Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

Meanwhile Sigismund had collected a powerful and well-disciplined army, consisting of imperial troops and Transylvanians, and numbering 20,000 horse and 30,000 foot with 53 guns.  With these he crossed the Carpathians, and, joining Michael and Albert Kiraly, he resumed the offensive against the Turks, driving them before him wherever he encountered them.  Sinan took fright, and retired to Bucarest.  Tirgovistea was recovered by the allies after three days’ fighting, and many guns were captured.  Sinan continued to retire before the advancing foe.  Having set fire to the city and burned many churches, he hastily withdrew to Giurgevo; and, thinking that the allies would enter Bucarest, he is said to have left it mined ready for explosion.  In this, however, he was mistaken.  Sigismund and Michael passed by Bucarest and pursued him in all haste, arriving at Giurgevo whilst the Turkish army was still crossing the river.  Sinan had managed to reach the Bulgarian side with a portion of his troops, but the rearguard was still at Giurgevo, and a fight ensued in which the greater part of the Turkish force was cut to pieces either on land or in their attempt to traverse the stream.  The Danube was reddened with the blood; 5,000 Turks are said to have fallen, and 4,000 to 5,000 Christians to have been liberated from their chains.  The whole campaign is said to have cost the Turks 30,000 men and 150 large and small guns.


Having, with the aid of his allies, effectually freed his country from external enemies, Michael had now a brief space of time for improving its internal condition, for it is hardly necessary to say that these desolating wars had reduced it to the very lowest stage of misery.  Fields were tilled, cattle imported from Transylvania, seed corn distributed amongst the peasantry, and soon the face of the land assumed a smiling aspect, and new towns and villages sprang from the ruins of the old.  Minor wars he had with the Tartars, and conspiracies were formed against him and quelled.  He was even accused of treachery against his suzerain, whom, however, he managed to satisfy during a visit to Weissenburg; and well would it have been for Michael and his country if his ambition had not prompted him to over-estimate his powers, and if he had been content to reign in peace over his own principality.  But this was not his policy.  His victories had given him a high rank amongst the powers of the Orient; and the changes which were taking place brought him into communication with one and another, and favoured a scheme of aggrandisement which, though it was for a time successful, eventuated in his downfall and death.

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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