This alarmed him and he said sternly: "You must tell me exactly why you left Bosnia." "Because I am English," I said politely, "and it was time to come home." I pressed my passport upon him, which he had been too haughty to look at before. I enjoyed the episode immensely, and incidentally learnt how the official mind regarded Bosniaks.
This I supplemented by sitting in the cafe when the officers came back and hearing their curses. The men were dead-beat. The water supply had broken down, so had the food. The burning limestone karst had been too much for the men from the plains, and they broke down badly. Only the Croats and Bosniaks had stood the test. The manoeuvres were a failure.
The discharged twelve-pounder whistled about their heads and then fell far away in the midst of a bivouac where a number of worthy Bosniaks were cooking their suppers, scattering the hot ashes into their eyes, ricochetting thence very prettily into the pavilion of the Bostanji Bashi, two of whose windows it knocked out, thence bounding three or four times into the air, terrifying several recumbent groups in its passage, and trundling rapidly away over some level ground, till at last it rolled into the booth of a glass-maker, and there smashed to atoms an incalculable quantity of pottery.
In Istria there is a considerable admixture of German blood; on the rocks of Zara the Crusaders abandoned sick Frenchmen; whilst thither and to Spalato also came Ghibellines in exile. Franks, Croats, Bosniaks, Hungarians, Genoese, Neapolitans, and above all, Venetians have held sway over portions of the coast at different times.
All told, Hungary has nearly 11,000,000 Roman Catholic subjects, 2,000,000 Greek Uniats, and 3,000,000 Orthodox. In this connection it should be remembered that the Patriarchate of the Orthodox Serb Church has been fixed at Karlowitz, under Hungarian rule, for over two centuries. In Bosnia there are 434,000 Roman Catholic Croats, 825,000 Orthodox Serbs, and over 600,000 Bosniaks, or Moslem Serbs.
"In this sylvan paradise he was encountered by a pandour, who conducted him to the house of the Natchalnik, or governor of the province, a gaunt, greyheaded follower of Kara-George, who had been selected for this post from his courage and military experience, since the hostile neighbourhood of the Bosniaks, on the other side the Drina, between whom and the Servians a deadly religious and national hatred exists, rendered it necessary to be always on the alert."
The Bans did as they pleased and intrigued constantly with the Hungarians against the Serbs. The Bosniaks, too, became sharply divided from the Serbs by religion. Already in Justinian's time many of the Slavs near the Dalmatian coast had been converted to Christianity by priests from Rome, and much of the Herzegovina has ever since been Catholic.
These "Mouhadjirs" are reckoned, from first to last, at three-quarters of a million, drawn from the most diverse stocks Bosniaks and Pomaks and Albanians, Algerines and Tripolitans, Tchetchens and Circassians. Numbers have been planted recently on the lands of dispossessed Armenians and Greeks.
There are also many French, Hungarians, Bosniaks, Herzegovinians, Germans, Swiss, and gypsies, the Slav majority increasing towards the south. In Istria the present inhabitants may be divided into Italians, Roumanians, and Slavs: to the last division belong the Morlacchi, the Tschitsches, Slovens, and Croats.
The plague of 1456 depopulated it, and all the richer people fled except the bishop, Johannes Scaffa, and five canons. In 1463 Bosniaks flying from the Turks came to increase the population and were well received, but the town never recovered its prosperity. The empty streets and ruined houses and churches near the cathedral testify to the desolation.