But now that Poland lay utterly helpless and surrounded by the three great military monarchies of Europe, nothing could save her.
The Jesuit programme in Hungary was the same as it had been in Poland a generation earlier, and may be summed up thus: convert the great families and all the rest will follow.
The first result of their joint labours was the much-needed codification of the laws of Great and Little Poland in 1347.
From this fate she was saved by the valour of Wladislaus Lokietek, duke of Great Poland (1306-1333), who reunited Great and Little Poland, revived the royal dignity in 1320, and saved the kingdom from annihilation by his great victory over the Teutonic Knights at Plowce in 1332.
The Popovsti, who were served by priests converted from the Orthodox Church, made their headquarters in the island of Werka, in a tributary of the Dnieper, n Poland (1695), and after its destruction by the government in 1735 and again in 1764, at Starodubye in the government of Chernigov, whence their doctrine spread in the country of the Don.
Henceforth the influence of Russia over Poland was steadily to increase, without any struggle at all, the Republic being already stricken with that creeping paralysis which ultimately left her a prey to her neighbours.
All Poland now lay at Chmielnicki's feet, and the road to the defenceless capital was open John 11.
Moreover, despite her immense wealth (in the province of Little Poland alone she owned at this time 26 towns, 83 landed estates and 772 villages), the Church claimed exemption from all public burdens, from all political responsibilities, although her prelates continued to exercise an altogether disproportionate political influence.
The attitude of the northern powers, however, and especially of Russia, towards Poland was beginning to excite the sultan's liveliest suspicions; and these the accession, in 1762, of the masterful Catherine II.
And now, eighty-four years after his death, Poland was once more split up into half a dozen loosely federated states in the hands of country gentlemen too ignorant and prejudiced to look beyond the boundaries of their own provinces.