VI.

PETER II. AND DANILO II.

(1830-1860.)

ON the day after Peter. I.'s death, the chiefs in-vested his successor with the ecclesiastical garb—for he had not yet been dedicated to the ministry—placed a bishop's staff in his hand and presented him to his future subjects, who swore on the coffin of the dead Vladika to maintain peace and live like brethren one with another. But the new reign did not begin quite smoothly. A slight opposition was manifested to the succession of so young and inexperienced a ruler, and Radatamova himself was by no means ambitious of the onerous distinction. He was fond of solitude, and his poetic nature disinclined him to the duties of government. But his scruples were soon overcome, and the adhesion of Vouko Radonić, the civil governor, and the Archirnandrite of Ostrog to his side silenced his opponents. In the chapel of the Madonna on the little island of Kom, in the lake of Scutari, the new ruler was consecrated by the Bishop of Prisrend, whom the friendly Pasha of 424 425 TURKISH OFFERS. Scutari had permitted to perform the ceremony. Three years later he showed his respect for the Czar by journeying to St. Petersburg, where his consecration was confirmed and the dignity of a bishop, under the name of Peter II., was bestowed upon him.

The Turks had ceased to trouble Montenegro since their great defeat in 1820, but the Pasha of Scutari, mindful of the fate which had befallen his father, Kara Mahmoud, earlier in the late reign, had contented himself with the independent position which he enjoyed without encroaching upon the liberties of of his neighbours. But in 1832 Albania was again reduced to subjection by the Sultan, and the old relations between the Turkish governors and the free mountaineers were resumed. But the Turks had not forgotten the bravery of the Montenegrin warriors. They resolved, before attempting to subdue the Black Mountain by force, to try the effect of diplomatic overtures. Following the same policy which had been found successful in Servia, they offered to recognise the hereditary right of the Petrovic family to rule over Montenegro, which should receive an accession of territory, provided that Peter II. acknowledged the suzerainty of the Sultan. The offer, repeated in 1856, was indignantly refused. Peter reminded the Sultan that Montenegro had never owned allegiance to his predecessors, while Servia had been for centuries a Turkish province. "As long as my subjects defend me," he said, "I need no Turkish title to my throne; if they desert me, such a title would avail me nothing. His people felt that this 426 PETER II. AND DANILO II. indeed was the voice of a true Montenegrin, and at nineteen their ruler could command their devotion to the death. Furious at this refusal, the Grand Vizier despatched an advanced guard of seven thousand men against the haughty bishop. So sudden was the invasion that the Turkish troops had reached Spuž before the Montenegrins knew of their approach. Had it not been for the bravery and the presence of mind of a village priest the invaders might have carried all before them. Near the narrow defile of Martinić, on the same spot where thirty-five years earlier Kara Mahmoud's forces had been routed, the combat took place. The ballad tells us how, in the evening, the wife of the village priest, Radonić by name, dreamed that she saw a dense cloud "coming from bloody Scutari and passing over Podgorica and Spuž. And she heard the thunder burst upon Martinić. with a long crash, and the dazzling lightning scorched her eyes and those of her eight sisters-in-law. But from the church upon the mountain-side there came a furious gust of wind, and then another from Joupina, and a third from Slatina, and all three united and drove back the dark clouds into the plain of Spuž. And she awoke and told her dream to her husband, and he arose and loaded his shining gun. And while it was yet dark, the Turks rushed, torches in hand, into the village. The priest Radonić fought at the head of his parishioners till bullet after bullet struck him and laid him dying on the ground. Then he called his two nephews to him and bade them carry off his body lest the Turks should cut off his head, and rouse the Montenegrin braves against the enemy 427 BORDER WARFARE. So the alarm was given and help came." The new Pasha of Scutari fled to the gates of Spuž, and the tide of invasion was driven back. The Grand Vizier pre-pared to avenge the defeat of his lieutenant in person; but the dangers which threatened the Turkish Empire from Ibrahim Pasha in Syria were so pressing that the expedition was postponed. Hostilities broke out again three years later, when a band of Montenegrins surprised the fortress of Spuž, then in the possession of the Turks, and the tribe of Koutchi, which had just joined the principality, seized Žabljak, the old Montenegrin capital. But Peter II., who had by that time acquired extraordinary authority over his subjects, ordered the evacuation of this place. A pæan of triumph had risen from the Black Mountain at its capture, but the Vladika, with the true instinct of a statesman, judged that a good understanding with the Turks was worth more to his country than the possession of a town which was difficult to defend. His people reluctantly obeyed his commands; Žabljak was restored, and an "eternal" peace was concluded with the Turks. But border raids soon commenced between the tribes on either side. The two governments, unable to stop this tribal warfare, agreed to close their eyes to the delinquencies of their respective subjects. It is only quite recently that the shooting of a few Albanians or Montenegrins on the frontier has come to be regarded as an international incident, to be settled by special commissioners. But half a century ago fighting was the sole occupation of the mountaineers, and, rather than allow them to quarrel among themselves, Peter, however unwillingly, 428 PETER II. AND DANILO II. permitted them the luxury of an annual foray in the Turkish provinces. Herzegovina has always been the happy hunting-ground of Montenegrin freebooters, and under the direction of a Russian agent, Captain Kovalevski, their tactics were crowned with success. Victory after victory was won for two consecutive years, and in Albania, too, the Turkish towns were continually attacked. Podgorica in particular, to-day the Manchester of Montenegro, but then still in possession of the Turks, was almost daily besieged, and the traveller is shown the famous bridge just outside the town where again and again the Moslem and the Montenegrin warriors fought hand to hand and foot to foot. On one occasion a body of Montenegrins gained access to the place in the guise of deserters, and nearly succeeded in blowing up the fortifications. Forty heads were the ghastly booty of another skirmish, and, in spite of the express prohibition of the Vladika, twenty Turkish skulls were still bleaching on the "Turks' Tower" in 1848. The Czar Nicholas I. felt compelled to expostulate with Peter upon the cruelty of his subjects, and disavowed the part which Kovalevski had taken in their raids. For the last ten years of the reign, comparative tranquillity reigned on the Turkish frontiers, broken only by the capture of the Isle of Vranina in the Iake of Scutari by the Albanians in time of peace.

Montenegro had, however, begun to recognise that Austria was even a more dangerous enemy than the Turk. The Austrian occupation of the narrow strip of coast between Spica and Cattaro was then, no less than now, a great grief to the people of 429 FIGHTING WITH AUSTRIA. the mountain behind it. One of the districts annexed along this coast-line was that inhabited by the Pastrović, a race of hardy sailors, who in the old Venetian days had acquired riches, honours, and independence. In the tiny island of St. Stephen, opposite Budua, they had founded their seat of government, where their twelve delegates met in council, and so highly was their assistance esteemed by the proud Republic of St. Mark, that her first families welcomed them as husbands for their daughters. But their fortunes had declined with those of their great ally, and at this time they had been reduced to sell their fertile pasture-lands to their Montenegrin neighbours. In order to put a stop to the frequent quarrels which ensued between the old and new proprietors, the new Austrian Government proposed to eject the Montenegrins, offering them compensation for disturbance. Peter II. gave his consent to the proposal, but the spectacle of the Austrian boundary commissioners at work upon their land was more than the shepherds of the Black Mountain could bear. They flew to arms, and the engineers were forced to beat a hasty retreat. The news spread like wildfire, and on the morrow several thousand men were ready to march against the Schwabi, as they called their Austrian foes. For five days active hostilities continued, Repulsed by the disciplined soldiers of Austria, the assailants resorted to the device of putting a woman in the forefront of the battle. No Serb, they knew full well, would dare to fire a shot against an army thus protected. But their opponents had no such scruples. The woman fell, and the Montenegrins rushed in vain 430 PETER II. AND DANILO II. against the serried ranks of the enemy. A general conflict followed. The children and the old men of the mountain hurled down rocks upon the heads of the Austrians below, the women brought food and ammunition to their champions in the fight. A native ballad commemorates the bravery of Lieutenant Rossbach, a veteran who had lost an eye at the battle of Aspern, and whom the Montenegrin bard calls "the great one-eyed chief." The struggle between the "intrepid wolves" of Rossbach and the "sons of No Crnoiević " would have gone on much longer, for the blood of the mountaineers was up, and many were the heads of their foes whom they had cut off " with the rapid movement of their sabres." But Peter intervened and forbade any of his subjects to continue the war, under pain of excommunication. The piety of this people prevailed over their angry feelings, and a truce was concluded in 1838, which was converted into a solemn treaty of peace two years later. Austria acquired, by private purchase from the Vladika, two of his monasteries, one of which, situated at Staniević near Budua, had been a favourite residence of his predecessors and had been built by Sava a hundred years earlier. A formal delimitation of territory now took place, all moot points being referred to a Russian official. Peter erected a gibbet on the frontier in full view of Budua, as a warning to his freebooting subjects. But the gallows did not deter them from reprisals, and in 1842 hostilities were renewed and carried on in a desultory fashion. But there has been no regular warfare since then between Montenegro 431 ABOLITION OF CIVIL GOVERNORSHIP. and her dreaded neighbour. Every Montenegrin suspects Austria, and in our own day the Erzfeind is more feared in the Black Mountain than that Erbfeind, the Turk. For they feel at Cetinje that the wave of Turkish invasion has spent its force, while that of Austrian occupation has been advancing steadily during the century since the Treaty of Campo Formio.

Meanwhile, Peter had effected a most important reform in the internal government of his tiny state. Ever since 1516 the office of civil governor had existed without interruption, and had become hereditary in the family of Radonić, just as that of Vladika in the house of Petrović. This system of dual control had worked well on the whole, for the position of the governor had always been inferior to that of the Prince-Bishop, and in the last reign had sunk into comparative insignificance. But Vouko Radonić, who filled the office of gouvernadour at the accession of Peter II., was an ambitious man, who fancied he saw the opportunity of asserting his power. He supported the succession of Peter, thinking, no doubt, that with his sixty years' experience he could easily make a puppet of this lad of seventeen. But when the young Vladika's firmness of character became apparent, Radonić resolved to overthrow him. Following the usual plan of Balkan statesmen, he sought to make himself the agent of a great foreign power, and entered into communications with Austria. But his intrigues were discovered. Declared a traitor to his country, he was banished with all his family, his old home at Njeguš was burnt to the ground, and 432 PETER II. AND DANILO II. his place has from that day remained unfilled. From 1832 there has been no civil governor of the Black Mountain—a change which would perhaps have been less easy to effect had not the hand of an assassin removed the younger and more popular brother of Vouko Radonić. The Austrian Government pensioned the family, and frowned upon the Vladika when he visited Vienna.

In 1831 a new element was introduced into the polity of the Black Mountain. It was Peter's aim to check the independent spirit of the chieftains, and control the authority which they exercised over their respective districts. With this object he founded a Senate, or Soviet, composed at first of himself as President, and twelve other members elected by the people. But the elective character of this body was soon reduced to a nullity. Danilo II., the next ruler, found that the senators were likely to form the nucleus of a strong opposition. He therefore took the precaution of nominating them himself, and in his capacity of President was able to influence their decisions. The Senate ceased to do anything except register the decrees of the sovereign, and Prince Nicholas, on his accession, was careful to make his father, and subsequently his cousin, President of this docile assembly. Moreover, the creation of a Ministry in 1873 has further diminished its importance, never very great in a country where the Prince is practically absolute. But at first the Senate was entrusted with the double functions of a court of appeal and a legislative body. Its members were paid the modest salary of one hundred florins a year, and the simplicity 433 THE MONTENEGRIN SENATE. of its arrangements recalled the primitive days of the Roman conscript fathers. The peasant statesmen sat in a long, low room, separated by a partition from the stable where they had just tethered their mules, and smoking their pipes like the "Tobacco Parliament" of the King of Prussia. In order to save time no adjournment was made for meals, but a sheep was roasted at the ample fire of the Senate-house, and devoured by the hungry legislators in the course of the debate, while the clerk, sitting cross-legged, read aloud official documents, or wrote down on his knees the decisions of the august assembly. Subsequently however, the number of the senators was increased to sixteen, and the indemnities paid to them raised. The President received three thousand five hundred francs, and the Vice-President three thousand; five senators, resident in the capital, were given fifteen hundred francs for their expenses, while the other nine, who were not expected to pass more than three months of the year at Cetinje, were awarded seven hundred and fifty. The refinements of Western legislatures have not yet been introduced, and the senators still sit clown to deliberate with their revolvers and yataghans protruding from their sashes. But their power, under the benevolent despotism of the Prince, is zero.

Peter II., like his predecessor, was not only a warrior, but an able reformer and administrator. The revival of learning in Montenegro was due to his efforts. A poet and dramatist himself, partly educated in Russia and fully conversant with the practices of civilised nations, he felt bitterly the dearth of 29 434 PETIR II. AND DANILO II. culture in his mountain home. At one time it was even thought that he intended to abdicate, and seek elsewhere that society which he could not find among the shepherds of Cetinje. But he preferred the nobler part of striving to educate his countrymen. At his orders the printing-press, which four centuries

THE VLADIKA, PETER II., IN CIVIL DRESS.

ago was the glory of Montenegro, but had been destroyed by the Turks at the siege of Obod, was once again installed in the monastery at Cetinje. The national history was now for the first time committed to print, and a valuable collection of those 435 MONTENEGRIN LITERATURE. ballads, from which we have frequently quoted, was made. Between 1835 and 1839 Demetrius Milaković, the Serb historian of Montenegro, published his "turtle-doves" or G'rlitze, containing an abridgment of the Montenegrin annals down to his own time. The Vladika's own works were an excellent basis for a national literature, and the quaint historic drama,

THE VLADIKA, PETER II., IN HIS PRIESTLY ROBES.

"The Serpent of the Mountain," in which he commemorated the massacre of the Turks by Danilo I., is a forcible piece of writing. But the exigencies of war were unfavourable to the spread of literature. In the stress of an invasion the Montenegrins melted down the type of Peter's printing press, and shot down their enemies with their own ruler's poems. During the next reign a local almanack, the "Eaglet," 436 PETER II. AND DANILO II. or Orlitch, was the most important publication which came from the Montenegrin press.

Peter II. used his authority to enforce the laws of his predecessor, which were often more honoured in the breach than in the observance. Before this giant of six feet eight inches, who could hit a lemon with a rifle and breakfasted merrily amidst the "music" of Turkish shells and bullets, even the stubborn chiefs of Montenegro felt subdued. Besides, on more than one occasion he proved himself to be literally the pastor of his flock. In the great famine of 1846 he sold his jewels to purchase several shiploads of grain for his starving people. He greatly diminished blood-feuds by ordering that capital punishment, should no longer be inflicted by a single executioner, but that the criminal should be shot by a platoon of men chosen from different clans. It was thus impossible for the 'relatives of the victim to mark out for future retribution the clan which had enforced the law. Fines were exacted for every offence, and the weapons of the offender confiscated until payment was made. A prison was built at Cetinje, and the Vladika erected a new palace for himself. This building, now used as Government offices, is known to this day as the " Billiard-table," from the favourite game of its founder. Fifty stalwart Montenegrins were needed to drag the table up the terrible "ladder" of Cattaro to Cetinje, and the feat has never been forgotten. Montenegro owes much of its present reputation for peaceful progress in the path of civilisation to his humanising influence and firm character. He was the last ruler who combined 437 DANILLO II. SUCCREDS in his own person those triple attributes of primitive kingship, where the sovereign is at the same time a priest, a lawgiver, and a general. When he died on the 31st of October, 1851, at the early age of thirty-nine years, his subjects felt that a great man had gone from among them. His portrait still adorns the capital, and his mausoleum beckons the traveller from the solitary summit of the Lovičen. There, on the spot where he had often communed with nature, far from the habitations of men, he was laid by his own wish. A tiny chapel marks the grave, where, five years after his death, his remains were removed from Cetinje, and frequent pilgrimages to his shrine keep his memory green. Before his death, he had recommended to the chiefs as his successor his nephew Danilo, the son of Stanko Petrović, a young man of twenty-three years of age, at that time absent in Vienna. As in the case of Peter himself, there was considerable opposition to the succession of his nephew. Pero Petrović, another brother of the late Vladika and President of the Senate, availed himself of his nephew's absence to push his own claims. But the curse, which the dying Bishop had invoked upon any one who dared to disobey his injunctions, was feared by his people, and Danilo II. was soon recognised as ruler of the country. But he never enjoyed the great popularity of other princes of his house, and his brief reign, though one of the most memorable in Montenegrin history, was marked by discontent, culminating in his assassination.

His first step was to divest himself of those ecclesiastical functions which the rulers of Montenegro 438 PETER II. AND DANILO II. had filled since the year 1516, and the head of the Petrović family had performed since 1696. He was moved to adopt this course by various considerations. The compulsory celibacy of the Vladikas had always been a disadvantage to their country. Experience had proved that the succession from uncle to nephew was not always smooth. In Danilo's case these reasons of public policy were greatly emphasised by his affection for a young Serb lady, Darinka Kuečić, the daughter of a wealthy merchant at Trieste. It is said that the jests of the Czar Nicholas I. were not without their effect upon the young man, whose natural disinclination to the performance of episcopal duties was well known at St. Petersburg. With few exceptions, the senators acquiesced in the proposed separation of the ecclesiastical and temporal power. Danilo received at the Russian capital the approval of the defender of the Greek Church, and in 1852, not quite a year after his accession, a formal document was drawn up, setting forth the future government of the country. This Great Charter of the Black Mountain consisted of six articles. It began by stating that henceforth Montenegro should be a temporal state, under the hereditary government of a prince; that this prince should be "the illustrious Danilo Petrović of Njeguš, and that after his death the succession should go to his male descendants in order of birth. Provision was then made for the succession in the event of the Petrović line becoming extinct- of which there is no, probability. The third article entrusted those episcopal functions which Danilo had abrogated to a bishop or archbishop, chosen by the 439 OMAR'S INVASION. Government from among the members of the Petrović or other distinguished families of the country. The remaining clauses of the document confirmed the existing laws and customs of the country, invited Danilo to return as soon as possible from Russia, and appointed commissioners to acquaint him and the Czar with the new state of affairs.

But the transition to the secular power was not accomplished without a struggle against Montenegro's ancient foes. The Turks, who had been comparatively quiet during the last years of the pre-ceding reign, had never recognised the undoubted fact of Montenegrin independence, and regarded this change as a direct infringement of that suzerainty which they claimed for the Sultan. Omar Pasha was ordered to invade the country; but before he had crossed the frontier, a Montenegrin force under George Petrović, one of the Prince's uncles, seized the ancient capital of Žabljak, which had so often been taken and retaken in these border wars. Danilo summoned six thousand men to meet him on the banks of the Zeta, and thus for a time prevented the garrison of Scutari from relieving the captured town. A succession of Montenegrin victories followed, but Žabljak was eventually recaptured, and the Montenegrin frontier closely blockaded. The Turkish fleet arrived off the Albanian coast, Omar Pasha succeeded in entering the country, and Danilo applied for help to St. Petersburg and Vienna, But before his envoy had returned, a great triumph had raised tie spirits of his people. On the night of the 20th of January, 1853, the Montenegrins fell upon Omar's camp, 440 PETER II. AND DANILO II. captured seventeen standards, and carried off as trophies three hundred and seventeen gory Turkish heads. Omar, nothing daunted, renewed his attack from the Herzegovinian frontier near the plain of Grahovo, while another Ottoman commander penetrated as far as the famous monastery of Ostrog, only to be driven back by Danilo with great loss. Baffled by the prowess of his resolute enemies, Omar now had recourse to promises, and issued a proclamation to all the neighbouring tribes, urging them to lay down their arms. Outside the boundaries of Montenegro his fair words were not without effect, but the blood of the mountain people was up, and for them the Pasha's promises had no attraction. But the diplomatic efforts of Austria and Russia at Constantinople had meanwhile been vigorously exerted on behalf of the principality. The rainy season made the Zeta valley impassable, and the Turkish troops had begun to retire, when orders arrived from the Sultan to stop further hostilities. The campaign had cost the invaders dearly. In three months, four thousand five hundred Turks had fallen in battle more than that number had been disabled, and nine hundred prisoners had been captured by the enemy. Danilo, accompanied by the chief men of his country hastened to Vienna to express his thanks to the Emperor Francis Joseph for his services. Taught by the lessons of the war that the Montenegrins needed better weapons and more discipline than they had had hitherto, Danilo proceeded to reform the military system without delay. Till the year 1853 there had been practically no organisation whatever. As soon 441 MILITARY ORGANISATION. as a hostile army appeared, the stentorian voices of the scouts roused the whole male population in a few hours. Each man seized his rifle and rushed to the fray, ready to fight on his own account, without regard to discipline or any preconceived plan of campaign. Peter II. had, indeed, formed a corps of one hundred bodyguards, or perianiks, so called from the "tuft of feathers," or perianica, which they wore on their caps. His successor instituted a similar body of veterans, and introduced the compulsory registration of all those between the ages of eighteen and fifty. Captains of hundreds and captains of tens were selected, a standard-bearer was appointed for each company, and the outline of the future force was prepared. But there was as yet no attempt to form a standing army; that is not the least achievement of the present Prince. Danilo's soldiers had no compulsory drill, there was no instruction in tactics, no barracks, no army regulations. The warriors were simply told whom they were to follow when the signal for war was given and, the conflict over, each returned to his cottage. With the exception of powder, the Government provided its soldiers with nothing, and the few cannon which the country possessed had been captured from the Turks.

Montenegro, to the surprise of both Russia and Turkey, and the disgust of many of its own inhabitants, took no official part in the Crimean War. Austria strongly urged a policy of neutrality upon the Prince, and Danilo, so far from deserving the epithets which the English press heaped upon him, did his utmost to restrain his subjects from attacking 442 PETER II. AND DANILO II. the Turks. A few skirmishes took place, and there was a strong war-party at Cetinje, headed by Peter Petrović, another of the Prince's uncles, and President of the Senate. A plot, in which Peter and his brother George were involved, was discovered, and Danilo's position for a time was precarious. His people, accustomed for generations to indulge in the luxury of border-raids, could not understand the prohibition of their favourite amusement. To attack and harry the Turk at the moment, when he was fully occupied in defending himself against Russia, seemed to them a perfectly natural and legitimate occupation. The nearer the Ottoman forces approached, the louder grew the cry of dissatisfaction with Danilo's pacific injunctions. To sit down calmly when provoked was more than the warriors of Crnagora could endure. For a few weeks in the spring of 1854 war seemed imminent, and even Danilo felt compelled to lodge a protest at Constantinople against the warlike preparations of the Pasha of Mostar, and to make a census of those of his subjects who would be available for military service. Again, in the following year, the threatening attitude of the Montenegrins in the neighbourhood of Antivari endangered the prospects of peace; but once more the combined influence of Austria and their own Prince prevailed over the inclinations of the people. But in the summer of 1855 the temptation proved too strong. In spite of a strongly-worded firman from Constantinople, issued with the approval of the allies and the Austrian Government, bands of Montenegrins ravaged the Herzegovina in all directions. Danilo confessed that 443 REVOLT AGAINST DANILO. he could not restrain his subjects from acts of pillage, which he personally disapproved. A revolt was the instant result of this confession. Whole districts of Montenegro rose against the ruler, who refused to lead them against their ancient foes; the warlike tribes of the Piperi and the Koutchi, who had seceded from the principality in 1843 rather than pay taxes, and the inhabitants of the fertile Zeta valley, always the chief sufferers by Turkish raids, proclaimed themselves independent and called upon the rest of the Berda to separate from a Prince who had proved himself so degenerate a descendant of the two Peters. The appeal fell flat; Danilo, at the head of six thousand men, attacked the rebels, who at one time meditated a junction with the Turks. Patriotism alone prevented the execution of this desperate resolve. Rano Bosković, one of the insurgent leaders, set the example of submission to his lawful sovereign, and the revolt was at an end. Danilo confiscated the property of the rebel chiefs as a punishment, and held a strict inquiry into their conduct. But the funds which he had thus acquired were not sufficient. In his dilemma he turned to Vienna, and was even willing to accept an Austrian protectorate in return for a pecuniary consideration. But his offer met with no response, and the new Czar, to whom he then applied, sent him nothing but a formal expression of his thanks for the sympathy which the principality had shown him upon his father's death. At the Congress of Paris in 1856 the Prince found that his grievances met with little heed from the Powers. His vigorous assertion of his country's independence and 444 PETER II. AND DANILO II. his claim to an outlet on the sea were alike disregarded, and a subsequent manifesto was equally fruitless. Danilo demanded the formal recognition of Montenegrin independence by the Powers, an increase of territory in both the Albanian and Herzegovinian frontiers, an accurate delimitation of the boundary between Turkey and Montenegro similar to that which had been made in the last reign between Austria and the principality, and the cession of Antivari. The first of these demands was purely a matter of form, for Montenegro had been independent de facto ever since the battle of Kossovo in 1389. But Danilo was anxious to have his government recognised in the councils of diplomacy. For a moment it seemed as if the European Areopagus favoured his claims; conferences were held and notes exchanged upon the subject. But when the Prince visited Paris in 1857 he was informed that if he would recognise the suzerainty of the Sultan, the latter would cede him a piece of territory in the Herzegovina in return for a payment of tithe, would give him a civil list and the Turkish title of muchir, and would allow the Montenegrin flag access to all Turkish ports. Peter II. had indignantly refused a similar offer twenty-five years earlier. But his successor was inclined to accept it, and thus close the glorious career of the virgin state by conceding to the Turkish diplomatist what the Turkish armies had never won.

Great was the indignation of the Montenegrins at what they considered an act of cowardice. Danilo's inaction during the Crimean war, his recent refusal 445 THE "SWORD OF MONTENEGRO." to accept the coveted town of Nikšić from its inhabitants for fear of complications with Turkey, the strictness with which he raised the taxes and the sanguinary suppression of another revolt of the Koutchi tribe, had made him very unpopular. During his absence in Paris, his brother Mirko had found that a plot had been concocted by George Petrović and other leading men against him, and the flight of the principal conspirator did not diminish the discontent. The news of this intended surrender to the Sultan was the last straw. Two of his subjects were shot on the charge of attempting his life. The Emperors of Austria and Russia again turned a deaf ear to his requests, and the Turks showed no sign of favour towards him. On the contrary, early in 1858 a Turkish army of seven thousand men under Hussein Pasha appeared on his northern frontier. The French Emperor, who had recently proved his friendly interest by admitting a number of young Montenegrins as pupils to the seminary of Louis-le-Grand, alone took the side of this hard-pressed state. Napoleon III. pledged himself to guarantee the independence of a country which had so boldly withstood the soldiers of his uncle, and a French squadron was sent to Ragusa to watch events.

But it was by their own right hands that the warriors vindicated their threatened liberty. Their army was commanded by Mirko, the Prince's brother, and the most celebrated commander whom even that land of heroes has produced. His exploits gained him the name of the "Sword of Montenegro," and his songs have won him a high place among Balkan 446 PETER II. AND DANILO II. poets. He was at once the Lysander and the Tyrtæus of the modern Sparta. His fiery disposition was thought by his countrymen to unfit him for the duties of a ruler, but as a leader in battle he was unrivalled.

The decisive battle took place in the stony plain of Grahovo—a spot which will always be remembered as the Marathon of Montenegro. The Turkish army of seven thousand men lay encamped on the plain, while the Montenegrins lined the narrow rocky defiles which are the sole means of entrance and exit. But before giving the signal for the attack, Mirko made a final effort at conciliation by sending M. Delarue, the Prince's secretary, to see the Turkish commissioner at the fortress of Klobuk, six hours distant. The envoy was arrested on the way, and on the 13th of May the fight began. The Turkish troops, shut up in a basin, like the French at Sédan, were completely at the mercy of their adversaries. Mirko waited until he had surrounded them on all sides, and then gave the order to fire. Volleys of shot fell from the heights upon the helpless Turks, and then, throwing their rifles aside, the Montenegrins drew their yataghans and rushed down like wolves upon the fold. The Turkish artillerymen were cut down at their guns, and the bravery of the Imperial Guard availed nothing against the onward rush of the mountaineers. Flight was impossible, for at the end of the plain a fresh detachment awaited the fugitives. The battle lasted till the following day, and an Austrian gendarme, who visited the fatal spot a few weeks later, counted no less than 2,237 447 THE "CODE DANILO." skeletons still lying on the plain. Of the 4,500 Montenegrins only 400 were killed; the losses of the Turks amounted to eight times that number. The marvel was that any escaped. In the arsenal at Cetinje there are carefully preserved a quantity of English medals, awarded to our allies of the Crimea, and captured by the Montenegrins from the Turkish veterans in this battle. But the victory bore other and more valuable fruits. The prowess of the victors spread far and wide; from that time Grahovo has belonged to its conquerors; and though no monument marks the battlefield, the triumph of Mirko is commemorated in one of the finest of the national ballads. Everywhere the rayahs looked to Montenegro as their champion, and the hapless Herzegovinians were made to feel the vengeance of the vanquished Turks for the losses which the army of Mirko had inflicted.

Danilo, with his usual caution, hesitated to follow up his victory. He had no wish to assume the offensive, but preferred to await the decision of Europe. In October, 1858, a commission, composed of the Ambassadors of the Great Powers, met at Constantinople. No recognition of Montenegrin independence was made by the Sultan, and the labours of the frontier commissioners, which began next year, were not final. Two more Turkish wars were needed to fix the Turco-Montenegrin boundary.

A scarcely less important event was the promulgation of a new code of laws. The "Code Danilo," as it is called, which came into force in 1855, and remained the law of the land until it was superseded 448 PETER II AND DANILO II. by the recent code of 1888, was printed in both Serb and Italian—a language which is better known than any other foreign tongue in the Black Mountain. The laws of Danilo show a considerable advance upon those of Peter I. But some of the enactments are very curious, and recall a primitive state of society. Whilst one article declares the equality of every citizen before the law, and lays down the democratic principles of the universal ownership of land and the equal right of all to hold office, another allows a man who is struck to kill the striker, provided that he does so at once; but if he delays, the offence is murder. Theft is severely punished, provision is made for the election of judges by the people, and fines are imposed upon any judge who insults a suitor. In short, the "Code Danilo" is the embodiment of that "civil and religious liberty" which the Montenegrin motto declares to be "the reward of valour."

Danilo did not long survive the triumph of his arms over the Turks. In the summer of 1860 he went with the Princess to take a course of baths at the picturesque hamlet of Persann, on the shore of the Bocche di Cattaro. On the 13th of August they had gone for a walk in the cool of the day along the promenade outside the walls of the latter town. As the clock struck ten, the princely couple summoned their boatman for the return journey to their villa at Persano. Danilo was in the act of stepping from the quay into the boat when a bullet struck him and he fell back in the arms of his wife. Tedeschi, his physician, was soon in attendance, but all his efforts 449 DANILO ASSASSINATED. were useless. Twenty-four hours later the Prince expired, and the following night his sorrowing widow accompanied his corpse to Cetinje. His assassin, an exiled Montenegrin, Kadić by name, was arrested, tried, and hung without confessing the motive of his act.