Muscovy and Poland-Lithuania in the Seventeenth Century

Part Two

The Russian mission to Warsaw in 1650. The Russo-Polish war, 1654-56, 1658-66. Russian political interference in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The proposal to elect Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich to the Polish throne. Both sides in financial difficulties. Military operations, 1660-64: the Republic fails to capture the initiative. Further Russian plans for king-making and their failure. – The Polish perception of Muscovy in the seventeenth century - and vice versa. The Russians as Poland-watchers. Their diplomatic methods. - Ordyn-Nashchokin reappraises Muscovy's policy towards Poland-Lithuania. Polish objections to the twin principle of alliance and joint military action. Russian interference in the affairs of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. - The Russo-Polish treaties of 1667. Fear of Turkish aggression. The supplementary treaty of 1670. The division of the Ukraine. Pro-Turkish sympathies among the left-bank Cossacks. The importance of Kiev. The treaty of 1672. Poland exposed to an attack by Turkey. - After 1667. The Orthodox in Poland-Lithuania. Polish and White Russian prisoners in Muscovy. The spoils: Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich and Ordyn-Nashchokin as commodity exporters from White Russia to Riga. The relations between the Slavs and the Scandinavians in the Baltic. Revival of the Romanov candidature for the Russian throne (1673). The nature of internal conflict in Poland and in Russia. - The functioning of Muscovite diplomacy. Change in Moscow. Birth of the tsarevich Peter Alekseevich. The Turks attack Poland, the Russians call on western Europe to aid the Poles. The Poles between the Muscovite and the Turk. - Plans in the West for an anti-Turkish coalition. Innocent XI hopes for the reunion of Muscovy and Rome. The link: Poland. - Russia and Poland fight the Ottomans but not in concert. The Russo-Polish agreement of 1678. Austrian diplomatic activity. The Russians make peace with Turkey (1681). Vienna besieged and relieved, the Holy League formed. - The pros and contras of an anti-Turkish alliance as seen in Russia and in Poland. The Turks accommodate the Russians. The subordination of the metropolis of Kiev to the Patriarch of Moscow. 10. Poland and Russia move towards a final round of negotiations. The earlier negotiations of 1684. France and the Holy League. Negotiations under way in Moscow. - The treaty of permanent peace and alliance (1686). The Russian negotiators rewarded. Why the Poles accepted unfavourable terms. The Russians as potential defenders of the Orthodox faith in Poland-Lithuania. The treaty confirmed by the Poles but not ratified. Sobieski's expectations. - V. V. Golitsyn's abortive expeditions to the Crimea (1687, 1689) and his downfall. Peace with Turkey. The Poles recover Kamenets (1699), the Russians gain Azov (1700). How Russia and Poland fared in the seventeenth century. - The condition of Poland-Lithuania. The triumph of Catholicism over Orthodoxy and Protestantism. Ukraine divided but not pacified. The careers of the hetmans. Right-bank Ukraine after 1686. Polish culture in Muscovy. Illusions of superiority. The rise of Brandenburg-Prussia.

The outbreak of the Cossack insurrection in April 1648 followed almost immediately by the death of Ladislas IV was an epoch making conjunction of events in the history of the Russo-Polish contest for supremacy in eastern Europe. It was at this point that the Russians seized the initiative which they were to retain almost without a break until the end of the century and beyond. Aleksei Mikhailovich's handling of the new situation was cautious and rather slow. By the time he declared his willingness to receive a request from the Republic to allow himself to be elected king and Grand Duke, John Casimir, the late king's halfbrother had already been acclaimed. Still, the point was made and was to be made again. The overture was also intended to assist the clinching of a settlement between the Republic and the Cossacks under the leadership of Khmel'nyts'kyi. How much support it received from the Polish or the Lithuanian side is not clear. One message which remains on record sounds ambiguous: the lords of the Republic would like the tsar to become their king; the difficulty, however, is that he does not allow any freedom. Although the tsar's intentions with regard to the Republic between 1648 and 1650 were somewhat obscured by internal concerns and external circumstances - an outbreak of social unrest and dealings with other parties - Sweden, the Cossacks, the Tatars and the Ottomans - the fundamental objectives of Russia's policy in the west were unmistakable. The regions of Smolensk and Seversk were to be recovered, Ukraine was to be brought into the Russian sphere of influence and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to be joined to Muscovy or, better still, the tsar was to secure the reversion of the Polish-Lithuanian throne. The mission sent to Warsaw in 1650 under the direction of Grigorii Gavrilovich Pushkin (d.1656) produced no tangible results beyond the confirmation of the peace of 1634 but scored something of a diplomatic victory. By dragging the concept of libel (beschestie) into the area of international relations the Russian delegates succeeded in giving equal weight to questions of prestige and disputes over territory. The Poles were accused of having allowed officials high and low to insult the tsar by the incorrect wording of his title in missives addressed to him and, further, of having permitted the publication of books which were said to contain defamatory statements about the tsar. The Poles agreed to institute an inquiry into the complaints concerning the tsar's title and mete out the condign punishment to the guilty. Meanwhile the pages with the references held to be insulting, taken from the books, were burnt in front of the envoys. In a country which prided itself on its political freedom and where no heretics had suffered at the stake it was a humiliating spectacle. The insult, if any, had been returned with a vengeance and Pushkin's reward - a cloak of fur and silk-satin, a cup and a gift of land - was well earned. The cost of gifts and payments made by the Poles to the Muscovite envoys in the vain hope of winning their favour, 107,854 zlotys, may be compared with the cost of the upkeep of the Polish artillery in the same year: 126,097 zlotys.

The Polish government's loss of self-confidence, the inability and unwillingness of the Republic, after the recent and costly battles with Khmel'nyts'kyi to fight yet another war, encouraged the tsar to do just that. The Asembly of the Land (zemskii sobor) held in Moscow in 1651 prepared the ground for action to redress the wrongs allegedly suffered by Muscovy at the hands of the Poles and for granting the request made by Khmel'nyts'kyi to place the Ukrainian Cossacks under the protection of the tsar. In the Republic before the Sejm of January-March 1652, the very one which erroneously went down in history as the first to have been disrupted by the veto of a single deputy, the newly arrived Russian ambassadors repeated the demand that the persons who had insulted the tsar by the distortion of his title be punished in accordance with the law of the land. An Act of 1637 did indeed forbid such detraction and ruled that those responsible were to be punished as if they had committed high treason and was not abrogated until 1661. Proceedings began at once, the public prosecutor demanded the death penalty for the accused and the confiscation of their estates. The king in passing sentence distinguished between four groups of offenders. Some, the majority, had died, others had erred before 1637 and these were pardoned. Some had still not come forward or been heard of and were condemned to infamy. The rest were willing to swear that they had acted not from contempt but in innocenceUkraine and were ordered to make their apologies. The envoys found these decisions to be unacceptable, lodged a protest and demanded the return of Smolensk and the region of Seversk. If heads had rolled in Warsaw on that occasion, would the final outcome have been any different? The question is irrelevant. The envoys must have known that the accused would escape punishment but wanted to show the tsar and the people that their grievances had not been redressed. In this they succeeded. As early as July 1653 the tsar reviewed his troops and exhorted them to fight for the holy, oecumenical and apostolic Church and the Orthodox faith. In October at the new Assembly of the Land other accusations were hurled at the Poles: violations of the frontier, armed incursions, wanton damage to life and property. In Ukraine, it was said, the Polish king and his lords wanted to uproot the Orthodox Christian faith and pull down God's churches. It was agreed to go to war with the Republic and to receive the fealty of Khmel'nyts'kyi, his army and the towns and lands of Ukraine.

The war, waged with intervals until 1666 over vast portions of Lithuania, White Russia and Ukraine, was hard-fought with forces which on the Polish side were numerically inferior, especially at the times when the Poles had also to confront the Swedes. In September 1654 the Russians took Smolensk and in July 1655 Vilno, whereupon the tsar of Great, and since the incorporation of Ukraine also of Little, Russia, having conquered 68 towns and received the submission of 26, assumed the additional title of Grand Duke of Lithuania and White Russia, of Smolensk, Volhynia, Podolia, Polotsk, Vitebsk and Mstislav which reflected the full extent of his territorial demands. It was his intention, as champion and defender of the Church, to strengthen his own authority in White Russia and in Ukraine by extending that of the Patriarch of Moscow to the same area. This necessitated the subordination to Nikon of the metropolis of Kiev. We have already seen that Nikon assumed the title of Patriarch of Great and Little Russia and acted arbitrarily in the matter of the appointment of bishops. The tsar for his part called on the bishops and clergy of Lvov and Przemysl and the szlachta, townspeople and commonalty of the palatinates of Bratslav, Volhynia, Podolia and what today is Subcarpathia to act against the enemies of the Orthodox Christian faith and to seek the protection and the favour of the tsar.

The need to prevent Sweden from debarring Muscovy from the Baltic by annexing Polish Livonia caused Russia to make an alliance with Denmark and enter into negotiations with the Republic. These led in July 1656 to the conclusion of a truce which lasted until October 1658. In the course of the war as well as in the intervening period of uneasy peace, the Russians never ceased to back up their military effort not only with religious propaganda on behalf of the Orthodox Church to the detriment of the Union but also with political interference in Lithuania. In the earlier years of the war they repeatedly pressed the Lithuanian hetmans, in the expectation that the szlachta of the Grand Duchy would follow their example in a mass, to accept the suzerainty of the tsar (as Khmel'nits'kyi had done in Ukraine). The grand hetman, Paweł Sapieha (d.1665), refused to cooperate; the deputy hetman, Wincenty Gosiewski (d.1662), from personal motives gave the impression that he would be in favour of severing the union with Poland and attaching the Grand Duchy to Muscovy. He named his price in dignities, landed estates and money for paying the troops but the bargain was never struck. Some sections of the local szlachta, having abandoned the seemingly hopeless cause of John Casimir, considered it prudent to safeguard their political rights by making terms with the Russians. Only some of the szlachta's requests, put forward in two separate petitions, were granted. The szlachta were to keep their rights and privileges, including the duties and titles of the existent office holders. The legal system and the law courts in all their grades were to be preserved and the judicial officers were to remain on their places. The rights and privileges of the Roman Catholics and of the Uniate Church were to be respected but not in the towns of Vilno, Troki and Grodno. The request for a Sejm for the Grand Duchy was left to the discretion of the tsar but that for the inclusion in the Grand Duchy of Polish Livonia, Volhynia, Podolia and part of Ukraine was refused. These modest concessions made only by representatives of the tsar (and therefore not binding) and only in relation to the areas to the west of the river Berezina, showed that the szlachta of Lithuania did not have a great deal to gain by seceding from the Kingdom of Poland. It is even doubtful whether the tsar would have delivered them from the oppressive predominance of the local magnates, one of whom, Mikołaj Pac, (ca 1623-1684), palatine of Troki, speaking for the Lithuanian senators, felt at liberty to request the tsar through a messenger that the wishes of the szlachta be not granted. Many of the szlachta in Lithuania and White Russia, especially those of the Orthodox persuasion, did benefit from a change of allegiance by not being ousted from their estates in areas occupied by the Russians and, from fear of the Swedes, were generally better disposed towards the tsar than many of the Poles. Nevertheless, their new loyalty did not last longer than the Swedish threat or the oppressive presence of Russian troops.

But the foremost Russian concern was to effect a dynastic union between the Republic and Muscovy. The proposal to elect Aleksei Mikhailovich king and Grand Duke on the death of the childless John Casimir was made by the Russian side during the negotiations in Vilno in the summer of 1656 and accepted as part of an accord between the two countries directed against Sweden. The Poles were acting under constraint. In the words of Jan Leszczyński, palatine of Poznan (d.1678), they preferred the Muscovites to the Swedes and he himself would rather accept the son (sic) of the tsar than surrender to the Swedes, provided the Muscovites helped the Poles to defeat them. The tsar would be elected vivente rege but crowned only after the demise of John Casimir. Poland was to regain Polish Livonia and Lithuania but to give up White Russia with Polotsk. There was no clear agreement on the future of Ukraine. The regulation of the eventual succession to Aleksei Mikhailovich was not to appear on the agenda but in November 1656 an announcement in the Uspenskii cathedral in Moscow informed the people that the tsar had been elected successor to the Polish-Lithuanian throne. The Sejm of 1658 did approve a resolution (unrecorded in the Volumina Legum) to elect him but had neither the intention nor the authority to bind any future electoral diet. Six bishops (though not the Primate whose views were not made known) declared that they would not support the pre-election of Aleksei unless he publicly made a profession of Roman Catholic faith, a condition which no tsar could have fulfilled and remained ruler of Muscovy. Little had changed since the end of the sixteenth century when Helen (1476-1513), daughter of Ivan III and Zoe Palaeologus, wife of Alexander Jagellon (1461-1506), successively Grand Duke of Lithuania and king of Poland, was never crowned queen of Poland because she refused to be converted to Roman Catholicism. The prospect, equally alarming at home and abroad, of a royal election without the participation of the szlachta at large and to the exclusion of candidates from other interested countries such as France or Austria, had thus faded. Perhaps that is why so momentous an event appears to have been dismissed by Polish opinion, both contemporary and retrospective, as a mere tactical concession made in exchange for a ceasefire.

Hostilities were resumed by the Poles in 1658 and this induced the Russians to treat with Sweden. The truce made at Valliesaari in November 1658 led to the peace treaty of Kardis concluded in March 1661 which restored to Sweden all the territories recently occupied by the Russians. The Poles, having made peace with Sweden at Oliva in 1660 were able to go over to the offensive and force the Russians out of the right-bank Ukraine in 1660 and out of Vilno in 1661. But neither side succeeded in inflicting a decisive defeat on the other and the war brought both close to economic exhaustion. In order to create the means of supplying its armies and paying its troops the Russian government resorted in 1662- 63 to issuing copper money at an artificially high nominal value. The operation resulted in a catastrophic rise in prices. In Poland the striking of overvalued copper coins in 1659 and of silver ones in 1663 had a similar effect. But the financial crisis had begun in 1654-55 when the losses of men in the army could not be made good owing to lack of money. From 1663 the army effectives had temporarily to be reduced in order to cut costs and restore discipline which had been weakened by the suspension of pay. In 1664 the Republic had about 32,000 men on active service in stark contrast to Russia's 92,000. But their pay too was overdue.

The political importance of the Polish military operations against Muscovy between 1660 and 1664 is easily underestimated by reason of their inconclusiveness. The Polish-Lithuanian army, reinforced by Cossack and Tatar units, inflicted three heavy defeats on the Muscovites: in Ukraine in 1660 at Chudnov (where Vasilii B. Sheremetev surrendered and the Left Bank Cossacks under Iurii Khmel'nyts'kii temporarily abandoned the tsar), in White Russia in the same year at Polonka near Liakhovichi and in 1661 near Kushliki (on the western Dvina, north-west of Polotsk). The two latter successes enabled John Casimir to recover Kovno (Kaunas) and Vilno from Prince Ivan A. Khovanskii.

In 1662 the mood in Warsaw was one of boastful optimism. At the royal castle a performance was given of Corneille's Le Cid newly translated into Polish by the diplomat and poet J. A. Morsztyn (a Calvinist till 1656). The prologue written by the translator celebrated the recovery of the Prussian towns from the Swedes and the Lithuanian ones from the Russians: 'The Dvina wore a scarlet robe dyed in the Muscovite's blood'. But no decisive blow could be struck at the enemy by a demoralised army and a country deficient in revenue. At the Sejm of 1661 ten districts in Lithuania and White Russia had variously described themselves as totally destroyed, reduced to ruin, annihilated, burnt down, devastated or plundered by the enemy and in consequence unable to pay their taxes in full. In addition the palatinates of Vilno, Polotsk and Minsk were officially described as brought to ruin. The army of Poland, and that of the Grand Duchy was soon to do likewise, had already formed a confederacy to claim the arrears of its pay; their demands were not settled until 1663. After Kushliki the troops refused to 'march on Moscow'. Nevertheless in 1664 an expeditionary force of Poles, Tatars and Cossacks, the lat ter under the command of the hetman on the Right Bank, Pavlo Teter ia- Morzhkovs'ki i (d.1670) crossed the Dnieper wi th the intent ion of establ ishing Teteria on the Left Bank and marching towards Moscow by way of Briansk and Kaluga. Despite its failure to capture the fortress of Glukhov, the army pressed on to join up wi th the Li thuanians at Sevsk. From here some raiding par t ies penetrated as far as 120 kilometres to the south of Moscow. A larger detachment reached Karachev but when it returned the main body of the army had disappeared from view, having already begun its withdrawal to the Right Bank where it was needed to quell yet another commotion. In Poland the prospect of a revolt (rokosz) led by the grand marshal and deputy hetman of Poland, Jerzy Lubomirski (1616- 1667) against the king's plan for the pre-election of his successor was looming and finally distracted John Casimir's attention from the Russian front. Thus ended the Republic's short-lived attempt to capture the military initiative, an attempt made against all odds, for no offensive against Russia could have had any chance of success so long as the tsar was in secure possession of the key points of Kiev and Smolensk.

At home Polish anarchy was Muscovy's best ally. In order to deny the Polish crown to the Prince de Conde, Lubomirski did not scruple to intrigue in Moscow against any thought of peace or even a truce with the Republic or to tempt Aleksei Mikhailovich with the prospect of being elected to the Polish throne. Not that much encouragement was needed. Whatever his true or ultimate intention may have been, it was necessary for the Muscovites to make their presence felt at the next royal election in order not to create the impression of weakness or passivity. Government circles in Muscovy were not well informed about the current state of public opinion in the Republic and believed for a while that a future peace between the two countries was closely linked with the election of the tsar to the Polish throne. Ordyn-Nashchokin, the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, knew that this was not so and did not pursue the matter during the subsequent negotiations. In 1668, upon the abdication of John Casimir, he took up a decidedly – and creditably - negative attitude towards the possibility of Aleksei Mikhailovich's participation in the contest for the Polish succession: to hold out such a prospect was to hurl into an abyss the body and soul of a great prince. As for the tsar himself it appeared that he wished for the election of his heir apparent. The tsarevich Aleksei Alekseevich (1654-1670) was indeed being prepared for the part by his tutor, the monk Simeon, known as Polotskii, who had been schooled in the humanities at the college founded by Peter Mogila in Kiev and at a Jesuit academy in the Republic. It was he who some ten years earlier had over-hastily celebrated in Slavonic verse the election of Aleksei Mikhailovich to the Polish throne. In December 1667, before the Polish envoys then present in Moscow, the tsarevich made a speech in that blend of Polish and Latin held up as a sign of good breeding by the Polish Jesuits, on one of Polotskii's favourite themes, that of Slav unity. The object of this display was presumably to convince the envoys that the tsarevich, once crowned, would not be the 'rex illiteratus-asinus coronatus' soon to be ridiculed by Andrzej Olszowski in his Censura candidatorum. In Olszewski's view the Poles, being a people educated in the humanities, possessed of lively minds, eloquent by temperament and training, deserved a prince similarly educated as well as wise in his counsel and actions. It was on this occasion or soon afterwards that Nashchokin informed the envoys that the tsar would look favourably on the offer of the Polish crown to the tsarevich.

The youthful Leibniz who entered the debate with a pseudonymous tract in support of the candidature of Philip William, Prince of Neuburg, went straight to the heart of the matter: the man to be elected must be a Catholic. A schismatic was in a constant state of mortal sin and would be damned unless he changed his religion and this being difficult, his salvation was in doubt. This view was in all probability shared by the majority of the Polish electorate. Nevertheless the papal nuncio, Galeazzo Marescotti, as well as the supporters of the Romanov candidature, deluded themselves with the possibility of devising a magic formula that would keep the tsarevich Orthodox in Muscovy and make him Catholic in Poland. The Uniate rite might well have furnished this solution but it was too controversial even to be mentioned. The list of supporters of a Romanov was quite impressive: the Primate of the realm, Michał Prażmowski, who at first denied that he was a member of the pro-Muscovite party but later made a direct offer of the crown to Aleksei Mikhailovich subject to his conversion to Roman Catholicism, four members of the Pac family, including Krzysztof, grand chancellor and Michał, grand hetman of Lithuania, two Sapiehas, five minor Lithuanian dignitaries, civil and military, among them Cyprian Brzostowski who frequently represented the Grand Duchy in the negotiations with Muscovy, one Zamoyski, one Potocki and one Sieniawski. Whether these men were sponsoring the tsar or the tsarevich was never made clear and the distinction was perhaps of minor importance, their true purpose being to draw attention to themselves and at the most convenient moment allow themselves to be induced to change sides. As for Tsar Aleksei, his behaviour was more like that of a coy bride than of an energetic suitor, he never put forward his own candidature or that of the tsarevich but expected to win the contest without entering it. It is doubtful whether even in theory he or the tsarevich were eligible but in June 1669 the election diet, as if to dispel any lingering doubt, formally declared that the king must be a Roman Catholic at the moment of his election. The new king, Michael Korybut Wiśniowiecki (1638-1673), fulfilled this particular requirement but lacked all the other attributes that had been stipulated by Olszowski.

Despite the reversal in the fortunes of the two countries during the seventeenth century the Polish perception of Muscovy did not alter greatly from the beginning to the end of that period. The untitled account in doggerel verse of the Polish-Lithuanian embassy to Muscovy in 1600-1 by its secretary, Eliasz Pielgrzymowski (d.1604) sets the tone. Pielgrzymowski, a Calvinist, was characterized by Brückner as a literary figure out of the ordinary: like many of the 'Lithuanians' of the sixteenth century he had not broken with ancient tradition, he spoke 'Russian' (Ruthenian) and did not disdain a 'Russian' proverb. But his ideals of virtue and morality as well as the lessons and warnings of history he found in the classical tradition. So great is its power that it suppresses the purely national impulses and attributes. Hence his deep respect for learning and refinement, for the written and printed word and his contempt for the ignorance which so shocked him in the entourage of Godunov.

The Russians, says Pielgrzymowski, do not occupy themselves with learning and are not given to reading and writing except for, in a small way, the bishops. He is learned enough who can intone the liturgy alongside the popes. The Russians think nothing of Homer or Plato and hold the doctors of the Church in low esteem. By contrast the szlachta would travel far to seek wisdom from men of learning , 'we crave from childhood for the liberal arts without which a man is as nothing. What is the foremost adornment of kings and monarchs? - A liking for reason, intelligence and learning.' The Muscovites love none of these things. The mores of the Tatars and pagan concerns - that is the sum of their wisdom and their business. They shun like poison or the plague the very mention of schools or learning. It will be a long time before the products of their brains fill libraries by the thousand. The negative quality which the Poles most frequently ascribed to the Muscovites was grubość - coarseness or lack of refinement, whether at the conference or the dinner table, closely followed by ignorance or lack of learning. The Muscovites for their part saw the Poles and Lithuanians as unclean and wicked Latins. Beneath this superficial level of stereotype and prejudice were to be found essential differences in the cultural traditions and affinities of the two sides. Two works, one Russian, the other Polish, written about the same time (1610- 11) on closely related subjects - the events of the Times of the Troubles - illustrate these differences. The Skazanie (Narration), partly written and partly compiled by the monk Avraamii (Palitsyn, ca 1650-1627), cellarer of the laura of the Holy Trinity and St Sergius, is a chronicle in the medieval manner, religious in its orientation, didactic in intent and often rhetorical in tone. The depiction of events is vivid and direct but the author pays little regard to the interplay of cause and effect in the unfolding of his story. Whilst appreciating the value of individual endeavour, including his own as defender of the monastery from the besieging invaders, Avraamii is content - or feels duty-bound - to attribute the ultimate deliverance of his country to divine intervention. Stanisław Żółkiewski (1547-1620) witnessed and, as deputy hetman, participated in many of the events chronicled by Palitsyn but presents them in a wholly different way. His Początek i progres wojny moskiewskiej (The Origin and Progress of the Muscovite Expedition), an account of events as they arose from the aims and ambitions of men, the policies of rulers, the strategy of commanders and the hazards of war is as clearly a product of the Renaissance of classical antiquity as Palitsyn's chronicle is one of Eastern Christian piety. The pace of the narrative is swift and even, the tone dispassionate, the style dignified yet simple, the outlook of the author wholly secular. Like Avraamii, Żółkiewski writes in the third person but does not avoid self-criticism, he speaks with respect of many of his Russian adversaries and never resorts to the pejorative stereotype.

With the notable exception of Z&Żółkiewski, 'barbarous' was an adjective freely applied by Poles to the Russians, whether in 1589 by Jan Zamoyski, chancellor and grand hetman of Poland or in 1635 by Ladislas IV in mentioning to an ambassador from France his counterparts from Muscovy: 'Vous verrez des civilites barbares'. In 1646 the same king did not invite the Russian envoy to the royal wedding feast because of 'la barbarie de sa nation et de son humeur farouche'. The Russians were described as eating without table cloths or napkins and drinking not wine but spirits made from beer. They were 'uneducated' because they had no Latin. In 1635 one of the Russian ambassadors protested at the use of Latin phrases, incomprehensible to him, in the farewell address given by the Primate. This greatly amused Albrycht Stanisław Radziwiłł (1632-1656), grand chancellor of Lithuania. The entries in Radziwiłł's diary which record his impressions of the comportment of the Russian diplomats were written with evident distaste. All the commonplaces are there. The Muscovites are barbarians, inured to slavery, unaccustomed to freedom, fearful of the wrath of their master who owns the very apparel which they wear on duty. As negotiators they are mistrustful, pernickety and blunt, as individuals uncouth, superstitious, crapulent, hirsute, malodorous, ignorant of the use of knife and fork. It will be recalled that in 1650 a more perceptive and less self-satisfied observer of another team of Russian envoys thought it worthy of note that these untutored men, ignorant of Latin and of the first principles of polite letters were able by means of mere native wit to enter into the most intricate political questions. The gap between themselves and the Muscovites which the Poles believed to be unbridgeable was in the eyes of the English physician, Dr Samuel Collins, only a difference of degree. Collins thought the Poles' way of living 'not so barbarous as of the Russians' because the Poles were able to improve their wits by learning and were able to travel out of their country.

The Russian faith in the miraculous, if not magic, power of icons caught the critical eye of both a moderate Protestant, Pielgrzymowski, and an ultra-Catholic, the poet Wespazjan Kochowski (1633-1700). Pielgrzymowski heard how, when on an unspecified occasion the Russians came face to face with the Tatars, the icon of St Nicholas of Mozhaisk caused the enemy troops, horse and foot, to turn to pillars of solid stone which were still to be seen. Kochowski would have us believe that in 1660 Prince I.A. Khovanskii flogged his medallion of St Nicholas in punishment for failing to bring him a decisive victory. Kochowski also attributed to the Russians an inclination to blasphemy - 'insita contra sacra acerbitas'. The szlachta of the Great Duchy of Lithuania, being close neighbours and co-religionists or former co religionists of the Muscovites, had on the whole more in common with them than did the Poles. Lew Sapieha (1557-1633), grand chancellor of Lithuania, used Ruthenian in his negotiations with the Muscovites whilst pointing out that the other members of his mission lacked this skill and he twice alluded to the common Slavonic heritage of the two sides. One Jan Pasek, a distant relation of his namesake the diarist, who visited Russia in 1671-72 as a member of a Polish diplomatic mission, left among his papers a colourful and sympathetic account of the Palm Sunday procession in Moscow and a respectful description of Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich as 'a pious, gracious and magnificent ruler'. Another citizen of the Republic - of unknown nationality - noted approvingly that in Muscovy, in contrast to the Republic, taxes were paid regularly and willingly, as befitted a despotic form of government. The Muscovite resident in Poland in the 1670s, Vasilii M. Tiapkin, thought this a blessing and inveighed against Polish misrule. 'Here every man Jack is a lord, they do not fear their Creator, let alone their elected king. There is no means of telling what orders or resolutions are valid.' In Muscovy there was one monarch and master, like the refulgent sun in the sky, casting his light over the world with his commands and gilding the skies alone: 'We obey him alone, fear him alone, serve him alone, he gives and takes away in accordance with the grace given to him by God on high'.

It would appear that after the peace of 1635, outside the bouts of heated discussion that preceded a royal election, the szlachta gave little thought to the condition and policies of Muscovy but among the leaders of the political nation a lasting interest in Russian intentions was not entirely lacking. Thus Stefan Korycinski (1617-1658), grand chancellor of Poland, believed that in the long term the Russians were aiming for the mouth of the western Dvina before turning their attention to the mouth of the Dnieper. On the other side of the frontier the rulers of Muscovy and their officials, served by an increasingly efficient Posol'skii prikaz, were steadily improving their knowledge of their western neighbours. In 1635 the Russian mission to Warsaw was not sure whether the king of Poland was a Roman Catholic or a Protestant but after about 1650 such ignorance would have been out of order. As the century wore on, the Russians were becoming expert at gathering in the Republic intelligence of the kind that was needed for use as a weapon in their encounters with the Poles. Any statement, printed or pictorial, that might be regarded as injurious to the prestige of Muscovy or its leaders was treated as hostile and in due course used as a pretext for counter-measures. The list of items singled out as offensive consists principally of some obscure panegyrics, viz.: Jakub Olszewski, Triumf przezacnej konwokacji wileńskiej ... (1634), a sermon preached on the occasion of the victory over the Muscovites at Smolensk; Ewerhard Wassenberg, Gestorum gloriosissimi ac invictissimi Vladislai IV Regis ... pars prima principem panegyrice repraesentans, Gdansk, 1641 (The ornamentation on the front page of this work includes a label inscribed 'Moscovia humiliata'); Jan Gorczyn, Pamięć o cnotach, szczęściu, dzielności Władysława IV, Cracow, 1648 (a commemoration of the virtues, good fortune and valour of Ladislas IV); Wespazjan Kochowski, Żałoba albo wiersz po śmierci... Władysława IV, 1648? (a lament in verse on the death of Ladislas IV); Samuel Twardowski, Władysław IV, król polski i szwedzki, Leszno, 1649 (a commemorative poem); W. Kochowski, Tryumf z pogromionego Szeremeta hetmana wojsk moskiewskich pod Czudnowem anno 1655 - the poem celebrates the victory over the Muscovites at Chudnov ('Now, the Lord be thanked, the Jewheaded Muscovite clanks his heavy leg-irons'...); Andrzej Olszowski, Censura candidatorum sceptri polonici..., 1669 (a scrutiny of the candidates in the royal election); Stanisław Temberski, Palmes Coributeus..., Cracow, 1669 (in praise of King Michael Korybut Wiśniowiecki); Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski, Muza polska..., 1676 (a description in verse of the triumphal entry of John III Sobieski into Cracow for his coronation); and finally an unidentified anti-Russian paszkwil (pasquinade) of the 1660s which could have been any one of the several tracts published at the time of the election of Wiśniowiecki. To these literary productions have to be added the paintings, then at the royal castle in Warsaw, by Tommaso Dolabella (ca 1570-1650) depicting the capitulation of Smolensk in 1611 and the subsequent presentation of the notable Russian captives, the deposed tsar Vasilii Ivanovich Shuiskii and his brother Dmitrii, in the chamber of the senate in Warsaw. Polish protestations to the effect that the authorities of the Republic had no control over the contents of literary works were to no avail.

The question whether Muscovite diplomatic ceremonial and practice were of Byzantine or of Tatar origin, or a blend of the two, still remains to be answered. Be that as it may, the Poles found the style in which the Muscovites conducted their diplomatic business strange and as disconcerting as no doubt it was intended to be. Muscovite diplomatic instructions were as a rule extremely detailed and those who were charged with them were in duty bound to observe them to the letter. This obligatory punctiliousness gave endless scope to procrastination. By reserving their replies, adjourning discussions in order to consult their principals, raising irrelevant questions or postponing audiences, the Russians were able to wear down and exasperate their opponents. Ready to take offence when it suited them to do so they would create consternation by returning the customary presents. The sphere in which they excelled was that of etiquette and protocol. No point of ceremonial was too petty for these sticklers to insist on and to gain an advantage over their less expert adversaries. The title of the tsar in particular, which had to be written out in full in documents and recited without omission in formal audiences if it was not to dishonour his name, afforded the opportunity for frequent protests and reproofs which drove the Poles and Lithuanians to distraction.

In the early 1660s the expectation of peace negotiations brought forth a reappraisal of Muscovy's policy towards Poland by the then tsar's principal adviser on foreign affairs, A.F. Ordyn-Nashchokin (ca 1605-1680). Of the ideas contained in a memorandum which he wrote for the tsar towards the end of 1663, some came to fruition, others fell on sterile ground. With a view to breaking the vicious circle of revanchism which had for so long plagued the relations between the two countries, Nashchokin calls for a treaty that would be one not only of peace but also of alliance and would therefore be lasting. For the first time in the troubled history of Russo-Polish relations the principle of territorial compensation is brought into play, if only covertly: in order to make up for the territories lost in the recent war with Muscovy, the Republic should be encouraged to expand southwards, at the expense of Turkey, into Moldavia, Wallachia and even Transylvania, and northwards, in harmony with Muscovite ambitions in the areas separating Muscovy from the Baltic and both countries from the Black Sea. The alliance with the Republic would be an offensive one, directed in the first instance against Sweden which was potentially dangerous but open to invasion by the two powers in Livonia. By these means Nashchokin expected to obtain commercial advantages which for the present were being denied to the Muscovites by the Swedes. Muscovy and the Republic would divide the spoils on terms presented in uncommonly and perhaps deliberately obscure language. Altogether the oracular tone and stilted idiom of Nashchokin's memorandum and its anti-Swedish bias as well as the ambiguity of some of its recommendations cast doubt on the practical value of the document and on the professional competence of its author.

Something like a retort to several of the arguments set forth in Nashchokin's memorandum, and perhaps later also propounded by him in his negotiations with the Poles (and Nashchokin does indeed refer to the Poles when he means Poles and Lithuanians), is to be found in the tract entitled Censura candidatorum. This scrutiny of the merits and defects of the various contestants in the royal election of 1669 and the political implications of their candidatures by Andrzej Olszowski (1621-1677), bishop of Culm and deputy chancellor of Poland, raises two objections to the twin principle of alliance and joint military action. Muscovite aid, Olszowski argues, would not be trustworthy if given by a whole army group (rather than a part thereof): the Romans conquered the whole world by defending their allies. As for the prospect of aggrandisement, the Republic would do well to heed the advice of Augustus to the Romans to limit their bounds, for a vast empire, like a vast body, is unwieldy and vulnerable.

The Poles appear to have respected and trusted Nashchokin as a negotiator. One of the reasons for the esteem in which they held him was his flexible attitude towards the question of Ukraine, his ostensible willingness to allow the Poles to retain the Right Bank with Kiev for the time being. In reality Nashchokin, side stepping the territorial issue, shifted his ground to the ecclesiastical sphere in which the Poles had little influence and presented to the tsar the subordination of the metropolis of Kiev to the Patriarch of Moscow as an intermediate stage in the recovery of the Right Bank. In the fullness of time the land inhabited by the Orthodox flock of the Patriarch would become the property of the Tsar. From the Polish point of view Nashchokin's plan for the subordination of the metropolis of Kiev to the Patriarch of Moscow without the annexation of the city of Kiev by Muscovy would have had the advantage of keeping the head of the Orthodox hierarchy within the confines of the Republic instead of making him an expatriate and, as such, inevitably dependent on Muscovy. But Nashchokin's long term objective did not escape the Polish negotiators. As Marcjan Ogiński (1632-1690), palatine of Troki, put it, the Republic could not allow the Patriarch of Moscow to rule over 'our clergy', he would always have the backing of the tsar's government which would then easily find a pretext for going to war. Oginski at that time was still a member and benefactor of the Orthodox Church.

In Ukraine the protopop (archpriest) of Nezhin, Maksym Fylymonovych (d.1675), gave support to Moscovite supremacy and preached loyalty to the tsar. It was to some extent thanks to Maksym that in 1659 in the convention for the further regulation of the relations between Muscovy and the left-bank Cossacks an article was included which concerned the future of the metropolis of Kiev: the metropolitan and the clergy of Little Russia were to be placed under the blessing - in plain language the jurisdiction - of the Patriarch of Moscow and Great and Little Russia but the Patriarch would not interfere with the rights of the clergy. That patriarch was Nikon who had just fallen out with Tsar Aleksei and had ceased to exercise his duties. In 1661 the metropolitan of Moscow, Pitirim, consecrated Maksym as Mefodii, bishop of Mstislav and Orsha (or White Russia) and appointed him locum tenens of the metropolis of Kiev without the approval of Nikon and despite the fact that the metropolitan (1657-1663) Dionisii (Balaban) was alive though admittedly on the Right Bank. Mefodii supported the proclamation in 1663 of Ivan Briukhovets'kyi (1623-1668) as hetman on the Left Bank. Upon the death of Balaban Iosif (Tukal's'kyi, d.1676) was in 1664 elected metropolitan of Kiev but was not confirmed in his office by the Patriarch of Constantinople until 1668. Meanwhile Mefodii and Briukhovets'kyi cooperated to bring about the subordination of the metropolis of Kiev to the Patriarch of Moscow. The convention made in Moscow in 1665 between Aleksei Mikhailovich on the one hand and senior representatives of the left-bank Cossacks and of the civilian population on the other, contains an article which all but names Mefodii as the most suitable candidate for the metropolis of Kiev as one originating - in view of his consecration by Pitirim - from Moscow. But the proposal met with an unexpectedly though understandably strong protest from the senior clergy in the Ukraine. Rather than risk isolation Mefodii declared himself to be wholly on the side of the Ukrainian hierarchy. The tsar, anxious to calm the agitation in the Ukraine, announced that he would write to the Patriarch of Constantinople and when his blessing with regard to the metropolis of Kiev was given, the necessary steps would be taken.

Disappointed in his ambition Mefodii was also discredited in the eyes of Briukhovets'kyi and the Muscovite authorities as an instrument of their policy in Ukraine. Indignant, moreover, at the division of Ukraine between Muscovy and the Republic under the peace of 1667 and the undertaking to hand back Kiev to Poland two years thence, Mefodii did not hide his feelings. Briukhovets'kyi was equally disenchanted and these new anti-Russian sentiments brought the two men together now, just as pro-Russian ones had done a few years earlier. When in 1668 the hetman and the Cossacks under his command rose in rebellion against the Muscovite voevody (governors) Mefodii was accused of complicity with Briukhovets'kyi, brought to Moscow, tried, and detained for life.

With the metropolitan see of Kiev falling vacant in 1676 the moment came at last for Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich to express the wish that the next metropolitan and head of the Orthodox hierarchy in Poland-Lithuania should owe allegiance not as hitherto to the Patriarch of Constantinople but to the patriarch of Moscow. However, faced with the unwillingness of the most prominent members of the Ukrainian hierarchy, jealous of their rights and privileges, to sever the ties that conveniently bound them to Constantinople, the tsar held back and the matter was not settled for another decade.

The peace treaty concluded by Muscovy and Poland at Andrusovo in January 1667 brought to a formal end the war that had begun in 1654. Under the terms of the treaty Poland-Lithuania kept Polish Livonia, Vitebsk and Polotsk but gave up Smolensk and Novgorod Severskii with their surrounding territories, including Nevel', Sebezh and Velizh (though the latter three districts only for the time being). Kiev was to be restored to Poland in April 1669, before the opening of the first conference to discuss a permanent settlement. South of Kiev the Dnieper was to be the frontier and the tsar released the right-bank Cossacks from their oath of allegiance but the Zaporozh'e became a Russo-Polish condominium. The prisoners of war captured by both sides were to be released within a year with the exception of land-workers from the Republic who were to remain in Russia until the conclusion of a permanent peace treaty, and of townspeople, including Jewish converts to Orthodoxy. The discussion of the fate of the prisoners in those categories was deferred until the confirmation of the treaty. In order to arrive at a permanent settlement, meetings of plenipotentiaries of both sides were to be held in 1669, 1674, 1678 and, if necessary, with recourse to foreign mediation, in 1680. During the intervening period Muscovy and the Republic were to remain at peace with one another and to refrain from all mutually hostile action. Trade between the two countries as well as between Smolensk and Riga was to be assisted and encouraged, though after 1678 the merchants of Smolensk would not be allowed to travel beyond the Russian frontier. Any attack by the Crimean Tatars against either party was to be repulsed by the armies of both, supported by the Cossacks from both banks of the Dnieper, as well as the Zaporozhian and the Don Cossacks.

In the event of the Tatars' starting a war, the sultan was to be asked to restrain the khan. Should he either fail to do so or come to his vassal's aid, both signatories were to take joint defensive action against Turkey. In confirming the treaty in December 1667, the parties further agreed that if the Ukrainian Cossacks were to transfer their allegiance to the Porte, Russia and Poland would jointly bring them to obedience. For clearing Ukraine of the enemy the tsar would send 25,000 horse and 20,000 foot to join the Poles between the Dnieper and the Dniester. If the Ottomans and the Crimeans, guilty of bloodshed, slave-raids and devastation, were to attack either country joint counter-offensive measures would be taken and the tsar would enlist the help of other Christian monarchs. Muscovy would make a payment of 200,000 roubles towards the cost of compensating Polish and Lithuanian landowners for the loss of their estates on the Russian side of the border. The Catholic inhabitants of the areas acquired by Muscovy would be free to practise their religion in private and the Orthodox population of the territories to be returned to the Republic would enjoy full religious freedom. The question of the release of townspeople from Russian captivity was again deferred. A weekly postal service was to be established between the king of Poland's place of residence and Moscow by way of Kadin, Mignovichi and Smolensk for the sake of speeding up consultation in military and diplomatic matters and promoting trade. Letters from the king's chancellery and the Republic's officers at the frontier would be written not as hitherto in Ruthenian but in Polish, a significant change which indicates a further advance in the Polonization of the culture of the dual Republic.

The treaties of 1667 were the direct result of a military stalemate and of the loss suffered by Poland-Lithuania of the twin strategic bases, Kiev and Smolensk. These were facts of which all Poles were aware at the time but which many did not like to face, preferring to believe that they would recover Kiev soon and to hope that they might regain Smolensk as well. This frame of mind found direct expression in the holding of dietines (sejmiki) by the szlachta exiled from the two palatinates and by the preservation of the dignities and offices, lay and ecclesiastical, appertaining to their homeland. The treaties were based on two principles, both connected with the deteriorating relations between the two parties and their southern Islamic neighbours. The first was the desire not only for peace in perpetuity but also for the creation of a mutual bond in the form of an alliance, defensive in the first instance but ultimately to be directed against the Porte. The second, no less important but too embarrasing to be acknowledged officially was the de facto division of Ukraine into two spheres of influence, the Russian on the left, the Polish on the right bank of the Dnieper. The far-reaching concessions made by Muscovy in Ukraine were probably due as much to Ordyn-Nashchokin's wish eventually to lure the Poles into an alliance against Sweden as to Aleksei Mikhailovich's unabated hankering after the Polish throne. The full significance of the two treaties of Andrusovo can only be assessed by considering them in relation to the two further treaties that supplement them, that of March 1670 and that of April 1672.

The treaty of 1670 whilst confirming the accords of 1667 added an ominous provision for seeking an accommodation with the Porte. By that time the Polish royal election was over and the Tsarevich Aleksei Alekseevich was dead. It is very likely that these circumstances had caused the Russians to reconsider their policy towards the Republic. The final outcome of this protracted and often acrimonious peace-making process reflects the worsening that had occurred in the relations between the two countries since the initial expression of good intentions and exchange of pledges. It had turned out that the Russians would defer indefinitely the restoration of the religious and strategic stronghold of Kiev to the Poles, that neither side wished to help the other against the rebellious Cossacks or the intrusive Tatars and that the Russians were content to see their suposed ally attacked by the Ottomans and brought to the verge of total defeat even at the risk of suffering a similar fate themselves. The grounds for not handing back Kiev as stated by the Russians were plausible enough. In 1668 Doroshenko, the hetman of the right-bank Ukraine had interfered in the affairs of the Left Bank with Polish connivance and, therefore, in violation of the treaty of 1667. Now Muscovy must keep Kiev as a precaution against the pro-Turkish sympathies prevailing on the Right Bank. If the Russians were to leave, the Poles could not prevent the Turks from supplanting them. The Cossack and peasant rebellion on the Volga and the Don under Stepan Razin which was soon to reach its height seems to have strengthened rather than weakened the tsar's determination to remain in Kiev. It was also true though not stated that if the Poles succumbed to the Turks, the Russians would be able to strike back at the invaders from Ukraine.

The strategic importance of seventeenth-century Kiev was exceeded only by its prestige as the ancient city of St Vladimir and the cradle of Christianity among the eastern Slavs. To its places of veneration, the laura of the Caves and the cathedral of St Sophia, Peter Mogila (Mohyla) as metropolitan had added in 1632 a place of higher learning, the college which bore his name. This made Kiev also a centre of Orthodox culture. The holding back of Kiev was a turn-about directly contrary to the policy which Ordyn-Nashchokin had framed and followed and on the implementation of which he had staked his reputation and his honour. With the retention of Kiev went a policy of renewed interference in the affairs of right-bank Ukraine, a policy represented by Artamon S. Matveev (1625-1682) who in February 1671 replaced Ordyn-Nashchokin at the head of the department of foreign affairs, although Nashchokin was not relieved of his duties as chef adviser on foreign policy until December. In June 1671 he had made it clear that being out of sympathy with the instructions he had received, he could not continue to conduct the negotiations with the Poles.

The Russian occupation of Kiev kept out not only the Poles but also the Cossacks and prevented the hetmans from making the city their military and, circumstances permitting, administrative headquarters, a point d'appui which would greatly have strengthened their authority in Ukraine. The question which of the two powers was to rule over Kiev was during three decades of war and uneasy peace the crux of the relations between Muscovy and Poland and the focus of the discussions on foreign and religious policy on both sides. Not only they but the outside world too knew that whoever held Kiev exercised an influence on events well beyond the right bank of the Dnieper - in the Republic, in the Crimea, in Turkey and even among the Cossacks on the Don.

Given these circumstances it is not surprising that the treaty of April 1672 should have been a retreat from the rapprochement of 1667. The terms of the alliance against Turkey were much watered down: if the Turks were to attack the Republic, Muscovy would come to her aid - by proxy - by means of a diversion by land and by sea to be carried out by the Kalmyks, the Nogay Tatars under the supremacy of the tsar, and the Don and Zaporozhian Cossacks. If the possibility arose of giving direct military aid to the Republic, the tsar would communicate about this with the king in writing. The Polish and Lithuanian townspeople were allowed to go home. With the Turks at the gates of the Republic all that remained of the treaties of 1667 in the vital areas of strategy and international relations was the pact of non-aggression.

Although both sides had strong and mutually conflicting feelings about the position of the Orthodox and Uniate Churches in Poland-Lithuania, the Russo- Polish treaties of 1667 and 1670 appear to have avoided the religious issue and merely agreed that in the areas returned to the Republic the Ruthenians would be free to practise their religion without hindrance in the celebration of religious services. In the Republic itself Ladislas IV had been the last king to seek a reconciliation between the various religious communities; his successors either showed little interest in the matter or were inclined to favour the Church of Rome. As the number of members of the Eastern Church among the szlachta continued to shrink, persistence in Orthodoxy came to be frowned upon by the Roman Catholic majority as wilful nonconformity, whereas conversion to the Union, even though mostly enforced and at this stage often only ostensible, was nevertheless a welcome sign of acculturation, good enough for a consitutency that was for the most part rustic or plebeian.

After the war with Muscovy, possibly in revenge for the defeat suffered at the hands of the Orthodox tsar and his armies, the ill-treatment of his co religionists had continued with growing intensity: Roman Catholic landlords on their estates burdened Orthodox churches with exactions and their priests with menial tasks, on Orthodox ecclesiastical estates troops were quartered, cases concerning ecclesiastical persons and property were wrongfully brought before secular courts, conversions to the Union were enforced and physical violence was used against the recusants. Among the persecuted Orthodox the feeling grew that in the continuing peace negotiations with the Poles, the Russians should stand up for the rights of their brethren with greater vigour: the tsar as the true descendant of the Grand Dukes of Rus' had a legal title to the whole land of Rus' and hence the right to intercede on behalf of the Orthodox. But the Russians, faced with the threat of an attack on the side of the Ottoman Empire, held their hand for the sake of good relations with the Catholic world.

The English physician Samuel Collins in describing the state of Muscovy about 1669 writes that the Russians were very proud of and pleased with the peace they had just made with Poland. On another page Collins describes Muscovy as impoverished and depopulated by the recent war, the plague and Tatar raids: much of the land was untilled for want of men. A minor ground for the Russians' satisfaction may have been the addition to their depleted population of prisoners, including many civilians of both sexes, peasants and others, who had been taken in White Russia during the war with Poland and were not allowed to return to Poland or chose not to do so. Ordyn-Nashchokin regarded as a disadvantage the repatriation of these prisoners who were teaching the Russians so many useful skills and crafts. Their number cannot even be estimated, moreover it was to some extent counterbalanced by those Russian prisoners who stayed behind in Poland. In 1667 5,000 prisoners were released from captivity in Muscovy, in 1672 some more. How many did not return? Got'e estimates the number of those in the region of Moscow alone at over 10,000. The so-called Polotsk szlachta, a local frontier force which had gone over to the enemy during the war, formed a different and separate category of migrants. After the restoration of Polotsk to the Republic the officers and men apparently expressed the wish to continue to serve the tsar and were resettled in the frontier region to the south of the river Kama, just as the Smolensk szlachta, a similar force, had been - willingly or reluctantly - in the 50s. In so far as Muscovy had an official policy towards aliens, it was one of assimilation rather than toleration. Many of the Orthodox among the newcomers appear to have merged quickly with the local population through intermarriage. Roman Catholics, Uniates, 3ews and Moslems (Tatars who had settled in Lithuania) were prepared for assimilation by being baptized. This proceeding was all the more useful as, to quote Got'e, 'if the person who had captured the prisoner converted him from the Uniate rite or Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy, this fact was considered enough to secure that person's right of ownership over the prisoner'. It is possible that the Church council of 1667 which put an end to the practice of rebaptizing western Christians intended to prevent this form of enslavement. Collins also relates that the Russians in the conquest of Vilno and other towns in the provinces on the border of Poland took another, less welcome, prisoner - 'her ladyship Lues Venerea', until that war unknown in Muscovy.

The annexation of Smolensk added to the tsar's revenue the tolls levied on goods and produce brought there from both sides of the frontier within a radius of 150 kilometres or more. The export of hemp, carried by water from the vicinity of Smolensk to Riga, earned appreciable quantities of the much sought-after silver currency, the tax on the sale of hemp being collected, and the hemp itself being paid for, in rixdollars. This, in addition, gave the tsar's agents the opportunity to buy up rixdollars at advantageous rates for recoining by the state mint at a profit of twenty eight per cent. The tsar himself was able to attach to his demesne the royal estates in the palatinate of Smolensk and treat them as his personal property. That was the reason for which he did not allow the members of the szlachta who had held these estates of the king to regain possession of them and live on the Russian side of the frontier. Two such estates (of which Nashchokin received one, Porechie) were situated close to the river Kasplia, a confluent of the western Dvina. This made it easy and convenient for the tsar's factors to send large quantities of hemp and timber, and later also of potash, by water to Riga for sale and shipment to Amsterdam. For a few years Nashchokin as grace and favour holder of Porechie was able, like his master, to profit from the export of hemp and timber to Riga. It could not have escaped the notice of the monarch and his minister turned commodity exporters that most of the revenue from the customs duties charged on their goods at Riga went into the coffers of the Swedish Crown.

The same was true of the produce bought by the merchants of Riga from those of Pskov, Novgorod, Moscow, Iaroslavl' and other places inland. Nashchokin had had the opportunity to observe the movement of trade at close quarters during his term of office as military governor of Koknes (Kokenhausen) during the Russo-Swedish war. For him - though apparently not for Tsar Aleksei - the Baltic seaboard offered far better prospects of national enrichment than the steppes of Ukraine or even eventual access to the Black Sea where Muscovy had no commercial interests. This was a view which in some respects the very Lithuanian magnates who supported the candidature of a Romanov in the royal elections shared with Nashchokin. They too were exporters from the White Russian hinterland and no less alive to the commercial and other advantages to be gained from detaching Livonia from Sweden for the benefit of the Republic. The ticklish question of sharing out the spoils did not arise at this stage. The Swedes for their part, being determined to act as middlemen in the trade between Muscovy and western Europe, wanted to divert to the Baltic the trade centred at Archangel. They therefore set great store not only by the possession of Riga and their part of Livonia but also by the trade which their merchants plied in Muscovy, as well as by the commercial links between Muscovy and the other southern Baltic ports under their rule - Reval and Narva.

It is possible that Ordyn-Nashchokin in concluding the treaty of 1670 with the Poles and Lithuanians conceded more than he had intended to do because he feared that the other side was about to enter into negotiations with the Swedes with a view to forming an alliance against Muscovy. Such at any rate was the tenor of the compliment paid by the Poles to Sir Peter Wyche, the English envoy who had been sent to Muscovy and thence via Sweden to Poland to congratulate King Michael Wis'niowiecki on his marriage to Eleanor of Habsburg. Wyche had been instructed to bring about a closer alliance between Sweden and Poland but failed in his attempt owing to lack of support in Poland. It is nevertheless true that the Swedes believed that the Russians, guided by Nashchokin, would turn against them after making peace with the Poles and that they therefore had as good a reason - self-protection - for wanting to conquer Pskov as the Poles had for wanting to recover Kiev and Smolensk. But the next war which Sweden fought (between 1675 and 1679) was in support of her principal ally, France against Brandenburg - Prussia, and in defence of Scania from Denmark. The Swedes lost the battle of Fehrbellin in Brandenburg and their navy suffered two heavy defeats at the hands of the Danes but they worsted the Danish army in the battle of Lund. Under the terms of the treaty of Saint-Germain Sweden lost only a strip of land on the upper Oder to Brandenburg. But the war had been a warning that Sweden's neighbours - Denmark, Prussia and possibly Russia and Poland-Lithuania as well - might join together to wrest from Sweden the territories which they had lost to her earlier in the century. In 1675 the Danes had urged the Muscovites to enter the war on their side and drive the Swedes out of Ivangorod, Noteborg and Kexholm, thus regaining access to the Baltic coast. Under Danish rule, they implied, Riga would augment its trade with Denmark and Holland to the advantage of Muscovy. It was in order to defend his country more effectively that Charles XI soon afterwards embarked on a programme of reform and in 1680 laid the foundations of absolutism in Sweden. All of Poland-Lithuania's other neighbours too were now governed by monarchs - the Emperor, the Tsar, the Grand Turk, the Elector of Brandenburg - who were or were becoming sole and efficacious rulers and were, in varying degrees, interested in keeping the royal and parliamentary Republic in its state of creeping anarchy, so cherished by the szlachta.

In the interregnum that followed the death of Michael Korybut in November 1673 the Lithuanian dignitaries who had supported or had pretended to support the Romanov candidature in the previous royal election set about promoting the candidature of the tsarevich Feodor Alekseevich (1661-1682). In all probability they were again acting from tactical motives, for it is hard to account in any other way for some of the patently unacceptable conditions which they laid down for the election of the tsarevich. He was to marry the widow of the late king, Queen Eleonora, and to be received into the Church of Rome. The territories conquered by Muscovy in the recent war were to be restored to the Republic. These provocative demands the tsar countered with his own harsh conditions. He himself would wish to be elected. He would not abandon the Orthodox faith for the whole world, let alone Poland. Muscovy and the Republic would both be under his rule and the question of territorial changes would therefore not arise. The rights of the szlachta of Poland and Lithuania would, however, be respected in full. The dual Republic would be defended from all enemies by the tsar's forces as a part of his own realm. The tsar would contribute to the income from the royal estates in the Republic towards the upkeep of her troops but would not bargain over subsidies. No direct answer was given to the request for a formal alliance against Turkey. The entry of Russian troops into the right-bank Ukraine which occurred soon afterwards showed Aleksei Mikhailovich to be more interested in occupying the Republic's territory than in mounting her throne.

There seems to be little or no truth in Marescotti's assertion that it was the Razin rebellion or its after-effects that induced the tsar to renew the treaty with Poland. Muscovy was used to such upheavals caused by internal divisions. Violent clashes occurred repeatedly between, on the one hand, the centralized state, insatiable in its exactions of taxes, services and men, and on the other, the recalcitrant masses on the periphery or aggrieved social groups up and down the country - townspeople in Moscow or Pskov or Novgorod, or a monastic community such as that in the Solovetskii islands. But dramatic and damaging as these conflicts were, they did not threaten the authority of the state. Not so in the Republic. Here in the same period the nature of the internal conflict was that of a struggle for power within the ruling class. After the fratricidal carnage which had ended Lubomirski's rebellion in 1666, in the critical years of 1672 and 1673 two diets were broken up and two rival confederacies were formed by groups of dignitaries vying for influence over the Crown. This internecine strife drained the political strength of the state and hindered the functioning of the republican and anti-bureaucratic system of government which was erratic even in the most favourable circumstances.

More than once the Polish representatives in the negotiations with Muscovy lacked up to date instructions because of indecision or lack of agreement in Warsaw due to a disrupted diet or the absence of some senators-resident or an interregnum. In Muscovy, by contrast, foreign relations were handled by a government department, the Posol'skii prikaz or office of envoys. The office also performed certain fiscal duties and was therefore not yet a ministry of foreign affairs in the full sense of the term. But, working under the direction of a senior official, staffed by permanent functionaries and having an historical memory in the form of records of past negotiations and treaties, it was capable of offering to its principals advice based on experience and of bringing a measure of consistency to the execution of foreign policy. What it lacked was bureaucratic discipline. Ordyn- Nashchokin found that the permanent officials had their own views on the policy to be pursued in relation to Poland and did not always carry out their chief's instructions for negotiations with the Poles. In the end, as we have seen, he was forced or, perhaps, like a foreign secretary in a parliamentary democracy, chose, to resign over a point of policy. This done, he retired to the safety of a monastery where he received the tonsure: the direction of foreign policy in Muscovy could be as dangerous an occupation as that of a grand vizier.

The first head of the Posol'skii prikaz, Ivan M. Viskovatyi, accused of plotting against Ivan IV and of high treason, was executed in 1570. After the death of Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich, Ordyn-Nashchokin's successor, Matveev, was disgraced, exiled and imprisoned. Later in the century Vasilii V. Golitsyn (1643-1714) who was head of the office of envoys between 1682 and 1689 was in that year disgraced and exiled. But the prizes and rewards for the waging of war and the conduct of foreign affairs were not to be despised. For their part in the Polish wars the tsar granted his men of service of all ranks outright ownership in varying proportions of the land held by them in fee, mostly at the rate of twenty per cent. For their success at the conference table the Russian delegates received grants of land and peasants in perpetuity. The leader of the delegation, Ordyn-Nashchokin, as well as receiving the estate, already mentioned, from what was now the tsar's demesne in the district of Smolensk, was promoted to the rank of boyar with an annual salary of 500 roubles and presented with a silver gilt goblet and a silk-satin cloak lined with sables. Tsardom knew how to be generous to its servants although its favours, as Nashchokin was eventually to discover to his cost, could be short-lived. Poland was less capricious but also, as republics are apt to be, less lavish, on the grounds that the benefices enjoyed by the state dignitaries were a permanent and adequate recompense for their labours. Thus for his services in the negotiations with Russia between 1658 and 1669 C. P. Brzostowski (d.1688) received a modest bounty of 15,000 zlotys while J. A. Chrapowicki (d.1685) does not appear even to have been compensated for expenses which he incurred in the same period and in the same capacity. Canon A. Kotowicz (ca 1622-1686), who was also a King's Secretary, was rewarded for his role as negotiator with the Russians between 1667 and 1672 with the mere title of bishop of Smolensk.

In the Republic neither the new reign nor the king's Habsburg marriage brought about any change for the better. In Muscovy Aleksei Mikhailovich, widowed in 1669, had remarried and in 1672 the new tsarina, Nataliia Kirillovna, neé Naryshkina, gave birth to a son, Peter, the future Peter the Great. The new atmosphere of rejoicing and rejuvenation at court and perhaps also the temporary absence of a forceful Patriarch between the death of Ioasaf II and the election of Ioakim, created an opportunity for change. Under the direction of Matveev (the husband of a Roman Catholic Scotswoman) Russian diplomacy extended its sphere of activity westwards, thereby upstaging the Republic and demonstrating her weakness.

None of the treaties made between 1667 and 1670 had restored the balance of power in the region of the Dnieper. With its territory torn asunder by Poland- Lithuania and Muscovy, lacking in effective leadership, divided in its loyalties, the Ukraine lay open to domination by any one of its neighbours. The appearance of the Turks as the third possible overlord of the Cossacks was probably, among other things, caused by disquiet in Istanbul at the continuing turmoil in the adjacent area and by the fear of intervention in a local conflict by the Roman Catholic powers of the West at a time when the war with Venice over Crete still had to be won. Once, however, Candia had surrendered in September 1669 and Doroshenko had made clear his willingness to become a vassal of the sultan, it was natural for the Turk to take advantage of these circumstances and strike a blow at the weakest point of the Christian defences, Podolia. By October 1672 the Turks, aided by the Tatars and Doroshenko's Cossacks, had captured the fortress of Kamenets and occupied the southern portion of Ukraine. In a matter of days the city's Roman Catholic cathedral was turned into a mosque.

Towards the end of 1672 Aleksei Mikhailovich through three special envoys appealed to most of the principal European rulers and, despite Muscovy's mistrust of popery, to Pope Clement X, to join forces and come to Poland's assistance. The Pope was asked to proclaim a crusade and call on the Christian monarchs to discuss the principles on which an anti-Ottoman league could be founded. The envoys returned empty-handed, having met with as little sympathy from Louis XIV as from Leopold I. Beyond the Emperor's expression of the suspicion that under the pretext of a crusade the Russians would want to seize Podolia and the right-bank Ukraine, no memorable comment has come down on the Russian move, unprecedented in its scale and aim. Matveev's deft manoeuvre was a blind which concealed Muscovy's willingness to take the risk of seeing the Republic weakened by Turkey so long as her own security was not directly threatened. Within a few years, in consequence of Poland's debility and Russia's comparative robustness, the relations between the two countries ceased to be a duologue and became more and more involved in the many-voiced negotiations leading up to the conclusion by the Emperor, Venice and Poland of the Holy League in 1684 and of the subsidiary Russo-Polish alliance of 1686. Meanwhile the conclusion of a Russo-Polish alliance against Turkey continued to be the axis around which the entire complex of relations between the two countries revolved.

Notwithstanding the surrounding confusion the Poles were quite capable of assessing the situation in which they found themselves in relation to Muscovy and Turkey. From the utterances of a small but representative number of political figures, some of them with a first hand knowledge of the political scene in Moscow or Istanbul, it is possible to piece together their collective opinion of Russia. The tone of these pronouncements is uniformly pessimistic and they breathe a Russophobia which derives in equal measure from prejudice and bitter experience. One may assume that the Russians reciprocated these feelings: the spot on which one of the contributors to the debate in question, Bieniewski, had stood in a Russian church had to be cleansed of Roman contamination by washing and scrubbing.

According to Bieniewski and his colleagues, the Muscovites were not to be trusted or counted upon as allies any more than the Turks. 'Gens perfidissima, they hate the Romans', no good could come of a friendship with such Christians. (Very similar sentiments were expressed by some prominent Wallachians about the Poles later in the century.) The methods of negotiation of the Muscovite diplomats showed hatred and cunning. The cry 'perfidia Septentrionis' was part of the political vocabulary of the day, and not only in Poland. Sir Peter Wyche speaks of the bad faith and cunning of the Muscovites and does not believe that any friendship with them could be sincere or reliable. According to the Poles, Aleksei Mikhailovich had been bent on the destruction of the Republic and had kept her in a state of uncertainty so as to prevent her from taking any action that might have enabled her to regain her strength but Fedor Alekseevich was not to be trusted either: you cannot build anything on an alliance with Muscovy. The intentions of the Muscovites were suspect, nay, transparent - they wanted to annex the whole Ukraine. As far as relations with the Porte were concerned, the Republic could not rely on Russian help. Nor did it seem that Muscovy wanted any help from the West. Aleksei Mikhailovich had been thinking of breaking the power of the Porte single-handed and in a war with Turkey Muscovy would have the support of the Orthodox subjects of the sultan. As Muscovy expanded, so would 'Graecismus, the burial-pit of the Porte', grow in strength. The real aim of Muscovy was to embroil the Poles in a fresh war with Turkey and, having done so, to wrest some territory from the Republic - perhaps the Grand Duchy of Lithuania - whilst giving the rightbank Ukraine to Turkey. Nor was there anything to be said in favour of the Turks, they were perfidious and overbearing, they laid down the law in peace negotiations and this made for bad peace treaties. 'Cum Oriente pax non pax'. It was this latter view that persuaded the Republic to align herself with the North rather than with the Orient. Despite all the aspersions cast on the Muscovites, the various contributors in the debate in the end opted for an alliance with Muscovy as the lesser evil in a desperate situation. But GrzymuHowski, the future co-architect of the treaty which was to bear his name, stipulated that the alliance should form part of a league or coalition of Christian powers, no doubt in the expectation that they would safeguard the interests of the Republic.

The plan for an anti-Turkish coalition first adumbrated in 1668 by Clement IX was revived during the pontificate of Clement X by Francesco Buonvisi (1625- 1700), who was nuncio in Warsaw when the tsar's envoy, Paul Menzies, a Roman Catholic Scot, was on his way to Rome. The greatest difficulty, Buonvisi pointed out, in deriving full benefit from a diversion carried out by the Persians, lay in consulting with them over so great a distance but an alliance between the Empire and Muscovy would open a channel of communication and make concerted action possible. If an alliance with infidel Persia, however desirable on strategic grounds, could scarcely be expected to arouse much popular enthusiasm, a Holy League was quite another matter. A mystical union between religion and power politics would be entirely in keeping with the temperament of an age in which, as in Jesuit theatricals or in baroque church architecture, the sacred was constantly merging with profane. It is in the seventeenth century that the Church puts at the diposal of states the unsuspected talents of humble and self-effacing friars and clerks regular, blessed with a talent for diplomacy, or propaganda or even for the organization of army supplies and it is then that the political Grey Eminence makes his appearance. Between 1617 and 1625 Father Joseph du Trembley, a Jesuit, agitated for a crusade and wrote a Turciad in the process. A new crusade, a holy war, was the stuff of the day-dreams and calculations of monks and monarchs alike. In 1672 the vision of the Holy Place liberated, the Balkan Christians set free and the road to Constantinople lying open was vouchsafed even to so dull-witted and ineffective a monarch as Michael Wiśniowiecki - or perhaps transmitted to him through Buonvisi. In 1673 the king's eventual successor, Sobieski, then Grand Hetman of Poland, drafted a plan for a Holy League against Turkey to include the Empire, France, Venice, Poland, Russia and Persia. Five years later he was to outline its grand strategy and assign the operational tasks. The Russians and the Cossacks from the banks of the Don and the Dnieper should squeeze the Tatars out of the Crimea and drive them back to the steppes of Asia, the Cossacks should also attack the Turkish navy in the Black Sea. The Poles would carry out a diversion in Moldavia and Wallachia. Even Louis XIV himself despite France's commercial and political stake in Turkey, at one point considered it worthwhile to obtain an estimate for the cost of conquering Constantinople. It came to 31,787,940 livres. But this was only a passing thought in his mind. Unlike Italy, Austria, Poland, Russia or Persia, France was not in recurrent danger of being invaded by the Turks or the Tatars, in Sobieski's words 'that despicable people which without the use of firearms each year fills the pagan galleys and palaces with souls redeemed by the precious blood of Christ'.

The new Pope, Innocent XI (Benedetto Odescalchi), made the defeat of Turkey the overriding object of his foreign policy in his double capacity as head of Christendom and ruler of the Pontifical States. He had hardly been elected when he expressed the hope that Muscovy would presently be fighting the Turk by the side of John III Sobieski and in March 1677 he was instructing the new nuncio in Warsaw, Francesco Martelli, to get in touch with the Muscovites in case they should be thinking of sending another envoy to Rome. Had such an envoy been sent, he would have been surprised to discover that although, beneath the nimbus of sanctity, the proposed anti-Turkish coalition was nothing else than a syndicate for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, no firm provision was being made for Muscovy to share in the spoils. A year earlier Fra Paolo da Lagni, a Capuchin who for many years had been resident in Istanbul, had submitted to Innocent XI some memoranda on the prospects of an offensive against the Porte, picturing Muscovy as a rival rather than as an ally to the West. It was also common knowledge that the Greeks in Constantinople esteemed the Tsar 'beyond any other Prince, terming him their Emperor and Protector from whom, according to ancient prophecies and modern predictions', they expected 'delivery and freedom for their Church'. But da Lagni's groundless fear that the Muscovites, assisted by the 'schismatic Greeks' of southern and eastern Europe, might forestall a joint attack on Instanbul by the Roman Catholic powers, was not shared in Rome. In 1679 Buonvisi, now nuncio in Vienna, seemed prepared vicariously to reward Muscovy with the Crimea for her participation in the League while Innocent XI took it for granted that she would admit Catholic propaganda. But by 1684 Buonvisi had changed his mind and was proposing that the Crimea, when conquered by the Russians with Polish aid, should go to Poland either permanently in compensation, or temporarily in pawn, for Kiev and the left-bank Ukraine. This equivocal attitude corresponds to the papacy's true and secret opinion of Muscovy summed up in 1677 by the secretary of state, Cardinal Alderano Cibo:

His Holiness is well aware of the difficulties involved in co-operating with the most hardened and arrogant of all schismatic peoples, a people that in its dealings with others observes only the rule of self-interest and necessity. It turns to us only from these motives and in order to entice Rome with promises of reunion and advantages for the Christian faith and for the security of nations. Nevertheless His Holiness is sentient of the immeasurable benefits that could be obtained one day when, God's mercy having softened these obdurate hearts, the whole vast flock is shepherded into the fold...

The way to the stray congregation led through Poland, the beleaguered antemurale where, to cite a venerable historian of the Jesuits in Poland, the spirit of faith and piety which had been strengthened during the wars under John Casimir soared even higher:

During the twenty year-old struggle between Sobieski and the paynim, first the public supplications in the churches between 1674 and 1676 and in 1683, later the exhortations by the bishops in their pastoral letters and by preachers, especially Jesuits, showing the dire plight of the country to be divine retribution and calling for repentance and penance, the Te Deums sung in gratitude for victories won and the triumphal sermons pointing to the efficacy of penance and prayer to the Lord of Hosts resounding in the temples of the old and new capital and in village churches, the example of the pious king placing ex-votos in the chapels of the Mother of God in Cracow, Czestochowa and elsewhere - all this created a deep and sincere piety among the people which under John Casimir had enabled it to defeat the enemy and was now preparing the whole nation for the part of champion of Christendom.

The same historian notes the large number of monastic houses in Poland- Lithuania: 470 in 1670. More recent research has discovered an increase in the number of new foundations specifically in the reign of John III within the total increase by 204 in the period 1651-1700. The inhabitants of the Republic were indeed blessed with an abundance of monks (less so of nuns), particularly in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in Ukraine. In these regions in the second half of the seventeenth century seventy new, albeit small, houses were founded. In the midst of a non-Polish speaking population these foundations were the outposts of Polish and Catholic culture whose progress they assisted in the areas of the spoken and the written word, religious observance and of both domestic and political mores.

With the establishment of a regular postal service and the exchange, for the first time in 1673, of permanent diplomatic representatives, designated as residents, the relations between Russia and Poland had grown closer but were still far from cordial. Since the western powers were not going to do anything to help Poland and the Republic torn by factions and lacking in leadership, was doing nothing to help herself, the Russians saw no reason for exerting themselves and acted cautiously. While they continued to promise military aid but delayed giving it, the Poles hinted at coming to terms with the enemy. In the upshot both sides acted independently of one another and in questionable faith for the obvious reason that each side wished to exclude the other as well as the Turk from the whole the Dnieper. When finally in the summer of 1674, soon after the election of John Sobieski to the Polish throne, the Russians and the left-bank Cossacks under Ivan Samoilovych (d.1690), did cross the Dnieper, it was not to help the Poles but to reduce Doroshenko and to occupy the right-bank Ukraine, 'the target' at which, in the words of Matveev, 'everyone' -Russia, Poland, Turkey and Doroshenko - 'was aiming'. Unlike his predecessor, Matveev was fully aware of the value of the Right Bank to Russia as a permanent acquisition or a pawn to be exchanged for a definitive peace treaty with Poland. In an interview with Sobieski's personal envoy he criticized Ordyn-Nashchokin for having made excessive territorial concessions to Poland and having promised military help that not only could not be given, but had also needlessly provoked the Turks. On a subsequent occasion he defended Russia's right to win back Ukraine from the Turks.

In 1676 five events of major importance occurred, unrelated in their causes but connected by their joint effect on developments in south-eastern Europe. In January, peace negotiations between Louis XIV and the powers of the coalition began in Nijmegen, in September Benedetto Odescalchi was elected Pope, in October Sobieski made peace with the Turks at Żurawno and Kara Mustafa was appointed grand vizier. In February Feodor Alekseevich had succeeded his father, Matveev had been dismissed and exiled and Prince Vasilii V. Golitsyn (1643-1714) received his first important appointment. As military governor of Ukraine he had the powers of a proconsul and in this capacity continued the policy of Aleksei Mikhailovich and Matveev: without making any gratuitous concessions to the Poles or to the Turks, he occupied the maximum amount of territory.

The zeal of Innocent XI matched by the ferocity of Kara Mustafa increased the likelihood of war between the Empire and the Porte, and from 1678 the rebellious activities in Upper Hungary of Emerich Thököly, assisted by France and incited by Turkey, increased the tension. On the other hand, the Russians' firmer handling of Doroshenko in the spring of 1676 when a punitive expedition led by Prince Grigorii G. Romodanovskii, and Samoilovych compelled him to declare his loyalty to the tsar, and in the autumn the truce of Żurawno brought Muscovy and Turkey face to face, shifting the scene of war away from Poland to the banks of the Dnieper and delaying a Turkish attack on Hungary. In 1677 and 1678 Muscovy and Turkey fought for Chigirin which, together with Kiev, was believed to give its possessor mastery over the Cossacks. The Russians raised the siege of the fortress in 1677, but in the following year were forced to abandon it, a heap of ruins deprived of all military value by fire and bombardment. Buonvisi's gloomy prediction that the Turks would defeat the Russians before turning against the Poles who had been content to watch their neighbours' armies 'caught as in a vice' was thus not fulfilled. In 1677 the Russians, offended at not having been consulted by the Poles over the truce of Żurawno, declared that neither Kiev nor the Right Bank areas that Doroshenko had occupied would ever be returned to Poland, but in 1678 under the stress of the war with Turkey, they showed themselves to be more conciliatory. A conference of plenipotentiaries held in Moscow between May and August resulted in an extension of the truce of 1667 till 1693, and a cash payment to Poland of two hundred thousand roubles. Nevel', Sebezh and Velizh were given back to the Republic. The Russians were still interested in making a permanent peace with the Republic, but began to angle for it on the Danube, where the atmosphere was more favourable than on the Vistula. As early as February 1679 the Imperial ambassador in Warsaw hinted in confidence to the king that once Leopold I was free of the war with France, he would not be remiss in taking action against the common enemy. He was in fact anticipating the favourable outcome of the negotiations at Nijmegen, where another papal nuncio, Luigi Bevilacqua, was labouring for peace between the Empire and France.

The presence of a Russian embassy in Vienna in the summer of 1679 coincided with that of a Polish one and from now on until the conclusion of the Russo-Polish treaty in 1686, while the spasmodic negotiations between the two neighbours lasted, the Austrian envoys were never far in front of, or behind, a Polish mission to Moscow or a Russian mission to Warsaw, if they were not actually on the spot at the same time, making available their good offices. The Austrians themselves were constantly urged by the Pope and his representatives to bring about a tripartite alliance preceded, as it must be, by a permanent peace between Russia and Poland. The Holy League could not be made without the Poles because the Russian forces were too far away to help the Emperor. Buonvisi never tired of stressing and indeed of exaggerating the common interest of the two Slav powers: 'It is certain that the storm will break over one of them and even if one of the two were to deceive itself that it would not be the first to be attacked, it would only be the last to perish.' The Turks, however, were attracted by the prospect of loot and booty and of this there was more to be found in Vienna or Cracow than in Moscow or Kiev. Writing about this time Pufendorf remarked that 'the old saying of Philip Melanchthon, Si Turca in Germaniam veniet, veniet per Poloniam, did not arise from a Prophetic Spirit but has its good Reason in Geography'. The Poles had every reason to fear a Turkish invasion. In order to prevent it, the Sejm of 1679, encouraged by the news of the peace of Nijmegen, decided to make war on Turkey and seek an alliance with Russia which the Pope a year later was to describe as 'not only useful but essential'. But the Russians found the conditions laid down by the Poles - an auxiliary army of forty thousand men and an annual subsidy of two hundred thousand roubles - too burdensome and the common enemy conciliatory. In June, 1681, the Russians did to the Poles what the Poles had done to them five years previously: in the midst of negotiations for a mutual alliance, they made an unexpected and separate preliminary peace with the Turks at Bakhchisaray), only on better terms. The Russian action resulted immediately in a Turkish threat to Hungary and in July the Emperor was appealing to the Pope for assistance against the 'implacable enemy'.

Sobieski at this time was still leaning towards France although he had been frustrated in his plans for an acquisitive diversion which he had hoped to carry out with French aid against the Elector of Brandenburg in East Prussia, or against the Emperor in Hungary. Dangerously late in the day he continued to tolerate the transit through Poland of French help and guidance for the Hungarian rebels. In April 1682 Louis XIV let it be known through his ambassador to the Porte that if the sultan were to attack the Empire, he, the Most Christian King, would remain neutral. The Turks took the hint and in June, on Poland's very doorstep, Thokoly acknowledged the sultan as his liege and with Turkish aid set out on the conquest of the rest of the Kingdom of Hungary. The next year, 1683, saw the Turkish invasion and the relief of Vienna by Sobieski who had reverted to his earlier role of a Christian paladin; the following year, 1684, the conclusion of the Holy League between the Emperor, Poland and Venice, with the Pope as guarantor and representative of the alliance, for common offensive action until the end of the Turkish war. To mark this consummation of the Pope's unremitting efforts and prayers, a medal was struck showing the four cities to be liberated: Buda, Candia, Kamenets and Constantinople beneath the winged lion of Venice and the eagles of the Empire, Poland and, in anticipation of her access, Muscovy.

The two heads of the Russian eagle were at any rate appropriate to the circumstances of that country, where after the death of Feodor Alekseevich in April and the revolt of the strel'tsy (musketeers) in May, 1682, the joint rule was established of Ivan Alekseevich (1666-1696) and Peter Alekseevich (1672-1725), with Sophia Alekseevna (1657-1704) as Regent. No immediate change in Russia's policy towards Poland followed from these events. After an invevitable pause caused by the upheaval, the three-cornered negotiations for an offensive alliance against Turkey were reopened with the same inconclusive results. As before, each party was ready to benefit from the other's embroilment with the Turks and Tatars, but mutual distrust prevented concerted action. In 1683 by ceasing to pay tribute to the khan, the Russians all but removed the fading stigma of Tatar overlordship; in 1685 they repudiated the obligation for good.

Prince V.V. Golitsyn whom the Regent had put in charge of the Posol'skii prikaz and made her chief counsellor and favourite, was no more inclined to give something for nothing to the Poles than Matveev had been, especially as he regarded the peace between Russia and Turkey as virtually permanent. It was as apparent to him as it had been to the Russian negotiators in 1679 that any alliance must be preceded by a permanent settlement with Poland. Since any such settlement, in order to be satisfactory to Russia, would have to consist in the acceptance of the provisional frontier and, to satisfy Poland, in its revision, the Republic's interest would have been best served by adjourning the discussion of this explosive issue until a more propitious moment, as had been done in 1678 when the truce was extended to 1693. But Sobieski's membership of the Holy League demanded action and he himself, as much as the Pope and his advisers, believed that a concentric attack on Turkey could not be successful without Russia. Soon after the victory at Vienna, in a letter to the head of the Polish parliamentary commission bound for yet another conference at Andrusovo, he emphasized the urgent need for an alliance with Muscovy. From Innocent XI's point of view Russian participation was desirable on grounds of both secular and eccelesiastical policy: it would tie Poland more closely to the League and lay Muscovy open to Roman Catholic propaganda. In discussions with a special envoy of the Emperor, Father Carlo Maurizio Vota, S.J., (1629-1715) disguised as a layman, Golitsyn held out hopes of obtaining permission for the establishment of a Jesuit house in Moscow and mentioned the number of troops that Russia might be prepared to put in the field against the Turks. But just as his predecessors had done in their negotiations with Austria, Golitsyn took care not to enter into any commitment on Russia's behalf and to preserve complete freedom of action with regard to Turkey. In the diplomatic preludes, interludes and accompaniments of the Turkish wars, Russia played a solo and gratuitous part.

The same was not true of Poland. While still a pensioner of Louis XIV, at the end of 1679, Sobieski had accepted the Pope's offer of half a million zlotys for armaments, to be paid as soon as he should have attacked the Turks and this was only a first payment on account, to start off the negotiations with Russia and to keep them going. In October, 1684 the nuncio reported that the Polish army was suffering from a lack of engineers, sappers, gunners, pontoons, munitions and engines of war. In May, 1685 the Pope sent a million and in the first quarter of 1686, half a million. From the amount of these subsidies and the timing of their payment may be gauged the extent of the pressure that the nuncio was able to bring to bear on Sobieski to come to an agreeement with Russia and thereby attach her to the Holy League. Sobieski had joined the League in order to recover Kamenets for the Republic and to seize from a defeated Turkey a principality - Moldavia or Wallachia or Transylvania - for his eldest son, James (1667-1734), so as to make him a hereditary ruler there and consequently a favoured candidate in the next royal election. Limited tenure, in the case of Sobieski undevisable, in the case of Sophia, in view of Ivan's incapacity, expiring with Tsar Peter's minority, was the common factor of the two regimes which only a spectacular success could keep in existence. Golitsyn, for Sophia and himself, sought it in diplomacy, Sobieski conceived of it in military terms.

The alarming habit of voting the taxes required for raising an army only if the exchequer had been primed with a foreign subsidy was developed in the reign of Sobieski by a Sejm anxious to lighten the burden of a community exhaused by a quarter of a century of war. By comparison, the cost of bringing Parliament to a standstill was small. A bribe of a mere thousand ducats was enough to persuade a deputy to undo the work of a whole session by exercising his veto, and from that moment until the next Sejm no major policy decisions could be taken. This is in fact what happened in 1681 when the diet was brought to the point of disruption by one W. Przyjemski (d.1699) at the instigation of Krzysztof Grzymułtowski (1620- 1687), palatine of Poznan, the catspaw of the elector of Brandenburg and a client of Louis XIV, before being broken up by another deputy. The Austrian alliance, peace negotiations with Russia and war with the Porte suddenly fell into abeyance. At the previous Sejm which had approved the anti-Turkish programme, Grzymułtowski had spoken against it and from the safe distance of his north western constituency called for the reconquest of Kiev and Smolensk. Public opinion, however, as reflected in the debate, favoured war with Turkey in selfdefence and no doubt also because 'no one minds risking his skin when he knows that victory will provide the wherewithal to dress the wounds'. In 1683 even Grzymultowski voted with the majority. The Lithuanian deputies, however, were at all times opposed to war with Muscovy. Knowing this, the Russians were able more than once to play off the Lithuanian against the Polish members of the successive commissions with which they were negotiating. In the detached view of the papal secretary of state, war with Turkey was as much of a necessity for Poland as it was for Sobieski, the sole remedy for saving the country from ruin and securing the succession to the throne for the king's descendants.

'Poland and Muscovy' wrote Pufendorf, 'seem to be very near equal in strength, and though the Poles are better soldiers than the Muscovites, yet has the Great Duke of Muscovy this advantage over them, that he is absolute in his dominions.' In the second half of the seventeenth century limited tsardom was gradually resuming a despotic character while in Poland the predominance of Parliament barred the king's way to absolute power. The tsar was in no need of subsidies and went to war or made peace as he saw fit after taking counsel with the boyars. The only vestige of the representative institution of the earlier period was the boiarskaia duma although, since its members were appointed by the tsar, it cannot be said to have been an independent body. The corresponding Polish institution was the senate with the significant difference, noted by Artamon S. Matveev, that the senators were eager to secure the utmost advantages for themselves rather than to further the interests of the king. The zemskii sobor or Assembly of the Land was summoned for the last time and in reduced numbers in 1683-84 by Sophia Alekseevna not so much to pronounce on the subject of a permanent peace with Poland as to demonstrate its loyalty to the Regent. If insecurity was the unacknowledged bond between the rules of Sophia and John Sobieski, the Regent and her favourite were nevertheless in a stronger position in several respects. Russia had made peace with Turkey in March 1682 on terms which though less generous than those of the preliminary agreement of Bakhchisaray, were still advantageous: Kiev with Vasil'kov, Tripol'e and Staiki was recognized as Russian territory, the left-bank Cossacks received permission to hunt and fish on the right bank of the Dnieper upon payment of a duty, the Tatars were prohibited from invading Russian territory, all differences were to be resolved by arbitration, the tsar's title was to be written in full in official correspondence, prisoners were to be exchanged and pilgrims allowed to travel to Jerusalem. It seemed unlikely that the Turks would attack Russia while they had the Empire, Venice and Poland to keep at bay. The only question was whether Turkey, in the newly minted phrase of the Austrian envoy, Blumberg, was really 'an incurably sick man' and, if this was the case, whether Russia should not be considering how to step at least into one pair of his babouches. The view that the Turks' failure to carry out the provisions of the treaty of 1682 was the opening move of an attack is hard to reconcile with the impression that after the relief of Vienna the Turks did all they could to accommodate the Russians. Having at first broken their word and imposed a series of irksome restrictions on the hunting, grazing and salt-gathering activities of the left-bank Cossacks and allowed the Tatars to make inroads far north into the Ukraine, they deposed the over-aggressive khan in 1684, ratified the truce of Bakhchisaray in 1685 and agreed to the subordination of the metropolitan province of Kiev to the Patriarch of Moscow in accordance with the wish of the Russian government.

During the Cossack uprising of 1648-54 the Eastern Patriarchs had given full support to the alliance between Khmel'nyts'kyi and Moscow but lately the Patriarch of Constantinople Iakobos I (1679-83, 1685-87, 1687-88) had shown little eagerness for the transfer to Moscow of jurisdiction over the see of Kiev. Sophia therefore took the matter into her own hands. Her task was made easier by the fact that since the last years of the reign of Aleksei Mikhailovich the Patriarchs had practically lost control over the province of Kiev. In the name of the tsars and her own she reminded Iakobos I of the authorization given by one of his predecessors for the consecration of the late Innokentii (Gizel' d.1683), archimandrite of the laura of the Caves, as metropolitan of Kiev and requested the Patriarch's consent to the substitution of Gedeon (Czetwertyński, d.1690), bishop of Lutsk, for Gizel', and to the subordination of the see of Kiev to the Patriarch of Moscow. By this time the election and consecration of Gedeon had already taken place. As bishop of Lutsk he had been the champion of the Orthodox community in Poland and in this capacity had sought the intervention of Russia on behalf of his co-religionists. In 1684, having apparently been threatened with imprisonment if he did not accede to the Union, he took refuge in Baturin on the left bank of the Dnieper, probably not without encouragement from the Russian authorities. In October 1685 the sultan decreed a further change of importance to Russia: the grand vizier, Kara Ibrahim Pasha, was exiled and replaced by Suleiman Pasha who seemed anxious to please the Russians. At his prompting or with his connivance, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Dositheus (1641-1703) gave his blessing to Gedeon, while the Patriarch of Constantinople, Dionysios IV (1686-87), urged on by a gift of money and sable pelts, gave his consent to the subordination, stating that it had been mede necessary by the defection to the Union of the bishop of Lvov, Iosif Shumlians'kyi (1667-1708). The phanariot critics of Dionysios denounced him before the officials of the sultan for having acted unlawfully and he was driven from his throne. Later in the same year Gedeon swore loyalty to the Patriarch of Moscow thus bringing to an end the autonomy which the Orthodox Church in Lithuania and Ruthenia had enjoyed for two centuries. Although the mitre worn by Gedeon at his consecration bore the inscription 'Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia' he did not enjoy the dignity for long. In 1688 the tsars ordered him to sign himself 'Metropolitan of Kiev and Little Russia' and to give up his authority over the laura of the Caves and the archbishopric of Chernigov whilst readily agreeing to prevailing on the Poles to allow Gedeon to retain his jurisdiction over the Orthodox population of the Republic. Next the joint rulers of Muscovy (the tsars Peter and Ivan and the Regent, Sophia Alekseevna) made the new metropolitan an instrument of their adminstration by instructing him not to take any steps concerning war, politics or the Orthodox population of the right-bank Ukraine without first consulting the hetman of the left-bank Cossacks.

A similar situation had arisen temporarily in 1451 when Casimir Jagellon recognized the authority of the metropolitan of Moscow, Iona, over the eparchies in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (with the exception of the metropolis of Galich alias Halicz). It was an imprudent concession to make as Iona had not been consecrated by the Patriarch of Constantinople and his political activities were directed against the principalities and cities which were resisting incorporation with Muscovy and were therefore the natural allies of Lithuania. Pope Pius II put an end to the geographical anomaly by dividing the ancient metropolis of Kiev into two, that of Moscow and that of Kiev. The dispute which followed was ended in 1480 with the omission of Kiev from the title of the metropolitan of Moscow. The subordination of the province of Kiev to the Patriarch of Moscow completes the first phase of the fulfilment of 'the dream and ambition of the Russian Church', cherished since the beginning of the sixteenth century, 'to regain its former and more extensive realm through the subordination to Moscow of the Ruthenian components of the Polish-Lithuanian Republic'. Thus shortly before the final negotiations with Poland, the religious ties between Moscow and Kiev were, with Turkish connivance, strengthened to an extent that made their undoing a virtual impossibility. Having followed in the footsteps of Aleksei Mikhailovich in their secular, and of Ordyn-Nashchokin in their ecclesiastical policy, Sophia and Golitsyn were free to decide whether to accept or to refuse Poland's offer of a permanent peace and an offensive alliance against the Porte.

The Polish delegations appointed for the purpose of concluding a definitive peace treaty in accordance with the provision of the agreement of Andrusovo, were commissions of both houses of Parliament, the Sejm and the senate, and of both nations of the Republic, Poland and Lithuania. The plenipotentiaries were therefore parliamentarians, politicians versed in oratory and the management of diets and dietines, rather than diplomats. It is true that some, like C.P. Brzostowski (d.1688), J.A. Chrapowicki (d.1685), J.C. Gniński (d.1685) and Marcjan Ogiński (1632-1690), through serving on commission after commision had acquired an expert knowledge of Poland's relations with her eastern neighbours. But the experience of these men was lost as soon as their lives or political careers came to an end. With the sole exception of Ogiriski, none of them was to take part in the last and crucial round of talks held in 1686. Chrapowicki and Gniński died in 1685 and Brzostowski, although appointed to the commission set up by the Sejm of 1683 for some reason did not exercise his function. The non-existence of permanent officials made the loss of such men irreparable. In the Russian delegations headed by senators, the permanent officials from the Posol'skii prikaz provided the expert knowledge and the singleness and continuity of purpose that the Polish commissions so often lacked. On the other hand to picture the Posol'skii prikaz as a streamlined twentieth-century government department run by high-minded experts would be anachronistic. In point of fact during Nashchokin's term of office his subordinates were much given to digging pits under their chief and his wish that they should be 'men of integrity, hand-picked' and the department in which they served 'guarded like the apple of one's eye' shows how far it fell short of this ideal. Nevertheless it should be recalled that in 1672 under the direction of Matveev, the Posol'skii prikaz showed itself capable of mounting something of a diplomatic offensive and that between 1679 and 1681 it managed to conduct simultaneously two sets of intricate negotiations, one with Austria and Poland and the other with Turkey. The 1681 treaty with Turkey was concluded by Vasilii M. Tiapkin who as the first Russian resident in Warsaw had learned a great deal about Poland and her relations with both East and West. The treaty of 1682 was negotiated by Prokopii B. Voznitsyn who was later to rank as third envoy in Peter I's Grand Embassy of 1697-98. Tiapkin was a dvorianin by birth and had been an army officer before he was sent on his first mission to Poland in 1666 but Voznitsyn and Emel'ian I. Ukraintsev (1641-1708), who was to handle the peace talks with Turkey in 1700, had risen from clerkships at the Posol'skii prikaz to the high rank of dumnyi d'iak or secretary of the boyar council. There were no such men in Poland and the promotion on grounds of sheer merit of one who was not bene natus et possessionatus would have been unthinkable. Not every clerk at the Posol'skii prikaz was a Voznitsyn or an Ukraintsev and these lesser lights were protected from their possible lack of skill or experience by very precise instructions providing an answer to every foreseeable question but plenty of scope was given to the initiative and talents of the star performers. Their behaviour in conferences with the Poles was so consistent that it confirms the continuing existence of a system of hard bargaining (noted a century earlier by the Polish Jesuit Warszewicki in his treatise De legato) and of deliberate obstruction. The Muscovite habit, already mentioned, of literally and figuratively upholding the tsar's good name was by then familiar to the Poles who took care to avoid the use of any wording of the tsar's title that might lead the Russians to believe that the Poles considered their cession of Kiev and Smolensk as anything but a temporary one. Innocent XI's brief inviting the tsars to join the Holy League and addressing them gratuitously as Grand Dukes of Kiev and Smolensk was accordingly modified at Sobieski's request to read simply 'Tsars and Grand Dukes'.

Even after the conclusion of the Holy League Sobieski continued to waver in his mind between Austria and France. In the flesh, like the sinner in a morality play, he was torn between the rival forces of heaven and the world, the apostolic nuncio, Opizio Pallavicini, and the French ambassador, the marquis de Béthune (1638-1693). Pallavicini had recently been reinforced by Father Vota. Having, as he believed, charmed Golitsyn into adopting an attitude of favourable curiosity towards Rome, he broke his return journey in Warsaw, never to resume it. He stayed at Sobieski's court as tutor to the young princes, Alexander (1677-1714) and Constantine (1680-1726), but in fact as the King's spiritual director and political adviser. The ascetic and the warrior, embodying the two heroic ideals of the age, worked in partnership for the greater glory of God but not necessarily for the good of the Republic. Already at the end of 1684 the nuncio was able to report that as a result of his own and Father Vota's representations, the King was coming round to the view that in order to draw Russia into the League, Poland should agree to make an alliance with her 'subject to binding promises regarding its duration and valid precautions as to help to be received in securing a territorial equivalent for Kiev and Smolensk which could never be recovered in any event'.

Poland's relations with Russia had not greatly improved in the interval. The negotiations held at Andrusovo between January and March 1684 had foundered on the question: which should come first - the definitive peace treaty demanded by the Russians or the alliance demanded by the Poles? Neither party was in the mood for making concessions, least of all in Ukraine. The Russians were determined to keep Kiev but, feeling uneasy at breaking the treaty of 1667, once more borrowed from their civil law the concept of dishonour (beschestie) to argue that they were entitled to material compensation for the many slights they had suffered at the hands of the Poles. The most recent instances cited were the poems, already mentioned, by Stanislaw Herakliusz Lubomirski and Wespazjan Kochowski. The various omissions and inaccuracies in the wording of the tsar's title perpetrated over the years by Polish and Lithuanian officials, objections to which may have seemed niggling at the time, were now exploited to the full by being added to the bill of insults. The Polish pleas that the authorities were not responsible for the contents of works of literature and that involuntary errors and omissions did not constitute indignity, were rejected. On one point only was agreement reached, that the discussion of controversial issues should be postponed till June 1691. In the autumn of 1684 the left-bank Cossacks occupied the region to the east of the river Sozh forming part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Ostensibly a reprisal for the sequestration of the estates appertaining to the Orthodox bishop of Kiev, the incursion was apparently a reaction to the discovery that the mother of the young tsar, Peter Alekseevich, Natalia Kirillovna (Naryshkina) had requested John III to protect the interests of her son as the sole legitimate heir to the Russian throne which he had been obliged by her rivals of the Miloslavskii faction to share with his half-brother, Ivan Alekseevich (a son of Aleksei Mikhailovich and Maria Il'inichna Miloslavskaia). It is understandable that in the circumstances, before fully committing himself to a policy of peace and alliance with Russia, the king could not easily abandon the hope of France's joining the Holy League. If she did so, total victory over the Turk would not be long delayed and the scope for making up in the south for what Poland must give up for lost in the east would be widened. After the conclusion of the Peace of Ratisbon between France and the Empire in August 1684 this was not perhaps an unrealistic hope to entertain and all the more so in view of Innocent XI's wish to bring France into the Holy League. That Louis XIV himself expressed a theoretical interest about this time in the cost of the conquest of Constantinople has already been noted but when it came to a realistic assessment of French policy it soon became apparent that Father La Chaise, S.J., did not wield the same power over Louis XIV as did Father Vota over John III. At the end of June, 1685 the king and the senators of the Republic despatched to Versailles Jan Wielopolski, grand chancellor of Poland (d. 1688) with instructions to request financial and military aid in the war against the Turks. This was refused and all that Wielopolski obtained was the promise of a letter from Louis XIV to the tsars exhorting them to conclude a treaty of friendship with Poland for the mutual benefit of both nations. Early in November while the chancellor was still in France, a personal envoy sent by the king returned from the Crimea, having failed to persuade the khan to declare himself an independent ruler under the protection of the Holy League. Since the Crimea could not be neutralized, it must be invaded conjointly with Russia. At the end of November, the Polish parliamentary commission set out for Moscow. Its task was the same as it had been in 1684: to negotiate a treaty of permanent peace and alliance. The course of this confrontation, the last of a long series, throws into relief the differences between two schools of diplomacy, two systems of government, two types of society.

The head of the Polish delegation was Grzymułtowski, the very man who had caused the disruption of the Sejm of 1681 and who at the previous diet, in 1679, had spoken vehemently against the Austrian alliance and described the Muscovites as wholly given over to trickery and deception. He had little previous experience of diplomacy or foreign affairs and it can only be surmised that he was appointed in the expectation that a fire-eater such as he would be capable of standing up to the Muscovites. In the intervening years he had allied himself with the king's personal and political enemies. It is therefore not surprising that Sobieski did not trust Grzymuitowski and would have preferred to bypass the commission and treat with Golitsyn through a personal envoy. Unlike Grzymułtowski and the rest of his totally inexperienced colleagues, Marcjan Ogiński, chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1684, had twenty-five years of negotiations with Russia to his credit but for two reasons could be expected to work for a compromise. As the chief Lithuanian delegate he considered in his duty to preserve the Grand Duchy from a Russian invasion, the inevitable consequence of Russo-Polish war, and as a recent convert from Orthodoxy to Catholicism, travelling in the company of two Jesuits, he may be presumed to have pledged his loyalty to the Holy League and to have been prepared to pay almost any price for the Russian alliance. After the conclusion of the treaty, in writing to Innocent XI, Ogiński made light of the harshness of its terms and the Pope in replying thanked this former pillar of the Orthodox Church for the skill and eagerness he had contributed to the achievement of so salutary an aim. On the Russian side Golitsyn was by now an experienced diplomat with a good knowledge of Polish and Ukrainian affairs acquired on the left bank of the Dnieper before 1682, and one whose natural gifts were superior to those of Grzymuitowski. He also had the advantage of being assisted by two dignitaries who had treated with the Poles before - Ivan V. Buturlin ( twice and Ivan I. Chaadaev (d,1696) five times. Of the permanent officials Ukraintsev had carried out five missions to Poland, V.T. Posnikov ( three and V. Bobinin had been a clerk (d'iak) at the Posol'skii prikaz for ten years.

The Polish mission arrived in Moscow on 19 February (N.S.). On 21 February the envoys were received in audience by the tsars and Grzymułtowski who had a name for eloquence made a speech adapted 'ad genium gentis', without any 'Latin or derivatives'. Its tone and contents anticipated the watchwords of nineteenth century Panslavism: 'Let the Slav nations show the world that though they dwell in lowly huts, the thoughts in their hearts are lofty and the swords which they carry for the defence of Christendom and the ruin of the infidel are sharp.' The liberation of the Holy Places and of Constantinople from Turkish thraldom was envisaged and the conquest of the Crimea was compared in advance to the victories over the Tatars by Tsar Ivan IV. During the arduous and protracted bargaining that followed Grzymułtowski was time and time again put out of countenance by unforeseen occurrences. He may still have been pondering the political significance of the miniatures of Louis XIV that were staring at him from the sashes worn by Golitsyn and his son when his hosts informed him that they were familiar with his instructions. According to Grzymułtowski himself his task was to conclude an alliance with the help of which it was expected to end the Turkish war to Poland's advantage. To this end he was empowered to climb down as far as the cession of Kiev and the establishment of a condominium over the Zaporozh'e. The Russians knowing or guessing this began by demanding Polotsk and Vitebsk as well as Kiev. Early in March the king informed Grzymułtowski by letter that in view of the prevailing circumstances he must not expect any modification of his original instructions.

Louis XIV's letter to the tsars arrived by the same post and produced an almost immediate effect. Within a week, on 14 March, officers were asked to sign on and taxes were approved for a forthcoming campaign. On 15 March the arrival of a Tatar envoy was reported from the frontier and a week later he was in Moscow. The Polish plenipotentiaries as well as their hosts kept in touch with this unofficial envoy of the sultan but since the Porte was at war with Poland and at peace with Russia, his presence helped Golitsyn as much as it hindered Grzymultowski. By now the Poles were prepared to give up the provinces already occupied by Russia with the exception of Kiev and the Zasozhe, in return for a solid alliance against the Turks and Tatars, military aid in conquering some Turkish provinces and, pending the arrival of the Russian contingent, a subsidy for recruiting, the return of the prisoners and guns captured in the late war and the payment of compensation for the loss of private estates. The Russians found these demands unacceptable. On 2 April the carriers were forbidden to take any more firewood or water to the envoys' kitchens: the conference had broken down and the plenipotentiaries were preparing to leave when, on Golitsyn's initiative, the talks were resumed only to be adjourned for Easter.

During the recess the tsars received a letter, inspired by Wielopolski who had moved on to Berlin, from the Elector of Brandenburg in which Frederick William declared his intention to take part in the war against Turkey. Golitsyn was beaming with satisfaction but instead of reducing his original demands, increased them. The differences between the Polish and Lithuanian sections of the delegation had prejudiced the Republic's chances of securing favourable terms from the very start. If only, Grzymułtowski complains, the Lithuanians had not kept us waiting before joining us at the frontier during the whole of January, the negotiations would have ended before the khan's envoy had been able to intervene. It was obvious that the Lithuanians' assessment of their fellow countrymen's mood had not changed since 1684 when a Lithuanian notable had stated that if peace with Muscovy were not made, they would greet the invading Russians not with swords but with bread and salt, the traditional symbols of hospitality. The tension within the Russian camp between those who, like Golitsyn, favoured peace with Poland and war with Turkey, and those of the reverse opinion, only furnished Golitsyn with an additional argument in favour of coming to terms there and then. His authority was such that he was able to conduct informal exchanges with the Polish delegates on his own account. In this way much progress was made but on 24 April it turned out that Golitsyn had either exceeded his powers or deliberately misled the Poles: the Russian plenipotentiaries renewed the very demands that Golitsyn had just abandoned. After much wrangling over the long-standing points of dispute as well as over the wording of the tsar's title, the agreement was signed on 6 May.

A treaty of permanent peace and alliance, it settles the controversial points in the treaty of 1667 which it replaces. The text stresses with great solemnity the desire of both parties to bury all past controversy and strife, to live side by side in peace and harmony and to concert their actions against the foes of Christendom. It confirms and modifies to Russia's advantage the territorial settlement arrived at in 1667: Russia receives the city and territory of Smolensk, the former Duchy of Chernigov-Seversk, its towns and surrounding districts, the left-bank Ukraine and, on the right bank, Kiev with the large triangle of land formed by the Dnieper, the Irpen' and the Stugna. The Zaporozhe is handed over to Russia. The riparian area on the Right Bank between the Stugna and the Tiasmin, devastated in the recent hostilities and including Chigirin, is to remain uninhabited until the parties can come to an agreement as to its future. Moved by the desire 'to set free from bondage the Christian people groaning under the infidel yoke and to establish the reign of the true faith in the hallowed shrines of Christendom', and provoked by the disloyal conduct of the sultan and the khan the parties enter into a permanent defensive alliance against the Turks and Tatars and into an offensive one for the duration of the war. In the current year the tsar's armies will prevent the Tatars from crossing the Dnieper into Poland; in the following year they will invade the Crimea while the king of Poland attacks the Turks and the Tatars of Bucak so as to prevent their conjunction with the Crimean Tatars. In the event of an enemy attack on Kiev, Poland, and in the event of an attack on Lvov, Russia, will retaliate by means of a diversion. The parties will consult one another in the matter of peace negotiations and pursue the aims agreed upon in the treaty. The king of Poland shall uphold all the ancient religious rights and liberties of Russian Orthodox dioceses, parishes, communities and individuals, lay and ecclesiastical, and prevent their being molested in any way or compelled to adopt the Roman Catholic religion or the Uniate rite. Conversely, Roman Catholics in Russia living in the territories ceded by Poland and elsewhere will likewise not be allowed to suffer any ill treatment or discrimination and will be free to practise their religion in their homes. The Russian demand for the confirmation of the treaty as a whole by the Sejm and for its incorporation in the statutes was significantly attached to this, the ninth, article. The ex gratia payment of 140,000 roubles to be made by Russia to the Republic was intended to provide for the compensation of Polish landowners in the areas acquired by Russia. Subject to the payment of customs duties provision was made for the unhindered travel of merchants (with the exception of Jews) from one country to another and for free commercial navigation on the Dvina between Velizh and Riga. The preamble records the precise style of each monarch. The treaty makes no reference to the prisoners of war, the guns and the church plate and vestments captured in the wars of 1654-56 and 1660-64. By implication, and despite the undertaking given in the earlier treaty, Russia was allowed to retain them all.

As soon as the Polish envoys had signed the treaty and withdrawn, the boyars congratulated the tsars on the successful conclusion of the negotiations and the tsars showed their grace and favour to the members of the duma by assigning to their patrimonial estates one fifth of the land hitherto held by them in fee, and making them gifts of money ranging from 100 to 50 roubles. All other categories of men of service (sluzhilye liudi) remunerated with land and salaries were likewise granted one fifth of their feudal land in perpetuity and sums of money from 25 to 3 roubles according to their rank. In view of the fact that awards for service in the Polish wars had already been distributed in 1667, this new bounty must be regarded primarily as an incentive to new sacrifices. The men who had negotiated the treaty later received additional rewards: Golitsyn a gold cup weighing two and a half pounds, a silk-satin caftan worked with gold and lined with sables worth 400 roubles, an increment of 250 roubles in his annual salary and some land from an estate previously owned by two members of the Miloslavskii family; Boris P. Sheremetev and Ivan V. Buturlin each a silver gilt goblet weighing five pounds , a caftan worth 250 roubles, an increment of 150 roubles and 4000 rix-dollars for the purchase of an estate, Ivan I. Chaadaev a silver gilt cup weighing three pounds, a silk-satin caftan lined with sables worth 150 roubles, an increment of 250 roubles and 3000 rix-dollars with which to buy an estate. Their junior colleagues received similar gifts appropriate to their rank. Ukraintsev was singled out in being mentioned by name and receiving a silver gilt goblet weighing three pounds, a caftan worth 120 roubles, an increment of 80 roubles and 2000 rix-dollars for an estate.

Sophia's generosity was fully justified; her statement that the peace with Poland was more glorious and more profitable than anything her ancestors had known was no vain boast. Russia's acquisitions on the Dnieper had been confirmed and Poland, the traditional enemy, pacified and turned into an ally. This, together with the confirmation of the 1661 peace treaty with Sweden two years previously gave Russia peace and a high average degree of security along the whole of her western frontier. In Poland the treaty had no chance of being acclaimed. The only gain it brought the Republic were the valuable presents that in accordance with custom the plenipotentiaries had received from their hosts: 1250 ducats and 160 sable pelts for each senator, 10,000 zlotys and 120 sable pelts for the rest. During the talks held in 1669-70 which led to the confirmation of the settlement of 1667 generous gifts of money and sable pelts had been offered to the Polish plenipotentiaries in the event of a favourable outcome of the negotiations but it is not clear whether these gifts, a hair's breadth removed form bribery, were ever made.

To charge Grzymułtowski, by whose name the treaty of 1686 is known in Poland, with recklessness is an inappropriate accusation to level against a man who was fully conscious of the importance of his actions. He cites the following unexceptionable reasons for his and his fellow commissioners' decision to accept the Russian terms: the king's warning with regard to the general political setting, the result of Wielopolski's negotiations in Paris and Berlin (favouring a settlement with Russia), the presence in Moscow of the Tatar envoy and the possibility of an anti-Polish alliance between the tsars and the khan, the threat (made during the latter part of the negotiations) not to restore the Zasozhe to Poland which Grzymułtowski took to be an unmistakable sign of Russia's intention to turn against the Republic if agreement were not reached, the indisputable value of a Russian military diversion and the conviction that the treaty did not prevent peace being made with the Turks though admittedly with Russian participation. But he makes no reference in this context to the differences between the Polish and the Lithuanian delegates and to the probable effect of the Lithuanian attitude on the course of a Russo-Polish war, nor does he confess to having allowed himself to be outwitted by the Russians. In Grzymułtowski's view, peace with Russia was dictated by the war with Turkey on whose success Sobieski was banking at a time when it would have been wiser to wait on events. But Sobieski could not afford to wait, it was he who since 1683 had pressed for an alliance with Russia and had accepted the price in advance. He was soon to discover, as the Poles did in 1943- 44, that his western allies cared little or nothing about his country's territorial losses in the east whilst taking for granted the Republic's participation in the war against the common enemy.

The peace of 1686 was just as much Sobieski's as it was Grzymułtowski's. But Sobieski was not his own master. The very considerable subsidies which he received from Rome - 900.000 florins between 1684 and 1686 - were not given gratis. The quid pro quo was a permanent peace and alliance with Muscovy which, it was hoped in Rome, would serve the double purpose of opening a Black Sea front against the Ottomans and enabling the Poles to occupy on the Danube a piece of territory equivalent to that which they were ceding to Muscovy on the Dnieper. It would have taken a negotiator not only of greater experience in dealing with the Russians but a diplomat of genius, a Mazarin or a Talleyrand, to obtain better terms than Grzymułtowski did. The palatine of Poznan has also been censured alongside of Sobieski for signing away, without a shot being fired, the most important frontier places and nullifying many victories for which the nation had paid with its blood. But the battle had been lost and most of the concessions had been made twenty years earlier and the only choice left was that between acceptance or non-acceptance of the existent state of affairs.

The frontier as traced in 1667 and adjusted in 1678 and 1686 was to last until the first partition, longer than any previous frontier between Russia and Poland-Lithuania. The territory of the Republic was reduced by 29 per cent, from 703,487 to 495,106 square kilometres. The length of the Republic's frontier lying beyond the main rivers and therefore strategically advantageous, now fell from 70 to 37 per cent, while the length of the frontier on the nearside of such rivers, a strategic liability, rose from 30 to 63 per cent. Even though the two countries did not fight a full- scale war until 1792, twenty years after the frontier had changed as a result of the first partition, Poland-Lithuania did become more exposed to armed intervention by Russia at critical times. Muscovy had crossed the western edge of the Heartland. The Dnieper was a natural boundary and would have been a secure one but for Muscovy's possession of Kiev. Judged as an ethnical frontier it was unnatural inasmuch as it cut the Ukraine in two, thus precluding the resurgence of another Khmel'nyts'kyi, something which both parties now considered contrary to their respective interests. The importance that the government in Moscow attached to the treaties concluded with Poland in 1667 and 1686 may be gauged from some of the details in the portraits of the two principal Russian negotiators. Ordyn-Nashchokin is shown pointing at the text of the first treaty, Golitsyn's right hand clasps a volume containing the second. Both documents are misdated, 1669 and 1684 respectively, but the propagandist purpose of the pictures is unminstakable.

In two respects Grzymułtowski and his colleagues did less than their best in adverse circumstances. Article seven postponed indefinitely the resolution of Muscovy's claim to the strip of territory along the right bank of the Dnieper between Staiki and the river Tiasmin where the ruined forts and settlements were to be left uninhabited. Article nine which dealt with the rights of the Orthodox community in Poland-Lithuania likewise gave a handle to an acquisitive and troublesome neighbour. That safeguards should have been sought on behalf of the Orthodox by Russia is understandable in view of the coercive methods of the Uniate bishops and the support that they received from the Crown and from the Sejm. That of 1676 had, on grounds of security, forbidden persons of the Orthodox faith to travel to Constantinople 'on the pretext of their religion', thereby in the long run driving them into the fold of the Patriarch of Muscow. Considering that since the autumn of 1685 the de facto head of the Orthodox community in Poland was the metropolitan of Kiev, resident in Russia and a subject of the tsar, accountable both to him and to the Patriarch of Moscow, the plenipotentiaries undertaking to inscribe article nine in the Volumina Legum by Act of Parliament shows an unpardonable lack of foresight or utter defeatism. Without having given any equivalent guarantees to the Roman Catholics in Russia, the tsar was in a position when it suited him to do so from any motive whatsoever, to act as protector of the Orthodox community across the border. The argument is not a retrospective one, framed to fit subsequent events; they had been foreseen long before they occurred by men of greater perspicacity than Grzymułtowski and by Ogiński himself. It will be recalled that in 1670 he had stated plainly that he knew Alekseii Mikhailovich's motives in wanting to keep Kiev: it was in order to assume the part of defender of the Orthodox faith in the Republic and to interfere in its government and institutions. In 1680, when Russia had tried to base her protest against the treatment of the Orthodox population on article three of the treaty of 1667, Sobieski rejected it as a piece of unwarrantable interference in Poland's domestic affairs and in 1699 the Turks were to reject an analogous Russian proposal concerning the Christian population under Ottoman rule on the grounds that it was improper for the ruler of one country to usurp the prerogatives of the ruler of another. By their handling of the religious issue, Grzymułtowski and his colleagues contributed to a further weakening of the Republic's sovereignty.

In July 1686 Sobieski issued letters universal calling on those concerned to observe all the ancient rights and liberties of the Republic's Orthodox inhabitants and to protect them from injury, oppression or violence for the sake of peace and friendship with Russia and the success of the war against the Turks. The proclamation as such had no legal validity and was no more than an attempt to give effect to the Act of Parliament of 1667. Its practical consequences were negligible since a single royal proclamation was hardly likely to re-establish toleration in Poland, but the gesture does credit to Sobieski's irenic inclinations which had prompted him in 1680 to bring together the Catholic and Orthodox bishops with a view to achieving a reconciliation between the two Churches. These efforts came to nothing and in the end Sobieski fell in with the wishes of his intimate counsellors, lay and secular, no doubt shared by Catholic opinion at large, to give the fullest possible extension to the Union. This meant a ruthless campaign of forced conversions of Orthodox parishioners in the wake of the apostasy of their bishops and the stripping of Orthodox churches and monasteries of their property. Unlike Sobieski, the papal nuncio extraordinary in Poland, Giacomo Cantelmo, did not perceive any connection between the treatment of the Orthodox and the prospects of the Turkish war, being capable of pressing for closer liaison with the Russians one week and denouncing the presence of schismatics in Poland as a scandal and a calamity in the next. In issuing his proclamation, Sobieski may also have been actuated by another consideration: the wish to show himself and the Republic in a favourable light to the Orthodox population of Moldavia where he was hoping to establish his suzerainty. The Moldavian campaign, however, proved a failure and did not therefore make up for the loss of the eastern territories. After much recrimination, hesitation and debate, in December 1686, the senate approved and Sobieski with his oath confirmed the Russo-Polish treaty in the presence of the Russian envoys sent to Lvov for the purpose. Manly tears and the words 'we are in the grip of necessity, the Muscovite has chosen his moment well' were his comment.

For the Russians the treaty had become law but the king and his advisers still saw a possibility of evasion. Sensing that the treaty would not have an easy passage in the Sejm they decided to avoid the issue: the question of ratification would not arise because the Sejm which was due to meet again in 1687 would simply not be summoned. The king was acting unconstitutionally, and what is more, cutting himself off from the principal and only legitimate supply of money for the war. In consequence the need of papal subsidies grew greater and Sobieski's freedom of diplomatic manoeuvre more restriced than ever. Sobieski's general plan was to enter Moldavia with a Polish army assisted by the Imperialists and to install there a friendly hospodar, preferably his own son James, thereby cutting off the Turks in Kamenets and blocking one of the routes used by the Tatars to invade south-eastern Poland. But as it turned out in 1686, 1690 and 1691, Sobieski was unable to gather together enough money and men or to obtain the cooperation of his allies to bring this ambitious design to fruition. By May 1689 he was 'losing hope of making the smallest territorial conquest to make up in some part for the catastrophic loss of so many provinces sacrificed to the Muscovites to make them join the Holy League'. But early in 1687 there were still grounds for optimism. If the Russians discharged their military obligations and Sobieski succeeded in making good use of the Russian diversion, the territorial losses could yet be recouped and Poland's continuing membership of the Holy Leage justified. In the Balkans the treaty redounded to the credit of Muscovy. In 1688 the archbishop of Serbia, Arsenje, in requesting the tsars to take up arms against the Turks referred to Moscow as the New Rome.

During the recent negotiations with the Poles, before it was finally agreed that the Russians should invade the Crimea, Golitsyn himself had pointed to the difficulty of marching across a parched steppe, so vividly described by Naikowski, without local supplies of food, forage or water. In January, 1687 according to Patrick Gordon, the quartermaster-general designate, Golitsyn, 'the chieffe and almost only promoter of this war, and who is extreme ambitious' was waiting for an opportunity to 'break with the Tartars and not with the Turks'. The victories won by Austria and Venice perhaps also news of unrest in Turkey which was to culminate in the deposition of Mehmed IV later in the year, must finally have convinced Golitsyn that he could act without fear of retaliation by the Turks. In June the expedition under his command set out from a camp on the south side of Konskie Vody, marched across the blazing steppe to within 120 kilometres of Perekop and turned back having achieved nothing more than a demonstration of goodwill towards Poland and hostility towards the Tatars. The principal victim of this campaign was the left-bank hetman, Samoilovych. Gordon records that having been 'much averse to peace with the Polls and to this expedition (and) having by all means hindered and retarded our progress' he was imprisoned and 'one called Ivan Stepanovits Masepa... chosen hetman in his place, this man is better affected to the Christian interest, and we hope shall be more active and industrious in hindering the incursion of the Tartars into Polland and Hungary'... In 1688, however, Gordon reports that 'notwithstanding the pressing memorialls of the Polls Resident and the opinion and advice of some here we are not as yet resolved to go farther' while 'the Polls suffer great losses by the incursions of the Tartars and excursions from Camieniets all of which they impute to us, whereas their own secureness, incircumspection and disorder is most to be blamed'. So far the Empire had been deriving greater benefit from the Russo-Polish alliance than the Republic itself. In the summer of 1686 the Tatar khan, Selim Giray, had refused to take part in the Hungarian campaign merely on the pretext of protecting his own territory from the Poles and Muscovites but in September, 1688 it was considered certain that the Crimean Tatars had been tied down by the Russians since they had not joined those of Bucak who had sallied out against the Polish army. In July, perhaps in expectation of the imminent fall of Belgrade, Golitsyn was giving out in Moscow that 'with the first sledgeway' he would 'march from hence to be early in the field with numerous armies'.

Three years after his diplomatic victory over Grzymultowski, Golitsyn's position in Russia had again come close to that of Sobieski in Poland: he needed military success to triumph over his political opponents. In the spring of 1689 he asked Sobieski to attack the Tatars of Buçak while he himself advanced on Perekop but he had never accepted the original Polish proposal that the Russians should first take Ochakov so as to prevent the Yedisan Tatars from coming to the aid of those of the Crimea, and then attack the peninsula together with the Poles: 'it is not laid down anywhere that we should join hands and act in unison'. The literal conjunctio armorum was as far outside the bounds of practical politics in 1689 as it had been in the 1670s and the engraver's vision, depicted on the obverse of the commemorative medal struck in 1684, of Pole and Russian trampling on the crescent hand in hand was destined to remain an allegory. Golitsyn's expedition of 1689, more in the nature of a campaign than its predecessor, brought the Russians within sight of Perekop at the end of May but ended in an anti-climax of fruitless negotiations for a truce.

The Russian diversion had no effect on the Austrian campaign in Serbia which did not start until July. In August the Turkish commander was able to send the son of the khan across the Morava with 12,000 Tatar horse 'sine quibus Turca est quasi avis sine alis'. The Poles, contrary to their avowed intentions, did not attack Bucak and Cantelmo had some difficulty in accounting for this to the Russian envoy: the grass on the way to Bucak appeared rather later than elsewhere and besides the king's authority was not absolute like that of the tsars. His private opinion he had communicated earlier to the Secretary of State: 'the army apart from being discredited is lacking in veteran soldiers and experienced leaders, most of whom have died; the king is aging and sinking into inertia. It is unlikely that he will want to take the field again although he will go on pretending...'

In Russia the failure of the Crimean campaign sealed the fate of Sophia and of Golitsyn whose downfall resembles that of Ordyn-Nashchokin and Matveev, the only two other men to have been honoured with the title of 'Custodian of the Tsar's Great Seal and Foreign Affairs of State'. In July the Polish envoy was reporting the boyars' indignation and Tsar Peter's anger at Golitsyn; by mid-September the relatives of Peter's mother and their supporters had relegated the Regent to a nunnery and impeached her favourite. He was stripped of his rank and possessions and exiled to the far North for mishandling the Crimean expedition but his conduct of foreign affairs based on peace with Poland and participation in the anti-Ottoman alliance was not criticized and eventually served as a starting point for the foreign policy of Tsar Peter whose rule was about to begin.

The eclipse of Sophia and Golitsyn in September, the death in August of Pope Innocent XI, the moving spirit of the Holy League, and the outbreak of the war of the League of Augusburg in April, resulting before long in a slackening of the effort against Turkey, bring to an end the period ushered in by the papal election of 1676. During these thirteen years under the auspices of the papacy, Poland made peace with Russia and, ceasing to be a barrier, became a bridge between her eastern neighbour and the West. Through the Russo-Polish alliance, Russia for the first time entered a European coalition at the very moment when the Eastern Question was being tentatively posed, with the specific intention of having a share in the liquidation of the European possessions of the Ottoman empire.

In the decade between the conclusion of the treaty of 1686 and the death of Sobieski the relations between Poland-Lithuania and Muscovy remained tense and were laden with mutual distrust. The religious issue remained highly contentious. On one occasion, in 1695, the Muscovite resident complained that Orthodox subjects of the Republic were being compelled to abandon their religion for the Uniate rite. The Polish senators gave the casuistical reply that belief being a matter of free will, no one could be compelled to change it. One Russian official (I.A.?) Golovin, the voevoda (governor) of Smolensk, followed a policy of retaliation and had many members of the erstwhile szlachta under his jurisdiction enslaved and forcibly re-baptised by Orthodox rites. The religious part of this proceeding was, to say the least, unnecessary, the secular - unlawful. In 1694 the victims sent a supplication to the tsar. Tsar Peter arrived on the scene unexpectedly, had Golovin knouted and dismissed him on the spot. A similar case was that of a Jesuit, formerly a member of the Eastern Church, who returned to Smolensk to visit his father, a priest, only to find himself forced to return the Orthodox fold and be ordained. Not only the Poles, therefore, but the Muscovites (in this part of the world) regarded religious conversion as the best means of absorbing an alien national group. The Russians had no intention of tolerating Roman Catholicism in Smolensk. The house which Marcjan Oginski, one of the architects of the treaty of 1686, had bought with a view to turning it into a Catholic church was confiscated by the authorities. As late as 1728 the Russian authorities were still concerned at the survival of Roman Catholicism among the szlachta in the region of Smolensk.

Discouraged by his failure to achieve any decisive success in Moldavia or to recover Kamenets and tempted by the Tatars to make peace with the Turks and turn against the Muscovites, Sobieski wavered in his loyalty to the League. The Russians, after the fall of Sophia Alekseevna and Golitsyn, took no action against the Ottomans and caused the Poles to suspect them of hostile intentions. But once the young tsar, Peter, had established his authority and begun to rule not only in name but in person, action against the Turks was resumed and this time followed a more practical plan. After a first and unsuccessful attempt in 1695, the Russians, having overcome the arid barrier of the steppe by the use of the waterway of the Don, captured the fortress of Azov in 1696, thus showing themselves to be masters of the southern approaches to the Heartland. The Imperialists were quick to grasp the significance of this event and, early in 1697, made a direct alliance with Muscovy against the Turks. Under the general pacification which took place at Karlowitz (Karlovci) two years later the Emperor retained Transylvania and Hungary without the Banat of Temesvar, Venice the Morea, Santa Maura (Leukas) and Albania. Poland, the only ally to obtain no more than the status quo ante bellum, withdrew her remaining troops from Moldavia and regained Podolia with Kamenets and the right-bank Ukraine. But the undertaking given by the Turks to keep the Tatars in check at last put an end to the predatory raids which had plagued Poland-Lithuania intermittently since the end of the Middle Ages and had increased in intensity during the recent war. The Tatars raided south-eastern Poland once more in April 1699 as if in protest against the terms of the new treaty but were not to do so again. Desirable though it was, security from invasion on the side of the southern steppes and the recovery of the right-bank Ukraine must have seemed but a modest recompense for the Republic's and Sobieski's participation in the Holy League. In view of the growing power of Russia, the Republic and the Ottoman Empire now had every reason to keep on good terms with one another. The peace between the Republic and Turkey was complemented by a treaty of peace and friendship with the khan of the Crimean Tatars concluded at Bakhchisarai on 13 September 1700.

The effectiveness of the Russo-Polish alliance had once again to be put to the test in the negotiations at Karlowitz. Their course did not augur well for a common Russo-Polish front against Turkey. At the beginning the Muscovite representative Prokopii I. Voznitsyn agreed with his Polish counterpart Stanislas Malachowski (ca. 1659-1699) that, in accordance with the terms of the treaty of 1686, the two would act in concert. But the Russian broke the compact almost immediately and, setting out in pursuit of his own aims, claimed precedence over the Pole. A protracted dispute developed, reminiscent of similar wrangles recorded earlier in the century and gave Malachowski the opportunity of telling Voznitsyn that his master did not understand ius gentium or honores Maiestatici. But having failed to obtain the backing of the Imperialists or of the Venetians he could only complain of Voznitsyn's malevolent arrogance and was unable to prevent him from signing only a truce for two years with the Ottomans, without any regard for Polish or, for that matter, Imperial or Venetian interests. It took the Russians another year to prevail on the Ottomans formally to part with Azov. Russia's consolidation of her newly won position on the Dnieper is all the more noteworthy for having been achieved in a period of internal ferment and transition, for the history of Muscovy in the seventeenth century was no less turbulent than that of Poland-Lithuania. The urban riots of the late 1640s and early 1650s were followed by the schism in the Church in 1656, commotion in Moscow in 1662 and the uprising of Cossacks and peasants led by Stepan Razin (1670-71). After a lull, in 1682, came the palace revolution and the revolt of the strel'tsy (musketeers) which brought Sophia Alekseevna to power as regent and seven years later Tsar Peter's coup d'etat which toppled her, most of the musketeers having changed sides. But whereas Poland-Lithuania elected monarchs of uneven quality whom the szlachta never allowed to found a dynasty for fear that this might lead to the establishment of absolutism, in Muscovy the Romanovs (who had emerged out of the movement of resistance to the Polish intruders during the Time of the Troubles) succeeded in turning nearly every crisis to the advantage of the institution of tsarism and the most powerful body of its supporters, the dvoriane, the men of service of the middle rank. In quelling social unrest the tsars adroitly made concessions to those sections of the population which were most likely to pay for them with their support: the dvoriane, the upper strata of the townspeople and the strel'tsy, although the latter were fickle in their loyalty. Together they imposed their supremacy on the Church and the lower orders of society - the petty townspeople and the peasants. The Razin rebellion may have rocked Muscovy but in the end the Don Cossacks, like those of Ukraine before them, swore allegiance to the tsar.

In Poland the relief of Vienna by Sobieski in 1683 had marked the peak of the Republic's political and military achievement between two periods of decline, the second of these definitive. In 1686 the Republic was still capable of mustering 36,000 men for Sobieski's first Moldavian expedition, in 1691 for the second and last, it could afford only 20,000. National sovereignty was impaired, the supremacy of the gentry was degenerating further into anarchy and republican politics were turning to demagogy. 'The need for peace has grown more urgent with increasing dissension, liberty turning to anarchy, scandalous venality, the constant breaking up of diets and dietines from private ill-will or for the benefit of sectional interests. Military discipline has almost entirely collapsed as is the case when owing to public penury, the army cannot be paid punctually and in full.' The writer is Father Vota who had done so much to bring about the Russo-Polish alliance and to make it effective. Seen against this background the boastful optimism of Wespazjan Kochowski's Psalmodia, written in 1693, looks wholly out of place. In his adaptation of Psalm 3 ('Lord, thou hast smitten all mine enemies...') the poet asks: 'Where now is the Ukraine which used to send into battle a hundred thousand warriors and now cannot muster a mere hundred?'. Even if this was now the case, it meant only that the Ukraine had been brought to ruin. The adaptation of Psalm 90 ('Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations...') expresses the poet's faith in divine protection over the Crown of Poland at all times but especially during the Turkish war and his hatred of the Eastern Church: 'Let it (Poland) walk over the schismatic serpent which has poison under its tongue and crush the Oriental basilisk.'

Here there was indeed cause for rejoicing. A victory as great as that which the king and the Church had won over the external foes of Christendom was the internal one in the war which the Church in alliance with the Crown (except for the reign of Ladislas IV) had waged since the end of the sixteenth century on two fronts, against the Protestants and the Orthodox. A large proportion of the Orthodox community had been led into the enemy camp by their generals, the bishops. The semblance of religious unity thus achieved reinforced the sense of a national and cultural identity common to the szlachta of the Korona (Poland proper), Lithuania and Ruthenia. This lapse into denominational exclusiveness brought the Republic into the company of those countries where intolerance was the rule - Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and Italy in the Catholic orbit and England, Scotland and Scandinavia in the Protestant.

The death in 1663 of the metropolitan of Kiev, Dionisii (Balaban) had sparked off a contest for the Orthodox episcopal sees in the south-east and their benefices between sundry claimants, some of whom lacked either proper canonical credentials or the support of the laity. At the turn of the century three bishops officially joined the Uniate Church: in 1692 Innokentii (Vynnyts'kyi) of Przemysl, a crypto-Uniate since 1679, in 1700 Iosif (Shumlians'kyi) of Lvov, a crypto-Uniate since 1677 and an open convert since 1681, in 1702 Donisii (Zhabokryts'kyi) of Lutsk, thus putting an end to a crisis within the hierarchy comparable in its severity to that which had preceded the Union of Brest. Only one Orthodox bishop remained in the entire Republic, Serapion (Polkhovs'kyi), of White Russia who was consecrated by the metropolitan of Kiev in 1698. But in addition, in the Uniate dioceses of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania many monasteries and parishes remained Orthodox, as did some monasteries on the south-eastern portions of the palatinates of Kiev and Bratslav whilst the conversion of many of the parishes there was protracted and often only ostensible.

The fortunes of the Protestant community had continued to decline, especially in the Kingdom of Poland, in the midst of a hostile environment dominated by a Roman Catholic clergy dedicated to the extirpation of heresy. A charge of Arianism, interpreted in the broadest terms under the Act of 1658, was found to be a handy weapon for offensive or defensive use in relation to Protestant individuals as well as congregations. In the countryside these had no economic or legal foundations other than their ancient status and the protection of their ecclesiastical patrons. By means of this contrivance an intention could be presented as an act and a civil action could be turned into criminal proceedings. When such sophistry became too flagrant even in the eyes of the Catholic majority, a new Act, passed in 1685, forbade the placing on the regestrum Arianismi of cases unconnected with religion but also extended its scope to cover all criminal acts that were so connected. Even so, the purpose of the Act was not to persecute the Protestants or their religion but to protect the Roman Catholic Church whose welfare was now identified by its faithful with the national interest. The only new strictly anti-Protestant law was that of 1668 forbidding apostasy inasmuch as it was used to prevent the entry into congregations of children of mixed marriages or punish acts which might be construed as incitement to apostasy. In matters relating to the actual practice of religion, the judgment of the tribunals (or courts of appeal) which constituted binding precedents tended to refer Protestant individuals, ministers and congregations to the jurisdiction of the Church of Rome. These various decisions of Parliament and of the courts gradually 'caused the Protestant congregations to cease to act as one of the motors of religious life in the Republic of the szlachta'. Isolated from the rest of the country in body and spirit they could draw strength only from abroad and this eventually made them a factor in international politics.

Ukraine was divided but not pacified; many of the right-bank Cossacks migrated to the Left Bank but those who stayed behind were still a military and political factor to be reckoned with. The cause for which so many hetmans had fought - 'not Polish honours and dignities which have deceived many but (for) our own and our forbears' fatherland, our precious Ukraine, (for) freedom, the Orthodox Catholic faith and God's churches' - that cause was not yet lost but the roll of honour (and dishonour) of these freedom fighters makes melancholy reading.

Ivan Briukhovets'kyi (d.1668), left-bank hetman from 1663 to 1668 was set upon by an angry mob of Cossacks and put to death for his alleged complicity with the Poles. Petro Doroshenko (1627-1698), right-bank hetman from 1665 to 1676, having at first supported Vyhovs'kyi, accepted Turkish protection in 1669 but in 1676, after being forced to surrender to the Russians, was banished by them and appointed governor of Viatka. He died near Moscow. Mykhailo Khanenko (dates unknown), right-bank hetman and rival of Doroshenko between 1670 and 1674, surrendered to Samoilovych in that year, was rewarded by Muscovy for his loyalty and withdrew from public life. Iurii Khmel'nyts'kyi (ca 1641-1685) was hetman of the Ukraine, elective from 1659 to 1663 and self-proclaimed from 1678 to 1681 Henceforth he was a puppet of the Turks who recognised him again in 1685 but soon afterwards put him to death. Dem'ian Mnohohrishnyi (dates unknown), was left-bank hetman from 1668 to 1672 when he was accused of secret intelligence with Doroshenko and banished to Irkutsk. Set free in 1688, he entered a monastery in 1696 and was last heard of in 1701. Stepan Opara (dates unknown) proclaimed himself hetman on the Right Bank in 1665. In league with the Tatars, he was driven out by an outburst of popular anger, fled to the Crimea, was extradited to Doroshenko and by him to the Poles, imprisoned in the fortress of Malbork (Marienburg) and not heard of after 1665. Ivan Samoilovych (d. 1690) was left-bank hetman from 1672 to 1687. He objected to the settlement of 1686 because it prevented the unification of the Right Bank with the Left Bank and the Zaporozhe under the rule of the tsars. Although (from obscure motives) he had advised against the Crimean expedition of 1687, he took part in it at the head of a large contingent of Cossacks and was blamed for its failure. After being dismissed from his post at the request of senior Cossack officers, he was arrested and banished to Siberia where he died. Ivan Sirko (d. 1680), hetman of the Zaporozhian Sich from 1663, fought in the wars of 1648-54 and 1658-60 on the side of Muscovy, supported Doroshenko before breaking with him in 1670, opposed the election of Samoilovych and was banished to Tobolsk but returned to the Zaporozh'e whence he led a number of raids into the Crimea before dying a natural death. Iakym Somko (d. 1663) was left-bank hetman by appointment form 1660 to 1663. The Russians suspected him of separatist tendencies, refused to confirm him in office and handed him over to Briukhovets'kyi who had him executed on a charge of intelligence with Teteria and the Polish authorities. Pavlo Teteria (Morzhkovs'kyi, dates unknown) after the death of Bohdan Khmel'nyts'kyi opposed the unification of the Ukraine with Muscovy and took part in the preparation of the treaty of Gadiach of 1659. In 1663 he declared himself hetman of the Right Bank, took part in the Polish expedition to Left Bank in 1664 and fled to Poland from the wrath of the populace. Tymofei Tsitsiura (Cieciura) (d. after 1669), left-bank hetman by appointment in 1659-60, for a while supported Vyhovs'kyi but in 1659 abandoned him and led the movement against him, causing his resignation. Tsitsiura helped the Russians to plan the campaign which led to the battle of Chudnov in 1660 but changed sides and was pardoned by King John Casimir, took part in a raid on the Left Bank, was taken prisoner by the Russians, banished to Siberia and was last heard of in Tomsk in 1669. Ivan Vyhovs'kyi (d. 1664), hetman of the Ukraine from 1657 to 1659 negotiated the treaty of Gadiach with the Republic in 1658-59, later entered into negotiations with Turkey. Faced with a fierce reaction of the population he fled to Poland and was there appointed palatine of Kiev. In 1664 he was accused of treason by Teteria and shot by the Poles. Ivan Zolotarenko (d. 1655), hetman by appointment of the Cossack force which took part in the Muscovite operation in White Russia in 1654-55 was fatally wounded at the siege of Staryi Bykhov.

Left-bank Ukraine, known as the 'hetmanate' (Ukr. get'manshchina), formed a semi-autonomous part of the Muscovite state but the union between Great and Little Russia was not secure. The ever present fear of a Cossack secession made it necessary for the two parties to declare in the regulatory articles of 1659 that conspiracy aimed at detaching Ukraine from Muscovy would be punished by death. The left-bank Cossacks had their own military government. At its head stood the hetman, nominally elected by the general military assembly but in reality appointed or confirmed in his office by the tsar. The Cossack army was divided into ten territorial regiments, each one under the command of a colonel. The hetman resided at Baturin, his authority was severely circumscribed. He was bound to put Cossack regiments at the disposal of the tsar when required to do so but the Cossacks were not allowed to engage in military activities without permission from Moscow. Moreover the hetmanate was covered by a network of Russian garrisons. The Russian military commanders (Voevody) were charged also with administrative and fiscal duties. The functioning of the Russian rule was directed from Moscow by a special government department, that of Little Russian Affairs (Malorossiiskii prikaz), established in 1663.

Between 1685 and 1699 the series of measures taken by the Republic with regard to the Cossacks in the southern portion of the right bank of the Dnieper described a full circle. Having begun in the reign of Sobieski with the permission granted to the Cossacks to settle yet again in the devastated areas to the south of the river Ros, it ended with the abolition, under Augustus II, of the entire Cossacks militia.

In the wars with the Turks and Tatars Sobieski had found the Cossacks indispensable both as a sword and as a shield. Whether recently constituted and free lance or of longer standing and answerable to the king, the Cossack regiments intercepted Tatar raiding parties making for south-eastern Poland or deterred the invaders and assisted the Holy League by carrying out forays into their home ground, the Bucak. In secret Sobieski also regarded the Cossacks as potential auxiliaries in a war with Muscovy for the recovery of the left-bank Ukraine, should a breakdown in the military cooperation with the Russians justify such a change of front. But the resumption of colonization threw the Right Bank into a state of constant and increasing unrest. Semen Palii (or Fire-raiser, ca. 1640-1710), the commander of a recently formed Cossack regiment operating from Chwastow, (or Fastov, a locality close to the western tip of the triangular piece of territory under Russian rule on the Right Bank), did not recognize the authority of the hetman appointed by the king and showed every sign of wanting to quarter his men permanently on land owned by the szlachta and to unite with the left-bank Cossacks in a single autonomous community. The absence in so remote a part of the country of anything resembling an effective administrative machine allowed Palii and his men to exercise their own jurisdiction by intervening in private disputes among the szlachta and to lay their estates under arbitrary contribution. The szlachta complained of being expropriated and evicted, of their stewards being beaten to death, of Palii not only usurping authority over their property but claiming suzerainty over an area stretching as far as the (southern) river Sluch, and of boasting of enjoying the protection of a foreign potentate - the tsar. All that a war-weary Republic could do to remedy this state of affairs was to legislate the Cossacks out of existence on the grounds that upon the conclusion of the peace with Turkey their services were no longer required. But the decision of the Sejm of 1699 to abolish and disband the Cossack regiments, so far from burying the Cossack question and laying the ghost of Kmel'nyts'kyi led to the outbreak in 1702 of a full blown popular uprising under the leadership of Palii.

Although it is true that the first large-scale influx of western European learning and literature into Russia originated in Poland and, under Polish influence, in Ukraine, this is no reason for presuming that the Republic's loss of territory and population and its decline as a great power was counterbalanced by some kind of conquest of Muscovy by Polish culture. Dozens of works in Polish (many of them themselves translations from western languages, including Latin) on subjects as diverse as cosmography, geography, history, politics, economics, philosophy, religion and rhetoric were translated into Russian and read in manuscript. These works as well as literary productions such as novellae, romances of adventure and chivalry satisfied the growing appetite for information and fiction of a heterogeneous reading public scattered throughout the court, government circles, the monasteries and the houses of the great. Religious books published in Slavonic or Ruthenian in the Ukraine form a separate category. The principal source of national self-knowledge in Russia at this time were two Polish chronicles whose standing could be compared to that of historical textbooks. These were the Kronika polska, litewska, żmudzka i wszystkiéj Rusi... (Konigsberg, 1582) by Maciej Stryjkowski and the Kronika Sarmacji europejskiej (Cracow, 1611) by Aleksander Gwagino (Guagino), originally Sarmatiae Europeae descriptio (1578), to which Stryjkowski may have contributed. In consequence of the influx of translations and probably also of the comings and goings of individuals - diplomats, migrants, private tutors, learned monks from the Ukraine - the Russian language was enriched by some 850 Polish loan-words, 72 per cent of them borrowed in the second half of the seventeenth century.

But this Polonomania - it extended also to dress and objects of everyday use - was, unlike the influence of the westward-looking Kiev Academy on the education of the Russian clergy, only a fashion, a passing phase. Such rays of intellectual light as penetrated the Muscovite gloom were emitted by a fading star: Poland- Lithuania was entering on a period of decline in literature and learning that was to be even steeper than her downward slide as a great power. Moreover, from the 1660s French literary culture was thrusting itself forward at court and among the magnates. In Russia, in the reign of the progressively and practically minded Tsar Peter which was about to begin after the overthrow of the regime of the Tsarevna Sophiia Alekseevna in 1689 by the Naryshkin faction, the humanistic and Catholic culture of the Polish baroque could be of only limited use. Polish was not the language, any more than Poland was the home, of trade, navigation, manufacturing, military technology or, and least of all, of the art of civil administration, the very branches of knowledge that aroused the curiosity of the young tsar. The search for these skills and their practitioners led him towards the manufacturing, trading and seafaring countries of western Europe. The szlachta of Poland-Lithuania meanwhile retained their sense of cultural superiority over Muscovy. They could still take pride in being better educated, enjoying a higher degree of personal freedom and possessing a literary language suited to the needs of writers, politicians and preachers. From these fairly modest heights they tended to look down on their seemingly benighted eastern neighbours. Such self-conceit was detrimental to political realism in causing the szlachta to underestimate the Muscovites as rivals in the contest for supremacy in eastern Europe.

No such clear-cut relationship existed between the Republic and East Prussia which had a Polish speaking population numbering between 360,000 and 400,000 heads. Here, in contrast to White Russia and the Ukraine, Polish culture was losing ground to Germanophile tendencies among the szlachta of Polish descent. The lax and indulgent political ways of the Republic still exercised a certain attraction over the gentry and townspeople and made them wish for a closer union with Poland but neither the Republic nor its kings were able or willing to offer them any solid advantages or protection from the increasingly despotic and exploitative regime of the Brandenburgers. Instead, the Poles let East Prussia slip out of their control so that in the course of the seventeenth century the province passed from the orbit of Poland into that of Brandenburg, its neighbour in the north-west.

It was a process that had begun much earlier. In 1525 the former grand master of the Teutonic Order, Albrecht Hohenzollern-Ansbach (1490-1568) was recognized as dux in Prussia and secular hereditary ruler by, and swore fealty to, King Sigismund I. In the same year Albrecht instituted the teaching of Martin Luther as the official religion in his duchy. In 1563 the Elector Joachim II, in anticipation of the extinction of the line of Ansbach, prevailed on King Sigismund Augustus to extend the right of succession in Prussia to the Electors of Brandenburg. The transfer was made in 1611 to John Sigismund who adopted Calvinism in 1613. In 1656 the treaties of Welawa and Bydgoszcz which ended the war between Frederick William, the Great Elector, and the Republic also granted sovereignty to the Elector in Ducal Prussia, replacing the former feudal relationship with a permanent and inviolate treaty of alliance between the Republic and the duke of Prussia. The Republic's loss of suzerainty over Ducal Prussia only two years after the loss of suzerainty over the Ukrainian Cossacks was surely no coincidence but a sign of the beginning of the Republic's retreat from the outlying territories which it had not fully absorbed, of a crumbling at the edges. The last oath of loyalty of the estates of Prussia to the king and the Republic as successors to the Electors of Brandenburg in the event of the extinction of their line was sworn in 1690. Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg, satisfied the ultimate dynastic ambition of his house by assuming the title of König in Preussen and donned the royal crown as Frederick I in Konigsberg in 1701. No objection was raised by the king (by that time Augustus II, 1697-1733) or the Republic, although Poland did not recognize the royal title of the Electors until 1764. In the contest for supremacy in northern Europe that was about to begin Brandenburg-Prussia as a monarchy was a stronger factor than it had been as a mere electorate. In the longer term it was not inconceivable that the gap which separated Brandenburg from East Prussia and gave Poland access to the Baltic might be closed under the pressure of the Drang nach Osten.

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