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The Thirty Years War, Complete by Frederich Schiller

Part 5 out of 7

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the first, as to find any other commander for it than Wallenstein. This
promising army, the last hope of the Emperor, was nothing but an
illusion, as soon as the charm was dissolved which had called it into
existence; by Wallenstein it had been raised, and, without him, it sank
like a creation of magic into its original nothingness. Its officers
were either bound to him as his debtors, or, as his creditors, closely
connected with his interests, and the preservation of his power. The
regiments he had entrusted to his own relations, creatures, and
favourites. He, and he alone, could discharge to the troops the
extravagant promises by which they had been lured into his service. His
pledged word was the only security on which their bold expectations
rested; a blind reliance on his omnipotence, the only tie which linked
together in one common life and soul the various impulses of their zeal.
There was an end of the good fortune of each individual, if he retired,
who alone was the voucher of its fulfilment.

However little Wallenstein was serious in his refusal, he successfully
employed this means to terrify the Emperor into consenting to his
extravagant conditions. The progress of the enemy every day increased
the pressure of the Emperor's difficulties, while the remedy was also
close at hand; a word from him might terminate the general
embarrassment. Prince Eggenberg at length received orders, for the
third and last time, at any cost and sacrifice, to induce his friend,
Wallenstein, to accept the command.

He found him at Znaim in Moravia, pompously surrounded by the troops,
the possession of which he made the Emperor so earnestly to long for.
As a suppliant did the haughty subject receive the deputy of his
sovereign. "He never could trust," he said, "to a restoration to
command, which he owed to the Emperor's necessities, and not to his
sense of justice. He was now courted, because the danger had reached
its height, and safety was hoped for from his arm only; but his
successful services would soon cause the servant to be forgotten, and
the return of security would bring back renewed ingratitude. If he
deceived the expectations formed of him, his long earned renown would be
forfeited; even if he fulfilled them, his repose and happiness must be
sacrificed. Soon would envy be excited anew, and the dependent monarch
would not hesitate, a second time, to make an offering of convenience to
a servant whom he could now dispense with. Better for him at once, and
voluntarily, to resign a post from which sooner or later the intrigues
of his enemies would expel him. Security and content were to be found
in the bosom of private life; and nothing but the wish to oblige the
Emperor had induced him, reluctantly enough, to relinquish for a time
his blissful repose."

Tired of this long farce, the minister at last assumed a serious tone,
and threatened the obstinate duke with the Emperor's resentment, if he
persisted in his refusal. "Low enough had the imperial dignity," he
added, "stooped already; and yet, instead of exciting his magnanimity by
its condescension, had only flattered his pride and increased his
obstinacy. If this sacrifice had been made in vain, he would not
answer, but that the suppliant might be converted into the sovereign,
and that the monarch might not avenge his injured dignity on his
rebellious subject. However greatly Ferdinand may have erred, the
Emperor at least had a claim to obedience; the man might be mistaken,
but the monarch could not confess his error. If the Duke of Friedland
had suffered by an unjust decree, he might yet be recompensed for all
his losses; the wound which it had itself inflicted, the hand of Majesty
might heal. If he asked security for his person and his dignities, the
Emperor's equity would refuse him no reasonable demand. Majesty
contemned, admitted not of any atonement; disobedience to its commands
cancelled the most brilliant services. The Emperor required his
services, and as emperor he demanded them. Whatever price Wallenstein
might set upon them, the Emperor would readily agree to; but he demanded
obedience, or the weight of his indignation should crush the refractory

Wallenstein, whose extensive possessions within the Austrian monarchy
were momentarily exposed to the power of the Emperor, was keenly
sensible that this was no idle threat; yet it was not fear that at last
overcame his affected reluctance. This imperious tone of itself, was to
his mind a plain proof of the weakness and despair which dictated it,
while the Emperor's readiness to yield all his demands, convinced him
that he had attained the summit of his wishes. He now made a show of
yielding to the persuasions of Eggenberg; and left him, in order to
write down the conditions on which he accepted the command.

Not without apprehension, did the minister receive the writing, in which
the proudest of subjects had prescribed laws to the proudest of
sovereigns. But however little confidence he had in the moderation of
his friend, the extravagant contents of his writing surpassed even his
worst expectations. Wallenstein required the uncontrolled command over
all the German armies of Austria and Spain, with unlimited powers to
reward and punish. Neither the King of Hungary, nor the Emperor
himself, were to appear in the army, still less to exercise any act of
authority over it. No commission in the army, no pension or letter of
grace, was to be granted by the Emperor without Wallenstein's approval.
All the conquests and confiscations that should take place, were to be
placed entirely at Wallenstein's disposal, to the exclusion of every
other tribunal. For his ordinary pay, an imperial hereditary estate was
to be assigned him, with another of the conquered estates within the
empire for his extraordinary expenses. Every Austrian province was to
be opened to him if he required it in case of retreat. He farther
demanded the assurance of the possession of the Duchy of Mecklenburg, in
the event of a future peace; and a formal and timely intimation, if it
should be deemed necessary a second time to deprive him of the command.

In vain the minister entreated him to moderate his demands, which, if
granted, would deprive the Emperor of all authority over his own troops,
and make him absolutely dependent on his general. The value placed on
his services had been too plainly manifested to prevent him dictating
the price at which they were to be purchased. If the pressure of
circumstances compelled the Emperor to grant these demands, it was more
than a mere feeling of haughtiness and desire of revenge which induced
the duke to make them. His plans of rebellion were formed, to their
success, every one of the conditions for which Wallenstein stipulated in
this treaty with the court, was indispensable. Those plans required
that the Emperor should be deprived of all authority in Germany, and be
placed at the mercy of his general; and this object would be attained,
the moment Ferdinand subscribed the required conditions. The use which
Wallenstein intended to make of his army, (widely different indeed from
that for which it was entrusted to him,) brooked not of a divided power,
and still less of an authority superior to his own. To be the sole
master of the will of his troops, he must also be the sole master of
their destinies; insensibly to supplant his sovereign, and to transfer
permanently to his own person the rights of sovereignty, which were only
lent to him for a time by a higher authority, he must cautiously keep
the latter out of the view of the army. Hence his obstinate refusal to
allow any prince of the house of Austria to be present with the army.
The liberty of free disposal of all the conquered and confiscated
estates in the empire, would also afford him fearful means of purchasing
dependents and instruments of his plans, and of acting the dictator in
Germany more absolutely than ever any Emperor did in time of peace. By
the right to use any of the Austrian provinces as a place of refuge, in
case of need, he had full power to hold the Emperor a prisoner by means
of his own forces, and within his own dominions; to exhaust the strength
and resources of these countries, and to undermine the power of Austria
in its very foundation.

Whatever might be the issue, he had equally secured his own advantage,
by the conditions he had extorted from the Emperor. If circumstances
proved favourable to his daring project, this treaty with the Emperor
facilitated its execution; if on the contrary, the course of things ran
counter to it, it would at least afford him a brilliant compensation for
the failure of his plans. But how could he consider an agreement valid,
which was extorted from his sovereign, and based upon treason? How could
he hope to bind the Emperor by a written agreement, in the face of a law
which condemned to death every one who should have the presumption to
impose conditions upon him? But this criminal was the most
indispensable man in the empire, and Ferdinand, well practised in
dissimulation, granted him for the present all he required.

At last, then, the imperial army had found a commander-in-chief worthy
of the name. Every other authority in the army, even that of the
Emperor himself, ceased from the moment Wallenstein assumed the
commander's baton, and every act was invalid which did not proceed from
him. From the banks of the Danube, to those of the Weser and the Oder,
was felt the life-giving dawning of this new star; a new spirit seemed
to inspire the troops of the emperor, a new epoch of the war began. The
Papists form fresh hopes, the Protestant beholds with anxiety the
changed course of affairs.

The greater the price at which the services of the new general had been
purchased, the greater justly were the expectations from those which the
court of the Emperor entertained. But the duke was in no hurry to
fulfil these expectations. Already in the vicinity of Bohemia, and at
the head of a formidable force, he had but to show himself there, in
order to overpower the exhausted force of the Saxons, and brilliantly to
commence his new career by the reconquest of that kingdom. But,
contented with harassing the enemy with indecisive skirmishes of his
Croats, he abandoned the best part of that kingdom to be plundered, and
moved calmly forward in pursuit of his own selfish plans. His design
was, not to conquer the Saxons, but to unite with them. Exclusively
occupied with this important object, he remained inactive in the hope of
conquering more surely by means of negociation. He left no expedient
untried, to detach this prince from the Swedish alliance; and Ferdinand
himself, ever inclined to an accommodation with this prince, approved of
this proceeding. But the great debt which Saxony owed to Sweden, was as
yet too freshly remembered to allow of such an act of perfidy; and even
had the Elector been disposed to yield to the temptation, the equivocal
character of Wallenstein, and the bad character of Austrian policy,
precluded any reliance in the integrity of its promises. Notorious
already as a treacherous statesman, he met not with faith upon the very
occasion when perhaps he intended to act honestly; and, moreover, was
denied, by circumstances, the opportunity of proving the sincerity of
his intentions, by the disclosure of his real motives.

He, therefore, unwillingly resolved to extort, by force of arms, what he
could not obtain by negociation. Suddenly assembling his troops, he
appeared before Prague ere the Saxons had time to advance to its relief.
After a short resistance, the treachery of some Capuchins opens the
gates to one of his regiments; and the garrison, who had taken refuge in
the citadel, soon laid down their arms upon disgraceful conditions.
Master of the capital, he hoped to carry on more successfully his
negociations at the Saxon court; but even while he was renewing his
proposals to Arnheim, he did not hesitate to give them weight by
striking a decisive blow. He hastened to seize the narrow passes
between Aussig and Pirna, with a view of cutting off the retreat of the
Saxons into their own country; but the rapidity of Arnheim's operations
fortunately extricated them from the danger. After the retreat of this
general, Egra and Leutmeritz, the last strongholds of the Saxons,
surrendered to the conqueror: and the whole kingdom was restored to its
legitimate sovereign, in less time than it had been lost.

Wallenstein, less occupied with the interests of his master, than with
the furtherance of his own plans, now purposed to carry the war into
Saxony, and by ravaging his territories, compel the Elector to enter
into a private treaty with the Emperor, or rather with himself. But,
however little accustomed he was to make his will bend to circumstances,
he now perceived the necessity of postponing his favourite scheme for a
time, to a more pressing emergency. While he was driving the Saxons
from Bohemia, Gustavus Adolphus had been gaining the victories, already
detailed, on the Rhine and the Danube, and carried the war through
Franconia and Swabia, to the frontiers of Bavaria. Maximilian, defeated
on the Lech, and deprived by death of Count Tilly, his best support,
urgently solicited the Emperor to send with all speed the Duke of
Friedland to his assistance, from Bohemia, and by the defence of
Bavaria, to avert the danger from Austria itself. He also made the same
request to Wallenstein, and entreated him, till he could himself come
with the main force, to despatch in the mean time a few regiments to his
aid. Ferdinand seconded the request with all his influence, and one
messenger after another was sent to Wallenstein, urging him to move
towards the Danube.

It now appeared how completely the Emperor had sacrificed his authority,
in surrendering to another the supreme command of his troops.
Indifferent to Maximilian's entreaties, and deaf to the Emperor's
repeated commands, Wallenstein remained inactive in Bohemia, and
abandoned the Elector to his fate. The remembrance of the evil service
which Maximilian had rendered him with the Emperor, at the Diet at
Ratisbon, was deeply engraved on the implacable mind of the duke, and
the Elector's late attempts to prevent his reinstatement, were no secret
to him. The moment of revenging this affront had now arrived, and
Maximilian was doomed to pay dearly for his folly, in provoking the most
revengeful of men. Wallenstein maintained, that Bohemia ought not to be
left exposed, and that Austria could not be better protected, than by
allowing the Swedish army to waste its strength before the Bavarian
fortress. Thus, by the arm of the Swedes, he chastised his enemy; and
while one place after another fell into their hands, he allowed the
Elector vainly to await his arrival in Ratisbon. It was only when the
complete subjugation of Bohemia left him without excuse, and the
conquests of Gustavus Adolphus in Bavaria threatened Austria itself,
that he yielded to the pressing entreaties of the Elector and the
Emperor, and determined to effect the long-expected union with the
former; an event, which, according to the general anticipation of the
Roman Catholics, would decide the fate of the campaign.

Gustavus Adolphus, too weak in numbers to cope even with Wallenstein's
force alone, naturally dreaded the junction of such powerful armies, and
the little energy he used to prevent it, was the occasion of great
surprise. Apparently he reckoned too much on the hatred which alienated
the leaders, and seemed to render their effectual co-operation
improbable; when the event contradicted his views, it was too late to
repair his error. On the first certain intelligence he received of
their designs, he hastened to the Upper Palatinate, for the purpose of
intercepting the Elector: but the latter had already arrived there, and
the junction had been effected at Egra.

This frontier town had been chosen by Wallenstein, for the scene of his
triumph over his proud rival. Not content with having seen him, as it
were, a suppliant at his feet, he imposed upon him the hard condition of
leaving his territories in his rear exposed to the enemy, and declaring
by this long march to meet him, the necessity and distress to which he
was reduced. Even to this humiliation, the haughty prince patiently
submitted. It had cost him a severe struggle to ask for protection of
the man who, if his own wishes had been consulted, would never have had
the power of granting it: but having once made up his mind to it, he
was ready to bear all the annoyances which were inseparable from that
resolve, and sufficiently master of himself to put up with petty
grievances, when an important end was in view.

But whatever pains it had cost to effect this junction, it was equally
difficult to settle the conditions on which it was to be maintained.
The united army must be placed under the command of one individual, if
any object was to be gained by the union, and each general was equally
averse to yield to the superior authority of the other. If Maximilian
rested his claim on his electoral dignity, the nobleness of his descent,
and his influence in the empire, Wallenstein's military renown, and the
unlimited command conferred on him by the Emperor, gave an equally
strong title to it. If it was deeply humiliating to the pride of the
former to serve under an imperial subject, the idea of imposing laws on
so imperious a spirit, flattered in the same degree the haughtiness of
Wallenstein. An obstinate dispute ensued, which, however, terminated in
a mutual compromise to Wallenstein's advantage. To him was assigned the
unlimited command of both armies, particularly in battle, while the
Elector was deprived of all power of altering the order of battle, or
even the route of the army. He retained only the bare right of
punishing and rewarding his own troops, and the free use of these, when
not acting in conjunction with the Imperialists.

After these preliminaries were settled, the two generals at last
ventured upon an interview; but not until they had mutually promised to
bury the past in oblivion, and all the outward formalities of a
reconciliation had been settled. According to agreement, they publicly
embraced in the sight of their troops, and made mutual professions of
friendship, while in reality the hearts of both were overflowing with
malice. Maximilian, well versed in dissimulation, had sufficient
command over himself, not to betray in a single feature his real
feelings; but a malicious triumph sparkled in the eyes of Wallenstein,
and the constraint which was visible in all his movements, betrayed the
violence of the emotion which overpowered his proud soul.

The combined Imperial and Bavarian armies amounted to nearly 60,000 men,
chiefly veterans. Before this force, the King of Sweden was not in a
condition to keep the field. As his attempt to prevent their junction
had failed, he commenced a rapid retreat into Franconia, and awaited
there for some decisive movement on the part of the enemy, in order to
form his own plans. The position of the combined armies between the
frontiers of Saxony and Bavaria, left it for some time doubtful whether
they would remove the war into the former, or endeavour to drive the
Swedes from the Danube, and deliver Bavaria. Saxony had been stripped
of troops by Arnheim, who was pursuing his conquests in Silesia; not
without a secret design, it was generally supposed, of favouring the
entrance of the Duke of Friedland into that electorate, and of thus
driving the irresolute John George into peace with the Emperor.
Gustavus Adolphus himself, fully persuaded that Wallenstein's views were
directed against Saxony, hastily despatched a strong reinforcement to
the assistance of his confederate, with the intention, as soon as
circumstances would allow, of following with the main body. But the
movements of Wallenstein's army soon led him to suspect that he himself
was the object of attack; and the Duke's march through the Upper
Palatinate, placed the matter beyond a doubt. The question now was, how
to provide for his own security, and the prize was no longer his
supremacy, but his very existence. His fertile genius must now supply
the means, not of conquest, but of preservation. The approach of the
enemy had surprised him before he had time to concentrate his troops,
which were scattered all over Germany, or to summon his allies to his
aid. Too weak to meet the enemy in the field, he had no choice left,
but either to throw himself into Nuremberg, and run the risk of being
shut up in its walls, or to sacrifice that city, and await a
reinforcement under the cannon of Donauwerth. Indifferent to danger or
difficulty, while he obeyed the call of humanity or honour, he chose the
first without hesitation, firmly resolved to bury himself with his whole
army under the ruins of Nuremberg, rather than to purchase his own
safety by the sacrifice of his confederates.

Measures were immediately taken to surround the city and suburbs with
redoubts, and to form an entrenched camp. Several thousand workmen
immediately commenced this extensive work, and an heroic determination
to hazard life and property in the common cause, animated the
inhabitants of Nuremberg. A trench, eight feet deep and twelve broad,
surrounded the whole fortification; the lines were defended by redoubts
and batteries, the gates by half moons. The river Pegnitz, which flows
through Nuremberg, divided the whole camp into two semicircles, whose
communication was secured by several bridges. About three hundred
pieces of cannon defended the town-walls and the intrenchments. The
peasantry from the neighbouring villages, and the inhabitants of
Nuremberg, assisted the Swedish soldiers so zealously, that on the
seventh day the army was able to enter the camp, and, in a fortnight,
this great work was completed.

While these operations were carried on without the walls, the
magistrates of Nuremberg were busily occupied in filling the magazines
with provisions and ammunition for a long siege. Measures were taken,
at the same time, to secure the health of the inhabitants, which was
likely to be endangered by the conflux of so many people; cleanliness
was enforced by the strictest regulations. In order, if necessary, to
support the King, the youth of the city were embodied and trained to
arms, the militia of the town considerably reinforced, and a new
regiment raised, consisting of four-and-twenty names, according to the
letters of the alphabet. Gustavus had, in the mean time, called to his
assistance his allies, Duke William of Weimar, and the Landgrave of
Hesse Cassel; and ordered his generals on the Rhine, in Thuringia and
Lower Saxony, to commence their march immediately, and join him with
their troops in Nuremberg. His army, which was encamped within the
lines, did not amount to more than 16,000 men, scarcely a third of the

The Imperialists had, in the mean time, by slow marches, advanced to
Neumark, where Wallenstein made a general review. At the sight of this
formidable force, he could not refrain from indulging in a childish
boast: "In four days," said he, "it will be shown whether I or the King
of Sweden is to be master of the world." Yet, notwithstanding his
superiority, he did nothing to fulfil his promise; and even let slip the
opportunity of crushing his enemy, when the latter had the hardihood to
leave his lines to meet him. "Battles enough have been fought," was his
answer to those who advised him to attack the King, "it is now time to
try another method." Wallenstein's well-founded reputation required not
any of those rash enterprises on which younger soldiers rush, in the
hope of gaining a name. Satisfied that the enemy's despair would dearly
sell a victory, while a defeat would irretrievably ruin the Emperor's
affairs, he resolved to wear out the ardour of his opponent by a tedious
blockade, and by thus depriving him of every opportunity of availing
himself of his impetuous bravery, take from him the very advantage which
had hitherto rendered him invincible. Without making any attack,
therefore, he erected a strong fortified camp on the other side of the
Pegnitz, and opposite Nuremberg; and, by this well chosen position, cut
off from the city and the camp of Gustavus all supplies from Franconia,
Swabia, and Thuringia. Thus he held in siege at once the city and the
King, and flattered himself with the hope of slowly, but surely, wearing
out by famine and pestilence the courage of his opponent whom he had no
wish to encounter in the field.

Little aware, however, of the resources and the strength of his
adversary, Wallenstein had not taken sufficient precautions to avert
from himself the fate he was designing for others. From the whole of
the neighbouring country, the peasantry had fled with their property;
and what little provision remained, must be obstinately contested with
the Swedes. The King spared the magazines within the town, as long as
it was possible to provision his army from without; and these forays
produced constant skirmishes between the Croats and the Swedish cavalry,
of which the surrounding country exhibited the most melancholy traces.
The necessaries of life must be obtained sword in hand; and the foraging
parties could not venture out without a numerous escort. And when this
supply failed, the town opened its magazines to the King, but
Wallenstein had to support his troops from a distance. A large convoy
from Bavaria was on its way to him, with an escort of a thousand men.
Gustavus Adolphus having received intelligence of its approach,
immediately sent out a regiment of cavalry to intercept it; and the
darkness of the night favoured the enterprise. The whole convoy, with
the town in which it was, fell into the hands of the Swedes; the
Imperial escort was cut to pieces; about 1,200 cattle carried off; and a
thousand waggons, loaded with bread, which could not be brought away,
were set on fire. Seven regiments, which Wallenstein had sent forward
to Altdorp to cover the entrance of the long and anxiously expected
convoy, were attacked by the King, who had, in like manner, advanced to
cover the retreat of his cavalry, and routed after an obstinate action,
being driven back into the Imperial camp, with the loss of 400 men. So
many checks and difficulties, and so firm and unexpected a resistance on
the part of the King, made the Duke of Friedland repent that he had
declined to hazard a battle. The strength of the Swedish camp rendered
an attack impracticable; and the armed youth of Nuremberg served the
King as a nursery from which he could supply his loss of troops. The
want of provisions, which began to be felt in the Imperial camp as
strongly as in the Swedish, rendered it uncertain which party would be
first compelled to give way.

Fifteen days had the two armies now remained in view of each other,
equally defended by inaccessible entrenchments, without attempting
anything more than slight attacks and unimportant skirmishes. On both
sides, infectious diseases, the natural consequence of bad food, and a
crowded population, had occasioned a greater loss than the sword. And
this evil daily increased. But at length, the long expected succours
arrived in the Swedish camp; and by this strong reinforcement, the King
was now enabled to obey the dictates of his native courage, and to break
the chains which had hitherto fettered him.

In obedience to his requisitions, the Duke of Weimar had hastily drawn
together a corps from the garrisons in Lower Saxony and Thuringia,
which, at Schweinfurt in Franconia, was joined by four Saxon regiments,
and at Kitzingen by the corps of the Rhine, which the Landgrave of
Hesse, and the Palatine of Birkenfeld, despatched to the relief of the
King. The Chancellor, Oxenstiern, undertook to lead this force to its
destination. After being joined at Windsheim by the Duke of Weimar
himself, and the Swedish General Banner, he advanced by rapid marches to
Bruck and Eltersdorf, where he passed the Rednitz, and reached the
Swedish camp in safety. This reinforcement amounted to nearly 50,000
men, and was attended by a train of 60 pieces of cannon, and 4,000
baggage waggons. Gustavus now saw himself at the head of an army of
nearly 70,000 strong, without reckoning the militia of Nuremberg, which,
in case of necessity, could bring into the field about 30,000 fighting
men; a formidable force, opposed to another not less formidable. The
war seemed at length compressed to the point of a single battle, which
was to decide its fearful issue. With divided sympathies, Europe looked
with anxiety to this scene, where the whole strength of the two
contending parties was fearfully drawn, as it were, to a focus.

If, before the arrival of the Swedish succours, a want of provisions had
been felt, the evil was now fearfully increased to a dreadful height in
both camps, for Wallenstein had also received reinforcements from
Bavaria. Besides the 120,000 men confronted to each other, and more
than 50,000 horses, in the two armies, and besides the inhabitants of
Nuremberg, whose number far exceeded the Swedish army, there were in the
camp of Wallenstein about 15,000 women, with as many drivers, and nearly
the same number in that of the Swedes. The custom of the time permitted
the soldier to carry his family with him to the field. A number of
prostitutes followed the Imperialists; while, with the view of
preventing such excesses, Gustavus's care for the morals of his soldiers
promoted marriages. For the rising generation, who had this camp for
their home and country, regular military schools were established, which
educated a race of excellent warriors, by which means the army might in
a manner recruit itself in the course of a long campaign. No wonder,
then, if these wandering nations exhausted every territory in which they
encamped, and by their immense consumption raised the necessaries of
life to an exorbitant price. All the mills of Nuremberg were
insufficient to grind the corn required for each day; and 15,000 pounds
of bread, which were daily delivered, by the town into the Swedish camp,
excited, without allaying, the hunger of the soldiers. The laudable
exertions of the magistrates of Nuremberg could not prevent the greater
part of the horses from dying for want of forage, while the increasing
mortality in the camp consigned more than a hundred men daily to the

To put an end to these distresses, Gustavus Adolphus, relying on his
numerical superiority, left his lines on the 25th day, forming before
the enemy in order of battle, while he cannonaded the duke's camp from
three batteries erected on the side of the Rednitz. But the duke
remained immoveable in his entrenchments, and contented himself with
answering this challenge by a distant fire of cannon and musketry. His
plan was to wear out the king by his inactivity, and by the force of
famine to overcome his resolute determination; and neither the
remonstrances of Maximilian, and the impatience of his army, nor the
ridicule of his opponent, could shake his purpose. Gustavus, deceived
in his hope of forcing a battle, and compelled by his increasing
necessities, now attempted impossibilities, and resolved to storm a
position which art and nature had combined to render impregnable.

Intrusting his own camp to the militia of Nuremberg, on the fifty-eighth
day of his encampment, (the festival of St. Bartholomew,) he advanced
in full order of battle, and passing the Rednitz at Furth, easily drove
the enemy's outposts before him. The main army of the Imperialists was
posted on the steep heights between the Biber and the Rednitz, called
the Old Fortress and Altenberg; while the camp itself, commanded by
these eminences, spread out immeasurably along the plain. On these
heights, the whole of the artillery was placed. Deep trenches
surrounded inaccessible redoubts, while thick barricadoes, with pointed
palisades, defended the approaches to the heights, from the summits of
which, Wallenstein calmly and securely discharged the lightnings of his
artillery from amid the dark thunder-clouds of smoke. A destructive
fire of musketry was maintained behind the breastworks, and a hundred
pieces of cannon threatened the desperate assailant with certain
destruction. Against this dangerous post Gustavus now directed his
attack; five hundred musketeers, supported by a few infantry, (for a
greater number could not act in the narrow space,) enjoyed the unenvied
privilege of first throwing themselves into the open jaws of death. The
assault was furious, the resistance obstinate. Exposed to the whole
fire of the enemy's artillery, and infuriate by the prospect of
inevitable death, these determined warriors rushed forward to storm the
heights; which, in an instant, converted into a flaming volcano,
discharged on them a shower of shot. At the same moment, the heavy
cavalry rushed forward into the openings which the artillery had made in
the close ranks of the assailants, and divided them; till the intrepid
band, conquered by the strength of nature and of man, took to flight,
leaving a hundred dead upon the field. To Germans had Gustavus yielded
this post of honour. Exasperated at their retreat, he now led on his
Finlanders to the attack, thinking, by their northern courage, to shame
the cowardice of the Germans. But they, also, after a similar hot
reception, yielded to the superiority of the enemy; and a third regiment
succeeded them to experience the same fate. This was replaced by a
fourth, a fifth, and a sixth; so that, during a ten hours' action, every
regiment was brought to the attack to retire with bloody loss from the
contest. A thousand mangled bodies covered the field; yet Gustavus
undauntedly maintained the attack, and Wallenstein held his position

In the mean time, a sharp contest had taken place between the imperial
cavalry and the left wing of the Swedes, which was posted in a thicket
on the Rednitz, with varying success, but with equal intrepidity and
loss on both sides. The Duke of Friedland and Prince Bernard of Weimar
had each a horse shot under them; the king himself had the sole of his
boot carried off by a cannon ball. The combat was maintained with
undiminished obstinacy, till the approach of night separated the
combatants. But the Swedes had advanced too far to retreat without
hazard. While the king was seeking an officer to convey to the
regiments the order to retreat, he met Colonel Hepburn, a brave
Scotchman, whose native courage alone had drawn him from the camp to
share in the dangers of the day. Offended with the king for having not
long before preferred a younger officer for some post of danger, he had
rashly vowed never again to draw his sword for the king. To him
Gustavus now addressed himself, praising his courage, and requesting him
to order the regiments to retreat. "Sire," replied the brave soldier,
"it is the only service I cannot refuse to your Majesty; for it is a
hazardous one,"--and immediately hastened to carry the command. One of
the heights above the old fortress had, in the heat of the action, been
carried by the Duke of Weimar. It commanded the hills and the whole
camp. But the heavy rain which fell during the night, rendered it
impossible to draw up the cannon; and this post, which had been gained
with so much bloodshed, was also voluntarily abandoned. Diffident of
fortune, which forsook him on this decisive day, the king did not
venture the following morning to renew the attack with his exhausted
troops; and vanquished for the first time, even because he was not
victor, he led back his troops over the Rednitz. Two thousand dead
which he left behind him on the field, testified to the extent of his
loss; and the Duke of Friedland remained unconquered within his lines.

For fourteen days after this action, the two armies still continued in
front of each other, each in the hope that the other would be the first
to give way. Every day reduced their provisions, and as scarcity became
greater, the excesses of the soldiers rendered furious, exercised the
wildest outrages on the peasantry. The increasing distress broke up all
discipline and order in the Swedish camp; and the German regiments, in
particular, distinguished themselves for the ravages they practised
indiscriminately on friend and foe. The weak hand of a single
individual could not check excesses, encouraged by the silence, if not
the actual example, of the inferior officers. These shameful breaches
of discipline, on the maintenance of which he had hitherto justly prided
himself, severely pained the king; and the vehemence with which he
reproached the German officers for their negligence, bespoke the
liveliness of his emotion. "It is you yourselves, Germans," said he,
"that rob your native country, and ruin your own confederates in the
faith. As God is my judge, I abhor you, I loathe you; my heart sinks
within me whenever I look upon you. Ye break my orders; ye are the
cause that the world curses me, that the tears of poverty follow me,
that complaints ring in my ear--'The king, our friend, does us more harm
than even our worst enemies.' On your account I have stripped my own
kingdom of its treasures, and spent upon you more than 40 tons of gold;
--[A ton of gold in Sweden amounts to 100,000 rix dollars.]--while from
your German empire I have not received the least aid. I gave you a
share of all that God had given to me; and had ye regarded my orders, I
would have gladly shared with you all my future acquisitions. Your want
of discipline convinces me of your evil intentions, whatever cause I
might otherwise have to applaud your bravery."

Nuremberg had exerted itself, almost beyond its power, to subsist for
eleven weeks the vast crowd which was compressed within its boundaries;
but its means were at length exhausted, and the king's more numerous
party was obliged to determine on a retreat. By the casualties of war
and sickness, Nuremberg had lost more than 10,000 of its inhabitants,
and Gustavus Adolphus nearly 20,000 of his soldiers. The fields around
the city were trampled down, the villages lay in ashes, the plundered
peasantry lay faint and dying on the highways; foul odours infected the
air, and bad food, the exhalations from so dense a population, and so
many putrifying carcasses, together with the heat of the dog-days,
produced a desolating pestilence which raged among men and beasts, and
long after the retreat of both armies, continued to load the country
with misery and distress. Affected by the general distress, and
despairing of conquering the steady determination of the Duke of
Friedland, the king broke up his camp on the 8th September, leaving in
Nuremberg a sufficient garrison. He advanced in full order of battle
before the enemy, who remained motionless, and did not attempt in the
least to harass his retreat. His route lay by the Aisch and Windsheim
towards Neustadt, where he halted five days to refresh his troops, and
also to be near to Nuremberg, in case the enemy should make an attempt
upon the town. But Wallenstein, as exhausted as himself, had only
awaited the retreat of the Swedes to commence his own. Five days
afterwards, he broke up his camp at Zirndorf, and set it on fire. A
hundred columns of smoke, rising from all the burning villages in the
neighbourhood, announced his retreat, and showed the city the fate it
had escaped. His march, which was directed on Forchheim, was marked by
the most frightful ravages; but he was too far advanced to be overtaken
by the king. The latter now divided his army, which the exhausted
country was unable to support, and leaving one division to protect
Franconia, with the other he prosecuted in person his conquests in

In the mean time, the imperial Bavarian army had marched into the
Bishopric of Bamberg, where the Duke of Friedland a second time mustered
his troops. He found this force, which so lately had amounted to 60,000
men, diminished by the sword, desertion, and disease, to about 24,000,
and of these a fourth were Bavarians. Thus had the encampments before
Nuremberg weakened both parties more than two great battles would have
done, apparently without advancing the termination of the war, or
satisfying, by any decisive result, the expectations of Europe. The
king's conquests in Bavaria, were, it is true, checked for a time by
this diversion before Nuremberg, and Austria itself secured against the
danger of immediate invasion; but by the retreat of the king from that
city, he was again left at full liberty to make Bavaria the seat of war.
Indifferent towards the fate of that country, and weary of the restraint
which his union with the Elector imposed upon him, the Duke of Friedland
eagerly seized the opportunity of separating from this burdensome
associate, and prosecuting, with renewed earnestness, his favourite
plans. Still adhering to his purpose of detaching Saxony from its
Swedish alliance, he selected that country for his winter quarters,
hoping by his destructive presence to force the Elector the more readily
into his views.

No conjuncture could be more favourable for his designs. The Saxons had
invaded Silesia, where, reinforced by troops from Brandenburgh and
Sweden, they had gained several advantages over the Emperor's troops.
Silesia would be saved by a diversion against the Elector in his own
territories, and the attempt was the more easy, as Saxony, left
undefended during the war in Silesia, lay open on every side to attack.
The pretext of rescuing from the enemy an hereditary dominion of
Austria, would silence the remonstrances of the Elector of Bavaria, and,
under the mask of a patriotic zeal for the Emperor's interests,
Maximilian might be sacrificed without much difficulty. By giving up
the rich country of Bavaria to the Swedes, he hoped to be left
unmolested by them in his enterprise against Saxony, while the
increasing coldness between Gustavus and the Saxon Court, gave him
little reason to apprehend any extraordinary zeal for the deliverance of
John George. Thus a second time abandoned by his artful protector, the
Elector separated from Wallenstein at Bamberg, to protect his
defenceless territory with the small remains of his troops, while the
imperial army, under Wallenstein, directed its march through Bayreuth
and Coburg towards the Thuringian Forest.

An imperial general, Holk, had previously been sent into Vogtland with
6,000 men, to waste this defenceless province with fire and sword, he
was soon followed by Gallas, another of the Duke's generals, and an
equally faithful instrument of his inhuman orders. Finally, Pappenheim,
too, was recalled from Lower Saxony, to reinforce the diminished army of
the duke, and to complete the miseries of the devoted country. Ruined
churches, villages in ashes, harvests wilfully destroyed, families
plundered, and murdered peasants, marked the progress of these
barbarians, under whose scourge the whole of Thuringia, Vogtland, and
Meissen, lay defenceless. Yet this was but the prelude to greater
sufferings, with which Wallenstein himself, at the head of the main
army, threatened Saxony. After having left behind him fearful monuments
of his fury, in his march through Franconia and Thuringia, he arrived
with his whole army in the Circle of Leipzig, and compelled the city,
after a short resistance, to surrender. His design was to push on to
Dresden, and by the conquest of the whole country, to prescribe laws to
the Elector. He had already approached the Mulda, threatening to
overpower the Saxon army which had advanced as far as Torgau to meet
him, when the King of Sweden's arrival at Erfurt gave an unexpected
check to his operations. Placed between the Saxon and Swedish armies,
which were likely to be farther reinforced by the troops of George, Duke
of Luneburg, from Lower Saxony, he hastily retired upon Meresberg, to
form a junction there with Count Pappenheim, and to repel the further
advance of the Swedes.

Gustavus Adolphus had witnessed, with great uneasiness, the arts
employed by Spain and Austria to detach his allies from him. The more
important his alliance with Saxony, the more anxiety the inconstant
temper of John George caused him. Between himself and the Elector, a
sincere friendship could never subsist. A prince, proud of his
political importance, and accustomed to consider himself as the head of
his party, could not see without annoyance the interference of a foreign
power in the affairs of the Empire; and nothing, but the extreme danger
of his dominions, could overcome the aversion with which he had long
witnessed the progress of this unwelcome intruder. The increasing
influence of the king in Germany, his authority with the Protestant
states, the unambiguous proofs which he gave of his ambitious views,
which were of a character calculated to excite the jealousies of all the
states of the Empire, awakened in the Elector's breast a thousand
anxieties, which the imperial emissaries did not fail skilfully to keep
alive and cherish. Every arbitrary step on the part of the King, every
demand, however reasonable, which he addressed to the princes of the
Empire, was followed by bitter complaints from the Elector, which seemed
to announce an approaching rupture. Even the generals of the two
powers, whenever they were called upon to act in common, manifested the
same jealousy as divided their leaders. John George's natural aversion
to war, and a lingering attachment to Austria, favoured the efforts of
Arnheim; who, maintaining a constant correspondence with Wallenstein,
laboured incessantly to effect a private treaty between his master and
the Emperor; and if his representations were long disregarded, still the
event proved that they were not altogether without effect.

Gustavus Adolphus, naturally apprehensive of the consequences which the
defection of so powerful an ally would produce on his future prospects
in Germany, spared no pains to avert so pernicious an event; and his
remonstrances had hitherto had some effect upon the Elector. But the
formidable power with which the Emperor seconded his seductive
proposals, and the miseries which, in the case of hesitation, he
threatened to accumulate upon Saxony, might at length overcome the
resolution of the Elector, should he be left exposed to the vengeance of
his enemies; while an indifference to the fate of so powerful a
confederate, would irreparably destroy the confidence of the other
allies in their protector. This consideration induced the king a second
time to yield to the pressing entreaties of the Elector, and to
sacrifice his own brilliant prospects to the safety of this ally. He
had already resolved upon a second attack on Ingoldstadt; and the
weakness of the Elector of Bavaria gave him hopes of soon forcing this
exhausted enemy to accede to a neutrality. An insurrection of the
peasantry in Upper Austria, opened to him a passage into that country,
and the capital might be in his possession, before Wallenstein could
have time to advance to its defence. All these views he now gave up for
the sake of an ally, who, neither by his services nor his fidelity, was
worthy of the sacrifice; who, on the pressing occasions of common good,
had steadily adhered to his own selfish projects; and who was important,
not for the services he was expected to render, but merely for the
injuries he had it in his power to inflict. Is it possible, then, to
refrain from indignation, when we know that, in this expedition,
undertaken for the benefit of such an ally, the great king was destined
to terminate his career?

Rapidly assembling his troops in Franconia, he followed the route of
Wallenstein through Thuringia. Duke Bernard of Weimar, who had been
despatched to act against Pappenheim, joined the king at Armstadt, who
now saw himself at the head of 20,000 veterans. At Erfurt he took leave
of his queen, who was not to behold him, save in his coffin, at
Weissenfels. Their anxious adieus seemed to forbode an eternal

He reached Naumburg on the 1st November, 1632, before the corps, which
the Duke of Friedland had despatched for that purpose, could make itself
master of that place. The inhabitants of the surrounding country
flocked in crowds to look upon the hero, the avenger, the great king,
who, a year before, had first appeared in that quarter, like a guardian
angel. Shouts of joy everywhere attended his progress; the people knelt
before him, and struggled for the honour of touching the sheath of his
sword, or the hem of his garment. The modest hero disliked this
innocent tribute which a sincerely grateful and admiring multitude paid
him. "Is it not," said he, "as if this people would make a God of me?
Our affairs prosper, indeed; but I fear the vengeance of Heaven will
punish me for this presumption, and soon enough reveal to this deluded
multitude my human weakness and mortality!" How amiable does Gustavus
appear before us at this moment, when about to leave us for ever! Even
in the plenitude of success, he honours an avenging Nemesis, declines
that homage which is due only to the Immortal, and strengthens his title
to our tears, the nearer the moment approaches that is to call them

In the mean time, the Duke of Friedland had determined to advance to
meet the king, as far as Weissenfels, and even at the hazard of a
battle, to secure his winter-quarters in Saxony. His inactivity before
Nuremberg had occasioned a suspicion that he was unwilling to measure
his powers with those of the Hero of the North, and his hard-earned
reputation would be at stake, if, a second time, he should decline a
battle. His present superiority in numbers, though much less than what
it was at the beginning of the siege of Nuremberg, was still enough to
give him hopes of victory, if he could compel the king to give battle
before his junction with the Saxons. But his present reliance was not
so much in his numerical superiority, as in the predictions of his
astrologer Seni, who had read in the stars that the good fortune of the
Swedish monarch would decline in the month of November. Besides,
between Naumburg and Weissenfels there was also a range of narrow
defiles, formed by a long mountainous ridge, and the river Saal, which
ran at their foot, along which the Swedes could not advance without
difficulty, and which might, with the assistance of a few troops, be
rendered almost impassable. If attacked there, the king would have no
choice but either to penetrate with great danger through the defiles, or
commence a laborious retreat through Thuringia, and to expose the
greater part of his army to a march through a desert country, deficient
in every necessary for their support. But the rapidity with which
Gustavus Adolphus had taken possession of Naumburg, disappointed this
plan, and it was now Wallenstein himself who awaited the attack.

But in this expectation he was disappointed; for the king, instead of
advancing to meet him at Weissenfels, made preparations for entrenching
himself near Naumburg, with the intention of awaiting there the
reinforcements which the Duke of Lunenburg was bringing up. Undecided
whether to advance against the king through the narrow passes between
Weissenfels and Naumburg, or to remain inactive in his camp, he called a
council of war, in order to have the opinion of his most experienced
generals. None of these thought it prudent to attack the king in his
advantageous position. On the other hand, the preparations which the
latter made to fortify his camp, plainly showed that it was not his
intention soon to abandon it. But the approach of winter rendered it
impossible to prolong the campaign, and by a continued encampment to
exhaust the strength of the army, already so much in need of repose.
All voices were in favour of immediately terminating the campaign: and,
the more so, as the important city of Cologne upon the Rhine was
threatened by the Dutch, while the progress of the enemy in Westphalia
and the Lower Rhine called for effective reinforcements in that quarter.
Wallenstein yielded to the weight of these arguments, and almost
convinced that, at this season, he had no reason to apprehend an attack
from the King, he put his troops into winter-quarters, but so that, if
necessary, they might be rapidly assembled. Count Pappenheim was
despatched, with great part of the army, to the assistance of Cologne,
with orders to take possession, on his march, of the fortress of
Moritzburg, in the territory of Halle. Different corps took up their
winter-quarters in the neighbouring towns, to watch, on all sides, the
motions of the enemy. Count Colloredo guarded the castle of
Weissenfels, and Wallenstein himself encamped with the remainder not far
from Merseburg, between Flotzgaben and the Saal, from whence he purposed
to march to Leipzig, and to cut off the communication between the Saxons
and the Swedish army.

Scarcely had Gustavus Adolphus been informed of Pappenheim's departure,
when suddenly breaking up his camp at Naumburg, he hastened with his
whole force to attack the enemy, now weakened to one half. He advanced,
by rapid marches, towards Weissenfels, from whence the news of his
arrival quickly reached the enemy, and greatly astonished the Duke of
Friedland. But a speedy resolution was now necessary; and the measures
of Wallenstein were soon taken. Though he had little more than 12,000
men to oppose to the 20,000 of the enemy, he might hope to maintain his
ground until the return of Pappenheim, who could not have advanced
farther than Halle, five miles distant. Messengers were hastily
despatched to recall him, while Wallenstein moved forward into the wide
plain between the Canal and Lutzen, where he awaited the King in full
order of battle, and, by this position, cut off his communication with
Leipzig and the Saxon auxiliaries.

Three cannon shots, fired by Count Colloredo from the castle of
Weissenfels, announced the king's approach; and at this concerted
signal, the light troops of the Duke of Friedland, under the command of
the Croatian General Isolani, moved forward to possess themselves of the
villages lying upon the Rippach. Their weak resistance did not impede
the advance of the enemy, who crossed the Rippach, near the village of
that name, and formed in line below Lutzen, opposite the Imperialists.
The high road which goes from Weissenfels to Leipzig, is intersected
between Lutzen and Markranstadt by the canal which extends from Zeitz to
Merseburg, and unites the Elster with the Saal. On this canal, rested
the left wing of the Imperialists, and the right of the King of Sweden;
but so that the cavalry of both extended themselves along the opposite
side. To the northward, behind Lutzen, was Wallenstein's right wing,
and to the south of that town was posted the left wing of the Swedes;
both armies fronted the high road, which ran between them, and divided
their order of battle; but the evening before the battle, Wallenstein,
to the great disadvantage of his opponent, had possessed himself of this
highway, deepened the trenches which ran along its sides, and planted
them with musketeers, so as to make the crossing of it both difficult
and dangerous. Behind these, again, was erected a battery of seven
large pieces of cannon, to support the fire from the trenches; and at
the windmills, close behind Lutzen, fourteen smaller field pieces were
ranged on an eminence, from which they could sweep the greater part of
the plain. The infantry, divided into no more than five unwieldy
brigades, was drawn up at the distance of 300 paces from the road, and
the cavalry covered the flanks. All the baggage was sent to Leipzig,
that it might not impede the movements of the army; and the
ammunition-waggons alone remained, which were placed in rear of the
line. To conceal the weakness of the Imperialists, all the
camp-followers and sutlers were mounted, and posted on the left wing,
but only until Pappenheim's troops arrived. These arrangements were
made during the darkness of the night; and when the morning dawned, all
was ready for the reception of the enemy.

On the evening of the same day, Gustavus Adolphus appeared on the
opposite plain, and formed his troops in the order of attack. His
disposition was the same as that which had been so successful the year
before at Leipzig. Small squadrons of horse were interspersed among the
divisions of the infantry, and troops of musketeers placed here and
there among the cavalry. The army was arranged in two lines, the canal
on the right and in its rear, the high road in front, and the town on
the left. In the centre, the infantry was formed, under the command of
Count Brahe; the cavalry on the wings; the artillery in front. To the
German hero, Bernard, Duke of Weimar, was intrusted the command of the
German cavalry of the left wing; while, on the right, the king led on
the Swedes in person, in order to excite the emulation of the two
nations to a noble competition. The second line was formed in the same
manner; and behind these was placed the reserve, commanded by Henderson,
a Scotchman.

In this position, they awaited the eventful dawn of morning, to begin a
contest, which long delay, rather than the probability of decisive
consequences, and the picked body, rather than the number of the
combatants, was to render so terrible and remarkable. The strained
expectation of Europe, so disappointed before Nuremberg, was now to be
gratified on the plains of Lutzen. During the whole course of the war,
two such generals, so equally matched in renown and ability, had not
before been pitted against each other. Never, as yet, had daring been
cooled by so awful a hazard, or hope animated by so glorious a prize.
Europe was next day to learn who was her greatest general:--to-morrow,
the leader, who had hitherto been invincible, must acknowledge a victor.
This morning was to place it beyond a doubt, whether the victories of
Gustavus at Leipzig and on the Lech, were owing to his own military
genius, or to the incompetency of his opponent; whether the services of
Wallenstein were to vindicate the Emperor's choice, and justify the high
price at which they had been purchased. The victory was as yet
doubtful, but certain were the labour and the bloodshed by which it must
be earned. Every private in both armies, felt a jealous share in their
leader's reputation, and under every corslet beat the same emotions that
inflamed the bosoms of the generals. Each army knew the enemy to which
it was to be opposed: and the anxiety which each in vain attempted to
repress, was a convincing proof of their opponent's strength.

At last the fateful morning dawned; but an impenetrable fog, which
spread over the plain, delayed the attack till noon. Kneeling in front
of his lines, the king offered up his devotions; and the whole army, at
the same moment dropping on their knees, burst into a moving hymn,
accompanied by the military music. The king then mounted his horse, and
clad only in a leathern doublet and surtout, (for a wound he had
formerly received prevented his wearing armour,) rode along the ranks,
to animate the courage of his troops with a joyful confidence, which,
however, the forboding presentiment of his own bosom contradicted. "God
with us!" was the war-cry of the Swedes; "Jesus Maria!" that of the
Imperialists. About eleven the fog began to disperse, and the enemy
became visible. At the same moment Lutzen was seen in flames, having
been set on fire by command of the duke, to prevent his being outflanked
on that side. The charge was now sounded; the cavalry rushed upon the
enemy, and the infantry advanced against the trenches.

Received by a tremendous fire of musketry and heavy artillery, these
intrepid battalions maintained the attack with undaunted courage, till
the enemy's musketeers abandoned their posts, the trenches were passed,
the battery carried and turned against the enemy. They pressed forward
with irresistible impetuosity; the first of the five imperial brigades
was immediately routed, the second soon after, and the third put to
flight. But here the genius of Wallenstein opposed itself to their
progress. With the rapidity of lightning he was on the spot to rally
his discomfited troops; and his powerful word was itself sufficient to
stop the flight of the fugitives. Supported by three regiments of
cavalry, the vanquished brigades, forming anew, faced the enemy, and
pressed vigorously into the broken ranks of the Swedes. A murderous
conflict ensued. The nearness of the enemy left no room for fire-arms,
the fury of the attack no time for loading; man was matched to man, the
useless musket exchanged for the sword and pike, and science gave way to
desperation. Overpowered by numbers, the wearied Swedes at last retire
beyond the trenches; and the captured battery is again lost by the
retreat. A thousand mangled bodies already strewed the plain, and as
yet not a single step of ground had been won.

In the mean time, the king's right wing, led by himself, had fallen upon
the enemy's left. The first impetuous shock of the heavy Finland
cuirassiers dispersed the lightly-mounted Poles and Croats, who were
posted here, and their disorderly flight spread terror and confusion
among the rest of the cavalry. At this moment notice was brought the
king, that his infantry were retreating over the trenches, and also that
his left wing, exposed to a severe fire from the enemy's cannon posted
at the windmills was beginning to give way. With rapid decision he
committed to General Horn the pursuit of the enemy's left, while he
flew, at the head of the regiment of Steinbock, to repair the disorder
of his right wing. His noble charger bore him with the velocity of
lightning across the trenches, but the squadrons that followed could not
come on with the same speed, and only a few horsemen, among whom was
Francis Albert, Duke of Saxe Lauenburg, were able to keep up with the
king. He rode directly to the place where his infantry were most
closely pressed, and while he was reconnoitring the enemy's line for an
exposed point of attack, the shortness of his sight unfortunately led
him too close to their ranks. An imperial Gefreyter,--[A person exempt
from watching duty, nearly corresponding to the corporal.]--remarking
that every one respectfully made way for him as he rode along,
immediately ordered a musketeer to take aim at him. "Fire at him
yonder," said he, "that must be a man of consequence." The soldier
fired, and the king's left arm was shattered. At that moment his
squadron came hurrying up, and a confused cry of "the king bleeds! the
king is shot!" spread terror and consternation through all the ranks.
"It is nothing--follow me," cried the king, collecting his whole
strength; but overcome by pain, and nearly fainting, he requested the
Duke of Lauenburg, in French, to lead him unobserved out of the tumult.
While the duke proceeded towards the right wing with the king, making a
long circuit to keep this discouraging sight from the disordered
infantry, his majesty received a second shot through the back, which
deprived him of his remaining strength. "Brother," said he, with a
dying voice, "I have enough! look only to your own life." At the same
moment he fell from his horse pierced by several more shots; and
abandoned by all his attendants, he breathed his last amidst the
plundering hands of the Croats. His charger, flying without its rider,
and covered with blood, soon made known to the Swedish cavalry the fall
of their king. They rushed madly forward to rescue his sacred remains
from the hands of the enemy. A murderous conflict ensued over the body,
till his mangled remains were buried beneath a heap of slain.

The mournful tidings soon ran through the Swedish army; but instead of
destroying the courage of these brave troops, it but excited it into a
new, a wild, and consuming flame. Life had lessened in value, now that
the most sacred life of all was gone; death had no terrors for the lowly
since the anointed head was not spared. With the fury of lions the
Upland, Smaeland, Finland, East and West Gothland regiments rushed a
second time upon the left wing of the enemy, which, already making but
feeble resistance to General Horn, was now entirely beaten from the
field. Bernard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, gave to the bereaved Swedes a
noble leader in his own person; and the spirit of Gustavus led his
victorious squadrons anew. The left wing quickly formed again, and
vigorously pressed the right of the Imperialists. The artillery at the
windmills, which had maintained so murderous a fire upon the Swedes, was
captured and turned against the enemy. The centre, also, of the Swedish
infantry, commanded by the duke and Knyphausen, advanced a second time
against the trenches, which they successfully passed, and retook the
battery of seven cannons. The attack was now renewed with redoubled
fury upon the heavy battalions of the enemy's centre; their resistance
became gradually less, and chance conspired with Swedish valour to
complete the defeat. The imperial powder-waggons took fire, and, with a
tremendous explosion, grenades and bombs filled the air. The enemy, now
in confusion, thought they were attacked in the rear, while the Swedish
brigades pressed them in front. Their courage began to fail them.
Their left wing was already beaten, their right wavering, and their
artillery in the enemy's hands. The battle seemed to be almost decided;
another moment would decide the fate of the day, when Pappenheim
appeared on the field, with his cuirassiers and dragoons; all the
advantages already gained were lost, and the battle was to be fought

The order which recalled that general to Lutzen had reached him in
Halle, while his troops were still plundering the town. It was
impossible to collect the scattered infantry with that rapidity, which
the urgency of the order, and Pappenheim's impatience required. Without
waiting for it, therefore, he ordered eight regiments of cavalry to
mount; and at their head he galloped at full speed for Lutzen, to share
in the battle. He arrived in time to witness the flight of the imperial
right wing, which Gustavus Horn was driving from the field, and to be at
first involved in their rout. But with rapid presence of mind he
rallied the flying troops, and led them once more against the enemy.
Carried away by his wild bravery, and impatient to encounter the king,
who he supposed was at the head of this wing, he burst furiously upon
the Swedish ranks, which, exhausted by victory, and inferior in numbers,
were, after a noble resistance, overpowered by this fresh body of
enemies. Pappenheim's unexpected appearance revived the drooping
courage of the Imperialists, and the Duke of Friedland quickly availed
himself of the favourable moment to re-form his line. The closely
serried battalions of the Swedes were, after a tremendous conflict,
again driven across the trenches; and the battery, which had been twice
lost, again rescued from their hands. The whole yellow regiment, the
finest of all that distinguished themselves in this dreadful day, lay
dead on the field, covering the ground almost in the same excellent
order which, when alive, they maintained with such unyielding courage.
The same fate befel another regiment of Blues, which Count Piccolomini
attacked with the imperial cavalry, and cut down after a desperate
contest. Seven times did this intrepid general renew the attack; seven
horses were shot under him, and he himself was pierced with six musket
balls; yet he would not leave the field, until he was carried along in
the general rout of the whole army. Wallenstein himself was seen riding
through his ranks with cool intrepidity, amidst a shower of balls,
assisting the distressed, encouraging the valiant with praise, and the
wavering by his fearful glance. Around and close by him his men were
falling thick, and his own mantle was perforated by several shots. But
avenging destiny this day protected that breast, for which another
weapon was reserved; on the same field where the noble Gustavus expired,
Wallenstein was not allowed to terminate his guilty career.

Less fortunate was Pappenheim, the Telamon of the army, the bravest
soldier of Austria and the church. An ardent desire to encounter the
king in person, carried this daring leader into the thickest of the
fight, where he thought his noble opponent was most surely to be met.
Gustavus had also expressed a wish to meet his brave antagonist, but
these hostile wishes remained ungratified; death first brought together
these two great heroes. Two musket-balls pierced the breast of
Pappenheim; and his men forcibly carried him from the field. While they
were conveying him to the rear, a murmur reached him, that he whom he
had sought, lay dead upon the plain. When the truth of the report was
confirmed to him, his look became brighter, his dying eye sparkled with
a last gleam of joy. "Tell the Duke of Friedland," said he, "that I lie
without hope of life, but that I die happy, since I know that the
implacable enemy of my religion has fallen on the same day."

With Pappenheim, the good fortune of the Imperialists departed. The
cavalry of the left wing, already beaten, and only rallied by his
exertions, no sooner missed their victorious leader, than they gave up
everything for lost, and abandoned the field of battle in spiritless
despair. The right wing fell into the same confusion, with the
exception of a few regiments, which the bravery of their colonels Gotz,
Terzky, Colloredo, and Piccolomini, compelled to keep their ground. The
Swedish infantry, with prompt determination, profited by the enemy's
confusion. To fill up the gaps which death had made in the front line,
they formed both lines into one, and with it made the final and decisive
charge. A third time they crossed the trenches, and a third time they
captured the battery. The sun was setting when the two lines closed.
The strife grew hotter as it drew to an end; the last efforts of
strength were mutually exerted, and skill and courage did their utmost
to repair in these precious moments the fortune of the day. It was in
vain; despair endows every one with superhuman strength; no one can
conquer, no one will give way. The art of war seemed to exhaust its
powers on one side, only to unfold some new and untried masterpiece of
skill on the other. Night and darkness at last put an end to the fight,
before the fury of the combatants was exhausted; and the contest only
ceased, when no one could any longer find an antagonist. Both armies
separated, as if by tacit agreement; the trumpets sounded, and each
party claiming the victory, quitted the field.

The artillery on both sides, as the horses could not be found, remained
all night upon the field, at once the reward and the evidence of victory
to him who should hold it. Wallenstein, in his haste to leave Leipzig
and Saxony, forgot to remove his part. Not long after the battle was
ended, Pappenheim's infantry, who had been unable to follow the rapid
movements of their general, and who amounted to six regiments, marched
on the field, but the work was done. A few hours earlier, so
considerable a reinforcement would perhaps have decided the day in
favour of the Imperialists; and, even now, by remaining on the field,
they might have saved the duke's artillery, and made a prize of that of
the Swedes. But they had received no orders to act; and, uncertain as
to the issue of the battle, they retired to Leipzig, where they hoped to
join the main body.

The Duke of Friedland had retreated thither, and was followed on the
morrow by the scattered remains of his army, without artillery, without
colours, and almost without arms. The Duke of Weimar, it appears, after
the toils of this bloody day, allowed the Swedish army some repose,
between Lutzen and Weissenfels, near enough to the field of battle to
oppose any attempt the enemy might make to recover it. Of the two
armies, more than 9,000 men lay dead; a still greater number were
wounded, and among the Imperialists, scarcely a man escaped from the
field uninjured. The entire plain from Lutzen to the Canal was strewed
with the wounded, the dying, and the dead. Many of the principal
nobility had fallen on both sides. Even the Abbot of Fulda, who had
mingled in the combat as a spectator, paid for his curiosity and his
ill-timed zeal with his life. History says nothing of prisoners; a
further proof of the animosity of the combatants, who neither gave nor
took quarter.

Pappenheim died the next day of his wounds at Leipzig; an irreparable
loss to the imperial army, which this brave warrior had so often led on
to victory. The battle of Prague, where, together with Wallenstein, he
was present as colonel, was the beginning of his heroic career.
Dangerously wounded, with a few troops, he made an impetuous attack on a
regiment of the enemy, and lay for several hours mixed with the dead
upon the field, beneath the weight of his horse, till he was discovered
by some of his own men in plundering. With a small force he defeated,
in three different engagements, the rebels in Upper Austria, though
40,000 strong. At the battle of Leipzig, he for a long time delayed the
defeat of Tilly by his bravery, and led the arms of the Emperor on the
Elbe and the Weser to victory. The wild impetuous fire of his
temperament, which no danger, however apparent, could cool, or
impossibilities check, made him the most powerful arm of the imperial
force, but unfitted him for acting at its head. The battle of Leipzig,
if Tilly may be believed, was lost through his rash ardour. At the
destruction of Magdeburg, his hands were deeply steeped in blood; war
rendered savage and ferocious his disposition, which had been cultivated
by youthful studies and various travels. On his forehead, two red
streaks, like swords, were perceptible, with which nature had marked him
at his very birth. Even in his later years, these became visible, as
often as his blood was stirred by passion; and superstition easily
persuaded itself, that the future destiny of the man was thus impressed
upon the forehead of the child. As a faithful servant of the House of
Austria, he had the strongest claims on the gratitude of both its lines,
but he did not survive to enjoy the most brilliant proof of their
regard. A messenger was already on his way from Madrid, bearing to him
the order of the Golden Fleece, when death overtook him at Leipzig.

Though Te Deum, in all Spanish and Austrian lands, was sung in honour of
a victory, Wallenstein himself, by the haste with which he quitted
Leipzig, and soon after all Saxony, and by renouncing his original
design of fixing there his winter quarters, openly confessed his defeat.
It is true he made one more feeble attempt to dispute, even in his
flight, the honour of victory, by sending out his Croats next morning to
the field; but the sight of the Swedish army drawn up in order of
battle, immediately dispersed these flying bands, and Duke Bernard, by
keeping possession of the field, and soon after by the capture of
Leipzig, maintained indisputably his claim to the title of victor.

But it was a dear conquest, a dearer triumph! It was not till the fury
of the contest was over, that the full weight of the loss sustained was
felt, and the shout of triumph died away into a silent gloom of despair.
He, who had led them to the charge, returned not with them; there he lay
upon the field which he had won, mingled with the dead bodies of the
common crowd. After a long and almost fruitless search, the corpse of
the king was discovered, not far from the great stone, which, for a
hundred years before, had stood between Lutzen and the Canal, and which,
from the memorable disaster of that day, still bears the name of the
Stone of the Swede. Covered with blood and wounds, so as scarcely to be
recognised, trampled beneath the horses' hoofs, stripped by the rude
hands of plunderers of its ornaments and clothes, his body was drawn
from beneath a heap of dead, conveyed to Weissenfels, and there
delivered up to the lamentations of his soldiers, and the last embraces
of his queen. The first tribute had been paid to revenge, and blood had
atoned for the blood of the monarch; but now affection assumes its
rights, and tears of grief must flow for the man. The universal sorrow
absorbs all individual woes. The generals, still stupefied by the
unexpected blow, stood speechless and motionless around his bier, and no
one trusted himself enough to contemplate the full extent of their loss.

The Emperor, we are told by Khevenhuller, showed symptoms of deep, and
apparently sincere feeling, at the sight of the king's doublet stained
with blood, which had been stripped from him during the battle, and
carried to Vienna. "Willingly," said he, "would I have granted to the
unfortunate prince a longer life, and a safe return to his kingdom, had
Germany been at peace." But when a trait, which is nothing more than a
proof of a yet lingering humanity, and which a mere regard to
appearances and even self-love, would have extorted from the most
insensible, and the absence of which could exist only in the most
inhuman heart, has, by a Roman Catholic writer of modern times and
acknowledged merit, been made the subject of the highest eulogium, and
compared with the magnanimous tears of Alexander, for the fall of
Darius, our distrust is excited of the other virtues of the writer's
hero, and what is still worse, of his own ideas of moral dignity. But
even such praise, whatever its amount, is much for one, whose memory his
biographer has to clear from the suspicion of being privy to the
assassination of a king.

It was scarcely to be expected, that the strong leaning of mankind to
the marvellous, would leave to the common course of nature the glory of
ending the career of Gustavus Adolphus. The death of so formidable a
rival was too important an event for the Emperor, not to excite in his
bitter opponent a ready suspicion, that what was so much to his
interests, was also the result of his instigation. For the execution,
however, of this dark deed, the Emperor would require the aid of a
foreign arm, and this it was generally believed he had found in Francis
Albert, Duke of Saxe Lauenburg. The rank of the latter permitted him a
free access to the king's person, while it at the same time seemed to
place him above the suspicion of so foul a deed. This prince, however,
was in fact not incapable of this atrocity, and he had moreover
sufficient motives for its commission.

Francis Albert, the youngest of four sons of Francis II, Duke of
Lauenburg, and related by the mother's side to the race of Vasa, had, in
his early years, found a most friendly reception at the Swedish court.
Some offence which he had committed against Gustavus Adolphus, in the
queen's chamber, was, it is said, repaid by this fiery youth with a box
on the ear; which, though immediately repented of, and amply apologized
for, laid the foundation of an irreconcileable hate in the vindictive
heart of the duke. Francis Albert subsequently entered the imperial
service, where he rose to the command of a regiment, and formed a close
intimacy with Wallenstein, and condescended to be the instrument of a
secret negociation with the Saxon court, which did little honour to his
rank. Without any sufficient cause being assigned, he suddenly quitted
the Austrian service, and appeared in the king's camp at Nuremberg, to
offer his services as a volunteer. By his show of zeal for the
Protestant cause, and prepossessing and flattering deportment, he gained
the heart of the king, who, warned in vain by Oxenstiern, continued to
lavish his favour and friendship on this suspicious new comer. The
battle of Lutzen soon followed, in which Francis Albert, like an evil
genius, kept close to the king's side and did not leave him till he
fell. He owed, it was thought, his own safety amidst the fire of the
enemy, to a green sash which he wore, the colour of the Imperialists.
He was at any rate the first to convey to his friend Wallenstein the
intelligence of the king's death. After the battle, he exchanged the
Swedish service for the Saxon; and, after the murder of Wallenstein,
being charged with being an accomplice of that general, he only escaped
the sword of justice by abjuring his faith. His last appearance in life
was as commander of an imperial army in Silesia, where he died of the
wounds he had received before Schweidnitz. It requires some effort to
believe in the innocence of a man, who had run through a career like
this, of the act charged against him; but, however great may be the
moral and physical possibility of his committing such a crime, it must
still be allowed that there are no certain grounds for imputing it to
him. Gustavus Adolphus, it is well known, exposed himself to danger,
like the meanest soldier in his army, and where thousands fell, he, too,
might naturally meet his death. How it reached him, remains indeed
buried in mystery; but here, more than anywhere, does the maxim apply,
that where the ordinary course of things is fully sufficient to account
for the fact, the honour of human nature ought not to be stained by any
suspicion of moral atrocity.

But by whatever hand he fell, his extraordinary destiny must appear a
great interposition of Providence. History, too often confined to the
ungrateful task of analyzing the uniform play of human passions, is
occasionally rewarded by the appearance of events, which strike like a
hand from heaven, into the nicely adjusted machinery of human plans, and
carry the contemplative mind to a higher order of things. Of this kind,
is the sudden retirement of Gustavus Adolphus from the scene;--stopping
for a time the whole movement of the political machine, and
disappointing all the calculations of human prudence. Yesterday, the
very soul, the great and animating principle of his own creation;
to-day, struck unpitiably to the ground in the very midst of his eagle
flight; untimely torn from a whole world of great designs, and from the
ripening harvest of his expectations, he left his bereaved party
disconsolate; and the proud edifice of his past greatness sunk into
ruins. The Protestant party had identified its hopes with its
invincible leader, and scarcely can it now separate them from him; with
him, they now fear all good fortune is buried. But it was no longer the
benefactor of Germany who fell at Lutzen: the beneficent part of his
career, Gustavus Adolphus had already terminated; and now the greatest
service which he could render to the liberties of Germany was--to die.
The all-engrossing power of an individual was at an end, but many came
forward to essay their strength; the equivocal assistance of an
over-powerful protector, gave place to a more noble self-exertion on the
part of the Estates; and those who were formerly the mere instruments of
his aggrandizement, now began to work for themselves. They now looked
to their own exertions for the emancipation, which could not be received
without danger from the hand of the mighty; and the Swedish power, now
incapable of sinking into the oppressor, was henceforth restricted to
the more modest part of an ally.

The ambition of the Swedish monarch aspired unquestionably to establish
a power within Germany, and to attain a firm footing in the centre of
the empire, which was inconsistent with the liberties of the Estates.
His aim was the imperial crown; and this dignity, supported by his
power, and maintained by his energy and activity, would in his hands be
liable to more abuse than had ever been feared from the House of
Austria. Born in a foreign country, educated in the maxims of arbitrary
power, and by principles and enthusiasm a determined enemy to Popery, he
was ill qualified to maintain inviolate the constitution of the German
States, or to respect their liberties. The coercive homage which
Augsburg, with many other cities, was forced to pay to the Swedish
crown, bespoke the conqueror, rather than the protector of the empire;
and this town, prouder of the title of a royal city, than of the higher
dignity of the freedom of the empire, flattered itself with the
anticipation of becoming the capital of his future kingdom. His
ill-disguised attempts upon the Electorate of Mentz, which he first
intended to bestow upon the Elector of Brandenburg, as the dower of his
daughter Christina, and afterwards destined for his chancellor and
friend Oxenstiern, evinced plainly what liberties he was disposed to
take with the constitution of the empire. His allies, the Protestant
princes, had claims on his gratitude, which could be satisfied only at
the expense of their Roman Catholic neighbours, and particularly of the
immediate Ecclesiastical Chapters; and it seems probable a plan was
early formed for dividing the conquered provinces, (after the precedent
of the barbarian hordes who overran the German empire,) as a common
spoil, among the German and Swedish confederates. In his treatment of
the Elector Palatine, he entirely belied the magnanimity of the hero,
and forgot the sacred character of a protector. The Palatinate was in
his hands, and the obligations both of justice and honour demanded its
full and immediate restoration to the legitimate sovereign. But, by a
subtlety unworthy of a great mind, and disgraceful to the honourable
title of protector of the oppressed, he eluded that obligation. He
treated the Palatinate as a conquest wrested from the enemy, and thought
that this circumstance gave him a right to deal with it as he pleased.
He surrendered it to the Elector as a favour, not as a debt; and that,
too, as a Swedish fief, fettered by conditions which diminished half its
value, and degraded this unfortunate prince into a humble vassal of
Sweden. One of these conditions obliged the Elector, after the
conclusion of the war, to furnish, along with the other princes, his
contribution towards the maintenance of the Swedish army, a condition
which plainly indicates the fate which, in the event of the ultimate
success of the king, awaited Germany. His sudden disappearance secured
the liberties of Germany, and saved his reputation, while it probably
spared him the mortification of seeing his own allies in arms against
him, and all the fruits of his victories torn from him by a
disadvantageous peace. Saxony was already disposed to abandon him,
Denmark viewed his success with alarm and jealousy; and even France, the
firmest and most potent of his allies, terrified at the rapid growth of
his power and the imperious tone which he assumed, looked around at the
very moment he past the Lech, for foreign alliances, in order to check
the progress of the Goths, and restore to Europe the balance of power.

Book IV.

The weak bond of union, by which Gustavus Adolphus contrived to hold
together the Protestant members of the empire, was dissolved by his
death: the allies were now again at liberty, and their alliance, to
last, must be formed anew. By the former event, if unremedied, they
would lose all the advantages they had gained at the cost of so much
bloodshed, and expose themselves to the inevitable danger of becoming
one after the other the prey of an enemy, whom, by their union alone,
they had been able to oppose and to master. Neither Sweden, nor any of
the states of the empire, was singly a match with the Emperor and the
League; and, by seeking a peace under the present state of things, they
would necessarily be obliged to receive laws from the enemy. Union was,
therefore, equally indispensable, either for concluding a peace or
continuing the war. But a peace, sought under the present
circumstances, could not fail to be disadvantageous to the allied
powers. With the death of Gustavus Adolphus, the enemy had formed new
hopes; and however gloomy might be the situation of his affairs after
the battle of Lutzen, still the death of his dreaded rival was an event
too disastrous to the allies, and too favourable for the Emperor, not to
justify him in entertaining the most brilliant expectations, and not to
encourage him to the prosecution of the war. Its inevitable
consequence, for the moment at least, must be want of union among the
allies, and what might not the Emperor and the League gain from such a
division of their enemies? He was not likely to sacrifice such
prospects, as the present turn of affairs held out to him, for any
peace, not highly beneficial to himself; and such a peace the allies
would not be disposed to accept. They naturally determined, therefore,
to continue the war, and for this purpose, the maintenance of the
existing union was acknowledged to be indispensable.

But how was this union to be renewed? and whence were to be derived the
necessary means for continuing the war? It was not the power of Sweden,
but the talents and personal influence of its late king, which had given
him so overwhelming an influence in Germany, so great a command over the
minds of men; and even he had innumerable difficulties to overcome,
before he could establish among the states even a weak and wavering
alliance. With his death vanished all, which his personal qualities
alone had rendered practicable; and the mutual obligation of the states
seemed to cease with the hopes on which it had been founded. Several
impatiently threw off the yoke which had always been irksome; others
hastened to seize the helm which they had unwillingly seen in the hands
of Gustavus, but which, during his lifetime, they did not dare to
dispute with him. Some were tempted, by the seductive promises of the
Emperor, to abandon the alliance; others, oppressed by the heavy burdens
of a fourteen years' war, longed for the repose of peace, upon any
conditions, however ruinous. The generals of the army, partly German
princes, acknowledged no common head, and no one would stoop to receive
orders from another. Unanimity vanished alike from the cabinet and the
field, and their common weal was threatened with ruin, by the spirit of

Gustavus had left no male heir to the crown of Sweden: his daughter
Christina, then six years old, was the natural heir. The unavoidable
weakness of a regency, suited ill with that energy and resolution, which
Sweden would be called upon to display in this trying conjuncture. The
wide reaching mind of Gustavus Adolphus had raised this unimportant, and
hitherto unknown kingdom, to a rank among the powers of Europe, which it
could not retain without the fortune and genius of its author, and from
which it could not recede, without a humiliating confession of weakness.
Though the German war had been conducted chiefly on the resources of
Germany, yet even the small contribution of men and money, which Sweden
furnished, had sufficed to exhaust the finances of that poor kingdom,
and the peasantry groaned beneath the imposts necessarily laid upon
them. The plunder gained in Germany enriched only a few individuals,
among the nobles and the soldiers, while Sweden itself remained poor as
before. For a time, it is true, the national glory reconciled the
subject to these burdens, and the sums exacted, seemed but as a loan
placed at interest, in the fortunate hand of Gustavus Adolphus, to be
richly repaid by the grateful monarch at the conclusion of a glorious
peace. But with the king's death this hope vanished, and the deluded
people now loudly demanded relief from their burdens.

But the spirit of Gustavus Adolphus still lived in the men to whom he
had confided the administration of the kingdom. However dreadful to
them, and unexpected, was the intelligence of his death, it did not
deprive them of their manly courage; and the spirit of ancient Rome,
under the invasion of Brennus and Hannibal, animated this noble
assembly. The greater the price, at which these hard-gained advantages
had been purchased, the less readily could they reconcile themselves to
renounce them: not unrevenged was a king to be sacrificed. Called on
to choose between a doubtful and exhausting war, and a profitable but
disgraceful peace, the Swedish council of state boldly espoused the side
of danger and honour; and with agreeable surprise, men beheld this
venerable senate acting with all the energy and enthusiasm of youth.
Surrounded with watchful enemies, both within and without, and
threatened on every side with danger, they armed themselves against them
all, with equal prudence and heroism, and laboured to extend their
kingdom, even at the moment when they had to struggle for its existence.

The decease of the king, and the minority of his daughter Christina,
renewed the claims of Poland to the Swedish throne; and King Ladislaus,
the son of Sigismund, spared no intrigues to gain a party in Sweden. On
this ground, the regency lost no time in proclaiming the young queen,
and arranging the administration of the regency. All the officers of
the kingdom were summoned to do homage to their new princess; all
correspondence with Poland prohibited, and the edicts of previous
monarchs against the heirs of Sigismund, confirmed by a solemn act of
the nation. The alliance with the Czar of Muscovy was carefully
renewed, in order, by the arms of this prince, to keep the hostile Poles
in check. The death of Gustavus Adolphus had put an end to the jealousy
of Denmark, and removed the grounds of alarm which had stood in the way
of a good understanding between the two states. The representations by
which the enemy sought to stir up Christian IV. against Sweden were no
longer listened to; and the strong wish the Danish monarch entertained
for the marriage of his son Ulrick with the young princess, combined,
with the dictates of a sounder policy, to incline him to a neutrality.
At the same time, England, Holland, and France came forward with the
gratifying assurances to the regency of continued friendship and
support, and encouraged them, with one voice, to prosecute with activity
the war, which hitherto had been conducted with so much glory. Whatever
reason France might have to congratulate itself on the death of the
Swedish conqueror, it was as fully sensible of the expediency of
maintaining the alliance with Sweden. Without exposing itself to great
danger, it could not allow the power of Sweden to sink in Germany. Want
of resources of its own, would either drive Sweden to conclude a hasty
and disadvantageous peace with Austria, and then all the past efforts to
lower the ascendancy of this dangerous power would be thrown away; or
necessity and despair would drive the armies to extort from the Roman
Catholic states the means of support, and France would then be regarded
as the betrayer of those very states, who had placed themselves under
her powerful protection. The death of Gustavus, far from breaking up
the alliance between France and Sweden, had only rendered it more
necessary for both, and more profitable for France. Now, for the first
time, since he was dead who had stretched his protecting arm over
Germany, and guarded its frontiers against the encroaching designs of
France, could the latter safely pursue its designs upon Alsace, and thus
be enabled to sell its aid to the German Protestants at a dearer rate.

Strengthened by these alliances, secured in its interior, and defended
from without by strong frontier garrisons and fleets, the regency did
not delay an instant to continue a war, by which Sweden had little of
its own to lose, while, if success attended its arms, one or more of the
German provinces might be won, either as a conquest, or indemnification
of its expenses. Secure amidst its seas, Sweden, even if driven out of
Germany, would scarcely be exposed to greater peril, than if it
voluntarily retired from the contest, while the former measure was as
honourable, as the latter was disgraceful. The more boldness the
regency displayed, the more confidence would they inspire among their
confederates, the more respect among their enemies, and the more
favourable conditions might they anticipate in the event of peace. If
they found themselves too weak to execute the wide-ranging projects of
Gustavus, they at least owed it to this lofty model to do their utmost,
and to yield to no difficulty short of absolute necessity. Alas, that
motives of self-interest had too great a share in this noble
determination, to demand our unqualified admiration! For those who had
nothing themselves to suffer from the calamities of war, but were rather
to be enriched by it, it was an easy matter to resolve upon its
continuation; for the German empire was, in the end, to defray the
expenses; and the provinces on which they reckoned, would be cheaply
purchased with the few troops they sacrificed to them, and with the
generals who were placed at the head of armies, composed for the most
part of Germans, and with the honourable superintendence of all the
operations, both military and political.

But this superintendence was irreconcileable with the distance of the
Swedish regency from the scene of action, and with the slowness which
necessarily accompanies all the movements of a council.

To one comprehensive mind must be intrusted the management of Swedish
interests in Germany, and with full powers to determine at discretion
all questions of war and peace, the necessary alliances, or the
acquisitions made. With dictatorial power, and with the whole influence
of the crown which he was to represent, must this important magistrate
be invested, in order to maintain its dignity, to enforce united and
combined operations, to give effect to his orders, and to supply the
place of the monarch whom he succeeded. Such a man was found in the
Chancellor Oxenstiern, the first minister, and what is more, the friend
of the deceased king, who, acquainted with all the secrets of his
master, versed in the politics of Germany, and in the relations of all
the states of Europe, was unquestionably the fittest instrument to carry
out the plans of Gustavus Adolphus in their full extent.

Oxenstiern was on his way to Upper Germany, in order to assemble the
four Upper Circles, when the news of the king's death reached him at
Hanau. This was a heavy blow, both to the friend and the statesman.
Sweden, indeed, had lost but a king, Germany a protector; but
Oxenstiern, the author of his fortunes, the friend of his soul, and the
object of his admiration. Though the greatest sufferer in the general
loss, he was the first who by his energy rose from the blow, and the
only one qualified to repair it. His penetrating glance foresaw all the
obstacles which would oppose the execution of his plans, the
discouragement of the estates, the intrigues of hostile courts, the
breaking up of the confederacy, the jealousy of the leaders, and the
dislike of princes of the empire to submit to foreign authority. But
even this deep insight into the existing state of things, which revealed
the whole extent of the evil, showed him also the means by which it
might be overcome. It was essential to revive the drooping courage of
the weaker states, to meet the secret machinations of the enemy, to
allay the jealousy of the more powerful allies, to rouse the friendly
powers, and France in particular, to active assistance; but above all,
to repair the ruined edifice of the German alliance, and to reunite the
scattered strength of the party by a close and permanent bond of union.
The dismay which the loss of their leader occasioned the German
Protestants, might as readily dispose them to a closer alliance with
Sweden, as to a hasty peace with the Emperor; and it depended entirely
upon the course pursued, which of these alternatives they would adopt.
Every thing might be lost by the slightest sign of despondency; nothing,
but the confidence which Sweden showed in herself, could kindle among
the Germans a noble feeling of self-confidence. All the attempts of
Austria, to detach these princes from the Swedish alliance, would be
unavailing, the moment their eyes became opened to their true interests,
and they were instigated to a public and formal breach with the Emperor.

Before these measures could be taken, and the necessary points settled
between the regency and their minister, a precious opportunity of action
would, it is true, be lost to the Swedish army, of which the enemy would
be sure to take the utmost advantage. It was, in short, in the power of
the Emperor totally to ruin the Swedish interest in Germany, and to this
he was actually invited by the prudent councils of the Duke of
Friedland. Wallenstein advised him to proclaim a universal amnesty, and
to meet the Protestant states with favourable conditions. In the first
consternation produced by the fall of Gustavus Adolphus, such a
declaration would have had the most powerful effects, and probably would
have brought the wavering states back to their allegiance. But blinded
by this unexpected turn of fortune, and infatuated by Spanish counsels,
he anticipated a more brilliant issue from war, and, instead of
listening to these propositions of an accommodation, he hastened to
augment his forces. Spain, enriched by the grant of the tenth of the
ecclesiastical possessions, which the pope confirmed, sent him
considerable supplies, negociated for him at the Saxon court, and
hastily levied troops for him in Italy to be employed in Germany. The
Elector of Bavaria also considerably increased his military force; and
the restless disposition of the Duke of Lorraine did not permit him to
remain inactive in this favourable change of fortune. But while the
enemy were thus busy to profit by the disaster of Sweden, Oxenstiern was
diligent to avert its most fatal consequences.

Less apprehensive of open enemies, than of the jealousy of the friendly
powers, he left Upper Germany, which he had secured by conquests and
alliances, and set out in person to prevent a total defection of the
Lower German states, or, what would have been almost equally ruinous to
Sweden, a private alliance among themselves. Offended at the boldness
with which the chancellor assumed the direction of affairs, and inwardly
exasperated at the thought of being dictated to by a Swedish nobleman,
the Elector of Saxony again meditated a dangerous separation from
Sweden; and the only question in his mind was, whether he should make
full terms with the Emperor, or place himself at the head of the
Protestants and form a third party in Germany. Similar ideas were
cherished by Duke Ulric of Brunswick, who, indeed, showed them openly
enough by forbidding the Swedes from recruiting within his dominions,
and inviting the Lower Saxon states to Luneburg, for the purpose of
forming a confederacy among themselves. The Elector of Brandenburg,
jealous of the influence which Saxony was likely to attain in Lower
Germany, alone manifested any zeal for the interests of the Swedish
throne, which, in thought, he already destined for his son. At the
court of Saxony, Oxenstiern was no doubt honourably received; but,
notwithstanding the personal efforts of the Elector of Brandenburg,
empty promises of continued friendship were all which he could obtain.
With the Duke of Brunswick he was more successful, for with him he
ventured to assume a bolder tone. Sweden was at the time in possession
of the See of Magdeburg, the bishop of which had the power of assembling
the Lower Saxon circle. The chancellor now asserted the rights of the
crown, and by this spirited proceeding, put a stop for the present to
this dangerous assembly designed by the duke. The main object, however,
of his present journey and of his future endeavours, a general
confederacy of the Protestants, miscarried entirely, and he was obliged
to content himself with some unsteady alliances in the Saxon circles,
and with the weaker assistance of Upper Germany.

As the Bavarians were too powerful on the Danube, the assembly of the
four Upper Circles, which should have been held at Ulm, was removed to
Heilbronn, where deputies of more than twelve cities of the empire, with
a brilliant crowd of doctors, counts, and princes, attended. The
ambassadors of foreign powers likewise, France, England, and Holland,
attended this Congress, at which Oxenstiern appeared in person, with all
the splendour of the crown whose representative he was. He himself
opened the proceedings, and conducted the deliberations. After
receiving from all the assembled estates assurances of unshaken
fidelity, perseverance, and unity, he required of them solemnly and
formally to declare the Emperor and the league as enemies. But
desirable as it was for Sweden to exasperate the ill-feeling between the
emperor and the estates into a formal rupture, the latter, on the other
hand, were equally indisposed to shut out the possibility of
reconciliation, by so decided a step, and to place themselves entirely
in the hands of the Swedes. They maintained, that any formal
declaration of war was useless and superfluous, where the act would
speak for itself, and their firmness on this point silenced at last the
chancellor. Warmer disputes arose on the third and principal article of
the treaty, concerning the means of prosecuting the war, and the quota
which the several states ought to furnish for the support of the army.
Oxenstiern's maxim, to throw as much as possible of the common burden on
the states, did not suit very well with their determination to give as
little as possible. The Swedish chancellor now experienced, what had
been felt by thirty emperors before him, to their cost, that of all
difficult undertakings, the most difficult was to extort money from the
Germans. Instead of granting the necessary sums for the new armies to
be raised, they eloquently dwelt upon the calamities occasioned by the
former, and demanded relief from the old burdens, when they were
required to submit to new. The irritation which the chancellor's demand
for money raised among the states, gave rise to a thousand complaints;
and the outrages committed by the troops, in their marches and quarters,
were dwelt upon with a startling minuteness and truth.

In the service of two absolute monarchs, Oxenstiern had but little
opportunity to become accustomed to the formalities and cautious
proceedings of republican deliberations, or to bear opposition with
patience. Ready to act, the instant the necessity of action was
apparent, and inflexible in his resolution, when he had once taken it,
he was at a loss to comprehend the inconsistency of most men, who, while
they desire the end, are yet averse to the means. Prompt and impetuous
by nature, he was so on this occasion from principle; for every thing
depended on concealing the weakness of Sweden, under a firm and
confident speech, and by assuming the tone of a lawgiver, really to
become so. It was nothing wonderful, therefore, if, amidst these
interminable discussions with German doctors and deputies, he was
entirely out of his sphere, and if the deliberateness which
distinguishes the character of the Germans in their public
deliberations, had driven him almost to despair. Without respecting a
custom, to which even the most powerful of the emperors had been obliged
to conform, he rejected all written deliberations which suited so well
with the national slowness of resolve. He could not conceive how ten
days could be spent in debating a measure, which with himself was
decided upon its bare suggestion. Harshly, however, as he treated the
States, he found them ready enough to assent to his fourth motion, which
concerned himself. When he pointed out the necessity of giving a head
and a director to the new confederation, that honour was unanimously
assigned to Sweden, and he himself was humbly requested to give to the
common cause the benefit of his enlightened experience, and to take upon
himself the burden of the supreme command. But in order to prevent his
abusing the great powers thus conferred upon him, it was proposed, not
without French influence, to appoint a number of overseers, in fact,
under the name of assistants, to control the expenditure of the common
treasure, and to consult with him as to the levies, marches, and
quarterings of the troops. Oxenstiern long and strenuously resisted
this limitation of his authority, which could not fail to trammel him in
the execution of every enterprise requiring promptitude or secrecy, and
at last succeeded, with difficulty, in obtaining so far a modification
of it, that his management in affairs of war was to be uncontrolled.
The chancellor finally approached the delicate point of the
indemnification which Sweden was to expect at the conclusion of the war,
from the gratitude of the allies, and flattered himself with the hope
that Pomerania, the main object of Sweden, would be assigned to her, and
that he would obtain from the provinces, assurances of effectual
cooperation in its acquisition. But he could obtain nothing more than a
vague assurance, that in a general peace the interests of all parties
would be attended to. That on this point, the caution of the estates
was not owing to any regard for the constitution of the empire, became
manifest from the liberality they evinced towards the chancellor, at the
expense of the most sacred laws of the empire. They were ready to grant
him the archbishopric of Mentz, (which he already held as a conquest,)
and only with difficulty did the French ambassador succeed in preventing
a step, which was as impolitic as it was disgraceful. Though on the
whole, the result of the congress had fallen far short of Oxenstiern's
expectations, he had at least gained for himself and his crown his main
object, namely, the direction of the whole confederacy; he had also
succeeded in strengthening the bond of union between the four upper
circles, and obtained from the states a yearly contribution of two
millions and a half of dollars, for the maintenance of the army.

These concessions on the part of the States, demanded some return from
Sweden. A few weeks after the death of Gustavus Adolphus, sorrow ended
the days of the unfortunate Elector Palatine. For eight months he had
swelled the pomp of his protector's court, and expended on it the small
remainder of his patrimony. He was, at last, approaching the goal of
his wishes, and the prospect of a brighter future was opening, when
death deprived him of his protector. But what he regarded as the
greatest calamity, was highly favourable to his heirs. Gustavus might
venture to delay the restoration of his dominions, or to load the gift
with hard conditions; but Oxenstiern, to whom the friendship of England,
Holland, and Brandenburg, and the good opinion of the Reformed States
were indispensable, felt the necessity of immediately fulfilling the
obligations of justice. At this assembly, at Heilbronn, therefore, he
engaged to surrender to Frederick's heirs the whole Palatinate, both the
part already conquered, and that which remained to be conquered, with
the exception of Manheim, which the Swedes were to hold, until they
should be indemnified for their expenses. The Chancellor did not
confine his liberality to the family of the Palatine alone; the other
allied princes received proofs, though at a later period, of the
gratitude of Sweden, which, however, she dispensed at little cost to

Impartiality, the most sacred obligation of the historian, here compels
us to an admission, not much to the honour of the champions of German
liberty. However the Protestant Princes might boast of the justice of
their cause, and the sincerity of their conviction, still the motives
from which they acted were selfish enough; and the desire of stripping
others of their possessions, had at least as great a share in the
commencement of hostilities, as the fear of being deprived of their own.
Gustavus soon found that he might reckon much more on these selfish
motives, than on their patriotic zeal, and did not fail to avail himself
of them. Each of his confederates received from him the promise of some
possession, either already wrested, or to be afterwards taken from the
enemy; and death alone prevented him from fulfilling these engagements.
What prudence had suggested to the king, necessity now prescribed to his
successor. If it was his object to continue the war, he must be ready
to divide the spoil among the allies, and promise them advantages from
the confusion which it was his object to continue. Thus he promised to
the Landgrave of Hesse, the abbacies of Paderborn, Corvey, Munster, and
Fulda; to Duke Bernard of Weimar, the Franconian Bishoprics; to the Duke
of Wirtemberg, the Ecclesiastical domains, and the Austrian counties
lying within his territories, all under the title of fiefs of Sweden.
This spectacle, so strange and so dishonourable to the German character,
surprised the Chancellor, who found it difficult to repress his
contempt, and on one occasion exclaimed, "Let it be writ in our records,
for an everlasting memorial, that a German prince made such a request of
a Swedish nobleman, and that the Swedish nobleman granted it to the
German upon German ground!"

After these successful measures, he was in a condition to take the
field, and prosecute the war with fresh vigour. Soon after the victory
at Lutzen, the troops of Saxony and Lunenburg united with the Swedish
main body; and the Imperialists were, in a short time, totally driven
from Saxony. The united army again divided: the Saxons marched towards
Lusatia and Silesia, to act in conjunction with Count Thurn against the
Austrians in that quarter; a part of the Swedish army was led by the
Duke of Weimar into Franconia, and the other by George, Duke of
Brunswick, into Westphalia and Lower Saxony.

The conquests on the Lech and the Danube, during Gustavus's expedition
into Saxony, had been maintained by the Palatine of Birkenfeld, and the
Swedish General Banner, against the Bavarians; but unable to hold their
ground against the victorious progress of the latter, supported as they
were by the bravery and military experience of the Imperial General
Altringer, they were under the necessity of summoning the Swedish
General Horn to their assistance, from Alsace. This experienced general
having captured the towns of Benfeld, Schlettstadt, Colmar, and Hagenau,
committed the defence of them to the Rhinegrave Otto Louis, and hastily
crossed the Rhine to form a junction with Banner's army. But although
the combined force amounted to more than 16,000, they could not prevent
the enemy from obtaining a strong position on the Swabian frontier,
taking Kempten, and being joined by seven regiments from Bohemia. In
order to retain the command of the important banks of the Lech and the
Danube, they were under the necessity of recalling the Rhinegrave Otto
Louis from Alsace, where he had, after the departure of Horn, found it
difficult to defend himself against the exasperated peasantry. With his
army, he was now summoned to strengthen the army on the Danube; and as
even this reinforcement was insufficient, Duke Bernard of Weimar was
earnestly pressed to turn his arms into this quarter.

Duke Bernard, soon after the opening of the campaign of 1633, had made
himself master of the town and territory of Bamberg, and was now
threatening Wurtzburg. But on receiving the summons of General Horn,
without delay he began his march towards the Danube, defeated on his way
a Bavarian army under John de Werth, and joined the Swedes near
Donauwerth. This numerous force, commanded by excellent generals, now
threatened Bavaria with a fearful inroad. The bishopric of Eichstadt
was completely overrun, and Ingoldstadt was on the point of being
delivered up by treachery to the Swedes. Altringer, fettered in his
movements by the express order of the Duke of Friedland, and left
without assistance from Bohemia, was unable to check the progress of the
enemy. The most favourable circumstances combined to further the
progress of the Swedish arms in this quarter, when the operations of the
army were at once stopped by a mutiny among the officers.

All the previous successes in Germany were owing altogether to arms; the
greatness of Gustavus himself was the work of the army, the fruit of
their discipline, their bravery, and their persevering courage under
numberless dangers and privations. However wisely his plans were laid
in the cabinet, it was to the army ultimately that he was indebted for
their execution; and the expanding designs of the general did but
continually impose new burdens on the soldiers. All the decisive
advantages of the war, had been violently gained by a barbarous
sacrifice of the soldiers' lives in winter campaigns, forced marches,
stormings, and pitched battles; for it was Gustavus's maxim never to
decline a battle, so long as it cost him nothing but men. The soldiers
could not long be kept ignorant of their own importance, and they justly
demanded a share in the spoil which had been won by their own blood.
Yet, frequently, they hardly received their pay; and the rapacity of
individual generals, or the wants of the state, generally swallowed up
the greater part of the sums raised by contributions, or levied upon the
conquered provinces. For all the privations he endured, the soldier had
no other recompense than the doubtful chance either of plunder or
promotion, in both of which he was often disappointed. During the
lifetime of Gustavus Adolphus, the combined influence of fear and hope
had suppressed any open complaint, but after his death, the murmurs were
loud and universal; and the soldiery seized the most dangerous moment to
impress their superiors with a sense of their importance. Two officers,
Pfuhl and Mitschefal, notorious as restless characters, even during the
King's life, set the example in the camp on the Danube, which in a few
days was imitated by almost all the officers of the army. They solemnly
bound themselves to obey no orders, till these arrears, now outstanding
for months, and even years, should be paid up, and a gratuity, either in
money or lands, made to each man, according to his services. "Immense
sums," they said, "were daily raised by contributions, and all
dissipated by a few. They were called out to serve amidst frost and
snow, and no reward requited their incessant labours. The soldiers'
excesses at Heilbronn had been blamed, but no one ever talked of their
services. The world rung with the tidings of conquests and victories,
but it was by their hands that they had been fought and won."

The number of the malcontents daily increased; and they even attempted
by letters, (which were fortunately intercepted,) to seduce the armies
on the Rhine and in Saxony. Neither the representations of Bernard of
Weimar, nor the stern reproaches of his harsher associate in command,
could suppress this mutiny, while the vehemence of Horn seemed only to
increase the insolence of the insurgents. The conditions they insisted
on, were that certain towns should be assigned to each regiment for the
payment of arrears. Four weeks were allowed to the Swedish Chancellor
to comply with these demands; and in case of refusal, they announced
that they would pay themselves, and never more draw a sword for Sweden.

These pressing demands, made at the very time when the military chest
was exhausted, and credit at a low ebb, greatly embarrassed the
chancellor. The remedy, he saw, must be found quickly, before the
contagion should spread to the other troops, and he should be deserted
by all his armies at once. Among all the Swedish generals, there was
only one of sufficient authority and influence with the soldiers to put
an end to this dispute. The Duke of Weimar was the favourite of the
army, and his prudent moderation had won the good-will of the soldiers,
while his military experience had excited their admiration. He now
undertook the task of appeasing the discontented troops; but, aware of
his importance, he embraced the opportunity to make advantageous
stipulations for himself, and to make the embarrassment of the
chancellor subservient to his own views.

Gustavus Adolphus had flattered him with the promise of the Duchy of
Franconia, to be formed out of the Bishoprics of Wurtzburg and Bamberg,
and he now insisted on the performance of this pledge. He at the same
time demanded the chief command, as generalissimo of Sweden. The abuse
which the Duke of Weimar thus made of his influence, so irritated
Oxenstiern, that, in the first moment of his displeasure, he gave him
his dismissal from the Swedish service. But he soon thought better of
it, and determined, instead of sacrificing so important a leader, to
attach him to the Swedish interests at any cost. He therefore granted
to him the Franconian bishoprics, as a fief of the Swedish crown,
reserving, however, the two fortresses of Wurtzburg and Koenigshofen,
which were to be garrisoned by the Swedes; and also engaged, in name of
the Swedish crown, to secure these territories to the duke. His demand
of the supreme authority was evaded on some specious pretext. The duke
did not delay to display his gratitude for this valuable grant, and by
his influence and activity soon restored tranquillity to the army.
Large sums of money, and still more extensive estates, were divided
among the officers, amounting in value to about five millions of
dollars, and to which they had no other right but that of conquest. In
the mean time, however, the opportunity for a great undertaking had been
lost, and the united generals divided their forces to oppose the enemy
in other quarters.

Gustavus Horn, after a short inroad into the Upper Palatinate, and the
capture of Neumark, directed his march towards the Swabian frontier,
where the Imperialists, strongly reinforced, threatened Wuertemberg. At
his approach, the enemy retired to the Lake of Constance, but only to
show the Swedes the road into a district hitherto unvisited by war. A
post on the entrance to Switzerland, would be highly serviceable to the
Swedes, and the town of Kostnitz seemed peculiarly well fitted to be a
point of communication between him and the confederated cantons.
Accordingly, Gustavus Horn immediately commenced the siege of it; but
destitute of artillery, for which he was obliged to send to Wirtemberg,
he could not press the attack with sufficient vigour, to prevent the
enemy from throwing supplies into the town, which the lake afforded them
convenient opportunity of doing. He, therefore, after an ineffectual
attempt, quitted the place and its neighbourhood, and hastened to meet a
more threatening danger upon the Danube.

At the Emperor's instigation, the Cardinal Infante, the brother of
Philip IV. of Spain, and the Viceroy of Milan, had raised an army of
14,000 men, intended to act upon the Rhine, independently of
Wallenstein, and to protect Alsace. This force now appeared in Bavaria,
under the command of the Duke of Feria, a Spaniard; and, that they might
be directly employed against the Swedes, Altringer was ordered to join
them with his corps. Upon the first intelligence of their approach,
Horn had summoned to his assistance the Palsgrave of Birkenfeld, from
the Rhine; and being joined by him at Stockach, boldly advanced to meet
the enemy's army of 30,000 men.

The latter had taken the route across the Danube into Swabia, where
Gustavus Horn came so close upon them, that the two armies were only
separated from each other by half a German mile. But, instead of
accepting the offer of battle, the Imperialists moved by the Forest
towns towards Briesgau and Alsace, where they arrived in time to relieve
Breysack, and to arrest the victorious progress of the Rhinegrave, Otto
Louis. The latter had, shortly before, taken the Forest towns, and,
supported by the Palatine of Birkenfeld, who had liberated the Lower
Palatinate and beaten the Duke of Lorraine out of the field, had once
more given the superiority to the Swedish arms in that quarter. He was
now forced to retire before the superior numbers of the enemy; but Horn
and Birkenfeld quickly advanced to his support, and the Imperialists,
after a brief triumph, were again expelled from Alsace. The severity of
the autumn, in which this hapless retreat had to be conducted, proved
fatal to most of the Italians; and their leader, the Duke of Feria, died
of grief at the failure of his enterprise.

In the mean time, Duke Bernard of Weimar had taken up his position on
the Danube, with eighteen regiments of infantry and 140 squadrons of
horse, to cover Franconia, and to watch the movements of the
Imperial-Bavarian army upon that river. No sooner had Altringer
departed, to join the Italians under Feria, than Bernard, profiting by
his absence, hastened across the Danube, and with the rapidity of
lightning appeared before Ratisbon. The possession of this town would
ensure the success of the Swedish designs upon Bavaria and Austria; it
would establish them firmly on the Danube, and provide a safe refuge in
case of defeat, while it alone could give permanence to their conquests
in that quarter. To defend Ratisbon, was the urgent advice which the
dying Tilly left to the Elector; and Gustavus Adolphus had lamented it
as an irreparable loss, that the Bavarians had anticipated him in taking
possession of this place. Indescribable, therefore, was the
consternation of Maximilian, when Duke Bernard suddenly appeared before
the town, and prepared in earnest to besiege it.

The garrison consisted of not more than fifteen companies, mostly
newly-raised soldiers; although that number was more than sufficient to
weary out an enemy of far superior force, if supported by well-disposed
and warlike inhabitants. But this was not the greatest danger which the
Bavarian garrison had to contend against. The Protestant inhabitants of
Ratisbon, equally jealous of their civil and religious freedom, had
unwillingly submitted to the yoke of Bavaria, and had long looked with
impatience for the appearance of a deliverer. Bernard's arrival before
the walls filled them with lively joy; and there was much reason to fear
that they would support the attempts of the besiegers without, by
exciting a tumult within. In this perplexity, the Elector addressed the
most pressing entreaties to the Emperor and the Duke of Friedland to
assist him, were it only with 5,000 men. Seven messengers in succession
were despatched by Ferdinand to Wallenstein, who promised immediate
succours, and even announced to the Elector the near advance of 12,000
men under Gallas; but at the same time forbade that general, under pain
of death, to march. Meanwhile the Bavarian commandant of Ratisbon, in
the hope of speedy assistance, made the best preparations for defence,
armed the Roman Catholic peasants, disarmed and carefully watched the
Protestant citizens, lest they should attempt any hostile design against
the garrison. But as no relief arrived, and the enemy's artillery
incessantly battered the walls, he consulted his own safety, and that of
the garrison, by an honourable capitulation, and abandoned the Bavarian
officials and ecclesiastics to the conqueror's mercy.

The possession of Ratisbon, enlarged the projects of the duke, and
Bavaria itself now appeared too narrow a field for his bold designs. He
determined to penetrate to the frontiers of Austria, to arm the
Protestant peasantry against the Emperor, and restore to them their
religious liberty. He had already taken Straubingen, while another
Swedish army was advancing successfully along the northern bank of the
Danube. At the head of his Swedes, bidding defiance to the severity of
the weather, he reached the mouth of the Iser, which he passed in the
presence of the Bavarian General Werth, who was encamped on that river.
Passau and Lintz trembled for their fate; the terrified Emperor
redoubled his entreaties and commands to Wallenstein, to hasten with all
speed to the relief of the hard-pressed Bavarians. But here the
victorious Bernard, of his own accord, checked his career of conquest.
Having in front of him the river Inn, guarded by a number of strong
fortresses, and behind him two hostile armies, a disaffected country,
and the river Iser, while his rear was covered by no tenable position,
and no entrenchment could be made in the frozen ground, and threatened
by the whole force of Wallenstein, who had at last resolved to march to
the Danube, by a timely retreat he escaped the danger of being cut off
from Ratisbon, and surrounded by the enemy. He hastened across the Iser
to the Danube, to defend the conquests he had made in the Upper
Palatinate against Wallenstein, and fully resolved not to decline a
battle, if necessary, with that general. But Wallenstein, who was not
disposed for any great exploits on the Danube, did not wait for his
approach; and before the Bavarians could congratulate themselves on his
arrival, he suddenly withdrew again into Bohemia. The duke thus ended
his victorious campaign, and allowed his troops their well-earned repose
in winter quarters upon an enemy's country.

While in Swabia the war was thus successfully conducted by Gustavus
Horn, and on the Upper and Lower Rhine by the Palatine of Birkenfeld,
General Baudissen, and the Rhinegrave Otto Louis, and by Duke Bernard on
the Danube; the reputation of the Swedish arms was as gloriously
sustained in Lower Saxony and Westphalia by the Duke of Lunenburg and
the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel. The fortress of Hamel was taken by Duke
George, after a brave defence, and a brilliant victory obtained over the
imperial General Gronsfeld, by the united Swedish and Hessian armies,
near Oldendorf. Count Wasaburg, a natural son of Gustavus Adolphus,
showed himself in this battle worthy of his descent. Sixteen pieces of
cannon, the whole baggage of the Imperialists, together with 74 colours,
fell into the hands of the Swedes; 3,000 of the enemy perished on the
field, and nearly the same number were taken prisoners. The town of
Osnaburg surrendered to the Swedish Colonel Knyphausen, and Paderborn to
the Landgrave of Hesse; while, on the other hand, Bueckeburg, a very

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