Balkan Reader: First-Hand Reports by Western Correspondents by Stephen Bonsal, Leon Dennen, Henry Pozzi

By Stephen Bonsal, Leon Dennen, Henry Pozzi

Western correspondents' and diplomats' studies from the Balkans over a hundred years.

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Extra resources for Balkan Reader: First-Hand Reports by Western Correspondents and Diplomats for over a Century

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It may not be true but, by those who knew the ambitious man best, it has always been believed that Stambouloff with his eyes open brought to the throne a young man whom he expected would remain unpopular and consequently but a puppet in his strong, masterful hands. It is true that Ferdinand always remained unpopular among his adopted people, but it is equally true that he soon showed an aptitude for Balkan diplomacy and that in many a tangled intrigue he bested his bullying Prime Minister. Ferdinand accepted the offered throne conditionally upon his being elected by the Grand Sobranje or extraordinary legislative assembly and upon the approval of the Powers.

I read the winged words which Gladstone addressed to the English Parliament and his clarion call to the slumbering churches as I followed in the path MacGahan had gone on his dangerous quest just thirteen years before. When he entered Batak the dogs were still gorging themselves with human flesh and the mountain village stank like a charnel-house. When I came the air was pure and sweet, the church where so many died was rebuilt, but before it stood a mound of skulls to remind the living of their martyred dead.

The editor of the Swoboda, the Stambouloff organ, initiated a newspaper crusade against me on this charge, but he overplayed his hand and a few of the open-minded publicists rallied to my support, in conversation at least, if not in their papers. The editor of the Swoboda even went to the extreme of saying that I was a Russian by birth and that the exceedingly bad Russian that I spoke was an elaborate and clumsy camouflage! While I became persona non grata at court later, under amusing circumstances which I shall relate, Prince Ferdinand at this time often asked me to the Palace and seemed to endure what were generally considered my “attacks” on his Prime Minister with fortitude, and at times I thought, with pleasure.

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