Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

This battle, which is called by some the battle of Schellenberg, and by others of Hermanstadt, laid Transylvania at the feet of Michael.  Hermanstadt would have opened its gates to him, but instead of entering it he marched onwards, and on November 1, 1599, he entered the capital, Weissenburg, in triumph.  On that occasion the magnificence of his apparel and surroundings scarcely seems to have been consistent with his reputation as a hardy warrior.  We read of a white silk mantle embroidered with gold lace; of buttons of precious stones; of a girdle, in which was carried a scimetar rich in gold and rubies; and of his wife and children being in similar state.  One other feature is worthy of mention.  With booming of cannon, tolling of bells, sound of fife and drum, and tramp of richly-caparisoned steeds was associated the Wallachian national music performed by gipsies (Laoutari), an incident which enables one who has even to-day heard their wild music to picture to himself a vivid representation of the scene.

V.

Michael now assumed the direction of affairs in Transylvania, notwithstanding that the German general, Basta, who had hoped to acquire the government for himself, was present with an army to control his action.  Soon he heard of the capture and murder of Andreas Bathori, on whose head he had set a price, by the peasantry of the mountains; and, calling an assembly of the notables, he succeeded in securing their adhesion to his viceroyalty.  After long-protracted negotiations the emperor, seeing that Michael was firmly installed in his government with the consent of the Assembly of States, and finding him willing to submit as a vassal of the German crown, accepted the situation, and permitted him to do homage.  This was done with great reluctance and in spite of Papal remonstrances, as the murder of Cardinal Bathori had caused great bitterness against Michael at Rome.  As soon as the latter felt or deemed his position in Siebenbuergen secure, he turned his arms against Moldavia, with a view to depose Jeremiah Mogila, the reigning voivode, and complete his incorporation of that country with the two over which he already ruled.  The manoeuvres of Michael were questionable previous to his contest with Andreas; but now he excelled himself.  In order to obtain his ends, he threatened the emperor with an alliance with the Turks, unless he gave him further supplies of money.  The Porte he pacified by receiving its envoys and doing homage.  To the Pope he turned for support against the infidel, but his only response was that Michael should first adopt the true faith—­he being, of course, a member of the schismatic Greek Church; and just before entering Moldavia with his army he had the effrontery, in order to throw Mogila off his guard, to propose a marriage between his daughter and Mogila’s son.  Finally, in order to secure the obedience of his subjects in Siebenbuergen during his absence in Moldavia, he sent a large number of Transylvanian nobles to his son in Wallachia, to be detained there as hostages until he had accomplished his ends.

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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