Wracając do tego angielskiego posła – sir Wyche’a – to w owym 1669 przyjechał on był do Warszawy „przez Moskwę” i w liście do szwedzkiego kanclerza Magnusa de la Gardie** pisał o negocjacjach z Moskalami, tj. z „tymi dzikimi barbarzyńcami znanymi z fałszywego usposobienia; o ich przebiegłości, fałszywej i despotycznej naturze i ‚zabobonnej ignorancji'”. Nic dodać, nic ująć…
Tymczasem w Londynie entuzjazm wobec Sobieskiego nie tylko nie gasł, ale po jego chocimskiej wiktorii w 1673 wręcz eksplodował. W końcu, nawet John Milton, który sam był jednym z subskrybentów the London Gazette, do tego stopnia entuzjazmował się elekcją Jana III, iż osobiście przetłumaczył z łaciny elekcyjne „memorandum” marszałka Sejmu Benedykta Sapiehy i opublikował w Londynie jeszcze w listopadzie 1674, pod imponującym tytułem:
„A DECLARATION, OR Letters Patents of the Election of this present King of POLAND IOHN the Third, Elected on the 22d of May last past, Anno Dom. 1674. Containing the Reasons of this Election, the great Vertues and Merits of the said Serene Elect, His eminent Services in War, especially in his last great Victory against the Turks and Tartars, whereof many Particulars are here related, not published before. Now faithfully translated from the Latin Copy by Iohn Milton.
LONDON, Printed for Brabazon Aylmer, at the Three Pigeons in Cornhil, 1674.”.
W dodatku, to była w ogóle jego ostatnia praca, bo w kilka dni po jej opublikowaniu Milton umiera… Kopia owego memorandum Sapiehy do dziś znajduje się w niezawodnej oksfordzkiej bodlejance – Bodleian Library. Ponieważ nie udało mi się jeszcze znaleźć polskiego tłumaczenia owego pięknego memorandum (ani śladu jego samego…), dołączam poniżej w całości owo miltonowskie tłumaczenie, a co mi tam.
Nic zatem dziwnego, iż po koronacji Jana III wyruszyło do Warszawy kolejne specjalne poselstwo, tym razem prowadzone przez ambasadora nadzwyczajnego sir Lawrence’a Hyde*** („In 1661, he was sent on a complimentary embassy to Louis XIV of France, while he held the court post of Master of the Robes from 1662 to 1675.”). To właśnie ów sir Hyde pozostawił po sobie diariusz, a w nim wyrazy zachwytu nad polską husarią:
„… As we were going, Monsieur Zamoiscye, who is another very great man here, sent to let me know there was a troop of Hussars come into the camp, and to desire me to come out to see them; and so we went on as we were going, and at the head of the camp the Palatine of Siradia [wojewoda sieradzki], who is General of this little army, came to me, and made his excuse for not having been to see me, that he bad such extraordinary business; but that he would not fail to do it to-morrow. Then he gave orders for the Hussars to march by us: all the rest of the army is foot, and not extraordinary, but this troop is the finest thing that ever was seen; they were about eighty horse, admirably mounted, and most of them with embroidered housings on their horses; they usually have back and breast and head-piece: but these had only headpieces, that is pots, and on their bodies as it were a net of steel, which preserves them against the arrows. Every one carries a long spear, and at the end of it a long red and white flag with a swallow tail, and when they charge, they run full speed with these spears couched, so that nothing can stand before them. I never I never saw a more beautiful sight. …”
Skoro mieliśmy wtedy (ostatnie) tak sprzyjające okoliczności zewnętrzne dlaczego jednak nie udało się uderzyć na Prusy i Moskwę? Jak już pisałem, były tego dwie główne przyczyny – jawna zdrada Michała Kazimierza hetmana wielkiego litewskiego Paca i jego sprzymierzeńców, oraz wielki upór Konstantynopola.
***) „In 1686, James tried to convert Rochester [tj. sir Hyde] to Catholicism and every audience Rochester had with the king was spent in arguments over the authority of the Church and the worship of images. Rochester had interviews with Catholic divines in order to appear open-minded but he refused to convert. The king agreed to a conference between Catholic and Protestant divines in a formal disputation. ”
Po powrocie z misji w Polsce oskarżano Hyde’a o krypto-katolicyzm skoro miał być (w imieniu Karola II) ojcem chrzestnym Marii Teresy Sobieskiej… tyle, że przed jego przybyciem królewna zmarła, a ochrzczono per procura Teresę Kunegundę…
Letters Patents of the Election of the most serene King of POLAND.
In the name of the most holy and Individual Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
VVE ANDREW TREZEBICKI, Bishop of Cracovia, Duke of Severia, JOHN GEMBICKI of Uladislau and Pomerania, &c. Bishops to the number of Ten.
STANISLAUS WARSZYCKI, Castellon of Cracovia; ALEXANDER MICHAEL LUBOMIRSKI of Cracovia, &c. Palatines to the number of Twenty Three.
CHRISTOPHERUS GRZYMALTOUSKI of Posnania, ALEXANDER GRATUS de Tarnow of Sandimer: Castellons to the number of Twenty Four.
HILAREUS POLUBINSKI, High Marshal of the great Dukedom of Lituania, CHRISTOPHERUS PAC, High-Chancelor of the great Dukedom of Lituania,Senators and Great Officers, to the number of Seventy five.
WE Declare by these our present Letters unto all and single Persons whom it may concern: Our Commonwealth being again left Widowed, by the unseasonable death of that famous MICHAEL late King of Poland, who having scarce reigned full five years, on the tenth day of November of the year last past, at Leopolis, changed his fading Crown for one Immortal; in the sence of so mournful a Funeral and fresh Calamity, yet with an undaunted Courage, mindful of her self in the midst of Dangers, forbore not to seek Remedies, that the World may understand she grows in the midst of her losses; it pleased her to begin her Counsels of preserving her Country, and delivering it from the utmost chances of an Interreign, from the Divine Deity, (as it were by the only motion of whose finger) it is easie that Kingdoms be transferred from Nation to Nation, and Kings from the lowest state to Thrones; And therefore the business was begun according to our Countrey-Laws and Ancestors Institutions. After the Convocation of all the States of the Kingdom ended, in the month of February at Warsaw, by the common consent of all those States on the day decreed for the Election the 20th of April; At the report of this famous Act, as though a Trumpet had been sounded, and a Trophy of Vertue erected, the wishes and desires of Forreign Princes came forth of their own accord into the Field of the Polonian Liberty, in a famous strife of Merits and good-will towards the Commonwealth, every one bringing their Ornaments, advantages and Gifts to the Commonwealth: But the Commonwealth becoming more diligent by the prodigal ambition used in the last Interreign, and Factions, and disagreeings of minds, nor careless of the future, considered with her self whether firm or doubtful things were promised, and whether she should seem from the present state to transfer both the old and new honours of Poland into the possession of strangers, or the military glory, and their late unheard of Victory over the Turks, and blood spilt in the war, upon the purple of some unwarlike Prince; as if any one could so soon put on the love of the Country, and that Po∣land was not so much an enemy to her own Nation and Fame, as to favour strangers more than her own; and valour being found in her, should suffer a Guest of new Power to wax proud in her; therefore she thenceforth turned her thoughts upon some one in her own Nation, and at length abolished (as she began in the former Election) that reproach cast upon her, under pretence of a secret Maxime, That none can be elected King of Poland but such as are born out of Poland; neither did she seek long among her Citizens whom she should prefer above the rest (for this was no uncer∣tain or suspended Election, there was no place for delay;) for although in the equality of our Nobles many might be elected, yet the vertue of a Hero appeared above his equals, therefore the eyes and minds of all men were willingly and by a certain divine instinct turned upon the High Marshal of the Kingdom, Captain of the Army Iohn Sobietski. The admi∣rable vertue of the Man, the High Power of Marshal in the Court, with his supreme command in Arms, Senatorial Honour, with his civil Modesty, the extraordinary Splendor of his Birth and Fortune, with open Courtesie, Piety towards God, love to his Fellow-Citizens in words and deeds; Constancy, Faithfulness, and Clemency towards his very enemies, and what noble things soever can be said of a Hero, did lay such Golden Chains on the Minds and Tongues of all, that the Senate and People of Poland and of the great Dukedome of Lituania; with Suffrages and agreeing Voices named and chose him their KING; not with his seeking nor precipitate counsel, but with mature Deliberations continued and extended till the third day.
Certainly it conduced much for the honour of the most serene Elect, the Confirmation of a free Election, and the eternal praise of the People electing, that the great business of an Age was not transacted in one day, or in the Shadow of the night, or by one casuul heat: for it was not right that a Hero of the Age, should in a moment of time (and as it were by the cast of a Die) be made a King, when as Antiquity by an ancient Proverb has delivered, that Hercules was not begot in one night; and it hath tought that Election should shine openly under a clear Sky, in the open Light.
The most serene Elect took it modestly that his Nomination should be deferred till the third day, plainly shewing to endeavour, lest his sudden facility of assent being suspected, might detract from their Judgment, and the World might be enforced to believe by a more certain Argument, that he that was so chosen was elected without his own Ambition, or the envy of corrupted Liberty: or was it by the appointed Counsel of God that this debate continued three whole days, from Saturday till Munday, as if the Cotimian Victory (begun on the Saturday, and at length on the third day after accomplished, after the taking of the CotimianCastle) had been a lucky presage of his Royal Reward; or, as if with an auspicious Omen, the third day of Election had alluded to the Re∣gal name of IOHN the Third.
The famous Glory of War paved his way to the Crown, and confirmed the favour of Suffrages to his most serene Elect. He the first of all the Polonians shewed that the Seythian swiftness (troublesome heretofore to all the Monarchies of the World) might be repressed by a standing Fight, and the terrible main Battalion of the Turk, might be broken and routed at one stroke. That we may pass by in silence the ancient Rudiments of Warfare which he stoutly and gloriously managed under the Conduct and Authority of another, against the Swedes, Muscovites, Borussians, Transylvanians and Cossacks; though about sixty Cities taken by him from the Cossacks be less noised in the mouth of fame; yet these often and prosperous Battels, were a Prelude to greatest Victories in the memory of man. Miriads of Tartars had overrun within this six years with their plundering Troops the coast of Podolia; when a small force and some shattered Legions were not sufficient against the hostile assault, yet our General knowing not to yeeld, shut himself up (by a new stratagem of War) in Podhajecy, a strait Castle, and fortified in haste, whereby he might exclude the cruel destruction which was hastening into the bowels of the Kingdom, by which means the Barbarian deluded and routed, took Conditions of Peace; as if he had made his inroad for this only purpose, that he might bring to the most serene Elect, matter of Glory, Victory.
For these Four last years the famous Victories of Sobietski have Signalized every year of his Warlike Command on the Cossacks, and Tartarians, both joyned together; the most strong Province of Braclavia, as far as it lyes betwen Hypanis and Tyral, with their Cities and Warlike people, were won from the Cossackenemy.
And those things are beyond belief which two years ago the most serene Elect, after the taking of Camenick, (being undaunted by the Seige of Laopolis,) performed to a Miracle by the hardness and fortitude of the Polonian Army, scarce consisting of three thousand men, in the continual course of five days and nights, sustaining life without any food, except wild herbs; setting upon the Tartarians, he made famous the names of Narulum, Niemicrovia, Konarnum, Kalussia, ob∣scure Towns before, by a great overthrow of the Barbarians. He slew three Sultans of the Crim-Tartars, descended of the royal Gietian family, and so trampled on that great force of the Scythians, that in these latter years they could not regain their Courage or recollect the Forces. But the felicity of this last Autumn exceeded all his Victories; when-as the fortifications at Chocimum, famous of old, were possessed and fortified by above forty thousand Turks, in which three and forty years ago the Polonians had sustained and repressed the Forces of the Ottoman Family, drawn together out of Asia, Africa, and Europe, fell to the ground within a few hours; by the only (under God) Imperatorious Valour and Prudence, of Sobietski; for he counted it his chief part to go about the Watches, order the Stations, and personally to inspect the preparations of Warlike Ordinance, to encourage the Soldi∣ers with voice, hands, and countenance, wearied with hunger, badness of weather, and three days standing in arms; and he (which is most to be admired) on Foot at the head of the foot-forces made thorough and forced his way to the Battery, hazarding his life devoted to God and his Countrey; and thereupon made a cruel slaughter within the Camp and For∣tifications of the Enemy; while the desperation of the Turks whetted their valour, and he performed the part of a most pro∣vident and valiant Captain; at which time three Bashaw’s were slain, the fourth scarce passed with difficulty the swift river of Tyras; eight thousand Ianizaries, twenty thousand chosen Spachies, besides the more Common Souldiers, were cut off; the whole Camp with all their Ammunition, and great Ordinance: besides the Assyrian and Phrygian wealth of luxurious Asia, were taken and pillaged, the famous Castle of Cotimia, and the Bridg over Tyras, strong Fortresses, equal to Castles on each side the River, were additions to the Victory. Why therefore should not such renown’d Heroick Va∣lour be crowned with the legal reward of a Diadem? All Christendom have gone before us in example, which being ar∣rived to the recovery of Ierusalem under the conduct of Godfrey of Bullion, on their own accord gave him that Kingdom, for that he first scaled the walls of that City. Our most serene Elect is not inferior, for he first also Ascended two main Fortresses of the Enemy.
The moment of time adorns this Victory unheard-of in many ages, the most serene King Michael dying the day before, as it were signifying thereby that he gave way to so great valour, as if it were by his command and favour, that this Conqueror might so much the more gloriously suceed from the Helmet to the Crown, from the Commanders Staff to the Scepter, from his lying in the Field to the Regal Throne.
The Commonwealth recalled the grateful, and never to be forgotten memory of his Renowned Father, the most Il∣lustrious and Excellent Iames Sobietski, Castellion of Cracovia, a Man to be written of with sedulous care, who by his Golden Eloquence in the publick Counsels, and by his Hand in the Scene of War, had so often amplified the State of the Commonwealth, and defended it with the Arms of his Family. Neither can we believe it happened without Divine Providence, that in the same place wherein forty years ago his Renowned Father Embassador of the Polonian-Common wealth, had made Peace and Covenants with Cimanus the Turkish General, his great Son should Revenge with his Sword the Peace broke, (Heaven it self upbraiding the perfidious Enemy). The rest of his Grandsires and Great-Grandsires, and innumerable Names of Famous Senators and great Officers have as it were brought forth light to the se∣rene Elect by the emolous Greatness and Glory of his Mothers descent, especially Stanislaus Zelkievius, High Chancellor of the Kingdom, and General of the Army, at whose Grave in the Neighbouring fields, in which by the Turkish rage in the year 1620 he died, his victorious Nephew took full revenge by so remarkable an overthrow of the Enemy: The immortal valour and fatal fall of his most noble Uncle Stanislaus Dani∣lovitius in the year 1635, Palatine of Russia, doubled the Glory of his Ancestors; whom desirous of honour and not induring that sluggish Peace wherein Poland then slept secure, valour and youthful heat accited at his own expence and private forces, into the Taurick fields; that by his footing and the an∣cient Warlike Polonian discipline, he might lead and point the way to these merits of Sobietski, and being slain by Cantimiz the Tartarian Cham, in revenge of his Son by him flain, he might by his Noble blood give lustre to this Regal Purple; neither hath the people of Poland forgot the most illustrious Marcus Sobietski elder Brother of our most serene Elect, who when the Polonian Army at Batto was routed by the Barbarians although occasion was offer’d him of escape, yet chose rather to die in the overthrow of such valiant men, a Sacrifice for his Countrey, than to buy his life with a dishonourable retreat; perhaps the divine Judgment so disposing, whose order is that persons pass away and fail, and causes and events hap∣pen again the same; that by the repeated fate of the Huniades, the elder Brother of great hopes removed by a lamented slaughter, might leave to his younger Brother surviving the readier passage to the Throne. That therefore which we pray may be happy, Auspicious and fortunate to our Orthodox Commonwealth, and to all Christendome, with free and unanimous Votes, none opposing, all consenting and applauding, by the right of our free Election, notwithstanding the Absence of those which have been called and not Appeared, We being led by no private respect, but having only before our eyes the Glory of God, the increase of the ancient Catholick Church, the safety of the Commonwealth, and the dignity of the Polish Nation and Name, have thought fit to elect, create, and name, IOHN in Zolkiew and Zloczew Sobietski, Supreme Marshal General of the Kingdom General of the Armies, Governour of Neva, Bara, Strya, Loporovient, and Kalussien, most eminently adorned with so high endowments, merits and splendor, to be KING of Poland, Grand-Duke of Lituania, Russia, Prussia, Mazovia, Samogitia, Kyovia, Volhinnia, Padlachita, Podolia, Livonia, Smolensko, Severia, and Czerniechovia, as we have Elected Created Declared and Named Him; I the afore said Bishop of Cracovia (the Archiepiscopal See being vacant) exercising the Office and Authority of Primate and by consent of all the States thrice demanded, opposed by none, by all and every one approved, conclude the Election: Promising faithfully that we will always perform to the same most se∣rene and potent Elect Prince, Lord Iohn the third, our King, the same Faith, Subjection, Obedience and Loyalty accord∣ing to our Rights and Liberties, as we have performed to his blessed Ancestor, as also that we will crown the same most se∣rene Elect in the next Assembly at Cracovia, to that end ordained, as our true King and Lord, with the Regal Diadem, with which the Kings of Poland were wont to be crown’d, and after the manner which the Roman Catholick Church before-time hath observed in Anointing and Inaugurating Kings, We will anoint and inaugurate him; Yet so as he shall hold fast and observe first of all the Rights, Immunities both Ecclesiastical and Secular, granted and given to us by his Ancestor of Blessed memory; as also these Law’s which we our Selves, in the time of this present and former Inter-reign, accord∣ing to the Right of our Liberty, and better preservation of the Commonwealth have established. And if moreover the most Serene Elect will bind himself by an Oath, to perform the conditions concluded with those persons sent by his Majesty, before the exhibition of this present Decree of Election, and will provide in best manner for the performance of them by his authenick Letters; which Decree of Election we by Divine aid, desirous to put in execution, do send by common consent, to deliver it into the hands of the most Se∣rene Elect, the most illustrious and reverend Lord Bishop of Cracovia, together with some Senators and chief Officers, and the illustrious and magnificent Benedictus Sapieha, Treasurer of the Court of the Great Dukedom of Lituania, Marshal of the Equestrian Order; commiting to them the same Decree of intimating an Oath, upon the aforesaid premises, and receiving his Subscription; and at length to give and deliver the same Decree into the hands of the said Elect, and to act and perform all other things which this affair requires, in assurance whereof the Seals of the Lords Senators, and those of the Equestrian Order deputed to sign, are here affixed.
Given by the hands of the most illustrious and reverend Father in Christ, the Lord Andrew Olzonski, Bishop of Culma and Pomisania, High Chancellor of the Kingdom, in the gene∣ral ordinary Assembly of the Kingdom, and great Dukedom of Lituania, for the Election of the new King. Warsawthe 22th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1674.
In the presence of Franciscus Praszmouski, provost of Guesna, Abbot of Sieciethovia, chief Secretary of the Kingdom; Ioannes Malachowski, Abbot of Mogila, Referendary of the Kingdom, &c. with other great Officers of the Kingdom and Clergy, to the number of fourescore and two. And the rest, very many great Officers, Captains, Secretaries, Courtiers, and Inhabitants of the Kingdom, and great Dukedom of Lituania, gathered together at Warsaw, to the present Assembly of the Election of the Kingdom and great Dukedom of Lituania.
Assistants at the solemn Oath taken of his sacred Majesty on the 5th day of the Month of Iune, in the Palace at Warsaw, after the Letters Patents delivered upon the Covenants, and Agreements, or Capitulations, the most Reverend and Excellent Lord Francisco Bonvisi, Archbishop of Thessalonica, Apostolick Nuntio; Count Christopherus a scaffgotsch, Caecareus Tussanus de Forbin, de Iason Bishop of Marseilles in France, Ioannes free-barron Hoverbeck, from the Marquess of Brandenburg, Embassadors; and other Envoyes and Ministers of State.