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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 1 by Thomas Carlyle

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heard at Strasburg," which is eighty miles off, "in the winter
nights." [Kohler, Reichs-Historie, p. 453;--
and more especially Munzbelustigungen
(Nurnberg, 1729-1750), ix. 121-129. The Year of this Volume, and
of the Number in question, is 1737; the MUNZE or Medal "recreated
upon" in of Henri II.]

It had depended upon Albert, who hung in the distance with an army
of his own, whether the Siege could even begin; but he joined the
Kaiser, being reconciled again; and the trenches opened. By the
valor of Guise and his Chivalry,--still more perhaps by the iron
frosts and by the sleety rains of Winter, and the hungers and the
hardships of a hundred thousand men, digging vainly at the
ice-bound earth, or trampling it when sleety into seas of mud, and
themselves sinking in it, of dysentery, famine, toil and despair,
as they cannonaded day and night,--Metz could not be taken.
"Impossible!" said the Generals with one voice, after trying it
for a couple of months. "Try it one other ten days," said the
Kaiser with a gloomy fixity; "let us all die, or else do it!"
They tried, with double desperation, another ten days; cannon
booming through the winter midnight far and wide, four score miles
round: "Cannot be done, your Majesty! Cannot,--the winter and the
mud, and Guise and the walls; man's strength cannot do it in this
season. We must march away!" Karl listened in silence; but the
tears were seen to run down his proud face, now not so young as it
once was: "Let us march, then!" he said, in a low voice, after
some pause.

Alcibiades covered the retreat to Diedenhof (THIONVILLE) they now
call it): outmanoeuvred the French, retreated with success; he had
already captured a grand Due d'Aumale, a Prince of the Guises,--
valuable ransom to be looked for there. It was thought he should
have made his bargain better with the Kaiser, before starting;
but he had neglected that. Albert's course was downward
thenceforth; Kaiser Karl's too. The French keep these "Three
Bishoprics (TROIS EVECHES)," and Teutschland laments the loss of
them, to this hour. Kaiser Karl, as some write, never smiled
again;--abdicated, not long after; retired into the Monastery of
St. Just, and there soon died. That is the siege of Metz, where
Alcibiades was helpful. His own bargain with the Kaiser should
have been better made beforehand.

Dissatisfied with any bargain he could now get; dissatisfied with
the Treaty of Passau, with such a finale and hushing-up of the
Religious Controversy, and in general with himself and with the
world, Albert again drew sword; went loose at a high rate upon his
Bamberg-Wurzburg enemies, and, having raised supplies there, upon
Moritz and those Passau-Treatiers. He was beaten at last by
Moritz, "Sunday, 9th July, 1553," at a place called Sievershausen
in the Hanover Country, where Moritz himself perished in the
action.--Albert fled thereupon to France. No hope in France.
No luck in other small and desperate stakings of his: the game is
done. Albert returns to a Sister he had, to her Husband's Court in
Baden; a broken, bare and bankrupt man;--soon dies there,
childless, leaving the shadow of a name. [Here, chiefly from
Kohler (Munzbelustigungen, iii. 414-416), is
the chronology of Albert's operations:--
Seizure of Nurnberg &c., 11th May to 22d June, 1552; Innspruck
(with Treaty of Passau) follows. Then Siege of Metz, October to
December, 1552; Bamberg, Wurzburg and Nurnberg ransomed again,
April, 1553; Battle of Sievershausen, 9th July, 1553. Wurzburg &c.
explode against him; Ban of the Empire, 4th May, 1554. To France
thereupon; returns, hoping to negotiate, end of 1556; dies at
Pforzheim, at his Sister's, 8th January, 1557.--See Pauli, iii.
120-138. See also Dr. Kapp, Erinnerungen an diejenigen
Markgrafen &c. (a reprint from the Archiv
fur Geschichte und Alterthumskunde in Ober-Franken,
Year 1841).]

His death brought huge troubles upon Baireuth and the Family
Possessions. So many neighbors, Bamberg, Wurzburg and the rest,
were eager for retaliation; a new Kaiser greedy for confiscating.
Plassenburg Castle was besieged, bombarded, taken by famine and
burnt; much was burnt and torn to waste. Nay, had it not been for
help from Berlin,the Family had gone to utter ruin in those parts.
For this Alcibiades had, in his turn, been Guardian to Uncle
George's Son, the George Friedrich we once spoke of, still a
minor, but well known afterwards; and it was attempted, by an
eager Kaiser Ferdinand, to involve this poor youth in his Cousin's
illegalities, as if Ward and Guardian had been one person.
Baireuth which had been Alcibiades's, Anspach which was the young
man's own, nay Jagerndorf with its Appendages, were at one time
all in the clutches of the hawk,--had not help from Berlin been
there. But in the end, the Law had to be allowed its course;
George Friedrich got his own Territories back (all but some
surreptitious nibblings in the Jagerndorf quarter, to be noticed
elsewhere), and also got Baireuth, his poor Cousin's Inheritance;
--sole heir, he now, in Culmbath, the Line of Casimir being out.

One owns to a kind of love for poor Albert Alcibiades. In certain
sordid times, even a "Failure of a Fritz" is better than some
Successes that are going. A man of some real nobleness, this
Albert; though not with wisdom enough, not with good fortune
enough. Could he have continued to "rule the situation" (as our
French friends phrase it); to march the fanatical Papistries, and
Kaiser Karl, clear out of it, home to Spain and San Justo a little
earlier; to wave the coming Jesuitries away, as with a flaming
sword; to forbid beforehand the doleful Thirty-Years War, and the
still dolefuler spiritual atrophy (the flaccid Pedantry, ever
rummaging and rearranging among learned marine-stores, which
thinks itself Wisdom and Insight; the vague maunderings, flutings;
indolent, impotent daydreaming and tobacco-smoking, of poor Modern
Germany) which has followed therefrom,--ACH GOTT, he might have
been a "SUCCESS of a Fritz" three times over! He might have been a
German Cromwell; beckoning his People to fly, eagle-like, straight
towards the Sun; instead of screwing about it in that sad,
uncertain, and far too spiral manner!--But it lay not in him;
not in his capabilities or opportunities, after all: and we but
waste time in such speculations.

Chapter VIII.


The Culmbach Brothers, we observe, play a more important part in
that era than their seniors and chiefs of Brandenburg. These
Culmbachers, Margraf George aud Albert of Preussen at the head of
them, march valiantly forward in the Reformation business;
while KUR-BRANDENBURG, Joachim I., their senior Cousin, is talking
loud at Diets, galloping to Innspruck and the like, zealous on
the Conservative side; and Cardinal Albert, KUR-MAINZ, his
eloquent brother, is eager to make matters smooth and avoid
violent methods.

The Reformation was the great Event of that Sixteenth Century;
according as a man did something in that, or did nothing and
obstructed doing, has he much claim to memory, or no claim, in
this age of ours. The more it becomes apparent that the
Reformation was the Event then transacting itself, was the thing
that Germany and Europe either did or refused to do, the more does
the historical significance of men attach itself to the phases of
that transaction. Accordingly we notice henceforth that the
memorable points of Brandenburg History, what of it sticks
naturally to the memory of a reader or student, connect themselves
of their own accord, almost all, with the History of the
Reformation. That has proved to be the Law of Nature in regard
to them, softly establishing itself; and it is ours to follow
that law.

Brandenburg, not at first unanimously, by no means too
inconsiderately, but with overwhelming unanimity when the matter
became clear, was lucky enough to adopt the Reformation;--and
stands by it ever since in its ever-widening scope, amid such
difficulties as there might be. Brandenburg had felt somehow, that
it could do no other. And ever onwards through the times even of
our little Fritz and farther, if we will understand the word
"Reformation," Brandenburg so feels; being, at this day, to an
honorable degree, incapable of believing incredibilities, of
adopting solemn shams, or pretending to live on spiritual
moonshine. Which has been of uncountable advantage to Brandenburg:
--how could it fail? This was what we must call obeying the
audible voice of Heaven. To which same "voice," at that time, all
that did not give ear,--what has become of them since; have they
not signally had the penalties to pay!

"Penalties:" quarrel not with the old phraseology, good reader;
attend rather to the thing it means. The word was heard of old,
with a right solemn meaning attached to it, from theological
pulpits and such places; and may still be heard there with a half-
meaning, or with no meaning, though it has rather become obsolete
to modern ears. But the THING should not have fallen obsolete;
the thing is a grand and solemn truth, expressive of a silent Law
of Heaven, which continues forever valid. The most untheological
of men may still assert the thing; and invite all men to notice
it, as a silent monition and prophecy in this Universe; to take
it, with more of awe than they are wont, as a correct reading of
the Will of the Eternal in respect of such matters; and, in their
modern sphere, to bear the same well in mind. For it is perfectly
certain, and may be seen with eyes in any quarter of Europe at
this day.

Protestant or not Protestant? The question meant everywhere:
"Is there anything of nobleness in you, O Nation, or is there
nothing? Are there, in this Nation, enough of heroic men to
venture forward, and to battle for God's Truth VERSUS the Devil's
Falsehood, at the peril of life and more? Men who prefer death,
and all else, to living under Falsehood,--who, once for all, will
not live under Falsehood; but having drawn the sword against it
(the time being come for that rare and important step), throw
away the scabbard, and can say, in pious clearness, with their
whole soul: 'Come on, then! Life under Falsehood is not good for
me; and we will try it out now. Let it be to the death between
us, then!'"

Once risen into this divine white-heat of temper, were it only for
a season and not again, the Nation is thenceforth considerable
through all its remaining history. What immensities of DROSS and
crypto-poisonous matter will it not burn out of itself in that
high temperature, in the course of a few years! Witness Cromwell
and his Puritans,--making England habitable even under the
Charles-Second terms for a couple of centuries more. Nations are
benefited, I believe, for ages, by being thrown once into divine
white-heat in this manner. And no Nation that has not had such
divine paroxysms at any time is apt to come to much.

That was now, in this epoch, the English of "adopting
Protestantism;" and we need not wonder at the results which it has
had, and which the want of it has had. For the want of it is
literally the want of loyalty to the Maker of this Universe.
He who wants that, what else has he, or can he have? If you do
not, you Man or you Nation, love the Truth enough, but try to make
a Chapman-bargain with Truth, instead of giving yourself wholly
soul and body and life to her, Truth will not live with you, Truth
will depart from you; and only Logic, "Wit" (for example, "London
Wit"), Sophistry, Virtu, the AEsthetic Arts, and perhaps (for a
short while) Bookkeeping by Double Entry, will abide with you.
You will follow falsity, and think it truth, you unfortunate man
or nation. You will right surely, you for one, stumble to the
Devil; and are every day and hour, little as you imagine it,
making progress thither.

Austria, Spain, Italy, France, Poland,--the offer of the
Reformation was made everywhere; and it is curious to see what has
become of the nations that would not hear it. In all countries
were some that accepted; but in many there were not enough, and
the rest, slowly or swiftly, with fatal difficult industry,
contrived to burn them out. Austria was once full of Protestants;
but the hide-bound Flemish-Spanish Kaiser-element presiding over
it, obstinately, for two centuries, kept saying, "No; we, with our
dull obstinate Cimburgis under-lip and lazy eyes, with our
ponderous Austrian depth of Habituality and indolence of
Intellect, we prefer steady Darkness to uncertain new Light!"--and
all men may see where Austria now is. Spain still more;
poor Spain, going about, at this time, making its
"PRONUNCIAMIENTOS;" all the factious attorneys in its little towns
assembling to PRONOUNCE virtually this, "The Old IS a lie, then;--
good Heavens, after we so long tried hard, harder than any nation,
to think it a truth!--and if it be not Rights of Man, Red Republic
and Progress of the Species, we know not what now to believe or to
do; and are as a people stumbling on steep places, in the darkness
of midnight!"--They refused Truth when she came; and now Truth
knows nothing of them. All stars, and heavenly lights, have become
veiled to such men; they must now follow terrestrial IGNES FATUI,
and think them stars. That is the doom passed upon them.

Italy too had its Protestants; but Italy killed them; managed to
extinguish Protestantism. Italy put up silently with Practical
Lies of all kinds; and, shrugging its shoulders, preferred going
into Dilettantism and the Fine Arts. The Italians, instead of the
sacred service of Fact and Performance, did Music, Painting, and
the like:--till even that has become impossible for them; and no
noble Nation, sunk from virtue to VIRTU, ever offered such a
spectacle before. He that will prefer Dilettantism in this world
for his outfit, shall have it; but all the gods will depart from
him; and manful veracity, earnestness of purpose, devout depth of
soul, shall no more be his. He can if he like make himself a
soprano, and sing for hire;--and probably that is the real goal
for him.

But the sharpest-cut example is France;, to which we constantly
return for illustration. France, with its keen intellect, saw the
truth and saw the falsity, in those Protestant times; and, with
its ardor of generous impulse, was prone enough to adopt the
former. France was within a hair's-breadth of becoming actually
Protestant. But France saw good to massacre Protestantism, and end
it in the night of St. Bartholomew, 1572. The celestial Apparitor
of Heaven's Chancery, so we may speak, the Genius of Fact and
Veracity, had left his Writ of Summons; Writ was read;--and
replied to in this manner. The Genius of Fact and Veracity
accordingly withdrew;--was staved off, got kept away, for two
hundred years. But the writ of Summons had been served;
Heaven's Messenger could not stay away forever. No; he returned
duly; with accounts run up, on compound interest, to the actual
hour, in 1792;--and then, at last, there had to be a
"Protestantism;" and we know of what kind that was!--

Nations did not so understand it, nor did Brandenburg more than
the others; but the question of questions for them at that time,
decisive of their history for half a thousand years to come, was,
Will you obey the heavenly voice, or will you not?

Chapter IX.


Brandenburg, in the matter of the Reformation, was at first--with
Albert of Mainz, Tetzel's friend, on the one side, and Pious
George of Anspach, "NIT KOP AB," on the other--certainly a divided
house. But, after the first act, it conspicuously ceased to be
divided; nay Kur-Brandenburg and Kur-Mainz themselves had known
tendencies to the Reformation, and were well aware that the Church
could not stand as it was. Nor did the cause want partisans in
Berlin, in Brandenburg,--hardly to be repressed from breaking into
flame, while Kurfurst Joachim was so prudent and conservative.
Of this loud Kurfurst Joachim I., here and there mentioned
already, let us now say a more express word. [1484, 1499, 1535:
birth, accession, death of Joachim.]

Joachim I., Big John's son, hesitated hither and thither for some
time, trying if it would not do to follow the Kaiser Karl V.'s
lead; and at length, crossed in his temper perhaps by the speed
his friends were going at, declared formally against any farther
Reformation; and in his own family and country was strict upon the
point. He is a man, as I judge, by no means without a temper of
his own; very loud occasionally in the Diets and elsewhere;--
reminds me a little of a certain King Friedrich Wilhelm, whom my
readers shall know by and by. A big, surly, rather bottle-nosed
man, with thick lips, abstruse wearied eyes, and no eyebrows to
speak of: not a beautiful man, when you cross him overmuch.


His wife was a Danish Princess, Sister of poor Christian II., King
of that Country: dissolute Christian, who took up with a huckster-
woman's daughter,--"mother sold gingerbread," it would appear,
"at Bergen in Norway," where Christian was Viceroy; Christian made
acceptable love to the daughter, "DIVIKE (Dovekin, COLUMBINA),"
as he called her. Nay he made the gingerbread mother a kind of
prime-minister, said the angry public, justly scandalized at this
of the "Dovekin." He was married, meanwhile, to Karl V.'s own
Sister; but continued that other connection. [Here are the dates
of this poor Christian, in a lump. Born, 1481; King, 1513 (Dovekin
before); married, 1515; turned off, 1523; invades, taken prisoner,
1532; dies, 1559. Cousin, and then Cousin's Son, succeeded.]
He had rash notions, now for the Reformation, now against it, when
he got to be King; a very rash, unwise, explosive man. He made a
"Stockholm BLUTBAD" still famed in History (kind of open, ordered
or permitted, Massacre of eighty or a hundred of his chief enemies
there), "Bloodbath," so they name it; in Stockholm, where indeed
he was lawful King, and not without unlawful enemies, had a
bloodbath been the way to deal with them. Gustavus Vasa was a
young fellow there, who dexterously escaped this Bloodbath, and
afterwards came to something.

In Denmark and Sweden, rash Christian made ever more enemies;
at length he was forced to run, and they chose another King or
successive pair of Kings. Christian fled to Kaiser Karl at
Brussels; complained to Kaiser Karl, his Brother-in-law,--whose
Sister he had not used well. Kaiser Karl listened to his
complaints, with hanging under-lip, with heavy, deep,
undecipherable eyes; evidently no help from Karl.

Christian, after that, wandered about with inexecutable
speculations, and projects to recover his crown or crowns;
sheltering often with Kurfurst Joachim, who took a great deal of
trouble about him, first and last; or with the Elector of Saxony,
Friedrich the Wise, or after him, with Johann the Steadfast
("V. D. M. I. AE." whom we saw at Augsburg), who were his Mother's
Brothers, and beneficent men. He was in Saxony, on such terms,
coming and going, when a certain other Flight thither took place,
soon to be spoken of, which is the cause of our mentioning him
here.--In the end (A.D. 1532) he did get some force together, and
made sail to Norway; but could do no execution whatever there;--on
the contrary, was frozen in on the coast during winter; seized,
carried to Copenhagen, and packed into the "Castle of Sonderburg,"
a grim sea-lodging on the shore of Schleswig,--prisoner for the
rest of his life, which lasted long enough. Six-and-twenty years
of prison; the first seventeen years of it strict and hard, almost
of the dungeon sort; the remainder, on his fairly abdicating, was
in another Castle, that of Callundborg in the Island of Zealand,
"with fine apartments and conveniences," and even "a good bouse of
liquor now and then," at discretion of the old soul. That was the
end of headlong Christian II.; he lasted in this manner to the age
of seventy-eight. [Kohler, Munzbelustigungen, italic> xi. 47, 48; Holberg, Danemarckische Staats-und
Reichs-Historie (Copenhagen, 1731, NOT the hig Book
by Holberg), p. 241; Buddaus, Allgemeines Historisches
Lexicon (Leipzig, 1709),? Christianus II.]

His Sister Elizabeth at Brandenburg is perhaps, in regard to
natural character, recognizably of the same kin as Christian;
but her behavior is far different from his. She too is zealous for
the Reformation; but she has a right to be so, and her notions
that way are steady; and she has hitherto, though in a difficult
position, done honor to her creed. Surly Joachim is difficult to
deal with; is very positive now that he has declared himself:
"In my house at least shall be nothing farther of that unblessed
stuff." Poor Lady, I see domestic difficulties very thick upon
her; nothing but division, the very children ranging themselves in
parties. She can pray to Heaven; she must do her wisest.

She partook once, by some secret opportunity, of the "communion
under both kinds;" one of her Daughters noticed and knew;
told Father of it. Father knits up his thick lips; rolls his
abstruse dissatisfied eyes, in an ominous manner: the poor Lady,
probably possessed of an excitable imagination too, trembles for
herself. "It is thought, His DURCHLAUCHT will wall you up for
life, my Serene Lady; dark prison for life, which probably may not
be long!" These surmises were of no credibility: but there and
then the poor Lady, in a shiver of terror, decides that she must
run; goes off actually, one night ("Monday after the LAETARE,"
which we find is 24th March) in the year 1528, [Pauli (ii. 584);
who cites Seckendorf, and this fraction of a Letter of Luther's,
to one "LINCKUS" or Lincke, written on the Friday following (28th
March, 1528):--
"The Electress [MARGRAVINE he calls her] has fled from Berlin, by
help of her Brother the King of Denmark [poor Christian II.] to
our Prince [Johann the Steadfast], because her Elector had
determined to wall her up, as is reported, on account of the
Eucharist under both species. Pray for our Prince; the
pious man and affectionate soul gets a great deal of trouble with
his kindred." Or thus in the Original:--
"Marchionissa aufugit a Berlin, auxilio fratris, Regis
Daniae, ad nostrum Principem, quod Marchio statuerat eam immurare
(ut dicitur) propter Eucharistiam utriusque speciei. Ora pro
nostro Principe; der fromme Mann und herzliche Mensch
ist doch ja wohl geplaget" (Seckendorf, Historia
Lutheranismi, ii.? 62, No. 8, p. 122).] in a mean
vehicle under cloud of darkness, with only one maid and groom,--
driving for life. That is very certain: she too is on flight
towards Saxony, to shelter with her uncle Kurfurst Johann,--unless
for reasons of state he scruple? On the dark road her vehicle
broke down; a spoke given way,--"Not a bit of rope to splice it,"
said the improvident groom. "Take my lace-veil here," said the
poor Princess; and in this guise she got to Torgau (I could guess,
her poor Brother's lodging),--and thence, in short time, to the
fine Schloss of Lichtenberg hard by; Uncle Johann, to whom she had
zealously left an option of refusal, having as zealously permitted
and invited her to continue there. Which she did for many years.

Nor did she get the least molestation from Husband Joachim;--who I
conjecture had intended, though a man of a certain temper, and
strict in his own house, something short of walling up for life:--
poor Joachim withal! "However, since you are gone, Madam, go!"
Nor did he concern himself with Christian II. farther, but let him
lie in prison at his leisure. As for the Lady, he even let his
children visit her at Lichtenberg; Crypto-Protestants all; and,
among them, the repentant Daughter who had peached upon her.

Poor Joachim, he makes a pious speech on his death-bed, solemnly
warning his Son against these new-fangled heresies; the Son being
already possessed of them in his heart. [Speech given in Rentsch,
pp. 484-439.] What could Father do more? Both Father and Son,
I suppose, were weeping. This was in 1535, this last scene;
things looking now more ominous than ever. Of Kurfurst Joachim
I will remember nothing farther, except that once, twenty-three
years before, he "held a Tourney in Neu-Ruppin," year 1612;
Tourney on the most magnificent scale, and in New-Ruppin, [Pauli,
ii. 466.] a place we shall know by and by.

As to the Lady, she lived eighteen years in that fine Schloss of
Lichtenberg; saw her children as we said; and, silently or
otherwise, rejoiced in the creed they were getting. She saw
Luther's self sometimes; "had him several times to dinner;"
he would call at her Mansion, when his journeys lay that way.
She corresponded with him diligently; nay once, for a three
months, she herself went across and lodged with Dr. Luther and his
Kate; as a royal Lady might with a heroic Sage,--though the Sage's
income was only Twenty-four pounds sterling annually. There is no
doubt about that visit of three months; one thinks of it, as of
something human, something homely, ingenuous and pretty.
Nothing in surly Joachim's history is half so memorable to me, or
indeed memorable at all in the stage we are now come to.

The Lady survived Joachim twenty years; of these she spent eleven
still at Lichtenberg, in no over-haste to return. However, her
Son, the new Elector, declaring for Protestantism, she at length
yielded to his invitations: came back (1546), and ended her days
at Berlin in a peaceable and venerable manner. Luckless Brother
Christian is lying under lock-and-key all this while; smuggling
out messages, and so on; like a voice from the land of Dreams or
of Nightmares, painful, impracticable, coming now and then.

Chapter X.


Joachim II., Sixth Elector, no doubt after painful study, and
intricate silent consideration ever since his twelfth year when
Luther was first heard of over the world, came gradually, and
before his Father's death had already come, to the conclusion of
adopting the Confession of Augsburg, as the true Interpretation of
this Universe, so far as we had yet got; and did so, publicly, in
the year 1539. [Rentsch, p. 452.] To the great joy of Berlin and
the Brandenburg populations generally, who had been of a
Protestaut humor, hardly restrainable by Law, for some years past.
By this decision Joachim held fast, with a stout, weighty grasp;
nothing spasmodic in his way of handling the matter, and yet a
heartiness which is agreeable to see. He could not join in the
Schmalkaldic War; seeing, it is probable, small chance for such a
War, of many chiefs and little counsel; nor was he willing yet to
part from the Kaiser Karl V., who was otherwise very good to him.

He had fought personally for this Kaiser, twice over, against the
Turks; first as Brandenburg Captain, learning his art; and
afterwards as Kaiser's Generalissimo, in 1542. He did no good upon
the Turks, on that latter occasion; as indeed what good was to be
done, in such a quagmire of futilities as Joachim's element there
was? "Too sumptuous in his dinners, too much wine withal!" hint
some calumniously. [Paulus Jovius, &c. See Pauli, iii. 70-73.]
"Hector of Germany!" say others. He tried some small prefatory
Siege or scalade of Pesth; could not do it; and came his ways home
again, as the best course. Pedant Chroniclers give him the name
HECTOR, "Joachim Hector,"--to match that of CICERO and that of
ACHILLES. A man of solid structure, this our Hector, in body and
mind: extensive cheeks, very large heavy-laden face; capable of
terrible bursts of anger, as his kind generally were.

The Schmalkaldic War went to water, as the Germans phrase it:
Kur-Sachsen,--that is, Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous, Son of
Johann "V. D. M. I. AE.," and Nephew of Friedrich the Wise,--had
his sorrowfully valid reasons for the War; large force too, plenty
of zealous copartners, Philip of Hessen and others; but no
generalship, or not enough, for such a business. Big Army, as is
apt enough to happen, fell short of food; Kaiser Karl hung on the
outskirts, waiting confidently till it came to famine. Johann
Friedrich would attempt nothing decisive while provender lasted;--
and having in the end, strangely enough, and somewhat deaf to
advice, divided his big Army into three separate parts;--Johann
Friedrich was himself, with one of those parts, surprised at
Muhlberg, on a Sunday when at church (24th April, 1547); and was
there beaten to sudden ruin, and even taken captive, like to have
his head cut off, by the triumphant angry Kaiser. Philip of
Hessen, somewhat wiser, was home to Marburg, safe with HIS part,
in the interim.--Elector Joachim II. of Brandenburg had good
reason to rejoice in his own cautious reluctances on this
occasion. However, he did now come valiantly up, hearing what
severities were in the wind.

He pleaded earnestly, passionately, he and Cousin or already
"Elector" Moritz, [Pauli, iii. 102.]--who was just getting Johann
Friedrich's Electorship fished away from him out of these
troubles, [Kurfurst, 4th June, 1547.]--for Johann Friedrich of
Saxony's life, first of all. For Johann's life FIRST; this is a
thing not to be dispensed with, your Majesty, on any terms
whatever; a sine qua non, [end italic] this life to
Protestant Germany at large. To which the Kaiser indicated,
"He would see; not immediate death at any rate; we will see."
A life that could not and must not be taken in this manner:
this was the FIRST point. Then, SECONDLY, that Philip of Hessen,
now home again at Marburg,--not a bad or disloyal man, though
headlong, and with two wives,--might not be forfeited; but that
peace and pardon might be granted him, on his entire submission.
To which second point the Kaiser answered, "Yes, then, on his
submission." These were the two points. These pleadings went on at
Halle, where the Kaiser now lies, in triumphantly victorious
humor, in the early days of June, Year 1547. Johann Friedrich of
Saxony had been, by some Imperial Court-Council or other,--
Spanish merely, I suppose,--doomed to die. Sentence was signified
to him while he sat at chess: "Can wait till we end the game,"
thought Johann;--"PERGAMUS," said he to his comrade, "Let us go
on, then!" Sentence not to be executed till one see.

With Philip of Hessen things had a more conclusive aspect.
Philip had accepted the terms procured for him; which had been
laboriously negotiated, brought to paper, and now wanted only the
sign-manual to them: "Ohne einigen Gefangniss italic> (without any imprisonment)," one of the chief clauses.
And so Philip now came over to Halle; was met and welcomed by his
two friends, Joachim and Moritz, at Naumburg, a stage before
Halle;--clear now to make his submission, and beg pardon of the
Kaiser, according to bargain. On the morrow, 19th June, 1547, the
Papers were got signed. And next day, 20th June, Philip did,
according to bargain, openly beg pardon of the Kaiser, in his
Majesty's Hall of Audience (Town House of Halle, I suppose);
"knelt at the Kaiser's feet publicly on both knees, while his
Kanzler read the submission and entreaty, as agreed upon;" and,
alas, then the Kaiser said nothing at all to him.! Kaiser looked
haughtily, with impenetrable eyes and shelf-lip, over the head of
him; gave him no hand to kiss; and left poor Philip kneeling
there. An awkward position indeed;--which any German Painter that
there were, might make a Picture of, I have sometimes thought.
Picture of some real meaning, more or less,--if for symbolic.
Towers of Babel, medieval mythologies, and extensive smearings of
that kind, he could find leisure!--Philip having knelt a
reasonable time, and finding there was no help for it, rose in the
dread silence (some say, with too sturdy an expression of
countenance); and retired from the affair, having at least done
his part of it.

The next practical thing was now supper, or as we of this age
should call it, dinner. Uncommonly select and high supper:
host the Duke of Alba; where Joachim, Elector Moritz, and another
high Official, the Bishop of Arras, were to welcome poor Philip
after his troubles. How the grand supper went, I do not hear:
possibly a little constrained; the Kaiser's strange silence
sitting on all men's thoughts; not to be spoken of in the present
company. At length the guests rose to go away. Philip's lodging is
with Moritz (who is his son-in-law, as learned readers know):
"You Philip, your lodging is mine; my lodging is yours,--I should
say! Cannot we ride together?"--"Philip is not permitted to go,"
said Imperial Officiality; "Philip is to continue here, and we
fear go to prison."--"Prison?" cried they all: "OHNE EINIGEN
GEFANGNISS (without ANY imprisonment)!"--"As we read the words,
it is 'OHNE EWIGEN GEFANGNISS (without ETERNAL imprisonment),'"
answer the others. And so, according to popular tradition, which
has little or no credibility, though printed in many Books, their
false Secretary had actually modified it.

"No intention of imprisoning his DURCHLAUCHT of Hessen FOREVER;
not forever!" answered they. And Kurfurst Joachim, in astonished
indignation, after some remonstrating and arguing, louder and
louder, which profited nothing, blazed out into a very whirlwind
of rage; drew his sword, it is whispered with a shudder,--drew his
sword, or was for drawing it, upon the Duke of Alba; and would
have done, God knows what, had not friends flung themselves
between, and got the Duke away, or him away. {Pauli, iii. 103.]
Other accounts bear, that it was upon the Bishop of Arras he drew
his sword; which is a somewhat different matter. Perhaps he drew
it on both; or on men and things in general;--for his indignation
knew no bounds. The heavy solid man; yet with a human heart in him
after all, and a Hohenzollern abhorrence of chicanery, capable of
rising to the transcendent pitch! His wars against the Turks, and
his other Hectorships, I will forget; but this, of a face so
extensive kindled all into divine fire for poor Philip's sake,
shall be memorable to me.

Philip got out by and by, though with difficulty; the Kaiser
proving very stiff in the matter; and only yielding to obstinate
pressures, and the force of time and events. Philip got away;
and then how Johann Friedrich of Sachsen, after being led about
for five years, in the Kaiser's train, a condemned man, liable to
be executed any day, did likewise at last get away, with his head
safe and Electorate gone: these are known Historical events, which
we glanced at already, on another score.

For, by and by, the Kaiser found tougher solicitation than this of
Joachim's. The Kaiser, by his high carriage in this and other such
matters, had at length kindled a new War round him; and he then
soon found himself reduced to extremities again; chased to the
Tyrol Mountains, and obliged to comply with many things. New War,
of quite other emphasis and management than the Schmalkaldic one;
managed by Elector Moritz and our poor friend Albert Alcibiades as
principals. A Kaiser chased into the mountains, capable of being
seized by a little spurring;--"Capture him?" said Albert. "I have
no cage big enough for such a bird!" answered Moritz; and the
Kaiser was let run. How he ran then towards Treaty of Passau
(1552), towards Siege of Metz and other sad conclusions,
"Abdication" the finale of them: these also are known phases in
the Reformation History, as hinted at above.

Here at Halle, in the year 1547, the great Kaiser, with
Protestantism manacled at his feet, and many things going
prosperous, was at his culminating point. He published his
INTERIM (1548, What you troublesome Protestants are to do, in the
mean time, while the Council of Trent is sitting, and till it and
I decide for you); and in short, drove and reined-in the Reich
with a high hand and a sharp whip, for the time being. Troublesome
Protestants mostly rejected the Interim; Moritz and Alcibiades,
with France in the rear of them, took to arms in that way; took to
ransoming fat Bishoprics ("Verbum Diaboli Manet," we know
where!);--took to chasing Kaisers into the mountains;--and times
came soon round again. In all these latter broils Kurfurst Joachim
II., deeply interested, as we may fancy, strove to keep quiet; and
to prevail, by weight of influence and wise counsel, rather than
by fighting with his Kaiser.

One sad little anecdote I recollect of Joachim: an Accident, which
happened in those Passau-Interim days, a year or two after that
drawing of the sword on Alba. Kurfurst Joachim unfortunately once
fell through a staircase, in that time; being, as I guess, a heavy
man. It was in the Castle of Grimnitz, one of his many Castles,
a spacious enough old Hunting-seat, the repairs of which had not
been well attended to. The good Herr, weighty of foot, was leading
down his Electress to dinner one day in this Schloss of Grimnitz;
broad stair climbs round a grand Hall, hung with stag-trophies,
groups of weapons, and the like hall-furniture. An unlucky timber
yielded; yawning chasm in the staircase; Joachim and his good
Princess sank by gravitation; Joachim to the floor with little
hurt; his poor Princess (horrible to think of), being next the
wall, came upon the stag-horns and boar-spears down below! [Pauli,
iii. 112.] The poor Lady's hurt was indescribable: she walked lame
all the rest of her clays; and Joachim, I hope (hope, but not with
confidence), [Ib. iii. 194.] loved her all the better for it.
This unfortunate old Schloss of Grimnitz, some thirty miles
northward of Berlin, was--by the Eighth Kurfurst, Joachim
Friedrich, Grandson of this one, with great renown to himself and
to it--converted into an Endowed High School: the famed
Joachimsthal Gymnasium, still famed, though now under
some change of circumstances, and removed to Berlin itself.
[Nicolai, p. 725.]

Joachim's first Wife, from whom descend the following Kurfursts,
was a daughter of that Duke George of Saxony, Luther's celebrated
friend, "If it rained Duke-Georges nine days running."


This second Wife, she of the accident at Grimnitz, was Hedwig,
King Sigismund of Poland's daughter; which connection, it is
thought, helped Joachim well in getting what they call the
MITBELEHNUNG of Preussen (for it was he that achieved this
point) from King Sigismund.

MITBELEHNUNG (Co-infeftment) in Preussen;--whereby is solemnly
acknowledged the right of Joachim and his Posterity to the
reversion of Preussen, should the Culmbach Line of Duke Albert
happen to fail. It was a thing Joachim long strove for; till at
length his Father-in-law did, some twenty years hence, concede it
him. [Date, Lublin, 19th July, 1568: Pauli, iii. 177-179, 193;
Rentsch, p. 457; Stenzel, i. 341, 342.] Should Albert's Line fail,
then, the other Culmbachers get Preussen; should the Culmbachers
all fail, the Berlin Brandenburgers get it. The Culmbachers are at
this time rather scarce of heirs: poor Alcibiades died childless,
as we know, and Casimir's Line is extinct; Duke Albert himself has
left only one Son, who now succeeds in Preussen; still young, and
not of the best omens. Margraf George the Pious, he left only
George Friedrich; an excellent man, who is now prosperous in the
world, and wedded long since, but has no children. So that,
between Joachim's Line and Preussen there are only two
intermediate heirs;--and it was a thing eminently worth looking
after. Nor has it wanted that. And so Kurfurst Joachim, almost at
the end of his course, has now made sure of it.


Another feat of like nature Joachim II. had long ago achieved;
which likewise in the long-run proved important in his Family, and
in the History of the world: an "ERBVERBRUDERUNG," so they term
it, with the Duke of Liegnitz,--date 1537. ERBVERBRUDERUNG
("Heritage-brotherhood," meaning Covenant to succeed reciprocally
on Failure of Heirs to either) had in all times been a common
paction among German Princes well affected to each other.
Friedrich II., the then Duke of Liegnitz, we have transiently
seen, was related to the Family; he had been extremely helpful in
bringing his young friend Albert of Preussen's affairs to a good
issue,--whose Niece, withal, he had wedded:--in fact, he was a
close friend of this our Joachim's; and there had long been a
growing connection between the two Houses, by intermarriages and
good offices.

The Dukes of Liegnitz were Sovereign-Princes, come of the old
Piasts of Poland; and had perfect right to enter into this
transaction of an ERBVERBRUDERUNG with whom they liked.
True, they had, above two hundred years before, in the days of
King Johann ICH-DIEN (A.D. 1329), voluntarily constituted
themselves Vassals of the Crown of Bohemia: [Pauli, iii. 22.] but
the right to dispose of their Lands as they pleased had, all
along, been carefully acknowledged, and saved entire. And, so late
as 1521, just sixteen years ago, the Bohemian King Vladislaus
the Last, our good Margraf George's friend, had expressly, in a
Deed still extant, confirmed to them, with all the emphasis and
amplitude that Law-Phraseology could bring to bear upon it, the
right to dispose of said Lands in any manner of way: "by written
testament, or by verbal on their death-bed, they can, as they see
wisest, give away, sell, pawn, dispose of, and exchange
(vergeben, verkaufen, versetzen, verschaffen, verwechseln) italic> these said lands," to all lengths, and with all manner of
freedom. Which privilege had likewise been confirmed, twice over
(1522, 1524), by Ludwig the next King, Ludwig OHNE-HAUT, who
perished in the bogs of Mohacz, and ended the native Line of
Bohemian-Hungarian Kings. Nay, Ferdinand, King of the Romans, Karl
V.'s Brother, afterwards Kaiser, who absorbed that Bohemian Crown
among the others, had himself, by implication, sanctioned or
admitted the privilege, in 1529, only eight years ago. [Stenzel,
i. 323.] The right to make the ERBVERBRUDERUNG could not seem
doubtful to anybody.

And made accordingly it was: signed, sealed, drawn out on the
proper parchments, 18th October, 1537; to the following clear
effect: "That if Duke Friedrich's Line should die out, all his
Liegnitz countries, Liegnitz, Brieg, Wohlau, should fall to the
Hohenzollern Brandenburgers: and that, if the Line of Hohenzollern
Brandenburg should first fail, then all and singular the Bohemian
Fiefs of Brandenburg (as Crossen, Zullichau and seven others there
enumerated) should fall to the House of Liegnitz." [Stenzel, i.
320.] It seemed a clear Paction, questionable by no mortal.
Double-marriage between the two Houses (eldest Son, on each side,
to suitable Princess on the other) was to follow: and did follow,
after some delays, 17th February, 1545. So that the matter seemed
now complete: secure on all points, and a matter of quiet
satisfaction to both the Houses and to their friends.

But Ferdinand, King of the Romans, King of Bohemia and Hungary,
and coming to be Emperor one day, was not of that sentiment.
Ferdinand had once implicitly recognized the privilege, but
Ferdinand, now when he saw the privilege turned to use, and such a
territory as Liegnitz exposed to the possibility of falling into
inconvenient hands, explicitly took other thoughts: and gradually
determined to prohibit this ERBVERBRUDERUNG. The States of
Bohemia, accordingly, in 1544 (it is not doubtful, by Ferdinand's
suggestion), were moved to make inquiries as to this Heritage-
Fraternity of Liegnitz. [Ib. i. 322.] On which hint King Ferdinand
straightway informed the Duke of Liegnitz that the act was not
justifiable, and must be revoked. The Duke of Liegnitz, grieved to
the heart, had no means of resisting. Ferdinand, King of the
Romans, backed by Kaiser Karl, with the States of Bohemia barking
at his wink, were too strong for poor Duke Friedrich of Liegnitz.
Great corresponding between Berlin, Liegnitz, Prag ensued on this
matter: but the end was a summons to Duke Friedrich,--summons from
King Ferdinand in March, 1546, "To appear in the Imperial Hall
(KAISERHOF) at Breslau," and to submit that Deed of
EBVERBRUDERUNG to the examination of the States there. The States,
already up to the affair, soon finished their examination of it
(8th May, 1546). The deed was annihilated: and Friedrich was
ordered, furthermore, to produce proofs within six months that his
subjects too were absolved of all oaths or the like regarding it,
and that in fact the Transaction was entirely abolished and
reduced to zero. Friedrich complied, had to comply: very much
chagrined, he returned home: and died next year,--it is supposed,
of heartbreak from this business. He had yielded outwardly: but to
force only. In a Codicil appended to his last Will, some months
afterwards (which Will, written years ago, had treated the
ERBVERBRUDERUNG as a Fact settled), he indicates, as with his last
breath, that he considered the thing still valid, though overruled
by the hand of power. Let the reader mark this matter; for it will
assuredly become memorable, one day.

The hand of power, namely, Ferdinand, King of the Romans, had
applied in like manner to Joachim of Brandenburg to surrender his
portion of the Deed, and annihilate on his side too this
ERBVERBRUDERUNG. But Joachim refused steadily, and all his
successors steadily, to give up this Bit of Written Parchment:
kept the same, among their precious documents, against some day
that might come (and I suppose it lies in the Archives of Berlin
even now): silently, or in words, asserting that the Deed of
Heritage-Brothership was good, and that though some hands might
have the power, no hand could have the right to abolish it on
those terms.

How King Ferdinand permitted himself such a procedure? Ferdinand,
says one of his latest apologists in this matter, "considered the
privileges granted by his Predecessors, in respect to rights of
Sovereignty, as fallen extinct on their death." [Stenzel, i. 323.]
Which--if Reality and Fact would but likewise be so kind as
"consider" it so--was no doubt convenient for Ferdinand!

Joachim was not so great with Ferdinand as he had been with
Charles the Imperial Brother. Joachim and Ferdinand had many
debates of this kind, some of them rather stiff. Jagerndorf, for
instance, and the Baireuth-Anspach confiscations, in George
Friedrich's minority. Ferdinand, now Kaiser, had snatched
Jagerndorf from poor young George Friedrich, son of excellent
Margraf George whom we knew: "Part of the spoils of Albert
Alcibiades," thought Ferdinand, "and a good windfall,"--though
young George Friedrich had merely been the Ward of Cousin
Alcibiades, and totally without concern in those political
explosions. "Excellent windfall," thought Ferdinand: and held his
grip. But Joachim, in his weighty steady way, intervened:
Joachim, emphatic in the Diets and elsewhere, made Ferdinand quit
grip, and produce Jagerndorf again. Jagerndorf and the rest had
all to be restored: and, except some filchings in the Jagerndorf
Appendages (Ratibor and Oppeln, "restored" only in semblance, and
at length juggled away altogether), [Rentsch, pp. 129, 130.]
everything came to its right owner again. Nor would Joachim rest
till Alcibiades's Territories too were all punctually given back,
to this same George Friedrich: to whom, by law and justice, they
belonged, In these points Joachim prevailed against a strong-
handed Kaiser, apt to "consider one's rights fallen extinct" now
and then. In this of Liegnitz all he could do was to keep the
Deed, in steady protest silent or vocal.

But enough now of Joachim Hector, Sixth Kurfurst, and of his
workings and his strugglings. He walked through this world,
treading as softly as might be, yet with a strong weighty step:
rending the jungle steadily asunder; well seeing whither he was
bound. Rather an expensive Herr: built a good deal, completion of
the Schloss at Berlin one example: [Nicolai, p. 82.] and was not
otherwise afraid of outlay, in the Reich's Politics, or in what
seemed needful: If there is a harvest ahead, even a distant one,
it is poor thrift to be stingy of your seed-corn!

Joachim was always a conspicuous Public Man, a busy Politician in
the Reich: stanch to his kindred, and by no means blind to himself
or his own interests. Stanch also, we must grant, and ever active,
though generally in a cautious, weighty, never in a rash swift
way, to the great Cause of Protestantism, and to all good causes.
He was himself a solemnly devout man; deep awe-stricken reverence
dwelling in his view of this Universe. Most serious, though with a
jocose dialect commonly, having a cheerful wit in speaking to men.
Luther's Books he called his SEELENSCHATZ (Soul's-treasure):
Luther and the Bible were his chief reading. Fond of profane
learning too, and of the useful or ornamental Arts; given to
music, and "would himself sing aloud" when he had a melodious
leisure-hour. Excellent old gentleman: he died, rather suddenly,
but with much nobleness, 3d January, 1571; age sixty-six.
Old Rentsch's account of this event is still worth reading:
[Rentsch, p. 458.] Joachim's death-scene has a mild pious beauty
which does not depend on creed.

He had a Brother too, not a little occupied with Politics, and
always on the good side: a wise pious man, whose fame was in all
the churches: "Johann of Custrin," called also "Johann THE WISE,"
who busied himself zealously in Protestant matters, second only in
piety and zeal to his Cousin, Margraf George the Pious; and was
not so held back by official considerations as his Brother the
Elector now and then. Johann of Custrin is a very famous man in
the old Books: Johann was the first that fortified Custrin: built
himself an illustrious Schloss, and "roofed it with copper," in
Custrin (which is a place we shall be well acquainted with by and
by); and lived there, with the Neumark for apanage, a true man's
life;--mostly with a good deal of business, warlike and other, on
his hands; with good Books, good Deeds, and occasionally good Men,
coming to enliven it,--according to the terms then given.

Chapter XI.


Kaiser Karl, we said, was very good to Joachim; who always strove,
sometimes with a stretch upon his very conscience, to keep well
with the Kaiser. The Kaiser took Joachim's young Prince along with
him to those Schmalkaldic Wars (not the comfortable side for
Joachim's conscience, but the safe side for an anxious Father);
Kaiser made a Knight of this young Prince, on one occasion of
distinction; he wrote often to Papa about him, what a promising
young hero he was,--seems really to have liked the young man.
It was Johann George, Elector afterwards, Seventh Elector.--This
little incident is known to me on evidence. [Rentsch, p. 465.]
A small thing that certainly befell, at the siege of Wittenberg
(A.D. 1547), during those Philip-of-Hessen Negotiations, three
hundred and odd years ago.

The Schmalkaldic War having come all to nothing, the Saxon Elector
sitting captive with sword overhead in the way we saw, Saxon
Wittenberg was besieged, and the Kaiser was in great hurry to get
it. Kaiser in person, and young Johann George for sole attendant,
rode round the place one day, to take a view of the works, and
judge how soon, or whether ever, it could be compelled to give in.
Gunners noticed them from the battlements; gunners Saxon-
Protestant most likely, and in just gloom at the perils and
indignities now lying on their pious Kurfurst Johann Friedrich the
Magnanimous. "Lo, you! Kaiser's self riding yonder, and one of his
silk JUNKERS. Suppose we gave the Kaiser's self a shot, then?"
said the gunner, or thought: "It might help a better man from his
life-perils, if such shot did--!" In fact the gun flashed off,
with due outburst, and almost with due effect. The ball struck the
ground among the very horses' feet of the two riders; so that they
were thrown, or nearly so, and covered from sight with a cloud of
earth and sand;--and the gunners thought, for some instants, an
unjust, obstinate Kaiser's life was gone; and a pious Elector's
saved. But it proved not so. Kaiser Karl and Johann George both
emerged, in a minute or two, little the worse;--Kaiser Karl
perhaps blushing somewhat, and flurried this time, I think, in the
impenetrable eyes; and his Cimburgis lip closed for the moment;--
and galloped out of shot-range. "I never forget this little
incident," exclaims Smelfungus: "It is one of the few times I can
get, after all my reading about that surprising Karl V., I do not
say the least understanding or practical conception of him and his
character and his affairs, but the least ocular view or
imagination of him, as a fact among facts!" Which is unlucky for
Smelfungus.--Johann George, still more emphatically, never to the
end of HIS life forgot this incident. And indeed it must be owned,
had the shot taken effect as intended, the whole course of human
things would have been surprisingly altered;--and for one thing,
had ever risen above ground, or troubled an enlightened public
or me!

Of Johann George, this Seventh Elector, [1525; 1571-1598.] who
proved a good Governor, and carried on the Family Affairs in the
old style of slow steady success, I will remember nothing more,
except that he had the surprising number of Three-and-Twenty
children; one of them posthumous, though he died at the age of

He is Founder of the New Culmbach line: two sons of these twenty-
three children he settled, one in Baireuth, the other in Anspach;
from whom come all the subsequent Heads of that Principality, till
the last of them died in Hammersmith in 1806, as above said.
[Rentsch, p. 475 (CHRISTIAN to Baireuth; JOACHIM ERNST to
Anspach);--8ee Genealogical Diagram, inra, p. 309a.] He was a
prudent, thrifty Herr; no mistresses, no luxuries allowed; at the
sight of a new-fashioned coat, he would fly out on an unhappy
youth, and pack him from his presence. Very strict in point of
justice: a peasant once appealing to him, in one of his
inspection-journeys through the country, "Grant me justice,
DURCHLAUCHT, against So-and-so; I am your highness's born
subject!"--"Thou shouldst have it, man, wert thou a born Turk!"
answered Johann George.--There is something anxious, grave and, as
it were, surprised in the look of this good Herr. He made the GERA
BOND above spoken of;--founded the Younger Culmbach Line, with
that important Law of Primogeniture strictly superadded.
A conspicuous thrift, veracity, modest solidity, looks through the
conduct of this Herr;--a determined Protestant he too, as indeed
all the following were and are. [Rentsch, pp. 470, 471.]

Of Joachim Friedrich, his eldest Son, who at one time was
Archbishop of Magdeburg,--called home from the wars to fill that
valuable Heirloom, which had suddenly fallen vacant by an Uncle's
death, and keep it warm;--and who afterwards, in due course,
carried on a LOBLICHE REGIERUNG of the old style and physiognomy,
as Eighth Kurfurst, from his fiftieth to his sixtieth year
(1598-1608): [Born, 1547; Magdehurg, 1566-1598 (when his Third Son
got it,--very unlucky in the Thirty-Years War afterwards).] of him
we already noticed the fine "JOACHIMS-thal Gymnasium," or
Foundation for learned purposes, in the old Schloss of Grimnitz,
where his serene Grandmother got lamed; and will notice nothing
farther, in this place, except his very great anxiety to profit by
the Prussian MITBELEHNUNG,--that Co-infeftment in Preussen,
achieved by his Grandfather Joachim II., which was now about
coming to its full maturity. Joachim Friedrich had already married
his eldest Prince to the daughter of Albert Friedrich, Second
Duke of Preussen, who it was by this time evident would be the
last Duke there of his Line. Joachim Friedrich, having himself
fallen a widower, did next year, though now counting fifty-six--
But it will be better if we explain first, a little, how matters
now stood with Preussen.

Chapter XII.


Duke Albert died in 1568, laden with years, and in his latter time
greatly broken down by other troubles. His Prussian RATHS
(Councillors) were disobedient, his Osianders and Lutheran-
Calvinist Theologians were all in fire and flame against each
other: the poor old man, with the best dispositions, but without
power to realize them, had much to do and to suffer. Pious, just
and honorable, intending the best; but losing his memory, and
incapable of business, as he now complained. In his sixtieth year
he had married a second time, a young Brunswick Princess, with
whose foolish Brother, Eric, he had much trouble; and who at last
herself took so ill with the insolence and violence of these
intrusive Councillors and Theologians, that the household-life she
led beside her old Husband and them became intolerable to her;
and she withdrew to another residence,--a little Hunting-seat at
Neuhausen, half a dozen miles from Konigsberg;--and there, or at
Labiau still farther off, lived mostly, in a separate condition,
for the rest of her life. Separate for life:--nevertheless they
happened to die on the same day; 20th March, 1568, they were
simultaneously delivered from their troubles in this world.
[Hubner, t. 181; Stenzel, i. 342.]

Albert left one Son; the second child of this last Wife: his one
child by the former Wife, a daughter now of good years, was
married to the Duke of Mecklenburg. Son's name was Albert
Friedrich; age, at his Father's death, fifteen. A promising young
Prince, but of sensitive abstruse temper;--held under heavy
tutelage by his Raths and Theologians; and spurting up against
them, in explosive rebellion, from time to time. He now (1568)
was to be sovereign Duke of Preussen, and the one representative
of the Culmbach Line in that fine Territory; Margraf George
Friedrich of Anspach, the only other Culmbacher, being childless,
though wedded.

We need not doubt, the Brandenburg House--old Kurfurst Joachim II.
still alive, and thrifty Johann George the Heir-Apparent--kept a
watchful eye on those emergencies. But it was difficult to
interfere directly; the native Prussian Raths were very jealous,
and Poland itself was a ticklish Sovereignty to deal with.
Albert Friedrich being still a Minor, the Polish King, Sigismund,
proposed to undertake the guardianship of him, as became a
superior lord to a subject vassal on such an occasion. But the
Prussian Raths assured his Majesty, "Their young Prince was of
such a lively intellect, he was perfectly fit to conduct the
affairs of the Government," especially with such a Body of expert
Councillors to help him, "and might be at once declared of age."
Which was accordingly the course followed; Poland caring little
for it; Brandenburg digesting the arrangement as it could.
And thus it continued for some years, even under new difficulties
that arose; the official Clique of Raths being the real Government
of the Country; and poor young Albert Friedrich bursting out
occasionally into tears against them, occasionally into futile
humors of a fiery nature. Osiander-Theology, and the battle of
the 'DOXIES, ran very high; nor was Prussian Officiality a
beautiful thing.

These Prussian Raths, and the Prussian RITTERSCHAFT generally
(Knightage, Land-Aristocracy), which had its STANDE (States:
or meetings of Parliament after a sort), were all along of a
mutinous, contumacious humor. The idea had got into their minds,
That they were by birth what the ancient Ritters by election had
been; entitled, fit or not fit, to share the Government promotions
among them: "The Duke is hereditary in his office; why not we?
All Offices, are they not, by nature, ours to share among us?"
The Duke's notion, again, was to have the work of his Offices
effectually done; small matter by whom: the Ritters looked less to
that side of the question;--regarded any "Foreigner" (German-
Anspacher, or other Non-Prussian), whatever his merit, as an
intruder, usurper, or kind of thief, when seen in office.
Their contentions, contumacies and pretensions were accordingly
manifold. They had dreams of an "Aristocratic Republic, with the
Sovereign reduced to zero," like what their Polish neighbors grew
to. They had various dreams; and individuals among them broke out,
from time to time, into high acts of insolence and mutiny. It took
a hundred and fifty years of Brandenbufg horse-breaking, sometimes
with sharp manipulation and a potent curb-bit, to dispossess them
of that notion, and make them go steadily in harness. Which also,
however, was at last got done by the Hohenzollerns.


In a year or two, there came to be question of the marrying of
young Duke Albert Friedrich. After due consultation, the Princess
fixed upon was Maria Eleonora, eldest Daughter of the then Duke of
Cleve: to him a proper Embassy was sent with that object; and came
back with Yes for answer. Duke of Cleve, at that time, was
Wilhelm, called "the Rich" in History-Books; a Sovereign of some
extent in those lower Rhine countries. Whom I can connect with the
English reader's memory in no readier way than by the fact, That
he was younger brother, one year younger, of a certain "Anne of
Cleves;"--a large fat Lady, who was rather scurvily used in this
country; being called, by Henry VIII. and us, a "great Flanders
mare," unsuitable for espousal with a King of delicate feelings!
This Anne of Cleves, who took matters quietly and lived on her
pension, when rejected by King Henry, was Aunt of the young Lady
now in question for Preussen. She was still alive here in England,
pleasantly quiet, "at Burley on the Hill," till Maria Eleonora was
seven years old;--who possibly enough still reads in her memory
some fading vestige of new black frocks or trimmings, and brief
court-mourning, on the death of poor Aunt Anne over seas.--
Another Aunt is more honorably distinguished; Sibylla, Wife of our
noble Saxon Elector, Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous, who lost
his Electorate and almost his Life for religion's sake, as we have
seen; by whom, in his perils and distresses, Sibylla stood always,
like a very true and noble Wife.

Duke Wilhelm himself was a man of considerable mark in his day.
His Duchy of Cleve included not only Cleve-Proper, but Julich
(JULIERS), Berg, which latter pair of Duchies were a better thing
than Cleve-Proper:--Julich, Berg and various other small
Principalities, which, gradually agglomerating by marriage,
heritage and the chance of events in successive centuries, had at
length come all into Wilhelm's hands; so that he got the name of
Wilhelm the Rich among his contemporaries. He seems to have been
of a headlong, blustery, uncertain disposition; much tossed about
in the controversies of his day. At one time he was a Protestant
declared; not without reasons of various kinds. The Duchy of
Geldern (what we call GUELDERS) had fallen to him, by express
bequest of the last Owner, whose Line was out; and Wilhelm took
possession. But the Kaiser Karl V. quite refused to let him keep
possession. Whereupon Wilhelm had joined with the French (it was
in the Moritz-Alcibiades time); had declared war, and taken other
high measures: but it came to nothing, or to less. The end was,
Wilhelm had to "come upon his knees" before the Kaiser, and beg
forgiveness; quite renouncing Geldern, which accordingly has gone
its own different road ever since. Wilhelm was zealously
Protestant in those days; as his people are, and as he still is,
at the period we treat of. But he went into Papistry, not long
after; and made other sudden turns and misventures: to all
appearance, rather an abrupt, blustery, uncertain Herr. It is to
him that Albert Friedrich, the young Duke of Preussen, guided by
his Council, now (Year 1572) sends an Embassy, demanding his
eldest Daughter, Maria Eleonora, to wife.

Duke Wilhelm answered Yea; "sent a Counter-Embassy," with whatever
else was necessary; and in due time the young Bride, with her
Father, set out towards Preussen, such being the arrangement,
there to complete the matter. They had got as far as "Berlin,
warmly welcomed by the Kurfurst Johann George; when, from
Konigsberg, a sad message reached them: namely, that the young
Duke had suddenly been seized with an invincible depression and
overclouding of mind, not quite to be characterized by the name of
madness, but still less by that of perfect sanity. His eagerness
to see his Bride was the same as formerly; but his spiritual
health was in the questionable state described. The young Lady
paused for a little, in such mood as we may fancy. She had already
lost two offers, Bridegrooms snatched away by death, says Pauli;
[Pauli, iv. 512.] and thought it might be ominous to refuse the
third. So she decided to go on; dashed aside her father's doubts;
sent her unhealthy Bridegroom "a flower-garland as love-token,"
who duly responded; and Father Wilhelm and she proceeded, as if
nothing were wrong. The spiritual state of the Prince, she found,
had not been exaggerated to her. His humors and ways were strange,
questionable; other than one could have wished. Such as he was,
however, she wedded him on the appointed terms;--hoping probably
for a recovery, which never came.

The case of Albert's malady is to this day dim; and strange tales
are current as to the origin of it, which the curious in
Physiology may consult; they are not fit for reporting here.
[Ib. iv. 476.] It seems to have consisted in an overclouding,
rather than a total ruin of the mind. Incurable depression there
was; gloomy torpor alternating with fits of vehement activity or
suffering; great discontinuity at all times:--evident unfitness
for business. It was long hoped he might recover. And Doctors in
Divinity and in Medicine undertook him: Theologians, Exorcists,
Physicians, Quacks; but no cure came of it, nothing but mutual
condemnations, violences and even execrations, from the said
Doctors and their respective Official patrons, lay and clerical.
Must have been such a sceue for a young Wife as has seldom
occurred, in romance or reality! Children continued to be born;
daughter after daughter; but no son that lived.


After five years' space, in 1578, [Pauli, iv. 476, 481, 482.] cure
being now hopeless, and the very Council admitting that the Duke
was incapable of business,--George Friedrich of Anspach-Baireuth
came into the country to take charge of him; having already, he
and the other Brandenburgers, negotiated the matter with the King
of Poland, in whose power it mostly lay.

George Friedrich was by no means welcome to the Prussian Council,
nor to the Wife, nor to the Landed Aristocracy;--other than
welcome, for reasons we can guess. But he proved, in the judgment
of all fair witnesses, an excellent Governor; and, for six-and-
twenty years, administered the country with great and lasting
advantage to it. His Portraits represent to us a large ponderous
figure of a man, very fat in his latter years; with an air of
honest sense, dignity, composed solidity;--very fit for the task
now on hand.

He resolutely, though in mild form, smoothed down the flaming
fires of his Clergy; commanding now this controversy and then that
other controversy ("de concreto et de inconcreto," italic> or whatever they were) to fall strictly silent; to carry
themselves on by thought and meditation merely, and without words.
He tamed the mutinous Aristocracy, the mutinous Burgermeisters,
Town-Council of Konigsberg, whatever mutiny there was. He drained
bogs, says old Rentsch; he felled woods, made roads, established
inns. Prussia was well governed till George's death; which
happened in the year 1603. [Rentsch, pp. 666-688.] Anspach, in the
mean while, Anspach, Baireuth and Jagerndorf, which were latterly
all his, he had governed by deputy; no need of visiting those
quiet countries, except for purposes of kindly recreation, or for
a swift general supervision, now and then. By all accounts, an
excellent, steadfast, wise and just man, this fat George
Friedrich; worthy of the Father that produced him ("Nit
Kop ab, lover Forst, nit Kop ab!"),--- and that is
saying much.

By his death without children much territory fell home to the
Elder House; to be disposed of as was settled in the GERA BOND
five years before. Anspach and Baireuth went to two Brothers of
the now Elector, Kurfurst Joachim Friedrich, sons of Johann George
of blessed memory: founders, they, of the "New Line," of whom we
know. Jagerndorf the Elector himself got; and he, not long after,
settled it on one of his own sons, a new Johann George, who at
that time was fallen rather landless and out of a career: "Johann
George of Jagerndorf," so called thenceforth: whose history will
concern us by and by. Preussen was to be incorporated with the
Electorate,--were possession of it once had. But that is a
ticklish point; still ticklish in spite of rights, and liable to
perverse accidents that may arise.

Joachim Friedrich, as we intimated once, was not wanting to
himself on this occasion. But the affair was full of intricacies;
a very wasps'-nest of angry humors; and required to be handled
with delicacy, though with force and decision. Joachim Friedrich's
eldest Son, Johann Sigismund, Electoral Prince of Brandenburg, had
already, in 1594, married one of Albert Friedrich the
hypochondriac Duke of Preussen's daughters; and there was a
promising family of children; no lack of children. Nevertheless
prudent Joachim Friedrich himself, now a widower, age towards
sixty, did farther, in the present emergency, marry another of
these Princesses, a younger Sister of his Son's Wife,--seven
months after George Friedrich's death,--to make assurance doubly
sure, A man not to be balked, if he can help it. By virtue of
excellent management,--Duchess, Prussian STANDE (States), and
Polish Crown, needing all to be oontented,--Joachim Friedrich,
with gentle strong pressure, did furthermore squeeze his way into
the actual Guardianship of Preussen and the imbecile Duke, which
was his by right. This latter feat he achieved in the course of
another year (11th March, 1605); [Stenzel, i. 358.] and thereby
fairly got hold of Preussen; which he grasped, "knuckles-white,"
as we may say; and which his descendants have never quitted since.

Good management was very necessary. The thing was difficult;--and
also was of more importance than we yet altogether see.
Not Preussen only, but a still better country, the Duchy of Cleve,
Cleve-Julich, Duke Wilhelm's Heritage down in the Rhineland,--
Heritage turning out now to be of right his eldest Daughter's
here, and likely now to drop soon,--is involved in the thing.
This first crisis, of getting into the Prussian Administratorship,
fallen vacant, our vigilant Kurfurst Joachim Friedrich has
successfully managed; and he holds his grip, knuckles-white.
Before long, a second crisis comes; where also he will have to
grasp decisively in,--he, or those that stand for him, and whose
knuckles can still hold, But that may go to a new Chapter.

Chapter XIII.


In the summer of 1608 (23d May, 1608) Johann Sigismund's (and his
Father's) Mother-in-law, the poor Wife of the poor imbecile Duke
of Preussen, died. [Maria Eleonora, Duke Wilhelm of Cleve's eldest
Daughter: 1550, 1573, 1608 (Hubner, t. 286).] Upon which Johann
Sigismund, Heir-Apparent of Brandenburg and its expectancies, was
instantly despatched from Berlin, to gather up the threads cut
loose by that event, and see that the matter took no damage.
On the road thither news reached him that his own Father, old
Joachim Friedrich, was dead (18th July, 1608); that he himself was
now Kurfurst; [1572, 1608-1619.] and that numerous threads were
loose at both ends of his affairs.

The "young man"--not now so young, being full thirty-five and of
fair experience--was in difficulty, under these overwhelming
tidings; and puzzled, for a little, whether to advance or to
return. He decided to advance, and settle Prussian matters,
where the peril and the risk were; Brandenburg business he could
do by rescripts.

His difficulties in Preussen, and at the Polish Court, were in
fact immense. But after a space of eight or nine months, he did,
by excellent management, not sparing money judiciously laid out on
individuals, arrive at some adjustment, better or worse, and got
Preussen in hand; [29th April, 1609. Stenzel, i. 370.] legal
Administrator of the imbecile Duke, as his Father had been.
After which he had to run for Brandenburg, without loss of time:
great matters being there in the wind. Nothing wrong in
Brandenburg, indeed; but the great Cleve Heritage is dropping, has
dropped; over in Cleve, an immense expectancy is now come to the
point of deciding itself.

TAKE IN MAPS--------------------------------------------


Wilhelm of Cleve, the explosive Duke, whom we saw at Berlin and
Konigsberg at the wedding of this poor Lady now deceased, had in
the marriage-contract, as he did in all subsequent contracts and
deeds of like nature, announced a Settlement of his Estates, which
was now become of the highest moment for Johann Sigismund.
The Country at that time called Duchy of Cleve, consisted, as we
said above, not only of Cleve-Proper, but of two other still
better Duchies, Julich and Berg; then of the GRAFSCHAFT (County)
of Ravensburg, County of Mark, Lordship of---In fact it was a
multifarious agglomerate of many little countries, gathered by
marriage, heritage and luck, in the course of centuries, and now
united in the hand of this Duke Wilhelm. It amounted perhaps to
two Yorkshires in extent. [See Busching, Erdbeschreibung,
v. 642-734.] A naturally opulent Country, of fertile
meadows, shipping capabilities, metalliferous hills; and, at this
time, in consequence of the Dutch-Spanish War, and the multitude
of Protestant refugees, it was getting filled with ingenious
industries; and rising to be, what it still is, the busiest
quarter of Germany. A Country lowing with kine; the hum of the
flax-spindle heard in its cottages, in those old days,--"much of
the linen called Hollands is made in Julich, and only bleached,
stamped and sold, by the Dutch," says Busching. A Country, in our
days, which is shrouded at short intervals with the due canopy of
coal-smoke, and loud with sounds of the anvil and the loom.

This Duchy of Cleve, all this fine agglomerate of Duchies, Duke
Wilhelm settled, were to be inherited in a piece, by his eldest
(or indeed, as it soon proved, his only) Son and the heirs of that
Son, if there were any. Failing heirs of that only Son, then the
entire Duchy of Cleve was to go to Maria Eleonora as eldest
Daughter, now marrying to Friedrich Albert, Duke of Prussia, and
to their heirs lawfully begotten: heirs female, if there happened
to be no male. The other Sisters, of whom there were three, were
none of them to have the least pretence to inherit Cleve or any
part of it. On the contrary, they were, in such event, of the
eldest Daughter or her heirs coming to inherit Cleve, to have each
of them a sum of ready money paid ["200,000 GOLDGULDEN," about
100,000 pounds; Pauli, vi. 542; iii. 504.] by the said inheritrix
of Cleve or her heirs; and on receiving that, were to consider
their claims entirely fulfilled, and to cease thinking of Cleve
for the future.

This Settlement, by express privilege of Kaiser Karl V., nay of
Kaiser Maximilian before him, and the Laws of the Reich, Duke
Wilhelm doubted not he was entitled to make; and this Settlement
he made; his Lawyers writing down the terms, in their wearisome
way, perhaps six times over; and struggling by all methods to
guard against the least misunderstanding. Cleve with all its
appurtenances, Julich, Berg and the rest, goes to the eldest
Sister and her heirs, male or female: If she have no heirs, male
or female, then, but not till then, the next Sister steps into her
shoes in that matter: but if she have, then, we repeat for the
sixth and last time, no Sister or Sister's Representative has the
least word to say to it, but takes her 100,000 pounds, and ceases
thinking of Cleve.

The other three Sisters were all gradually married;--one of them
to Pfalz-Neuburg, an eminent Prince, in the Bavarian region called
the OBER-PFALZ (Upper Palatinate), who, or at least whose eldest
Son, is much worth mentioning and remembering by us here;--and, in
all these marriage-contracts, Wilhelm and his Lawyers expressed
themselves to the like effect, and in the like elaborate sixfold
manner: so that Wilhelm and they thought there could nowhere in
the world be any doubt about it.

Shortly after signing the last of these marriage-contracts, or
perhaps it was in the course of signing them, Duke Wilhelm had a
stroke of palsy. He had, before that, gone into Papistry again,
poor man. The truth is, he had repeated strokes; and being an
abrupt, explosive Herr, he at last quite yielded to palsy;
and sank slowly out of the world, in a cloud of semi-insanity,
which lasted almost twenty years. [Died 25th January, 1592, age
76.] Duke Wilhelm did leave a Son, Johann Wilhelm, who succeeded
him as Duke. But this Son also proved explosive; went half and at
length wholly insane. Jesuit Priests, and their intrigues to bring
back a Protestant country to the bosom of the Church, wrapped the
poor man, all his days, as in a burning Nessus'-Shirt; and he did
little but mischief in the world. He married, had no children;
he accused his innocent Wife, the Jesuits and he, of infidelity.
Got her judged, not properly sentenced; and then strangled her, he
and they, in her bed:--"Jacobea of Baden (1597);" a thrice-tragic
history. Then he married again; Jesuits being extremely anxious
for an Orthodox heir: but again there came no heir; there came
only new blazings of the Nessus'-Shirt. In fine, the poor man died
(Spring, 1609), and made the world rid of him. Died 25th March,
1609; that is the precise date;--about a month before our new
Elector, Johann Sigismund, got his affairs winded up at the Polish
Court, and came galloping home in such haste. There was pressing
need of him in the Cleve regions.

For the painful exactitude of Duke Wilhelm and his Lawyers has
profited little; and there are claimants on claimants rising for
that valuable Cleve Country. As indeed Johann Sigismund had
anticipated, and been warned from all quarters, to expect.
For months past, he has had his faculties bent, with lynx-eyed
attention, on that scene of things; doubly and trebly impatient to
get Preussen soldered up, ever since this other matter came to the
bursting-point. What could be done by the utmost vigilance of his
Deputies, he had done. It was the 25th of March when the mad Duke
died: on the 4th of April, Johann Sigismund's Deputy, attended by
a Notary to record the act, "fixed up the Brandenburg Arms on the
Government-House of Cleve;" [Pauli, vi. 566.] on the 5th, they did
the same at Dusseldorf; on the following days, at Julich and the
other Towns. But already on the 5th, they had hardly got done at
Dusseldorf, when there appeared--young Wolfgang Wilhelm, Heir-
Apparent of that eminent Pfalz-Neuburg, he in person, to put up
the Pfalz-Neuburg Arms! Pfalz-Neuburg, who married the Second
Daughter, he is actually claiming, then;--the whole, or part?
Both are sensible that possession is nine points in law.

Pfalz-Neuburg's claim was for the whole Duchy. "All my serene
Mother's!" cried the young Heir of Pfalz-Neuburg: "Properly all
mine!" cried he. "Is not she NEAREST of kin? Second Daughter,
true; but the Daughter; not Daughter OF a Daughter, as you are (as
your Serene Electress is), O DURCHLAUCHT of Brandenburg:--
consider, besides, you are female, I am male!" That was Pfalz-
Neuburg's logic: none of the best, I think, in forensic genealogy.
His tenth point was perhaps rather weak; but he had possession,
co-possession, and the nine points good. The other Two Sisters, by
their Sons or Husbands, claimed likewise; but not the whole:
"Divide it," said they: "that surely is the real meaning of
Karl V.'s Deed of Privilege to make such a Testament. Divide it
among the Four Daughters or their representatives, and let us all
have shares!"

Nor were these four claimants by any means all. The Saxon Princes
next claimed; two sets of Saxon Princes. First the minor set,
Gotha-Weimar and the rest, the Ernestine Line so called;
representatives of Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous, who lost the
Electorate for religion's sake at Muhlberg in the past century,
and from MAJOR became MINOR in Saxon Genealogy. "Magnanimous
Johann Friedrich," said they, "had to wife an Aunt of the now
deceased Duke of Cleve; Wife Sibylla (sister of the Flanders
Mare), of famous memory, our lineal Ancestress. In favor of whom
HER Father, the then reigning Duke of Cleve, made a marriage-
contract of precisely similar import to this your Prussian one:
he, and barred all his descendants, if contracts are to be valid."
This is the claim of the Ernestine Line of Saxon Princes; not like
to go for much, in their present disintegrated condition.

But the Albertine Line, the present Elector of Saxony, also
claims: "Here is a Deed," said he, "executed by Kaiser Friedrich
III. in the year 1483, [Pauli, ubi supra; Hubner, t. 286.]
generations before your Kaiser Karl; Deed solemnly granting to
Albert, junior of Sachsen, and to his heirs, the reversion of
those same Duchies, should the Male Line happen to fail, as it was
then likely to do. How could Kaiser Max revoke his Father's deed,
or Kaiser Karl his Great-grandfather's? Little Albert, the Albert
of the PRINZENRAUB, he who grew big, and fought lion-like for his
Kaiser in the Netherlands and Western Countries; he and his have
clearly the heirship of Cleve by right; and we, now grown
Electors, and Seniors of Saxony, demand it of a grateful House
of Hapsburg,--and will study to make ourselves convenient
in return."--

"Nay, if that is your rule, that old Laws and Deeds are to come in
bar of new, we," cry a multitude of persons,--French Dukes of
Nevers, and all manner of remote, exotic figures among them,--
"we are the real heirs! Ravensburg, Mark, Berg, Ravenstein, this
patch and the other of that large Duchy of yours, were they not
from primeval time expressly limited to heirs-male? Heirs-male;
and we now are the nearest heirs-male of said patches and
portions; and will prove it!"--In short, there never was such
a Lawsuit,--so fat an affair for the attorney species, if that
had been the way of managing it,--as this of Cleve was likely
to prove.


What greatly complicated the affair, too, was the interest the
Kaiser took in it. The Kaiser could not well brook a powerful
Protestant in that country; still less could his Cousin the
Spaniard. Spaniards, worn to the ground, coercing that world-
famous Dutch Revolt, and astonished to find that they could not
coerce it at all, had resolved at this time to take breath before
trying farther. Spaniards and Dutch, after Fifty years of such
fighting as we know, have made a Twelve-years' Truce (1609): but
the battled Spaniard, panting, pale in his futile rage and sweat,
has not given up the matter; he is only taking breath, and will
try it again. Now Cleve is his road into Holland, in such
adventure; no success possible if Cleve be not in good hands.
Brandenburg is Protestant, powerful; Brandenburg will not do for
a neighbor there.

Nor will Pfalz-Neuburg. A Protestant of Protestants, this Palatine
Neuburg too,--junior branch, possible heir in time coming, of
KUR-PFALZ (Elector Palatine) himself, in the Rhine Countries;
of Kur-Pfalz, who is acknowledged Chief Protestant: official
"President" of the "Evangelical Union" they have lately made among
them in these menacing times;--Pfalz-Neuburg too, this young
Wolfgang Wilhelm, if he do not break off kind, might be very
awkward to the Kaiser in Cleve-Julich. Nay Saxony itself; for they
are all Protestants:--unless perhaps Saxony might become pliant,
and try to make itself useful to a munificent Imperial House?

Evidently what would best suit the Kaiser and Spaniards, were
this, That no strong Power whatever got footing in Cleve, to grow
stronger by the possession of such a country:--BETTER than best it
would suit, if he, the Kaiser, could himself get it smuggled into
his hands, and there hold it fast! Which privately was the course
resolved upon at headquarters.--In this way the "Succession
Controversy of the Cleve Duchies" is coming to be a very high
matter; mixing itself, up with the grand Protestant-Papal
Controversy, the general armed-lawsuit of mankind in that
generation. Kaiser, Spaniard, Dutch, English, French Henri IV. and
all mortals, are getting concerned in the decision of it.

Chapter XIV.


Meanwhile Brandenburg and Neuburg both hold grip of Cleve in that
manner, with a mutually menacing inquiring expression of
countenance; each grasps it (so to speak) convulsively with the
one hand, and has with the other hand his sword by the hilt, ready
to fly out. But to understand this Brandenburg-Neuburg phenomenon
and the then significance of the Cleve-Julich Controversy, we must
take the following bits of Chronology along with us. For the
German Empire, with Protestant complaints, and Papist usurpations
and severities, was at this time all a continent of sour thick
smoke,already breaking out into dull-red flashes here and there,--
symptoms of the universal conflagration of a Thirty-Years War,
which followed. SYMPTON FIRST is that of Donauworth, and dates
above a year back.


Donauworth, a Protestant Imperial Free-town, in the Bavarian
regions, had been, for some fault on the part of the populace
against a flaring Mass-procession which had no business to be
there, put under Ban of the Empire; had been seized accordingly
(December, 1607), and much cuffed, and shaken about, by Duke
Maximilian of Bavaria, as executor of the said Ban; [Michaeelis,
ii. 216; Buddaei LEXICON, i. 853.]--who, what was still worse,
would by no means give up the Town when he had done with it;
Town being handy to him, and the man being stout and violently
Papist. Hence the "Evangelical Union" which we saw,--which has
not taken Donauworth yet. Nor ever will! Donauworth never was
retaken; but is Bavarian at this hour, A Town namable in History
ever since. Not to say withal, that it is where Marlborough, did
"the Lines of Schellenberg" long after: Schellenberg ("Jingle-
Hill," so to render it) looks down across the Danube or Donau
River, upon Donauworth,--its "Lines," and other histories, now
much abolished, and quiet under grass.

But now all Protestantism sounding everywhere, in angry mournful
tone, "Donauwarth! Give up Donauworth!"--and an "Evangelical
Union," with moneys, with theoretic contingents of force, being on
foot for that and the like objects;--we can fancy what a scramble
this of Cleve-Julich was like to be; and especially what effect
this duelling attitude of Brandenburg and Neuburg had on the
Protestant mind. Protestant neighbors, Landgraf Moritz of
Hessen-Cassel at their head, intervene in tremulous haste, in the
Cleve-Julich affair: "Peace, O friends! Some bargain; peaceable
joint-possession; any temporary bargain, till we see! Can two
Protestants fall to slashing one another, in such an aspect of the
Reich and its Jesuitries?"--And they did agree (Dortmund, 10th
May, 1609) the first of their innumerable "agreements," to some
temporary joint-possession;--the thrice-thankful Country doing
homage to both, "with oath to the one that SHALL be found
genuine." And they did endeavor to govern jointly, and to keep the
peace on those terms, though it was not easy.

For the Kaiser had already said (or his Aulic Council and Spanish
Cousin, poor Kaiser Rodolf caring too little about these things,
[Rodolf II. (Kepler's too insolvent "Patron"), 1576-1612; then
Matthias, Rodolf's Brother, 1612-1619, rather tolerant to
Protestants;--then Ferdinand II. his Uncle's Son, 1619-1637, much
the reverse of tolerant, by whom mainly came the Thirty-Years
War,--were the Kaisers of this Period.
Ferdinand III., Son of II: (1637-1657), who finished out the
Thirty-Years War, partly by fighting of his own in young days
(Battle of Nordlingen his grandest feat), was Father of
Kaiser Leopold (1658-1705),--whose Two Sons were
Kaiser Joseph (1705-1711) and Kaiser Karl VI. (1711-1740), Maria
Theresa's Father.] had already said), Cleve must absolutely not go
into wrong hands. For which what safe method is there, but that
the Kaiser himself become proprietor? A Letter is yet extant, from
the Aulic Council to their Vice-Chancellor, who had been sent to
negotiate this matter with the parties; Letter to the effect, That
such result was the only good one; that it must be achieved;
"that he must devise all manner of quirks (alle
Spitzfindigkeiten auffordern sollte)," and achieve
it. [Pauli, iii. 5055.] This curious Letter of a sublime Aulic
Council, or Imperial HOF-RATH, to its VICE-KANZLER, still exists.

And accordingly quirks did not prove undevisable on behalf of the
Kaiser. "Since you cannot agree," said the Kaiser, "and there are
so many of you who claim (we having privately stirred up several
of you to the feat), there will be nothing for it, but the Kaiser
must put the Country under sequestration, and take possession of
it with his own troops, till a decision be arrived at,--which
probably will not be soon!"


And the Kaiser forthwith did as he had said; sent Archduke Leopold
with troops, who forcibly took the Castle of Julich; commanding
all other castles and places to surrender and sequestrate
themselves, in like fashion; threatening Brandenburg and Neuburg,
in a dreadful manner, with REICHS-ACHT (Ban of the Empire), if
they presumed to show contumacy. Upon which Brandenburg and
Neuburg, ranking themselves together, showed decided contumacy;
"tore down the Kaiser's Proclamation," [Ib. iii. 524. Emperor's
Proclamation, in Dusseldorf, 23d July, 1609,--taken down solemnly,
1st August, 1609,] having good help at their back.

And accordingly, "on the 4th of September, 1610," after a
two-months' siege, they, or the Dutch, French, and Evangelical
Union Troops bombarding along with them, and "many English
volunteers" to help, retook Julich, and packed Leopold away again.
[Ib. iii. 527.] The Dutch and the French were especially anxious
about this Cleve business,--poor Henri IV. was just putting those
French troops in motion towards Julich, when Ravaillac, the
distracted Devil's-Jesuit, did his stroke upon him; so that
another than Henri had to lead in that expedition. The actual
Captain at the Siege was Prince Christian of Anhalt, by repute the
first soldier of Germany at that period: he had a horse shot under
him, the business being very hot and furious;--he had still worse
fortune in the course of years. There were "many English
volunteers" at this Siege; English nation hugely interested in it,
though their King would not act except diplomatically. It was the
talk of all the then world,--the evening song and the morning
prayer of Protestants especially,--till it was got ended in this
manner. It deserves to rank as SYMPTON SECOND in this business;
far bigger flare of dull red in the universal smoke-continent,
than that of Donauworth had been. Are there no memorials left of
those "English volunteers," then? [In Carlyle's
Miscellanies (vi. ? "Two Hundred and Fifty Years ago:
a Fragment about Duels") is one small scene belonging to them.]
Alas, they might get edited as Bromley's Royal Letters
are;--and had better lie quiet!

"Evangelical Union," formed some two years before, with what cause
we saw, has Kur-Pfalz [Winter-King's Father; died 9th September,
1610, few days after this recapture of Julich.] at the head of it:
but its troops or operations were never of a very forcible
character. Kur-Brandenburg now joined it formally, as did many
more; Kur-Sachsen, anxious to make himself convenient in other
quarters, never would. Add to these phenomena, the now decisive
appearance of a "Catholic LIGA" (League of Catholic Princes),
which, by way of counterpoise to the "Union," had been got up by
Duke Maximilian of Bavaria several months ago; and which now,
under the same guidance, in these bad circumstances, took a great
expansion of figure. Duke Maximilian, "DONAUWORTH Max," finding
the Evangelical Union go so very high, and his own Kaiser like to
be good for little in such business (poor hypochondriac Kaiser
Rodolf II., more taken up with turning-looms and blow-pipes
than with matters political, who accordingly is swept out of
Julich in such summary way),--Donauworth Max has seen this a
necessary institution in the present aspect.--Both "Union" and
"League" rapidly waxed under the sound of the Julich cannon, as
was natural.

Kur-Sachsen, for standing so well aloof from the Union, got from
the thankful Kaiser written Titles for these Duchies of Cleve and
Julich; Imperial parchments and infeftments of due extent;
but never any Territory in those parts. He never offered fight for
his pretensions; and Brandenburg and Neuburg--Neuburg especially--
always answered him, "No!" with sword half-drawn. So Kur-Sachsen
faded out again, and took only parchments by the adventure.
Practically there was no private Competitor of moment to
Brandenburg, except this Wolfgang Wilhelm of Pfalz-Neuburg;
he alone having clutched hold.--But we hasten to SYMPTOM THIRD,
which particularly concerns us, and will be intelligible now
at last.


Brandenburg and Neuburg stood together against third parties;
but their joint-government was apt to fall in two, when left to
itself, and the pressure of danger withdrawn. "They governed by
the RATHS and STANDE of the Country;" old methods and old official
men: each of the two had his own Vice-Regent (STATTHALTER) present
on the ground, who jointly presided as they could. Jarrings were
unavoidable; but how mend it? Settle the litigated Territory
itself, and end their big lawsuit, they could not; often as they
tried it, with the whole world encouraging and urging them.
[Old Sir Henry Wotton, Provost of Eton in his old days, remembers
how he went Ambassador on this errand,--as on many others equally
bootless;--and writes himself "Legatus," not only "thrice to
Venice, twice to" &c. &c., but also "once to Holland in the
Juliers matter (semel in Juliacensi negotio):" italic> see Reliquiae Wottonianae (London,
1672), Preface. It was "in 1614," say the Biographies vaguely.
His Despatches, are they in the Paper-Office still? His good old
Book deserves new editing, his good old genially pious life a
proper elucidation, by some faithful man.] The meetings they had,
and the treaties and temporary bargains they made, and kept, and
could not keep, in these and in the following years and
generations, pass our power of recording.

In 1613 the Brandenburg STATTHALTER was Ernst, the Elector's
younger Brother, Wolfgang Wilhelm in person, for his Father, or
rather for himself as heir of his Mother, represented Pfalz-
Neuburg. Ernst of Brandenburg had adopted Calvinism as his creed;
a thing hateful and horrible to the Lutheran mind (of which sort
was Wolfgang Wilhelm), to a degree now altogether inconceivable.
Discord arose in consequence between the STATTHALTERS, as to
official appointments, sacred and secular: "You are for promoting
Calvinists!"--"And you, I see, are for promoting Lutherans!"--
Johann Sigismund himself had to intervene: Wolfgang Wilhelm and he
had their meetings, friendly colloquies:--the final celloquy of
which is still memorable; and issues in SYMPTOM THIRD.

We said, a strong flame of choler burnt in all these
Hohenzollerns, though they held it well down. Johann Sigismund, an
excellent man of business, knew how essential a mild tone is:
nevertheless he found, as this colloquy went on, that human
patience might at length get too much. The scene, after some
examination, is conceivable in this wise: Place Dusseldorf,
Elector's apartment in the Schloss there; time late in the Year
1613, Day not discoverable by me. The two sat at dinner, after
much colloquy all morning: Johann Sigismund, a middle-aged,
big-headed, stern-faced, honest-looking man; hair cropped,
I observe; and eyelids slightly contracted, as if for sharper
vision into matters: Wolfgang Wilhelm, of features fallen dim to
me; an airy gentleman, well out of his teens, but, I doubt, not of
wisdom sufficient; evidently very high and stiff in his ways.

His proposal, by way of final settlement, and end to all these
brabbles, was this, and he insisted on it: "Give me your eldest
Princess to wife; let her dowry be your whole claim on Cleve-
Julich; I will marry her on that condition, and we shall be
friends!" Here evidently is a gentleman that does not want for
conceit in himself:--consider too, in Johann Sigismund's opinion,
he had no right to a square inch of these Territories, though for
peace' sake a joint share had been allowed him for the time!
"On that condition, jackanapes?' thought Johann Sigismund:
"My girl is not a monster; nor at a loss for husbands fully better
than you, I should hope!" This he thought, and could not help
thinking; but endeavored to say nothing of it. The young
jackanapes went on, insisting. Nature at last prevailed; Johann
Sigismund lifted his hand (princely etiquettes melting all into
smoke on the sudden), and gave the young jackanapes a slap over
the face. Veritable slap; which opened in a dreadful manner the
eyes of young Pfalz-Neuburg to his real situation; and sent him
off high-flaming, vowing never-imagined vengeance. A remarkable
slap; well testified to,--though the old Histories, struck blank
with terror, reverence and astonishment, can for most part only
symbol it in dumb-show; [Pufendorf (Rer. Brandenb. italic> lib. iv. ? 16, p. 213), and many others, are in this case.
Tobias Pfanner (Historia Pacis Westphalicae,
lib. i. ? 9, p. 26) is explicit: "Neque, ut infida
regnandi societas est, Brandenburgio et Neoburgio diu conveniebat;
eorumque jurgia, cum matrimonii faedere pacari posse propinqui
ipsorum credidissent, acrius ezarsere; inter epulas, quibus
futurum generum Septemvir (the "Sevensman," or
Elector, "One of The Seven") excipiebat, hujus enim filia
Wolfgango sperabatur, ob nescio quos sermones eo inter utrumque
altercalione provecta, ut Elector irae impotestior, nulla
dignitatis, hospitii, cognationis, affinitatisve verecundia
cohibitus, intenderit Neoburgio manus, et contra tendentis os
verberaverit. Ita, quae apud concordes vincula caritatis,
incitamenta irarum apud infensos erant." (Cited in
Kohler, Munzbelustiqungen, xxi. 341;
who refers also to Levassor, Histoire de Louis XII.)italic>--Pauli (iii. 542) bedomes qnite vaporous.] a slap that had
important consequences in this world.

For now Wolfgang Wilhelm, flaming off in never-imagined vengeance,
posted straight to Munchen, to Max of Bavaria there; declared
himself convinced, or nearly so, of the Roman-Catholic Religion;
wooed, and in a few weeks (10th November, 1613) wedded Max's
younger Sister; and soon after, at Dusseldorf, pompously professed
such his blessed change of Belief,--with immense flourish of
trumpeting, and jubilant pamphleteering, from Holy Church.
[Kohler, ubi supra.] His poor old Father, the devoutest of
Protestants, wailed aloud his "Ichabod! the glory is departed!"--
holding "weekly fast and humiliation" ever after,--and died in few
months of a broken heart. The Catholic League has now a new Member
on those terms.

And on the other hand, Johann Sigismund, nearly with the like
haste (25th December, 1613), declared himself convinced of
Calvinism, his younger Brother's creed; [Pauli, iii. 546.]--which
continues ever since the Brandenburg Court-creed, that of the
People being mostly Lutheran. Men said, it was to please the
Dutch, to please the Julichers, most of whom are Calvinist.
Apologetic Pauli is elaborate, but inconclusive. It was very ill
taken at Berlin, where even popular riot arose on the matter.
In Prussia too it had its drawbacks. [Ib. iii. 544; Michaelis,
i. 349.]

And now, all being full of mutation, rearrangement and infinite
rumor, there marched next year (1614), on slight pretext, resting
on great suspicions, Spanish troops into the Julich-Cleve country,
and, countenanced by Neuburg, began seizing garrisons there.
Whereupon Dutch troops likewise marched, countenanced by
Brandenburg, and occupied other fortresses and garrisons: and so,
in every strong-place, these were either Papist-Spaniards or
Calvinist-Dutch; who stood there, fronting one another, and could
not by treatying be got out again;--like clouds positively
electric VERSUS clouds negatively. As indeed was getting to be the
case of Germany in general; case fatally visible in every
Province, Principality and Parish there: till a thunder-storm, and
succession of thunder-storms, of Thirty Years' continuance, broke
out. Of which these huge rumors and mutations, and menacings of
war, springing out of that final colloquy and slap in the face,
are to be taken as the THIRD premonitory Symptom. Spaniards and
Dutch stand electrically fronting one another in Cleve for seven
years, till their Truce is out, before they clash together;
Germany does not wait so long by a couple of years.


Five years more (1618), and there will have come a FOURTH Symptom,
biggest of all, rapidly consummating the process;--Symptom still
famed, of the following external figure: Three Official Gentlemen
descending from a window in the Castle of Prag: hurled out by
impatient Bohemian Protestantism, a depth of seventy feet,--
happily only into dung, and without loss of life. From which
follows a "King of Bohemia" elected there, King not unknown to
us;--"thunder-clouds" all in one huge clash, and the "continent of
sour smoke" blazing all into a continent of thunderous fire:
THIRTY-YEARS WAR, as they now call it! Such a conflagration as
poor Germany never saw before or since.

These were the FOUR preliminary SYMPTOMS of that dismal business.
"As to the primary CAUSES of it," says one of my Authorities,
"these lie deep, deep almost as those of Original Sin. But the
proximate causes seem to me to have been these two: FIRST, That
the Jesuit-Priests and Principalities had vowed and resolved to
have, by God's help and by the Devil's (this was the peculiarity
of it), Europe made Orthodox again: and then SECONDLY, The fact
that a Max of Bavaria existed at that time, whose fiery character,
cunning but rash head, and fanatically Papist heart disposed him
to attempt that enterprise, him with such resources and
capacities, under their bad guidance."

Johann Sigismund did many swift decisive strokes of business in
his time, businesses of extensive and important nature; but this
of the slap to Neuburg has stuck best in the idle memory of
mankind. Dusseldorf, Year 1613: it was precisely in the time when
that same Friedrioh, not yet by any means "King of Bohemia," but
already Kur-Pfalz (Cousin of this Neuburg, and head man of the
Protestants), was over here in England, on a fine errand;--namely,
had married the fair Elizabeth (14th February, 1613), James the
First's Princess; "Goody Palsgrave," as her Mother floutingly
called her, not liking the connection. What kind of a "King of
Bohemia" this Friedrich made, five or six years after, and
what sea of troubles he and his entered into, we know;
the "WINTER-KONIG" (Winter-King, fallen in times of FROST, or
built of mere frost, a SNOW-king altogether soluble again) is the
name he gets in German Histories. But here is another hook to hang
Chronology upon.

This brief Bohemian Kingship had not yet exploded on the
Weissenberg of Prag, [Battle there, Sunday 8th November, 1620.]
when old Sir Henry Wotton being sent as Ambassador "to LIE abroad"
(as he wittily called it, to his cost) in that Business, saw, in
the City of Lintz in the picturesque green country by the shores
of the Donau there, an ingenious person, who is now recognizable
as one of the remarkablest of mankind, Mr. John Kepler, namely:
Keplar as Wotton writes him; addressing the great Lord Bacon
(unhappily without strict date of any kind) on that among other
subjects. Mr. John's now ever-memorable watching of those
Motions of the Star Mars, [ De Motibus Stellae Martis; Prag, 1609.] with "calculations
repeated seventy times," and also with Discovery of the Planetary
Laws of this Universe, some, ten years ago, appears to be unknown
to Wotton and Bacon; but there is something else of Mr. John's
devising [It seems, Baptista Porta (of Naples, dead some years
before) must have given him the essential hint,--of whom, or
whose hint, Mr. John does not happen to inform his Excellency
at present.] which deserves attention from an Instaurator
of Philosophy:--

"He hath a little black Tent (of what stuff is not much
importing)," says the Ambassador, "which he can suddenly set
up where he will in a Field; and it is convertible (like a
windmill) to all quarters at pleasure; capable of not much more
than one man, as I conceive, and perhaps at no great ease; exactly
close and dark,--save at one hole, about an inch and a half in the
diameter, to which he applies a long perspective Trunk, with the
convex glass fitted to the said hole, and the concave taken out at
the other end, which extendeth to about the middle of this erected
Tent: through which the visible radiations of all the Objects
without are intromitted, falling upon a Paper, which is
accommodated to receive them; and so he traceth them with his pen
in their natural appearance; turning his little Tent round by
degrees, till he hath designed the whole Aspect of the Field."
[ Reliqui Wottonianae, (london 1672),
p. 300.]--In fact he hath a CAMERA OBSCURA, and is exhibiting the
same for the delectation of Imperial gentlemen lounging that way.
Mr. John invents such toys, writes almanacs, practises medicine,
for good reasons; his encouragement from the Holy Roman Empire and
mankind being only a pension of 18 pounds a year, and that hardly
ever paid. An ingenious person, truly, if there ever was one among
Adam's Posterity. Just turned of fifty and ill off for cash. This
glimpse of him, in his little black tent with perspective glasses,
while the Thirty-Years War blazes out, is welcome as a date.


In the Cleve Duchies joint government had now become more
difficult than ever: but it had to be persisted in,--under mutual
offences, suspicions and outbreaks hardly repressed;--no final
Bargain of Settlement proving by any method possible. Treaties
enough, and conferences and pleadings, manifestoings:--Could not
some painful German collector of Statistics try to give us the
approximate quantity of impracticable treaties, futile
conferences, manifestoes correspondences; in brief, some
authentical cipher (say in round millions) of idle Words spoken by
official human creatures and approximately (in square miles) the
extent of Law Stationery and other Paper written, first and last,
about this Controversy of the Cleve Duchies? In that form it might
have a momentary interest.

When the Winter-King's explosion took place, [Crowned at Prag,
4th November N.S. 1619; beaten to ruin there, and obliged to
gallop (almost before dinner done), Sunday, 8th November, 1620.]
and his own unfortunate Pfalz (Palatinate) became the theatre of
war (Tilly, Spinola, VERSUS Pfalzers, English, Dutch), involving
all the neighboring regions, Cleve-Julich did not escape its fate.
The Spaniards and the Dutch, who had long sat in gloomy armed-
truce, occupying with obstinate precaution the main Fortresses of
these Julich-Cleve countries, did now straightway, their Twelve-
Years' truce being out (1621), [Pauli, vi. 578-580.] fall to
fighting and besieging one another there; the huge War, which
proved of Thirty Years, being now all ablaze. What the country
suffered in the interim may be imagined.

In 1624, in pity to all parties, some attempt at practical
Division of the Territory was again made: Neuburg to have Berg and
Julich, Brandenburg to have Cleve, Mark, Ravensburg and the minor
appurtenances: and Treaty to that effect was got signed (11th May,
1624). But it was not well kept, nor could be; and the statistic
cipher of new treaties, manifestoes, conferences, and approximate
written area of Law-Paper goes on increasing.

It was not till forty-two years after, in 1666, as will be more
minutely noticeable by and by, that an effective partition could
be practically brought about. Nor in this state was the Lawsuit by
any means ended,--as we shall wearisomely see, in times long
following that. In fact there never was, in the German Chanceries
or out of them, such a Lawsuit, Armed or Wigged, as this of the
Cleve Duchies first and last. And the sentence was not practically
given, till the Congress of Vienna (1815) in our own day gave it;
and the thing Johann Sigismund had claimed legally in 1609 was
actually handed over to Johann Sigismund's Descendant in the
seventh generation, after two hundred and six years. Handed over
to him then,--and a liberal rate of interest allowed. These
litigated Duchies are now the Prussian Province Julich-Berg-Cleve,
and the nucleus of Prussia's possessions in the Rhine country.

A year before Johann Sigismund's death, Albert Friedrich, the poor
eclipsed Duke of Prussia, died (8th August, 1618): upon which our
swift Kurfurst, not without need of his dexterities there too, got
peaceable possession of Prussia;--nor has his Family lost hold of
that, up to the present time. Next year (23d December, 1619), he
himself closed a swift busy life (labor enough in it for him
perhaps, though only an age of forty-nine); and sank to his long
rest, his works following him,--unalterable thenceforth, not
unfruitful some of them.

Chapter XV.


By far the unluckiest of these Electors, whether the most unworthy
of them or not, was George Wilhelm, Tenth Elector, who now
succeeded Johann Sigismund his Father. The Father's eyes had
closed when this great flame was breaking out; and the Son's days
were all spent amid the hot ashes and fierce blazings of it.

The position of Brandenburg during this sad Thirty-Years War was
passive rather than active; distinguished only in the former way,
and as far as possible from being glorious or victorious.
Never since the Hohenzollerns came to that Country had Brandenburg
such a time. Difficult to have mended it; impossible to have quite
avoided it;--and Kurfurst George Wilhelm was not a man so superior
to all his neighbors, that he could clearly see his way in such an
element. The perfect or ideal course was clear: To have frankly
drawn sword for his Religion and his Rights, so soon as the battle
fairly opened; and to have fought for these same, till he got
either them or died. Alas, that is easily said and written; but it
is, for a George Wilhelm especially, difficult to do! His
capability in all kinds was limited; his connections, with
this side and that, were very intricate. Gustavus and the
Winter-King were his Brothers-in-law; Gustavus wedded to his
Sister, he to Winter-King's. His relations to Poland, feudal

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