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Nay, it is not our grief but God the Saviour's love that wins our pardon. It is love-rejoicing grateful love-rejoicing and grateful amid her very tears-tears, not dim and stained, but glowing with rainbow hues of light as the wings of Seraphim.
· Time's waters will not ebb or stay,
What cannot be love counts it done.'
Love-one moment of sincere love, outweighs in God's balance all that world of folly and sin behind. Such love as she brought to whom ‘much was forgiven because she loved much,' is the love here meant, and prayed for in the earnest words
BY THE AUTHOR OF 'COURAGE AND COWARDS;''IVON,' &c.
A.D. 1161 TO A.D. 1173.
THE history of the next few years is one of perpetual intrigue and revolution, which we shall pass over without much detail. István III., eldest son of Géza, was but fifteen years old; and the Palatine had not so much power in the kingdom as was afterwards granted him ; Queen Fruzsinka, as years had passed on, had acquired a taste for intrigue, and the Archbishop of Grán was fully occupied with plans for increasing the power of the Church. Under these circumstances, Duke Bélus, seeing how much his great-nephew needed a wise counsellor, gave up the Servian principality and the service of the Greek Emperor, and returning to Hungary, offered his services. But, unfortunately, he no longer enjoyed the confidence of the nation, partly because he had been a vassal of Manuel, and partly because he had not been regularly appointed Regent, and could not enforce obedience. Without any real head, or determined leader, the nation was so split up into factions, that, when suddenly attacked from without, it had not even time to assemble an army; and thus, after so gallantly maintaining its independence under Géza, six weeks had scarcely elapsed since his death, before a usurper was seated on his throne, while his wife and children were obliged to fly to Presburg for safety. The law of succession had not, hitherto, been expressly settled by any act of the Diet, and though usually the eldest son succeeded his father, it was not long since the son had been passed over and a brother of the late monarch chosen to succeed him. Seizing upon this pretext, therefore, no sooner had Manuel heard of Géza's death, than he sought to place his favourite István on the throne, and thus make Hungary a fief of his empire. To lend force to his persuasions he marched his army to Nissa, and thence sent a message reminding the Hungarians that it was their rule to choose the brother of the deceased king to succeed him, and requiring them therefore to place Prince István, on the throne. Their refusal was followed by the advance of the army across the Danube. The nation was in no condition to make any stout resistance; the flight of the Queen with her children had disheartened many, and István had the less difficulty, by presents, threats, and promises, in gaining a few adherents. But still the general dislike to him was strong, as was also the fear that he would make himself and country utterly subservient to the Emperor. His elder brother László, though he too had placed himself under the protection of Manuel, was less suspected and hated; and at length a compromise was effected whereby he was made king, and his brother István his successor. László II. did not long enjoy the crown he had obtained by violence, for he died at the end of six months, and, in accordance with the treaty, his brother succeeded him as István IV.; but, the Bishop of Grán refusing to have any hand in his coronation, he was crowned by the Bishop of Kalócsa, a circumstance which, in the eyes of the people, deprived the ceremony of much of its sanctity and validity. The new king, hoping to make up by arrogance for what he lacked in prestige, surrounded himself with all the pomp of the Byzantine court, persecuted the adherents of his nephew the fugitive king, and thereby only made himself more hated and despised by the people. Feeling himself insecure, he entreated help from Manuel, who sent him a Greek army, which did indeed repress all outward signs of disaffection, but did not make him more popular. Deceived, however, by the apparent calm, István allowed himself to be persuaded that he could dispense with the services of the foreigners; and at the same time, so great was his blindness, he actually consented to yield Semlin and Sirmia to his patron, as compensation for the help he had received from him. Now, however, the people, feeling that he was quite unfit to be trusted with the national honour, rose against him, drove him from the throne, after a reign of five months, and joyfully recalled young István III. The usurper fled at once to his protector, and Manuel was at first bent
upon restoring him to his throne; but being at last convinced that nothing but force would ever maintain him in his authority over a people who hated him, he at last sent a message of peace to the Hungarian court. Not that he had renounced his cherished idea of winning power over Hungary; but, ever fertile in new expedients, he had now conceived a new scheme. His only heir at present was his daughter Maria, and he now offered her
hand in marriage to the King's brother Béla, whom he invited to return at once to Constantinople with the ambassadors, there to be brought up and recognized as his son-in-law and successor. The Hungarians had not the wit to see the crafty policy of this proposal, and readily consented to give up the young Prince, whom Manuel received with all honour, changing his name to Alexius, and conferring on him the title of Despot, which was usually borne by the Prince Imperial of Greece. There can be no doubt Manuel was quite sincere in his intention of making Béla his heir ; but his other intentions were equally sincere, and soon became unmistakably evident, when he presently laid claim, in Béla's name, to Dalmatia, which belonged to the Prince by his father's will. This was of course refused, as the provinces granted to the royal princes as their apanage, could never be alienated from the crown. On receiving this answer, Manuel supplied István the Pretender with money and troops to attack Hungary, and make good his claim to the throne if he could. Hungary was not prepared for war, and in her distress sent an embassy to Barbarossa with rich presents, entreating his assistance. The Emperor accepted the gifts, but gave no help; and in despair, the Hungarians turned to Wladislaus II. of Bohemia, whose sons were betrothed to the sisters of their king. The Bohemians gladly came, plundering on their march, after their usual manner, both friend and foe. However, there was no time to spend in quarreling with them just then. István was glad to welcome them, and lead them, with his own troops, across the Danube to attack the Greeks, who had been joined by Manuel himself. The Emperor was most anxious to avoid a battle; and, if possible, to deprive the Hungarian King of his Bohemian ally. For this purpose he employed the services of a Moravian, named Bogota, who had come to Constantinople with some Crusader many years before, and instead of proceeding to the Holy Land, had remained in Greece. This man he charged to see Wladislaus, and induce him to break his league with the Hungarians. In spite, however, of these negociations, the two kings advanced so close to his camp, that an engagement would have been unavoidable, had not Manuel withdrawn part of his troops across the Danube, leaving the rest as a garrison commanded by the Pretender, who also fled in the course of the night. The Bohemians, noticing the movement in the enemy's camp, and unwilling to be baulked of their expected spoils, attacked it as soon as day broke, and had the satisfaction of capturing the splendid tents and other booty left behind by the Greeks. Still Manuel would not be drawn into a battle, and pursued his negociations with unremitting energy, striving to convince the Bohemian King that his only reason for coming to Hungary was that he might get justice done to his son-in-law, and at the same time artfully proposing to Wladislaus an alliance between his nephew and a Bohemian Princess, niece of the King. Wladislaus could no longer withstand these allurements, and, to please his new friend the Emperor, employed all his influence with István III. to bring about a peace. It was concluded at
last, its chief provisions being that Béla should receive Sirmia as his inheritance, and that Manuel should henceforth abstain from helping the Pretender, István IV. Wladislaus returned home well pleased with the presents he had received for his services; and Manuel also retired, after publicly warning the Pretender to leave Hungary alone for the future, since, after seeing how much the people hated him, he should not think of affording him further assistance. These were his words; but, inasmuch as he left some of his troops behind, István thought his real meaning must be somewhat different, and acting on this idea, asked the Greek general for bis assistance, and attacked the southern provinces of Hungary. Shortly after this the Pretender suddenly died, (1164.) not, however, before he had again involved his country in a Greek war, in the course of which Dalmatia and part of Croatia were lost to Hungary for a time. The war took a more favourable turn for Hungary in 1166, for Manuel, in his ambitious desire to see Italy again united to Greece, had been stirring up the Italian towns against Friedrich, and had been entering into negociations with the Pope for the reunion of the Greek and Roman Churches. All these plans, however, excited nothing but discontent in his own land, and involved him in hostilities with Friedrich. The Archbishop of Spalatro came to Hungary to entreat the King to send an army to drive away the Greeks; and when this was done, the town of Zara (Jadra) also embraced the opportunity of driving away her Venetian Podestà, and once again receiving a Hungarian garrison. Still the war continued, with varying success; and unhappily, the Doge besieged Jadra (1167) with so strong a force that it was forced to yield; and the other towns, as well as the coast, fell again into Manuel's hands.
Apparently both parties were weary of fighting, for, without any treaty, a cessation of hostilities ensued, and Manuel had time to consider his home affairs, the aspect of which had been considerably altered by the birth of his son Alexis, (1170.) for whom he was now anxious to secure the throne. He at once released his ministers from the oaths he had caused them to take to Béla as their future Emperor; and, conveniently remembering that his daughter, Béla's promised bride, was also a distant cousin, he made this relationship a reason for solemnly annulling the betrothal, though he at the same time incorporated Sirmia and Dalmatia, Béla's inheritance, with the Byzantine Empire. Not to leave the Hungarian Prince quite destitute, however, he gave him in marriage Agnes, the daughter of Raymond of Poictiers, Prince of Antioch, and his own sister-in-law.
In 1173, after a short and troubled reign, István III. died in his twenty-seventh year, at Grán, where he was just preparing to entertain Heinrich the Lion of Saxony, and the Duke of Austria, on their way
to the Holy Land. As he left no son, his brother Béla was his rightful heir, but there was a great prejudice against him among several classes of the nation. The clergy, with the Archbishop of Grán at their head, opposed his succession on the ground that, having been brought up in the Greek, he would never be a faithful member of the Latin Church; whereas the nobles expected to find in him a foreigner, who, after living so long at the court of Hungary's great enemy, would return home imbued with no kindly feelings towards his father-land, would try to introduce Greek laws, and if he had learnt the lessons of his patron Manuel, would assuredly endeavour to circumscribe the liberties of the people, and establish an absolute monarchy. Moreover, of course, he would allow himself to be influenced by the Greek Emperor, very probably would even think of paying him tribute, and might end by making Hungary dependent upon Constantinople. Even the idea of such a disgraceful state of things was not to be endured for a moment; and the prophets of evil, rallying round the younger brother Géza, endeavoured to raise him to the throne--a project in which they were supported by the Queen mother Fruzsinka, who cared little for the son who had been taken from her in childhood, in comparison with the one who had been brought up under her own eye.
However, all who were not blinded by prejudice, declared for Béla, not only because he had the next right to the throne, but also because they hoped that his accession would restore the alienated provinces of Sirmia and Dalmatia, and were wise enough to see that Manuel would never suffer his protégé to be set aside with impunity, and that therefore the election of Géza must entail a war with Greece, more easily begun than concluded.
These prudent reasoners at length gained the day, and an embassy was despatched, to bring the exile home to the land he had never ceased to love and long for. But Manuel was beforehand with them. So soon as the news of István’s death had reached Constantinople, the zealous and indefatigable Emperor had started with a large army to conduct Béla to Hungary and place him on the throne, by force if necessary. The embassy encountered him at Sardika, where, finding that his services were not needed, and would indeed probably only tend to make the Hungarians view their king with distrust, the Emperor took leave of Béla, after having caused him to take a solemn oath that he would never assert any claim to the throne of Greece, and would further the interests of the Empire by all means in his power. This oath did not tend to procure Béla a more favourable reception in Hungary, for of course it prevented him, at least during the life of Manuel, from taking any steps to recover Dalmatia and Croatia. The Archbishop of Grán stoutly refused to crown him, and persisted in his refusal, notwithstanding the representations of Pope Alexander III., who, at length finding all remonstrance vain, yielded to the earnest wish of the people, and granted permission for the Archbishop of Kalocsa to perform the ceremony. If Béla's promise to the Emperor had at first increased the numbers of the party against him, personal acquaintance with the young King soon produced the contrary effect. His winning manners, cultivated mind, energy, and penetration, won him the affection and support of the greater VOL. 6.