Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/109

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time; and, hidden behind a chest, he overheard the conversation of two pashas who were in the confidence of Mohammad. They arranged that the demands of the Bosnian King should be granted, and the envoys dismissed on the Saturday; but on the following Wednesday the army was to start and overwhelm Bosnia, before any aid from Hungary or elsewhere could reach it. So it came to pass; and though Michael privately informed the Bosnian ambassadors of the perfidious intentions of the Sultan, they would not believe him. Having occupied the district of Podrinje, Mohammad attacked the royal residence, the mighty fortress of Bobovac; and here again the special condition of Bosnia affected the course of events. The defender, Prince Radak, was secretly a Patarine, though he had feigned to accept Catholicism; and he betrayed the town to the Turk. The Turk rewarded him by decapitation;—a strange policy on the part of a conqueror whose interest it was to encourage such treacheries. Jajce in the west of the land capitulated, and the King, who had fled to Kliuc, surrendered to Mahmud Pasha, receiving from him a written guarantee for his life and freedom. The lands directly under the Bosnian Crown were soon subdued, Stephen commanding the captains of his castles to yield; and Mohammad marched southward to subdue the Duchy and Ragusa. But in this difficult country he made little way; and, on failing to take the capital, Blagaj, he abandoned the enterprise. It was the Sultan's policy to put to death all rulers whom he dethroned; and, in order to release him from the obligation of keeping a promise which he had not authorised, a learned Persian mufti with his own hand beheaded the Bosnian King. It is said that Mohammad carried off 30,000 boys to be made into Janissaries, besides 100,000 other captives. The Catholics who were left fled from the country; and to prevent its utter dispeoplement, Mohammad gave the Franciscans a safeguard, allowing the Christians free exercise of their religion. Henceforward the Franciscan influence was predominant.

King Matthias Corvinus made a vigorous attempt to rescue Bosnia; and in the year 1463 he drove many of the Ottoman garrisons out. But he had not made timely preparations for encountering the return of Mohammad, who in the next spring (1464) came to recover Jajce, the most important stronghold of all. The hard-pressed place was relieved by a Hungarian force; but at the end of the year Matthias, who was besieging another fort, was constrained by Mahmud Pasha to retreat. Nothing more was done for Bosnia. A strip in the north, with a few fortresses including Jajce, remained in the power of Hungary, and gave the title of "King of Bosnia" to the voivod of Transylvania; but the land as a whole had passed under Muslim rule. Herzegovina was made fully subject nearly twenty years later (1483). All the Slavonic powers of the Balkan peninsula were thus gathered into the Asiatic empire, except the tributary republic of Ragusa and a part of the principality of Montenegro, whose recesses afforded a refuge to many of those who