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•/ THE 





fte $rigtu as a Nation 



To which is prefixed 




What is all war, but more diffufive robbery 

Made facred by fuccefs ? What object fwells 

A Monarch's higheft aim ? — Increafe of power 

And univerfal fway. This glorious end 

All means muft fanctify that can fecmc. M.ULtr. 

That prince who fees his country laid in ruins, 

His fubjects perifhing beneath the fword 

Of foreign rage, who fees and cannot lave them, 

Is but fupreme in mifery. Thomson 

* \' 




A 19 


Q.SITV OF 10*5* 

< • n 

2 6 'i i '■■> 







Boundaries and Extent 



Rivers - 



Lakes - 



Air or Climate 



Name ; and Face of the Country 



Soil and Produce - 



Vegetable and Animal Productions * 






Commerce - m 



Finances and Taxes - 



Military Force - 



Arms of the Kingdom 



Titles of the King 



Orders of Knighthood p 





feedl. Page 

XV. Coins - - - 17 

XVI. Perfons, Manners, Drefs, Cujloms, and 

Diverjions - - ibid, 

XVII. Religion - - -22 

XVIII. Archbijhoprics and Bijhoprics 24 

XIX. Language - - r£/*f; 

XX. 4?,fate 0/ Learning - - - 25 

XXI. Univerfities, &i\ - - 26 

XXII. Antiquities, and Natural and Artificial 

Curiojities - - - 27 

XXIII. Chief Cities and Remarkable Buildings %$ 

XXIV. Claps of People 44 
XXV. Confiitution and Government - 58 


I. Sovereigns of the Family of Lefzko -. 78 

II. LJ _- P/*/ - 89 

HI. _ — — Jaghellon 100 

IV. Sovereigns of different Families * - 115 

V. Stephen Batori - - - 118 

VI. Sigijmond III. - - - - 120 

VII. LadiJlausVL - - - - 151 

VIII. 7(0/&» Cafimir - - - 159 

IX. .tor- 




IX. Interregnum . - - - 170 

X. Michael - - . . -17 c 

XL John IIL—SobieJki - . - 182 

XII. Auguftus II. - - . . 2 <Q 

XIII. Stanijlaus Leczinjki -, - - 275 

XIV. Auguftus II. rejiored - - 29 1 
XV. Auguftus 111. - o 0( j 

XVI. Stanijlaus Auguftus - - o <* 


Page 77. dele "SECT. I." 

170. After SECT. IX. for « Michael," fubftitute 
** Interregnum.'* 

% """ ■' ' " i " ■ " '' I ■ i n i.i '1.I 11 "l i ' : i i l <iii M»|Mto»»a ft, 


INTERESTING as the afFairs o^ Poland 
have been for fome years pari, it is a little 
remarkable that no Hiltorical Account of 
that Country has been lately published, to en- 
able Englishmen to trace the progrefs of its 
political ftate, and, by connecting caufes and 
effects, to account for the phenomena there 
recently exhibited* 

The Reverend and ingenious Mr. Coxe, 
in an account of his Travels, has given a 
(ketch of the Polifh Constitution, &c. which, 
though neceffarily brief, is yet, perhaps, 
as far as it goes, more to be depended upon 
than the work of any other modern writer; 
but it does not profefs to be a Hiftory. 

A 2 It 

• ( iv ) 

It will hardly be neceiTary, therefore, to 
apologife for offering to the Public at the 
prefent time a regular, connected, and faith- 
ful account of the origin, progrefs, and pre- 
fent ftate of Poland. But though the deiign 
fhould be approved, it may yet be proper to 
lay before the Reader the fources of the infor- 
mation contained in this volume. 

These are : 


Du Thou's General Hiftory of the World 
from 1545 to 1608. 

M. L'Abbe Parthenay's Hiftory of Po- 
land under Augufhis II. 

M. de Voltaire's Charles XII. 

M. de Fontenelle's Oration pronounced in 
the Academy of Sciences at Paris, in memory 
of the Czar Peter. 

Perry's State of Ruflia. 

Univerfal Hiftory. 

Coxe's Travels. 

Guthrie's Hiftory of the World. 

__ Geographical Grammar. 

Salmon's Geographical Grammar. 

Fads relative to the Difmemberment of 


( v ) 

In thefe various authorities, contradictions 
that appeared oh a curfory view to be irre- 
concileable, and obfcurities that were for 
fome time impenetrable, have frequently- 
been encountered. Neither labour nor ftudy, 
however, has been fpared in the tafk of 
elucidating fuch paffages by comparing one 
account with another ; and that has invariably 
been adopted as truth which bore the ftrongeft 
internal evidence. 

To concentrate in one point every part of 
each that could convey any valuable and au- 
thentic information, has been the grand aim 
in this Work : and it is prefumed, that 
the moft finking circumftances recorded by 
all former writers on the fubject of Polifh, 
Hiftory are here brought into view. 

The original intention was, to refer at the 
foot of each page to the authorities confulted $ 
but this defign was abandoned on account of 
the room that muft neceffarily have been oc- 
cupied by fuch notes, and on the prefump- 
tion that the fame purpofe of authentication 
might be anfwered by the general flatement 
which has been laid before the reader in • thje 
A 3 preceding 

( vi ) 

preceding p&ge. For the hiftory of the 
]aft few years, indeed, the Britifh and Foreign 
Gazettes have been the belt documents to, 
which recourfe could be had : but even thefe 
have been confulted with the utmoft caution 
and difepmination. 

If a fympathy in the unparalleled misfor- 
tunes of the Poles be vifible in fome of the 
following pages, the Compiler is justified in 
the fentiment by the loud voice of the world ; 
nor, hard as many obfervations may feem to 
bear on the powerful neighbours of Poland, 
will he expect or need credit for a lingle af. 
fertion for which he fhall not produce incon- 
teftable documents. 

The Reader will perceive, that the condi- 
tion of the country has been in fome meafure 
changed during the progrefs of this volume 
through the Prefs : as, however, no decifive, 
meafures have yet been adopted for a new 
territorial divijion, the change will operate in, 
a very frnall degree on any part of the Work. 

As to the drefs in which the compofition 

appears, it remains only to obferve, that fim- 

3 plicity 

( vii ) 

plicity of narration has been preferred to ^ 
iludied flyle of diction, becaufe it was con- 
ceived to be better adapted to the purpofe of 
imprinting hiflorical facts upon the memory* 
It is only hoped, that what is wanting in orna- 
ment will be compenfated by fidelity, 

It may be permitted, perhaps, to fay, that 
the labour which the Compiler has under- 
gone has been confiderable j and if fome un- 
important errors be met with in the Work, as 
it is fubmitted with deference, he fhall bow 
to corre&ion, though he folicits indulgence. 

s. y. 

fcb. i, 1795. 








THIS country, at prefent fo interesting to 
every contemplative mind, is lituated be- 
tween 1 6 and 34 degrees of E. longitude, and be- 
tween 46 and 57 N. latitude. 

In its original undivided flate, the kingdom of 
Poland (anciently called Sarmatia), with the 
great duchy of Lithuania annexed, was bounded 
on the North by Livonia, Mufcovy, and the 
Baltic fea ; on the Earl by Mufcovy ; on the 
South by Hungary, Turkey, and Little Tartary ; 

B and 


and on the Weft by Pomerania, Brandenburgh, 
Sileiia, and Moravia. 

It was then divided into provinces, and thole 
again fubdivided into palatinates, as follow ; viz. 

Fr evinces #. 

I. Grent Poland, 
the Weft. 

II. Little Polarld, ori 
the Weft. 

Palatinates *. 


Brfeft \ cornprehend- 

Wladiflaw J ing Cujavia 










III. Pruflia Roval, N. j 
Weft of the'Weife!, ! 
or Viftula, moft of [ 
it fubje& to Poland. | 

IV. Pruflia Ducal, Eaft 
of the Viftula, fub- 
iecl to the King of 

Chief Cities ». 


Kallitz, Gnefna, E.Long, 
1 8. N. Lat. 53. 


y Dobrzin 
j Plotzko 


} Cracow, E. Long. 19. 30. 
N. Lat. 50. 

rDantzic, a free city un- 
1 der the protection of 
Poland, E. Lon. 18. 
J 39. N. Lat. 54. 22. 
j Elbing 
I Marienburg 
j Culm 
L Thorn 

Koningfberg, E. Long. 

21. N. Lat. 54. 40. 

* In the orthography of the names of places, the Map of Poland 
by Thomas Kitchin, (en. appended to Mr. Coxe's Travels, has 
generally been followed, which in many inftances varies materi- 
ally from thofe of Salmon and Guthrie. The reafon of this 1 pre- 
ference, however, will be obvious to thofe who confider the two 
latter as mere compilations (though very ufeful ones), and the lat- 
ter as the work of a lettered traveller. The account, too, which 
Mr. C. gives of his map attaches a degree of credit to ft, that 
claims ourrefpect: "It is (fays he) taken piincipally from the 
General Map of that country puhlifhed at VVarfaw, by which 
the limits of' the dilmenibered provinces were at firlt regulated - T 
and from the particular maps publifhed in Rufiia, Auftria, and 
Pruflia, afcertaining the refpecYive boundaries." 

V. Sa- 


Palatinates. Chief Cities* 

V. Samogitia, North 

VI. Courland, North, 
fnbje<ft to its own 

}- - " 

1 Courland proper 
J Semigallia 

VII. Lithuania, North 


J Vitepfk 

.. Novogrodek 

VIII. Mafovia, in the 

IX. Podolachia, in the 

X. Polefia, 



■ Bielfk 

■ Birfetfk* 




Lemburg, or Leopold 

XI. Red Ruflia; South f 

XII. Podolia, South f Upper Podolia 
Eaft. (_ Lower Podolia 

XIII. Volhinia, South f Upper Volhinia 
Eaft. \ Lower Volhinia 


J Goldingen 
1 Mittaw 

Vilna, E. Long. 25. 15. 

Lat. 55. 
}> Vitepfk 
I Troki, Grodno 
J Minfk 
I Miciflaff 
J Novogrodek 

Warfaw, E. Long. 21. 5* 

Lat. 52. 15. 


$ Bielfk 


Birfetfk * 

c Chelm 

i Belt* 

I Lemburg, or Leopold 

"1 Kaminiec 
J Bralzlaw 

\ Luko 
J Bialgorod 

Thus the country flood divided prior to the 
difmemberment and partition by RufTia and 
Pruilia in 1772. 

By a manifeflo publifhed March 25, 1793, 
however, it underwent another excifion, and the 
following table will exhibit pretty accurately its 
prefent Hate (June 1794). 

* As one inftance out of many of the difcordant orthography 
before alluded to, the place which is thus delignated in Mr. Coxe's 
Map is by Salmon (and by the Compiler of Guthrie's Grammar,' 
probably from him) Ipelt BreJJici. 

B a Provinces. 



'■ins ■) 

Great Poland, annex- \ 
ed to Prttffixr. J 

Little Poland, chiefly "| 
fubjcct to Auftria. / 

Pruffia Royal, fub- 
ject to Pruffia. 

Samogitia, remains 

to the Crown 

Courland, fubject to "1 

Ruffia. J 

Lithuania, the great- "| 

eft part now pof- \ 

feftcd by Ruffia. • J 
Mafovia, remains to "] 

the Cronvn of To- > 

land. J 

Podolachia, remains "V 

to Poland. J 

Polefia, great part ta- "1 

ken by Ruffia j 
Red Ruffia, chiefly Y 

fubjedt to Auftria. j 
Podolia, annexed to"l 

Ruffia. f 

Volhinia, part an-~( 

nexed to Ruffia. J 

Miles in 

Miles in 



















Chief Cities. 



r Dantzic 
i Thorn, and 
I Elbing 





Lemburg, or Leopold 
Total 226,414 Square Mile?. 

Hence it appears, that three of its fmalleft pro- 
vinces are all the domains left to the unfortunate 
and degraded kingdom of Poland, by the model! 
and magnanimous fovereigns of Auftria, Ruffia, 
and Pruffia. Well, indeed, does the poet lay, 

Ambition is a luft that's never quench d, 
Grows more inflam'd and madder by enjoyment j 

■ ■ At di fiance 

A goodly profpect tempting to the view : 
The height delights us, and the mountain top 
Looks beautiful, becaufe 'tis nigh to heaven ; 
But we ne'er think how Tandy's the foundation, 
What ftorms will batter, and what tempefts ftjake us. 


A pajf- 


A paffage in our immortal Shakefpeare too 
contains a juil fentiment, and may be prophetic 
in the inftance before us : 

Ambition's like a circle on the water, 

Which never ceafes to enlarge itfelf, 

Till by broad fpreading it difperfe to nought. Hen . VI. 



The principal rivers of Poland are, 
i. The Dana (orDwina), which rifes in Lithu- 
ania, and, running wed, divides Poland from Li- 
vonia, falling into the Baltic below Rip;a. 

2. The Viftula (or Weifel), which l.ftngin the 
fouth of Silelia, runs eaft into Poland, paries by- 
Cracow, turns north, and having vifited Warfaw, 
falls into the Baltic at Dantzic bv feveral chan- 
nels, receiving the Bog above Plotzko. 

3. The Warta, which runs from eaft to weft, 
and falls into the Oder at Kuftrin. 

4. The Wilia, which rifing in the eaft of Li- 
thuania, runs weft by Vilna, and, having recei- 
ved the Bereozina, (or Rufs) falls into the Baltic 
near Memel. 

5. The Dnieper (or Boryfthenes), which rifing 
in the province of Mofcow, runs weft into Po- 
land, and, turning fouth, enters Mufcovy again 
at Kiof ; then, continuing its courfe fouth-eaft, 
falls into the Euxine Sea at Otchakof (or Ocza- 
kow), having received the Przypiec in its paflage. 

9. The Bog, which, rifing in Volhinia, runs 
fouth-eaft through Podolia, and falls into the. 
Dnieper above Otchakof. 

7. The Dniefter, which rifes in Red Ruilia, 
running fouth-eaft, divides Poland from Turkey, 

B 3 and- 


and having paffed by Bender, falls into the Eux* 
ine Sea at Bialgorod. 



There are two coniiderable lakes in Poland, 
viz. Goplo, in the palatinate of Brfeft ; and Bi- 
rals, or, the White Lake, which is faid to dye 
thofe who wafh in it of a fwarthy complexion. 



The air is cold in the north, yet healthy ; but 
temperate in other parts of the kingdom. As it 
is for the moll part an inland country, the wea- 
ther is more fettled, both in winter and fummer, 
than in places which lie near the fea-coaft. 

S E C T. V. . 


Poland is one large plain, whence it is faid to 
have derived its name ; Polu, or Pole, being a 
Sclavonian word denoting a country fit for hunt- 
ing. The only hills, indeed, of any confequence 
are the Carpathian mountains, by which it is di- 
vided from Hungary and Tranfylvania on the 
fouth ; there are alfo fome large forefis of pines 
and firs in Lithuania. The only fea that borders, 
on Poland is the Baltic. 





The country is in general level, and the foil 
fruitful, efpecially in corn ; hence the vaft quan- 
tities of grain that arc exported thence down the 
Viftula to Dantzic, and fold to the Dutch and 
other nations. They alfo export large cargoes of 
hemp, flax, leather, furs, timber, pitch, tar, tur- 
pentine, hops, wax, pot-afh, nitre, and vitriol. 

The paftures in Poland, efpecially in Podolia, 
are rich beyond expreffion, and have given rife to 
a faying, perhaps a little hyperbolical, that one 
can hardly fee the cattle that graze in the mea- 

The country, particularly about Lithuania, 
abounds alfo with mines of filver, copper, iron, 
fait, and coals. The forelts are numerous, and 
furnifh timber in fuch quantities, that it is ufually 
employed in houfe-building inttead of bricks, 
Hones, and tiles. Various kinds of fruit and 
herbs, and fome grapes, are produced in Poland, 
and are excellent when properly cultivated ; but 
their wine feldom or never comes to perfection. 
Poland produces alfo various kinds of clays fit for 
pipes and earthen ware. 

The water of many fprings is boiled into fait. 
The virtues of a fpring in the palatinate of Cra- 
cow, which increafes and decreafes with the 
moon, are {kid to be wonderful for the prcferva- 
tion of life ; and it is reported, that the neigh- 
bouring inhabitants commonly live to ioo, .and 
fome of them to 150 years of age. This fpring is 
inflammable, and by applying a torch to it, it 
flames like the fubtlett fpirits of wine. The flame, 
however, dances on the furface, without heating 

B 4 the 


the water ; and if neglected to be extinguished, 
which it may eahly be, it communicates itielf, by 
fubterraneous conduits, to the roots of trees in a 
neighbouring wood, which it confumes ; and 
about thirty-five years ago, the flames are faid ta 
have tailed for three years before they could be 
entirely extinguished *. 



The vegetable productions of Poland have been 
already mentioned under the article Soil, &c, 
though fome are peculiar to itielf, particularly a. 
kind of manna (if it qui be called a vegetable), 
which in May and June the inhabitants fvveep 
into iieves with the dew, and it ferves for food 
dreffed various ways. A great quantity of yellow 
amber is frequently dug up in Lithuania, in 
pieces as large as a man's rift, fuppofed to be the 
production of a refinous pine. 

The foreiis of Warfovia(or Mafovia), are over- 
run with uri, or buffaloes, whofe flefh the Poles 
powder, and eiteem it an excellent dim. Horfes, 
wolves, boars, the glouton, lynx, elk, and deer, 
all of them wild, are common in the Polifh fo- 
reiis ; and there is a fpecies of wild horfes, affes, 
and oxen, of which the nobility of the Ukraine, 
as well as the natives, are very fond. A kind 
of wolf, refembling a hart, with fpots on his 
belly and legs, is found here, and affords the beft 

* See^a circumftance of this kind explained in " Rudiments of 
iLeafon" vol. iii. p. 72. printed for E. Newbery, 1794. A book 
ivell adapted to the ufe of fchools, as it familiarizes to juvenile 
minds the true caufes of the various phenomena of Nature. 



furs in the country ; but the elk, which is com- 
mon in Poland, as well as in fome other northern 
countries, is a very extraordinary animal. The 
flefh of the Polifh elk forms the moil delicious 
part of their greafcfl tea ft s. His body is of the 
deer make, but much thicker and longer ; the 
legs high, the feet broad, like a wild goat's. Na- 
turaliils have obferved, that upon defecting an 
elk, there was found in its head fome large flies, 
with its brain almoft eaten away ; and it is an ob- 
servation fuffieiently altefted, that in the large 
woods and wildernefies of the north, this poor 
animal is attacked, towards the winter chiefly, 
by a larger fort of flies, that, through its ears at- 
tempt to take up their winter quarters in its head. 
This pcrfecution is thought to affect the elk with 
the faliing-iicknefs, by which means it is taken, 
and which would othervvife prove no eafy matter. 
Poland alfo produces a creature called bohae : it 
refembles a guinea-pig, but fcems to be of the 
beaver kind. They are noted for digging holes 
in the ground, which they enter in October, and 
do not come out, except occafionally for food, till 
April : they have feparate apartments for their 
provisions, lodgings, and their dead ; and live 
together by 10 or ia in a herd. 

We do not perceive that Poland contains any 
fpecies of birds peculiar to itfelf; but we are 
told that the quails there have green legs, and 
their flefh. is reckoned to be unwholefome. Li- 
thuania is rich in ornithology ; among the birds 
of prey are the eagle and vulture. The remiz, a 
little fpecies of titmoufe, is frequently found in 
thefe parts, and is famous for the wondrous ftruc- 
ture of its pendent nefi:, formed in the fhape of 
a long purfe, with amazing art. 





Before the partition in 1772 the population of 
Poland was calculated at 14,000,000 of inhabit- 
ants. Since that event, however, the Emprefif 
"having been fuppofcd to have taken 1,500,000; 
the Emperor, 2,500,000 ; and the King of Pruflia 
860,000, deducts about 5,000,000 of fouls from 
their ancient kingdom, and leaves the prefent ef-> 
timate of population at about 9,000,000 *, of 
which the Jews compote 600,000. 



Of Poland the chief exports are, all vpecies of 
grain, hemp, flax, cattle, mafia, planks, timber 
for fhip-building, pitch, tar, honey, wax, tallow, 
potafh, and leather ; in return for which it im-. 
ports foreign wines, cloths, fluffs, manufactured 
-filks and cotton, fine linen, hardware, tin, copper, 
filver and gold, glafs ware, furs, &c. Some linen 
and woollen cloths, filks, fluffs, camlets, lace and 
hardwares, are manufactured in the interior parts 
of Poland and Lithuania ; but commerce is chiefly 
confined to the city of Dantzic, and other port- 
towns on the Viftula and the Baltic. 

From the various productions and great ferti- 
lity of Poland, its trade might be carried to a con- 

* We fay, the prefent ejlimate (though rather inaccurately), al- 
luding, as we do, to the Hate of the kingdom previous to its recent 
(lifnicmberment in 1793. We have no authentic documents, hovvr 
ever, from which to deduce the certain difference. 



fiderable height ; but the following caufes tend to 
fupprefs the fpirit of commerce. 

i. The nobles are degraded if they engage in 
any kind of traffic, i. The burghers of the large 
towns are not fufficiently rich to efiabliih. any 
manufactures ; and either through want of indus- 
try, or through dread of exceffive extortions from 
the principal nobility, leave almofr. all the retail- 
trade in the hands of foreigners and Jews. The 
inhabitants of the final! towns, who are expofed 
to greater oppreffions, are Hill more diiqualified 
from purfuing any branch of commerce. 3 . The 
peafants being flaves, and the properly of their 
matter, cannot retire from the place of their nati- 
vity without his confent. John Albert, obferving 
that commerce could never flourifh while this rc- 
ffridlion fublitled, enacled, that one peafant in a 
family fhould be permitted to quit his village, ci- 
ther for the purpofe of trade or literature ; but a 
claufe by which they were .enjoined to obtain the 
confent of the lord, fruflrated the purpofe of this 
excellent law, and rendered it nugatory. 

As the Poles are obliged to draw from foreign 
countries the greater! part of the manufactured 
goods neceflary for their interior confumption, 
the fpecie which is exported exceeds the im- 
ported more than 20,000,000 Polifh florins, or 


Among all the evils fuftained by the kingdom 
of Poland at the difmemberment, no one was fo 
deeply felt as the deduction of Weftern Pruffia, as 
by that meafure the navigation of the Viftula be- 
came entirely dependent on the Pruffian Monarch. 
This was indeed a fatal blow to the trade of Po- 
land, for Pruffia has laid fuch heavy duties on the 
merchandize paffing to Dantzic, as greatly to di- 
miniih. the commerce of that town, and to transfer 

a conii- 


% confiderable part of it to Memel and Koningf- 



Of thefe we are furnifhed with a pretty clear idea 
from. the proceedings of the Diet in 1768. The 
itatement briefly taken (and, to fave the reader 
trouble, reduced to Englifh money) is thus : 


Crown Treafury » £-298,562 7 2§ 

Expences - 473,611 2 2| 

Exccfs of expences to be fup- 

plied by taxes - 1 75*04 8 15 o 

But as part of the ancient reve- 
nues muft be aholiihcd, the 
new taxes muft yield - 284,355 J 3 *4 

Lithuania Treafury - 101,295 4 10 

Expences + - 179,948 7 10 

Augmentation required - 78,653 3 4 

But as fome ancient impofls mufl 

be abolifhed, the new taxes 

muft yield - 118,068 18 4 

By the difmemberment in 1772 Poland loll 
near half her annual income. To fupply this de- 
ficiency it became neceffary to new-model and 
increaie the taxes. 


In 1775, all the imports amounted to j£'3 2 3>° 12 
The ncut revenue of the King was - 194,500 

out of which he only paid his houfehold ex~ 

pences and menial fervants. It aroie from royal 

3 dememes. 


deme fnes, Harofties, and 74,074!. out of the trea- 


Whole revenue - £.443,938 

Deduct the King's revenue - 194,500' 

For army, ftate officers, and all charges 2,49,438 



The forces of the kingdom are all cavalry, and 
(hid that Poland can witheafe raife 100,000, 
and Lithuania 70,000 horfe ; but this calculation 
murT certainly be underflood to include the nu- 
merous vafTals and fervants, who are obliged to 
follow their lords when they are fummoned, 011 
pain of forfeiting their eftates. As to their infan- 
try, they are generally hired from Germany, but 
are foon difmiffed, becaufe they mull be main- 
tained by extraordinary taxes, of which the Po- 
lifh grandees are by no means fond. As to the 
ordinary army of the Poles, it coniifted, in 1778, 
of 12,310 men in Poland, and 7,465 in Lithua- 
nia, cantoned into crown-lands. 

The handing army of Poland being fo mconii- 
derable, the defence of the country, in cafe of in- 
vahon, is left to the gentry at large, who are af- 
fembled by regular fummons from the king, with 
the confent of the diet. Every palatinate is di- 
vided into diftricts, over each of which proper of- 
ficers are appointed ; and every perfon pofTefling 
free and noble tenures is bound to military fer- 
vice, either lingly or at the head of a certain num- 
ber of his retainers, according to the extent and 
nature of his poiTeffions. The troops thus affem- 



bled are only obliged to ferve for a limited time ; 
and are not under the neceffity of marching be- 
yond the limits of their country. The mode of le- 
vying and maintaining this army is exactly fimilar 
to that practifed under the feudal fyftem; Though 
in general it is almoft totally unfit for the 
purpofes of repelling a foreign enemy, it is yet a 
powerful infl rument in the hands of domeftic fac- 
tion : for the expedition with which it is raifed 
under the feudal regulations, facilitates the forma- 
tion of thole dangerous confederacies, which fud- 
deniy fbrt up on the contefted election of a fo- 
vereign, or whenever the nobles are at variance 
with each other. 

There are two forts of confederacies. The firft 
are thofe formed with the confent of the king, fe- 
nate, or equeftrian order, affembled in the diet ; 
by which the whole nation confederates for the 
good of the country. The fecond are the confe- 
deracies of the feveral palatinates, which unite for 
the purpofe of redrefling any grievances, or re- 
monftrating againft encroachments of the fove- 
reign power. Thefe may be particular, or gene- 
ral, and are ufually the forerunners of a civil war. 
The general confederacy, which is always in op- 
position to the king, is called Rokoz, and is 
formed by the union of the particular confedera- 

As every Polifh gentleman has a right to main- 
tain as many troops as he chufes, it may eaiily be 
conceived, that each palatinate is the fcene of 
occaiional difputes and petty contentions between 
the principal nobles, and fometimes even between 
their relpective retainers. In fuch a dreadful Hate 
of anarchy, it is a wonder that the whole king- 
dom is not a perpetual fcene of endlefs commo- 
tions, and that the nation is compofed of any 



thing cite but lawlefs banditti. It redounds, there- 
tore, greatly to the honour of the natural difpoli- 
tion of the Poles, that amid all thefe incentives to 
confuhon, a much greater degree of tranquillity, 
than couM be well expelled, is maintained. 

The emprefs of Ruffia keeps in the country 
10,000 foldiers, and every garrifon is compofed 
of Ruffians and natives; iooo of the former are 
(rationed at Warfaw *. Thefe hold the nobles in 
iubjection, and the king himfelf is little more than 
a viceroy, while the Ruffian ambafTador regulates 
the affairs of the kingdom under the direction of 
his court. The pofpolite conlilts of all the nobi- 
lity of the kingdom and their followers, excepting 
the chancellor, and the ftarolts of frontier places ; 
and may be called by the king into the field 
upon extraordinary oceafions ; but he cannot keep 
them above fix weeks in arms, neither are they 
obliged to march above three leagues out of the 

The Poliih huflars are the finerr. and moft 
fhewy body of cavalry in Europe ; next to them are 
the pancerns ; and both thofe bodies wear defensive 
armour of coats of mail and iron caps. The reft of 
their cavalry are armed with mufkets and heavy 
icymctars. After all that has been laid, however, 
the Poliih cavalry are extremely inefficient in the 
field ; for though the men are brave, and their 
horfes excellent, they are ftrangers to all difcipline ; 
and when drawn out, notwithftanding all the au- 
thority their crown-generals, their other officers, 
and even the king himfelf, have over them, they 
are oppreffivc and deftru6tive to the court. It is 
certain, notwithstanding, that the Poles may be 

• The Reader will perceive that all our accounts are retrofpec- 
tive, and defcribe Poland as it was previous to the exiting inva- 



rendered excellent troops by difcipline, and that 
on various occasions, particularly under John So- 
biefki, they made as great a figure in arms as any 
people in Europe, and proved the bulwark of 
Chriftendom againfl the infidels. It did not fuit 
the Saxon princes, who fucceeded that hero, to 
encourage a martial fpirit in the Poles, whom 
they perpetually overawed with their electoral 
troops ; nor indeed to introduce any reformation 
among them, either civil or military; the effects 
of which conduct have been fince feverely felt in 
that country. 



The arms of Poland are quarterly. In the firfb 
and fourth Gules an Eagle Argent, crowned and 
armed Or, for Poland. In the fecond and third 
Gules a cavalier armed cap-a-pee Argent ; in the 
dexter hand a naked fword of the fame ; in the 
finifler a fhield Azure, charged with a bearded 
crofs, Or, mounted on a courfer of the fecond, 
barbed of the third, and neiled of the fourth, for 
Lithuania. For the Creft a Crown, heightened 
with eight Fleurets, and clofe with four demi- 
circles, ending with a Monde, Or. The motto, 
Habent fua fidera Reges, 



King of Poland, Great Duke of Lithuania, 
Duke of Ruffia, Pruffia, Mafovia, Samogitia, 
Kjovia, Volhinia, Podolia, Podolachia, Livonia, 
Smolenfko, Sevcria, aui Czernikovia. 





The Order of the White Eagle was firit, inftitu- 
ted by Ladiflaus in 1325, but revived by Auguf- 
tus I. in 1705, to attach to him fome of the Polifh 
nobles who, he feared, were inclined to Staniflaus, 
his competitor : it was conferred alfo on the czar 
Peter the Great of Pruffia. The prefent king in- 
stituted the " order of St. Staniflaus" foon after 
his election to the crown in 1765. The badge is 
a gold crofs enamelled red, and on the center of 
it is a medallion with the image of St. Staniflaus, 
enamelled in proper colours. It is worn pendent 
to a red riband ended with white. The liar of 
the order is filver, and in the center is a cypher of 
S. A. R. (Staniflaus Augufhis Rex) encircled with 
the motto " Premiando incitat" 



The value in Sterling money 

of the 




Florin of Poland is 















The perfons of the Poles are in general very 
noble, their complexions fair, and their ihapes 

C well 


well proportioned. They have been long cele-* 
brated for their courage, their ftrength, and their* 
longevity ; no country in the world affording 
more extraordinary proofs of bodily vigour, and 
an uninterrupted flow of health, which are juftly 
afcribed to the temperature of the climate, the 
temperance of the people, and their contlant ha-* 
bit in manly exercifes. The continual ufe of the 
cold-bath, even in the coldeft parts of Poland, is 
fuppofed likewife to contribute greatly to that 
mufcular ftrength for which they are fo remarka- 
ble. The nobility are open, affable, liberal, and 
hofpitable ; polite to ftrangers, rigid to their de- 
pendents, punctilious in points of honour, vain, 
oftentatious, ani magnificent in their apparel, equi- 
pages, and living, though even their magnificence 
favours ftrongly of barbarifm. They are early 
initiated in letters, fpeak Latin with fluency, but 
feldom make any progrefs in matters of tafte or 
fcience. Paffionately fond of liberty, the Poles 
live in a perpetual ftate of fervitude to their ava- 
rice, their pronation, and their neceflities, whereby 
they are rendered the infamous pensioners of fo- 
reign flares, the creatures of their own moharchs, 
or the hireling tools of fome political faction. 
Their political constitution has been the fource of 
continual misfortunes ; yet are they attached to it 
to a degree of enthufiaiin, and eipecially thofe 
parts which produce the greateft inconveniencies. 
Poor in the midfl of a fertile country, they abhor 
the notion of improving their circumftances by 
trade, and are the only nation in the world who 
have provided by law againft raiting a maritime 
power. Prodigality and debauchery are not re-- 
puted' vices among this martial nobility: they 
borrow without intention of paying, with the 
fame freedom they fquander, Conitant in their 


insTORV 6$ POLAND* 19 

Iriencliriips, bitter in their enmities, open to impo- 
iition, unfufpicious, opinionated, and haughty, 
their only care is to diftinguifh themfelves in arms, 
in finery, equipage, and iplendor. As to the vul- 
gar, they are, generally fpeaking, mean, mer- 
cenary, ignorant, indolent, and indigent. 

The following character of the Poles, by the late 
king of PrurTia, is not much exaggerated : t( Po- 
land is in a ftate of perpetual anarchy. The great 
families have all of them feparate interefts, and all 
preferring themfelves to their country, they agree 
only in feverity towards their vaifals, whom they 
treat more like beafts than human creatures.— 
The Poles are vain, infolent in good fortune, fer- 
vile in adverfity ; they flick at nothing to amafs 
money, which, having obtained unjuftly, they 
ipend it prodigally ; as fickle in their judgments 
as frivolous in their talles, their meafures are 
adopted capricioufly, and abandoned without rea- 
fon. The unfteadinefs of their characters is con- 
tinually plunging them into difficulties.— They 
have laws, but no one obferves them, for want of 
coercive authority." 

The common mode of falute in this country is 
to incline the head, and to flrike the breafi with 
one of the harms, while they flretch the other to- 
ward the ground ; but when a common perfon. 
meets a fuperior, he bows his head almoft to the 
earth, waving at the fame time his hand, with 
which he touches the bottom of the leg, near the 
heel, of the perfon to whom he pays his obedience. 
The Poles fhave their heads, leaving only a circle 
of hair upon the crown, and men of all ranks ge- 
nerally wear large whiikcrs *. They wear alio a 

• A German hiftorian (Mafcou) remarks, that the manner in 
which the Poles wear their hair is, perhaps, one of the moft an- 
cient tokens of their origin. So early as the fifth century fome 

C a nations, 


veil which reaches down to the middle of thtb tegs 
and a kind of gown over it lined with fur, and 
girded with a fafh. ; but the fleeves fit as clofe ta 
their arms as a wahtcoat. Their breeches are 
wide, and make but one piece with their ftockings ; 
they wear a fur cap or bonnet ; their fhirts arc 
without collar or wriilbands, and they wear nei- 
ther flock nor neckcloth. In place of fhoes they 
wear yellow Turkey-leather bufkins, with thin 
foles, and deep heels plated with iron or fleel, 
and bent like a half moon. The fummer drefs of 
the peafants coniifts of nothing but a ihiit and 
drawers of coarfe cloth, without fhoes or ftock- 
ings, with round caps or hats ; in winter they 
wear a fheep's fkin, with the wool inwards. The 
women of the lower clafs wear on their heads a 
wrapper of white linen, under which their hair is 
braided, and hangs down in two plaits. Many 
of them have a long piece of white linen hanging 
round the fide of their faces, and covering their 
bodies below, their knees ; which lingular kind of 
veil makes them look as if they were doing pe- 
nance. In the difrricl: of Samogitia the peculiar 
care they have of their daughters induce the wo- 
men to make them wear little bells, before and 
behind, to give notice where they are. The drefs 
of the higher orders of both fexes is uncommonly 
elegant. That of the gentlemen is a waificoat 
with fleeves, over which they wear an upper robe 
of a different colour, which reaches down below 
the knee, and is faftened round the waift with a 
fafh or girdle ; the fleeves of this upper garment 

nations, who were comprehended under the name of Scythians, 
had the fame cuftorn. For Prifcus Rhactor, who accompanied 
Maximus in his embafTy from Theodofius II. to the court of 
i\ttila, describes a Scythian lord, whofe head was fhaved in a cir- 
cular form (capite in rotundum rafo], a mode perfectly fimilar to the 
prefent fafljion in Poland. 



nre in warm weather tied behind the moulders. 
A fabre, or cutlafs, is a neceilary part of their 
drefs as a mark of nobility. In fnmmer the robe, 
&c. is of iilk ; in winter they wear fables, or the 
ikins of tygers, leopards, &c. or velvet or imff 
edged with fur. When they appear on horfe- 
back, they wear over all a fhort cloak, which is 
commonly covered with furs both within and 
without. On the whole, we muft pronounce the 
drefs of the Poles to be picturefque and majeftic. 

Their diverfions are warlike and manly ; vault- 
ing, dancing, and riding the great horfc, hunting, 
fkaiting, bull and bear baiting. They ufually 
travel on horfeback ; a Polifh gentleman will not 
travel a ftone's throw without his horfe, and they 
are fo hardy, that they will flecp upon the ground, 
without any bed or covering, in froft and fnow. 
The Poles never live above ftairs, and their apart- 
ments are not united : the kitchen is on one fide, 
the ftable on another, the dwelling-houfe on the 
third, and the gate in the front. They content 
themfelves with a few fmall beds, and if any lodge 
at their houfes, they muft carry their bedding with 
them. When they fit down to dinner or fupper, 
they have their trumpets and other mufic playing, 
and a number of gentlemen to wait on them at 
table, all ferving with the moft profound refpect ; 
for the nobles who are poor frequently find 
themfelves under the neceffity of ferving thofe 
who are rich ; but their patron ufually treats them 
with civility, and permits the eldeft to eat with 
him at his table, with his cap off; and every one 
of them has his peafant boy to wait on him, main- 
tained by the mafter of the family. At an enter- 
tainment, the Poles lay neither knives, forks, nor 
fpoons, but every gueft brings them with him ; 
and they no fooner lit down to table than all the 
C 3 doora 


doors are fruit, and not opened again till the com-* 
pany return home. It is ufual for a nobleman to 
give his fervant part of his meat, which he eats as 
he ftands behind him, and to let him drink out 
of the fame cup with himfelf: but this is the lefs 
extraordinary, if it be confidered that thefe fer- 
vants are efteemed his equals. Bumpers are much 
in fafhion both here and in Ruflia ; nor will 
they ealily excufe any perfon from pledging them. 
With refpecl: to the grandeur and equipages of 
the Polifh nobility, the reader may figure to him- 
felf an idea of all that is faftidious, ceremonious, 
expentive, and fhewy in life, to have any con- 
ception of their way of living. They carry the 
pomp of their attendance, when they appear 
abroad, even to ridicule ; for it is not unufual to 
fee the lady of a Polifh grandee, befides a coach 
and fix, with a great number of fervants, attended 
by an old gentleman ufher, an old gentlewoman 
for her governante, and a dwarf of each fex to 
hold up her train ; and if it be night, her coach is, 
furrounded by a great number of flambeaux. 
The figure of their pomp, however, is propor- 
tioned to their eflates ; but each perfon goes as far 
as his income can afford, 



The cilabli fried religion of the country is Po- 
pery, and to this perfuaiion the nobles, and the 
great body of the people, are flrongly attached. 
The number of Proteilants, however, Lutheran 
and Calvinifts, in the republic, particularly in the 
trading towns near the Baltic, is very confider- 
able. When thofe feels are joined to the Greek 



church, the whole are called Diffi dents. The re- 
public tolerate every religion but Proteftants, for 
Lithuania contains a multitude of Mahometan. 
Tartar^, of Jews, ind perfbns of the Greek reli- 
gion, who are or never diiturbed on ac- 
count of their feveral perflations. The national 
inveteracy to the Proteitant doctrines, however, 
has frequently culled forth remonstrances and re- 
strictions. The <r afy of Oliva, concluded in 
1660, tolerated the Diffident?, and was guaran- 
teed bv the principal powers in Europe : but this 
was fo disregarded by the Poles, that in the year 
1724. they made a public maifacrc of the Protec- 
tants at Thorn. The monafleries in Poland are 
faid to be 576, the nunneries 1.7, betides 246 
feminarics or colleges, and 3 1 abbeys. The prin- 
ciples if Socinianifm made a very early and eonfi- 
derable progrefs in this country. A translation of 
the Bible into the Polifh language was publiined in 
1572 ; and two years after, under the direction of 
the fame perfons, the catechifm, or confeffion of 
the Unitarians, was publithed at Cracow. The 
abilities and writings of Socinus greatly contribu- 
ted to the extenfive propagation of his opinions ; 
but though the Socinians in Poland have been very 
numerous, they have at different times been greatly 
perfecuted. However, it was lately refolved be- 
tween the republic and partitioning powers, that 
all Difiklents mould henceforth enjoy the free ex- 
ercife of their religion, though to continue ex- 
cluded from the diet, the fenate, and the perma- 
nent Council. They are to have churches, but 
without bells ; alio fchools and feminaries of their 
own ; they are capable of fitting in the inferior 
courts of jufiice, and three of their communion 
are admitted as afTeflbrs in the tribunal to receive 
appeals in religion. 





There are but two archbimoprics, that is to, 
fay, Gnelha and Lemburg. The archbiihop of 
Gnefna is always a cardinal, and primate of the 
kingdom ; and during an interregnum, or in the 
king's abfence, he is regent. The bifhoprics are, 
thofe of Pofna, Vilna, Cracow, Culm, Karnoflow, 
Window, Miedniki, Plotiko, Letlko, Colmem- 
fee, Foiienburg, Premiflaw, and Kaminiec All 
thefe bifhops, particularly the bifhop of Cracow, 
enjoy great privileges and immunities. 



The proper language of Poland is the Sclavo- 
nian, but intermixed with the High Dutch. In; 
Lithuania, the language differs much from that 
of the other provinces. Bat in general it is 
rendered extremely harm and inharmonious from 
the abundance of confonants employed in it, fome 
of the wortls having no vowels at all *. Latin is 
generally underftood and fpoken by the meaneffc 
people -f~. In the provinces bordering on Ruffia 

* The Pater-nofter in the Polifli language is of the following 
tenor : 

Oycze nasf, ktorys na niebiofach ; niech fie fwieci imie twoie ; 
niech przyidzie krolefhvo twoie; niech bedzie wola twoia jacko' 
y w niebietak y na ziemi; chleba naflego powffedniego day nam 
dzilTia ; yodpufc nam naifi winy, jako y my odpufc zamy nalfym 
winowaycom ; ynie wwodz nas pokuftenie ; ale nas wybaw ode 
zdlago; abowiem twoie jeft kroleftwo y moc e chwala na wieki. : 

f «« I had (fays Mr. Coxe) feveral opportunities of remarking 
the prcvalehcy of the Latin tongue in Poland ; when I vifited the 
prifons, I converfed in that language with a common foldier, wi>o 
itood guard at the entrance ; he ipoke it with great fluency." 



and Germany the languages of thole countries are 
well underltqod. 



Though Copernicus, the great reitorer of the 
Pythagorean, or true agronomical fyftem, Vorf- 
tius, and fome other learned men, were natives 
of Poland *, yet, from the nature of the govern- 
ment, learning has in no period been very widely 
diffufed in this country. No kingdom, however, 
can boaft a more regular fucceffion of excellent 
hiflorians, or a greater variety of writers deeply 
converfant in the laws, ftatutes, and conftitution. 
Under Sigifmond I. and his fon Sigifmond Auguf- 
tus, the arts and fciences were greatly diftin- 
guiihed by royal patronage ; they were alfo che- 
rifhed by ibme facceeding monarchs, particularly 
John Sobieiki ; but no prince has paid them more 
attention than the prefent king Staniflaus Augus- 
tus. His munificence in this particular has been 
attended with the happier! effects. The Polifh 
literati have within a few years given to the pub- 
lic a much greater variety of elegant perform- 
ances than ever appeared in any former period of 
the fame length. What is more material, a tafte 
for fcience has fpread itfelf among the nobles, and 
begins to be regarded as an accomplimment ~j~. 
The enlargement of mind derived by thefe licen- 
tious fpirits from this new purfuit has already 
weaned feveral of them from their habits of bar- 

* Copernicus was born at Thorn 1472, and died 1543. 

f The nobility formerly, placing their chief importance in the 
privileges of their rank, /hewed a fovereign contempt for learn- 



barons turbulence, and greatly humanized their 
civil deportment. It may in time teach them 
thoroughly to comprehend the true intereft of 
their country, and the expedience of due fubor- 
dination, hitherto deemed incompatible with li- 



The universities of Poland are, thofe of Cra- 
cow, of Vilna, and of Pofna ; though this latter 
mav, perhaps, be more properly confidered as a 
Jefuit's college than an university. That of Cra- 
cow is under the direction of priefts, called Aca- 
demicians, and its courfe ot Studies chiefly theo- 
logical ; it confifis of 1 1 colleges, and has the 
iuperviforfhip of 14 grammar fchools dilperfed 
through the city : the number of Students in 1 778 
amounted to 600. The university of V lna was 
under the fuperintendance of the Jefuits ; and its 
courfe of ftudies, like that of Cracow, principally 
directed to theology. Since the fuppreflion of the 
order of Jefuits, the king has eflablifhed a com- 
mittee of education, compofed of men diftin- 
guiihed either by high ftation or enlightened 
understandings, which committee has an abfolute 
power in matters of education ; appoints profef- 
fors, regulates their falaries, and directs their 

The public library of Warfaw owes its origin 
to the private bounty of two bifhops of the family 
of Zaluik, and over the door is this inscription : 


tre DiCAVit* 1 7 1 4." It has Since received feveral 
large additions from various benefadoia, and con,- 



tains 200,000 volumes. It is very rich in books 
and manufcripts relating to the Polifh. hiftory, 
.molt of which are written in Latin. 



Among the natural curiofities of Poland mufi; 
be reckoned the wild men that have been found in 
the woods of that country. The frequent incur? 
lions of the Tartars and other barbarous nations, 
who often bore orF whole villages of people 
into flavery, probably forced the women to carry 
their children into the woods for fafety, and, in cafe 
of farther purfuit, to leave them behind ; for ihey are 
frequently found among bears and other wild 
beaits, by whom they are nourifhed, and taught 
to feed like them. Such beings have been fre- 
quently found in the woods both of Poland and 
Germany, diverted of almoft all the properties of 
humanity, except the form. Thofe that havo 
been taken went generally upon all-fours, though 
fometimes they flood upright. They had not the 
ufe of fpeech at firfl, but were taught to fpeak 
when brought into towns and ufed kindly; re- 
taining no memory of their former favage lives 
when they came to be humanized, and made con- 
verfable by cultivation. 

The fait mines of the country are {Inking olv 
jecl:s of natural curiofity. Thefe are wonderful 
caverns, feveral hundred yards deep, at the bot- 
tom of which are many intricate windings and la- 
byrinths. Out of thefe arc dug four different 
Kinds of faits ; one extremely hard, like cryftal ; 



another, fofter, but clearer ; a third, white, but 
brittle ; thefe are all brackiih ; but the fourth is 
fomewhat freiher. Thefe four kinds are dug in 
different mines near the city of Cracow ; on one 
fide of them is a ftream of fait water ; and on the 
pther, one of frelh. The revenue anting from 
thefe and other falt-mines is very conliderable, 
and formed part of the royal revenue, till they 
were feized by the emperor, being fituated within 
the provinces Tvhich he-difmembered from Poland ; 
the annual average profit of that of Wielitfka was 
3,500,000 Polifh florins, or 97,222,1. 4s. 6d. tler- 
}ing. The latter, indeed, is the moft considerable 
falt-mine in the world, and from it a great part 
of the continent is fupplied with that article. 
Wielitfka is a fmall town about eight miles from 
Cracow : the mine is excavated in a ridge of hills 
at the northern extremity of the chain which joins 
to the Carpathian mountains, and has been 
wrought above 600 years, for they are mentioned 
in the Polifh annals fo early as 1237 under Bo- 
leflaus the Chafte *, and not then as a new difco- 
very r how much earlier they were known cannot 
foe afcertained. 

There ,are eight openings or defcents into this 
mine, fix in the field, and two in the town itfelf, 
which are mofily ufed for letting down the work- 
men, and taking up the fait ; the others being 
chiefly ufed for letting in wood and other necef- 

The openings are five feet fquare, and about 
four wide ; they are lined throughout with tim- 
ber, and at the top of each there is a large wheel 
with a rope as thick as a cable, by which things, 
let down and drawn up ; and this is worked; 

* Lengnich, Juf. Pub. vol. i. p. 349* 



fey a horfe. When a ftranger has the curioiity to 

fee the works, he muft defcend by one of thefe 
holes ; he is firft to put on a miner's coat over his 
cloaths, and then being led to the mouth of the 
hole by a miner, who ferves for a guide, the mi- 
ner fallens a final ler rope to the large one, and 
ties it about himfelf ; he tits in this, antl, taking; 
the ftranger in his lap, gives the fign to be let 
down. When fevcral go down together, the cuf- 
tom is, that when the firft is let down about three 
yards the wheel flops, and another miner takes 
another rope, ties himfelf, takes another in his 
Jap, and defcends about three yards farther ; the 
wheel then Hops for another pair, and ib on till 
the whole company are feated, then the wheel is 
again worked, and the whole firing of adven- 
turers are let down together. It is no uncommon' 
thing for forty people to go down in this manner. 
When the wheel is finally fet a-going, it never 
flops till they are all down ; but the defcent is 
very flow and gradual, and it is a very uncom- 
fortable time, while they all recollect that their 
lives depend on the goodnefs of the rope. They 
are carried down a narrow and dark well to the 
depth ©f fix hundred feet perpendicular ; this is 
in reality an immenfe depth, but the terror and 
tcdioufnefs of the defcent makes it appear to molt 
people vaflly more than it is. As foon as the firft 
miner touches the ground at the bottom, he flips 
out of the rope and fets his companion upon his 
legs, and the rope continues defcending till all 
the reft do the fame. 

The place where they are fet down is per- 
fectly dark, but the miners ilrike fire and light a 
fmall lamp, by means of which (each taking the 
ftranger he has care of by the arm) they lead them 
through a number of llrange parages and mean- 


$d 'tttsfcm* op pOLakt&. 

iJers, all defcending lower and lower, till the^ 
come to certain ladders by which they defcend an 
immenfe depth, and this through paffages per- 
fectly dark. The damp, cold, and darknefs of 
thefe places, and the horror of being fo many 
yards under ground, generally make Grangers 
heartily repent before they get thus far ; but when 
at bottom they are well rewarded for their pains, 
"by a tight that could never have been expected 
after {b much horror. 

At the bottom of the laft ladder the flranger is 
received in a fmall dark cavern, walled up per- 
fectly clofe on all tides. To increafe the terror of* 
the fcene, it is ufual for the guide to pretend the 
utmoft terror on the apprehenfion of his lamp 
going out, declaring they muft periih in the mazes 
of the mine if it did. When arrived in this dreary 
chamber, he puts out his light, as if by accident, 
and after much cant catches the ftranger by the 
hand and drags him through a narrow creek into 
the body of the mine, when there burfts at once 
upon his view a world, the luftre of which is 
fcarcely to be imagined, It is a fpacious plain, con- 
taining a whole people, a kind of fubterraneous 
republic, with houfes, carriages, roads, &c. This 
is wholly fcooped out of one vaft bed of fait, 
which is all a hard rock, as bright and glittering 
as cryfial, and the whole fpace before him is 
formed of lofty arched vaults, fupported by co- 
lumns of fait, and roofed and floored with the 
fame, fo that the columns, and indeed the whole 
fabric, feem compofed of thepureft cryfial. 

They have many public lights in this place con- 
tinually burning for the general ufe, and the blaze 
of thole reflected from every part of the mine, 
gives a more glittering profpecl: than any thing 
above ground can poflibly exhibit. Were this the 
i whole 



whole beauty of the fpot, it were fufficienl: to at- 
tract our wonder ; but this is only a fmall part. 
The fait (though generally clear and bright as 
cryftal) is in forae places tinged with all the colours 
of precious flones, as blue, yellow, purple, and 
green ; there are numerous columns wholly com- 
pofed of thefe kinds, and they look like marTes of 
rubies, emeralds, amethyfrs, and fapphires, dart- 
ing a radiance which the eye can hardly bear, 
and which has given many people occanon to 
compare it to the fuppofed magnificence of heaven. 
Betides the variety of forms in thefe vaults, ta- 
bles, arches, and columns, which are framed as 
they dig out the fait for the purpofe of keeping up 
the roof, there is a vafl variety of others, gro- 
tefque and finely figured, the work of nature, and 
thefe are generally of the purefl and brighter! fait. 
The roofs of the arches are in many places full 
of fait, hanging pendent from the top in the form 
of icicles, and having all the hues and colours of 
the rainbow ; the walks are covered with various 
congelations of the fame kind, and the very floors, 
when not too much trodden and battered, are co- 
vered with globules of the fame fort of beautiful 

In various parts of this fpacious plain iland the 
huts of the miners and families, fome Handing 
iingle, and others in chillers like villages. They 
have very little communication with the world 
above ground, and many hundreds of people are 
born and live all their lives' here. 

Through the midft of this plain lies the great 
road to the mouth of the mine. This road is al- 
ways filled with carriages loaded with marTes of 
fait out of the farther part of the mine, and car- 
rying them to e where; the rope belonging 
to the wheel receives them; the drivers of VAeih 



carriages are all merry and ringing, and the fait 
looks like a load of gems. Tire horfes kept here 
are a very great number, and when once let down,, 
they never fee the day-light again ; btit forrie of 
the men take frequent occasions of going up and 
breathing the frefn air. The inrtruments princi- 
pally ufed by the miners are pick-axes, hammers, 
and chiflels ; with thefe they dig out the fait in 
forms of huge cylinders; each of many hundred 
weight. This is found the mofl convenient me- 
thod of getting them out of the mine, and as loon 
as got above ground, they are broken into fmaller 
pieces, and fent to the mills, where they are 
ground to powder. The fmeft fort of the fait is 
frequently cut into toys, and often paffes for real 
cryftal. This hard kind makes a great part of the 
floor of the mine ; and what is molt furprizing 
in the whole place is, that there runs conftantly 
over this, and through a large part of the mine, a 
fpring of frefn water, fufficient to fupply the in- 
habitants and their horfes, fo that they need not 
have any from above ground. The horfes ufually 
grow blind after they have been fome little time 
in the mine, but they do as well for fervice after- 
wards as before. 

After admiring the wonders of •this amazing 
place, it is no very comfortable remembrance to 
the ftranger, that he is to go back again through 
the fame difmal way he came, and indeed the 
journey is not much better than the profpect; 
the only means of getting up is by the rope, and 
little more ceremony is ufed in the journey than 
in the drawing up of a piece of fait. 

The fait dug from this mine is called Ziebna, or 
Green Salt, but for what reafon it is difficult to 
determine, its colour being an iron grey ; when 
pounded, it has a dirty afli colour, like what we call 

% brown 


brown fait. The mine appears to be incxhaufti- 
ble, as will eafily be conceived from the following 
account of its dimenflons, given by Mr. Coxe: 
Its known breadth (fays he) is 1 1 15 feet, its length 
6691 feet, and depth 743 ; this, however, is to 
be understood only of the part which has been 
actually worked ; as to the real depth, or longi- 
tudinal extent of the mine, it is not poffible to 

Under the mountains adjoining to Kiow, ori 
the frontiers of Ruffia, and in the deferts of Po- 
dolia, are feveral catacombs, or fubterranean 
vaults, which the ancients ufed for burying places, 
and where a great number of human bodies are 
flill preferved entire, though interred many ages 
iince, having been better embalmed, and become 
neither fo hard nor fo black as the Egyptian mum- 
mies. Among them are two princes in the habits 
they ufed to wear. It is thought that this pfe- 
ferving quality is owing to the nature of the foil, 
which is dry and fandy. 

Of antiquities Poland can boafl of but few, as 
ancient Sarmatia was never perfectly known to 
the Romans themfelves. 

Its artificial curiofities alfo are not numerous, 
conn* fling chiefly of the gold, filver, and enamel- 
led vefTels preferred by the kings and prelates of 
Poland, and preferved in the cathedral of Gnefna. 



Warsaw (the capital of Poland) is built partly 
in a plain, and partly upon a gentle afcent, riling 
from the banks of the Viftula, which is about as 
broad as the Thames at Weftminfter Bridge, but 
in furnmer very fhallow. The city and its fuburbs 

D occupy 

g.j. History of Poland. 

occupy a vail extent of ground, and are com* 
pUtedto c©ntain about 70,000 inhabitants, among 
whom are a great number of foreigners. The 
former is the royal reflden< e, and contains many 
magnificent palaces and other buildings, behdes 
churches and convents. The whole town, how- 
ever^ has a melancholy appearance, exhibiting 
that ftrong contrail of wealth and poverty, luxury 
and diflrefs, which pervades every part of the 
country. The flreets are fpacious, but ill paved, 
and the great ell part of the houfes, particularly in 
the fuburbs, are mean wooden hovels. In a place 
lb built of high and low, without an intermediate 
quality of people, commerce will not be expected 
(o rear its head. Here is indeed little or none. 
The palace Hands on a riiing ground at a fmall 
dillance from the Vittula, and commands a fine 
view of that river and of the adjacent country. It 
was built by Sigifmond III. and fince his time has 
been the principal refidence of the Polifh mo- 
narchs. Warfaw is 300 miles N. E. by N. of 
Vienna, 130 N. N. E. of Cracow, and 160 S. E. 
by S. of Dantzic. 

Cracow (which ftill difputes with Warfaw the 
metropolitical pre-eminence) is a curious old 
town, it 2, miles S. W. of Warfaw ; 180 N. E. 
of Vienna, long. 37. 30. lat. 50. 10. It was for- 
merly the capital of the kingdom where the 
monarchs were elecled and crowned, and was 
once almoH the center of the Polifh dominions, 
though now a frontier town ; a lamentable proof 
how much the territories of this republic have 
been contracted. It Hands in an extenfive plain 
watered by the Viftula, and, with its fuburbs, 
occupies a vaft fpace of ground, but fo thinly 
peopled, that they fcarcely contain together 
10,000 inhabitants. Like that of Warfaw, the 



commerce of Cracow is very inconfiderable, not- 
withftandinff it lies in the neighbourhood of the 
rich fait mines, and contains fifty churches and 
convents. It is furrounded with deep ditches and 
high brick walls *, itrengthened with round and 
fquare towers in the ancient flyle of fortification, 
and is garriibned with 600 Ruffians. The great 
fquare in the middle of the town is very fpacious, 
and has feveral well-built houfes, but mofl of 
them either untenanted, or in a Irate of decay. 
Many of the ftreets are broad and handfome, but 
almoft every building bears the moft ftriking 
marks of ruined grandeur: the churches alone 
preferve their original fplendour. The defolation 
of this unfortunate town was begun by the Swedes 
at the commencement of the prefent century, 
when it was befleged and taken by Charles XII. ; 
but the mifchiefs it had fuffered by that ravager of 
the North were far lefs defiruclive than thofe it 
experienced during the late dreadful commotions, 
when it underwent repeated lieges, and was al- 
ternately in poffeffion of the Ruffians and Confe- 
derates. In a word, Cracow exhibits the remains 
of a magnificent capital in ruins ; and from the 
number of fallen and falling houfes, one might 
imagine that it had been lately facked, and that 
the enemy had left it but a few days. 

The univerfity was founded and endowed by 
Cafimir the Great, and improved and completed 
by Ladiflaus Jaghellon : the number of ftudents 
amount to about 600 ; the library, however, is 
not remarkable either for the number or rarity of 
its books. Among the principal objects of atten- 
tion is a Turkifh book, of no intrinfic value, in- 
deed, but efieemed a curiofity becaufe found 

* Built by Wenceflaus, king of Bohemia, during the fhort pe^ 
riod in which he reigned over Poland. 

Da % amon?: 


among the fpoils at the battle of Chotzim, and pre - 
fented by John Sobiefki to the univerfity, as the 
memorial of a victory which faved his country 
from defolation, and raifed him to the throne of 
Poland. This univerfity was formerly, and not 
unjuftly, called the mother of Polim literature, as 
it principally fupplied the other feminaries with 
profeflbfs and men of learning ; but its luftre has * 
been greatly obicured by the removal of the royal 
reiidence to Warfaw, and Hill more by the late 
interline convultions. Toward the fouthern part 
of the town, near the ViiTula, rifes a fmall emi- 
nence or rock, upon whofe top is built the palace, 
furrounded with brick walls and old towers, 
which form a kind of citadel to the town. The 
palace was built by Ladiflaus Jaghellon ; but little 
of the ancient flructure now appears, as the 
greateft part was demolifhed by Charles XII. in 
1702, when he entered the town after the battle 
of CliiTbw. This place was formerly the reiidence 
of the kings of Poland, who, from the time of 
Ladiflaus Loketec, have been crowned at Cra- 
cow, excepting the prefent king ; previous to 
whofe election a decree was iffued by the diet of 
convocation, that the coronation fhould be folem- 
nized for this turn at Warfaw, without prejudice 
in future to the ancient right of Cracow ; a pro- 
vifo calculated to fatisfy the populace, but which 
will not probably prevent any future fovereign 
from being crowned at Warfaw, now become the 
capital of Poland, and the refidence of its kings. 

At fome diftance from Cracow ftands the for- 
treis of Landfkron, fituated on a rock, which the 
confederates poifelfed during the late troubles ; 
and from whence they made excurfions, as occa- 
fion offered, againil the Ruffian and Polifh troops 
in the fervice of the king. By a detachment of 



troops from this fortrefs the citadel of Cracow was 
taken by furprize ; of which gallant exploit we 
fhall give Mr. Coxe's account : 

<( The perfon who fhewed us the palace was 
himfelf prefent, when the Polifh troops hfueo\ 
from a fnbterraneous paifage, and furprized the 
Ruffian garrifon, conlifting of 87 troops. About 
four in the morning a party of 76 confederates, all 
of whom were Poles, led by a lieutenant *, whofe 
name was Bytranowlki, entered the palace 
through a common fewer, without being diico- 
vercd, and repairing to the main guard infTantly 
fell upon the Ruffians ; the latter were fo con- 
founded with the fuddennefs of the affault, that 
they all yielded themfelves prifoners without the 
leaf! reiiitance ; and the Poles became matters of 
the citadel. Two or three Poiffians were killed at 
the hrft onfet, and the remainder were confined 
in a dungeon. One foldier, however, found 
means to efcape by climbing the wall of the cita- 
del, and alarmed the Ruffian foldiers within the 
town : thefe without delay attacked the cattle, 
but, receiving a warm fire from the confederates, 
they imagined the enemy to be more numerous 
than they really were, and deiifted from the af- 
fault. This event happened on the 2d of Febru- 

* In mo ft of the accounts published of this tranfaclion, it is faid, 
that the confederates were led by a French officer, and that there 
were feveral Frenchmen amongft them. I have related limply 
the account which I received from the fteward ot the palace, who, 
repeatedly aflured me, that there was not one Frenchman amongft 
them ; that they were led by a Polifl] lieutenant, whofe name was 
Bytranowiki. The fteward was himfelf prefent at the tranfaction, 
and, as he wasno foldier, was not confined with the garrifon in the 
dungeon ; he had, therefore, every opportunity of being informed 
of the truth : at the fame time it is poillble, that his partiality to 
his countrymen might have induced him to give the whole honour 
to the Poles. Monfieur Viofmenil is the French officer generally 
mentioned as leading this enterpriftng band of confederates through 
the fubtei nineous paflage. 

D 3 ary, 


ary 1772, The fame evening Monti eur de Choify, 
in the fervice of the confederates of Landfkron, 
being made acquainted with the fuccefs of the en- 
terprize, advanced towards Cracow at the head of 
800 confederates (amongft whom were 30 or 40 
Frenchmen, moil of them officers), and, having 
defeated a detachment of aco Ruffians, was re- 
ceived into the citadel. But the Ruffian garrifon 
in the town, which before confilted of only 400 
men, being likewife reinforced, the confederates 
in the citadel fufiained a regular liege : they de- 
fended themfelves with the moll undaunted fpirit 
for the fpace of three months ; and at length ca- 
pitulated upon the moll honourable terms. 

" I examined the fubterraneous pafTage through 
which the 76 confederates introduced themfelves 
into the palace : it is a drain, which conveys all 
the filth from the interior part of the palace to a 
imall opening without the walls near the Viflula. 
They entered this frnall opening, and crawled 
upon their hands and knees a conliderable way, 
one behind another, until thev came out through- 
a hole in the walls of the palace : fo that if the 
Ruffians had either been apprized of their at- 
tempt, or had overheard them in their palfage, 
not one perfon could have efcaped : the danger 
was great, but it fhews what fpirit and perfeve- 
rance will effect." 

Adjoining to the palace, and within the walls 
of the citadel, Hands the cathedral church, in 
which all the fovereigns of Poland from the time 
of Ladiflaus Loketec, have been interred, a few 
only excepted. The laws of Poland are as exprefs 
and minute in regulating the burial as the elec- 
tion and coronation of the kings ; and, as many 
curious circumilances attend their interments, we 



iriall once more make our readers indebted to the 
refearches of Mr. Coxe on this lubject. 

ee Since Warfaw has become the royal refi- 
dence, and the place for the election of the kings 
of Poland, the body of the deceafed prince muff 
be carried firft to that city ; where it remains un- 
til the nomination Of the new fovercign has taken 
place. It is then conducted in great ftate to Cra- 
cow ; and, two days before the day appointed for 
the ceremony of the coronation, the king elect, 
preceded by the great officers of Hate, with their 
rods of office pointing to the ground, joins the fu- 
neral proceffion as it paffes through the ftreets, 
and follows the body to the church of St. Stanii- 
laus, where the burial fervice is performed : the 
remains are then deposited in the cathedral adjoin- 
ing to the palace. It is peculiar to the laws of 
Poland, that the funeral of the deceafed monarch 
fhould immediately precede the coronation of the 
new fovereign ; and that the king elect mould be 
under a neceffity of attending the obfequies of his 
predecefTor. Hiftorians have fagely remarked, 
that this lingular cuftom was instituted, in order 
to imprefs the new king with the uncertainty of 
human grandeur ; and to remind him of his duty, 
by mixing the horrors of death with the pomp 
and dignity of his new ftation : yet we cannot 
but obferve, that this precaution has not hitherto 
lieen productive of any vifible effects ; as it does 
not appear that the kings of Poland have go- 
verned with greater wifdom and jiffiice than 
other potentates. But it is mofl probable, that 
this cuftom took its rife from the habits of exterior 
homage which the Poles affect to pay to their fo- 
vereign in compenfation for the fubltantial dignity 
which they with-hold from him : this fpirit of 
mock- reverence they extend beyond the graye : 

P 4 and 


and while they fcarcely allow to the reigning king 
the fhadow of real authority, they heap upon a 
deceafed monarch every poffible trapping of im- 
perial honour. 

" The fepulchres of the kings of Poland are not 
diflinguiihed by any peculiar magnificence : their 
figures are carved in marble, of no extraordinary 
workmanfhip, and fome are without infcriptions." 

The tombs of various monarchs deposited in 
this cathedral furnifh fome admirable reflections 
to the mind of Mr. Coxe, which are delivered 
with peculiar force to the world by the ingenious 
pen of that writer ; but for thefe we refer our 
readers to his interefting " Travels." 

Grodno [Lat. 53. 28. N. Long. 24. 15. E. 
125 miles N. E. of Wariaw]. This, though not 
the capital, is the principal town of Lithuania, 
but is a large and itraggling place, containing a 
mixture of wretched hovels, falling houfes, and 
ruined palaces, with magnificent gateways, re- 
mains of its ancient fplendour. A few habitations 
in good repair make the contraft more finking. 
Its inhabitants are eflimated at about 7000, of 
which 1000 are Jews, and 3000 are Chriftians, 
employed in new manufactures of cloths, cam- 
lets, linen, cotton, filks, Huffs, &c. eftablifhed 
there in 1 776 by the king, who has alio inftituted 
there an academy of phytic for Lithuania, in 
which ten ftudents are initrucled in phytic, and 
twenty in furgery, and all taught and maintained 
at his own expence. The old palace, in which 
the kings ufed to refide during the diet, flood on 
a hill of fand riling abruptly from the river, and 
forming part of its banks : fome remains of the 
ancient wall flill exifl. Oppofitc to this hill is 
the new palace, built, but never occupied by Au- 
guflus III. as it was, not finifhed at the time of his 



(death. In this palace the diets have ufually been 
held when fummoned to Grodno. In 1 673 it was 
enacled, that every third diet fhould be held at 
Grodno ; and, in conformity to this law, the firft 
national aflembly was convened here in 1678 un- 
der John Sobieiki. But when the next tarn of 
Grodno arrived, that monarch fummoned the diet 
to Warfaw : the Lithuanians Strongly oppofed this 
infringement of their rights ; and their deputies, 
inflead of proceeding to Warfaw, where the king, 
fenate, and nuntios of Poland were met, repaired 
to this town, and formed a feparate diet. In order 
to prevent a civil war, which this divifion might 
occafion, a negotiation took place ; and it was at 
length fettled, that the diet of 1673 fhould af- 
femble at Warfaw, but be called the diet of 
Grodno, and that the marihal fhould be chofen 
from the Lithuanian nuntios. From that time 
the diets have been occasionally fummoned to 
Grodno ; until the reign of his prefent majefly, 
when they have been uniformly held at Warfaw ; 
and this innovation has been tacitly agreed to by 
the Lithuanians, on account of the diflance of 
this town from the royal refidence, as well as in 
consideration of the troubles which convulfed the 

Dantzic [140 miles N. of Warfaw, long. 
36. 40. lat. 54. 22.] is the metropolis ofPornerania 
in Polifh Pruffia, or Pruffia Royal, the fee of a 
bifhop, and the feat of an university ; and is famous 
in hiStory on many accounts, particularly that of its 
being formerly at the head of the Hanfeatic atTo- 
ciation, commonly called the Hanfe towns. It is 
Situated on the Viftula, near five miles from the 
Baltic, and is a large, beautiful, populous city : 
its houfes generally are five ltories high ; and 
many of its Streets are planted with chefnut-trees. 



It lias a fine harbour, and is ftill a moft' eminent 
commercial city, although it feems to be fome- 
what pair its meridian glory, which was probably 
about the time that the president de Thou wrote 
his much eiteemed Hijloria fui Temporis, wherein, 
under the year 1607, ^ e ^° highly celebrates its. 
commerce and grandeur. It is a republic, claim- 
ing a irnall adjacent territory about forty miles 
round it, which were under the protection of the 
king and the republic of Poland. Its magistracy, 
and the majority of its inhabitants, are Lutherans; 
although the Romanics and Calvinifts be equally 
tolerated in it. It is rich, and has 26 parifhes, 
with many convents and hofpitals. The inhabi- 
tants have been computed to amount to 200,000 ; 
but later computations fall very confiderably fhort 
of it ; as appears by its annual bill of mortality, 
exhibited by Dr. Bufching, who tells us, that in 
the year 1752, there died but 18 16 perfons. Its 
own fhipping is numerous ; but the foreign fhips 
conftantly retorting to it are more fo, whereof 
1014 arrived there in the year 1752; in which 
year alio 1288 Polifh vetiels came down the Vifc 
tula, chiefly laden with corn, for its matchlefs 
granaries ; from whence that grain is diftributed 
to many foreign nations : betides which, Dantzic 
exports great quantities of naval ftores, and vafl 
variety of other articles. Dr. Bufching affirms, 
that it appears from ancient records, as early as 
the year 997, that Dantzic was a large commer- 
cial city, and not a village or inconfiderable town, 
as fome pretend. 

The inhabitants of Dantzic have often changed 
their mailers, and have fometimes been under the 
protection of the Englifh and Dutch ; but gene- 
rally have fhewn a great predilection for the king- 
dom and republic of Poland, as being lefs likely 



to rival them in their trade, or abridge them of 
their immunities, which reach even to the privU 
lege of coining money. Though ftrongiy forti- 
fied, and pofferTed of 150 large brafs cannon, it 
could not, through its Situation, fraud a regular 
liege, being furrounded with eminences. In 1734, 
the inhabitants difcovered a remarkable attach- 
ment and fidelity towards Staniflaus king of Po- 
land, not only when his enemies, the Rullians, 
were at their gates, but even in pofTeflion of the city. 
The reafon why Dantzic, Thorn, and Elbing, 
have enjoyed privileges, both civil and religious, 
very different from thole of the reft of Poland, is, 
becaufe, not being able to endure the tyranny of 
the Teutonic knights, they put themselves under 
the protection of Poland, referving to themfelves 
large and ample privileges. This city, as well as 
that of Thorn, were exempted by the king of 
Pruilia from thofe claims which he lately mu le on 
the neighbouring countries ; notwithstanding 
which, he foon after thought proper to feize on 
the territories belonging to Dantzic, under pre- 
tence of their having been formerly part of Poliih 
Pruilia. He then proceeded to pofTefs himfelf of 
the port-duties belonging to that city, and erec d 
a cuilom-houfe in the harbour, where he laid ar- 
bitrary and infupportable duties upon goods ex- 
ported or imported. To complete the fyitem of 
oppreffion, cutlom-houfes were erected at the 
very gates of Dantzic, fo that no perfon could go 
in or out of the town, without being Searched in 
the ftricteft manner. Such is the treatment which 
the city of Dantzic has received from the king 
of Pruffia, though few cities have ever exiited 
which have been comprehended in fo many gene- 
ral and particular treaties, and whofe rights and 
liberties have been fo frequently iecured, and 

a long 


guarantied by fo many great powers, and by nich 
a long and regular iiicceffion of public acls, as 
that of Dantzic has been. In the year 1784, it 
was blockaded by bis troops, on various pre- 
tences : by the interpoiition of the emprefs of 
Ruffia, and -of the king of Poland, they were 
withdrawn, and a negotiation carried on by de 
pities at Warfaw ; this was concluded on the 
7th of September ; by which, as now acceded to 
by the citizens, the place and trade of the city are 
to be reftored to its former liability. The city of 
Thorn was alio treated by the king of Pruffia in 
the lame unj lift and oppreffive manner with that 
of Dantzic, and is now added to his dominions. 

SECT. XXT\ r . 


The inhabitants of Poland may be compre- 
hended under four denominations of rank, viz. 
1. Nobles ; 2. Clergy ; 3. Citizens, or Burghers ; 
and, 4. Peaiants. 

1. The nobles are divided into two clafles, viz. 
Members of the Senate and of the Eqvejlrian Order. 
Of the peculiar powers of each of thefe we fnall 
have occafion to treat when w r e come to fpeak of 
the Constitution on Govern?v1ent. The term 
noble, however, is not to be accepted in the icnfe 
it obtains among us. In the Polim laws a noble 
is a perfon who pofTefTes a freehold efrate *, or 

* Some citizens have the right of potTeffing lands within a league 
of the town which they inhabit; but the!,- are not free and noble, 
and arealwavs dillinguiflied from the freeholds of the nobles; the 
latter are called in the fiatute law terrigena, or earth-born, free 
to live where they pleafe, to difhnguifh them from perfons necef- 
farily inhabiting towns. They arc alfo ftyled indigeme, or natives* 
and concl'ves, cr fellow-citizens of the republic. 



who can prove his.defcent from anceftors for- 
merly poiieiling a freehold, following no trade or 
commerce, and at liberty to choofe the place of 
his habitation. This description includes all per- 
fons above burghers and peafants. The members 
of this body below the rank of fenators are called, 
in a collective ftate, the equeftrian order ; and in 
their individual capacities, nobles, gentlemen, 
freemen or landholders, which appellations are 

All the nobles or gentry are, in the UricJ-r. 
letter of the law, equal by birth ; fo that all 
honours and titles are fuppofed to add nothing 
to their real dignity *. By means of their repre- 
fentatives in the diet, they have a fhare in the le- 
giflative authority ; and in fome cafes, as in the 
election of a king, they aiiemble in perfon ; when 
each noble is capable of being elecTed a nuntio, of 
bearing the office of a fenator, and of prefenting 
himfclf as a candidate upon a vacancy in the 
throne. No noble can be arrcftcd without being 
previoufly convicted, except in cafes of high trea- 
son, murder, and robbery on the highway, and 
then he mufl be furprifed in the facl. The defi- 
nition o£ a noble being thus applied not only to 
perfons actually poffefling land, but even to the 
descendants of former landholders, comprehends 
iuch a large body of men, that many of them are 
in a Hate of extreme indigence ; and as, according 
to the Poliin. law, they lofe their nobility if they 
follow trade or commerce, the moft needy gene- 
rally devote themfelves to the fervice of the richer 
nobles, who, like the old feudal barons, are con- 
itantly attended by a large number of retainers. 

* It is particularly dated, that titles give no precedence; which 
'in the Pafla Coitvevta of. Augulhis III, is called jus aqualiiatis inter 
chies regnij &c, 


46 HlSTOllY 0# POLAND* 

As all nobles, without any diflinclion, enjoy the 
right of voting, as well for the choice of nuntios, 
as at the eleclion of a king, their poverty and 
their number is frequently productive of great in- 
convenience. Hence the king, who has juftly 
conceived a great veneration for the Englifh con- 
ititution, wifhed to introduce into the new code 
a law fimilar to ours relating to county elections, 
that no pcrfon ihould be entitled to a vote in the 
choice of a nuntio but thofe who poffefTed a cer- 
tain qualification in land. This proportion, how- 
ever, has been received with iuch marks of diila- 
tisfaction, that there is little probability of its ever 
being fuffcred to pafs into a law. 

1. The Clergy. Miciflaus, the firft fovereigri 
of Poland who embraced Chriftianity, A. D. 966, 
granted feveral immunities and> eftates to the 
clergy. His fuccefibrs and the rich nobles fol- 
lowed his example ; and the riches of this body 
continued increafmg, as well from royal as pri- 
vate donations, until the diet, apprehenfive left 
in procefs of time the greater! part of the eftates 
Ihould pafs into the hands of the clergy, forbad, 
by different laws, and particularly in 1669, the 
alienation of lands to the church, under penalty 
of forfeiture : and Under the prefent reign feveral 
eftates have been confifcated which had been be- 
llowed upon the clergy fince that period. 

From the time of the firft eftablifhment of the 
catholic religion by Cardinal ^Egidius, nuntio from 
Pope John XII. the bifhops have been admitted 
into tlie fenate as kind's counfellors. They were 
uiually appointed by the king, and confirmed by 
the pope ; but, fince the creation of the perma- 
nent council, they are nominated by his majefty 
out of three candidates chofen by the council : a 
billion, the moment he is appointed, isofcourie 
1 entitled 


entitled to all the privileges of a fenator. The 
archbifhop of Gnefna is primate, as we have be- 
fore obferved, the firit fenator in rank, and vice- 
roy during an interregnum. 

The eccleliaftics are all freemen, and, in fome 
particular inftances, have their own courts of jus- 
tice, in which the canon law is pracliled. Of 
thefe courts of juftice peculiar to the clergy, there 
are three forts ; i. The confiftorial, under the ju- 
rifdiclion of each bifhop in his diocefe ; i. The 
metropolitan, under the primate, to which an 
appeal lies from the bifhop's court ; 3. That of the 
pope's nuntio, which is the fupreme eccleliaftical 
judicature within the kingdom, to which an appeal 
may be made both from the decifion of the bifhop 
and of the primate. In cafes of divorce, difpen- 
fations for marriages, and in other inftances, the 
parties, as in all catholic countries, muft apply to 
the pope ; by which means no inconiiderable fum 
of money is drawn out of the country by the fee 
of Rome. 

In molt civil affairs the clergy are amenable to 
the ordinary courts of juftice. In criminal caufes, 
an ecclefiafTic is firit arretted by the civil powers, 
then judged in the confiftory, and, if convicted, 
lie is remitted to the civil power, in order to un- 
dergo the penalty annexed to the crime of which 
he has been found guilty. One great eccleliaili- 
cal abufe, which has been abolifhcd in mofl other 
catholic countries, full exifts in this kingdom : 
when the pope fends a bull into Poland, the clergy 
publifh and carry it into execution, without the 
confirmation or approbation of the civil power* 
Before 1538 eccleliaftics were allowed to hold 
civil employments ; but in that year priefts were 
declared incapable of being promoted to fecular 
offices. They were alfo exempted from paying 

2 any 


any taxes ; but this exemption has been wifely* 
taken off, and they are now rated in the fame 
mariner as the laity, with this difference, that 
their contributions are not called taxes, but cha- 
ritable fubfidies. 

3. The next clafs of people are the Burghers, 
inhabiting towns, whofe privileges were formerly 
far more confiderable than they are at prefent. 

The hiftory of all countries, in which the feu- 
dal fyftem has been eftablifhed, bears teftimony 
to the pernicious policy of holding the lower 
claffes of men in a ftate of llavifh fubjeclion. In 
procefs of time, a concurrence of caufes * contri- 
buted gradually to foften the rigour of this fervi- 
tudc, with regard to the burghers, in feveral of 
the feudal kingdoms. Among other circumftances 
tending to their protection, the moil favourable 
was the formation of feveral cities into bodies po- 
litic, with the privilege of exercifing municipal 
iurifdiction. This inftitution took its rife in Italy, 
the firft country in Europe which emerged from 
barbarifm, and was from thence transferred to 
France and Germany. It was firft introduced 
into Poland about 1250, during the reign of Bo- 
leflaus the Chafte, who being inftrucled in the 
Teutonic or German laws by Henry the bearded 
duke of Wratiflaw, granted firft to Cracow, and 
afterwards to feveral other towns, the privileges 
poffeffed by the German cities : this body of 
rights is called in the ftatutes of Poland Jus Mag- 
deburgicum et Teutonicum ; and the caufe aftigned 
for its introdudiion is, that no city could nourifh 
and increafe under the feudal laws. In the 13th 
and following centuries the kings and great barons 

* Thefe caufes the reader will find amply and ably illuftrated int 
t View of the State of Europe, prefixed to Dr. Robertfon's Hif- 
tory of Charles V. 



fouilt feveral towns, to all which they granted a 
.charter of incorporation conceived in the follow- 
ing terms : " Transfer o banc villam ex jure Polonico 
in jus Teutonicum." The beneficial tendency of 
this political regulation foon appeared, by a fud- 
den increafe of population and wealth ; the 
burghers of fome of the free towns acquired fuch 
a degree of importance and consideration, as to 
give their aifent to treaties, and fend deputies to 
the national afTembly ; a noble was not degraded 
by being a burgher, and a burgher was capable 
of being an officer of the crown. A treaty which 
Catimir the Great entered into with the knights 
of the Teutonic order was not only figned by 
the king and the principal nobles, but alio by the 
burghers of Cracow, Pofen, Sandomir, and other 
towns ; and under the fame monarch Wiernefk *, 
burgomafter of Cracow, was fub-marfhal and 
treafurer of the crown. 

The burghers enjoyed the privileges juft men- 
tioned during the jagheilon line, as appears from 
the different acts of Sigifmond I. and his fon Si- 
gifmond Auguftus. During the reign of the for- 
mer, the nobles endeavoured to exclude the de- 
puties of Cracow from the diet ; but that monarch 
not only confirmed the right ojf that city to fend 
reprefentatives, but even decreed, that the citi- 
zens were included within the clafs of nobles. 

When the crown became wholly elective, the 
burghers fuffered continual encroachments on 
their privileges at every nomination of a new for 

* This Wiernefk was Co rich, that in 1363, when the emperor 
Charles IV. married, at Cracow, Elizabeth grand-daughter of Ca T 
fimir, he gave a moft ftuuptuous entertainment to his lovereign, to 
the emperor, kings of Hungary, Denmark, Cyprus, and other 
princes, who were prefent at the marriage : befide other magnifi 7 
£ent gifts which he beftowed upon the company, he prefented Ca- 
ll vv-ith a fum equal to the portion of the bride. Chromer, p. 324. 

E vercign ; 


vereign ; they loft the rights of poffefnng lands % 
excepting within a fmall diftance of their towns ; 
of fending deputies to the diets ; and were of 
courfe excluded from all ih are of the legislative 
authority. The principal caufe of this exclufion 
was, that as the burghers were not obliged, by 
the nature of their tenures, to march againft the 
enemy, but were only under the neceffity of fur- 
niihing arms and waggons for the ufe of the army, 
they incurred the contempt of the warlike gentry, 
who, in the true fpirit of feudal arrogance, consi- 
dered all occupations, but that of war, as beneath 
a freeman ; and all perfons, not bound to mili- 
tary ferviccs, as unqualified for the administration 
of public affairs. 

The burghers, however, ftill enjoy a coniider- 
able portion of freedom, and poffefs the follow- 
ing immunities : they elect their own burgomaf- 
ter and council ; they regulate their interior po- 
lice ; and have their own criminal courts of juf- 
tice, which decide without appeal. A burgher, 
when plaintiff againft a noble, is obliged to carry 
the caufe into the courts of juftice belonging to 
the nobles, where the judgment is final ; when 
defendant, he muft be cited before the magiftrates 
of his own town, from whence an appeal lies 
only to the king in the afTefTorial tribunal. To 
this exemption from the jurifdiction of the nobles, 
though only in one fpecies of caufes, the burghers 
owe whatever degree of independence they ftill 
retain ; as without this immunity they would long 
ago have been reduced to a ftate of vaffalage. 

4, The Peafants in Poland, as in all feudal go- 
vernments, are ferfs or flaves ; and the value of 
an eftate is not eftimated fo much from its extent, 
as from the number of its peafants, who are tranf- 
1 . ferred 


ferred from one matter to another, like fo many 
head of cattle. 

The peafants, however, are not all in an equal 
flate of fubjeclion : they are diftinguifhed into 
two forts; 1. German ; 2. Natives. 

1. During the reign of Boleflaus the Chafte, 
and more particularly in that of Cafimir the Great, 
many Germans fettled in Poland, who were in- 
dulged in the ufe of the German laws ; and their 
defcendants frill continue to enjoy feveral privi- 
leges not pofTefTed by the generality of Polifh pea- 
fants. The good effects, of tliefe privileges are 
very vifible in the general flate of their domeftic 
ceconomj*; their villages are better built, and their 
fields better cultivated, than thofe which belong 
to the native Poles ; they pofTefs more cattle, pay 
their quit-rents to their lords with greater exact- 
nefs ; and, when compared with the others, are 
cleaner and neater in their perfons. 

2. The flavery of the Polifh peafants is very 
ancient, and was always extremely rigorous. Un- 
til the time of Cafimir the Great, the lord could 
put his peafant to death with impunity; and, 
when the latter had no children, confidered him- 
felf as the heir, and feized all his effects. In 1347, 
Cafimir prefcribed a fine for the murder of a pea- 
fant ; and enacted, that, in cafe of his deceafe 
without iffue, his next heir fhould inherit. The 
fame fovereign alfo decreed, that a peafant was 
capable of bearing arms as a foldier ; and that 
therefore he ought to be confidered as a freeman. 
But thefe and other regulations, by which that 
amiable monarch endeavoured to alleviate the 
miferies of the vafials, have proved ineffectual 
againfl the power and tyranny of the nobles, and 
have been either abrogated or eluded. That law, 
which gives the property of a peafant dying with- 

E 2 out 


put iffue to the next of kin, was inftantly ren- 
dered nugatory by an old Polifh maxim, " That 
no flave can carry on any procefs againfl his maf- 
ter ;" and even the fine for his murder was fel- 
dom levied, on account of the numerous difficul- 
ties which attended the conviction of a noble for 
this or any other enormity. So far, indeed, from 
being inclined to foften the fervitude of their val- 
vals, the nobles have afcertained and eftablifhed 
it by repeated and politive ordinances. An able 
Polifh writer, in a benevolent treatife # addreffed 
to the chancellor Zamoitki, obferves, that in the 
ftatutes of Poland there are above an hundred 
laws unfavourable to the peafants, which, among 
other grievances, erect fummary tribunals fubject 
to no appeals, and impofe the feverefr penalties 
upon thofe who quit their villages without leave. 
From thefe numerous and rigorous edicts to pre- 
vent the elopement of the peafants, the fame hu- 
mane author juflly infers the extreme wretched- 
nefs of this oppreffed clafs of men, who cannot be 
detained in the place of their nativity but by the 
terror of the fevereft punifhment. 

The native peafants may be divided into two 
forts : i . Peafants of the crown ; 2. Peafants be- 
longing to individuals. 

1 . Peafants of the crown are thofe who are fet- 
tled in the great fiefs of the kingdom,, or in the 
royal demefhes ; and are under the jurifdiction of 
the ftarofts. If the crown-peafants are oppreffed 
by thefe judges, they may lodge a complaint in 
the royal courts of jultice ; and, fhould the ftaroffc 
endeavour to obftruct the procefs, the king can 
order the chancellor to iffue a fafe conduct, by 
which he takes the injured perfon under his pro- 

:; Patriotic Letters. 

tection ; 


tection : and although in moft cafes the corrupt 
administration of justice, and the fuperior influ- 
ence of the StaroSts, prevent a complainant from 
obtaining any effectual redrefs even in the king's 
Courts, yet, the very poffibility of procuring re- 
lief is fome check to injustice^ and fome allevia- 
tion of diStrefs. 

2. Peafants belonging to individuals are at the 
abfolute difpofal of their mailer, and have fcarcely 
any politive fecurity, either for. their properties or 
their lives. Until 1768 the Statutes of Poland 
only exacted a fine from a lord who killed his 
Slave ; but in that year a decree paSTed, by which 
the murder of a peafant was a capital crime ; yet, 
as the law in question requires fuch an accumula- 
tion of evidence * as is feldom to be obtained, it 
has more the appearance of protection than the 

ie How deplorable (exclaims the philanthropic 
Mr. Coxc, from whom we now tranfcribe) mult 
be the Slate of that country, where a law of fuch 
a nature was thought requisite to be enacted, yet 
is found incapable of being enforced !" The ge- 
nerality, indeed, of the Polifh nobles are not in- 
clined either to eftablifh or give efficacy to any 
regulations in favour of the peafants, whom they 
fcarcely confider as entitled to the common rights 
of humanity. A few nobles, however, of bene- 
volent hearts and enlightened understandings, 
have acted upon different principles ; and have 
ventured upon the expedient of giving liberty to 
their vaffals. The event has Shewn this project: 
to be no lefs judicious than humane ; no lefs 

* The murderer muft be taken in the fa£t ; which mud be pro- 
ved by two gentlemen or four peafants ; and if he is not taken in 
the la£t, and there are not the above-mentioned number of wit- 
netfes, he only pays a fine. 

E 3 friendly 

54 History of Poland 

friendly to their own interefls than to the happf-* 
nefs of their peafants : for it appears that in the 
diftricTs in which' the new arrangement has been 
introduced, the population of their villages is 
confiderably increafed, and the revenues of their 
eftates augmented in a triple proportion. 

The firft noble who granted freedom to his pea- 
fartts was Zamoifki, formerly great chancellor, 
who in 1760 enfranchifed fix villages in the pala- 
tinate of Mafovia. On infpecling the parifh-re- 
gifters of births from 1750 to 1760, that is, du- 
ring the ten years of llavery immediately preceding 
their enfranchifement, the number of births was 
found to be 414; in the firft. ten years of their 
freedom, from 1760 to 1770, 620; and from 
1770 to the beginning of 1777, 585 births. 

By thefe extracts it appears, that during the 

Firft period there were only 43 births "] ■, 

Second period 62 i- 

rro. • t 1 • 1 i year. 

Imrd period - "77 J 

If we fuppofe an improvement of this fort to take 
place throughout the kingdom, how great would 
be the increafc of national population ! 

The revenues of the fix villages, fince their 
enfranchifement, have been augmented in a much 
greater proportion than their population. In their 
ftate of vaffalage Zamoifki was obliged, accord- 
ing to the cuftom of Poland, to build cottages 
and barns for his peafants ; and to furnifh them 
with feed, hories, ploughs, and every implement 
of agriculture : lince their attainment of liberty 
they are become fo eafy in their circumltances, as 
to provide themfelves with all thefe necefTaries at 
their own cxpence ; and they likewife cheerfully 
pay an annual rent, in lieu of the manual labour 
which their mailer formerly exacted from them. 



By thefe means the receipts of this particular eftate 
have been nearly tripled. 

Upon iigning the deed of enfranchifement of 
the fix villages, their benevolent mafter intimated 
fome apprehenfions to the inhabitants, left, en- 
couraged by their freedom, they fhould fall into 
every fpecies of licentioufnefs, and commit more 
diforders than when they were Haves. The Hm- 
plicity and good fenfe of their anfwer is remarka- 
ble ; u When we had no other property," returned 
they, i( than the ftick which we hold in our 
hands, we were deftitute of all encouragement to 
a right conduct; and, having nothing to lofe, 
acted on all occalions in an inconii derate manner ; 
but now that our houfes, our lands, and our 
cattle, are our own, the fear of forfeiting them 
will be a conftant reltraint upon our actions." 
The lincerity of this affertion was manifeited 
by the event. While they were in a ftate of 
fervitude, Zamoifki was occafionally obliged to 
pay fines for diforders committed by his pea- 
sants, who, in a Hate of drunkennefs, would at- 
tack, and fometimes kill paffengers : fince their 
freedom he has feldom received any complaints 
of this fort againft them. Thefe circumflances 
deciiively confute the ill-grounded furmifes enter- 
tained by many Poles, that their vafTals are too 
licentious and ungovernable not to make an ill 
life of freedom. Zamoifki, pleafed with the thri- 
ving Hate of the fix villages, has enfranchifed the 
peafants on all his eftates. 

The example of Zamoifki has been followed by 
Chreptowitz, vice-chancellor of Lithuania, and 
the abbe Bryzotowfki, with fimilar fuccefs. The 
peafants, penetrated with a fenfe of their mailer's 
kindnefs, have erected, at their own expence, a 

E 4 pillar 


pillar, with an infcription expreffive of their gTa^ 
titude and affeclion. 

Prince Staniflaus, nephew to the king of Po- 
land, has warmly patronized the plan of giving li- 
berty to thepeafants. His own good fenfe and natu- 
ral humanity, improved during his refldence in 
England by a view of that equal liberty which per- 
vades every rank of men, have raifed him above 
the prejudices too prevalent among his country- 
men : he has enfranchifed four villages not far 
from Warfaw, in which he has not only emanci- 
pated the peafants from their ilavery, but even 
condefcends to direct their affairs. He vifits their 
cottages ; fuggefts improvements in agriculture ; 
initrucls them in the mode of rearing cattle and 
bees ; and points out the errors into which igno-- 
ranee and incapacity occafionally betray them. 

Still, however, the condition of thefe peafants 
is not permanent ; for though a lord grants their 
freedom, yet he cannot entail it upon them, as his 
fucceffor may again reduce them to their original 
it ate of varTalage. 

5. In giving an account of the different clafTes of 
men who inhabit this country, the Jews form too 
coniiderable a part of its prefent inhabitants not to 
be particularly mentioned. This people date their 
introduction into Poland about the time of Cali- 
mir the Great ; and as they enjoy privileges which 
they fcarcely pofTefs in any other country except- 
ing England and Holland, their numbers have 
iurprizingly increafed. Lengnich fays of them, 
that they " monopolize * the commerce and 
trade of the country ; keep the inns and taverns ; 
are flewards to the nobility ; and feem to have ib 

* Pac. Con. Aug. III. p. 128. 



much influence, that nothing can be bought or 
fold without the intervention of a Jew." Under 
John Sobiefki they were fo highly favoured, that 
his adminiitration was invidiouily called a Jewifh. 
junto : he farmed to the Jews the royal demefnes; 
and put iuch confidence in them as raifed great 
difcontents among the nobility. After his death, 
an ancient law of Sigifmond I. was revived, and 
inferred in the Pafta Conventa of Auguffcus II. that 
no Jew or perfon of low birth fhould be capable 
of farming the royal revenues. 

In fome towns, as at Caiimir, Pofen, &c. the 
Jews are permitted to fettle, though in other places 
they are only allowed to relide during the time of 
fairs, or when the dietines are aiTembled ; "but the 
laws are feldom put in force againfl them. Ac- 
cording to thelafl capitation * there were 166,871 
Jews in Poland, exclufive of Lithuania, who paid 
the tax : but this cannot be their full complement, 
as it is their interelt to diminifh their number ; and 
it is a well-known fact, that they conceal their chil^ 
dren as much as poffible. - Perhaps the following 
calculations will aififl us in this refearch. Of 
2,580,796 inhabitants in Auflrian Poland, 144,200, 
or about an eighteenth, were Jews. The eigh- 
teenth of the prefent population of Poland will 
give near 500,000 : allowing, therefore, for omif- 
flons in the capitation, as well as for thofe who 
migrated into Poland from the Ruffian difmem- 
bered provinces, the number of Jews may fairly 
be eftimated at 600,000. 

It is not unworthy of obfervation, that while 
the feudal laws, formerly fo univerfal, and of 
which fome traces are 11111 to be difcovered in 
moil countries, have been gradually abolifhed in 

* AH Jews, as well male as female, pay an annual poll-tax. 



other nations, and given place to a more regular 
and juit adminiftration ; yet in Poland a variety 
of circumflances has concurred to prevent their 
abolition, and to preferve that mixture of liberty 
and oppreffion, order and anarchy, which fo 
ftrongfy characterized the feudal government. We 
may ealily trace, in this conft itution all the flriking 
features of that fyftem. The principal are, an 
elective monarchy with a circumfcribed power ; 
the great officers of Hate poffeffing their charges 
for life, and independent of the king's authority: 
royal tiefs ; the great nobility above controul ; the 
nobles or gentry alone free and poffeffing lands ; 
feudal tenures, military fervices, territorial jurif- 
diction ; commerce degrading ; opprefTed condi- 
tion of the burghers ; vaffalage of the peafants. 
Thefe evils, which are ilill exifting in Poland, 
may be confidcred as the radical caufes of its de- 
cline ; for they have prevented the Poles from 
adopting thofc more ftable regulations, which 
tend to introduce order and good government, to 
augment commerce, and to increafe population. 



Poland has been called both a kingdom and a 
republic ; but differs little in reality from an arif- 
tocracy. It is, however, ltiled a republic by the 
Poles themfclves in all their public acts of ftate. 
The fupreme legislative power is lodged in the 
three eitates of the realm, viz. 1. The King; 2. 
The Senate ; and, 3 . The Nobles or Gentry, repre- 
fentatives of the equeftrian order, convened in a 
national diet. The executive power, which was 



heretofore entrufled to the king and fenate, is 
now, according to the new form of government, 
veiled in the mpreme permanent council, compo- 
fed of the king, and a certain number of mem- 
bers, elected every two years in the diet, by the 
majority of voices: 

The general diet of Poland enjoys, as before 
obferved, the fnpreme authority : it declares war, 
makes peace, levies foldiers, enters into alliances, 
impofes taxes, enacls laws ; in a word, it exer- 
cifes all the rights of abfolute fovereignty. - 

Some hiftorians place the earliefl diet in the 
reign of Calimir the Great j but it is very uncer- . 
tain whether it was firll convened in his time ; 
and ftill more doubtful of what members it con- 
firmed. Thus much, however, is unquestionable, 
that it was not until the reign of Calimir III. that 
this national aflembly was modelled into its pre- 
fent form. 

The place of holding the diets depended for- 
merly upon the will of the kings ; and Louis even 
iummoned two in Hungary. In thofe early times 
Petricau was the town in which they were moll 
frequently affembled ; but in 1569, at the union 
of Poland and Lithuania, Warlaw was appointed 
the place of meeting; and in 1673, it was enacted, 
that of three fuccefiive diets, two mould be held 
in this capital, and one at Grodno in Lithuania. 
This regulation has been generally followed, un- 
til the reign of his prefent Majelty, wherein the af- 
femblies have been uniformly fummoned to War- 

Diets are ordinary and extraordinary ; the for- 
mer are convened every two years, the latter as 
occalion requires. In 17 17 the ufual feafon for 
the meeting of the ordinary diets was fixed for 
Michaelmas ; but during the prefent reign it has 



been occafionally changed to the month of Octo- 
ber or November. 

The king, with the advice of the permanent 
council, convokes the diet, by means of circular 
letters iilued to all the Palatines in their refpec- 
live provinces, at leaft fix weeks before the time 
appointed for its meeting : thefe letters are ac- 
companied with a thort fketch of the buiinefs to 
be agitated in the diet. 

The conftituent parts of the diet are the three 
eftates of the realm, namely^ 
The king, 
The fenate, and 

The nobles or gentry, by their nuntios or re-^ 

I. The king, conlidered in his capacity as pre- 
sident, is only, as it were, the chief of the diet : 
he fubfcribes all acts ; figns all decrees agreed 
to by tne affembly ; iffiies out all ordinances in 
his own name and that of the republic, without 
enjoying the right of a negative in any of thofe 
particulars. He has no vote, excepting upon an 
equality of fufrrages ; but is at liberty to deliver 
his fentiments upon all queftions. His prefent 
majefty is efteemed one of the moil eloquent 
among the Polifh orators ; he has an agreeable 
tone of voice, and is much fkilled in fuiting and 
varying his cadence to the fubjecls of his difcourfe : 
he harangues with great energy of ityle and dig- 
nity of manner ; and his fpeeches always make a 
confiderablc impreffion upon the members of the 
diet. When he is difpofed to fpeak, he rifes from 
his feat, advances a few fteps, and cries out, " I 
fr.mmon the mini tiers of ftate to the throne." 
Then the great officers of the crown, who are fit- 
ting at the lower end of the fenate-houfe, come 
forward and ftand near the king. t The four great 



inarfhals flrike the ground at the fame time with 
their flaffs of office ; and the firft in rank fays, 
*' The king is going to fpeak ;" after which his 
majcfty begins. 

II. The fecond eftate, or the fenate, is compo- 
fed of fpiritual and temporal fenators. 

i . The bifhops, or fenators fpiritual, have the pre- 
cedence over the temporal fenators. The archbi- 
fhop of Gnefna is primate and chief of the fenate, 
and viceroy in cafe of an interregnum. 

2. The temporals are Palatines, Caftellans, and 
the great officers of ftate. The palatines are the 
governors of the provinces, who hold their offices 
for life. In time of war, when the army of the 
republic is fummoned, the palatines levy and lead 
the force of their palatinates into the field, ac- 
cording to the tenure of feudal fervices ; in time 
of peace, they convoke the affemblies of the pa- 
latinates, preflde in the county courts of juftice, 
and judge the Jews within their refpeclive jurif- 
diclions, &c. The caftellans are divided into 
grand and petty caftellans : their office, in time 
of peace, is merely nominal ; but when the mili- 
tary or feudal fervices are required, they are the 
lieutenants of the palatines, under whom they 
command the troops of the feveral diftricls in the 

The miniflers of flate, who fit in the fenate, are 
fixteen in number; namely, the two great marfhals 
of Poland and Lithuania, the two fub-marfhals, the 
two great chancellors, the two vice-chancellors, 
the two great generals, the two lcfler generals, the 
two great trcafurers, and the two fub-treafurers. 

AH the fenators were formerly appointed by the 
king ; but by the late change of government, his 
majefty's choice is reflricled to one of three can- 
didates prefented by the permanent council. The 



fenators, once nominated, cannot be deprived of 
their charges, except by the diet. 

III. The third eftate is formed by thenuntios or 
reprcfentatives of the equetirian order. Thefe re- 
prefentatives are chofen in the dietines or afTem- 
"blies of each palatinate, in which every noble or 
gentleman, at the age of eighteen, has a vote, or 
is capable of being elected. There is no qualifi- 
cation in point of property required, either for the 
electors or elected ; it is only necefTary that the 
nuntio mould be a noble ; that is, a perfon not 
engaged in trade or commerce, poffeiling land 
himfelf, or the fon of a perfon pofTeffing land, or 
of an ancient family which formerly porTeiled 
land. Each nuntio rauft be twenty-three years of 

The general proceedings of the diet are as fol- 
low : The king, fenate, and nuntios, nrir meet 
all together in the cathedral of Warfaw, and hear 
mats and a iermon. After fervice, the members 
of the fenate, or upper houfe, repair to the fe- 
nate-houfe ; and the nuntios, or lower houfe, to 
their chamber, when the latter choofe, by a ma- 
jority of voices, a marfhal, or fpeaker of the 
equeftrian order : in order to preclude unnecef- 
fary delays, the election is required to take place 
within three days after the meeting *. Two days 


* Formed v, it being ftipillatcd that the election of the marfhal 
mould take place as foon as poffible, in mod diets much -time, 
elapfed before a marfhal was chofen ; and as the fitting of the na- 
tional aflembly was confined to fix weeks, it fometiines happened 
that the nuntios could never agree in the choice ; and feveral diets 
broke up without tranfacling any bufinefs, Connor, who vifited 
Poland in John Sobiefki's. reign, fays upon this head, ** He that de- 
figns to be elected marfhal, muft treat the gentry all the while, 
©therwife he would have no vote for him ; and commonly they 
prolong the election, that they may live the longer at the candi- 
date's charges." V. ii. p. 92. 

In order to remedy this inconvenience, it was enacted in 1690, 
that the marfhal muft be chofen on the firft day of the meeting ; but 



after the choice of their fpeaker, the king, fenate, 
and nuntios, aflemble in the fenate-houfe, which 
is called the junction of the two houfes. The 
nuntios then kifs the king's hand ; and the nyjm- 
bers of the diet take their places in the following 
order : 

The king is feated, in regal ftate, upon a railed 
throne, under a canopy at the upper end of the 
apartment. At the lower end, oppofite the throne, 
lit in armed chairs the minifters of ilate. The 
bifhops, palatines, and caftellans, are ranged in 
three rows of armed chairs, extending from the 
throne on each iide ; and behind thefe are placed 
the nuntios upon benches covered with red cloth. 
The fenators have the privilege of wearing their 
caps, but the nuntios remain uncovered. 

All the members being feated, the PaEla Con- 
venta are read * ; when the fpeaker of the equef- 


in 1768, the time allowed for the election was extended to three 

* Louis king of Hungary, who fucceeded to the Crown of Po- 
land 1370, being a foreigner, was obliged, in order to infure the 
pofleffion of the throne, to fubfcribe certain conditions, which in- 
fringed the power of the fovereign, and gave frefh vigour to that 
of the barons and inferior nobles. The principal concefhons made 
by Louis were, not to impofe any additional taxes by his mere re- 
gal authority without the confent of the nation ; and that in cafe 
of his demife without male heirs, the privilege of appointing a io- 
vereign mould revert to the nobles at large. In confequence of 
this agreement, Louis was allowed to afcend the throne with- 
out oppofition ; and having no fons, he, with a view of infilling 
the uicceiTion to his fon-in-law the emperor Sigifmond, mar- 
ried to liis eldeft daughter Maria, promifed, in addition to all 
the former grants, to diminifh the taxes, to repair the furtreflTes 
at his own expence, and to confer no dignities or offices upon 
foreign^. At the demife of Sigifmond Auguftus, in 1572, 
when all title to the crown from hereditary right was for- 
mally abrogated, and the mod abfolute freedom of election efhi- 
blifhed upon the mo(t permanent bans, a charter of immunities 
was drawn up at a general diet, a ratification of which it was deter*- 
mined to exact from the new fovereign, prior to his election. The 
ground-work of this charter, termed in the Polifh law Pafla Con- 
venta t was the whole body of privileges obtained from Louis and 



trian order, as well as each nuntio, is empowered 
to interrupt the perufal by remon fixating againir. 
the infringement of any particular article, and de- 
manding at the fame time a redrefs of grievances. 

i . 

Then the great chancellor propofes, in the king's 

name, the queftions to be taken into considera- 
tion.; after which, his majefty nominates three 
fenators, and the fpeaker fix nuntios, to prepare 
the bills. The diet, alfo, by majority of voices, 
chufes a committee to examine the accounts of 
the treafurv. 

Thefe preliminary tranfactions ought to be dif- 
patched in the fpace of three weeks ; at which period 
fhe two houfes feparate : the nuntios retire into 
their own chamber, and all the bills undergo a 
feparate cKfcuffion in both houfes. Thofe much 
relate to the treafurv, are approved or rejected by 
the ientiments of the majority. But in all ftate- 
jftatters * of the higher! importance no refolution 
of the diet is^ mil id, unlcfs ratified by the unanlr 
snous aifent of every nuntio ; each of whom is 

liis fuccefTbrs, with the following additions: i. That the king 
fhould be elective, and that his fucceffbr fhould never be appointed 
during his life ; 2. That the diets, the holding of which depended 
folely upon the will of the kings, fhould be aflembled every two 
years; 3. That every noble or gentleman in the whole realm 
Should have a vote in the diet of election ; 4. That, in cafe the 
king fhouid infringe the laws and privileges of the nation, his fub- 
jecrs fhould be abi'olved from their oaths of allegiance. From this 
period the Pacta Conventa, occafion;»lly enlarged, have been con- 
firmed by every fovereign at his coronation. 

* Matters of (late are thus defined by the confutation of 1768. 
p. Inereafe or alteration of the taxes; 2. Augmentation of the 
army ; 3. Treaties of alliance and peace with the neighbouring 
pov,crs( 4. Declaration of war; 5. Naturalization and creation 
of nobility; 6. Reduction of the coin ; 7. Augmentation or dimi- 
nution in the charges oRthe tribunals, or in the authority of the 
minillers of peace and war; S. Creation of places; 9. Order of 
folding the diets or dictines ; ro. Alterations in the tribunals; 
m. Augmentation of the prerogatives of the fenatus-confttlta; 12. 
>'ermilh.in to the king to purchafe lands for his fuccefrors ; 13. 
', or fummoning the nobles to arms. In all thefj? cafes 
is requilite. 



able to fufpend all proceedings by his exertion of 
the Liber um Veto. 

The diet mull not fit longer than fix weeks : 
on the nrft day, therefore, of the fixth week the 
fenate and nuntios meet again in the fenate-houfe. 
The irate-bills (provided they are unanimoully 
agreed to by the nuitios, an event which ieldom 
happens in a free diet) are pafTed into laws ; but 
if that unanimity be wanting to them, they fland 
rejected ; and the burl nets relating to the treafury, 
which has been carried by a majority, is read and 

At the concluiion of the fixth week the laws, 
which have pafTed, are iigned by the lpeaker and 
nuntios ; and the diet is of courfe diffolved. 

The extraordinary diets are fubjecl: to the fame 
regulations as the ordinary diets, with this differ- 
ence, that they cannot, by the conftitutions of 
3768, continue longer than a fortnight. The 
fame day in which the two houfes affemble in the 
fenate-houfe, the queflions are to be laid before 
them ; and the nuntios return immediately to 
their own chamber. On the thirteenth day from 
their flrfl meeting, the two houfes are again uni- 
ted ; and on the fifteenth day, after the laws have 
been read and ligned, the diet breaks up as 

The moil extraordinary characleriftic in the 
conilitution of Poland, and which feems peculiarly 
to diftinguifh this government from all others 
both in ancient and modern times, is the Liberum 
Veto, or the power which each nuntio enjoys in a 
free diet*, not only like the tribunes of ancient 
Rome, of putting a negative upon any law, but 

* A free diet, in which unanimity is requifite, is diftinguiflied 
from a diet of confederacy, in which all buiineis is carried by the 

F even 

65 ttlSTO&Y OP fOLANDf. 

even of diflblving the aflembly. That every mem* 
ber of a numerous fociety fhould be inverted with 
fuch a dangerous privilege, in the midfl of the 
moft important national tranfactions, is a circum- 1 - 
fiance in itfelf fo incredible, as to deferve a mi- 
nute inquiry into the caufes which introduced a 
cuflom fo pregnant with anarchy, and fo detri- 
mental to public welfare. 

The privilege in queflion is not to be found in 
any period of the Polim hiflory antecedent to 
the reign of John Calimir. It was under his ad- 
miniflration, that in the year 1652, when the diet 
of Warfaw was debating upon tranfactions of the 
utmoft importance, which required a fpeedy de- 
termination, that Sicinlki, nuntio of Upita in Li- 
thuania, cried out, " I flop the proceedings*." 
Having uttered thefe words, he quitted the aflem- 
bly, and, repairing immediately to the chancellor, 
protected, that as many acts had been propofed 
and carried contrary to the conftitution of the re- 
public, if the diet continued to lit, he fhould con- 
Jider it as an infringement of the laws. The mem- 
bers were thunderftruck .at a protefl of this na- 
ture, hitherto unknown. Warm debates took 
place about the propriety of continuing or diflbl- 
ving the diet : at length, however, the venal and 
difcontented faction, who fupported the protefl, 
obtained the majority ; and the aflembly broke up 
In great confufion. 

This tranfaction changed entirely the conftitu- 
tion of Poland, and gave an unlimited fcope to 
mifrule and faction. The caufes (fays Mr. Coxe) 
which induced the Poles to acquiefce in eflablifh- 
ing the Li ber urn Veto, thus carnally introduced, 
were probably the following : 

* Leng. Jus Pub. v, ii. p. 215. 

I. It 


i. It was the intereft of the great officers of 
ft ate, particularly the great general, the great 
ireafurer, and great marihal, in whofe hands were 
veiled the adminiftration of the army, the finances, 
and the police, to abridge the fitting of the diet. 
Thefe great officers of ff ate, being once nominated 
by the king, enjoyed their appointments for life, 
totally independent of his authority, and liable to 
no controul during the intervals of the diets, to 
which alone they were refponflble. This powerful 
body accordingly ftrongly efpoufed the Liberum 
Veto ; confcious that they could eafily, and at all 
times, fecure a nuntio to proteft ; and by that 
means elude all inquiry into their adminiftration. 
2. By a fundamental law of the republic, nobles 
accufed of certain capital crimes could only be 
brought to trial before the diet ; and as, at the pe- 
riod juft mentioned, many perfons flood under 
that defcription, all thefe and their adherents na- 
turally favoured an expedient tending to diffolve 
the only tribunal by which they could be con- 
victed and punifhed. 3, The exigencies of the 
ftate, occalloned by the continual wars in which 
Poland had been engaged, demanded, at this par- 
ticular crifis, an impofition of feveral heavy taxes : 
and as the fole power of levying all pecuniary aids 
refided in the diet ; all the nuntios, who oppofed 
the railing of additional fubiidies, feconded the 
propofal for fhortening the duration of that af- 
fembly. 4. But the principal reafon, which car- 
ried through, and afterwards fupported the power 
of diflblving diets, is to be derived from the influ- 
ence of fome of the great neighbouring powers, in- 
terefted to foment anarchy and confufion in the 
Polifh counfels. Before this period, if they wifhed 
to form a cabal, and to carry any point in the na- 
tional affembly, they were obliged to fecure a 

F a majo- 


majority of votes : under the new arrangement 
they were able to attain their end on much eaiier 
terms ; and to put an end to any diet unfriendly to 
their views, by the corruption of a tingle mem- 

The bad effects of the Liberum Veto were foon 
felt by the nation to fuch an alarming degree, 
that all the members in the diet of 1670 bound 
themfelves by an oath not to exert it ; and even 
patTed a refolution that it Ihould be entirely void 
of effecT during the continuance of that meeting, 
Notwithftanding, however, thefe falutary precau- 
tions, one Zabokrzitki, nuntio from the palati- 
nate of Bratlau, interpoiing his negative, brought 
this very diet to a premature dhTolution. 

This Liberum Veto, indeed, has been always 
contidered by the moll intelligent Poles as one of 
the principal caufes which has contributed to the 
decline of their country. From the asra of its elta- 
blilhment public bulinefs has continually fuffered 
the moll fatal interruption ; it abruptly broke up 
feven diets in the reign of John Cafimir, four un- 
der Michael, feven under John Sobielki, and 
thirty during the reigns of the two Augufli ; fo 
that, within the fpace of 1 1 1 years, 48 diets have 
been precipitately diflblved by its operation ; du- 
ring which period Poland has continued almoft 
without laws, without jultice, and, excepting the 
reign of John Sobielki, with few fymptoms of 
military vigour. Yet fo ftrongly did the motives 
above difplayed attach the Poles to this pernicious 
privilege, that in the act of confederacy, framed 
in 1696, after the deceafe of John Sobielki, the 
Liberum Veto is called the dearefc and moll inva- 
luable palladium of Polifh liberty. 

The Poles, however, having fatally experi- 
enced the difordcrs ariling from the Liberum Veto > 
1 would 


would certainly have abolifhed it, if they had not 
been prevented by the partitioning powers ; and 
it flill exifts in its full force. It fhould be obfer- 
ved, that neither the king nor the fenate, but 
only the nuntios, enjoy the power of interpoiing 
this negative upon the proceedings of the diet. 

It will naturally occur to the reader to afk, if 
every reprefentative poffeffes the Liberum Veto, how 
can any tranfaction be carried on? or how is it poffi- 
ble that any one bill fhould pafs into a law ? for no 
motion can be conceived which is not liable to be 
oppofed by the intrigues of party, or the jealoufy 
of the neighbouring powers. In order, therefore, 
to avoid the anarchy attendant upon free diets 
through the operation of the Liberum. Veto, the 
Poles have lately had recourfe to diets by confe- 
deracy; which, though corapofed of the fame 
members, and held under the fame exterior forms 
as free diets, differ from them in the eiTential cir- 
cumftance of allowing bulinefs to be determined 
by the plurality of votes. Thefe diets have long 
been known to the conftitution, and have at times 
been ufed upon extraordinary emergencies ; but 
within thefe few years they have been regularly 
held at the itated times for fummoning ordinary 
diets. Indeed, according to the true principles of 
the Poliih government, no confederacy ought to 
be entered into, excepting upon the following 
occaiions : in defence of the king's perfon, upon 
any foreign invafion or domeftic confpiracy ; and 
during an interregnum at the diets of convocation 
and election *. But as no other means have been 
found to prevent perpetual anarchy, the nation is 

* It is decreed, however, by the code of 1768, that in every 
diet of convocation all ftate matters muft pafs unanimoufly. 

F 3 obliged 


obliged to fubmit to an infringement Of the con- 
ftitution, which operates for the general good *. 


The fpot, which is fettled by the conftitution 
for the place of election, is the plain of Vola, 
about three miles from the capital. In the midfi 
of this plain are two enclofures of ground, one for 
the fenate, and the other for the nuntios. The 
former is of an oblong fhape, furrounded by a 
kind of rampart or ditch ; in the midft of which 
is ere&ed, at the time of election, a temporary 
building of wood, called fzopa, covered at top 
and open at the tides. Near it is the other enclo- 
fure for the nuntios, of a circular fhape, from 
which it derives its name of kola or circle ; within 
this there is no building erected, the nuntios af- 
fembling in the open air. When the two cham- 
bers are joined, they meet within the kola, the fe- 
nators chairs and the benches for the nuntios be- 
ing ranged in the fame regular order as in the fe- 
nate-houfe at Warfaw, while the feat of the pri- 
mate is placed in the middle. 

But before we defcribe the election, it may be 
neceffary to give a fhort detail of the principal oc- 
currences which precede that ceremony. 

Upon the king's demife the interregnum com- 
mences : the regal authority is then veiled in the 
archbifhop of Gnefna, primate of Poland, as in- 
terrex or regent. He announces the death of the 
king by circular letters, convokes the dietines and 
diets of convocation ; and, in a word, performs 

* But as it is enabled by the diet of 1768, that all matters of 
ftate mufi: be carried unanimoufly in free diets, we mould prefume 
that the diets by confederacy only tranfact the common bufinefs, 
without making any new laws, or repealing old ftatutes. 



all the functions of royalty during the vacancy in 
the throne. 

The diet, which is firfl convened upon the fo- 
vereign's deceafe, is called the diet' of convoca- 
tion ; and is always held at Warfaw, previous to 
the diet of election, which afTembles in the plain 
ofVola. The fovereign authority refides in this 
affembly, in the fame manner as in thofe which 
are fummoned while the throne is filled. The 
primate prefides like the king, with this differ- 
ence, that he does not place himfelf upon the 
throne, but fits in an armed chair flationed in the 
middle of the fenate-houfe. The diet ilTues out 
acts or ordinances, arranges or changes the form 
of government, fettles the Pafta Convert ta, and ap- 
points the meeting of the diet of election. The 
interval between the death of the king and the no~ 
mination of his fucceflbr is uncertain ; its longer 
or morter duration depending upon the intrigues 
and cabals of the candidates, or the pleafure of 
thofe foreign powers, who give law to Poland. It 
is always a Hate of turbulence and licentioufnefs ; 
the kingdom is divided into parties and factions ; 
juftice is in a manner fufpended ; and the nobles 
commit every diforder with impunity. 

Unanimity being requilite in all matters of 
ftate*, it is eafy to conceive the delays and cabals, 
the influence and corruption, employed to gain 
the members in the diet of convocation. As foon 
as all the points are adjufted, whether the acts 
have parTed unanimously or otherwife, the mem- 

* This unanimity, in fact, does not exift ; for the ftrongeft fide 
forces the weaker to accede or to retire. Yet in the diet of 1768 
it was enacled, that in the diets of convocation ftate queftions 
could only be carried unanimoufly. Several diets of convocatioa 
have been frequently aflembled before all the affairs could be 
finally arranged. 

F 4 bers, 


bers, previous to their feparation, enter into a 
general confederacy to fupport and maintain the 
reiblutions of the diet. 

At the appointed day the diet of election is af- 
fembled, during which Warfaw and its environs 
is a fcene of confufion, and frequently of blood- 
tried. The chief nobility have large bodies of 
troops in their fervice, and repair to the diet at- 
tended by their numerous vaffals and a large reti- 
nue of domeftics ; while each petty baron, who 
can afford to maintain them, parades about with 
his retainers and ilaves. 

On the day on which the diet of election is 
opened, the primate, fenate, and nobility, repair 
to the cathedral of Warfaw, to hear mafs and a 
fermon ; from whence they proceed in due order 
to the plain of Vola. The fenators enter the 
fzopa, and the nuntios take their places within the 
kola ; while the other nobles are flationed in the 
plain. The fenate and the nuntios, after having 
palled their refpe6tive refolutions, as in the ordi- 
nary diets, afTemble together in the kola, when 
the primate, feated in the middle, lays before 
them the objecls to be taken into consideration ; 
the Paffa Conventa, fettled at the diet of convoca- 
tion, are read and approved, all neceffary ar- 
rangements made, and the day of election ap- 
pointed. The diet then gives audience to the fo- 
reign minifters, who are permitted by recom- 
mendation to interfere in the choice of a king, 
and to the advocates of the feveral candidates. All 
thefe affairs take up feveral days ; and would per- 
haps never be terminated, as unanimity is requi- 
site, if the affembly were not overawed by the fo- 
reign troops, who are always quartered near the 
plain of election. 



Upon the day appointed for the election, the 
fenate and nimtios alienable, as before, in the kola x 
while the nobles are ranged in the open field in 
feparate bodies, according to their feveral palati- 
nates, with flandards borne before them, and the 
principal officers of each diftrict on horfeback. 
The primate, having declared the names of the 
candidates, kneels down and chaunts a hymn ; 
after which the fenators and nuntios join the gen- 
try of their refpe£tive palatinates ; then the pri- 
mate, on horfeback, or in a carriage, goes round 
the plain to the different bodies of the gentry as 
they are Rationed according to their palatinates ; 
and, having collected their votes, proclaims the 
fuccefsful candidate. Each noble does not give 
his vote feparately, for that would be endlefs; 
but when the primate goes round, the colle6tive 
body of each palatinate name the perfon they 
efpoufe. At the concluflon of this ceremony the 
affembly breaks up. 

On the following day the fenate and nuntios 
return to the plain ; the fuccefsful candidate is 
again proclaimed, and a deputy difpatched to ac- 
quaint him of his election, as no candidate is al- 
lowed to be prefent. After the proclamation, the 
gentry retire ; and the diet,, having appointed the 
diet of coronation, is diffolved. 

All elections are contended : not indeed upon 
the fpot ; for the terror of a neighbouring army 
has, for fome time paft, forced the nobles to ap- 
pear unanimous. But the party who diffent, re- 
tiring from the plain, remonftrate ; and if they 
are lufhciently ftrong, a civil war enfues. In- 
deed the confuhon, diforder, and bloodfhed 
which formerly attended thefe popular elec- 
tions, would itill be renewed, if it were not 
ibr the interference of foreign troops : and thus 



the country draws fome advantage from an, 
evil, which is coniidered by the Poles as the di£ 
grace and fcandal of every election. 

Such are the outlines of this motley conftitution^ 
which was new-modelled with almofl every new 
king, according to the Paffa Convent a he is obli- 
ged to fign. There has been lately a total diflb- 
lution of all order in Poland, through the influ- 
ence of fome of the neighbouring • powers inte- 
refted to foment anarchy and confuflon in the Po- 
lifh councils ; and many of the firft nobility da 
not bluih to receive peniions from foreign courts. 
In this fketch, however, we can difcern the great 
outlines of a noble and free government. The 
precautions taken to limit the king's power, and 
yet invei! him with an ample prerogative, were 
worthy a wife people. The inflitution of the diet 
and dietines are favourable to public liberty, aa 
are many other praviftons in the republic : but it 
laboured, even in its beft irate, under incurable dif- 
orders. The exercife of the Veto, the tribunal ne- 
gative that is veiled in every nuntio, excluiive 
of the king and fenate, at a diet, muft always be 
deflructive of order and government. It is founded 
upon Gothic principles, and that unlimited jurif. 
diction which the great lords in former ages ufed 
to enjoy all over Europe. The want of fubordi- 
natipfi in the executive parts of the conftitution, 
and the rendering noblemen independent and un- 
accountable for their conduct, is a blemifh im- 
practicable to remove. After all, when we exa- 
mine the beft accounts of the prefent conftitution 
of Poland, and compare them with the ancient 
luftory of Great Britain, and other European 



kingdoms, we may perceive a wonderful fimilarity 
between what theie were formerly, and what Po- 
land is at prefent. This naturally leads us to in- 
fer, that the government of Poland cannot be 
otherwife improved than by the introduction of 
arts, manufactures, and commerce, which would 
render the common people independent on the 
riobility, and prevent the latter from having it in 
their power to annoy their fovereign, or to main- 
tain thofe unequal privileges which are fo hurtful 
{q tlje community. 







TO a great kingdom, like Poland, flruggling 
in a conteft with numerous and powerful 
oppreflbrs, if the policy of the Englifh. nation 
does not prefcribe, or its refources will not 
admit of, an armed affirlance, the humanity of 
individuals may lament its fate, and the liberal 
mind of the hiftorian do juftice to the bravery 
with which its people affert and defend their na- 
tural, national, and unalienable rights. 

Of the early hiftory of any country it is diffi- 
cult to acquire authentic information. We ge- 
nerally find it either enveloped in impervious 
obfcurity, or decorated with the infubflantial 
ornament of fable and invention. The affairs 
of this country therefore, during the early reigns, 
will be treated with a brevity which, it is pre- 
sumed, the reader will not regret, who coniiders 
that little intereft can arife in the mind from pe- 



ruling a detail of favage inroads, and little act- 
vantage be derived to fcience from the conduct of 
wars or negociations between barbarian monarchs* 
As we approach modern ages, however we mall 
endeavour to trace with an impartial hand the 
progrefs of events much more important, as hav- 
ing led in fome degree to the J)relent Hate of 

The fovereign princes of Poland are ufually 
considered under four clarTes ; that is to fay> 

I. Of the Houfe of Leszko. 

II. - - - of Pi ast. 

III. of Jagello, or 


IV. Of different families. 



The Vandals or Veneti were, undoubtedly, the 
ancient inhabitants of Poland, which was the 
Sarmatia Europaea "of the Romans. 

Before the lixth century, while the Poles were 
yet Sarmatians, they had no kings, but lived 
without government, in mountains and forefls, 
having no habitations but waggons ; always me- 
ditating fome new in valion ; though bad troops 
for foot fervice, yet excellent cavalry. It is fur- 
prifing, that a barbarous people, without a leader, 
and without, laws, fhould ftretch their empire 
from the Tanais to the Viftula, and from the 
Euxine Sea to the Baltic: boundaries prodigioufly 
drftant from each other, and which they enlarged 
ilill farther by the acquisition of Bohemia, Mo- 
ravia, Silciia, Lttfatia, Mifnia, Mecklenburg, Po- 



merania, and the marches of Brandenburg; and 
even the Romans, to whom to large a part of the 
world fubmitted, never penetrated into Sarmatia. 

This hiftorical paradox fhews what can be 
done by Strength of body, a habit of living hardly, 
a natural love of liberty, and a lavage inflinct, 
which fupplies the place of kings and laws. The 
Sarmatians were called robbers by civilized na- 
tions, who forgot that they themfelves had begun 
in the fame manner. 

About the year 550, Leek, or Lecht, formed a 
defign of civilizing the Sarmatians, though but 
a Sarmatian himfelf. He began by cutting down 
trees, and erecling himfelf a dwelling. Other 
huts were foon raifed round this model ; the na- 
tion, hitherto erratic, became fixed; and Gnefha, 
the firft city of Poland, took the place of a fo- 
reft. The Sarmatians feem fcarcely to have 
known what eagles were, fince we are told, that 
from their rinding feveral nefts of thefe birds in 
the trees which were cut down upon this occasion, 
the eagle came to be painted upon the Polifh 
Standards. Leek foon drew the eyes of his equals 
upon him, and by difplaying talents fit for go- 
vernment as well as action, he became their maf- 
ter, and with the powers of a monarch affumed 
the title of duke. 

Though the actual existence of this prince be 
pretty well afcertained, yet his demife leaves a 
chafm in history which imagination has fupplied; 
and if our Studies are not improved, if fcience 
gains no acquisition, our minds may derive a 
temporary amufement from the account which 
pride or fuperftition has fabricated, and tradi- 
tion piouSly tranfmitted from one age to another 
as the early political ftate of Poland. 



Leek is faid to have left the government to hii 
fon Wiffimir, who founded the city of Dantzic* 
No traces, however, can be found in hiftory of 
any actions that were performed by the pofterity 
of thefe two nrft -fovereigns of Poland, and it is 
a void which even fiction itfelf has never at- 
tempted to fill up. It only fuppofes, that the 
nation, after the extinction of the royal family, 
affembled for the election of new mailers, and 
that the nobility were on the point of proceeding 
to this choice, when the people, who had long 
been haraffed with the tyranny of their laft kings, 
demanded an abolition of the regal government, 
that they might no longer depend on the caprice 
of one man. 

The great lords, allured by the hopes of fhar- 
ing all the honours of dominion, were eafily 
induced to comply with the folicitations of the 
people ; in confequence of which they eft.ablifhed 
a republic, the adminiflration whereof was in- 
trulted withtwelve Palatines. Theuniteadypeople, 
however, were foon difTatisfied with this new plan 
of government ; an anarchy, its almoit. inevita- 
ble confequence, inspired them with averfion to 
their iiate of independence, and a number of 
enemies, who were always ready to derive ad- 
Vantages from the troubles of the ftate, and the 
conjunctures of thofe times, ravaged the pro- 
vinces with impunity, and made the nation pay 
very dear for the fatal liberty they had acquired. 

The eyes of the people were at lail opened 
to their real intercft* and they judged it would 
be molt advantageous to them to have but 
one m after. This consideration induced them to 
turn their thoughts to the election of a king, but 
a choice of this nature was attended with great 
difficulties. The ilate of their affairs required 



fome martial fpirit to repel the invasions of the 
neighbouring people, as well as to re-conquer 
the territories that had been wrefted from them 
by usurpations, and to re-eftablifh the honour of 
the nation. It was likewife neceffary that this 
hero mould temper an intrepidity of mind with 
the foftnefs of a prudent charity, in order to gain 
upon thofe difpolitions which had been rendered 
intractable by a long ftate of independence ; and 
it was alfo thought requiiite, that the virtue of 
this future prince mould afford them a fufflcient 
fecurity for his proper ufe of that fupreme power 
with which they had an inclination to entruft 

Thefe qualities are feldom united in one man ; 
the Poles however found one of their countrymen 
who pofTefTed them in an equal degree. Grack, 
(or, as he is called by fome writers, Cracus,) was 
the name of this virtuous perfon, who brought 
the calamities of Poland to a happy period. As 
he was always victorious in the wars he under- 
took, and as he likewife guided the reins of go- 
vernment with a confummate prudence, he at the 
fame time rendered himfelf dear to his people 
and formidable to his enemies. He built the city 
of Cracow on the WeirTel, and Bohemia fub- 
mitted to the laws of fo accomplifhed a prince*, 

Leck. II. became his fuccetfor, in confe- 
quence of a crime, for he fecretly deftroyed 
Grack, his elder brother, and afcended his fa- 
ther's throne, as well by the choice of the nobi- 
lity, as by virtue of the right he claimed to the 
fucceffion. All his fubjects fubmitted to his au- 
thority while his crime was undifcovered ; but as 

* His reign is thought to be coincident with the beginning of 
the 7th century. 

G foon 


foon as it was detected, the lords would no longer 
fnfTer the afTaflin of his own brother to lit upon 
the throne he had ufurped, and to grafp the reins 
of government with thofe hands that were pol- 
luted with the blood of their Jawful prince. He 
was chafed from the kingdom in a degrading man- 
ner, and, according to fome authors, died with- 
out leaving any children. 

After the death of the two fons of Grack, the 
Poles were delirous of fubmitting to the govern- 
ment of his daughter Vanda, a very amiable 
princefs, graced with the accomplifhments of elo- 
quence, wifdom, and courage, to a degree un- 
common in her fex. She reigned with glory, and 
amidfl the tranquillity of a profound peace, when 
a German prince Ritiger is faid to have fent am- 
bafTadors to her to treat of a marriage, and to 
denounce war againft her dominions if the Should 
reject his offers, Vanda, according to fome his- 
torians, had rendered herfelf incapable of the 
nuptial ftate, by a vow of virginity which She 
had made to the gods of her country. She, 
therefore, prepared for war, affembled her troops, 
animated them by her pretence and diScourSe; 
broke the mcafures of her enemy, oppofed his 
incurfions, and conftrained him, at laft, to come 
to a conference. Her beauty and her eloquence 
enchanted the hoftile troops ; the commanders re- 
futed to combat againft fo amiable a princefs; 
the fojdiers quitted their ranks, the moil favage 
among them were difarmed of their rage, their 
chief himSelf was forfaken by all his troops, and, 
yielding to the impreflions of confufion and def- 
pair, plunged his Sword into his own breaft as a 
punifhment for his temerity. 

The princefs was eatily induced to pardon the 
foes Ihe had thus vanquished, and, Satisfied with 



' fecuring the repofe of her fubjects, the repaired to 
Cracow, to receive their applaufe in that city, 
where they decreed her the honour of a triumph. 
Vanda, however, became an enthuiiaft. after this 
great event; the coniidered it as an evidence of 
the favour of her tutelar gods, and imagined if 
was incumbent on her to terrify her gratitude by 
a ftrange facrifice, in which the herfelf was* the 
victim. She threw herfelf into the WeilTel. 

The Poles, a fecond time deftitute of a mailer, 
had again an inclination to enjoy the fweets of 
independency. Though liberty had already prov- 
ed fo fatal to them, they were allured by the 
pleafures they propofed to enjoy by changing 
their ftate, and they refumed the republican form 
of government. Poland was then divided into 
twelve Palatinates, the administration of which 
was committed to the fame number of lords, who 
were chofen to difpenfe jultice to the people, and 
to defend them againrl the enemies of their 

This new change was productive of new cala- 
mities, and the Polilh arms were not very, pros- 
perous under the conduct of the Palatines. The 
republic was deftitute of force and troops, and 
feemed in danger of being overwhelmed by the 
enemies that furrounded it. One man alone had 
the addrefs and courage to rectify thefe diforders 
and to raife the Hate to its ancient glory. Pre- 
mislaus, or Leszko I. a private foldier, 
but whom an intrepidity of mind, aided by 
long experience, had exalted above his natural 
condition, was the deliverer of his country. This 
brave man bavins: obferved, that the Hungarians, 
who imagined they had nothing more to con ■ 
quer, kept but a very flender guard in their camp, 
drew together fome of his friends, reprefented 

G 2 their 


their calamities to them in a lively manner, 
acquainting them, at the fame time, with the fe- 
curity into which their enemies were funk, and the, 
facility of gaining a complete victory over them; 
and he engaged them to be his companions in an 
entcrprize that was rendered happy by a laudable 
temerity. He divided his troop into feveral fmall 
bodies, after which he chofe a dark night for the 
execution of his delign ; and the horrors of the 
gloom being intermixed with the confufion ufu- 
ally created by furprifes of this nature, the ene- 
mies were feized with confirmation, and multi- 
tudes perifhed by the valour of the afTailants. 
All his attacks fucceeded to his wifh ; he broke 
into their camp from feveral quarters, and the 
whole was a fcene of flight and flaughter. A 
rich booty was the flrft reward of this heroic ac- 
tion ; Premiflaus was afterwards crowned, and 
the people were content to own their deliverer for 
their maftcr. 

The valour alone of Premiflaus had advanced 
him to the throne ; but fortune prepared him a 
fucceffor. This prince dying without iffue, fe- 
veral lords afpired to the fupreme power, and, in 
confequence of their cabals, different parties were 
formed, whofe mutual animofities threatened the 
nation with a civil war. The Poles, in order to 
prevent this calamity, affembled together, and 
unanimoufly agreed to acknowledge him for their 
prince, who mould furpafs all his competitors in 
the fwiftnefs of his horfes. They fixed on this 
expedient as the mofl effectual for the prevention 
of fraud; notwithfranding which, a Polifh lord, 
named Lefzeck, entertained hopes of rendering 
his ambition fuccefsful by the aid of art. With 
this view he caufed feveral iron fpikes to be pri- 
vately fcattered over the field where the race was 



to be performed, and only referved a clear path 
for himfelf, which he had made diftinguifhable 
by fome particular marks. The fraudulent de- 
iign however was rendered ineffectual, for the 
itratagem was difcovered by a youth, whofe great 
qualities were obfcured by the meannefs of his 
birth and profeffion. He, however, did not im- 
mediately divulge what he had difcovered, either 
through fear of ill treatment, or in hope of de- 
riving fome advantageous confequence from it. 

The day appointed for the race arrived, and 
with inexpreffible aftonifhment the people beheld 
all the competitors remain motionlefs in the midft 
of their career, or thrown into the dull by their 
horfes, while Lefzeck alone launched with velo- 
city to the pillar that ferved as a boundary to the 
courfe, and at which he arrived in a few mo- 
ments. The people had already proclaimed him 
for their king, when the unknown youth who 
dad difcovered the artifice, and advanced to the 
barrier foon after Lefzeck, had the courage to 
contett his pretentions with him, by difcloiing the 
fraud. The difhonourable expedient practifed by 
the Polifh lord being rendered evident, all his 
rivals over whom he had triumphed rofe againfr. 
him with an air of indignation; the exafperated 
people condemned him to die on the fpot, and 
by the effect of a ftrange caprice, which however 
was worthy of a confufed multitude, they imme- 
diately crowned the informer. 

The Poles were happy under the govern- 
ment of this new prince, to whom they gave 
the appellation of Leszko II. a name then 
common among this people. He repelled the 
enemies of the flate, and carried the war into 
the heart of their country. The Bohemians and 
Moravians were made fenlible of the profperity 
G 3 that 


that attended his arms, and he was either feared 
or refpected by all the neighbouring nations. Not 
a warrior only> he poflerTed all the virtues of a 
great prince. Merit was always rewarded in his 
reign ; he approved himfelf the -father and pro-; 
teclor of his people, and never fuffered his origi- 
nal condition to be erafed from his remembrance. 
To fecure himfelf from all impreffions of pride, 
indeed, it is faid he caufed the defpicable habit 
he wore before the Poles arrayed him with the 
royal purple, to be conflantly carried before him 
in all public ceremonials. 

Some authors have thought that Leszko II. 
was defeated by Charlemagne, and that he 
loft his life in a combat with one of the fons of 
that emperor. But however that may be, he was 
fucceeded by his fon Leszko III. who fupport- 
ed by his virtue his own reputation and that of 
his father. When he had conquered a band of 
rebels, who made an inlurre6tion in Poland, he 
affifted his neighbours who were invaded by the 
Greeks ; and the fuccours he afforded them were 
fo powerful, that Pannonia was indebted to him 
for the liberty it afterwards enjoyed. This prince 
had only one legitimate fon, named Popiel ; but 
a great number of natural fons, whom he invert- 
ed with the fovereignty of feveral provinces, 
which they were to hold as homagers to the 
crown of Poland, and to their brother, who af- 
cended the throne after Leszko's death, by the 
unanimous confent of the nobility. 

Popiel I. was a pacific prince, deftitute of 
all ambition. He never had recourfe to arms, 
but with a view to defend his frontiers ; and, con- 
fining himfelf to the administration of the inte- 
rior parts of his kingdom, he enjoyed a repofe to 
which he was naturally devoted. He transferred 

v the 


the feat of his empire from Cracow to Gnefna, 
and from this laft city to Crufvicia, or Crufwick, 
a village in Cujavia, which he had newly founded, 
and which at prefent is only known by its ancient 

The minority of his fon PoriEL II. was 
pafled without any commotions, by virtue of the 
prudent admin iftration of the uncles of the young 
prince. But they received a very unfuitable com- 
penfdtion for their fervices, and were treated with 
the bafeft ingratitude by their fovereign when he 
entered upon his majority. He was born with a 
malignant difpoiition, which was unfortunately 
cheriihed by the artifices of an ambitious woman, 
who left nothing unattempted to remove his un- 
cles from him, and at lafl accompliihed their 
deftrucftion. The weak and voluptuous prince 
fuffered himfelf to be the more eafily wrought 
upon by her insinuations, becaufe the remon- 
strances he had received from his uncles, on the 
Subject of his unmanly behaviour, became infup- 
portable to him. He pretended, therefore, to be 
indifpofed, and, under the pretext of engaging 
their attendance at court, inhumanly caufed a 
poifoned cup, which he had prepared for that 
purpofe, to be prefented to each of them at a 

Popiel endeavoured to palliate this deteftable 
action, by creating a belief that he had only pre- 
vented their pernicious defigns, and extinguished 
a formidable confpiracy which they had formed 
againfl his life and crown. He even refufed to 
permit the lafl offices to be rendered them, and 
extended his inhumanity beyond death itfelf. But 
thefe disfigured remains of his uncles produced 
the jufl avengers of his crimes. An army of rats, 
if we may credit fome hiflorians, rofe from the 

G 4 putrefaction 


putrefaction of the dead bodies, and marched to 
the very throne, in order to execute the juftice of 
Heaven on Popiel, his confort, and children ; 
and it was impoflible to chafe them away, either 
by arms, or fire, or water. The whole royal fa- 
mily are faid to have become the prey of thefe 
avenging animals. 

The fubjects of Popiel alfo were punifhed for 
his offence, but the mode of their chaflifement is 
much more credible than that of their prince. 
After Popiel's death, Poland, being defritute of a 
chief, became the theatre of a mofl fanguinary war. 
The nobility, difunited among themfelves, con- 
tributed to the deflruction of the flate by their 
divisions. Different factions were daily promoted, 
and the weakefl became a prey to the mofl po- 
tent. The enemies of the nation improved thefe 
diforders to their own advantage, and foon ap- 
peared in the field, with a refolution to crufh the 
victorious as well as the vanquifhed. 

The nobility, however, were more affect- 
ed by the apprehenfions of. a foreign war, than 
with all the horrors of civil commotions. A re- 
gard to the general welfare reunited them againft 
the common enemy, and extinguished their par- 
ticular divilions. But the ftate of affairs at that 
time required a prince capable of making his au- 
thority refpccled, in order to affociate thefe chiefs, 
who were independent of one another, and who* 
were equally ambitious to command the army. 
Several affemblies had been held for the election 
©f a fovereign, but they had always proved in- 

The deputies of the nation had afTemblcd af 
Crufvicia for a confiderable time, without being 
able to agree in their choice of a prince. The 
great number of people whom the election had 



drawn together in that city created at length 
iuch a fcarcity of provifions, that the lords them- 
felves were left deiiitute of a fupply. In this ex- 
treme necefiity, an inhabitant of the country 
received them in his rufric cot, entertained them 
with a frugal repafl, and difplayed a found judg- 
ment, an honeil and humane heart, abilities fu- 
perior to his condition, a refolute mind, and a 
love for his country,- which thefe madmen did not 
feel in their own breafls. Ambitious men, who 
themfelves defpair of governing, chufe rather to 
fubmit to a third perfon, who has not entered 
into the competition, than to obey a rival. In 
the prefent cafe, they determined in favour of 
virtue ; and by this means repaired, in fome mea- 
fure, the mifchiefs they had occalioned by their 
eontefls for the throne. Piast, therefore, was 
ehofen king*; 



840. According to various accounts, Piait 
moved in the humble wait of a wheelwright, or a 
peafant. Modern pride may fhrink back, at the tale, 
but if innate worth and extraordinary talents lift- 
ed Piafl to the fovereignty, the philofophic mind 
will contemplate his elevation with pleafure, and 
draw an analogy no way favourable to hereditary 
vice or imbecility. Piafl lived to a very advanced 
age, and his reign was fo aufpicious, that every 

* The credulous Dlugoflius believes and aflerts, that two 
angels in human forms were entertained by Piaft in his cot, and 
manifested their gratitude for his hofpitality by miraculouily 
procuring for hira the crown of Poland. 

i native 


native Pole who has fince been elecled to tile" 
throne, or has even been a candidate for the crown, 
has been called a Piafh 

This excellent monarch was fucceeded in his 
Virtues and his dignity by his fon Ziemovitus, 
who by his valour and juftice, during a reign of 
32 years* enlarged the dukedom; and though 
the government was not hereditary, yet after his 
death he was fucceeded by his fon Leszko, whofe 
merits did not difgrace the exemplary virtues of 
his anceftors. 

Zemomislaus fon of Lefzko was in like man- 
ner raifed to the dukedom, and made as good a 
ufe of his power, which, at his death in 964, de- 
volved on his fon MicisLAUs I. who was born 
blind, but obtained his fight in the feventh year 
of his age. 

965. Before the acceffion of this prince, the 
Poles had not embraced Chriftianity ; but Micif- 
laus having married feveral wives, without deriving 
offspring from either ; fome Chriftian monks per- 
fuaded him to renounce the errors of paganifm, 
and many a Chriftian princefs, Dabrowka, daugh- 
ter of Boleflaus duke of Bohemia. He tried the 
experiment, and it fucceeded; but he is repre- 
fented by the raoft undoubted authorities as a 
bigoted, prieft -ridden prince. 

From his reign, Poland began to be connecled 
with Germany; and the writers of that country 
as well as tnofe of Denmark and Sweden, will be 
found to furnim much information on Polifh af- 
fairs anterior to the exiftence of native hiitorians. 

999. At the demife of Miciflaus, the title of 
duke was abolifhed, and his fon Boleslaus 
Crobray, or Chabry, who united in his own 
perfon all the heathen and military Chriftian vir- 
tues, affumed the government, and was recog- 
nifed as Ki^ro by the German emperor Otho III. 


History of Poland, <)i 

and the pope. Having conquered Bohemia and 
Moravia, Boleflaus carried his victorious arms 
againft the Ruffians, and was flill fuccefsful. 
From Ruffia he rrfarched into Saxony, which he 
conquered, together with Pomerania and Pruffia, 
and made them tributary to Poland. 

Having at length fubdued all his enemies, he 
took mealures for iecuring to his people the fruit 
of his victories: Sedulous to regulate the admi- 
niftration in the interior parts of his kingdom, 
he made laws, and employed his mofl earneil en- 
deavours to create obedience to them. Unambi- 
tious however of exclufive power, he inftituted a 
council of twelve noblemen to affift in the go- 
vernment, and the whole nation enjoyed profound 
peace during the remainder of his reign. 

1025. Boleflaus the Great died after a reign of 
25 years; and was fucceeded by his fon Micis^ 
laus II. but the death of Boleflaus was a flgnal 
to a general commotion ; the Ruffians, Pruffians, 
Moravians, and Saxons fell at once upon Poland, 
to free themfelves from the tribute which had 
been impofed upon them ; nor had Miciflaus, as 
far as we can learn, either the courage to fup- 
port a war, or the capacity neceffary for conduct- 
ing it with fuccefs. After a weak government, 
therefore, of nine years, he died of a frenzy, 
March l$, 1034, equally defpifed for his folly 
and detefted for his vices. 

The contempt, indeed, which the people had 
entertained for Miciflaus, was extended even to 
his fon Cafimir, and apprehenfive left he lhould 
devote hi mfelf to the fame vices, and prove as 
flagitious as his father, the lords conceived it 
proper to fufpend his election and coronation, 
though without excluding him entirely from the 
throne. • During his minority, the adminiitration 



of affairs was configned to Rixa, the mother of 
the young prince, and the daughter of Godfrey 
Count Palatine of the Rhine. But the regent 
foon exafpcrated the people by her imperious 
conduct, and her unjuft preference of the Ger- 
mans to the Poles. The people were overwhelmed 
with exactions; the adminiftration of affairs was 
in the hands of ftrattgers, who alone difpofed of 
every thing. In vain were remonstrances made 
to her, the refufed to hear, and treated thofe who 
came to offer them with a proud contempt. 

This inflexibility at laft diiTolved the feeble 
bands that united the Poles to their Sovereigns 
The regent was banifhed, and obliged to feek an 
afylum out of the Polifh dominions. She car- 
ried with her, however, thefe immenfe treafures 
which had been acquired by the victories of Bo- 
leflaus the Great, and placed herfelf, and her 
fon, under the protection of the emperor. This 
prince gave them an honourable reception, and 
promitcd them a fpeedy vengeance. He even 
'caufctl troops to advance to the frontiers of Po- 
land, but. it was rather with a view to fave ap- 
pearances, than to employ any efforts fufticient 
to re-eft al)li Hi Cafimir on the throne of his 

An utter anarchy now fucceeded, attended 
With acts of the moil: mocking barbarity and vil- 
lany. Young Cafimir had been driven out of 
Poland, and the country was over-run with fo- 
reign enemies. The Poles applied for affifiance 
to the popes, whole credit was then very high ; 
they indeed took the largeffes of the Poles with 
one hand, and thole of their enemies with the 
other, and pronnfed both, but kept faith with 



The Polifh nobility united, at length, to eonii- 
#er of tome expedient for the fuppreflion of thefe 
diforders. All acknowledged that a prince was 
neceflary for Poland, but their views were diffe- 
rent with refpect to the choice.. Some gave their 
iuffrage for a neighbouring prince, others declar- 
ed in favour either of themfelves, or fome lord of 
the kingdom : but the greateft number of them, 
fupported by the archbimop of Gnefna, were of 
opinion, that it would be neceflary to recall Ca- 
flmir, who, as they difcovered, had received 
the monaftic habit in the abbey of Clugni. Ca- 
simir obtained leave from the pope to mount his 
father's throne, and to rcfiore Poland to order 
and government. 

Though certainly a bigot to the church of 
Rome, to which he made too great and humili- 
ating conceflions, yet Calimir I. manifefted great 
courage and abilities in governing, and left his 
kingdom in a very profperous ftate in 1058. The 
truth is, the Poles were at that time fubjects to 
the fee of Rome, and their kings were little more 
than fubftitutes to the Popes, to whom, as it ap- 
pears, they paid an annual tribute. 

1056. Cafimir was fucceeded by his fon Bo- 
leslaus II. who three years after added Red 
Ruilia to Poland, by marrying the princefs Wif- 
zeflava, hcirefs of that duchy. He re-conquered 
great part of the territory that had been acquired 
by Boleflaus the Great, and loft again by Micif- 
laus; conquered Kiovia ; and at length, by his 
great adtions againfl the Bohemians, Pruffians, 
Ruffians, and Hungarians, obtained the name of 
The Bold. 

After a life pafTed in achieving the molt fplen- 
did viciories, however, Boleflaus funk into luxu- 
ry, and fpent his time in the countries he hr.d 



conquered (particularly in Kiow, then one of the 
moil luxurious cities in the world on the banks 
of the Borylthenes) furrounded by a numerous 
court and powerful army. 

The abfence of the Poles from their wives on 
this occafion is faid to have united the latter in 
the horrid defign of railing their Haves and fer- 
vants to their beds. At the return of the Poles a 
defperate battle enfued, in which the women 
fought by the tides of their lovers, and Poland 
again was deluged with blood. The ladies and 
their ignoble gallants at laft were fubdued; but 
Boleflaus became a complete tyrant; he lanc- 
tioned the rtxlaffination of feveral members of the 
clergy, and the acme of his crimes was the mur- 
der of the Biiliop of Cracow; for which the 
thunder of the Vatican drove him from his king- 
dom, and he died in the moil abject Hate of 
poverty ; as fome authors affirm, in the ftation of 
cook to a monaitery in Carinthia, while others 
alTert that he was killed as he was hunting in the 
foreits of Hungary. 

In 1082 the pope, after much folicitation, per- 
mitted the Poles to elect Ladislaus, brother of 
the former monarch, for their fovereign, but 
without the title of king. His reign however 
was a period of trouble, and ended with his life 
in 1 103. 

Boleslaus III. fon and fucceffor of Ladiilaus, 
was one of the mod warlike princes of the age. 
He defeated the emperor Henry V. and is faid to 
have been prefent in forty-feven pitched battles. 
Entering, however, into a war with the Ruffians, 
they defeated him, and the dilgrace is faid to 
have affected him fo much that it brought him to 

Jus grave. 



1139. Before his death, Boleflaus had divided 
the kingdom among four of his ions, to the pre- 
judice of the fifth, Cafimir, who was then in his 
infancy: but this will was fet alide by the eldeit, 
Ladislaus, the fecond of that name, who, ani- 
mated by his lewd and ambitious wife Chriltina., 
atfumed the exclufive government of the Irate. 

After a turbulent reign, however, this flagitious 
prince was depofed and driven into Germany. 

In 1 146, BolHslaus IV. brother to the lait duke 
(for as yet the pope had not fuffered the regal ti^ 
tie to be refumed) governed Poland, and, proving 
a mild and amiable prince, affigned to his exiled 
brother the province of Silelia, which has ever 
iince been difmembered from Poland. 

During this reign, the rage of crufading pre- 
vailed in Europe, and Henry, brother of the 
reigning duke, made a campaign in the Holy 
Land, from which he returned with the lots of 
almofl all the army that attended him. 

Taking an infamous advantage of this deduc- 
tion from the forces of the Polifh monarch, the 
exiled Ladiflaus, and his wife Chriftiaa, who, as 
have juil obferved, had by the generofity of 
the reigning brother been inverted with the fo- 
vereignty of Silcfia, perfuadcd the 'emperor Fre- 
deric Barbaroffa to invade Poland. The imperial 
army, in this treacherous attempt, was ruined, 
but an accommodation fucceeded, and Boleflaus 
acquired leifure to turn his arms againft the Ruf- 
fians, under the pious pretence of their being 
fiill heathens. Urn troops were every where de- 
feated, the remainder of his reign was chequered 
with good and bad fortune, and Boleflaus died 
pn the 30th October 11 73. 

1174. The next fovereign that Poland receiv- 
ed wa,s Micislaus III. but the relation he bore 



to the former duke, or the title by which he 
claimed or obtained the fupremacy, hiftory has 
failed to record. Miciflaus HI. furnamed the Old 
©n account of the wifdom he difcovered in his 
early youth, made it evident, that profperity can 
change the heart. Poland was in expectation of 
happy times under the reign of a prince who- 
had always appeared equitable and prudent, but 
lie difappointed the hopes of the people whofe 
affection had raifed him to the throne in oppo- 
sition to many parties that had been formed tq 
his prejudice, and he became a tyrant the mo- 
peat he ceafed to be a fubje6t. 

The coniequence may be anticipated : Micif- 
laus was depofed. 

i 177. Casimir II. his brother, who fucceeded, 
was a wife and valiant prince, and obtained the 
honourable appellative of The Juji. But his own 
virtues, eminent as they really were, were incom- 
petent to fecure to him a reign of peace ; the inii- 
dious arts of his turbulent brother and his other 
relations perpetually diiturbed the tranquillity 
of his kingdom, and defeated the falutary mea- 
fores which the benevolence of his nature in- 
clined him to accord to the happinefs of htis 

Yet the virtues of Cafimir fo endeared his me- 
mory to the Poles, that at his death in 1194, his 
io\\ Leck was raifed to the ducal chair, not- 
withftanding all the intrigues of his dcpofe4 
uncle Miciflaus. 

1202. The reftlefs and ambitious Miciflaus at 
fall procured the depoiition of his nephew, and 
his own re-ell ablifhment on theJ:hrone. But the 
dignity which villany had thus acquired, the 
Juiticc of Heaven prevented his long retaining, 



and he was fucceeded in 1203 by his Ton Ladis- 
laus III. who died in a few days. 

The Polifh hiftory about this period is very 
dark and doubtful; all we can learn with certain- 
ty is, that in the year 1206, Leck was reftored to 
the throne ; but his reign was a continued feries 
of foreign invasions and domeftic troubles. 

Poland, in fhort, became now a prey to the 
Tartars. Leck had a brother Conrade, who, to 
keep himfelf in pofTeflion of Mafovia and Cuja- 
via, called the knights of the Teutonic order to 
his aililtance againft the Pruflians, by which 
meafure that order became pofTefTed of the Polifh 
Pruffia. The facl was, that the Pruflians being 
at that time pagans, and the holy fee claiming a 
right to difpofe of all pagan countries, the pope 
ailigned Priiffia to the Teutonic knights for the 
fervices they had performed in the holy wars. 

In 1242 we find Boleslaus V. fon of Leck, 
in pofTeflion of Poland. His whole reign was 
occupied in wars with the Tartars, Ruffians, and 
Lithuanians ; as was that of his coulin Leck, 
who fucceeded him in the year 1280. 

On the death of this latter prince in- 1289, long 
and turbulent difputes appear to have happened 
about the fucceffion, which at laft devolved upon 
Premislaus, a powerful Polifh lord, who, to re- 
vive the glory and fpirit of his fubjects, refumed 
the title of king, June 26, 1295. 

Premillaus, however, after a reign of only fix 
months and eleven days, was depofed by the king 
of Bohemia, and flain by confpirators. 

In 1296, Ladislaus IV. furnamed The Little, 

was nominated king of Poland; but being foon 

dethroned, the crown was given to V^ enceslaus, 

king of Bohemia. The Bohemian government, 

"however, foon proving utterly difagreeable to the 

II Poles, 


Poles, Wenceflaus was quickly driven from th« 
throne, and Ladislaus IV. reftored. 

After this event, Ladifhms' carried on a long 
and bloody war againft the knights of the Teuto- 
nic order, who were headed by the marquis of 
Brandenburg. In the end they were defeated, 
and the refidue of his reign was glorious. 

13.33. The fon of Ladiflaus, Casimir III. 
furnamed Tbt Great, fuceecded to the throne of 
Poland. The Polifh hillorians dwell Avith lin- 
gular complacency upon his reign, as the moft 
glorious and happy period of their hiftory ; and 
record with peculiar pleafure the virtues and abi- 
lities of this great and amiable monarch : nor are 
their praifes the echoes of flattery, for they were 
moftly written fubfequent to his death, when 
another family was featcd upon the throne. In 
perufingthe reign of Cafimir, we can hardly be- 
lieve that we are reading the hiftory of the fove- 
reign of a barbarous people in the beginning of 
the fourteenth century : it fecms as if, by the 
afeendancy of his fuperior genius, he had antici- 
pated tlie knowledge and improvements of the 
luceeeding and more enlightened periods.- 

From the moment of his acceffion his firft care 
was to iccurc his kingdom againft foreign ene- 
mies : with this view he attacked the knights of 
the Teutonic order, with whom Poland had long 
been in an almoll continual irate of warfare, 
and obliged them to purchafe a peace by the cef- 
fion of Culm and Cujavia, which they had 
wrefted from his father: lie then reduced Red 
Ruflia; and annexed the duchy of Mafovia to 
the dominions of Poland. By thefe acquisitions- 
he not only extended the frontiers of his empire,, 
but rendered his dominions lets liable to rudder* 
nivatioiis. But thefe great fueceiles were not 



able to excite in his breail the fatal fpirit of mili- 
tary enterprize; he always eonlidered war as a 
matter of neceffity, not of choice, and as the 
means of fafety rather than of glory. Having 
teeured his frontiers, as well by his victories as 
by treaties with the neighbouring powers, he 
turned his whole attention to the interior admi- 
niilration of his kingdom; he built feveral towns, 
enlarged and beautified others: ib that Dlugof- 
iius, who wrote in the following century, fays of 
him, " Poland is indebted to Calimir for the 
" greatelt part of her churches, palaces, fortrefles, 
" and towns?' 1 ' adding, in alluJion to a Similar 
character given of Auguftus Caefar, " that he 
" found Poland of wood, and left her of mar- 
" ble." He patronized letters ; founded the 
academy of Cracow ; promoted induflry, and 
encouraged trade; elegant in his manners, and 
magnificent in his court, he was ceconomical 
without meannefs, and liberal without prodi- 

Calimir, too, was the great legiflator of Po- 
land : finding his country without any written 
laws, he reviewed all the ufages and cuftoms ; and 
digefted them, with fome additions, into a regu- 
lar code, which he ordered to be publifhcd. He 
iimplified and improved the courts of juflicc; he 
was eafy of accefs to the meancfl as well as the 
higher! of his fubjecls, and folicitous to relievc 
the peafants from the oppreffions of the nobility: 
fuch indeed was the tenclernefs he ihewed to that 
injured clafs of men, and fo many were the pri- 
vileges which he conferred upon them, that the 
nobles ufed to call him out of derifion, Rex Rvfti- 
iorum, the king of the peafants; perhaps themoft 
noble appellation that ever was bellowed Upon a 
ibvereign, and far to be preferred to the titles of 
H a magnificent 


■magnificent and great, which have bs&n fo pftefll 
lavilhcd rather upon the perfecutors than the be- 
nefactors of mankind. Human nature, however, 
is never perfect ; Cafimir was not without his 
failings: voluptuous and fenfual, he pufhed the 
pleafures of the table to intemperance; and his 
inordinate paffion for women led him into fome 
actions, inconfiitent with the general tenor of 
honour and integrity which diftinguifhes his cha- 
racter. But thele defects influenced chiefly his 
private, not his public deportment ; or, to ufe 
the expreffion of Dlugoflius, the Polifh hiftorian, 
his private failings were redeemed by his public 
virtues : and it is allowed by all, that no fovereign 
more confulted the happinefs of his fubjects, or 
was more beloved at home and refpected abroad. 
After a long reign of forty years he was thrown 
from his horfe as he was hunting; and died after 
a fhort illnefs in the 6oth year of his age, carry- 
ing with him to the grave the regret of his fub- 
jecrs, and a claim to the veneration of posterity. 

Had Cafimir been fncceeded by a line of he- 
reditary monarehs, it is probable that the barons 
would never have recovered their former afcen- 
dancy, and that the feudal fyftem would have 
been gradually annihilated in Poland as in other 
parts of Europe. He died in 1370 without iflue; 
and with him ended the race of Piail in the mal«. 



1370. Lewis king of Hungary, nephew to Cafi- 
mir by his lifter, fucceeded him in the throne of Po- 
land ;, but being a foreigner, he was given to under- 



ftand that the fecurity of his reign depended on 
his fubmitting to feveral limitations and rcitraints 
on the royal prerogatives ; the kings of Poland, 
having till this period been abiblute monarchs. 
King of Hungary as well as of Poland, however, 
the partiality of Lewis for the Hungarians was 
fuch as fpeedily rendered the latter kingdom a 
fcene of perpetual bloodfhed and robbery. Fo- 
reign invasions and rebellions fucceeded, but the 
power of Lewis prevailed over all, and he oblig- 
ed the Poles to eleel in his life-time Sigifmond, 
marquis of Brandenburg, for his fueceflbr. 

At the death of Lewis, however, in 1382, the 
Poles, on the plea of its having been obtained 
by conftraint, fet aiide the fuccefxion of Sigif- 
mond, who would probably have been formida- 
ble, as he mult have been inimical, to their newly- 
acquired immunities; and came to arefolution to 
offer their crown to Hedwiga princefs of Hun- 
gary, and fecond daughter of the deceafed mo- 
narch, provided fhe would efpoufe a prince 
whom the Poles fhould approve, and who fhould 
be obliged to relide in the kingdom. 

Some time after this tranfaction, Sernovit duke 
of Mafovia was chofen by the ftates to efpoufe 
the queen ; but Elizabeth emprefs of Hungary, 
and mother of Hedwiga, would not accept him 
for a fon-in-law, and her intrigues were fo pre- 
valent, that his election was rendered inef- 

1385. Hedwiga, therefore, fet out for Poland, 
where fhe was received with the acclamations of 
all herfubjecls; andfearcely were the ceremonials 
of her coronation completed, when Jaghellon, 
great duke of Lithuania, fent a magnificent em- 
Daffy to demand the queen in marriage. He 
p i- opofed to embrace the Chriftian religion, and 

H 3 to 


to employ his utmoft endeavours for the conver- 
iion of his fubjecls ; he likewife engaged to re- 
leafe the Chriitian flaves, particularly the Polilh, 
and to incorporate for ever Lithuania, Samogitia, 
and his Ruffian territories, with the kingdom of 
Poland ; laflly, he undertook to re-conquer 
Pomerania, and the territory of Culm, together 
with Silcfia, and all the other dominions which 
had been uiurped from Poland. 

By thefe advantageous offers Jaghellon eafily 
obtained his defire : the queen of Hungary ap- 
proved his alliance, and left the tranf action of the 
whole affair to the prudence of the Polifh nobi- 
lity, who immediately complied with the duke of 
Lithuania's demand; but they acted in this par- 
ticular without confulting the heart of the young 
queen, who entertained a paffion for William 
duke of Auftria, to whom fhe had been pro- 
mifecl by king Lewis her father ; and fhe only 
confidered Jaghellon as a barbarian prince, and, 
the fovcreigu of a. cruel and idolatrous nation. 

The duke of Auftria, having received intelli- 
gence of what was tranfacling in Poland, ad- 
vanced with all poiiible expedition to Cracow, 
where he was received by order of the queen, 
notwithstanding the difapprobation of the Cailel- 
lan. He had feveral private interviews with her, 
entertained tier with magnificent feails, and the 
two lovers were on the point of defeating all the 
projects of the fenate. Their fecret interviews, 
however, at length alarmed the nobility, who 
appeared in arms before the cattle, and con- 
ftrained the duke to retire. The queen, added 
to her defpair at being fevered from the prince 
fhe loved, had the mortification of beholding 
herfclf, in fome meafure, a prifoner in her own 
palace. ; 


Jaghellon, in the mean time, advanced to- 
wards Cracow, with a numerous body of troops, 
and accompanied by Boris and Skirgellon, his 
brothers : but as Hedwisja had declared that Me 
would not fee him, this difpofition of the prin- 
cefs retarded his march. The fenate threw them- 
felves at her feet, and made the molt preffing 
inftances, in order to prevail upon her to fee the 
duke of Lithuania. The, queen at lalt complied 
with their folicitations, and Jaghellon was in- 
troduced into her prcfencc. The prince was 
young and amiable, Hcdwiga no longer remem- 
bered William of Auftria, her heart immediately 
correfponded with her duty, and, with the frailty 
fo commonly attributed to her lex, fhc gave him 
her hand with more raptures than ever flic felt 
for his rival. 

1386. Jaghellon, having mounted the throne, 
found that, by the renunciation of Lewis, the 
kings of Poland were diverted of the right to im- 
pofe taxes without the content of the nation ; he 
therefore arTcmbled the nobles in their refpective 
provinces in order to obtain an additional tribute. 
Thefe provincial aflcmblics are remarkable as ha- 
ving given birth to the dietincs ; which, however, 
no longer retain the power of railing money in 
their feveral diftriets, but only elect the nuntios 
or reprefentatives for the general diet, 

The vaft acceffion of territory which Jaghellon 
brought to Poland in his hereditary dominions, 
the provinces of Samogitia, and Black Rufria, as 
well as Lithuania, and which gave fuch influence 
to his pofterity over the hearts of the Poles, that the; 
crown was preferved in the Jaghellonic family un- 
til the male lineb ccame extinct in Sigifmond Au- 
griftus, 1572, excited the jealoufy of the Teuto- 
nic knights of Pruffia ; nor, indeed, were the Li- 

H 4 thua- 


thuanians themfelves pleafed with their country- 
being annexed to Poland ; and the diicontents of 
lb numerous a body of people produced feveral 


The inhabitants of Lithuania and Samogitia 
were at this time worfhippers of fire. Their chief 
prieft, who was called Zinez, and the fubordinate 
priefts were obliged to keep it burning night and 
day : and if the facred lire happened to be extin- 
guished by any neglect, its facerdotal wardens 
were punifhed with death. The principal temple 
was at Vilna, which was then the capital of Li- 
thuania, and fome remains of that temple are ftill 
to be feen in one of the catties of that city. If 
the fun was at any time fo obfcured by clouds as 
not to be vifible for fome days, the whole nation 
crowded to the temple, in the utmofl terror, to 
appeafe the offended deity by human facrifices. 
When that luminary was eclipfed, the confterna- 
tion and iuperftition of thefe idolators were aug- 
mented. Gloomy forefts and lofty fpreading trees 
alfo excited their veneration ; they conlidered 
them as the manfions where their gods refided, 
and approached with an air of reverence, in order 
to receive their oracles. Serpents were likewife 
the objects of their adoration ; and they paid fuch 
religious honour to vipers, that each father of a 
family was obliged to nourifh one of thofe noxious 
animals, and to refpect it as the tutelar god of his 

Jaghellon, to fulfil his promife of converting 
his ancient fubjccts, laid the temple of Vilna 
in ruins, and extinguished the perpetual fire ; he 
likewife cut down all the forefts that afforded re- 
treats to the Lithuanian priefts, and crufhed their 
ferpents to death. When the people, who were 
blinded by ignorance and long habitudes, beheld 



tfee unpuniihed demolition of their temples, they 
were immediately convinced of the impotence of* 
their gods ; they then renounced the worfhip of 
thole weak idols, and came in crowds to be bap- 
tised. The number of catechumens was fo great, 
that they were only baptifed by afperiion ; and 
none but the moft diftinguiihed among them re - 
od that facrament in private, and with the 
ufual ceremonies. Jaghellon left priefts to in- 
iiruct the people ; erected an archbiihopric at 
Vilna ; and, as he was obliged to return to Poland, 
conftituted his brother Skirgellon their duke. 

This prince was altogether unworthy of that 
rank. His difpolition was cruel and impetuous, 
and he was equally formidable to his friends and 
his foes; in a word, he never cea fed' to be dreadful, 
but when he had been debilitated by fome debauch. 
The new power he had acquired, rendered him 
ftiU more untraceable. His coulin Vitholda, who 
had been engaged in fome disagreement with him, 
couid not think himielf fafe in a country that was 
governed by fuch a barbarous and vindictive 
prince. He therefore retired from Lithuania, and 
took refuge in Pruflia, among theTeutonic knights, 
the ufual afylum of the difafrected. They recei- 
ved him with open arms ; for, though inilituted 
for the defence of Chriftianity, they had violently 
oppofed the convcrfion of the Lithuanians. A 
moil: bloody war now followed, which ended in the 
king's creating Vitholda fole governor of Lithu- 

This happened about the time when Tamerlane 
was invading Greece. At firfk Vitholda obtained, 
lingular advantages over the generals of that 
mighty conqueror ; but at length he was over- 
powered by numbers ; and the Teutonic knights 
proved a {till more barbarous army than the Tar- 


tars, who indeed ravaged Poland, but in the end 
were entirely defeated by Jaghellon, who is fair) 
to have flain forty thouland, and to have made 
thirty thouland prifoners; but is blamed by hifto- 
rians for not having taken Marienburgh, the capi- 
tal city of the Polim Pruffia. The knights, it 
teems, from this neglect, gained time to recover 
themfelves under their Grand Matter Plawen, 
who found means to draw Vitholda from his alle- 
gianee, by offering to give him Lithuania and Sa- 
xnogitia in fovereignty. lie was, however, de- 
feated in the field as well as in the cabinet, by the 
tirrnneis of Jaghellon, who conquered all oppo- 
sition, and died, after a glorious reign of 4S 
years, and at a very advanced age, in 1434. 

To this monarch fuecccded his fon, at that time. 
in the eleventh year of his age, by the title of 
La d is laus v'. 

During the king's minority, Poland and Lithu- 
ania wen 1 haraffed by the Tartars ; and at a very 
early period he was neeeffitated to put himfelf 
at the head of his army to oppoie Amurath, or 
Morad, emperor of the Turks. 

By funic authors Ladiflaus V. is represented as 
having been at this time king of Hungary; it is 
certain, however, that the Hungarians, foon after, 
befiowed upon him their crown and fovereignty ? 
and Ladiflaus, after defeating the Turks, made a 
peace honourable to himfelf and highly beneficial 
to all Chriftendom. But the luiirc of this victory was 
tarniihed by a violation of faith, to which he was 
prompted by the cardinal Julian, legate of pope 
Faelix the Fifth, a furious and ibolifh bigot. 
Prompted by his fuggeitions, and negligent of a 
treaty of peace folemnly ratified, Ladiflaus 
inarched into Bulgaria, where he advanced below 
Nicopolis, the capital of that province, and thei\ 



entered Thrace, where he took fome caftles. His 
intention was to attack Adrianople ; hut Amurath, 
though furprifed at fuch an unexpected rupture,' 
was not wanting to himfelf on this occafion. He 
affembled a body of troops in hafle, and marched 
from Aha into Europe. The two armies faced 
each other near Varna, a city of Moldavia, where 
Amurath, laying his hand on the treaty which 
had been fworn to by Ladiflaus, and appealing to 
God as a witnefs to the perfidy of the Chriliians, 
who had dared to violate all that was moil facred 
in their religion, began the battle with the greater 
confidence of fuccefs, as he declared, that he 
hoped JcfusChrift himfelf would efpoufe his caufe. 
In the end he was victorious ; the Chriftian troops 
were put to flight, after ah obit in ate refiflance, 
and the cardinal legate, who chiefly promoted the 
infraction of the treaty and the perjury of Ladif- 
laus, was involved in the (laughter. The young 
king likewife perifhed, after having given proofs 
of a courage much fuperior to his years, and worthy 
of a better caiife. Ladiflaus was fcareely of age 
when he was flain, having reigned ten years in 
Poland, and four over the Hungarians. 

1 444. At this time Cafimir, the brother of La- 
diflaus, and fecond fon of Jaghellon, held Lithu- 
ania as a fief of Poland. Though about ten thou- 
fand Poles, befide Hungarians, had been killed 
in the battle of Varna, yet Casimir IV. (who fuc- 
cceded to the throne) fubdued Bogdan, the rebel- 
lious vaivode of Moldavia, then fubjec"t to Po- 

About this time almoff all Ruffia revolted from 
her tyrannical mafters, the Teutonic knights ; and 
Dantzic, Thorn, Elbing, Culm, and Gotlub, 
put themfelves under the protection of Cafimir IV. 
At the liege of Marienburgh, he fufrered a defeat 



by the knights, but foon repaired his lofs ; and by 
a treaty concluded at Thorn, he forced them to 
rede to him Pomerania, Culm, Maricnburgh, 
Stum, and Elbing, and to hold the reft, of Ruilia 
as feudatories of Poland. By this peace the Grand 
Matter of the Teutonic order obtained a feat in 
the Polilh fenate. The holpodar of Moldavia 
alfo put himfelf under the protection of Poland, 
and the Bohemians gave their crown to J^adiilaus, 
the cldoft fon of Caiimir. 

By. this event, however, Poland had nearly been 
ruined, Ladiflaus afpiring at the fame time to the 
crown of Hungary, and thereby kindling a moffc 
deflruclive civil war. 

In 1492 Cafimir died, little lamented by his 
fubjecls. His reign, though much occupied by 
\var, is remarkable for having introduced feveral 
additional innovations into the original conftitu- 
tion, all unfavourable to regal prerogative. One 
of the principal of thefe, and which laid the fornix 
dation of ftill more important revolutions in the 
Poliih government, was the convention of a na-r 
tional diet inverted with the fole power of grant- 
ing fupplies. Each palatinate or province was 
permitted to fend to this general diet, befide the 
Palatines and other principal barons, a certain 
number of nuntios or reprefentatives chofen by the 
nobles and burghers. This reign is therefore con-n 
fidered by the popular party as the aera at which 
the freedom of the conflitution was permanently 
eflablifhed. Cafimir, though a brave prince, was 
pngaged in feveral unfuccefsful wars, which ex- 
hauited the royal treafurcs : and as he could not 
impofe any taxes without the confent of the na- 
tion, he was under the neceffity of applying re- 
peatedly to the diet for fublidies : almoft every 
fupply was accompanied with a liijt of grievances, 
2, aiK( 


and produced a diminution of prerogative. In 
Poland, as in all feudal governments, the barons, 
at the head of their vaffals, are bound to fight in 
defence of the kingdom : before the reign of Ca~ 
limir IV. the king could require iuch military, or, 
as they were called, feudal fervices ; but this mo- 
narch, in compenfation for fome pecuniary aid, 
gave up that privilege, and renounced the power 
of fummoning the nobles to his rlandard ; he like- 
wife agreed not to enact any laws without the 
Concurrence of the national diet. 

Caiimir IV. was fucceeded by his fon John Al- 
bert, in prejudice of*two elder brothers, Ladif- 
laus king of Hungary and Bohemia, and Sigif- 
mond. The fact was, that the interefts of the r 
two latter were fo nearly balanced among the 
electors, that when they could agree in nothing 
elle, they mutually contented to raife their youngcit 
brother, John Albert, to the throne. As the 
price of this partiality, John afTented to all the 
immunities which had been extorted from his pre- 
decefTors, and fwore to their obfervance at a diet 
held at rVtrikau 1469. 

Scarcely had he mounted the throne when the 
Venetians propofed to him a confederacy againit the 
Turks, in which for a long time John perempto- 
rily refufed to join. But ambition at length got 
the better of his caution ; and he was defeated in 
an attempt he made upon Wallachia, where he 
loil fix thoufand men. 

Authors are not agreed upon particulars reflect- 
ing this tranfaCtion, nor can we difcover which 
party was the aggrefTor. Johnl. died in 1 501, while 
lie was making warlike preparations to fupport his 
claim of fuperiority over the Teutonic knights. 

1502. John Albert was fucceeded by his bro- 
ther Alexander, great duke of Lithuania, by 



which event the union between that duchy and 
Poland was confirmed. He was involved du- 
ring great part of his reign in war with his neigh- 
bours, the Muscovites, Moldavians, and Tartars* 
over whom at length his generals obtained a com- 
plete victory, while he was on his death-bed. 

In a reign of five years, Alexander acquired 
great reputation by his courage and vigour ; but 
we learn, that fuch was his profufion, efpecially 
to mulicians, that after his death his donations 
were revoked, and a law patTed called the Statutum 
Alexandrlnuni, to prevent the like abufes for the fu- 

In the reign of Alexander it is obfcrvable, that, 
the following limitations of Sovereign authority 
were declared to be fundamental laws of the king- 
dom : i. The king cannot impofe taxes; 2. He 
cannot require the feudal Services ; 3. He cannot 
alienate the royal domains ; 4. nor enact laws ; 
5. nor coin money ; 6. nor alter the procefs in the 
courts of juftice. 

1507. By the predilection of Alexander his 
elder brother, Sigismoxd, who had been twice 
before a candidate for the crown, Succeeded him. 

Sigifmond I. employed the rirft years of his; 
reign in reforming thofe abufes which had crept 
into the adminillration of public affairs. The 
richefi domains of the crown had been mortgaged, 
and the treafury cxhauilcd by immenfe penlions. 
Sigifmond, by the aid of John Bonner, a miniitcr 
whole diiintereltednefs was equal to his abilities, 
rectified theie dilbrdcrs ; and when he had mo- 
delled the government of the interior parts of the 
kingdom into a better form, his next care was to 
fecure, perhaps to extend, his dominions, at leail 
to make himlelf relpected by his neighbours. 



He fupprefied with lingular addrefs a confpi" 
racy formed between his generaliffimo Glinlko* 
governor of Lithuania, and the czar of Mufcovy, 
for dismembering that duchy from his crown; and 
totally defeated, in repeated battles, the Ruffians, 
Wallachians, and Moldavians, from whom he 
recovered Smoleniko, which had been furprifed 
by them. He then entered into a long war with 
Albert marquis of Brandenburg, who had been 
chofen grand mailer of the Teutonic order, and 
forced him to raife the liege of Dantzic. By re- 
peated fucceflcs again!! thole knights, he at la 11' 
obliged the marquis, who had turned protectant, 
to abandon his grand-matt erlhip, gave him half 
the province of Ruffia with the title of duke, and 
by thus making Albert a valfal, gave a mortal 
blow to the power of the Teutonic order. 

The aitoniihing fuccefles of Sigifmond I, and 
the vafl power his family had acquired, attracted 
at length the jealoufy of the emperor Charles V. 
who excited the Ruffians and the other barbarous 
neighbours of Poland to invade her. The good 
fortune of Sigifmond, however, prevailed over all, 
till his nephew Lewis, ion of his elder brother La- 
diilaus, king of Hungary, Bohemia, and Silefia, 
loll his life in the battle of Mohatz, againft the 
Turks in 1526 *. 

.This was n mo ft fevere blow to the houfe of 
Jaghellon, for the daughter and heir of Lewis 
married Ferdinand of Auftria, and in her right he 
polIeHed her dominions. The event is laid to 
have fhortened the days of Sigifmond, though he 

# This battle was fought 0£t. 29, and proved fatal to the Hun- 
garians, who were, with few exceptions, all cut to pieces. The 
young king Lewis was drowned in a ditch, into winch Irs horle 
plunged him, and his untimely fate was lamented even b\ Ins op- 
jponent Solyman I. 

v> as 


was then 84 years of age. But before his death 
be bad fulxlued all his barbarous enemies, fecured 
the fovereignty of Poland over the ducal RuiTia, 
and re-annexed the province of Mafovia to his 
crown. He died 1548, and has been characlerifed 
as the moil powerful and fortunate prince 
that had ever filled the throne of Poland, and as 
endued with' more perfonal ftrength and accom- 
plishments than any man of his age. 

One of the Polilh hiftorians (Orichovius)y 
{peaking of this king's reign, exclaims with much 
indignation, " The king is almolt wholly destitute 
of power ; he cannot procure any fublidy on the 
mod prcfling emergency, for carrying on war, or 
for the portion of his daughters, without increaf- 
ing the privileges of the nobility :" which pafTage 
has fuggelted to Mr. Coxe the following very ju- 
dicious remarks : " Notwithftanding this exelama-» 
tion," fays he, " we cannot forbear to remark, that 1, 
the power of levying taxes at discretion is the molt 
dangerous prerogative that can be lodged in the 
hands of a Sovereign, and the moil formidable en- 
gine of delpotic authority : the acquilitions of it 
by the monarchs of France finally iubverted the 
liberties of that kingdom; and it was made the 
firlt object of reliitance by the alTertors of freedom 
in our own country. If indeed we were inclined 
to point out any particular period, at which the Po- 
lifh confutation attained its molt perfect itate, we 
iliouid perhaps fix on the reign of Sigifmond I. 
when the pevibn and property of the fubject were 
fecured by ample provifions, and the crown ftili 
retained confiderable influence. But the time 
was arrived, when an inordinate paffion for li- 
berty ted the nobles to render the throne wholly 
elective ; and at each election to continue their 
encroachments upon the regal authority, until 



the king was reduced to a mere pageant. The firft 
public attempt toward eftablifhing this favourite 
object, of the Poles, a free election of the king, 
was brought forward in the reign of Sigifmond 
Auguftus, fon and fucceffor of Sigifmond I. who 
was conftrained in 1550 to agree, that no future 
monarch mould fucceed to the throne, unlefs he 
was freely elected by the nation." 

Sigismond Augustus, however, fucceeded his 
father without any previous election, becaufe his 
right had been acknowledged by the diet during 
his father's life-time. 

Wife and moderate, this prince improved his 
dominions by the arts of peace. He indulged the 
reformed, the Greeks, and all other fe6ts, with a 
feat in the diet, and with all the honours and pri- 
vileges which had before been confined to the ca- 
tholics. Indeed he fhewed fuch evident marks of 
favour to the Protectant confefTion, that he was 
fufpected of being inclined to change his religion. 
Soon after his acceffion, the Teutonic knights in Li- 
vonia were difpoffefTed of almoft all that country 
by the Ruffians; but they were now fuccoured by 
Sigifmond II. at the head of a hundred thoufand 
men: yet was Sigifmond not quite difinterefted 
in the afriftancc he afforded them on this occa- 
fion. After he had made up a difference between 
Ketler the grand matter, and his knights, he in- 
fifted that not only they, but all the Livonians, 
mould acknowledge his fovereignty. They were 
obliged to fubmit ; but Ketler was indemnified for 
giving up Riga to Sigifmond, and for rcfigning; 
his grand-mafterihip, by being made duke of 
Courland and Semigallia, which his pofterity was 
to hold under the crown of Poland, and he was at 
the fame time declared governor of Livonia. 

I Such 


Such arrangements, however, could not fail of 
exafperating Bafilides, the powerful czar of Mui- 
covy, who fell upon the Polifh dominions with 
great cruelty. His troops were every where de- 
feated by Radzevil, palatine of Vilna, and the 
other Polifh generals, and he was at length forced 
to evacuate Lithuania. This bloody war was 
ended by a three year's truce, during which Sigif- 
mond died, with the character of pofTeffing all the 
virtues of a king with fome of the failings of a 

The death of Sigifmond II. without iffue gave 
efficacy to the conceffion he had made to the Poles, 
" that no future monarch fhould fucceed to the 
throne, unlefs he was freely elected by the na- 
tion;" which conceffion might otherwife have 
been counteracted by the popularity and influence 
attendant on a claimant by hereditary fucceffion : 
for it may not be improper to remark, that, 
during the Jaghellon line, the fovereigns upon 
their acceffion, or election, although formally 
raifed to the throne by the confent of the nation, 
Hill relied their pretentions upon hereditary right, 
as well as upon this confent ; always ftyling them- 
felves heirs of the kingdom of Poland. Sigif- 
mond Auguftus, in whom the male line of the 
Jaghellon family became extinct, was the lafl 
who bore that title. 

The memory of the princes of that family, 
however, is ftill very dear to the Poles. 


History of Poland, 115 



After the death of Sigifmond II. a general 
diet affembled, and drew up a charter of immu- 
nities, which was afterwards called the Paffa 
Conventa, and of which they determined to exact 
confirmation from every future monarch *. 

Sigifmond II. left two lifters, Catharine, who 
was wife, firft to the duke of Finland, and af- 
terwards to John king of Sweden; and Anne, 
who was afterwards married to Stephen Batori, 
prince of Tranfylvania. Had the male line of 
Jaghellon continued, it is probable that the fuc- 
ceilion would never have been difputed in that 
family; but no fooner was it extinct, than in- 
trigues for a fucceffor to the crown of Poland 
were formed in almoft all the courts of Europe. 

The management of the pope's legate pro- 
moted the election to a prince of the catholic 
religion, and the archduke Erneft of Auftria was 
thought of. By the unfeafonable pride and per- 
tinacity of the emperor his father, however, which 
was fuch as to unite all the Poles in a confede- 
racy againft his foil, he miffed his point. 

It were endlcfs to give a detail of all the inte- 
refts and factions of the candidates, but at lail 
the election fell upon Henry of Valois, Duke 
of Anjou, and brother of Charles IX. of France, 
whofecured his election, as well by private bribes 
to the nobles, as by a flipulation to pay an 

* See more on this fubjett, under the head "Constitution 
and Government," p. 63. 

I 2 annual 


annual peniion to the republic from the revenues- 
of France *. 

Henry of Valois was at this time in fome re- 
putation with the Roman Catholics on account of 
his fucceffes againfr. the Protectants ; and his caufe 
was itrenuoufly promoted by one Crafofki, a Po- 
lander of intrigue and addrefs. At laft, however, 
he carried the election through the intereft of his 
brother, who difliked his remaining in France. 
It was oppofed in its progrefs by the Houfe of 
Auftria, as well as by the German Protectants ; 
but on Henry's promifing all that was required of 
him, particularly to maintain a fleet in the Bal- 
tic, and to marry the princefs Anne, younger 
filter to the late king Sigifmond, his election was 
almofl unanimous, and he was crowned at Cra- 
cow in 1574. 

His appearance, his magnificence and polite- 
nefs, far different from what the Poles had ever 
been accuilomcd to, were juft beginning to en- 
dear him to their affections, when he heard of his 
brother's death without iifue, by which event he 
became king of France. The queen immediately 
difpatched to him feveral couriers, one after ano- 
ther, to urge his return into France, where his 
pretence was neceffary; but as he w r as appreh 1- 
tive that the Poles would oppofe his departure, 
and detain him againit his will, he concealed his 
delign from them, and flolc out of his palace 
by night, in difguife, in order to ride poll to 
Vienna, and from thence to France by the way 
of Italy. The Poles, who were apprehenlive of 

* His example has been neceflarily followed by each fucceed- 
ing (bvereig'i, who, befide an unconditional ratification of the 
Pafla Conventa, has been always conftrained to purchafe the crown 
by a public largefs and by private corruption; circumftances 
which endear to the Poles an elective monarchy. See Coxe r s 
Travels, Vol. I. 



5iis efcape, immediately perceived it, and fent 
after him. John Zamofki overtook him fomc 
leagues from Cracow, and had recourfe, though in 
vain, to the humblefr. prayers, and even to tears, 
to prevail upon him to return. 

The people grew defperate at the news of the 
king's departure ; and if the magiltrates of Cra- 
cow had not pofted guards in the flreets to re- 
prefs them, the French who were then in the 
city, and were looked upon as fo many traitors, 
would have been maflacrcd. 

In the mean time Henry was nobly entertained 
by the emperor Maximilian at Vienna, where 
that prince is faid to have infpired him with fa- 
vourable fentiments toward his Proteftant fub- 
jecls. He then repaired to Venice under an> 
imperial efcort, where he (pent nine days, as he 
wicd to fay, under the enchantments of pleafure 
and magnificence: from thence he went to Sa- 
voy, where he was received with eqiml honours ; 
but he contented to give up to that court Pigne- 
role and fome other of his Piedmontefe pofTeffions. 
At length he reached France, and affumed the re- 
gal dignity. 

Charles of Danzai, whom Henry had left in 
Poland to make his excufes to the republic for 
ib precipitate a departure, unfolded the motives 
of his mafter with great eloquence in a full fe- 
nate: Henry likewife wrote to the chief of the 
nobility on the tame fubject; but all this did not 
fatisiy the Poles, who thought themfelves de- 
fpifed; and they reproached the prince for his 
elandeftine retreat, and his indifference for a peo- 
ple who had teftified fo much efteem for him. 

Henry, when he left Poland, imagined that he 
was quitting a barbarous country to take poffef- 
Hvn of a kingdom abounding with pleafures; but 

I 3 he 


he was deceived in his expectations ; for his reign 
was only a melancholy feries of calamities and 
intefline wars, and clofed with the afTamnation 
of that prince. 



The primate of Gnefna, at the head of the ie- 
nate, elected and proclaimed, on the 15th of 
July 1575, the .emperor Maximilian king of Po- 
land; but the princefs Anne continuing Hill 
unmarried, the Piaft party chofe Stephen Ba- 
tor 1, prince of Tranfylvania, who made her his 
wife, and he accordingly mounted the throne. 

Maximilian was preparing to difpute it with 
him when he died, and Batori was rccognifed 
king by all Poland, the city of Dantzic excepted, 
who pretended to be independent of Poland. 
The Dantzickers being fupported by the Ger- 
mans and Ruffians obftinately rejected all the 
terms offered to them by Stephen, were declared 
rebels, and were after all with great difficulty re 
duced to their duty. Stephen fucceeded, how- 
ever, at laft, for he beiieged their city; and their 
brave general Collea being killed in a fally, they 
accepted the terms propofed by the king, by 
whom all their privileges were confirmed. Yet 
the reduction of Dantzic did not prevent the 
remorfelefs invafions of the Ruffians, who laid 
waiie all Livonia and other parts of the Polilh 
territories, till they were defeated by Stephen in 


The king of Poland in the conduct of this 
war had obtained the co-operation of the Tar- 


tars, who, while Batori encountered the Mufco- 
vites in the field, penetrated to Mofcovv, burnt 
that city to alhes, and put 40,000 Ruffians to 
the fword. 

But the Ruffians were not the only enemies 
the Poles had to oppofe, for the Swedes afTerted 
by arms their claims upon Livonia. At length 
both Poles and Swedes difcovered that Baiilowitz, 
the czar of Mufcovy, was their common enemy, 
and they propofed to unite againft him; the 
weight of the war, however, fell upon Stephen, 
who befieged Pleikow, one of the ftrongeft. ci- 
ties in the north, and well garrifoned. The per- 
feverance of Batori continued the liege under 
infinite difficulties ; and it required at laft the 
mediation of the pope's legate to reftore the 
peace of the north. 

After this, Batori, who had loft about 50,000 
men in his laft campaign, applied himfelf to the 
civil and military eflablifhments of his kingdom, 
and had the addrefs to attach the CofTacks, who 
had before lived in a ftate of favage nature, to 
his crown, and to render them by difcipline 
ufeful troops: he even introduced among them 
many of the arts of life ; but a freih war break- 
ing out with Sweden, he was obliged again to 
take the field, in order to fave Riga, which had 
revolted from his authority. Before he could ef- 
fect this he died, 15 86, but without being able 
to prevail with the diet of Poland to fettle the 
fucceffion of the crown upon his family. 

It is fufficient, in teftimony of Stephen's great 
abilities to fay, that from a middling ftation he 
raifed himfelf to power and royalty, in which he 
maintained himfelf by an almoft unparalleled 
wifdom and intrepidity. He made it a rule with 
himfelf to difpofe of all honours and employ- 
I 4 ments 


merits according to merit; reformed the manifold 
abufes which had crept into the adminiflration of 
jullice; maintained peace within the kingdom, 
and kept in awe the Tartars, Mufcovites, and 
ColTacks. A reign of ten years was long enough 
for his own glory, but too fhort for the good of 
the republic ; and the Poles have almoft deified 
his memory. 

In this reign the regal power was ft ill further 
abridged by the appointment of fixteen relident 
fenators, chofen at each diet to attend the king, 
and to give their opinion in all matters of impor- 
tance, ib that he could not iflue any decree 
without their content. Another fatal blow was 
given to his prerogative in 1578, by taking from 
him the fuprcme jurifdiclion, or the power of 
judging in the laft refort the caufes of the nobles; 
excepting fuch as arife within a fmall diitance of 
the ibvereign's place of refidence: it was enacted, 
that without the concurrence of the king each 
palatinate or province fhould elect in their die- 
tines their own judges, who fhould form fuprcme 
courts of juftice, called Tribunalia Regni ; and 
that in thefe courts the caufes of the nobles 
fhould be decided finally and without appeal : a 
mode of judicature which prevails to this day. 



Though the crown of Poland at this time might 
be literally called elective, yet both the Poles 
and Lithuanians ftill retained a great affection for 
the remains of the Jaghellon family. Prince Si- 
gifmond of Sweden was fori to the eldelt fifler of 



Calimir II. and her younger lifter, Baton's wi- 
dow, was ft ill alive, and was forming a powerful 
party for her nephew. The other candidates 
were, three princes of the hoafe of Auftria, Er- 
neft, Matthias, and Maximilian, together with 
Theodore czar of Mufcovy. 

By the intrigues of his aunt the queen of Po- 
land, and the vaft influence of the eccleliafticat 
order in the diet, Sigismond (who had declared 
himfelf of the Romifh Religion, and had likewife 
on his fide the intereft of the Porte, the fenate, 
and the Polifh army, which was commanded by 
Zamofki, a perfon of great abilities both civil 
and military) was proclaimed king on -the 9th of 
Auguft 1587. 

A flight glance at the Swedifh hiftory will de- 
velope the terms and views upon which Sigifmond 
III. accepted the Polifh crown, in which, as we 
have before obferved, he was oppofed among 
others by Maximilian prince of Auftria. Sigif- 
mond, it is not doubted, hated the eftablifhed 
religion of Sweden; hence he with very little 
fcruple concludedVome ftipulations with the Poles 
that were prejudicial to the Swedes; particularly, 
that he mould annex the Swedifh Livonia to his 
new crown. 

His father John, king of Sweden, had accept- 
ed of thofe terms, but they were rejected by duke 
Charles brother of John, and who was then the 
darling of the Swedifh nation. 

In the mean while the fickle Poles elected the 
archduke Maximilian likewife for their king; and 
fuch dutiful fubjecls were the Swedes, that the 
ftates of the kingdom came to a refolution to fup- 
port the election of Sigifmond, provided the 
Poles would deiift from their claim upon Livonia; 
in utter contempt, it will be obferved, of the com- 



pact of their fovereign John : and before Sigii- 
mond's departure the ftates obliged him to fign 
certain articles in favour of the Protectant religion, 
and the independency of Sweden upon Poland. 

His exaltation to the latter throne coft him, after 
this conceffion, but little trouble. The articles, 
however, which he figned were fuch as were im- 
poffible to be obferved by a prince who ruled at 
once over a proteffcmt and a popifh country, and 
were thought to be calculated for fetting him alide 
from the Swedifh fuccefljon in favour of his uncle 
duke Charles. 

In the event it appeared, that the Poles had 
elected Sigifmond for their king upon merely in- 
terefted principles, becaufe they expected that the 
bait of their crown would have induced both the 
father and the fon to have annexed Livonia to the 
kingdom of Poland. In this expectation they 
were juftly difappointed ; for John, though a pa- 
pift, was a true Swede*. 

To return to the affairs of Poland ; Sigifmond 
agreeing to all that was demanded of him by Za- 
mofki and the patriot Poles, obtained the fove- 
reignty ; and Zamofki defeated a German army, 
which was on its march to fupport Maximilian's 
claim. A fecond engagement enfued, in which 
Maximilian was made prilbner, a victory which 
fecured the crown to Sigifmond, and confirmed 
the glory of Zamofki. All that the houfe of Aus- 
tria could do, was to prevail with the pope to fend 
cardinal Aldobrandini to folicit in behalf of Maxi- 
milian. The prelate made itrong efforts to pre- 
vail with Sigifmond to fuffer Maximilian to retain 
the title of king, even after he had renounced the 
crown, and a large fum was offered for his ran- 
fom. Sigifmond magnanimoufly rejected both 



proposals. He freely gave Maximilian his liberty, 
but forced him to renounce his title to royalty. 

In 1590, Sigifmond's compromife with Maxi- 
milian left him in tranquillity ; and he was be- 
ginning to make fome excellent regulations in the 
conflitution of Poland, when he was forced to 
turn his arms again ft the Turks and Tartars, the 
latter of whom were defeated by Zamoiki, though 
their army under their khan conliited of a hun- 
dred thoufand men. This barbarous war was re- 
newed for feveral years : but at laffc a peace was 
concluded with the Turks, under the mediation 
of the Englifh ambaffador, which reilored a fhort 
tranquillity to Poland. 

In the year 1594, John king of Sweden died, 
and Sigifmond now advifed with the ftates-genc- 
ral, afTembled at Stockholm, about fettling the 
adminifrration during his abfence in Poland, and 
his uncle Charles duke of Suderland was decla- 
red regent of the kingdom. But he foon abufed the 
authority he was cntrufled with, and fhewed evi- 
dent intentions of ufurping the royalty. Under pre- 
tence of defending the Confeffion of Augfbourg 
againft the attempts of the Roman Catholics, he 
took feveral fleps which had a manifeft tendency 
toward the throne, and feemed to threaten an im- 
mediate revolt. Sigifmond complained of this, 
difpatched his ambafTadors into Sweden, and de- 
prived Charles of the title of regent. But the duke 
found means to procure an eftablilhment by the 
flates of the kingdom of the character and autho- 
rity which the king had taken from him. He 
then, notwithstanding Sigifmond's orders, called 
them together at Arboge, where they confirmed 
to him the title of regent of the kingdom, gave 
him commiffion to do whatever he judged necef- 
fary for its defence, and declared all thofe traitors 

4 who 


who within fix months fhould not fubfcribe to 
thefe declarations. 

The duke of Suderland, inverted with this un- 
lawful authority, made himfelf matter of Stock- 
holm and the fort of Elfenbourg. Rebel as he 
was, and ufurping an authority which his matter 
had taken from him, he endeavoured, notwith- 
ftanding, to impofe upon the people, by alluring 
them that all his proceedings were avowed by the 
king, and that he acled only for the maintenance 
of religion ; though, in reality, under the title of 
regent he already exercifed regal power. He 
turned out the magilrrates and officers put in by 
Sigifmond, to make room for creatures of his 
own; removed the greater! part of the fenators, at- 
tainted fome of them, and feized upon the eftate? 
of all who ventured to complain. He obliged the 
chancellor Eric Sparre to remove out of Scandi- 
navia, and put fuch governors and garrifons into 
all the forts, as were entirely at his devotion. 

Sigifmond, upon information of all thefe trea- 
fons, prepared to pafs into Sweden, after having 
advifed with the diet at Warfaw, which fixed his 
return to the feafr. of St. Bartholomew in the year 
next enfuing. He embarked in the road of Dant- 
zick with 5000 men, and deiigned to make a de- 
icent at Calmar, a fea-town in Sweden ; but did 
not ufe all the diligence that was neceffary, and 
through a great miftake took his courfe by lea, when 
he might have been able in a little time to have 
gained by land Finland, which continued faithful 
to him. 

Stephen Banner, the admiral of the king's fleet, 
wandered a long time in the windings of Sweden's 
rocky coaft, and thus gave time to duke Charles 
to get ready his forces, and to make all neceffary 



preparations ; and the zeal of the king's friends 
began to abate. 

Sigifmond, too, judged unwifely in entering 
Sweden with a foreign force. It was thought that 
the duke of Suderland would have fubmitted, if 
the king had not ufed menaces toward him, and 
compelled him to take up arms for the defence of 
his life and eftate ; but after he had raited an 
army, and fortune proved favourable to him, he 
laid hold of the opportunity to carry the rebellion 
farther than he at firft intended. Charles advan- 
ced with an army to meet Sigifmond as far as the 
plains of Lincopen, and then difpatched certain 
lords to him, to bring matters to an accommoda- 
tion. Sigifmond at firit refufed to hear them; 
but was prevailed on afterwards to grant them an 
audience. In the mean time the Hungarians 
without any order fell upon the Swedifh troops 
with fo much fury, that if the king had not 
founded a retreat, and gone himfelf into the field 
of battle, they would have entirely defeated them. 
Enraged, however, to fee the victory thus wrefted 
out of their hands, they threw themfelves upon 
the dead bodies of the Swedes, and cut them to 
pieces. This aclion alienated the affections of the 
Swedes ftill more from the king, for the odious 
barbarity of the Hungarians was imputed to Sigif- 
mond. Several lords of his party went over to 
Charles upon this occafion, who foon obliged the 
king to return into Poland. He recovered Stock- 
holm and Calmar, which had declared for Sigif- 
mond, and piiniihed all thofe as rebels who had 
ihewn any inclination to ferve their lawful prince. 

He then held a diet at Jencopen, in which a day 
was prefcribed for Sigifmond to return into Swe- 
den ; and the fame decree was repeated in another 
iifiembly held at Stockholm foon after. Charles, 



who as yet played the difTembler, and moved by 
gentle degrees toward the throne, procured an 
ordinance, that if the king would not immediately 
come over, and by his prefence put a ftop to the 
calamities of the Hate, they would elect his eldefl 
fon Ladiflaus, upon condition that Sigifmond 
would fend him into Sweden to be there brought 

The war was now carried into Livonia ; Charles 
made himfelf mailer of Pernaw, Solen, Leifs, and 
Fallin. Derpt was next befleged, and fhared the 
fame fate, infomuch, that in fix months time, the 
whole province was fubject to the ufurper, except 
two or three ftrong places. The Poles, the Ger- 
mans, and the Swedes ravaged by turns ; and the 
unfortunate Livonians felt all the moft dreadful 
miferies that war could inflicl:. As Livonia de- 
pended upon Poland, the invasion of Charles 
caufed a rupture with this kingdom, and Sigif- 
mond's quarrel became that of the republic. The 
Poles under Zamofki were fuccefsful, and reco- 
vered all the places that had furrendered to Charles 
within their dominions. 

Though Charles of Suderland had long poffef- 
fed the throne of Sweden under the name of re- 
gent, he had never yet ventured to take upon him- 
felf the ityle of king. At laft, to complete his 
crime, and procure a title which fo much flat- 
tered his ambition, he caufed a libel to be dif- 
perfed, in which Sigifmond was accufed as having 
infringed the fundamental laws of the kingdom, 
and endeavoured to introduce the Romifh religion 
into Sweden. The king was reprefented as a ty- 
rant, who had intended the deftruclion of his 
own fubjecls, and had already put to death a 
great number of them in different engagements ; in 
conclulion the Swedes were exhorted to make 



choice of another king. This libel had the effecT; 
which Charles expecled. The eftates met together ; 
Sigifmond was depofed, and the crown offered to 
Charles. But the crafty afpirer, who fought to 
leffen the odium of an ufurpation by an affedled 
modefty, pretended confcientious fcruples, which in 
reality he had not. He mull in a manner be 
forced upon accepting what in his heart he fo ea- 
gerly dehred ; and the nation muft feem to place 
him upon the throne, as the recompenfe of the 
many fervices he had done the ftate. He was not, 
however, crowned till two years after. 

Zamoiki, after he had recovered from the 
Swedes almoft all the places they had takeii, re- 
turned into Poland, and gave up the com- 
mand of the army in Livonia to Charles Chot- 
kiewitz, who, by his conduct and valour, 
fhewed himfelf a worthy fucceffor to the great 
man who had preceded him in the generalfhip. 
The duke of Suderland having paffed into Li- 
vonia with a fleet of 40 fail, and 12,000 men on 
board, fummoned the inhabitants of Riga to fur- 
render, and upon their refufal laid liege to the 
town. Andrew Linderfon, an officer in the 
Swedifh fervice, marched out from Revel at the 
fame time with 4000 men, to join the army of his 
jmafter; but the Poliih general being informed of 
his march, put a ftop to his progrefs, and de- 
feated him between Fellin and Pernaw. He then 
advanced toward the place beiieged, and feized 
upon an advantageous poll, which nature had for- 
tified, and whence he could fecurely view the 
fleps of the enemy. The ufurper, who was de- 
ilrous to engage, itrove to move the Poles from 
their lituation, and draw them out iato the open 
held. To fucceed the better in this fcheme, he 
polled himfelf upon a little hill over againfl their 



camp, at the foot of which was a fpacious plain, 
which divided the two armies. But Chotkiewitz 
continued firm in a poft where he could not be 
attacked, and which kept the Swedes in awe, and 
ftirred not a ftep till the enemy, through an ea- 
gernefs of fighting, had engaged to a difadvan- 
tage. In fhort, the duke of Suderland, impatient 
of any longer delay, ventured into the plain to 
attack the Poles, and force them to an engage- 
ment. As foon as Chotkiewitz perceived that he 
could fight to advantage, and that the difpofition 
of the ground counter-balanced the number of 
the enemy, he poured like an impetuous torrent 
from the hill where he lay encamped, fell upon 
the enemy that were below him, attacked their 
right wing, broke it, and put it to the rout. The 
Swedes detacl led a body of horfe from their left 
wing to furround him; but John Sapieha, who 
had forefeen their motion, fell upon that body, 
and put them to flight. The number of the ene- 
my, however, made the victory more difficult. 
They frequently rallied, fought again, Hill re- 
lifted, but at la ft were forced to yield. What 
followed, was more a llaughter than a battle. 
Eight thoufand Swedes were killed upon the fpot. 
Part of their fugitives were knocked on the head 
by the country people; and others, blinded by 
their fears, threw themfelves into the bogs, where 
they perifhed. The dukes of Brunfwick and Lu- 
nenbourg, who followed Charles of Suderland in 
this expedition, were flain; and Andrew Linder- 
fon, count Mansfcld, and the ufurper himfelf, 
were dangeroufly wounded. 

Mufcovy this year underwent a moft furprizing 
revolution, in the conducl of which the Poles 
were fo much concerned as to bring it properly 
within the intention of the preicnt hiftory. 



The czar Theodore died in 1598, and had left 
the administration of his large territories to his 
wife Gernia. This princefs had a brother named 
Boris, who, by his addrefs and artful inlinuations, 
had gained the confidence of Theodore, and was 
advanced to the higher! offices in the Hate. So 
many instances of kindnefs would have raifed a 
grateful fenfe in any other breall, and fatisfied 
any other man but Boris : but all the honours 
his prince heaped upon him, ferved only to en- 
hance his ambition, which carried his views even 
to the throne. The czar had no children ; and 
Demetrius his younger brother was to be his fuc- 
cefTor. Boris caufed him to be afTaflinated in the 
life-time of Theodore, and had cunning enough 
to conceal his crime. He was indeed fufpe6ted 
of it, and it was feared left he fhould make fome 
attempt upon the life of the czar ; but to efface 
all thefe fufpicions, he leffened the taxes, gave 
ear to the complaints of towns, redrefTed the 
grievances of private perfons, and found means 
to make himfelf beloved by the people. 

Upon the death of Theodore, the nation offered 
to take the oath of allegiance to the emprefs Ger- 
nia ; but that princefs, either to pave the* way to the 
throne for her brother, or through an excefs of 
grief for her deceafed hufband, declared that the 
would renounce the world, and put the adminiftra- 
tion into the hands of the knes andtheboyards.* 

Upon this declaration the people rofe and ran to 
the gates of the monaitery, where Boris alfo was, 
and befought the emprefs and him, not to 
abandon their faithful fubjedls, who would never 
obey any other princes. Boris fhewed himfelf to 
the people ; and, to calm a tumult which fell but 
little fhort of fedition, he promifed, that as foou 

* The nobility of the empire. 

K as 


as the forty days of mourning were over, h<5 
would take upon himfelf the reins of the govern- 
ment, provided the boyards would divide with him 
the cares of fo painful an employment. 

The czarina took the veil, and the time of 
mourning being over, the people were called to- 
gether into the citadel. The chancellor Banl 
Jacoblinitz Salo Calf exhorted them to fubmit to 
the boyards, and acknowledge their authority ; 
but the whole afiembly feemed to be enraged at 
his difcourfe, and loudly demanded prince Boris, 
the brother of the czarina, as that princefs had 
retired. Upon thefe acclamations Boris, who 
was prefent, rofe up, and with a feigned modefty, 
which he affecled only to make the greater im- 
preffion upon the people, refufed the crown they 
offered him. He even withdrew into the monas- 
tery where his lifter was, and continued there a 
whole month. At laft the people flocked thither 
in troops, tumultuoufly demanded him, and 
threatened to fet fire to the convent, if he did 
not immediately appear. 

The czarina ftrove to calm their paffions, re- 
turned to her brother, threw herfelf at his feet, and 
conjured him with tears in her eyes to appeafe a 
people, whom too great a love for him was about 
to carry to the utmoft excefs. He yielded at laft, 
When he thought he had reftfted long enough to 
Hop the clamours of envious tongues, and Ger • 
nia informed the people that her entreaties had 
prevailed upon her brother to comply, and that 
he was now willing to take upon hirqfelf the ad- 
miniftration of the empire. 

Boris governed Ruflia in peace, when an im- 

poftor rofe up againft him, and wrefted the 

fcepter from his hands, which he had gained by 

fo enormous a villany. A ftranger appeared un- 

3 der 


der the name of Demetrius, who had been afTa£- 
finated by the orders of Boris, and called himfelf 
the right heir of Theodore. He gave out, that 
his mother, informed of the confpiracy laid by 
Boris againit the life of the prince of Mufcovy, 
and forefeeing the danger, had laid another child 
In his bed, which had been mafTacred in his 
place, and buried immediately, for fear the aflaf- 
fin mould difcover the artifice. Beiide all this, 
he exactly refembled the true Demetrius. He 
had, like him, one of his arms longer than the 
other, and a like mole in his face ; but his.fenfe, 
his air, and his genteel behaviour, feemed all to 
put his birth out of queftion. 

He firil applied to the Polifli jefuits, and gave 
them hopes, that if ever he came to the throne 
of his fathers, his firfl care fhould be to draw 
over the Ruffians to the church of Rome. The 
jefuits wrote immediately to the pope, and prefTed 
his holinefs to engage the king of Poland to give 
affiftance to this pretended prince. They then 
prefented him to George Mecinfki, the palatine 
of Sendomir, whole daughter he privately pro- 
mifed to marry, and he introduced him into the 
Court of Poland. 

Though a fUppliant, he addreffed himfelf to 
the king like a prince, without making any fub- 
miffions which might have betrayed his birth, and 
was then received in Poland as the true Deme- 
trius. There he raifed an army of 10,000 men, 
marched toward the frontiers of Mufcovy, paffed 
the Boritlhenes, and took Zerniga without any 
oppolition. The Coffacks, gained by his pro- 
mifes, joined him; and Corelas, their head, 
opened to him the gates of Putinne. 

Boris, in the mean while informed of the 

ftorm which was gathering in Poland, wrote to 

K 2 the 


the fenate, that he could not have thought the 
wifdom of the Poles could have been furprized 
by a fable fo evidently falfe, or that they would 
have infringed the treaties between them in fa- 
vour of an impoltor; that Demetrius was dead, 
and the whole nation knew it, and had mourned 
for him; he therefore befought Sigifmond to feize 
upon the perlbn of the fuppohtitious Demetrius, 
and fend him to Mofcow dead or alive. He added, 
that if the Poles 'mould fupply the impoflor with 
any fuccours, they fhould learn by a fatal expe- 
rience, what it was to provoke the rage of the 
emperor of Ruffia. Belide thefe menaces, he 
had recourfe to intreaties, and applied to the fe- 
nators privately, to gain them over to his intereir ; 
but the pope's folicitations and the credit of the 
jefuits prevailed, and the king was perfuaded, 
that it was the intereit of religion and of the re- 
public to fupport the party of Demetrius. 

Boris now levied an army, and marched againft: 
this pretended prince at the head of r 00,000 
men. The palatine of Sendomir, who com- 
manded the army of Demetrius, nattered himfelf 
that a great part of the enemy's troops would 
pafs over to him, and therefore he fought for an 
opportunity to engage, though his forces were 
unequal ; out he was defeated on the firfi onfet» 
and obliged to fly. 

Demetrius efcaped into the caftle of Rilleik, 
where he defended himfelf with courage, though 
almon; all his foldiers had forfaken him : even 
the two Carthufians, whom he had brought with 
him as witneffes of his piety and zeal for the 
Romifh religion, deferted him ; but the jefuits 
Nicholas Ckerrakowfki and Andrew Lowitz were 
conftant to him, and encouraged him by their 
example and difcourfe. He feemed himfelf tho- 


roughly convinced of the goodnefs of his caufe ; 
and whenever he went to engage, he was feen to 
lift up his hands and eyes to Heaven, and pray 
God to itrike him dead with thunder, if his pre- 
tentions to the throne were not jutt. 

Fortune foon after declared for him. He heat 
the Mufcovite army which befieged him, with an 
handful of men, and forced them to a fhameful 
retreat. He then entered Pontivol. Five neigh- 
bouring towns opened to him their gates ; and he 
found in Bialogrod an hundred and fifty pieces of 
cannon. Jaleka and Luptine prefently after fur- 
rendered ; and the whole province of Severia 
fubmitted to him. 

While he lay at Pontivol, Boris fent certain 
emiffaries to afiaffinate him ; and the patriarch 
of Mufcovy publifhed a decree, by which he ex- 
communicated all the followers of Demetrius. 
The aifaihns being difcovered, Demetrius treated 
them with clemency, and gave them their par- 
dons. He wrote at the fame time to the patriarch, 
and delired he would confine himfelf within the 
bounds of his miniifry, and not employ religion 
in the fupport of an unjuft caufe. He is laid 
likewife to have fent a letter to Boris, in which 
he, in very lively terms, reproached him with 
the means he had made ufe of to afcend the 
throne, and offered him pardon, with conlidera- 
ble advantages to himfelf and his family, in cafe 
he would retire into a monaftery, of which the 
choice mould be left to himfelf. Boris was fo 
ftruck with the reading of this letter, that, whe- 
ther through indignation or remorfe, he fell into 
an apoplexy, and died, after having reigned ie- 
ven years. 

His fon was crowned, and all the lords took 

an oath of fidelity to him ; but a blind fortune 

K 3 foon 


foon changed the face of affairs, and difplaced 
the fon of Boris to raife Demetrius to the throne^ 
who was almoft as foon depofed. 

Crom was befieged by the Mufcovites, and had 
already fuflained ten affaults. Demetrius, in 
whofe favour that city had declared, was afraid 
left it mould fall under the redoubled efforts of 
the beficgers, and difpatched Zaporild to its af- 
iiftance. As that general had not troops enough 
to break through the Ruffian camp by force, he 
had recourfe to ftratagem. He made ufe of an 
ignorant country fellow, by whom he fent a letter 
to the governor of Crom, in which he preffed 
him to a vigorous refinance, upon hopes of the 
fpeedy arrival of 40,000 men, who were already 
on their march to fuccour him. This fellow was 
taken by the betiegers, as Zaporfki intended that 
he ihould. He was put to the torture, and con- 
ferred, what himfslf was fully perfuaded of, that 
Zaporfki was upon his march with a numerous 
army. The Mufcovites, aftonifhed at this falfe 
report, immediately converted the liege into a 
blockade, and went to meet Zaporfki, who, to 
confirm their fears, ftretched out his troops as 
much as poffible, ordered a great noife to be 
made in the camp, and commanded all the valets 
of his army to mount on horfeback. He likewife 
fent certain foldiers into the enemy's camp, who, 
pretending to be deferters, affured the Ruffian 
general and his officers, that another body of 
troops was following Zaporfki ; while he, taking 
advantage of their miftake, fell upon them im- 
mediately with all the brifknefs the Poles were 
capable of. The attack proved fuccefsful : the 
firil ranks of the enemy were broken, and Peter 
Bufmanof, who had been the nril minifler of Bo- 
ris, immediately abandoned the caufe of his fon, 



to declare in favour of Demetrius. The example 
of fo confiderable a man drew after him a great 
number of officers, who fubmitted, and fent de- 
puties to Demetrius to allure him of their fide- 
lity. General John Houdun, who refufed to 
comply, was put under a guard, and fent to* 

Mofcow followed the example of the army, 
and the people there rofe in favour of Demetrius. 
The widow of Boris, the czar, his ion and daugh- 
ter, were fhut up in a clofe prifon. The dowager 
czarina, fearing the vengeance of the conqueror, 
took down a draught of poifon, and gave of it 
to her two children. The fon of Boris died of 
it ; but his daughter, upon taking an antidote, 

Demetrius made a magnificent entry into the 
capital of the empire, and was there folemnly 
acknowledged great duke of Mufcovy, and king 
of Cafan and Aflracan, provinces which John 
Bafilides had conquered. His coronation was fo- 
lemnizcd toward the end of July, and his pre- 
tended mother alii fled at the ceremony. She had 
been fhut up in an obfcure monaftery by the or- 
der of Boris, where the had remained in an entire 
oblivion. Demetrius took her out from thence, 
embraced her with tears in his eyes, gave her an 
attendance fuitable to her quality, and heaped 
honours upon her. The princefs, on her fide, 
either flattered by the change of her condition, 
or afraid to declare what fhe thought, owned the 
pretended Demetrius for her fon, and by that 
means confirmed the common miftake of all the 

But the preference Demetrius gave to the Poles 
before his native fubjecls, the inclination he fhewed 
toward the Romilh religion, and his treatment tq* 
K 4 the 


the family of Boris, proved fatal to him. He 
removed the Mufcovites from his court and all 
employments, and mewed favour only to the fo- 
reigners who advanced him to 'the throne ; parti- 
cularly to the jefuits, who obtained a rich efta- 
blifhment in Mofeow. Seventy of the mofl 
coniiderable families in the empire, which were 
either allied to the late czar, or held out too long 
in the caufe of his fon, were attainted, and their 
eftates given to the Polifh lords who had followed 

While all fubmitted to Demetrius, Theodore 
Swifki or Choufqui was almofl the only one who 
ventured to rife up againfl the authority of this 
new prince. He endeavoured to form a confpi- 
racy, and harangued againft him in a moll 
virulent manner; out thefe .firft efforts proved 
unfuccefsful, and the plot being difcovered, he 
was taken up and condemned by the fenate, 
Swifki was brought to the fcafTold, when Deme- 
trius, through a clemency which proved fatal to 
him, prevented {he blow, and granted his par- 
don to the criminal. 

1606. In the mean time the new czar tent a 
magnificent embafTy into Poland, to return thanks 
to Sigifmond for the affiflance he had given him, 
to renew the former treaties, and to demand the 
daughter of the palatine of Sendomir in mar- 
riage. She came into Mufcovy with her father, 
her uncle, and a long train of German and Ita- 
lian merchants. Within fome few days after her 
arrival, the was crowned by the patriarch of 
Ruffia, who likewife performed the ceremony of 
the marriage. 

Though all things now carried the face of public 
tranquillity, there fubiiited, notwithstanding, a 
private conipiracy againfi the pretended Deme- 
trius , 


trius. Whether through prudence, or fear and 
remorfe, or from whatever caufe, he forefaw all 
the mifehief which threatened him ; the con- 
fpiracy he had difcovered lix months before re- 
turned to his mind, and he feared the confequences 
of a plot which he had left unpunifhed. Befide, 
he had no guards, and blamed himfelf for having 
diimhTed, through a blind confidence, the Ger- 
man troops which he had in his pay. As to the 
Poles, their number was inconfiderable, and in- 
fread of being able to reilrain the fury of an 
enraged people, they could only ferve to .inflame 
it. In fhort, they treated the Mufcovites as a 
conquered nation, and with fo much contempt, 
that thofe revengeful people were in a hurry to 
get rid of thefe proud foreigners, and the prince 
who had brought them in with him. The quar- 
rel began at an entertainment, where the Polifh. 
ambaifador would be placed at the czar's table. 
As this pretention was contrary to cuftorn, the 
principal of the boyards were fo provoked at it, 
that they were hardly reitrained from coming to 

Some few days after, the florm broke out. On 
the 27th of May, the coufpirators met early in 
the morning. They were joined by the body of 
the nobility, and the people rofe to their aflifl- 
ance. Some of them believed the quarter of the 
Poles, attacked it, carried it, and put all to the 
fword ; while others ran furioufly toward the ci- 
tadel, where the garrifon, either furprized or 
corrupted, made but a faint rehftance. Peter 
Bufmanof, the confidant of Demetrius, was killed 
upon the very firft onfet; and Swifki, at the head 
of a troop of confpirators, with a fword drawn 
in one hand, and a crucifix in the other, made 
Jiimfelf mailer of the avenues to the prince's 



apartment. The impotlor, roufed by the nou% s 
laid hold of his.fabre, and threw himfelf out at 
the window. Being hurt in his thigh, he was 
loon fecured, notwithstanding all his oppoli-^ 
tion, and led into a* great ball by Swiiki's orders. 
But though death Hood round him on every fide, 
his courage never left him, and be behaved like 
a prince to the laft moment of bis life. A boyar4 
prefuming to fpeak difrelpectfully to him, he po- 
nifhcd him immediately for his infolencc, and 
gave him a blow with his fabre. He then ipoke 
rciblutely to the confpirators, defired the people 
might be admitted, and the princefs bis mother 
brought to. affure them Hill that be was the real 
fon of John Baiilides. But Swilki, who obferved 
the confpirators to be fomewbat moved, caufed 
him to be killed immediately, with a German of- 
ficer that was prefent, for fear be fhould divulge 
what had palled. 

Paterfon, a Swedifh hitforian, alferts, on the 
other hand, that Swiiki produced the widow of 
John Baiilides and mother of Demetrius, and 
that the princefs declared her fon bad been flam ; 
but that fhe durft not venture to aver it till then ; 
and belide that fhe was overjoyed to fee the 
avenger of Boris's villany upon the throne. 

It is commonly believed that this Demetrius 
was an impoftor : and yet, the refemblance of 
his perfon and countenance to the prince whofe 
name be aflumed, his courage after his firft. de- 
feat, the greatnefs of mind which appeared in all 
his actions, and the declarations of the dowager 
of John Baiilides, who at firft owned him for her 
fon ; all thcfe circumllances have led fome to be- 
lieve, that the Mu.fcovites unjuftly murdered the 
lawful heir to the crown. His behaviour at his 
death is uncertain. Thofe who conlider him as 

a coun- 


j. counterfeit fay, that he owned the impofrure 
before his death, and that his pretended mother 
declared that her fon was afTaffinated by Boris. 
Others, on the contrary, maintain, that he con- 
frantly defended his character and condition ; that 
the dowager czarina never difowned him for her 
fon ; and laftly, that his inclination to favour the 
Romifh religion, and the friendship he exprcfled 
toward the Poles, were the fole caufes of his 

However this be, as foon ns he was flain, 
Swifki caufed him to be publicly expofed for four 
days, and his dead body was treated by the po- 
pulace with the utmoft indignity. Twelve hun- 
dred Poles perifhed with him. The foreign 
merchants were plundered : one tingle man loll 
200,000 florins, and almoft all of them were put 
to the fword. The daughter of the palatine of 
Sendomir, who had fo lately arrived from Poland 
with fuch pomp and magnificence, and but a few 
days before had feen herfelf pofTefTed of the 
highefL grandeur, was taken into cuitody, thrown 
into an obfeure prifon, and deemed happy that 
fhe efcaped with life. At length the fury of the 
people being abated, they proceeded to the elec- 
tion of a czar, and Swifki was chofen. 

His firfl care was to lay open the death and 
impofture of the pretended Demetrius. He fent 
abroad a declaration, in which it was afferted, 
that his true name was Gregory Griiki or Strepy; 
that he had been a monk and a domeftic of the 
patriarch's; and that he afcended the throne by 
means of witchcraft. But though his death was 
certain, and all the Mufcovites in a manner were 
witnefles of it, yet another Demetrius appeared 
upon the ftage, and maintained that this pre- 
tended prince was not ilain, but had efcaped with 

a fmall 


a imall number of his guards. Though the cheat; 
was manifeft, yet fome of the lords adhered to 
him; the CofTacks, encouraged' by the love 
of plunder, and glad of any pretext for pillage, 
joined with him ; and laftly, the daughter of the 
palatine of Sendomir, who with difficulty ef- 
caped out of her priibn at Mofcow, loudly pro- 
claimed him to be her hufband ; but he had not 
the tame good fortune as the pcrfon whom he re- 
prefented, for he newer came to the throne, but 
was afTaffinated by the Tartars who ferved him as 
his guards. 

1609, 1 6 10. In the mean while Sigifmond, 
by means of the troubles which the two pre- 
tended Demetrius's had raifed in Mufcovy, made 
conliderable conquefts in the country. The laft 
ferved him as a pretext for entering Ruffia. He 
railed a great army, and marched againft Smo- 
lenlko, a city formerly belonging to Poland, but 
which had been taken from them by the czars 
ever lince the year 1514. The Poles had the 
firft advantage near Clulin, and beat an army of 
26,000 Mufeovites. The town of Zaroba was 
then carried by Sulcofs, who commanded a de- 
tachment- of Sigifmond's army. 

The liege of Smolentko lafted near two years, 
and there fell either by the fword of the con- 
queror, or by licknefs, 200,000 Mufeovites. 
This important place was carried at laft by af- 
fault; the province of Severia fubmitted to Si- 
gifmond, and the Poles already threatened the 
capital of the Ruffian empire, when the Mufeo- 
vites, attributing their misfortunes to the prince 
that governed them, depofed Swifki, gave him 
up into the hands of the king of Poland, and by 
the advice of Muciflaus, governor of Mofcow, 



offered the crown to Ladiflaus the eldelt fon of 

16 1 1. This young prince, however, did not 
wear it long; for the Mufcoyites revolted almolt 
in the inftant that they had taken an oath of fi- 
delity to their new matter. Whether through a 
natural inconltancy, or that the beginning of 
Ladiflaus' s reign made them feniible of the dan- 
ger of being under the dominion of a Poliih. 
prince, we know not ; but the whole nation, by a 
general confpiracy, took up arms, and elected 
for czar Foederowitz Romanos, fon of the pa- 
triarch Theodore. Foederowitz immediately laid 
liege to Mofcow, where was a garrifon of 7000 
Poles. As the plaee was of too large extent to 
fultain a liege, its defenders, feeing they were 
not in a condition to preferve it, fet fire to the 
city, and above 1 00,000 houfes, betide immenfe 
riches, were confumed by the flames. The Poles 
then retired into the citadel, and made there a 
brave refi fiance. 

Sigifmond might have relieved them, and his 
glory engaged him to tile his utmof: endeavours 
toward preferving fo fine a conqueft ; yet he 
lent but very faint fuccours into Mufcovy, fo 
that the garrifon of the place belieged was obliged 
to capitulate, after having fuffered the laft extre- 

Foederowitz made a right ufe of thefe advan- 
tages and of the inactivity of the king of Po- 
land. Having provided for the fecurity of his 
capital city, he fat down before Smolenlko, a 
place of great importance to either ftate. The 
garrifon was fmall, and the loffes the Poles had 
lately fuffered had lelTened their courage. The 
place was carried by afTault upon the firtl at- 
tack, and the garrifon cut to pieces. From this 



time forward Sigifmond's endeavours to reftore 
his affairs in Ruffia proved of no moment. He 
had let Hip the favourable opportunity, either of 
bringing the Mufcovites under fubjeclion, or of 
gaining their affections for ever, and the fame 
circumftances returned no more. It was in vain, 
that his fon Ladiflaijg, fome years after, marched 
into Mulcovy with a numerous army. His fuc- 
cefs was in no refpedt anfwerable to his hopes> 
and he was obliged to return into Poland, and 
agree to a truce of fourteen years. 

After fo much bloodfhed, fo many battles, 
iieges, and revolutiojis, what now was the iffuc 
of thefe great events ? Mufcovy, after having 
feen upon the throne of its princes the affaffin of 
the lawful heir of the crown, became the fport 
of an infamous impoftor. Shaken to its very 
foundations, and overfpread with the blood of 
the mofl illuftrious boyards, it became a prey to 
the Poles, its mortal enemies, and fubmitted to 
the fhameful yoke of a fuppofititious Demetrius. 
Swifki revenged its quarrel, and reigned, but was 
in an inftant driven from the throne by the very 
fame people who had raifed him to it. Another 
impoftor ilarted up, and occafioned frefh trou- 
bles and new misfortunes. The blood of the 
Mufcovites flreamed down in every quarter ; 
Smoleni!:o alone was the grave of 200,000 Ruf- 
fians ; Mofcow was taken ; Ladiflaus acknow- 
ledged as czar, and in the fame breath depofed. 
There came at laft a thorough alteration. The 
misfortunes of Rufiia were no more. Foedero- 
witz was elected. He repofTefTed his capital, 
and exthsguifhed there the fires which the Poles 
had kindled. They yielded, they fled. Smolen- 
Iko was carried by affault; and Sigifmond, after 
fuch great advantages and fo many viclories,- 



could preferve no more than the duchy of Severia 
-and Novogrod. 

1619. A war with the, Turks now approached, 
of which we fhall briefly ftate the origin. Bethlem 
Gabor, having driven Gabriel Batori out of Traniil- 
vania, had made himfelf rnafler of all that princi- 
pality. The troubles of Bohemiafurnifhed him next 
with a favourable opportunity of gratifying his am- 
bition. He carried the war into Hungary, took 
Caflbw, Filek, andTirnaw. In fine, becoming maf- 
ter of Prefbourg, he afuimcd the title of Prince of 
Hungary. The Bohemians, who had revolted 
agaiaft the Emperor Ferdinand, and cliofcn Frede- 
ric the elector palatine for their king, applied to the 
prince of Tranfilvania for his afliiiance, to fup- 
port them againtt the forces of Ferdinand, who, 
on his tide, implored the fuccour oi' the king of 
Poland. Sigifmond iupplied the emperor with 
4000 CofTacks, by whofe means the ufurper Fre- 
deric was driven from the throne. But the 
part which the Poles had in this war, drew upon 
their country the arms of the Ottomans. 

In Ihort, Gabor, who was fupportcd by the 
Turks, and had great credit at the Porte, ac- 
cufed Gratiani the vaivode of Moldavia, of ad- 
hering to the Poles, who were allied to the Houfe 
.of Anuria, though he was the varlal and tributary 
of the Sultan ; and Sander the bafha had orders 
to pafs into Moldavia and feize on the vaivode. 

1620. Zolkienfki marched to the fuccour of 
Gratiani with 8000 Poles ; and though the vai- 
vode, who had promifed to meet him with 14,000 
horfe, joined him only with 600 men, he took 
the brave resolution, either of conquering an 
army of 70,000 Turks and Tartars, or perifning 
in the attempt. The flrft action paffed in Mol- 
davia. Never was engagement more bold or 



more bloody. The Poles flood like an impeiie- 
trable wall againft the Tartars who fell upon 
their wings, and the J.aniflaries who attacked 
them in front. The courage and addrefs of the 
great general, and the good order he caufed to 
be obferved in his troops, counterbalanced the 
advantage of numbers, and the infidels were 
the firft who defifted. Zolkienfki continued 
in the field of battle, and expected to renew the 
action early the next morning ; but either through 
cowardice, or jealoufy of command, feveral of 
his principal officers deferted him in the night, 
and carried off with them 4000 of his men, 
which were one half of his little army, fo that 
he faw himfelf under a neceffity of planning a 
retreat. It was difficult to fucceed in pretence of 
a courageous enemy, whole forces were infinite- 
ly fuperior ; he neverthelefs attempted it ; and if 
he was not fo fortunate as to meet with fuccefs, 
he at leaft deferved all the glory of it. 

As foon as he was informed of the defertion of 
his troops, he formed a fquare battalion of the 
faithful foldiers that were left him, made a kind 
of moveable entrenchment around them with his 
chariots, and marched in this order to gain the 
Nicfter. He reached to within two or three days 
journey of Mohilow, the firft place of Poland on 
that fide ; but he had the Tartars to reftft, who 
were continually haraffing him, and was under 
fuch a neceffity of avoiding the woods and moun- 
tains which lay in his paffage, that he was obliged 
to go a great way about. In the day-time he 
was forced to fight, and to march in the night. 
On the firft. of October, the Turks attacked him 
without any fuccefs. Sheltered by his waggons, 
lie defended himfelf* with fo much courage and 
addrefs, and the field pieces he had with him 



were fired fo advantageoufly upon the ene- 
mies battalions, that he obliged them to retire. 
In fhort, he had already marched eight days, had 
arrived within two leagues of the Nieiter, was 
on the point of compaffing his intentions, and 
his little troop, after having braved an army of 
near 80,000 men, were entering the paffage of 
the river, when a panic which feized upon the 
attendants of the camp, made the brave Zolkien- 
iki lofe the fruit of fo much dexterity, and fo dif- 
ficult a march. As the night came on, the va- 
lets obferving fome mules grazing near, ran to 
catch them ; but on a fudden imagining that the 
Tartars, who appeared fo terrible to them, lay 
in ambufh behind them, they took to their heels, 
and fet up fo loud a cry, that they fpread terror 
throughout the camp. The like dread feized 
upon the foldiers, who fell into confuiion ; and 
thus thofe brave Poles, who had lately made fo> 
flout a refinance, were in a manner defeated, 
by the fhadow of an enemy, whom they had io 
often refolutely encountered face to face. The 
Tartars, informed of the diforder, fell upon the 
fcattered and affrighted foldiers, and cut them 
to pieces, or made them Haves. The courageous 
Zolkienfki was almofl the only perfon who ven-» 
tared to difpute his life ; but after feveral 
fruitlefs efforts, he was at lafl overpowered by 
numbers. His head was fent to Conftantinoplc 
The conquerors then ravaged Podolia ; and this 
was all the fruit they gained from a victory* 
which was no other wife conliderable than by the 
brave retiftance of the conquered. 

1 62 1. But the revenge of Gabor, who was the 
fpring of this war, was not hereby fatisfied. He 
gained over the principal bainas to his party, and 
having drawn them into his views, they on their 

I4 fide 


fide engaged the Sultan in an expedition, which, 
according to all outward appearance, muft have 
been attended with very fatal confequences to 
Poland. Olman was then upon the throne of 
the Ottoman Empire J young and ambitious, he 
was bent wholly upon war, either through a na- 
tural inclination, or for the fake of employing 
that dreadful body of troops, which-, too apt tct 
mutiny when unemployed, might as caiily de- 
throne him, as they had lately given him the 
fcepter they took from Muftapha. All Turkey 
vvas prefently in motion for the preparations for 
this campaign ; and the Sultan in perfon" appear- 
ed early in the fpring upon the frontiers of Mol- 
davia, with an army of 292.000 men. So for- 
midable a power feemed likely to fw allow up"' 
Poland; but the Ottoman armies arc generally 
more numerous than terrible. Charles Chotkie- 
witz, the general who had already diftmguifhed 
himfelf in the war againft Charles of Suderland,- 
advanced towards Moldavia to defend the fron- 
tiers. He was attacked by the infidels, as he 
lay intrenched upon the banks of the Niefler, in 
an advantageous tituation, who, defpiling the 
final 1 number of his troops, and encouraged by 
the pre fence of their emperor, ufed their utmoft' 
efforts to force Chotkiewitz in his lines, but 
were repulfcd with a confiderable lofs. 

While the Poles relifted with lb much bravery, 
their general died on the 27th of September at 
Choczim, and Staniflaus Lubomirfki fupplied his 

The CofTacks, whofe ravages ferved alfo as a 
pretext for the invalion of the Turks, battened 
to the fuccour of Poland. The Tartars advanced 
to meet them, and, fupported by a detachment of 
Turkifh foot, fell upon them in their march. 



The pafTage was difputed for about eight hours, 
and at laft carried by the CofTacks, though inte- 
rior in number. They then joined the Polifli ar- 
my, and had a great thare in the happy iflue of 
this war. 

On the 28th of September, Ofman gave orders 
for a general attack, and marched hi mfelf again ft 
the lines of the Poles. The action began by 
break of day, and continued till the night put 
an end to it. The Turks* continually repulfed, 
returned ten times to the charge, with that obfti- 
nacy which is natural to them. At laft they re- 
treated, leaving 2c;,ooo of their men killed at 
the foot of the intrenchments. They had already 
loft in different attacks above 60,000 men ; their 
army was daily leifened by the ftcknels which raged 
in it ; and their proviiions began to fail them. 
Thus the Sultan, loiing all hope of forcing the 
camp, propofed a conference ; which was accept- 
ed ; for the two parties were both equally delirous 
of peace ; and if the Turks defpaired of fuccefs, 
the Poles were fatigued and ftood in need of re- 
frefhment. It was agreed, therefore, that the 
Tartars and CofTacks, who fhould henceforward 
commit any ravages, fhould be feverely punim- 
ed : that the Sultan fhould nominate the vaivode 
of Moldavia ; but that none but a Chriftian prince 
fhould be capable of enjoying that principality ; 
and laftly, that Poland ihould give up Choczim. 
Thus ended a war- which alarmed all Chriften- 
dom, and which threatened fuch fatal confe- 
quences to Poland. Sigifmond gave no other oc- 
calion for it, than in aiiifting the emperor, who 
deferted him at laft, and even reiufed him leave 
to raife forces out of Germany. 

161 1. Charles Duke of Suderland, the ufur- 

per of the throne of Sweden, died, and was iuc- 

L 2 ceeded 


ceeded by his fon Guftavus Adolphu?. This* 
prince took advantage of the diflance of the Po- 
lifh troops to make an irruption into Livonia, 
where after a liege of fix weeks he took Riga. 
He then marched along the maritime coafts of 
that province, and carried his conquefts as far as 
Dantzick. Sigifmond ought either to have re- 
covered his ufurped patrimony, or have fallen 
with it ; but, too weak or too fearful to Hand in 
competition with a prince, whofe intrepidity and 
victories had given him the title of the Lion of the 
North, he chofe rather to content to a truce, which 
ended in 1625. 

1626. Upon the expiration of this truce, Guf- 
tavus Adolphus, through a motive of generolity 
andjuftice, offered to divide with Sigifmond the 
title of king of Sweden, and confented that the 
crown fhould pafs to one of his children. He 
even promifed to rertore Livonia to Poland, upon 
condition that Sigifmond fhould give up to him 
Efthonia and Finland, which were fhared be- 
twixt him and Charles of Suderland. But Si- 
gifmond, carrying his pretentions farther with- 
out being in a condition to fupport them, indif- 
creetly refufed fuch advantageous offers. Guf- 
tavus then took the field with an army of 25,000 
men, landed at Blow, and took Elbing, Marien- 
burg, and feveral other places in Pruflia. Ka- 
fammark was the grave of 3000 Poles, and the 
engagement fought near that place fecured the 
conquefls of Guflavus ; but the battle of Dant- 
zick had nearly proved fatal to him. This prince, 
who perhaps was as rafh as he was brave, expofed 
himfelf to the enemy's fire like a common fol- 
dier, and mounted the breach in perfon, to force 
the intrenchments of the Poles ; and he would 
have carried them, had he been lefs expofed : 

1 but 


but a fortunate blow favcd Poland. Guftavus 
having received a mufket fhot, which grazed upon 
his fhoulder, and obliged him to retire, his troops, 
whofe ftrength and courage feeraed wholly to 
depend upon the prefencc of their king, lort 
confidence and retreated. 

The battle of Marienverder would have been 
ftill more fatal to him, ir the Poles had known 
how to make a pro] er ufe of the advantages they 
had gained. Guitavu> Adolphus threatened the 
empire of Germany with an impending invafion, 
and infilled upon the ref oral ion of the proteftant 
princes who had been depofed by the Houfe of 
Auitria. The emperor Ferdinand began to be 
afraid of this young conqueror, and, to impede 
the courfe of fo impetuous a torrent, had fent a 
fupply of troops to Sigifmond. The Poles and 
Germans, united together, got the better of Guf- 
tavus, who was far inferior to them in ftrength ; 
but their mifunderftandings gave him time to re- 
cruit his army, and to revenge his defeat. 

1629. In the end, however, a new truce was 
agreed upon for fix years to come by the media- 
tion of the kings of England and France. This 
treaty was entirely in favour of the Swedes, who 
continued in pofleflion of the towns of Elbing, 
Memel, Braunfbcrg, the fort of Pill aw, and all 
their conquetls in Livonia. Sigifmond did not 
live to fee the expiration of this truce. While all 
parts were filled with the found of Guftavus's 
victories, he, overwhelmed with cares and vexa- 
tions, regretting what he had loll, and appre*- 
henfive of frill greater lofTes, died in the neigh- 
bourhood of Warfaw, at iixty-fix years of age^ 
and A. D. 1632. 

The reign of this prince was attended with 

very lingular events. Chofen by the lords to fup- 

L 3 ceed 


cced Sigifmond Auguftus, Zamofki, under his 
protection,* humbled the pride of the Koufe of 
Auftria, and drove his competitor Maximilian 
from the throne. While the mailer and quiet 
poffeffor of an elective kingdom, he loft his own 
hereditary dominions. His head feemed unequal 
to the weight of two crowns. His efforts againft 
the ufurpcr Charles of Suderland were either too 
weak, or ill-directed. He could neither preferve 
his own patrimony, nor even defend the pro- 
vinces of Poland. Livonia, in part poffeffed by 
the ufurper, was entirely conquered by Guftavus 
Adolphus, who farther took from him a part of 
Pruffia. Guftavus offered him an advantageous 
accommodation ; but Sigifmond, too much at- 
tached to his own fentiments, and refuting to 
give up any of his pretentions, could not obtain 
by force what was freely offered, and was only 
expofed to greater loffes. He had not ikill to 
take advantage of the revolutions in Mufcovy; 
and when the Mufcovites, tired out with 
the loffes they had iuftained, had raifed his fon 
Ladiflaus to the throne of Ruffia, he neither 
knew how to fupport him there, to fuccour Mof- 
cow, or preferve Smolenfko. 

This prince had notwithftanding great virtues, 
and it might be faid, that his very faults were de- 
rived from a good principle. If he loft Sweden, 
the caufe of it may be afcribed to his zeal for the 
Roman catholic religion. If the troubles of 
Mufcovy were of little fervice to him, the reafon 
was, that he too early declared his defign of in- 
troducing the pope's authority. The alliance he 
contracted with the Houfe of Auftria brought 
the Ottoman arms into Poland, and fomented the 
war with Sweden ; but the fhock which the feels 
that divided Germany had given to religion, 
2. made 


made him believe that his union with the empe- 
ror was neceffary for the maintenance of the 
faith of his anceftors. And laftly, too ftricT: an 
equity was the rule by which he would be guid- 
ed in the difpute he had with Guftavus. He 
.did not conljder that Guftavus had the affec- 
tion of the Swedes on his tide, and a crown in 
pofTeffion. He was really a king by hereditary 
fucceffion ; and Sigifmond looked upon him as a 
rebel fubje6r. As he was incapable of doing the 
lcaft injustice himfelf, he would not fuffer it in 
another ; and treating Guftavus as an ufurper, 
he infifted upon his giving up whatever his fa- 
ther had ufurped from him. Laftly, one may 
fafely affirm, that if he had not reigned in Po- 
land, that kingdom would not have loft Livonia, 
and he would have preferved Sweden. Jie died 
after having reigned forty years. 



His eldeft fon Ladislaus was elected fome 
months after. It was apprehended at firft, that 
Guftavus, crowned with the laurels he had won 
in Germany, and the glory of thirty victories, 
would have declared himfelf a candidate ; and 
the Proteftants, who were very numerous in the 
kingdom, earneftly denred it ; but he was too 
much taken up with the care of his conquefts, 
and neglected their fuffrages. 

The queen, who was the fecond wife of Sigif- 
rnond, made fome attempts in favour of John 
Calimir her fon, to the prejudice of Ladiflaus, 
the king's fon by a firft marriage. She had en- 

L 4 deavoured, 


deavoured, in the life-time of the late king, to 
form a party, and obtain John Cafimir to be de- 
clared heir of the crown. There were, belide, 
falfe reports fpread abroad, that Ladiflaus fa- 
voured the novel opinions, and the clergy, upon 
this account, at the opening of the diet, ihewcd 
but few marks of affection toward that prince. 
But John Cafimir, through a greatnefs of foul 
perhaps without example, and lefs jealous of his 
own riling than his mother, who left no means 
untried that might contribute to advance him 
to the throne, broke all the princefs's meafures, 
and put himfelf at the head of the lords who ap- 
peared for his brother. And thus Ladiflaus was 
nominated king on the 13th of November, with- 
out oppofition, by the archbifhop of Gnefna, 
and then proclaimed by the grand marfhal. He 
was not crowned, however, till the year follow- 

1 634, His fucceflion to the crown Hands diftin^- 
guifhed by a great victory which he gained over the 
Muscovites. They were alTembled in the neigh- 
bourhood of Smolenfko, from whence they made 
irruptions upon the frontiers of Poland. Ladif- 
laus, who had learned the art of war in his fa- 
ther's reign, as well in Mufcovy as in Moldavia 
againil the Turks and Tartars, marched againft 
the Ruffians, drove them into frraits, and obliged 
their whole army to lurrender at difcretion. The 
Turks made a diversion, on the fide of Moldavia, 
in favour qi the Mufcovites, but to no purpofe. 
When he hap! conquered them, he marched 
againft tjie infidels, and forced them to a retreat. 
The bailia who commanded tjiem loft his head, 
either tor his unikilful management, or his atTur- 
anee n acting contrary to treaty, without the au- 
thor^ or the grand fignior. Thefe two victories 

pbtaine 4 


obtained an advantageous peace for Poland. 
Ladiflaus continued in poffefTion of the duchies 
of Smolenfko and Czarnihow ; and the Turk, 
who had made trial of his arms, and faw that 
this young prince could not be attacked with im- 
punity, grew afterwards a more religious obferver 
of treaties. 

1635. The war which the king made fome 
time after with Sweden was no lefs glorious and 
ufeful to him. The famous Guflavus Adolphus, 
after having conquered almoit all Germany, was 
flain at the battle of Lutzen. Expiring in the 
arms of victory, he beat the Imperial i its, or, as 
other hiftorians relate, his troops, in a rage for 
the death of their prince, revenged it by the en- 
tire defeat of the enemy's army. After his death 
the Swedifh generals fultained, for fome time, 
the glory of his arms, furprifed Leipiick, took 
Schleftad, Colmar, Paderborn, and defeated the 
Imperialifls near Hamelen ; but the battle of 
Stenaw, and particularly that of Northlingue, 
were difadvantageous to them, and made them 
lofe a part of their conquefts. They muft even 
have fallen under the power of the Houfe of 
Auftria, if they had not been fupported by Louis 
XIII. king of France. 

In thefe circumftances Sweden, governed by 
Chriflina the daughter of Guitavus Adolphus, 
was apprehenfive of the anus of Ladillaus. 
With a view to appcafe this powerful neighbour, 
who was preparing to make war upon her to re- 
cover what his father had lofl, fhe offered a trea- 
ty, as neceffary to Sweden as advantageous to 
Poland. The truce was continued for fix and 
twenty years : Pruflia was reftored, and the de- 
cifion of the claims to the feveral branches of 
Jivonia were fufpended. 



The CofTacks were under the protection of Po- 
land, and defended the frontiers againft the in- 
vafions of Turks and Tartars. King Stephen 
Batori, who knew the ufefulnefs of that militia, 
had given theni lands, and granted them privi- 
leges for the feeurity of their liberty and religion. 
But the Ukraine, which they inhabited, be- 
coming the refuge of an infinite number of Polifh 
peafants, who, harafied with the exactions and 
drudgery which the gentry required from them, 
had joined the CofTacks, and enjoyed with them 
the like immunities, many of the lords demand- 
ed back their vavTals ; and the Cpilacks refuting 
to give up thpfe unhappy wretches, an attempt 
was made upon the privileges of that nation, 
and a fcheme laid to reduce them to an equal fla- 
very with that of the Poliih peafants. Hence 
arofe a long and cruel war, which reduced the 
kingdom to the very brink of ruin. 

Koniclpofki firft entered the Ukraine with an 
armed force, and raifed the fort of Kudac upon the 
banks of the Boriiihenes, to overawe thofe un- 
traceable people into the obfervance of their duty. 
Upon light of that fort, which threatened their 
liberty, they took up arms ; but their firit efforts 
were unfuccefsful, and they were obliged to fub- 
mit. An amnefiy was granted them ; but the 
conditions of it were notobferved. Pauluk their 
general, and the chief of the nation, were taken, 
up and beheaded, contrary to the articles agreed 
upon. Inftead of withdrawing the troops .that 
were in their country, additional forces were lent 
thither ; and in a diet held upon this occaiion, it 
was decreed, that all their privileges fhould be 
fuppreffed and extinguifhed, and the fort of 
Tretimirow, which king Stephen had given them, 
be taken from them. 



Purfuant to this refolution, the Polifh army 
fnarched to that place, with a detign to beiiege it ; 
but the inhabitants of the country vigorouily re- 
pulfed them, and obliged them to retreat. Yet, 
without any deiign of revolting from their obe- 
dience to the king of Poland, they meant only 
to prcferve their liberty under the protection of 
the prince whom their anceftors had obeyed. 
Thus, though conquerors, they offered to fub- 
mit, provided their immunities might be con- 
firmed to them, and protected, that upon that 
condition they would never fvvervc from the al- 
legiance they had fworn. So long as they were in 
arms, and the Poles were afraid of them, the latter 
fuffered them to be quiet, and fed them with fine 
promifes ; but as foon as they were returned to 
their own houfes, the Polifh lords committed a 
thoufand outrages in the Ukraine, fent detach- 
ments thither to take up pri toners, took away the 
Greek churches from the Colfacks, which they 
had in poffeirion, and by their injuries drove a 
warlike nation into extremities, which they ought 
rather to have foothed if they had coniidered the 
true interett of the Republic. 

1648. The Coilacks were headed by a brave 
general, who was pufhed on by a thirft of re- 
venge for the injuries he had personally received. 
Bogdan Kmielnitki was the man under whofe 
conduct they aflerted their liberty, after having 
fhaken the kingdom of Poland to its very foun- 
dations. He was originally a native of Lithua- 
nia, and his father coming to rcfide in the Ukraine, 
he was carried off by the Tartars. Redeemed by 
his mother, he returned into his own country, 
where he was almoft a Granger, and cultivated 
the lands which his father had left him near 
Czehrin. He afterwards added a piece of walte 



ground to his paternal eftate, and cleared it of 
the bufhes which grew upon it. This inconfide- 
rable circumftance was, notwithstanding, the 
caufe of the flame which fpread itlelf over all 
Poland. In fhort, Czapliniki the governor of 
Czehrin feizing upon the wafte ground which 
Kmielnifki had appropriated to his own ufe, the 
latter complained of it to Ladiflaus, who, ad- 
judging the lands to the Polifh officer, allowed 
the CofTack but a fmall acknowledgment for the 
pains he had been at in cultivating them. Kmiel- 
nifki returned home, complained of the unjuft 
judgment which had been given againft him, and 
behaved fo roughly toward the king's lieutenant, 
that he caufed him to be taken up, and condemn- 
ed him to be publicly whipped. Some hiflorians 
add, that Czapliniki feized upon his wife, ravifh- 
ed, and then caufed both her and her fon to be 
flain. However this be, the CofTack left Czehrin 
in a rage, and Sheltered himfelf in the iflands of 
the Borifthenes, where he flirred up the whole 
nation to a revolt, and placed himfelf at the head 
of their troops. 

Poland was in this iituation, and expofed to 
the dangers of a bloody war, when, as a finifh- 
ing ftroke to its misfortunes, the king was carried 
off by an untimely death. Ladiflaus VI. died 
without children at Merets in Lithuania in the 
fifty-third year of his age, and the 17th of his 

Upon his death, the barrier which retrained 
the Coflacks was removed, and they gave a loofe 
to their fury during the interregnum. Kmielnif- 
ki, that plain country fellow, fhewed a prudence 
and courage capable of doing honour to the 
greater! generals. He had tkill enough to con- 
quer that inveterate hatred which his nation bore 



toward the Tartars, and made a treaty with thofe 
people, who had ever been at enmity with the 
Ukraine. With them he marched againft the grand 
general Potofki, defeated him in the neighbour- 
hood of Korfun, put to flight a fecond army of 
Poles near Conflantinow in Volhinia, and then 
overran Podolia and Ruffia. Leopold efcaped 
being plundered by paying a fum of money for 
its ranfom. All the gentlemen who fell into 
their hands were put to the fvvord, and they were 
the happiefl who efcaped only with the lofs of 
their eflates. The terror of their arms was fo 
univerfal, that the capital of the kingdom did 
not think itfelf fecure, and the regal ornaments 
were removed thence, that they might be pre- 
served from the incurfions of the rebels. Their 
ravages made vaft folitudes of the provinces, 
which were formerly fo well peopled on the tide 
of Mufcovy and Tartary, and which remain at 
this day aTmofl without inhabitants. 

The diet afiemblcd at Warfaw grew very much 
afraid of them ; and fome of the lords, either 
more cowardly, or more cautious than the reft, 
propofed the translation of the affembly to Dant- 
zick. Thcfe fears were not ill-grounded ; and 
had it not been for a happy misfortune, they 
would doubtlefs have been obliged to yield to 
thofe fage remonftrances. In fhort, Kmielniiki, 
making the beft ufe of his advantages, and ad- 
vancing as far as Pilavi, gained another victory 
over the Poles, and made himfelf mailer of their 
camp, where he found a booty that was valued 
at fix millions. This lofs was the fafety of Po- 
land. The Tartars came in with all the hafte 
they could, in expectation of a ihare in the 
fpoils ; but as they had not been concerned in 
fnaring the danger, the CofTacks refufed them 



4heir portion of the booty; and fearing they 
fhould attempt to take it from them by violence, 
they withdrew into the Ukraine. 

The diet then finding themfelvcs fecare frorri 
danger., entered upon meafures to arreft the pro- 
gress of the rebels, and put an end to a fatal in- 
terregnum. Upon the firil head, they ordered 
frefh forces to be levied ; affd to make the re- 
cruits more eafy, the clergy contributed one half 
of their revenues. As to the eledrlon, George 
Ragotfki, prince of Tranfyfvania, appeared as a 
candidate at the head of 30^000- men to ferve 
againil the CofTacks in cafe he was chofen ; or to 
join with them if his offers were refufed. The 
Czar of Mufeovy [poke in higher terms, and re- 
folved to make himfelf mafler of a crown by open 
force, which he ought to have expected from the 
free choice of the nation. Biit the Poles ridi- 
culed the menaces of thefe two pretenders, and 
fheir manner of making their claim cut them off 
immediately from all hope of fuccefs. 

John Cafimir, the late king's brother, had the 
greateft number of voices ; but Staniflaus Zarem- 
ba bifhop of Kiow, whole ambition flattered him 
with the hopes of the archbifhopric of Gnefna, 
raifed him up a dangerous competitor. By the 
adviee of this prelate, Charles Ferdinand bifhop 
•of Breilaw and Plotiko, and the youngcil ion of 
Sigifmond III. formed a faction in opposition to 
that of John Caiimir his brother. He was at 
firfr fupported by Chriftina queen of Sweden, 
who folieited in his favour, and ftrove to put the 
crown upon his head, for this only reaibn, be- 
caufe he was incapable of bearing it. Chriilina's 
policy made her afraid of having too able a prince 
for her neighbour. 



John Cafimir had been a Jefuit; and to difen- 
gage him from the vows, he had made in that to- 
ciety, the Pope had given him a cardinal's cap. 
But this circumftance had nearly excluded him 
the throne. The Jefuits, out of zeal againft the 
Gofpellers^ had railed great commotions in the 
laft reign, and the hatred which forrie of the 
lords bore to that whole body fell heavy upon a 
prince who had once been a member of it. But 
what the bifhop of Kiow, and the Protectants 
with whom he joined, judged a mfheient reafon 
for his exclufion, was a motive which engaged 
the Roman Catholics, who were fully allured of 
his piety and religion, to adhere the more firmly 
to him, and to urge his election with the greater 

SECT. Vril. 

John casimir. 

The bimop of Samogitia fpoke in his behalf 
with fo much force, and removed fo completely 
ail the fufpicions of partiality which the vows of 
Cafimir had occasioned, that he overturned at 
6nce the faclion of Charles Ferdinand, and in an 
inftant brought them over to his brother's tide. 
The folicitations of the pope's nuncio and the 
ambaffador of France fixed the greatefl part of 
the deputies. And lafily, the queen of Sweden, 
when informed of the engagements which the 
bifhop of Breflaw had made with the Houfe of 
Auflria, declared againfl him. His competitor, 
therefore, was chofen by a general confent, on 
the 20th of November, and crowned the 17th of 
? January following. 

1649. The 


1649. The war agair.il the Coffacks was by no 
means approved of by the new king ; and if he 
might have been heard, a peace would have been 
made, and the fury of thofe people appcafed by 
a treaty. But the whole body of the Polifh no- 
bility were of a different opinion. Some of them, 
through motives of avarice, and the hope of 
bringing the peafants into fubjcclion, and others 
under a pretence of revenging the injuries offered 
to the republic by the infurrection of thofe rob- 
bers, infilled upon taking the field. The king, 
who was well acquainted with the true intercfts 
of the flate, was inflexible in his fentiments ; in- 
fomuch that the nobility, with a precipitancy 
which proved fatal to them, railed troops them- 
ielves without the king's confent 3 and marched 
into the Ukraine. 

Kmielnifki had forefeen the frorm, and was 
prepared againft it. Three hundred and forty 
thoufand men marched under his flandard, and 
the Cham himfelf was come in perfon to his af- 
fiftaJnce. What could nine thoufand Poles do 
agai ait fo formidable an army? blocked up in 
Zbarras, they defended themfelves there with 
courage ; and if they had met with rebels only 
to encounter, they might have made them give 
way. But their proviiions fell fhort; and the fa- 
mine was fo great among them, that they ate 
their horfes for want of other victuals. In this 
condition, ready to fink under the burden of fo 
many misfortunes, fatigued with the attacks of 
the enemy, prefled with hunger, without force, 
and fupported only by their valour, they implored 
the affiftance of their king, who, though he dis- 
approved of their proceeding, yet thought himfelf 
obliged to fly to their fuccotir. The Cham and 
Kmielnifki marched out to meet him with 1 10,000 



men. Cafimir had but 20,000 ; but then they 
were the braveft fpirits in all Poland. 

The Tartars attacked his camp near Zborow 
to no purpofe for three whole days together. 
Their lofles made them tractable ; and fome over- 
tures were offered toward an accommodation. 
The king promifed to pay the Cham the fubfidies, 
or annual penfions, which formerly were given 
to him, but which Ladiflaus VI. had fupprefled. 
The Coflacks obtained an act of indemnity, and 
the confirmation of their privileges. The num- 
ber of their militia was augmented, and the free 
exercife of the religion of the Greek church was 
allowed throughout all the ykraine. The Cham, 
on his fide, fwore to keep a watchful eye on the 
frontiers of Poland, and to defend them in cafe 
of neceffity; and Kmielnifki likewife promifed 
that the Coflacks fhould firmly maintain the al- 
legiance they owed to the republic. 

1651. But this peace was not of long conti- 
nuance. The peafants, who did not make part 
of the militia, would not fubmit to their lords* 
nor allow them to take pofTeflion again of their 
eftates. They learned befides, that their general 
Kmielnifki had applied to the fultan, and fought 
to form under his protection an independent 
principality in the Ukraine, and along the banks 
of the Boryfthenes. 

John Caiimir, upon information that the Cof- 
facks, w r hofe caufe he firfl thought to be jufl, 
were difpofed to revolt, then judged that the 
whole republic was interefted in the war. He 
therefore railed an army of 100,000 men, and 
routed at once 300,000 Tartars near Beretefkow. 
Some few days after a panic feized upon the 
Coflacks, and threw them into diforder. Bohun 
Ksiielnifki's lieutenant, marching out of his 

M camp 


camp with a detachment of the ancient militia, 
to fall upon the palatine of Brad aw, who ap- 
peared with a hody of 2,000 men, the whole of 
the forces were thrown into a conflernation, 
thought their general was about to defert them, 
and took to flight in the utmofl confufion. 

Aflonifhed with this lofs, the CofTacks defired 
a peace, and it was granted. Kmiclnifki like- 
wife obtained pardon for his rebellion ; but the 
Zaporovian militia was reduced to 20,000 men. 
This treaty fubfifled no longer than till the per- 
fidious Coflack thought himfelf in a condition to 
break it with fafety. 

In fhort, the Mufcovites feeing the Poles en- 
gaged with their rebel fubjects, and embarrafled 
enough with repelling their attacks, took advan- 
tage of that troublefome circumflance, and entered 
Lithuania on the fide of Smolenlko. Kmielniiki 
immediately detached a body of the troops under 
his command, with orders to join the Ruffians, 
who gained from thence a confiderable benefit, 
while another body of CofTacks and Tartars ra- 
vaged Poland on the oppoiite fide. 

1655. Chriflina queen of Sweden, daughter of 
the great Guflavus, had abdicated the crown, and 
placed it upon the head of her couiin Charles 
Guflavus. He was fcarcely upon the throne be- 
fore he became an enemy to the republic of Po- 
land, and gave the fmifhing ftroke to the miferies 
of that country, already torn to pieces by innu- 
merable armies of rebels and robbers. Certain 
difcontented lords called in Charles Guflavus to 
fupport their faction, and kindled a flame in their 
country, which was with difficulty prevented 
from confuming it. In vain France interpofed 
its mediation to bring matters to an accommoda- 
tion; the king of Sweden,, jealous of the glory 



of the great Guflavus, and detirous to efface it, 
if poffible, had laid a fcheme for the conquer!: of 
Poland, and found pretences enough for declar- 
ing war againft it. 

He therefore entered the kingdom, and was 
joined by the malcontents, who enlarged his ar- 
my already made up pf excellent foldiers. He 
prefently became matter of Great Poland, and 
iubducd all Mafovia. Cracow was befieged, and 
made but a weak defence. The conqueror en- 
tered the capital of the kingdom, and compelled 
the unfortunate Calimir, who was without troops, 
without money, and deferted both by the nobility 
and army, to feek an afylum in Silelia. Charles 
then parTed into Pruffia, and met with fo little op- 
position, that he feemed to march through an open 
country already fubjecl to his dominion. Dant- 
zick alone, encouraged by the lively exhortations 
of fome of its preachers, continued faithful to its 
Prince, and fhut its gates againft the Swedes. 

The other towns, animated by the example of 
Dantzick, flood amazed at the prodigious fuccefs 
of the Swedifh arms, and, at feeing themfelves all 
at once fubjeeled to a foreign yoke. The contri- 
butions exacted by Charles Guftavus, and an ex- 
orbitant tax upon every chimney, railed a general 
revolt in a nation ever averfe to tyranny and 
bondage. They could not cOnfent to become 
tributary to the Swedes, and took the brave and 
noble refolution of fhaking off their chains. 
The nobility joined together, and raifed an 
army. Cafimir put himfelf at their head, and by 
his prefence excited that natural affection which 
the Poles bear to their prince, and the hatred 
which always follows the perfon of an ufurper. 
In this firft heat, their general Czarnefki fur- 
prized the Swedifh troops near Jaroflaw, defeated 

M 2 them, 


them, and became m after of their baggage; 
they were next driven out of Warfaw. Fortune 
began to declare in favour of an unhappy people, 
when an unlucky, accident had nearly plunged 
them again into freih misfortunes. 

Charles Guftavus having made a treaty with 
the marquis of Brandenbourg, in which it was 
iripulated that the elector fhould enjoy an abfo- 
lute power in Ducal Pruffia, his fubjects joined 
with their new ally, and the Swedes, ftrengthened 
by this additional force, marched directly to 
Warfaw with defign to recover it. The Poles 
did all that was poflible to prefcrve that city ; 
the conteft lafted three days, and the bravery of 
the defenders kept the victory a long time in fuf- 
penfe, though it inclined to the lide of Sweden. 
Charles carried it at laft ; and the Slaughter was 
the more dreadful, as the conqueft was fo long 
difputed. Warfaw became the prize of the 

1657. Another enemy appeared about the fame 
time. Ragotlki, prince of Tranfilvania, had 
long meditated revenge for his exclulion from the 
throne upon the laft election. He therefore de- 
clared for the Swedes, and flattered himfelf, that 
in this low eftate of the republic, he might be 
able to dethrone Calimir, and raife himfelf upon 
his ruins. Ragotlki had an army of 30,000 
men, and it is poflible his ambitious projects 
might have fucceeded, if he would have followed 
the counfels of the king of Sweden, who had 
advifed him to enter Poland by the palatinate of 
Birfetfk, or Breffici, where all would have been 
favourable to him, and wait for the coming up 
of the Swedes. But Ragotlki, blinded by the 
promifes of Dabricius an aftrologer, who had 
Mattered him with the hope of a certain conqueft, 

4 thought 


thought that on whatever fide he fhould enter 
Poland, he fhould ftill be victorious. 

Every thing feemed to confpire to the downfall 
of this republic, -which, though formerly in fo 
flourifhing a condition, appeared then to be upon 
the brink of ruin. The king 1 of Sweden had 
fcarce any thing left to conquer. Pruffia, the 
greater Poland, Cracow, Warfaw, the two prin- 
cipal cities of the ftate, were fubjecl: to him. The 
Mufcovite was matter of Vilna, and almoft all 
Lithuania; and though he indeed oppofed the 
Swedes in Livonia, yet he was ftill an enemy to 
the Poles, and fortified himfelf upon their fron- 
tiers. Ragotfki attempted to raife himfelf to the 
throne by an armed force, and to ravifli from the 
nation the liberty they had always claimed of 
chuting their kings. Laftly, the Tartars and 
CofTacks, whofe ravages are ever attended with 
the moft horrible cruelties, thofe robbers who 
carry off both men and goods, and whofe foot- 
fleps are always marked with traces of blood and 
fire, were tlw leaft of their enemies. 

But to thefe very miferies themfelves it was that 
Poland owed its preservation from entire ruin, as 
its calamities railed them up avengers. The 
whole north in amaze trembled for their liberty, 
and thought they had feen a fecond Guftavus 
Adolphns in Charles. Denmark was the firit 
that appeared to oppofe the progrefs of fo formi- 
dable a power. Mufcovy joined with him ; the 
Imperial i its inr.reafed the army of Lubormifki, 
and the Dutch fent a fquadron into the Baltic to 
preferve Dantzick. 

Ragotfki was prcfcntly put out of a condition 
of fighting. The Wallachians and Moldavians 
deferted him by the exprefs order of the fultan, 
who difapproved of this enterprize of the prince 

M 2 of 


of Tranfllvania. After this defertion, it was eafy 
for the Poles to defeat him. He was beaten near 
Sendomir, where he attempted to pafs the Viftula, 
and loft in his march, and in the battle, 14,000 
of his men, with all his artillery. They then 
came to a treaty, and it was agreed, that Ragot- 
iki fhould afk pardon of the king of Poland, 
that he fhould break the engagement he had 
made with the king of Sweden, and furnifh a 
certain number of troops, whenever it was re- 
quired of him. But this defeat, and this difho- 
nourable treaty, were not the end of his misfor- 
tunes. The fultan, enraged that he fhould enter 
Poland againft the exprefs orders of the Porte, 
enjoined the Tranfilvanians to make choice of 
another vaivode. In vain he implored the fuc- 
cour of the emperor ; after feveral engagements 
with his competitors, he was beaten by the 
Turks near Hermftad, and foon after died of his 

1658. Charles Guftavus was almoft as unfor- 
tunate. Frederic, king of Denmark, having 
declared war againft him, made fo powerful a 
diverlion in favour of Poland, that he obliged 
the king of Sweden to defift from his project in 
order to defend his own dominions. Charles 
Guftavus had indeed very great advantages in the 
beginning of this war. That prince, whofe cou- 
rage might have been termed raihnets, if fucceis 
had not juftiiicd his actions, encountered the 
depths of the fea, which might have opened un- 
der his feet, and led his army acrofs the ice into 
Zealand, to lay fiege to Copenhagen. Peace was 
then made to the difadvantaire of Frederic; but 
it did not lail long. By this treaty the two kings 
were to fhut up the mouth of the Baltic, and not 
to fiuTcr any foreign veilcls to pafs through it. 

w The 


The king of Denmark, at the folicitation of the 
Dutch, who promifed him a powerful affiflance, 
refufed to obferve this article ; and upon this pre- 
text the war was renewed. 

1659. The Dutch kept their word with Frede- 
ric, and thofe two powers united together at laft 
humbled the pride of the haughty Charles Gufta- 
vus. The Dutch fleet beat admiral Wrangel at 
the mouth of the Sound, who prefumed not any 
longer to keep the tea, but retired into his ports. 
The Swedes at laft, after having been repulfed 
before Copenhagen, were defeated in the ifle of 
Funen, and obliged to fue for peace. This was 
a flnifhing flroke to the king of Sweden. He, 
who till then had been a conqueror, and given 
laws to all his neighbours, and was now con- 
quered and obliged to receive it from them, could 
not furvive the defeat. The iicknefs of which 
he died, was imputed to the vexation which this 
turn of fortune had given him. He was the ri- 
val of the great Guftayus, but lefs fortunate, 
though pofTefled perhaps of equal courage and 

1660. John Cafimir in the mean time had re- 
covered a! molt all the places which Charles Gui- 
tavus had taken from him. Cracow and its 
citadel were reduced to the obedience of their 
natural prince in 1657. Soon after, the elector 
of Brandenbourg had joined with his neighbours, 
and concluded a league, offenlive and defeniive, 
againfl the Swedes his former allies. Laftly, 
Thorn and the greatelr. part of Pruffia had fhook 
off the yoke : and a treaty concluded this year 
with Sweden, had put Cafimir again into poifef- 
fion of all the reft Charles XI. the fon and 
fuccciibr of Charles Guftavus, gave back all the 
conquefis his father had made ; and Cafimir, on 

M 4 his 


his fide, renounced all claim to the crown of 
Sweden . However well grounded his pretentions 
were, they were become ufelefs ; and by parting 
with nothing real, he gained a fubftantial be- 

As foon as the Poles were freed from any ap- 
prehenfion of the Swedilh arms, they thought of 
revenging the injuries they had fuffered from the 
Mufcovites. Czarnefki and Sapieha cut off 26,000 
of them not far from Polaniki. Ten thoufand 
more perifhed in the plains of Glembokia, which 
were left upon the field of battle. Cafimir then 
befieged Vilna, the capital of Lithuania, which 
the Ruffians had conquered. Tr^e city was eafily 
carried, but the cattle made a flout refiftance. 

This fiege was equally fatal to Caiimir and the 
Poles, by the divifion which arofe between the 
king and his fubjeels. A part of the army re- 
volted, and chofe prince Lubormifki for their 
general. Thefc mifunderftandings delayed the 
attacks, and made the fiege longer and more 
bloody. Peace was not made with the czar till 
tome years after. 

1655. The divifions which had lately broken 
out, were carried to inch extremities, that the 
republic foon law two oppoiite parties within its 
own bofom ready to rend it in pieces. Caiimir 
raifed troops; and the rebels and Lubormiiki 
armed on their fide. The Poles were upon the 
point of coming to blows, when the principal 
heads of the revolting -party, repenting of what 
they had done, threw themielves at the king's 
feet, and befought his pardon ; but thefe lubmif- 
fions were not fincere. The nobility forgot the 
refpedt. they owed to the facred perfori of the 
prince who governed them ; and Cafimir, unable 
'to fupport the weight of fo many cares, and na- 


turally inclined to repofc, abdicated the crown in 
the diet of Warfaw, and retired the next year 
into France, where king Lewis XIV. gave him the 
abbey of St. Germain des Pres. He died at Re- 
vers in 1672. 

1668. This prince, who was mild, affable, and 
polite, but irrefolute in his defigns, fearful, and 
almoft conflantly unfortunate, lived to fee his 
neighbours in arms, and his fubjects in rebellion 
againft him. When Charles Guftavus entered 
Poland, John Cafimir fled into Silefia. His cha- 
racter was fhewn flill more in the revolt of Lu- 
bormifki. It is always a reproach upon a prince 
to refign a crown, unlefs the abdication appear 
to be altogether voluntary. To pafs a right judg- 
ment upon this fact., it may not be amifs to attend 
to the fentiments which the Poles cxpreffed at the 
time. " Why," faid Cafimir Zawardlki, the flaroft 
of Culm, in his Secret Hifiory, "Why did John 
iC Cafimir renounce the fceptre, which he had be- 
" fore fo earneftly fought after ? Poland flood in 
" amaze at the view of fuch a flep as feemed to 
" point out the funeral of its liberties. It ap- 
" pcared as if the king had forefeen the fall of 
(( the Polifh empire, and retired left he mould be 
(l overwhelmed in its ruins. This difhonourablo 
" appreheiiiioii was urged as the caufe of his re- 
" treat. He was in a condition to fupport the 
" cares of the government, as he was ftill fenii- 
" ble of ])leafures. It feemed as if he looked 
" upon his fubjecls as his enemies, and that he 
iC fled like a conquered prince, driven out of his 
(i dominions." 

The turbulent reign of John Cafimir was 
marked by the introduction of the Liber um Veto, 
or the power which each nuntio claims and exer- 
cifes of interpofmg a negative, and in confecmence 



of that interpofition of breaking up the diet ; a 
privilege which the fovereign himfelf does not pot- 
fefs, and which has contributed, more than any 
other innovation, to deitroy the true balance ot 
the Poliih conftitution. But the king was ftill the 
fountain of honour: he conferred the principal 
dignities and great offices of the republic ; and be- 
llowed the ftarofties, or royal fiefs, which are 
held during the life-time of the pofleflbr. Hence 
he ftill maintained great influence in the councils 
of the nation* 



The abdication of Cafimir producing an inter- 
regnum, the nobility took up arms, and came by 
fquadrons into the field of elecrton. But this pre- 
caution, which .they had lifed only to prevent ca- 
balling, had very nearly been fatal to them ; for, 
borne away by the impetuous caprice of different 
factions, they rote againft the lenatc, and were 
feen to turn thole very arms again'ft the .principal 
lords, which they had taken up to defend the li- 
berty of their fufrrages. 

1669. Stanrflaus Prafmouiki, archbinSop of 
Gnefna, and primate, fixed the opening Or the 
general diet to the fccqhd of Ma}-. The great 
duke of Mufcovy firft demanded the crown for 
his el deft foil. An army of 8o,oco men waited 
for the anfvver of the Poles upon the frontiers, and 
were ready to fall upon them if they did not elect 
the Prince of Raffia. In cafe of his election, the 
czar promifed to reitorc Kiow and all the other 
towns he had conquered ; to maintain an army 



©f 20,000 men for the fervice of the republic, and 
to pay ten millions into the treafury. Thefe fine 
promifes however had little effedt upon the Poles ; 
the menaces which accompanied them made a 
greater impreffion. As they were not in a con- 
dition to relift, they had recourfe to diffimula- 
tion. Pac, high chancellor of Lithuania, allured 
the czar of the good will and inclination of the 
Poles toward the prince his fon, and gave him 
hopes that he would be elecled, provided he could 
refolve to renounce the Greek church. 

The czar, more guided by his ambition, than 
influenced by his religion, foon removed that ob- 
flacle, and the Muscovite bifhops declared, that 
as the intention of the candidate in contending 
for the crown of Poland was only that he might 
be able to flrikc a greater terror into the common 
enemy of all Chriflendom, he might lawfully 
conform to the Latin church. 

Thus the Poles, in apprehenfion of a rupture 
which might have been of bad cbnfequence to 
them, ftrove to gain time, and allured the czar 
with fpecious promifes without meaning to keep 
any of them. 

The prince of Conde, the duke of Newburg, 
and prince Charles of Lorraine, alio appeared 
upon the lift, and each of thefe had his faction. 
Oboriki itaroft of Warfaw fupported the intereil 
of the prince of Conde, and his faction flattered 
iliemiclves they fhould carry it before all the reft. 
But on the 28th of May, the ftandard-bearer of 
the palatinate of Sendomir, of the faction of the 
Piafls, having obtained leave to fpeak, broke out 
into a fevere inventive againil Qboriki, and 
charged him with betraying the liberty of the na- 
tion, and felling his voice. They even produced 
tetters, by which it appeared, that on the twenty - 


fifth of the fame month, the primate and twelve 
lords, whom they called the vile flaves of the 
French ambition, had held a private meeting in 
favour of the prince of Conde, and that the fe- 
nate meant to carry the election, to the prejudice 
of the gentlemen of an inferior rank. 

Upon reading thefe letters, the whole affembly 
broke into a rage ; they raifed their fabres, and 
with threatening voices demanded the trial of 
Oborild. That lord in unfpeakable fright, turned 
pale, and attempted to make his cfcape ; but 
they kept him there by force, and obliged him lo 
fwear that he would no longer adhere to the par- 
ty of the French prince, but declare that he 
looked upon him as incapable of wearing the 

Some few days after, the nobility required the 
primate to pronounce the exclufion of the prince 
of Conde. The whole lenate was in a confter- 
nation at fuch a propofal. But the primate 
thought to elude it, by faying, that if the nobi- 
lity expected a deciiion of the whole fenate, they 
muft be called together; but if they aiked only 
for his particular declaration, he was ready to 
confent to the election of any pcrfon who mould 
have the fufirages of the whole nation. The bi- 
fhop of Warmia, the palatines of Kiow, Culm, 
and Pomerania appeared to be o( the fame fenfi- 
raents with the primate, and the grand marfhal 
of the crown faid aloud, That if the nobility 
took upon them to proferibe to tumultuoufly a 
candidate of la high a character, he would quit 
his poft and retire. 

The refolution of thefe lords did not appenie 
the tumult : the primate, forced by the cries 
and menaces of the meaner gentlemen, who 
were moil of them pa'fons of no diilinclion, but 



jealous of their privileges, and capable of defend- 
ing them by violence, faid at lait, I exclude him 
then, fmce they will have it fo. Compelled to quit 
the party of the prince of Conde, but preferving 
ftill a itrong inclination towards him, he could 
not pronounce his name in that fatal judgment. 
Thus were all the hopes of the French prince cut 
off at once, and no one durft afterwards attempt 
to urge any thing in his favour. 

The diet, growing more calm, then gave au- 
dience ro the emperor's ambailador. This mi- 
nifter fpoke in behalf of Philip William duke of 
Newburg, and deiired the Poles to fhew a proper 
regard to the merit of that prince. The envoy of 
the marquis of Brandenbourg joined with him, 
and the king of England wrote likewife to the 
republic in his favour. As to the candidate him- 
felf, he made prodigious promifes ; but it was 
thought he neither could, nor even deligned to 
perform them. Betide, though his merit was 
great, he was a German, and of a nation by no 
means agreeable to the Poles ; and the emperor's 
recommendation was rather diiferviceable than 
beneficial to him. It is likewife faid, that though 
the imperial minifler propoied him as a candidate, 
and publicly efpouled his intereil, yet he privately 
recommended Charles of Lorraine. 

The old duke cxhauitcd his treafures, and be- 
ftowed them very profufely among the avaricious 
Poles. Tney fed him with fair promifes, and fo 
long as his money lafted, his cabal was confide- 
derable, and had even the upper hand of the 
duke of Newburg's; but when that fource was 
drained, his party funk, and gave way to the 
faction of the Pi alls. 

The nobility, impatient at the length of the 
diet, and iufpecling the fenate, murmured in every 


174 history of Poland. 

quarter. The principal lords narrowly etcapecf 
being torn to pieces by the rage of the multitude. 
*The foldiers, who guarded the doors of the Kola, 
difcharged their mufquets into the place of elec- 
tion, and the fhot fell among the bifhops and 
palatines. To avoid the danger, fome hid them- 
felves under their feats, and others betook them- 
felves to flight. The bifhop of Plotfko, Lec- 
zinlki, and the caflellan of Pofnania, got off 
with difficulty : two other lords were flain ; a 
third was fhot through the hand. The feditious 
followed after thofe who left the Kola, and 
treated them very roughly : the whole fenate 
was difperfed, and in the utmofT danger. 

Opalinfki palatine of Kalifch at length appcafed 
this diforder. Having called the gentlemen toge- 
ther, he addrefled them to this effect : " To what 
" end," faid he, " mould we thus affault each 
" other for princes with whom we are fo little 
'* acquainted ? After they are chofen, will they 
<c think themfelves obliged to us for our fuffrages, 
" or take any notice of thofe whofe voices have 
(i raifed them to the throne ? Let us rather confi- 
sc der our true interefl, and, without devouring 
" one another, let us chute from among our- 
" felves a man worthy to command over the 
" whole nation. Have we no members of the 
u republic who are capable of governing it ? Or 
tc can we, without difhonour, feek for kings 
*' amongft foreigners, as if we could find none 
" deferving among ourfelves ?" 

Thofe who had a mind to get all they could 
before they proceeded to an election, oppofed 
Opalinfki. Among others, the palatinate of Po- 
dolia demanded, that they fhould firfl provide for 
the fecurity of Kaminiec; but their remonftrances 
were not regarded. One and twenty palatinatea 



declared for a Piatt, and nominated fome few 
days after Michael Coribut Wiesnowiski. 
The greatefl oppoiition was from the Lithuanians, 
who had no mare in that choice ; but the blood 
of one of their deputies, who was cut to pieces 
before their eyes, impofed iilence upon the reft, 
and all concurred to the proclamation of the 
prince elecled. 



Wiesnowiski was fcarcely known before his 
promotion. His father had loll 600,000 livres a 
year in the war with the Coffacks, and the foil 
had long fubfifted upon the liberality of the late 
king. He was indeed of the family of Jaghellon, 
and defcended from Coribut the brother of that 
prince ; but he had done nothing anfwerable to 
his high birth. Upon the news of his election, 
he protefted that he had not abilities to bear the 
burden they had laid upon him, and did all he 
could to decline it ; commendable in this, that 
he was acquainted with his own weaknefs, and 
made no fcruple to avow it. If he was furprifed 
at his advancement to the throne, the Poles were 
foon no lefs aflonifhed to fee thcmfelves governed 
by fuch a prince; nor could they conceive how it 
was they came to elect him. The republic was 
never reduced fo nearly to the brink of abfolute 
ruin as under his admini ft ration, and they more 
than once talked of depofing him. 

The czar of Mufcovy, in refentment of his 
fon's difappointment, now revived the rage of the 
Coilacks. Dorozcniki, their new general, was 

' of 


of* himfelf fufficiently inclined to war, and hoped 
to form a principality for himfelf by means of 
thefe troubles. He therefore took a journey to 
Conflantinople, offered the Ukraine to the fultan, 
and promifcd to introduce Turkifh garrifons into 
the ftrongefl places of the provinces, provided he 
would confer the principality of it upon him, and 
fupport him againit the arms of Poland. His of- 
fers were accepted, and the bafha Kioprili gave 
orders to the Tartars to join with the Coflacks. 
and begin their ravages, which are the ufual fore- 
runners of the Ottoman armies. 

They advanced the next year toward Podolia, 
and laid liege to Kaminiec, the fole place belong- 
ing to Poland in that quarter that was conli- 
dcrable for its fortifications; and the Infidels made 
themfelves matters of it in nine days. This con- 
quefl threw the whole kingdom into a confler- 
nation. The country was open, and without 
defence, and the enemy might march unobftrucled 
to the centre. Wiefnowifki, to get rid of them, 
gave up Podolia to the Coffacks, and promifed 
to pay the fultan a tribute of 22,000 ducats. 

This fhameful treaty, however, was not ob- 
fcrved. John Sobieiki, the grand marfhal of the 
crown, foon revenged his country, and brought 
down the pride of the infidels. The bafha Huf- 
fain was intrenched near Choczim, and threatened 
the kingdom with an immediate invafion. He 
had already prepared chains for the Poles; and 
propofed to fix the Ottoman flandards upon the 
walls of Cracow before the end of the campaign ; 
but finding that the hofpodar or vaivode of 
Moldavia had not joined him with as many 
troops, or as good as he expecled, he broke out 
into a paflion, abufed him bitterly, and at laft 
ftruck him upon the head with an ax, and 



wounded him. The Moldavian, enraged at this 
affront, drew over the vaivodc of Wallachia to 
engage in his quarrel, and thefe two princes 
agreed to revenge themfelves by treachery, and 
informed Sobiefki how they were difpofed. 

The Polifh general prcfented himfelf before the 
Turkifh. camp, and was admitted into it by the 
two vaivodes, who joined with him. But notwith- 
ftandimr their defertion, the Infidels maintained 
the fight for four hours. At lall they were forced 
to yield, and of the 35,000 men, which com- 
poled their army, fcarcely 1500 were left alive. 
Yet all the benefit that was reaped from this vic- 
tory, was the conqueit of Choczim. The Poles, 
loaded witli an immenfe boot}, were defirous to 
(ecure it, and retired for fear of loling it. They 
might indeed have recovered Kaminiec, or fallen 
upon the baiha Kaplam with advantage, who 
was with the Afiatic troops under the cannon of 
Czezowa ; but the Chriftian army neglected to 
make a proper ule of that fortunate circumilance, 
and difbanded, notwithstanding all the orders and 
care of the general to the contrary. King Michael 
Vv'iethowiiki died on the lame day this battle was 
fought, not much regretted by his fubjecls. 

167.?. The deatli of Michael revived the hopes 
0/ moil of the candidates who had already flood 
at the time of his election, and gave place to 
feme other, pretentions. The diet began on the 
20th of April, and the competitors were, the great 
duke of Mufcovy, the elector of Brandenbourg, 
the prince of Traniilvania, prince George of Den- 
mark, the duke of Ncwburg, and prince Charles 
of Lorrain ; and lafl of all, Sobiefki appeared in 
favour of a prince of France, whole name was 
kept a fecret. All thefe pretenders were received^ 
and their propofals heard. 

N The 


The czar, notwithstanding the ilf fuccefs of his 
former attempts, offered the Poles his fecond fon, a 
youth of between thirteen and fourteen years of age. 
His demand was expreffed in humbler terms than 
at the preceding diet ; and if he promifed lefs, 
his menaces were fewer alfo. But no farther re- 
gard was paid to them than might reafonably be 
expected from good manners, and the apprehen- 
ilon of difobliging fo powerful a neighbour. 

The elector of Brandenbourg propofed the 
electoral prince his fon, and promifed that he 
fhould embrace the Romifh religion, in cafe he 
was chofen : but his party was fmall. As he was 
a German by nation, he was not beloved ; and 
as a proteftant by religion, it was apprehended that 
a converfion for the fake of a crown might not be 
fincere ; and fuch a prince might prove dangerous. 
The elector foon perceived how the Poles flood af- 
fected toward his fon, and declined the conteft. 

Michael Abaffi vaivodeof Tranfilvania, befides 
fifteen millions, offered to unite his principality 
to the crown, and to maintain an army of fifteen 
thoufand men for the fervice of the republic 
while at war with the Turk : but thefe offers 
were beyond the power of the Tranfilvanian, and 
impoffible ever to be executed. 

Prince George of Denmark was fupported by the 
king his brother, who offered three millions, and 
the maintenance of fix thoufand horfe. He was 
oppofed by Sweden, which acted fo powerfully 
againil him, that his faction, which was always 
inconfiderable, was foon loft in the reft. 

The mofl mighty of the competitors were, the 
duke of Newburg, and Charles of Lorrain. The 
firfr of thefe princes folicited for his cldeft fon, 
and offered at the fame time a king to Poland, 
and an hufband to the queen, the widow of Mi- 
chael Coribut Wiefnowifki. The Poles were in- 


dined toward him ; but he found a powerful 
adverfary in the prince of Lorrain. The queen 
was in love with Charles, and pawned her very 
jewels to buy him votes. Pac the chancellor of 
Lithuania, and all the deputies of the duchy, 
were devoted to him ; betides, the perfonal merit 
©f the prince of Lorrain had gained him a great 
number of followers. He advanced as far as Si- 
leiia to encourage his faction, and fuccour them 
in cafe of need. 

John Sobiefki grand marfhal of the crown, 
had declared, as already obferved, for a prince of 
France. Crowned with the laurels he had lately 
gained in the battle of Choczim, and beloved by 
the army, he had power and credit enough to 
•create a king, without nominating the candidate 
whofe intereit he efpouled ; he only gave the 
character and defcription of him, and under the 
borrowed lines of the pretended prince for whom 
he folicited, lie evidently drew his own picture. 
He publicly afked for a prince of the blood of 
France, while in very deed he intended no lefs 
than to fet the crown upon ljis own head. 

In the mean time, the fa6tions of Newburg 
and Lorrain, promoted by different interests, gave 
caufe to apprehend a double election. The fe- 
natc, devoted to the German prince, difpatched 
the bifhop of Cracow and fome other prelates to 
the queen, to engage her to forget the prince of 
Lorrain, and to offer her the crown, and the 
prince of Newburg for a hufband. But the 
queen continued inflexible, and, remaining con- 
stant to her lover, took upon herlelf to make 
him a king. The Lithuanians fwore to be faith- 
ful to him, and to die rather than defert his 
party. The Poles, on the other hand, provoked 
at the princefs's refufal, grew more fixed in their 
refolution ; and the more constancy they faw m 

N 2 the 


the oppofite faction, the more firmly they ad- 
hered to their own candidate. 

In this fituation of affairs, and under the ap- 
prehenfion of an enfuing difpute, Sobiefki fet his 
friends to work. He had privately carried on his 
defign, that he might be out of the reach of envy, 
and did not lay open his purpofe, till he faw 
the diicovery was likely to be attended with fuc- 
ceis. The palatine of Ruflia addreifed the aflcm- 
bly to this purpoie : " The republic," faid he, 
is in extreme danger, and threatened with all 
the horrors of a civil war ; and yet what are 
the objects of fo fatal a divilion ? the queen, 
on the one tide, devoted to Charles of Lor- 
rain, docs not approve the prince of New burg 
for a huiband; and thus the caprice of a wo- 
man is to fet us in arms one againft another. 
On the other hand, we arc divided in the caufe 
of a German, whole country alone mould be a 
fufficient motive for our refuting him. Thus 
we facrifice ourfelves for a flranger, and one 
who is little known to us. Let us ceafe then 
thefe divisions, which are founded on iuch fri- 
volous caufes, and yet mult prove fo fatal in 
their confequences. Let us let afide both the 
competitors, who are no otherwife considerable 
than by the cabals they have found means to 
form; and let the true intereft of the kingdom 
influence and direct: our tuff rages. What -kind 
of a head does the republic Hand in need of? 
an hero, who has courage enough to conquer, 
and wifdom to govern us in peace. And why 
ihould we feek for him out of Poland ? We 
have among ourfelves that great man who de- 
ferves to command us. You all know ,hhn, 
and have oft admired his courage and prudence. 
His vi6tories, and his virtues, point him out to 
* .you plainly enough. The conquered Turks, 

" and 


fc and the Coflacks brought under fubjceiion, 
" folicit you in his favour. The fecurity of 
" your frontiers again ft the invaiions of your 
" enemies ; the tranquillity enjoyed in the heart 
<( of your kingdom ; the conqueft of Choczim; 
u — thefe are claims, which mould carry your 
" voices. You fee by thefe cireumftances that I 
t( propofe Sobieiki. Betide his great virtues, you 
" owe a recompence to his fervices. After hav- 
" ing faved the ft ate, can you refufe him the 
'* government of it ?" 

Upon naming this candidate, thofe who were 
before prepared, rofe up, and gave him their fuf- 
frages aloud. The palatinates of Ruffia declared 
for him, and were followed by that of Cracow. 
The reft of Poland was drawn after them, and 
either through fear, inclination, or example, al- 
moft all the afTembly in an inftant nominated the 
grand marihal to the throne. 

The Lithuanians oppofed this choice, and en- 
tered their proteftations. Certain fenators were 
difpatched to bring them back to the Kola; and 
their remonftrances fo far prevailed, that the next 
morning the difTentients joined the body of the 
nation, and the proclamation was made in their 
pretence with an unanimous content. 

It is faid, that M. de Fourbin dc Janfon, then 
bifhop of Marfeilles, and ambafTador of France 
in Poland, had a great fharc in the advance- 
ment of Sobiefki. His inftructions were, to ex- 
clude the prince of Lorrain, with whom Prance 
had great reafon to be diflatisfied. This minifter 
firft efpoufed the caufe of the prince of New- 
burg ; but finding that he was no more likely to 
fucceed than his competitor, the fagacious prelate 
privately joined himfelf to the party of Sobieiki, 
who for the reward of his fervices procured him 
the cardinal's cap. 

N 3 SECT. 




This prince owed his fortune folely to his me- 
rit. He was a native of the province of Ruffia. 
His father was James Sobiefki caftelkn of Cra- 
cow, and his mother a daughter of Staniflaus' 
Zolkieniki grand general of Poland. His con- 
duct and courage raifed him to the highest dig- 
nities in the republic. In 1665 he was made 
general, and the year following high fteward of 
the houfehold, and palatine of the kingdom. 
He beat the Coflacks ; took iixty of their towns 
in one campaign, and then drove them out of 
the palatinate of Bradaw into the Lower Podolia- 
After the lofs of Kaminiec, he put a ftop to the 
farther progrefs of the Turks, and the eonquefs 
of Choczim gave the finilning hand to his glory. 
King Michael died in that circumftance. So- 
biefki did not prefume to declare his pretentions ; 
but under the fhew of an imaginary candidate, he 
artfully formed his own faction, took a proper time 
to make hisdeligns known, and afcended the throne 
he had lately preferred,, and which, it may be,, 
none but himfelf was capable of defending. 

1674. The Turks again took the field before 
the Polifti army could be got together. Choczim 
furrendered after a liege of eight days, and Dif- 
kin was taken at difcretion. The grand vizir 
then laid liege to Human, which held out for 
fifteen days. The place was reduced to the lalt 
extremities, and, not finding any hopes of fuc- 
cour at hand, entered upon a capitulation ; when 
two mines having blown up a^ baftion, opened 
£b confiderable a breach, that the Infidels entered 
the town befoye the treaty was ligned They ex- 



pofed it to plunder, and put the garrifon to the 

After thefe exploits, Kioprili advanced towards 
Kaminiec, ruined all the neighbouring polls 
which flight be of fervice. to the Poles in the 
liege of that city, and then giving orders to the 
cham of Tartary to oppofe Sobielki in the beft 
manner he could, whole army was beginning to 
be formed, he fent part of his own into winter 
quarters, and the reft he difpatched into Alia, to 
ferve again ft the fophi of Perfia, who threatened 

The Poliih armies were almoft wholly made 
up of gentlemen not fubjecl to difcipline, 
who generally neglected the orders of their 
prince, and did not afTemble at the time fixed by 
his decrees. Thus, though Sobielki was very 
defirous of engaging with the Turks, and op- 
poling their progrefs, he was not able to take 
the field till toward November, by which time 
they had already compaffed all they intended. 
As he could not therefore join the Infidels, he 
marched into the Ukraine, at the head of 30,000 
men. The capital of that province furrendered 
to him, after having ftood out feven and twenty 
years. Rafcow, and molt of the towns inhabited 
by the ColTacks, either opened their gates to him, 
or were carried by aflault ; infomuch that Doro- 
zenfki had but two places left him of any consi- 
deration. The fatigues of the campaign led the 
army of Lithuania, under the command of gene- 
ral Pac, to a revolt, and a great number of the 
Poles followed the example, and deferted their 

1675. If Sobielki had not been mailer of the 
molt lingular patience and courage, Poland mull 
now have been utterly loft. The Infidels, in- 

N 4 formed 


formed that the pofpolite * was difperfed, and 
that the king had not above four or five thoufand 
men in his retinue, came into the field early in 
the fpfing, and laid liege to Zbarras, which would 
open them a way into Ruflia, from whence they 
might eafily march to the very gates of the ca- 
pital of the kingdom. After fome refiftance, 
5,000 peafants, who were blocked up in Zbarras, 
revolted againft Defauteuls, a French gentleman 
who was governor of the place, and threw him 
over the walls. The bafha Ibrahim ' punifhed 
them for this treachery, though it was advan- 
tageous to him. He cut off the heads of the 
principal perfons concerned, and condemned the 
reft to the gallies. The conqueror then lent out 
large parties to infult the little army of Sobieiki, 
which was pofled under the cannon of Leopold. 
But thefe kept their ground, and rep u lied the 
affailants fo vigoroufly, that the Ottoman general 
did not think proper to engage in an action. 
Overtures were then made towards a peace. The 
Turks, elate with their fuccefs, demanded that 
Podolia fhould be given up to them, that they 
Ihould be reimburfed the expences of the war, 
and that the Ukraine fhould be given to Doro- 
zenfki, who fhould poflefs it as a feudatory of 
the Porte. But weak as the army of Sobiefki 
was ? he refufed his content to fo dilhonourablc a 
treaty, and the war was continued to the next 

1676. To juftify the refufal of the accommo- 
dation, he did all he could to re-unite the Poles, 
and with great difficulty formed an army capable 
of keeping the field. The Turks laid liege to 
Woinaff. He marched againft them A and 

* See p. 15. 



obliged them to raife the liege. He then in- 
trenched himfelf upon the banks of the Nit- iter ; 
and thither the Infidels, whole forces were far 
fuperior to his, came up to attack him. But all 
their efforts proved unfuccefsful. Sobiclki, fe- 
•cure of his own courage and the refolution of his 
troops, marched even out of his entrenchments 
to difpute a poll with the enemy, of which they 
had a mind to make thcmfclves matters, and 
from whence they might have incommoded him 
in his camp. They fought till night came on, 
on the 24th of N September, and the Chriltiaii 
army had all the advantage. The four following 
days were diftinguifhed by as many engagements, 
in which the Turks were always worried. At 
lalt, on the 9th of October, Ibrahim, hatha, and 
the chain of Tartary, refolving upon a lalt effort, 
marched with their whole united force againft the 
Polifh camp. They made their attack with 
bravery and refolution . but being rcpulfed in 
every quarter, and afionifhed at the number of 
the (lain, they retreated, and both parties then 
came to an accommodation. Peace was con- 
cluded upon the 15th of the fame month at 
Zarawnow, on the banks of the Niefter, on the 
following conditions : that the dilhonourable 
treaty made by king Michael Wiefnovvilki fhould 
be difannulled ; that the Poles fhould continue 
in pofTeflion of that part of the Ukraine which 
lay on this fide the Niefter ; that Comirera, and 
the territories appertaining to the general of the 
CofTacks, who had lately put themfelves under 
the protection of the czar of Mufeovy, fhould 
belong to the Turks ; that the Roman Catholic 
religion fhould be preferved in thofe countries ; 
that the Infidels mould give back all their other 
conquefts, except Karjiiniec and its dependencies; 



and that they fhould defend Poland againft alt 
its enemies. 

Under the circumflances in which he then was, 
at a time when the nobility could fcarce be 
brought to acl for the good of the republic, So- 
biefki could not obtain more advantageous con- 
ditions. They appeared however fo exorbitant 
to the grand fignior, that he refuted for fome 
time to ratify them ; and did not comply at lafl, 
till his grand vizir Kioprili reprefented to him, 
that Poland would be invincible fo long as the 
arm and fortune of Sobiefki could fight for it. 

Hungary had for fome years lafl pad been the 
feat of moll violent commotions. The emperor 
had made himfelf mailer of the principal cities of 
the kingdom, had garrifoned them with German 
ibldiers, and attempted to make that crown here- 
ditary. Count Nadafii, provoked at his being 
refuted the palatinate of the kingdom, and count 
de Serim, difcontented with not obtaining the 
government of Carleftadt, had fecretly implored 
the affiftance of the Porte, and offered to make 
Hungary, Croatia, and Stiria tributary to the 
Turks, if they would lend a helping hand toward 
putting them into their poffeffion. The grand 
vizir, who had the conquefl of Candia from the 
Venetians at that time in his thoughts, did not 
accept of their offers, though at another time 
they would have been favourably received ; fo 
that the malcontents, defpairing of any affiftance 
from Turkey, and finding themfelves too weak 
to engage in an open revolt, had recourfe to 
other methods. Nadafli invited Leopold, the 
emprefs, and the princeffes, to an entertainment 
he was to give in one of his territories, and pre- 
pared a poifoncd difh for the emperor. Nadafli's 
'\yife, to whom the traitor had difcovered his de- 


iign, was ftruck with fo much horror, that fhe 
cauied the fatal dim to be taken away, and ano- 
ther like it to be ferved up in its room. Nadafti 
not obfcrving the effects he expected from- the 
poifon, charged it upon his wife, who readily 
owned what me had done. The barbarous wretch 
punifhed her for it in the molt cruel manner ima- 
ginable, and forced her to die by the fame kind 
of death, from which fhe had prefer ved the 

In the mean time, the confpirators ufed their 
utmoll endeavours to debauch the nobility. Ra- 
gotfki, Tattcmbach, Frangipani, and feveral 
gentlemen of diiiin£tion, were drawn into the 
plot, which was foon after difcovered. Count 
Tattcmbach was betrayed by his valet de chambre, 
who fent to the court of Vienna the original of 
the treaty he had made with the count de Serim. 
An intercepted letter completed the difcovery of 
this dreadful conspiracy. Serim and Francis 
Chriftopher Frangipani his brother-in-law were 
fcized upon in a little place of Croatia, when 
they leaft expected it, and where their reiiftance 
would have been ineffectual; they furrendered 
themfelves quietly, upon the aflurances that 
prince Lobkowitz, his imperial majelty's firfl mi^ 
nifter, gave them, that he would procure their 
pardon. Nadafti was taken up at the fame time, 
and all the three lords were beheaded. 

Leopold then flattered himfelf that he could 
difpofe of Hungary as an hereditary country, and 
thought he might do as he pleafed, while he faw 
nothing capable of oppoling his defigns. He 
iuppreiled the dignity of palatine, created a vice- 
roy rcmoveablc at pleafurc, vvhofe power was en- 
tirely dependent upon the imperial court, and 
confifcatcd the rebels eftates. Some tune after 

" he 


he erected a fovcreign court of juflice for all af- 
fairs in the kingdom, from which there was no 
appeal. The Proteitants, whofe privileges were 
reftniincd by the claims of this new jurifdtction, 
and in general, the whole body of the nation, 
wholly turned their minds, at this time, toward 
ihaking off the chains which the Jmperialifts at- 
tempted to put upon them. 

Thefe troubles Were farther incrcafed upon the 
death of prince Francis Ragotlki, who had been 
forced to make a cefTion of the counties of Zatk- 
mar and Zembolifch to the emperor. The 
Tranfilvanians demanded back that principality ; 
and Leopold refuting to reiiore it, the two par- 
ties prepared for war; but war was carried 11 owl y 
on till the Turks engaged thcmfelves in it. 

In 1677, count de Bohun, at the head of 6,000 
Poles, who, after the treaty of Zurawnow already 
mentioned, having no employment, had marched 
into Hungary, beat general Smith, and joined 
the rebels commanded by Weltini. The famous 
Tekelij who prevailed upon the Turks and io 
marry other enemies to arm againit the houle of 
Auftria, came up likewife with his troops to in- 
ereafe the army of the malcontents, which then 
coniifted of 18,000 men. Soon after, this lord 
was declared general inftead of Weftini. 

When the emperor faw that the ftorm grew 
more considerable, he endeavoured to prevent it ; 
and in the diet of Odemburg, he granted the 
Proteftants the churches they had built, gave 
them leave to build three more in the Upper 
Hungary, and rellored the office of palatine of 
the kingdom ; but thefe favours were out of fea- 
fon. Tekeli refufed to fubferibe to this accom- 
modation, knowing that he lhould foon be 
alftfted by the Tranlilvanians, Turks, and Tar- 


tars. Declaring himfclf the avenger of the "blood 
of count Scrim, he married the prineefs, who 
was widow to Ragotfki, and by that means be- 
came poiiefTor of the fort of Mongate. He foon 
after took the town and ca (tie of Caflbvia. Lengcl 1, 
Spit, Eperies, Tokai, and Tillek opened their gates 
to him, and the fultan declared him prince of 

Though the Turks had not yet openly declared 
for war, they had notwithstanding furnifhed Te- 
kcli with fuccours, and the bafha of Varadin was 
concerned in the taking of Fillec. At la It, 
on the 2d of January, the fatal horle-tails, the 
ufual cntigns of an enfuing war, were fecn upon 
the gates of the feraglio of Adrianoplc; and 
the whole Ottoman empire was in motion, to 
carry fire and fword into the bofom of Auftria. 

To refill this formidable enemy, the emperor 
Leopold Ignatius had, the year before, implored 
the ailiilance of the pope and all Chriltian princes, 
and particularly fought the alliance of the king 
of Poland, that prince fo terrible to the Infidels, 
who, with an handful of foldiers, had checked 
the progrefs of the molt numerous of the Otto- 
man armies. 

Sobiciki had for fome years been tafting the 
bleflings of peace, and quietly enjoying the fruit 
of his labour, by means of the advantageous 
treaties he had made with the Porte. Beiide this, 
he was no friend to the Houfe of Auftria, nor to 
Leopold in particular, who had refined him ai- 
iiftancc, when Poland, preffed by the arms of 
the Infidels, was within a moment of becoming 
their prey. Thefe motives for fome time diverted 
Sobielki from the alliance that was offered him; 
but the courts of Rome and Vienna made fuch 
powerful applications, that at lait they prevailed 



on the king to join his arms with the im- 
perialifts againft the common enemy of Chrif- 

Louifa de la Grange d'Arquien, queen of 
Poland, a French Lady by birth, fought to form 
an alliance with the Houfe of Auftria, which 
might contribute to the advancement of her 
family. Leopold, who was acquainted with 
the fentiments of this princefs, was beforehand 
with her, nattered her ambition, and made her 
very large promifes. They fed her with hopes* 
that if fhe could engage the king her huiband to 
iign a treaty againft the Turk, they would give 
her fon the arch-duchefs to wife, and that with 
the afliftance of the emperor, fhe might be able 
to fct the crown of Poland upon the head of that 
young prince after his father's death. Innocent 
XI. promifed him his protection and intereft, and 
undertook to procure prince James to be nomi- 
nated his lather's fucceftbr in a general diet. 
Upon thefe promifes the folicited Sobieiki, and 
eafily gained him over to her views. In the 
mean time a great number of Polifli lords in the 
diet oppofedthe violation of the treaties fublifting 
with the Porte, and the entering into the new 
league which was then propofed; but the queen's 
party managed fo dexterouily, and reprefented in 
fuch lively colours the danger to which all Chrif- 
tendom was about to be expofed, that they carried 
it for an alliance with the emperor. 

This important treaty was concluded on the 
31ft of March 1683. The terms were, That the 
emperor mould have 40,000 men in the field, 
and 20,000 in garrifon ; that Sobieiki fhould put 
himfclf at the head of the army which was to 
march againft the Turks ; that they mould fall 
upon Tekeli with 6000 men, while the reft 

4 fhould 


fhould make themfelves mailers of Podolia and 
the Ukraine, and drive the Infidels thence. By 
a fecond treaty the king engaged to march to the 
relief of Vienna, in cafe that city was belieged, 
as the great preparations of the enemy gave caufe 
to apprehend it would be. 

- As foon as the king had figned thcfe treaties, 
he took pains to make good what he had 
done. He was generally thought to be inclined 
to avarice ; and indeed the deiire of raiting his 
family might perhaps lead him to too ftricl: an 
ceconomy, and the heaping up of immenfe 
riches ; but in the prefent circumftances, it 
feemed as if he had fpared, only to lay out his 
treafures to advantage upon a proper occafion. 
He opened his coffers to raife troops, and drew 
over feveral officers of diftindlion to ferve under 
him ; he formed regiments of Coflacks, and 
maintained fpies at his own expence in Tranfyl- 
vania and Hungary. He even found means to 
draw over Tckeli and Abaffi from the Turkiih 
party; and while thofe two princes appeared to 
be engaged with the Infidels, they actually held 
a private eorreipondence with Sobielki. 

Kara Muflapha the grand vizir foon appeared 
at the head of 20,000 men. Upon his approach 
the duke of Lorrain, who was generaliilimo of 
the imperial army, and had laid liege to Neuhau- 
fel upon the Ncycra, retreated into the Schut, an 
ifland formed by the Danube, and famous for the 
fort of Komorre, raifed upon a point of land on 
the fide of Gran ; but Vienna, in a confterna- 
tion, cailing-him to her relief, he led hjs army 
up to the walls of the city. The grand vizir tar- 
ried fomc few days before Rab, or Javaria, which 
he cauied to be befieged ; but foon abandoning 
that enterprize, he marched up the Danube, and 



in the month of July came within light of the 
capital of Aultria. 

The news of the Infidels approach, and the 
view of the fires the Tartars had kindled on both 
fides the river, threw the emperor into the great- 
eft confternation. He quitted his palace with 
precipitation, without carrying off with him ci- 
ther furniture, money, or jewels. Moil of the 
lords followed him without equipages; and they 
narrowly clipped being feized by the Tartars in 
the neighbourhood of Lintz. The emperor not 
thinking himfelf trill fecure, though arrived in 
that place, refolved to go a great way farther yet 
into Germany. His fecond flight was as precipi- 
tate as the former, and attended with a circum- 
ftauce more deplorable. The. emprefs, who was 
in the iixth month of her pregnancy, the ladies, 
and the whole court, without lodging, fire, or 
proviiions, were obliged to pais a whole night 
in a forell, where, with much difficulty, they 
procured a trufsof flraw to lay the emprefs upon, 
\vhole conilernation was fo great as to induce 
fome of the pains fymptomatic of parturition. At 
lalt, Leopold arriving at Palfaw, relied awhile,, 
and waited for the event of the liege of Vienna. 

Tiie trenches were opened on the 14th of 
July. Befide the Hungarians, Tranfilvanians, 
Tartars, and the troops which guarded the 
bridges of Rab, the Turks alone made a body 
of 150,000 men, who took up a tract of ground 
proportionable to their numbers. The grand vi- 
zir's quarter was upon the little riling hills which 
furround the palace. Gold and jewels made, on 
every fide, a moll Iplendid Ihew t in the midll of 
mortars and cannon. All the terrors of war were 
intermixed with the pride and pomp of luxury, 
and no prince in Europe could appear more glo- 
rious, or more terrible. 



On the other fide, the city bciieged was very 
weak in feveral places, and the counterfcarp in 
bad condition. The point of attack was flanked 
with two fmall baftions, and fortified by a rave- 
lin, which covered the curtain. The rampart lay 
clofe to the houfes, and ground was wanting to 
make a proper retreat ; fo that if the firfi pofts 
had been carried, it would have been impoffible 
to have held out much longer. But there were 
provifions in Vienna, and ammunition in abun- 
dance. There was alfo a furncient artillery, ma- 
naged by fkilful engineers ; and the garrifon were 
aflifted by a confiderable number of citizens, 
who feemed refolved to fave their country, or 
perifh in its ruins. The dake of Lorrain took 
his poft a fmall diflance off on the left fide of the 
Danube, as well to encourage the befieged, as to 
be in readinefs to receive the fuccours which 
fhould arrive. 

The fiege was not carried on with that vigour 
which the Turks ufually fhew upon fuch occa- 
fions. The firft night they carried their trenches 
within 60 foot of the foffe ; but they fcarce made 
any farther advancement. A battery of 70 pieces 
of cannon was not able in fix weeks time to break 
down one fingle pan of the ravelin. Their mines 
were all countermined: not one of them fuc- 
ceeded ; and their whole ordnance, through want 
of proper managers, became ineffectual. 'Tis 
faid, indeed, that Muftapha prolonged the fiege 
with defign ; and that to preferve the plunder he 
expected to meet with, he was afraid of carrying 
the place by affault. 

While he lay before Vienna, Tekeli was bufy 
in Hungary. The, town of Prefbourg having put 
itfelf under his protection, the Hungarian prince, 

O fupported 


Supported by a body of 1 6,000 Turks, 'marched 
to attack the citadel. The duke of Lorrain, in- 
formed of his motions, hazarded all to prevent 
them. He quitted his poll, entered the caftle of 
Preibourg, and drove out the garrifon which was 
in the town. Tekeli was polled within a quarter 
of a league of them; and it was judged proper 
to fall upon him. Lubormifki, at the head of 
2,500, put him to flight, Hew 800 of his 
men, and obliged the reft to retreat towards 

The duke of Lorrain, having repaired the Da- 
nube, was preparing to throw a bridge over it 
near Tala, while Count Tekeli, by the orders of 
the grand vizir, entered Auftria. The duke, in- 
formed of the enemies march, went to meet them, 
and came up with them not far from Pifemberg. 
The enemy were poftcd upon a riling ground, 
from whence two battalions fell fo fiercely 
upon the Chriftian troops, that they repulfed the 
Poles, and overthrew all that flood in their way; 
but the duke's dragoons put a Hop to their . fury, 
and charged them fo refolutely, that they were 
obliged to return to the main body of their army, 
which was immediately diiperfed : fome of them 
fled toward la Mark, and the reft toward the 
bridges of Vienna. 

Sobiefki in the mean time, prefTed by the re- 
peated letters of Leopold, marched with 20,000 
Poles to the fuccour of the place ; and joining 
the duke of Lorrain near Ollerbrun, crofted the- 
Danube at Tala, over a bridge which they had 
'built, led his army through the narrow paftages 
which the enemy might ealily have guarded, and 
feized upon the mountains which fur round Vi- 
enna, and the caftle of Claremberg, which com- 


niands the whole country. The march proved 
fortunate, and the fuccefs of it gave Sobieiki to 
understand that he had to do with an enemy, who 
was either without experience, or too full of pre- 
fumption. The Chriitian army encamped, on 
the i ith of September, on the tops of the moun- 
tains juft mentioned, and their generals gave them 
reft for one whole day, that they might be fitter: 
for action on the next. The engagement began 
by break of day on the fide of Claremberg. The 
different ports feized by the Infidels were covered 
with inundations; but notwithftanding this ad- 
vantage they were driven from them, and by 
noon Sobieiki was mafter of all the higher 
ground, and prepared to fall, with a body of 
Huffars, upon the quarters of the grand vizir. 

While the Chriitian troops were thus bravely 
engaged, Mufiapha, making a jefl of their af- 
fault, was drinking coffee in his tent with his two 
fons and the cham of Tartary. He lent only 
1 2,000 men to the attack of Claremberg, and 
declined giving any aflifiance to his horfe, though 
charged by the whole imperial army. But as 
foon as the Turkifh general, blinded by a fenfe- 
lefs confidence, faw the ftandards of Sobieiki lb 
near him, his foolifh prefumption changed into 
cowardice; and, trembling and affrighted, he 
had no ftrength but to fly. The Germans firft en- 
tered the camp, as being nearer! to it. The king 
reached it by fix in the evening ; and before 
night there was not a Turk to be feen. They 
found immenfe riches, and Sobieiki wrote to the 
queen, that the grand vizir had made him his fole 

Mufiapha, in the fiege of Vienna, acted con- 
trary to all the known rules of the art of war, 
O 2 sine! 


and the advice of the oldeft bafhas. He ought 
firft to have conquered Javarin, which he left be- 
hind him. In laying liege to Vienna, he fplit the 
Turkim crefcents againft that rock, and gave into 
the hands of the Chriltians the prodigious wealth 
which he had brought along with him. He might 
have taken the city before the Poles came up. He 
might have retarded their march, and covered his 
lines, by guarding the narrow pafl'es which fur- 
rounded his camp ; but he looked upon the firfr. 
advantages of the Chriftians with contempt, and 
feemed as if he had let them gain them only that 
he might chufe a time to conquer them at his 
pleafure, in the midft of their fuccefs. When they 
fell upon his camp, it gave him no more concern. 
His troops were driven from hill to hill, without 
his fending them any fuccours to fupport them. 
Laftly, he kept about him 150,000 men, to be 
as it were fpe6tators of the engagement. Sobielki 
advanced, and the vizir waited his coming up in 
a ftate of infenfibility, as if it were to deliver 
into his hands his rich pavilions. A miitaken 
courage blinded him, and concealed his danger 
from him ; and when he difcerned it, it was only 
to pafs from one extreme of prefumption to ano- 
ther of terror and conflernation. This great vic- 
tory coft the Chriftians no more than the lots 
of 600 men; and as the Infidels made but a 
weak refiflance, and were not purfued, a fmall 
number only of them was left upon the field of 

Sobiefki, upon his entrance into Vienna, which 
he had fo lately delivered, went direclly and pre- 
fented himfelf before the altar, to return his 
thanks to Almighty God, and joined himfelf in 
the Te Deum, with his countenance fixed upon 



the ground, and the moft lively expreffions of 
admiration and gratitude. The people were bu- 
lled in ringing his praifes, and looking upon him 
with wonder and aftonifhment, while the king 
attributed the whole fuccefs of his arms to 

The emperor returned to the capital of his do- 
minions on the 14th of the fame month; and 
there fhewing himfelf as haughty as he had ap- 
peared dejected before, he declined to pay to 
Sobiefki the honours which were given to kings 
in other courts. At a time when Leopold was 
recovering, in fact, his crown from the victorious 
.hands of the Poliih monarch, he contefted upon 
a vain ceremonial. It was at laft determined, 
that they mould meet in open field; and the in- 
terview was made at Schwech, about a league 
and half from Vienna. 

As foon as the emperor appeared, Sobiefki 
went to meet him, and laid to him in Latin, That 
he was very glad that Heaven had profpered his 
endeavours and his friendfhip. Leopold gave no 
anfwer, either through the hanghtinefs of his dif- 
polition, or that he was ftruck with aftonifhment 
at the fight of his deliverer. Two days after he 
fent prince James a fword fet round with dia- 
monds, and three thoufand ducats to every one 
of the Poliih generals. He wrote a letter like- 
wife to the young Prince, in which, to excufe 
himfelf for not having before taken notice of 
him, he told him, that the remembrance of the 
dangers he had run, and the prefence of the 
prince to whom he owed his prefervation, had 
made at once fo great an impreffion upon him, 
that he was in a manner inienflble. However 
this was, Sobieiki was treated with ingratitude, 
O 3 ar*l 


and the promifes which had been made him were 
forgotten as foon as the fervice was done. 

The Polim lords, provoked to fee their king fo 
difrefpeclfully treated, would have perfuaded him 
to retire ; but a fenfe of glory prevailed more 
upon him, and he determined to rmifri the cam- 

Upon raiting the liege of Vienna, the Ottoman 
army retreated into Hungary to the neighbour- 
hood of Gran. A large body of troops had 
paffed the Danube over the bridge of Barkham, 
and had fpread themfelves around that fort, in 
the orchards which lie along the banks of the 
river. The king of Poland formed a defign of 
difiodging them from that poll; and that the 
Poles might have all the glory of the expedition, 
he did not communicate his project to the duke 
of Lorrain. Upon the approach of the rirfl line 
of the Chriftian troops, the Turks, who had re- 
covered themfelves, fell upon them ; and their 
numbers being coniiderably augmented, they 
drove back the Poles, and killed a great number, 
Sobiefki himfelf was never in fo great danger. 
Though he could not have thought the enemy 
would have been beforehand with him, nor ex- 
peeled they would have engaged fo foon, he gave 
immediate orders, and flood firm with a body of 
Coffacks and fome horfe. The Turks, with their 
fabres in their hands, fell upon him fo impe- 
tuouily, that his battalion was fhaken, and in a 
fright turned their backs upon the third onfet. 
Deierted by his foldiers, he was obliged to fly 
with them ; and being brifkly purfued, and fcarcely 
known by his own men, he narrowly efcaped be- 
ing ithied in the midft of the prefs. Twice a 
Turkifh foldier attempted to cut off his head ; 


and if" a gentleman, and the matter of his horfe, 
who never left him, had not diverted thofe fatal 
blows, the great Sobiefki, who had eicaped the 
dangers of fo many battles, mull have lofl his 
life in that fkirmifh. He was fo fatigued, and 
covered with duft, fweat and blood, and fo fpen£ 
with the heat of the weather and the engage- 
ment, that he was not able to lit upon his horfe. 
His head declined upon his breafl, and as he was 
fat and heavy, he was in danger of being either 
furTocated or falling into the hands of the enemy. 
His gentleman and the mafter of the horfe took 
hold of him by one arm, and keeping his head 
up ftraight for fear of fuffocation, they let go the 
bridles of their horfes, and fo efcaped. 

Vengeance, however, followed clote at the 
heels of this affront. A report was fpread among 
the Turks, that the king was flain. Fired with 
their advantage, and freed from the fear of that 
terrible thunderer, they defired of Kara Mufta- 
pha, a fupply of troops, to exterminate the re- 
mains of the Chriftian army. The grand vizir 
immediately difpatched a numerous body of horfe, 
and ordered Tekeli to advance toward Barkham 
with 30,000 men under his command ; but be- 
fore thefe fupplies could arrive, Sobiefki got the 
flart of the enemy. In fhort, upon the 1 ith of 
October, two days after the defeat, the king got 
on horfeback by break of day, and put his 
troops in order of battle. The right wing he 
commanded in perfon, the left he committed to 
the grand general of the crown, and gave the 
center to the prince of Lorrain. 

Rage and fury feemed to animate the Turks 
upon the hrfl onfet, and to fupply their want of 
numbers. The Chriftian troops fell upon them 

O 4 with 


with a rapidity equal to their reiiftance. The' 
bafhas of Buda, Sileflria, and Caramania, made 
prodigious efforts, and long iufpended the vic- 
tory, which the courage of the king of Poland, 
and the good order he had eftabliihed, at laft 
carried in favour of the Christians. Sobielki, by 
placing himfelf in the right wing, as we have 
already obferved, had a defign to fall down 
toward the river, and throw himfelf betwixt the 
enemy and their bridge. When (heir ardour be- 
gan to abate, he ftretched out his forces by little 
and little into the lower plain, and drew toward 
the Danube. Upon this motion the Infidels, 
who were apprehenfive for their bridge and the 
fort of Barkham, broke their ranks to get thither 
before him. They were brifkly purfued, and foon 
thrown into confufion. The way was too narrow 
to receive them all. Part caft themfelves into the 
Danube, and there perifhed. Others expired 
lander the fword of the conqueror. A great num- 
ber ran toward the bridge, which being over- 
loaden, was broken down. A moft dreadful 
ilaughter then followed. Barkham was attacked 
by the Polifh foot, and carried by aflault. The 
foldiers gave way to their fury, and glutted their 
hatred againft the Infidels. It was in vain to 
throw down their arms; they fpared none. They 
refufed to hearken to a capitulation ; and the 
conquerors, deaf to the voices of their own of- 
ficers, would not be prevailed on to defift from 
(laughter till there were no more enemies to be 
{lain. There fell that day 12,000 Turks. 

The action was over, and the Chriftian army 
already conquerors, when Tekeli appeared upon 
the neighbouring mountains ; but upon feeing the 
defeat of his allies, he retreated. It has been 
thought that his dilatorinefs was a confequence of 

4 the 


the intelligence he held with the king of Poland, 
and that he might have come up fooner. The 
grand vizir fai'pecled it, and earned him to be 
taken up Tome time after. The fruit of this vic- 
tory was the conquetl of Gran, which furrendered 
after a fi«ge of five days. The fultan attributed 
the lofs of that city to the negligence and in- 
ability of Kara Multapha, and caufed him to be 

After this glorious campaign, Sobielki fet for- 
ward upon his return into his own dominions. 
In his march he made himfelf matter of Zatkin, 
which broke all the fchemes of the Infidels, who 
had refolved to fall upon him in his retreat. A 
few days after, the Poles defeated an army of 
40,000 Turks and Tartars near Filgrotin. The 
Coffacks, Moldavians, and Wallachians then en- 
tered the province of Butriac, where they flew 
above 700,000 perfons. 

1684. 1 lie next year the king of Poland en- 
tered into a league offenfive and defenlive with 
the emperor, and the republic of Venice, againft 
the Turks. While the lmperialifls were engaged 
upon the Danube, and the Venetians in the 
Morea, the Poles were to employ the forces of 
the Infidels by an attack on the fide of Wallachia. 
By a fecret article of this treaty it was ftipulated, 
that this province and Moldavia mould be abfo- 
lutely fubject to Sobielki, and that he might dif- 
pofe of them to his eldefl fon. Two years after, 
the king drew the czar of Mufcovy into this 
league, with the hofpodar of Moldavia, who pro- 
mifed to declare for him as foon as the Poles 
fhould fet footing in his country. 

Sobiefki marched toward this expedition with 
all imaginable ardour. The advantages his fa- 
mily would derive, were a powerful motive 



to engage him in it. He was followed by the 
bravcit fpirits in all Poland. All the lords and 
generals entered into the fervice, and the repub- 
lic, had not for a long time tent abroad ib nume- 
rous and well-difciplined an army. The campaign 
was opened in the beginning of July. The king 
would command in perfon, though the lords 
complained that he took from them the beft part 
of their glory; and this jealoufy had already oc- 
casioned ibme diviiions. The army entered 
Moldavia, pafTed the Pruth, and leaving it on 
the right, travelled vaft plains, without the ap- 
pearance of any enemy. They expecled indeed 
to meet the hofpodar, who, by a private treaty 
made with him, was to join his forces to the 
Poles; but the perfidious Cantemir had changed 
his mind, and was gone over to the Infidels. 
The king made himfclf matter of all the places 
in the province, and found no oppolition to his 
conquefts. But the difficulty was how to pre- 
serve a country that lay quite open, without any 
one ftrong place in it. 

After a march of four and twenty Moldavian 
leagues, every one of which is as much as five 
Englifh ones, without meeting with an enemy, 
that he might not lofe the fruit of that expedition, 
Sobieiki reiolved upon proceeding as far as the 
borders of the Black Sea, and laying fiege to 
Akierman or Bialogrod, in the Dubriac province 
of the LefTer Tartary, upon the frontiers of 
Moldavia. The army then turned toward that 
quarter, but foon found it impofiible to go for- 
ward, for the Tartars had laid the whole country 
defolate, and had left neither forage nor pro- 

Sobiefki then quitted this defign to march 
along the Danube; but this fcheme was attended 



with greater difficulties than the former. So 
many rocks, woods, and narrow lanes, lay in 
the way, that, beiide the danger of ambutcades, 
they had caufe to apprehend tlie road was fo 
impaffable, that the army muft have perifhed if 
they had advanced too far. They therefore re- 
turned toward the Pruth ; when the Tartars and 
Moldavians came down from their mountains, 
and fhewed themfelves in the valley. As the 
corn and hay were full-grown and dry, their de- 
tachments fet fire to the fields, as the negroes of 
Congo do in Africa to drive away the lions and 
leopards, and the Chriflian troops often faw 
themfelves covered with flames and afhes. Be- 
ildethis, they were obliged to engage in feveral 
places, and always in a lituation of difadvantage. 
The greateft danger, however, was in croffing the 
Buccovines, which were vafl folitudes, inter- 
fperfed with ditches and narrow pafles between 
the Pruth and one part of the Krapac mountains. 
The Tartars propoied there to have quite de- 
ft royed the Poliffi army, when, fhut up in a kind 
of prifon, they would not have been in a condi- 
tion to defend themfelves. To this end they 
placed an ambufcade upon the fide of a brook, 
which flowed out of a rock near a narrow paf- 
fage, lined on each tide by a fteep rock, and 
through which the Poles were obliged to march. 
They were upon the point of falling into this 
fnare, when a deferter luckily came to give them 
notice of the danger which threatened them. In- 
formed of the place, and the nature of the am- 
bufcade, the king detached Rewowild, the trea- 
furer of the crown, with a body of felect foldiers, 
who, climbing up the mountain, fell upon the 
Tartars from behind, as they lay afleep, and en- 
tirely routed them. The army then marched 



forward without any appreheniion, and happily- 
arrived at Snyatin in Pokatia. This expeditiori 
had not indeed the fuccefs which was expected ; 
but this was fo far from catting a blemifh upon 
the reputation of Sobiefki, that it ferved only to 
augment his glory. 

The king flood in need of all his courage and 
experience to prevent any fatal effects from the 
Moldavian's treachery. Not feeing him come up, 
he was for marching into the Budziac, or as far 
as the Danube. His courage led him thither ; 
and he would have comparted his deligns, if the 
ways had been pailable. In his return, his fkill, 
and the' order he canted to be obferved, faved 
his army, and were equivalent to the laurels of 
a viclory. The ten thoufand Greeks, whole fto- 
ry is given by Xenophon, were not expofed to 
greater dangers, nor retreated out of Pedia with 
more honour, than did the Poles from the moun- 
tains of Moldavia. 

Sobicfki was at this time the moft glorious 
monarch that had ever filled the throne of Po- 
land ; yet on his return in triumph to his king- 
dom, the great lords began to fuipect that he in- 
tended to render the crown hereditary in his fa- 
mily. Their diflruft even went fo far, that they 
had refuted to fupport him in the late campaigns 
againfi: the Turks in Podolia and Moldavia. 
Though he took Gran, yet his expeditions, being 
chiefly made at his own expenee, were far from 
being anfwerable to the former honour he had ac- 
quired, and feme of them were unfuccefsful, 
though conducted with the greateft abilities and 

For fouie time before his death, he had declin- 
ed appealing at the head of the army, either from 
an inclination to filenee the complaints of the 



lords who were difpleafed that he gave them no 
opportunity of diftinguifhing themfelves, or that 
his age and ficknefs would not admit of the fa- 
tigue. Yet good fortune frill accompanied his; 
troops, for Count Jablonowlki, grand general of 
the kingdom, and Sapicha, grand general of Li- 
thuania, gained a victory over the Turks and 
Tartars near IMiefta. The infidels left 4000 of 
their men upon the field of hattle, and loft be- 
fides 5000 waggons loaded with provifions and 
ammunition defigned for Kaminiec, together 
with the money that was to pay the garrifon. 
The Poles are faid to have loft but twelve men in 
the action. 

On the 17th of June 1696 (the anniverfary of 
his fucceffion to the throne) died the heroic and 
magnanimous Sobiefki, at Villanow near War- 
faw, having lived 66 years, and reigned 22. 
A character like his will be pleafing to contem- 

Raifed to a throne by his courage, his after 
conduct lhewed that he defcrved his good for- 
tune. He knew to combine a good tafte for the 
fciences with a thorough knowledge of the art of 
war, and could as well harangue in a diet, as 
fight at the head of an army. If he heaped up 
riches, and feemed of a fparing difpofition, the 
intereft of the republic always got the better of 
his temper. While he was yet no more than 
marfhal of the crown, he made frequent ufe of 
his wealth toward difperfmg thofe vaft armies of 
Tartars and Coiikcks which invaded the kingdom 
with fo much fury ; and in the campaign of Vi- 
enna, he diftributed his treafures with a kind of 
prodigality, which was fo much the more com- 
mend Able, that if he was naturally fond of lay- 


ing up riches, he facrificed his own inclination td 
the neceflitics of the ft ate. 

Vienna favcd, and feveral other exploits, have 
immortalized the name of Sobiefki. If he did 
not recover Kaminiec, as he gave caufe to hope 
that he would upon his coming to the crown, the 
reaion was, becaufe the republic had then neither 
cannon, powder, nor engineers. And what 
could Sobiefki do in this condition ? His cou- 
rage, through the want of his fubjecls aififtance, 
was conftrained againft his inclination to remain 
inactive. In the following reign the Turks gave 
back Kaminiec ; and this reftitution ought rather 
to be looked upon, in fome fort, as a consequence 
of the victories which Sobiefki and the Imperial- 
ifts his allies had gained over the enemies of the 
Chriftian name, than attributed to any efforts of 
Auguftus and the Poles for the recovery of that 
important place. 

Sobiefki had brought the Coffacks under much 
greater fubjection than they were before; the 
Mufcovites were his allies ; the Turks were beaten 
in every quarter, and prefumed not to enter upon 
his frontiers ; the kingdom, enriched with their 
fpoils, enjoyed a profound peace, while the king, 
at the head of his troops, was expofed to all the 
hazards of war in an enemy's country ; and 
laftly, he had carried the glory of the nation to 
the highert point of perfection. 

Yet this prince, fo deferring of the throne, 
met with moil ungrateful fubjecls. The emperor 
fhewed but little gratitude for the fervices he had 
rendered him; and the court of Vienna, not fa- 
tisfied with refuting Prince James the arch-du- 
chefs, who had been promifed him, oppofed the 
marriage of that young prince with the princefs 



Radzivil. The Poles likewise but ill requited the 
good offices of Sobiefki. The houfe of Sapieha, 
which he had drawn from obfcurity, and raifed 
to the higheft offices in the duchy of Lithuania, 
confpired againfi: him in 1683. Radzieiowiki 
his relation, for whom he had procured a cardi- 
nal's cap, and had advanced him to the dignity of 
primate, became his enemy. Wielopolfki, the 
brother-in-law to the queen, joined with the pre- 
late ; and it is faid, thefe two lords had formed 
a faction to dethrone their benefactor. 

When Charles XII. of Sweden entered Cra- 
cow, he vifited the tomb of John Sobiefki in or- 
der to pay a mark of refpect to the memory of 
that great monarch. He is reported, as he hung 
with reverence over his fepulchre, to have cried 
out, " What a pity that fo great a man fhould 
ever die !" May we notalfo exclaim, what a pity 
that a perfon, lb impreffed with a fenfe of Sobi- 
eiki's virtues, fhould adopt only the military part 
of his character for the object of his imitation ! 
How infinitely inferior is the Swedifh to the Po- 
lifh fovereign ! The former, dead to all the finer 
feelings of humanity, was awake only to the 
calls of ambition ; every other fentiment being 
loft in the ardour for military honours. If per- 
fonal courage be fufficient to conftitute a hero, he 
poiTeiTed that quality in an eminent degree ; but 
it was rather the bravery of a common foldier than 
of a general. Sobiefki, even in that view of his 
character, has an equal title to fame : for his va- 
lour was no lefs difiinguifhed; and in one refpect 
was fuperior, as it was not clouded with rafhnefs, 
but was tempered with prudence. Though the 
firft general of his age, he placed not his fole am- 
bition in military glory ; he was great in peace as 
well as in war : by the union of talents belong- 



ing to each department, he defended his country 
from impending danger, raifed her from her fall- 
ing ftate, and delayed during his reign the aera of 
her decline ; while Charles, who was deficient in 
civil virtues, plunged Sweden, which he found 
highly profperous, into ruin and defolation. In 
a word, Charles had the enthufiafm of a knight- 
errant, and Sobiefki the virtues of a hero. 

But the asra of John Sobiefki, fplendid in it- 
felf, appears more luminous, when contracted 
with the darknefs which preceded and followed. 
The reigns of his immediate prcdecefTor and fuc- 
celfor were convulfed with internal commotions ; 
but the fpirit of difcord and anarchy was laid for 
a time by his tranfeendent genius. Under his 
aufpices Poland feemed to revive from the cala- 
mities which had long opprcfTed her, and again 
to recover her ancient fplendour : fuch is the 
powerful afcendency of a great and fuperior 
mind. His military talents require no other telti- 
mony than the victory of Choczim, the recovery 
of the Ukraine, repeated defeats of the Turks 
and Tartars, and the delivery of Vienna : while 
an exacl infight into the laws and conflitution of 
his country, a manly and perfuafive eloquence, a 
love and protection of literature, an accurate 
knowledge of foreign languages, and an un- 
cealing habit of affability, moderation, and tempe- 
rance, render him no lefs an object of our admi- 
ration in his civil capacity.* But the monarch, 


* Dr. South, in his account of Poland, thus defcribes John 
Sobiefki : " The king is a very well-fpoken prince, very eafy of 
" accefs, and extreme civil, having moft of the qualities requU 
" fite to form a complete gentleman. He is not only well-verfed 
u in all military affairs, but likewife, through the means of a 
*' French education, very opulently ftored with all polite and 
" fcholaftical learning. Befides his own tongue, the Sclavonian, 
•■' he underftands the Latifl, French, Italian, German, and Turk- 

«« irtk 


who could allay the ferments of public faction, " 
could not fupprefs the domeftic diflenfions of his 
own family ; and the fame great prince, who kept 
a turbulent people in awe, and chaftifed the moll 
formidable enemies, was himfelf under the con- 
trol of his confort, a French lady *, of exquifite 
beauty and elegant manners, but of reftlefs in- 
trigue, iniatiable avarice, and inordinate ambi- 
tion. This unprincipled woman fomented a fpi- 
rit of difunion and jealoufy among her children; 
and loaded her eldeft fon with every fpecies of 
indignity. She formed and fupported an admi- 
niftration called, by way of derifion, the Jewifh. 
junto ; and introduced into the royal houfhold a 
narrow parlimony unbecoming the dignity of a 
powerful fovereign : in a word, by a feries of of- 
ieniive and wicked meafures, the loft her huf- 
band the affection of his fubjects ; and rendered 
the clofe of his reign as odious, as the preceding 
part had been popular and glorious. 

The decline of Sobieiki's lite was clouded with 
affliction. He felt himfelf a prey to a lingering 
difeafe j~ ; yet, inftead of deriving any comfort 
from his neareft connections, he experienced an 
aggravation of his diftrefs from the unnatural 
contefts of his children, and the intriguing fpirit 
of his queen. The decay of his authority, and 
the indecent cabals almoft openly carrying on for 
the choice of his fucceffor, affected in the ftrong- 
eft manner a perfon of his extreme feniibility : 
his fubjec~ls, inftead of lamenting, feemed eager- 

** ifh languages : he delights much in natural hiftory, and in all 
■*• the parts of phyfic. He is wont to reprimand the clergy fur 
" not admitting the modern philofophy, fuch as Le Grand's and 
«< Cartefius's, into the univerlities and fchools," &c. South'S 
Pofthumous Works, p. 24. 

* Marie de la Grange. 

t His illnefs was a gomplication of diforders, gout, ftone, afth* 
ma, dropfy. 

P ly 


ly to anticipate his difiblution. Yet, in tills de- 
plorable Hate, the king's equanimity, founded oil 
religion and philofophy, did not forfakehim; and 
he retained, even upon his death-bed, that mix- 
ture of fcrioufnefs and gaiety, ftrength of rea- 
foning and quicknefs of repartee, which (q 
flrongly marked his character. Some ftriking in- 
cidents, immediately preceding his death, are. 
transmitted tons by the chancellor Zalufki bifhop- 
of Plotiko, who wasprefent when he expired. 

Some alarming fymptoms in Sobielki's diforder 
having awakened the queen's lblicitude reflecting 
the fucceffion to his fortune, fhe earnefily import 
tuned Zalufki to prefent himfelf before the king, 
and insinuate fome advice concerning the disposi- 
tion of his affairs. The bifhop, when he entered 
the apartment, finding the king in an agony of 
excruciating pain*, endeavoured to give him com- 
fort and hopes of recovery. But Sobiefki re- 
plied, " l forefee my approaching death ; my 
" situation will be the fame to-morrow as it is to- 
'* day ; all confolation is now too late :" then, 
fetching a deep figh, his majefty afked him 
" why he came fo feldom to court, and in what 
" manner he employed himfelf at his diocefe 
a alone ?" Zalufki, after expatiating upon the 
duties of his epifcopal office and the refources of 
literature, artfully turned the difcourfe to the bu- 
iinefs in question. " Lately," faid he, " I have 
" been employcdln no very agreeable, yet necef- 
" fary duty: weighing the frail condition of hu- 
" man nature, remembering, that as Socrates 
" and Plato, fo all men must die ; and consider ~ 
" ing the difTenfions which may arife among my 
s< relations after my deceafe, I have taken an in- 
" ventory of my effects, and have difpofed o£ 

* Zalufki, Epift. vol. III. p. $,—14. 

« them 


** them by will." The king, who law the pur- 
port of his difeourfe, interrupted him with a loud 
laugh, and exclaimed, in a quotation from Ju- 
venal *, " Medici, mediant contundite vendm." 
* e What, my lord bifhop ! you whofe judgment 
f( and good fenfe I have fo long efteemed, do 
u you make your will ? What an ufelefs lofs of 
" time!" &c. Not difcouraged by this fally, 
the bifhop perfevered in fuggerting, " that in 
" juftice to his family and country he ought 
u without delay to regulate the difpolition of his 
u effects, and to declare his final inclinations." 
— " For God's fake," returned Sobielki with a 
more ferious tone, " do not fuppofe that any 
u good will arife in this age, when vice has in- 
" creafed to fuch an enormous degree, as almofl 
t: to exclude all hopes of forgivenefs from the 
" mercy of the Deity ! Do you not fee how great 
K is the public iniquity, tumult, and violence ? 
u all ftrive who fliall blend good and evil witb- 
u out difHndtion : the morals of my fubjects are 
i( overturned; will you again reftore them ? My 
<( orders are not attended to while I am alive ; 
<f can I expect to be obeyed when I am dead ? 
ie That man is happy, who with his own hand 
(l difpofes of his effects, which cannot be en- 
i( trufted with fecurity to his executors; while 
" they who bequeath them by a will act abfurd- 
" ly, for configning to the care of others what i$ 
u more fecure in the hands of their nearefl rela- 
" tions. Have not the regulations of the kings 
" my predeceffors been defpifed after their dea-ths ? 
" Where corruption univerfally prevails, judg- 
u ment is obtained by money ; the voice of con- 
" fcience is not heard, and reafon and equity are 

* Juvenal, Sat. VI. 1. 40. " Open a vein.'' In applying this 
paJage, the king - meant to jnfmuate that the bilhop was xnad. 

Pa " no 


" no more." Then fuddenly giving a ludierou* 
turn to the converfation, he exclaimed, " What 
" can you lay to this, Mr. Will-maker !" 

Sobiefki left behind him his wife Marie de la 
Grange, three fons, James, Alexander, and Con* 
ftantine,' and one daughter Therefa Cunigundai 
Marie his wife, daughter of Henry de la Grange 
captain of the guards to Philip duke of Orleans, 
and of Frances de la Chartre, was maid of ho- 
nour to Louifa queen of Ladiflaus IV. She was 
firft married to Radzivil prince of Zamofki ; 
within a month after his deceafe fhe eipoufed 
John Sobiefki in fecret, and brought him ill 
dower a large portion and the favour of his fove- 
reign. Her influence over her hufband, and the 
ill ufe fhe made of her power, have been already 

James Louis, the eldeft fon of Sobielki, was 
born at Paris in 1667. He accompanied his father 
to the relief of Vienna, in the lixteenth year of 
his age ; and narrowly efcaped being flain in an 
action near Banan in Hungary. He afterwards 
gave fuch lignal proofs of his military talents, 
that, upon his father's indifpofition in the cam* 
paign of 1687 a gainrt the Turks, he was entruft* 
ed with the command of the army, although only 
in the 2 ifl year of his age ; and received from the 
foldiers all the honours ufually paid only to the 
. kings of Poland: a lingular mark of deference 
in an elective monarchy, and which gave encou'- 
ragement to an expectation of the throne at his 
father's deceafe. His father promoted this view 
with the utmofl exertion of his interefl ; but it 
was entirely difconcerted by the indifcretion of 
the prince, and the reftlefs intrigues of the queen ; 
who, having conceived the flrongeft antipathy to 
her eldefi fon, and a no lefs violent predilection in 



favour of her fecond fori Alexander, a prince of 
a more tractable difpofition, facrificed the digni- 
ty of her family to a blind impulfe of parental 

Sobiefki had fcarcely expired, before the cabals, 
which even his authority could hardly fupprefs, 
broke out with undificmblcd violence. The di- 
vision of the king's treafure caufed the moil in- 
decent difpntes and altercations between his wi- 
dow and children. James, without a moment's 
delay, endeavoured, though in vain, to feize it 
by force, being anticipated by the queen *, who, 
with the afliitanee of the abbe Polignac, fent it 
into France. She had three great obje6ts in 
view : either to obtain the crown for Alexander, 
whom fhe was fecure of governing ; to promote 
the election of Count Jablonouiki, great general 
of the crown, with an intention of marrying 
him ; or to favour the pretentions of the prince of 
Conti, warmly (imported by Louis XIV. At all 
events fhe was firmly refolved to procure the ex- 
clufion of her eldeit fon ; and this was the only 
point the carried. Had the family of Sobieiki 
been unanimous, James would have been elected 
king ; but no fubmiffion -j~ could foften the im- 

*. The queen fent 3,ooo,opo French livres — £. 125,000, into 
France. Larrey, Hilt. Louis XIV. v. II. p. 297. 

f Zalufki has given the following curious inftance of the 
queen's implacability : " I and other fenators accompanied prince 
V James to the queen's at Bieltz, but her majefty being informed 
** of our approach, retired precipitately from the palace in order 
«« to avoid the interview ; we overtook her about a niile from 
** Bieltz, and ordered the driver to flop, while fhe repeatedly 
** urged him to continue his route: at length the coachman, 
t( alarmed by our number and threats, flopped the carriage. On 
** our advancing to the queen, (he received us with great ;*,arks 
*' of difpleafure ; and although the prince proftrated himfelf be- 
" fore her, and embraced her feet with the molt profound re- 
*' fpeft, he was not able to extort from her more than a fhort 
*' and evufive anfwer. Upon his retiring, with his eyes full of 
P 3 «« tears, 


placable refentment of the queen, who, cvei^ 
when fhe found it impracticable to fecure the 
election of her favourite fon Alexander, or to 
compafs any of her other deiigns, both in fecret 
and openly fet herfelf in opposition to the pre- 
tentions of James. When the diet of convoca- 
tion aflcmbled at Warfaw, the queen fummoned 
a meeting of fenators and nuncios in her apart- 
ment, whom fhe addreiTed in regard to her fon 
with all the virulence which inveterate fury couldi 
infpire, and all the affected candour towards the 
Poles which the mofl confummate hypocrify: 
could fuggefL " Although 1 am not by birth a 
" Pole, I am one by inclination ; and am more 
" attached to this nation than to my own family. 
(i Reflect maturely whom you will nominate 
" your king in the place of my much-regretted 
" hufband; and I lincerely recommend to you 
¥ not to elect one of my children. I too well 
" know all their difpolitions ; and particularly 
" caution you not to raife to the throne the eldefc 
tc prince James. His inconliderate rafhnefs will 
" involve the kingdom in fpeedy and inevitable 
" ruin." The bifhop of Plotiko, though her 
creature, difgufted at thefe appearances of unna- 
tural rancour, importuned her to defiit ; but fhe 
exclaimed with greater violence : " Do not inter- 
" rupt me; J v/ill never retract what I have faicL 
" as I prefer the fafety of the republic to my own 
f* interefls and the fplendour of my family. I 
" again exhort the Poles to elec?t any candidate 
" in preference to one of my children," This 
virulent opposition 'to the views of her eldetl fon 
was but too fuccefsful : he was rejected by a great 

'* tears, I myfelf ufed fome endeavours to foften her refent- 
*' rr.ent; which, however, had no other effect than to draw from 
«« her additional expieflions of difguft and indignation." Za- 
Jufki, vol. III. p. 135. 



jority, and the choice of the nation fell upon 

guftus elector of Saxony. 
The fequel of the hiiiory of Sobielki's family, 
now reduced to a private itation, will be com- 
pared in a fliort compafs. After the defeat of 
Augufus II. at the battle of ClifTow, Charles XII. 
determined to give a new king to Poland; and 
his veneration for the memory of John Sobiciki 
induced him to offer that dignity to his eldeit 
fon. In confequencc of this refolution, Augus- 
tus was declared by the primate unworthy to 
reign ; and a diet of election was convened at 
Warfaw. James was then at Breflaw, impatient- 
ly expecting his nomination to the throne fo wor- 
thily filled by his father, and from which he had 
been deprived by the unpreccc malice of a 

mother. But the uilial iingularity of his ill-for- 
tune ftill purfued him : as he was hunting with 
his brother Conitantine, a imall detachment of 
Saxon horfemen furprifed and carried him off; 
and, initead of receiving a crown, he was con- 
fined in the cattle of Pleitlenburgh near Leipfic. 
Conilantine might have efcaped ; but, from an 
impulfe of fraternal affection, he voluntarily ac- 
companied his brother into confinement, and acU 
miniitered confolaiion under this grievous revcrfe 
of fortune. This event happened on the 2,8th of 
February, 1704. 

In the month of September, 1706, the two 
brothers were removed to the fortrefs of Koning- 
ftein, as to a place of ftill greater fecurity ; but 
in December of the fame year fortunately obtain- 
ed their enlargement, upon the requeft of Charles 
XII. at the concluiion of the celebrated treaty 
with Auguftus II. in which the latter was com- 
pelled to abdicate the throne of Poland. This 
abdication, however, did not revive the preten- 

P 4 lion** 


of J... es to the crown, the election having 
fallen, during his confinement, upon Stanillaus 
I/etzirifki. From this period James paffed a pri- 
vate and retired life, and feems to have entirely 
renounced all his views upon the crown of Po- 
land. He died in 1737 at Zolkiew in Red Ruf- 
fia, in the 70th year of his age; and in him, as 
the laft male of his family, the name of Sobief- 
ki became extinct. His wife was Hedwige Eleo- 
nora *, daughter of Philip William eleclor pala- 
tine ; by her he left two daughters, Mary Char- 
lotte and Clementina Mary. 

The eldeft, Mary Charlotte, married in 1723 
Frederic Maurice de la Tour duke of Bouillon, 
who dying within a few days after the marriage, 
fhe efpoufed, with a difpeniation from the pope, 
his brother Charles Godfrey the fame year. By 
him me left ifTue a fon, the prcfent duke of Bou- 
illon, married to a lady of the houfe of Lorraine, 

* Sifter of Eleonora M igdalena wife of the emperor Leopold. 
James had been firft contracted in marriage to the widow of the 
elector of Brandenburgh's brother, a rich heirefs of the houfe of. 
Radzivil in Lithuania, but upon this occafion he hrft experienced 
that ill fortune which afterwards attended him through life. " An 
" envoy was fen t to Berlin to negotiate the marriage, which was 
" agreed upon by the elector's and herconfent, and the prince 
" himfelf came thither in per/on, with a numerous attendance, 
" to confunrmate it. At the fame time came to Berlin the elec- 
«* tor palatine's brother, prince Charles of Newburg, brother to 
*' the emprefs, to fee the ccemony of the marriage ; but this 
*' prlncefs, taking more fancy to him than to the prince of Po- 
** land, gave him encouragement to make his addreftes to her ; 
*' which he did with that fuccefs, that he engaged her fo far and 
" fo unexpectedly, that he was privately married to her the 
'* night before fhe was to be married to the prince of Poland, fo 
** that prince James was forced to return back fhamefully : which 
" the king h's father relented fo highly, that he was refolved to 
" have fatisfaclion from the elector of Brandenburg, for futter- 
" in^ his fon to receive fo notorious an affront at his court ; but 
" the elector, knowing nothing of that private intrigue, juflified 
" himfelf, and all animofities were at laft adjufted by prince 
" James's marrying his rival's fitter the princefs of Newburg, 
" who was fent into Poland, and has two daughters by him.'* 
Conuor s Hiftory of Poland, v. II. p. 188, 189. 



and a daughter, who efpoufed the duke of Rohan- 
Rohan. In thefe noble perfons and their progeny 
the female line of Sobieiki frill cxifts. 

Clementina Mary, the youngeft daughter of 
prince James, married at Montefiafcone, in 171 9, 
James Edward Stuart, commonly known by the 
name of the Chevalier de St. George, the preten- 
der to the Britifh throne. This princefs, though 
a woman of great perfonal and mental endow- 
ments, could not Engage the affection of her 
hufband; and the was fo offended at his attach- 
ment to a favourite mifttvls, that the withdrew 
From his houfe, and remained for fome tune in a 
convent near Rome. Afterward-;, being recon- 
cilcd to him, the died at Rome on the 1 8th of 
June, 1735, aged 33; her death, according to 
the account or a writer * attached to the Stuart 
family, was occafioned by religious abfUnence 
and too fevere mortifications : her remains were in- 
terred with regal pomp in the church of St. Peter, 
where a monument* was erected to her memory- 
She left two ions by the Chevalier: Charles, 
ufually termed count of Albany, and Henry, car- 
dinal of Yorke. Charles married tiie princets of 
Stolberg, by whom he has no children: a milun* 
derftanding not long after their marriage taking 
place between them, the quitted her hufband, 
and took fhelter in a convent in the Tufcan do- 
minions ; and, as her quarrel was efpoufed by 
the cardinal of Yorke, ihe obtained a feparation 
for life. We' may therefore forefee the extinc- 
tion of the Sobiefki line in the Stuart branch. 
The ample patrimony of James Sobiefki was 
divided equally between his two daughters. 
Having lent a coniiderable fum to the houfe of 

* Letters from a painter in Italy, where her funeral and mo- 
nument are described, v. II. p, 56. 

Auftria ; 


Auftria ; he obtained in return a mortgage upon 
certain cftatcs in Sileiia, which, upon the diviiion 
of the property after his deceafe, fell to the Stuart 
family, and were in their pofTefhon when the 
king of Pmffia feeured Sileiia in the year 1740. 
His Pruilian majeily confifcated thefe lands to 
himfelf by right of conqucft; and the houfe of 
Auflria never made any further compenfation for 
the above-mentioned loan. 

Alexander, fecond fon of John Sobiefki, was 
born at Dantzie in 1677 ; and as he was brought 
into the world after his father had been raited to 
the throne, he was ufually liyled by his mother, 
who adored him, the fon of the king ; while ihe 
affected to call his brother James, who was born 
before his father's election, the fon of the great 
marfhal. Excited by his mother's partiality, and 
inflamed by an ambition natural to youth, he 
even afpired to the throne in oppofition to his 
brother James : afterwards however, when a 
more mature age had corrected his paflions, and 
his mother's influence had ceafed to miflead him ; 
he declined, from a principle of fraternal affec- 
tion, the acceptance of that very crown which 
had once been the object, of his warmer! hopes. 
When Charles XII. upon the irnprifonment of 
James, offered the crown of Poland to Alexan- 
der ; the latter, with a difmtereftednefs which re- 
flects the higher! honour upon his memory, rc- 
fufed it with this generous declaration, " that no 
" intereft fhould tempt him to avail himfelf of 
" his brother's misfortunes." 

Alexander parted his days principally at Rome 
with the queen his mother. During his reiidence 
in that city, he never made his appearance at the 
court of Clement XL becaufe that pontiff had 
rcfufed to receive him with the marks of difii ac- 



iion which he claimed as a king's fon. But the. 
honours which were withheld from him while, 
alive, were granted unto him when dead ; his 
body being permitted to lie in royal ilate, and to 
be interred with the fame ceremonies, which at- 
tended the funeral of Chriftina queen of Sweden. 
He expired in June 17 14, having affumed upoi* 
his death bed the habit of a capuchin, from a 
fuperftitious notion of enfuring his falvation. 

Conilantine, having regained his liberty at the 
fame time with his brother James, married a 
German baronets, maid of honour to lite princefs 
of Newburg ; a marriage of paflion, foon fol- 
lowed by repentance, and from which he in vain 
endeavoured to procure a releafe by a divorce. 
He deceafed in 1726 without children. 

Thercfa Cunigunda, the daughter of John So- 
biefki, married in 1696 Maximilian Emanuel 
eleclor of Bavaria, and died a widow 1730. Her 
fon Charles Albert, who fucceeded to the electo- 
rate of Bavaria, was the unfortunate emperor 
Charles VII. and her grandfon Maximilian Jo- 
feph expired 1778 without iffue. Her grand- 
daughter Maria Antoinetta married Frederic 
Chriliian elector of Saxony ; and the blood of 
John Sobiefki frill flows in the veins of their 
progeny, the prefent electoral family. 

Marie de la Grange, the contort of John So- 
bieild, paiFed the firll part of her widowhood at 
Rome with her father the marquis of Arquien, 
who, from being captain of the Swifs guards to 
the duke of Orleans, had been promoted by her 
inteivtt to the dignity of cardinal. She con- 
tinued to refide in that city until the year 1 7 1 4, 
when me retired into France, hpr native coun- 
try. Louis XIV. aifigned the cattle of Blois for 
her relidence, where fhe died in 1716, above 70 
3 years 


years of age. Her remains were tranfported tot 
Warfaw, and from thence conveyed, together 
with thofe of her hufband, in 1734, to Cracow, 
and interred in the cathedral of that city. 

Aft£r this long digreffion, wherein we have 
traced the fortunes of the Sobieiki family indivi- 
dually, we return to the period of that monarch's 
deceafe, and purfue the regular courfe of the 
Polifh hiftory ; in our progrefs through which, 
the reader will perceive fome circumitances re- 
corded which were neeefTarily anticipated in the 
preceding pages. 

1696. Immediately on the demife of Sobiefki, 
Cardinal Radzieiowiki, archbiihop of Gneiha, 
and primate of the kingdom, came to Warfaw, 
where he made his entry as regent during the 

Within two days after, the fenate met and 
fixed the convocation of the dietines throughout 
the kingdom to the 2,9th of July, and the diet 
cf election to the 29th of Auguft in the fame 
year. The private afTemblies of each diftri£fe 
were full of tumult and confufion ; and the only 
article of moment to which they agreed was, 
that the election fhould be made by the poipolite,, 
©r aifembly of the nobility of the kingdom. 

The preliminary diet was opened on the 29th 
of Auguft ; and after very warm debates, the 
deputies made choice of Humiecki, Stolnick or 
mafler of Podolia, the nephew of the palatine of 
Kiow, to be marfhal of the diet, or director of the 
convocation. The new marthal recommended 
himfelf to the nobility by his great zeal in fup- 
porting the honour and interefl of that principal 
body of the nation ; and the deputies alfo took 
part with him in a fmall difference lie had with 
the cardinal primate. The cardinal, offended 



with fome inlinuations to the prejudice of the 
queen, which the marfhal had indirectly let fall 
in a difcourfe he made to the fenate, had inter- 
rupted him, and deiired that he would explain 
what he meant by certain expreflions in his 
fpeech. Humiecki in his turn, affronted at the 
cardinal's demand, laid that the whole body of 
the nobility was infulted in his perlbn ; and the 
deputies, to mew that they rcfented the injury, 
left the room, with the greateft part of the fena- 
tors, who all took pleafure in giving this mortifi- 
cation to the primate, as his zeal for the queeri 
had made him a partaker in the general hatred 
which they bore toward that princefs. 

While the Poles were mutually expreffing their 
jealoulies in the diet, the Tartars made an irrup- 
tion into Podolia, carried off a great number of 
flavcs of every age and condition, drove away 
the cattle, and fet fire to the fields of corn. The 
army of Poland marched toward thofe quarters, 
to. put a ft op to their ravages ; and had they been 
joined by the forces of Lithuania, would, doubt- 
lefs, have effectually prevented them ; but none 
of the misfortunes of the republic were fufficient 
to make the latter army move one ftep. 

The republic, thus become a prey to ftrangers, 
was likewife torn to pieces by its own fubjecls. 
Boguflaus Baronowfki, a gentleman whofe family- 
had been ennobled by having given birth to an 
archbifhop of Gnefna, was left by his father 
with fo final 1 an efiate, that he was in no condi- 
tion to live as became his quality. He had like- 
wife fpent the fmall fortune his wife brought him, 
whom indeed he had married only for her money. 
Under thefe circumftances of Boguflaus, the army 
of the crown demanded the arrears that were due 
to them ; and this gentleman, who looked upon 



jxwerty as the greatest of evils, feized the oppor- 
tunity to make his fortune. e< And is this then," 
(cry'd he to the mutineers) " is this the reward of 
" our blood fo often ihed in defence of the re- 
iC public, that we muft be left to perim ? Ah ( 
iC rather let us be beforehand with the Turks and 
<l Tartars. Let us take from them the means of 
(C plundering the frontiers, by paying ourfelves : 
*' with our own hands, and carrying off thence 
ec whatever we can. Yet, why fnould I call it 
" carrying off? It is preferving the fubflance of 
" the republic ; for by this means the enemy will 
" be difappointed of their prey, and the republic 
* e difcharged of its debts." 

Thefe fentiments of Boguflaus were tdo agree- 
able to the intentions of the feditious to meet 
with any contradiction. On fncli occafions the 
eyes of the multitude are fixed upon him who 
has moil boldnefs and refolution. Boguflaus 
was unanimoufly proclaimed general of the ar- 
my, and they thinly difguifed their revolt under 
the name of the Confederation. 

The new general laid a great part of the coun- 
try under contribution, and prefently after dil- 
patched his deputies to the fenate. When they 
came thither, they boldly demanded, that the 
army, which coniifted of 30,000 men, fhould 
be paid all the arrears which were due to them for 
ten years part'. Thefe demands were accompanied 
wiih menaces, and all flood amazed to fee the 
republic thus braved by its fubjec~rs, and laws in 
this manner attempted to be impofed upon it. 

But this demand, though made by mutineers, 
was ■* notwithflanding jult. All the world was 
convinced, that it was both reafonable and necef- 
fary,.but the means were wanting to fatisfy it, 
as the finances had been for fome time pafi in the 



hands of that fort of people who live upon the 
misfortunes of the public. It was then propofed 
to apply the treafures hoarded up by Sobielki to 
this ufe ; but the retreat and proteftations of the 
deputy of Czernichovia warded off fo fatal a 
blow from the royal family. 

This ilep broke up the diet, which could not 
be renewed but by the removal of the opposition. 
Part of the deputies, however, agreed upon thir- 
teen articles, which principally concerned the 
eftablifhmeut of the Romifh religion, the liberty 
of the election, which was limited to the time in- 
terpofed betwixt the 15th of May and the 1 6tli 
of June ; the payment of the army, and the af- 
fairs of the late king's houfhold. One of thefe 
articles excluded all the Piails, or natives of the 
country, from the crown, that by this means all 
troubles might be prevented which could arife 
from jealoufy. 

There Were likewife fome fruitlefs attempts hi 
the diet to make up the differences between 
prince Sapieha, the palatine of Wilna, and grand 
general of Lithuania, and the bifhop of Wilna, 
who had excommunicated him for quartering his 
troops upon the eftates of the nobility and clergy. 
Some time after the breaking up of the diet, the 
army of Lithuania entered into a confederation, 
under the command of Oginiki, grand enfign of 
the duchy. The eftates of Sapieha and his ad- 
herents were plundered by thefe new rebels, who 
marched againft them, and cut off a great num- 
ber of them. 

While Sapieha was obftinately facrificing them 
to his own vengeance, rather than to the tran- 
quillity of the public, his couriers intercepted a 
letter from the palatine of Vitepfk to the queen ; 
in which he conjured her to difpatch with all 



Ipeecl a frefli fupply of money, to refcue Oginlki 
from the danger to which he was expofed. Sa- 
pieha caufed this letter to be regiftered, and fent 
a copy of it to all the dietines throughout the 
kingdom, charging the queen with the revolt of 
the army of Lithuania. The Iefler diets received 
the impreffion which the grand general intended 
they ihould, and the queen's party was fo fhocked 
with this unforefeen accident, that they afterwards 
withdrew themfelves from public notice. 

The Abbe de Potignac, ambaflador of France 
in Poland, building his hopes on thefe late cir- 
cumftanccs, and perceiving that the troubles of 
Lithuania would be an. obftacle to the carrying- 
on of his defignsj prevailed upon the fon of Sa- ' 
pieha, petty marfhal of the duchy, and an inti- 
mate acquaintance of Oginfki, to labour at an 
accommodation with his old friend : and one of 
the private conditions of the treaty was to be the 
union of the two parties in favour of the can- 
didate whom the ambaiTador of France mould 

The Abbe Polignac's project fucceeded, and the 
agreement being ligned, the confederates fubmit- 
ted to the grand general. Oginfki was very 
much blamed for coming to an accommodation, 
without including the bifhop of Wilna, who had 
been the pretext of the confederation. 

In the mean time, the army of Poland, under 
the command of Boguflaus, plundered Ruffia, 
while the Tartars, to the number of 50,000, laid 
wafle Volhinia. They returned loaded with 
tpoils, carrying back with them a great number 
of flaws into their own country. There were 
but few faithful troops at this time left to the re- 
public to reftrain the irruptions of the Tartars ; and 
thefe had bunnefs enough upon their hands from 
2 the 

History of poland. 225 

the confederate army. Poland was under the ap- 
prehension of a fecond irruption from thofe bar- 
barians,' when the French ambaffador offered to 
divert the ftorm by compounding the bulinels 
with the Sultan for 100,000 florins. Such were 
the methods made ufe of by that able minifler 
to fix the Poles more firmly in his intereft, whom 
he had already gained by his magnificence and 
politenefs, and by that noble addrefs and opennefe 
of behaviour which never fail of procuring ref- 
pecl and confidence. 

1697. In the mean time, all the negotiations 
with the confederate army fell to the ground. 
The general of thofe troops plundered the coun- 
try adjacent to Warfaw, and detached twelve 
companies, which entered into Royal Pruffia. 
They more particularly ravaged the effcite of the 
late king's family ; which raifed a fufpicion that 
the ambafTador of France held fome correfpon- 
dence with them, and that he was defirous to 
p\it the royal family out of a condition to fupport 
their intereft in the enfuing election, that the 
candidate propofed by him might find no ob- 
stacle from that quarter. The politicians like- 
wife gave out, that he had promifed thofe troops 
all the pay that was due to them, befide liberal 
contributions for their voices. 

One bold and timely flroke, however, proved 
a more powerful remedy than all the applications 
which, till then, had been made to the rebels. 
Boguflaus, who was ever at the head of the con- 
federates, difowned the treaty concluded by his 
deputies at Leopold, and ventured to juftify his 
conduct by a manifeflo. The commiflioners of 
the republic afTemhled in that city, to bring back 
the army to their duty, made a decree, by which 
the marfhal of the confederation, and his foldiers, 

Q, were 


were declared enemies to their country. A great 
number of the confederates found in Boguflaus a 
mere tyrant, and feemed difpofed to quit his co- 
lours, and to accept the indemnity offered them 
by the republic. This general had indeed ex- 
cited their envy by a pronation, which would 
icarcely have been pardonable in a fovereign 
prince. Befide, having disclaimed the deputies 
of the army, who- treated with the biihop of 
Plotfko, and the other commifTioncrs of the re- 
public, at Leopold, he had condemned the prin- 
cipal of them to lofe his head. This arbitrary- 
proceeding gained him the difaffection of the 
confederates, and excited companion for the mi- 
ferable deputy. Supporting the jealoufy they 
had already conceived againft the general, forty 
companies divided from the reil of the army, who 
were upon the point of following their example. 
Boguflaus, fully fenfible of the blow which this 
defection gave to his authority, and apprehend- 
ing that he might not foon be in fo good a con- 
dition to obtain advantageous terms, hafTened to 
fubmit, that he might not draw upon himfelf the 
indignation of the diet, which was then upon 
the point of meeting. Count Jablonowfki, who 
was fufpccled to be at the bottom of the confede- 
ration, promoted the treaty, and took great care 
to efface the fmalleft footfteps of that rebellion. 
Such was then the Situation of Poland, whofe 
misfortunes arifing from the private intrigues of 
the pretenders to the crown, were every day in- 
creasing. At firft there appeared but a {mall 
number of candidates upon the itage, but they 
foon after offered themfelves in great abundance. 
Prince James, the late king's eldeit fon, his fe- 
cond fon prince Alexander, the elector of Bava-» 
ria 3 the grand marmal of the crown, the grand 


m story op Poland. 127 

general of Lithuania, Opalinius ftaroft of No- 
Wemicyfki, the princes of Conti, Lorrain, Baden, 
and Newburg, were all upon the lifts. 

Befide the favour of the palatinates, the ad- 
vantages on prince James's fide were, the fer- 
vices done by his father ; the reputation himfelf 
had gained in two battles againfi the Turks, and 
at the railing of the fiege of Vienna j the alliance 
he had contracted with divers fovereign powers* 
by eipoufing a princefs of Newburg, whole lifters 
fhared the thrones of the Empire, Spain, and 
Portugal; the inclinations of the king of Swe* 
den, the czar of Mufcovy, the elector palatine, 
and the elector of Bavaria. 

But all thefe advantages were counterbalanced 
by the queen his mother, who was eagerly bent 
on placing her fecond foil upon the throne. 
Prince James, in great indignation at the queen's 
conduct, forbore to pay her the refpecl which 
was due to a mother. And for her part, if ever 
fhe recollected that he was her fon, it was only 
to give an edge to her hatred, and to differvc him 
with the greater warmth ; but fhe paid dear for 
her ill treatment of him. Convinced at laft by 
time, that it was impoffible for her to raife her 
fecond fon to the throne, ambition wrought in 
her the office of nature : fhe efpoufed the intereft 
of her eldeft fon, talked of him in a different 
language from what fhe had hitherto ufed, and 
defcribed him in molt amiable colours. But it 
was then too late, and the impreffion fhe had 
already made, was too deep to be effaced. . It 
was-to no purpofe that fhe folicited the ambaffa- 
dor -of France to join with her in favour of 
prince James : that minifter was far from enter- 
ing into her views ; he had even made an advan- 
ce 2, tage 


a«"e of the divifions between the mother and the 
ibn, to weaken the intereft of the latter, and 
help forward the fcheme of fetting the crown of 
Poland upon the head of the Prince of Cont'i. 
Supported by the court of France, and beloved 
by the Poliih nobility, who allowed him the li- 
berty of continuing at Warfaw, while they per- 
rifted in keeping the queen at a diftance, he 
thought it was time to declare the candidate for 
whole advancement he was felicitous. This he 
did in a difcourfe addrefled to the diet of Poland. 
The ambaflador fpoke with that itrong and mov- 
ing eloquence, which at the fame time convinces 
and perfuadcs. He laid before the Poles the 
union of Louis XIV. with the late king Sobielki ; 
the alliance of the two nations, almoil from time 
immemorial ; the correfpondence of manners be- 
tween the French and Poles ; the folidity of the 
treaties made by the republic under the protection 
of France, and the power and glory of the king, 
his matter, whofe forces he offered them againrt 
their enemies : and concluded his difcourfe with 
flattering them as the only people who had pre- 
ferred to themfelves the privilege of crowning 

Immediately the oppofite parties to the prince 
of Conti, though divided among themfelves by 
different interests, joined together to let afide his 
election.- All the courts in Europe refounded 
the complaints which were brought thither, and 
the minilters of the allies at war with France 
took care to fpread them throughout all Poland. 

Nor were thefe the only methods made ufe of 
in prejudice to the prince of Conti, The bifhop 
of Cujavia, to take off from the zeal of Abbe 
Polignac, wrote to that ambaflador, to defire he 



would defiil from any fruitlefs attempts, and fave 
the king his mailer the difcredit of not fucceed* 
ing in iuch an affair as this. 

Polignac publiihed the anfwer he gave to the 
prelate's letter. After having confuted his ob- 
jections, he drew the character of fuch a king as 
•Poland required ; defcribed the prince of Conti, 
compared the two pictures, and fhevved their ex- 
act refemblance. He difplayed in ftrong terms 
the advantages the republic would find in the 
election of a prince of France, whole country 
was divided from Poland by the interpoiition of 
vafl leas and immenfe territories ; advantages 
which could not occur in any princes who, from 
their neighbourhood to the kingdom, might make 
them tremble for their liberty. He then made 
large promifes to the nobility, and concluded with 
defiling the bifhop of Cujavia to embrace the 
party which, as he aiferted, was moil favourable 
to the interell of the republic. 

This anfwer did not go without a reply. The 
author of the reply rallied the Poles for biting at 
the golden hook which France had call out for 
them. He then difcuffed thereafons and promifes 
of the French ambaffador, and concluded with 
faying, that Poland wanted a king to make war 
upon the Turks, and not upon Chriilian princes, 
which could not morally be expected from the 
prince of Conti. There were likevvife lent abroad 
fome other remarks upon the French minifier's 
letter. Bat what concerned him mofl in this af- 
fair was, the anger the queen exprelfed againit 
him, who charged him with having fpoken dif- 
refpectfully of her, upon the bifhop of Cujavia's 
laying in his letter, that the example of the queen, 
who was a French woman, diverted Poland from 
any thoughts of advancing a French prince. She 

Q 3 com- 


complained of it to the Abbe de Polignac in a 
very angry letter. The minister wrote to her 
majefty, by way of excufe, in hopes to pacify 
her : but this ftep produced a reply more full of 
refentment even than the former. 

But thefe were not the only contradictions Po- 
lignac had to ftruggle with from the enemies of 
France. After having alarmed the powers of 
Europe, upon the ele6tion of the prince of Conti, 
and attempted to divert the ambaffador from the 
purfuit of his fcheme, they lent word to the 
court of France, that they fuffered themfelves to 
be milled by the enemies of the houfe of Sobief- 
ki ; that the great hopes, which made fuch a fhew 
in the prince of Conti's eyes in France, were but 
falfe lights in Poland; and that, laflly, it was a 
mere chimaera to imagine that Poland would 
ever fet a Frenchman upon the throne of the re- 
public. The miniftry of France, without giving 
ear too much to thefe inlinuations, thought it 
yet prudent not to pafs them over abfolutely with 
neglect. Abbe de Caflagneres de Chateauneuf 
was therefore fecretly dtfpatched in February un- 
der the character of envoy extraordinary. Upon 
his arrival in Poland in the month of April, he 
confirmed the hopes of the court of France, and 
fent word, that two things only were wanting to 
the fuccefs of the ambaffador's negotiations, 
which were, the making good his promifes, anct 
the prince's prefence. 

While one part of the Polifh nobility was fell- 
ing the crown to the prince of Conti, the palati- 
nates of Cracow, Siradia, and Leopold, propofed 
a new candidate ; and this candidate was Livio 
Odefcalchi, the nephew of Pope Innocent XI. 
This prince made mighty offers to the diet ; his 
wealth was let forth with oitentation ; and this 



tv as to be given to the republic as an hoftage for. 
the performance of his promifes. 

The Poles, who are naturally fond of raillery., 
Tepaid the Italian's good-will with a pafquinade, 
and the confiftorial advocate Monti-Cailini his en- 
voy had the vexation to fee himfelf traduced as the 
iblicitor of a caufe, which, they faicl, his matter 
was profecuting In Poland. To thefe railleries 
they added, that Odefcalchi, to gain his point, 
was fending over into Poland all the curiotities of 
Italy, fuch as the drawings of great mailers, and 
.antique ilatues, which were valued at consider- 
able turns in ihc catalogue of them which he 
caufed to be tent abroad. They laid farther, 
that he defigned a medal of Otho in brafs, for 
the payment of two quarters of the arm}' ; and 
that, la ft ly, he would engage to grace Poland with 
the ftatues of Pafquin and Morforio, as foon as 
he fhould be crowned. 

The prince oi' Nevvburg alfo appeared among 
the pretenders, but without money, and far from 
being the dupe of the elector's avarice. 

The prince of Baden likewife, one of the great- 
eft generals of his age, offered himfelf in the 
number of the competitors. His valour had ie- 
eured the throne of the empire, laved Tranlilva- 
nia, and triumphed over the Turks at Salamke- 
jnen. Germany owed to him the iafety of the 
confederate army upon the Rhine, and he was 
betide the lord of a country rich enough to fup- 
port its prince without injuring his elective do- 
minions, and a country, too, fo iituate as to 
give no umbrage to the Polifli liberty. The elec- 
tor of Brandenbourg, who ierved him upon this 
occafion, made him pay for his interefl, by en- 
gaging him to promife the ceffion of the f >ve- 
reigiyty of Royal Pruflia, and the difcharge of the 
Q 4 fealty 


fealty and homage which that prince owed to 
Poland for Ducal Pruffia. 

The duke of Lorrain's mother wrote to the 
diet in favour of her fon ; but he was only eigh- 
teen years old, and ftripped of his dominions, 
a fituation by no means favourable to the pur- 
chafing of a crown. It is not now known for what 
reafons the elector of Bavaria, who might have 
obtained fufFrages, on a fudden forbore to folicit 
them. Some have faid, that he followed the 
views of the court of Vienna, which had a mind 
ftill to continue him at the head of their troops 
in the Low Countries, in oppolition to France ; 
but the intereft of another does not feem to be a 
motive powerful enough to make any man de- 
cline the acceptance of a crown. 

The grand marfhal of the crown, Opalinius 
the rich ftarofl of Nowemicyfki, and the grand 
general count Jablonowfki, the firit fecular fe- 
nator in the kingdom, likewife entered the lifts. 
It was thought the queen, defpairing of the ad- 
vancement of her own family, employed the fee- 
ble remains of her party in favour of Jablonow- 
Iki, upon condition that by marrying her, he 
fhould give back to her one half of the crown, 
which he would owe wholly to her interetr. 

The prince of Conti, born brave, as were all 
the Bourbons, was beloved by the people for his 
affability. He was trained up to the art of war 
under the direction of his uncle the prince of 
Conde, and had given glorious proofs, not only 
of his ftill in the theory of that icience, but of 
his prudence in the practice, and a thoufand other 
excellent qualifications. Such was the kino* 
whom Abbe Polignac offered to Poland. And 
the competitors of this prince had indeed feveral 
adherents, but there were united in him alone 



more valuable properties than all the reft could 
together boaft of. 

The ambaffodor of France began to think, 
with all Poland, that the prince of Conti would 
prevail over his competitors, when a ftill more 
formidable rival rofe up to ftagger his hopes. 
Frederic Auguflus, elector of Saxony, having 
had a conference at Drefden with John Przeben- 
dowiki caftellan of Culm, who had married the 
daughter of general Fleming the favourite of 
Auguflus, and fince His firft minifter, followed 
the instructions of that Polifh gentleman. This 
caftellan, at firft, embraced the intereft of the 
prince of Conti ; but deiigning to raife his for- 
tune by his fuffrage, and coniidering that there 
were a great number in that party, who by their 
rank and merit would naturally be preferred be- 
fore him when the prince came to reward thole 
who had raifed him to the throne, he refolved to 
apply himfelf to a candidate who mould owe his 
advancement only to him. He was a bold man, 
and formed for political intrigue ; but is faid to 
have been not fo brave in the field, as wife in a 
diet. His alliance with Fleming was the origin 
of the rife of Auguftus. 

Przebendovviki having written to this general, 
to furnifh him with the fentiments of Germany 
on the election of a king of Poland, Fleming 
„made anfwer, that the elector of Saxony was 
Slelirous of being ranked in the number of the 
pretenders to the crown. Upon this the caftellan 
privately took a journey to Drefden, and con- 
ferred with the elector upon the means of fuc- 
ceeding in his delign. He declared to him, that 
the ambafTador of France was not able to get 
any more money from the bankers, fince he had 
taken up 600^000 liyres, which were already dif- 
tributed among the Poles ; that it was hardly 



probable the ling of France- would hazard the 
fending of money in fpecie, efpecially at a time 
when it would be difficult to hinder his enemies 
from feizing upon the fupply, of which they 
very much flood in need toward carrying on the 
war ; that the elector need only make his offers, 
and he mutt gain the crown ; that the nobility 
concerned would be always more ftrongly influ- 
enced by ready money, than the fums they had 
either already received, or were only in hope of 
having hereafter ; and that lahHy, among people 
who fought for nothing but money, the laft giver 
had always more intcreft than thpfe who had al- 
ready fpent their fubilance upon them. 

The elector, purfuant to thefe inftructions, laid 
up the funds that were neceffary ; and having 
taken his meafures with the court of Rome to- 
ward removing the obftacle of religion, he pri- 
vately fent colonel Fleming to Warfaw. This 
minifter prefented the ambajftador with a letter 
from the elector. Abbe Polignac was furprized, 
when they afked him, if he had received no or- 
ders from the king, with whom the elector inii- 
nuated that he had treated by the mediation of 
cardinal Janfon. He very civilly aniwered, that 
he had no orders ; that, betide, he did not know 
what foundation the elector had for the inquiry ; 
that the hopes of the prince of Conti were never 
in a better Situation than at prcfent ; that his 
electoral highnefs was perhaps prevailed on by 
the mifreports that were fpread abroa^d, and which 
were merely an artifice of the queen's ; and that, 
laitly, France would fupply him abundantly with 
all the fums of money that ihould be requifite upon 
anv occafion. 

The court of Drefden, not fatisflcd with the 
"ambafTador's anfwer,-purfued briikly their fcheme, 
which was foon put in practice. 



Meanwhile the day fixed for the diet of elec- 
tion drew nigh. They haiiencd to finifh the 
fort and bridge which are uiually built over the 
Viftula upon the election of a king; on the 
t 5th of May, the primate opened the diet with 
the ufual ceremonies, and the hi mop of Plotfko 
made a fpeech, to exhort the Poles to lay afide 
caballing, and confer the crown upon the molt 
deferring candidate. 

The diet however could come to no conclu- 
lion before the election of a director or marfhal, 
whom the Greater Poland was to fupply. But 
they could not agree about the choice of this of- 
ficer. The queen's party, and the faction of 
France, were defirous that the election fhould 
fall upon a perlbn devoted to their particular in- 
tereils. After great difficulties, it was determined 
at lad to put an end to them, by referring the 
election of the marihal to the votes of the poi- 
polite. Humiecki marfhal of the preliminary 
diet, who for that very reafon was excluded from 
all claim to this dignity, collected the voices, 
and the majority inclined to count Bielinfki. Of 
all the pretenders this lord was the moil agreeable 
to France. Ke had married the daughter of 
count Morfrein, who had a great efiate in that 
kingdom; and this lady, who had a heart entirely 
French, had great intereH among the two orders 
of the nobility, and a great afcendancy over her 

1 698. A month was fpent in debates before Bie- 
linfki was elected marfhal of the diet. It was in 
this great afTembly on the 15th of January 1698, 
that the crown was actually expofed to fale. The 
pretenders bid for it to a degree of extravagance; 
but the avarice of the nobility was too great to 
be fatisfied, 



The Agent of the ele6tor of Saxony very pro- 
perly diftributed large fums among the nobility, 
and omitted nothing that might ruin the oppo- 
fite parties. He very artfully oppofed the deeds 
of Saxony to the promifes of France; and no 
day patTed, but he found means to draw over 
ibme voices from the rivals of his matter. An 
affair fo well conflrueted, and fupportcd by fuch 
actual performances, laid the foundation of his 
prince's greatnefs. He was not ignorant that the 
contending parties would each keep firm to their 
rcfpeclive candidate ; but he at the fame time 
forefaw that to avoid a rupture, they would be at 
laft obliged to caft their eyes upon a third per- 
fon, who would pay them liberally for their 
voices, which the abiblute ncceffity of coming to 
an agreement mult eventually procure for him. 

Nor was he mifiaken in his expectations. As 
the promifes of France were not performed, the 
friends of the prince of Conti, meeting at the 
cardinal primate's, the palatine of Wilna com- 
plained heavily of the delays of France. They 
thought, however, that the prince's arrival would 
haften the fulfilment of the ambaffador's pro- 
mifes ; and therefore they difpatched letters, 
which were already drawn up, to prefs the prince 
to haften into Poland. 

After many debates, the diet gave audience to 
the ambaffadors of foreign powers. Davia, the 
pope's nuncio, was heard on the 20th day of the 
month, and the bifhop of Paffau, his imperial 
majefty's ambaflador, was admitted on the day 
following. The fuperfeription of the letter, wlrich 
that minifter prefented from his mafter, gave 
great offence. The addrefs was, Inclyta Reipub- 
liccc. They would have had him have added 
ferenijjinw, but he excufed himfelf, by faying, 
That he could change nothing of his own autho- 


rity. This incident, joined to his making i?fe of 
the word Fes, inftead of the terms of honour due 
to a crowned republic, difobliged the affiflants to 
fo high a degree, that they violently abufed him: 
notwithstanding this he continued his difcourfe, 
but with fo much fpite and fury, that the blood 
ftarted from his face, and he was obliged to retire!, 

Abbe Polignac, informed that prince James's 
friends were refolved to revenge upon him the 
affront offered to the emperor's minifter, inftead 
of appearing at the diet, printed his offers, and 
diflributed them nVned with his hand, and fealed 
with his arms. By this precaution he avoided 
cxpofing his dignity, and difappointed the ill in- 
tentions of his enemies. 

Difficulties however rofe one upon another, 
and the minifter of France flood in need of all 
his ability to furmount them. The bifhop of 
Plotfko, Dzialiniki, and Wapowfki, came to him 
from the council, and told him, that as he had 
not yet been able to make good his promifes, it 
fecmed impoffible to avoid the rupture of which 
they were apprehenfive ; and laltly, that there was 
but one way of fecuring the tranquillity of the re- 
public, and fupporting the honour of France; this 
expedient was, to confent to the choice of the 
elector of Saxony, who would indemnify his 
moft chriftian majelly for all the expences he had 
been at in Poland, and acknowledge that he owed 
his crown to the ambaflador of France, 

But this remonfirance made no imprefTion. 
The caftellan of Kalilch, the ambaffador's inti- 
mate friend, had been with him the night before, 
and they had agreed upon an anfwer to be given 
to the deputies. Abbe Polignac waited upon 
them to the council, and there animadverted 
with great eloquence on the many dangers to 
which -both the religion and the liberty of Po- 
1 \ land 

238 HISTORY OP frOtANb. 

land mint be expofed under a Lutheran and a Get* 
man king. " Are you no longer" (faid he) " ap* 
" preheniive of a nation which you have fo often 
te excluded from the throne ? Can Germany hope 
" for more favourable circumftances of revenging 
" upon Poland the many abufive, though juu\ 
" refufals fhe has received, or of preventing the 
" like affronts for the future, than by introducing 
* c flavery and Lutheranifm ?" The ambaffador, 
not obferving the affembly to be moved, found 
he mufl fet other engines at work to make the 
impreffion he designed. " Well then," conti^ 
nued he in a vehement tone, " flnce you fuffer 
" yourfelves to be call down upon the flightcfl 
ec occafion, and force me to with you had more 
u refolution, we will finifh without you the work 
" you have helped us to begin. I mail not have 
u relied in vain upon a brave nobility; if all 
" their efforts prove ineffectual , prince James 
u fhall be the better for your weaknefs. It is to 
" him we will give the crown. 'Tis he mail af- 
Ci cend the throne, which religion, the intereff , 
" liberty, and honour of France, will not fuffer 
" to be enjoyed by the elector of Saxony." 

This dilcourfe made an impreffion upon the 
affembly. The council repeated their promife of 
Serving the prince of Conti, without any diffen- 
tients, except the palatine of Vitepfk and the 
cailellan of Czerike, who were gained over by 
two thoufand crowns given to them by the cai- 
lellan of Culm. 

If the ambaffador of France had now been fur- 
niflied with the neceffary fupplies of money, the 
prince of Conti had certainly been king. Potofki 
palatine of Cracow had informed the cardinal that 
if they would coniign over to him 30,000 crowns, 
whereof one half ihould be paid down a he would 
pafs over to the fide of France with all his party. 
3 The 


The want of money not allowing the ambaffador 
to purchaie his fupply of voices, he had the 
vexation to fee the elector of Saxony buy them 
out of his hands. This example carried off Jab- 
lonowfki, the grand general of the crown, and 
fome other lords, whofe defertion nevcrthelefs did 
not fo much weaken the French faction, but that 
it would have prevailed, had it not been for other 
accidents which intervened. 

The members of this faction were guided by 
very different motives. A fmall number ferved 
the prince of Conti through an admiration of 
his great virtues, and the reft from the hatred 
they bore to the late king's family. Prince 
James, not finding his party ftrong enough to 
mpport his claim, abfolutely renounced all pre- 
tentions to the crown. This ftep took off from 
the warmth of fome palatinates for the prince of 
Conti, whom they recommended indeed in the 
firfl place; but they afterwards did as much for 
the elector of Saxony. 

The term fixed by the diet for the election now 
drew nigh. The palatinates, confifting of more 
than 100,000 noblemen, came into the field of 
election in the plains of Warfaw, on the 25th 
of June. .The palatinates were divided into 
companies, which amounted to two hundred and 
fifty. They were all on horfeback, except a few 
gentlemen, whom poverty compelled to walk on 
foot. Armed with old rufty feythes, they were 
to appearance a company of reapers, not an af- 
fembled nobility : but rank and confequence 
might be difcerned by the fiercenefs of their 
countenances, and the right of difpofing of the 
crown feemed written on their foreheads. 

As foon as the fenators had harangued their 
palatinates to found the fentiments of the nobi- 
lity, the palatinate of Plotfko cried, Long live 



Conti, and immediately raifed their fabrcs. SI- 
radia, Reva, and the three palatinates of Pruflia 
anfwered, Long live Conti : the name of Conti 
was carried from rank to rank. Przebendowiki, 
the foul of the elector's party, not enjoying thefe 
acclamations, and faying to the Prunians, that 
Saxony was as good as Conti, narrowly efeaped 
being fhot through the head by the chamberlain 
of Mariemburg, a prieit changing the direction 
of the piilol with a ftroke of his cane. The 
friends of Saxony, in a coniternation, proteftcd 
againft whatever fhould be done in too hafiy an 
election, and procured the nomination to be put 
off till the next day, purfuant to a law, which 
requires that all the candidates be propofed before 
the election is finithed. 

In the mean time the miniftcrs of the feveral 
competitors laboured earnestly to bring about 
their defigns. The French did all they could to 
perfuade the nobility, that the elector's conver- 
lion was a mere fable. The Saxons, on the 
other hand, ufed their utmoft endeavours to efta- 
blifh its lincerity. They applied to the nuncio 
to confirm the certificate, which the bifhop of 
Raab, a kinfman of the elector's, had given con- 
cerning his converfion. But, the nuncio kept his 
Word with the miniilcrs of France, and held out 
till the next morning, when circumftances fhewed 
much more clearly his real purpofe. 

On the 26th, the cardinal primate, according 
to the cuftom, fa id mafs in the church of St. 
John ; the biihop of Plotfko made a fpeech to 
theafTembly, in which he ingcnuoufly gave them 
to underflarid for what candidate he was inclined ; 
and they all went thence into the field of elec- 
tion. The fenators being come into the kolr > 
the cardinal primate fpokc with great force and 
eloquence : " The throne of the republic" (faid 



r< tills prelate) requires a king that is generous, 
Xi mild, and affable ; a king, who is a foldier, 
" and an officer." He then named the compe- 
titors for the crown, and praifed every one of 
them in particular, with reference either to their 
perfonal qualifications, or the dignity of their 
families. lie did not mention the elector o£ 
Saxony, till he had fpoken of all the reft ; and 
then he faid, it was but good manners not to for- 
get that prince, whom otherwife his zeal for" 
JLutheraniim would exclude from the (Choice of 
the nobility. -After this difcourfe, he bent one 
knee to the ground, and lifting up his eyes and 
hands to Heaven, "I fwear" (laid he with a loud 
voice) " that I will not proclaim any candidate 
" to be king, who has not the unanimous fuf- 
" frages of the nobility; but I likewife conjure 
" you not to turn yonr eyes upon any fubjecls, 
u but fuch as deferve to be chofen." He wa$ 
ftill fpeaking, when the fenators left their place? 
to put thcmfelves at the head of their palatinates. 
There were left in the kola none but the cardi- 
nal and the marfhal of the diet, who had inform 
mation brought them of what was doing from, 
time to time, according to which they iflued ou% 
their orders. 

At laft, the palatinates being ranged in order 
to give their fuffrages, three companies of the 
palatinate of Cracow, which has the right of 
proclaiming firft, at the felicitation of their pala- 
tine and caflcllan, cried out, Long live James the 
king's fon. One company of the palatinate of 
Pofnania, whofe privilege is to fpeak next, fol- 
lowed their example, but faintly. The other 
companies of other palatinates railed their voices 
to the fkies with pronouncing the name of Conti. 
Wiina returned the acclamations with zeal, 

R and 


&nd was joined by the reft of the palatinafesl. 
While the name of Conti refounded in every 
rank, the word Saxony was heard with iurprize 
to interrupt the unanimity of voices. Two com- 
panies of Samogitia, which give their votes after 
the eight former palatinates, ventured to nominate 
the elector. The name of a Lutheran prince had 
nearly drawn upon them the whole body of the 
nobility ; but they maintained with fo much a£ 
furance, that the eleclor had two years before 
abjured hrrs errors at Rome (a fact which they faid 
was atteftcd by the nuncio himfclf), that they 
gained over certain Mafovite gentlemen, whom 
Przebendowfki, for a little brandy and a crown 
a-head, had difpofed to believe every thing. 

During thefe tranfaclions, a gentleman of the 
palatinate of Plotfko, defirous to fhew his zeal 
for the late king's family, prefumed to nominate 
prince James. But he was immediately fhot 
through the head with a piftol bullet, and the 
prince was no more ipoken of. This unjuft and 
violent action did not find one tingle avenger 
among all that body of nobility, who were eyc- 
witneiles of the fact. 

In the mean while the party of the prince or 
Conti fhevved themfclves every inftant. The 
friends of the elector, apprehending the triumph 
of France, difpatehed meftengers to the empe- 
ror's ambaffador, prefting him to procure the 
nuncio's atteftation to the bifhop of Raab's cer- 
tificate, and adding, that if that could not be 
done, all was loft, and Conti would be chofen. 
The nuncio readily complied with what was de- 
fired of him. And Przebendowiki ran to the 
aftembly with a certificate in form, and his fol- 
lowers cried out by his orders, that the elector 



was a good Catholic, and it was his holinefs's 
requcfl that he fhould be crowned. 

Great numbers, giving credit to thefe declara- 
tions, now took part with Saxony, and before 
noon his faction was fuperior to the parties of 
Newburg, Lorrain, and Baden. The cardinal 
primate, not being able to dittinguifh on which 
fide the majority lay, by reafon of the noife and 
tumult which confounded their voices, ordered, 
that the nobility who favoured Conti fhould 
Hand on one fide, while the friends of the other 
candidates fhould range themfelves on the other. 
Of two hundred and fifty companies there were 
but thirty-fix who declared for the rivals of 
Conti ; and the prince muft have been king, if 
the cardinal had not wanted courage. The pre- 
late gave greater figns of irrefolution fome few 
moments after. The bifhops of Cujavia, Ponfa- 
nia, and Livonia, who were in the interefl of the 
elector of Saxony, retired to Warfaw, frighted 
at the number of the Contiftes, and the fierce 
countenance of the caitellan of Kalifch, who, 
mounted upon a war-horle, encouraged the no- 
bility to take up arms, and cut to pieces tjie final 1 
number of opponents, if they fiill perfifled in 
their obftinacy. Under thefe circumftances the 
primate might have nominated without oppofi- 
tion ; but the fear of fhedding Polifh blood kept 
him unrefolved, and he confented to put off the 
election till the next day, under a pretence, that 
it was then too late to conclude it. 

The principal adherents to the elector of 
Saxony, having recovered themfelves from the 
fright into which the party of France had thrown 
them, met at the emperor's ambafTador's ; thi- 
ther alfo came the miniflers of all the other pre- 
tenders, except the ambaflador of France and 
R a '2. tie 


there all joined againft the prince of Conti, agreed. 
to fupport the molt powerful party, or rather 
to make but one, in favour of the elector oiT 

Purfuant to* thefe refolutions, every one fur- 
nifhed what money they had by them. Thefe 
fums, with the bills of exchange paid upon fight 
by the Jews, amounted to eighteen hundred thou- 
fand livres, which were diftributed in the camp 
that night. The eloquence of the fenators, and 
the engagements of the nobility, could not hold 
again ft fuch prevailing motives. All the com- 
panies which had before fupportcd the claims of 
the different candidates, went over to the party of 
Saxony. Eleven companies of the French faction 
embraced the caufe of the elector ; but this de- 
fertion was in part repaired by the acquisition ot 
feven of their companies, who ranged themfelvcs 
under the ftandard of Conti. 

After many negotiations, the time came at laf£ 
for concluding the election. The bifhops of Cu- 
javia, Poiiiania, and Livonia, were fo terrified 
the night before, that they durft not attempt any 
thing, and all teemed to favour the prince o£ 
Conti, when the palatine of Wielun, who was 
even more irrefolute than the cardinal, went and 
potted himfelf, in fign of neutrality, betwixfc 
Saxony and Conti, at the head of the palatinate 
of Volhinia, the diftricl of Wilna, and fome Li- 
thuanian companies. The primate, furprized at* 
this action, knew not what to think of it, but 
could not imagine that Sapieha was going to offer 
himfelf, after fo many Piafts had been excluded. 
This palatine floated all the morning between 
certain views ef ambition or intereft, and the fe- 
licitations of his friends and the lords of his* 
family, who intreated him not to occafion any 



frefh trouble by a change fo little expected. At 
laft, the fame caprice which had divided him 
from the party of Conti brought him back to it, 
rather than any of the felicitations to which he 
feemed to yield. 

Sapieha's return having taken away all hope 
from the Saxons of making any advantage of the 
irrefolution and cowardice of that palatine, they 
fought ftill to put off the eledtion. Gorowfki, 
cafTellan of Gnefna, advanced between the two 
parties, and made a fign that he had fomething 
to communicate to the French faction. The 
bifhop of Kiow, who was deputed to hear him, 
brought back word, that his party demanded a 
conference in the midft of the kola, in the pre- 
sence of the primate and the marfhal. 

This being contented to, the deputies of 
Saxony propofed to give up Saxony, Newburg, 
Lorrain, Bavaria, and the royal family, provided 
the oppohte party would abandon Conti. This 
was only an artifice to gain time ; and therefore 
they made no difficulty of feeming to accept of 
their proportion. When the time came for 
founding them, and making them throw off the 
maik, they offered the prince of Baden. Jablo- 
nowfki rejected him, becaufe he was propofed by 
Lubormiiki. The bifhop of Plotiko, returning 
from Warfaw, whither he had been to talk over 
this matter with Abbe Polignac, to confound 
Jablonowlki the more, declared in favour of the 
prince of Baden. The palatines were highly dif- 
pleafed at thefe new proposals, but pains were 
taken to make them comprehend, that they were 
offered with no other view, than to expofe the 
oppolite party ; thefe excufes, however, were not 
iatisfactory to them, and they called out loudly 
upon the primate to put an end to the election. 

R 3 This 


This prelate was upon the point of giving the 
fcencdiclion, when a letter was put into his hands 
from the bifhop of Cujavia. He read it loud 
enough to be heard by thofe who Hood near him. 
Jn this letter the bifhop of Cujavia threatened a 
feceffion of forty companies in favour of Saxony, 
in cafe they nominated the prince of Conti, af- 
furing the cardinal notwithstanding, that he 
would in no wife have encroached upon the 
rights of his primacy, if he had not been com- 
pelled to it by force. 

The nobility, enraged at the inflexibility of a 
handful of obftinate people, redoubled their im- 
portunities to have this great affair brought to a 
conclufion. And the primate at laft, being no 
longer able to refill their prefling inflances, de- 
clared on the 27th of June, that the republic made 
choice of Francis Lewis de Bourbon, prince of 
Conti, to be king of Poland and grand duke 
of Lithuania. 

The oppofite party not daring to flir, for fear 
of being cut to pieces by the greater number, 
waited till the multitude had difperfed; and then 
the bifhop of Cujavia with forty companies, be- 
ing under no farther appreheniion, nominated 
Frederic Augufius, eleclor of Saxony, king of 
Poland, and grand duke of Lithuania. This 
news was brought to the cardinal as he was re- 
turning tp bis palace after having fung Te Deum 
in the church of St. John at Warfaw. He was 
advifed to ufe violent methods againft the mu- 
tineers ; but his natural mildnefs diverted him 
from it. 

The bifhop of Cujavia, having fung Te Deum 
upon the place of eledtion, came to Warfaw, 
where he repeated that ceremony in the church 
of St. John; and being defirous to obierve, in 



ihew at leaft, all the rules that were ufual in an 
action of that conlequence, he took great care to 
make reparation for a fault which he had com- 
mitted through over-much hafte, in nominating 
the ele6tor out of the electoral camp. He re- 
turned thither early the next morning, and re- 
peated the nomination, as if that ltep could have 
let all right. And laftly, to give the finiihing 
ftroke to what he was about, he adminiftered the 
oath for obferving the Patta Conventa to the cheva- 
lier Fleming by fix o'clock, whp took upon himfelf 
the character of envoy extraordinary. 

The day after the election fome conferences 
paffed between the two parties. In thefe it was 
propofed to obferve the laws of the kingdom, 
which require that none of the competitors no- 
minated mould fet foot in the kingdom till after 
the diet of confirmation; but the friends of 
Saxony depending upon the proximity of the 
elector, and fecure of the diftance of his rival, 
abfolutely rcfufed to comply with thofe propor- 

During the courfe of thefe debates, Abbe Po- 
lignac had difpatched a courier into France, to 
prefs for the departure of the prince, and fuch 
f upplies of money as were neceiiary to keep the 
lords firm in his party. This courier, who was 
the ambaffador's fecrctary, to make a merit of 
the good news he brought, difguiled the truth, 
and reprcfented the party oppoiite to the prince 
of Conti, as an inligniflcant handful of people, 
adding, that the new king fhould wait for the 
embalTy of the republic. A fecond courier, 
however, who arrived within two days after, ict 
matters in a true light, and the prince prepared 
for his journey, but did not fet out till the cardi- 
nal had given him notice of his election under 
R 4 his 


his hand. The prelate's letter was to have been 
brought by the preceding courier ; but the per- 
fon who was to have given it him, being to &t 
out within two days after, kept it to carry him- 
felf: and to thefe trivial circumftances, which 
delayed the prince's departure, might with fome 
probability be attributed the ill- fuccefs of Conti. 

Meanwhile the profusion of the elector of 
Saxony daily increafed the number of his fol- 
lowers ; he was betide upon the frontiers of Po- 
land. The prince of Conti's friends, affrighted 
to fee him fo near them, told the French ambaf- 
fador, that the inftrument of election ihould not 
be given into his hands, till he had paid off the 
four quarters of the army ; and if thofe claufes 
could not be filled, he had nothing to do but to 
countermand the prince. 

A declaration fo little expected threw the am-, 
baffador into the utmoft confufion, and he* 
determined to inform the court of France of the 
refolution of the lords. This news " again put 
off" the prince's journey. Preparations however 
were making for his departure, and he embarked 
at lail at Dunkirk, en board the little fquadron 
of chevalier Bart, attended by the chevaliers 
d'Angouleme, Sillery, Lanzun, and twenty gen- 
tlemen. The prince carried with him 100,00a 
louis d'ors, bills of exchange payable upon fight 
for the like fum, and a great number of jewels. 
He anchored before Oliva on the 28th of Sep- 
tember, and was faluted with three difcharges of 
cannon from the fort of Weychelmunde. Thefe 
were all the honours which Dantzick paid the 
prince. The magistrate of the city had difpofed 
the inhabitants to favour the elector. The ma- 
jority of the citizens declared for him, and even, 
jnfulted the officers of the French fquadron. 



To revenge the affront, they laid hold upon 
five merchant ihips which lay in the road } and 
the magistrates, by way of rcprifal, fcized upon 
all the effects of the French, and carried their 
rcfentments ib far as to fell the horfes of the 
ambaffador of France to the higher! bidder. 

During thefe tranfactions, the ambaffador was 
ufing alt his endeavours to open a way for the 
prince of Conti's entrance into Poland. The 
lords of the houfe of Sapicha had engaged for 
the fum of 400,000 livres, to fend the prince a 
guard of twelve companies under the command 
of the grand treafurer's fon ; and then the grand 
general of Lithuania, and all the officers of the 
army, were to take the oath, and march wiih 
their troops to the place which mould be ap-^ 
pointed. But the prince was previoufly obliged 
to pay them four hundred and fixty thoufand 

The ambaffador, having thus taken all necef- 
fary meafures, went on board the French fquadroi* 
on the 2d of October. The prince's friends, 
who came to fee him, adv'fed him to go to Ma- 
riemburg or Lowitz, but he chofe rather to wait 
for the coming up of the Sapieha's. Couriers 
were continually palling, which brought word, 
that they were juft at hand with fome Lithuanian 
fenators, who, in conjunction with the Polifh 
embaify, were to prefent the crown to the prince 
of Conti. 

The elector of Saxony, before the arrival of 
his competitor, had received an embaffy from his 
party at Tarnowitz, upon the frontiers of Silefia; 
and marching from thence to Pickari, he there 
repeated the abjuration of his errors before Crif- 
pin bifhop of Samogitia. He there fwore to the 
pbfervance of the Pafta Conventa, and there alfo 



received the compliments of the nobility, whom 
he aflhred of his paternal tendernefs for his new 
fubjects. Thence, advancing as far as Cracow, 
he purchafed the delivery of the cattle of 
count Wielopolfki for five thoufand crowns, 
and a necklace, which he prefented to the count's 

The cardinal primate, on his part, went on 
the 26th of Auguft with the nobility of the 
French party into the electoral camp, and there 
held the diet of confirmation. They there re- 
folved upon a confederation againft the elector 
of Saxony ; and then breaking up the inclofurc 
of the camp, to prevent the meetings of the op- 
polite party in a place of authority, the primate 
returned to Warfaw, where he caufed the confer 
deration to be figned by prince Sapieha, the le- 
gators, deputies, and nobility of his party. They 
had fikewife entered into a negotiation with the 
elector, though without any effect, to put off his 
coronation, which was performed on the 15th of 
September. The diet, after this ceremony, had 
been quietly clofed on the ift of October, the 
new king had already filled feveral polls, and 
his party had taken a refplution to meet at War? 
law within fix weeks. 

It may perhaps be permitted here to notice a cir-r 
cumftance that may let us into the knowledge of 
the genius of the Poles, who are fpmetimes fatifr 
lied with revenging by a jeft injuries offered to 
the liberties of the nation. As ioon as the elec- 
tor was crowned, a pafquinade was fent abroad 
under the title of the Comedy of Cracow, in five 
acts, with the arguments of each act. The firft 
was a king without a diploma ; the fecond a fu- 
neral folcmnity without a coipfe ; the third a co- 
ronation without a primate j the fourth a diet 



Without deputies; and the fifth protections with- 
out effect The elector was not much difpleafed 
itvith fuch a *evenge as this, and would have re- 
joiced if the Yo\c6 had oppofed no other arms 
againfc his growing power. 

The cardinal took all poffible mcafures to pre- 
vent his afcending the throne, which had already 
coft too dear for him to part with it without fome 
concern. This prelate therefore, having arTem- 
bled the confederates, recalled the UniverfaUa if- 
fued out for the general afTembly appointed to 
meet upon the 2,6th of September, and called to- 
gether three particular meetings upon the 10th of 
October in three different places, in order to di- 
vide the forces of the enemy, in cafe they fhould 
attempt to difturb the affemblics. 

In the mean time the prince of Conti waited 
for the execution of the promifes of Sapieha. 
The elector, informed that his rival was deter- 
mined not to land before the arrival of regular 
troops, took all poffible care to prevent his de- 
fcent. Galecki, palatine of Inowloclaw, marched 
into Pruffia by his orders, at the head of 3000 
horfe. This precaution fucceeded as Auguflus 
defired ; for the princes Sapieha, fearing to en- 
counter with this body of horfe, let the primate 
know they had taken a refolution not to fet for- 
ward, fearing, as they faid, to expofe their troops 
to Slaughter. 

Notwithftanding thefe difappointments, the 
prince of Conti prepared to quit his veffels, and 
to put himfelf at the head of 1500 horfe, which 
the ftaroft of Sondek had allured him were upon 
their march. But this refolution was deferred by 
the arrival of the Saxons, who were divided into 
two bodies, and marched directly to Oliva and 
JVIariemburg. Their arrival kept the prince on 



bo^rd. He had already told the Poles, that he 
would return to France, if his party did not make 
haite to perform their promifes. At laft, tired 
out with the Polifh delays, anting from delibera- 
tions, and increafed by fuch perpetual counfels as 
are fpcnt in preliminaries, he weighed anchor 
on the 9th of November, and fet fail for France. 
But this refolution was not taken till he was re- 
duced to the laft extremity; for he had the vexa- 
tion to fee the abbey of Oliva plundered, and 
forty of his domeftics loft, who were taken pri- 
soners by the Saxons. 

Before his departure, he wrote two letters, one- 
to the primate, and the other to the republic. In 
the former he returned thanks to the prelate for 
the warmth wherewith he had efpoufed his cauie, 
and exprcfTed his concern, that, his eminence, 
and fo many other worthy men, fhould fuller 
upon his account. But though his rival was pre- 
ferred before him, he comforted himfclf in this, 
that being a prince of the blood of France, he did 
not ftand in need of the fplendor of a crown. 
He added, that he gave up Poland to the elector 
much againft his inclination, and forced to it by 
the failure of their promifes who had engaged to 
fend forces to" his afliftance. But in his letter to 
the republic lie wrote in another tone. He there 
accufed the great men with breach of faith, after 
earner! folicitations on their part, and charged 
them with inviting him into Poland on purpofe 
to affront him. 

1699. Auguftus, finding himfelf freed from the 
appreheniions of his rival, began at laft to take 
breath, and turned his thoughts toward the con^ 
firmafion of his authority by all thofe ceremonies 
which impofe upon the people. For this reafon 
he made his entry into War&w, January 13, 



169$. When this was over, he ftrove by all 
poffiblc means to gain the cardinal, who feemed 
difpofed to acknowledge him. The prelate went 
ib far as to promiie, that he would promote his 
intereit in the rokofz, or affembly of the confe- 
derates he had called together. Auguftns was 
happy in having to do with a man, who was go- 
verned by circumitances; and he flood in need of 
the cardinal ; for in the diet of pacification which 
that prince had called together at Warfaw, of the 
twenty perfons who came thither, including both 
fenators and deputies, twelve had proteiled againft 
him the firit day, which had broke up the diet, 
and given a convincing proof that he had but a 
imall number of followers, and was by no means- 
chofen by the almofl unanimous content of all 
the Poles, as fome libels ventured to ailert. 

The rokofz, which was then held at Lowitz 
on the 18th of February, was as full as the diet 
of pacification had been empty. The king's de- 
puties were obliged to afk for other letters and 
other powers, becaufe the title of commilfioner* 
which they bore, and fome other terms in them, 
gave offence to that haughty body of nobility, 
who look upon themfelves, in fome meafure, as 
in a condition to impofe laws upon the prince 
who calls himfelf their king. At lafl they re- 
ceived the letters of Auguftus, and offered to 
acknowledge his authority upon the conditions 
that were then drawn up. They contained twenty 
articles, and abfolutely tied up his majefty's hands. 
His deputies, not caring to fubjeel: their mafter 
to fuch hard terms, did all they could to engage 
the affembly to make fome abatements in the ri- 
gour of the conditions. But all they could obtain 
was to leffen their number ; and thus they were 
obliged to expect from . A time, what they 



could not obtain from the inflexibility of the 

The pope, deiirous upon fome account or 
other, to intermeddle with the affair of Poland, 
had on the 26th of February difpatched a nuncio 
extraordinary, who prefented' a letter to the car- 
dinal from his hollncls. The pontiff offered by 
his miniiter, to be the mediator between the king 
and the republic. The primate made anfwer, 
that though he was fubjecr, to the pope in matters 
fpiritual, he befought him not to concern him- 
fclf in points relating to ihe republic ; for he 
fhould think he deferved the reproaches of the 
nobility, and mould become a traitor to his coun- 
try, if ever he gave up its intcrefh 

Auguftus was very deftrous to put an end to 
the divisions which kept him ftill hi fnfpenfe. 
With thefe views he called a diet of pacification 
to meet on the 16th of April. His circular let- 
ters, which were fent abroad upon this occafion, 
were full of mighty fchemes and fine promifes ; 
but the Poles were as yet too wary to be caught 
by fueh baits, which ulually catch thofe only who 
are difpofed to be fo caught. The diet afTembled 
at the time appointed ; but of the two hundred, 
who ought to have been prefent, there came thi- 
ther only thirty deputies of certain palatinates in 
Poland and Lithuania. It was no fooner opened, 
than the greater part of them rofe up, and de- 
manded the convocation of a general affembly in 
the open field, and threatened to retire in cafe of 
refufal. They foon after did as they laid, and 
there was no poffibility of getting them together 

In the mean while Auguftus cxercifed as many 
kingly acts as he had opportunity of doing; as 
particularly appeared in the cafe of Oginiki grand 



enflgn of Lithuania, and Sapieha the grand ge- 
neral of that duchy, whom he forbad to decide 
their quarrel by force of arms, and advifed ra- 
ther to make up their differences in an amicable 

This prince, who had already given a public 
audience to the pope's nuncio extraordinary, en- 
gaged him to intercede with the cardinal, and 
difpofe him to peace. The cardinal, who was 
an enemy to troubles through Jus natural timi- 
dity, promifed to do all that lay in his power to 
pacify them. In fhort, he called together a new 
avTembly of the confederates at Lowitz, who met 
on the 5th of May, the day appointed by the 
Un'werfalia w r hich were published on this occalion ; 
and the primate fo artfully introduced into the af- 
fembly the favourable fentknents he had for Au- 
guftus, that at length a treaty was concluded 
with him, by which he engaged to give authentic 
proofs of his Catholicifm ; to difpatch the Lu- 
theran miniilers, and to reftore by a folemn act 
the liberty of votes in all future elections. He 
farther promifed, never t) demand back from the 
republic the fums he had bellowed upon his par- 
ty; to pay what was due to the army, and to 
recover the conquered places which had been taken 
from Poland. This treaty likewife obliged him 
to fend back his Saxons, and to repair the da- 
mages they had done. It farther contained fome 
other articles for the advantage of Poland. One 
{ingle deputy of the palatinate of Sendomir in- 
deed withdrew from the affembly ; but no regard 
was paid to his protections, as the affembly was 
not a diet, but a free rokofz, which could not 
be broken up by the retreat of any diffentients, 
The cardinal would not have been fo eafy, but 
1 the 


the court of France advifed him to come to art- 
accommodation with Auguftus, and betide he- 
jhad no alternative left. 



It was on the 16th of May that this important 
affair was concluded, which fupplied whatever 
had been wanting in the election of Auguftus, 
who can be looked upon only from that time as 
the lawful king ; the nomination of the bifhop 
of Cujavia, and all the fteps which followed, 
being manifeilly contrary to the la\vs of the 

It might reafonably have been expected, that 
after this treaty the king mould have been fecure 
againfl the reftleflhefs of the nobility who had 
figncd it, and that as foon as he had recovered 
Kaminieck and Podolia, he fhould have fent back 
his Saxons into their own country ; but through 
a perpetual diflrufl of a people whom he found 
to comply only with the time, he fought for pre- 
tences to retain his army in Poland, notwith- 
standing the animofity of the Poles againfl the 

A long and ruinous war with Sweden now 
approached, of which the origin was briefly 

The Mufcovites and Poles were by no means 
fatisfied at feeing Livonia fubjeel to the Swedifh 
yoke. This province, which had formerly be- 
longed to the knights of the Teutonic erder, had 
been the caufe of a long war between three na- 
tions. The peace of Oliva. had at lafl decided 
•3 the 


the quarrel in favour of Sweden, which had long 
been in poffeffion of that fertile country. A 
young king had juft at this time afcended the 
throne of Sweden ; and the firft impreffions 
which foreign miniflers had taken of that mo- 
narch, had produced a fovereign contempt for* 
him in the courts of Europe. Thefe circum- 
ilances induced the czar Peter the Great of Muf- 
covy, and the. king of Poland, to violate the 
treaty of Oliva. 

Thefe two monarchs then held an interview at 
Riga on the ioth of Auguft, and concluded an 
alliance, whicli had for its objecl to wrefr. from, 
the young .Charles XII. all the territories that lie 
between the gulph of Finland, the Baltic Sea, 
Poland, and Mufcovy. 

Auguftus indeed ftood in need of this pretence 
to keep a Saxon army in Poland. The treaty 
which had been then lately concluded at Carlo witz 
would have obliged him to fend back his troops. 
By that alio the grand fignior confented to the res- 
titution of Kaminiec, Podolia, and all the other 
places which had been taken from the Poles. 

1700. Before the execution of this treaty a 
general diet was held at Warfaw January 16th, 
at which the king attended regularly in perfon : 
and he had the fatisfaelion of feeing what he had 
long waited for, the act of his election figned by 
the cardinal primate and the grand chancellor Bi- 

Having then difpofed of feveral considerable 
pofts, he made a vifit, March 2,4th, to his here- 
ditary Saxon dominions, where he fettled the af- 
fairs which required his prefence, and returned to 
Warfaw. The day after his return he afTembled 
the fenators, who were then in the town, and 
laid before them the advantage which would re- 

s full 


fult from the conqueil of Riga,- the capital city of 
Livonia, and the neceiiity of affitling in that en- 

While Auguftus was amufing the Poles with 
fpecious pretences^ Charles XII. forced the king 
of Denmark, who had privately confpired his ruin 
with the Pole and Mufeovite, to do juitice to his 
brother-in-law the duke of Holftein. The young 
king then learned that the king of Poland, de- 
spairing to conquer the indefatigable experience of 
count d'Albcrg the governor of Riga, an officer 
who had all the fire and activity of youth at the 
age of fouricore, had raifed the fiege of that place. 
Auguftus, it is true, eagerly laid hold of an op- 
portunity which prefented itfelf of withdrawing 
with honour from the ftep wherein he had prema- 
turely engaged. The fiates general defiring him, 
by their ambaiTa dors, to fpare a place wherein the 
Dutch had eoniiderablc effects, he made a merit 
of deiifting from an enterprife which he had by 
this time great cauie to fear would miicarry. 

peter Aiexiowitz czar of Mufcovy now ravaged 
Ingria with an army of 100,000 men, and on the 
lit of October laid liege to Narva, in the midil of 
the ice and lnow which at that time cover thofe 

Upon the news of this fiege, Charles XII. whofe 
infuperable courage and resolution, the fource of 
all his misfortunes, were mcreafed by his late fuc- 
cefs, crofTcd the fea with two hundred tranfports, 
marched direclly to Narva at the head of 4,000 
horfe and a like number of foot, routed an ad- 
vanced guard of 5,000 Mufcovites polled in [his 
way, and put all to flight before him. A body of 
2,0,000 men durft not wait his coming up, and 
30,000 Mufcovites, -placed within a league of the 
camp, were carded away with the torrent of the 



flying foldiers, and retired to the intrenchmcnts. 
Charles XII. appeared within view of the camp, 
made a breach in the ihtrcnchments, entered with 
his 8,000 Swedes, and took almoft all the Mus- 
covites of the right wing prifoners ; the reft ran to 
bury themfelves under the ruins of the bridge of 
the river of Narva, which broke down with them. 
The generals of the enemy laid their arms at the 
conqueror's feet, who kept them alone prifjuers, 
while the foldiers were difmiftcd to terrify their 
fellow-countrymen with au account of the battle. 
The enemy's left wing, which was ltill fublifting, 
came and Surrendered the next morning to the 
number of 30,000 men, and thefe Charles like- 
wife permitted to return into Mufcovy. 

1 70 1 . This great victory diif urbed the meafures 
of the czar and of Auguftus. The latter foon ex- 
peeled to fee the king of Sweden in Poland repay, 
with fire and fword, the ravages of Livonia and 
Ingria. It was therefore necetlary to raife up 
banks to oppofe the torrent ; and this was the oc- 
ealionof an interview of the two allies at Birzcn, 
a final] town in Lithuania. Auguftus here pro- 
mifed the czar 50,000 German troops, which he 
undertook to hire of the princes of the empire, and 
the czar was to pay them. The czar, on his fide, 
agreed to fend a like number of Mufcovites into 
Poland, to be trained up there in military difci- 
pline ; and farther engaged, in two years time, to 
Supply Auguftus with nine millions of livres. 

This treaty, which was concluded without the 
content of the republic, was by no means appro- 
ved of by the Poliih nobility. The general diet, 
which was opened at War ill w on the 30th of May, 
deiired Auguftus to fend back the Saxon troops, 
and make peace with Sweden ; to remove the 
Germans from the council board, and appeafe the 

S % troubles 


troubles of Lithuania. The king's anfwer could 
not calm the uneafinefs of the nobility, who were 
jealous of their liberty ; and the diet divided into 
feveral little provincial aflemblies, where none but 
Poles were prefent, with a view of providing a 
more fecure remedy for the ills of which they 
were too juftly apprehensive. All the deputies 
joined in demanding the convocation of a new 
general diet at fuch time as the king pleafed, who 
fixed it for the % 2d of December. 

■ Charles XII. informed of the defigns of the 
czar and the king of Poland, battened into Livo- 
nia, that he might be beforehand with his ene- 
mies. He arrived near Riga, upon the banks of 
the Duna, over againit. the Saxon army, which 
lay encamped on the other fide of the river. His- 
troops eroded it on boats of the king's invention, 
whole fides were moveable, and might be lifted 
up, or let down, like draw-bridges, and fo be of 
ule to cover the troops in their pafTage, and fa- 
vour their defcent when they came to land. A 
thick fmoke from a large heap of wet ftraw, which 
the, king caufed to be fet.on fire, fo blinded the 
enemy, that they could not difcern the paflage of 
his troops. 

The Saxon army was commanded by the duke 
of Courlahd and' marfhal Stenau. That brave 
officer fell upon the Swedifh battalions with his 
horfe before they were quite drawn up, and drove 
them into the river ; but being foon rallied by the 
king, they advanced with fuch fury againft the 
marfhal, that they obliged him in his turn to re- 
treat. The Saxon army retired to an advan- 
tageous ground, where it was attacked and beaten 
by the enemy. After an obltinate and bloody 
combat on both fides, the conquerors took- Mit- 
tau, the capital city of Courland ; and the reft of 




the towns in that duchy opened their gates 
without any refinance. The king did no more to 
gain all Lithuania ; and it was at Birzen in that 
duchy, where the fatal alliance had been con- 
cluded between the czar and the king of Poland, 
that the implacable Charles laid a fcheme for de- 
throning Auguftus. 

Augustus's misfortune roufed up his fecret ene- 
mies : they fought to take advantage of his cir- 
cumftances, to prejudice him with his fubjects. 
The king, who ftood more in need of an army 
than councils and deliberations, was notwith- 
standing forced to hold the diet which was ap- 
pointed to meet on the 2 2d of December. In this 
affembly that fpirit of liberty, which generally 
prevails in Poland, broke out before the king in 
a language never heard by other princes. He faw 
his fubjects openly working againft him under 
a pretence of the public good, and was obliged to 
bear with the pride and haughtinefs of that free 
people, who make choice of a matter, lefs with at 
view of being governed, than of governing them- 
fclves, and of increaiing their own authority ; 
borrowing his name to execute their own private 
quarrels ; and making themfelves coniiderable in 
the ftate, by taking part with him or againft 

1702. The conduct of Auguftus, indeed, had 
not a little contributed to take off from the affec- 
tion of his friends, and to exafperate his enemies, 
who were greatly increafed in number. Some 
palatinates, however, ftill exprefled zeal enough 
for him to make him believe that he might arm 
the Polifh nobility againft the Swedes, and. thus 
he founded his hopes upon the army of the re^ 
public; but thefe hopes were foon diffipated, and 
he grew perfectly fenlible that his authority in ths 

S 3 diet 


diet was of little confequence, the moft confw 
derable part of the members making no icruple to 
own that they were in the intcreri, of the king 
of Sweden, and that not fo much out of friend- 
fhip to him, as hatred to Auguftus, whom 
they fufpe&ed of fome defign upon their liberties. 
They even went fo far as to charge him with the 
troubles of Lithuania, and accufe him as the au- 
thor of all the ills which had fallen upon the ftate. 
Among other debates, they talked of fending an 
embafly to the king of Sweden in the name of 
the republic ; but before this point was carried, 
the diet was broken up by the retreat of a deputy. 
This event oecurred February 7th, 1702.* 

In the mean time Auguflus had preffing need 
of fuccours. He was not ignorant that the diets, 
councils, and in fhort all the affemblies of the 
Poles, fought to degrade his authority, or rather 
to annihilate it : but, upon fome occalions, it 
is policy in a prince to connive at an incroach- 
ment upon his rights, that he may one day have 
it in his power to reftorc them. With thefe views 
Auguftus called together a council of the fenate. 
The members of this afYembly were better cour- 
tiers than that vaft tribe of nobility which had fo 
openly declared their animofity againtt the king, 
and, under the pretence of reconciling his intereft 
with the feeurity of the republic, gave a more 
certain wound to his authority. They at lalt con- 
cluded imonthe embafly debated in the diet, and 
refolded to arm the nobility, that they might be 
ready upon occalion. 

When Auguftus was allured of the fenate's re- 
folution, he determined to be beforehand with 
the embafly of the republic. He had too much 

* S arc of the proceedings in a general diet in Se£l. 

XXV. of the introductory part of this volume, p. 65, 66. 



cairfe to fear that his interefl would be flightly 
regarded, if not wholly overlooked, or, too pro- 
bably, be mentioned only to be entirely ruined. 
A captive himfelf to the wit and beauty of the 
countefs oi Koningfmarc, a Swedifh yoang lady 
of great family, he made choice of Her to be his 
mediator with Charles XII. and thought that a 
young conqueror could deny her nothing. Ha- 
ving received her mftruclions from Auguftus, fhe 
went to the Swcdiih camp in Lithuania ; but 
Charles XII. refilling obftinateVy toiee her, the 
returned to Auguftus, who however was not dif- 
heartened by this rigid inflexibility of his enemy. 
He difpatched his chamberlain Wiczdum with 
frefh initrudtions to the king of Sweden ; but 
when he came within view of the camp, he was 
feized, as coming from an enemy ; and having no 
other paffport, this fecond attempt proved fruitlefs. 

The king of Poland was therefore obliged now 
to have recourfe to the fenate, though his profeiicd 
enemy ; but he foon experienced that he had 
nothing confolatory to expect from them : for 
having offered to call in 12,000 Saxons, and to 
put himfelf at the head of the army of the republic, 
upon the conditions of paying two quarters before* 
hand out of his own private puric, all the anfwer 
he received was, that the republic would tend ait 
embafly to the king of Sweden to procure peace ; 
and as for the Saxons, his majefty could not in- 
troduce them into Poland without entirely difo- 
bliging the whole nation. 

The embaffy of the republic however was not 
more favourably treated by Charles XII. who 
was by no means pleated that they had ±1 ill any 
connection with Auguftus. He anfwered, that 
he would let the fenate know when he came to 
"VV arfaw what he thought of their propolals ; and 
the fame day fet forward on his march toward 

S 4 that 


that city, preceded by a manifeflo, in which h« 
declared himfelf the friend and protector of the 

Upon the approach of the king of Sweden, 
the friends of Auguflus deferted him through 
weaknefs ; his enemies, that they might withdraw 
from his reproaches, and raife him up more adver- 
faries at a diftance ; and all, through a jealoufy of 
the royal authority, which the Poles look upon as 
a monfter ever- ready to devour their liberty. 

Before he left Warfaw, Augufhis obtained leave 
from the few fenators who were left about him, 
to introduce 6,000 Saxons, and difpofe of the 
troops of the republic. He like wife gave orders 
for the nobility to take the field, but to no pur- 
pofe. The hatred they bore him, and the terror 
of the Swediih arms, kept the Poles upon their 
eflates, where they waited for the iflue of this 
great affair. Thus deferted by his fubjecls, he 
had recourfe to other meafures. Twenty thoufand 
Saxons entered Poland by his order ; and he gave 
himfelf little concern about exafperating a nation 
which betrayed him, offending enemies who 
fought his ruin, or railing the murmurs of fome 
weak and fearful friends, who gave him no other 
proof of their affection than that they were not 
his enemies. 

The king of Sweden, on his fide, prepared to 
give his enemy a good reception. He let the car- 
dinal primate into his intentions at Warfaw, who 
was the fecret enemy of Augufrus, and forced to 
fubmit to him againfl his inclination, but ftill 
more a friend to the liberty of his country, which 
he thought in danger under the adminiitration of 
a prince who, contrary to his engagements, had 
over-run Poland with foreign troops. This pre- 
late was come to Warfaw, with the leave of Au- 
guftus himfelf, who indeed could not deny it him, 

» He 


He went thither, it is true, under a pretence of 
difpofing the king of Sweden to an accommo- 
dation ; but, in reality, perhaps, to frrike the 
laft. blow, and deprive a prince of the crown, who 
had tranfgrefTed the laws of the nation. Being 
admitted to an audience of the king of Sweden, 
he had a quarter of an hour's private conference 
with his majefty, who faid aloud, that he would 
give no peace to Poland, till they had made 
choice of another king. Whether the cardinal was 
itruck with this declaration, upon feeing matters 
fo nigh, or that he had a mind to conceal the joy 
which might arife from a refolution that fecured 
the liberty of his country, certain it is, that he 
feemed to be very much troubled at it. He gave 
notice of it however to the palatinates, hy which 
means he difcovered, in fome meafure, his real 

Auguftus found it was now no longer time to 
deliberate, and that his crown depended upon the 
fate of a battle. The two armies met near ClifTow, 
between Warfaw and Cracow. The victory was 
obtained by Charles, who, purfuing his enemy as 
far as Cracow, entered the city, and the cattle 
furrendered at difcretion. 

An accident, which at this time happened to 
the king of Sweden, had nearly changed the face 
of affairs. By a fall of his horfe he* broke his thigh 
as he was marching out of Cracow, which obliged 
him to keep his bed lix weeks. It was fpread over 
all Europe, that he was trampled to death under 
his horfe's feet. This falfe report j gave life to the 
followers of Auguftus, confirmed his doubtful 
friends, fhocked his private adverfaries, and threw 
his open enemies into defpair. 

But that rumour was foon difperfed. Auguftus! 
flying before the conqueror, got together^ fome 



palatines at Sendomir, who were zealous in hi$ 
fervice. They were refolved upon fending an em- 
bafly to the king of Sweden, to offer him the 
mediation of the republic, betwixt himfelf and the 
ting of Poland. Auguftus then came to Warfaw, 
with a train of negotiations conftantly at his heels. 
Another affembly, called together in that city, 
confirmed the embafTy refolved upon at Sendomir. 
Mortzin, the chief ambailador, wrote to the king 
of Sweden, to know at what time his majefiy 
would be pleafed to give them audience. The 
king made anfwer, that he was furprizcd the re- 
public ihould offejyiim their mediation in an af- 
fair wherein thcmfelves were become a party, as 
the army of Poland had engaged with him at 
ClifTow, and the Poles ftill daily exercifed hofti- 
lities upon the Swedes ; but if, notwithflanding, 
the republic difowned thefe aclions, and were 
willing to clear themfelves of the fufpicions they 
had railed, their firft Hep mould be, to remove 
the actors, and punifh them in an exemplary 
manner, as a proof of the fincere affection they 
profefTed to bear towards Sweden ; after this jus- 
tification, he added, he fhould be ready to talk 
with them. 

While the king of Sweden affumed the lan- 
guage of a conqueror, Auguftus returning from 
his hereditary dominions, whither he had taken 
a journey, came to Thorn, and prelided in the 
great council he had called together in that city. 
The affembly accepted of the emperor's mediation 
in behalf of the republic, and refolved to declare 
war upon the king of Sweden in cafe he refufed 
the mediators which they offered him. 

1703. The cardinal primate, who had already 
dethroned Auguftus in his own mind, willing to 
pppofe councils to councils, called an affembly at 



Warfaw, February 15th; but the fmall number 
of fenators who came thither, aud the pretence of 
the Swedes who had got polfeilion of the caitle, 
obliged him, to put it off to another time. Au- 
gustus was then at Marie nbourg with fomc of 
his party, whom he laid under the obligation of 
new oaths. 

In the mean time the king of Sweeten gaJwj 
audience to the deputies of the council, ai: 
conferring with the cardinal, he let him 
his intentions by a declaration to this purpt 
that the king of Poland offered peace, or made 
war, as he was more or lefs preffed by the Swediih. 
arms : that the king of Sweden, deliring that a 
free affembly might be called of all the members 
of the republic, to reftore tranquillity in Poland, 
king Auguftus, feconded by his followers at ft 
rienbourg, had treated that affembly, called to- 
gether at Warfaw by the primate, as an unlawful 
meeting,, whereas it was his council at 
bourg which more juftly deierved I 
conventicle: that they had there n 
and repeated menaces of war and rupture between 
the republic and Sweden, that he was laiistied 
the affembly was not guided by a ipirit of peace 
and reconciliation, but rather influent ed by the 
author of the troubles, whole fentimrnts and de- 
signs they folely expreffed : that this conduct had 
too much opened the eyes of the king of Sweden, 
to fufFer himfelf to be any longer, amufed by the 
delays of negotiations : that, however, his majefty 
did not refute to make a proper peace with the re- 
public, for which he had given figaal proofs of 
his affection by refuting the advantages of private 
treaties offered to his majeity, but injurious 
to the liberties of Poland : that tft y would do 
well not to refufe the offers of affifbance and 



confirmation of the alliance made by his majefty 
to the republic, of which, if they did, they might 
have caufe to repent : that laftly, he had pointed 
out the fureft means of procuring peace, and was 
ready to hearken to the 'proportions which fhould 
be made to him on that fubjecl, in an affembly 
wherein the primate of the kingdom fhould pre- 
iide, whom his prudence and love for juftice 
ought to render agreeable to both parties. 

Charles XII. who did not love long treaties, and 
grew tired of inactivity, left Prague to fall upon 
the Saxons at Pultufch. As he was upon his 
march, he receiv«Jgjjie primate's anfwer to the 
foregoing declaration. The king, who defired a 
politive anfwer, w^Pnrpleafed with the obfcurity 
of the primate's letter. The only point in it that 
was plainly exprefled was, a proteftation never to 
dethrone Auguftus. 

In the mean time Charles paffed the rivers* 
marched againft the Saxons at Pultufch, and drove 
them before him. His pretence was fufficient to 
procure a victory. After this late fuccefs, he ad- 
vanced under the walls of Thorn, which was 
blockaded by eight thoufand Swedes on the 1 6th 
of May. The place was fortified with a garrifon 
of fix thoufand Saxons ; but large as the garrifon 
was, it was far inferior to the 8000 Swedes who 
belieged it. 

Auguftus, yielding on all tides to the victorious 
arms of his enemy, at laft called his friends together 
to repair his lofles. He opened a diet at Lublin 
June 19th, whither the cardinal had the afturance 
to come. The prelate feemed to promife fair, paid 
his duty to the king, took the oaths with the reft, 
never to confent to the dethroning of Auguftus, 
and to do all he could for the prefervation of his 
crown. By this means he prevented the violent 



refolutions which were then talked of, of abo- 
lifhing his dignity, and declaring him a traitor to 
his country, and unfaithful to his prince. The 
aflembly gave Auguftus leave to raife taxes for 
the fupport of the war, and to make what alli- 
ances he judged proper with foreign powers. He 
repeated the oaths he had before taken at Sen- 
domir, to aflure the Poles that he had no defign 
upon the liberty of their country. 

The aflembly which was held afterwards, and 
is called Poft-comitial, as it conftantly follows the 
diets or comitia, empowered the cardinal and the 
commiffiOners of the repubjjjb let the king of 
Sweden know, that the refolutions taken at Lublin 
did in no wife derogate fro^Whe power already 
given the commiffioners to conclude a peace; 
that, on the other hand, they had augmented thofe 
powers to treat with his Swediik majefty, from 
whofe equity they had caufe to expect fuch con- 
ditions as fhould be agreeable to reafon. Purfuant 
to thefe refolutions, the cardinal came to Warfaw, 
and informing the commiffioners of what was 
done, he wrote to the king of Sweden upon this 
iubject, who made anfwer, that he fhould do 
nothing to hinder a reafonable peace. 

His majefty meant nothing by thefe general 
terms, but a peace that was agreeable to his own 
intentions. To bring the Poles fomewhat nearer 
to his deligns, he changed the blockade of Thorn 
to a liege in form ; and the garrifon, obliged to 
furrender at difcretion, found more favourable 
conditions from the king's generofity, than they 
could have hoped for from a treaty. 

1704. Auguftus feeing that his forces daily came 
to nothing, fent an embafly to the czar of Muf- 
covy, to conclude a treaty of alliance ofrenftve and 
defentive, notwithftanding it was oppofed by fome 


• ■■ 


of the Senators. Thefe proceedings againft the 
inclinations of the Poles ftill farther alienated their 
affections from him, and favoured the aflembly of 
the confederates which the primate held at War- 
faw. The prelate talked of nothing but quieting 
the troubles of the kingdom; and' even went fo 
fax as to give the king notice, that it had been 
propofed to dethrone him. But, thinking he had 
done enough to give a colour to his aclions, he 
loon after entered into all the views of the confe- 

As foon as the cardinal had thrown off the 
illilk, the int'TiCgnum was refolved on by the 
confederates. Some of them, it ruck with the con- 
fequences of fuch a'refolution, and affected by 
the menaces of the czar and king Auguftus, de- 
dared they came not to the affembly to dethrone 
the king, but only to heal the maladies of the re- 
public. Their zeal funk or rote in proportion to 
the circumftances that intervened. Auguftus, 
then at Cracow with his followers, declared the 
nobility affembled at Warfaw to be rebels and 
traitors. This news exafperatcd them ftill more, 
and fome of the deputies broke out into furious 
inveclives againft the king : " Which of our privi- 
" leges (laid they), however facred, has not Au- 
" guflus violated ? The people are impoverished, 
" the principal families of the ftate oppreffed, all 
61 Poland en flaved by Saxon garrifons, the tire of 
<c war kindled to confume the little remains of 
" our expiring liberty • and are not thefe fub- 
" ftantial proofs that Auguftus tramples his oaths, 
" and our moft facred laws, under his feet ?" 

Thefe bold and free difcourfes cemented the 
refolutions of the afTembly, and encouraged fuch 
of the deputies as had fuffered their refolution to 
cool. A new incident revived their firft warmth, 



and difpelled all their doubts about dethroning 
Auguftus. They learned by a letter from prince 
Alexander Sobieiki, that his two brothers James 
and Conflantine were carried off near Breflaw in 
Sileiia by the orders of the king of Poland. This 
violence looiened the tongues of the whole aflera- 
bly, and they made no hefitation to refolve upon, 
the interregnum. 

Auguftus was no fooner informed of what had 
patTed in the affembly at Warfaw, than he gave 
notice of it to the diet of Ratiibon, and likewife 
to the pope, who ufed his utmoft endeavours to 
prevent fo ftrange a revolution. The pontiff wrote 
to the primate in prefling terms, not to give fo 
great a fcandal to Europe; but the blow was 
already ft ruck. The cardinal, in his anfwer to 
the pope, defcribed the injury offered to the two 
princes in the molt lively colours ; he repeated 
the feveral attempts of king Auguftus upon the 
liberty of Poland ; the Saxons introduced into the 
heart of the kingdom ; a war entered into to 
drain the republic and ruin great families ; the 
defeats of Auguflus ; the ravage of Poland ; the 
abfolute contempt of executing the Pa6ta Con- 
venta, a facred contract broken and trampled under 
foot by Auguftus. He added in his letter, that 
the cries and groans of their oppreffed country had 
at lafl entered the hearts of the good Poles, who 
had no other way left of relieving their common 
mother, than by refcuing her from the hands of 
the oppreffor. Laftly, he justified his affociation 
with Sweden, and concluded with calling in 
doubt the fincerity of Augullus's converfion. 

This letter, keen as it was, made no alteration in 
the pope's refolution ; he wrote back to the car- 
dinal, adviflng him to temper, and not to make 
the evil worfe by dethroning the king. Tae 
2, pope's 


popes folicitations had no effect upon the cardi- 
nal, and the interregnum, already refolved upon, 
was publifhed in the beginning of May. The 
heat of their paffions had hindered feveral pala- 
tines from teeing the confequences of mch dan- 
gerous proceedings ; but when they came to Gon- 
iider of them more coolly, they were mocked at 
what they had done, and went off from the reft 
of the confederates. They faid they came to 
Warfaw with no other view than to labour ror 
peace, and not to prolong the troubles by fuch 
•violent methods as could only end in the abfolute 
ruin of the commonwealth. 

No regard was paid to their feparation ; on the 
other hand, it was refolved to finim what was 
already begun. General Home, the king of 
Sweden's minifter in this affair, came to the af- 
fembly with the palatine of Pofhania, and the 
marihal of the confederation, who- had been to 
make him a vilit. The bifhop of Pofhania, and 
the palatines of Pofhania and Siradia were ap- 
pointed the commiffioners of the republic to treat 
with this general. 

Auguftus, enraged at the conduct of the con- 
federates, broke into a fevere invective againft 
them in the general diet which he had called to 
meet at Sendomir. But neither his menaces nor 
his complaints were capable of putting a flop to 
the proceedings of the confederates, who foon 
opened a diet at Warfaw for the election of a new- 
king. The candidates named were, Prince Alex- 
ander Sobiefki, the prince of Conti, and fome 
others ; but the eyes of all were fixed upon the 
former two. Prince Alexander was favoured by 
the king of Sweden, whofe protection was of 
great weight with moft part of the electors, who 
were no other than the iniiruments of his will. 
* The 


The prince of Conti was iupported by the cardi- 
nal, who was almoft the only one of his party. 
Alexander, however, when prefTedby Charles XII. 
to accept the crown, protefted that he would 
never afcend the throne which fortune had de- 
nied to his elder brother. This moderation of 
young Sobiefki, and the few friends of the 
prince of Conti, caufed all mention of them to be 
dropped in the diet. The other candidates divi- 
ded the voices in the affembly, who rinding they 
were not likely to agree about them, refuted 
them all. 

A new candidate j who had almoft every voice 
on his tide, contributed not a little to make them 
entirely forgotten. This was Staniflaus Leczinfki, 
palatine of Pofnania, a young lord, brave, libe- 
ral, and indefatigable, and of a difpofition likely 
to put an end to all their divisions. The king 
of Sweden, who at firfl warmly declared in be- 
half of prince Alexander, not finding him difpofed 
to comply with his intentions, afterwards left the 
liberty of choofing to the nobility ; but when he 
heard they had owned the merit of Staniflaus, he 
defired that he might be proclaimed king without 
any regard to the ufual formalities* which took 
up more time than was confiftent with his viva- 
city. Staniflaus was then declared king of Po- 
land and grand duke of Lithuania July the 12th, 
at nine in the evening, by the bifhop of Pofna- 

Auguflus having heard at Kamin of the elec- 
tion of the palatine of Pofnania, affembled in that 
city the great council he had called together at 
Sendomir. Staniflaus was there declared a rebel 
and traitor to his country, and the great zeal of 
Auguflus's party might have kept him in heart, 
if his arms had been lefs unfuccefsful ; but while 

T he 


he was engaging with his rival by vain declara- 
tions, the Swedes were routing the Saxon troops^ 
upon which he ftill founded fome fmall degree 
of hope. 

Count Leewenhaupt, a Swedifh general, with 
an army of 7000 men, fell upon 1 2,000 Saxons, 
commanded by prince Wiefnowifki, upon the 
banks of the Duna, cut off 3000 of them, put the 
reft to flight, and feized upon their baggage and 
artillery. This lofs was followed by another, 
which was lefs coniiderable indeed as to the num- 
ber of the flain, but of much greater confequenec 
as to the officers involved in it. The Saxons- 
thinking to furprize 3000 Swedifh dragoons, who* 
were encamped in the neighbourhood of Pofen, 
marched to attack them by night ; but the Swedes 
received them fo brifkly, that they drove them 
back, and entirely defeated them. 

The king of Sweden allowed Auguftus no 
longer intermiffion, than the Swedifh generals 
did the generals of the Saxons. He advanced 
towards Solock, where that prince lay encamped ; 
but Auguftus, deceiving his enemy by an extra- 
ordinary march, appeared before Warfaw, which 
he forced to .open her gates to him ; the caftle, 
into which general Home retired, was obliged to 
furrender, and the garrifon were made prifoners 
of war, after having obtained fome conditions 
which alleviated their fate. Charles XII. not 
having time enough to hinder the entrance of 
Auguftus, was unwilling to lofe the benefit of 
his march, and therefore laid fiege to Leopold, 
which he earned the next day by afiault, though 
the garrifon made a ftout refiftance. 

After this laft fuccefs, the Swedifh army, which 
was joined before Leopold by king Staniflaus and 
his followers, decamped to fall upon the troops 



of Auguftus, which lay within a few leagues of 
Wariaw upon the Viflula. Auguftus, fearing his 
ill fort line, divided his army, which confifted of 
45,000 men, into, three bodies, that the king of 
Sweden might not crulh him to pieces by a fingle 

1705. While he was endeavouring to fave his 
forces, his rival's party was increasing daily. The 
palatine of Kiovv, who had formed a party under 
the name of the Indifferents, foon went over to 
Staniflaus. The cardinal himtelf, who had not 
as yet abfolutely declared himfelf, embraced his 
caufe ; and to give him a proof of the Sincerity 
of his intentions, he called a general diet to meet 
at Warfaw, July 1 ith, to confirm his election, 
and fix the day of his coronation. The afTembly 
joined with the primate, and Staniflaus was 
crowned in the church of St. John, having fworn 
to the obfervation of the Patta Conventa the day 
before. Charles XII. was prefent at the ceremony 
incognito, and had the pleafure of feeing a king 
confirmed, who owed his crown to him. 



The cardinal did not long ferve the new king, 
dying at Dantzick on the 13th of October. This 
gentleman, whofe character has been fo diffe- 
rently drawn by different parties, was the fon of 
Jerome Radzieiowfki ftarofl of Lomza, and af- 
terwards vice-chancellor of the kingdom. The 
young Radzieiowiki was left an orphan at nine 
years old, and queen Louifa, affected with his 
misfortune, gave him an education fuitable to his 

T a birth. 


Ibirth. When grown up, he followed the for- 
tunes of Sobiefki, who in 1679 nominated him 
to the bifhopric of Warmerlandt, and made him 
vice-chancellor of the kingdom. Pope Inno- 
cent XI. honoured him with the Roman purple 
in 1683 ; and the king foon after gave him the 
primacy of Poland. 

He is reprefented on one fide as a crafty vil- 
lain, and on the other as a man of ability and pe- 
netration ; butj in reality, he was only timorous 
and wavering. We may venture to aver, that 
his conduct at Lublin was wholly owing to this 
difpofition ; thither he went to fwear that he 
would preferve the crown to Auguflus, and im- 
mediately returned to Warfaw to abjure the oath 
he had taken ; hi the nrft place, ftruck with the 
apprehenfion of feeing a blow given to his dig- 
nity, anil then returning to his fears, and fancy- 
ing that Auguftus had itill fome evil delign againit 
the liberty of his country. Befide, he was, like 
all the Poles, an enemy to a king whom he did 
not make, and unfaithful to the head of a repub- 
lie which was ever jealous of the conduct of its 

1706. The treaty, already begun between 
Staniflaus and the king of Sweden, was at lafl 
ligned and ratified by the two monarchs. The 
principal aim of this treaty was to fupport Stanif- 
laus upon the throne, and the two eltates in a 
firm and durable alliance. But Charles Xlt. 
ferved Staniflaus better by deeds than by promifes. 
His valiant Swedes, difFufed throughout all Po- 
land, cleared it of its enemies. A hundred thou- 
fand Mufcovites, which made up feveral bodies 
of troops, were this year either flain or routed 
in the kingdom. But the mod fatal blow to Au- 
guftus's party was the defeat of his troops at 



Frauwenftadt. Reinfchildt, at the head of 1 0,000 
brave foldiers, fell upon the enemies army, which 
amounted to 20,000 men. The two wings of 
the enemy gave way to the impetuofity of tho 
Swedes upon the firft onfet, and what followed 
was rather a (laughter than an engagement. The 
conquerors broke the foot with their ufual fury 
notwithftanding all their efforts, and the field of 
battle was foon covered with the flain. Seven 
thoufand of the enemy were left upon the place, 
and 8ooo taken prifoners ; yet fo complete a vic- 
tory did not coft the Swedes above 300 of their 
men, among whom were fome officers of distinc- 
tion. This brave aclion did not lail more than 
three hours. Betide the advantage of numbers, 
the Saxons were commanded that day by the fa- 
mous general Schulembourg, who but a fhort 
time before had gained the commendations of 
Charles and Staniflaus for a fkilful retreat. 

As foon as this bad news had reached the ear 
of Auguftus, he had recourfe to his ufual remedies. 
A great council was called at Warfaw, where his 
majeilythen was. He foon after marched thence 
to Cracow, which he ftrenffthened with new for- 
tifications, deligning to make it the repolitory of 
his artillery. It was from this city that he ob- 
ferved the motions of the Swedes, and law the 
Lithuanians, to his great vexation, pafs over to the 
Standards of his rival. But nothing affected him 
more than the deitruction of the Mufoovites his 
allies, who peri fried mo ft of them by hunger or 
cold. They were reduced to fo great diftrefs, 
that they were forced to quit Grodno, to the 
number of 15,000 foot, and near 5000 horfe, 
which the king of Sweden haraffed fo brilkly 
in their retreat, that very few of them were left, 

' T 3 Put 


But Auguftus had Hill fome hopes left of re- 
pairing his misfortunes by affiilance from Saxony ; 
and Charles XII. underftood, that he mult take 
from him all his hopes from thence, before he 
could reduce him to quit the field to Staniflaus. 
He had no fooner formed this refolution, but he 
entered Saxony. This lingular conqueror would 
not fuffer the arrival of an enemy's army to be 
attended with any dilturbance in the Hate. The 
fevere discipline of his foldiers guarded the coun- 
try from all infult ; but the Saxons could hardly 
be brought to believe it, and fled from town to 
town upon the approach of the Swedes. 

To remove all their fears, Charles publifhed a 
declaration, which was a kind of general fafc- 
guard, forbidding all perfons whatibever to quit 
their goods or convey them away, under fevere 
penalties ; and then marching farther into the 
electorate, he gave orders for the fecurity of the 
tradefmen at the fair of Leipfic, which was kept 
as ufual. In the mean time he did not lofe view 
of his defign to withdraw from Auguftus all the 
fuccour he could hope for from Saxony, which 
he did by impofing immenfe contributions upon 
the towns. 

Auguftus, feeing at laft his affairs in the con- 
dition he had long dreaded, grew fenfible of his 
weaknefs in Poland, and the neceffity of remo« 
ving Charles XII. from his hereditary dominions. 
He found he muft yield to the prcfent conjunc- 
ture, and fubmit to the conqueror. He deter- 
mined therefore to offer fome propoials to his 
enemy, and difpatched barons d'lmhoff and Fin- 
ft on to the king of Sweden. Thefe two minifters 
came to the Swcdifh camp at . Alt-Ranfladf, but 
privately, for fear the Mufcovitcs fhould know 
that their mailer was inclined to treat with 



Charles XII. He gave them fall powers and a 
blank iigned. Charles receiving the letter they 
brought him from Auguftus, opened and read it. 
He bade them wait one moment, and he would 
give them an anfwer ; then going into his clofet, 
he foon returned with a paper which he had writ- 
ten, and which he gave baron d'Imhoff to read. 
The contents of it were as follow : 

" I CONSENT to give peace upon the follow- 
*' ing conditions, in which it mull not be 
se expected that I fhall make the leaft alter 
u ration. 

<e I. That king Auguftus renounce for ever the 
te crown of Poland ; that he acknowledge Stanifr 
" laus as lawful king, and that he promife ne- 
fC ver to remount the throne, even after the death 
(( of Staniflaus. 

" II. That he renounce all other treaties, and 
ci particularly thofe he has made with Mufcovy. 

" III,. That he fend back with honour the 
" princes Sobielki into my camp, and all the pri- 
" foners he has taken. 

u IV. That he deliver into my hands all the 
ff deferters which have entered into his fervice, 
" particularly John Patkul, and that all proceed- 
" ings be Hopped againit fuch as have pafTed 
" from his fervice into mine." 

The plenipotentiaries of Auguftus could never 
obtain from Charles the leaft abatement of the 
rigour of thefe conditions, and were therefore 
forced to comply with his imperious inflexibility. 

Charles exercifed then in Saxony an abfolute 
power ; he deftred to know the ftrength of the 
electorate, and the ftate of the finances, and im- 
mediately his orders were obeyed. The regifters 
were laid before him, and by that means he 
T 4 knew 


knew how much he could demand of the eftates 4 
from which he directly exacted 625,000 crowns 
a month, which he afterwards reduced' to 

While he was thus draining Saxony, prince 
Menzikoff, the czar's general iffimo, at the head 
of 30,000 men joined Auguftus with his little 
army of about 6000 Poles and Saxons. The ar- 
rival of the Mulbovites threw his Polifh majefty 
into a ftrange confulion. He was under the 
moft dreadful apprehenfipns from them in cafe 
his negociation with Sweden fhould be difco- 
vered ; but what threw him into a much greater 
perplexity was, the prefence, at this time, of 
10,000 Swedes commanded by general Meyer- 
feldt. He would have been glad to decline an 
engagement, for fear he mould irritate the con- 
queror, who was already too much incenfed. He 
is faid to have given notice to the Swedilh general, 
that there was a negociation on foot between him 
and Charles XII. but this circumftance only added 
to the ardour of the Swedes. Compelled at laft 
to yield to the instances of prince Menzikoif, and 
provoked by the confidence of Meyerfeldt, he con- 
fented to a battle, which, whether loft or won, 
would prove alike fatal to him; It feemed as if 
fortune, till then obftinately bent to purfue him, 
declared at laft in his favour, only to advance his 
ruin by a kindnefs ihewn too late. The Swedes 
were conquered at Califh ; but the victory of 
Auguftus ferved only to make the yoke more 
heavy which Charles XII. laid upon him. 

Auguftus was entering Warfaw in triumph, 
when Finfter, one of his plenipotentiaries, pre- 
ferred him with 1he treaty of peace which depri- 
ved him of the crown. In the firft emotions of 
his heart, upon the light of the fatal initrument 



of his fhame, he doubted whether he mould not 
march at the head of his victorious troops to fall 
upon the king of Sweden in Saxony ; but fearing 
to be overwhelmed in an abyfs, in which he was 
already -funk too deep, he at laft confented to lign 
his abdication, and went into Saxony, hoping to 
difaim his inflexible enemy by his pretence. 

The two kings met at Guntericlorf in count 

Piper's quarters, were feveral times together, and 

Charles ihewed great external reipect to Auguf- 

tus ; yet thefe vain appearances brought but little 

confolation for the feverity of Charles, who made 

him pay dear for the victory at Califh, which 

he gained over general Meyerfeldt, This feverity 

Charles carried fo far, as to oblige him to fend 

the jewels and archives of the crown to his 

fucceffor Staniflaus. But what completed the 

degradation of Auguftus was, bis being obliged 

to congratulate on his acceffion to the throne the 

man who was going to ufurp his place, and that 

in the following terms didtated by the Swedifli 

monarch ; 

ce Sir and Brother, 

" We little imagined it would have been neceffary 

to enter into a literary correfpondence with your 

majefty : neverthelefs, in order to pleale his ma- 

jefty of Sweden, and to avoid the fufpicion of our 

being unwilling to gratify his defire, we hereby 

congratulate you on your accefnon to the throne, 

and with you may find in your native country 

more faithful fubjects than we have left there. 

All the world will do us the juftice to believe, 

that we have received nothing but the molt un- 

.grateful returns for our good offices, and that the 

greater part of our fubjects feemed to have no 

pther aim than to haften our ruin.— Wiming 



that you may never be expofed to the like misfor- 
tunes, we commit you to the protection of God. 
" Your brother and neighbour, 

^ Augustus, King." 
April 8, 1707. 

Auguftus underwent this mortification with the 
policy of a man that was accuftomed to fad revo- 
lutions ; but he knew not how to digeft the af- 
front of being compelled to give up Patkul to the 
vengeance of the king of Sweden. 

John Reynold Patkul, a gentleman of Livonia,, 
had done great fervices for Auguftus. He was 
the czar's ambaflador, and was demanded back 
by the Ruffian emperor in very high terms. On 
the other hand, Charles XII. would grant no 
peace to Auguftus on any other condition, than 
the giving up of Patkul into his hands. Thefe 
circumftances, and the dread of being reproached 
with ingratitude, lay heavy upon Auguftus. At 
laft he thought to fave his reputation, and fatisfy 
the king of Sweden, by contriving the prifoner's 
efcape before the Swedes could feize upon his 
perfon ; but Patkul's ill fortune difappointed the 
king's difcretion. The governor of the caftle 
where he lay imprifoned demanded a large fum of 
money of him to fet him at liberty, which Patkul 
(aware of the king's intention) refufed to give him. 
While they were difputing, the Swedes came up, 
and the victim was forced to be delivered into 
their hands. 

The unfortunate Patkul was condemned to be 
broken alive upon the wheel, and bore that pu- 
nifhment with conftancy which in its very appa- 
ratus is capable of ftaggering the firmeft refolu- 
tion. His crimes were, his oppofing the will of 
l Charles 


Charles XI. father to Charles XII. in maintaining 
the liberties of Livonia his country, and fuccef- 
fivcly palling into the fervice of Auguftus and the 
czar, the fworn enemies of Sweden. His cha- 
racter of ambaffador ought to have guarded him 
againft fuch barbarous treatment ; but Charles, 
who confidered him only as a rebel fubject, put 
him to a cruel death, which was in his eyes no 
more than an act of juflice. 

The czar was now highly provoked at the 
treaty concluded at Alt-Ranltadt, by Auguftus 
with the king of Sweden, and lent his complaints 
into all the Itates of Europe of the treatment of- 
fered to his minifter. He omitted nothing that 
might contribute to glut his revenge. He gained 
over to his interelt the principal of the Poles, who 
met at Leopold in great numbers, and engaged 
them to a refolution of electing a new king, and 
writing to all foreign powers, not to acknowledge 
any other king of Poland than the perfon whom 
they fhould advance to the throne. 

In the mean time Staniflaus procured himfelf 
to be acknowledged by moft of the princes in 
Europe, fome of whom gave him that fatisfa6tion 
only that they might have it in their power more 
certainly to do him a mifchief. 

There was held in May another affembly at 
Lublin, in which the throne was declared vacant. 
The diet was called for a third election, when 
Stanillaus, leaving the king Of Sweden in Saxo- 
ny, came into Poland with general Reinfchildt 
at the head of hxteen Swedifh regiments. 
Charles followed them foon after with the reft of 
the army. Upon his approach, the czar retired 
fpeedily into his own dominions ; but neither the 
ice, nor the difficulty of the way, could put a 



flop to his enemy, who marched incefTantly in 
order to reach him. 

1708. After feveral engagements, in which 
the Swedes were always conquerors, the army, 
which now began to want necefTaries, fcizcd upon 
Mohilow, a frontier place of Poland, that was 
well mpplied with provisions. This fuccour came 
very feafonably, before the arrival of the convoy, 
which general Leewenhaupt was to bring up, 
with a fupply of twelve thoufand men. The king 
of Sweden for fome time ftill purming the Mus- 
covites, marched his troops toward the Ukraine, 
where he hoped to fubfifl them by means of Ma- 
zeppa, the prince of the CofTacks who inhabit 
that country. He had entered into a private 
treaty with this general, who thought to revenge 
himfelf of the czar for the ill treatment he had 
received from him. The czar communicating to 
him his $efign of bringing into greater fubjeclion 
the CofTacks, a fort of vagabond people like the 
Tartars,' Mazeppa told him it would be impoffiU 
ble to execute his projeel ; which threw tl\e czar 
into fuch violence ofpafiion, that he threatened 
to have him impaled alive. This general had 
engaged to join the king of Sweden with 30,000 
men, who waited for him with impatience, but 
waited in vain. The CofTack's defigns were dif- 
covered by the Mufcovites, who prevented the 
execution of them, cut his troops in pieces, and 
obliged hjm to fly for Shelter to the king of Swe- 
den with 6000 men, the feeble remains of his ar- 
my. His towns were taken, his provisions plun- 
dered, the enemy in the heart of his dominions, 
deitroying with fire and fword, and himfelf with- 
out any other confolation than the afTeclion of 
the Couacks. 



Meanwhile Leewenhaupt was bringing up the 
ammunition and fupplies which the king of Swe- 
den expected, the czar, informed of his march, 
refolved to prevent his joining with the king of 
Sweden* In fhort, it was a decisive blow ; if 
this Convoy could be carried off, the Swedes mufl 
be reduced to extremities ; and therefore he made 
no hehtation to march againft Leewenhaupt, 
whom he encountered near Lelho. He had with 
him 50,000 men, and the general of the enemy 
but 16,000. Yet, notwithstanding the inequality 
of numbers, the brave Swedes flood five obflinate 
engagements in three days ; but at lafl Leewen- 
haupt was overpowered, and obliged to retreat 
with the lofs of 10,000 of his men. He fet fire to 
the waggons loaden with provifions, to prevent 
their falling into the enemies hands; but the 
Mufcovites came up time enough to extinguifh the 
fire, and faved the beft part of the ammunition. 

Leewenhaupt arrived at the king's camp 
crowned with glory, but without the fuccours, 
which were now become abfolutcly neceiTary. 
The 5000 men he had faved from flaughter, far 
from being a recruit, feemed to be come only to 
increafe their diftrefs. 

So many misfortunes would have fubdued the 
courage of any other man than Charles XII. 
Trained up as he was in a courfe of profperity, 
k might have been thought that his lories would 
have hung the heavier on him when he fell into 
adverfity ; but, lofing nothing of his natural refo- 
lution, he taught his foldiers to bear the fevereft 
hunger and fatigue with refignation. At the dis- 
tance he was from all places whence he might 
have expected relief, he had no hope but in Sta- 
niflaus ; who, however, had already too much 
buiinefs upon his hands from general Siniawfki, 



and betides would have run too great a hazard hy 
marching into the Ukraine, where the Mulco- 
vites could eafily have impeded his paffage. 

Every thing now confpired to ruin the king of 
Sweden's army. The winter was fo fevere, that 
aooo of his ibldiers perifhed by cold. Thofe 
troops, hitherto fo well maintained, had not then 
wherewithal to guard them from the injuries of 
the weather. The greater part of them were with- 
out boots, without ihoes, without cloaths, and 
all wanted bread. This army, farther weakened 
by continual fkirmifheSj was at the point of pe- 
rifhing entirely, when Charles XII. letting at 
nought all obftacles, laid iiege to Pultowa, a town 
iituated on the eaftern. borders of the Ukraine. 
He nattered himfelf that he fhould put an end to 
the miferies of his army by the conqueft of this 
place, where the czar had laid up abundance of 
provifions. But neither the valour of the Swedes, 
nor the intelligence Mazeppa had in the place, 
were able to give fuccefs to the king of Sweden's 
deiign. He could not even prevent the enemy 
from throwing fuccours into the town, and the 
£ege began to be drawn out into length. Charles, 
whofe courage increafed by difficulties, warmly 
prelfed the betieged. The curtain was already 
taken, when he received a wound in his heel. 
This accident was followed by news which 
would have ftaggered any other man of lefs cou- 
rage than himfelf. 

He learned that the czar was come up with an 
army twice as large as his own, which contifted 
but of 18,000 Swedes, and a like number of Cof- 
facks, half dead with cold and want. The Muf- 
covite army, betide the advantage of numbers, 
wanted for nothing, and confuted of frefh troops 
well experienced by feveral engagements. 



Under thefe extremities, Charles made a latt 
effort to fave his army. His wound put him out 
of condition to act with his wonted vigour. In- 
clofed, however, between the Boryfthenes and 
the river Pultowa, and farther hemmed in by a 
numerous army, he was under a neceffity of ma- 
king his way through the enemy, or of perifhing 
with hunger. He did not helitate a moment. 
He fent for the field-marfhal Reinfchildt into his 
tent by night, and gave him orders to prepare to 
march againft the Mufcovites next morning, 
which he received with a furprife mixed with ad- 
miration. He withdrew to execute his mailer's 
commands, who flept foundly till break of day. 

On the two monarchs whofe fortunes were to be 
•decided by the event of that great day were the 
eyes of all Europe fixed. They were both ani- 
mated with an eager delire of conquering an irre- 
concileable enemy. Thirty victories did not allow 
Charles to doubt of fuccefs ; and Alexiowitz 
equally flattered himfelf from his thirty defeats, 
which had taught him how to conquer ; both of 
them fond of glory, Charles for its own fake, and 
Alexiowitz for the happinefs and interefr. of his 
empire. The Swede had made kings, and the 
Mufcovite had made dominions and fubjects. 
Charles rifqued his whole reputation ; and Alexi- 
owitz, to the title of founder of a people and an 
empire, fought to give the addition of the con- 
queror of the greater! general of his age. 

The action began by break of day between the 
two armies. The Swedes, to the number of 
25,000, came out of their trenches, and marched 
directly againft the enemy, who were beginning 
to form their camp. The Swedifh horfe fell upon 
the enemies fquadrons with their ufual fury ; and 
the Mufcovites fell back in diforder, Succefs al- 

283 ftrSTORt OF POLAND. 

ready declared for their enemies, and Charles made 
no doubt of gaining the day, when the czar ftopi 
the fugitives, rallied his horfe, made head againft 
the conquerors, broke them, and drove them 
before him with all the fury that the fhame of 
having turned their backs, and vengeance, could 
infpire. Charles expected, with impatience, that 
general Creuts, whom he had detached with 5000 
horfe, fhould fall upon the enemy in flank ; but 
Creuts was marched off. This cireumftance fe- 
cured the Mufcovites, and was the ruin of the 

All however was not yet defperate. The king 
of Sweden difpofed the troops he had left in two 
lines. The foot were pofted in the center, and 
fupported on each lido by the horfe, which made 
up the two wings. The czar difpofed his army 
in the fame order, and advanced his foot againft 
ihe foot of the enemy. In the mean time feventy- 
two cannons played upon the Swedes, whofc whole 
artillery was only four bad pieces of mortar ill 

Alexiowitz, mounted upon a TurkiiTi norfe* 
flew from rank to rank, while Charles was forced 
to be carried in a litter becaufe of his wound; 
In the beginning of this action, the king's litter 
\vas fhattered to pieces by a cannon ball, and his 
toajefty overturned. The Swedifli army, upon 
feeing the king fall, immediately gave way ; all 
were put to the fword or taken prifoners, and 
the king himfelf was obliged to fly. He retired 
to the Turks, whom he attempted in vain to arm 
againft the conqueror* , 

Europe heard with aftonifhment the defeat of 
Charles, and the elector king Auguftus foori 
ihewed that he thought treaties but temporary 
laws. He was no fooncr fure of the victory 



(rained by the Mufcovites, than he caft the rai- 
nifters into prifon who had iigned the peace of 
Alt-Ranftadt. He publifhed a manifefto to retract 
the engagements, which he faid they went beyond 
their powers in making, and declared his refolu- 
tion to recover the throne, whence he had been 
driven by violence. He let the befl interpretation 
he could upon his own conduct, and feverely cen- 
fured the proceeding's of Staniflaus's party, upon 
whom, and his adherents, he liberally be It owed 
the odious names of traitors to their king and 

This manifefto was in fome meafure ferviccable 
to Auguftus, and might be of ufe to miflead the 
people, but in reality produced nothing in his far 
vour. The Poles were at liberty to elect a king 
in his ft cad, as he had fubmitted to the law which 
declares the crown forfeited upon the violation of 
the Pacta Convcnta. And how could Auguftus 
clear himfelf of the manifeft breach of his oath ? 
he had kept the Saxons in Poland againft his en- 
gagements, and hadnotconfulted the republic in the 
cate of a war which moft nearly concerned them. 
At cuilomed to abfolute power in Saxony, he gave 
himfelf no trouble about following a different plan 
in Poland. This arbitrary difpotition exafperated 
his fubjeets, who, perhaps, would not have been 
pleafedat a good agreement between the king and 
the republic ; as this circumftance might have dis- 
appointed them of the fatisfaction of revenging 
themfelves upon Auguftus, for obliging them to 
own his authority in oppoiition to the other can- 
didates, whofe intereft they had embraced. 

Staniflaus, therefore, was the lawful king. Be* 

tide, Auguftus had renounced his right, if he had 

any then remaining, when he ftgned the treaty of 

abdication ; but Kings are not always governed 

U h T 


by Uriel: equity. Auguftus rather entered Poland 
in triumph, than as a king liript of his dominions 
and trying to reeover them. A large body of the 
nobility and great men joined him in his march. 
The principal pcrfons, whom the king of Sweden's 
fortune gained over to Staniilaus, toon deferred 
him to follow the conqueror's ally. 

Staniilaus had no hope left but in general Craf-- 
law, who was the only obftacle Auguftus had to 
encounter ; and he therefore took all neceffary 
■meafiires to prevent the general from doing him 
any mifchief in Poland. His caution went even 
farther : he wrote to the council of Saxony to arm 
the militia at all events, and to feize upon the paf- 
lages, for fear the Swedes mould a fecond time- 
march into Saxony. The council diligently 
obeyed the commands of Aufruftus, who ordered 
all the country people that could carry guns to be 
ready to inarch, and gave arms to about 80,000 

General CraiTaw was too weak to keep the 
field againft Augulhis, whofe troops were fuperior 
in number, and not inferior in courage to the 
Swedes, lincc their king's misfortunes. And thus 
the only part the general had to take, was to retire 
out of Poland, that he might not expofe his fol- 
dicrs to certain ruin ; he therefore relblved to pafs 
into Swedifh. Pomerania, whither Staniilaus was 
obliged to follow him, having no dependence left 
in Poland ; befide, he found it neceffary to pre- 
serve to the king of Sweden, for occaiions of 
moment, the few troops that were left with him. 
" After the victory of Pultowa, the czar came into 
^Poland; where he had an interview with Auguftus 
in the neighbourhood of Thorn. The two mo^ 
narchs agreed together in what manner to be re- 
re nged of Sweden, and to prevent, for the future, 



i ' . ■ < 

the mifchiefs which had occafioned the ruin of the 
one, and brought the other to the brink of a pre- 

. 1709. In the mean time, the fenators were af- 
fcmbled at Thorn to acknowledge Auguflus to 
be the lawful king of Poland; and to make this 
Jtep the more folemn and authentic, they pub- 
limed a declaration upon this fubjecr. The pope, 
ever careful to eltablifh his authority, fent a bull 
to Auguflus to difcharge him from the treaty of 
Alt-Ranfladt. And thus it was that he re-afcended 
the throne. 



Augustus earneflly defired to have the treaty he 
had concluded with the czar approved by the re- 
public. He therefore propoied this affair to the 
great council then affembled at Warfaw. The fe- 
nators were all at the king's devotion, but the no- 
bility were not fo eafily gained, and every day 
brought frefh impediments. At laft, after great 
difputes, the treaty was ratified to the king's fa- 
tisfactlon. His majefly, to gain the love of his 
fubjects, made an a6t of indemnity, and took 
great care to fee it fully and exactly executed. 
Befide this, he did an act of juftice, to Jet the no- 
bility fee what a real value he had for them : a 
colonel, who had affaulted a deputy of Czera with 
his fabre, was feverely punifhed by his orders. 
His affability engaged their affections, and the no- 
bility, at laft, was again prevailed on, by this con- 
duct, to acknowledge him as lawful king of Po- 
ll 2 land, 


land, m the general diet which was held af 

1 7 1 1. The weak remains of Staniflaus's party in 
Poland, however, .ftill canfed fome commotions. 
The palatine of Kiow, one of the king of Swe- 
den's followers, over-ran Poland with iix thou- 
sand men, made himfelf mailer of Sniatin, and 
kept thegarriibn priibners of war. Till then Sta- 
niflaus could ftill rely upon fome of the Polifh 
lords: The hopes of the party were not quite ex- 
tin* i ; thev were even ibmcwhat revived by the 
victory of the Swedes over the Saxons. The Muf- 
covites and Danes, routed together at Gadebufch, 
and the burning the town of Altena to afhes by 
general Steinbock, infpired ftill fome terror of the 
Swcdifh army ; but an unforefeen event changed 
the face of affairs, and deprived king Staniflaus o( 
the few followers he had left in Poland. 

17 13. Charles XII. who, as we have already 
obferved, repaired to the Turks at Bender, had 
laid a. lc heme for turning the Ottoman arms upon 
his rival, and not leaving Turkey but at the head 
of an hundred thoufand men. He long hoped to 
ftjeceed in this project ; but at lafl , feeing all his 
intrigues fail, and the czar to have the afcendancy 
over him in the divan, he took a refolution to fix 
bis abode among the Turks, whether they fhould 
approve it or not. He would never yield to the 
inftances of the lords who had attended him in 
his flight, and poiitively maintained, that an order 
to fend him away, which the bafha of Bender faid 
he had, muft be a forgery. It was to no purpofe 
to tell him, the order was to fcize upon his perfon 
in cafe of reliftancc ; he w r as ftill refolute. With 
three hundred men in his houfe, which he had 
barricaded and intrenched, he calmly waited the 
coming up of an army of 25 9 ooo Turks and Tar- 


tars, who eafily broke through thofe feeble in- 
trenchments, and took the three hundred Swedes 
priibners. The king himfelf, after fome rcilftance, 
was taken by the janifaries. The news of this 
ftrange action was foon fprcad throughout all Eu- 
rope, and particularly in Poland. The king of 
Sweden was fuppofed to be loft beyond all remedy, 
and feveral of the Poles fpeedily returned to their 
obedience to Auguftus. 

Staniflaus, finding he was deferred by the Poles, 
entertained thoughts of quitting a throne he knew 
not how to keep. He imagined that Fleming, the 
minifter of king Auguftus, would procure him 
advantageous conditions in gratitude for the fignal 
fervices he had done him. He had prevailed 
upon the king of Sweden to lay aflde the profe- 
cution of that general, whom in all probability he 
would have treated like Patkul, as he looked upon 
him to be a rebellious fubject who ferved againft 
his country. He therefore had an interview witli 
this minifter, who made ufe of the confidence of 
his benefactor to abufe him the more effectually. 

The king of Sweden was at Bender when Sta- 
niflaus wrote to defire he would content to his ab- 
dication and allow him to facvifice himfelf for the 
public peace, and had not yet fhewn Turkey the 
flrange fpeclacle we have been defcribing. After 
reading the letter of Staniflaus, he abfolutely re- 
futed his confent to a ftep which he thought would 
affect his glory. In the mean time, Staniflaus, 
finding it neceffary to comply with the time, took 
a refolution to go to the king of Sweden himfelf, 
thinking he might gain his approbation. Pie had 
entered upon the Turkifh territories, and, not 
knowing the cataftrophe of Bender, palled for a 
Swede who was going to the king. IJpon faying 
{hat he was a Swede, he was feized and carried 
U 3 \\n^ 


under a guard to Bender, whither the king of 
Sweden was led prifoner himfelf in a chariot. 
Charles, upon information that Staniflaus was not 
far off, exclaimed, " Run, and tell him to make no 
" treaty with Auguttus, for we iliall foon have a, 
" change of affairs." 

Charles, however, at laft convinced that he 
mould never be able to turn the arms of the Turks 
againft Mufcovy, repaired into his dominions, 
where he affigned a retreat to Staniflaus in the 
duchy of Deux Ponts, and allowed him the re- 
venues of that province, which- amounted to ie- 
venty thoufand crowns. 

Charles flattered himfelf, that he fhould ftiU 
reff ore the terror of his name. The fine provinces 
conquered by his anceflors, and then ravaged or 
pofTeffed by his enemies, could not in the leafl 
abate his courage. Though threatened that he 
fhould foon fee the Danes, the Mufcovites, the 
Saxons, the Pruffians, and the Englifh, in the 
heart of his dominions, like another Hannibal, he 
fought to carry the war into the domains of his 

1 71 6. The florm grew black over Norway. 
Charles, at the head of 20,000 men, marched into 
this kingdom without any obiiacle. All Europe 
was furprized at the inactivity of the czar, who had 
agreed with his allies to make a defcent into 
Sweden ; but fome fecret motives had diverted his 
views another way. He, who had been the king 
of Poland's ally, was now become his cruel enemy, 
and the hand which had given the crown to Au- 
guftus, was now going to wreft it from him in 
favour of Staniflaus. In few words we mall de- 
velope the caufe of this furprizing resolution. 

Baron Gortz was then the confident of the 
king of Sweden, who had before been minirrer to 



the duke of Holftein. This man, who was by 
nature bold, enterprizing, and infmuating, and 
had long been a projector of great deiigiis, was 
born to be the miniiter of fuch a king as Charles 
the twelfth ; and feeing this prince, in the prefent 
circumli ances, ready to he oppreifed by a number 
of enemies whom his glory and misfortunes had 
raifed, he ventured to lay a feheme for changing 
the face of Europe. 

Obtaining early notice of the fecret difcontcnt 
of the czar, who was pailionalely bent upon get- 
ting fome footing in Germany, Gortz propoj'ed 
to the czar to enter into a league with Sweden ; 
to reftore Staniflaus to the throne ; to take the 
crown of England from the elector of Hanover, 
and give it to the heir of the Stuarts ; and to re- 
inflate the duke of Holitein in his dominions. 
He made the glory and intereit of the czar to 
confifr in thefe revolutions, and offered in the 
name of his matter, to give up to Mufcovy the 
Swedifh provinces he had conquered, and to pre- 
vail upon the duke of Holilein to fell him his do- 

The czar approved thefe propofitions of 
Charles's miniilcr, and prepared to fet all Europe 
in a flame, while Gortz talked of nothing but 
peace in Holland, where he then was. He 
thought his defigns had been covered with an im- 
penetrable fecrecy : but the duke of Orleans, re- 
gent of France, had an infight into his intrigues, 
by means of fpies which he had in all the courts 
of Europe. The king of England, informed of 
what was contriving againfl him, took up count 
Gyllembourg, the king of Sweden's ambaiTador 
at his court, and the States-general likowife fcized 
upon Gortz at the Hague. 

U 4 Gortz^ 


GortZj who was foon fet at liberty as well av 
Gyllembourg, was only the more incenfed to pur-j 
fue his project. By his advice, the czar, who 
took a journey into France for his own inflruc- 
tion, propofed to the duke of Orleans to be the 
mediator of peace between Sweden and Mufcovy, 
and to make an alliance offeniive and defenlive 
with thole two crowns and Spain. 

The regent of France could by no means be- 
brought to engage in fuch a fcheme. He hated 
cardinal Alberoni, who was then the firft mini- 
ster in Spain, and joined with the king of Eng- 
land and the emperor to oppofe his ambition. 

In this interval, Gortz fettled the affairs of the 
treafury in Sweden, which he had found in the 
loweft condition ; and having taken the bell care 
of them which circumftances would then admit 
of, he fpeedily fet about executing the plan which 
he had projected. 

1 7 1 8. While this minifler of Charles XII. was 
thus difpofyig of the eilates of Europe with the mi- 
nifler of the czar, his mailers arms made Norway 
tremble. He had laid liege, on the 10th of Oc- 
tober 1718, to Frederickfhall, a ftrong town iitu- 
ated on the mouth of the river Tifrendall. The 
conqUell of this place would have opened to him 
the reft of the kingdom, and he prefTed the flege 
with all his vigour. The engineers had allured 
him the place could not hold out ten days, when 
Charles was killed by a cannon-ball, which iriot 
him through the head as he was viewing the 

The death of this monarch broke all the deligns 
of the czar, delivered the king of Poland from 
the fears of a revolution, which his miniller Fle- 
ming, a man of great depth and penetration, had 
fpreieen, and left the Swedes at liberty to exe- 

. cute 


cute upon baron Qortz the hatred which the na^ 
tion bore him. 

Augustus now began to be fecure from any ap^ 
preheniions from abroad ; but he was ftill kept 
in uneafinefs by commotions at home. The eter- 
nal diets of the Poles gave him exceffive trouble. 
New fufpicions were raifed every day ; and it 
fcemed as if he had been called again to the 
throne, only to be perpetually tormented. He 
could not difpofe of any offices to the ilrangers 
who had done him fervice, but the Poles mur- 
mured at his gratitude. They expreffed their 
ill-will toward him upon many occafions, but 
more cfpecially in the affair of Courland. 

The inclinations of the Courlanders had raifed 
count Maurice of Saxony, the natural fon of 
king Auguftus by the countcfs of Koningfmarc, 
to the fovereignty of that duchy. All Poland in 
general accufed the king of favouring the elec- 
tion of his fon, and he was obliged to make him 
Jay afide the thoughts of his advancement. Nor 
was this all the mortification which Auguftus ex- 
perienced from a people, who were jealous of the 
lea ft fhadovv of their liberty ; but further parti- 
culars on that head do not fall within the compaft 
of our dcfign. 

1 733- This prince, the moft illuftrious ex- 
ample of the different extremes of fortune, died 
on the i ft of February 1733, at about fixty-three 
years of age. He was the fon of John George III. 
elector of Saxony, of the Albertine branch ; and 
Anna Sophia, the daughter of Frederick III. king 
of Denmark. He married Chriftina Everhar- 
dina of Brandenbourg-Bareith, and fucceeded, in 
1697, his brother John George IV. who died 
without ifTue. Three years after, being chofen 
king of Poland, he law himfelf forced to give up 



the crown to Stanillaus, who was afterward? 
obliged to return it back into his hands. 

Dreaded in Poland, and adored in Saxony, 
Augustus was like the Roman emperor whofe 
name he bore, polite, affable, and obliging, and 
loved and protected the arts and fciences. But, 
like Augulius, he was better qualified to make 
his people enjoy the pleafures of peace, than to 
procure .them glory by the fuccefs of his arms. 
Cautious, and even fearful in profperity, he bore 
the greater! fliocks of adverfity with refolution. 
Full of clemency and moderation, he regained 
the throne only to pardon his mod mortal ene- 
mies. Inftructed by misfortunes, after his fecond 
coming to the crown, he fo far complied with the 
temper of a jealous republic, as to remove his 
deareft friends from the preferments he had given 
them. He deferved the love of the Poles, and 
had only their indifference or hatred. 

The death of Augustus opened a new and 
dreadful fcene of war in Europe, the neighbour- 
ing princes interefling themfelves ftrongly in the 
choice of a new fovereign. The elector of 
Saxony, fon of the late monarch, and Staniilaus, 
whofe daughter was married to the French king,, 
declared themfelves candidates. The emperor, 
the czarina, and the king of PrufTia efpoufed the 
caufe of the Saxon ; the King of France, 
Xx)uis XV. very naturally fupported the preten- 
tions of his father-in-law ; and no fooner was he 
informed that the emperor had allembled a body 
of forces in Silefia, than he ordered the duke of? 
Berwick to advance to the Rhine with a nume- 
rous army, and to take meafures for entering 
Germany, in cafe the Imperialists fhould attempt 
to penetrate into Poland, on the frontiers of 



which they and a large body of Ruffian troops 
were polled. 

In the mean time Staniflaus, who was it ill at 
the court of France, found means to tranfport 
himfelf privately into Warfavv, where he con- 
tinued undiscovered till he found it his intereft to 
appear in public. 

As the day of election drew nigh the Ruffian 
and Pruffian minifters delivered their feveral de- 
clarations, by way of proteft, againft the eventual 
election of Staniflaus, as a profcribed penbn, 
and one rendered for ever incapable of wearing a 

About the middle of AugufT the Ruffian gene T 
ral Lafci entered Poland at the head of 50,000 
men ; and the diet of eleftion was opened with 
the uiual ceremony. Prince Winozawifki, chief 
©f the Saxon intereil, retired to the other fide 06 
the Viftula with 3000 men, including feme of 
the nobility who adhered to trie caufe of Augus- 
tus. The primate of Poland, who, as we have 
before had occaiion to obferve, always acts as re- 
gent during an interregnum, endeavoured to re- 
concile all differences among the grandees in 
order to proceed peaceably to the new election. 
Staniflaus was unanimouily cliofen king, and 
appeared in the electoral field, where he was re- 
ceived with loud acclamations. Augustus's party 
protefted againft the election, and being by this 
time increafed to 10,000 men, they joined the 
Ruffian army, which had advanced by forced 
marches. Staniflaus, fenfible of his inability to 
withstand fuch powerful enemies, retired with the 
primate and the French ambaffador to Denmark, 
leaving the palatine of Kiow at Warfaw. This 
general attacked the Saxon palace, which was 
inflantly fnrrendered, and the foldiers and inha- 


bitants plundered the houfes of fuch of the nob!-, 
lity as had declared for Auguftus, and the hotel 
of the Ruffian ambafTador, 

fECT. XV r - 


While thefe tranfactib-ns were palling, the 
Poles, who had joined the Muscovites, finding 
\t impofhble to pais the Viftula before the expira- 
tion of the time fixed for the feffion of the diet, 
erected a kola at Cracow, where the elector of 
Saxony was chofen,. and proclaimed by the bi- 
fhop of that place king of Poland by the name of 
Auguilus III. on the 6th day of October 1733. 
The two armies then croffed the river, and the 
palatine of Kiow retiring towards Cracow, they 
took poffcfiion of Warfaw, where in their turn 
they plundered the palaces and houfes belong- 
ing to the oppoiite party. 

Meanwhile the French king, incenfed at the 
part the emperor had acted againii his father-in- 
law, entered into a treaty with the courts of Ma- 
drid and Turin, by which they agreed jointly to 
declare war againft the emperor. Thefe three 
powers had their respective interelts, but they all 
concurred in one view, namely, the weakening 
of the houfe of Auftria. 

It is not our purpofe to trace any farther the 
events of this difpute, which would lead us too 
far from the object of the preterit hiflory : it will 
only be nccefTary to fay, that in the end the empe- 
ror Charles VI. loir almoft. all Italy by giving a 
king to Poland; and a fon of the king' of Spain 
obtained, in two campaigns, the two Sicilies, which 



liad been fo often before taken and retaken, and 
had been the eonftant objects of the attention of 
the houle of Auflria for above two centuries. 
/" The election of Auguftus as king was recog- 
nifed by the other powers of Europe, and Stani- 
y'ilaus, after fuffering the greater!; miferv, in effect- 
ing a memorable and almofr. miraculous efcape 
/ under the difguifc of a peafant, had the revenues 
I and government of Bar and Lorrain fettled upon 
\him by Louis his fon-in-law. 

In the year 1745, the king of Pruffia, under" 
the pretence that the king of Poland and the em- 
prefs queen were about to invade his dominions 
at three different quarters, and that they were to 
be ailiiied by the czarina, all at once broke into 
Lufatia, entered Leipiic, and laid Saxony under 
contribution. The king of Poland fled to Prague, 
His troops and thole of the Auilrians were defeat- 
ed at Pirna on the 15th of December, the king 
of Pruffia entered the capital of Saxony as a con- 
queror, and obliged its fovereign to accept of 
whatever terms he pleated to prefcribe. 

Thus did Auguftus in Saxony (for the war did 
not reach his Polifh dominions) experience the 
fame fate from the king of Pruffia as his father 
had met with from Charles XII. By an extra or. 
dinary rcverfe of fentiments, however, when he 
was driven out of Saxony he was received with 
kindnefs and affection by the Poles. 

His Pruilian majeily was now become abfolute 
matter of Saxony and of Drefden, where the 
queen of Poland itill remained, and acted with a: 
i'pirit that well became her high birth. The king 
of Pruffia had often mentioned to the public the 
confederacy that had been formed againft him, 
but had now received intelligence that the original 
papers lay in the archives of Drefden, and he 



gave orders for feizing them. This was aone> 
and not without fome imputation upon his po- 
litenefs, as the queen of .Poland oppofed in perfon 
the officer who executed the order. His Pruffiari 
majefty, however, made no delay in publishing 
thofe originals, as they ferved in fome meaiiire to 
jultify his irruption, and the prodigious contribu- 
tion he had levied on the Saxons. 

The public commiferated the fate of Auguflus, 
and that of his' excellent queen, who is thought 
to have died of grief and indignation at the bar- 
barous treatment which the received at Drefden 
by order of the Pruffian monarch. Augustus re- 
mained an ill urinous exile in Poland, till the 
peace of Hubertfburg, February 15, 1763, which 
restored him to his dominions; and he died of a 
lethargic diforder on the 5th of October follow- 

As the crown of Poland had for many years 
defcended in one family, it was thought not 
impracticable to procure it for his fon, who ac- 
cordingly declared himfelf a candidate; but he 
dying on the. 17th of September following, the 
Ruffians favoured the election of a Piaft in the 
perfon of count Poniatowfki, fon of count Ponia? 
"towfki the friend and companion of Charles XII. 
This candidate, notwithstanding the opposition 
of the great houfe of Radzivil, and count Bra- 
nitfki, who pretended that the election was over- 
awed by the neighbourhood of the Ruffian army, 
was chofen king on the 7th of September 1 764 by 
the name and titles of .Stanislaus Augsustus, 
king of Poland and great duke of Lithuania, and 
was recognifed as fuch by all the great potentates 
of Europe. 

2 SECT. 




1764. Stanislaus was in the 3 2d year of his 
age when he afcended the throne, and feemed 
calculated by his virtues and abilities to raife Po- 
land from its deplorable flare ; if the defecls of 
the conftitutidn had not fettered his exertions for 
the public good. The fairci! hopes were con- 
ceived of his future reign ; but thefe flattering 
prefages, at firft realized* were form difappointed 
by the factions of a turbulent people, fomented 
by the intrigues of the neighbouring powers: thus 
the reign of the molt amiable among the Polifh 

p to 

ibvereigns was doomed to experience the dreadful 
effects of that exceffive liberty, which is incon- 
tinent with the exifterice of government. 

From the time of the death of John Sobiefki, 
during a fpace of feventy years, the Polifh na- 
tion, fronvcaufes very generally known, bad been 
fo little in the habit of paying an uninfluenced 
attention to its own affairs, that it appears to have 
almofl forgotten its political exiftence. For the 
lafl thirty years of this period no diet had been 
held, and the legiflative power appeared fo tho- 
roughly benumbed, that it hardly feemed to exift; 
the nceefiary confequence was, that no one, either 
from education or experience, had attained the 
qualifications reqnifite for the difcharge of the 
functions of a ftatefman and politician. So 
• little, indeed, were the political interefls of this 
country known, as far as they related to ftrangers, 
that when at length it became indifpenfably necef- 
fary to write occafionally to countries beyond the 
frontiers, foreigners were employed in this bufi- 
nefs, as no attention had been paid to render the 



Natives capable of undertaking it ; and except id 
tliofe, whom the tpirit of adventure had thrown 
into the military fervicc of other nations, the fci- 
ence of war was totally unknown. It became 
then a matter of importance to train perfons to 
the public fervice in each of thefe departments* 
This coniideration gave occation to the ettablifh- 
rhent of a corps of cadets, for which purpofc the 
king employed in the two flrft years of his reign, 
the mm of 1 20,000 ducats, as appears by the de- 
claration of the conflitution in 1766, in which 
this donation of the king to his country is regif- 

The tendency of thefe excellent regulations to 
increafe the power and confequence of Poland by 
introducing order and regularity into the interior 
adminiftration, and to refcue the country from 
its abject dependence upon foreign powers, gave 
umbrage to the adjacent flatcs, and were likewiib 
vigoroufiy oppofed by a ftrong party within the 
kingdom : at this critis too, religious difputes 
blending themfelves with politicial cabals, the 
flame of civil difcord burft forth with a violence 
which had not hitherto raged even in Poland. 

The body of Polifn religionifts, termed Difii-* 
dents, make a principal figure in the fubfequent 
commotions; their concerns being the real or 
pretended object of attention in every material 
tranfaction. The hiftory of this party is thus 
iketched by the Polifh hiftorians. 

The reformation made its way into Poland un- 
der Sigifmund I. who perfecuted its followers : 
their number however gaining ground, his fon 
Sigifmond Auguftus not only indulged them in 
the mofr liberal exercife of their worfhip ; but 
admitted them, together with the Greeks, and 
all other fects then iubiifting in Poland, to a feat 



in the diet, and to all the honours and privileges 
before exclufively confined to the caiholics. 
Thefe maxims of unlimited toleration were fo ge- 
nerally adopted by the nation at large, that the 
members of the diet which afTembled upon the 
deceafe of Sigiimond Auguftus, being of different 
perfuaiions, determined on a reciprocal indul- 
gence of their respective tenets. In order to avoid 
any hateful diftinclions, they called themfelves in- 
difcriminately " Diffidents in religion," a phrafe 
intimating, not, according to our notions, fepa- 
ratifls from an' eilabliihed church, but limply 
perfons holding a diverfity of opinions in religious 
matters. It was at the fame time enacted, that 
this difference of religious fentiments fhoukl cre- 
ate no difference in civil rights ; and accordingly 
in the Patta Conventa formed by the diet, the fol- 
lowing claufe was inferted as part of the coro- 
nation oath to be tendered to the new Sovereign : 
" I will keep peace among the diffidents." Henry, 
who objected to this univerfal toleration, tried to 
withhold his content ; upon which one of' the 
Polifh envoys cried out, " Unlefs your majefty 
" confirms this article, you cannot be king of 
" Poland ;" and he accordingly took an oath to 
obferve this claufe, before he was permitted to 
afcend the throne. 

In procefs of time, however, the Roman catho- 
lics, having, under the protection and influence 
of fucceffive fovereigns, acquired a considerable 
afcendancy, ventured to appropriate the expres- 
sion of diffidents to all thofe who chffented from 
the catholic religion. This restriction of the ori- 
ginal meaning of the title was attended at hrlt 
with no incroachments on the privileges of the 
other feels ; and the term diffidents, though now 
conveying the idea of a Separation from the efla- 

X blifhed 


blifhed worfhip, was not yet regarded in an ob- 
noxious light. The diflidents indeed flill conti- 
nued in fuch unqueftioned pofTeflion of all rights 
civil and religious, that when it was agreed by 
both catholics and protectants to perfecute the 
Arians, it was thought previoufly ncceflary to ex- 
pel them from the body of diflidents. In confe- 
qucnce of this exclulion, the Arians, in the reign 
of John Caiimir, were firfl rendered incapable 
of being elecled nuntios, afterwards deprived of 
their places of worfhip, and finally banifhed from 

This perfecution of the Arians, inadvertently 
aflented to by the proteflants and Greeks, was 
only a prelude to that which they in their turn 
fuffered from the catholics ; for, as the catholic 
party became the moll powerful, the term difli- 
dents, now confined only to perfons profefling 
the proteftant and Greek religions, began to grovr 
of a lefs inoffenfive import, and to convey an 
idea of non-conformity. The feclaries diflin- 
guifhcd by that appellation, perceiving the inten- 
tion Of the catholics to undermine their privileges, 
flipulated and obtained, that they fhould not be 
blended with the Arians, or fall under the penal 
laws enacted againfi that feel. But thefe promife-3 
Were infeniibly eluded, their privileges were gradu- 
ally diminimed ; in the courfe of a few years they 
were fubjecled to a variety of difqualifications, 
and at length, in 1733, formally incapacitated 
from fitting in the diet. An old law of Ladii- 
laus II. againfi heretics, as well as the penalties 
levied againfi the Arians, were revived, and occa- 
sionally put in force againfi the diflidents. 

Thefe continual persecutions greatly diminifhed 
their number, and confequently rendered their re- 
ttioiiftianccs iaeffe&ual. The catholics, who now 



took the lead in the diet, even declared it high 
treafon in the diffidents to feek the restoration o£ 
their immunities by the interceffion of foreign 
powers ; although many of thefe foreign powers 
were guarantees to the treaty of Oliva, in which 
it was ftipulated, that the rights of the diffidents 
fhould be maintained in their full latitude. 

Such was the Situation of the diffidents at the 
acceffion of his prefent majeily ; who, though 
himfelf ilrongly inclined to toleration, was yet 
obliged to concur with the general fenfe of the 
diet, and to confirm in their full extent all the 
laws which had been promulgated againlt them. 
The diffidents applied to the courts of London, Pe- 
terlburgh, Berlin, and Copenhagen, as the media- 
ting powers in the treaty of Oliva ; who warmly 
fupported their caufe, and prefented memorials to 
the enfuing diet, demanding a restoration not 
only of their religious eftablifhments, but alio of 
all their ancient privileges fecured to them by 
the above-mentioned treaty. The diet of 1766, 
however, was not of a temper to accede to thefe 

The enemies of toleration contended, that the 
privileges alluded to were become obfolete, having 
been repeatedly abolifhed in various diets ; and that 
the diffidents had no well-founded claim either to 
the reftitution of their civil immunities, or to the 
toleration of their worfhip: the bifhop of Cracow, 
the molt bigoted of the catholics, even propofed 
a law againft. all who fhould abet the oppofite 
party. Violent altercations arofe in the affembly, 
when the Pruffian and Ruffian memorials were 
read ; and as an immediate tumult was appre- 
hended, the king retired from the diet without 
proroguing it, as ufual, to the following day. 
The primate likewife refufed to continue the lit- 
X 2 ting, 


ting, and the members feparated in great difbf- 
der. On the fubfequent day, the fpirit of into- 
lerance was in no degree abated ; the moderate 
party was over-ruled, and the aels againft the 
diffidents were confirmed without reierve. But, 
in order to conciliate the mediating powers, the 
bench of bifhops, by command of the diet, drew 
up nine articles in favour of the diffidents, rela- 
tive to the free exercife of their worfhip. Thele 
conceffions not being thought fufficiently favour- 
able, while the exceptionable laws remained un- 
repealed, the emprefs of Ruffia remonfirated 
againft the proceeding of the diet ; and the diffi- 
dents began to form confederacies in different 
parts of the kingdom. They were joined by 
many difcontented catholics, and affifted by at 
large body of Ruffian troops, who entered Thorn, 
wbere the firlt and principal confederacy took its 
rife. All the mediating powers, Great Britain, 
Denmark, Pruffia, and Sweden, teftified their 
approbation of thefe confederacies. The difpute* 
loon began to embrace other objects belide reli- 
gion ; political grievances were likewife brought 
forward : and feveral confederacies flarted up in 
different parts of the kingdom among the catholic 
nobles ; all of whom affected to be advocates for 
toleration, and declared their intentions of iup- 
pOrting the caufe of the diffidents. Prince Rad- 
zivil, who had fignalized himfelf in oppofing the 
king's election, was appointed marfhal to all the 
catholic confederacies, united in one formidable 
affociation under the appellation of malcontents. 
The coalition of the catholic confederacy with that 
of the diffidents, foon after took place in the pa- 
lace of prince Radzivil at Warfaw. Meanwhile 
the king convoked an extraordinary diet, as the 
only probable means to prevent a civil war, and 


to appeafe the emprefs of Ruffia, whofe troops 
were advanced within a fmall diftance of War- 
law. The diet, however, which was fummoned 
for the purpofe of reconciling the oppolite parties, 
failed in producing the intended effccT:; the bifhop 
of Cracow and his partiians inveighed with fuch 
bitternefs againfl: the pretenfions of the diffidents, 
and againfl:, the interference of foreign powers, 
that he, together with the bifhop of Kiow, and a 
few others, the mofl: violent of their party, were 
arretted in the night of the 15th of October 1767, 
by a corps of Ruffian troops, and fent, without 
trial, to Ruffia, where they experienced a rigo- 
rous imprifonment of more than five years. 

The diet, intimidated by the fate of their lead- 
ing members, and being no longer inflamed by 
their eloquence, appointed, though not without 
fome altercation and tumult, a grand committee 
to adjuft the affairs of the diffidents in conjunc- 
tion with the mediating powers, and then broke 
up. This grand committee exprefTed the mofl: 
favourable difpofition towards the diffidents, and 
propofed that all the laws ena6ted againfl them 
Ihould be repealed, and their ancient privileges 
reftored. Thefe refolutions being laid before the 
extraordinary diet which was convened the begin- 
ning of the following year, 1768, were ratified 
almofl; without oppofition. This ready and una- 
nimous acquiefcence of the diet in regulations 
totally repugnant to the fentiments of the majo- 
rity, can only be accounted for by the dread of 
the Ruffian troops quartered in Warfaw, and the 
influence of bribes judicioufly diflributed by the 
Ruffian minifter. The operation of the fame 
caufes rendered the diet equally compliant in 
other particulars ; and induced them to eflablifh 
feveral civil regulations, tending to perpetuate 

X 3 the 


the defects of the confutation, and which had no 
other recommendation except their fubferviency 
to the Ruffian defigns upon Poland. 

The nation at large feemed at this juncture to 
have caught the fubmiffive fpirit of the diet, and 
received the new edidls with every fymptom of 
cordiality. Poland teemed to enjoy for a moment 
an univerfal tranquillity ; but it was that fullen 
tranquillity which precedes a tempeft, and an- 
nounces to the intelligent obferver the moil vio- 
lent commotions. 

During thefe tranfactions, the king, without 
influence, and confequently without a ihadow of 
authority, was one moment hurried down the 
popular current, and the next forced by the me- 
diating powers to accede to all the conditions 
which they laid before him : a wretched ntuation 
for a prince of his fpirit and magnanimity, and 
below which it is fcarcely poffible for any fove - 
reign to be reduced. But more grievous fcenes 
yet awaited the unfortunate monarch : he was 
doomed to behold his country torn to pieces by the 
molt dreadful of all calamities, a religious war ; 
to be frequently deprived almoft of common ne- 
ceflaries ; to be indebted for his very fubfiitence 
to the voluntary contributions of his friends ; to 
be little better than a Hate prifoner in his capital ; 
to be carried off and nearly affaffinated ; to fee 
his faircft provinces wreftcd from him ; and, 
finally, to depend, for his own fecurity and that 
of his fubje6f.s, upon the protection of thofe very 
powers who had difmembered his empire. 

The Poliih malcontents could certainly alledge 
fome very plauiible caufes of diifatisfacHon. The 
laws palled at the laft diet bore a greater refem- 
blance to the abfolute mandates of a Ruffian 
viceroy, than to the refolutions of a free affembly. 



The outrage committed upon the biiTiop of Cra- 
cow and his adherents entirely fubverted all li- 
berty of debate ; while the authoritative manner 
in which the mediating powers of Berlin and Pe- 
terfburgh Hill continued to interfere in the affairs 
of Poland, threatened a more grievous fubjeclion. 
Thefe ipecious grounds of difguft, joined to an 
ill-timed lpirit of difcontent which had gone forth 
throughout the nation againft the king, occa- 
ftoned the interline commotions that foon reduced 
Poland to the moil dreadful ftate of delegation. 

The diet had not long been difiblved, before 
the indulgences granted to the diffidents excited 
a general difcontent among the Roman catholic 
party. Several confederacies made their appear- 
ance toward the frontiers of the Turkifh empire 
in defence of the facred catholic faith : they car- 
ried ftandards before them highly calculated to 
inflame the zeal of the populace ; upon fome of 
thefe^ images of the Virgin Mary and the infant 
Jefus were delineated ; upon others the Spread 
Eagle of Poland, with the mottos " Conqucft or 
" Death," — " For religion and liberty." Some 
banners bore as a device a red crofs, under which 
was inferibed " The fymbol of victory." The 
private foldiers of the confederacy, like the crufa- 
ders of old, wore a crofs interwoven in their 
clothes. One party of thefe infurgents feized 
upon the fortrefs of Bar in Podolia, and another 
got pofTcflion of Cracow. The royal troops, who 
marched againft them, were either routed or pre- 
vailed upon to join them. In this dreadful criiis 
of affairs, the fenate petitioned the arpbaflador 
from the court of Peterfburgh not to withdraw the 
Ruffian troops from the kingdom, as they af- 
forded the only fecurity againft the confederates : 
the requeft was readily complied with, and this 
£ 4 Bftts 


unfortunate country became the theatre of the 
molt cruel and complicated of all wars ; partly ci- 
vil, partly religious, and partly foreign. The 
confufion, devastation, and civil war, continued 
in Poland during the years 1769, 1770, and 1771, 
whereby the whole face of the country was almoft 
deftroyed ; many of the principal popifh families 
retired into foreign ftates with their effects ; and 
had it no^ been for a body of Ruffian troops, which 
acted as guards to the king at Warfaw, that city 
had likewife exhibited afcene of plunder and maf- 
facre. To thefe complicated evils were added, 
in the year 1770, that mo ft dreadful fcourge, the 
peftilence, which fpread from the frontiers of 
Turkey to the adjoining provinces of Podolia, Vol- 
hinia, and the Ukraine ; and in thefe provinces it 
is faid to have fwept off 250,000 of the people. 
Meanwhile fome of the Polifh confederates inter- 
ceded with the Turks to affift them againfl their 
powerful oppreflbrs ; and a war enfued between 
the Ruffians and the Turks on account of Poland. 
The conduct of the Grand Signior and of the Ot- 
toman Porte towards the diftreffied Poles was 
juft and honourable, and the very reverfe of that 
of their Chriftian, Catholic, and Apoftolic neigh- 

Among the various acts of cruelty and revenge 
which diftinguifh and difgrace this part of the Po- 
lifh hiflory, one event is too' confpicuous to be 
overlooked, and well deferves to be recorded in 
the moil particular manner. We fhall therefore 
copy the account given of it by the ingenious Mr. 
"Wraxall, whofe name is well known in the lite- 
rary world, and who, during his rcfidence at 
Warfaw, obtained the mofl authentic information 
upon that interefling tranf action. 

" In 


(i Tn the midft of thefe turbulent and difaftroua 
fcenes," fays he, " the confederates (who ever confi- 
dered the king as unlawfully elected, and who im- 
puted to his fatal elevation and direction, or appro-r 
bation, all the various ills under which the king- 
dom groaned from the Ruffian oppreffion) planned 
and executed one of the molt daring enterprifes of 
which modern hiftory makes mention. I mean 
the attempt to aflailinate the king. It is fomewhat 
remarkable, that in an age fo humanifed, lb free 
from the enormous and flagitious crimes common 
in barbarous centuries, fo enlightened as is the 
prefent, this is the third attempt on a crowned 
head in my remembrance*. Louis XV. Jofeph I. 
of Portugal, and Staniflaus Auguflus, all nar- 
rowly efcaped aflfarlination. As the attempt on 
his Polifh majefty was perhaps the moft atrocious, 
and his efcape certainly the moil extraordinary 
and incredible of the three, I fhall be as minute 
as poffible in the enumeration of all the principal 
circumftances which led to, and which attended 
this remarkable event. 

<c A Polifh nobleman, named Pulafki, a ge- 
neral in the army of the confederates, was the 
perfon who planned the atrocious enterprife ; and 
the confpirators who carried it into execution were 
about forty in number, and were headed by three 
chiefs, named Lukawfki, Strawenfki, and Ko- 
finfki. Thefe three chiefs had been engaged and 
hired to that purpofe by Pulafki, who in the town 
of Czetfchokow in great Poland obliged them to 
fwear in the moll folemn manner, by placing 
their hands between his, either to deliver the king 
alive into his hands, or, in cafe that was impoilible, 

* It is unfortunately in our power to add to this number fevcral 
recent inftances of regicide, dictated by a diabolical cnthufiafm for 
which it is difficult to account. 



to put him to death. The three chiefs chofe 
thirty-feven perfons to accompany them. On the 
2,d of November, about a month after they had 
quitted Czetfchokow, they obtained admiflion 
into Warfaw unfuipectcd or undifcovered, by the 
following frratagem : The/ difguifed themfelves 
as peafants who came to fell hay, and artfully con- 
cealed their faddles, arms, and cloaths under the 
loads of hay which they brought in waggons, the 
more effectually to efcape detection. 

" On Sunday night, the 3d of September 1771, 
a few of thefe confpirators remained in the ikirts 
of the town ; and the others repaired to the place 
of rendezvous, the fireet of the capuchins, where 
his majefly was expected to pafs by about his 
ufual hour of returning to the palace. The king 
had been to vjlit his uncle prince Czartoriiki, 
grand chancellor of Lithuania, and was on his re- 
turn from thence to the palace between nine and 
ten o'clock. He was in a coach, accompanied 
by at leaf! fifteen or fixteen attendants, beflde an 
aid-de-camp in the carriage : fcarce was he at the 
diflance of two hundred paces from prince Czar- 
torifki's palace, when he was attacked by the con- 
spirators, who commanded the coachman to Hop 
on pain of inflant death. They fired feveral fhot 
into the carriage, one of which paffed through the 
body of a heyduc, who endeavoured to defend his 
mailer from the violence of the affaffins. Almofl 
all the other perfons * who preceded and accom- 
panied his majefly were difperfed ; the aid-de- 
camp abandoned him, -and attempted to conceal 

* " It is incredible that fuch a number of perfons as were with 
his Polifh majefty on that memorable night mould all fo bafely 
abandon him, except the fingle heyduc who was killed, and who 
fp bravely defended his mafter. This man was a proteftant ; he 
was not killed on the fpot, but expired next morning of his wounds, 
fhe king allows a peniion to his widow and children.'' 



himfelf by flight. Meanwhile the king had 
opened the door of his carriage with the defign or" 
effecting his efcape under fhelter of the night, 
which was extremely dark. He had even alighted, 
when the aflaffins feized him by the hair, exclaim- 
ing with horrible execrations, " We have thee 
" now ; thy hour is come." One of them dif- 
charged a piftol at him fo very near, that he felt 
the heat of the flafh ; while another cut him aero is 
the head with his fabre, which penetrated to the 
bone. They then laid hold of his majefly by the 
collar, and, mounting on horfeback, dragged 
him along the ground between their horfes at full 
gallop for near five hundred paces through the 
ilreets of Warfaw *. 

" All was confulion and diforder during this 
time at the palace, where the attendants who had 
deferted their mafter had fpread the alarm. The 
foot-guards ran immediately to the fpot from 
whence the king had been conveyed, but they 
found only his hat all bloody, and his bag : this 
increafed their apprehenhons for his life. The 
whole city was in an uproar. The aflaffins pro- 
fited of the univerfal confulion, terror, and con- 
fternation, to bear away their prize. Finding, 
however, that; he was incapable of following them 

* " It is aftonifhing, that, in the number of balls which pafTed 
through the carriage, not one fhould hurt or wound the king. Se- 
veral went through his pelijje, or fur great coat. I have feen this 
cloak, and the holes made in it by the piftol bullets. Every part 
of the cloaths which his majefty wore on that night are carefully 
preferved. It is no lefs wonderful, that when the aflaffins had 
feized on the king, they fhould carry him through fuch a number 
of ftreets without being (topped. A Ruffian centinel did hail them ; 
but, as they anfwered in Ruffian, he allowed them to pafs, ima- 
gining them to be a patrole of his nation. This happened at fome 
diftance from the place where they had carried off the king. The 
night was befides exceedingly dark, and Warfaw has no lamps. 
AU thefe circumftances cpntribute to account for this extraordi- 
nary event." 



on foot, and that he had already almoft loft his 
refpiration from the violence with which they had 
dragged him, they fet him on horfeback and 
then redoubled their fpeed for fear of being over- 
taken. When they came to the ditch which fur- 
rounds Warfaw, they obliged him to leap his 
horfe over. In the attempt the horfe fell twice, 
and at the fecond fall broke its leg. They then 
mounted his majefty upon another, all covered as 
he was with dirt. 

" The confpirators had no fooner crofTed the 
ditch, than they began to rifle the king, tearing 
off the Cyder* of the Black Eagle ofPruilia which 
he wore round his neck, and the diamond crols 
hanging to it. He requeued them to leave his 
handkerchief, which they confented to : his tab- 
lets efcaped their rapacity. A great number of the 
aiTaffins retired after having thus plundered him, 
probably with intent to notify to their refpeclive lea- 
ders the fuccels of their enterprife, and the king's 
arrival as a prifoner. Only fevcn remained with 
him, of whom Koiinfki was the chief. The nij_ht 
was exceedingly dark ; they were abfolutely igLO- 
rant of the way; and, as thehorfes could not keep 
their legs, they obliged his majefty to follow them 
on foot, with only one fhoe, the other being lofl 
in the dirt. 

" They continued to wander through the open 
meadows, without following any certain path, 
and without getting to anydiitance from Warfaw, 
They again mounted the king on horfeback, two 

* " It was Lukawfki, one of the three chiefs of the band, who 
tore off the ribbon of the Black Eagle, which his Prufiian majefty 
had conferred on the king when he was Count Poniatowfki. One 
of his motives fordoing this was, by (hewing the Order of the 
Black Eagle to Pulafki and the confederates, to prove to them in- 
conteftably that the king was in their hands, and on his way. Lu- 
kawfki was afterwards executed." 



of them holding him on each fide by the hand, 
and a third leading hishorfeby the bridle. In this 
manner they were proceeding, when his majefty 
finding they had taken the road which led to a vil- 
lage called Burakow, warned them not to enter 
it, becaufe there were fome Ruffians Rationed in 
that place who might probably attempt to refcue 
him *. Finding himfelf, however, incapable of 
accompanying the affaffins in the painful pofturc 
in which they held him kept down on the (addle, 
he requcfted them, tince they were determined to 
oblige him to proceed, at leait to give him another 
horfe and a boot-|~. This requeit they cdfanplied 
with ; and continuing their progrefs through al- 
mofi: impaifable lands, without-any road, and ig- 
norant of their way, they at length found theni- 
felves in the wood of Bielany, only a league dif- 
tant from Warfaw. From the time they had 
paired the ditch they repeatedly demanded of Ko- 
tinfki, their chief, if it was not yet time to put the' 
king to death ; and thei'e demands were reiterated 

* " This intimation, which the king gave to his affaffins, may 
at firft fight appear extraordinary and unaccountable, but was re- 
ally dictated by the greateft addrefs and judgment. He appre- 
hended with reafbn, that, on the fight of a Ruffian guard, thev 
would inftantly put him to death with their fabres, and fly; whereas 
by informing them of the danger they incurred, he in fome mea- 
sure gained their confidence : in effect, this behaviour of the king 
feemed to {'often them a little, and made them believe he did not 
mean to efcape from them." 

f " The king in his fpeech to the diet on the trial of the confpi- 
rators, interceded ftrongly for Kofi nfki, or John Kutfma, to whom 
he gratefully expreffes himfelf indebted for thefe favours in the fol- 
lowing words : 

" As I was in the hands of the affaffins, I heard them repeatedly 
afk John Kutfma, if they fhould not affaffinate me, but he always 
prevented them. He was the firft who perfuaded them to behave 
to me with greater gentlenefs, and obliged them to confer upon 
.me fome fervices.. which I then greatly wanted ; namely, one to 
give me a cap, and a fecond a boot, which at that time were no 
trifling prefents : for the cold air greatly affected the wound in my 
head; and my foot, which was covered with blood, gave me in- 
expreffibie torture, which continued every moment increafing." 



in proportion to the obstacles and difficulties they' 

" Meanwhile the confufion and confternation 
increafed at Warfaw. The guards were afraid to 
purfue the confpirators, left terror of being over- 
taken ihould prompt them in the darknels to maf- 
facre the king ; and on the other hand, by not 
purfuing they might give them time to efcapo 
with their prize beyond the poffibility of aiHffc- 
ance. Several of the firft nobility at length 
mounted on horfeback, and, following the tracf, of 
the aflaffins, arrived at the place where his ma- 
jefty had pafled the ditch. There they found hi* 
pelijje, which he had loll in the precipitation with 
which he was hurried away : it was bloody, and 
pierced with holes made by the balls or fabres. 
This convinced them that he was no more. 

" The king was ftill in the hands of the feven 
remaining aflaffins, who advanced with him into 
the wood of Bielany, when they were fuddenly 
alarmed by a Ruffian patrole or detachment. In- 
ftantly holding council, four of them difappeared, 
leaving him with the other three, who compelled 
him to walk on. Scarce a quarter of an hour after, 
a fecond Ruffian guard challenged them anew. 
Two of the aflaffins then tied, and the king re- 
mained alone with Koiinfki the chief, both on 
foot. His majefty, exhaufted with all the fatigue 
which he had undergone, implored his conductor 
to flop, and fuffer him to take a moment's repofe. 
Koiinfki rcfufed it, menacing him with his naked 
fabre ; and at the fame time informed him, that 
beyond the wood they ihould find a carriage. 
They continued their walk, till, they came to the 
door of the convent of Bielany. Koiinfki ap- 
peared loft in thought, and fo much agitated by 
his reflections, that the king perceiving his dif- 
S order* 


prder, and obferving that he wandered without 
knowhi": the road, laid to him, " I fee vou are 
ft at a lofs which way to proceed. Let me en- 
" ter the convent of Bielany, and do you provide 
" for your own fafety." " No," replied Kofin- 
iki, " I have fworn.*" 

il They proceeded till they came to Marie- 
mont, a lmall palace belonging to the houfe of 
Saxony, not above half a league from Warfaw : 
here Kofiniki betrayed feme fatisfaclion at finding 
where he was, and the king ft ill demanding an 
inftant's repofe, he contented at length. They fat 
down together on the ground, and the king em- 
ployed thefe moments in endeavouring to foften 
his conductor, and induce him to favour or per- 
mit his efcape. His majefty reprefented the atro- 
city of the crime he had committed in attempting 
to murder his fovereign, and the invalidity of an 
oath taken to perpetrate fo heinous an action : 
Koiiniki lent attention to this difcourfe, and be- 
gan to betray fome marks of remorfe. " But," 
laid he, " if I mould confent and reconduct you 
" to Warfaw, what will be the confequence ? — 
" I fhall be taken and executed !" 

* Kofinflci afterwards confefTed, that he was fent by Pulaflci, 
with the other confpirators, to take the king alive or dead : and 
that he engaged them to the execution of their delign by the fol- 
lowing oath, before the miraculous image of the Holy Virgin : 

" We, being excited by a holy and religious zeal, have taken a 
firm and unfhaken relblution to revenge the caufe of the divinity, 
religion, and our country, which has been injured by the tyrant 
Staniflaus Auguftus, defpifer of laws divine and human, ufurper 
of the throne of Poland, prompter of atheifts and heretics, trai- 
tor to his country, oppreflbr of the nation, and a vile inftrument 
of foreign ambition and inj lift ice, do fwear and promii'e, before the 
facred and miraculous image of the mother of God, to facrificeour 
fortunes, lives, and families, in order to extirpate from theearth 
one who diflionours it, by trampling under foot the refpeft due to 
the' divinity, religion, and the privileges of the. nation. So help 
ns God, 

" This 


ci This reflexion plunged him into new uncer- 
tainty and embarrafTment. " I give you my 
Cf word," anfwered his majefty, " that you fhall 
«' fuffer no harm ; but if you doubt my promife, 
" efcape while there is yet time, I can find my 
" way to ibme place of lecurity ; and I will cer- 
" tainly direct your purfuers to take the contrary 
" road to that which you have chofen." Koiin- 
fki could not any longer contain himfelf, but, 
throwing himielf at the king's feet, implored for- 
givenefs for the crime he had committed; and 
fwore to protect him againft every enemy, relying 
totally on his generolity for pardon and preferva- 
tion. His majefty reiterated to him his affuranccs 
offafety. Judging, however, that it was prudent 
to gain fome afylum without delay, and recollect- 
ing that there was a mill at fome confiderable dis- 
tance, he immediately made towards it. Kofin- 
fki knocked, but in vain ; no anfwer was given: 
he then broke a pane of glafs in the window, and 
entreated for fhelter to a nobleman who had been 
plundered by robbers. The miller refuted, fup- 
poiing them to be banditti, and continued for 
more than half an hour to periifr. in his denial. At 
length the king approached, and fpeaking through 
the broken pane, endeavoured to perfuade him to 
admit them under his roof ; adding, "if we were 
" robbers, as you fuppofe, it would be very eafy 
i( for us to break the whole window, inflcad of 
" one pane of glafs." This argument prevailed. 
They at length opened the door, and admitted his 
majefty. He immediately wrote a note to gene- 
ral Coccei, colonel of the foot-guards. It was li- 
terally as follows : " Par mr efpece de miracle je fuis 
'« fauve des mains des -ajjaffins. J.efuis iciau petit mou- 
" tin de MariemQnt. Venez au plutbt me tirer d'icz. 
i " Je 


u Je fuis hkfie, man pas fort *." It was with the 
greatest difficulty, however, that the king could 
perfuadc any one to carry this note to Warfaw, 
as the people of the mill, imagining that he was 
a nobleman who had juft been plundered by rob- 
bers, were afraid of falling in with the troop. Ko- 
finfki then offered to reftore every thing he had 
taken; but his majefty left him all, except the 
blue ribbon of the White Eagle. 

(c When the meffenger arrived with the note, 
the aftonifhment and joy was incredible. Coc- 
cei inftantly rode to the mill, followed by a de- 
tachment of the guards. He met Kofinfki at the 
door with his fabre drawn, who admitted him as 
foon as he knew him. The king had funk into a 
fleep caufed by his fatigue, and was ftretched on 
the ground, covered with the miller's cloak. Coccei 
immediately threw himfelf at his majefty's feet, 
calling him his fovereign, and killing his hand* 
It is not eafy to paint or defcribe the aftonifhment 
of the miller and his family, who inftantly imitated 
Coccei's example, by throwing themfelves on their 
knees -j~. The king returned to Warfaw in general 
Coccei's carriage, and reached the palace about 
five in the morning. His wound was found not 
to be dangerous ; and he foon recovered the 
bruifes and injuries which he had iuffcred during 
this memorable night. 

" So extraordinary an efcape is fcarce to be paral- 

* (t By a kind of miracle I am efcaped from the hands of affaf- 
fins. I am now at the mill of Mariemont. Come as foon as pof- 
fible, and take me from hence. I am wounded, but not danger- 

■f " I have been at this mill, rendered memorable by fo Angu- 
lar an event. It is a wretched Polifli hovel, at a diftance from any 
houfe. The king has rewarded the miller to the extent of his 
wilhes, in building him a mill upon the Viftula, and allowing him 
afmall peniion." 

Y lcled 

322 HrsTofty of Poland. 

Jeled in hiftory, and affords ample matter of won'-' 
der and furprife. Scarce could the nobility or 
people at Warfaw credit the evidence of their fenfes^ 
when they faw him return. Certainly neither 
theefcape of the king of France from Damien, or 
of the king of Portugal from the confpiracy of the 
duke d'Aveiro, were equally amazing or impro- 
bable as that of the king of Poland. I have re- 
lated it very minutely, and from authorities the 
higheft and moft inconteflable. 

<c It is natural to inquire what is become of Ko- 
finfki, the man who faved his majefty's life, and 
the other confpirators. He was born in the pala- 
tinate of Cracow, and of mean extraction : having 
afTumcd the name of Kofinfki*, which is that of 
a noble family, to give himfelf credit. He had 
been created an officer in the troops of the con- 
federates under Pulalki. It would feem as if Ko- 
finfld began to entertain the idea of preferving the 
king's life from the time when Lukawlki and 
Strawenlki abandoned him ; yet he had great 
flruggles with himfelf before he could refolve on 
this conduct, after the folemn engagements into 
which he had entered. Even after he had con- 
dueled the king back to Warfaw, he exprefTed 
more than once his doubts of the propriety of what 
he had done, and fome remorfe for having de- 
ceived his employers. 

" Lukawlki and Strawenfki were both taken, 
and feveral of the other affaffins. At his ma- 
jesty's peculiar requeft. and entreaty, the diet re- 
mitted the capital punifhment of the inferior con<- 
fpirators, and condemned them to work for life on 
the fortifications of Kaminiec, where they now 

* "His-rcalname was John Kutima.'* 



dre. By his interceffion likewife with the diet, 
the horrible punifhment and various modes of tor- 
ture, which the laws of Poland decree and inflict 
on regicides, were mitigated ; and both Lukaw- 
fki and Straweniki were only limply beheaded. 
Koiinlki was detained under a very ftrict confine- 
ment, and obliged to give evidence agamft his two 
companions. A perfon of diflinclion, who faw 
them both die, has afTured me that nothing could 
be more noble and manly than all Lukawiki's 
conduct previous to his death. When he was 
carried to the place of execution, although his 
body was almoft extenuated by the feverity of his 
confinement, diet, and treatment, his fpirit un- 
fubdued raifed him above the terrors of an infa- 
mous and public execution. He had not been 
permitted to fhave his beard while in prifon, and 
his drels was fqualid to the greateil degree ; yet 
none of thefe humiliations could deprefs his mind. 
With a grandeur of foul worthy of a better caufe, 
but which it was impoffible not to admire, he re- 
fufedto fee or embrace the traitor Kofiniki. When 
conducted to the fcene of execution, which was 
about a mile from Warfaw, he betrayed no emo- 
tions of terror or unmanly fear. He made a 
fliort harangue to the multitude afTembled upon 
the occafton, in which he by no means expreffed 
any forrow for his pafl conduct, or contrition for 
his attempt on the king, which he probably re- 
garded as meritorious and patriotic. His head was 
levered from his body. 

" Strawenfki was beheaded at the fame time, 
but he neither harangued the people, nor fhewed 
any hgns of contrition. Pulafki, who commanded 
one of the many corps of Confederate Poles then 
in arms, and who was^the great agent and pro- 
Y 2 moter 

324 HISTORY OP fOtAftD. 

moter of the affaffination, is Hill alive *, though 
an outlaw and an exile. He is faid, even by the 
Ruffians, his enemies, to poflefs military talents 
of a very fuperior nature ; nor were they ever 
able to take him prifoner during the civil war. 

" To return to Kolinfki, the man who faved 
the king's life. About a week after Lukawfki 
and Strawenfki's execution, he was lent by his 
majefty out of Poland. He now reiides at Sc- 
migallia, in the papal territories, where he en- 
joys an annual peniion from the king." 

To the foregoing account by Mr. Wraxall> 
Mr. Coxe furnifhes us with a very interefting fe- 

" Upon general Coccei's arrival at the mill (fays 
Mr. Coxe) the firft queition which his majefty 
afked was, whether any of his attendants had 
fuffered from the afiafiins ; and, upon being in- 
formed that one of the heyducs was killed upon 
the ipot, and another dangeroufly wounded, his 
mind, naturally feeling, now rendered more fuf- 
ceptible by his late danger, was greatly affected; 
and his joy at his own efcape was connderably 

" Upon his return toWarfaw, the ftreets through 
which he parTed were illuminated with torches, 
and crowded by an immenfe concourfe of peo- 
ple, who followed, him to the palace, crying out 
inceffantly, " The king is alive." Upon his en- 
tering the palace, the doors were flung open, 
and perfons of all ranks were admitted to ap- 
proach his perfon, and to felicitate him upon 
his efcape. The fecne, as I have been informed 

* After the conclusion of thefe troubles, Pulafki efcaped from 
Poland, and repaired to America : hcdiftinguifhed hinifelf in the- 
American fervice, and was killed in the attempt to force the Bri- 
$ifh lines at the liege of Savannah in 1779.- Mr. Coxe. 



by feveral of the nobility who were prefent, was 
affecting beyond description. Every one ftrug- 
gled to get near him to kifs his hand, or even to 
touch his cloaths: all were fo tranfported with 
joy, that they even loaded Kofinfki with carefles, 
and called him the faviour of their king. His 
majefty was fo affected with thefe iigns of zeal 
and afFe&ion, that he exprefTed, in the raoft 
feeling manner, his ftrong fenfe of thefe proofs 
of their attachment, and declared it was the 
happier! hour of his whole life. In this mo- 
ment of rapture, he forgot the dangers he had 
avoided and the wounds he had received: and 
as every one feemed anxious to learn the circum- 
ftances of his efcape, he would not iuffer his 
wounds to be infpected and drefTed before he 
had himfelf fatisfied their impatience, by relating 
the difficulties and dangers he had undergone. 
During the recital, a perfon unacquainted with 
the language might have difcovered the various 
events of the itory from the changes of expref- 
iion in the countenances of the by-ftanders, 
which difplayed the mo ft fudden alterations from 
terror to companion, from compaffion to afto- 
nifhment, and from aftonifhment to rapture ; 
while the univerfal iilence was only broken by 
fighs and tears of joy. 

" The king having finifhed the account, again 
repeated his affurances of gratitude and affection 
for the unfeigned proofs they had given of their 
loyalty; and diimiffed them, by adding, that he 
hoped he had been thus miraculouily prefer ved 
by Divine Providence for no other purpofc than 
to purfue with additional zeal the good of hi* 
country, which had ever been the great object of 
his attention. 

Y 3 " £^g 


( f Being now left alone, his majefty permitted 
the furgeons to examine the wound in his head. 
Upon cutting away the fkin, it appeared that the 
bone was hurt, but not dangeroufly: from the 
quantity of clotted blood, the operation of dref- 
ling was tedious and painful, and was fubmitted 
to by the King with great patience and magnani- 
mity. The furgeons propofed at firfl to bleed 
him in the foot; but they laid afide this inten- 
tion, upon finding both his feet iwollen con- 
siderably, and covered with bliflers and bruifes. 

( f The family of the heyduc, who had faved 
•the king's life by the lots of his own, was am- 
ply provided for : his body was buried with 
great pomp; and his majefty erected an hand- 
fome monument to his memory, with an elegant 
infcription expreffive of the man's fidelity and 
of his own gratitude." 

The Englim tranflation of this infcription is 
as follows ; 

" Here lies George Henry Butzau, who, on 
" the 3d of November 1771, oppofmg his own 
" breail to fhield Staniflaus Auguilus from the 
" weapons of nefarious parricides, was pierced 
f with repeated wounds, and glorioufly expired. 
t( The king, lamenting the death of a faithful 
ie fubjecl, ereeled this monument, as a tribute 
" to him, and an example to others." 

Thus far Mr. Coxe, The foreign Gazettes of 
the time have recorded, that as foon as the king 
was fufficiently recovered, he wrote an account 
of his danger and miraculous efcape to the em- 
prefs of Ruffia and to the king of Pruffia. The 
aniwer of the latter was as follows : 


" Sir and Brother, 

(t Your majefty has caufed me to feel the ef- 
fects of my true feniibility, by believing that I 
fhould be touched to the quick at the danger 
you were expofed to on the 3d of November, by 
the horrid attempt againfl your perfon and life. 
I heard the news of it with the greateft emotion* 
A plot fo deferving of punifhment, in regard to 
its atrocioufnefs, and fo feditious, by the un- 
heard-of circumltances that accompanied the 
execution of it, will for ever cover with fhamo 
the author of it, as well as his accomplices. 
This is an affair in which all fovereigns are con- 
cerned; and that ffcroke, as bafe as inhuman, on 
the part of the confederates, deferves that all the 
powers of Europe fhould unite in taking a tig- 
nal vengeance for the enormous deed they have 
rendered themfelves guilty of. The only com- 
fort and fatisfacltion we have is, that your majef- 
'ty's life is out of danger, and that you will foon 
be well. I am glad to have it in my power to 
congratulate you iinccrely on your deliverance, 
and to allure you again, on fo important an oc- 
caiion, of the high efteem and friendfhip with 
which I am your good brother. 


" Frederic." 

The reader will probably exclaim, with us, 
O / ftfic omnia dixljjet ! 

The following year, 1 772, it appeared that 
the fame king of Pruilia, the Auftrian emperor 
and emprefs queen, and the emprefs of Ruffia, 
had entered into an alliance to divide and dif- 
member the kingdom of Poland, and the fcherne 
was planned with fucli profound iecrecy, that it 
Y 4 was 


was ibarcely fufpected before it was carried into 
execution. Poland had long derived its princi- 
pal Tecurity from its peculiar lituation between 
three great powers, each equally interefled to 
prevent the others from acquiring any increafe 
of ftrength or addition of territory: the union 
of -thefe rival potentates was coniidered as a cir- 
cumftance nearly impoffible; and fhould fuch an 
unexpected union take place, it was thought in- 
credible that the other princes of Europe would 
paffively fubmit to a material alteration in the 
balance of power. 

Treaties upon treaties, and negociations upon 
negociations, had guarantied to Poland the pot- 
feflion of her territory; and the very three pow- 
ers who difmembered *her provinces had, at the 
prefent king's acceilion, folemnly renounced all 
right and title to any part of the Polifh domi- 
nions *. But treaties and guaranties are in gene- 

* In 1764., the emprefs of Ruflia tranfmitted to the court of 
Warfaw an acl: of renunciation, figned with her own hand, and 
fealed with the feal of the empire; wherein (he declares, That 
(lie did by no means arrogate either to herfelf, her heirs and fuc- 
ceflbrs, or to her empire, any right or claim to the diftricls or 
territories which were actually in poffeflion, or fubject to the au- 
thority of the kingdom of Poland, or great duchy of Lithuania; 
but that, on the contrary, her faid majefly would guarantee to 
the faid kingdom of Poland and duchy of Lithuania all the im- 
munities, lands, territories, and diftricls, which the faid king- 
dom and duchy ought by right to pofTels, or did now actually 
poftefs ; and would at all times, and for ever, maintain them in 
the full and free enjoyment thereof, againft the attempts of all 
and every one who fhould at any time, or on any pretext, en- 
deavour to difpofTefs them of the fame. In the fame year did 
the king of Prufiia fign, with his own hand, an aft, wherein he 
declared, That he had no claims, formed no prerenfions on Po- 
land, or any part thereof: that he renounced all claims on that 
kingdom, either as king of Prufiia, elector of Brandenburg, or 
duke of Pomerania. In the fame inftrument he guarantees, in 
the molt folemn manner, the territories and rights of Poland 
againft every power whatever. The emprefs-queen of Hun- 
gary, fo late as the month of January 177^, wrote a letter with 
her own hand to the king of Poland, in which fhe gave him the 



ral only adhered to until they can be broken 
with fafety : the only effectual method for any 
Hate to fecure its dominions, is to make itfelf re- 
fpeclable by its ftrength and unanimity, and to 
be prepared againil any attacks. 

The natural ftrength of Poland, if properly 
exerted, would have formed a more certain bul- 
wark againit. the ambition of her neighbours 
than the faith of treaties, or an attention in the 
other European nations to the balance of power. 
And it is extremely worthy of remark, that of the 
three partitioning powers, Pruilia * was formerly 

ftrongeft affurances, That her friendship for him and the republic 
was firm and unalterable : that the motion of her troops ought 
not to alarm him; that (he had never entertained a thought of 
feizing anv part of his dominions, nor would even fufler any 
other power to do it.- — From which, according to the political 
creed of princes, we may infer, that to guarantee the rights, 
liberties, and revenues of a flare, means to annihilate thole li- 
berties, feize upon thofe rights, and appropriate thofe revenues 
to their own ufe. Such is the faith of princes, the inftability of 
human politics, and of human affairs! 

* In the 13th century, all Pruflia belonged to the knights of 
the Teutonic order. In 1454, that part, fmce denominated Po- 
lish or Weflern Pruflia, revolted to Calimir IV. and was after- 
wards incorporated into the dominions of the republic; at the 
fame time, the knights were conftrained to hold the remaining 
part, called Eaflern Pruflia, as a fief of the crown of Poland. 
In 1525, Eaflern Pruflia was erected into an hereditary duchy, 
and given to Albert of Brandenburg, as a Polifli fief. Upon his 
death, it fell to his (on Albert Frederick, who being impaired in 
his faculties, the adminiflration was vefled firft in Joachim Frede- 
rick elector of Brandenburg, and afterwards in Joachim's fon 
John Sigifmond, who had married Albert's daughter. Upon 
the demife of Albert without male heirs, John Sigifmond, who 
fucceeded to the duchy of Pruflia, did homage for that duchy as 
a vaflal of the republic. His grandl'on, Frederick William, the 
great Elector, was the firft: duke of Pruflia releafed from this 
badge of feudal dependence by John Caflmir; Eaflern Pruflia 
being declared a fovereign, independent, and hereditary duchy. 
Frederick, fon of Frederick William the Great, aflumed the 
title of King of Pruflia, which, however, the Poles never ac- 
knowledged until 1764, at the acceflion of Stanifluus Augulr 



in a ftate of vaffalage to the republic; Ruffia* 
once faw its capital and throne porTefTed by the 
Poles; and Auftria, fcarce a century ago, was 
indebted to a fovereign -}~ of this country for the 
prefervation of its metropolis, and almorr. for it* 
very exiflence. 

A kingdom, fo lately the mailer or protector 
of its neighbours, would never have been fo rea- 
dily overwhelmed by them, had there not been 
the moft glaring imperfections in its government. 
Poland, in truth, formerly more powerful than 
any of the furrounding nates, has, from the de- 
fects of its conflitution, declined in the midft of 
general improvements ; and, after giving law to 
the north, is become an eafy prey to every in-, 

The partition of Poland was firft projected by 
the King of Pruffia. Polifh or Weftern Pruffta 
had long been an object of his ambition : exclu- 
five of its fertility, commerce, and population, 
its local iituation rendered it highly valuable to 
that monarch; it lav between his German domi-^ 
nions and Eaftern Pruflia, and while pofTefTed 
by the Poles, cut off, at their will, all commu- 
nication between them. During the courie of 
the lafl general war, he had experienced the 
moil fatal effects from this disjointed ftate of his. 
territories. By the acquiiition of Weitern Pruf- 
iia, his dominions would be rendered compact^ 
and his troops in time of war be able to march 
from Berlin to Koninglburgh without interrup- 
tion. The period w ; as now arrived, when the 

* Under Sigifmond III. whofe troops got poflefiion of Mof- 
eow, and whofe fon Ladiflaus was eholen great duke of Mufcovy 
by a party of the Ruffian nobles. 

f John Sobiefki, who compelled the Turks to raife the fiege 
©f Vienna, and delivered the houfe of Auftria from the greatelt 
dangers it ever experienced. [See p. 189 & feci. J 

4 Situation. 


Situation of Poland feemed to promife the at- 
tainment of this favourite object. He purfued 
it, however, with all the caution of an able po- 
litician. On the commencement of the troubles, 
lie mewed no eagernefs to interfere in the affairs 
of this country ; and although he had concurred 
with the emprefs of Ruffia in railing Staniflaus 
Auguilus to the throne of Poland, yet he declined 
taking any active part in his favour againil the 
confederates. Afterwards, in 1769, when the 
whole kingdom became convulfed throughout 
with civil commotions, and defolated likewife by 
the plague, he, under pretence of forming lines 
to prevent the fpreading of the infection, ad- 
vanced his troops into Poliih Pruffia, and occu* 
pied that whole diitrict. 

Though now completely mailer of the coun- 
try, and by no means appreheniive of any forr 
midable reliftance from the difunited and dif- 
tracted Poles, yet, as he was well aware that the 
fecurity of his new acquilition depended upon 
the acquiefcence of Ruffia and Auftria, he plan- 
ned the partition of Poland. He communicated 
the project: to the emperor, either during their 
interview at Niefs in Silelia, in 1769, or in that 
of the following year, at Neuiladt; from whom 
the overture met with a ready concurrence. Jo- 
feph, who had before fecretly encouraged the 
confederates, and even commenced a negociation 
with the Porte againil Ruffia, now fuddenly al- 
tered his meafures, and increafed his army to- 
wards the Poliih frontiers. The plague prefent- 
ing to him, as well as to the king of Pruffia, a 
fpecious motive for llationing troops in the do- 
minions of the republic, he gradually extended 
his lines, and in 1772 occupied the whole terri- 
tory which he has lince difmembered. But, 



notwithftanding this change in his fentiments, 
his real views upon Poland were at lirft fo effec- 
tually concealed, that the Polifh rehels conceived 
that the Aultrian army was advancing to act. in 
their favour; not fuppoling it poffible that the 
rival courts of Vienna and Berlin could a<5t in 

Nothing more remained toward completing 
the partition than the acceflion of the emprefs of 
Ruilia. That great princefs was too difcerning a 
politician not to regard with a jealous eye the in- 
troduction of foreign powers into Poland. Pof- 
feffing an uncontrouled afcendancy over the 
whole country, fhe could propofe no material 
advantage from the formal acquiiition of a part ; 
and mull purchafe a moderate addition to her 
territory by ^a confiderable furrender of autho- 
rity. The king of Pruffia, well acquainted with 
the true interests of Ruffia in regard to Poland, 
and with the capacity of the emprefs to difcern 
thofe intercfts, forbore (it is faid) opening any 
negociation on the fubjecl of the partition, until 
fhe was involved in a Turkifh war. At that crilis 
he difpatched his brother prince Henry to Pe- 
teriburgli, who fuggeiled to the emprefs that the 
houfe of Autlria was forming an alliance with 
the Porte, which, if it took place, would create 
a moll formidable combination againlt her; that, 
neverthelefs, the friendfhip of that houfe was to 
be purchafed by acceding to the partition ; that 
upon this condition the emperor was willing to 
renounce his connection with the Grand Signior, 
and would fuffer the Ruffians to profecute the 
war without interruption. Catharine, anxious 
to pulh her conqucils againll the Turks, and 
dreading the interpolition of the emperor in that 
quarter; perceiving likevvife, from the intimate 
2 union 


union between the courts of Vienna and Berlin, 
that it would not be in her power, at the prefent 
juncture, to prevent the intended partition, elofed 
with the propofal, and fele6fed no inconfiderable 
portion of the Polifh territories for herfelf. The 
treaty was figned at Peterfburgh in the beginning 
of February 1772, by the Ruffian, Auftrian, 
and Pruffian plenipotentiaries *. 

As the troops of the three courts were already 
in pofTeffion of the greatcft part of Poland, the 
confederates, hemmed in on all fides^ were foon 

* The oath which the Ruffians required the inhabitants of 
their divifion of Poland to take was as follows : 

" I do fwear to Almighty God, upon the Holy Evangelifts, 
and I promife by the prefent oath an inviolable fidelity, and 
perfect obedience, to her Imperial Majefty the Emprefs Catha- 
rine Alexiowna, Autocratrix of all the Ruffias, and to her be- 
loved fon the Grand Duke Paul Petrowitz, prefumptive heir 
of all the Ruffias. I promife to be always ready to facrifice my 
life, and to (bed the laft drop of my blood for their fervice. 
I kifs-the Holy Scriptures, and the Crofs of my Saviour, to 
render my oath facred and inviolable." 

The Sieur Kicki, ftaroft of Lemberg, was removed from his 
poft for refufing to take this oath of fidelity to the emprefs- 
<jueen : and the king of Poland, to whom he wrote to inform 
his majefty of the event, fent him the following anfwer: 

** I could not read without emotion your' letter of the 21ft 
in ft. in which you inform me that a foreign power had ordered 
you to pay it homage, and that upon your refufal it deprived 
you of the ftarofty of Lemberg, with the revenues arifing 
from it. I am molt fenfibly affected to fee that a Polander, who 
had rifen to a confiderable poft, fhould be obliged to quit it, 
becaufe he would not betray his country in the name of the 
Supreme Being. My concern is, however, mixed with a par-r 
ticular fatisfaction, when I confider that it is you, my old 
friend, who has given fuch an admirable example of virtue, 
conftancy, and difintereftednefs. The Polanders, our cotem- 
poraries, and their pofterity, will find in your conduct a model 
for their actions, and need not have recourfe to the hiftories of 
ancient republics for acts of heroifm, as incitements to virtue. 
I fet the higher value upon your behaviour, becaufe it was not 
in confequence of an order iffued from the throne, but the effect 
of y«ur own underftanding and conference. The honour you 
have acquired, and which all ages allow to virtue, is the firft 
recompence you deferve ; my gratitude and elteem have another 
in referve for you." 



routed and difperfed ; and Europe waited in an- 
xious expectation what would be the iffue of this 
unexpected union : yet fuch was the profound ie- 
crecy with which the partitioning powers pro- 
ceeded, that for fome time after the ratification 
of the treaty, only vague conjectures were enter- 
tained even at Warfaw concerning their real in- 
tentions ; and the late lord Cathcart, the Englifh 
minifter at Peterfburgh, was able to obtain no au- 
thentic information of its lignature, until two* 
months after*'the event *. 

* The king of PrufTIa's conduct in Poland was the mod tyran- 
nical that can be conceived. In the year 1771 his troops entered 
into Great Poland, and during the fpace of that year he carried 
oft' from that province, and its neighbourhood, at a moderate 
computation, 12,000 families. On the 29th of October, in the 
fame year, he published an edict, commanding every perfon, un- 
der the fevered penalties, and even corporal punifhment, to take 
in payment for forage, provifions, corn, horfes, &c. the money 
offered by his troops and commiffaries. This money was either 
filver bearing the impreffion of Poland, and exactly worth one- 
third of its nominal value, or ducats ftruck in imitation of Dutch 
ducats, feventeen per cent, inferior to the real ducats of Holland. 
With this bafe money he bought up corn and forage enough,' 
not only to I'upply his army for two whole years, but to dock ma- 
gazines in the country itfelf, where the inhabitants were forced 
to come and re-purchafe corn for their daily fubfidence at an ad- 
vanced price, and with good money, his commiiraries refufing tof 
take the fame coin they had paid. At the lowed calculation he 
gained, by this honed manoeuvre, feven millions of dollars. 
Having dripped the country of money and provifions, his next 
attempt was to thin it dill more of its inhabitants. To people his 
own dominions, at the expence of Poland, had been his great 
aim ; for this purpole he hit upon a new contribution ; every 
town and village was obliged to furnifh a certain number of mar- 
riageable girls ; the parents to give as a portion, a feather-bed, 
four pillows, a cow, two hogs, and three ducats in gold. Some 
were bound hand and foot, and carried off as criminals. His ex- 
actions from the abbeys, convents, cathedrals, and nobles, were 
fo heavy, and exceeded, at lad, their abilities fo much, that the 
prieds abandoned their churches, and the nobles their lands. 
Thefe exactions continued with unabated rigour, from the year 
1771, to the time the treaty of partition was declared, and pof- 
feflion taken of the provinces ufurped. From thefe proceedings' 
it would appear that his Pruflian majedy knew of no rights but his 
own ; no pretenfions but thofe of the houfe r of Brandenburg ; no 
%|her ruk of juftice but his own pride and ambition. 



The firft formal notification of any pretentions 
to the Polifh territory was in the month of Sep- 
tember 1772, announced to the king and fen a to 
affembled at Warfaw, by the Imperial ambaiTa- 
dor ; which was foon followed by tlie memorials 
of the Ruffian and Pruilian courts, fpecifying 
their refpeclive claims. It would be tedious to 
enter into a detail of the pleas urged by the three 
powers in favour of their feveral demands; it 
would be no lefs uninterciting to lay before the 
reader, the anfwers and remonitrances of the 
king and fenate, as well as the appeals to the 
other (rates which had guarantied the poffeffions 
of Poland *. The courts of London, Paris, 
Stockholm, and Copenhagen, remonltrated againJi 

* The note whk?h the miniftry fent the 22d of September 1772* 
to the foreign AmbafTadors at Warfaw, was as follows: 

« The underwritten minifters of his majefry, and the republic - 
of Poland, having fent the notes of the 28th of May, the 19th 
of June* and i8thof July, of this year, regarding the enterprifes 
of the neighbouring powers on Poland to , cannot help, as 

they increafe, communicating likewife the declarations of the 
courts of Peterlburgh and Berlin, fent to the underwritten by 
their refpective minifters. 

< The king is perfuaded that are well acquainted with the 

ancient and peaceftd poffeflion Poland had of the domains which 
the neighbouring powers have appropriated to themfelves, and 
the treaty of this republic with her neighbours being inviolably 
obferved on her part ; it may be remarked in thefe very declara- 
tions, that the true motive for the difmembering of Poland was 
the force of thefe powers, and that theconfequences to the other 
courts which might be forefeen, would remit from it if they dif- 
iembled any longer what was going forward in Poland : That 
therefore his majefty has ordered the underwritten to communi- 
cate the abovementioned declaration to them, and to requeft them: 
inftantly to obtain the good offices of their courts to hinder the 
difmembering of this kingdom. 
* Watfaw. 


* Bifliop of Pofnania r Grand Chancellor of Poland 
'The Prince Czartoryski, 
* Grand Chancellor of Lithuania. 
' Jean de BoRCtu 
* Chancellor of the kingdom.' 



the ufurpations; but remonftrances without a£ 
fiftance could be of no effect, Poland fubmit-, 
ted to the difmemberment, not without the moil 
violent ftruggles ; and now, for the firft time, 
felt and lamented the fatal effects of faction 'and 
difcord. i 

A diet being demanded by the partitioning 
powers, in order to ratify the ceffion of the pro- 
vinces, the miniftry of Warfaw delivered to the 
minifters of thofe powers an anfwer, in which 
they faid ; ".The principles of condefcenlion, on 
which the king of Poland and his fenate find 
themfelves obliged to regulate their conduct to- 
wards the three courts, being fufneiently known 
by a minifterial note on the 24th of December 
3772, given in anfwer to the uniform declara- 
tions of the three courts of the 4th of the fame 
month, and by the facts analagous, which have 
followed the declarations of thefe difpoiitions, the 
under figncd refer. to it, confining themfelves ir* 
the prcfent : 

" 1 ft, To obferve to the minifters of the three 
courts, that the harfhnefs and rigour of their 
proceedings, aggravated ftill more by the ftyle of 
the exprcflions, and the tone of inculpation and 
reproach affected in the abovementioned declara- 
tions, have juftly afflicted the fenfibility of the 
king and the fenate, are equally remote from the 
regard due to the dignity of the king and the re- 
public, and the refpect which the circumfpeet 
conduct of the king merited on their part. 

" 2d, The under-iigned are to inform the 
abovementioned minifters, that the king, with 
the advice of the fenate, after having taken into 
consideration the ferious menaces and imminent 
dangers which have been announced to him in 



rale of refufal, has yielded to the deiire of the 
three courts, and has appointed in confequence 
the 19th of April for the cpocha of the diet. 

" 3d and laitly, The under-figncd have orders 
to addrefs to the fame miniflers the folemn requi- 
fitions that the king, with the advice of his fe- 
nate, makes to the three allied courts, to procure 
the evacuation of their troops out of the domains 
of the republic before the holding of the dietines 
ante comitiales, in order that the latter and the diet 
may proceed with full liberty, and that the fenfe 
of the nation may explain itfelf without con- 
iiraint or danger. 

" Done at Warfaw, Feb. 19, 1773. 

Bifhop of Pofnania, Great Chancellor of 
the Crown. 

Michael Prince Czartoryskt 3 
Great Chancellor of Lithuania. 
John Borck^ 
Chancellor of the Kingdom." 
The diet was then, after fome delay, convoked 
by the king in the following fummons i " Since 
there are no hopes from any quarter, and any 
further delays will only tend to draw down the 
molt dreadful calamities upon the remainder of 
the dominions which are left to the republic ; the 
diet is convened for the 19th of April 1773, ac- 
cording to the will of the three courts : never- 
thelefs, in order to avoid all caufe of reproach, 
the king, with the advice of the fenate, again ap- 
peals to the guaranties of the treaty of Oliva." 

The diet met at the appointed time ; and fuch 

was the fpirit of the members, that, notwith- 

flanding the deplorable lituation of their country, 

and the threats and bribes of the three powers, the 

Z partition- 


partition-treaty was not carried through without 
much difficulty. For fome time the majority of 
the nuntios appeared determined to oppoie the 
difmemberment ; and the king firmly pcrfifted in 
the fame refolution. The ambaffadors of the 
three courts enforced their requiffiions by tho 
moil alarming menaces ; a'nd threatened the king 
with depofition and imprifonment. They alfo 
gave out by their emiflarics, that in cafe the 
diet continued refractory Warfaw fhould be pil- 
laged. This report was induftrioufly circulated, 
and made a fenfible impreffion upon the inhabi- 
tants. By menaces of this fort, by corrupting the 
marihal of the diet, who was accompanied with 
a Ruffian guard ; in a word, by bribes, promifes, 
and threat;, the members of the diet were at 
length prevailed on to ratify the difmemberment. 
In the fenatc, however, or upper houfe, there 
was a majority of only fix ; in the lower houfe, 
or affembly of the nuntios, of but one lingle 
vote in favour of the meafure*. An act was 
then paffed to limit the feilions to the term of a 
few days, and delegates were appointed, with full 
powers to adjuft, in concert with the ambarTa- 
dors, all the terms of the difmemberment. The 
commiffioners, or delegates,, on the breaking up 
©f the diet in May, immediately entered upon 
their office ; and, by the month of September, 
finally concluded the treaty of partition in con- 
formity to the dictates of the three courts. At 
this juncture, feveral nobles were bold enough 
to iflue manifestoes and remonltrances in various 
parts of the kingdom, againft the ceffion of the- 
provinces, and to reprobate the conduct of the 
partitioning powers ; but fuch remonftrances- 

* By 54 againft 53, 


jSistory of Poland. 339 

Vere totally disregarded, and may be confidered 
•only as the laft convulfions of an expiring na- 

Of the difmembered countries, the Ruffian 
province is the largefl # , the Auftrian the moil 
populous -|~, and the Prafiian the mod commer- 
cial ;£. The population of the whole amounts to 
near 5,000,000 of fouls; the firfl: containing 
1,600,000, the fecond 2,500,000, and the third 
860,000. Wellcrn Pruffia was the grCateil \o(h 
to Poland, as by the difmemberment of that pro- 
vince, the navigation of the Viftula entirely de- 
pends upon the king of PrUfTia : by the lofs con-' 
fequently of this diflricl, a fatal blow was given 
to the trade of Poland ; for his Pruffian majcfly 
has laid fuch heavy duties upon the merchandise 

* The province allotted to Ruffia comprifes Polifh Livonia j 
that part of the palatinate of Polotfk which lies to the eaft of the 
Duna; the palatinates of Vitepfk, Mi i'flaw ; and two fmall por- 
tions to the north-eaft and fouth-eaft of the palatinate of Minfk : 
this tract of land (Polifh Livonia excepted) is fituated in White 
Ruffia, and includes at lead one third of Lithuania. 

The Ruffian limits of the new province are formed by the 
Duna, from its mouth to above Vitepfk ; from thence by a 
ftraight line running direclly fouth to the fource of the Drug near 
Tolitzin ; by the Drug to its junction with the Dnieper ; and 
lafiiy, by the Dnieper to the point where it receives the Sotz. 
This territory is now divided into the two governments of Polotfk 
and Mohilof ; its population amounts to about 1,600,000 fouls;. 
its productions are chiefly grain in large quantities, hemp, flax, 
and pafhire ; its forefls furnifli great abundance of mafts, planks, 
alfo oak for fhip building, pitch and tar, &c. which are chiefly 
lent down the Duna to Riga. 

+ The diftrict claimed by the emprefs of Germany in her ma- 
hifefto, is thus defcribed : " All that tract of land lying on the 
right fide of the Viftula from Silefia above Sandomir to the mouth 
of the San, and from thence by Franepole, Zamoifc, and Rubief* 
fow, to the Bog. From the Bog the limits are carried along the 
frontiers of Red Ruffia to Zabras upon the holders of Volhynia 
and Podolia ; and from Zabras in a ftraight line to the Dnieper, 
where it receives the rivulet Podhorts, taking in a fmall flip of 
Podolia ; and laftly, along the boundaries feparatlng Pcdoliafrom 

X Pclifh or Weftern Pruffia and fome diftriib bordering upon 

Z % parTing 


paffing to Dantzic, as greatly to diminish the 
commerce of that town, and to transfer a confi- 
derable portion of it to Memel and Koningf- 

Although the limits of Poland were fettled by 
the treaty of partition, yet the Aultrians and 
Pruffians continually extended their frontiers : 
the emperor feized upon CaSimir, and even avow- 
ed an intention of taking poffeflion of Cracow 
and Kaminiec ; while Frederick alledged thefe 
ufurpations as a justification forlimilar encroach- 
ments on his part ; urging, that he could not, 
continent with his own fecurity, fee the emperor 
increasing his dominions without following his 
example, and aSiuming an equivalent. 

Catharine was forced for a time to connive at 
thefe encroachments; but no fooner was peace 
established with the Turks, and the rebellion of 
Pugatcheff crufhed, than the immediately turned 
her whole attention to Poland ; and it was owing 
to her fpirited remonstrances, that both AuStrians 
and Pruffians relinquished their ufurpations, and 
confined themfelves to the limits marked by the 
treaty of partition. 

The partitioning powers, however, did lefs in- 
jury to the republic by difmembering its faireSt 
provinces, than by perpetuating the principles of 
anarchy and confuiion, and establishing on a 
permanent footing, that exorbitant liberty which 
is the parent of faction, and has proved the de- 
cline of the republic. Under pretence of amend- 
ing the constitution, they confirmed all its de- 
fects, and took effectual precautions to render 
this unhappy country incapable of emerging from 
its deplorable Slate. 

The delegates who ratified the treaty of par- 
tition, being alfo empowered by the diet to con- 


cert with the three courts any alterations in the 
constitution which might appear beneficial to the 
kingdom, continued fitting from May 1773 to 
March 1775, during which period the convoca- 
tion of the ordinary diet was poftponed until tho 
members of the delegation had agreed to all the 
innovations propofed by the ambafTadors, and 
until every part of the government was finally ar- 
ranged. Notwithflandin£fthe wretched condition 
of Poland, and the refiftlefs power of the three 
courts, yet the king and the majority of the de- 
legates long with-held their confent to the pro- 
pofed alterations. 

Some idea of their fpirit may be formed from 
the following account of one of the meetings, 
when the proportions relating to the change of 
government were firft produced in September 
1773. Prior to the appearance of the three am^ 
baifadors in the aifembly, much was (aid, and 
with great vehemence, agaiait the projected inno- 
vations ; many reproaches were thrown out 
againit the authors of that plan, for iacrificing 
the public advantage to their private ambition, 
refentment, and interefts. At the entrance of the 
three ambafladors, a profound filence took place 
for fome minutes, until the fecretary of the Ruf- 
fian embaify began to read the plan for new-mo- 
delling the conftitution ; upon which a general 
murmur fpread through the whole afiembty, in- 
creafing, as he proceeded, to fuch a degree as 
almoft to drown his voice : nor was it without 
frequent interruptions, that he was permitted to 
finifh its recital. Pie had fcarcely concluded, 
when the whole body of delegates loudly demand- 
ed the treaties of partition and alliance ; the am- 
baffadors anfwering, that many points could not 
Z 3 be 


be adjufted without farther inftructions from their 
refpe6tive courts ; it was replied, that in the mean 
time they might introduce the treaty of commerce, 
which they were authorifed to conclude. At all 
events, it was urged, the propofal concerning 
the change of government was premature ; a revo- 
lution of fuch extreme importance demanded the 
mofr deliberate examination, and ought not to be 
hurried through, as if it was a circumftance of 
no concern to the nation. One of the delegates, 
who was moll violent in his oppofition, delivered 
his fentiments with a freedom which aflonifhed 
the affembly ; and when the ambaffadors, who 
did not underftand the Polifh idiom, applied to 
a Caflellan for an explanation of what was faid, 
the latter excufed himfelf, under pretence of not 
being qualified for the office of interpreter, as 
having but an imperfect knowledge of the French 
language. When, at laft, one of the palatines, 
who was of the ambaffador's party, acquainted 
them with the contents of the fpeech ; the orator 
ventured to thank him for explaining the purport 
of his harangue in fo able a manner ; while the 
praifes which, in a fine tone of irony, he afTecle^ 
to heftow upon the palatine for his readinefs to 
oblige, as well as for his independent fpirit, oc- 
cafioned much mirth in the affembly. The un- 
difguifed approbation given by the greatefl part 
of the members to this orator, convinced the am- 
baffadors that this was no time to obtrude their 
refolutions upon the delegates : they accordingly 
broke up the meeting, and poftponed the bulinefs 
to a future opportunity. The next feffion, how- 
ever, was not more favourable to their wifhes, 
nor did the patriotic zeal of the delegates feem to 
abate. Their oppofition indeed to this meafure 



continued fo violent, that more than a year clap- 
fed before the ambafladors were able, by the in- 
fluence of threats, bribery, and promifes, to ob- 
tain a majority ; and before the delegates, terri- 
fied or feduced into compliance, formally acceded 
to the change of government. This important 
point being obtained, the delegation was diffolv- 
ed on the 13th of April 1775, and all the articles 
were confirmed by the general diet. 

The following note, delivered by the three am- 
bafladors to the delegates on the 13th of Septem- 
ber 1773, will give the belt general idea of the 
changes made in the constitution : " The court* 
are fo interefted in the pacification of Poland, 
that, while the treaties are getting ready to be 
iigned and ratified, the mini Iters cannot lofe any 
of that valuable time, fo necciTary for the re- 
etlablifhment of order, and the tranquillity of this 
kingdom. We now, therefore, deliver to the 
delegation a part of thole cardinal laws, to the 
ratification of which our courts will not fuffcr 
any contradiction. 

I. " The crown of Poland fhall be for ever 
elective, and all order of fucccffion proicribed : 
any perfon who fhall endeavour to break this 
law, fhall be declared an enemy to his country, 
and liable to be punifhed accordingly. 

II. " Foreign candidates to the throne, being 
the frequent caufe of troubles and divifions, fhall 
be excluded; and it fhall be enacted, that, for 
the future, no perfon can be chofen king of Po- 
land, and great duke of Lithuania, excepting a 
native Pole, of noble * origin, and porlHIing 
land within the kingdom. The fon, or grandfbn, 

. • That is, any gentleman. 

Z 4 of 


of a king of Poland, cannot be elected immer 
diately upon the death of their father or grand- 
father ; nor fhall he be eligible, till after an interval 
of two reigns. 

III. " The government of Poland {hall be for 
ever free, independent, and of a republican form. 

IV. " The true principle of the faid govern- 
ment confifting in the ftrict execution of its laws, 
and the equilibrium of the three eltates, namely, 
the king, the fenate, and the equeftrian order ; a 
permanent council fhall be eiiablifhed, in which 
the executive power fhall he vetted* In this 
council the equeftrian order, hitherto excluded 
from the adminiftration of affairs in the intervals 
of the diets, fhall be admitted ; as fhall be more 
clearly laid down in the future arrangements." 

By the firft of thefc arrangements the houfe of 
Saxony, and ail foreign princes who might be 
likely to give weight to Poland by their heredi- 
tary dominions, were rendered incapable of fill- 
ing the throne. By the fecond, the exclufion of 
a king's fon or grandibn, excepting after an inter- 
val of two reigns, removed the fainteft profpedt 
of an hereditary fovereignty ; and entailed upon 
the kingdom all the evils infcparable from that 
moft wretched form of government, an elective 
monarchy. By the third article, the liberum veto, 
and all the exorbitant privileges of the equeftrian 
order, were confirmed in their utmoft latitude; 
and by the laft, the prerogatives of the crown, 
before too greatly reduced, were ftill farther di- 
mini flied. 

It may be proper here to mention the fate of 
the diflidents. Their pretentions were finally 
fettled between the republic and the mediating 
■powers, at the laft meeting of the delegates. The 



catholic party oppofedin fo violent a manner the 
reftoration of their ancient privileges, that, by 
the confent of the foreign courts, they continue 
excluded from the diet, the fenate, and the per- 
manent council. In return, however, the diffi- 
dents enjoy the free cxercifc of their religion ; are 
permitted to have churches without bells ; fchools 
and feminaries of their own ; they are capable of 
fitting in the inferior courts of juftice ; and in 
-the tribunal appointed to receive appeals in mat- 
ters of religion, three of their communion are 
admitted as affeffors. Jn confeqnence of this to- 
leration, the diffidents have conftrucfted churches 
in different parts of the kingdom. 

A kind of pacification now took place in Po- 
land, which continued with little interruption till 
the beginning of the year 1788, when a concert be- 
tween Ruftia and Auftria, prejudicial to the inte- 
refts of this unhappy kingdom, was betrayed by 
the following letter, which was delivered by M. 
de Cachet, charge des affaires from the emperor at 
the court of Poland, prefented and read to the 
permanent council at Warfaw, the 16th of Janu- 

" As the prefent ft ate of affairs may poffibly 
render neceflary, in a fhort time, a paffage to the 
troops of his imperial majeity through the territory 
of the republic of Poland, in order to open a com- 
munication with thofe of the emprefs of Ruffia, 
which are in the neighbourhood, the underiigned 
lias received orders from his court to acquaint his 
majefly the king of Poland, and his council, in- 
forming them, at the fame time, that his royal 
and imperial mailer, confiding in the friendihip 
and harmony which reign between the two ftates, 
Jias no doubt but his majelly and his permanent 



council will confent to the paffage demanded, 
efpecially when they are informed that no violence 
or intuit will be offered to the inhabitants ; that 
they will receive no injury whatever; and that 
whatever they may furniih. to the imperial troops, 
will be paid for in ready money. 

" The underligned has the honour to requeil the 
grand chancellor, as prelident of the department 
for foreign affairs, to communicate this requiution 
to the council permanent without delay, and to 
require an immediate anlwer. 

(Signed) De Cachet." 

Jan. 12, 1788. 

The aniwer to this letter ftated in fubftanre, 

" That the king had not the power to confent 
to the paffage demanded for the imperial troops ; 
that it was a queflion on which the diet alone 
could decide ; — and as to the conclution of the 
note of Monf. de Cachet, he was informed, that 
Poland could furniih neither corn nor forage ; and 
it was hoped, that the emperor would find another 

It is ftrange to relate that no injurious confe- 
quences immediately refultcd from this application 
and refufal ; but that on the contrary the emprefs 
and the Pruinan monarch feemed to have fepa- 
rately taken an extraordinary intereft in the wel- 
fare of Poland. The tbilowing declaration was in 
October of the fame year delivered to the itates of 
Poland by M. Buckholz, the Pruffian minifter at 
Warfaw : 

" It was towards the end of AugurT that the 
Count de Stackelberg, ambaffador from Ruffla, 
declared officially to the underligned, that her 



majefty the emprefe had refolved to make an alli- 
ance with the king and the republic of Poland at 
the next diet * the fole delign of which was, for 
the prefervation of Poland entire, and for the de- 
fence of the flate againft the common enemy. 

" After the undcriigned had informed the king 
his mailer thereof, he declared, in confequencc of his 
orders, to the Count de Stackelberg, that although 
his majefty was itrongly fenfible of this open inti- 
mation, he would not however dificmble, that he 
could not fee any neceffityfor making fuch an al- 
liance, in addition to the treaties which were al- 
ready fubuYting on all tides ; that if, however, 
they judged a new alliance neceilary to Poland, 
his majefty at the fame time propofed to renew the 
treaties which have for a long time fubfifted 
between Pruffia and Poland, as his majefty did 
not take a lefs part in the prefervation of this, 
neighbouring ftate than any other power. 

" The underligned accompanied thisaniwer with 
many other reafons, which fhewed the inutility, 
and at the fame time the dangerous confequences 
that would refult from fuch an alliance, conclu- 
ded, according to the double deftgn mentioned, 
between Ruflia and Poland. 

" The Baron de Keller, minifter from the king- 
to Peterfburgh, was ordered immediately to make 
to the imperial court the fame declaration and re-, 
prefentations. However, as the king has learnt with 
furprife that the plan of this alliance had been al- 
ready communicated and negociated in Poland, 
and as it is poffible it may be taken up by the diet, 
his majefty thinks it a duty to make known his 
intentions in regard to an object fo important, as 
well for him as for Poland., by the following decla- 
ration : 


" If the projected alliance between Ruflia and 
Poland has for its firff object the confervation of the 
ftates of Poland, the king does not fee the necef- 
iity or utility of it, becaufe the fafety of Poland is 
fufficiently guaranteed by the laft treaties. It 
cannot be fuppofed that her majefry the emprcfs 
of Ruflia, or her ally the emperor of Germany, 
would infringe theirs. It mult then be fuppofed 
the king has inch a defign; and, in confeque-ftce, 
this alliance is directed againfl him. 

" Thus the king cannot but object and protefl 
•folemnly againfl the faid alliance, as tending to 
break the good harmony eflablifhed between 
Pruffia and Poland by the moft folcmn treaties. 

" If, inthefecond place, this alliance is dire6ted 
againfl the common enemy, and if under this qua- 
lification is included the Ottoman Porte; the king, 
out of friendfhip for the republic of Poland, can- 
not but reprefent that the Porte having always- re- 
Jigioufly obferved the peace of Carlowitz, and 
during the whole courfe of the prefent war 
carefully avoided the . ftates of the republic, 
there will infallibly refult the moil dangerous 
confequenccs, as well for the ftates of the re- 
public, as for thofe of his Pruffian majefty which 
are neighbouring, if Poland contracts alliances 
that authorife the Porte to fee an enemy in Po- 
land. Every loyal and enlightened citizen of Po- 
land will fee at once how difficult and impoflible 
it will be to defend his country againfl an enemy 
lb near, fo formidable, and fo unruly. 

" The kingcannotthen be indifferent to the pro-* 
ject of an alliance, which menaces not only the 
greatefl danger towards the republic, but to his 
own ftates, and which will infallibly extend fur- 
ther the flames of war, already too general. 

a « The 


" The king finds nothing to object againfl the re- 
public of Poland's augmenting its army, and put- 
ting its forces in arefpectable ltate. But he leaves 
to the confideration of the good citizens of Poland, 
if, in each augmentation of the army of Poland* 
a power is not given to engage the republic in a 
war which is abfolutely foreign to it, and confe- 
quently leading to grievous confequences. The 
king is flattered, that his majefly the king of Po- 
land, and the ftates of the ferene republic affem- 
bled in the prefent diet, will take into mature de- 
liberation all that his majefty now reprefents, in 
the way and through motives of the mod fincere 
friendmip, and for the true welfare and common 
interefl of the two ftates, fo clofely united by 
the indiffoluble ties of a perpetual alliance. 

" His majefty alfo hopes that her majefty the 
emprefs of RufTia will not refufe her approbation 
to motives fo juft, and fo conformable to the 
welfare of the Polifh nation; and he expects 
alfo with confidence from one part and the other 
that they defifr from the project of an alliance 
fo little neceffary, but always fb dangerous for 
Poland. It is in this hope that his majefty in- 
vites all the true patriots and good citizens of 
Poland to unite with him, to prevent, by their 
union and wife meafures, the imminent danger 
with which their country is menaced : and they 
may depend that his majefty will grant them 
the neceffary affiflance, and the mofr. powerful 
fuccours, for maintaining the independence, li- 
berty, and fecurity of Poland. 

Given at Warfaw, the 12th of October 178?. 




Anfwer of the Diet at PFarfazv to the King of PruJJias 

" The underfigned, by the exprcfs orders of the 
King and the confederated States of the diet, 
have the honour to tranfmit to M. de Buckholz 
the following anfwcr : 

u The reading of the faid declaration of his 
Pruffian majefly, in a full council on the 13th, 
has imprefTed the States affcmbled with a lively 
ienfe of the generous manner in which the king 
has acted as a friend and neighbour, in alluring 
to Poland the fafety of its poffefiions. 

" The project of an alliance between Ruffiaand 
Poland, not having been propofed either to the 
permanent council, or to the diet when free, 
and afterwards confederated, is not therefore an 
object of the act of Union, which leads the bu- 
fmefs of the Diet, conformable to the general 
will of the nation; and the proportions coining 
from the throne refpecting the augmentation o£ 
impofts, and the military of the republic, are 
not in the fyftem of an offenfive force, but 
folely for defending and preferving its poflei- 
lions and its free government. 

" If, in the already-determined proceedings, the 
States affcmbled receive a proportion and a pro- 
ject of an alliance, the republic, being held 
by the fame nature of a diet, in fo public a ftep 
will never veil its proceedings, but act confor- 
mable to the independence of its fovercignty, to 
the rules of prudence, to the facred principles 
of public faith, and to the deference due to the 
friendlv fentiments of his maiefry the king of 

« The 


" The general Will, ever right and ever pub- 
lic, forming the fpirit of the deliberations of 
the prefent diet, the States afTembled unani- 
mously feek to fix in the opinion of his Prufiiari 
majeffy an advantageous idea of their under- 
ilandings and their patriotifm. 


Stanislaus Nalzez Malachowsky, 
Referendary of the Crown, Marfhal of the 
Diet, and of the Confederation of the 


Casimir Prince Sapieha, 
Ceneral of Artillery of Lithuania, Marfhal 
of the Confederation of the Grand Duchy 
of Lithuania.'* 
October 20, 1788. 

Thefe declarations were immediately followed 
by another from the Ruffian ambafTador, in 
thefe words : 

" The ambaffador extraordinary of her ma- 
jefty the emprefs of all the Ruflias has hitherto 
obferved the moil profound filence, and has not 
made the leaft reprefentation againft any of the 
refolutions of the Illuftrious States afTembled, 
although they have already infringed the confti- 
tution agreed on between the three courts in 
1776, without, however, offering any direct at- 
tack on the acr of guarantee of 1775. The or-> 
ders of the emprefs having always contained evi- 
dent proofs of her amicable intentions towards 
the Polifh nation, the underfigned wifhed never 
to fee himfelf reduced to the difagreeable necef- 
2 fity 


iity of protecting againft any attempt to alter the 
form of government folemnly confirmed by the 
treaty of the act of guarantee in 1775. Yet, 
neverthelefs, an attempt of this nature being 
contained in many of the projects, which have a 
delign to eftablifh a permanent diet, and to Sub- 
vert alfo all the form of government, the 1111- 
deriigned is under the neceflity of declaring, in 
the name of her Imperial Majefty, that, al- 
though it will not be without regret thai the 
withdraws from the king and the illuftrious re- 
public the friendfhip which fbe has avowed, fhe 
will be forced to contidcr as an infraction of the 
treaty the leaft change in the constitution of 

* 775 ' 


Nov. 5, 1788. 

It was propofed in the diet, after reading the 
above, to draw out a declaration to fend to the 
Ruffian ambaflador, demanding that all the Ruf- 
iian troops fhould immediately, without delay, 
evacuate Poland, and that none fhould after- 
wards be permitted to enter there. The follow- 
ing is a copy of the note which the States ordered 
the marfhals of the confederation to prefent to 
his excellency count Stackelberg : 

" The underwritten, by order of the Serene 
States affembled, have the honour to remit the 
prefent note to his excellency count Stackelberg, 
ambaflador from her majefty the emprefs of all 
the Ruffias, and to befeech her to give a frefh 
proof of the regard the has always cxpreffed 
for the welfare of this country, by ordering her 
troops to evacuate it. 

*' The faid Serene States flatter themfelves that 
her Imperial Majefty will, with her ufual good^ 



nefs, agree with them, and think that fo great 
an army, however well difciplined it may be, 
muft be burdenibme to the country, and that 
its ftay may belidc ftirniili the Ottoman Court 
with a plaulible pretext for caufing their troops 
to enter likewife, and even for making this 
country the theatre of war, which muft inevita- 
bly be the ruin of it. 

" The well-known magnanimity of her Im- 
perial Majefty will make her with pleafure feize 
this opportunity of proving to the Polifh nation, 
that thofe who have rccourfe to her juftice are 
fure to be fuccefsful. She will thereby be lure to 
acquire the gratitude of all the nation, whofe 
fentiments of veneration are already known to 

The meeting of the 5th was opened by the 
marihal of the diet for the crown returning his 
majefty thanks for the fatigues he had borne in 
the laft feffions ; and he afterwards propofed 
fettling what powers the commiffion of war were 
to have. 

The prince Czartoriiki demanded of the mar- 
shal what anfwer the Ruffian ambaffador had 
made to the requiiition of the diet for the troops 
evacuating Poland; as well as on the fubject of 
their being refufed winter quarters on its territory. 
The marihal replied, that he had not yet re- 
ceived any anfwer. 

The note prefented to the diet by the Ruf- 
fian ambaifaclor, and the king's fpeech upon 
the occaiion, created fuch a fenfation in the minds 
of the public, that foon after the king had put 
an end to the feffions, which he did with two 
words, he received a deputation from the mem- 
bers, with the following queilion — Whether his 
majefty would adhere to them, or remain united 

A a to 


to the Ruffian party? in which laft cafe they 
were refolved to give him up entirely. The 
king replied — That he would anfwer this pro- 
pofai between the 8th and 10th of November, 
but requefted them, at the fame time, to reflect 
well upon what they were about. 

By his majefty's anfwer to a fecond deputation 
fent to him, he allayed the ferment that was be- 
ginning to agitate the diet. In a conciliatory 
ipeech, he gave hopes that, if every one went 
hand in hand, the king with the nation, and the 
nation with the king, every thing would have a 
happy termination. 

The affairs of Poland now became a promi- 
nent object in the ftate of Europe, and fore- 
boded a conliderable change in the fyflem of 
northern polities. The inflexibility of his Pruf- 
iian majefty was declared by a note delivered 
by his ambaffadcr to the diet at Warfaw, and 
read at their 20th meeting, of 'which the follow- 
ing is a copy : 

" The underiigned envoy extraordinary of his 5 
Pruflian majefty, having fent the king, his maf- 
ter, the anfwer which his majefty the king of 
Poland, and the confederated ftates of the diet, 
communicated on the 20th of October, in the 
declaration of the 1 2th of the fame month, he 
has given him exprefs orders to teftify to the illuf- 
trious ftates of the diet of Poland the ftrong. 
Satisfaction which his majefty feels in obferving 
by this anfwer, that they fecond his favourable 
fentiments for maintaining the privileges of the 
republic, and which alfo aflures him that the 
project of an alliance between Rufiia and Po- 
land (which his majefty the king of Poland, and 
his minifter at the court, had made a proportion 
of) had not been in any manner an act of the. 



prefent confederated diet, who were folely oc- 
cupied in the augmentation of the army and re- 
venues of the ftate. 

" At the fame time that the king finds in this 
anfwer an agreeable and convincing proof of the 
wifdom which directs all the refolutions of the 
prefent diet, he learns with an equal fatisfaclion, 
that the illustrious Hates, faithful to their consti- 
tution, have, by a public fanclion, and inverted 
with all conttltu'tional formalities, regulated the 
command of their military force in fuch a man- 
ner as to afTure to the republic its independence, 
and remove from it the pombility of abufe of 
power, of defpotiim, and of all foreign influ- 
ence, which every other regulation made it fuf- 
ceptible of. 

" His majefty thought himfelf fecure in the 
known prudence and nrmnefs of the ftates of 
the diet, who would never permit any thing to 
prevent a regulation which does fo much honour 
to their wife forcfight; by the coniideration of a 
particular guarantee to the former conftitution, 
as if the republic fhould not have power to 
amend the form of its government in the new 
fituation of its circumftances in which it abfo- 
lutely is at prefent; a guarantee which is not 
conformable to the treaty of 1773, on which 
only the guarantees are founded, and which was 
figned in the diet of 177; by one power only, 
who contradicted it foon after. 

" The king continues firmly refolved to fulfil his 
promifes towards the illuflrious republic, of an 
alliance and general guarantee, efpecially to fe- 
cure its independence, without ever intermed- 
dling in its interior affairs, or wifhing to trouble 
the freedom of its deliberations and refolutions, 
A a 2 which 

356 History of poland. 

which on the contrary he will fupport with all his 

" His majcity is flattered that the illuftrious 
ilates of the prefent diet are convinced of the 
uprightnefs and purity of thefe aflurances, and 
of his friendly fentiments for the republic, with- 
out fuffering any Unifier insinuations to prevail 
upon them, by thofe who only feek to propagate 
a fpirit of party under the cloak of patriotifm, 
and who, in reality, have no other defign than 
to take off the republic from the court of Pruf- 
iia, its moil ancient ally. 

" The king, by his declaration of the 1 2th of 
October, and by the prefent, which has been 
tranfmitted to the Ruffian minifter at Berlin, 
could not think of expreffing in an equivocal 
manner his fentiments for the fafety and welfare 
of the republic, from which no confederation 
whatever fhall divert him. 

u His majefty hopes alfo that the confederated 
ftates of the republic will give to this new de- 
claration all the attention and confideration 
which it merits, from the purer! and moil fin- 
cere fentiments of friendfhip and good neigh- 
bourhood, and from their unequivocal wifhes for 
the profperity of the republic. 

Louis de Buckholz." 
Nov. 19, 1788. 

After reading the above, the debate grew more 
violent than ever; but in the end the Pruffian 
party prevailed, and the Hates, in reply to the 
king's lafl declaration, declared, " That if their 
pafi: refolutions in deciding for a feparate com- 
miflion of the war department, had met with 
the good wifhes of the king of Pruffia, they 

4 hoped 


hoped their fubfequent deliberations on the fame 
fubject would iniure them in future. It was by 
fuch a conduct that the republic willied to allure 
the king how much they efleemed his good withes 
and approbation, as well as to eltablifh the fafety of 
the republic, which, his majefty fo kindly faid, 
was fuperior to other important confiderations. 
The king of Pruflia having declared himfelf 
ready to fulfil his engagements of alliance and 
guarantee with the flates, the nation accepted it 
with a reciprocal deflre and gratitude. His ma- 
jefty, in offering fuch generous and friendly 
terms, had eflablifhed for ever that high opinion 
which the Polifh nation entertained of his mag- 
nanimity and character." 

From this anfwer, which was dated at War- 
fa w, Dec. 8, 1788, it appears how dependent 
the flates of Poland were become on the pleafure 
of the king of Pruflia. 

The fuccefs, indeed, at this time of the Imperial 
army of Ruffia and Auftriaagainft theTurksmade 
the Poles feel more fenfibly than ever the weak- 
nefs of her government, and forefeeing the dan- 
ger of her fituation, from the conquefls of Ruf- 
lia on the one fide, and the increasing power of 
Auftria on the other, fhe wifely threw herfelf 
into the arms of Pruflia, as the only power ca- 
pable of affording her protection. 

His Prufiian majefty, fenfible of the value of 
fuch an acceffion of ftrength thrown into' the 
oppofite fcale, received the republic with open 
arms; and endeavoured, by every poifible means, 
to re-animate that once brave people, and to in- 
fpire them, not with the love of eonqueft, but 
with the pride of felf-defcnce. 

When the count de Woyna, envoy from the 

king and republic of Poland at Vienna, officially 

A a 3 ratified 


ratified to the Imperial court the alliance con- 
cluded between Pruflia and Poland, and ex- 
preffed his hope that the emperor, as a good 
neighbour, would view the measure in a friendly- 
light; he at the fame time obferved, that the re- 
public faw with concern that, notwithstanding 
the tranquillity which reigned in the two refpec- 
tive states, the Imperial court was affembling a 
very considerable force in Gallicia ; and that he 
was instructed to require fome explanation on 
that head. v 

The anfwer given fome time after by the 
Prince de Kaunitz was, " that the emperor felt 
as a friend and good neighbour ought to feel, in 
hearing of the accomplifhment of the wifhes of 
the republic; and that he mojl certainly would not 
be the firjl to take any ftep that might difturb or im- 
pair the friendjhip that jubfified between him and the 
republic, that with regard to the troops which he 
was affembling on the frontier of Poland, his 
majeity had given the molt potitive orders that 
they fhould fcrupuloufly refpeet the territory of 
the republic; but that he had, at the fame time, 
given them no lefs pofitive orders to cover the 
frontiers of Gallicia, and guard it againft any 
unexpected attack." 

The assurance thus given by the wary and ve-, 
nerable Kaunitz, it was thought, might with the 
greater confidence be relied on, as the emperor 
was in no condition to encounter with the united 
force of Prussia and Poland, in addition to the 
whole force of the Ottoman empire, though fup- 
ported by her Imperial majefty of Ruffia, whole 
finances muft likewife have been greatly ex- 
hausted by the armies fne had been obliged to 
maintain at an expence never before known, 



provifions of all kinds having been at an enor- 
mous price during the greater! part of the 

Early m the year 1 790 a plan was drawn up by 
the count Potocki, for effecting a reform of the 
Polim constitution, the moft itriking feature of 
which was, that the throne fhould be elective, 
but that meafures fhould be taken to prevent the 
peace of the kingdom,, or of Europe, being dis- 
turbed by any future election. On the fame 
fubject the bifhop of Kaminiec prefented eight 
articles, which here follow : 

Art. I. Determined the rights of fovereignty, 
which belonged to the nation, particularly that of 
electing a king. 

Art. II. All landholders fhould have the right 
of giving their fuffrages in the election of repre- 

Art. III. Fixed the terms of each diet to two 
years, at the expiration of which they fhould 
render an account of their conduct to their con- 

Art. IV. Required the unanimous vote of the 
'diet in the formation of all fundamental laws, 
three fourths of the votes for all political laws, 
two thirds for taxes and impoits, and the iimple 
plurality of votes for all civil and criminal 

Art. V. A plurality of three fourths of the 
•votes of the diet, fhall be neccfTary in all quef- 
•tions concerning foreign alliances and treaties of 

Art. VI. The prefervation of the laws, and 
the whole power of the executive government, 
fhall reir. with the king and his council, the 
members of which fhall be refponlible to the 
diet for their conduct. 

A a 4 Art, 


Art. VII. The tribunals of the diet fhall pre- 
ferve their jurifdicrion, but the limits of it fhall 
be more Itrictly defined. 

Art. VIII. The constitution being eftablifhed 
on thefe principles, it ihall be guarantied that the 
confederate diet fhali no longer exift, and that all 
laws againil the principles of the above articles 
fhall be declared null and void. 

Thefe were foon followed by a number of re- 
clamations addreifed by the towns, boroughs, 
and provinces to the diet of Poland, viz. 

I. That all the rights and privileges enjoyed by 
the commons before the diet of union, ihall be re- 
ftored, in their primitive vigour, by the deciiion 
of the p relent diet. 

II. That fecurity of perfon fhall be guarantied, 
both to all natives of the order of the commons, 
and to ftrangers refiding with their property and 
effects in Poland. 

III. That the commons ihall be free to pofTefs 
landed property in Poland, in the fame manner as 
they already enjoy this right in Lithuania. 

IV. That the order of the nobility fhall no 
longer regard that of the commons with con-" 
tempt ; that a noble ihall not derogate from the 
rights of his bi.:th, when, either to obtain an ho- 
neil fubfiftence, or for the fake of being ufefully 
employed, he fhall embrace any profeffion hither- 
to coniidered as fit only to be exercifed by a com- 
moner ; but that thefe rights fhall avail him in all 
rcfpeels as before, and that he may alfo enjoy the 
advantages of fueceeding to the families of com- 
moners, as they in return may inherit of nobles, 
when any portion of inheritance fhall belong to 
them by contract of marriage. 

Art. V. That the invidious conflitutions, which 
exclude the commons from all eccleflallical and 



military employments, fhall be annulled ; and 
that not only the ancient privileges, in virtue of 
which the commons were admiffible to all eccle- 
liaftical benefices without exception, mall be re- 
newed ; but that they fhall moreover be capable 
of riling in civil and military employments. 

VI. That all cities fhall be not only enfranchifed 
from the Jurifdittions des Starojiies, but alio from 
all Others, and that the citizens fhall be fubject 
only to the jurifdiction of their own magistrates, 
as the magistrates to the aflefTorial courts of the 

VII. That the commons fhall be at liberty to 
communicate their ideas reflecting commerce, 
and the magazines in the cities, to the commiflion- 
ers of the treafury, and the chambers for foreign 
affairs ; and that what thefe fhall declare jufl and 
realbnable mail be made law. 

VIII. That not only fome cities, but all, each 
in its refpective palatinate, fhall have the right of 
fending deputies to the diet, and of charging 
them with proper initructions : that the ancient 
privilege of the cities, which fecure to them a 
certain influence in the government, when they 
fhall be renewed, fhall be no more impeached or 
diminifhed ; but that, on the contrary, they fhall 
be increafed, particularly in all refpects that may 
tend to render the form of government full more 

IX. That in all commiffions of treafury and 
palatinates, where objects of commerce, requiring 
mercantile knowledge, fhall prefent themfelves, 
commoners fhall be elected as well as nobles. 

X. That fuppofing the afTefibrial tribunals to 
be the fupreme courts for the cities, the affefTors 
fhall confifl of nobles and commons, chofen in 
equal numbers. 



On the 29th of March 1790, a treaty -of de- 
fence and alliance between Pruffia and Poland 
was fealed, ratified, and exchanged. 

As foon as the articles of which it was com- 
pofed had been agreed to in the diet, and fome. 
days before the ratification of them, Staniilaus 
wrote in the following terms to the king of Prul- 
fia : 

" Monfieur my Brother, 

" It is already certainly known to your majefly, 
that the diet of Poland has unanimoufly decided 
to ally our republic to your majefty without de- 
lay, and without pretending to regulate before- 
hand the points of commerce, which are at pre- 
lent in difcuffion between your majefly and us. 
The more thefe points of commerce are eifential 
to us, the more highly will your majefty appre- 
ciate the eagernefs of a free and generous nation, 
to unite with you in repofing entirely on the per- 
fonal equity of the known character of your ma- 

" With a king fuch as you, the fureft way is to 
addrefs him directly, by intreating him to weigh, 
in the balance of his juft mind, the claims of a 
nation who give him all their friendfhip, while 
they depend on the clear letter of treaties, and 
on the fufferance of feventeen years. The idea 
which the nation has formed of the reigning Fre- 
derick William is, that, formed to equal his an- 
ceftors in every other fort of glory, there is one 
which he wifhes to render peculiarly his own, 
by fetting his grandeur above this fatal maxim, 
That the profperity of our own flat e can only be promot- 
ed by the misfortunes of our neighbours. 

" You cannot, Sire, be ignorant of the great 
difficulties which ought to have oppofed, or at 
leaii retarded, the rcfolution which the diet of Po- 


land formed on the 15th current; neverthclefs, 
thofe difficulties yielded to the fentiment, that it 
was with you, Sire, \vc had to deal. I told my 
nation, that I Would perfonally addrefs myfelf to 
your "majefty ; that 1 would lay before you the 
rights, complaints, and demands of my nation : 
and the whole diet, without coming to a 
vote, faid, c Let us proceed to become the allies 
of this king, too loyal, doubtlcfs too truly great, 
to with to take advantage of the confidence 
which we fhall put in him. He will order, with- 
out doubt, his minifters to remedy the juft com- 
plaints of the Poliih nation. He will fay, I wifh. 
that the Poles fhould henceforth be free from in- 
jultjcc and vexation. I wifh they fhould be fatis- 
ried, becaufe they have declared themfelves my 

"If in fpeaking to my nation, I have prefumed 

my letter would be attended with fuccefs; in do- 

, ing fo, I did homage to your virtues. It is with 

fuch fentiments that I fhall always do myfelf the 

honour to fubferibe^ myfelf, 

Of your majefty the good Brother and Ally, 

Stanislaus Augustus.''* 
Warfaw, March 17, 1790. 

To this his PrufTian majefty returned as fol- 
lows : 

" Monfieur my Brother, 
" The prince Jablonowfky has delivered me a 
letter which your majefty wrote me, dated 17th 
March, and which claims my perfonal interfer- 
ence to put an end to the commercial grievances 
with which the Polifh. nation thinks itfelf op- 
prcfTed in its intercourfe with Pruffia. I am flat- 
tered by your confidence, and will endeavour 



to hiftrfy it ; but T intreat of your majefty and the 
nation, to oblcrve, likewife, the fame jufiice and 
impartiality which it demands of me, towards 
me and my Hate, and to weigh, in an exact ba- 
lance, the real circumstances of the important 
object in quetlion. 

" If your majefty willies to recal every thing 
which has palled fince the ceffion of Weftern 
Pruilia, you cannot forget that the charges and 
inconveniences to which the commerce of the Po-> 
lifh nation upon the Viftuta, and towards the 
Baltic Sea, is perhaps expoied, folcly take their 
origin and their fonrces from the convention of 
commerce in 1775 between Pruffia and Poland, 
by which all the merchandise which the Polifli 
nation tranfports to Dantzick, or exports, have 
been charged with the fame duties of twelve per 
cent, which already exifted from the time of the 
Polifh dominion. 

" Ifabufes have crept into the receiving of thete, 
duties by the mitconduct of the collectors, it is 
what the Pruffian Subjects no lets experience in 
Poland. I have endeavoured to redrefs them as 
much as poflible, when complaints appeared." 

(The king then enumerates the many infranccs 
in which he had favoured the trade of the Polifli 
nation ; but with regard to Dantzick, he fays) " Jt 
cannot be juftly demanded, that I Should grant 
the fame advantages which my own cities enjoy, 
to a city which is on all fides furrounded by my 
dominions without belonging to them, and 
which does them fo much milehief by the con- 
traband practices of its inhabitants and the chi- 
canery of its magistrates. 

" I perceive well that the Polifh nation fuffers in 
an indirect manner, but it is its own fault, and it 
ought to remember, that it has not been lefs ill- 

History of polanD. 3(35 

treated by the monopoly of the commerce of the 
Viftula, which the city of Dantzick had ufurped 
from the time of the Polifh dominion in prejudice 
of the other Pruflian cities. This vice cannot 
fail to remain inherent in the commerce which 
the Poles carry on by the Viftula into Dantzick, 
jb long as the cities of Dantzick and of Thorn remain 
fepar ate from my territories, by which they are com- 
pletely furrounded, efpecially the flrli. It is to 
remedy this great evil that I have propofed to your 
majefty, and the illuftrious diet, to make with me 
a new treaty, by which I Jloall diminijh the duties ejla- 
blifloed at twelve per cent, on the Viftula, to a tax fa 
moderate that the Polifh nation Jloall have no reajon to 
complain; and I have demanded, that in compenfa- 
tion of the great lofs which I jloall fuftain in my finances, 
"they Jloould give up to me the sovereignty of 
Dantzick and Thorn, which by their natural Jituation 
belong to the territory of IVeftern Vrujfa, and which 
at the time of the ceftion of that country was excepted 
only for particular reafons, and of little importance, 

"I thought I might make thefe propoials without 
being taxed with unjuft views of ambition, be- 
caufe thefe two cities are fituated in the middle of 
my dominions, and their fovereignty belongs to 
the poffefTor of Weftern Pruffia, and the ally of 
Poland, to whom they give an acceffion of force 
equally neceffary to Pruffia and Poland. They 
are of no importance to Poland, and rather ren- 
der their commerce difficult and troublcfome by 
the conventional duties." 

(The king then mentions the value of revenue 
he loies by the propofed reduction of duties, viz. 
200,000 crowns annually; andpropofes to make 
good any lofs which his Polifh. majefty may fuf- 
tain by ceding thefe towns. He exprefTes his fur- 
prife that a propofal fo fair and candid fhould 



have been oppofed by the Polifh nation; and., 
having ftated his unwillingnefs to re-confider 
what has been propofed by Poland, concludes 
thus :) 

<( I thought it neceffary to enter into this de- 
tail., and lay before your majefty considerations 
to which, at Warfaw, they do not appear to 
have given that attention which they merited, 
I flill promife myfelf that you will examine 
thete confiderations with that fpirit of equity and 
penetration which characlerife your majefty, and 
that you will make ufe of them to enlighten the 
nation, and to dilpel the prejudices which op- 
pofe the true intereits of both ftates. 

I am, 

With fentiments of efteem 
And perfect friendfhip, 
Your Majefly's faithful Brother and Ally, 

Frederic Guillaume." 
April ii, 1790. 

In Auguft of this year the prince Poninfkiy 
grand treafurer of the crown, exhibited a finking 
example of the inftability of fortune, or rather 
the certain reward of thofe who build their own 
aggrandizement upon the ruin of their country. 
In the famous diet of delegation of which he 
was marefchal, and in the partition of Poland, 
his conduct had been evidently too friendly to 
the combined powers. After fixteen years had 
elapfed, on the 8th of June 1789, a criminal 
accufation was preferred againfl him before the 
Polifli diet, by M. Zalefki, nuncio of Troki, 
for high crimes and mifdemeanors, in having at 
that period betrayed, from views of perlbnal 



preferment, the dearefl intercfts of the ftate. 
The commiffion chofen to try hirn confiftedof 14 
fenators and miniiters of ftate, and 24 deputies 
from different towns. To prevent partiality, the 
ballot was drawn by a child, but it did not ap- 
pear by the names on the lilt that they were very 
favourable to the prifoner, who found means at 
that time to make his efcape. He was, how- 
ever, retaken, but the affair feemed likely to be 
fuppreffed. While the diet of the 10th of Au- 
guft 1790 fat, the charge againft Poninlki fud- 
denly revived, and many members fpoke vio- 
lently on the fubjccl. The grand treafurer, fore- 
feeing the event, took a fecond opportunity to 
efcape. Although he had been relcaled on fecu- 
rity and promife that he would not go off clan- 
deftinely, he left Warfaw privately on Sunday 
the 29th ; but, unhappily for him, he was met 
on the road by the fame captain who had guarded 
him when he firft made his efcape, which inci- 
dent had given very great difpleafure. This offi- 
cer, having found him 15 leagues from Warfaw, 
carried him back. On the 1 It of September he 
was brought before the tribunal of the diet, by 
whom he was declared a traitor to his country, 
decreed to lofe his rank, honours, functions, and 
employments ; condemned to be ftripped of the 
order with which he was inverted, ordered to 
leave Warfaw in twenty-four hours, and the 
country in four weeks ; after which time all 
judges or jurifdi6tions who ihould find him within 
the territories of the republic were to arreft him 
and punifh him with death. 

The prince Poninhki, who heard the judg- 
ment at the bar of the tribunal, again fullered 
the mortification of affifting at the publication 
of his difgrace before all the people airembled in 



the Hotel de Ville, where the infignla of the of- 
der was torn off, and from whence he was led 
through the principal flreets, accompanied by 
the common crier, who proclaimed, " It is thus 
we punifh traitors to their country." From princi^ 
pies of humanity, however, the punifhment was 
declared to be perfonal, and not to affect his 
wife, children, brother, or any of his family or 

On the 30th of Augufi: an act called The Uni^ 
verfal was paffed in the hall of the diet, in which, 
for the firft time, mention was made of the fuc- 
ceffion of the elector of Saxony to the throne of 
Poland. When this project had obtained the 
confent of the diet, the king expreffed himfelf in 
thefe words : " It never entered into my thoughts 
to bring forward any one as fucceffor to the 
throne during my life-time, nor will I counte- 
nance fuch a propofal, unlefs I find it is made 
with the general concurrence of the nation."-: — 
After avowing this principle, a propofal was 
made on his part to the diet, to give public notice 
for the purpofe of convoking the provincial af- 
femblies, in order to afford an opportunity for the 
citizens to declare their refolution of acquiefcing 
in the nomination of a fucceffor to the throne 
during the life of the reigning prince. As foon 
as thefe afTemblies were decreed, many members 
of the diet, as well as other inhabitants of the 
provinces, offered their fervices to the king, and 
concurred in the above motion, provided that 
one of his majelty's nephews, and not the elec- 
tor of Saxony, fhould be- nominated to the fuc- 
ceffion. To thefe propofals the king's uniform 
anfwer was — " You know, gentlemen, that I 
had no fhare in the delign of nominating my 
fucceffor during my life; notwithstanding which, 



if the nomination fhould fall on a prince of my 
own blood, it would give rife to a llrong fufpi- 
cion that I had been clandeilinely the author of 
the project : moreover, my opinion is, that in 
choofing a king whole riches, rank, and con- 
nections would give a luftre to the choice, added 
to the virtues and political talents which diitin- 
guifh the elector of Saxony, a fuccefTor would 
be nominated who would greatly contribute to 
the dignity, power, and advantage of the repub- 

In confequence of this invariable refolution of 
the king, all the provincial affemblies, exceut 
that of Volhinia, demanded the eleclor of Sax^ 
ony as fuccefTor to the throne; and though this 
latter afTembly was lefs pofitivc than the others 
in its declarations, yet every teftimony was given 
of its efteem for the perfon and qualities of the 
elector. In the paSta convent a, it is ftipulated 
that no fuccefTor to the throne fhall be named 
during the life of the reigning king. The firft 
and moll important ftep in opposition to that 
itipulation was made not by his majefly, but by 
the nation. The additional ftrength given to the 
power of the reigning king, by nominating his 
fuccefTor from his own family, had always been 
considered with juft and watchful jcaloufy by the 
country. In the preient cafe his majefty difcarded 
his own relations, and received one who was 
not even perfonally known to him as his fuc- 
cefTor from the hands of the nation. The mo-. 
tive which induced the country to this infraction 
of an ancient law, w^a general conviction that 
every interregnum was the fource of a civil and a 
foreign war; which conviction had operated fo 
itrongly on the minds of many, that they ex- 
tended their cares to future generations, and va- 

B b rious 


rious mftruc"tions of the provincial affemblies 
were fent to their reprefentatives to require their 
fupport of a decree not confined to the immedi- 
ate cafe, but for the eftablifhment of a perpetual 
hereditary fucceflion. Many writings were ad- 
dreffed to the public, which daily increafed in 
number and energy, expreffing the general wi£h 
of fo deiirable a decifion. Thefe recmiiitions 
were made from the nation to the king, and not 
from the king to the nation, A majority of the 
members of the diet loudly declared, that the 
deareft interefts, and even the falvation of their 
country, depended on his majefty's concurrence 
#ith the general wifh. 

In the beginning of 1791 feveral meetings 
were held refpecting a reform in the conftitution 
of Poland. On the 3d of May a number of 
patriots, who had preconcerted the great objects 
which they meant to accomplifh in the fitting of 
the diet that day, afTcmbled in the king's cham- 
ber. There, in the pretence of the king, they 
engaged to effectuate the revolution that -day ; 
and they pledged themfelves to each other, by a 
folemn engagement, not to feparate until they 
had accomplifhed their end. 

The afTembly was opened at the ufual hour. 
The galleries were crowded with fpcclators, and 
the houfe was furrounded with thoufands who 
could not gain admimon. Inftead of the mar- 
shals, the king himfelf opened the feffion. He 
laid, in fubftance, that, notvvithflanding all af- 
furances to the contrary, there was an alarming 
rumour, confirme'd by tha^dvices daily received, 
that the three neighbouring powers would make 
up and terminate all their jealoufies and divifions 
at the expence of the pofleflions of the repub- 
lic; that the only method of alluring to Poland 



the integrity of its poffemons, and of preferving 
it from the ruin which foreign politics were pre- 
paring for it, was, to cftablifh a conftitution 
which mould fecure its internal independence ; 
that, in this view, there had been prepared a 
plan of a conftitution, founded principally on 
thofe of England and the United States of Ame- 
rica, but avoiding the faults and errors of both, 
and adapting it, as much as polfible, to the lo- 
cal and particular circumftanccs of the country. 
In fupport of the information relative to the fo- 
reign powers, the king communicated to the 
diet fome difpatches received from the mini iters 
of the republic at foreign courts, Hating how 
eager they were to oppofe all fcttlement of the 
conftitution, and that every thing feemed to an- 
nounce their hoftile deftgns on Poland. The 
king defired that the plan which he fubmitted to 
them might be read, and that they mould pro- 
ceed forthwith to enact it into a law if they ap- 
proved of it. The plan was accordingly read, 
and a very long and important debate took 
place ; but all was conducted without force or 
reftraint. One perfon in the affembly, wlv> 
feemed to challenge an application of violence to 
himfelf, was induitriouily protected from its ef- 
fects. On his demanding the right of {peaking, 
many voices were railed to refufe it him ; but the 
king himfelf infiftcd on the privilege being 
granted him, and he was permitted to deliver 
his fentiments with the moil perfect freedom, nor 
was the fmalleft infult offered cither to him or to 
thofe who tided with his opinions. His majefty 
neither on this day, nor on any other, laid any 
reftraint on the freedom of debate; and though 
called on by many voices to accept and fvvear to 
the new form of government which had been 
Bb 2 read 


read in the diet, he was fo far from eagerly 
availing hijnfelf of the offer, that, after many 
hours of difcuflion, he fpoke thus : " There is 
an obftacle to my acceptance of the propofed 
plan, which, as far as depends on myfelf ex- 
clusively, I conceive cannot be overcome. I 
have fworn to maintain and abide by the pafla 
conventa ; this oath I have hitherto religioufly ob- 
ferved: I demand now, tjien, if, by the general 
will of the Hates in diet alTembled, I am freed 
from the obligation of that article which regu- 
lates the fucceffion to the throne ?" Upon this 
a number of members initantly exclaimed — 
" Yes, we free you from the ohfervance of it, 
and we likewife bind ourfelves not to break up 
the fitting -till the deciiion has been finally 
adopted." The - king then rcfumed his fpeech, 
and required of the marfhal of the diet that he 
fhould take the opinion of the members indivi- 
dually, in order that the fenfe of the nation and 
the will of the affcmblies might be made a matter 
of general notoriety. The marfhal, immediately 
on thjs, directed that thofe members who were 
for adopting the plan of fucceffion fhould re- 
main lilent, and that thofe on the contrary who 
were for rejecting it fhould tignify their determi- 
nation by their voices, to the end that no doubt 
might remain to which fide the majority in- 

All the reprefentatives of the provinces of Vol- 
hinia and Podolia declared themfelves againfl the 
new form* of constitution. M. Suchorzewfki, 
who had recently diftinguifhed himfelf as an 
advocate for the people, and who was juftly re- 
garded as the principal author of the movements 
that brought about the revolution, oppofed this 
plan with great zeal. The patriotifm by which 



lie was animated arofe from the crown's being 
made hereditary. He advanced, and threw hirn- 
felf at the foot of the throne, fupplicating and 
conjuring his majefiy to renounce his ideas of the 
hereditary fucceffion to the royalty, as it would 
be the tomb of the liberty of Poland. Others, 
who were on the fame tide, alledged the inftruc- 
tions of their provinces, which prevented them 
from agreeing to make the throne hereditary. 
They iniifted that, at leaft, the plan lhould be 
taken ad deliberandum, as every other new law was 
taken ; but a great majority of voices refufed to 
agree to this. " We mufl pafs the whole this 
day ; we will not depart from this place Until the 
whole work is accomplifhed." The oppolition 
replied — " We will not depart until it is re- 

The king liftened in filence; at length Zabi- 
ello, the nuncio of Livonia, intreated him no 
longer to oppofe himfelf to the willies of the 
majority, which exceeded in the proportion of at 
leal! ten to one the number of thofe who con- 
ftituted the oppolition ; at the fame time, almoll 
all the nuncios, fenators, and minifters, quitting 
their feats, filled the middle of the hall, and, 
furrounding the throne, demanded, with loud 
voices, that the king would fvvear to the obferv- 
ance of the new conflitution. 

The king then called to him the bifhop of Cra- 
cow, and took the oath at his hands ; and the 
better to be feen by the afTembly, he mounted 
on the feat, and fwore aloud. A great majority 
of the diet held up their right-hands, followed 
his example, and fwore the fame *. " Every 
Bb 3 man 

* The reader rauft be informed that at the commencement of 
this diet the king, in conformity to the will of the ftates, had 



man that loves his country," exclaimed his ma- 
jelly, " follow me to the church, and, thanking 
God, let us repeat the oath at the altar." All 
the bifhops, all the fecular fenators, with a great 
number of the nuncios or reprefentatives, ac- 
companied the king to church, and there again 
they folemnly engaged * before God and their 
country, to maintain a conftitution which, com- 
bining liberty with fubordination, and fubject- 
jng the furl citizen as well as the laft to the law, 
fecured to all the means of happinefs, and gave 
to each citizen the true enjoyment of his rights. 
It was by this time feven o'clock in the evening. 
Te Deum was fung, and the new conftitution was 
announced to the people by the difcharge of 200 
pieces of cannon. There were but between 
thirty and forty nuncios who did not follow the 
king to church. The king, with his fuite, re- 
turned to the aflembly-houfe, and adjourned the 
diet to the 5th of May, after charging the mar- 
shals to give the oath to all the departments. 
The opposing nuncios, feeing that all refiftance 
was ufelefs, refolved to proteft againft the new 
conftitution by the publication of a manifefto ; 
after which they retired, without noife, to their 
refpeclive houfes. There was no attempt made 
to interrupt them, nor was any intuit whatever 
offered to their perfons. Cries of joy filled the 
ftreets; but this joy was the expreffion of a pure 
and calm patriotifm. Through the whole day 
there was not the fmalleft confufion, nor dilbr- 
der, nor riot. At eleven o'clock the ftreets were 
fo perfectly calm, that one could hardly believe 

fignedan aft, by which this free diet had changed itfelf into a 
diet of confederation ; and in doing this, it had bound itfelf to 
decide 41 cjueftions by a plurality ©f yokes. 



that it had been the epoch of a new order of 

It is pretended that, on the eve of this memo- 
rable day, a certain foreign minifler had endea- 
voured, by the dextrous application of 50,000 
ducats, to avert the revolution ; but all was fore- 
fcen and prevented. The bufinefs was exe- 
cuted in every point with as much addrefs as it 
was framed. On the 4th eighteen nuncios pub- 
li fried their manifefto againft the proceedings , of 
the day before ; and M. Suchorzewfki returned 
the cordon-bleu with which his majefty had in- 
vefled him fifteen days before. On the 3d the 
port had been flopped, and even foreign mini in- 
ters fubmitted to the general order ; but on the 
4th cxpreffes were fent off in all directions. 

In the fitting of the 5th of May the new form 
of constitution was again propofed. The mem- 
bers prefent figned it unanimoujly ; and they for- 
mally pa fled, fentence by fentence, the articles 
of which it is compofed, and which are as fol- 
low : 


As eftablified by the Revolution May 3, 179T. 

In the name of God, one in the Holy Trinity I 

Staniflaus Auguflus, by the grace of God, and 
the will of the nation, king of Poland, &c. 
&c. together with the Confederate States af- 
fembled in double number, to rcprcfent the 
Polifh nation. 

Convinced, by a long train of experience, of 
many defects in our government, and willing to 
profit by the favourable moment which has re- 

B b 4 ilored 


flored us to ourfelves • free from the difgraceful 
ibackles of foreign influence; prizing more than 
life the external independence and internal li- 
berty of the nation ; in order to exert our natural 
rights with zeal and firmnefs, we do folemnly ejla- 
blijh the prefent conjlitution, which we declare 
wholly inviolable in every part, till fuch period 
as fhall be prefcribed by law; when the nation, 
if it fhould think fit, may alter by its exprefs 
will fuch articles therein as fhall be found inade- 

Art. I. The dominant national religion. — 
The holy Roman Catholic faith, with all its pri- 
vileges and immunities, fhall be the dominant 
national religion ; but, as the fame holy religion 
commands us to love our neighbours, we there- 
fore owe to all people, of whatever pcrfualion, 
peace in matters of faith, and the protection oi 
government ; confequently we aflure to all per- 
iuafions and religions freedom and liberty, ac- 
cording to the laws of the country, and in all 
dominions of the republic. 

Art. II. Nobility, or the equeilrian order. — 
Revering the memory of our anceflors with gra- 
titude, as the firfl founders of our liberties, it is 
but jult to acknowledge, in a moft folemn man- 
ner, that all the pre-eminence and prerogatives 
of liberty granted to this order by Cafimir the 
Great, &c. &e. &c. are by the prefent act re- 
newed, confirmed, and declared to be invio- 
lable. We acknowledge the rank of the noble equef- 
trian order in Poland to be equal to all degrees of no- 
bility — all perfons of that order to be equal among 
themfelves, not only in the eligibility to all pojls of 
honour, truft, or emolument, but in the enjoy- 
ment of all privileges and prerogatives ; perfonal 
liberty, and fecurity of territorial and moveable 

property ; 


property ; nor fhall we even fuffer the leaft in- 
croachment on either by the fupreme national power 
(on which the prefent form of government is 
eftablifhed), under any pretext whatfoever ; con- 
fequently, we regard the prelervation of perfo- 
nal fecurity and property, as by law aicertained, 
to be a tie of fociety, and the very effence of ci- 
vil liberty, which ought to be considered and re- 
ipected for ever. 

Art. III. Towns and citizens. — The law made 
by the prefent diet, intitled, " Our royal free 
towns within the dominions of the republic," we 
mean to conlider as a part of the prefent conlti- 
tution, and promife to maintain it as a new, 
additional, true, and effectual fupport of our 
common liberties and our mutual defence. 

Art. IV. Peafants and villagers. — This agri- 
cultural clafs of people, the mo ft numerous in 
the nation, confequently forming the molt confi- 
derable part of its force, we receive under the 
protection of national law and government ; 
enacting, that whatever liberties, grants, and 
conventions, between the proprietors and vil- 
lagers, either individually or collectively, may be 
entered authentically into in future : fuch agree- 
ments fhall import mutual and reciprocal obliga- 
tions, binding not only the prefent contracting 
parties, but even their fucceffors by inheritance 
or acquifltion. Thus having infured to the pro- 
prietors every advantage they have a right to 
from their villagers, and willing to encourage 
moll effectually the population of our country, 
we publijlj and proclaim a perfect and entire liberty to 
all people, either who may be newly coming to 
fettle, or thofe who, having emigrated, would 
return to their native country: and we declare 
molt folemnly, that any perfon coming into Po- 



land, from whatever part of the world, or re- 
turning from abroad, as foon as he fets his foot 
on the territory of the republic, becomes free, 
and at liberty to ex.~;cife his induilry wherever 
and in whatever manner he pleafes, to fettle ei- 
ther in towns or villages, to farm and rent lands 
and houfes, on tenures and contracts, for as long 
a term as may be agreed on ; with liberty to re- 
main, or to remove, after having fulfilled the ob- 
ligations he may have voluntarily entered into. 

Art. V. Form of government — All power in 
civil fociety fhould be derived from the will of 
the people, its end and object being the preferva- 
tion and integrity of the ilate, the civil liberty, 
and the good order of fociety, on an equal 
fcale, and on a lailing foundation. Three dis- 
tinct powers fhall compofe the government of 
the Polifh nation, according to the prefent con- 
ilitution : 

1 . Legijlative power in the flates affembled. 

2. Executive power in the king and the council 
of infpedtion. And, 

3. Judicial power in jurifdictions exifting, or 
to be eitablifhed. 

Art. VI, The diet, or the legiflative power. — 
The diet, or the afTembly of itates, mail be di- 
vided into two houfes, the houfe of nuncios, or 
deputies, and the houfe of fenate, where the 
king is to prelide. The former, being the re- 
presentative and central point of fupreme na- 
tional authority, fhall pofYefs the pre-eminence 
in the legiflature ; therefore all bills are to be de- 
cided firft in this houfe. 

1. All general lazvs, conftitutional, civil, cri- 
minal, and perpetual taxes ; concerning which 
matters, the king is to iffue his propositions by 
the circular letters fent before the dietines to 



every palatinate and to every *diftrict. for delibe- 
ration, which coming before the houfe with the 
opinion expreffed in the inftructions given to 
their reprefentatives, fhall be taken the firfr. for 

2. Particular laws: temporal taxes ; regulations 
of the mint ; contracting public debts ; creating 
nobles, and other carnal recompences; repara- 
tion of public expences, both ordinary and ex- 
traordinary ; concerning war ; peace ; ratification 
of treaties, political and commercial ; all diplo- 
matic acts and conventions relative to the laws of 
nations ; examining and acquitting different exe- 
cutive departments, and fimilar i'ubjects arifing 
from the accidental exigences and circumftances 
of the ftate ; in which the proportions, coming 
directly from the throne into the houfe of nun- 
cios, are to have preference in difcuffion before 
the private bills. 

In regard to the houfe of fenate , it is to confift 
of bifhops, palatines, caftellans, and minifters, 
under the prefidency of the king, who fhali 
have but one vote, and the cafting vote, in cafe 
of parity, which he may give either perfonally 
or by a meffage to the houfe. Its power and 
duty fhall be, 

U Every general lazv that partes formally 
through the houfe of nuncios is to be fent im- 
mediately to this, which is either accepted, or 
fufpended till farther national deliberation. If 
accepted, it becomes a law in all its force ; if 
fufpended, it fhall be refumed at the next diet ; 
and, if it is then agreed to again by the 
houfe of nuncios, the fenate muit fubmit to 

2. Every particular law, as foon as -it has 

been determined by the houfe of nuncios, and 

4 fent 


fent up to the fenate, the votes of both houfes" 
fhall be jointly computed, and the majority, as- 
defcribed by law, fhall be confidered as a decree 
and the will of the nation. 

Thofe fenators and mini tiers who, from their 
fhare in executive power, are accountable to the 
republic, cannot have an a6Hve voice in the diet, 
but may be prefent in order to give neceflary ex- 
planations to the Hates. 

Thefe ordinary legiflative diets fhall have their 
uninterrupted exigence, and be always ready to 
meet ; renewable every two years. The length 
of feffions fhall be determined by the law con- 
cerning diets. If convened out of ordinary fe{- 
iion, upon fome urgent occafion, they fhall only 
deliberate on the fubject. which occasioned fuch a 
call, or on circumflances which may arife out of 

The law concerning the dietines, or primary 
elections, as eftablifhcd by the prefent diet, fhall 
be regarded as a moll eflential foundation of ci- 
vil liberty. 

The majority of votes fhall decide every thing, 
and every where ; therefore we abolifh and ut- 
terly annihilate, all forts of confederacies, and 
confederate diets, as ruinous to fociety. 

Willing to prevent, on one hand, violent and 
frequent changes in the national conftitution, 
yet, coniidering on the other, the neceffity of 
perfecting it, after experiencing its effects on 
public profperity, we determine the period of 
every twenty-five years for an extraordinary conjli- 
tutional diet, to be held purpofely for the reviiion 
and fuch alterations of the constitution as may be 
found requifite. 

Art. VII. The king, or executive power.— - 
The moft perfect government cannot exift with- 


<mt an effectual executive power. Experience 
has taught us that the neglecting this effential 
part of government has overwhelmed Poland with 

Having, therefore, fecured to the free Polifh. 
nation the right of enacting laws for "hemfelves, 
the fupreme infpection over the executive power, 
and the choice of their magiftrates, we intrujl to 
the king and bis council the highejl power of executing 
the laws. 

This council fhall be called^mz, or the coun- 
cil of infpection. 

The duty of fuch executive power mall be to 
watch over the laws, and to fee them itri<SHy 
executed according to their import, even by the 
means of public force, fhould it be neceflary. 

The executive power cannot affume the right 
of making laws, or of their interpretation. It 
is cxprefTly forbidden to contract public debts ; 
to alter the repartition of the national income, 
as fixed by the diet ; to declare war ; to con- 
clude definitively any treaty, or any diplomatic 
sd: it is only allowed to carry on negociations 
with foreign courts and facilitate temporary oc- 
currences, always with reference to the diet. 

The crown of Poland we declare to be elec- 
tive, in regard to families, and it is fettled fo for 

Having experienced the fatal effects of inter- 
regna, periodically fubverting government, and 
being defirous of preventing for ever all foreign 
influence, as well as of infurmg to every citizen 
a perfecti tranquillity, we have, from prudent 
motives, refolved to adopt hereditary fuccej/ion to 
our throne : therefore we enact and declare, that, 
after the expiration of our life, according to the 



gracious will of the Almighty, the prefent elec- 
tor of Saxony fhall reign over Poland. 

The dynaity of future kings of Poland fhall 
begin in the perfon of Frederic Auguitus, elector 
of Saxony, with the right of inheritance to the 
crown to his male defcendants. The eldefl fon 
of the reigning king is to fucceed his father ; 
and, in cafe the prefent elector of Saxony has 
no male ifTue, a hufband chofen by him (with 
the confcnt and approbation of the republic) for 
his daughter, fhall begin the faid dynafty. 
Hence we declare the Princefs Mary Augufta 
Nepomucena, only daughter of the elector of 
Saxony, to be infanta of Poland. 

We referve to the nation, however, the right 
of electing to the throne any other houfe or fa- 
mily, after the extinction of the nrft. 

Every king, on his fucceflion to the throne, 
fhall take a folemn oath to God and the nation, 
to fupport the prefent constitution, to fulfil the 
f>atla conventa, which will be fettled with the pre- 
fent elector of Saxony, as appointed to tha 
crown, and which fhall bind him in the fame 
manner as former ones. 

The king's perfon is facred and inviolable ; as 
no act can proceed immediately from him, he 
cannot be in any manner refponiible to the na- 
tion : he is not an abrblute monarch, but the fa- 
ther and the head of the people ; his revenues, 
as fixed by the pacta conventa, fhall be facredly 
preferved. All public acts, the acts of magiftra- 
cies, and the coin of the kingdom, fhall bear 
his name. 

The king, who ought to pofTefs every power 
of doing good, fhall have the right of pardon- 
ing thofe that arc condemned to death, except 
the crimes be againft the flate. 



In time of war he mail have the fupreme 
command of the national forces : he may ap- 
point the commanders of the army, however, 
by the will of the itates. It fhall be his province 
to patentee officers in the army, and other dig- 
nitaries, conibnant to the regulations hereaf- 
ter to be exprefTed, to appoint bifhops, fena- 
tors, and minifters, as members of the executive 

The king's council of infpection is to confift, 

1. -Of the primate, as the head of the clergy, 
and the prelident of the commiflion of educa- 
tion, or the firft bifhop in ordine. 

2. Of five minifters : the minifter of police, 
minifter of juftice, minifter of war, minitler 
of finances, and minifter for foreign affairs. 

3. Of two fecretaries, to keep the protocols. 
The hereditary prince coming of age may affift 

at, but fhall have no vote therein. 

The marfhal of the diet, being chofen for 
two years, has alfo a right to fit; for the end 
only of calling together the diet, always exist- 
ing, if abfolutcly neceffary, and the king re- 
futing to do it. 

The cafes demanding fuch convocation of the 
diet are the following : 

1. In a preffing neceffity concerning the law 
of nations, and particularly in cafe of a neigh- 
bouring war. 

2. In cafe of an internal commotion. 

3. In an evident danger of general famine. 

4. In the orphan irate of the country, or in 
cafe of the king's dangerous illnefs. 

All refolutions of the council of infpection 
are to be examined by the rules above-men- 



The king's opinion, after that of every mem- 
ber in the council has been heard, mall deci- 
sively prevail. 

Every refolution of this council fhall be if- 
fued under the king's iignature, counteriigned 
by one of the minifters fitting therein. 

Should all the members refufe their coun- 
terlign, the king is obliged to forego his opi- 

Minifters compofing this council cannot be 
employed at the fame time in any other de- 

If it mould happen that two-thirds of fe- 
cret votes in both houfes demand the changing 
of any perfon, either in the council, or any 
executive department, the king is bound to no- 
minate another. 

Willing that the council of inflection mould 
be refponhble to the nation for their actions, 
we decree that, when accufed of any tranfgref- 
flon of pofitive law, they are anfwerable with 
their perfons and fortunes. 

Such impeachments fhall be tried immediately 
by the comitial tribunal, and receive final judg - 

In order to form a neceffary organization of 
the executive power, we eftablifh hereby fepa- 
rate commiflions, connected with the above 
councils, and fubjected to obey its ordinations. 

Thefe commiflions are — ift. of education— 
2d. of police-~3d. of war — 4th. of treafury. 

Art. VIII. Judicial power. — As judicial power 
is incompatible with the legiflative, nor can be 
adminiftered by the king, therefore tribunals and 
magiftratures ought to be eftablifhed and elected. 
It ought to have local exiftenoe, that every ci- 


tizen mould know where to feek juftice, and 
every tranfgreffor can diicern the hand of na- 
tional government. We eflablifh, therefore, 

1. Primary courts for each palatinate and 
difiricl, compofed of judges chofen at the diet- 
ine, which are always to be ready to adminifrer 
juftice. From thefe courts appeals are allowed 
to the high tribunals, erected one for each of 
three provinces, in which the kingdom is di- 
vided. Thofe courts, both primary and final, 
fhall be for the equeftrian order, and all pro- 
prietors of landed property. 

2. We determine ieparate courts for the free 
royal towns. 

3. Each province fhall have a court of re- 
ferendaries for the trial of caufes relating to the 
peafantry, who are all hereby declared free, 

4. Courts, curial and affefTorial, tribunals 
for Courland, and relational, are hereby con- 

5. Executive commiffions fhall have judi- 
cial power in matters relative to their adminif- 

6. Befides all thefe, there fhall be one fu- 
preme general tribunal for all the clafTes, called 
a comitial tribunal or court, compofed of per- 
fons chofen at the opening of every diet. This 
tribunal is to try all the perfons accufed of crimes 
againfr the ftate. 

Laftly, we fhall appoint a committee for the 
forming a civil and criminal code of laws, by 
perfons whom the diet fhall eledt for that pur- 

Art. IX. Regency.- --The fame council of in- 
fpeclion is to compofe the regency, with the 
queen at their head, or, in her abfence, with 

C c the 


the primate of the kingdom. The regency may 
take place only, 

i* During the king's minority. 

2. In cafe of the king's fettled alienation of 

3. In cafe of the king's being made a prifo- 
ner of war. 

Minority is to be coniidered till eighteen years 
are completed, and the malady mutt be declared 
in the exilting diet by the plurality of three- 
fourths of the votes of both combined houfes. 

When the king comes of age, or recovers his 
health, or returns from captivity, the regency 
fhall ceafe, and fhall be accountable to him, 
and refponfible to the nation in their perfons 
and fortunes, for their actions during their of- 

Art. X. Education of king's children. — The 
king's fons, being defigned fuccefTors to the 
crown, are the flrft children of the country. 
Thence the care of their proper education, 
without encroaching, however, on the right of 
their parents, devolves naturally upon the nation. 

During the king's life, the king himielf, with 
the council, and a tutor appointed by the ilatesy 
ihall fuperintend the education of the princes. 
. In time of a regency, it lhall be intrufted 
with this direction jointly with the above-men- 
tioned tutor. 

In both cafes this tutor, named by the ftates, 
is to make his report before each ordinary diet of 
the education and progrefs of the princes. 

Art. XL National force, or the army. — The 
nation is bound to preferve its pofTeffions againil 
invafion; therefore, all inhabitants are natural 
defenders of their country and its liberties. 


History of poland. 387 

The army is only an extract of defenfive re- 
gular force from the general mafs of national 

The nation owes to the army reward and re- 
flect, becaufe of its devoting itfelf wholly for 
the defence of the country. 

The army owes to the nation to guard the 
frontiers againfl enemies, and to maintain public 
tranquillity within. This national force, there- 
fore, fhall be employed for garrifoning for- 
treffes, and aflifting the civil power in the exe- 
cution of the law againfl thofe that are refrac- 

Declaration of the States ajfembled. 

All laws and ftatutes, old and new, contrary 
to the prefent conftitution, or to any part there- 
of, are hereby abolifhed ; and every paragraph 
in the foregoing articles to be a competent 
part of the prefent conftitution, is acknow- 
ledged. We recommend to the executive 
power to fee the council of infpeclion imme- 
diately begin its office under the eye of the 
diet, and continue its duties without the lealt 

We fvvear before God and the country to 
maintain and defend, with all poffible human 
power, the prefent conftitution ; and conftdering 
this oath as a proof of real love of our country, 
we command all magiftrates and troops here 
prefent to take it immediately. The commiftion 
of war fhall iflue orders to the reft of the army 
quartered in the kingdom, and in the grand 
duchy of Lithuania, to do the lame within one 
month at fartheft from the date of the prefent 

C c a We 


We recommend to our bifhops to appoint one 
and the fame day of public thankfgiving to God 
Almighty in all churches over the kingdom ; 
alfo, we appoint a day, N. N. for the folemn 
celebrating, by us and our pofterity, of a com- 
memoration anniverfary for the mercies of the 
Supreme Being fhewn to us after fo many public 

And that future ages may know and feel that 
it is by the affiftance of the Supreme Difpofer of 
nations we have furmounted the greateft difficul- 
ties and obftacles, and effected this happy re- 
volution, we decree, that a church lhall be 
erected and confecrated to Divine Providence, 
in memory of this event, and at the expence of 
the Hates. 

Having thus fatisfied our general feelings on 
this event, we turn our attention towards lecur- 
ing the fame conftitution, by declaring and 
enacting, that whoever fhall dare to oppofe it, 
or to difturb the public tranquillity, either by 
exciting miftruft, or by perverfe interpretation 
of this conftitution, and much more, by forming 
infurrections and confederacies, either openly or 
fecretly, fuch perfon or perfons are declared to 
be enemies and traitors to their country, and lhall be 
punifhed with the utmoft rigour by the comitial 
tribunal. For this purpofe, we order this tribu- 
nal to lit uninterruptedly at Warfaw, proroguing 
their feflion from day to day, and to try all per- 
fons fo accufed by any citizen of property, with 
the affiftance of the attornies general of Poland 
and Lithuania, feizing all indicted perfons with 
the aid of the national troops, which fhall be 
ready to act on the firft order from the executive 
power, as they lhall be directed and occafion may 



This reftoration of liberty to the nation filled 
every mind with inexpreflible joy. Even thofe 
who on the 3d had refolved to enter into a pro- 
ten:, and publifh their manifefto, withdrew their 
oppofition. They declared, " that by their in- 
flruclions they deemed themielves obligated to it : 
but that the revolution having been confummated 
with the apparent applaufe of nearly the whole 
nation, fully perfuaded of the patriotic intentions 
of the king, and thofe who were the chief agents 
in bringing about this great change ; in fine, per- 
ceiving, by the form in which the king, the 
whole fenate, and nearly all the chamber of 
nuncios, had already taken the oath, that it did 
not extend the royal power beyond its juft bounds, 
but on the contrary guaranteed the full and en- 
tire liberty of every individual, by maintaining 
the fovereignty of the nation anembled in the 
diet ; they would no longer impede or retard by 
a vain renftance the effect of a revolution, com- 
menced, conducted, and accomplifhed with fo 
much good fortune ; that they mould heartily 
concur therein; that they mould congratulate 
their country on the occafion ; and mould return 
their mofl iincere and unfeigned thanks to thofe 
who had contributed to the happy change, efpe- 
cially to the king, who had been the chief author 
and promoter of it." 

The memory of this important event was or- 
dered to be celebrated every year ; and a church 
to be conftructed at the expence of the public 
treafure, with this infcription, " To Divine Pro- 
vidence, in order to eternize the remembrance of 
a revolution effected almoft unanimoufly, and 
without the lofs of a lingle drop of blood !" 

Oh ! had this conftitution, dictated by equity, 
enlightened by underftanding, and founded on 

CC3 the 


the. imprefcriptible rights of man, been flittered to 
operate its benign influence unmolefted by the 
ruthlefs arms of infatiable ambition, the Polifh 
nation might, after having vegetated fo long in 
obfcurity, and groaned under the yoke of oppref- 
iion, have become one of the happiefl nations of 
the univerfe ! 

That the king of Pruflia profefTcd his fatisfac- 
tion with the proceedings of this diet is on record 
in the two following letters : 

Extract from a Difpatch from the King of Prussia 
to Count Goltz, then Charge des Affaires at 
IVarfaw, officially communicated to the Polifh Diet. 

*■' I received your difpatch of the 3d of May 
1 791, with its accompaniment; and I have 
learned, by the loft, the important news, that the 
diet of Poland has juft chofen and proclaimed 
the elector of Saxony as the eventual fucceflbr to 
the throne of Poland ; and that it has allured the 
fucceffion to his descendants ; and, in default of 
thefe, to the princels his daughter, and fuch fu- 
ture hufband as the elector of Saxony and the 
Hates mall fix upon. After the lively interefr. 
which I have always taken in the happinefs of the 
republic, and the confirmation of her new confiitution 
(an intereft, of which I have never ceafed to give 
fuch convincing proofs as depended on me) I per- 
fectly applaud the decifive ftep which the nation 
has juft taken, and which I regard as infinitely 
fuited to the confolidation of its happinefs. The 
news is the more agreeable to me, as I am at- 
tached by bonds of friendfhip to the virtuous 
prince, deflined to form the happinefs of Poland, as is 
alfo the houfe of Saxony to my houfe, by thole of 
good neighbourhood, and of the moil happy 
union. I am thence perfuaded, that the choice 



of the republic will confirm for ever the happy 
and clofe intelligence which has fubfifted to the 
prefent moment between the republic and myfelf ; 
and I charge yon to tefiify, in the moji exprejjjve 
manner, my moft fincere felicitations to the king, 
to the marfhals of the diet, and to all thoje who 
have contributed to this great work." 

Letter of the King of Prussia to the King of 

" Sir, my Brother, 

" I have received, nearly at the fame moment, 
the two letters, by which your majefty is pleafed 
to make known to me the important refolution 
juft taken, by the confederated diet of Poland, for 
fixing the hereditary fucceffion of the throne in 
favour of the houfe of Saxony. No one has cer- 
tainly a better title to communicate to me the par- 
ticulars of this event, than general count Potocki, 
who has acled in it fb interesting a part, and who 
merits, in every refpecl, the honourable teftimo- 
ny which your majeity bears in his favour. 

" The eager nefs I have fhewn to declare my Senti- 
ments on this fubjeEl will convince your majefty, 
and the whole Polifh nation, of the intereft I 
take in this meafure. I am happy to have been 
able to contribute to the fupport of the liberty and in- 
dependence of Poland, and one of my moft pleaf- 
ing cares fnall be to maintain and Strengthen the 
ties which unite us. I cannot but in particular 
applaud the choice made of a prince whofe vir- 
tues render him fo worthy of the throne which 
awaits him. I hope, however, that moment 
is ftill diftant, and that your majefty will, for a 
long feries of years, conftitute the happinefs of 
your people. Thefe wifhes are not lets fincere 
C c 4 than 


than is the attachment which I have profeffed, 
and with which I fhall ever remain, 
Sir, my Brother, 

Your Majefty's good Brother, 
Berlin, May 23, 1791. 

Enemies to the king of Poland have fcrutinized 
his conduct in and after this affair with prejudice, 
and reprobated it with virulence. A very candid 
inquiry into it has, however, been made by the 
anonymous author of " An Authentic Narrative 
of Fa&s, relative to the late Diimemberment of 
Poland," from which we ihall beg his permiffion 
to extracl fome paffages : 

" His majeity did nothing on the 3d of May, 
but what his duty obliged him to do ; and a 
ilronger proof cannot be adduced of the general 
good being his ultimate objeci, than his refuting 
his confent to the aggrandifement of his own fa- 
mily. In this place, the following queftions may 
not be inappoflte. Firft, if, independent of every 
consideration relative to the fucceffion, the form 
of government was good in itfelff Secondly, if 
it met with the general approbation of the Poliih 
republic ? And laftly, if it contained any thing 
in its frame menacing to the caufe of liberty ? 
JSJhefe queftions are fully anfwered by the warm 
ef%|§tmiums that all the nations and all the courts 
in Europe (one only excepted) bellowed on the 
new eonftitution ; and as a proof that the Poles 
themfelves faw in it no caufe of alarm for their 
liberties, it received the praife and approbation of 
all the provincial aiiemblies in the kingdom, 
without a tingle exception ; and a majority of 
thefe aflemblies even bound themfelves by oaths 



to its obfervance, uninfluenced either by gifts, 
promifes, or folicitations ; and all unanimoufly 
enjoined their reprefcntatives to fhew their grati- 
tude in the moll folemn manner to the king, by 
univerfally conferring on him the title of the Be- 
nevolent Father of his Country. 

c< If it were our object here, to examine the 
whole fyftem of this conftitution article by article, 
it would evidently appear, that in the two nations 
univerfally allowed to enjoy the freeft and moft 
perfect forms of government, I mean the Englifli 
and the North Americans, the king of England 
and the officer who without the name difchargc3 
the functions of a king in America, both poifefs an 
executive power of more force and extent than 
that which was conferred on the king of Poland 
by the Conftitutional Act of the 3d of May 1 791. 
Nay, more, whoever will take the trouble of 
comparing the power which the permanent coun- 
cil poffelfed from the year 1766 to 1788, with 
thofe which were entrufted to the council of fu- 
perintcndance of 1791, will obferve in how 
many articles the authority of the former has 
exceeded that of the latter ; and likewife with this 
additional distinction, that the nation has referved 
to itfelf the power of altering or correcting the 
form of government eftablifhed in 1791 ; whereas 
that of 1775 was fubmitted to the controul aiM 
protection of a foreign power under the charac- 
ter of a guarantee. If it mould be faid, that a 
king endowed with forefight mould have acted 
from more extended views, and mould have re- 
flected, that remote advantages, which were the 
objects of the new conftitution, bade fair to be 
productive of immediate calamities ; his majefty 
might anfwer this objection by referring to his 
harangue of the 6th of October 1788, (as well 



as to many fubfeqnent ones) in which he ex- 
preffed himfelf as follows : " Let us retain, if 
poffible, the friendfhip of all our neighbours ; 
let us pay a due homage to the perfonal qualities 
of all the fovereigns, that at this time throw a 
luftre on the thrones they occupy. Yet it muft 
be allowed, that every nation has an interefl to 
purfue peculiar to its fituation and circumftances. 
I loudly and unequivocally affert, that there is no 
power whole true interefts run lefs in oppoiition 
to ours, than thofe of Ruffia. I recal to the re- 
membrance of the nation, that it is to Ruffia we 
owe the recovery, at leafl, of feveral diitricts of 
our country of which other powers had affumed 
the occupancy. . I remind them, that with refpect 
to commercial arrangements, Ruffia prefents the 
mofr, favourable profpecls. And I can fay too, 
that Ruffia not only makes no oppofition to the 
delign, but abfolutely applauds our intention of 
augmenting the army. It will follow then, that 
fo far from giving any caufe of provocation to 
this power, by fhewing an ill difpofition towards 
it, the acquiiition of its friendfhip ihould be 
among our moft defirable objeclis ; and I am 
convinced, that when the emprefs is fatisfled 
of our amicable difpoiition towards her, we fhall 
be enabled to accomplifh our interior ameliora- 
tions with more certainty and facility; and on 
the contrary, we fhall raife obftacles to our views 
in proportion as we may afford to that magni- 
mous princefs any caufes for diffatisfaction." 

" If thefe predictions of the king failed in pro- 
ducing a due effect, and if to that inattention 
may be afcribed many of the prefent misfortunes 
of the country, to whom is the blame imputable ? 
To whom, but to thofe who ftrained every nerve 
to excite the public as well againlt the guarantee 



as againft the laws of 1775, fo far as to reprefent 
the king as having views hoftile to his country, 
and as being a juft object of fufpicion and dif- 
truft ; to thofe, I repeat, who at that diet, under 
the affectation of thefe fufpicions, deprived his 
majefty of many of his prerogatives ; and for no 
other reafon, but becaufe he had the foretight to 
refifl; their violence ; and above all, becaufe he 
exerted himfelf to counteract thofe fallies of an- 
ger and difcontent, in which they indulged them- 
felves againfl that very power, under whofe pro- 
tection they now accufe the king on two points, 
of which they themfelves were the moil ardent 
promoters. One man in particular * often and 
loudly called on the king to undertake an offen- 
iive war againit Ruffia, and pledged himfelf to 
hold his majcjly'sjiirrup whenever he Jhould mount his 
horfe to carry that war into execution. And yet it is 
under the protection of the hofHle armies of Ruf- 
fia, that this fame man has returned again to Po- 
land. The fpcech above quoted, is a fufficient 
proof that the king contidered a connection with 
Ruffia as moil beneficial to his country. His 
difcourfe on the 15th of March 1790 is a clear 
evidence how little he was inclined to enter into 
new engagements, and how much he exerted 
himfelf to retard the determination of the diet. 
It is not then to be afcribed to him, if the diet on 
that day unanimoufly refolved to decree a new 
alliance ; but as his majefty neither could, nor 
ought to put himfelf in oppohtion to the univer- 
fal will of the affcmbly, his regard for the laws, 
and his ftridt attention to an upright conduct con- 
vinced him, that he was bound not to deviate 
from the line which had been traced out for his 

* Suchorzewlki. 



future courfe. It is neceflary to remark in this 
place, that the court of Berlin, in tefiifying its de- 
lire for an alliance with Poland, urged, as a pre- 
liminary condition, that a new form of govern- 
ment mould be eflablifhed, whofe duration and 
liability might be relied on. The authentic 
proofs of this intimation, and of the court of 
Berlin's approving the plan, are too well known 
to be here infilled on. As foon as the new fyf- 
tern took place, the fpirit which actuated it, be- 
ing that of the fupport of peace, and of retrain- 
ing itfelf within its own limits, without har- 
bouring the fmallefl hollile intention towards any 
foreign power, called on government to declare 
in the moll folemn and prompt manner to the 
neighbouring potentates (and particularly to thofe 
whofe alliances with Poland were of ancient 
date) the true object of the law of the 3d of 
May. And if this notification did not take place, 
the omiffion with great reafon might have been 
imputed to the king, if he was not jullified by 
the following fact ; that identical ally, who urged 
liis advice and his fervices with fo much importu- 
nity, by conflantly repeating, that the emancipa- 
tion of Poland from foreign dependence was duQ 
only to his interpolition, that very ally, I fay, 
twice prevented the king from carrying this defign 
into execution. " This is not the time," laid 
this ally, " to notify your plan to the neighbour- 
ing powers ; and it was Iefs neceffary, as I my- 
felf have pafled a panegyric on the law of the 3d 
of May, and have offered my'congratulations on 
it, both to the Polifh nation, and to the elector 
of Saxony ; and from the benefits which I have 
been the means of conveying to the kingdom, I 
have a right to expect, that my advice mould 
have its proper weight." 

4 " Impartial 


•* Impartial judges mult determine, how far the 
king of Poland, under thefe circumftances, had it 
in his power to act in direct- oppofition to the 
mode of conduct prefcribed by this ally at a time 
when the republic placed implicit confidence in 
him, intimating at the lame time fome doubts 
left his Poliih majefty, from motives of perfonal 
inclination and gratitude, fhould be rather too 
much biaffed in favour of ancient connections. 
It has been often objected to the king, that by the 
constitution of the 3d of May, he had in con- 
templation to annihilate the pre-eminence and 
fplendour of the Poliih nobility, and that from 
this proceeding he had to expect the general re- 
lentment of this order ; but can there be a more 
fatisfactory anfwer to this objection than that all 
the provincial affemblies, (which are uniformly 
compofed of nobility) without one exception* 
exprelfed their gratitude to the king for the act ? 
and that this fame nobility, in Ihewing a favour- 
able difpoiition towards the clafs of burghers, have 
iignified their conviction that confequences the 
moll beneficial to the Hate at large, were the natural 
refult of ameliorating the condition of this latter 
order of fociety. It is neither to be imputed to 
the king nor to the diet, that precifely at this time 
the French Revolutionists acted on principles di- 
rectly oppolite to thofe attempted to be eltablilh- 
ed in Poland. In the latter country the nobility 
in referving to itfelf the principal rank and in 
expreffly confining to that clafs the government 
of the republic, at the fame time that many pri- 
vileges were granted to the burghers, have done 
nothing more in this, than in fome degree lelfen- 
ing the diftance and diftinction that exifted be- 
tween themfelves and the order of the third ef- 
tate ; in France, on the contrary, the third eltate 



has completely overwhelmed the clafs of nobility. 
In Poland the Holy Catholic Religion, honoured 
with every mark of folemnity, and acknowledged 
as fupreme, received a firm eftablifhment by the 
Act of the 3d of May. Nothing more ftrongly 
difcriminates the features that charadterife the two 
conftitutions, than the different con duel of France 
on the fubjeel: of religion. It is in vain then to 
pretend to find a relemblance between the fyf- 
tems of the two countries ; this refemblance has 
no exiflence but in the imaginations of thofe 
who have views of their own in making the com- 
parifon. It may likewife be obferved, that the 
king's plan in favour of the burghers was far 
lefs comprehenfive than that unanimoufly adopt- 
ed the 1 8th of April 1791, the author of which 
was the man who was fo prompt to hold the 
king's ftirrup when he fhould mount his horfe to 
lead the army of the republic againfl the Ruffian 

To return from this digrcfflon : the kingdom 
or republic of Poland, lately emancipated from 
the tyranny of its nobles, found, ere it could en- 
joy the advantages of a happy change, in its mofl 
powerful neighbour, a decided and mofl invete- 
rate enemy ; for on the 18th of May, the Ruffian 
refident at Warfaw delivered a hoftile declara- 
tion to the diet, which was immediately followed 
by an invafion of the Polifh territories : 

Declaration of Mr. Bulgakow, Ruffian Ambaffador 
at Warfaw. 

" The liberty and independence of the illuf- 
trious republic of Poland have at all times at- 
tracted the attention and concern of all her 

« Her 


<( Her majefly the emprefs of all the RufTias, 
who, together with this claim ftill unites the 
right of her formal and pofitive engagements 
with the republic, has endeavoured in a more 
peculiar manner to watch over the inviolable pre- 
servation of thefe two precious attributes of her 
political exiilence. 

" Thefe continual and generous endeavours of 
her majefly, being the effects of her love for juf- 
tice and order, as well as her affection and good 
wifhes towards a nation, whom the identity of 
origin, language, and fo many other natural re- 
lations with the nation the reigns over, rendered 
dear to her, did doubtlefs reprefs the ambition 
and avidity of thofe rulers who, not fatisfied 
with the fhare of authority affigned to them by 
the laws of the flate, afpired at a greater extent 
of power at the expence of thefe very laws. 

" With this intent they have, on one hand, 
neglected nothing for tiring the active vigilance 
of the emprefs over the integrity of the rights and 
prerogatives of the illuflrious Polifh nation ; and, 
on the other hand, for defaming the purity and 
munificence of her intentions, and placing them 
on every occafion in the mofl odious point of 

" In this manner they had the perfidious dex- 
terity to caufe to be declared, as a cumberfome 
and humiliating yoke, the act by which Ruffia 
guarantees the lawful conflitution of this nation ; 
whereas the greater! realms, and among the reft 
the German empire, far from rejecting iuch like 
guarantees, have confidered, fought, and ac- 
cepted them as the mofl ftable foundation of their 
property and independence. 

" Events of a recent nature fliew better than 
all proofs, how indifpenfable and efficacious 



fuch a guarantee might be ; and that the republic 
without them, after having been involved by the 
practices of her internal enemies, to recover her 
conftitution, could have no other claim on the 
intervention of the emprefs, than folely her friend- 
fhip and generofity. 

" Meanwhile, thofe who very long fince medi- 
tated the degradation and ruin of the ancient li- 
berty of the republic, grew bolder and bolder, 
when part of the nation propofed all forts of per- 
verfe and erroneous notions, and only waited for 
a favourable moment to execute their ruinous de- 
signs. They thought they would find it in the 
two wars by which Ruffia was attacked at once. 
About this time the diet aflembled at Warfaw. 
The inftructions which the legates had received 
from their waywodfhips, fixed the fame as a free 
and ordinary diet. All at once it was transform- 
ed into a confederate diet without any known 
good reafons. The Act of Confederation, which 
was made public, announced the tranfactions of 
the fame. Its chief objects were to be, " The 
tc maintenance of the free republican govern - 
" ment — the maintenance of the magifirates in 
" their functions and actual limits — and the pre- 
<c fervation of the property of citizens." 

*' It belongs to the people of the Polifh nation 
themfelves, to judge from the confequences and 
refult of the tranfactions of this diet, how far it 
has abufed public confidence by departing from 
the original objects of its meeting, and adopt- 
ing others which were entirely oppolite to them. 
Without entering upon an enumeration of all the 
illegalities and violation of the laws and immuni- 
ties of the republic, which this confederate diet, 
or rather the faction prevailing in it, prefumed to 
execute, it will fuffice to fay, that after having 



iifurped, mingled, and concentrated in itfelf all 
branches of power, whole union in the hand of 
one individual is utterly incontinent with repub- 
lican principles, has moreover ufurped in a mofl 
tyrannical manner each branch of this power; 
it has prolonged its duration for above three 
years and an half (a duration of which the Polifh 
annals do not offer a tingle inftance), and finally 
crowned all its ruinous enterprifes by totally fub- 
verting, on the 3d of May 1791, the edifice of go- 
vernment, under which the republic Was happy 
for fo many years. 

" On that day this edifice vanifhed, and on its 
ruins arofe a monarchy, which in its new laws by 
which it was thought to limit it, offers nothing 
but contradictions, incoherency with the old laws, 
an entire infufficiency in every refpect, which 
leaves not even to the Polanders the made of that 
liberty and thofe prerogatives of which they were 
always fo jealous. 

iC The elective throne is rendered an hereditary 
one, and this law, which the wifdom of their 
anceftors had dictated, and which forbids to med- 
dle during the life-time of the king with the elec- 
tion of his fucceflbr, was tranfgreffed in as rafh. 
a manner, as were all thofe that guaranteed 
the perpetual coniiftency of the republic. 

" The means made ufe of for executing thefe 
violent actions were well enough calculated to 
characterife them. On the day of the revolution 
the palace and the diet-hall were crowded with 
the Warfaw mob. Armed perfons were intro- 
duced — cannons were brought from the arfenal, 
in order to fire on fuch as might endeavour to 
prevent the fuccefs of the plot. The regiment of 
artillery and the Lithuanian guards were aflem- 
bled for fupporting the mob. Their fury was ex- 
D d cited 


cited againft thofe whofe refinance was dreadecL 
Several legates who perfevered in their patriotic 
fentiments were threatened with death. When 
the legate of Kalitfch humbly approached the 
throne to remind the king of his facred oath con- 
cerning the pafta convent a, that facred and indif- 
foluble tie which connects him with the nation, 
he was trod under foot in an unmerciful man- 
ner, in fpite of his inviolable character as a re- 
prefentative of the nation, to the fhame and dif- 
grace of every Polander who has not loft all 
fenfe 'of honour and liberty. A revolution effec- 
tuated in this manner was deemed by its promoters 
to have been the free wifh. of the nation. 

" Not fatisfied with the internal misfortunes 
they brought upon their unhappy mother country, 
they alfo endeavoured by all poffible methods to 
hurt her abroad, by plunging her into dif- 
cords, which are likely to degenerate into an.- 
open war with Pruffia, the old ally, the belt, and 
molt folid friend of the republic, and the Polifh 

"It required the whole extent of the known 
generofity of the emprefs, and efpecially that 
juftice and penetration by which fhe knows how- 
to difcern the intentions of the fpirit of party 
from the general wifh of the nation, to prevent 
her from fooner refenting the extreme abufes by 
which fhe has been continually provoked. 

. " A brief enumeration of the firing of facts 
belonging to this matter, will {et the truth of this 
aflertion in a proper light. 

" At the time of the declaration of war, to 
which Ruffia was neceffitated by the Ottoman 
Porte, the ambafTador of the emprefs delivered to 
the miniftry of the republic, which had then no 
diet, a note, apprifing them of the inftantaneous 



marching of the Ruffian troops through the Po- 
lifh itates, and propoiing to appoint commiffion- 
ers in the palatinates that were nearer! to the 
quarters of thefe troops, in order to agree with 
them concerning the furnifhing and payment of 
the requifite forage; 

* All this was regulated and amicably agreed 
upon with mutual fatisfaction, though at that 
Very period animolity and rancour teemed al- 
ready to manifeft themfelves. But as foon as the 
diet was formed, and the long harboured plan of 
fubverting the republic had got the better of all 
confideration with refpect to the prefervation of 
peace within and without the kingdom, it was 
not only required immediately to withdraw the 
Ruffian troops from the Polifh territory, without 
even excepting the fmall number of thofe that 
were to guard the magazines, but alfo the fur- 
nifhing them with provisions was rendered diffi- 
cult by means of feveral impediments ; the efta- 
blifhing of new magazines for their fupport was 
oppofed, and it was required that even the old 
magazines mould be removed beyond the fron- 
tiers of the republic. On the fame occafion, the 
treafury board made the unjuft propofal, that on 
croffing the river Dniefter, duties of exports 
ihould be collected for thefe magazines, which 
Were procured at a confiderable expence, and 
greatly to the advantage of the Polifh citizens. 

" Such a proceeding was, in fa6t, contrary to 
the reciprocal equity which two neighbouring, 
friendly and allied flates owe one another. 

i( The oppreffions of all kinds practifed upon 
the fubjecTts of her majefly the emprefs were 
carried to fuch a height, that fome of them, 
whofe butinefs retained them on the territory of 
the republic, and who, fully relying on the fanc- 
D d a tity 


lity and inviolability of exifling treaties, and the' 
taw of nations, though carrying their trade on in 
fhe quietefl: manner,, were, notwithstanding, moll 
malicioufly impeached for having excited the in- 
habitants of the places to infurre&ion, and were 
arretted and thrown into prifons. When the 
judges who were commiffioned to try thofe peo- 
ple found no traces of the crime they Hood im- 
peached for, they had recourfe to the torture to 
extort a confeflion ; and after having in this man- 
ner forced it out, thefe hard-hearted judges con- 
demned them to die, and abfolutely had the fen- 
tence carried into execution^ This firil efTay of 
inhumanity, injuilice, and cruelty, opened a 
vaft field for inquiiitions of all kinds y by which 
the provinces were chiefly opprefled, whofe inha- 
bitants confefs the orthodox Greek religion. The 
bifhop of Przejaflaw and abbot of Sluck,. though 
an imperial fubject, fell a victim to this perfecu- 
tion. Notwithstanding his high- ecclefiaitic dig- 
nity, purity of manners, and auflerity of princi- 
ples, he was accufed of crimes, which malice, 
and the eagernefs of increasing the once effectu- 
ated fermentation, invented upon, every occalion y 
the prelate was arretted and conducted to War- 
faw, where he was doomed to lafting imprifon- 
ment. Even in the center of the metropolis, and 
towards the emprefs's miniilers, the law of na- 
tions was as little rerpecled ; for their chapel, 
which is confidered as a part of the hotel occu- 
pied by them (and the Ruffian arms being fui- 
pended, clearly proves, to every body that it is a 
privileged place), was forced by Polifh foldiers, 
who feized upon the minister of the altar, and 
carried him before an incompetent tribunal. The 
Satisfaction which the minister has demanded on 
this fubject, has been refufed upon vague and in- 


•Significant pretences. In fhort, not only the fo- 
lemn treaties which connected Ruffia and Poland 
were violated and tranfgrefTed in the moll impor- 
tant articles, but the animofity has been carried 
fo far as to fend an extraordinary deputation to 
Turkey, then in open war with Ruffia, offering 
to this power an offcntive treaty aimed againit 
Ruffia. A fact, of which the archives of the 
minifterial correfpondence of the cabinet of 
Warfaw contain the documents and the clearcft 

" The refpect due to the perfon and the exalt- 
ed rank of the emprefs, was not obferved in the 
fpecches held in public feffions in the diet, and 
this rudenefs, inftead of being reprimanded as it 
deferred, was even encouraged and applauded by 
the chiefs of the party that fubverted the laws 
.and conftitution of the republic. 

" The leafl of thefe grievances, without men- 
<tioning thole which are voluntarily fuppreffed 
for the fake of brevity, would already juftify, in 
the face of God and men, the refolution of her 
majefty to take iignal vengeance. Yet it is not 
with this view that her majefty publifhes this de- 
claration <of the faid grievances. Her innate 
equity does not fufter her to confound all the Po- 
lifh nation with one of the parties which has be- 
trayed her majefty's confidence. The emprefs, 
on the contrary, is fully convinced, that the 
greatefi number had no fhare in any of the things 
attempted againft herfelf and the republic. 

" For this very rcafon fhe is willing to facri ■ 
fice her juft refentment to a hope more compa- 
tible with her generous and pacific fentiments, of 
feeing all thofe grievances remedied by means 
of a new diet, which fhall more ftrictly adhere 
to the orders of their fuperiors, and the immut- 
D d 3 able 

4©6 History of Poland. 

able fundamental laws of the Hate, than the pre- 
fent exifting diet, which has trefpaffed upon them 
all in the moll: manifeft manner, and marked all 
their tranfa&ions, in oppofition to thofe laws, 
with the flamp of their own illegality. 

" But ihould her majefty refufe to lifren to the 
voice of her own refentment, fhe cannot bo 
deaf to the voice of claims made to her by a 
great number of Polanders, among whom are 
feveral who are as illufrrious by birth and rank in 
the republic, as they are by their patriotic virtues 
and ability forfervingthe flate. 

" Animated by a pure and praife-worthy zeal 
for the welfare of their country, and the recovery 
of its former liberty and independence, they 
have united themfelves for the purpofe of forming 
a lazvful confederation, as the only errc6tual remedy 
for the misfortunes which the illegal confederation 
and ufurpations at Warfaw have caufed to the na- 

" With thefe fentiments they have claimed the 
fupport and affiftance of the emprefs, who did 
not heli tare to aflure them of both, being guided 
on her part by her friendly and amicable difpoii- 
tions in favour of the republic, and her deiire of 
ftrictly fulfilling the obligations of her treaties. 

(i In order to fulfil her promife, the emprefs 
has ordered part of her troops to enter the territory 
of the republic. They fhew themfelves there as 
friends, and for co-operating in the re-ejlablijhment of 
the rights and prerogatives of the republic. All fuch 
as fhall receive them under this title, will, betides 
a perfect oblivion of what is pafr, receive every 
protedtion and fecurity for their perfons and pro- 
perty. Her majefry hopes, that all good Poland- 
ers, who truly love their native country, will 
know how to value the intentions of her impe- 
4 rial 


rial majefty, and perceive that it is for their own 
benefit that they fhould co-operate, with all their 
heart and foul, in the generous endeavours which 
Jier majefty is to employ in conjunction with all 
"true patriots, for restoring to the republic liberty 
and laws, of which it has been deprived by the 
pretended conftitution of the 3d of May. If 
there mould be any who harbour any fcruple 
concerning the oath which they have been led to 
take from error, or which they were compelled 
to by force and fedudtion, fuch may confider 
that that is the only true and facred oath by 
which they engaged to maintain and defend the 
free and republican government under which they 
were born ; and that the renewal of this former 
oath is the only means of repairing the perjury 
•of which they have been guilty in taking the 
new oath. Yet if there are any found who, 
perfevering in a perverfe way of thinking, fhould 
oppofe the benevolent intentions of the emprefs, 
and the patriotic wifhes of their fellow-citizens, 
'they may thank themfelves if they meet with the 
treatment they deferve ; the more fo, as they had 
it in their power to fecure themfelves by a iinccre 
abjuration of their errors. 

" The extraordinary anibafTador and minifter 
.plenipotentiary has orders to notify thefe refolu- 
tions of her majefty the emprefs, and alfo to pub* 
lifh her juft motives ; he is, moreover, to invite 
the illuftrious Polifh nation to place an unlimited 
confidence in the generofity and difintercftednefs 
which induce her to take this ftep, and which 
snake her moft ardently defire that the republic, 
by means of a prudent balance of the different 
powers, which forms the fafeft means of fecuring 
3both her internal tranquillity and her good un- 

Dd4 derftand- 


derltanding with her neighbours, fhould recover 
the folid balis of its true welfare. 
Given at Warfaw, May 7-18, 1792. 


D. Von Bulgakow." 

On the 2,1ft the king of Poland laid this de- 
claration before the diet, and as foon as it was 
read, this truly patriotic prince obferved to the 
deputies, that the deiign of the emprefs was evi- 
dently to annihilate the diet and overturn the 
conftitution : he prefTed the neceffity of employ- 
ing means for the defence of the country ; thefe 
were two-fold : the firit, he faid, conliited in the 
cxercife of all that courage and rcfolution might 
infpire, and that whatever in this refpeel the diet 
fhould determine, he fhould not only approve, 
but encounter every danger to execute : the fe- 
cond, in negociation. " For this purpofe," con- 
tinued his majefty, " we fhould apply to our ally 
the king of Pruffia, who, from the beginning of 
the prefent diet, has concurred in our delibera- 
tions, efpecially in thofe which tended to libe- 
rate us from the guarantee of Ruflia, in remov- 
ing the Ruffian magazines and troops from our 
territories, and in our cmbafTy to the Ottoman 
Porte; but, above all, in our forming a govern- 
ment on whofe bails he could build an alliance 
with us, whereby he folemnly engaged himlelf to 
ufe, firft, his own good offices, and, in cafe of their 
failing, to affiil us effectually with fufficient forces 
to maintain our independence and poffeffions *. 
Both thefe objects are effentially attacked by the 
declaration before you, which treats as crimes 
and tranfgreffions thofe very acts that palled in, 

* See the note in p. 412, 413. 



perfect understanding with, and with the unani- 
mous concurrence of, the king of Pruifia." 

In this fpeech the king of Poland alfo recom- 
mended calling upon the affiftance of the king of 
Hungary and the elector of Saxony, and con- 
cludes with exhorting the diet to vigorous prepa- 
rations for defence, fhould negociation fail. 

The next day the diet addreffed the king with 
thanks for his paternal and patriotic fpeech, and, 
by a decree, invefted him with the chief com- 
mand of the armies of the republic ; it was alfo 
followed by another, fetting forth, that every de- 
valuation, damage, or diminution of property, 
occaiioned to individuals by the march or inva- 
Hon of foreign troops, fhould be indemnified by 
a fraternal contribution of the whole nation. 

While the king and diet were thus conlidering 
how to deprecate or reiift the calamities of war, 
a body of Ruffian troops penetrated into the 
territory of the republic, near Mohilow, in Po- 
dolia, under the command of general Rochow- 
fki ; fome other corps, at the fame time, paffed 
the eaftern frontiers at different places. To op- 
pofe this formidable invafion, prince Poniatow- 
iki, collecting haftily a fmall body of forces, 
marched toward the enemy, and on the 24th of 
May encamped at Tyurew. 

The diet, after making every practicable pro- 
vision for the exigences of the Hate, and com- 
mitting the entire conduct of the war to the 
kjng, was prorogued on the 31ft of May: pre- 
vious tothis, the following addrefs from the king 
to the army was publifhed at Warfaw : 



Addrefs of the King to the Army. 

f< By virtue of the conftitution enacted 2 2d 
March 1792, the fupreme and general com- 
mand of all the forces of the republic is entrufted 
to us. Thus the defence of our dear country is 
confided to Us and to You. The enemy that 
invades it is well known to every Polander. So 
many injuries, misfortunes, and humiliations, 
heaped upon us by Ruffia, calh on God and your 
courage for vengeance. The war is no fooncr 
declared than begun, without the leail juftifiable 
motive. Some degenerate Poles, rebels to their 
country, have lent a pretext for it. They wifh, 
with foreign aid, to reftore the ancient anarchy, 
fubjec~tion, and infignificance, which your king, 
at the head of a virtuous diet, has luckily ba- 
nifhed from the Polifh territories. Brave coun- 
trymen ! we are now called upon to maintain 
our pofTeffions, our honour, and our liberties, 
to defend our brethren, to revenge fo many 
wrongs, which we and our forefathers have fuf- 
fered, and to protect the honour of your king, 
who confecrates, with pleafure and finccrity, 
the remnant of his old age to his country. The 
nation longed to have a refpeclable army, but 
anarchy and foreign influence always oppofed 
it : at laft , by cheerful offers, it is railed to 
have in you its defenders, the improvement of 
whofe condition was not forgotten by the pre- 
fent government. It was proper to add regula- 
rity and difcipline, common and necefTary in all 
armies, to the courage of Poles, which, though 
they may feem new to you, are not the lefs rc- 
quifite for the ftrength, order, and glory of the 



army. To execute thofe regulations fhall be the 
duty of your commander, and to obey them 
ought to be your ambition : we all muft obey 
the laws, and you thofe who execute them. The 
army we have oppofed to us owes its ftrenglh to 
a blind obedience and fubmiffion to orders. En- 
deavour to furpafs it even in this, and then nei- 
ther its numbers nor its bravery will be able to 
intimidate the Poles. It is true, Ruffian troops 
have been accullomed to defpife the Polifh fol- 
diers, but you have now an open field to de- 
ferve a more honourable opinion in future. 
Your country, for whofe independence we are 
going to fight; your king, whofe Heps are di- 
rected by juftice, fhall value and reward your 
merit and valour : you may be fure of being am- 
ply repaid for the hazard of your lives, by the 
gratitude of your countrymen, by the acquisition 
of glory, and by the hands of your king. 

" Therefore, as your king and commander, 
we recommend to you moll earneftly to unite 
good conduct to obedience, fortitude to courage, 
and love of your country to loyalty. 

" We recommend to the commanding officers 
vigilance and attention, exemplary temperance 
and courage, vigour and juitice, on every oc- 
calion. • 

" The army of a free nation thus qualified, 
with a good caufe on their fide, cannot fail to 
find their fupport in the powerful arm of the 
Omnipotent. You ferve for honour— let it be 
your guide : the honour of a Polifh foldier is of 
the highefl importance, becaufe it is a pledge of 
his allegiance to his country, to which he owes 

" Do not fufFer a traitor among you (mould 
any unfortunately be found), and the fafety of 



your country will be your own work. In every 
danger remember and think of your dear coun- 
try ; our life is the leaft thing we can offer her. 
Your common father, your king, and your com- 
mander, gives you for ever this word of com- 
mand — Children! Let us either live free and re~ 
fpeBed, or die with honour. 

Given at Warfaw, May 25 th, the 28th year 
of our reign. 


Stanislaus Augustus, Rex." 

The degenerate Poles alluded to in this ad- 
drefs feemed to be as inconfiderable in number as 
in ability ; the names of their leaders, which 
have appeared, are the nobles Potocki, Rze- 
wufki, and Branicki, to whole party none were 
attached but their immediate dependents, though 
it is probable they perfuaded the emprefs of Ruf- 
fm that numbers would join their rebellious con- 

While every warlike preparation that time or 
circumitance permitted was going forward at 
Warfaw, and on the eaftern frontiers, the king, 
by an official note, communicated to the Pruf- 
iian ambafTador at his court, the marquis de Luc- 
cheiini, the declaration of the emprefs, which 
Bulgakow her ambaffador had delivered ; calling 
at the fame time for the afliflance of his ally the 
king of Pruflia, in a preffing manner, purfuant 
to the 6th article in the treaty of alliance be- 
tween them*. To this communication and re- 

* This treaty was dated March 29, 1790. The 6th article 
tuns thus: — " If any foreign power whatever fha.ll, by virtue 
of any preceding afts or flipulations, or any interpretation of 



quifition his Pruffian majefty anfwered, in the 
following letter : 

Letter of the King of Pruffia to the King of 

Berlin, June 8, 1792, 

** Sir, my Brother, 

"The grand marfhal of Lithuania, the comte 
de Potocki, has delivered to me your majefty s 
letter, dated the 31ft of May. I there fee with 
regret the embarraffment in which Poland finds 
itfelf now involved. But I will acknowledge^ 
with equal franknefs, that, after all that has 
patTed for the laft tzvelve months, thefe embar- 
raflments were to be forefeen. Your majefty 
will recollect that, on more than one occaiion, 
the marquis de Lucchelini was charged to mani- 
fest, not only to you, but to the preponderat- 
ing members of the government, my juft ap- 
prehenfions on this fubjecl. From the moment 
that the general re- eflabli foment of tranquillity hi 
Europe permitted me to explain myfelf, and that the 
emprejs of RuJJia had fhewn a decided oppofition 
to the order of things eftablifhed on the 3d of 
May 1 79 1, my way of thinking and the lan- 
guage of my miniiters have never varied ; and in 
obferving with a tranquil eye the new confti- 

them, aflame the right of interfering in the internal affairs of 
the republic of Poland, or its dependencies, at any time, or ia 
any manner; his majefty the king of Pruflia will firft employ his 
moft efficacious good offices to prevent hoftilities arifing out of 
fuch a pretenfion; — but if all his good offices fhould fail of 
«ffe<5t, and hoftilities againft Poland fhould be the confequence, 
his majefty the king of Pruflia, confidering this as a cafe 
falling within the meaning of the alliance, will aflift the re- 
public according to the tenor of the 4U1 article of the prefent 


414 HISTORY Ot VOtAUtt. 

tution, which the republic has given to itfelf wtTtt-* 
out my privity or concurrence*, I have never" 
had the idea either of firpporting or protecting 
it. I have predicted, on the contrary, that the 
threatening meafures and the warlike prepara- 
tions which the diet unceafingly deliberated 
upon one after another, would infallibly provoke 
the reientment of the emprefs of Ruffia, and 
draw upon Poland the evils which they were 
undertaken to avoid. The event fully fatisfied 
thofe appearances, and one cannot diffemble in 
the prefent moment, that, without the new form 
of government for the republic, and without the ef- 
forts which they have announced for fupporting it, 
the court of Ruffia would not have determined 
on the vigorous proceedings fhe has now em- 

" Whatever be the friendship that I have fworn 
to your majefty, and the intereft I take in every 
thing that concerns you, you will yourfelf be- 
lieve that the ftate of things being entirely 
changed fmce the alliance that I contracted with the 
republic, and the prefent conjuncture, brought 
on by the conftitution of the 3d of May 1791, 
pofterior to my treaty, not being applicable to the 
engagements therein Stipulated, it does not be- 
long to me to refill the attack made on your 
majefty, if the intentions of the patriotic party 
are ftill the fame, and if they perfift in the de- 
fire of maintaining their own work ; but if, re- 
tracing their Jeps, they fhall confider the diffi- 
culties that are ariling upon all fides, I fhall be 
ready to concert meafures with her majefty, the 
emprefs of Ruffia, and to explain myfelf, at 
the fame time, with the court of Vienna, to 
ilrive to reconcile the different interefts, and to 

* Compare this with his Letters in p. 390, 391. 



agree on meafures capable of refloring to Poland 
its tranquillity. 

" I flatter myfelf that your majefty will find, 
in thefe difpolitions and in thefe afTurances, the 
fentiments of jincere friendjlrip, and of the confedera- 
tion with which I am 

Your Majefly's good Brother, 


This anfwer was naturally confidered by the 
Polifh diet as an avowed dereliction, on the 
part of the Pruffian monarch, of every exifting 

Hoftilities had now commenced between the 
Polifh and Ruffian armies, and a number of 
fkirmifhes took place ; the firit of note was on 
the 26th of May, near prince Poniatowfki's 
camp, at Winiea; an advanced party of the 
Ruffian army appearing near a poll occupied by 
lieutenant Golejowfkit, with three hundred pi- 
quets, was attacked vigoroufly by the Poles, 
and driven into a wood, where, imprudently 
purfuing the enemy, this fmall body found itfelf 
drawn into an ambufcade, being immediately 
furrounded by a body of 2000 horfe, two bat- 
talions of chajfeurs, and fourteen pieces of can- 
non : through this body, however, the brave 
Poles cut their paffage, with the lofs of 100 
men, having killed a much greater number -of 
the enemy. 

From that date, to the 1 7th of June, feveral 
other fkirmifhes happened, with various fuccefs, 
between detachments of the armies ; but on this 
day the main army of the Poles, under the com- 
mand of prince Poniatowfki, finding its poll at 
Volonna untenable., and its number far inferior 



to the Ruffians, retreated towards Zielmie*,, 
clofely followed by the enemy ; but at this place, 
having been reinforced by fome troops from 
Zaflaw, halted; a battle was the confequence, 
for the Ruffians appearing with an army of 
9000 infantry and 8000 horfe, a general en- 
gagement enfued, which was obflinately conti- 
nued from feven in the morning until five in 
the afternoon, at which hour the Ruffians at 
lafl gave way, leaving 4000 dead on the field. 
The lofs on the fide of the Poles was, compa- 
ratively, inconfiderable, being only estimated at 
800 infantry and 300 horfe. 

On the other hand, the Ruffian forces conti- 
nued to penetrate the kingdom in feveral quar- 
ters ; and the city of Wilna, and other places of 
confequence, fell into their hands. 

To oppofe the fuperiority in number and dis- 
cipline of the invaders, Poland relied on the 
patriotic zeal of its people, and the bravery of 
its foldiers ; both manifefted themfelves ; the 
peafants furnifhed forage in many places without 
payment, others furnifhed horfes, and in every 
diftricT: patriotic contributions were made; the 
foldiers, determined to make up by valour every 
deficiency in fkill, diftinguifhed themfelves in 
every action ; and during the retreat of the army 
from Volonna, 500 of them, like the Greeks at 
Thermopylae, to flop the enemy, devoted their 
lives, and covered with their bodies the ground 
they difputed. 

Aftonifhed at the unprovoked invafion of their 
country by the armies of the emprefs of Ruma, 
and not lefs at the king of Prufiia's abfolute de- 
reliction of the treaties of alliance fubfifting be- 
tween him and the republic, the flates made to 
the emperor of Germany a fimilar application 


illSTORY OF POLAND, 4 ! 7 

With that addreffed to Frederic, and received an 
antwer equally unfavourable. 

The Polim nation, thus fruftrated in every hope 
of iuccoiir from its powerful neighbours, faw no- 
thing but the melancholy profpect of the fmgle- 
handed oppohtion of a raw and inadequate army, 
without credit or reiburces, againft one of the 
mightieft potentates of the earth, if not openly 
affiited, at leaft fecretly abetted, by all its neigh- 
bours, thole called infidels alone excepted. 

The king, finding not only that his ally the 
king of Pr'uffia had deferted him, but that he had 
joined the emprels in her ambitious and tyranni- 
cal views, called a meeting of the deputies of the 
different provinces upon the 23d of July, to 
deliberate on the beft meafures to be purfued for 
the welfare of the country. Of two evils they 
were obliged to choofe the leaft ; either to have 
their country entirely deftroyed by the immenle 
armies which were over-running it, and perhaps 
to have their existence as a ftate annihilated, or 
to agree to the haughty terms impofed upon them 
by their too powerful neighbours. 

The king was obliged not only \o annul the 
constitution of the 3d of May 1791, and agree 
to the re-eilablimment of that which exifled be- 
fore the revolution, but eVen to order the army 
under prince Poniatowtki to be- delivered up to 
the Ruffian general Brinicki. This was to take 
place, according to the agreement, on the 29th, 
of July. 

Many people, however, diiTented from the 
general refolution. Malachowiki, Potocki, Sa- 
pieha, Solticki, &c. refufed to flgn the re-con- 
lederation. Upwards of 4000 nobles, and levc- 
ral others, alTembled, calling out — " The conjti- 
t at ion without the king!" They fought after Ma- 

E e lachowiki, 

41 8 KrSTORY OF rot AN ft. 

lachowfki. prince Sapieha, Potoeki, and Soltic- 
kij and carried them round in public. 

In the grand dukedom of Lithuania, in parti- 
cular, a lpirit of reliltance manifeiled itfelf. 
What a difgrace to the policy of Europe, that 
not one ft ate could be found friendly to a caufe 
to honourable to humanity ! Not long before this 
period Europe was on the eve of a general war for a 
barren territory between the Bog and the Dneif- 
fer, to preferve the balance of power; and here 
a whole kingdom was allowed to fall a victim 
to the ambition of Ruffia, without a fingle fuf- 
piciorr being thrown out by any one power that 
the fame balance would be thereby endangered 1 

The manifelto or declaration of his excellency 
count Malachowfki, marfhal of the diet, was as 
follows : 

" Stanifiaus Nalecz, count Malachowfki, mar- 
fhal of the diet, and of the confederation of the 
provinces of the crown, knight of the Polifh or- 
ders, &c. appearing in perfon at the territorial 
chancery of Wariaw, has freely and voluntarily, 
in pretence of all the officers of the faid chan- 
cery, made a declaration of the following te- 
nor: — 

il In this mournful criiis, when diforders exist: 
whieh ought to wound the heart of every citizen 
faithful to his duty, in this fatal moment, when 
we fee with grief a powerful foreign force, au- 
thorized this day, by the adhefion of his majeJty 
to the confederation oi Targowicz, to deiiroy the 
work of our regeneration — this falutary worky 
undertaken and achieved under the aufpices of 
liberty— this work which the whole nation ap- 
plauded with tranfport, and which the had fworn 
to maintain with all her power : 

« I yield 


" I yield to the dictates of my conscience, and 
confider it a facred duty openly to declare in 
the face of Heaven, of the whole univerfe, and 
of all pofletity, that I fee, and ever fhall fee, in 
the confederation of Targowicz, formed under 
the protection of, and fupported by a foreign 
army, an aft of open defpotifm, contrary to the 
wifhes as well as to the interefts of the nation* 
and infringing the facred rights of all claries 
of citizens ; an audacious enterprize which has 
been preceded by murder and difafters, and which 
will infallibly be followed by anarchy, Servitude, 
and the total ruin of the republic. 

" This protell has not for its object to throw 
out the leafl reproach againfl any perfon what- 

" Infenftble to all pcrfonal griefs, and not 
knowing either refentment or hatred, my con- 
ference bears me witnefs that I never had any de- 
lire but for the glory and welfare of my coun- 
try; that I have employed myfclf faithfully to 
the amelioration of its prefent irate ; that I have 
never wronged any perfon intentionally ; that I 
never attempted, by the help of a vile depen- 
dency, to fecure the protection of any foreign 
court, or ever affected to defy any of them ; 
and that, always faithful to the obligations my 
ntuation impoled* I have endeavoured to fulfil 
my talk with the moft Scrupulous exactitude. 

" Full of this confidence, and fortified by 
the purity of my intention, I fubmit to the Divine 
jufHce the defHnies of my country, and the pro- 
ceedings of thofe whofe pleafure it has been to 
do hurt to the republic. I declare further, that 
the prefent diet and the confederation fubfift in 
all their vigour — that the acl of fufpenfion of 
the affembly gave to his majeily the unlimited 
E e 2, right 


rifeht of convoking the diet whenever the necef- 
lities of the ftatc require it — that this convoca- 
tion has not taken place, and that, inftead of 
terminating in the ufual manner this firft legifla-^ 
tive aflembly, they have, contrary to the exprefs 
will of all its members, acceded to a new one 
formed at Targowicz, and which declares the 
others null and illegal. 

" Seeing, then, my country threatened with the 
greateli evils, and not being willing my con- 
science fhould reproach me in any.ihing, I think 
myfelf obliged to inform my fellow-citizens of 
all the fatal ills with which they have been 

" Oh, nation, that 1 bear in my bofom ! Oh, 
my dear co-patriots ! I partake of your misfor- 
tunes, but I cannot foften them. Alas ! there 
only remains for me to offer you tears ; my fide- 
lity and my inviolable attachment are known 
to you. Nothing can diminifh or deiiroy them ; 
but I cannot give you any more proof of them, 
as they have deprived me of the means. 


S. N. Malachowski,' 

Marflial of the Diet, 
And underneath 

J?ti ch a LA, 
Regent of the Chancery." 

Another proteil, to the fame purport, was en- 
tered by prince Calimir Sapieha, marfhal of tho 
confederation of the grand duchy of Lithuania* 
and rcgiflered in the acts of the territorial chanr- 
oery of the duchy, at the palace of the king at 



Thofe who can ftill want proofs of the dupli- 
city of the Pruffian monarch may compare tlic 
tenor, but more particularly the rirft paragraph, 
of the following declaration with the two letters 
of his inferted in this Hiiiory, page 390, 391. 

Declaration of his Majefly the King of PruJ/ia, re- 
fpetling the March of his Troops into Poland. 

" It is known to all Europe, that the change of 
government which took place in Poland on the 
3d of May 1791, without the knowledge or parti- 
cipation oj the neighbouring friendly pezvers, has ex- 
cited the difpleafure and diffati ^faction of a great- 
part of the nation ; and that thole who remained 
faithful to the ancient form of government, im- 
plored the affiftance of the elevated princefs who 
had guaranteed it. 

" Her Ruffian imperial majefly liftcned to the 
call, and flew to their affiftance with a coniider- 
able body of troops, which w r cre lent by divi- 
lions into thofe provinces where their prefencc 
appeared to be moll neceiiary. Under their pro- 
tection, the principal members of nobility en- 
tered into a general confederation, whofe prefent 
labours are devoted to the fuppreffion of the 
abufes of introduced innovations, and tending to 
reflore virtue to the conllitution of their coun- 

" From that moment Prufha could not but 
feel a concern for the fate of Poland, partly as a 
neighbour, partly on account of the references 
which mutually fubfift between thefe two flates. 
Thofe great events could not but cxeite her at- 
tention ; but the king always cherifhed hopes 
that the troubles would foon be happily termi- 
nated; and expecled, therefore, to be able to 
IS c 3 forego 


forego his interference, efpecially in a moment 
when objecls, momentous and worthy of his 
folicitude, occupied him in another quarter. 

" His expectation was, however, difappointed. 
The (fo-called) patriotic party, inftead of yielding 
to the falutary defigns of the court of Ruffia, 
had even the temerity to make an obflinate refift- 
ance againfl the imperial troops ; and, although 
their weaknefs foon forced them to renounce 
the chimerical idea of an open war, they ft ill 
continue to create private combinations, vihbly 
tending to fubvert order and public tranquillity. 
Even the king's own dominions feel their confe- 
quences by repeated excefTes and violations of 
territory. But what flill more requires the fcri- 
ous attention of the king and all the neighbour- 
ing powers, is the propagation of French Demo- 
cracy, and the principles of that detectable fac- 
tion who feek to make profelytes every where, 
and who have already been fo well received in 
Poland, that the enterprizes of the Jacobin emif- 
faries are not only moil powerfully feconded 
there, but even revolution focieties eftabliihed, 
who make an open profeffion of their prin- 

" Great Poland is chiefly infected with that 
dangerous poifon, and contains the greater! nuilK 
ber of the zealous profeffors of miftaken patrio- 
tifm. Their connections with the French clubs 
muft infpire his majefTy with a juft diftrufl: on 
account of the fafety of his own dominions, and 
therefore put him under the neceihty of taking 
effective meafures. 

" His majefly being neceffitated, in combina- 
tion with the allied courts, to continue the war, 
and being on the eve of opening a campaign, 



thought it proper to concert meafures with the 
courts of Vienna and Peteriburgh ; and their im- 
perial majeities *could not forbear owning, that 
from found policy it mould not be allowed that 
the factious mould be furrered to be free in Po- 
land, and expofe 'his majefty to the danger of 
having an enemy in the rear, whole violent and 
wild enterprizes might become a fource of frefh 

" His majelty has, therefore, rcfolved to get the 
itart of them, by fending a fufhV.ient body of 
troops, under the command of M. de Moilen- 
dorf, general of infantry, into the territories of 
the republic, and efpeeially into feveral diltriets 
of Great Poland. 

" Thefe meafures of precaution have for their 
aim to cover the Pruffian territories ; to fupprefs 
the ill-difpofed incendiaries and difturbers of 
tranquillity ; to reftore and maintain order and 
tranquillity; and laftly, to afford efficacious 
protection to the well-difpofed inhabitants. It 
will only depend on them to merit that protec- 
tion by a tranquil and prudent ,conduc~t, by giv- 
ing to the Prujfian troops a friendly reeeption 
and treatment, and by affifting them with what- 
ever they may want, and facilitating their fubfift- 
ence. The commanding general fhall, on his 
own part, not be wanting to maintain good and 
fevere difcipline, to diiburthen the inhabitants as 
much as in his power fliall be, to redrefs all their 
grievances, and to pay punctually for the fup- 
plies which he may have occafion for. The 
king is fond of cherifhing the hope that, with 
fentiments fo pacific, he may depend on the 
good will of a nation, whofe profperity cannot 
be indifferent to his majefty, and to whom his 
E e 4 majefty 


majefty wifhes to give real proofs of his affection; 
and good wifhes." • 
Berlin, Jan. 6, 1 793. 

The Pruflian troops entered Thorn on the 24th 
of January ; Dantzic foon after became com- 
pletely a Pruflian town, and a Gazette of the 
day gives us the following ftatement : A garrifon 
of 2700 men are quartered upon the inhabitants ; 
a commiffary is arrived to regulate our imports, 
duties, excife, &c. ; the o 1 d municipal govern- 
ment itill remains ; but that alfo mult foon give 
place to another arrangement. Some indivi- 
duals among our chief citizens have left the town, 
and gone to fettle at Hamburgh and other places, 
not chooting to live under a military government. 
The comfortable tide of our profpect is an increafe 
of trade, and of the means of fubfiilencc to the 
poor claffes of the people, who have for many 
years pail fufFcrcd grievoufly from the confe- 
quences of the oppreffive conduct of our neigh- 
bours, and the gradual decay of our trade. 
Dantzic has loft one fifth of its inhabitants from 
thefe caufes in the laft ten years. The prefent 
acquifitions made by Pruffia, though vattly infe- 
rior to whatRuflia gains, are indeed very impor- 
tant: they contain above 1061 jfquare German 
miles, above 5000 Englifh miles fquare ; 262 
towns or cities, 8274 villages, and 1,136,380 

On the 3d of February 1793 was ifTued the 

Protejl of the Serene Confederated Republic of Poland 
againjl the violent entrance of the I* ruffian Troops 
into its territories. 

" Favourable events or great misfortunes have, in 
turns, raifed Poland to an eminent degree of 



fplendour, or plunged it into a ftate of weak- 
nefs and opprellion ; but amidft thcfe changes of 
oppolite circumftances, unfhaken conftancy has 
always proved the elevation of its national cha- 

*' The fhort interval of the four I aft years has 
feen obfcurcdthis afpedf, honourable for the nation. 
The diet of 1788 affembled at an epoch which, 
by a fortunate concurrence o.f circum trances, 
prefented to Poland both the hopes and means of 
iecuring the bafis of its republican government, 
became to it a fource of evils, aggravated by their 
contrail with its vanifhed hopes. Seduction mif- 
led confident patriotifm, and diilorted its pure 
and beneficent views. 

"The revolution of the 3d of May 1791, plan- 
ned and effected without the fupport of the na- 
tional will, without the concurrence of its neigh- 
bours, by transforming a republic into a monar- 
chy, made defpotifm prevail within it, together " 
with the dread of external ftorms, excited by the 
difcontent of neighbouring courts. 

" A conftitution which infringed the antient pre- 
rogatives of citizens, cemented with the blood of 
their anceftors, and incompatible with the poli- 
tical convenience of the powers who furround us, 
was deftitute of the bafis neceflary to give it ibli- 

u Faithful to our engagements, her majefty the 
emprefs of all the Ruffias, that auguit ally of Po- 
land, and the guarantee of its government, deign- 
ed to offer to the nation, in the generous airiil- 
ance of her power, a flattering profpeel of the 
re-eftablifhment of its liberties, its independence, 
its fovereignty, and its integrity. 

" Virtuous citizens, determinedto prefer death to 
#avery, did not helitate to adhere to views fo 



confoling to their country, while others, retiring 
from their homes, and yielding to circum fiances, 
waited only for that favourable moment which, 
every thing teemed to prefage to them. The de-r 
claration of the court of Peterfburgh fecured to 
the Poles their republic, a free government, nar 
tional independence, and the integrity of their do- 
mains. Peace and liberty preceded the banners 
of the Ruffian troops, who entered the territories 
of the republic as friends and auxiliaries. The 
abufive employment, however, . of the national 
forces, in oppoling an imprudent reiillance, foon 
filled every virtuous citizen with grief, on feeing 
the blood of his brethren laviihed without reflec- 

" The reign, however, of error and difordcrfoon 
difappcared, fentiments of fraternity brought to- 
gether every heart. The king, the army, and 
the whole nation adhered to the band of confede- 
ration formed at Targowicz on the 1 4th of May 
3792. Trouble and confternation then gave 
place to emotions of hppe and joy. The calm 
re-eltablifhed at home —the fupport of foreign 
aiTiftance — confidence founded on the jutlice of 
the caufe, and on the good diipofition of our 
neighbours, all concurred to baniifi uneafinefs. 
The national character excluded every idea of 
perfecution. The perfons and property, there- 
fore, of individuals moil di linguifhed by their 
oppofition to the falutary views of the confede- 
ration were refpecf ed — Ruffian troops cantoned 
in the different provinces every where obferved 
flri6t difcipline ; and if fomc citizens, now and 
then experienced acls of oppreilion, thefc tingle 
injuries, from which people are not entirely free 
on the part of national troops, even in the time 
of peace, were the work only of fome fubaltern 



commanders, and were redrafted as foon as 

" The confederation already imagined that it was 
about to accomplilh. its end ; its labours tending 
to regenerate the republican government, were 
already about to fecure the liberty of the citizen, 
and to eitablifh friendship and good underftand- 
ing between it and neighbouring ftates ; already 
had the republic arrived at the period when it 
was about to enjoy in the bofom of peace the 
fruits of the active zeal of citizens, who had the 
courage to feize the helm of affairs at fo difficult 
a crifis. 

"The purity of their intentions unveiled, dif- 
pcrfed the clouds of prejudice, and the nation 
waited with confidence for the remit of labours 
undertaken for the public happinefs. 

" Such was the ftate of things in Poland when 
the declaration of his majefty the king of Pruilia 
froze every heart with terror and furpriie. The 
motives affigned for the entrance of the Pru Irian, 
troops into the territories of the republic, could 
not fail to give rife to uneafy fufpicions in the 
minds of the Poles, whole character is as loyal 
as their conduct: is open. 

" Alarmed by the pretended progrefs of democra- 
cy in Poland, and iiill more by the rife of clubs 
deftined to propagate it, ' The king of Pruffia,' 
fays the declaration, 4 when about to open a ie- 
eond campaign, thought it would not be proper 
to leave behind him an enemy from whom he had 
every thing to fear. He consequently conhdered 
jt as an indifpenfable precaution to caufe a part 
of his troops to enter the territories of the repub- 

" A continued correfpondencc between the mili- 
tary commanders, the palatinal confederations, 
% the 


the civil magistrates, and the general confedera* 
tion, having enabled the latter to allure \t(df } 
that perfect tranquillity prevailed from one end of 
the kingdom to the other, all extraordinary mea- 
fures of precaution have hitherto appeared to it 
iuperfluous. On feeing the declaration of his 
Pruffian majefty, the general confederation, 
though afloniihed only at the afTertions therein 
announced, and no ways convinced of the reality 
of their object, difcharged in every refpect what 
it thought due to a neighbour, a friend, and an 
ally. It declared in its anfwer, that no fymptoms 
of disturbance appeared in the country ; that all 
revolutionary clubs were profcribed; and, in 
fhort, that the public force, fupportcd by the 
prefence of the Ruffian troops, was more than 
lufficient to fupprefs all commotions. It there- 
fore demanded, that his Pruffian majefty would 
revoke the orders he had given for a body of his 
troops to enter the territories of the republic. In 
confequence of this anfwer, the general confede- 
ration, in deference rather to the uneafinefs mann 
fefled by his majefty the king of Pruffia, than to 
the exiftence of any neceffity, fent ftriCt orders 
to every body of troops to hold themfelves al- 
ways in readinefs to march, wherever the fmalleft 
fymptom of ferment might require their prefence. 
" Thefe fteps being taken, the general confede- 
ration and the whole nation entertained no doubt 
that his Pruffian majefty, affured by fo many mo- 
tives, would order the march of his troops to be 
flopped. This deference feemed as conliftent 
with the laws of good neighbourhood, as with 
the dignity of a free nation. 

" Notwithstanding, however, thefe folemn af- 
furances, and notwithftanding the evidence of 
the facts alledged in fupport of tljem, the Pruf- 



iian army advanced, and one of its detachments 
appeared under the walls of Thorn. Its inhabi- 
tants, faithful to their duty, having refufed en- 
trance to the PrufTian troops, experienced an 
open attack. Cannons were planted againft it ; 
the gates were broken open, the municipal guard 
were diflodged from their poll ; a defencelefs- 
city exhibited the fpeclaclc of a place taken by 
affault, and the Pruliian regiments entered it, 
making the air refound with fhouts of joy. There 
were no foldiers of the republic in it to make re- 
iiftance ; the city depended for iecurity on pub- 
lic faith, and that was violated. At the fame 
epoch different Polifh detachments, difperfed 
throughout Great Poland, were attacked and 
driven from their potts by fuperior forces. 

" Confiding in folemn engagements, and in the 
faith of treaties, we could never imagine that we 
had occaiion to apprehend a furprifc or open vio- 
lence, where every thing ought to have allured to 
us, that we fhould find only friendfhip and af- 
fiftance. The few troops therefore cantoned on 
thefe frontiers, being detuned only to watch over 
the internal tranquillity, inilead of being armed 
for war, were even unprovided with cannon. 

" The high idea which we have formed of the 
juftice and magnanimity of his majefty the king 
of Piuiiia, increaies our hopes, that. -that prince., 
enlightened by our anfwer, will ftop the confe- 
quenees of his firft resolution, and that, inftead 
of wi thing to give fupport to a violation already 
made in the Polifh territories, he will rather en- 
deavour to convince the nation of his confhint 
goodwill, by faulting his troops to evacuate the 
domains of tKe republic. Retting on the good- 
ftefs of our caufe, we have not to fear any kind 
of pretentions injurious to any part of the States 



of the republic, guaranteed by fo many treaties; 
and particularly by that of 1775, which binds his 
Pruffian majefty, as it does the two other neigh- 
bouring courts. 

" Faithful therefore to our oath, faithful in our 
attachment to the ancient prerogatives of our an- 
ceitors, and faithful to our vocation, Ave proteil 
in the molt folemn manner, in the face of the" 
univerfe, againft all ufurpation of the fmallefl 
part of the itates of the republic; We openly 
declare that we enter into nothing, nor in any 
manner into any concern whatever, which may 
tend to difmember any part of the Poliih do- 
mains ; but that, on the contrary, we are ready 
to facrifice even the lafr. drop of our blood in 
defence of our liberty and integrity, In fhort* 
we hope that the two imperial courts connected 
by their guarantee, and that even all pnwers, in 
confequence of the reciprocity of national inte- 
refls, will not behold with an eye of indiffer- 
ence a manifeft violation of the right of nations, 
violent attempts made againft the tranquillity of 
a neighbouring and friendly ftate, and the open 
invaiion of its domains. We expect, above all, 
that the auguil fovereign in whom we have 
placed all our confidence, and who, in the face 
of Europe, has vowed to us good will, will not 
luffer the fplendour of her renown to be obfeur- 
ed, and will rather think it becoming the magna- 
nimity of her foul to add to the multitude of me- 
morable ads which have immortalized her, one 
no lets glorious, that of llretching out, at this 
critical period, the hand of amTtance to a free 
nation, worthy in every refpedt to excite general 

" In thus manifefting the purity of our inten- 
tions we declare, in fhort, that our efforts are 



animated by no other views than thofe of tranf- 
mitting to our pofterity, the free, independent, 
and well-organized republic ; and that we will 
either preferve entire this republic, which we 
have regenerated, or that not one of us will fur- 
vive its dcitruction. 

Done at Grodno in the fitting of the general 
confederation of the two nations, 3d Fe- 
bruary 1793. 

(L. S.) Signed by 

Stanislaus Felix Potocki, 
Grand Mafter of Artillery, and Marfhal of 
the General Confederation of the Crown. 
Alexander Prince Sapieha, 
Grand Chancellor of Lithuania, and Mar- 
fhal of the General Confederation of that 
And by a great number of the Counfeliors of 
the Confederation, and of other citizens." 

The hiftoryof Poland at this time can in no 
way be fo faithfully related as by the production 
of authentic Irate papers ; and thefe become now 
fo frequent, and, generally fpeaking, are fo con- 
nected with each other, as to require little illuf- 
tration from the author's pen. Belide, in pro- 
ducing thefe genuine documents, and fuppreffing 
any anirnadveriions of his own, he pays, as he 
means to pay, due refpect to the judgment and 
diferimination of the reader. 

No fooncr had the troops of Pruffia entered 
Dantzic in a hoftile manner than its generous and 
faithful monarch iffued the following manifeflo 
and declaration to that city : 

" The fame motives which induced his majefiy 
the king of Pruffia to order a corps of his troops 
to enter a diitrict of Great Poland, put his ma- 



jeny alfo under the neceffity of making Jure of 
the city of Dantzic and its dependencies. 

" Forbearing to mention the very unamicable 
difpofitions which this city has for many years 
evinced againft PrufTia, it has now become the 
feat of an audacious feci, which proceeds from 
tranfgreffion to tranfgreffion, and feeks to propa- 
gate them by the polluted iervices of its votaries 
and accomplices. 

u One of thole villains has met with an open re- 
ception at Dantzic itfclf, after having laboured 
in vain to circulate the venom of its doctrine in 
the bofom of a happy and loyal nation, and he 
could not be wrefted from the hands of his pro- 
tedtors but by dint of remonftrances. 

" This recent example^ other frequent abules of 
a liberty ill-underftood, the clofe connections 
which the rebels in France and Poland keep irp 
with a party, which by the boldnefs of its prin- 
ciples predominates over the plurality of well- 
difpofed citizens ; and lafl.lv> the facility with 
which the common enemy procures to himfelf, 
by means of his adherents at Dantzic, all kinds 
of pro virions, and especially corn ; thefe are 
fo many objects which ought to have drawn the 
king's notice to this city, and to have induced 
him to keep it within its proper bounds, and to 
take care of the fafety and tranquillity of the 
neighbouring provinces 6f Pruffia. 

*' To this end his Prufhan majefty, after having 
agreed with other powers interested in this, has 
charged his lieutenant-general M. de Raumez to 
take pofiellion of the city of Dantzic and its de- 
pendencies, with a fufricicnt body of troops > with 
a view of prcterving there good order, and public 



Cf It only refts with the inhabitants to gain the 
king's good will, by a quiet and prudent conduct, 
in receiving and treating his majefty's troops in a 
friendly manner, and granting them neceflary 
fuccour and afhftance. 

" The general and commandant will not be 
remifs on his own part to obferve the moft rigo- 
rous diicipline, and to grant his protection to all 
thofe who in this cafe may require it. 

" Whereas thefe are the fentiments of his 
Pruffian majefty, the king natters himfelf that 
the magiflrates of Dantzick will not hehtate to 
accede to them, and to fecond in this manner the 
falutary views, of which they will be the firft to 
feel the efFccls." 

Done at Berlin, Feb. 24, 1793. 

The further partition of this unhappy country 
was now fart approaching : the four fubfequent 
papers furnifh a pretty ample account of that 
tranfactiori : in the former, the Emperor, who, 
no doubt, had good reafons for forbearance, 
prepared the way by an abfolute injunction to 
the Poles within his own dominions to view 
with perfect non-rehTtance the approaching fate 
of their native land. The other three are filled 
with fhrewd political pretences, all ferving to 
verify an adage too well known to need men- 

Declaration of the Emperor of Germany. 

u Francis II. by the Grace of God, &c. 

cc Although we do not interfere in the domes- 
tic concerns of Poland, nor deem it neceflary to 
give any direct precepts on that head to our Gal- 
lician fubjecls, vet lince the king and republic of 
F f Poland 


Poland have folemnly declared themfelves in fa- 
vour of the maintenance of the former relations 
guaranteed by the imperial court of Rufiia in al- 
liance with us, Hill we are bound by a neigh- 
bourly and friendly regard to fee that no con- 
certed meafures or counter operations againft 
thofe lawful relations, in our hereditary domi- 
nions, fhould be tolerated. 

" We do therefore put our molt gracious con- 
fidence in the docility and love of order and 
peace which we have always perceived with plca- 
fure in our Gallician fubjecls, that they will to- 
tally forbear participating in any projects or ef- 
forts to create new changes or fermentations in 

" We expect, in the fame manner, on the 
part of thofe fubjects who relide in our domi- 
nions, that by a limilar tranquil conduct they 
will render themfelves worthy of the protection 
they enjoy. But fhould, againft all expectation, 
any Poliiti fubject dare to counteract, in our do- 
minions, the prefent operations in Poland by me- 
diation of the imperial court of Rufiia, we do 
hereby declare, that in cafe of fuch a participa- 
tion in deiigns againft the republic of Poland be- 
ing difcovered, all refidencc and abode in all 
our hereditary dominions fhall be refufed them ; 
and we do further ordain to all our governments 
and public offices, to exert the moft careful and 
moft rigorous vigilance, that our fentiments for 
the maintenance of public tranquillity thus 
openly declared by thefe our commands, be by 
every one, without exception, duly obferved and 
attended to." 

Given at Vienna, Feb. 14, 1793. 



Vkafe {or Manijefio) of Her Imperial Majefty the 
Emprefs of Rujfia, relative to the Partition of Po* 


" By her imperial majefty, my moft gracious 
fovercign, I Michael Krechetnicoff, general in 
chief, fenator, general governor of Tula, Kaloga, 
and the countries newly annexed from the Polifh. 
republic to the Ruffian empire, commander of all 
the armies there, and in the three governments of 
Little Ruffia, in the place of governor general of 
thofe three governments, infpeclor of the armies, 
knight of the order of St. Andrew, St. Alexan- 
der Newiky, St. Vladener, of the firft clafs, 
the Polifh White Eagle, and St. Staniilaus, and 
the Holftein order of St. Anne, hereby make 
known the fupreme will and command of my 
moft gracious fovereign her imperial majefty of 
all the RufTias to all the inhabitants in general, 
and to every one in particular, of whatever rank 
or denomination, of the countries and places 
now united for ever to the Ruffian empire from 
the Polifh republic. 

(i The fhare her imperial majefty has hitherto 
taken in the affairs of Poland, has always been 
tending in the moft direct and fundamental man- 
ner to the interefts of both empires. It has not 
only been unfuccefsful, but proved a fruitlefs 
burthen ; and her endeavours to maintain peace, 
quiet, and freedom amongft her neighbours, have 
been attended with innumerable loftes. 

" Thirty years experience have fhewn this in 
the numerous quarrels and eternal difputes 
amongft themfelves, which have torn the Polifh. 
republic. Her imperial majefty has viewed their 
furferings in the towns and cities bordering on 
her empire with great grief, confidering them as 
F f 2 defbended 


defcended from the fame race, and profefling the 
Holy Chriltian religion. 

" At prefent even fome unworthy Poles, ene- 
mies to their country, have not been afhamed to 
approve the government of the ungodly rebels in 
the kingdom of France, and to requelt their af- 
iifiance to involve their country alfo in bloody 
civil wars. 

li The true Chriftian religion, and the very 
well being of the inhabitants of the abovemen- 
tioned countries, would fuffer from the introduc- 
tion of fuch deteftable doctrines, which tend to 
annihilate all the political and focial bonds of fo- 
ciety, to overthrow all fafety, property, and pros- 
perity. Thefe enemies of peace and quiet, fol- 
lowing the deteftable plan of the mob of rebels 
in France, propagate their doctrines throughout 
Poland to the utmofl of their power, which 
would deftroy for ever their own and neighbours' 

" From thefe conn* derations, her imperial ma- 
jetty, my moft gracious miftrefs, as well to in- 
demnify herfelf for her many loffes, as for the 
future fafety of her empire and the Poliih domi- 
nions, and for the cutting off at once, for ever, 
all future disturbances and frequent changes of 
government, has been pleafed now to take under 
her fway, and to unite for ever to her empire, 
the following tracts of land, with all their in- 
habitants, namely, a line beginning at the vil- 
lage of Druy, on the left bank of the river 
Dwina, at the corner of the border of Semigallia ; 
from thence extending to Neroch and Dubrova, 
and following the border of the woiwodfhip of 
Vilna to Stolptfa, to Nefvij, and then to Pinfk ; 
from thence paffing Kunifh, between Vifkero and 
Novogreble, near, the frontier of Gallicia ; from 



thence to the river Dneifter, and laftly, running 
along the river till it enters the old border of 
Ruffia and Poland at Jegertic ; in fuch manner, 
that all the cities, lands, and countries, lying with- 
in this line of demarcation, the new border of 
Ruffia and Poland, fhall from henceforward for 
ever come under the fceptre of the Ruffian em- 
pire, and the inhabitants and poflefTors, of all 
ranks whatever, befubjects thereof. 

" Therefore, I being appointed by her imperial 
majeity, governor general of thefe countries, by 
her fupreme order, have to arTure, in her facred 
name, and in her own words, as by this mani- 
fefto I make known to every body, and declare I 
will fulfil, to all her imperial majefly's new fub- 
jecls, and now my beloved countrymen, that her 
mod gracious majefty is pleafed, not only to con- 
firm and infure to all the free and public exercite 
of their religion, and full fecurity of property 
and poffeffion, but to unite and affiliate them 
under her government, for the fame and glory of 
the whole Ruffian empire, an example of which 
is to be feen in her faithful fubjecls the inhabi- 
tants of White Ruffia, now living in full peace 
and plenty under her wife and gracious dominion. 
Further, that all and every one of them fhall en- 
joy all the rights and privileges of her old fub- 
jedts, and that from this day every denomination 
of the inhabitants enters on the full participation 
of thefe benefits through the whole extent of the 
Ruffian empire. 

" Her imperial majefiy expects from the grati- 
tude of her new fubjecf s, that they, being placed 
by her bounty on an equality with Ruffians, fhall, 
in return, transfer their love of their former coun- 
try to the new one, and live in future attached to 
fo great and generous an emprefs. 

Ff3 " I, therefore. 


u I, therefore, now inform every perfon from 
the higheft to the lowefr, that, within one month, 
they mufl take the oath of allegiance before the 
witnefTes whom I fhall appoint ; and if any of 
the gentlemen, or other ranks, poifeffing real or 
immoveable property, regardlefs of their own in- 
terefi, fhall refufe to take the oath prefcribed, 
three months are allowed for the fale of their im- 
moveables, and their free departure over the bor- 
ders ; after the expiration of which term, all their 
remaining property ihall be confifcated to the 

" Clergy both high and low, as paftors of their 
flocks, are expected to fet the example in taking 
the oath ; and in the daily fervice in their churches, 
they muft pray for her imperial majefty, for her 
fucceffor the great duke Paul Petrovitz, and for 
all the imperial family, according to the formula 
which fhall be given them. 

" In the abovementioned folemn affurance con- 
cerning the free exercife of religion and undii- 
turbed pofTeflion of property, it is understood 
that the Jews living in thefe countries united to 
the Ruffian empire, fhall remain on the former 
footing, protected in their religion and property : 
for her majefty's humanity will not permit them 
alone to be excluded from the benefits of her 
kindnefs under the protection of God, fo long as 
they continue to live in peace, and purfue their 
trades as handicrafts like true and faithful fubjects. 
Law and juftice fhall be adminiftered, in the 
name of her imperial majefty, in the proper 
places, with the utmoft ltricitnefs and equity. 

iC I have further thought it needful to add, by 
order of her imperial majefty, that the troops 
ihall, as in their own country, be under the 
ftricteft difcipline ; their taking pofleffion there- 


fore of the various places, and changing the go- 
vernment, mall not in the leaft alter the courfe of 
trade or living : for the increafe of the happinefs 
of the inhabitants in all parts is the intention of 
her imperial majefty. 

" This manifeflo fhall be read in all the 
churches on the 27th of the prefent month of 
March, regiftered in all the municipal books, and 
fixed up in proper places, for the general infor- 
mation ; and that full faith may be given to it, I 
have, in confequcnce of the powers intrufred to 
me, ligned it with my hand, and affixed the feal 
of my arms, at the head quarters of the army un- 
der my command at Polona. 


Michael Krechetnicoff." 

Truflian Declaration. 

*' We, Frederic William, by the Grace of God, 
King of Pruflia, &c. 

" Make known by thefe prefents to the refpec- 
tive itates, biihops, abbots, prelates, woiwodes, 
caftle-keepers, ftarofts, chamberlains, and coun^ 
try judges ; the knighthood, valfals, and nobles, 
the magiftrates and inhabitants of the cities, the 
countrymen, and all the remainder of the fpiri- 
tual and fecular inhabitants of the woiwodmips 
of Pofen, Gnefen, Kalifh, Siradia, the city and 
monaflery of Czentochowa, the province of 
Wielun ; the woiwodfhip of Lentfchitz, the pro- 
vince of Cujavia, the province of Dobrzyn, the 
woiwodfhips of Rawa and Plotzk, &c. in the 
circle of the boundaries, as like wife the cities of 
Dantzic and Thorn, hitherto in the porTefTion of 
the crown of Poland, our gracious will, royal 
F f 4 grace, 


grace, and all forts of good, and give them the 
following moil gracious notice : 

" It is univerfally known that the Polifh na- 
tion never ceafed to afford to the neighbouring 
powers, and chiefly to the PrufTian ftate, frequent 
reafons of juil difcontcntment. Not iatisfled 
(contrary to all rules of a good neighbourhood) 
with hurting the Pruffian territory, by frequent 
invafions, with molefting and ill uiing the fub- 
jects on this tide the frontiers, and with almoil 
continually refuting them juftice and lawful fa- 
tisfaclion ; this nation have, befides, always 
bufied themfelves with pernicious plans, which 
mufc needs attract the attention of the neighbour- 
ing powers. Thefc are matters of fact which 
could not efcape the eye of an attentive obferver 
of the late occurrences in Poiand : but what 
chiefly excited the fenous confideration of the 
neighbouring powers, is the fpirit of rebellion 
continually increafing in Poland, and the vifiblc 
influence which was obtained by thofe abomi- 
nable exertions, by which all civil, political, and 
religious ties, would have been diifolvcd, and 
the inhabitants of Poland expofed.to all the tre- 
mendous coniequences of anarchy, and plunged 
into miferies the end of which could not be feen. 

" If in every country the adoption and thread- 
ing out of fuch deftruclive principles is always 
attended with the lofs of the tranquillity and 
happinefs of its inhabitants, its deftructive con - 
fequences are chiefly, and the more to be dread-, 
ed in a country like Poland, fmce this nation 
have aKvays difh'nguifhed themfelves by diftur- 
bances and party fpirit, and are powerful enough of 
themfelves to become dangerous to. their neighbours by 
tkefe difturbances, 

« It 


" It would certainly militate againft the firfl 
rules of a found policy, as well as the duties in- 
cumbent on us for the prefervation of tranquillity 
in our Hate, if, in fuch a Hate of things in a 
neighbouring great kingdom, we remained inac- 
tive fpectators, and fhould wait for the period 
when the faction feel themfelves flrong enough 
to appear in public ; by which our own neigh- 
bouring provinces would be expofed to feveral 
dangers, by the confequenccs of the anarchy on 
our frontiers. 

" We have therefore, in conjunction with her 
majefly the emprefs of Ruffia, and with the ai- 
fent of his majefly the Roman emperor, acknow- 
ledged, that the fafety of our Hates did require to 
fet to the republic of Poland fuch boundaries 
which are more compatible with her interior 
flrength and iituation, and to facilitate to her the 
means of procuring, without prejudice of her 
liberty, a well- ordained, folid, and active form 
of government, of maintaining herfelf in the un- 
difturbed enjoyment of the fame, and preventing 
by thefe means the diflurbances which have fo 
often fhakcn her own tranquillity, and endanger- 
ed the fafety of her neighbours. 

"In order to attain this end, and to preferve 
the republic of Poland from the dreadful confe- 
quenccs which muil be the refult of her internal 
diviiions, and to refcue her from her utter ruin, 
but chiefly to withdraw her inhabitants from the 
horrors of the deftruclive doctrines which they 
are bent to follow; there is, according to our 
thorough perfuafion, to which alfo her majefly 
the emprefs of all the Ruffias accedes in the moll 
perfect congruity with our intentions and prin- 
ciples, no other means, except to incorporate her 
frontier provinces into our Hates, and for this 



purpofe to immediately take pofTeffion of the 
fame, and to prevent, in time, all misfortunes 
which might arife from the continuance of the 
reciprocal disturbances. 

" Wherefore we have refolved, with the af- 
fent of her Ruffian majefly, to take pofTeffion of 
the abovementioned diftricts of Poland, and alio 
of the cities of Dantzic and Thorn, to the end of 
incorporating them to our ft ate. 

" We herewith publicly announce our firm 
and unfhaken refolution, and expect that the 
Polifh nation will very foon afTemble in the diet, 
and adopt the neceffary meafures to the end of 
fettling things in an amicable manner, and of ob- 
taining the falutary end of fecuring to the repub- 
lic of Poland an undifturbed peace, and preferv- 
ing her inhabitants from the terrible confequences 
of anarchy. At the fame time we exhort the 
ftates and inhabitants of the districts and towns 
which .we have taken pofTeffion of as already 
mentioned, both in a gracious and ferious man- 
ner, not to oppofe our commanders and troops, 
ordered for that purpofe, but rather tractably to 
fubmit to our government, and acknowledge us 
from this day forward as their lawful king and 
fovereign, to behave like loyal and obedient fub- 
jedts, and to renounce all connection with the 
crown of Poland. 

" We do not doubt but every body whom this 
may concern, will attend to it with obedience ; 
but in cafe, contraiy to all expectation, fome 
one or other ftate and inhabitants of the faid dis- 
tricts and towns fhould refufe to obey the con- 
tents of this our open letter, and not take the 
oath of allegiance, nor fubmit to our govern- 
ment, or even attempt to oppofe our command- 
ers and troops, fuch perfon or perfons have una- 


voidably to expect the puni fitments ufual in fuch 
like cafes, to be inflicted upon them without 
any distinction. 

" In vvitncfs whereof we have fubfcribed this 
patent with our own hand, and caufed our royal 
feat to be fet to it to be publifhed in due place, 
and to be publicly printed. 

u Done at Berlin the 25th of March, 1793. 

Frederick William, (L. S.) 



RuJJian Declaration. 

" The intentions which her majefty the emprefs 
of all the Rufiias has caufed to be announced in 
the declaration delivered on the 7-1 8th May, 
la ft year, by her minifies at Warfaw, upon the 
occafion of her troops entering Poland, were 
without contradiction of a nature for obtaining 
the fufTrage, deference, and one might even add, 
ihankfulnefs of the whole French nation. How- 
ever, all Europe has feen in what manner they 
have been received and appropriated. 

" To open to the confederation of Targowicz 
the road by which they might attain the cxercife 
of their rights and legal power, it was necefTary 
to take up arms, and the authors of the revolu- 
tion of the 3d of May 1791, and their adher- 
ents, have not quitted the career by winch they 
have provoked the Ruffian troops, until after 
they were vanquifhed by their efforts. 

' f But if open reliftance ceafed, it was only to 
make room for fecrct machinations, whofe deve- 
loped fprings are the more dangerous, as they of- 
ten efcape the moft attentive vigilance, and even 
the reach of the law. 

" The 


" The fpirit of faction and disturbance lias fhot 
fiich deep roots, that thole who mifchievoufly fo- 
ment and propagate them, after having been un- 
fuccefsful in their cabals at foreign courts to ren- 
der the views of Ruffia fufpicious to them, have 
endeavoured to delude the multitude, always eafy 
to be overtaken, and iucceeded in making them 
ihare in the hatred and animolity they have con- 
ceived againft this empire, for having fruiirated 
them in their criminal expectations. 

" Without fpeaking about feveral facts of pub- 
lic notoriety, that prove the mifchievous difpofi- 
tion of the greateft number of the Polanders, let 
it fuffice to mention, that they have been known 
to abufe even the principles of humanity and of 
moderation, to which the generals and officers of 
the emprefs's army, purfuant to the exprefs orders 
they had received, conformed their conduct and 
actions; and to burft out againft them in all 
manner of infults and bad proceedings, infomuch 
that the moft audacious durit to make mention 
of Sicilian vefpers, and threaten to make them 
undergo the fame. 

" Such is the reward which thefe enemies of 
tranquillity and of good order, whom her impe- 
rial majeity was willing to re-eftablim and fecure 
in their native country, referved for her generous 
intentions ! ! ! 

" From this, one may guefs at the iincerity of 
the acceffion of molt among them to the now ex- 
ifting confederation, and alio at the duration and 
folidity of the peace both abroad and in the bo- 
ibm of the republic. 

a But the emprefs, accuftomed for theie thirty 
years to firuggle againft the continual agitations 
of this jftate, and trailing to the means Provi- 
dence gave her to contain within their bounds 



the difleniions which have reigned there until 
this day, would have perfevered in her difinter- 
eited exertions, and continued to bury in oblivion 
all the grievances the has to lay to its charge, and 
alfo the lawful pretentions to which they intitle 
her, it* inconveniences of a ftill more ferious na- 
ture were not to be apprehended. The unnatu- 
ral delirium of a people of late fo flouriming, 
now degraded, difmembered, and on the brink 
of an abyfs ready to i wallow them, inftead of 
being an object, of horror for thofe factious per- 
fons, appears to them a pattern for imitation. 
They endeavour to introduce into the bofom of 
the republic this internal dodtrine, which a feci, 
altogether impious, facrilegious, and abfurd, has 
engendered, to the misfortune and diilblution of 
all religious, civil, and political focieties. 

il Clubs, which are connected with the Jaco- 
bine Clubs at Paris, are already eftablifhed in the 
capital, as well as in feveral provinces of Poland; 
they diftil their poifon in a iecret manner, fill the 
people's minds with it, and cauie them to ferment. 

" The ettablimment of an axiom fo danger- 
ous for all powers whole Hates border upon the 
dominions of the republic, mutt naturally excite 
their attention. They have m conjunction taken 
the moft proper mcafures for ftifling the evil be- 
fore it came to maturity, and preventing its con- 
tagion from reaching their own frontiers. Her 
majelty the emprefs of all the Ruffias, and his 
majeity the king of Pruffia, with the afient of 
his majefty the emperor of the Romans, have 
found no other effectual ones for their refpective 
iafety than to confine the republic of Poland in 
narrower bounds, by awarding to her an exist- 
ence and proportions which fuit an intermediary 
power beft, and which facilitate to her the means 



of fecuring and preferring herfelf, without pre- 
judicing her former liberty, and a government 
that is wifely regulated, and at the fame time ac- 
tive enough to prevent and reprefs all fuch 
difordcrs and disturbances as have fo often im- 
paired her own tranquillity and that of her 
neighbours. For this purpofe, their majefties 
the emprefs of all the Ruffias and the king 
of Prufria, being united with a perfect concert 
of views and principles, are thoroughly convinced 
that they cannot better prevent the entire fubver- 
fion the republic is threatened with after the dif- 
cord that has divided it, and efpecially by thofe 
monftrous and erroneous opinions that begin to 
manifeft themfelves, than by uniting to their re- 
fpective ftates thofe of the provinces which ac- 
tually border upon the fame, and by taking an 
immediate and effective pofTeffion of them, in 
order to fhelter them in time from the fatal effects 
of thofe very opinions which people leek to pro- 
pagate there. 

" Their faid majefties, by announcing to the 
whole Poliih nation in general the firm refolu- 
tions they have taken on this head, invite them 
to affemble as foon as poiftble in a diet, to the 
end of proceeding to an amicable regulation con- 
cerning this object, and to concur with the falu- 
tary intention they have for fecuring to her in fu- 
ture a ftate of undifturbed peace fixed on a {ta- 
ble and folid bafts. 

" Given at Grodno, the 2*9th of March, 9th 
April, 1793. 

Jacob de Sievers, 

" AmbafTador Extraordinary and Pleni- 
potentiary of her Imperial Majefty 
of all the Ruffias." 



In anfwer to the 2d and 4th of thcfe papers 
the following note was delivered on the 1 8 th of 
April by the illuftrious general confederation to 
his excellency M. De Sievers, ambarTador from 
the emprefs of all the Ruffias. 

" The general confederation of the two nations 
having enjoined the underfigncd to anfwer the 
notes of his excellency M. De Sievers, ambaffa- 
dor extraordinary of her imperial majefly of all 
the Ruflias, they find themfelves charged and 
conftrained to confefs, that the confederation 
never expecled a declaration of the taking of the 
provinces of the republic, and that they on the 
receipt of the firft note have of courfe found 
themfelves in the difficult lituation of conciliating 
the painful fentiments they found themfelves pe- 
netrated with reflecting the regard due to neigh- 
bouring and allied powers ; a lituation which 
alone was the caufe of a longer deliberation. 

" The general confederation thought, they 
might indeed fuppofe, by the purport of the notes 
delivered to them, both on the part of her impe- 
rial majefty of all the Ruflias, and on the part 
of his Pruffian majefly, that the taking of the 
wealthier! provinces of the republic of Poland, 
and whofe extent exceeds that which is left her, 
is no longer an object of negociation fufceptible 
of a mutual arrangement, but rather a declaration 
of what thefe two powers have pleafed to fubmit 
under their dominion ; and it has confequently 
appeared to the general confederation, that no 
power whatfoever, not even that of the diet, be- 
ing able to avert the difafter which unexpectedly 
lias befel the republic, it would have been the 
duty of the faid confederation, who with a folemn 
oath have bound themfelves, in the face of the 
4 church, 


church, to maintain the integrity of the country 
in the fmalleft particle, to withdraw themfelves 
from the leaft participation of any thing that 
might juftly render them perjurers. The delibe- 
rations then only run upon proper means of fav- 
ing the honour of a clear and irreproachable con- 
science ; but lince the confederation have found 
themfelves to be unable to ferve the country in a 
ufeful manner, and to deferve by a loyal counter- 
declaration to fee themfelves rather pitied than 
detpifed, after an event they can in no ways re- 
proach themfelves with, and of which they hope 
to be cleared by an equitable and companionate 

c( It was in a contefr. of limilar fenfations, 
when the fecond note of his excellency the am- 
baffador was handed to the general confedera- 
tion, who are betides forced to fear the reproaches 
of the nation concerning their inaclion, efpecially 
after having been informed, that whatever was 
furnifhed to the numerous army of her imperial 
majelly, fhould not be refunded till the univer- 
fals were publifhed, in order to aflemble an ex- 
traordinary diet. 

" Finally, they have charged the underwritten 
to declare in the name of the general confedera- 
tion, and by their exprefs order, that the laid 
confederation think themfelves fully juftified be- 
fore the fight of the Supreme Being, and the 
equitableneis of the neighbouring and allied pow- 
ers, likevvife before their jufl and impartial na- 
tion, concerning any participation whatever in 
the plan of dividing Poland, and relative to the 
meafures they adopt, purfuant to the laws gua- 
ranteed by thofe very powers — by recalling the 
members of the permanent council, who have 
not givcji an account yet of their pafl; adminiftra- 

tion — 


tion-— by replacing with new members thofe that 
are lawfully excluded — and to further the com- 
plement eftablifhed by the law of 1775; by re- 
itoring befides to this magiftracy all the activity 
given them, to the end of effectually relieving 
the preffing exigencies of the republic, and or* 
continuing its government. 

" The underwritten are in hopes his excellency 
the ambaffador extraordinary of her imperial ma- 
jefty will find this prefent anfwer as loyal and 
jufl as all the actions of the confederation have 
always been, and that he will acquaint his court 
with it, by justifying whatever may have been 
the effect of a too limited power by an oath of 
the faid confederation taken in a folemn man- 


Vice Marfhal of the Confederation of 


Marfhal of the Confederation of the 

The two notes, delivered to the Polifh diet 
from the minifters of St. Peterfburg and Berlin, 
demanding the appointment of a deputation to 
fanction the divifion of the country, produced 
the moft violent altercation. It was agreed in 
the fitting of the 26th of June, upon the motion 
of M. Jankowfki, by a considerable majority of 
votes, to claim the mediation of all the foreign 
courts with thofe of Berlin and St. Peterfburg, 
to withdraw their troops from the provinces of 
the republic, and to give up the fame. 

G g A oit - 


A motion was afterwards made, that the de- 
putation demanded fhould be empowered to treat 
with the court of Ruffia only: this proportion 
was fupported by the king, and carried by a ma- 
jority of 107 voices againft 24. 

On the 28th the marfhal again brought for- 
ward the appointment of a delegation to treat 
with the courts of St. Peteriburg and Berlin 
conjointly. This was oppofed by almoft the 
whole chamber, as inconfiftent with the reiblu- 
tion already adopted to treat only with the court 
of St. Peteriburg, and an injunction was voted 
to the chancellors of Courland and Lithuania, to 
draw up an anfwer to the notes delivered by the 
Ruffian and Pruffian minifters, conformable to 
the principles of this refolution. The inilruc- 
tions prepared by the chancellors for the minif- 
ters at foreign courts, and for the conduct of 
the delegation, viz. to treat only with the court 
of St. Peteriburg, were read. It was propofed, 
as an additional article, to call M. Ducache, 
Charge des Affaires from the court of Vienna, to 
the negociations, becaufe the emperor had gua- 
rantied the treaty of 1775. To give time for ex- 
amining this amendment, the diet adjourned to 
July the 1 ft, when the debates on the delegation 
were renewed ; and to get rid of a difcuffion, 
which, the longer it was purfued, became the 
more embarraifed, it was unanimoufly agreed to 
adjourn the diet to the 15th of July. 

On the 15th the deputies held a fecond confe- 
rence with the Ruffian ambafTador, and delivered 
to him the following memorial ; 



Remonjirances made to the Count de Sievers, the Ruf- 
Jian Ambaflador, on the Part of the King and the 
States of Poland, by the Chancellors of the Crown, 
and of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. 

" The king and the confederated ftates of* the 
republic having had notice of a fecond violence 
committed to-day upon the deputies of the na- 
tion, of vvliom many have been arrefted at their 
houfes ; feeling with forrow the injuries which a 
free and independent nation has fufTered from a 
foreign power, and not being able to continue 
legally our deliberations without the prefence of 
thofe members of the diet, we have ordered una- 
nimoufly the chancellor to prefent, in our name, 
a note to the Ruffian ambaflador, to reprefent 
to him the general fenfation which fuch a pro- 
ceeding has occalioned, and to demand the im- 
mediate enlargement of the perfons arrefted. 

" Having alfo learned that the ambaflador had 
ordered the proviiions deftined for the ufe of the 
king to be intercepted, and the eftates of M. 
Tysikiewiecz, marlhal of the grand duchy of 
Lithuania, to be fequeftrated, which gives us 
reafon to apprehend that in future fuch violences 
may be increafed, we refolved unanimoully that 
the chancellors mail make to the ambaflador 
fuitable reprefentations on the fubjcct, infifting 
that fuch orders fhould be countermanded, as 
well with regard to the king's domains, as the 
fequeftration of the eftates of the marfhal Tyf- 
fkiewiecz; and with refpecl to other eftates of 
which the violation has not yet come to our 
knowledge, the ambaflador will henceforth be 
pleated to abftain from giving fuch orders. 

G g a "A copy 


" A copy of this note fliall be communicated to 
all the foreign minilters residing near the king's 
perfon, and the flates affembled." 

Done at Grodno, July n, 1793. 

This memorial the deputies requefled the am- 
bafTador to tranfmit to the emprefs ; which, 
however, he abfolutely refufed to do ; and, in a 
note which he lent to the diet, accompanied by 
menaces, he infifled on the iignature and ratifi- 
cation of the treaty of alliance and commerce 
between Ruffia and the Republic ; and that the 
deputies mould be invefled with full powers to 
effecT: the fame. 

In the feffion of the fame day (the 1 5th) the 
note was read, the diet confented to the proro- 
gation of the feffion till the 30th, but refufed to 
comply with the withes of the Ruffian ambafla- 
dor refpecting the treaty of alliance. This 
treaty, a plan of which the deputies preferred on 
that day to the diet, confifled of ten articles, and 
contained fome advantages at the expence of 
fome facrifices. The Polifh nation might chufe 
the form of government which' it conceived bell 
adapted to its interefls, except that of the 3d of 
May 1791; but the balls of the advantages to 
be granted to Poland was the complete and full 
ratification of the treaty of partition between 
the courts of Peterfburg and Berlin, in its full 
extent, as was required on the 9th of April. 

In confequence of the refufal of the diet to 
accede, the Ruffian ambafTador on the 1 6th fent 
a note tantamount to a formal declaration of 
war. He faid in this note, that, unlefs the de- 
puties were invefled with the authority required 
on the 17th, he fliould lay the eflates, poffef- 



ilons, and habitations of the members of the 
diet under a military execution ; and, fhould 
the king adhere to the oppoiite party, the royal 
domains would be treated in the fame manner. 

For feveral fuccefhve days the diet was afTailed 
with officiar notes from the Ruffian ambafTador 
and the Pruffian minifter, filled with violent 
menaces, preffing the ngnature of the treaty. 
The ftates, however, perhfted in their refufaL 
At laft M. de Sievers, the Ruffian ambafTador, 
lent in his ultimatum in a note, which ended 
with the following remarkable expreffions : 

" The underwritten mufl beiides inform the 
Hates of the republic affembled in the confede- 
rated diet, that he thought it of abfolute necef- 
iity, for preventing tumult, to order two bat- 
talions of grenadiers, with four pieces of 


command of major-general Rautenfeld, who is 
to concert meafures with the grand marfhal of 
Lithuania for lecuring the tranquillity of their 
deliberations. The under-written expects that 
the fitting will not terminate until the demanded 
fignature of the treaty is decided." 

Done at Grodno, the 2d of September, 

ir 93- 

His excellency kept his word: the two bat- 
talions foon arrived with their cannon : the caf- 
tle was fo clofely furrounded that no perfon was 
fuffered to go out. Major-general Rautenfeld, 
with the officers of the divifion, took pofl in 
the fenate, pretending to guard his majefty's per- 
fon againfl confpirators. The king, confcious of 
his reclitude, and disbelieving the exhtence of 
any confpiracy againft him, fent a delegation to 
the Ruffian ambafTador, declaring that he would 
Gg 3 not 


not open the feffion in the prefence of the Ruf- 
fian officers. In confequence, they were ordered 
to retire, except the general, who declared pub- 
licly that no member ihould be fuffered to quit 
the fenate before the confent to the treaty was 
given. The debates were long and violent ; and 
it was not till three o'clock the next morning, 
after three fucceffive diviiioiis, that the diet 
came to the following refolution : 

Decree of the Diet, pajfed on the id of September, at 
Grodno, empowering the Deputation to treat with 
the P ruffian Minijler. 

* We the king, together with the confederate 
tfates of the republic afTembled in diet, having 
heard the report of the deputation appointed to 
negociate with the minifter of the king of Pruf- 
iia, and feen the plan of the propofed treaty — 
Whereas it appears that, notwithftanding the 
mediation of the Ruffian ambaflador, the court 
of Berlin perfifts in meafurcs detrimental to the 
republic, and that hardly a modification of fome 
of the articles in that treaty was obtained, 
whereby we find ourfelves in the higheft degree 
opprefled: therefore, far from acknowledging 
the pretended legality of right whereby the court 
of Berlin endeavours to juftify its violence ex- 
erted towards the republic, but, on the con- 
trary, adhering moft ftriclly to our former de- 
claration by the note given in anfwer to thofe of 
the two allied courts— Declare before all Eu- 
rope, to whom we have repeatedly appealed, 
That, founded on the faith of treaties moft fa- 
credly obferved on our part, as well as on that 
of the treaty recently entered into with his ma- 
jefty the king of Pruflia, and at his own defire, 



in the year 1790 (whereby the independence and 
the integrity of Poland were guaranteed in the 
raoft folemn manner), being deprived of free 
will, furrounded at this very moment of the 
prefent act by an armed foreign force, and threat- 
ened with a further invation of the Pruffian 
troops, to the end of ruining our remaining ter- 
ritories, we are forced to commiffion and autho- 
rize the faid deputation to lign the treaty, fuch 
as it was planned and amended under the me- 
diation of the Ruffian ambaflfador, containing 
in particular this claufe — " That it iball be gua- 
ranteed by her majefty the emprefs of Ruffia, his 
fovereign, with all feparate articles relating 
thereto, efpecially in regard to commerce, clergy, 
fecurity of the republic and of the inhabitants, 
cither wholly comprized under foreign domi- 
nion, or poflbffing property in both countries ; 
namely, that the prefent prince primate of Po- 
land might relide conftantly within the repub- 
lic, fo attending to his high office, and enjoy his 
entire revenues ; alio, that in cafe of the family 
of princes Radzivil being extinct, the houfe of 
Brandenburg ihould not form any pretenfion to 
their fucceffion, which fhall belong to the re- 
public:" with the following alteration, how- 
ever, of the Lift article in the faid treaty ; " That 
we the king will not ratify fuch treaty of ceffion, 
both in, our and in the republic's name, unlefs 
the treaty of commerce, and all feparate articles 
mutually agreed on, under the accepted media- 
tion and guarantee of the court of Ruffia, by 
both parties, fhall be finally fettled and ligned 
by the contracting powers." 

The fubfequent negociation with Pruffia ended 
as it began, or rather furpafTed all the violences 
exercifed on the 2d of September. 

Gg 4 Oa 


On the 23d of that month the Ruffian am- 
barTador, early in the morning, opened the ne- 
gociation, by arrefting four members of the diet, 
viz. Krafnodemefki, of Liva; Szydloufki, of 
Plock ; Mikerfki, of Wyfzogrod ; and Sharzyn- 
fki, of Lomza, whom he fent off immediately 
under a guard to the refpective places they repre- 

Next, he ordered two battalions of grenadiers, 
with three pieces of cannon, to furround and 
block up all the avenues and gates of the eaflle. 

After thefc preliminaries, the fitting of the 
diet began. Its formal opening was fhongly op- 
pofed, on the ground of a former decree, that all 
deliberations mould ceafe whenever any violent 
act mould be employed againlt a member of the 
legiflative body. 

In confequence, before the reading of the am- 
baffador's notes was allowed, two deputations 
were fucceflively fent to him, to demand the li- 
berty of the arretted members. They were an- 
fwered both verbally and by a note, with abfo- 
lute refufal. The notes were then read. The 
houfe conceiving itfelf to be in a pailive Hate, 
as being under foreign arms, and deprived of a 
free deliberation, would not proceed for many 
hours on any butinefs ; during which time they 
witnefled a moll diftreffing and humiliating fcene ; 
a Ruffian general ftrutting to and fro in the 
middle of the fenate, in the prcfence of the king 
on the throne, perfuading and menacing, alter- 
nately, the members to iign, unconditionally, 
the demands of the king of Pruffia. 

Five hours were fpent in this manner ; at laft, 
on the motion of count Ankwicz, nuncio of 
Cracow, it was agreed to make a folemn de- 
claration, or proteft, againft the violent mea- 


fures employed by the Ruffian ambafTador on 
the 2d of September, and that day; and that, 
to prove a total inactivity of the diet, inflead of 
expreffing their Sentiments in the ufual manner, 
either by voting or by acclamation, they mould 
keep a mournful filence when the marfhal fhould 
propofe the project in queftion. This was ac- 
cordingly adopted. 

Thus was obtained the confent to a ceffion, 
which is to juftify it in the eyes of Europe and 
poflerity. Thus ended this extraordinary nego- 
ciation, unexampled in the annals of diploma- 
tic hiflory ; and thus, in confequence, was figned 
the treaty of ceffion of the Polifh provinces to 
Pruflia. The proteft, however, of the diet, de- 
ferves to be particularly noticed by the prefent 
generation and by all poflerity. 

Declaration of the Diet, 

" The diet of Poland, hemmed in by foreign 
troops, and threatened with an irruption from 
the Pruffian army — informed, too, that this ir- 
ruption mall be attended with univerfal defla- 
tion and destruction- --finally, infulted by a thou- 
sand outrages, have been forced to accede to the 
figning of the treaty with Pruffia. 

" They did endeavour to add to the treaty 
fome conditions to which they conceived that 
the lamentable fituation of their country would 
have extorted a confent even from the heart of 
power. But the diet were deceived. They 
found that power was unaccompanied by pity, 
and that Pruffia, having thrown her vi6tim to 
the ground, would not refrain from enjoying the 
miferable Satisfaction of trampling upon it. 
Frcfh infults have been heaped upon their heads, 



and new conditions have been impofed upon 
them. To prevent all deliberations upon thefe 
conditions, the diet have not only been fur- 
rounded by foreign troops, and infulted by me- 
nacing notes, but they have been violated by the 
arreft of their members, who have been dragged 
ignominioufly from the midfl of them, while 
thofe who were fuffered flill to pofiefs a pcrfonal 
freedom, have been held in mental opprefiion 
and flavery. 

" I, therefore, the king of Poland, enervated 
by age, and finking under the accumulated 
weight of fo many vexations and fuch multiplied 
oppreffions ; and we alfo, the members of the 
diet, declare, that being unable, even by the fa- 
crifice of our lives, to relieve" our country from 
the yoke of its oppreffors, consign itto poste- 
rity, trufring that means may then be found to 
refcue it from opprefiion and flavery. Such 
means are unhappily not in our power. Other 
countries neglect us. While they reproLr-te the 
violations which one country is alledgcd to have 
committed againfr liberty, they can lee not only 
with apathy, but with approbation, the outrages 
which have been committed againft Poland. 
We have done. We accede, for the reafons 
above-mentioned, to the treaty laid before us, 
though it is contrary to our withes, to our fenti- 
ments, and to our rights." 

Done at Grodno, Sept. 24, 1793. 

This appeal, as well as a detail of the events 
of the 23d of September, and the following 
days, were afterwards tranfmitted to all the fo- 
reign minifters. 

By fubfequent meafures the Polifh nation, be- 
lieving its political exiftence to depend on a per- 


petual alliance with a powerful neighbour, put 
itfelf under the protection and courted the benevo- 
lence of her imperial majeity of all the Ruffias, 

The end of the diet of Grodno was worthy an 
affembly from whofe epoch Poland will date the 
confumination of her political annihilation, and 
the remembrance of which will remain deeply 
engraven on the mind of every friend of juilice 
and humanity. The lad fittings were remarka- 
ble for the turbulent and precipitate manner with 
which they hnilhed, or, more properly fpeaking, 
ftranglcd, the important bulinefs which was on 
the carpet, namely, the new confutation. Im- 
portant as this was for the remains of the repub- 
lic, which Hill preferved the name of Poland and 
Lithuania, they entered not into the leail difcuf- 
iion upon the different articles which . were to 
compote it. The plan, which had been previ- 
oully drawn up, experienced very little change, 
was accepted in a mafs, and its acceptation was 
inferted in the registers, with the addition that it 
had been read before the ftates afTembled in a 
confederated diet. About 20 nuncios wifhed, it 
is true, to protefl againft various articles, but no 
attention was paid either to their advice or oppo- 
lition, and this new form palled immediately into 
a law, at leait for the time, for its perpetuity was 
not afTured by any guarantee, not even by that of 
Ruflia. This they failed not to remark as a fin- 
gularity; but it was no matter of furprize to 
thole who recollected the fubftance of the 15th 
article of the treaty of alliance between Ruflia 
and Poland, in which it was expreflly fHpulated, 
" that the king and republic engage, in the moft 
folemn and binding manner, not to undertake or 
effect any change or amendment which may in- 
fringe the form of government to be eftablifhed, 



without confulting her majelty the cmprefs of all 
the Ruffias, or her fucceffors ;" the remit of 
which ftipulation was, that Ruffia, without en- 
gaging for the perpetuity of the new form, took 
care, if ever a change were requilite, it Ihould 
be made without her approbation. 

The act of this constitution was immediately 
publilhed in the Polifh tongue. It confilted of 
four parts ; the firfl of which contained the pafta 
conventa> and the fundamental laws. The other 
parts prefcribed the regulations for the dietines, 
the different tribunals, the clergy, &c. Another 
act, parTed towards the clofe of this unfortunate 
diet, confolidated the laft difmemberment of the 
republic, by eflablifhing three commiffioners for 
the demarcation of the limits ; one for the con- 
fines between Ruflia and LefTer Poland ; another 
for thofe between the former and Polifh Lithua- 
nia ; and a third to regulate the frontier with the 
Pruffian eftates ; the whole conformably to the 
treaties of cejfion ligned in the name, of the diet. 
As for the treaty of commerce with the court of 
Berlin, it met with a number of difficulties, es- 
pecially with regard to the Itaple duty which 
the city of Dantzick enjoyed when it belonged 
to the Sovereignty of Poland ; they would not 
fuffer this affair to retard the doling of the diet, 
and the further negociation of this treaty was re- 
ferred to the new permanent council, jointly with 
the commiffion of the treafury. 

It was obferved, that, in the courfe of the ne- 
gociation, the ambaffador, count de Sievers, Sup- 
ported, as much as lay in his power, the com- 
mercial intercfts of Poland, but in fuch a man- 
ner as by no means either to interrupt or weaken 
the good underflanding which fublifted between 
him and the" Pruffian minifter. The latter, on 



the contrary, in the long and laft fitting, from 
the 2,3d to the 24th of November, delivered a 
note to the ftates atfembled, congratulating them 
on the alliance which they had concluded with 
the court of Peteriburgh, and alluring them that 
the alliance was the more agreeable to the king 
his matter, as the emprefs was the ally and friend 
of his Pruffian majefty. 

Poland, thus reduced to one-third part of its 
primitive force and extent, naturally loft a pro- 
portionate part of its revenues. In the laft fe{- 
fion of the 23d of November a plan was formed 
and adopted to raife two loans under the gua- 
ranty of her Ruffian majeity ; one of 27 millions 
of PolilTi florins, to discharge the private debts 
of the king ; the other of i o millions, for the 
ufc of the republic itfelf. The revenues of the 
Icing's domains were fpecially appropriated for 
the payment of his debts. As for the finances 
of the republic, it was Hated by the protocol of 
the deputation charged with the examination of 
that part of the public ceconomy, that for the 
future, and in confequence of its difmember- 
ment, its revenues fhould not exceed 16 millions 
of Polifh florins a year, ten millions of which 
were to be contributed by what remained of the 
provinces of Poland, and fix millions by the 
remnant of thofe of Lithuania. As this rum, 
therefore, muft ferve to defray the fupport of the 
army, the other expences of the ftate comprized 
in the civil lift, and the revenues of the king; 
his Poliih majefty, for the future, could receive 
only two millions from the treafury. 

We have before obferved, that the clofe of the 
diet was equally turbulent and ftormy a& the 
commencement. In fact, the two laft feflions 
were far more tempeftuous. The difcontent 



againft the procedure of the Ruffian ambafTador 
burft out with all its force, and the party in op- 
polition to the court of Ruffia exerted every ef- 

Some time back, in confequence of fome re- 
prefentations made in the name of the emprefs, 
they abolifhed the distinctions of a military or- 
der deftined to decorate and reward thofe officers 
of the Polim army who had lignalized themfelves. 
The re-eftablifhment of this order was now de- 
manded and decreed. The decree had no fooner 
paffed than an officer, who was among the fpec- 
tators, prefented himfelf in the middle of the 
hall, decked with thofe distinctive marks. He 
thanked the king for reftoring to the brave fol- 
diers of Poland a decoration which they had {o 
well merited by defending their country. His 
example was followed in an inftant by moft of* 
the nuncios. They all rofe, and proceeded in a 
very tumultuous manner to the throne, to kifs 
his majefty's hand, and to thank him. This de- 
cree, however, which mud difpleafe the Ruffian 
minister, had paffed fuddenly, and almoft by 
furprize ; Staniflaus Auguftus was, therefore* 
under the neceffity of blaming the d'rforder of 
this deliberation, and Hill more, the confined re- 
turn of thanks which were offered him. His 
fpeech rather damped the ardour of their minds ; 
but neither his majefty nor the marfhal of the 
diet could effect the revocation of the decree, 
which, notwithstanding the wilhes of Ruflia, 
re-eftabliihed the military order. Such was the 
end of the famous diet of Grodno, which fepa- 
rated on the 24th of November 1793, at nine 
o'clock in the morning. 

The boldnefs, however, which had thus re- 
eilablifhed a military order that was offenfive to 
!■' *' the 


the emprefs, did not anfwer the public expedi- 
tion ; for on the 24th of December count de Sie~ 
vers received a courier from Peterfburgh ; imme- 
diately after which it was reported that that mi- 
nifter was on the point of quitting Warfaw 
without taking leave, the emprefs being extremely- 
irritated at the re-eftablifhment of the order which 
the diet of Warfaw of 1791 had only inftituted 
to reward thofe who fought againft the arms 
and interefl of her imperial majefty. As foon 
as this was known, the permanent council af- 
fembled, and the refult was, a relblution to 
fupprefs the faid military order, and fend a de- 
putation to Peterfburgh to announce the fame 
formally to the emprefs. The count Tyfkiewiecz 
was accordingly fent to induce her majefty to 
pardon the republic for the fault committed by 
her late diet. 

The following is the fubftance of the new 
Polifh conftitution decreed by the diet : 

Art. I. The kingdom of Poland and Grand 
Duchy of Lithuania, with the remainder of the 
duchies, woiwodfhips, countries, and diftricls, 
of which they now confift, being, according to 
their rights and privileges, an individual whole, 
fhali conftitute forthwith an indivifible, free, 
and independent republic, whole fupreme power 
fhali be veiled in the diet. The latter, having 
conflantly the king at its head, fhali confift of 
the fenators and the reprefentatives of the nobi- 
lity ; and if thus alTembled in this lawful man- 
ner, it fhali have the fole power of making 
laws, and the nation fhali only be bound to 
obey fuch laws as the diet hath enacted. The. 
diet alone can impofe taxes, and fupport there- 
with an army which mufl be faithful ; it can 
alone declare war, make peace, and conclude all 

4 kinds 


kinds of treaties, eftablifh and direct colleges or 
offices of ftate, fix their duration, chufe their 
members, fend ambaffadors, &c. &c. In fhort, 
no ordinances lhall be executed in the territories 
of the republic, which have not been derived 
from the flates in dietafTembled. The legiilative 
power fhall for ever remain feparated from the 
executive power: the diet can, therefore, ac- 
complifh the execution of all its decrees by the 
magiftrates only. No part of the executive 
power fhall order any thing, or act beyond what 
has been ordained by the laws. 

Art. II. The property of the feudal right 
fhall never be annihilated, and the fovereignty 
of the republic over the feoffee fhall conflantly 

Art. III. The Roman Catholic religion of 
both rituals fhall be the conflant predominant 
one in Poland. 

Art. IV. The feceffion from the Roman Ca- 
tholic religion to fome other religion, fhall ever 
be a crime in Poland ; and he that fhall be con- 
victed thereof is to be banifhed the kingdom ; at 
the fame time the conflitution of 1775, w ^ n re ~ 
gard to Proteftants, fhall be obferved. 

Art. V. The king and queen of Poland mufi 
be Roman Catholics. Should the queen be of a 
different perfuafion, and not abjure the fame, fhe 
cannot be crowned. 

Art. VI. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania 
fhall remain for ever united with Poland, in 
which refpect the rights of the union, and other 
particular rights of that province, fhall be pre- 

Art. Vljf. The incorporation of Courland with 
Crown-Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithua- 
nia^ made in 1569, belides all other eonftitu- 



tions with regard to that dukedom, as likewife of 
the diflricl of Pilthen, fhall be preferved invio- 

Art. VIII. It fhall be permitted to no branch 
of the public power, not even to the legiflativc 
branch, to exchange or cede any poffeffion of 
the republic. Treaties of that kind are not only 
declared void, but every one who fhall propoie 
them is to be declared and punifhed as a traitor 
to his country. 

N. B. The fucceffion to the throne> according 
to the new conflitution, is henceforth to be ac- 
complished by the choice of the ftates. 

On the 7th of February 1794* baron d'lngel- 
ftrohm, who had fuccceded count de Sievers as 
Ruffian ambafTador at Warfavv, demanded of the 
ftates not only the public annulling of all the acts 
of the diets of 1788 and 1791, together with 
the form of conftitution then eitablifhed* but the 
abfolute fnrrender into his hands of all papers 
relating to thofe tranfactions, whether in public 
records or in private cabinets. In confequence 
of which Was drawn up the following act. : 

" Not to leave pofterity any traces of the or- 
dinary diet opened in 1788, and afterwards con- 
verted into a revolutionary diet on the 3d of May 
1 79 1, we declare, by the unanimous content of 
the republican Hates aflembled, this diet as not 
having exifted, and its decrees of no efTecl. 
The conflitution, the laws, and all the decrees 
made in the courfe of this diet, having been the 
caufc of every kind of calamity, and the lofs of 
thofe immenfe provinces which the republic has 
fuffered, we annul, and decree that they fhall 
not be inferted in our code of laws : and as this 
diet, among other things, reverfed the law which 
forbade the choice of a fuccefTor during our life, 
H h and 


and the nomination of any one whatever to fue- 
ceed to the crown of Poland, and demanded us 
to agree to that change, while we, remembering 
the pafla conventa, pcrfiftcd in it by energetic re- 
presentations ; but, not being able to reiift the 
repeated demands of the diet then affcmbled, 
who had difpenled us, in the name of the whole 
nation, from the fworn article of the pafta con- 
venta, with regard to the fucceffion to the throne, 
we obeyed faithfully their declared will; we are 
perfuaded that fuch a ftep, which had not in 
view our perfonal advantage, or that of our fa- 
mily, cannot be imputed to us as a fault. But, 
as the illuibry afpecls of the fame diet, inftead 
of the welfare, has brought the greater! difaitcrs 
on our republic, on that account we promife, 
with the confent of the fiates now affembled, 
that from this time it fhall not be lawful either 
for us or our fucceffors, without the confent of 
the republic, to violate or weaken this funda^ 
mental law of the Polifh nation." 

An order was foon after iilued from the Ruf-* 
Han court for the reduction of the Polifh troops 
to 1 6,000 men ; many regiments oppofed this 
mcafure, and disturbances broke out, particu- 
larly towards South Pruffia, where the inilir- 
gents were headed by Madeliniky, a Poliih no- 
bleman and brigadier of the national troops, who 
peremptorily refuted to dilband according to the 
late order. The fpirit of reiift ance rapidly lpread, 
and the capital was foon in a ftate of fermenta- 
tion, and affirmed quite a military afpect. Fif- 
teen thoufand Ruffian troops entered Poland ; 
general d'Ingelftrohm delivered an official docu- 
ment to the permanent council at "Warfaw, re- 
prefenting the danger which threatened the king, 
and requeuing the commiHioneio of the war de- 


partment to fend a body of Polifh troops to op- 
pofe Madelinfky and his army of patriots, but 
this was refuted. To the permanent council an- 
other official note was delivered by general In- 
gclftrohm, to take into cuftody every fufpec'ted 
perfon without diftinclion of rank, or iituation. 
Their anfwer was manly and judicious ; they 
briefly laid, that, according to the constitutional 
laws of the republic, no Polifh nobleman could 
be arretted without being judicially convicted. 

The number of the patriots now increafed 
daily, and their perfecutions and oppreffions 
routed them from every quarter. Thefe critical 
circumftances called forth the talents and exer- 
tions of general Kosciusko, of whom the fol- 
lowing brief account may not be unacceptable : 

Thaddee Kosciusko is about 40 years of age, 
of middling flature, and of a fierce and penetrating 
nfpecl. He was born a gentleman; but his family 
not being in affluent circumftanccs, he was lent to 
the fchool of cadets*, to be educated for the army. 
From this fchool it has been ufual for the kings 
of Poland to fend annually four of its youths into 
foreign countries, to perfeel: themfelves in military 
tactics, and the art of war. Kofciufko had the 
good fortune to be one of thefe feledted youths. 
He was patronized by the king, and fent into 
France with the beft recommendations, where he 
itudied upwards of four years in the military aca- 
demy of Verfailles, and returned to Poland with 
the reputation of being a very fkilful engineer. 
Soon after this he was appointed to the command 
of a company of artillery in the regiment of the 
crown, and was looked up to as a man of ecu- 1 
rage and eminence in his profeffion. 

* See p. 304, 

H h 2 About 


About this time it was that he captivated the 
affections of a young lady of the firft family and 
fortune in Poland. The lovers had contrived 
man)- private interviews, before the parents of the- 
lady had an opportunity of difcovering their con- 
nection ; in all of which Kofciufko conducted 
himfelf by the rigid rules of honour and virtue. 
He therefore conceived himfelf warranted in mak- 
ing an open declaration of their mutual regard, 
and in foliciting the confent of the lady's friends 
for an immediate celebration of their nuptials. 
But being a leading family among the nobles, an 
alliance with Kofciufko was deemed inconfiflent 
and degrading ; hence a peremptory refufal was 
experienced, and an infupcrable bar put to the 
fond hopes of the anxious lovers. Kofciufko, 
however, after finding it impoffible to gain the 
confent of her parents, had the addrefs to carry 
off the lady, and was rapidly purfuing his route 
to France, when the unfortunate circumflance of 
their carriage breaking down, and no poffibility 
of having it replaced or repaired with requifite 
foeed, gave the enraged father, and a flrong par- 
ty of relatives, an opportunity of coming up with 
them. Here a very fierce rencounter enfued, 
in which Kofciufko was eventually reduced to 
the unpleafant dilemma of being obliged either. 
to kill the father, or give up the daughter. Hu- 
manity prevailed even over the force of affection. 
He returned his fword peaceably to the fcabbard, 
and nobly refrored the fair prize to his purfuers, 
rather than fpill the blood of him who gave her 

The public co nverfation, in all the upper cir- 
cles, turning on this event, and the feelings of 
Kofciufko being considerably hurt, he obtained 



leave of abfence from his fovereign, and went to 
America. At that period the late unfortunate 
war with England was carrying on with full vi- 
gour. Kofciulko offered himfelf a volunteer to 
Wafhington, and was honoured with an import- 
ant command in his army. After the peace he 
returned with the marquis de la Fayette to France, 
where the French officers who had ferved in that 
campaign, and Dr. PYanklin, always fpoke of 
him as a man of equal magnanimity, fortitude, 
and courage, and to whom America was greatly 
indebted for his ferviccs. 

Kofciulko having thus acquired reputation 
abroad, returned, with the laurels, to his native 
country, where he afterwards diflinguifhed him- 
felf in three battles which prince Poniatowfki 
fought with the Ruffians, at the time of the diet 
ofTargowicz; and it is faid, that if the councils 
of Kofciufko had been followed in that fhort 
war, affairs would have taken a better turn. 
When, therefore, Staniflaus found himfelf <.: bliged 
to ceafe hoftilities, Kofciufko, dcfpiling an inac- 
tive life, again procured leave to enter into foreign 
fervice. He went to Pifa in the month of De- 
cember 1793, where he profeffed himfelf going 
to Geneva ; but, in fact, he went to Paris. He 
was there introduced to many of the leading 
members of the convention, whofc policy induced 
them to prefent him with ten millions of livres to 
itir up an infurreclion in Poland, in order to 
draw off the Pruffian army from acting with the 
allies, and to confine the attention of Frederick- 
William to a different part of the continent. 

It is evident that Kofciufko made the bell ufe 

•both of his time and money. Early in February 

lae found himfelf at the head of a confiderable 

H h 3 body 


body of the Polifh infurgents, and boldly at- 
tacked the Pruffians who had taken poffeilion of 
their country. Thefe they drove before them 
from one part to another, until they came to 
Inowlotz, where the Pruffians contrived to retard 
the march of Kofciufko for about half an hour, 
by breaking down part of the wooden bridge ; 
till at laft a party of the Polanders fwam acrofs 
the river, and coming upon the rear of the ene- 
my, put them to flight. They then attacked the 
Ruffian troops in Cracow, contiitlng of upwards 
of fix hundred men, whom they drove out, and 
took pofTeliion of the garrifon ; foon after which, 
viz. on the 24th of March 1794, Kofciufko if- 
fued the following proclamation : 
" Dear Fellow Citizens, 

" Having been often called to affift in the fal- 
vation of our common country, behold I obey 
the call — but I cannot be ufeful to you, or break 
the chains of flavery, if you do not give me fpeedy 
fuccoiif !— Support me with your whole force, 
and fly to the ftandard of your country. In this 
common caufe the fame zeal ought to animate U3 

" Make voluntary facrifices of your wealth, 
which hitherto, inftead of being at your own dif- 
pofal, was at the will of a defpot. — Furnifh men 
capable of bearing arms — do not refufe the nc- 
ceitary provilions of bread, bifcuit, &c— Send 
horfes, Ihirts, boots, cloth and canvafs for tents. 
The generous facririces made to liberty and your 
country, will receive their recompenfe in the gra- 
titude of the nation. 

" The laft moment is arrived, in which de- 
fpair, in the midft of fhame and reproach, puts 
arms in your hands. Our hope is in the contempt 



of death, which can alone enable us to ameliorate 
our fate, and that of our pofterity. Far be from 
us that terror which the enemies, confpired againfl 
us, endeavour to infufe into our minds. 

" The firff. ftep to throw off the yoke is to dare 
to believe ourfelves free — and the firft ftep to vic- 
tory is a confidence in our ftrength ! 

u Citizens, the palatinate of Cracow affords 
you a fignal example of patriotifm. It offers the 
flower of its youth, having already granted pecu- 
niary and other affifiance— -their example is wor- 
thy of imitation— do not hefitate to place credit 
in your country, which will reward you well— 
the ordinances iffued by the generals of the pala- 
tinate, and the commanders of the troops, to fur- 
hifh the ncccfiary provifions, will be placed to 
the account of impofts, and will be paid for in 
the fequel. It is unneceflary to encourage you 
before-hand, becaufc that would appear to doubt 
your civifm ; the continued oppreflion praclifed 
by the Ruffian foldiers, ought fufficiently to con- 
vince you, that it is better to make voluntary fa- 
crifices to your country, than to make facrifices 
by force to an enemy. Whoever in thefc circum- 
fiances dares be infenfible to the urgent neceffi- 
tics of his country, muff draw upon himfelf eter- 
nal infamy. 

" Dear fellow citizens, I expect every thing 
from your zeal— your hearts will join that facred 
union which is neither the work of foreign in- 
trigue, nor of a defire of domination, but is folely 
the effect of a love for liberty. 

" Who does not declare for us is againfl us. He 
who refutes to aflbciate with thofe who have 
fworn to fiied their lafi: drop of blood for their 
country,* is either an enemy, or one who is neu • 
ter, and in fuch a caf neutrality is a crime againft 
H h 4 civifm. 


civifm. I have fworn to the nation that the pow- 
ers intrufted to me fhall not be applied to the op- 
preffion of the people. At the fame time I de- 
clare, that whoever acts againfl our confederacy, 
fhall fufTcr the punimment eftablifhed in the na- 
tional act, of a traitor and enemy to his country. 

" We have already tinned by connivance, 
which has ruined Poland. Scarcely has an of- 
fence againit the people ever been punifhcd. Let 
us now adopt a different mode of conduct;- --and 
let us rccompenfe virtue and civifm by purfuing 
and punifhing traitors. 

Titaddee Kosciusko." 

After this proclamation, the populace allem- 
bled in prodigious numbers, every where fhout-* 
ing, " Long live Kofciuiko." They then con- 
ducted him to the town-houfe of Cracow, where 
he was prcfented to the heads of the Polifh no- 
"bility, who had affembled there to receive him. 
By thefc he was formally inveffed with the title of 
general, and made commander in chief of the 
troops collected for liberating Poland from the 
fhacklcs of its opprefTors. His troops then alfo 
took an oath to deliver their country, or perifh in 
the attempt. 

To fuch a degree of cnthufiafm were the Poles 
animated by the conduct of Kofciuiko, that his 
army was fuperabundantly fupplied with every ar- 
ticle necciiary for the profecutidn of hoftile ope- 

On the 26th of March the different corpora- 
tions of Cracow affembled under their refpective 
banners before the town-houfe, from whence the 
magistrates led them on in a proceffion to the 
church of the Holy Virgin, where the Constitu- 
tion of the 3d of May, 1791, was publicly read 
with great folemnitv, accented, and an oath taken 



to defend it. General Kofciufko afterwards if- 
fued a proclamation, exhorting the Polifh fubjec~ts 
to refpect the dominions of the Emperor, and 
to give no reafon of complaint to any of the 
fubjec"ts of his imperial majefty. This procla- 
mation was fent to all the Auflrian commanders 
and magiflrates of the frontier territories, re- 
queuing at the fame time, that if, during the 
troubles in Poland, any violence mould be com- 
mitted on the perlbns or property of any of the 
lubjccls of his imperial majeity, application 
fhould be made to the revolutionary government 
which had been eftablifhed, and which engaged 
to procure an immediate and ample Satisfaction 
and indemnification for fuch violation. 

By this revolutionary tribunal the chancellor 
Rimiffewfki and feveral other perfons of inferior 
note were tried, convicted of trcafon againii the 
nation, and executed in the market-place. 

Baron d'Ingelftrohm, having about this time 
Surrounded the diet at Warfaw with his military 
forces, now demanded that the arfenal fhould be 
Surrendered to him. This was bravely refitted, 
and notice being fent to Kofciufko, he on the 
6th of April fct out from Cracow on his route to 
Warfaw. His army of regulars and artillery 
had received a reinforcement of 4,000 peafants, 
armed with pikes, fcythes, &c. On his way, he 
defeated 6,000 Ruffians, under Romanzow. 
The Polifh peafants, driven to defperation, gave 
no quarter. A dreadful carnage of the Ruffians 
was the confequence. Colonel Woronzow was 
taken prifoner, 1000 Ruffians were killed, while 
the Poles had only 60 flain, and 80 wounded. 
The defeated loft eleven pieces of heavy artillery, 
^nd all their ammunition. 



Early on the 16th of April, the Ruffian am- 
baf factor not only again demanded the furrender 
of the Polifh arfenal, but alio that the military 
jTiould be difarmed, and that twenty perfons of 
confequence ihould bq arretted, and, if found 
guilty, . punifhed with death. The king and 
permanent council remonftrated in vain. Prince 
Sulkowfky, the chancellor, being fent to Ingel- 
ftrohm upon the occafion, was received with fo 
much violence and infult, as to throw him into 
a dangerous ficknefs, in which he remained a 
confiderable time. This ipread rapidly through 
the city. The foldiers and inhabitants prepared 
far what they expected would follow. The Ruf- 
fians, of whom there were 6000 in the city, at- 
tempted early in the morning of the 17th, to 
take pofleffion of the arfenal, and difarm the gar- 
rifbn. A deputation immediately flew to the 
ling, and requcfted him to revenge the infult 
offered to his troops in the capital. He imme- 
diate!)' aniwercd, " Go, and defend your ho- 
nour!" They inftantly took the loaded piece of 
cannon, which flood before the caftle, and 
marched to the palace of Ingeliirohm, who was 
then in it. In the mean time, the people took 
pofleffion of the arfenal, armed themfelves, 
drew out the cannon, and aifembled a force of 
2,0,000 foldiers, citizens, and inhabitants. The 
rontcft began, and continued without the leaft 
intermiffion for eighteen hours, wlren the Ruf- 
fians, driven from palace to palace, belonging ta 
different nobles, hung out the white flag, and of- 
fered to furrender. Although this was molt rea- 
dily accepted, the. Ruffians were fo treacherous 
as to fire upon the. people afterwards. This fo in- 
terned the inhabitants, that {hey killed all the 



"Ruffians, and fet fire to the palaces and places of 
their fhelter. 

The Pruffian minifler Buckholz was detained 
as an hoftage, as were feveral Ruffian general of- 

The lituation of the king now became alarm- 
ing, especially fince the regency no longer kept 
any meafures with the minifters and other agents" 
ofRuflia and Pruffia, and the people had fhewiv 
an inclination for capital punishments. 

On the 24th eight members of the regency 
went to the king and faid, " We are appointed 
by the regency to fay to you, Sire, that the peo- 
ple exprefs great diftruft of your majefly being 
defirous of quitting Warfaw fecretly. They fay 
•that yefterday you took a walk along the Viftula, 
accompanied only by two peribns, in order to 
.prepare your flight by water. * We have pledged 
our lives on the falfity of thcfe fufpicions, but 
the alarms of the people are not to be calmed; 
and we beg of your majefty to give us the means 
of fatisfying the people on this head." The king 
replied, " It is about four days fince I took fuch 
a walk as you mention, but it was in broad day, 
and without any myftery. I went to fee the rafts 
which were arrived, and to aflc what proviiions 
they had brought for Warfaw, a thing of much 
importance at the prefent juncture. - I afterwards 
went to fee how far the building of the bridge 
was advanced. From thence I returned to the 
Great Square in full day, and accompanied not 
by two perfons, but by a crowd of people. Gen- 
tlemen, I gave you, four days ago, my word that 
I would not quit Warfaw — I reiterate the fame 
to you now in the mofl poiitive manner— what, 
would you more ?" Upon this anfwer of the king, 
ihc delegates replied, (i That for themfelves, they 


476 kWtory OF POLAND, 

were perfuadedof his truth ; but that the peopled 
diftruft was fo great, that ibmething more than 
this muft abfoltitely be done." — " Say then your- 
fblves (replied the king) what you think necef- 
fary," They then declared, " That the people 
wifhed to have fome one of confidence always in 
the royal apartment, and to follow his majefty 
whereioever he went." The king anfwered, 
fi This mull neceflarily hurt me extremely, if the 
diitrurr arifes from you ; but as you fay the peo- 
ple can no otherwiic be calmed, I do not oppofe 
it." The delegates then begged the king to 
appear often in the moft frequented places of 
the city, as he had been ufed before the 1 7th of 
April, which the king promifed. The delegates 
then mentioned two foreigners who refided at the 
Caflle, and were attached to the king, the one 
for near thirty, the other for ten years, as much 
inspected. This intimation was highly refented 
by his majefty, and he concluded the audience 
with anfwering for the fidelity of all his fervants 
who refided at his palace. 

The plan of fetting a guard over the king was, 
however, put into execution. Two municipal 
officers accompanied him wherever he went and 
ate at his table. For this fervice, fourteen mem- 
bers of the municipality had been nominated, who 
relieved each other every twenty-four hours. In 
other refpccls the king was treated with every out- 
ward mark of dignity, and he fhewed himfelf to 
the people every day by riding through the flrects 
of Warlaw. It will, however, be perceived by 
this circumflance, that Staniflaus, the good but 
unfortunate king, was a mere prifoncr of ftate, 
and his life dependent on the will of the mob. 
The council of regency was at this time fupreme. 



The king of Pruflia now, having detached 
himfelf from the confederacy againft the French, 
arrived at the head of his army in Poland, and, 
united with the forces of Ruffia under general 
Ferfen, conceived that he came hut to conquer. 

We may here ftop to contemplate the fcene 
which Poland at this time prefented to the view 
of Europe. We perceive an honeft unfophifti- 
cated people oppreffed hy itrangers, and a vir- 
tuous but unhappy prince flruggling in the fame 
toils, loil to his age and ufelefs to his nation. 
Poland, fo long the victim of foreign politics and 
venal elections, and protected only by the com- 
mon jealoufy of neighbouring ftates, became the 
eaiy prey of treaties and partitions ; but at length, 
infiead of intriguing and negociating, we behold 
the Ruffian ambaffador give the law at Warfaw, 
himfelf a foldier, and an army in his fuite. Pruf- 
lia, which had fometimes been temperate from 
fear, and juft from jealoufy, threw off the malk, 
and avowed that it would divide, not defend the 
territories of its ally ; an ally whom it had long 
deterred and intimidated from deprecating the 
vengeance of Ruffia, and fecuring the friendship 
of that turbulent court by conceptions equal to its 
rapacity and ambition. The houfe of Auftria, 
entangled and embarraffed in a difrant and fan- 
guinary war, was content to look on with a ful- 
len neutrality, or to itipulate a reverfion and con- 
tingency in the price of fo much violence and 
iniquity 4 perhaps, too, it looked for a balance of 
aggrandizement in the acquifition of provinces 
which had long been fevered from another fron- 
tier of the empire by the victorious arms of 
Louis the Fourteenth. Thefe views mufl na- 
turally be involved in impenetrable myfrery, 
till events themfelves fhall chace the cloud from 



before us; Poland, however, remained without 
a friend, a protector, or an ally ; her bitter for- 
tune threw her in the midfl of enemies, who are 
thofe of one another when they are not tier's, 
and who know no bond of peace, no interrup- 
tion of hoftility, but while they plot her ruin, or 
confummate the crimes of which fhe is the vic- 
tim. Does the court of Vienna regret Sileiia, or 
pant for the rc-union of Lorraine and Alface ? — 
The balance is to be prefcrved in the Germanic 
body, by indemnifying the king of Pruffia with 
the fpoils of Poland. Docs Pruffia covet the ma- 
ritime towns of Poland? — The emprefs mufr 
have an equivalent in the interior provinces of 
Poland. And laftly, does fhe form a defign to 
become a German power, or to occupy the de- 
lightful provinces of European Turkey ?— The 
confent of Pruffia is to be bought with a third 
partition of Poland. Poland pays every crime, 
and feeds the infatiable maw of avarice, envy, 
and ambition — " Indemnify yourfelf in Poland" 
is the fpirit of every treaty, and the virtue of 
every negociation. 

To return. Staniflaus now entered warmly into 
the national caufe, and among the firft acls of 
patriotifm lent one half of his plate to the mint, 
and a thoufand ducats to the military chert ; the 
other half of the royal plate was to be expended 
m gratuities to the families of fuch as periihed in 
the caufe of their country during the 17 th and 
3 8th of April. 

All parties, the king, the nobles, and the peo- 
ple, being now united, it became apparent that, 
though fome extreme cruelties, executions, and 
profcriptions by the revolutionary committee had 
led Europe to fuppofe that the French furor had 
feized the Poles, yet the real object of their pre- 



fent exertions was widely different, and might 
be divided into two parts : the firft was, the re- 
covery of the difmembcred provinces; the fecond, 
the perfect and entire re-eft ablifhment of the Con- 
ftitution of May 3, 1791, a conftitution of a 
nature very oppofitc to that fyilcm of equality 
which, in order to level every thing, deilroys, 
and degrades all that is refpcctable in fociety. 

It will not be expected, and cannot be ncoef- 
fary, that we mould trace all the viciffitudes of the 
campaign ; the various actions in different and 
diltant parts of the kingdom can only be in! ereit- 
.ing in their eventual tendency, and would be te- 
dious m the detail. Prominent events, therefore, 
are all that we thall record. 

Towards the end of May the Pruffian minis- 
ter at the court of Vienna requcfted, on the part 
of the king his mafter, the co-operation of Aus- 
tria againft Poland ; the Auftrian cabinet how- 
ever anfwered, that it would do every thing to 
debar the Poles from receiving any fuccour, but 
that it could do no more at prelent than draw a 
iirong cordon on the Polifh frontier. 

On the 2,9th of the fame month the provisional 
council of regency at Warfaw cea fed its function,- 
and gave place to a national council in conse- 
quence of an order from Kofciuiko, who further 
commanded that all their deliberations ihoukl be 
fubmitted to the king, and that his majefty 
fhould be requefted to communicate Ins opinion 
to them on all fubjects connected with the wel- 
fare 9f the itate. Notice of this meafnre was 
tranfmitted in a letter from KotcLufko to the king, 
who returned the following anfvver : 
" Mr. Gcncraliffimo, 
" You may judge yourfelf of the Satisfaction 
I feel by your letter of the 2 ill of May. which I 
5 received 

4S0 History of Poland. 

received the 26th following. I have already a£ 
fured you that I never will remove from my coun- 
try and my nation, even at the greater!: perfonal 
rifque ; that I do not defire authority or power 
any more, or longer than you and the nation find 
it ufeful to the country. Perfifting invariably in 
this determination, I have received, with fenfibi- 
lity, the information you have announced to me, 
of having ordered the fupreme council to make a 
report to me of til their efTential operations. 

" This day Mr. Prefident Zakrzewfky, and 
Mr. Potocki, formerly marfhal, confirmed to 
me the fame thing in the name of the fupreme 
council ertablifhcd here daring yeflerday, and 
they have fliewed me what you enjoined in writ- 
ing to this effect. Agreeably to your expecta- 
tions and defires, I will communicate to the 
council faithfully all my ideas relative to the 
welfare of the country. I will, moreover, con- 
cur conjointly with this council in all the means 
which may affure the welfare of the country and 
the nation. 

" Under the aulpices of Providence, let us 
all hope for the common defence of the inten- 
tions and works of all of us, who are born Po- 
lonefe — fully and lincerely united. I fhall 
employ myfelf to attain the propofed end by 
co-operating by my example, and by encouraging 

" My vows and wifhes accompany you every 
where ; and it is from the bottom of the moil fin- 
cere heart that I give you the affurance of the 
higheft efteem, and of the affection that I bear 


Stanislaus Augustus King."' 
May 29, 1794. In 


In tliis letter we fee fomething like mutual 
Confidence reftored, and due refpect paid to 
the regal power; but we have ftill the mortifica- 
tion of beholding degradation iupply the place 
of refpecl towards the molt benevolent and 
patriotic king that »cver added luitre to a diadem. 
The fact is, that a municipal officer fUll accom- 
panied the king all day and flept in the fame 
apartment at night. The king had neither influ- 
ence nor agency in the affairs of the nation; and 
with refpe6t to military movements, he was not 
permitted even to afk queftions. It had been fig- 
nified to him, that on condition of his lilence in 
this particular, he might be affured that every 
mark of refpccl due to his perfon mould be ob- 

On the 15 th of June Cracow furrendered to 
flie Pruffian forces under general Van Elfner, 
and on very favourable conditions. The people 
at Warfaw, however, were much enraged at the 
capitulation, as there were 7000 men in arms and 
50 pieces of cannon in the garrifon. 

The king of Pruffia now bent his courfe to- 
wards Warfaw, within a fmall diflance of which 
place he remained for a confiderable time with- 
out commencing any operations. A corps of 
Ruffians alfo was ftationed in the environs of 
the capital. By a lingular dexterity Kofciufkb 
eluded the Pruilian, and by a brave attack de- 
feated the Ruffian troops, and on the nth or 
1 2th of July entered Warfaw. 

As Warfaw has no fortifications a liege in 
form was not neceffary to the Pruffians. But as 
that part of the capital which was expofed to 
them was covered by an intrenched camp of the 
army of Kofciufko, it was unavoidably YiecefTary 
to attack it by ftorm. This attack was made on 

I i the 


the 31ft of June, by a heavy cannonade, and in 
the courfe of that day feveral hundred bombs 
were thrown into the city ; but a dreadful fire 
being kept up on the befiegers by day and night, 
an incredible number of lives were loft. The 
ifiue of this enterprize caufed much concern, 
and excited a very lively intereft in Pruffia, as 
not only the monarch but the two eldeft princes 
fhared the toil and hazard which attended it. 
The prince royal was once in imminent danger. 
The cannonading having ceafed, he laid himfelf 
down to reft in a barn, with orders to be awakened 
at the iirft fhot of the enemy. His orders were 
complied with, and the prince had no fooner 
mounted his horfe than one of the. enemy's bombs 
burft, and deftroyed the barn in which the prince 
had been lying a few minutes before. 

Either from doubt of fuccefs in an actual at- 
tack, or from better motives, the king of Pruf- 
tia endeavoured at this juncture to open a nego- 
tiation for a tin-render of the place. He wrote, 
therefore, as follows to his Polifli majefty : 

" Sir, my Brother, 
" The poiition occupied by the armies which 
furround Warfaw, and the efficacious means 
which are begun to be employed to reduce it, 
v»nd which augment and advance in proportion 
as an ufeleis reftftance is prolonged, ought to 
have convinced your majefty that the fate of that 
city is no longer dubious. I flatten to place that 
of the inhabitants in the hands of your majefty: 
a fpeedy fin-render, and the exact difcipline I 
fhall caufe my troops who are deftined to enter 
Warfaw to obferve, will fecure the lives and pro- 
perty of all the peaceable inhabitants. A refufal 
to the fiift and tinal iummons which my lieut. 


history of Poland. 483 

general de Schwerin has juft addrefTed to the 
commandant of Warfaw, will inevitably pro- 
duce all the terrible and extreme means to which 
an open city, which prowkes by its obilinacy 
the horrors of a liege, and the vengeance of two 
armies, is expofed. If, under the circumftances 
in which your majefty is placed, your majefty 
may be permitted to inform the inhabitants of 
Warfaw of this alternative ; and if they are 
permitted freely to deliver it, I can anticipate 
with an extreme pleafurc, that your majefty will 
become their deliverer. Should the contrary 
happen, I fhall regret the more the inutility of 
this ftcp, becaufe i fhall no longer be able to 
repeat it, however great may be the interefl I 
take in the prcfervation of your majefty, and 
of all thofe whom the ties of blood and loyalty 
have called around your perfon. In any cafe 
I truft that your majefty will accept the ex 
preffion of the high efteem witlji which I am, 

Sir, my Brother, 
the good Brother of your Majefty, 


Fr. Wilhelm." 

Camp at Wola, 

Augufl 2. 

The reply of Staniflaus Auguftus was as fol- 
lows : 

" The Poliili army commanded by generaliffimo 
Kofciulko, feparating Warfaw from your ma- 
j city's camp, the pofition of Warfaw is not that 
of a city which can decide on its furrender. 
Under thefe circumftances nothing can juftify 
the extremities of which your majefty's letter 
I i 1 apprizes 


apprizes mc ; for this city is neither in a irate 
to accept, nor in that to refufe the fummons 
which has been tranfmitted by lieutenant-gene- 
ral de Schwerin to the commandant of War- 
law. My own exiftence interefts me no more 
than that of the inhabitants of this capital ; but 
lince Providence has vouchfafed to elevate me 
to the rank which allows mc to manifefi to your 
majefty the fentiments of fraternity, I invoke 
them to move your majefly to abandon the cruel 
and revengeful ideas which are fo contrary to 
the examples kings owe to nations, and (I am 
perfuaded of it) are altogether oppolite to your 
perfonal character. 


Stanislaus Augustus.'* 

Warfaw, Auguft 3. 

Kofciufko, with an army of 40,006 men, was 
refolved to defend himfelf to the laft extre- 
mity ; but the Pruflians had carried feveral of 
the Polifli redoubts, and were actually felf-af- 
iured of the capture, when information was 
brought to the king that an alarming infur- 
teetion had taken place in South Pruffia, that 
defied all ordinary exertions to fupprefs it. The 
king, aware that without immediate relief the 
confines of Silefia would be in danger of a 
complete cohqucit, determined on railing the 
liege of Warfaw, and accordingly moved to an 
advantageous pofition near Raczin, on the 6th 
of September, in order to take the moft effec- 
tual mcafures that circumftances might require. 

At the moment the intelligence reached him, 
the king niued a proclamation to the inhabi- 
tants of South Pruflia, Hating that they had been 
1 impofed 


Impofed upon by infidious intriguers, defiring 
them to refill the orders of the infurgents, and 
offering a general amncfly to fuch as ihould re- 
turn to their allegiance. The remit was, that 
many perfons who had been milled implored the 
king's mercy, a force was ftationed there to be 
ready to act in cafe of future attempts, and the 
king of Pruma returned to Berlin. Future hii- 
torians will be better able to afcertain whether an 
awe of Kofciufko's army under the walls of 
Warfaw had not fome effect on the Pruffian mo- 
narch's determination to retire. 

Be this as it may, KolMufko refolved on the 
attempt to foment an infurrection in Weft Pruf- 
fia, in hopes by that circumitancc, added to the 
troubles in the fouth, to divert effectually the 
arms of his Pruffian majefty from the interior o{' 

In a fhort time it became vifible that Kofci- 
ufko was intent on carrying the war beyond its 
iirff limits, and of attempting the recovery of 
fome of the difmembercd provinces, and not 
only of thofe, but even the capture of fome 
provinces which had been iubjeet to the heufe 
of Brandenburgh for more than a century. The 
progrefs of the Poles in Well Pruma was fuch, 
that after the capture of Bom berg by general 
Madelinlki, not only Dantzic, Thorn, Culm, 
and Graudc«itz, fcemed on the point of being 
reflored to the republic of Poland, but there 
was even room to apprehend that the Poles 
would penetrate into Pomerania as far as Stet- 

Kofciufko now turned his view towards Li- 
thuania, and refolved on meafifres for its lafcty. 
On his way thither, having received the news 

Ii 3' of 


of a defeat which a corps of the Polifh army 
had met with at Brzefc, on the i 8th and 19th 
of September, and that general Suw arrow was 
on his march to attack Warfaw, he refolved to 
march with 20,000 men, and give battle to that 
general before he fhould approach the ca- 

He was, however, informed that general Fer- 
fen meant to attempt forming a junction with 
general Suwarrow ; to prevent which Kofciufko, 
leaving the main body of his army under the 
command of prince Poniatowfki, advanced with 
6coo men to intercept general Ferfen. This laft 
general refolved to attack Kofciufko on the 10th 
of October, when a mofr dreadful engagement 
enfued. Twice the Ruffians attacked with vi- 
gour, and twice they were repulfcd. 

The victory would have remained with the 
Poles, had they contented themfelves with hav- 
ing beaten back the enemy ; but refolving to pur- 
fue this advantage, they abandoned the favour- 
able position which they had taken upon the 
heights, and advanced in their turn to attack 
the Ruffians. The Ruffian troops formed them- 
felves anew, fucceeded in throwing the Polifh 
line into confuiion, which was already a lit- 
tle in diforder, from their movement in advan- 
cing to the attack. The rout was foon com- 
plete. The Polifh infantry defended themfelves 
with a valour approaching to fury. The ca- 
valry fufFered lefs, and retreated in good order. 
The battle lafted from feven in the morning till 
noon, and the gallant Kofciufko difplayed prodi- 
gies of valour. Ever in the hottcit part of the 
engagement, he had three horfes killed under 
!um.v At length a Coflack, without knowing 



who he was, wounded him from behind with a 
lance. When he fell, his attendants, in their 
confufion, rafhly articulated his name *. 

Kofciulko recovered a little, and made a few 
fteps forward, when an officer, finking him on 
the head with a fabre, brought him again to the 
ground. While he lay weltering in his blood he 
was approached by a CofTack, who prepared to 
give him a mortal blow ; but a Ruffian officer 
who came up at the time flayed the arm of the 
CofTack ; upon which the General exclaimed, 
**' If you wilh to render me a fervice, fufTer him 
to firike ; do not prevent my death V This Ruf- 
fian officer is faid to have been a general Chruo- 
zazow, to whofe wife Kofciufko had, fome weeks 
before, generoufly given leave of departure from 
Warfaw to join her hulband. 

It was foon difcovered that this important de- 
feat was attributable to the mifeonduct of the Po- 
lifh general prince Poninfki, who was pofted with 
4000 men to defend the paiTage of the Viflula ; 
but who, either from ignorance or treachery, fuf- 
fered the Ruffians to crols the river without at- 
tempting to moleft them ; and when Kofciulko 
was attacked from a quarter whence he had no 
reafon to expect a furprize, the fame general 
committed a Hill greater fault in not coming to 
his affiftanee, though very near to the fcenc of 
action. The lofs of the Poles was computed at 
3000 men in killed, wounded, andprifoners ; and 
this victory colt the Ruffians fo dear, that they 

* Kofciufko was difguifed in a peafant's drefs, which he had 
never put oft'fince the confederation. Before the battle in which 
he fell, he had given orders to his foldiers, that, in cafe lie fhoukl 
fall into the hands of the enemy, they might moot him. This was 
adlually attempted by fome of them; and had they not, in their 
confternation, pronounced his name, he would not lwvc been 

I i 4 fell 


fell back towards Lublin, inftead of approaching 
Warfaw *. 

The misfortune of the army under general 
Kofciufko excited univerfal grief at Warfaw ; the 
Supreme Council, however, undaunted, and firm 
in their duty, published the following addrefs to 
the nation : 

*jf Citizens, when you took up arms with an 
intention of recovering your liberty, and of faving 
the country, you folemnly fwore before God, that 
neither the greateft adverfities, nor the greateft. 
reveries, fhould make your fortitude. Providence, 
in whofe hand is the fate of nations, has been 
pleafed to try your confiancy. Thaddeus Kofci- 
ufko, whom you had elected chief of the armed 
force, has jult been made prifoner in a bloody 
combat with the enemy. This fad event cer- 
tainly rills your hearts with juft forrow, and your 
fenfibility is the tribute due to the virtue of that 
worthy citizen, the victim of his patriotifm. But, 
citizens, beware of defpair, and of burying with 
his fate the hopes of your country. Remember 
the motto you have adopted, Liberty or Death ! 
Preferve the fpirit of unity, redouble your zeal 
and courage, and God will ftill blefs the goodnefs 
of your caufe. 

" The Supreme Council promife you, that 
they will remain on their poll ; that they will de- 
fend liberty with you, or periih along with her. 
In order to fulfil the duty prefcribed to the coun- 
cil by the act of infurrection, they have appointed 
a new fupreme chief of the armed force : — 

* "the Emprefs, toteftify to general Suwarrpw her fatisfaclion, 
on the fufeject of the victory at Brzefc, appointed him heraid-de- 
timp, and fent him a crown of laurels, fet in brilliants, of the va- 
lue of 6o,coo roubles. She alfo permitted him to choofe a regi- 
ment in her army, which fhould bear his name for <*ver. 



Thomas Wawrzecki, lieutenant-general, has been 
elected. Citizens, you know his excellent cha- 
racter ; you are acquainted with his civil and mi- 
litary virtues. The Council hope, that you will 
not mffer yourfelves to be call down by misfor- 
tune ; but rather that you will fummon up all 
your flrength, for the falvation of the Hate ; and 
that, fupported by your energy, you will enable 
the Council to maintain the defence of liberty and 
the country. 

" Done atWarfaw, in the fitting of the Coun-» 
cil, Oct. 14, 1794." 

At the fame time was difpatched the following 
letter of the Supreme National Council to Gene- 
raliffimo Kofciufko i 

" The Council, in your misfortune, bewails 
that of the country at large. They placed not in 
events that confidence which they have never cea- 
fed to repofe in your virtues, — The duty of good 
citizens, and your example, will prevent our de- 
fpairjng of the country. As long as you fhall be 
at liberty to addrefs the Council, boldly make 
known to us your wants, and thofe of the brave 
companions of your efforts, who now partake of 
your melancholy fituation. So high is the value 
which the Council fet upon your perfon, that they 
would willingly reflore to the enemy all their pri- 
foners in exchange for you ; and there is not an 
individual in the Council that would not joyfully 
barter his liberty for your's. 

" It is by an uncommon courfe of things, ge- 
neraliffimo, that you receive from your cotempo- 
raries that tribute which the lateft posterity will 
one day render you. 

" Such are the fentiments which the Supreme 
Council charges me, in my ouality of prefident 



for the prefent week, to convey to you ; and to 
thcfe 1 add the feelings of my profound reipect. 
" (Signed) 
" Thaddeus Dembowski, Prefident." 

A few days after this, a trumpeter from the 
enemy brought a letter from Kofciuiko to the Su- 
preme Council, in which he ftated, that the num- 
ber of officers taken prifoners in the action of the 
ioth, amounted to 125 perfons, with five generals 
belide himfelf. He fpoke highly of the treatment 
he received from general Ferfen, and the care 
that wa? taken to heal his wounds. 

Soon after the battle of Brzefc, the Ruffian ge- 
neral Ferfen wrote in thefe terms to the king of 

" Sire, 

" The total defeat of the Polim corps at Ka- 
mech, the making of a great number of privates 
and officers of every rank, and above all the com- 
mander in chief, and author* of the revolution of 
1794 (Kofciuiko), prifoners of war, were the glo- 
rious effects of the arms of her Imperial Majeily 
on, the ioth of October. 

'* Convinced that your majefty and the repub- 
lic of Poland have again entered into the former 
order of things, I apply to the legitimate power 
of Poland, by a juil reclamation, to demand the 
liberty of the Ruffian generals, officers, foldiers, 
and fcrvants, as well as perfons of the diplomatic 
body, who, in contempt of the moil facred rights 
of nations, have been detained in the prifon of 
th« capital. I deiire they may be fafely conveyed 
to the corps under my command. 

" In the moil iincere hope that tranquillity 
will once more be reftored in Poland, and that I 



fhall in the courfe of this year have the honour of 
perfonally paying my refpects to your majelty, I 
beg your majeity to condefcend to accept of the 
anticipated homage with which I am, &c. 

" Baron FerssSn." 

To which infolent application the king thus 
replied : 

" Sir, 

" However painful we find the defeat of a part 
of the Polifh army on the ioth of October, efpe- 
cially on account of the lofs of a man valuable in 
all refpects, and whofe merit it has been to have 
laid the foundation of the independence of his 
country, yet it cannot make the nrmnefs of thofe 
who have folemnly vowed either to die or to con- 
quer for liberty. 

rt You need not wonder, Sir, if your demand 
to us of the liberation of the Ruffian prifoners 
and hoftages, who ferve as pledges for the Poles 
feized by the Ruffians, does not meet with our 
concurrence. If you were to propofe the ex- 
change of your prifoners for our own, I would 
then voluntarily gratify your wifhes. 

" Stanislaus, Rex." 

The Ruffians now haflily advanced towards 
the capital, and general Ferfcn fummoned W ar- 
faw to furrender. This fummons was inclofed in 
a letter to the king, which he lent unopened to 
the council. The anfwer was, as might be ex- 
pected, an abfolute refufal. At this juncture the 
Polifh generals Madeliniki and Dambroufki, by 
forced marches, retreated from South Pruffia, and 
by fkilful manoeuvres threw themfelves into 



After the junction of the Ruffian corps of ge* 
ncrals Ferfen, Dernfeld, and Denifow, with that 
of Suwarrow, they proceeded, under the com- 
mand of the latter general, for Prague, where, on 
the 4th of November, they made difpofitions for 
operating a cruel change in the lituation of the 
Polifh inhabitants. 

The fuburb of Prague, feparated from Warfaw 
by theViftula, was defended by more than a hun- 
dred pieces of cannon, difpofed upon 33 batteries. 
It was under the fire of this terrible artillery that 
general Suwarrow made his troops mount to the 
affault, in the fame manner as he had done at the 
taking of Ifmael *. He gave alio general direc- 
tions that not a muiket mot fhould be fired, but 
that his troops, upwards of 50,000 flrong, ihould 
employ only the fabre and the bayonet. Each 
column was preceded by a body of foldiers with 
fcaling ladders and fafcines to fill up the entrench- 
ments, and means to carry the affault. But the 
ardour of the Ruffians rendered this unneceffary ; 
for within 150 paces of the entrenchments, a ge- 
neral cry was raifed at once by all the columns, 
and the foldiers in the front, flinging away the 
ladders and fafcines that encumbered them, 
fprung forward with their comrades to climb the 
works of the befieged. 

The ccntinels on the works had but that mo- 
ment given the alarm, and the cannon of the 
Poles commenced firing on all fides, but with no 
eifec"t, as from the darknefs of the night their balls 
patTed harmlessly over the heads of the Ruffians. 

* It will be recollected that it was general Suwarrow who com- 
manded at the taking of this Turkifh fortrefs, where the Ruffians 
entered by climbing over the dead bodies of their comrades as well 
as their enemies. The general gave the fame orders in the affault 
of the fuburbs of Prague, and enjoined his foldiers. to give no 



By good fortune or good conduct, which feldom. 
occurs in fuch operations, it happened that the 
fix Ruffian columns prefented themfelves at thvi 
fame moment before the lines of Prague ; fo that 
the Polifh generals, occupied at once in all quar- 
ters, could not fuccour one place more than ano- 
ther, and were unable to maintain an unequal 
contefl againft the united attack of 59,000 men. 

The cry raifed by the columns penetrated the 
entrenchments on the fide of the VTftula, and 
added further to the confternation of the Poles 
engaged with the other columns, who, fearing to 
he furrounded, were for retiring into Warfaw 
over a bridge. Here again they were met by the 
other Ruffian columns, when a dreadful conflict 
enfued, in which a great part of the garrifon of 
Prague was miferably ilaughtered. The refift- 
ance was at an end in the fpace of eight hours, but 
the fury of the Ruffians continued the maflfacre 
for two hours longer. 

From the windows of the houfes and hotels of 
Warfaw, the appalled inhabitants were fpectators, 
at the dawn of day, of the mercilefs flaughter of 
their friends, and the pillage committed in the 
iuburbs, which continued till the noon of the 
5 th. 

1 lie number of unfortunate Poles who pe- 
rifhed by the lword, the fire, and the water (the 
bridge over the Viitula having been broken 
during the action), were eftimated as follows : 
Five thou land men were flain in theafiault ; the 
remaining 5000 (for there were only 10,000 fol- 
diers in the town, and the Ruffians were 50,000 
ftrong) were taken prifoncrs or difperfed. After 
the battle was ended, the Ruffians proceeded to 
difarm the citizens, and to plunder their houfes. 
When this was over, and ten hours after all re- 

494 HisroRV of Poland. 

fiftance had ceafed, about nine o'clock at night 
they fet fire to the town, and began to butcher 
the inhabitants. The rick and the wounded pe- 
rilhed in the flames : the reft, old men, women, 
and children, fell by the fword. Nine thoufand 
perfons of every age, and of either fex, are com- 
puted to have fallen in the maffacre, and the 
whole of the fuburb, except a few fcattered houfes, 
was reduced to allies. 

After this dreadful execution, no hope re- 
mained of faving Warfaw. The principal chief 
of the infurrcclion, count Ignatius Potocki him- 
felf, advifed to treat with the Ruffian general ; 
and for that purpofe repaired to the head-quar- 
ters of the Ruffians with proportions of peace, in 
the name of the republic. But count Suwarrow 
refufed to hear him, obferving haughtily, that the 
emprefs, his fovereign, was by no means at war 
with the republic ; that the only object of his 
coming before Warfaw was to reduce to obedience 
thofe Polifh fubjects who, by taking up arms, had 
difturbed the repofe of the ftate. He at the fame 
time innnuated, that he fhould treat with none of 
the chiefs of the infurrection, but only with perfons 
who, in veiled with legitimate authority, fhould 
come to fpeak in the name, and on the part, of 
his Polifh majefly. 

Count Potocki being returned with this anfwer, 
it was relblved to fend deputies from the magif- 
tracy of Warfaw to the Ruffian commander. 
During all this time the fire of the city did not 
ceafe playing upon the Ruffians in the fuburb of 
Prague, who. anlwercd it but feebly. The depu- 
ties, Buzakowfki, Strazakowfki, and Makarowcz, 
having repaired to the head-quarters, returned 
about noon on the 5th. They had been con- 
tained to furrender the city at difcretion into the 



hands of count Suwarrow, under the tingle con- 
dition that the inhabitants ihould be fecure in 
their lives and property. The general, having 
confented to this, added, " That befides fafety 
to their perfons, and the prefer vation of their 
property, there was a third article, which, without 
doubt, the magistrates had forgotten to aik, and 
which he granted, pardon for thepajiy 

The deputies being returned into the city, a 
proclamation was published to this effect : 

" The deputies of the city of Warfaw, tent to 
general Suwarrow, commanding the Ruffian 
troops under the city, having reported to the 
magistracy that they were received amicably by 
his excellency the faid general, who had de- 
clared his difpofition for a capitulation ; and alfo , 
that they had obtained fome preliminary articles, 
Signed by him, by which he had promifed the 
citizess fafety to their perfons and property, and 
oblivion of all paft wrongs : the magistracy no- 
titles the fame to the citizens, wifhing them to 
keep themfelves quiet till the entire conclusion of 
the capitulation, and that they will ceafe their 
fire, his excellency having ordered his #ien not 
to fire on their part." 

In confequence of this fubmiffion of the city, 
the magistracy alfo informed the people of the 
delire of general Suwarrow that all the inha- 
bitants Should iurrender their arms, of every 
kind, before the Signing of the capitulation, un- 
der promife of all arms of value, and fowling- 
pieces, being returned to the proprietors after 
the re-eftabliihment of tranquillity. The inha- 
bitants obeyed litis order, but the Soldiery then 
in the city refuted. Their chief, Wawrzecki, and 
many members of the Supreme council, rcfufed 
to take part in the capitulation. 


4g6 history of poiAfrij, 

This difficulty gave occafion for more parleys, 
which lalled all the 6th. The king demanded a 
week to accompli fh a pacification ; but count 
Suwarrow would grant no more than two or 
three days, during which time they laboured to 
repair the bridge over the Viflula. In fine 3 it 
was agreed that thofe of the military who refufed 
to lay down their arms Ihould have liberty to go 
out of Warfaw. But the Ruffian general added 
this declaration, that " all who chofe this alter- 
native might be lure of not efcaping any where 
elfe ; and that, when overtaken, no quarter 
would be granted." 

After the agreement was figned, the members 
of the fupreme council, and generaliffimo 
Wawrzecki, waited upon the king, m the morn- 
ing of the 7th of November, and remitted into 
his hands the authority they had exercifed inQ 
Warfaw. The fame day the magistrates inform- 
ed the inhabitants, that the capitulation having 
been figned, the Ruffian troops were about to 
enter the city : that the Ruffian general having 
promifed obfervance of the moft exacl difcipline, 
the burgeffes were enjoined to preferve order 
on their part ; and the more fecurely to 
preferve tranquillity, they commanded all the 
houfes to be kept fhut. The general made his 
formal entry into Warfaw on the 9th, all the 
fireets being lined with Ruffian troops, while the 
houfes, even thofe of the foreign minifiers, were 
fhut up. The chief magiftrate met him at the 
bridge of Prague, and prefented him the keys of 
Warfaw on a velvet eufhion. — Suwarrow received 
the magiftrate with a grace that was highly pleaf- 
ing to the citizens. He afterwards received the 
compliments of the king, and on the 10th he re- 
paired with great pomp to the cattle, to pay his 
refpccls to his majefty. 



Major-general d'lflinieff was now difpatched 
to Petersburg with the news of the reduction of 
Warfaw by the troops of the Empreis ; the ift of 
December was fet apart as a day of folemn thankf- 
giving to God, and Te Deum was fung for this 
important event. 

" The impiety which prevails in France (as an 
anonymous writer has obferved) mutt fhock every 
ferioiis mind; but what is it compared with this 
act of orientations and folemn blafphemy ! If it 
were poffible to fuppofe that thofe who had acted 
a part in it really believed they were performing 
an act of religion, how much more dreadful 
would inch religion be than the moft determined 
Atheifm ! 

i( Melancholy and difconfolate, indeed, is the 
idea, that this world is the fport of a blind chance, 
and that death will conlign the belt and the 
worft of mankind for ever to one common obli- 
vion ; but how much more terrible would it be 
to fuppofe the univerfe under the government of, 
and mankind accountable for their actions to, fuch 
' a god as is worfhipped at Peterfburg : to a Being 
who is fuppofed to affitt the arms, and enjoy the 
triumph of powerful opprefhon over persecuted 
virtue and innocence, and to delight in feeing 
his altars ftream with the blood of women and 
of children, and in hearing his praifes chanted 
by the voices of murderers, and in the midft of 
thefhrieks and groans of his victims IV 

The Polifh patriots who refufed to accede to 
the capitulation of Warfaw took their route to- 
ward Sendomir, under the command of Wawr- 
zecki. Their number was 30,000. In want 
however of provisions, and preffed by the Ruf- 
fians and Pruflians, they were foon forced to 
difband, after fpiking eighty pieces of cannon, 

Kk The 


The Pruffiarf general Kleift took twenty-twO 
pieces, nineteen waggons of ammunition, and 
3000 ftand of arms. The remainder of the 
booty fell into the hands of the Ruffians. A 
corps of 6000 men ftill remained under Wawr- 
zecki, who, accompanied by the generals Mada- 
linfki, Dombrowlki, and Zajonczek, the chan- 
cellor Kallontai, the prclident Zakrzewfki, and 
ieveral other members of the fupreme council, 
took the route toward Gallicia. 

The utmoit tranquillity was foon eflablifhed in 
the city of Warfavv, by means of 9000 Ruffians, 
who were constantly on guard, 18,000 in 
Prague, with all the artillery of the infurgents, 
and 1 0,000 in the fame polition . on the Viftula, 
which was occupied by Kofciufko, during the 
liege by the Pruflians. All around the city bat- 
teries w^ere erected with cannon pointed at the 
city, to keep it in iubmiffion, whatever event 
might happen. 

Kofciufko had been all this time under furgical 
affiftance at Ufzeylack, where the Ruffians fhew- 
ed every attention to the care of his wounds. 
Madame Chruozazow, wife to the Ruffian gene- 
ral of that name, who had herfelf been formerly 
let at liberty by the orders of Kofciufko, was 
very ferviceable to him by her kind and perfonal 
affiduities. He was now ordered to Peterfburg, 
and the efcort appointed to convey him thither 
confifted of tw r o pulks of cofljicks, each pulk con- 
fifting of 500 men, one of which formed an ad- 
vance, a»d another a rear guard to his coach, 
having two cannons each. — In the coach with 
Kofciufko were one major and two other officers, 
and between the two pulks were conducted 3000 
Polifh prifoners, together with their officers. It 



is iniderftood that this brave man^S now confined 
in a fortrefs near the Ruffian capital. 

It is not doubted that an application has been 
made from the national council at Warfaw to the 
Ottoman court, for its interference to prevent 
the final difmemberment of Poland ; but of the 
fuccefs of this application there is at prefent no 
probability. On the contrary, fome meafures 
leem to have been already taken toward that de- 
fign ; for about the middle of December the 
Auitrian captain Thel was difpatched to Vienna 
by general Suwarrow, with an account of an ar- 
rangement made by the Ruffian Emprefs of the 
territories of Poland. The houfe of iiuflria 
having gained thefe pofieffions without the trou- 
ble of fighting, appeared fo well fatisfied with 
the dilpoiition, that captain Thel, for having 
been the bearer of the intelligence, was advanced 
to the rank of major, and colonel Fleifcher, of 
the etat major, is ihortly to fet out for Poland, 
in order to afcertain the line of demarkation. 
The Auitrian acquifitions, it is rumoured, are to 
confift. of five provinces ; the palatinates of 
Chelm, Sendoruir, Lublin, Cracow, and Haliez, 
fometimes called Pokucie. One thing, however, 
feems to embarrafs this distribution, which is, 
that the Pruffian troops ftill remain poflefled of 
the palatinate of Sendomir, or, if not actually 
in poflMfion, are encamped upon its frontiers. 

It might reafonably have been hoped that the 
miferies of this diffracted country had been now 
at an end. The humble fubmiffion of the pa- 
triots to thofe who had robbed them of their li- 
berties, it might have been expected, would have 
difarmed them of their vengeance : but on the 
20th of December a courier arrived from the Em- 
prefs to general count Buxhoerden, governor of 

K k 2 Warfaw, 


Warfaw, with* orders to arreft and fend under a 
ftrong efcort to Peteriburg, count Ignatius Po- 
tocki ; the former prelident, Zakrezewfky ; 
Kilinlki, a revolutionary colonel ; Kapoftes, a 
merchant, member of the fupreme revolutionary 
council, and miniiter of finance ; and Le- 
buchewfki. The fame meffenger brought alfo 
a letter from the emprefs to the king, inviting 
(or, as fome accounts Hate, peremptorily com- 
manding him) to quit his capital, and to repair 
to Grodno; and on the 7th January, 1795, his 
majefty fat off in obedience to the fummons. 
What her purpofe is in this meafure cannot cer- 
tainly be known. There is an appearance ot 
cruelty however, independent of the mortification 
to royal dignity, in thus compelling a king, worn 
out with age and an impaired conftitution, to 
the fatigue at this inclement feafon of fo long a 
journey. But from every appearance the life of 
this excellent man and monarch promifes a fhort 
duration. The wretched ftate in which his 
country is involved has deeply affected him, and 
will moll probably accelerate his departure to the 




ALBERT, John, clecled king of Poland, 109. His death, 

+ 1 ibid. 

Alexander, king, no. 

Anne, filler of Sigifmond Auguftus, elefted queen of Poland, 
and efpoufed to Stephen Batori, 1 18. 

Arcl+bljhoprics and bilhoprics, 24. 

Arms, heraldic, of Poland, 16. 

Auguftus I. See Sigi/vwnd II. 

m II. elector of Saxony, concerts mea-fures for obtain- 
ing the crown of Poland, 233. Intrigues formed by 
his party, 236. Adverfe parties join in his favour, 
243. Is elected., 246. Receives an embafly from his 
party, and arrives at Cracow, 249. A Polifh pasqui- 
nade upon his election, 250. Sends a body of troops 
to prevent the prince of Conti from landing, 251. 
Makes his enfry into Warfaw, 252. Calls a Diet of 
Pacification, 253. A treaty made with him, 255. His 
interview and treaty with the Czar, 257. Defer ted by 
his friends, 261. Holds a great council at Thorn, 266. 
Sends an cmbafiy to Mufcovy, 269. Caufes the princes 
James and Conftantine Sobiefki to be carried off, 271. 
Calls a Diet at Sendomir, 272. Declares Staniilaus 
Luzinfki a rebel, 273. Is received at Warfaw, 274. 
AlTembles a great cpuncil there, 277. Sues to the 
king of Sweden for peace, 278. Defeats the Swedes in 
the battle of Califh, 280. Signs his own abdication, 
281. His interview with the king of Sweden, ibid. Is 
obliged by that prince to write a letter of congratulation 
to Staniilaus, who had fuperfeded him in the throne, ib. 
Attempts to recover the crown of Poland, 288. Re- 
Kk 3 v turns 


turns thither, 290 His interview with the Ozar, ibid. 

His title is acknowledged by the aflembly of Thorn, 

291. His death and chara&er, 297. 
Augujius III. elector of Saxony, crowned king of Poland, 300. 

Driven from his Saxon dominions by the king of 

Pruffia, 3O1. His queen difgracefully treated by the; 

Pruffian monarch at Drefden, 302. Death of Auguf- 

tus, ibid. 
Atjftria, the emperor of, confederates with Ruflia and Prufjia 

to divide and difmember Poland, 327. 


Bator i, Stephen, prince of Tranfylvania, elected king of Po^ 
land, and efpoufes Anne, fitter of Sigifmond Auguftus, 
118. In conjunction with the Tartars carries on a fuc- 
cefsful war againlt the Ruffians, 1 19. Civilizes the Cof- 
facks, and dies, ibid. His reign chara&erifed, 120. 

Bijhoprks of Poland, 24. 

Bolejlaus, ibvereign, 90. 

II. 93- His infamous character, 94. Either mur- 
ders, or fanitions the murder of the bifhop of Cra- 
cow, ibid. 

. III. 94. 

IV. 9S . 

V. 97- 

Boris, brother to the Czarina, widow of the! Czar Theodore, 
caufes Demetrius, the younger brother of Theodore, to 
be afiaiiinated, 129. His artful manner of obtaining 
the Ruffian crown, 130. Oppofes Demetrius the im- 
porter, and defeats him, 132. Dies of an apoplectic 

Boundaries of Poland, 1. 

Buildings, remarkable, defcribed, 33. 

Burghers, Polifh, their privileges, 48. 

Butzau, George Henry, heyduc of Poland, oppofing his own 
breaft to fliield Staniflaus Auguftus from the weapon of 
an aflaffin, lofes his own life, 314. Infcription to hia 
memory by the king, 326. 


Cajimir, fovereign of Poland, 93. 

II. the Juft, 96. 

Cafiin ir 


Cafimir III. the Great, his reign the moft glorious and happy 
period of the Polifh hiftory, 98. His death, 100. 
■ - IV. his reign remarkable for having deducted much 
from the regal prerogatives, 107, 108. 
' ■ < — V. (Cardinal) elected king, 159. Defeats 300,000 
Tartars, 161. Driven from Poland into Silelia by 
Charles Gutravus, king of Sweden, 163. Recovers 
the places conquered by Sweden, 167. Divifions be- 
tween him and his nobility, 168. His abdication, 
death, and character, 169. 

Cajlellans of Poland, their ftation, 61. 

Catacembs, 33. 

Chancellor of Poland, the nature of his poft, 64. 

Charaflcr, national, of the Poles, 18. 

Charles duke of Suderland made regent of Sweden, and 
abufes his truft, 123. Ufurps the crown, 127. Is de- 
feated in Livonia, 128. His death, 147. 

Charles XII. king of Sweden, compels the king of Denmark to 
do juftice to the duke of Hoiftein, 258. Defeats the 
Mufcovites before Narva, ibid. His conquefts in Li- 
vonia, 260. Defeats the Poles near CliUbw, 265. His 
complaints againft the republic of Poland, 266. His 
declaration, 267. Defeats the Saxons at Pultufch, 
268. Befieges and takes Thorn, ibid. Pnrfues Au- 
guflus and takes Leopold, 274. Places Staniflaus 
Leczinfki on the throne of Poland, 275. Marches into 
Saxony, 278. His anfwer to the folicitations of Au^ 
guftus for peace, 279. Raifes great contributions in 
Saxony, ibid. His interview with Auguftus, 281, 
Compels him to write a letter of congratulation to Sta- 
niflaus, ibid. His barbarity to Count Patkul, 282. 
Leaves Saxony and purfues the Czar, 283. Seizes 
upon Mohilovv, 284. His intrepid behaviour in dif- 
trefs, 285. Is wounded at the fiege of Pultowa, 286. 
Gives order for the battle, 287. in which he is defeated, 
288. Retreats into Turkey, ibid. His encounter at 
Bender, 292. Marches into Norway at the head of an 
army, 294. His death, 296. 

Cities, chief, of Poland, 33. 

Citizens, their privileges, 48. 

Claffei of people difcriminated, 44. 

Clergy, Polifh, their privileges, 46. 

Climate of Poland, 6. 

Coins, Polifh, valuation of, 17. 

Commerce, flate of, 10. Caufes that have tended to fnppt^i^/ 
the fpirit of, 1 1 . . * 

Confederacies, particular and general, explained, 12. 

%. k 4 Cottdej 


Condc, the prince of, a competitor for the crown of Poland, 
171. Is difliked by the Poles, 172. and rejected^ 

x 73- . ' . 

Confiitution, Polifh, 58. An important reform in, 370, 37$. 

Another, 463. 

Conti, the prince of, a candidate for the Polifh crown, 227. 
Method taken to prevent his election, 228. His cha- 
racter, 232. Is proclaimed by moft of the palatinates, 
241, 242. Is elected, 246. His departure for Po- 
land, and arrival at Dantzic, 248. Waits on board for 
the troops that were promifed him, 249. Returns to 
France, 252. His letters to the primate and to the 
republic, ibid. 

CcJJacks, their irruption into Poland under the conduct of 
Kmielnifki, 155. 

Coxe t Rev. Mr. acknowlegements of the author for affiftance 
derived to this work from his writings, 2 note. 33, 37, 

39' 53>. 66 > II2 - 
Cracow, defcribed, 34. By whom founded, 81. 

Cracus, or Grack, iovereign of Poland, founds the city of 

Cracow, 81. 

Curiojities, natural and artificial, defcribed, 27. 

Cujloms of the country, 21. 


Dantzic defcribed, 41. By whom founded, 80. 

Demetrius, brother of the Czar Theodore, is aiTaffinated by 
Boris, 129. 

-■ ■— an impoflor, who pretends to be the brother of the 
Czar Theodore, 130, 131. Is Tuccoured by the Poles, 
131. Defeated by Boris, 132. Defeats the JVIufco- 
vites, 133. Obtains the crown, 134. His impru- 
dence proves fatal to him, 135, 136. Efpoufes the 
daughter of the palatine of Sendomir, 136. A conspi- 
racy formed againft him, 136, 137. He is {lain, 138. 
Various opinions concerning him, ibid. 

a fecond impofior perfonates the Demetrius who was 

(lain, and meets a fimilar fate, 139. 
Diets of Poland, the nature of, 59. 
Difmemhermcnt of Poland, 339. Farther difmemberment, 

Dijjidents in religion, the nature of that party defined, 394, &c. 
y>' Their final fate, 344. 

Diverjions, cuftomary, of the Poles, 2 1. 
Drefs, Polifh, defcribed, 19, 

E left ion, 



pAcflion, regal, place and mode of, 70. 
Elk, the Polilh, defcribed, 2. 
Extent of Poland, 1. 


Finances of Poland, 12. 

Funerals, regal, account of the ceremony obfcrvcd at, 39. 
Frederick/kali befieged by Charles' XII. 296. who is killed be^ 
fore that place, ibid. 


Gabor (Bethlem) makes himfelf mailer of Traufylvania, and 
aflumes the title of prince of Hungary, 143. En-' 
gages Sultan Ofman in an expedition againft the Poles, 
145, 146. 

Gnefna, the Metropolitan city of Poland, 24. Its archbifhop 
the head of the republic during an interregnum, or any 
temporary ablence of the king, ibid. 

GortZj Baron, his character, 294. His project, 295. Is arrefted 
at the Hague, and imprifoned, 295, 296. 

Grack, or Cracus, king of Poland, 81. Pounds Cracow, 

Grodno defcribed, 40. 

Guftavus Adolphus, fon of the ufurper Charles, duke of Su- 
derland, fucceeds his father on the throne of Sweden, 
143. His irruption into Livonia, and conquefts, ibid* 
Slain in the battle of Lutzen, 153. 

Gujiavus (Charles) king of Sweden, conquers the greateft part 
of Poland, 163. Takes Wariaw, 164. Is defeated by 
the Danes, and dies with vexation, 167. 


Hednviga, daughter of Lewis king of Poland and Hungary, 
elected to the throne of Poland on certain conditions, 
101. Is averfe to the propofals of marriage made to 
her by Jaghellon, duke of Lithuania, 102. Entertains 
a paflion for the duke of Auftria, ibid. Has fecret in- 
terviews with this prince, which difgufts the Poles, ibid. 

. Confenfcs 


Confents at kit to an interview with Jaghellon, and bc» 
comes enamoured of him, 103. 
Jli-tiry of Valois or Anjou. bee Fabis, 


Jaghellon, duke of Lithuania, fends a magnificent embafly to 
demand the young qpeen Hedwiga in marriage, 10 1, 
Is confidered with averfion by the queen, who is in 
love with the duke of Auftria, 102. Advances to- 
wards Craeow with a numerous army, 103. Is with 
great difficulty introduced into the prefence of the 
queen, who conceives a pauion for him at the firft in- 
terview, ibid. Is elected king of Poland, with which 
he incorporates the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and other 
dominions, ibid. Converts his Pagan fubjedls of Li- 
thuania to Chriftianity, 104. His military actions againft 
the Teutonic knights, and his death, 106. 

Jeivs, Polifh, account of, 56. 

Ingelflrohin, ambaflador from Ruflia at the court of Poland, his 
arbitrary conducl:, 46510474. 

Interregnum after the death of John Sobiefki, 220 to 256. 

John Albert. See Albert. 

— — — Cafimir. See Cajimir V. 

— — Sobiefki. See Sobie/ii. 

Julian, the pope's legate, prevails on Ladiflaus V. to violate 
his treaty with Amurath, emperor of the Turks, 107. 


Kaminiccy the bifiiop of, his plan for reforming the Polifh con- 
ftitution, 359. 

Kicki, flaroft of Lemberg, his remarkable fidelity to his fo- 
"Yereign, and the reward of it, 333, note. 

King of Poland, his finances, 12. Military force, 13; 
Titles, 16. Authority and nature of his office, 60, 
See Poland. 

Kioto, bifhop of, arretted, and fuffers five years imprifon* 
ment, 309. < 

Kmielnijki (Bogdan) general of the CofTacks, his extraction and 
manner of life before his promotion, ic^. His rigo- 
rous treatment, 1 56. His character and great actions, 
ibid. Gains great victories over the Poles, 157. 160. 
Enters into a treaty of peace with the king of Poland, 
161. Obtains a pardon tor his rebellion, 162. 



Koningfuiarc (Countefs) employed by Auguftus l\. to mediate & 

peace with Charles king of Sweden, who.refufes tq 

lee her, 263. 
Koninjki attempts to alTafiinate king Staniflaus Auguftus, 313. 

Abandoned by his confederates, he relents, piefervec 

the king, and conduits him to a place of fafety, 320. 

How provided for by his majeftv, 324. 
fCofcluJho, Thaddeo^ memoirs of, 467. AiTiimes the chief 

command of the army, 470. Defeated and taken pui- 

foner, 487. 

La*dijlaus y king of Poland, 94. 

. -II. 95. 

: III. 97. 

— IV. ibid. 

j V. fucceeds his father Jaghellon on the throne 

of Poland, 106. Elected king of Hungary, ibid. Re- 
covers feveral places from the Turks, but violates a 
treaty, 107. His death at the battle of Varna, ibid. 
VI. king, 151. Gains a great victory over the 

Ruffians and Turks, 152. Concludes an advantageous 
treaty with Chriftina queen of Sweden, 153. War 
with the Coflacks, 154. His forces defeated by them, 
155. His death, 156. 

L&ndjkron, the fortrefs of, defcribed, 36. Curious fubterrane- 
ous paffage there, account of, 37. 

Language, Polilh, whence derived, 24. 

Latin Univerfally fpoken in Poland, ibid. 

Learning, irate of, 25. Much indebted to the patriotifm of 
Staniflaus Auguftus, ibid. 

Leek, or Lecbt, the firft prince of Poland, 79. 

■ II. fovereign of Poland, 81. Caufes his elder brother 

to be fecretly deftroyed, ibid. How deferted and pu- 
nched, 82. 

III. 96. 

Leopold, emperor of Germany, alienates the affections of the 
Hungarians from himfelf by his rigorous treatment, 

187. Endeavours to prevent the ftorm he had raifed, 

188. Flies with the emprefs from Vienna, 192. Re- 
turns to that city, and behaves in an imperious manner 
to John Sobiefki, king of Poland, by whofe arms his 
dominions had been laved, 197. 

Lefzeck, his ignoble artifice to obtain the crown, 85. How 
punifhed, ibid, 



Lefzke I. fovereign, 83. 

., II. elected king in a remarkable manner, 85. His ex- 

traordinary character and conduct, ibid. 

III. 86. 

; IV. 90. 

Lewis, king of Hungary, crowned king of Poland, 100. 

Liberum Veto, what, 65. When introduced, 1&9. 

Lithuanians, an account of their Pagan fuperftitions, 104. 
Converted to Ghrifiianhy by Jaghellon, 10;. 

terrain, the duke of, defeats Tekeli, general of the Hungarian 
malcontents, 194. Joins John Sobieiki in raifing the 
fiege of Vienna, ibid. 

Lvjia'wjki attempts to affatfinate king Staniflaus Auguftus, 
313, &c. Executed, 323. 


Manners of the Poles characterised, r8. 

Marjbal (Grand) of Poland, his office, 62,' 67. 

Maximilian, emperor of Germany, elected king of Poland, but 

fupplanted by Stephen Batori, and dies, 1 18. 
————— Archduke of Auftria, elected king of Poland by ^ 

faction, 121. Is defeated and taken prifoner by Za- 

moifki, 122. Quits his pretenfions to the crown, 123. 
Michael. See Wiefnowijki. 
Micijlaus, fovereign, 90. Converted to Chriitianity by Da- 

browka, his wife, ibid. 
II. 91. 

m. 95 ; 

Military force of Poland, 13. 

Mufcovy, ftrange revolutions in that empire, 128, Sep. 
Mujtapha, Grand Vifir, his mifconduct at the fiege of Vienna^ 
195, 196. Is ftrangled by order of the Sultan, 20?. 


Name of Poland, derivation of, 6. 
Nobles, who, 44. Their privileges, 4c- 
Nuntios (Polifli) their office, 62. 


Orders of knighthood, 17. ' 

Otivay, a paflhge from, applied to the oppreflbrs of Poland, 4. 

P. Pafta, 



Pacla Conventa^ what, 63, note. 

Palatines of Poland, their power and ftation, 61. 

Partition. See Difmemberment, 

Patkul (Count) delivered up to Charles XII. by Auguftus II. 
28a. His unhappy end, ibid. 

Peafants, how diftinguifhed, 51. Their lamentable fubjection, 
ibid. Freedom granted to, 54. 

Pcrfons of the Poles defenbed, 17. 

Peter Alexiovjitz, czar of Mufcovy, befieges Narva, 258. 
Carries off a convoy of the Swedes, 285. Defeats the 
king of Sweden in the battle of Pultowa, 288. His in- 
terview with king Auguftus, 290. 

Piafl, king of Poland, miraculous accounts of his elevation 
from a cottage to the throne, 89. 

Poland. Its boundaries and extent, 1. Rivers, 5. Lakes, 6. 
Air or climate, ibid. Face of the country, and deriva- 
tion of its name, ibid. Soil and produce, 7. An in- 
flammable fpring defcribed, ibid. Its vegetable and 
animal productions, S. Population, 10. Commerce, 
ibid. Finances and taxes, 12. Military force, 13. Arms 
of the kingdom, ibid. Titles of the king, ibid. Orders 
of knighthood, 17. Coins, ibid. Perfons of the Poles, 
ibid. Manners, 18. Drefs, 19. Cuftoms and Di- 
verfions, 21. Religion, 22. Arcbifhoprics and bifliop- 
rics, 24. Language, ibid. State of learning there, 25. 
Universities, 26. Antiquities and curiofities, natural 
and artificial, 27. Remarkable falt-mines of Wielitfka 
minutely defcribed, 28. Chief cities, &c. War fa w, 33. 
Cracow, 34. Fortrefs of Landfkron, 36. Grodno, 40. 
Dantzic, 41. Gaffes of people difcrimmated, 44. Con- 
ftitution and government, 58. Place and mode of regal 
election, 70. History: its fovereigns ufually con- 
sidered under four claffes : I. Of the houfe of Lcfzko, 
A. D. 550. Leek or Lecht, 79. Wiflimir, 80. Grack 
or Cracus, 81. Leek II. ibid. Vanda, 82. Piemiflaus 
or Lefzko, 83. Lefzko II. 85. Lefzko III. 86. Popiell. 
ibid. Popiel II. 87.— II. Of the family of Piafl, A. D. 
840. Piaft, 89. Zitmovitus, 90. Lefzko IV. ibid. 
Zemomiflaus, ibid. Miciflaus, ibid. Boleflaus the 
Great, ibid. Miciflaus II. 91. Cafimir, 93. Boleflaus II. 
Ibid. Ladiflaus, 94. Boleflaus III. ibid. Ladiilaus II. 

95. Boleflaus IV. ibid. Miciflaus III. ibid. Cafimir II. 

96. Leek, ibid. Ladiflaus III. 97. Boleflaus V. ibid. 
Premiflaus, ibid. Ladiilaus IV. ibid. Cafimir III. or the 
Great, 98.— III. Of the family of Jaghellon, A. D. 1370. 



Lewis king of Hungary, 100. Hedwiga, iouarid Jag* 
hellon, 103. Ladiflaus V. 106. Cafimir IV. 107. johri 
Albert, 109. Alexander, ibid. Sigifmond, no. Si- 
gifmond II. and Auguftus^ 1 13. — IV. Sovereigns of dif- 
ferent families, A. D. 1574. Henry of Vaiois, 115. 
Stephen Batori, 118. Sigifmond IIL 120. Ladiflaus Vi. 
it\\ John Cafimirj 159. Michael Wiefnowifki, 175. 
John Soblefki, 182. Auguftus II. 256. depofed, 271. 
Staniflaus Leczinfki, 275. Auguftus II. rejiored, 291. 
Auguftus III. 300. Staniflaus Auguftus, 303. Partition 
of Poland, 333. Further difmemberment, 433. Again 
fubjugated, 496. 

Polignac (Abbe de) his conduct in Poland upon the death of 
king Sobiefki, 224. Proposes the prince of Conti as a 
candidate for the crown of Poland, 228. His remon- 
ftrances to the Poles to difluade them from chufing the 
elector of Saxony, 237, 238. 

PoliJJj women, their difhonourable treatment of their hufbands 
during a Ruffian war, 94. 

Politics of the three confederated northern powers developed, 

Ton'wjhi, his profecution for high crimes and mifdemeanors, 


Popiel, fovereign of Poland, 86. H13 character, ibid. 

- ■ II. fuccceds ; his infamous character, 87. 

Population of Poland, Mate off confidered, 10. 

Pofpolite of Poland, how compofed, 15. 

Potocki (Count) his plan for reforming the Polifh conftitutioty, 


Prague captured, and lacked by the Ruffians under General 
Suwarrow, 493. 

Premijlaus, or Lefzko, raifed by his bravery from the ftatfon 
of a private foldier to the throne, 83. 

. II. king, 97. 

ProduttioM, vegetable and animal, of Poland, 8. 

Prujfia^ the king of, invades Saxony and expels Auguftus III., 
301. Writes a letter of friendfhip to Staniflaus Auguf- 
tus, congratulating him on his efcape from aflaffination* 
327. In the following year confederates with Ruflia 
and Auftria to divide and difmember Poland, ibid. 
Guarantees the independency, liberty, and fecurity of 
that country, 349. Poland becomes dependent on the 
pleafure of that monarch, 357. A treaty of defence 
and alliance between Pruffia and Poland, 358. The king 
demands the furrender of Dantzic and Thorn, 365* 
Declares himfclf fatisfied with the new conflitution adopted 
h the Poles iu 1791, 390, His flagrant dereliction of 



his guaranty on a fubfequent invafion by Ruffia, and hi$ 
declaration, that the late revolution voas without his privity 
or concurrence, 413. Further inftance of duplicity, 421. 
Invades Poland, 424.. Further difmenabers Poland, 433. 
Again invades Poland in conjunction with the Ruffians, 

Pulajki, a Polifli nobleman, confpires againft the life of king 
Staniflaus Auguftus, 313. His death, 324, ?iote. 


Ragotfd, prince of Tranfylvania, declares for the Swedes 
againft the Poles, 164. Is defeated and dies of his 
wounds, 166. 

Religion, national, 22. 

Republic of Poland, when firft eftablifhed, 80. 

Rivers of Poland, 5. 

Rixa, regent during the minority of Cafimir, her imperious 
conduct, 92. 

Rujia, the troops of that power enter Poland, and violently 
interfere in the proceedings of the diet, 308. The em- 
preis of, confederates with Pruffia and Auftria to divide 
and difmember Poland, 327. Her troops invade Po- 
land, 3 $2. Another invafion by, to overturn the new 
conftitution, 3QS. Further diimemberment of Poland 
by, 433. Again invades Poland, 466. Ruffian ambaf- 
lador demands the iurrender of the arfenal at Warfaw, 
and the impriibnment of certain deputies, both which 
demands are refufed with undaunted bravery, and he is 
driven with his troops from the capital, 474. W& 
commenced, ibid. 


Salt-mines of Poland, ftriking obje&s of natural curiofity, 27^ 
Thofe of Wiehtlka minutely deicribed, 28. 

Senate. See Diet'. 

Shakfpcare, a pafiage from, applied to the opprefibrs of Po- 
land, 5. 

Sievers, the Ruffian ambafiador, furrounds the diet with an 
armed force, and extorts from it a confent to the fur- 
ther difmemberment of the provinces, 452. 

Si^ifmmid, king of Poland, no. Reforms abufes in the go- 
vernment, ibid. Obtains great victories over the Ruf- 
fians, Wallachians, and Moldavians, in. His death, 
112. Obfervaticns of Mr. Coxe on the reign of this 
prince, ibid. 

3 Sig'fmonJ 


BtgijhtoaJ IT. (Auguftus) crowned king of Poland, 113. Tifr* 
proves his dominions by the arts of peace, and by his 
wiidom and moderation on the fubject of religions dif- 
ferences, ibid. The Jaghelion line extinct by his 
death, 1 14. 

III. king, 120. Is crowned king of Sweden, 122. De- 
clares Charles duke of Suderland regent of that king- 
dom, who abufes his authority, 123. Deprives Charles 
of that dignity, ibid. A falfe ftep taken by him, 124. 
Is obliged to return to Poland, ibid. Is depofed by the 
Swedes* 127. Makes considerable conquefts in Muf- 
cdvy, 140. Aflifts the emperor Ferdinand, 143. In- 
difcreetly declines the advantageous offers of Guftavus 
Adolphus, 148. His death and character, 149. 

Skirgcllon, conftituted Duke of Lithuania by his brother Jag- 
helion, 105. His character, ibid. 

Sobiefii (John) king, 181. humbles the pride of the Turks, 
and makes an honourable peace, 186. Is prevailed on 
to enter into a league with the emperor againft the 
Turks, 190. Marches to the fuccour of Vienna, 194^ 
and compels the Turks to raife the fiege, 195. His 
devout behaviour upon his entrance into Vienna, 196. 
Is treated with ingratitude by the emperor Leopold, 
197. In imminent peril from the Turks, but defeats 
them in a fecond engagement, 199. His conquefts on 
his return to Poland, 201. Enters Moldavia, and is 
perfidioufly treated by the hofpodar, 202. A dangerous 
march admirably conducted by him, 203. His death 
and characler, 205. Fortunes of his family, 212. 

■ (Prince James) becomes a candidate for the crown of 

Poland upon the death of his father, 226. Oppofed by 
the influence of his mother, who afterwards (when too 
late) efpoufes his intereft, 227. Gives up his preten- 
tions, 239. Is proclaimed by fome parties, 241. A 
gentleman who exprefled a zeal for him is fiiot through 
the head, 242. 

Soil of Poland defcribed, 7. 

Spring, an inflammable one at Cracow, 7. 

StanT/laus Leczinlki, propoled as king of Poland, 273. His 
party increafes, 275. Is crowned, ibid. Is acknow* 
ledged by moft of the princes of Europe, 283. His 
title is confirmed, 289. Returns to Pomerania, 290. 
Is taken prifoner in Turkey, 293, 294. Re-chofen 
king of Poland, 299. Compelled to fly the country in 
difguife, 301. 

e — Auguftus (Count Poniatowfki) elected king of Poland, 

302. The fair profpects of his reign foon obfcured by 



faction, 303. Lofes his influence, and is deprived even 
of the fhadow of authority, 310. A molt atrocious 
attempt on his life, narrated, 312 to 326. Letter of 
congratulation and friendlhip to him from the king of 
Pruffia, 327. His dominions invaded and liifmembered 
the following year by the fame king of Pruffia in league 
with Auftria and Ruffia, 327. Remonftrates in vain, 
336. Oppofes the nomination of a fucceflbr to the 
throne during his life-time, 368. Effect?, at the deli re 
of his people, an important revolution in the cwiftitu- 
tjon, whereby many rooted abuies in the government 
were eradicated, and the lower clafles admitted to their 
juft privileges, 37Q. Eternizes the memory of it by 
building a church with a fiutable infeription, 389. His 
motives in the affair of the new constitution examined 
and vindicated from afperfion, 392. His animating and 
patriotic addrefs to the army on the Ruffian- invafion, 
410. Applies to the king of Pruffia for the promifed 
affiftance in cafe of hoftility againft Poland, 412. Fla- 
grant behaviour of that monarch, 4.13. War with 
Ruflia, 416. Deferted by his ally the king of Pruffia, 
is obliged to annul the new conftitution, and to make 
other humiliating conceffions, 417. Proteft of the 
king and the nation againft the fecond partition of the 
republic, 457. Revives, at the deiire of the nation, an 
order of knighthood, which had been inftituted as a 
reward to thofe who had defended their country when 
formerly attacked by Ruffia, 462. Obliged to make 
conceffion and abolifh the order again, to foothe the re- 
fentment of the emprefs of Ruffia, 463. Another con- 
ftitution eftabliflied, ibid. The re-eftablifhment of the 
conftitution of 1791 declared, 472. The king fubjefted 
to a kind of honourable cuftody, 475. Ordered by the 
emprefs to remoye to Grodno, 498. His departure for 
that place, 500. 

Stephen. See Eaton. 

Stravjenjki attempts to aflaffinate king Stanifiaus Auguftus, 313. 
Executed, 323* 

Suwarrow, general, reduces Warfaw, and enters, it in triumph, 

Snvi/ki (or Choufqui), Theodore, forms a confpiracy againft 
Demetrius the impoftor, 136. Caufes him to be flain, 
138. Is elected czar, 139. Is depofed, 140. 

L 1 7'. %eifii t 



Teielij declared general of the Hungarian malcontents, in the 
room of Weftini, 188. Declared prince of Hungary 
by the fultan, 189. Defeated by the Duke of Lorrain, 

Titles of the king of Poland, 16. 

Treafuwr of Poland, his office, 67. 


Falois, Henry of, king of Poland, 115. Quits Poland pri- 
vately on the death of his brother Charles IX. king of 
France, 116. Attempts to excule his conduit to the 
Poles, 117. Aflaffinated, 118. 
anda, fovereign of Poland, her extraordinary character, 82. 

Vienna befieged by the Turks, 192. Condition of that place, 
193. Siege raifed by the valour and fkill of Sobieflu. 

Vitholda, coufin of Jaghellon, created governor of Lithuania, 

Univcrjities of Poland, 26. 


War/aw, public library there, 26. The city defcribed, 33. 

Captured, 496. 
Wencejlaus, king, 97. 
Wielif/l-a, the fait mines of, 28. 
Wierncft, his immenfe wealth, 49. note. 
Wicfnovoijld (Michael Coribut) elected king of Poland, 175. 

his modeft conduct and character, ibid. Gives up Fo- 

dolia to the Coilacks, and promifes the fultan a tribute, 

176. His death, 177. 
Wild mgn inhabiting the woods of Poland, 177. 
ll'ijjlmir, duke, founds the city of Dantzic, 80. 
Women, Polifh. See Poli/b Women. 

Zamoijki grants freedom to his peafants, and derives the hap- 
piell effects from that mcafure, 54. 



Zamojki, general of the Polifli troops, the chief inftrument 
in railing Sigifmond III. to the throne, 121. De- 
feats the Germans who were on their march to fup- 
port the claim of Maximilian, 122. Takes Maximilian 
prifoner, ibid. Defeats the Tartar army confifting of 
100,000 men, 123. His conquefts in Livonia, 126. Re- 
figns the command, 127. 

Zcmomiflaus, fovereign, 90. 

Ziemovitus, fovereign, ibid. 

ZolkienJJci, defeats an army of 70,000 Turks and Tartars, 144. 
The treachery of his foldiers, and his brave retreat, ib» 
His unfortunate death, 145. 


Portrait of General Kofciufko to face the Title. 
Map of Poland to face Sect. I. p. i . 

PL - / k£"" 


Jones, Stephen 

The history of Poland