« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
THE VISIT TO VIENNA.
On the eleventh of August, the siege of the city commenced; and because our house was in the suburb of the upper town, I was compelled immediately to leave it to the enemy, and take refuge on the other side, in what is called the Water-town, where I found a friendly reception in the house of my friend Guly. This was a time of great anxiety and fear, during which, one dreadful piece of intelligence rapidly succeeded another; the days passed away in disturbance, and the nights without sleep, and in which we had all only one neighbour, which was death. O, if at that time I had been able to pray in a proper manner, how easily might every thing have been borne! During the seventy-six days of the siege, our distress and anxiety increased
every day. The news of the continued success of the enemy convinced us that nothing else but the capture of the city was to be expected.
At length, on the sixth of September, notwithstanding the desperate resistance made by the Turks, the city and fortifications were taken by storm, by the incredible bravery of the Christians; and in the heat of the affray, no quarter was given. As the Water-town, where we resided, was the furthest from the attack, we were obliged to continue so much the longer in mortal suspense. The vociferations of the victors, and the mournful shrieks of the wounded and the dying, approached nearer and nearer to us. I had made up my mind to die, and my only wish was, not to fall, as a slave, into the hands of the barbarians.
But that which I most feared, proved to be my lot. An officer of rank took me prisoner, seized me by the hand, and hurried me in great haste away with him. I passed through the crowd of men and horses, over the dead and the dying, through streams of blood, and in the midst of heartrending cries
on every side, to a state of slavery, at which I shuddered a thousand times more than at death itself. What horror and dismay then seized me, the reader may imagine. Sometimes I sought, when entering a crowd, to tear myself loose, and wished rather to be trodden underfoot by the horses, than to be a captive to Christians. But I was held firmly by the hand, and obliged to follow, whether I would or no, till almost entirely covered with the blood of others, I was at length brought, with great difficulty, into the enemy's camp.
I was therefore obliged to be a slave amongst a people whom I utterly detested, not merely because from childhood up, a hatred of the Christian religion had been implanted in me, but also because I was forced to hear and experience how those, who boasted of being Christians, lived as wickedly, and even more so, than the Turks, and defiled themselves with the most horrible vices. This could not possibly make any other impression upon me, and others of my nation, than that their religion was entirely false, and that they must be far from the fear of the true God. I afterwards became acquainted with Christians of a better kind, who taught me to think otherwise.
However, no choice was left me; I was compelled to follow whithersoever he whom God had given me as my lord and master chose to take me. When the Elector of Bavaria, after the conquest of Belgrade, hastened back to his own country with such rapidity that he reached Munich, his capital, on the 4th of October, his troops were obliged to follow him in all haste; and thus, the same autumn, I was conducted by my master, Lieutenant-colonel Burget, through Hungary and Austria, to Bavaria, and brought to the city of Landshut.
On the way, my master paid a visit to his brother in Vienna, the capital of Austria, called Beks by the Turks. This man was an imperial counsellor, and dwelt in St. Ann’s-street, not far from the Carinthiangate. My master was permitted to remain only three days in Vienna, which grieved him much, and me, if possible, still more ; for here I became acquainted, for the first time, with a Christian who deserved the name. He was an aged gentleman, who resided in the counsellor's house, and had frequently served in the capacity of secretary of legation. He always dined with us, and I already understood so much German as to be able to perceive from his conversation, that he was religiously inclined, since he gave God the glory of all that had happened to him in his life, and thanked him for his goodness. This was something quite new and strange to me, and I paid great attention, in order not to lose a word of what this good old man said. On one occasion, when news was brought, that the plague had broken out in several places on the Turkish frontiers, he related several things he had himself experienced, which left a deep impression upon all of us, of the dreadful violence of that disease. I will give it in his own words :