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28th March—6th Oct. 1768. get a haul of glass to load with ;—and absolutely would not yield till famine came; though the terms offered were good,—had they been kept. So that Pulawski, it would appear, did Two Cloister Defences? Two, each with a miraculous Holy Virgin; an eastern, and then a westerly. This of Berdiczow, not dated to me farther, is for certain of the year 1768; and Pulawski, owing to famine, did yield here. In 1771, at miraculous Cloister Czenstochow, in the western parts, Pulawski did an external feat, or consented to see it done,—that of trying to snuff out poor King Stanislaus on the streets (30 November, 10 P.M., “ miraculously in vain, as most readers know),-which brought its obloquies and troubles on the Defender of Czenstochow. Obloquies and troubles: but as to surrendering Czenstochow on call of obloquy, or of famine itself, Pulawski would not, not he for his own part; but solemnly left his men to do it, and walked away by circuitous uncertain paths, which end in Charlestown Harbour, as we have
Defence of Czenstochow in 1771 shall not concern us farther. Truly these two small defences of monasteries by Pulawski are almost all, I do not say of glorious, but even of creditable or human, that reward the poor wanderer in that Polish Valley of Jehosaphat, much of it peat-country; wherefore I have, as before, marked the approximate localities, approximate dates, for behoof of ingenuous readers.
The Russians, ever since 1764, from the beginnings of those Stanislaus times, are pledged to maintain peace in Poland; and it is they that have to deal with this affair,—they especially, or almost wholly, poor Stanislaus having scarcely any power, military or other, and perhaps being loth withal. There was more of investigating and parleying, bargaining and intriguing, than of fighting, on Stanislaus's part. “June 11th, 1768,' says a Saxon Note from Warsaw, "Mokranowski, Stanislaus's General (the same that was with Friedrich), 'has been sent down to Bar to look into those Confederates. Mokranowski does not think
there are above 8,000 of them; about 3,000 have got their death ' from Russian castigation. The 8,000 might be treated with, only Russians are so dreadfully severe, especially so intent on wringing money from them. Confederates have been complain
28th March-6th Oct. 1768. ‘ing to the Turk; Turk ambiguous; gives them no definite ‘ ground of hope. “What, then, is your hope ?" I inquired. “Little or none, except in Heaven," several answered : “it is ' for our religion and our liberty:" religion cut to pieces by this • Dissident Toleration-blasphemy; liberty ditto by the Russian
guarantee of peace among us: what can we do but trust in 'God and our own despair ?” ?38 “Prave worts, Ancient Pistol,” -but much destitute of sense, and not to be realised in present circumstances. Here is something much more critical:
June-July 1768. "The peasants in the Southern regions, 'Palatinates Podol, Kiow, Braclaw, called Ukraine or Border
Country by the Poles, are mostly of Greek and other schismatic creeds. Their Lords are of an orthodox religion, and not distin'guished by mild treatment of such Peasantry, upon whom civil war and plunder have been latterly a sore visitation. To com
plete the matter, the Confederates in certain quarters, blown 6 upon by fanatical priests, set about converting these poor pea
sants, or forcing them, at the point of the bayonet, to swear that they adopt the “Greek united rite,” which I suppose to be a kind of halfway house towards perfect orthodoxy. In one Village, which was getting converted in this manner, the military party seemed to be small; the Village boiled over upon it; 'trampled orthodoxy and military both under foot, in a violent
and sanguinary manner; and was extremely frightened when it • had done. Extremely frightened, not the Village only, but the • schismatic mind generally in those parts, dreading vengeance for such a paroxysm. But the atrocious Russians whispered "them, “We are here to protect you in your religions and rights, ' in your poor consciences and skins.” Upon which hint of the • atrocious Russians, the schismatic mind and population one and . all rose; and,“ with the cannibals ferocity, gave way to their 6 appetite for plunder !"
• Nay, the Russian Government (certain Russian Officials hard pressed) “had invited the Zaporavian Cossacks to step over • from their Islands in the Dniester, and assist in defending their Religion' (true Greek, of course); who at once did so; and not only extinguished the last glimmer of Confederation there, but
38 · Essen's Report, 11th June 1768' (in Hermann, v. 441).
28th March-6th Oct. 1768. overwhelmed the Country, thousands on thousands of them,
attended by revolted peasants,—say a 20,000 of peasants under command of these Zaporavians,—who went about plundering 6 and burning. That they plundered the Jew pothouses of their brandy, and drank it, was a small matter. Very furious upon Jews, upon Noblemen, Landlords, upon Catholic Priests. “On 6 one tree” (tree should have been noted) “was found hanged å specimen of each of those classes, with a Dog adjoined, as fit company.” In one little Town, Town of Human' (so-called in that foreign dialect), ' getting some provocation or other, they set to massacring; and if brandy were plentiful, we can suppose they made short work. By the lowest computation the number of slain Jews and Catholics amounted to 10,000 odd39_Rulhière says “50,000, by some accounts 200,000.” This I guess to have been at its height about the end of June; this leads direct to the Catastrophe, as will presently be seen.
Foreign States don't seem to pay much attention,-indeed, what sane person would like to interfere, or hope to do it with profit? France, Austria, both wish well to Poland, at least ill to Russia; Choiseul has no finance, can do nothing but intrigue, and stir up trouble everywhere: a devout Kaiserin goes with Holy Church, and disapproves of these Dissident Tolerations : it is remarked that all through 1768 the Confederates of Bar are permitted to retire over the Austrian Frontier into Austrian Silesia, and find themselves there in safety. Permitted to buy arms, to make preparations, issue orders : at Sulkowski's Bilitz, in the Duchy of Teschen, supreme Managing Committee sits there; no Kaunitz or Official person meddling with it. About the beginning of next year (1769), it is, ostensibly, a little discountenanced; and obliged to go to Eperjes, on the Hungarian Frontier40 (as a more decent, or less conspicuous place),--such trouble now rising; a Turk War having broken out, momentous not to the Confederation alone. March 1769, the ever-intriguing Choiseul,-fancy with what rapturous effect,—had sent some kind of Agent or Visitor to Teschen ; Vergennes in Turkey, from the beginning of these things, has been plying night and day his 28th March-6th Oct. 1768. diplomatic bellows upon every live-coal (“I who myself kindled this Turk-War!” brags he afterwards) ;—not till next year (1770) did Choiseul send his Dumouriez to the Bilitz neighbourhoods ; not till next again, when Choiseul was himself out,41 did his Vioménil come :42 neither of whom, by their own head alone, without funds, without troops, could do other than with fine effort make bad worse.
29 Hermann, v.
444 ; Rulhière, iii. 93. 40 See Büsching: for Eperjes, ii. 1427; for Bilitz, vüi. 885.
It is needless continuing such a subject. Here is one glimpse two years later, and it shall be our last : 'Near Lublin, 25th September 1770. It is frightful, all this that is passing in these
parts,-about the Town of Labun, for example. The dead • bodies remain without burial; they are devoured by the dogs 6 and the pigs.' * Everywhere reigns Pestilence; nor • do we fear contagion so much as famine. Offer 100 ducats • for a fowl or for a bit of bread, I swear you won't get it. . General von Essen' (Russian, we will hope) ‘has had to escape ' from Laticzew, then from' some other place, ‘Pestilence chas‘ing him everywhere.'
To apply to the Turks,-afflicted Polish Patriots prostrating themselves with the hope of despair, “Save us, your sublime Clemency; throw a ray of pity on us, Brother of the Sun and Moon : oh, chastise our diabolic oppressors !"—this was one of the first resources of the Bar Confederates. The Turks did give ear; not inattentive, though pretending to be rather deaf. M. de Vergennes, of whose diplomatic bellows' we just heard (in fact, for diligence in this Turk element, in this young time, the like of him was seldom seen; we knew him long afterwards as a diligent old gentleman, in French Revolution days),-M. de Vergennes zealously supports ; zealous to let loose the Turk upon Anti-French parties. The Turks seem to wag their heads, for some time; and their responses are ambiguous. For some time, not for long. Here, fast enough, comes, in disguised shape, the Catastrophe itself, ye poor plaintive Poles !
41 Thrown out, '20 December 1770,'—by Louis's new Pompadour.
42 Hermann, v. 469-471; in Rulhière (iv. 241-289), aco nt of Dumouriez and his fencings and spyings, still more of Vioménil, who had “ French Volunteers," and did some bits of real fighting on the small scale.
28th March-6th Oct. 1768. July—October 1768. Those Zaporavian and other Cossacks, with 20,000 peasants plundering about on both sides of the Dniester, had set fire to the little Town of Balta, which is on the south side, and belongs to the Turks : a very grave accident, think all political people, think especially the Foreign Excellencies at Warsaw, when news of it arrives. Burning of Balta, not to be quenched by the amplest Russian apologies, proved a live-coal at Constantinople; and Vergennes says, he set population and Divan on fire by it: a proof that the population and Divan had already been in a very inflammable state. Not a wise Divan, though a zealous. Plenty of fury in these people; but a sad deficiency of every other faculty. They made haste, in their hot humour, to declare War (6th October 1768) ;43 not considering much how they would carry it on. Declared themselves in late Autumn,-as if to give the Russians ample time for preparing; those poor Turks themselves being as yet ready with nothing, and even the season for field-operations being over.
King Friedrich, who has still a Minister at the Porte, endeavoured to dissuade his old Turk friends, in this rash crisis ; but to no purpose; they would listen to nothing but Vergennes and their own fury. Friedrich finds this War a very mad one on the part of his old Turk friends; their promptitude to go into it (he has known them backward enough when their chances were better!), and their way of carrying it on, are alike surprising to him. He says: 'Catharine's Generals were 'unacquainted with the first elements of Castrametation and Tactic; but the Generals of the Sultan had a still more prodigious depth of ignorance; so that to form a correct idea of this War, you must figure a set of ' purblind people, who, by constantly beating a set of al' together blind, end by gaining over them a complete
mastery.°44 This, as Friedrich knows, is what Austria cannot suffer; this is what will involve Austria and
13 Hermann, v. 608-11.
4 Euvres de Frédéric, vi. 23, 24.