Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/133

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


steady fire of the enemy; and the Hungarian right wing, when the Turks spread out leftwards and rounded on its flank, retired towards the Danube. Twenty thousand of the Hungarian army were killed. The King escaped from the field, but in crossing a brook his horse slipped on the bank and he was drowned. The Sultan advanced and took possession of Buda, but he did not leave a garrison; he was not yet prepared to annex Hungary. His army was somewhat demoralised, and grave news came of troubles in Asia Minor.

John Zapolya was crowned King, November 10, supported by a large party; and his rivalry with Ferdinand, the late King's brother-in-law, who claimed the throne, determined the course of the following events. At first things looked ill for Zapolya. Ferdinand drove him out of Buda back to Transylvania, and was himself crowned at Stuhlweissenburg (November, 1527). Then Zapolya turned for help to the Sultan; who after protracted parleys concluded a treaty of alliance with him (February, 1528). Ferdinand also sent ambassadors; but they pleaded in vain, and were even detained under arrest at the suggestion of some Venetian envoys. On the other hand Francis I concluded a treaty with Zapolya, who promised that if he died without male heir the crown of Hungary should descend to the French King's son, the Duke of Orleans. No French prince was destined ever to sit on the Hungarian throne; but before half a century had passed a grandson of Francis was to wear the crown of Poland, and the political idea was the same.

One of the results of the victory of Mohacs was the consolidation of Ottoman rule in the north-western countries, Bosnia and Croatia. Jajce, which had so long defied the Sultans, was at last taken (1528), and many other fortresses of less note. Early in 1529 it was known that Solyman was preparing for a grand expedition northwards in that year. Germany was alive to the danger. Luther changed his attitude and acknowledged the necessity of war against the Turks, while he insisted that all the disasters which had befallen Christendom from Varna to Mohacs had been due to the interference of Popes and bishops—language which the deeds of Archbishop Paul Tomory of Kalocsa, the defender of southern Hungary, might have been held to belie.

Solyman marched northwards—we can again follow his movements in his own diary—at the head of an immense army, set at 250,000 men, an exaggerated figure. King John met him on the field of Mohacs, and the crown of St Stephen on this occasion passed for safe keeping into the possession of Solyman, who never gave it back. Buda was easily taken, and the host advanced up the Danube, avoiding Pressburg, against Vienna. The garrison numbered 22,000; the walls were not strong; and Charles V, who ought to have hastened to the defence of the eastern mark, was in Italy. Ferdinand waited in terrible anxiety at Linz. He believed that it was the purpose of Solyman to winter in Vienna and spend three years in the subjugation of Germany. The