Imperial army, to which volunteers now flocked from all parts of Europe, advanced to the second siege of Buda. The garrison offered as obstinate a defence as before, and the Vezir Kara Ibrahim led a large army to its succour. But the Duke of Lorraine pressed his attack in spite of many disappointments, and on September 2, after a siege of ten weeks, the ancient capital of Hungary was added to the dominions of the Habsburg King. Equally gratifying to Leopold and almost equally important were the successes gained in 1686 in Upper Hungary. Tokolyi, defeated by General Schulz near Eperies, appealed for aid to the Pasha of Grosswardein, who received him with royal honours and then sent him in chains to Adrianople. Although he was subsequently released and even restored to favour, his cause had suffered a blow from which it never recovered. By the end of 1686 Eperies, Kaschan, Tokay and a number of other towns had submitted to the Emperor. Only the fortress of Munkács held out under the command of Helen Zrinyi, a more obstinate rebel even than her husband.

1687] Austrian ascendancy in Hungary.

The campaign of 1687 opened with a reverse. Max Emanuel of Bavaria had long urged that he was entitled to a separate command by his rank as a great German Prince and as the Emperor’s son-in-law. The fear that his discontent might lead to the withdrawal of the Bavarian contingent compelled the Austrian Government to divide the army between the Duke of Lorraine and the Elector. Their imperfect cooperation helped to bring about the repulse of an attack on the important fortress of Essek, where the great bridge over the marshy valley of the Drave was the main link in the line of communication between southern Hungary and Belgrade. But the failure was no unmixed evil, since it encouraged the Vezir to follow the retreating army and to risk a pitched battle at Harkány, near Mohács. Here the Turks suffered a crushing defeat (August 12), which did more than any other single event to overthrow that Turkish ascendancy in Hungary which had been founded upon Solyman’s great victory at Mohacs more than a hundred and fifty years before. General Diinewald, following the fleeing enemy, took Essek and Peterwardein, and thus opened the way into Servia. In the north Erlau surrendered, and Charles of Lorraine, entering into Transylvania, received from Apaffy an acknowledgment of vassalage to the Habsburg King of Hungary. Earlier in the year a special Court had been erected at Eperies under General Caraffa to enquire into the guilt of Tokolyi’s associates, and its severity had for the moment intimidated the malcontents. On October 31 a Diet was opened at Pressburg, which recognised the Hungarian Crown as hereditary in the male Habsburg line, and repealed the famous clause in the Golden Bull of 1222, supposed to give the Hungarians a right of armed insurrection in defence of their liberties. The concessions to Protestants made at Oedenburg in 1681 were confirmed. Leopold celebrated his triumph in the formal coronation of his nine year old son, Joseph, on December 9. A few weeks later Munkacs was at last forced to surrender, and Helen Zrinyi with her children became the Emperor’s prisoner.

But the most important results of the battle of Harkány were felt in Turkey. A mutiny broke out in the retreating army, and the mutineers demanded the head of the Vezir. When this was conceded, they proceeded to insist upon the deposition of Mohammad IV, who had preferred the pleasures of the chase to the tasks of government and of military command (November, 1687). Solyman II, whose life had, contrary to all precedents, been Spared by his brother, now emerged from his prison to mount the throne. He was wholly unable to control the disorderly troops; and for months Constantinople was given over to anarchy and lawless pillage, until the citizens themselves rose and put the ringleaders to death. So great was the disorder that an easy triumph seemed to be assured to the Imperialists if they were prompt to move in 1688. But precious time was wasted in an intrigue which ended in the transfer of the supreme command from the Duke of Lorraine to the Elector of Bavaria. It was not till July that the latter joined the army, and not till August that he advanced from Peterwardein to besiege Belgrade. Fortunately for him, the Turks had not taken full advantage of the respite given to them; and on September 6 the famous fortress at the junction of the Save and the Danube was carried by storm. This capture of Belgrade, as Leopold himself said, opened the way to Constantinople, and pious churchmen began to anticipate confidently the complete expulsion of the infidels from the soil of Europe. But they reckoned without the Most Christian King. Louis XIV had watched with ever-increasing chagrin the progress of the Austrian arms. Every defeat of the Turks and the Hungarian rebels diminished his chances of gaining the Spanish succession for his House. It became necessary for him to strike before the Eastern War was at an end; and, in spite of the twenty years’ truce which he had concluded in 1684, he now recommenced those acts of aggression which in the next year involved the Western Powers in another great war. But he nearly overreached himself. William III joined SpaLi in urging the Emperor to accept the peace which the humbled Turks had more than once offered in vain. The negotiations, however, which were conducted in the winter of 1688-9 came to no result. The Turks became less yielding, when they discovered that France was about to make a diversion in their favour; and Leopold was obstinately loyal to his allies in Venice and Poland. To the intense chagrin of Spain and the Maritime Powers, the Emperor decided to continue the war against the Turks.

It was a courageous but a rash decision. The outbreak of war with France, which compelled Leopold to send considerable forces under Charles of Lorraine and the Elector of Bavaria to the Rhine, restored the balance in the eastern struggle which had hitherto been so decisively adverse to the Turks. In 1689 the change was not yet apparent. In addition to their wars with Poland and Venice, the Turks had to face a new enemy in the Russians who invaded the Crimea. Lewis of Baden, who had succeeded to the command of the Imperial army, was able to overrun Servia, where he made himself master of Nizza and Widdin. But in the winter the Sultan gave the office of Vezir to Mustafa Kiuprili, the brother of the famous Ahmad. Mustafa displayed all the reforming zeal which characterised the members of his House, while he surpassed them in religious tolerance. His great desire was to deprive the enemies of the Porte of the advantages which they had hitherto gained from the discontent of the subject Christians. At the same time, he set himself to reorganise the military organisation and to rekindle discord in Hungary. The death of Apaffy in April, 1690, was followed by the recognition of his son as Prince of Transylvania. But the Turks, in exercise of the suzerainty which they had never relinquished, nominated Tokolyi and sent him into Transylvania to revive the old spirit of hostility to the House of Habsburg. Taking advantage of the diversion thus caused, the Vezir attacked the Austrian garrisons in Servia, recaptured Widdin and Nizza, and by supreme good fortune succeeded in reducing Belgrade (October 8, 1690). The loss of this great fortress endangered all the Austrian gains in Hungary, but fortunately Essek still blocked the passage over the Drave, In 1691 Kiuprili led his army from Belgrade against Peterwardein. Lewis of Baden, who had in the meantime driven Tokolyi from Transylvania and compelled that province tp renew its submission to the Emperor, now hurried southwards to the defence of southern Hungary. At Szalankemen (August 19) he won the greatest of his victories and the Vezir,, who had held office for barely two years, was among the slain. But the Austrian army was top exhausted to attempt to cross the Save or to attack Belgrade,

The battle of Szalankemen marks a turning-point in the history of the war. Both sides relaxed their efforts. The intrigues of France in Constantinople succeeded in preventing the conclusion of peace. On the other hand the influence of the Emperor’s western allies, and especially of William III, induced him to abandon all ideas of further conquest and to stand on the defensive in Hungary. Lewis of Baden succeeded in taking Grosswardein in 1692, but in the following year he was despatched to the Shine. For four years the Imperialists, under the successive commands of Croy, Caprara and the young Frederick Augustus of Saxony, achieved practically nothing, and more than once narrowly escaped disastrous defeat. Meanwhile changes of rulers occurred in Constantinople. On the death of Solyman II in 1691, his brother Ahmad had ascended the throne. The latter’s death in 1695 was followed by the accession of his nephew Mustafa II, the son of the deposed Mohammad IV. The new Sultan was a young man in the prime of life and eager for military fame. Instead of entrusting all responsibility to a Vezir he undertook the command of his army in person. The Turks, always responsive to the call of an energetic leader, displayed their old warlike spirit. In 1695 and 1696 they defeated the Imperial forces in Hungary and recovered some of their lost predominance in the JEgean. It seemed as if events would justify the solemn warning of Montecuculi that his master should never wage a long war against the Turks, as their power remained unshaken by defeat. In 1697 the Sultan at the head of a formidable army marched from Belgrade up the valley of the Theiss in the direction of Szegedin, whence he could throw himself by way of the Maros into Transylvania. Frederick Augustus of Saxony, with all his physical strength and courage, possessed neither the character nor the capacity needed for a, great general, yet it was impossible for the Emperor to dismiss an ally who had brought an independent force to his service. From this dilemma Leopold was saved by events in Poland. In 1696 John Sobieski died after thirteen years of disappointment and chagrin. For the third time within thirty years there was a scramble for the still coveted Crown. The most prominent candidates were at first the young James Sobieski, who had married the sister of the Empress, and the Prince of Conti, who was backed by all the influence of France. Neither could prevail against the other ; and the choice of the Diet fell in 1697 upon the Elector of Saxony, who changed his religion to gain a kingdom which remained in his House for two generations. Augustus II (as he was now called) quitted the army to repair to Poland. The vacant command was at once conferred upon Prince Eugene, who had been set free by the termination of the war in Italy on the defection of the Duke of Savoy in 1696 from the Grand Alliance. Eugene had expected an attack upon Peterwardein, and was at first disconcerted by the Sultan’s northward march. With great promptness, however, he set out in pursuit up the Theiss and overtook the Turks as they were crossing the river at Zenta (September 11,1697). Only two hours of daylight remained when Eugene’s main army joined the’cavalry which had ridden on in advance. Arranging his troops in a semi-circle, he ordered a simultaneous attack upon the imperfect entrenchments which covered the Turkish position. The vigour of the onslaught carried all before it, and the defenders were driven back in headlong flight to the temporary bridge. As the river was low, the right wing, by taking advantage of sand-banks in the channel, succeeded in closing the access to the bridge. This converted the rout into a massacre. The Turkish soldiers who escaped the sword of the enemy were forced over the steep bank to find a watery grave in the Theiss. Twilight was setting in as the great victory was completed, and Eugene declared in his report that “the sun refused to set, until its last rays had witnessed the complete triumph of your Imperial Majesty’s glorious arms.” The Sultan, who had witnessed from the further bank the annihilation of his army, fled in despair to Temesvar, and thence to Belgrade. Eugene, after a brief raid into Bosnia, proceeded to Vienna, to receive the thanks of his grateful employer.

1698-9] The Peace of Carlowitz.

Events now tended rapidly in the direction of peace. In November, 1697, the allies concluded the Treaty of Ryswyk with Louis XIV; and this, added to the recent defeat at Zenta, put an end to the obstinate determination of the Turks to continue the war. They were once more exposed to attack from the undivided forces of Austria, and they had another formidable enemy in Peter the Great, who had conquered Azoff in 1696, and eagerly desired to make Russia a maritime Power by extending his rule to the Black Sea. On the other hand, Leopold had long abandoned the ambitious designs which had been entertained at the time of the capture of Belgrade; and any inclination to renew them was removed by the pressing interest of the approaching succession in Spain and by the strenuous appeals of the Maritime Powers that he would put an end to the distracting troubles of the eastern war. The youthful rulers of Poland and Russia were less peacefully inclined; but both had begun to form plans against Sweden which required that they should have their hands free. In October, 1698, the Turks, for the first time, sent envoys to a general European congress at Carlowitz between Peterwardein and Belgrade. Under the mediating influence of Lord Paget, the English representative, actual possession at the time was taken as the basis of negotiations, and it only remained to determine what exceptions to the general rule should be admitted. As between Austria and the Porte the difficulties were not considerable. The Austrians desired the surrender of Tokolyi, who since his expulsion from Transylvania had served in the Turkish ranks. The Sultan was eager to retain at any rate some shadow of his long-established authority over Transylvania. Both demands were ultimately withdrawn, and the Emperor allowed the Turks to retain the banat of Temesvar, enclosed between the waters of the Theiss and the Maros. With that exception, the whole of Hungary was left to the House of Habsburg. To Poland, whose chief service had been the bringing of Russia into the Christian alliance, Podolia and Kameniec were restored; and Venice was confirmed in its conquests in Dalmatia and the Morea. The three treaties in which these stipulations were embodied were signed on January 26, 1699. Russia, though represented at the congress, only concluded a truce for two years by which she remained in occupation of Azoff. A special agreement between Austria and the Turks stipulated that Tokolyi should be interned in Asia Minor; and there, far from the scene of their former exploits, he and his wife spent the remaining years of their lives.