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was the Russian war thus happily concluded, than Géza found himself attacked by a far more formidable foe, who indeed was destined to trouble his dominions for many a year to come.
Manuel Comnenus, the last remarkable Emperor of the East, and grandson, on his mother's side, of László I., having lost many of his Eastern possessions to the rapacious Turks, was considering how best he might indemnify himself for these losses by incorporating the territories of some of his barbarous neighbours; and turned his eye on Hungary accordingly. For Hungary was still ‘barbarous' to the historian of that day ; while Greece was the home of the highest civilization. If, as Jókai Mór ironically observes, civilization consists, not in moral and spiritual integrity but in the arts of sculpture and silk-weaving,' then, indeed, we cannot deny that Greece had the advantage; but this in great measure disappears if we do but compare a few pages from the histories of the two countries.
Manuel spent one half his life in excess, the other in causeless warfare. On one occasion, in the midst of a battle, he was drinking from a stream, and in answer to his complaint that there was blood in it, a soldier standing by exclaimed, “ It is not the first time you have drunk the blood of your people!'
The Magyar is a "barbarian,' because he turned the rapacious Crusaders out of the country, and reserved his hospitality for the chivalrous; but the Greek is 'civilized,' because he contented himself with supplying the knights with false coin, meal mixed with chalk, and unfaithful guides who led them astray. Such deeds as these were not the order of the day among “barbarians.'
Manuel readily found an excuse for going to war with the 'barbarians:' first in Borics, who had put himself and his claims under his protection ; secondly in Csudomil, Prince of Servia, who was a cousin of Géza and an enemy of himself ; and thirdly in Wladimerko, Prince of Swenigrod, a Russian ally, whom Géza had defeated in the late war. Bélus, the Palatine, having some idea of Manuel's intrigues, had induced his nephew Csudomil to renounce his allegiance to the Greek Empire, and declare himself a vassal of Hungary, promising him all needful support. Manuel was just arming for an expedition against Roger II. of Sicily, when he received the news of Csudomil's * defection ; and hurrying into Servia, he compelled the Prince to retire to the mountains, seized some of the fortified towns, and devastated the open country, before the promised assistance could arrive from Hungary. In the following year (1151) he returned with a still larger army, and in the first battle, personally encountered the Servian Prince, who struck the Emperor a blow which clove his helmet. Manuel, however, wrested the weapon from his grasp, and took the Prince back a prisoner to Constantinople, where he soon induced him to return to his allegiance. Forty Hungarians, likewise taken prisoners in this battle, Manuel caused to stand before his throne, clad in robes of gold and purple, that it might appear his captives were
* Called by Greeks Blacbin.
all dukes and counts. Thus far, however, he had not come into open collision with Hungary ; but now, on Géza's return from the Russian campaign, Manuel assailed him with bitter reproaches, for having secretly supported the rebellion in Servia, and for having lately attacked his friend and ally Wladimerko, and then proceeded to cross the frontiers with a large army, one division of which, commanded by Borics, sent across the Danube to seize Branizowa, while he himself led the remainder across the Save and surprised the garrison of Semlin. The King and Palatine could not succeed in bringing either the Emperor or Borics to an open figlit; and as the winter came on, both parties were obliged to relinquish the campaign and retire to winter quarters. As soon as spring returned, Géza was eager to reassemble his army and fall upon the Greeks; but, by the advice of his counsellors, he at length consented to abandon a war, which would exhaust the nation to no purpose, and might prove highly dangerous under the new combination of circumstances; for it now seemed likely that he might have another Emperor to defend himself and his country against, and one more formidable than Manuel ; inasmuch as the Eastern empire was fast declining from her once high position, while the Western was developing new resources, extending her power on all sides, and aspiring to the leadership of Europe.
Six years before, Friedrich of Suabia had led through Hungary an army of Crusaders, so numerous that their ships choked up the rivers, and they themselves had scarcely space sufficient to march through the plains.* He and his followers had behaved themselves on the march much as if they had been in an enemy's country, laying hands on all they fancied, and committing many acts of violence; but it seemed that Friedrich retained an agreeable impression of his journey, for no sooner was he chosen Emperor in the room of his uncle Konrad, than he announced to the Princes of the Empire his determination to lead an expedition into Hungary, and compel her to acknowledge him as her lord. Hungary's fair and fruitful plains were tempting; but the Princes could not forget the defeats they had but lately sustained at the hands of the Hungarians, and they were by no means in favour of the enterprise. Finding it impossible just then to win their consent, and unable to proceed without it, Friedrich abandoned his project for the time; and for the next few years, Italian affairs left him no leisure to recur to it. It was only laid aside, however, not forgotten; and the war-note having once been sounded, Hungary knew what she might expect whenever Barbarossa should have disposed of the Reformer Arnold.
Meanwhile, there were troubles at home. The practice of giving each of the royal princes a dukedom, to be held as a fief of the kingdom, was, as usual, productive of discord. István, Géza's youngest brother, Prince of Sirmia, gave occasion for some suspicions that he was aspiring to the crown. Whether it really was. so, or whether Géza's suspicions were roused by seeing the favour shown to the Prince by the Palatine, does not appear ; but they do not seem to have been altogether without foundation, as István, without attempting any explanation, fled to Constantinople, where Manuel was only too glad to receive him graciously; and to attach him the more closely to himself, gave him his niece Maria in marriage. The district containing Branizowa, Nissa, and Belgrade, which had been won from Hungary, Manuel had given to his relation, Prince Andronicus Comnenus, not however thereby ensuring either his attachment or gratitude. A little power only made Andronicus feel that he should like more; and while the Emperor was carrying on an unsuccessful campaign in Sicily against Roger II., Andronicus was busy weaving a conspiracy, in which he had induced Géza to join by promising him the restoration of the conquered territory. To ruin Hungary's dangerous foe, and at the same time to gain an important territory, was a prospect so tempting that it quite dazzled Géza and even his wise ministers. The King led a large army to assist Andronicus, increasing it by Bohemian mercenaries and levies of the new Saxon colonists. But by the time they reached Branizowa, the conspiracy had been discovered, Andronicus safely lodged in prison, and the town garrisoned by faithful troops. All this the Hungarians only discovered when they reached Branizowa, and found that, instead of being received as friends, they were looked upon as enemies. They had scarcely begun the siege of the place, when they learnt that the Greek general, Basilius, was approaching to its relief, and that with him were the two fugitive Princes, István with his followers, and Borics with some Kuman auxiliaries whom he had enlisted in his service. Géza, not knowing what might be the strength of the enemy, abandoned the siege, and drew his army off towards the west, intending to retreat across the Save, which afforded an easier passage than the Danube. But the Greek general received warning of his intention, cut off his retreat, and suddenly attacked him. The unexpectedness of the attack at first threw the Hungarians into some disorder ; but speedily recovering themselves, they won a complete victory, in which most of István's followers were slain, while he himself and Basilius with difficulty escaped. In this battle, the unhappy Borics also ended his tempestuous career, being slain by his own Kuman soldiers. To avenge this defeat, Manuel led a large army to the Danube the following year; but he had already met with a so much more determined resistance from the Hungarians than he had expected, that he was by no means disinclined to embrace any honourable opportunity of making peace. also weary of war; and a treaty was concluded, (1156,) whereby both parties agreed to restore their conquests, release their prisoners, and for the future abstain from giving any assistance to conspirators. Not, however, that Manuel renounced his scheme, but he thought he might find some means of accomplishing it more easy than open warfare. His great trust was in István, who was quite ready to sacrifice his country and become a vassal of the Greek Empire on the first opportunity. László, the second brother, having had some quarrel with the King,
* Otto von Freisingen.
joined István in Constantinople about this time, though he did not enter so readily into Manuel's plans, and was too much attached to his own Polish wife to listen to any proposals for repudiating her, and marrying instead a relation of the Emperor. He therefore never enjoyed the same degree of favour as his brother ; but, as an enemy of the Hungarian King, he might always be made use of to excite disturbances in his dominions.
An embassy, sent about this time by Manuel to Barbarossa, requesting him to interfere in Hungary in István's behalf, completely failed of its object. Friedrich had no leisure to think of subduing Hungary by force of arms, but he was not sorry to have an excuse for meddling with her internal affairs, and therefore sent an embassy to Géza, representing István's claims, the only effect of which was to cause the King to send the Bishop of Raab to the German court with an explanation of the true state of affairs. The Bishop informed Friedrich that 'the King had made his brother equal to himself, in all respects but the royal title, and had only banished him in consequence of his open rebellion. These representations might or might not have convinced the Emperor, but they were accompanied and enforced by a more powerful argument, namely, an offer, which he was but too glad to accept, of six hundred chosen archers and some other troops of cavalry, to assist him in those Italian conquests which were draining the empire of men and money. The Emperor was quite convinced of the injustice of István's claims, and sent him back to Constantinople by way of Venice; and, in the following year, derived much assistance from the Hungarian auxiliaries at the taking of Milan. (1158.)
A year later, Friedrich was anxious to gain the support of Géza, and with him of Hungary, in another matter. On the death of Pope Adrian IV., the majority of Cardinals had chosen as his successor Alexander III., a sworn enemy of the Emperor; whereas the minority had complied with his wishes by electing his friend Octavian, known as Victor IV. The Western Church, therefore, had now two Popes, who anathematized one another and their respective adherents, thus affording to Christendom at large anything but an edifying spectacle. To put an end to this scandal, Friedrich summoned a council of the Church to meet at Pavia, (1160.) and decide the question. The deputies of the Hungarian Church were present, and recognized Victor as the lawful head of the Western Church, as Géza had already done in the national synod; but when, shortly after, two Legates came to Hungary from Alexander, and by their representations won over the Bishops, with the influential Archbishop of Grán at their head, to consider their master as the lawful Pope, Géza also embraced his cause; and so zealously, that he even wrote to Louis VII. of France, likewise an adherent of Alexander, promising that, if Friedrich had any designs against his dominions, he would himself come to his assistance by pouring an army into Germany. Géza carried his submission to the clergy so far, that about this time he yielded to Alexander the right, hitherto always exercised by his ancestors, of appointing and removing the Bishops. The errors and feebleness noticeable in Géza's government towards the close of his reign, may probably be attributed to the fact that he had lately lost his wise uncle and counsellor, Duke Bélus, whom Manuel had appointed Prince of Servia, partly, no doubt, in the hope of gaining for himself, and withdrawing from Hungary, so wise a counsellor. It is, however, pleasant to know that Bélus remained to the end the same honest man he had ever been, and continued faithful to the King and Hungary, notwithstanding the favours of his new master.
In the full flush of manhood, after a reign of twenty years, Géza died, without having had time to unravel the various complications which threatened the peace of Hungary, though he cannot be denied the credit of having maintained her honour and independence against the Emperors of West and East. If ever country had cause to echo the dictum of Louis XI., .The lion should have but one cub,' surely it was Hungary! and now, again, there were three young princes, sons of Géza; while, to make matters still worse, the late King's two brothers, István and László, were still living at the Byzantine court, watching their opportunity.
(To be continued.)
THE CAGED LION.
THE TIDINGS OF BEAUGÉ.
MALCOLM understood it at last. In the great chamber where he was bidden to wait with ‘Nigel' till “Sir James' came from a private conference with ‘Harry,' he had all explained to him, but with a curtness and brevity that must not be imitated in the present narrative.
The squire Nigel was in fact Sir Nigel Baird, Baron of Bairdsbrae, the gentleman to whom poor King Robert II. had committed the charge of his young son James, when at fourteen he had been sent to France, nominally for education, but in reality to secure him from the fate of his brother Rothsay.
Captured by English vessels on the way, the heir of Scotland had been too valuable a prize to be resigned by the politic Henry IV., who had lodged him at Windsor Castle, together with Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, and placed both under the nominal charge of the Prince of Wales, a youth of a few years older. Unjust as was the detention, it had been far from severe; the boys had as much liberty as their age and recreation required, and received the choicest training both in the arts of war and