Of Sweden for the moment swept the Polish state out of existence; the Muscovites, unopposed, quickly appropriated nearly everything which was not already occupied by the Swedes, and when at last the Poles offered to negotiate, the whole grand-duchy of Lithuania was the least of the demands of Alexius.
It needed but a jolt to bring down the crazy anachronism, and the jolt came when, in 1558-60, floods of Muscovites poured over the land, threatening the whole province with destruction.
Wladislaus's first official act was to march against the Muscovites, who had declared war against Poland immediately after the death of Sigismund, and were besieging Smolensk, the key of Poland's eastern frontier.
From the 8th of July to the 22nd of September 1695 the Muscovites attempted in vain to capture Azov.
Within three years of his accession he compelled the Muscovites (Treaty of Polyankova, May 28, 1634) to retrocede Smolensk and the eastern provinces lost by Sigismund II., overawed the Porte by a military demonstration in October of the same year, and, by the Truce of Stumdorf (Sept.