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BULGARIA

throw the country into anarchy were firmly dealt with, and the Grand Sobranye was summoned to elect a new prince. The candidature of the prince of Mingrelia The regency. was now set up by Russia, and General Kaulbars was despatched to Bulgaria to make known to the people the wishes of the Tsar. He vainly endeavoured to postpone the convocation of the Grand Sobranye in order to gain time for the restoration of Russian influence, and proceeded on an electoral tour through the country. The failure of his mission was followed by the withdrawal of the Russian representatives from Bulgaria. The Grand Sobranye, which assembled at Trnovo, offered the crown to Prince Valdemar of Denmark, brother-in-law of the Tsar, but the honour was declined, and an anxious period ensued, during which a deputation visited the principal capitals of Europe with the twofold object of winning sympathy for the cause of Bulgarian independence and discovering a suitable candidate for the throne. On the 7th July 1887, the Grand Sobranye unanimously elected Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a grandson, maternally, of King Louis Philippe. The Prince prince, who was twenty-six years of age, n was at this time a lieutenant m the Austrian army. Undeterred by the difficulties of the international situation and the distracted condition of the country, he accepted the crown, and took over the government on the 14th August at Trnovo. His arrival, which was Avelcomed with enthusiasm, put an end to a long and critical interregnum, but the dangers which menaced Bulgarian independence were far from disappearing. Russia declared the newly-elected sovereign a usurper; the other Powers, in deference to her susceptibilities, declined to recognize him, and the grand vizier informed him that his presence in Bulgaria was illegal. Numerous efforts were made to disturb internal tranquillity, and Stambuloff, who became prime minister on the 1st September, found it necessary to govern with a strong hand. A raid led by the Russian captain Nabokoff was repulsed; brigandage, maintained for political purposes, was exterminated; the bishops of the Holy Synod, who, at the instigation of Clement, refused to pay homage to the prince, were forcibly removed from Sofia; a military conspiracy organized by Major Panitza was crushed, and its leader executed. An attempt to murder the energetic prime minister resulted in the death of his colleague, Beltchev, and shortly afterwards Dr Vlkovitch, the Bulgarian representative at Constantinople, was assassinated. While contending with unscrupulous enemies at home, Stambuloff pursued a successful policy abroad. Excellent relations were established with Turkey and Rumania, stamvaluable concessions were twice extracted from buioff. tpe p01qe in regard to the Bulgarian episcopate in Macedonia, and loans were concluded with foreign financiers on comparatively favourable terms. His overbearing character, however, increased the number of his opponents, and alienated the goodwill of the prince. In 1894 he resigned office; a ministry was formed under Dr Stoiloff, and Prince Ferdinand inaugurated a policy of conciliation towards Russia with a view to obtaining his recognition by the Powers. A Russophil reaction followed, large numbers of political refugees returned to Bulgaria, and Stambuloff, exposed to the vengeance of his enemies, was assassinated in the streets of Sofia (15th July 1895). The prince’s plans were favoured by the death of the Tsar Alexander III. in November 1894, and the reconciliation was practically effected by the conversion of his eldest son, Prince Boris, to the orthodox faith (14th February 1896). The Powers having signified their assent, he was nominated by the Sultan prince of Bulgaria and

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governor-general of Eastern Rumelia (14th March). Russian influence now became predominant in Bulgaria, but the cabinet of St Petersburg wisely abstained from interfering in the internal affairs of the principality. In February 1896 Russia proposed the reconciliation of the Greek and Bulgarian churches and the removal of the exarch to Sofia. The project, which involved a renunciation of the exarch’s jurisdiction in Macedonia, excited strong opposition in Bulgaria, and was eventually dropped. The death of Princess Marie-Louise of Bourbon Parma (30th January 1899), whom Prince Ferdinand had married in 1893, caused universal regret in the country. Prince Ferdinand’s reign has been marked by a great improvement in the material condition of Bulgaria. The completion of a network of railways has considerably benefited the agricultural population, on whose welfare the prosperity of the country depends. Education has progressed, perhaps too rapidly; the principal danger for the future lies in the growth of a class of educated office - seekers, whose intrigues distract the industrious rural population. Notwithstanding the dangers and difficulties which darkened its earlier years, the principality, in the short period of its existence, has made a rapid and striking advance, to which the sister states of the Peninsula cannot offer a parallel. The Bulgarians, a virile, laborious, thrifty, orderly, and persevering people, possess many qualities which will fit them to occupy an important position in the future political system of the Balkan Peninsula. The task which lies before them is to develop the resources of their country, to resist foreign interference, to await the future with confidence and patience, and eventually to include within their boundaries the unenfranchised portion of their race. 3. Language and Literature. The Bulgarian is at once the most ancient and the most modern of the languages which constitute the Slavonic group. In its groundwork it presents the Language nearest approach to the old ecclesiastical Slavonic, the liturgical language common to all the orthodox Slavs, but it has undergone more important modifications than any of the sister dialects in the simplification of its grammatical forms ; and the analytical character of its development may be compared with that of the neo-Latin and Germanic languages. The introduction of the definite article, which appears in the form of a suffix, and the almost total disappearance of the ancient declensions, for which the use of prepositions has been substituted, distinguish the Bulgarian from all the other members of the Slavonic family. Notwithstanding these changes, which give the language an essentially modern aspect, its close affinity with the ecclesiastical Slavonic, the oldest written dialect, is regarded as established by several eminent scholars, such as Schafarik, Schleicher, Leskien, and Brugman, and by many Russian philologists. These authorities agree in describing the liturgical language as “Old Bulgarian.” A different view, however, is maintained by Miklositch, Kopitar, and some others, who regard it as “Old Slovene.” According to the more generally accepted theory, the dialect spoken by the Bulgarian population in the neighbourhood of Salonika, the birthplace of SS. Cyril and Methodius, was employed by the Slavonic apostles in their translations from the Greek, which formed the model for subsequent ecclesiastical literature. This view receives support from the fact that the two nasal vowels of the Church-Slavonic (the greater and lesser ms), which have been modified in all the cognate languages except Polish, retain their original pronunciation locally in the neighbourhood of Salonika and Kastoria; in modern literary Bulgarian the rhinesmus has disappeared, but the old nasal vowels preserve a, peculiar pronunciation, the greater ms changing to m, as in English “but,” the lesser to e, as in “bet,” while in Servian, Russian, and Slovene the former becomes u or o, the latter e or ya. The remnants of the declensions still existing in