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heard with interest of the taking of Jerusalem and the election of the Duke to be its first king, though he may not have experienced the same thrill of delight as other and more enthusiastic hearts, and though he resisted all persuasions of succeeding Crusaders to accompany them to the Holy Land.
When Bishop Fulbert returned, Kálmán heard from him strange tales of the holy kingdom, the quarrels of the leaders, the revels of the soldiers of the Cross, who seemed to vie with one another in denying the Gospel by their deeds, and in betraying Christ anew.* Kálmán heard too much of all this to regret his determination to stay at home and attend to the affairs of his own kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Raab (Györ) had returned from his mission to Sicily, having arranged matters with Count Roger entirely to the King's satisfaction; and shortly afterwards, Duke Almos was sent to escort the Countess Busilla to Hungary. She landed on the coast of Dalmatia in the following May, and was received by a splendid guard of 5,000 horsemen, who accompanied her to Stuhlweissenburg. Here she was met by the King, and the marriage at once took place amid great festivities and rejoicings.
This year, 1098, passed away in peace; but in the following, Kálmán, who had been induced to go and assist Swetopluk, Prince of Kiew, in a war with Wolodar, one of the other Russian princes, suffered a very disastrous defeat. Kálmán owed Wolodar a grudge on his own account, for the latter had allowed the Kumans to pass through his territories and make raids on the outskirts of Hungary. It was even declared that Russians had joined these plundering expeditions. After this humiliating defeat, Kálmán, fearing that the Russians and Kumans might be emboldened to make a joint attack on Hungary, turned all his attention to improving the defences of the country, making at the same time an offensive and defensive treaty with the Duke of Bohemia. But this danger passed away, and for a time the King had leisure to improve the internal state of the kingdom. He held several Diets, and travelled from one end of the country to the other, administering justice in person. The laws passed by the Diet were written in the Magyar language, but unhappily the only version of them extant is a meagre Latin one made by a priest for the benefit of the Archbishop of Gran.
Another army of Crusaders passed through Hungary in 1102, led by the Bishop of Milan, Stephen of Blois, William of Poitou, &c. Among them was Ida, Countess of Austria, who fell into the hands of the Infidel, and was obliged to marry a distinguished Saracen. Kálmán began to see that there was some advantage to be gained from these crusading armies, as long as they maintained proper discipline, for money was plentiful with them, and a great deal of it was naturally left in Hungary. But this time he was glad to get rid of them, that he might be free to turn his attention to Croatia, where another insurrection had broken out, excited
* Jókai Mór.
by Venice and encouraged by the evident incapacity of Almos to put it down. Almos appears to have been vain as well as weak, and it is even supposed that he looked rather favourably on the insurrection in the foolish hope that its success might lead to his becoming independent King of Croatia. If this were so, he was grievously disappointed; for Kálmán, appearing with his army, at once appeased the malcontents, granted them rights and privileges, and attached them more firmly than ever to the Hungarian crown, while he dismissed the Duke to his estates in Hungary, being fully persuaded that he was too weak to cope with the intrigues of the nobles and the Venetian Doge.
And now it seemed to Kálmán that the time was come when he might accomplish his darling project, and make Hungary for ever mistress of some portion of the coast of the Adriatic. He suddenly presented himself before Spalatro, summoning it to surrender. The garrison made some show of resistance, but, knowing they must in the end yield, thought it better to do so while they could make good terms, and therefore sent out the Archbishop Crescentius to ask for mercy and peace, nor had he any difficulty in arranging matters. Kálmán's great desire was to make faithful and loving subjects of the Dalmatians, not slaves. He therefore confirmed to them all the rights of their own constitution, and promised them exemption from all tribute and taxes. In consideration of these promises, they renounced their allegiance both to Venice and Constantinople, swore to be faithful subjects to himself and successors, even granted him the same share in the taxes formerly enjoyed by the Byzantine Emperor, and as a token of their submission, received a Hungarian garrison within their walls.
The example of Spalatro was followed by Jadra, and other less important seaports. Kálmán everywhere confirmed the people in their privileges, the churches and convents in their possessions, and thus made himself so beloved, that the nobles of Croatia and Dalmatia willingly obeyed when he summoned them to Jadra (Zara) to assist at his solemn coronation, by the Archbishop Crescentius, as King of the two countries. Thus by his wisdom and moderation had Kálmán won the muchdesired prize, without a single battle; but, in the meantime, he had sustained a severe personal loss. His graceful and beautiful Sicilian wife had died during his absence, leaving him two children, a boy and
Predslawa, the daughter of the Russian Duke Svetopluk; but the new queen was unrefined and hot-tempered, a great contrast to the gentle Busilla, and before many weeks were passed, Kálmán had reason to be so seriously displeased with her conduct, that he sent her back to Russia, where she bore a son named Borics, whom Kálmán would never acknowledge.
From the time of the death of his first wife, Kálmán appears to have been perpetually harassed either by the intrigues of Venice, or the plots of his cousin Almos. Six different times did the Duke endeavour to drive him from the throne. *He intrigued successively with all the enemies of Hungary, raised conspiracies, planned assassinations, and for no other reason than that Kálmán was king, while he was merely Duke of Ráma. He first asked help from the Emperor Heinrich V., offering to sell him his dukedom; but just then the Emperor was too insecure on his own throne to care to meddle with others. Kálmán knew of what was going on, but he made no difference in his behaviour to his cousin. Finding he could get no assistance from without, Almos next gathered together all the malcontents in the kingdom, and openly opposed the King. The two armies faced one another for some days on opposite banks of the Tisza, each being unwilling to strike the first blow. Finally, the generals of both armies held a consultation on a little island in the river, where they determined that the blood of the nation should not be shed to settle the quarrels of the princes, but that the latter might decide their differences by appealing to the judgment of God in single combat in the sight of both armies.
The King, whom historians describe as deformed, readily accepted the proposal; but Almos, bursting into tears, begged for pardon. Kálmán forgave him, and thinking that a wife might inspire him with some better feelings, arranged a marriage for him with Ingolburga, daughter of King Ingo of Sweden. But he was disappointed in his expectations. The more Almos loved his fair blue-eyed wife, the more he thought to himself, “Why should she not be Queen ? and, when a son was born to him, he swore a mad oath that the child should be king. If he had but known what a curse he was pronouncing on the head of his innocent child ! if he had but known that the crown when it came would be only a burthen, that his son Béla might indeed feel its weight, but would never behold the glitter of its bright jewels !
Bent only on attaining his one object, and caring little by what means he did it, Almos sought help from the King of Poland, managed to possess himself of Aba Ujvár, and thence proclaimed the deposition of Kálmán, calling on the nation to make him king in his cousin's stead. But the nation, thus called upon, instead of deciding in favour of Almos, sent a large force, ten times larger than any he could command, to surround Aba; and Almos, seeing that there was no hope for him, rode out alone early in the morning before the attack began, to the enemy's camp; entered the King's tent, threw himself at his feet, and asked pardon. For the sake of his angelic wife, the usually severe Kálmán forgave him and his adherents, and allowed the Poles to go home in peace. But generosity seems to have little effect on some minds, and Almos was no sooner pardoned than he cast about for a plan by which he might obtain by craft what he knew he could not hope for in fair and open fight. A church had lately been built at Dömös, the place where Béla, grandfather both of Kálmán and Almos, had met his death; and Almos now invited the King to be present at its consecration,
* Jókai Mór.
intending to have him assassinated in the forest, when they went out hunting.
The plot was discovered to Kálmán, and he would have brought Almos to trial, but for the prayers and tears of Ingolburga, and the advice of the bishops. The cousins took an oath on the Gospels to live henceforth in unity and peace; but, in the afternoon, when the Duke was out hunting with his friends, he saw a heron flying over his head. He let his falcon fly at it, and the heron was quickly brought to the ground.
*Think you,' said the Duke to his companions, that the wise falcon would have let the heron go, if the latter had promised not to scream any more?'
'It is as little likely that the wild falcon would have heeded the heron's oath, as that the heron would have made any such promise,' answered the courtiers. Fearing the consequences of his rash words, the meaning of which he saw was understood by his followers, Almos determined to avert them by a new act of treachery; and, the same night, he fied secretly to the Emperor of Germany. When next he appeared on the frontiers, it was with Heinrich V. and his army.
But now the whole nation, indignant at his faithlessness and repeated acts of treachery, rose against him, and sent so large an army to Pressburg, which the Emperor was besieging, that the latter, afraid to venture a battle, appeared before Kálmán as a mediator between himself and his cousin. Once again, but for the last time, Almos received pardon, and shortly afterwards started on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. But the sight of the holy places worked no change in his heart, and he returned home, hating the King as much as ever. A conspiracy against Kálmán and his son, having ramifications in Russia, Venice, and Germany, was discovered. The heads of it were taken prisoners, brought to trial, and condemined to death with their families, by the Palatine of the kingdom. The King commuted the sentence, ordering the three Counts concerned in the plot, Almos, and his little son, Béla, then only five years old, to have their eyes put out. This is the great stain on the memory of an otherwise great man. Kálmán's defenders excuse him by saying that the sentence was carried into effect against his will. However, Jókai Mór, a Hungarian author, already frequently quoted, remarks, "There is no nation whose laws would not have condemned to death a man who had so many times rebelled, who had broken his oath, called a foreign army into the land, and conspired against the life of the sovereign; and the laws of the time judged loss of sight to be a less punishment than death. Those who can enter into the spirit of the age, when feuds were handed down from father to son, deluging lands with fire and blood, will not wonder that the framers of the laws should have extended the punishment of the rebel to the members of his family,
But Kálmán found no comfort in the cold arguments of reason. Whether sleeping or waking, he continually beheld his unhappy cousin, with his bleeding sightless eyes, and continually heard the cries of the
gentle and innocent Ingolburga, as she pressed her blinded child to her heart. This one act blotted out the remembrance of all the good he had done. He became restless and suspicious; his health gave way, and he thought anxiously how best he might secure the throne to his young son, István. At last he determined to put Almos to death. The blind duke was sitting in the sun outside the monastery of Dömös, when he heard the sound of a horse's hoofs, and, having a presentiment of danger, begged to be led to the Altar. The monks, whose convent he had built and endowed, protected him, and shortly afterwards contrived his escape to Constantinople.
Kálmán died A.D. 1114, after a reign of rather more than eighteen years, leaving his kingdom in a most flourishing condition. It is true, he had built neither church nor monastery, he had chastised the ill-behaved Crusaders, he had allowed the clergy to retain their wives, he had resisted the endeavour of the Pope to extend his power in Hungary, he had declared there was no such thing as a witch, and finally had shown his own decided preference for the life of a layman. All this was sufficient to deprive him of any advocates among the chroniclers of the time. Nevertheless, he made many wise laws for the regulation of Church and State. Gregory VII. had tried to enforce the celibacy of the clergy in the time of S. László, but the measure, though encouraged by the Prelates, was warmly opposed by the Magnates. It was at last decreed that priests once married might retain their wives, that second marriages were to be dissolved, or the priest degraded to the rank of a layman. The law was afterwards made more strict; but, at a Synod held in Gran under Kálmán, some modifications were introduced. The married clergy were to remain married; the unmarried were to remain single; but, for the future, no married man was to be ordained, and for a married priest to become a bishop he must separate from his wife with her consent. The buying of Church preferment was entirely unknown in Hungary, as were also fees for masses, burials, baptisms, &c.; but a fine was inflicted on the friends or relations of any dying person who neglected to send for the priest. Kálmán introduced some very strict laws for the regulations of the dress and habits of the clergy, who it seems were disposed to indulge in gay clothing, such as profusely trimmed great-coats, red gloves, green or embroidered coats, open to show equally gay waistcoats, and smart silk or coloured shoes. All this finery was to be given up, and they were condemned to wear simple untrimmed coats, fastened up to the throat with hooks or buttons-rather a trial, one would imagine, to the splendourloving Magyar.
Rewards were offered to any persons denouncing an ill-living priest, who was immediately deprived of his office. In the villages the priest was ordered to read and explain in Hungarian the Gospel, Epistle, Creed, and Lord's Prayer, every Sunday.
Paschalis II., when sending the pallium to the Archbishop of Spalatro, had required him to take the oath of allegiance to the Papal See, drawn VOL. 6.