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themselves under the standard of the cross; a cheering omen, for troops never desert but to the side which they imagine will prove successful.
"The weather was dreadful; the snow fell in great quantities; the ranks were obstructed by its drifts. In the midst of that severe tempest, Sobieski kept his troops under arms the whole night. In the morning they were buried in the snow, exhausted by cold and suffering. Then he gave the signal of attack. "Companions,' said he, in passing through the lines, his clothes, his hair, his mustaches covered with icicles, 'I deliver to you an enemy already half vanquished. You have suffered, the Turks are exhausted. The troops of Asia can never endure the hardships of the last twenty-four hours. The cold has conquered them to our hand. Whole troops of them are already sinking under their sufferings, while we, inured to the climate, are only animated by it to fresh exertions. It is for us to save the republic from shame and slavery, Soldiers of Poland, recollect that you fight for your country, and that Jesus Christ combats for you.'
"Sobieski had thrice heard mass since the rising of the sun. The day was the fête of St Martin of Tours. The chiefs founded great hopes on his intercession: the priests, who had followed their masters to the field of battle, traversed the ranks, recounting the actions of that great apostle of the French, and all that they might expect from his known zeal for the faith. He was a Slavonian by birth. Could there be any doubt, then, that the Christians would triumph when his glory was on that day in so peculiar a manner interested in performing miracles in their favour?
"An accidental circumstance gave the highest appearance of truth to these ideas. The Grand Marshal, who had just completed his last reconnoissance of the enemy's lines, returned with his countenance illuminated by the presage of victory- My companions,' he exclaimed, in half an hour we shall be lodged under these gilded tents.' In fact, he had discovered that the point against which he intended to direct his principal attack was not defended but by a few troops benumbed by the cold. He immediately made several feigned assaults to distract the attention of the enemy, and directed against the palisades, by which he intended to enter, the fire of a battery already erected. The soldiers immediately recollected that the preceding evening they had made the utmost efforts to draw the cannon beyond that point, but that a power apparently more
than human had chained them to the spot, from whence now they easily beat down the obstacles to the army's advance, and cleared the road to victory. Who was so blind as not to see in that circumstance the miraculous intervention of Gregory of Tours!
"At that moment the army knelt down to receive the benediction of Father Przeborowski, confessor of the Grand Hetman; and his prayer being concluded, Sobieski, dismounting from his horse, ordered his infantry to move forward to the assault of the newly opened breach in the palisades, he himself, sword in hand, directing the way. The armed valets followed rapidly in their footsteps. That courageous band were never afraid to tread the path of danger in the hopes of plunder. In a moment the ditches were filled up and passed; with one bound the troops ar rived at the foot of the rocks. The Grand Hetman, after that first success, had hardly time to remount on horseback, when, on the heights of the entrenched camp, were seen the standard of the cross and the eagle of Poland. Petrikowski and Denhoff, of the royal race of the Piasts, had first mounted the ramparts, and raised their ensigns. At this joyful sight, a hurra of triumph rose from the Polish ranks, and rent the heavens; the Turks were seized with consternation; they had been confounded at that sudden attack, made at a time when they imagined the severity of the weather had made the Christians renounce their perilous enterprise. Such was the confu❤ sion, that but for the extraordinary strength of the position, they could not have stood a moment. At this critical juncture, Hussein, deceived by a false attack of Czarnicki, hastened with his ca valry to the other side of the camp, and the spahis, conceiving that he was flying, speedily took to flight.
"But the Janizzaries were not yet vanquished. Inured to arms, they rapidly formed their ranks, and falling upon the valets, who had dispersed in search of plunder, easily put them to the sword. Fortunately, Sobieski had had time to employ his foot soldiers in levelling the ground, and rendering accessible the approaches to the summits of the hills. The Polish cavalry came rushing in with a noise like thunder. The hussars, the cuirassiers, with burning torches affixed to their lances, scaled precipices which seemed hardly accessible to foot soldiers. Inactive till that moment, Paz now roused his strength. Ever the rival of Sobieski, he rushed forward with his Lithuanian nobles in the midst of every danger, to
endeavour to arrive first in the Ottoman camp. It was too late;-already the flaming lances of the Grand Hetman gleamed on the summits of the entrenchments, and ever attentive to the duties of a commander, Sobieski was employed in re-forming the ranks of the assailants, disordered by the assault and their success, and preparing for a new battle in the midst of that city of tents, which, though surprised, seemed not subdued.
"But the astonishment and confusion of the besieged, the cries of the women, shut up in the Harams, the thundering charges of the heavy squadrons clothed in steel invulnerable, and composed of impetuous young men, gave the Turks no time to recover from their consternation. It was no longer a battle, but a massacre. Demetrius and the Lithuanian met at the same time in the invaded camp. A cry of horror now rose from the Turkish ranks, and they rushed in crowds to the bridge of boats which crossed the Dniester, and formed the sole communication between Kotzim, and the fortified city of Kamaniek. In the struggle to reach this sole outlet from destruction, multitudes killed each other. But Sobieski's foresight had deprived the vanquished even of this last resource. His brother-in-law, Radzewil, had during the tumult glided unperceived through the bottom of the ravines, and at the critical moment made himself master of the bridge, and the heights which commanded it. The only resource of the fugitives was now to throw themselves into the waves. 20,000 men perished at that fatal point, either on the shores or in the half-congealed stream. Insatiable in carnage, the hussars led by Maziniki pursued them on horseback into the bed of the Dneiper, and sabred thousands when struggling in the stream. 40,000 dead bodies were found in the precincts of the camp. The water of the river for several leagues ran red with blood, and corpses were thrown up with every wave on its deserted shores.
"At the news of this extraordinary triumph, the Captain Pacha, who was advancing with a fresh army to invade Poland, set fire to his camp, and hastened across the Danube. The Moldavians and Walachians made their submission to the conqueror, and the Turks, recently so arrogant, began to tremble for their capital. Europe, electrified with these successes, returned thanks for the greatest victory gained for three centuries over the infidels. Christendom quivered with joy, as if it had just escaped from ignominy and bondage."-II. 130-153.
throw of the Osmanlis, desertion and flight had ruined the Polish army. Whole Palatinates had abandoned their colours. They were desirous to carry off in safety the spoils of the East, and to prepare for that new field of battle which the election of the King of Poland, who died at this juncture, presented. Sobieski remained almost alone on the banks of the Dniester. At the moment when Walachia and Moldavia were throwing themselves under the protection of the Polish crown, when the Capitan Pacha was flying to the foot of Balkan, and Sobieski was dreaming of changing the face of the world, his army dissolved. The Turks, at this unexpected piece of fortune, recovered from their terror; and the rule of the Mussulmen was perpetuated for two centuries in Europe." -II. 165.
"But while Europe was awaiting the intelligence of the completion of the over
"The plain of Vola to the west of Warsaw had been the theatre, from the earliest times, of the popular elections. Already the impatient Pospolite covered that vast extent with its waves, like an army prepared to commence an assault on a fortified town. The innumerable piles of arms; the immense tables round which faction united their supporters; a thousand jousts with the javelin or the lance; a thousand squadrons engaged in mimic war; a thousand parties of palatines, governors of castles, and other dignified authorities who traversed the ranks distributing exhortations, party songs, and largesses; a thousand cavalcades of gentlemen, who rode, according to custom, with their battle-axes by their sides, and discussed at the gallop the dearest interests of the republic; innumerable quarrels, originating in drunkenness, and terminating in blood: Such were the scenes of tumult, amusement, and war,—a faithful mirror of Poland,-which, as far as the eye could reach, filled the plain.
"The arena was closed in by a vast circle of tents, which embraced, as in an immense girdle, the plain of Vola, the shores of the Vistula, and the spires of Warsaw. The horizon seemed bounded by a range of snowy mountains, of which the summits were portrayed in the hazy distance by their dazzling whiteness.➡➡
Their camp formed another city, with its markets, its gardens, its hotels, and its monuments. There the great displayed their Oriental magnificence; the nobles, the palatines, vied with each other in the splendour of their horses and equipage; and the stranger who beheld for the first time that luxury, worthy of the last and greatest of the Nomade people, was never weary of admiring the immense hotels, the porticoes, the colonnades, the galleries of painted or gilded stuffs, the castles of cotton and silk, with their drawbridges, towers, and ditches. Thanks to the recent victory, a great part of these riches had been taken from the Turks. Judging from the multitude of stalls, kitchens, baths, audience chambers, the elegance of the Oriental architecture, the taste of the designs, the profusion of gilded crosses, domes, and pagodas, you would imagine that the seraglio of some Eastern sultan had been transported by enchantment to the banks of the Vistula. Victory had accomplished this prodigy; these were the tents of Mahomet IV., taken at the battle of Kotzim, and though Sobieski was absent, his triumphant arms surmounted the crescent of Mahomet.
to inure the youth to civil war, and extend even to the slaves the enjoyments of anarchy.
"The Lithuanians were encamped on the opposite shores of the Vistula; and their Grand Hetman, Michel Paz, had brought up his whole force to dictate laws, as it were, to the Polish crown. Sobieski had previously occupied the bridge over the river by a regiment of hussars, upon which the Lithuanians seized every house in the city which wealth could command. These hostile dispositions were too significant of frightful disorders. War soon ensued in the midst of the rejoicings between Lithuania and Poland. Every time the opposite factions met, their strife terminated in bloodshed. The hostilities extended even to the bloody game of the Klopiches, which was played by a confederation of the boys in the city, or of pages and valets, who amused themselves by forming troops, electing a marshal, choosing a field of battle, and fighting there to the last extremity. On this occasion they were divided into corps of Lithuanians and Poles, who hoisted the colours of their respective states, got fire-arms to imitate more completely the habits of the cquestrian order, and disturbed the plain everywhere by their marches, or terrified it by their assaults. Their shock desolated the plain; the villages were in flames; the savage huts of which the suburbs of Warsaw were then composed, were incessantly invaded and sacked in that terrible sport, invented apparently
} "On the day of the elections the three orders mounted on horseback. The princes, the palatines, the bishops, the prelates, proceeded towards the plain of Vola, surrounded by 80,000 mounted citizens, any one of whom might, at the expiry of a few hours, find himself King of Poland. They all bore in their countenances, even under the livery or banners of a master, the pride arising from that ruinous privilege. The European dress nowhere appeared on that solemn occasion. The children of the desert strove to hide the furs and skins in which they were clothed under chains of gold and the glitter of jewels. Their bonnets were composed of panther-skin, plumes of eagles or herons surmounted them on their front were the most splendid precious stones. Their robes of sable or ermine were bound with velvet or silver: their girdle studded with jewels; over all their furs were suspended chains of diamonds. One hand of each nobleman was without a glove; on it was the splendid ring on which the arms of his family were engraved; the mark, as in ancient Rome, of the equestrian order. A new proof of this intimate connexion between the race, the customs, and the traditions of the northern tribes, and the founders of the Eternal City.
"But nothing in this rivalry of magnificence could equal the splendour of their arms. Double poniards, double scymitars, set with brilliants; bucklers of costly workmanship, battle-axes enriched in silver, and glittering with emeralds and sapphires; bows and arrows richly gilt, which were borne at festivals, in remembrance of the ancient customs of the country, were to be seen on every side. The horses shared in this melange of barbarism and refinement; sometimes cased in iron, at others decorated with the richest colours, they bent under the weight of the sabres, the lances, and javelins by which the senatorial order marked their rank. The bishops were distinguished by their grey or green hats, and yellow or red pantaloons, magnificently embroidered with divers colours. Often they laid aside their pastoral habits, and signalized their address as young cavaliers, by the beauty of their arms, and the management of their horses. In that crowd of the equestrian order, there was no gentleman so humble as not to try to rival this magnificence. Many carried, in furs and arms, their whole fortunes on their backs. Numbers had sold their votes to
some of the candidates, for the vanity of appearing with some additional ornament before their fellow-citizens. And the people, whose dazzled eyes beheld all this magnificence, were almost without clothing; their long beards, naked legs, and filth, indicated, even more strongly than their pale visages and dejected air, all the miseries of servitude."-II. 190-197.
The achievement which has immortalized the name of John Sobieski is the deliverance of Vienna in 1683
-of this glorious achievement M. Salvandy gives the following interesting account:
"After a siege of eight months, and open trenches for sixty days, Vienna was reduced to the last extremity. Famine, disease, and the sword, had cut off twothirds of its garrison; and the inhabitants, depressed by incessant toil for the last six months, and sickened by long deferred hope, were given up to despair. Many breaches were made in the walls; the massy bastions were crumbling in ruins, and entrenchments thrown up in haste in the streets, formed the last resource of the German capital. Stahremborg, the governor, had announced the necessity of surrendering if not relieved in three days; and every night signals of distress from the summits of the steeples, announced the extremities to which they were reduced.
"One evening, the sentinel who was on the watch at the top of the steeple of St Stephen's, perceived a blazing flame on the summits of the Calemberg; soon after an army was seen preparing to descend the ridge. Every telescope was now turned in that direction, and from the brilliancy of their lances, and the splendour of their banners, it was easy to see that it was the Hussars of Poland, so redoubtable to the Osmanlis, who were approaching. The Turks were immediately to be seen dividing their vast host into divisions, one destined to oppose this new enemy, and one to continue the assaults on the besieged. At the sight of the terrible conflict which was approaching, the women and children flocked to the churches, while Stahremborg led forth all that remained of the men to the breaches.
Imperialists received the illustrious chief whom heaven had sent to their relief. Before his arrival discord reigned in their camp, but all now yielded obedience to the Polish hero.
"The Duke of Lorraine set forth with a few horsemen to join the King of Poland, and learn the art of war, as he expressed it, under so great a master. The two illustrious commanders soon concerted a plan of operations, and Sobieski encamped on the Danube, with all his forces, united to the troops of the empire. It was with tears of joy, that the sovereigns, generals, and the soldiers of the
"The Duke of Lorraine had previously constructed at Tuln, six leagues below Vienna, a triple bridge, which Kara Mustapha, the Turkish commander, allowed to be formed without opposition. The German Electors nevertheless hesitated to cross the river; the severity of the weather, long rains, and roads now al
most impassable, augmented their alarms. But the King of Poland was a stranger alike to hesitation as fear; the state of Vienna would admit of no delay. The last dispatch of Stahremborg was simply in these words: There is no time to lose.' There is no reverse to fear,' exclaimed Sobieski; 'the general who at the head of 300,000 men could allow that bridge to be constructed in his teeth, cannot fail to be defeated.'
"On the following day the liberators of Christendom passed in review before their allies. The Poles marched first; the spectators were astonished at the magnificence of their arms, the splendour of the dresses, and the beauty of the horses. The infantry was less brilliant; one regiment in particular, by its battered appearance, hurt the pride of the monarch- Look well at those brave men,' said he to the Imperialists; it is an invincible battalion, who have sworn never to renew their clothing, till they are arrayed in the spoils of the Turks.' These words were repeated to the regiments; if they did not, says the annalist, clothe them, they encircled every man with a cuirass.
"The Christian army, when all assembled, amounted to 70,000 men, of whom only 30,000 were infantry. Of these the Poles were 18,000.-The principal disquietude of the king was on account of the absence of the Cossacks, whom Mynzwicki had promised to bring up to his assistance. He well knew what admirable scouts they formed: the Tartars had always found in them their most formidable enemies. Long experience in the Turkish wars had rendered them exceedingly skilful in this species of warfare: no other force was equal to them in seizing prisoners and gaining intelligence. They were promised ten crowns for every man they brought in after this manner: they led their captives to the tent of their king, where they got their promised reward, and went away saying, John, I have touched my money, God will repay you.'-Bereaved of these faithful assistants, the king was compelled to expose
his hussars in exploring the dangerous defiles in which the army was about to engage. The Imperialists, who could not comprehend his attachment to that undisciplined militia, were astonished to hear him incessantly exclaiming, Oh! Mynzwicki, Oh! Mynzwicki.'
A rocky chain, full of narrow and precipitous ravines, of woods and rocks, called the Calemberg in modern times, the Mons Etius of the Romans, separated the two armies: the cause of Christendom from that of Mahomet. It was necessary to scale that formidable barrier; for the mountains advanced with a rocky front into the middle of the Danube. Fortunately, the negligence of the Turks had omitted to fortify these posts, where a few battalions might have arrested the Polish army.
"Nothing could equal the confidence of the Turks but the disquietude of the Imperialists. Such was the terror impressed by the vast host of the Mussulmen, that at the first cry of Allah! whole battalions took to flight. Many thousand peasants were incessantly engaged in levelling the roads over the mountains, or cutting through the forest. The foot soldiers dragged the artillery with their arms, and were compelled to abandon the heavier pieces. Chiefs and soldiers carried each his own provisions: the leaves of the oak formed the sole subsistence of the horses. Some scouts reached the summit of the ridge long before the remainder of the army, and from thence bebeld the countless myriads of the Turkish tents extending to the walls of Vienna. Terrified at the sight, they returned in dismay, and a contagious panic began to spread through the army. The king had need, to reassure his troops, of all the security of his countenance, the gaiety of his discourse, and the remembrance of the multitudes of the infidels whom he had dispersed in his life. The Janizzaries of his guard, who surrounded him on the march, were so many living monuments of his victories, and every one was astonished that he ventured to attack the Mussulmen with such an escort. He offered to send them to the rear, or even to give them a safe conduct to the Turkish camp, but they all answered with tears in their eyes, that they would live and die with him. His heroism subjugated alike Infidels and Christians, chiefs and soldiers.
"At length, on Saturday, September 11th, the army encamped, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, on the sterile and
There it was that they lighted the fires which spread joy and hope through every heart at Vienna.
66 Trusting in their vast multitudes, the Turks pressed the assault of Vienna on the one side, while on the other they faced the liberating army. The Turkish vizier counted in his ranks four Chris
tian princes and as many Tartar chiefs. All the nobles of Germany and Poland were on the other side: Sobieski was at once the Agamemnon and Achilles of that splendid host.
"The young Eugene of Savoy made his first essay in arms, by bringing to Sobieski the intelligence that the engagement was commenced between the advanced guards at the foot of the ridge. The Christians immediately descended the mountains in five columns like torrents, but marching in the finest order: the leading divisions halted at every hundred paces to give time to those behind, who were retarded by the difficulties of the descent, to join them. A rude parapet, hastily erected by the Turks to bar the five débouchés of the roads into the plain, was forced after a short combat. At every ravine, the Christians experienced fresh obstacles to surmount: the spahis dismounted to contest the rocky ascents, and speedily regaining their horses when they were forced, fell back in haste to the next positions which were to be defended. But the Mussulmen, deficient in infantry, could not withstand the steady advance and solid masses of the Germans, and the Christians everywhere gained ground. Animated by the continued advance of their deliverers, the garrison of Vienna performed miracles on the breach; and Kara Mustapha, who long hesitated which battle he should join, resolved to meet the avenging squadrons of the Polish king.
"By two o'clock the ravines were cleared, and the allies drawn up in the plain. Sobieski ordered the Duke of Lorraine to halt, to give time for the Poles, who had been retarded by a circuitous march, to join the army. At eleven they appeared, and took their post on the right. The Imperial eagles