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no uncommon thing in Servian history;

that King Peter himself owed his throne

to the murder of King Alexander by regicides whom he allowed to go unpunished.

Of some facts we can be certain, and as

to others, with such conflicting testimony

and views, we can only have opinions.

Archduke Ferdinand was undoubtedly assassinated by Princip, after an unsuccessful attempt upon his life had been made

by Cabrinovic. Princip and Cabrinovic

and also Milan Ciganovic were all Austro-Hungarian subjects. Some of the conspirators, and possibly all, were members

of the Narodna Odbrana. Very probably

the bombs came from a Servian arsenal,

and it is equally probable that minor Servian officials were engaged in the plot.

That the Servian Government was engaged

in it is, however, altogether improbable;

for the gain that could be expected from

the Archduke's death was small, the danger and odium great. The Servian Government promptly expressed horror of and

disapproval of the act.

The Austrian view of the assassination

was first given to the world in an ultimatum

addressed to Servia on the 23d of July.

This communication recited that in 1909

Servia had promised to modify her policy

as regarded Austria-Hungary and to live

in future "on good neighborly terms" with

her, but that far from observing the terms

of this formal undertaking, the Servian

Government "has permitted the criminal

machinations of various societies and

associations directed against the Monarchy, and has tolerated unrestrained

language on the part of the press, the glorification of the perpetrators of the outrages,

and the participation of officers and functionaries in subversive agitation. It has

permitted an unwholesome propaganda

in public instruction, in short, it has permitted all manifestations of a nature to

incite the Servian population to hatred

of the Monarchy and contempt of its institutions."

The ultimatum then proceeded to declare that the assassination of the Archduke had been planned in Belgrade, and

asserted that in order to put an end to "the

intrigues which form a perpetual menace

to the tranquility of the Monarchy",

Austria-Hungary demanded of Servia that

it publish in its Official Journal of the 26th

of July, and also in an official bulletin to

the army, regret for the "fatal consequences" of the "criminal" propaganda

against Austria-Hungary, that it express

regret for the participation of Servian officials in the conspiracy, and that it disapprove and repudiate, and in future prevent,

any agitation directed against the destinies

of Austria-Hungary.

Servia was also required to do the following specific things: (1) Suppress any

publication that should express hatred or

contempt of Austria-Hungary. (2) To

dissolve the Narodna Odbrana and similar societies. (3) To eliminate from public instruction in Servia everything hostile

in tendency toward Austria-Hungary.

(4) To remove from their offices all persons guilty of subversive propaganda, the

names of such persons to be supplied by

Austria-Hungary. (5) "To accept the

collaboration in Servia of representatives

of the Austro-Hungarian Government for

the suppression of the subversive movement

directed against the territorial integrity of

the Monarchy." (6) To take judicial

proceedings against accessories to the

assassination plot, and to admit Austro-Hungarian delegates to take part in the

investigation. (7) To arrest immediately

Commander Tankosic and Milan Ciganovic. (8) To prevent illicit traffic in arms,

etc., across the border and to dismiss

and punish the frontier officials who facilitated the passage of the assassins out of

Servia into Bosnia. (9) To furnish explanations of the hostile utterances of

high Servian officials, both at home and

abroad, made since the assassination.

(10) To notify the Imperial and Royal

Government without delay of the execution

of the demands above made.

Servians answer to these formidable demands was to be given "at the latest by

6 o'clock on Saturday evening, the 25th

of July," that is, in forty-eight hours.

The few days that followed were among

the most fateful in the history of mankind.