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Title: The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power
Author: Abbott, John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot), 1805-1877
Language: English
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The Monarchies of Continental Europe

THE EMPIRE OF AUSTRIA; ITS RISE AND PRESENT POWER

by

JOHN S. C. ABBOTT

New York;
Published by Mason Brothers,
Cincinnati: Rickey, Mallory & Co.
Stereotyped by
Thomas B. Smith,
82 & 84 Beekman St.
Printed By
C. A. Alvord.
15 Vandewater St.

1859



PREFACE


The studies of the author of this work, for the last ten years, in
writing the "History of Napoleon Bonaparte," and "The French Revolution
of 1789," have necessarily made him quite familiar with the monarchies
of Europe. He has met with so much that was strange and romantic in
their career, that he has been interested to undertake, as it were, a
_biography_ of the Monarchies of Continental Europe--their birth,
education, exploits, progress and present condition. He has commenced
with Austria.

There are abundant materials for this work. The Life of Austria embraces
all that is wild and wonderful in history; her early struggles for
aggrandizement--the fierce strife with the Turks, as wave after wave of
Moslem invasion rolled up the Danube--the long conflicts and bloody
persecutions of the Reformation--the thirty years' religious war--the
meteoric career of Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII. shooting athwart
the lurid storms of battle--the intrigues of Popes--the enormous pride,
power and encroachments of Louis XIV.--the warfare of the Spanish
succession and the Polish dismemberment--all these events combine in a
sublime tragedy which fiction may in vain attempt to parallel.

It is affecting to observe in the history of Germany, through what woes
humanity has passed in attaining even its present position of
civilization. It is to be hoped that the human family may never again
suffer what it has already endured. We shall be indeed insane if we do
not gain some wisdom from the struggles and the calamities of those who
have gone before us. The narrative of the career of the Austrian Empire,
must, by contrast, excite emotions of gratitude in every American bosom.
Our lines have fallen to us in pleasant places; we have a goodly
heritage.

It is the author's intention soon to issue, as the second of this
series, the History of the Empire of Russia.

JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.

Brunswick, Maine, 1859.



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
RHODOLPH  OF  HAPSBURG.
From 1232 to 1291.

Hawk's Castle.--Albert, Count of Hapsburg.--Rhodolph of Hapsburg.--His
Marriage and Estates.--Excommunication and its Results.--His Principles
of Honor.--A Confederacy of Barons.--Their Route.--Rhodolph's Election
as Emperor of Germany.--The Bishop's Warning.--Dissatisfaction at the
Result of the Election.--Advantages accruing from the Possession of an
interesting Family.--Conquest.--Ottocar acknowledges the Emperor; yet
breaks his Oath of Allegiance.--Gathering Clouds.--Wonderful
Escape.--Victory of Rhodolph.--His Reforms. Page 17


CHAPTER II.
REIGNS OF ALBERT I., FREDERIC, ALBERT AND OTHO.
From 1291 to 1347.

Anecdotes of Rhodolph.--His Desire for the Election of his Son.--His
Death.--Albert.--His Unpopularity.--Conspiracy of the Nobles.--Their
Defeat.--Adolphus of Nassau chosen Emperor.--Albert's Conspiracy.--
Deposition of Adolphus and Election of Albert.--Death of Adolphus.--The
Pope Defied.--Annexation of Bohemia.--Assassination of Albert.--Avenging
Fury.--The Hermit's Direction.--Frederic the Handsome.--Election of
Henry, Count of Luxemburg.--His Death.--Election of Louis of
Bavaria.--Capture of Frederic.--Remarkable Confidence toward a
Prisoner.--Death of Frederic.--An early Engagement.--Death of
Louis.--Accession of Albert. Page 34


CHAPTER III.
RHODOLPH II., ALBERT IV. AND ALBERT V.
From 1389 to 1437.

Rhodolph II.--Marriage of John to Margaret.--Intriguing for the
Tyrol.--Death of Rhodolph.--Accession of Power to Austria.--Dividing the
Empire.--Delight of the Emperor Charles.--Leopold.--His Ambition and
successes.--Hedwige, Queen of Poland.--"The Course of true Love never
did run smooth."--Unhappy Marriage of Hedwige.--Heroism of Arnold of
Winkelreid.--Death of Leopold.--Death of Albert IV.--Accession Of Albert
V.--Attempts of Sigismond to bequeath to Albert V. Hungary and Bohemia.
Page 48


CHAPTER IV.
ALBERT, LADISLAUS AND FREDERIC.
From 1440 to 1489.

Increasing Honors of Albert V.--Encroachments of the Turks.--The
Christians Routed.--Terror of the Hungarians.--Death of Albert.--
Magnanimous Conduct of Albert of Bavaria.--Internal Troubles.--Precocity
of Ladislaus.--Fortifications Raised by the Turks.--John Capistrun.--
Rescue of Belgrade.--The Turks Dispersed.--Exultation over the
Victory.--Death of Hunniades.--Jealousy of Ladislaus.--His
Death.--Brotherly Quarrels.--Devastations by the Turks.--Invasion of
Austria.--Repeal of the Compromise.--The Emperor a Fugitive. Page 68


CHAPTER V.
THE EMPERORS FREDERIC II. AND MAXIMILIAN I.
From 1477 to 1500.

Wanderings of the Emperor Frederic.--Proposed Alliance with the Duke of
Burgundy.--Mutual Distrust.--Marriage of Mary.--The Age of
Chivalry.--The Motive inducing the Lord of Praunstein to Declare
War.--Death of Frederic II.--The Emperor's Secret.--Designs of the
Turks.--Death of Mahomet II.--First Establishment of Standing
Armies.--Use of Gunpowder.--Energy of Maximilian.--French
Aggressions.--The League to Expel the French.--Disappointments of
Maximilian.--Bribing the Pope.--Invasion of Italy.--Capture and
Recapture.--The Chevalier de Bayard. Page 77


CHAPTER VI.
MAXIMILIAN I.
From 1500 to 1519.

Base Treachery of the Swiss Soldiers.--Perfidy of Ferdinand of
Arragon.--Appeals by Superstition.--Coalition with Spain.--The League of
Cambray.--Infamy of the Pope.--The King's Apology.--Failure of the
Plot.--Germany Aroused.--Confidence of Maximilian.--Longings for the
Pontifical Chair.--Maximilian Bribed.--Leo X.--Dawning Prosperity.--
Matrimonial Projects.--Commencement of the War of Reformation.--Sickness
of Maximilian.--His Last Directions.--His Death.--The Standard by which
his Character is to be Judged. Page 91


CHAPTER VII.
CHARLES V. AND THE REFORMATION.
From 1519 to 1581.

Charles V. of Spain.--His Election as Emperor of Germany.--His
Coronation.--The First Constitution.--Progress of the Reformation.--The
Pope's Bull against Luther.--His Contempt for his Holiness.--The Diet at
Worms.--Frederic's Objection to the Condemnation of Luther by the
Diet.--He obtains for Luther the Right of Defense.--Luther's triumphal
March to the Tribunal.--Charles urged to Violate his Safe Conduct.--
Luther's Patmos.--Marriage of Sister Catharine Bora to Luther.--Terrible
Insurrection.--The Holy League.--The Protest of Spires.--Confession of
Augsburg.--The Two Confessions.--Compulsory Measures. Page 106


CHAPTER VIII.
CHARLES V. AND THE REFORMATION.
From 1531 to 1552.

Determination to crush Protestantism.--Incursion of the Turks.--Valor of
the Protestants.--Preparations for renewed Hostilities.--Augmentation of
the Protestant Forces.--The Council of Trent.--Mutual Consternation.--
Defeat of the Protestant Army.--Unlooked-for Succor.--Revolt in the
Emperor's Army.--The Fluctuations of Fortune.--Ignoble Revenge.--Capture
of Wittemberg.--Protestantism apparently crushed.--Plot against
Charles.--Maurice of Saxony.--A Change of Scene.--The Biter Bit--The
Emperor humbled.--His Flight.--His determined Will. Page 121


CHAPTER IX.
CHARLES V. AND THE TURKISH WARS.
From 1552 to 1555.

The Treaty of Passau.--The Emperor yields.--His continued Reverses.--The
Toleration Compromise.--Mutual Dissatisfaction.--Remarkable Despondency
of the Emperor Charles.--His Address to the Convention at Brussels.--
The Convent of St. Justus.--Charles returns to Spain.--His Convent
Life.--The Mock Burial.--His Death.--His Traits of Character.--The
King's Compliment to Titian.--The Condition of Austria.--Rapid Advance
of the Turks.--Reasons for the Inaction of the Christians.--The Sultan's
Method of Overcoming Difficulties.--The little Fortress of Guntz.--What
it accomplished. Page 186


CHAPTER X.
FERDINAND I.--HIS WARS AND INTRIGUES.
From 1555 to 1562.

John of Tapoli.--The Instability of Compacts.--The Sultan's Demands.--A
Reign of War.--Powers and Duties of the Monarchs of Bohemia.--The
Diet.--The King's Desire to crush Protestantism.--The Entrance to
Prague.--Terror of the Inhabitants.--The King's Conditions.--The Bloody
Diet.--Disciplinary Measures.--The establishment of the Order of
Jesuits.--Abdication of Charles V. in Favor of Ferdinand.--Power of the
Pope.--Paul IV.--A quiet but powerful Blow.--The Progress of the
Reformers.--Attempts to reconcile the Protestants.--The unsuccessful
Assembly. Page 151


CHAPTER XI.
DEATH OF FERDINAND I.--ACCESSION OF MAXIMILIAN II.
From 1562 to 1576.

The Council of Trent.--Spread of the Reformation.--Ferdinand's Attempt
to influence the Pope.--His Arguments against Celibacy.--Stubbornness of
the Pope.--Maximilian II.--Displeasure of Ferdinand.--Motives for not
abjuring the Catholic Faith.--Religious Strife in Europe.--Maximilian's
Address to Charles IX.--Mutual Toleration.--Romantic Pastime of
War.--Heroism of Nicholas, Count of Zeini.--Accession of Power to
Austria.--Accession of Rhodolph III.--Death of Maximilian. Page 166


CHAPTER XII.
CHARACTER OF MAXIMILIAN.--SUCCESSION OF RHODOLPH III.
From 1576 to 1604.

Character of Maximilian.--His Accomplishments.--His Wife.--Fate of his
Children.--Rhodolph III.--The Liberty of Worship.--Means of
Emancipation.--Rhodolph's Attempts against Protestantism.--Declaration
of a higher Law.--Theological Differences.--The Confederacy at
Heilbrun.--The Gregorian Calendar.--Intolerance in Bohemia.--The Trap of
the Monks.--Invasion of the Turks.--Their Defeat.--Coalition with
Sigismond.--Sale of Transylvania.--Rule of Basta.--The Empire captured
and recaptured.--Devastation of the Country.--Treatment of Stephen
Botskoi. Page 182


CHAPTER XIII.
RHODOLPH III. AND MATTHIAS.
From 1604 to 1609.

Botskoi's Manifesto.--Horrible Suffering in Transylvania.--Character of
Botskoi.--Confidence of the Protestants.--Superstition of Rholdoph.--His
Mystic Studies.--Acquirements of Matthias.--Schemes of Matthias.--His
increasing power.--Treaty with the Turks.--Demands on Rhodolph.--The
Compromise.--Perfidy of Matthias.--The Margravite.--Fillisbustering.--
The People's Diet.--A Hint to Royalty.--The Bloodless Triumph.--Demands
of the Germans.--Address of the Prince of Anhalt to the King. Page 198


CHAPTER XIV.
RHODOLPH III. AND MATTHIAS.
From 1609 to 1612.

Difficulties as to the Succession.--Hostility of Henry IV. to the House
of Austria.--Assassination of Henry IV.--Similarity in Sully's and
Napoleon's Plans.--Exultation of the Catholics.--The Brother's
Compact.--How Rhodolph kept it.--Seizure of Prague.--Rhodolph a
Prisoner.--The King's Abdication.--Conditions Attached to the
Crown.--Rage of Rhodolph.--Matthias Elected King.--The Emperor's
Residence.--Rejoicings of The Protestants.--Reply of the Ambassadors.--
The Nuremberg Diet.--The Unkindest cut of all.--Rhodolph's Humiliation
and Death. Page 213


CHAPTER XV.
MATTHIAS.
From 1612 to 1619.

Matthias Elected Emperor of Germany.--His Despotic Character.--His Plans
Thwarted.--Mulheim.--Gathering Clouds.--Family Intrigue.--Coronation of
Ferdinand.--His Bigotry.--Henry, Count of Thurn.--Convention at
Prague.--The King's Reply.--The Die Cast.--Amusing Defense of an
Outrage.--Ferdinand's Manifesto.--Seizure of Cardinal Klesis.--The
King's Rage.--Retreat of the King's Troops.--Humiliation of
Ferdinand.--The Difficulties Deferred.--Death of Matthias. Page 229


CHAPTER XVI.
FERDINAND II.
From 1619 to 1621.

Possessions of the Emperor.--Power of the Protestants of Bohemia.--
General Spirit of Insurrection.--Anxiety of Ferdinand.--Insurrection led
by Count Thurn.--Unpopularity of the Emperor.--Affecting Declaration of
the Emperor.--Insurrection in Vienna.--The Arrival of Succor.--Ferdinand
Seeks the Imperial Throne.--Repudiated by Bohemia.--The Palatinate.--
Frederic Offered the Crown of Bohemia.--Frederic Crowned.--Revolt in
Hungary.--Desperate Condition of the Emperor.--Catholic League.--The
Calvinists and the Puritans.--Duplicity of the Emperor.--Foreign
Combinations.--Truce between the Catholics and the Protestants.--The
Attack upon Bohemia.--Battle of the White Mountain. Page 245


CHAPTER XVII.
FERDINAND II.
From 1621 to 1629.

Pusillanimity of Frederic.--Intreaties of the Citizens of
Prague.--Shameful Flight of Frederic.--Vengeance Inflicted upon
Bohemia.--Protestantism and Civil Freedom.--Vast Power of the
Emperor.--Alarm of Europe.--James I.--Treaty of Marriage for the Prince
of Wales.--Cardinal Richelieu.--New League of the Protestants.--
Desolating War.--Defeat of the King of Denmark.--Energy of
Wallenstein.--Triumph of Ferdinand.--New Acts of Intolerance.--
Severities in Bohemia.--Desolation of the Kingdom.--Dissatisfaction of
the Duke of Bavaria.--Meeting of the Catholic Princes.--The Emperor
Humbled. Page 261


CHAPTER XVIII.
FERDINAND II. AND GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS.
From 1629 to 1632.

Vexation of Ferdinand.--Gustavus Adolphus.--Address to the Nobles of
Sweden.--March of Gustavus.--Appeal to the Protestants.--Magdeburg joins
Gustavus.--Destruction of the City.--Consternation of the
Protestants.--Exultation of the Catholics.--The Elector of Saxony Driven
from His Domains.--Battle of Leipsic.--The Swedes penetrate
Bohemia.--Freedom of Conscience Established.--Death of Tilly.--The
Retirement of Wallenstein.--The Command Resumed by Wallenstein.--Capture
of Prague.--Encounter between Wallenstein and Gustavus.--Battle of
Lutzen.--Death of Gustavus. Page 279


CHAPTER XIX.
FERDINAND II., FERDINAND III. AND LEOPOLD I.
From 1632 to 1662.

Character of Gustavus Adolphus.--Exultation of the
Imperialists.--Disgrace of Wallenstein.--He offers to Surrender to the
Swedish General.--His Assassination.--Ferdinand's son Elected as his
Successor.--Death of Ferdinand.--Close of the War.--Abdication of
Christina.--Charles Gustavus.--Preparations for War.--Death of Ferdinand
III.--Leopold Elected Emperor.--Hostilities Renewed.--Death of Charles
Gustavus.--Diet Convened.--Invasion of the Turks. Page 295


CHAPTER XX.
LEOPOLD I.
From 1662 to 1697.

Invasion of the Turks.--A Treaty Concluded.--Possessions of
Leopold.--Invasion of the French.--League of Augsburg.--Devastation of
the Palatinate.--Invasion of Hungary.--Emerio Tekeli.--Union of Emerio
Tekeli with the Turks.--Leopold Applies to Sobieski.--He Immediately
Marches to his Aid.--The Turks Conquered.--Sobieski's Triumphal
Receptions.--Meanness of Leopold.--Revenge upon Hungary.--Peace
Concluded.--Contest for Spain. Page 311


CHAPTER XXI.
LEOPOLD I. AND THE SPANISH SUCCESSION
From 1697 to 1710.

The Spanish Succession.--The Impotence of Charles II.--Appeal to the
Pope.--His Decision.--Death of Charles II.--Accession of Philip
V.--Indignation of Austria.--The Outbreak of War.--Charles III.
Crowned.--Insurrection in Hungary.--Defection of Bavaria.--The Battle of
Blenheim.--Death of Leopold I.--Eleonora.--Accession of Joseph
I.--Charles XII. of Sweden.--Charles III. of Spain.--Battle of
Malplaquet.--Charles at Barcelona.--Charles at Madrid. 328


CHAPTER XXII.
JOSEPH I. AND CHARLES VI.
From 1710 to 1717.

Perplexities in Madrid.--Flight of Charles.--Retreat of the Austrian
Army.--Stanhope's Division cut off.--Capture of Stanhope.--Staremberg
assailed.--Retreat to Barcelona.--Attempt to pacify Hungary.--The
Hungarian Diet.--Baronial crowning of Ragotsky.--Renewal of the
Hungarian War.--Enterprise of Herbeville.--The Hungarians
crushed.--Lenity of Joseph.--Death of Joseph.--Accession of Charles
VI.--His career in Spain.--Capture of Barcelona.--The Siege.--The
Rescue.--Character of Charles.--Cloisters of Montserrat.--Increased
Efforts for the Spanish Crown.--Charles Crowned Emperor of Austria and
Hungary.--Bohemia.--Deplorable Condition of Louis XIV. Page 845


CHAPTER XXIII.
CHARLES  VI.
From 1716 to 1727.

Heroic Decision of Eugene.--Battle of Belgrade.--Utter Rout of the
Turks.--Possessions of Charles VI.--The Elector of Hanover succeeds to
the English Throne.--Preparations for War.--State of Italy.--Philip V.
of Spain.--Diplomatic Agitations.--Palace of St. Ildefonso.--Order of
the Golden Fleece.--Rejection of Maria Anne.--Contest for the Rock of
Gibraltar.--Dismissal of Rippeeda.--Treaty of Vienna.--Peace Concluded.
Page 362


CHAPTER XXIV.
CHARLES VI. AND THE POLISH WAR.
From 1727 to 1735.

Cardinal Fleury.--The Emperor of Austria urges the Pragmatic
Sanction.--He promises his two Daughters to the two Sons of the Queen of
Spain.--France, England and Spain unite against Austria.--Charles VI.
issues Orders to Prepare for War.--His Perplexities.--Secret Overtures
to England.--The Crown of Poland.--Meeting of the Polish Congress.--
Stanislaus goes to Poland.--Augustus III. crowned.--War.--Charles sends
an Army to Lombardy.--Difficulties of Prince Eugene.--Charles's
Displeasure with England.--Letter to Count Kinsky.--Hostilities Renewed.
Page 878


CHAPTER XXV.
CHARLES VI. AND THE TURKISH WAR RENEWED.
From 1735 to 1739.

Anxiety of Austrian Office-holders.--Maria Theresa.--The Duke of
Lorraine.--Distraction of the Emperor.--Tuscany assigned to the Duke of
Lorraine.--Death of Eugene.--Rising Greatness of Russia.--New War with
the Turks.--Condition of the Army.--Commencement of Hostilities--Capture
of Nissa.--Inefficient Campaign.--Disgrace of Seckendorf.--The Duke of
Lorraine placed in Command.--Siege of Orsova.--Belgrade besieged by the
Turks.--The third Campaign.--Battle of Crotzka.--Defeat of the
Austrians.--Consternation in Vienna.--Barbarism of the Turks.--The
Surrender of Belgrade.


CHAPTER XXVI.
MARIA THERESA.
From 1739 to 1741.

Anguish of the King.--Letter to the Queen of Russia.--The Imperial
Circular.--Deplorable Condition of Austria.--Death of Charles
VI.--Accession of Maria Theresa.--Vigorous Measures of the Queen.--Claim
of the Duke of Bavaria.--Responses from the Courts.--Coldness of the
French Court.--Frederic of Prussia.--His Invasion of Silesia.--March of
the Austrians.--Battle of Molnitz.--Firmness of Maria Theresa.--Proposed
Division of Plunder.--Villainy of Frederic.--Interview with the
King.--Character of Frederic.--Commencement of the General Invasion.
Page 411


CHAPTER XXVII.
MARIA THERESA.
From 1741 to 1743.

Character of Francis, Duke of Lorraine.--Policy of European
Courts.--Plan of the Allies.--Siege of Prague.--Desperate Condition of
the Queen--Her Coronation in Hungary.--Enthusiasm of the Barons.--Speech
of Maria Theresa.--Peace with Frederic of Prussia.--His
Duplicity.--Military Movement of the Duke of Lorraine.--Battle of
Chazleau.--Second Treaty with Frederic.--Despondency of the Duke of
Bavaria.--March of Mallebois.--Extraordinary Retreat of
Belleisle.--Recovery of Prague by the Queen. Page 427


CHAPTER XXVIII.
MARIA THERESA.
From 1743 to 1748.

Prosperous Aspect of Austrian Affairs.--Capture of Egea.--Vast Extent of
Austria.--Dispute with Sardinia.--Marriage of Charles of Lorraine with
the Queen's Sister.--Invasion of Alsace.--Frederic overruns
Bohemia.--Bohemia recovered by Prince Charles.--Death of the Emperor
Charles VII.--Venality of the old Monarchies.--Battle of
Hohenfriedberg.--Sir Thomas Robinson's Interview with Maria
Theresa.--Hungarian Enthusiasm.--The Duke of Lorraine Elected
Emperor.--Continuation of the War.--Treaty of Peace.--Indignation of
Maria Theresa. Page 444


CHAPTER XXIX.
MARIA THERESA.
From 1748 to 1759.

Treaty of Peace.--Dissatisfaction of Maria Theresa.--Preparation for
War.--Rupture between England and Austria.--Maria Theresa.--Alliance
with France.--Influence of Marchioness of Pompadour.--Bitter Reproaches
between Austria And England.--Commencement of the Seven Years' War.--
Energy of Frederic of Prussia.--Sanguinary Battles.--Vicissitudes of
War.--Desperate Situation of Frederic.--Elation of Maria Theresa.--Her
Ambitious Plans.--Awful Defeat of the Prussians at Berlin. Page 461


CHAPTER XXX.
MARIA THERESA.
From 1759 to 1780.

Desolations of War.--Disasters of Prussia.--Despondency of Frederic.--
Death of the Empress Elizabeth.--Accession of Paul III.--Assassination
of Paul III.--Accession Of Catharine.--Discomfiture of the Austrians.--
Treaty of Peace.--Election of Joseph to the Throne of the Empire.--Death
of Francis.--Character of Francis.--Anecdotes.--Energy of Maria
Theresa.--Poniatowski.--Partition of Poland.--Maria Theresa as a
Mother.--War with Bavaria.--Peace.--Death of Maria Theresa.--Family of
the Empress.--Accession of Joseph II.--His Character. Page 478


CHAPTER XXXI.
JOSEPH II. AND LEOPOLD II.
From 1780 to 1792.

Accession of Joseph II.--His Plans of Reform.--Pius VI.--Emancipation of
the Serfs.--Joseph's Visit to his Sister, Maria Antoinette.--Ambitious
Designs.--The Imperial Sleigh Ride.--Barges on the Dneister.--Excursion
to the Crimea.--War with Turkey.--Defeat of the Austrians.--Great
Successes.--Death of Joseph.--His Character.--Accession of Leopold
II.--His Efforts to confirm Despotism.--The French Revolution.--European
Coalition.--Death of Leopold.--His Profligacy.--Accession of Francis
II.--Present Extent and Power of Austria.--Its Army.--Policy of the
Government. Page 493



CHAPTER I.

RHODOLPH OF HAPSBURG.

From 1232 to 1291.

Hawk's Castle.--Albert, Count of Hapsburg.--Rhodolph of Hapsburg.--His
Marriage and Estates.--Excommunication and its Results.--His Principles
of Honor.--A Confederacy of Barons.--Their Route.--Rhodolph's Election
as Emperor of Germany.--The Bishop's Warning.--Dissatisfaction at the
Result of the Election.--Advantages Accruing from the Possession of an
Interesting Family.--Conquest.--Ottocar Acknowledges the Emperor; yet
breaks his Oath of Allegiance.--Gathering Clouds.--Wonderful
Escape.--Victory of Rhodolph.--His Reforms.


In the small canton of Aargau, in Switzerland, on a rocky bluff of the
Wulpelsberg, there still remains an old baronial castle, called
Hapsburg, or Hawk's Castle. It was reared in the eleventh century, and
was occupied by a succession of warlike barons, who have left nothing to
distinguish themselves from the feudal lords whose castles, at that
period, frowned upon almost every eminence of Europe. In the year 1232
this castle was occupied by Albert, fourth Count of Hapsburg. He had
acquired some little reputation for military prowess, the only
reputation any one could acquire in that dark age, and became ambitious
of winning new laurels in the war with the infidels in the holy land.
Religious fanaticism and military ambition were then the two great
powers which ruled the human soul.

With the usual display of semi-barbaric pomp, Albert made arrangements
to leave his castle to engage in the perilous holy war against the
Saracens, from which few ever returned. A few years were employed in the
necessary preparations. At the sound of the bugle the portcullis was
raised, the drawbridge spanned the moat, and Albert, at the head of
thirty steel-clad warriors, with nodding plumes, and banners unfurled,
emerged from the castle, and proceeded to the neighboring convent of
Mari. His wife, Hedwige, and their three sons, Rhodolph, Albert and
Hartman, accompanied him to the chapel where the ecclesiastics awaited
his arrival. A multitude of vassals crowded around to witness the
imposing ceremonies of the church, as the banners were blessed, and the
knights, after having received the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, were
commended to the protection of God. Albert felt the solemnity of the
hour, and in solemn tones gave his farewell address to his children.

"My sons," said the steel-clad warrior, "cultivate truth and piety; give
no ear to evil counselors, never engage in unnecessary war, but when you
are involved in war be strong and brave. Love peace even better than
your own personal interests. Remember that the counts of Hapsburg did
not attain their heights of reputation and glory by fraud, insolence or
selfishness, but by courage and devotion to the public weal. As long as
you follow their footsteps, you will not only retain, but augment, the
possessions and dignities of your illustrious ancestors."

The tears and sobs of his wife and family interrupted him while he
uttered these parting words. The bugles then sounded. The knights
mounted their horses; the clatter of hoofs was heard, and the glittering
cavalcade soon disappeared in the forest. Albert had left his ancestral
castle, never to return. He had but just arrived in Palestine, when he
was taken sick at Askalon, and died in the year 1240.

Rhodolph, his eldest son, was twenty-two years of age at the time of his
father's death. Frederic II., one of the most renowned monarchs of the
middle ages, was then Emperor of that conglomeration of heterogeneous
States called Germany. Each of these States had its own independent
ruler and laws, but they were all held together by a common bond for
mutual protection, and some one illustrious sovereign was chosen as
Emperor of Germany, to preside over their common affairs. The Emperor of
Germany, having influence over all these States, was consequently, in
position, the great man of the age.

Albert, Count of Hapsburg, had been one of the favorite captains of
Frederic II. in the numerous wars which desolated Europe in that dark
age. He was often at court, and the emperor even condescended to present
his son Rhodolph at the font for baptism. As the child grew, he was
trained to all athletic feats, riding ungovernable horses, throwing the
javelin, wrestling, running, and fencing. He early gave indications of
surprising mental and bodily vigor, and, at an age when most lads are
considered merely children, he accompanied his father to the camp and to
the court. Upon the death of his father, Rhodolph inherited the
ancestral castle, and the moderate possessions of a Swiss baron. He was
surrounded by barons of far greater wealth and power than himself, and
his proud spirit was roused, in disregard of his father's counsels, to
aggrandize his fortunes by force of arms, the only way then by which
wealth and power could be attained. He exhausted his revenues by
maintaining a princely establishment, organized a well-selected band of
his vassals into a military corps, which he drilled to a state of
perfect discipline, and then commenced a series of incursions upon his
neighbors. From some feeble barons he won territory, thus extending his
domains; from others he extorted money, thus enabling him to reward his
troops, and to add to their number by engaging fearless spirits in his
service wherever he could find them.

In the year 1245, Rhodolph strengthened himself still more by an
advantageous marriage with Gertrude, the beautiful daughter of the Count
of Hohenberg. With his bride he received as her dowry the castle of
Oeltingen, and very considerable territorial possessions. Thus in five
years Rhodolph, by that species of robbery which was then called heroic
adventure, and by a fortunate marriage, had more than doubled his
hereditary inheritance. The charms of his bride, and the care of his
estates seem for a few years to have arrested the progress of his
ambition; for we can find no further notice of him among the ancient
chronicles for eight years. But, with almost all men, love is an
ephemeral passion, which is eventually vanquished by other powers of the
soul. Ambition slumbered for a little time, but was soon roused anew,
invigorated by repose.

In 1253 we find Rhodolph heading a foray of steel-clad knights, with
their banded followers, in a midnight attack upon the city of Basle.
They break over all the defenses, sweep all opposition before them, and
in the fury of the fight, either by accident or as a necessity of war,
sacrilegiously set fire to a nunnery. For this crime Rhodolph was
excommunicated by the pope. Excommunication was then no farce. There
were few who dared to serve a prince upon whom the denunciations of the
Church had fallen. It was a stunning blow, from which few men could
recover. Rhodolph, instead of sinking in despair, endeavored, by new
acts of obedience and devotion to the Church, to obtain the revocation
of the sentence.

In the region now called Prussia, there was then a barbaric pagan race,
against whom the pope had published a crusade. Into this war the
excommunicated Rhodolph plunged with all the impetuosity of his nature;
he resolved to work out absolution, by converting, with all the potency
of fire and sword, the barbarians to the Church. His penitence and zeal
seem to have been accepted, for we soon find him on good terms again
with the pope. He now sought to have a hand in every quarrel, far and
near. Wherever the sounds of war are raised, the shout of Rhodolph is
heard urging to the strife. In every hot and fiery foray, the steed of
Rhodolph is rearing and plunging, and his saber strokes fall in ringing
blows upon cuirass and helmet. He efficiently aided the city of
Strasbourg in their war against their bishop, and received from them in
gratitude extensive territories, while at the same time they reared a
monument to his name, portions of which still exist. His younger brother
died, leaving an only daughter, Anne, with a large inheritance.
Rhodolph, as her guardian, came into possession of the counties of
Kyburg, Lentzburg and Baden, and other scattered domains.

This rapidly-increasing wealth and power, did but increase his energy
and his spirit of encroachment. And yet he adopted principles of honor
which were far from common in that age of barbaric violence. He would
never stoop to ordinary robbery, or harass peasants and helpless
travelers, as was constantly done by the turbulent barons around him.
His warfare was against the castle, never against the cottage. He met in
arms the panoplied knight, never the timid and crouching peasant. He
swept the roads of the banditti by which they were infested, and often
espoused the cause of citizens and freemen against the turbulent barons
and haughty prelates. He thus gained a wide-spread reputation for
justice, as well as for prowess, and the name of Rhodolph of Hapsburg
was ascending fast into renown. Every post of authority then required
the agency of a military arm. The feeble cantons would seek the
protection of a powerful chief; the citizens of a wealthy town, ever
liable to be robbed by bishop or baron, looked around for some warrior
who had invincible troops at his command for their protection. Thus
Rhodolph of Hapsburg was chosen chief of the mountaineers of Uri,
Schweitz and Underwalden; and all their trained bands were ready, when
his bugle note echoed through their defiles, to follow him
unquestioning, and to do his bidding. The citizens of Zurich chose
Rhodolph of Hapsburg as their prefect or mayor; and whenever his banner
was unfurled in their streets, all the troops of the city were at his
command.

The neighboring barons, alarmed at this rapid aggrandizement of
Rhodolph, formed an alliance to crush him. The mountaineers heard his
bugle call, and rushed to his aid. Zurich opened her gates, and her
marshaled troops hastened to his banner. From Hapsburg, and Rheinfelden,
and Suabia, and Brisgau, and we know not how many other of the
territorial possessions of the count, the vassals rushed to the aid of
their lord. They met in one of the valleys of Zurich. The battle was
short, and the confederated barons were put to utter flight. Some took
refuge in the strong castle of Balder, upon a rocky cliff washed by the
Albis. Rhodolph selected thirty horsemen and thirty footmen.

"Will you follow me," said he, "in an enterprise where the honor will be
equal to the peril?"

A universal shout of assent was the response. Concealing the footmen in
a thicket, he, at the head of thirty horsemen, rode boldly to the gates
of the castle, bidding defiance, with all the utterances and
gesticulations of contempt, to the whole garrison. Those on the
ramparts, stung by the insult, rushed out to chastise so impudent a
challenge. The footmen rose from their ambush, and assailants and
assailed rushed pell mell in at the open gates of the castle. The
garrison were cut down or taken captive, and the fortress demolished.
Another party had fled to the castle of Uttleberg. By an ingenious
stratagem, this castle was also taken. Success succeeded success with
such rapidity, that the confederate barons, struck with consternation,
exclaimed,

"All opposition is fruitless. Rhodolph of Hapsburg is invincible."

They consequently dissolved the alliance, and sought peace on terms
which vastly augmented the power of the conqueror.

Basle now incurred the displeasure of Rhodolph. He led his armies to the
gates of the city, and extorted satisfaction. The Bishop of Basle, a
haughty prelate of great military power, and who could summon many
barons to his aid, ventured to make arrogant demands of this warrior
flushed with victory. The palace and vast possessions of the bishop were
upon the other side of the unbridged Rhine, and the bishop imagined that
he could easily prevent the passage of the river. But Rhodolph speedily
constructed a bridge of boats, put to flight the troops which opposed
his passage, drove the peasants of the bishop everywhere before him, and
burned their cottages and their fields of grain. The bishop, appalled,
sued for a truce, that they might negotiate terms of peace. Rhodolph
consented, and encamped his followers.

He was asleep in his tent, when a messenger entered at midnight, awoke
him, and informed him that he was elected Emperor of Germany. The
previous emperor, Richard, had died two years before, and after an
interregnum of two years of almost unparalleled anarchy, the electors
had just met, and, almost to their own surprise, through the
fluctuations and combinations of political intrigue, had chosen Rhodolph
of Hapsburg as his successor. Rhodolph himself was so much astonished at
the announcement, that for some time he could not be persuaded that the
intelligence was correct.

To wage war against the Emperor of Germany, who could lead almost
countless thousands into the field, was a very different affair from
measuring strength with the comparatively feeble Count of Hapsburg. The
news of his election flew rapidly. Basle threw open her gates, and the
citizens, with illuminations, shouts, and the ringing of bells, greeted
the new emperor. The bishop was so chagrined at the elevation of his
foe, that he smote his forehead, and, looking to heaven, profanely said,

"Great God, take care of your throne, or Rhodolph of Hapsburg will take
it from you!"

Rhodolph was now fifty-five years of age. Alphonso, King of Castile, and
Ottocar, King of Bohemia, had both been candidates for the imperial
crown. Exasperated by the unexpected election of Rhodolph, they both
refused to acknowledge his election, and sent ambassadors with rich
presents to the pope to win him also to their side. Rhodolph, justly
appreciating the power of the pope, sent him a letter couched in those
terms which would be most palatable to the pontiff.

"Turning all my thoughts to Him," he wrote, "under whose authority we
live, and placing all my expectations on you alone, I fall down before
the feet of your Holiness, beseeching you, with the most earnest
supplication, to favor me with your accustomed kindness in my present
undertaking; and that you will deign, by your mediation with the Most
High, to support my cause. That I may be enabled to perform what is most
acceptable to God and to His holy Church, may it graciously please your
Holiness to crown me with the imperial diadem; for I trust I am both
able and willing to undertake and accomplish whatever you and the holy
Church shall think proper to impose upon me."

Gregory X. was a humane and sagacious man, influenced by a profound zeal
for the peace of Europe and the propagation of the Christian faith.
Gregory received the ambassadors of Rhodolph graciously, extorted from
them whatever concessions he desired on the part of the emperor, and
pledged his support.

Ottocar, King of Bohemia, still remained firm, and even malignant, in
his hostility, utterly refusing to recognize the emperor, or to perform
any of those acts of fealty which were his due. He declared the
electoral diet to have been illegally convened, and the election to have
been the result of fraud, and that a man who had been excommunicated for
burning a convent, was totally unfit to wear the imperial crown. The
diet met at Augsburg, and irritated by the contumacy of Ottocar, sent a
command to him to recognize the authority of the emperor, pronouncing
upon him the ban of the empire should he refuse. Ottocar dismissed the
ambassadors with defiance and contempt from his palace at Prague,
saying,

"Tell Rhodolph that he may rule over the territories of the empire, but
he shall have no dominion over mine. It is a disgrace to Germany, that a
petty count of Hapsburg should have been preferred to so many powerful
sovereigns."

War, and a fearful one, was now inevitable. Ottocar was a veteran
soldier, a man of great intrepidity and energy, and his pride was
thoroughly roused. By a long series of aggressions he had become the
most powerful prince in Europe, and he could lead the most powerful
armies into the field. His dominions extended from the confines of
Bavaria to Raab in Hungary, and from the Adriatic to the shores of the
Baltic. The hereditary domains of the Count of Hapsburg were
comparatively insignificant, and were remotely situated at the foot of
the Alps, spreading through the defiles of Alsace and Suabia. As
emperor, Rhodolph could call the armies of the Germanic princes into the
field; but these princes moved reluctantly, unless roused by some
question of great moment to them all. And when these heterogeneous
troops of the empire were assembled, there was but a slender bond of
union between them.

But Rhodolph possessed mental resources equal to the emergence. As
cautious as he was bold, as sagacious in council as he was impetuous in
action, he calmly, and with great foresight and deliberation, prepared
for the strife. To a monarch in such a time of need, a family of brave
sons and beautiful daughters, is an inestimable blessing. Rhodolph
secured the Duke of Sclavonia by making him the happy husband of one of
his daughters. His son Albert married Elizabeth, daughter of the Count
of Tyrol, and thus that powerful and noble family was secured. Henry of
Bavaria he intimidated, and by force of arms compelled him to lead his
troops to the standard of the emperor; and then, to secure his fidelity,
gave his daughter Hedwige to Henry's son Otho, in marriage, promising to
his daughter as a dowry a portion of Austria, which was then a feeble
duchy upon the Danube, but little larger than the State of
Massachusetts.

Ottocar was but little aware of the tremendous energies of the foe he
had aroused. Regarding Rhodolph almost with contempt, he had by no means
made the arrangements which his peril demanded, and was in consternation
when he heard that Rhodolph, in alliance with Henry of Bavaria, had
already entered Austria, taken possession of several fortresses, and, at
the head of a force of a thousand horsemen, was carrying all before him,
and was triumphantly marching upon Vienna. Rhodolph had so admirably
matured his plans, that his advance seemed rather a festive journey than
a contested conquest. With the utmost haste Ottocar urged his troops
down through the defiles of the Bohemian mountains, hoping to save the
capital. But Rhodolph was at Vienna before him, where he was joined by
others of his allies, who were to meet him at that rendezvous. Vienna,
the capital, was a fortress of great strength. Upon this frontier post
Charlemagne had established a strong body of troops under a commander
who was called a margrave; and for some centuries this city, commanding
the Danube, had been deemed one of the strongest defenses of the empire
against Mohammedan invasion. Vienna, unable to resist, capitulated. The
army of Ottocar had been so driven in their long and difficult march,
that, exhausted and perishing for want of provisions, they began to
mutiny. The pope had excommunicated Ottocar, and the terrors of the
curse of the pope, were driving captains and nobles from his service.
The proud spirit of Ottocar, after a terrible struggle, was utterly
crushed, and he humbly sued for peace. The terms were hard for a haughty
spirit to bear. The conquered king was compelled to renounce all claim
to Austria and several other adjoining provinces, Styria, Carinthia,
Carniola and Windischmark; to take the oath of allegiance to the
emperor, and publicly to do him homage as his vassal lord. To cement
this compulsory friendship, Rhodolph, who was rich in daughters, having
six to proffer as bribes, gave one, with an abundant dowry in silver, to
a son of Ottocar.

The day was appointed for the king, in the presence of the whole army,
to do homage to the emperor as his liege lord. It was the 25th of
November, 1276. With a large escort of Bohemian nobles, Ottocar crossed
the Danube, and was received by the emperor in the presence of many of
the leading princes of the empire. The whole army was drawn up to
witness the spectacle. With a dejected countenance, and with
indications, which he could not conceal, of a crushed and broken spirit,
Ottocar renounced these valuable provinces, and kneeling before the
emperor, performed the humiliating ceremony of feudal homage. The pope
in consequence withdrew his sentence of excommunication, and Ottocar
returned to his mutilated kingdom, a humbler and a wiser man.

Rhodolph now took possession of the adjacent provinces which had been
ceded to him, and, uniting them, placed them under the government of
Louis of Bavaria, son of his firm ally Henry, the King of Bavaria.
Bavaria bounded Austria on the west, and thus the father and the son
would be in easy coöperation. He then established his three Sons,
Albert, Hartmann, and Rhodolph, in different parts of these provinces,
and, with his queen, fixed his residence at Vienna.

Such was the nucleus of the Austrian empire, and such the commencement
of the powerful monarchy which for so many generations has exerted so
important a control over the affairs of Europe. Ottocar, however, though
he left Rhodolph with the strongest protestations of friendship,
returned to Prague consumed by the most torturing fires of humiliation
and chagrin. His wife, a haughty woman, who was incapable of listening
to the voice of judgment when her passions were inflamed, could not
conceive it possible that a petty count of Hapsburg could vanquish her
renowned husband in the field. And when she heard that Ottocar had
actually done fealty to Rhodolph, and had surrendered to him valuable
provinces of the kingdom, no bridle could be put upon her woman's
tongue. She almost stung her husband to madness with taunts and
reproaches.

Thus influenced by the pride of his queen, Cunegunda, Ottocar violated
his oath, refused to execute the treaty, imprisoned in a convent the
daughter whom Rhodolph had given to his son, and sent a defiant and
insulting letter to the emperor. Rhodolph returned a dignified answer
and prepared for war. Ottocar, now better understanding the power of his
foe, made the most formidable preparations for the strife, and soon took
the field with an army which he supposed would certainly triumph over
any force which Rhodolph could raise. He even succeeded in drawing Henry
of Bavaria into an alliance; and many of the German princes, whom he
could not win to his standard, he bribed to neutrality. Numerous
chieftains, lured to his camp by confidence of victory, crowded around
him with their followers, from Poland, Bulgaria, Pomerania, Magdeburg,
and from the barbaric shores of the Baltic. Many of the fierce nobles of
Hungary had also joined the standard of Ottocar.

Thus suddenly clouds gathered around Rhodolph, and many of his friends
despaired of his cause. He appealed to the princes of the German empire,
and but few responded to his call. His sons-in-law, the Electors of
Palatine and of Saxony, ventured not to aid him in an emergence when
defeat seemed almost certain, and where all who shared in the defeat
would be utterly ruined. In June, 1275, Ottocar marched from Prague, met
his allies at the appointed rendezvous, and threading the defiles of the
Bohemian mountains, approached the frontiers of Austria. Rhodolph was
seriously alarmed, for it was evident that the chances of war were
against him. He could not conceal the restlessness and agitation of his
spirit as he impatiently awaited the arrival of troops whom he summoned,
but who disappointed his hopes.

"I have not one," he sadly exclaimed, "in whom I can confide, or on
whose advice I can depend."

The citizens of Vienna perceiving that Rhodolph was abandoned by his
German allies, and that they could present no effectual resistance to so
powerful an army as was approaching, and terrified in view of a siege,
and the capture of the city by storm, urged a capitulation, and even
begged permission to choose a new sovereign, that they might not be
involved in the ruin impending over Rhodolph. This address roused
Rhodolph from his despondency, and inspired him with the energies of
despair. He had succeeded in obtaining a few troops from his provinces
in Switzerland. The Bishop of Basle, who had now become his confessor,
came to his aid, at the head of a hundred horsemen, and a body of expert
slingers. Rhodolph, though earnestly advised not to undertake a battle
with such desperate odds, marched from Vienna to meet the foe.

Rapidly traversing the southern banks of the Danube to Hamburg, he
crossed the river and advanced to Marcheck, on the banks of the Morava.
He was joined by some troops from Styria and Carinthia, and by a strong
force led by the King of Hungary. Emboldened by these accessions, though
still far inferior in strength to Ottocar, he pressed on till the two
armies faced each other on the plains of Murchfield. It was the 26th of
August, 1278.

At this moment some traitors deserting the camp of Ottocar, repaired to
the camp of Rhodolph and proposed to assassinate the Bohemian king.
Rhodolph spurned the infamous offer, and embraced the opportunity of
seeking terms of reconciliation by apprising Ottocar of his danger. But
the king, confident in his own strength, and despising the weakness of
Rhodolph, deemed the story a fabrication and refused to listen to any
overtures. Without delay he drew up his army in the form of a crescent,
so as almost to envelop the feeble band before him, and made a
simultaneous attack upon the center and upon both flanks. A terrific
battle ensued, in which one party fought, animated by undoubting
confidence, and the other impelled by despair. The strife was long and
bloody. The tide of victory repeatedly ebbed and flowed. Ottocar had
offered a large reward to any of his followers who would bring to him
Rhodolph, dead or alive.

A number of knights of great strength and bravery, confederated to
achieve this feat. It was a point of honor to be effected at every
hazard. Disregarding all the other perils of the battle, they watched
their opportunity, and then in a united swoop, on their steel-clad
chargers, fell upon the emperor. His feeble guard was instantly cut
down. Rhodolph was a man of herculean power, and he fought like a lion
at bay. One after another of his assailants he struck from his horse,
when a Thuringian knight, of almost fabulous stature and strength,
thrust his spear through the horse of the emperor, and both steed and
rider fell to the ground. Rhodolph, encumbered by his heavy coat of
mail, and entangled in the housings of his saddle, was unable to rise.
He crouched upon the ground, holding his helmet over him, while saber
strokes and pike thrusts rang upon cuirass and buckler like blows upon
an anvil. A corps of reserve spurred to his aid, and the emperor was
rescued, and the bold assailants who had penetrated the very center of
his army were slain.

The tide of victory now set strongly in favor of Rhodolph, for "the race
is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong." The troops of
Bohemia were soon everywhere put to rout. The ground was covered with
the dead. Ottocar, astounded at his discomfiture, and perhaps fearing
the tongue of his wife more than the sabers of his foes, turned his back
upon his flying army, and spurred his horse into the thickest of his
pursuers. He was soon dismounted and slain. Fourteen thousand of his
troops perished on that disastrous day. The body of Ottocar, mutilated
with seventeen wounds, was carried to Vienna, and, after being exposed
to the people, was buried with regal honors.

Rhodolph, vastly enriched by the plunder of the camp, and having no
enemy to encounter, took possession of Moravia, and triumphantly marched
into Bohemia. All was consternation there. The queen Cunegunda, who had
brought these disasters upon the kingdom, had no influence. Her only son
was but eight years of age. The turbulent nobles, jealous of each other,
had no recognized leader. The queen, humiliated and despairing, implored
the clemency of the conqueror, and offered to place her infant son and
the kingdom of Bohemia under his protection. Rhodolph was generous in
this hour of victory. As the result of arbitration, it was agreed that
he should hold Moravia for five years, that its revenues might indemnify
him for the expenses of the war. The young prince, Wenceslaus, was
acknowledged king, and during his minority the regency was assigned to
Otho, margrave or military commander of Brundenburg. Then ensued some
politic matrimonial alliances. Wenceslaus, the boy king, was affianced
to Judith, one of the daughters of Rhodolph. The princess Agnes,
daughter of Cunegunda, was to become the bride of Rhodolph's second son.
These matters being all satisfactorily settled, Rhodolph returned in
triumph to Vienna.

The emperor now devoted his energies to the consolidation of these
Austrian provinces. They were four in number, Austria, Styria, Carinthia
and Carniola. All united, they made but a feeble kingdom, for they did
not equal, in extent of territory, several of the States of the American
Union. Each of these provinces had its independent government, and its
local laws and customs. They were held together by the simple bond of an
arbitrary monarch, who claimed, and exercised as he could, supreme
control over them all. Under his wise and energetic administration, the
affairs of the wide-spread empire were prosperous, and his own Austria
advanced rapidly in order, civilization and power. The numerous nobles,
turbulent, unprincipled and essentially robbers, had been in the habit
of issuing from their castles at the head of banditti bands, and
ravaging the country with incessant incursions. It required great
boldness in Rhodolph to brave the wrath of these united nobles. He did
it fearlessly, issuing the decree that there should be no fortresses in
his States which were not necessary for the public defense. The whole
country was spotted with castles, apparently impregnable in all the
strength of stone and iron, the secure refuge of high-born nobles. In
one year seventy of these turreted bulwarks of oppression were torn
down; and twenty-nine of the highest nobles, who had ventured upon
insurrection, were put to death. An earnest petition was presented to
him in behalf of the condemned insurgents.

"Do not," said the king, "interfere in favor of robbers; they are not
nobles, but accursed robbers, who oppress the poor, and break the public
peace. True nobility is faithful and just, offends no one, and commits
no injury."



CHAPTER II.

REIGNS OF ALBERT I, FREDERIC, ALBERT AND OTHO.

From 1291 to 1347.

Anecdotes Of Rhodolph.--His Desire For The Election Of His Son.--His
Death.--Albert.--His Unpopularity.--Conspiracy Of The Nobles.--Their
Defeat.--Adolphus Of Nassau Chosen Emperor.--Albert's Conspiracy.--
Deposition Of Adolphus And Election Of Albert.--Death Of Adolphus.--The
Pope Defied.--Annexation Of Bohemia.--Assassination Of Albert.--Avenging
Fury.--The Hermit's Direction.--Frederic The Handsome.--Election Of
Henry, Count Of Luxemburg.--His Death.--Election Of Louis Of
Bavaria.--Capture Of Frederic.--Remarkable Confidence Toward a
Prisoner.--Death Of Frederic.--An Early Engagement.--Death Of
Louis.--Accession Of Albert.


Rhodolph of Hapsburg was one of the most remarkable men of his own or of
any age, and many anecdotes illustrative of his character, and of the
rude times in which he lived, have been transmitted to us. The
Thuringian knight who speared the emperor's horse in the bloody fight of
Murchfield, was rescued by Rhodolph from those who would cut him down.

"I have witnessed," said the emperor, "his intrepidity, and never could
forgive myself if so courageous a knight should be put to death."

During the war with Ottocar, on one occasion the army were nearly
perishing of thirst. A flagon of water was brought to him. He declined
it, saying,

"I can not drink alone, nor can I divide so small a quantity among all.
I do not thirst for myself, but for the whole army."

By earnest endeavor he obtained the perfect control of his passions,
naturally very violent. "I have often," said he, "repented of being
passionate, but never of being mild and humane."

One of his captains expressed dissatisfaction at a rich gift the emperor
made to a literary man who presented him a manuscript describing the
wars of the Romans.

"My good friend," Rhodolph replied, "be contented that men of learning
praise our actions, and thereby inspire us with additional courage in
war. I wish I could employ more time in reading, and could expend some
of that money on learned men which I must throw away on so many
illiterate knights."

One cold morning at Metz, in the year 1288, he walked out dressed as
usual in the plainest garb. He strolled into a baker's shop, as if to
warm himself. The baker's termagant wife said to him, all unconscious
who he was,

"Soldiers have no business to come into poor women's houses."

"True," the emperor replied, "but do not be angry, my good woman; I am
an old soldier who have spent all my fortune in the service of that
rascal Rhodolph, and he suffers me to want, notwithstanding all his fine
promises."

"Good enough for you," said the woman; "a man who will serve such a
fellow, who is laying waste the whole earth, deserves nothing better."

She then, in her spite, threw a pail of water on the fire, which,
filling the room with smoke and ashes, drove the emperor into the
street.

Rhodolph, having returned to his lodgings, sent a rich present to the
old woman, from the emperor who had warmed himself at her fire that
morning, and at the dinner-table told the story with great glee to his
companions. The woman, terrified, hastened to the emperor to implore
mercy. He ordered her to be admitted to the dining-room, and promised to
forgive her if she would repeat to the company all her abusive epithets,
not omitting one. She did it faithfully, to the infinite merriment of
the festive group.

So far as we can now judge, and making due allowance for the darkness of
the age in which he lived, Rhodolph appears to have been, in the latter
part of his life, a sincere, if not an enlightened Christian. He was
devout in prayer, and punctual in attending the services of the Church.
The humble and faithful ministers of religion he esteemed and protected,
while he was ever ready to chastise the insolence of those haughty
prelates who disgraced their religious professions by arrogance and
splendor.

At last the infirmities of age pressed heavily upon him. When
seventy-three years old, knowing that he could not have much longer to
live, he assembled the congress of electors at Frankfort, and urged them
to choose his then only surviving son Albert as his successor on the
imperial throne. The diet, however, refused to choose a successor until
after the death of the emperor. Rhodolph was bitterly disappointed, for
he understood this postponement as a positive refusal to gratify him in
this respect. Saddened in spirit, and feeble in body, he undertook a
journey, by slow stages, to his hereditary dominions in Switzerland. He
then returned to Austria, where he died on the 15th of July, 1291, in
the seventy-third year of his age.

Albert, who resided at Vienna, succeeded his father in authority over
the Austrian and Swiss provinces. But he was a man stern, unconciliating
and domineering. The nobles hated him, and hoped to drive him back to
the Swiss cantons from which his father had come. One great occasion of
discontent was, that he employed about his person, and in important
posts, Swiss instead of Austrian nobles. They demanded the dismission of
these foreign favorites, which so exasperated Albert that he clung to
them still more tenaciously and exclusively.

The nobles now organized a very formidable conspiracy, and offered to
neighboring powers, as bribes for their aid, portions of Austria.
Austria proper was divided by the river Ens into two parts called Upper
and Lower Austria. Lower Austria was offered to Bohemia; Styria to the
Duke of Bavaria; Upper Austria to the Archbishop of Saltzburg; Carniola
to the Counts of Guntz; and thus all the provinces were portioned out to
the conquerors. At the same time the citizens of Vienna, provoked by the
haughtiness of Albert, rose in insurrection. With the energy which
characterized his father, Albert met these emergencies. Summoning
immediately an army from Switzerland, he shut up all the avenues to the
city, which was not in the slightest degree prepared for a siege, and
speedily starved the inhabitants into submission. Punishing severely the
insurgents, he strengthened his post at Vienna, and confirmed his power.
Then, marching rapidly upon the nobles, before they had time to receive
that foreign aid which had been secretly promised them, and securing all
the important fortresses, which were now not many in number, he so
overawed them, and so vigilantly watched every movement, that there was
no opportunity to rise and combine. The Styrian nobles, being remote,
made an effort at insurrection. Albert, though it was in the depth of
winter, plowed through the snows of the mountains, and plunging
unexpectedly among them, routed them with great slaughter.

While he was thus conquering discontent by the sword, and silencing
murmurs beneath the tramp of iron hoofs, the diet was assembling at
Frankfort to choose a new chief for the Germanic empire. Albert was
confident of being raised to the vacant dignity. The splendor of his
talents all admitted. Four of the electors were closely allied to him by
marriage, and he arrogantly felt that he was almost entitled to the
office as the son of his renowned father. But the electors feared his
ambitious and despotic disposition, and chose Adolphus of Nassau to
succeed to the imperial throne.

Albert was mortified and enraged by this disappointment, and expressed
his determination to oppose the election; but the troubles in his own
domains prevented him from putting this threat into immediate execution.
His better judgment soon taught him the policy of acquiescing in the
election, and he sullenly received the investiture of his fiefs from the
hands of the Emperor Adolphus. Still Albert, struggling against
unpopularity and continued insurrection, kept his eye fixed eagerly upon
the imperial crown. With great tact he conspired to form a confederacy
for the deposition of Adolphus.

Wenceslaus, the young King of Bohemia, was now of age, and preparations
were made for his coronation with great splendor at Prague. Four of the
electors were present on this occasion, which was in June, 1297. Albert
conferred with them respecting his plans, and secured their coöperation.
The electors more willingly lent their aid since they were exceedingly
displeased with some of the measures of Adolphus for the aggrandizement
of his own family. Albert with secrecy and vigor pushed his plans, and
when the diet met the same year at Metz, a long list of grievances was
drawn up against Adolphus. He was summoned to answer to these charges.
The proud emperor refused to appear before the bar of the diet as a
culprit. The diet then deposed Adolphus and elected Albert II. to the
imperial throne, on the 23d of June, 1298.

The two rival emperors made vigorous preparations to settle the dispute
with the sword, and the German States arrayed themselves, some on one
side and some on the other. The two armies met at Gelheim on the 2d of
July, led by the rival sovereigns. In the thickest of the fight Adolphus
spurred his horse through the opposing ranks, bearing down all
opposition, till he faced Albert, who was issuing orders and animating
his troops by voice and gesture.

"Yield," shouted Adolphus, aiming a saber stroke at the head of his foe,
"your life and your crown."

"Let God decide," Albert replied, as he parried the blow, and thrust his
lance into the unprotected face of Adolphus. At that moment the horse of
Adolphus fell, and he himself was instantly slain. Albert remained the
decisive victor on this bloody field. The diet of electors was again
summoned, and he was now chosen unanimously emperor. He was soon crowned
with great splendor at Aix-la-Chapelle.

Still Albert sat on an uneasy throne. The pope, indignant that the
electors should presume to depose one emperor and choose another without
his consent, refused to confirm the election of Albert, and loudly
inveighed him as the murderer of Adolphus. Albert, with characteristic
impulsiveness, declared that he was emperor by choice of the electors
and not by ratification of the pope, and defiantly spurned the
opposition of the pontiff. Considering himself firmly seated on the
throne, he refused to pay the bribes of tolls, privileges, territories,
etc., which he had so freely offered to the electors. Thus exasperated,
the electors, the pope, and the King of Bohemia, conspired to drive
Albert from the throne. Their secret plans were so well laid, and they
were so secure of success, that the Elector of Mentz tauntingly and
boastingly said to Albert, "I need only sound my hunting-horn and a new
emperor will appear."

Albert, however, succeeded by sagacity and energy, in dispelling this
storm which for a time threatened his entire destruction. By making
concessions to the pope, he finally won him to cordial friendship, and
by the sword vanquishing some and intimidating others, he broke up the
league. His most formidable foe was his brother-in-law, Wenceslaus, King
of Bohemia. Albert's sister, Judith, the wife of Wenceslaus, had for
some years prevented a rupture between them, but she now being dead,
both monarchs decided to refer their difficulties to the arbitration of
the sword. While their armies were marching, Wenceslaus was suddenly
taken sick and died, in June, 1305. His son, but seventeen years of age,
weak in body and in mind, at once yielded to all the demands of his
imperial uncle. Hardly a year, however, had elapsed ere this young
prince, Wenceslaus III., was assassinated, leaving no issue.

Albert immediately resolved to transfer the crown of Bohemia to his own
family, and thus to annex the powerful kingdom of Bohemia to his own
limited Austrian territories. Bohemia added to the Austrian provinces,
would constitute quite a noble kingdom. The crown was considered
elective, though in fact the eldest son was almost always chosen during
the lifetime of his father. The death of Wenceslaus, childless, opened
the throne to other claimants. No one could more imperiously demand the
scepter than Albert. He did demand it for his son Rhodolph in tones
which were heard and obeyed. The States assembled at Prague on the 1st
of April, 1306. Albert, surrounded by a magnificent retinue, conducted
his son to Prague, and to confirm his authority married him to the widow
of Wenceslaus, a second wife. Rhodolph also, about a year before, had
buried Blanche, his first wife. Albert was exceedingly elated, for the
acquisition of Bohemia was an accession to the power of his family which
doubled their territory, and more than doubled their wealth and
resources.

A mild government would have conciliated the Bohemians, but such a
course was not consonant with the character of the imperious and
despotic Albert. He urged his son to measures of arbitrary power which
exasperated the nobles, and led to a speedy revolt against his
authority. Rhodolph and the nobles were soon in the field with their
contending armies, when Rhodolph suddenly died from the fatigues of the
camp, aged but twenty-two years, having held the throne of Bohemia less
than a year.

Albert, grievously disappointed, now demanded that his second son,
Frederic, should receive the crown. As soon as his name was mentioned to
the States, the assembly with great unanimity exclaimed, "We will not
again have an Austrian king." This led to a tumult. Swords were drawn,
and two of the partisans of Albert were slain. Henry, Duke of Carinthia,
was then almost unanimously chosen king. But the haughty Albert was not
to be thus easily thwarted in his plans. He declared that his son
Frederic was King of Bohemia, and raising an army, he exerted all the
influence and military power which his position as emperor gave him, to
enforce his claim.

But affairs in Switzerland for a season arrested the attention of
Albert, and diverted his armies from the invasion of Bohemia.
Switzerland was then divided into small sovereignties, of various names,
there being no less than fifty counts, one hundred and fifty barons, and
one thousand noble families. Both Rhodolph and Albert had greatly
increased, by annexation, the territory and the power of the house of
Hapsburg. By purchase, intimidation, war, and diplomacy, Albert had for
some time been making such rapid encroachments, that a general
insurrection was secretly planned to resist his power. All Switzerland
seemed to unite as with one accord. Albert was rejoiced at this
insurrection, for, confident of superior power, he doubted not his
ability speedily to quell it, and it would afford him the most favorable
pretext for still greater aggrandizement. Albert hastened to his domain
at Hapsburg, where he was assassinated by conspirators led by his own
nephew, whom he was defrauding of his estates.

Frederic and Leopold, the two oldest surviving sons of Albert, avenged
their father's death by pursuing the conspirators until they all
suffered the penalty of their crimes. With ferocity characteristic of
the age, they punished mercilessly the families and adherents of the
assassins. Their castles were demolished, their estates confiscated,
their domestics and men at arms massacred, and their wives and children
driven out into the world to beg or to starve. Sixty-three of the
retainers of Lord Balne, one of the conspirators, though entirely
innocent of the crime, and solemnly protesting their unconsciousness of
any plot, were beheaded in one day. Though but four persons took part in
the assassination, and it was not known that any others were implicated
in the deed, it is estimated that more than a thousand persons suffered
death through the fury of the avengers. Agnes, one of the daughters of
Albert, endeavored with her own hands to strangle the infant child of
the Lord of Eschenback, when the soldiers, moved by its piteous cries,
with difficulty rescued it from her hands.

Elizabeth, the widow of Albert, with her implacable fanatic daughter
Agnes, erected a magnificent convent on the spot at Königsburg, where
the emperor was assassinated, and there in cloistered gloom they passed
the remainder of their lives. It was an age of superstition, and yet
there were some who comprehended and appreciated the pure morality of
the gospel of Christ.

"Woman," said an aged hermit to Agnes, "God is not served by shedding
innocent blood, and by rearing convents from the plunder of families. He
is served by compassion only, and by the forgiveness of injuries."

Frederic, Albert's oldest son, now assumed the government of the
Austrian provinces. From his uncommon personal attractions he was called
Frederic the Handsome. His character was in conformity with his person,
for to the most chivalrous bravery he added the most feminine amiability
and mildness. He was a candidate for the imperial throne, and would
probably have been elected but for the unpopularity of his despotic
father. The diet met, and on the 27th of November, 1308, the choice fell
unanimously upon Henry, Count of Luxemburg.

This election deprived Frederic of his hopes of uniting Bohemia to
Austria, for the new emperor placed his son John upon the Bohemian
throne, and was prepared to maintain him there by all the power of the
empire. In accomplishing this, there was a short conflict with Henry of
Carinthia, but he was speedily driven out of the kingdom.

Frederic, however, found a little solace in his disappointment, by
attaching to Austria the dominions he had wrested from the lords he had
beheaded as assassins of his father. In the midst of these scenes of
ambition, intrigue and violence, the Emperor Henry fell sick and died,
in the fifty-second year of his age. This unexpected event opened again
to Frederic the prospect of the imperial crown, and all his friends, in
the now very numerous branches of the family, spared neither money nor
the arts of diplomacy in the endeavor to secure the coveted dignity for
him. A year elapsed after the death of Henry before the diet was
assembled. During that time all the German States were in intense
agitation canvassing the claims of the several candidates. The prize of
an imperial crown was one which many grasped at, and every little court
was agitated by the question. The day of election, October 9th, 1314,
arrived. There were two hostile parties in the field, one in favor of
Frederic of Austria, the other in favor of Louis of Bavaria. The two
parties met in different cities, the Austrians at Saxenhausen, and the
Bavarians at Frankfort. There were, however, but four electors at
Saxenhausen, while there were five at Frankfort, the ancient place of
election. Each party unanimously chose its candidate. Louis, of Bavaria,
receiving five votes, while Frederic received but four, was
unquestionably the legitimate emperor. Most of the imperial cities
acknowledged him. Frankfort sung his triumph, and he was crowned with
all the ancient ceremonials of pomp at Aix-la-Chapelle.

But Frederic and his party were not ready to yield, and all over Germany
there was the mustering of armies. For two years the hostile forces were
marching and countermarching with the usual vicissitudes of war. The
tide of devastation and blood swept now over one State, and now over
another, until at length the two armies met, in all their concentrated
strength, at Muhldorf, near Munich, for a decisive battle. Louis of
Bavaria rode proudly at the head of thirty thousand foot, and fifteen
hundred steel-clad horsemen. Frederic of Austria, the handsomest man of
his age, towering above all his retinue, was ostentatiously arrayed in
the most splendid armor art could furnish, emblazoned with the Austrian
eagle, and his helmet was surmounted by a crown of gold.

As he thus led the ranks of twenty-two thousand footmen, and seven
thousand horse, all eyes followed him, and all hearts throbbed with
confidence of victory. From early dawn, till night darkened the field,
the horrid strife raged. In those days gunpowder was unknown, and the
ringing of battle-axes on helmet and cuirass, the strokes of sabers and
the clash of spears, shouts of onset, and the shrieks of the wounded, as
sixty thousand men fought hand to hand on one small field, rose like the
clamor from battling demons in the infernal world. Hour after hour of
carnage passed, and still no one could tell on whose banners victory
would alight. The gloom of night was darkening over the exhausted
combatants, when the winding of the bugle was heard in the rear of the
Austrians, and a band of four hundred Bavarian horsemen came plunging
down an eminence into the disordered ranks of Frederic. The hour of
dismay, which decides a battle, had come. A scene of awful carnage
ensued as the routed Austrians, fleeing in every direction, were pursued
and massacred. Frederic himself was struck from his horse, and as he
fell, stunned by the blow, he was captured, disarmed and carried to the
presence of his rival Louis.

The spirit of Frederic was crushed by the awful, the irretrievable
defeat, and he appeared before his conqueror speechless in the extremity
of his woe. Louis had the pride of magnanimity and endeavored to console
his captive.

"The battle is not lost by your fault," said he. "The Bavarians have
experienced to their cost that you are a valiant prince; but Providence
has decided the battle. Though I am happy to see you as my guest, I
sympathize with you in your sorrow, and will do what I can to alleviate
it."

For three years the unhappy Frederic remained a prisoner of Louis of
Bavaria, held in close confinement in the castle at Trausnitz. At the
end of that time the emperor, alarmed at the efforts which the friends
of Frederic were making to combine several Powers to take up arms for
his relief, visited his prisoner, and in a personal interview proposed
terms of reconciliation. The terms, under the circumstances, were
considered generous, but a proud spirit needed the discipline of three
years' imprisonment before it could yield to such demands.

It was the 13th of March, 1325, when this singular interview between
Louis the emperor, and Frederic his captive, took place at Trausnitz.
Frederic promised upon oath that in exchange for his freedom he would
renounce all claim to the imperial throne; restore all the districts and
castles he had wrested from the empire; give up all the documents
relative to his election as emperor; join with all his family influence
to support Louis against any and every adversary, and give his daughter
in marriage to Stephen the son of Louis. He also promised that in case
he should fail in the fulfillment of any one of these stipulations, he
would return to his captivity.

Frederic fully intended a faithful compliance with these requisitions.
But no sooner was he liberated than his fiery brother Leopold, who
presided over the Swiss estates, and who was a man of great capacity and
military energy, refused peremptorily to fulfill the articles which
related to him, and made vigorous preparations to urge the war which he
had already, with many allies, commenced against the Emperor Louis. The
pope also, who had become inimical to Louis, declared that Frederic was
absolved from the agreement at Trausnitz, as it was extorted by force,
and, with all the authority of the head of the Church, exhorted Frederic
to reassert his claim to the imperial crown.

Amidst such scenes of fraud and violence, it is refreshing to record an
act of real honor. Frederic, notwithstanding the entreaties of the pope
and the remonstrances of his friends, declared that, be the consequences
what they might, he never would violate his pledge; and finding that he
could not fulfill the articles of the agreement, he returned to Bavaria
and surrendered himself a prisoner to the emperor. It is seldom that
history has the privilege of recording so noble an act. Louis of Bavaria
fortunately had a soul capable of appreciating the magnanimity of his
captive. He received him with courtesy and with almost fraternal
kindness. In the words of a contemporary historian, "They ate at the
same table and slept in the same bed;" and, most extraordinary of all,
when Louis was subsequently called to a distant part of his dominions to
quell an insurrection, he intrusted the government of Bavaria, during
his absence, to Frederic.

Frederic's impetuous and ungovernable brother Leopold, was unwearied in
his endeavors to combine armies against the emperor, and war raged
without cessation. At length Louis, harassed by these endless
insurrections and coalitions against him, and admiring the magnanimity
of Frederic, entered into a new alliance, offering terms exceedingly
honorable on his part. He agreed that he and Frederic should rule
conjointly as emperors of Germany, in perfect equality of power and
dignity, alternately taking the precedence.

With this arrangement Leopold was satisfied, but unfortunately, just at
that time, his impetuous spirit, exhausted by disappointment and
chagrin, yielded to death. He died at Strasbourg on the 28th of
February, 1326. The pope and several of the electors refused to accede
to this arrangement, and thus the hopes of the unhappy Frederic were
again blighted, for Louis, who had consented to this accommodation for
the sake of peace, was not willing to enforce it through the tumult of
war. Frederic was, however, liberated from captivity, and he returned to
Austria a dejected, broken-hearted man. He pined away for a few months
in languor, being rarely known to smile, and died at the castle of
Gullenstein on the 13th of January, 1330. His widow, Isabella, the
daughter of the King of Arragon, became blind from excessive grief, and
soon followed her husband to the tomb.

As Frederic left no son, the Austrian dominions fell to his two
brothers, Albert III. and Otho. Albert, by marriage, added the valuable
county of Ferret in Alsace to the dominions of the house of Austria. The
two brothers reigned with such wonderful harmony, that no indications
can be seen of separate administrations. They renounced all claim to the
imperial throne, notwithstanding the efforts of the pope to the
contrary, and thus secured friendship with the Emperor Louis. There were
now three prominent families dominant in Germany. Around these great
families, who had gradually, by marriage and military encroachments,
attained their supremacy, the others of all degrees rallied as vassals,
seeking protection and contributing strength. The house of Bavaria,
reigning over that powerful kingdom and in possession of the imperial
throne, ranked first. Then came the house of Luxembourg, possessing the
wide-spread and opulent realms of Bohemia. The house of Austria had now
vast possessions, but these were widely scattered; some provinces on the
banks of the Danube and others in Switzerland, spreading through the
defiles of the Alps.

John of Bohemia was an overbearing man, and feeling quite impregnable in
his northern realms beyond the mountains, assumed such a dictatorial air
as to rouse the ire of the princes of Austria and Bavaria. These two
houses consequently entered into an intimate alliance for mutual
security. The Duke of Carinthia, who was uncle to Albert and Otho, died,
leaving only a daughter, Margaret. This dukedom, about the size of the
State of Massachusetts, a wild and mountainous region, was deemed very
important as the key to Italy. John of Bohemia, anxious to obtain it,
had engaged the hand of Margaret for his son, then but eight years of
age. It was a question in dispute whether the dukedom could descend to a
female, and Albert and Otho claimed it as the heirs of their uncle.
Louis, the emperor, supported the claims of Austria, and thus Carinthia
became attached to this growing power.

John, enraged, formed a confederacy with the kings of Hungary and
Poland, and some minor princes, and invaded Austria. For some time they
swept all opposition before them. But the Austrian troops and those of
the empire checked them at Landau. Here they entered into an agreement
without a battle, by which Austria was permitted to retain Carinthia,
she making important concessions to Bohemia. In February, 1339, Otho
died, and Albert was invested with the sole administration of affairs.
The old King of Bohemia possessed vehemence of character which neither
age nor the total blindness with which he had become afflicted could
repress. He traversed the empire, and even went to France, organizing a
powerful confederacy against the emperor. The pope, Clement VI., who had
always been inimical to Louis of Bavaria, influenced by John of Bohemia,
deposed and excommunicated Louis, and ordered a new meeting of the diet
of electors, which chose Charles, eldest son of the Bohemian monarch,
and heir to that crown, emperor.

The deposed Louis fought bravely for the crown thus torn from his brow.
Albert of Austria aided him with all his energies. Their united armies,
threading the defiles of the Bohemian mountains, penetrated the very
heart of the kingdom, when, in the midst of success, the deposed Emperor
Louis fell dead from a stroke of apoplexy, in the year 1347. This event
left Charles of Bohemia in undisputed possession of the imperial crown.
Albert immediately recognized his claim, effected reconciliation, and
becoming the friend and the ally of the emperor, pressed on cautiously
but securely, year after year, in his policy of annexation. But storms
of war incessantly howled around his domains until he died, a crippled
paralytic, on the 16th of August, 1358.



CHAPTER III.

RHODOLPH II., ALBERT IV. AND ALBERT V.

From 1339 to 1437.

Rhodolph II.--Marriage of John to Margaret.--Intriguing for the
Tyrol.--Death of Rhodolph.--Accession of Power to Austria.--Dividing the
Empire.--Delight of the Emperor Charles.--Leopold.--His Ambition and
Successes.--Hedwige, Queen of Poland.--"The Course of true Love never
did run smooth."--Unhappy Marriage of Hedwige.--Heroism of Arnold of
Winkelreid.--Death of Leopold.--Death of Albert IV.--Accession of Albert
V.--Attempts of Sigismond to bequeath to Albert V. Hungary and Bohemia.


Rhodolph II., the eldest son of Albert III., when but nineteen years of
age succeeded his father in the government of the Austrian States. He
had been very thoroughly educated in all the civil and military
knowledge of the times. He was closely allied with the Emperor Charles
IV. of Bohemia, having married his daughter Catherine. His character and
manhood had been very early developed. When he was in his seventeenth
year his father had found it necessary to visit his Swiss estates, then
embroiled in the fiercest war, and had left him in charge of the
Austrian provinces. He soon after was intrusted with the whole care of
the Hapsburg dominions in Switzerland. In this responsible post he
developed wonderful administrative skill, encouraging industry,
repressing disorder, and by constructing roads and bridges, opening
facilities for intercourse and trade.

Upon the death of his father, Rhodolph removed to Vienna, and being now
the monarch of powerful realms on the Danube and among the Alps, he
established a court rivaling the most magnificent establishments of the
age.

Just west of Austria and south of Bavaria was the magnificent dukedom of
Tyrol, containing some sixteen thousand square miles, or about twice the
size of the State of Massachusetts. It was a country almost unrivaled in
the grandeur of its scenery, and contained nearly a million of
inhabitants. This State, lying equally convenient to both Austria and
Bavaria, by both of these kingdoms had for many years been regarded with
a wistful eye. The manner in which Austria secured the prize is a story
well worth telling, as illustrative of the intrigues of those times.

It will be remembered that John, the arrogant King of Bohemia, engaged
for his son the hand of Margaret, the only daughter of the Duke of
Carinthia. Tyrol also was one of the possessions of this powerful duke.
Henry, having no son, had obtained from the emperor a decree that these
possessions should descend, in default of male issue, to his daughter.
But for this decision the sovereignty of these States would descend to
the male heirs, Albert and Otho of Austria, nephews of Henry. They of
course disputed the legality of the decree, and, aided by the Emperor
Louis of Bavaria, obtained Carinthia, relinquishing for a time their
claim to Tyrol. The emperor hoped to secure that golden prize for his
hereditary estates of Bavaria.

When John, the son of the King of Bohemia, was but seventeen years of
age, and a puny, weakly child, he was hurriedly married to Margaret,
then twenty-two. Margaret, a sanguine, energetic woman, despised her
baby husband, and he, very naturally, impotently hated her. She at
length fled from him, and escaping from Bohemia, threw herself under the
protection of Louis. The emperor joyfully welcomed her to his court, and
promised to grant her a divorce, by virtue of his imperial power, if she
would marry his son Louis. The compliant princess readily acceded to
this plan, and the divorce was announced and the nuptials solemnized in
February, 1342.

The King of Bohemia was as much exasperated as the King of Bavaria was
elated by this event, for the one felt that he had lost the Tyrol, and
the other that he had gained it. It was this successful intrigue which
cost Louis of Bavaria his imperial crown; for the blood of the King of
Bohemia was roused. Burning with vengeance, he traversed Europe almost
with the zeal and eloquence of Peter the Hermit, to organize a coalition
against the emperor, and succeeded in inducing the pope, always hostile
to Louis, to depose and excommunicate him. This marriage was also
declared by the pope unlawful, and the son, Meinhard, eventually born to
them, was branded as illegitimate.

While matters were in this state, as years glided on, Rhodolph succeeded
in winning the favor of the pontiff, and induced him to legitimate
Meinhard, that this young heir of Tyrol might marry the Austrian
princess Margaret, sister of Rhodolph. Meinhard and his wife Margaret
ere long died, leaving Margaret of Tyrol, a widow in advancing years,
with no direct heirs. By the marriage contract of her son Meinhard with
Margaret of Austria, she promised that should there be failure of issue,
Tyrol should revert to Austria. On the other hand, Bavaria claimed the
territory in virtue of the marriage of Margaret with Louis of Bavaria.

Rhodolph was so apprehensive that Bavaria might make an immediate move
to obtain the coveted territory by force of arms, that he hastened
across the mountains, though in the depth of winter, obtained from
Margaret an immediate possession of Tyrol, and persuaded her to
accompany him, an honored guest, to his capital, which he had
embellished with unusual splendor for her entertainment.

Rhodolph had married the daughter of Charles, King of Bohemia, the
emperor, but unfortunately at this juncture, Rhodolph, united with the
kings of Hungary and Poland, was at war with the Bavarian king.
Catherine his wife, however, undertook to effect a reconciliation
between her husband and her father. She secured an interview between
them, and the emperor, the hereditary rival of his powerful neighbor the
King of Bavaria, confirmed Margaret's gift, invested Rhodolph with the
Tyrol, and pledged the arm of the empire to maintain this settlement.
Thus Austria gained Tyrol, the country of romance and of song,
interesting, perhaps, above all other portions of Europe in its natural
scenery, and invaluable from its location as the gateway of Italy.
Bavaria made a show of armed opposition to this magnificent accession to
the power of Austria, but soon found it in vain to assail Rhodolph
sustained by Margaret of Tyrol, and by the energies of the empire.

Rhodolph was an antiquarian of eccentric character, ever poring over
musty records and hunting up decayed titles. He was fond of attaching to
his signature the names of all the innumerable offices he held over the
conglomerated States of his realm. He was Rhodolph, Margrave of Baden,
Vicar of Upper Bavaria, Lord of Hapsburg, Arch Huntsman of the Empire,
Archduke Palatine, etc., etc. His ostentation provoked even the jealousy
of his father, the emperor, and he was ordered to lay aside these
numerous titles and the arrogant armorial bearings he was attaching to
his seals. His desire to aggrandize his family burned with a quenchless
flame. Hoping to extend his influence in Italy, he negotiated a
matrimonial alliance for his brother with an Italian princess. As he
crossed the Alps to attend the nuptials, he was seized with an
inflammatory fever, and died the 27th of July, 1365, but twenty-six
years of age, and leaving no issue.

His brother Albert, a young man but seventeen years of age, succeeded
Rhodolph. Just as he assumed the government, Margaret of Tyrol died, and
the King of Bavaria, thinking this a favorable moment to renew his
claims for the Tyrol, vigorously invaded the country with a strong army.
Albert immediately applied to the emperor for assistance. Three years
were employed in fightings and diplomacy, when Bavaria, in consideration
of a large sum of money and sundry other concessions, renounced all
pretensions to Tyrol, and left the rich prize henceforth undisputed in
the hands of Austria. Thus the diminutive margrave of Austria, which was
at first but a mere military post on the Danube, had grown by rapid
accretions in one century to be almost equal in extent of territory to
the kingdoms of Bavaria and of Bohemia. This grandeur, instead of
satisfying the Austrian princes, did but increase their ambition.

The Austrian territories, though widely scattered, were declared, both
by family compact and by imperial decree, to be indivisible. Albert had
a brother, Leopold, two years younger than himself, of exceedingly
restless and ambitious spirit, while Albert was inactive, and a lover of
ease and repose. Leopold was sent to Switzerland, and intrusted with the
administration of those provinces. But his imperious spirit so dominated
over his elder but pliant brother, that he extorted from him a compact,
by which the realm was divided, Albert remaining in possession of the
Austrian provinces of the Danube, and Leopold having exclusive dominion
over those in Switzerland; while the magnificent new acquisition, the
Tyrol, lying between the two countries, bounding Switzerland on the
east, and Austria on the west, was shared between them.

Nothing can more clearly show the moderate qualities of Albert than that
he should have assented to such a plan. He did, however, with easy good
nature, assent to it, and the two brothers applied to the Emperor
Charles to ratify the division by his imperial sanction. Charles, who
for some time had been very jealous of the rapid encroachments of
Austria, rubbed his hands with delight.

"We have long," said he, "labored in vain to humble the house of
Austria, and now the dukes of Austria have humbled themselves."

Leopold the First inherited all the ambition and energy of the house of
Hapsburg, and was ever watching with an eagle eye to extend his
dominions, and to magnify his power. By money, war, and diplomacy, in a
few years he obtained Friburg and the little town of Basle; attached to
his dominions the counties of Feldkirch, Pludenz, Surgans and the
Rienthal, which he wrested from the feeble counts who held them, and
obtained the baillages of Upper and Lower Suabia, and the towns of
Augsburg and Gingen. But a bitter disappointment was now encountered by
this ambitious prince.

Louis, the renowned King of Hungary and Poland, had two daughters, Maria
and Hedwige, but no sons. To Maria he promised the crown of Hungary as
her portion, and among the many claimants for her hand, and the
glittering crown she held in it, Sigismond, son of the Emperor Charles,
King of Bohemia, received the prize. Leopold, whose heart throbbed in
view of so splendid an alliance, was overjoyed when he secured the
pledge of the hand of Hedwige, with the crown of Poland, for William,
his eldest son. Hedwige was one of the most beautiful and accomplished
princesses of the age. William was also a young man of great elegance of
person, and of such rare fascination of character, that he had acquired
the epithet of William the Delightful. His chivalrous bearing had been
trained and polished amidst the splendors of his uncle's court of
Vienna. Hedwige, as the affianced bride of William, was invited from the
more barbaric pomp of the Hungarian court, to improve her education by
the aid of the refinements of Vienna. William and Hedwige no sooner met
than they loved one another, as young hearts, even in the palace, will
sometimes love, as well as in the cottage. In brilliant festivities and
moonlight excursions the young lovers passed a few happy months, when
Hedwige was called home by the final sickness of her father. Louis died,
and Hedwige was immediately crowned Queen of Poland, receiving the most
enthusiastic greetings of her subjects.

Bordering on Poland there was a grand duchy of immense extent,
Lithuania, embracing sixty thousand square miles. The Grand Duke
Jaghellon was a burly Northman, not more than half civilized, whose
character was as jagged as his name. This pagan proposed to the Polish
nobles that he should marry Hedwige, and thus unite the grand duchy of
Lithuania with the kingdom of Poland; promising in that event to
renounce paganism, and embrace Christianity. The beautiful and
accomplished Hedwige was horror-struck at the proposal, and declared
that never would she marry any one but William.

But the Polish nobles, dazzled by the prospect of this magnificent
accession to the kingdom of Poland, and the bishops, even more powerful
than the nobles, elated with the vision of such an acquisition for the
Church, resolved that the young and fatherless maiden, who had no one to
defend her cause, should yield, and that she should become the bride of
Jaghellon. They declared that it was ridiculous to think that the
interests of a mighty kingdom, and the enlargement of the Church, were
to yield to the caprices of a love-sick girl.

In the meantime William, all unconscious of the disappointment which
awaited him, was hastening to Cracow, with a splendid retinue, and the
richest presents Austrian art could fabricate, to receive his bride. The
nobles, however, a semi-barbaric set of men, surrounded him upon his
arrival, refused to allow him any interview with Hedwige, threatened him
with personal violence, and drove him out of the kingdom. Poor Hedwige
was in anguish. She wept, vowed deathless fidelity to William, and
expressed utter detestation of the pagan duke, until, at last, worn out
and broken-hearted, she, in despair, surrendered herself into the arms
of Jaghellon. Jaghellon was baptized by the name of Ladislaus, and
Lithuania was annexed to Poland.

The loss of the crown of Poland was to Leopold a grievous affliction; at
the same time his armies, engaged in sundry measures of aggrandizement,
encountered serious reverses. Leopold, the father of William, by these
events was plunged into the deepest dejection. No effort of his friends
could lift the weight of his gloom. In a retired apartment of one of his
castles he sat silent and woful, apparently incapacitated for any
exertion whatever, either bodily or mental. The affairs of his realm
were neglected, and his bailiffs and feudal chiefs, left with
irresponsible power, were guilty of such acts of extortion and tyranny,
that, in the province of Suabia the barons combined, and a fierce
insurrection broke out. Forty important towns united in the confederacy,
and secured the co-operation of Strasburg, Mentz and other large cities
on the Rhine. Other of the Swiss provinces were on the eve of joining
this alarming confederacy against Leopold, their Austrian ruler. As
Vienna for some generations had been the seat of the Hapsburg family,
from whence governors were sent to these provinces of Helvetia, as
Switzerland was then called, the Swiss began to regard their rulers as
foreigners, and even Leopold found it necessary to strengthen himself
with Austrian troops.

This formidable league roused Leopold from his torpor, and he awoke like
the waking of the lion. He was immediately on the march with four
thousand horsemen, and fourteen hundred foot, while all through the
defiles of the Alps bugle blasts echoed, summoning detachments from
various cantons under their bold barons, to hasten to the aid of the
insurgents. On the evening of the 9th of July, 1396, the glittering host
of Leopold appeared on an eminence overlooking the city of Sempach and
the beautiful lake on whose border it stands. The horses were fatigued
by their long and hurried march, and the crags and ravines, covered with
forest, were impracticable for the evolutions of cavalry. The impetuous
Leopold, impatient of delay, resolved upon an immediate attack,
notwithstanding the exhaustion of his troops, and though a few hours of
delay would bring strong reinforcements to his camp. He dismounted his
horsemen, and formed his whole force in solid phalanx. It was an
imposing spectacle, as six thousand men, covered from head to foot with
blazing armor, presenting a front of shields like a wall of burnished
steel, bristling with innumerable pikes and spears, moved with slow,
majestic tread down upon the city.

The confederate Swiss, conscious that the hour of vengeance had come, in
which they must conquer or be miserably slain, marched forth to meet the
foe, emboldened only by despair. But few of the confederates were in
armor. They were furnished with such weapons as men grasp when despotism
rouses them to insurrection, rusty battle-axes, pikes and halberts, and
two-handed swords, which their ancestors, in descending into the grave,
had left behind them. They drew up in the form of a solid wedge, to
pierce the thick concentric wall of steel, apparently as impenetrable as
the cliffs of the mountains. Thus the two bodies silently and sternly
approached each other. It was a terrific hour; for every man knew that
one or the other of those hosts must perish utterly. For some time the
battle raged, while the confederates could make no impression whatever
upon their steel-clad foes, and sixty of them fell pierced by spears
before one of their assailants had been even wounded.

Despair was fast settling upon their hearts, when Arnold of Winkelreid,
a knight of Underwalden, rushed from the ranks of the confederates,
exclaiming--

"I will open a passage into the line; protect, dear countrymen, my wife
and children."

He threw himself upon the bristling spears. A score pierced his body;
grasping them with the tenacity of death, he bore them to the earth as
he fell. His comrades, emulating his spirit of self-sacrifice, rushed
over his bleeding body, and forced their way through the gate thus
opened into the line. The whole unwieldy mass was thrown into confusion.
The steel-clad warriors, exhausted before the battle commenced, and
encumbered with their heavy armor, could but feebly resist their nimble
assailants, who outnumbering them and over-powering them, cut them down
in fearful havoc. It soon became a general slaughter, and not less than
two thousand of the followers of Leopold were stretched lifeless upon
the ground. Many were taken prisoners, and a few, mounting their horses,
effected an escape among the wild glens of the Alps.

In this awful hour Leopold developed magnanimity and heroism worthy of
his name. Before the battle commenced, his friends urged him to take
care of his own person.

"God forbid," said he, "that I should endeavor to save my own life and
leave you to die! I will share your fate, and, with you, will either
conquer or perish."

When all was in confusion, and his followers were falling like autumn
leaves around him, he was urged to put spurs to his horse, and,
accompanied by his body-guard, to escape.

"I would rather die honorably," said Leopold, "than live with dishonor."

Just at this moment his standard-bearer was struck down by a rush of the
confederates. As he fell he cried out, "Help, Austria, help!" Leopold
frantically sprang to his aid, grasped the banner from his dying hand,
and waving it, plunged into the midst of the foe, with saber strokes
hewing a path before him. He was soon lost in the tumult and the carnage
of the battle. His body was afterward found, covered with wounds, in the
midst of heaps of the dead.

Thus perished the ambitious and turbulent Leopold the 1st, after a
stormy and unhappy life of thirty-six years, and a reign of constant
encroachment and war of twenty years. Life to him was a dark and somber
tempest. Ever dissatisfied with what he had attained, and grasping at
more, he could never enjoy the present, and he finally died that death
of violence to which his ambition had consigned so many thousands.
Leopold, the second son of the duke, who was but fifteen years of age,
succeeded his father, in the dominion of the Swiss estates; and after a
desultory warfare of a few months, was successful in negotiating a
peace, or rather an armed truce, with the successful insurgents.

In the meantime, Albert, at Vienna, apparently happy in being relieved
of all care of the Swiss provinces, was devoting himself to the arts of
peace. He reared new buildings, encouraged learning, repressed all
disorders, and cultivated friendly relations with the neighboring
powers. His life was as a summer's day--serene and bright. He and his
family were happy, and his realms in prosperity. He died at his rural
residence at Laxendorf, two miles out from Vienna, on the 29th of
August, 1395. All Austria mourned his death. Thousands gathered at his
burial, exclaiming, "We have lost our friend, our father!" He was a
studious, peace-loving, warm-hearted man, devoted to his family and his
friends, fond of books and the society of the learned, and enjoying the
cultivation of his garden with his own hands. He left, at his death, an
only son, Albert, sixteen years of age.

William, the eldest son of Leopold, had been brought up in the court of
Vienna. He was a young man of fascinating character and easily won all
hearts. After his bitter disappointment in Poland he returned to Vienna,
and now, upon the death of his uncle Albert, he claimed the reins of
government as the oldest member of the family. His cousin Albert, of
course, resisted this claim, demanding that he himself should enter upon
the post which his father had occupied. A violent dissension ensued
which resulted in an agreement that they should administer the
government of the Austrian States, jointly, during their lives, and that
then the government should be vested in the eldest surviving member of
the family.

Having effected this arrangement, quite to the satisfaction of both
parties, Albert, who inherited much of the studious thoughtful turn of
mind of his father, set out on a pilgrimage to the holy land, leaving
the government during his absence in the hands of William. After
wanderings and adventures so full of romance as to entitle him to the
appellation of the "Wonder of the World," he returned to Vienna. He
married a daughter of the Duke of Holland, and settled down to a monkish
life. He entered a monastery of Carthusian monks, and took an active
part in all their discipline and devotions. No one was more punctual
than he at matins and vespers, or more devout in confessions, prayers,
genuflexions and the divine service in the choir. Regarding himself as
one of the fraternity, he called himself brother Albert, and left
William untrammeled in the cares of state. His life was short, for he
died the 14th of September, 1404, in the twenty-seventh year of his age,
leaving a son Albert, seven years old. William, who married a daughter
of the King of Naples, survived him but two years, when he died
childless.

A boy nine years old now claimed the inheritance of the Austrian
estates; but the haughty dukes of the Swiss branch of the house were not
disposed to yield to his claims. Leopold II., who after the battle of
Sempach succeeded his father in the Swiss estates, assumed the
guardianship of Albert, and the administration of Austria, till the
young duke should be of age. But Leopold had two brothers who also
inherited their father's energy and ambition. Ernest ruled over Styria,
Carinthia and Carniola. Frederic governed the Tyrol.

Leopold II. repaired to Vienna to assume the administration; his two
brothers claimed the right of sharing it with him. Confusion, strife and
anarchy ensued. Ernest, a very determined and violent man, succeeded in
compelling his brother to give him a share of the government, and in the
midst of incessant quarrels, which often led to bloody conflicts, each
of the two brothers strove to wrest as much as possible from Austria
before young Albert should be of age. The nobles availed themselves of
this anarchy to renew their expeditions of plunder. Unhappy Austria for
several years was a scene of devastation and misery. In the year 1411,
Leopold II. died without issue. The young Albert had now attained is
fifteenth year.

The emperor declared Albert of age, and he assumed the government as
Albert V. His subjects, weary of disorder and of the strife of the
nobles, welcomed him with enthusiasm. With sagacity and self-denial
above his years, the young prince devoted himself to business,
relinquishing all pursuits of pleasure. Fortunately, during his minority
he had honorable and able teachers who stored his mind with useful
knowledge, and fortified him with principles of integrity. The change
from the most desolating anarchy to prosperity and peace was almost
instantaneous. Albert had the judgment to surround himself with able
advisers. Salutary laws were enacted; justice impartially administered;
the country was swept of the banditti which infested it, and while all
the States around were involved in the miseries of war, the song of the
contented husbandman, and the music of the artisan's tools were heard
through the fields and in the towns of happy Austria.

Sigismond, second son of the Emperor Charles IV., King of Bohemia, was
now emperor. It will be remembered that by marrying Mary, the eldest
daughter of Louis, King of Hungary and Poland, he received Hungary as
the dower of his bride. By intrigue he also succeeded in deposing his
effeminate and dissolute brother, Wenceslaus, from the throne of
Bohemia, and succeeded, by a new election, in placing the crown upon his
own brow. Thus Sigismond wielded a three-fold scepter. He was Emperor of
Germany, and King of Hungary and of Bohemia.

Albert married the only daughter of Sigismond, and a very strong
affection sprung up between the imperial father and his son-in-law. They
often visited each other, and cooperated very cordially in measures of
state. The wife of Sigismond was a worthless woman, described by an
Austrian historian as "one who believed in neither God, angel nor devil;
neither in heaven nor hell." Sigismond had set his heart upon
bequeathing to Albert the crowns of both Hungary and Bohemia, which
magnificent accessions to the Austrian domains would elevate that power
to be one of the first in Europe. But Barbara, his queen, wished to
convey these crowns to the son of the pagan Jaghellon, who had received
the crown of Poland as the dowry of his reluctant bride, Hedwige.
Sigismond, provoked by her intrigues for the accomplishment of this
object, and detesting her for her licentiousness, put her under arrest.
Sigismond was sixty-three years of age, in very feeble health, and daily
expecting to die.

He summoned a general convention of the nobles of Hungary and Bohemia to
meet him at Znaim in Moravia, near the frontiers of Austria, and sent
for Albert and his daughter to hasten to that place. The infirm emperor,
traveling by slow stages, succeeded in reaching Znaim. He immediately
summoned the nobles to his presence, and introducing to them Albert and
Elizabeth, thus affectingly addressed them:

"Loving friends, you know that since the commencement of my reign I have
employed my utmost exertions to maintain public tranquillity. Now, as I
am about to die, my last act must be consistent with my former actions.
At this moment my only anxiety arises from a desire to prevent
dissension and bloodshed after my decease. It is praiseworthy in a
prince to govern well; but it is not less praiseworthy to provide a
successor who shall govern better than himself. This fame I now seek,
not from ambition, but from love to my subjects. You all know Albert,
Duke of Austria, to whom in preference to all other princes I gave my
daughter in marriage, and whom I adopted as my son. You know that he
possesses experience and every virtue becoming a prince. He found
Austria in a state of disorder, and he has restored it to tranquillity.
He is now of an age in which judgment and experience attain their
perfection, and he is sovereign of Austria, which, lying between Hungary
and Bohemia, forms a connecting link between the two kingdoms.

"I recommend him to you as my successor. I leave you a king, pious,
honorable, wise and brave. I give him my kingdom, or rather I give him
to my kingdoms, to whom I can give or wish nothing better. Truly you
belong to him in consideration of his wife, the hereditary princess of
Hungary and Bohemia. Again I repeat that I do not act thus solely from
love to Albert and my daughter, but from a desire in my last moments to
promote the true welfare of my people. Happy are those who are subject
to Albert. I am confident he is no less beloved by you than by me, and
that even without my exhortations you would unanimously give him your
votes. But I beseech you by these tears, comfort my soul, which is
departing to God, by confirming my choice and fulfilling my will."

The emperor was so overcome with emotion that he could with difficulty
pronounce these last words. All were deeply moved; some wept aloud;
others, seizing the hand of the emperor and bathing it in tears, vowed
allegiance to Albert, and declared that while he lived they would
recognize no other sovereign.

The very next day, November, 1437, Sigismond died. Albert and Elizabeth
accompanied his remains to Hungary. The Hungarian diet of barons
unanimously ratified the wishes of the late king in accepting Albert as
his successor. He then hastened to Bohemia, and, notwithstanding a few
outbursts of disaffection, was received with great demonstrations of joy
by the citizens of Prague, and was crowned in the cathedral.



CHAPTER IV.

ALBERT, LADISLAUS AND FREDERIC.

From 1440 to 1489.

Increasing Honors of Albert V.--Encroachments of the Turks.--The
Christians Routed.--Terror of the Hungarians.--Death of
Albert.--Magnanimous Conduct of Albert of Bavaria.--Internal
Troubles.--Precocity of Ladislaus.--Fortifications raised by the
Turks.--John Capistrun.--Rescue of Belgrade.--The Turks
dispersed.--Exultation over the Victory.--Death of Hunniades.--Jealousy
of Ladislaus.--His Death.--Brotherly Quarrels.--Devastations by the
Turks.--Invasion of Austria.--Repeal of the Compromise.--The Emperor a
Fugitive.


The kingdom of Bohemia thus attached to the duchies of Austria contained
a population of some three millions, and embraced twenty thousand square
miles of territory, being about three times as large as the State of
Massachusetts. Hungary was a still more magnificent realm in extent of
territory, being nearly five times as large as Bohemia, but inhabited by
about the same number of people, widely dispersed. In addition to this
sudden and vast accession of power, Albert was chosen Emperor of
Germany. This distinguished sovereign displayed as much wisdom and
address in administering the affairs of the empire, as in governing his
own kingdoms.

The Turks were at this time becoming the terror of Christendom.
Originating in a small tribe between the Caspian Sea and the Euxine,
they had with bloody cimeters overrun all Asia Minor, and, crossing the
Hellespont, had intrenched themselves firmly on the shores of Europe.
Crowding on in victorious hosts, armed with the most terrible
fanaticism, they had already obtained possession of Bulgaria, Servia,
and Bosnia, eastern dependencies of Hungary, and all Europe was
trembling in view of their prowess, their ferocity and their apparently
exhaustless legions.

Sigismond, beholding the crescent of the Moslem floating over the
castles of eastern Hungary, became alarmed for the kingdom, and sent
ambassadors from court to court to form a crusade against the invaders.
He was eminently successful, and an army of one hundred thousand men was
soon collected, composed of the flower of the European nobility. The
republics of Venice and Genoa united to supply a fleet. With this
powerful armament Sigismond, in person, commenced his march to
Constantinople, which city the Turks were besieging, to meet the fleet
there. The Turkish sultan himself gathered his troops and advanced to
meet Sigismond. The Christian troops were utterly routed, and nearly all
put to the sword. The emperor with difficulty escaped. In the confusion
of the awful scene of carnage he threw himself unperceived into a small
boat, and paddling down the Danube, as its flood swept through an almost
uninhabited wilderness, he reached the Black Sea, where he was so
fortunate as to find a portion of the fleet, and thus, by a long
circuit, he eventually reached his home.

Bajazet, the sultan, returned exultant from this great victory, and
resumed the siege of Constantinople, which ere long fell into the hands
of the Turks. Amurath, who was sultan at the time of the death of
Sigismond, thought the moment propitious for extending his conquests. He
immediately, with his legions, overran Servia, a principality nearly the
size of the State of Virginia, and containing a million of inhabitants.
George, Prince of Servia, retreating before the merciless followers of
the false prophet, threw himself with a strong garrison into the
fortress of Semendria, and sent an imploring message to Albert for
assistance. Servia was separated from Hungary only by the Danube, and it
was a matter of infinite moment to Albert that the Turk should not get
possession of that province, from which he could make constant forays
into Hungary.

Albert hastily collected an army and marched to the banks of the Danube
just in time to witness the capture of Semendria and the massacre of its
garrison. All Hungary was now in terror. The Turks in overwhelming
numbers were firmly intrenched upon the banks of the Danube, and were
preparing to cross the river and to supplant the cross with the crescent
on all the plains of Hungary. The Hungarian nobles, in crowds, flocked
to the standard of Albert, who made herculean exertions to meet and roll
back the threatened tide of invasion. Exhausted by unremitting toil, he
was taken sick and suddenly died, on a small island of the Danube, on
the 17th of October, 1439, in the forty-third year of his age. The death
of such a prince, heroic and magnanimous, loving the arts of peace, and
yet capable of wielding the energies of war, was an apparent calamity to
Europe.

Albert left two daughters, but his queen Elizabeth was expecting, in a
few months, to give birth to another child. Every thing was thus
involved in confusion, and for a time intrigue and violence ran riot.
There were many diverse parties, the rush of armed bands, skirmishes and
battles, and all the great matters of state were involved in an
inextricable labyrinth of confusion. The queen gave birth to a son, who
was baptized by the name of Ladislaus. Elizabeth, anxious to secure the
crown of Hungary for her infant, had him solemnly crowned at Alba Regia,
by the Archbishop of Gran when the child was but four months old.

But a powerful party arose, opposed to the claims of the infant, and
strove by force of arms to place upon the throne Uladislaus, King of
Poland and Lithuania, and son of the pagan Jaghellon and the unhappy
Hedwige. For two years war between the rival parties desolated the
kingdom, when Elizabeth died. Uladislaus now redoubled his endeavors,
and finally succeeded in driving the unconscious infant from his
hereditary domain, and established himself firmly on the throne of
Hungary.

The infant prince was taken to Bohemia. There also he encountered
violent opposition. "A child," said his opponents, "can not govern. It
will be long before Ladislaus will be capable of assuming the reins of
government. Let us choose another sovereign, and when Ladislaus has
attained the age of twenty-four we shall see whether he deserves the
crown."

This very sensible advice was adopted, and thirteen electors were
appointed to choose a sovereign. Their choice fell upon Albert of
Bavaria. But he, with a spirit of magnanimity very rare in that age,
declared that the crown, of right, belonged to Ladislaus, and that he
would not take it from him. They then chose Frederic, Duke of Styria,
who, upon the death of Albert, had been chosen emperor. Frederic,
incited by the example of Albert, also declined, saying, "I will not rob
my relation of his right." But anxious for the peace of the empire, he
recommended that they should choose some illustrious Bohemian, to whom
they should intrust the regency until Ladislaus became of age, offering
himself to assume the guardianship of the young prince.

This judicious advice was accepted, and the Bohemian nobles chose the
infant Ladislaus their king. They, however, appointed two regents
instead of one. The regents quarreled and headed two hostile parties.
Anarchy and civil war desolated the kingdom, with fluctuations of
success and discomfiture attending the movements of either party. Thus
several years of violence and blood passed on. One of the regents,
George Podiebrad, drove his opponent from the realm and assumed regal
authority. To legitimate its usurped power he summoned a diet at
Pilgram, in 1447, and submitted the following question:

"Is it advantageous to the kingdom that Ladislaus should retain the
crown, or would it not be more beneficial to choose a monarch acquainted
with our language and customs, and inspired with love of our country?"

Warm opposition to this measure arose, and the nobles voted themselves
loyal to Ladislaus. While these events were passing in Bohemia, scenes
of similar violence were transpiring in Hungary. After a long series of
convulsions, and Uladislaus, the Polish king, who had attained the crown
of Hungary, having been slain in a battle with the Turks, a diet of
Hungarian nobles was assembled and they also declared the young
Ladislaus to be their king. They consequently wrote to the Emperor
Frederic, Duke of Styria, who had assumed the guardianship of the
prince, requesting that he might be sent to Hungary. Ladislaus
Posthumous, so-called in consequence of his birth after the death of his
father, was then but six years of age.

The Austrian States were also in a condition of similar confusion, rival
aspirants grasping at power, feuds agitating every province, and all
moderate men anxious for that repose which could only be found by
uniting in the claims of Ladislaus for the crown. Thus Austria, Bohemia
and Hungary, so singularly and harmoniously united under Albert V., so
suddenly dissevered and scattered by the death of Albert, were now,
after years of turmoil, all reuniting under the child Ladislaus.

Frederic, however, the faithful guardian of the young prince, was
devoting the utmost care to his education, and refused to accede to the
urgent and reiterated requests to send the young monarch to his realms.
When Ladislaus was about ten years of age the Emperor Frederic visited
the pope at Rome, and took Ladislaus in his glittering suite. The
precocious child here astonished the learned men of the court, by
delivering an oration in Latin before the consistory, and by giving many
other indications of originality and vigor of mind far above his years.
The pope became much attached to the youthful sovereign of three such
important realms, and as Frederic was about to visit Naples, Ladislaus
remained a guest in the imperial palace.

Deputies from the three nations repaired to Rome to urge the pope to
restore to them their young sovereign. Failing in this, they endeavored
to induce Ladislaus to escape with them. This plan also was discovered
and foiled. The nobles were much irritated by these disappointments, and
they resolved to rescue him by force of arms. All over Hungary, Bohemia
and Austria there was a general rising of the nobles, nationalities
being merged in the common cause, and all hearts united and throbbing
with a common desire. An army of sixteen thousand men was raised.
Frederic, alarmed by these formidable preparations for war, surrendered
Ladislaus and he was conveyed in triumph to Vienna. A numerous
assemblage of the nobles of the three nations was convened, and it was
settled that the young king, during his minority, should remain at
Vienna, under the care of his maternal uncle, Count Cilli, who, in the
meantime, was to administer the government of Austria. George Podiebrad
was intrusted with the regency of Bohemia; and John Hunniades was
appointed regent of Hungary.

Ladislaus was now thirteen years of age. The most learned men of the age
were appointed as his teachers, and he pursued his studies with great
vigor. Count Cilli, however, an ambitious and able man, soon gained
almost unlimited control over the mind of his young ward, and became so
arrogant and dictatorial, filling every important office with his own
especial friends, and removing those who displeased him, that general
discontent was excited and conspiracy was formed against him. Cilli was
driven from Vienna with insults and threats, and the conspirators placed
the regency in the hands of a select number of their adherents.

While affairs were in this condition, John Hunniades, as regent, was
administering the government of Hungary with great vigor and sagacity.
He was acquiring so much renown that Count Cilli regarded him with a
very jealous eye, and excited the suspicions of the young king that
Hunniades was seeking for himself the sovereignty of Hungary. Cilli
endeavored to lure Hunniades to Vienna, that he might seize his person,
but the sagacious warrior was too wily to be thus entrapped.

The Turks were now in the full tide of victory. They had conquered
Constantinople, fortified both sides of the Bosporus and the Hellespont,
overrun Greece and planted themselves firmly and impregnably on the
shores of Europe. Mahomet II. was sultan, succeeding his father Amurath.
He raised an army of two hundred thousand men, who were all inspired
with that intense fanatic ferocity with which the Moslem then regarded
the Christian. Marching resistlessly through Bulgaria and Servia, he
contemplated the immediate conquest of Hungary, the bulwark of Europe.
He advanced to the banks of the Danube and laid siege to Belgrade, a
very important and strongly fortified town at the point where the Save
enters the great central river of eastern Europe.

Such an army, flushed with victory and inspired with all the energies of
fanaticism, appalled the European powers. Ladislaus was but a boy,
studious and scholarly in his tastes, having developed but little
physical energy and no executive vigor. He was very handsome, very
refined in his tastes and courteous in his address, and he cultivated
with great care the golden ringlets which clustered around his
shoulders. At the time of this fearful invasion Ladislaus was on a visit
to Buda, one of the capitals of Hungary, on the Danube, but about three
hundred miles above Belgrade. The young monarch, with his favorite,
Cilli, fled ingloriously to Vienna, leaving Hunniades to breast as he
could the Turkish hosts. But Hunniades was, fortunately, equal to the
emergence.

A Franciscan monk, John Capistrun, endowed with the eloquence of Peter
the Hermit, traversed Germany, displaying the cross and rousing
Christians to defend Europe from the infidels. He soon collected a
motley mass of forty thousand men, rustics, priests, students, soldiers,
unarmed, undisciplined, a rabble rout, who followed him to the
rendezvous where Hunniades had succeeded in collecting a large force of
the bold barons and steel-clad warriors of Hungary. The experienced
chief gladly received this heterogeneous mass, and soon armed them,
brought them into the ranks and subjected them to the severe discipline
of military drill.

At the head of this band, which was inspired with zeal equal to that of
the Turk, the brave Hunniades, in a fleet of boats, descended the
Danube. The river in front of Belgrade was covered with the flotilla of
the Turks. The wall in many places was broken down, and at other points
in the wall they had obtained a foothold, and the crescent was proudly
unfurled to the breeze. The feeble garrison, worn out with toil and
perishing with famine, were in the last stages of despair. Hunniades
came down upon the Turkish flotilla like an inundation; both parties
fought with almost unprecedented ferocity, but the Christians drove
every thing before them, sinking, dispersing, and capturing the boats,
which were by no means prepared for so sudden and terrible an assault.
The immense reinforcement, with arms and provisions, thus entered the
city, and securing the navigation of the Danube and the Save, opened the
way for continued supplies. The immense hosts of the Mohammedans now
girdled the city in a semicircle on the land side. Their tents,
gorgeously embellished and surmounted with the crescent, glittered in
the rays of the sun as far as the eye could extend. Squadrons of
steel-clad horsemen swept the field, while bands of the besiegers
pressed the city without intermission, night and day.

Mohammed, irritated by this unexpected accession of strength to the
besieged, in his passion ordered an immediate and simultaneous attack
upon the town by his whole force. The battle was long and bloody, both
parties struggling with utter desperation. The Turks were repulsed.
After one of the longest continuous conflicts recorded in history,
lasting all one night, and all the following day until the going down of
the sun, the Turks, leaving thirty thousand of their dead beneath the
ramparts of the city, and taking with them the sultan desperately
wounded, struck their tents in the darkness of the night and retreated.

Great was the exultation in Hungary, in Germany and all over Europe. But
this joy was speedily clouded by the intelligence that Hunniades, the
deliverer of Europe from Moslem invasion, exhausted with toil, had been
seized by a fever and had died. It is said that the young King Ladislaus
rejoiced in his death, for he was greatly annoyed in having a subject
attain such a degree of splendor as to cast his own name into
insignificance. Hunniades left two sons, Ladislaus and Matthias. The
king and Cilli manifested the meanest jealousy in reference to these
young men, and fearful that the renown of their father, which had
inspired pride and gratitude in every Hungarian heart, might give them
power, they did every thing they could to humiliate and depress them.
The king lured them both to Buda, where he perfidiously beheaded the
eldest, Ladislaus, for wounding Cilli, in defending himself from an
attack which the implacable count had made upon him, and he also threw
the younger son, Matthias, into a prison.

The widow of Hunniades, the heroic mother of these children, with a
spirit worthy of the wife of her renowned husband, called the nobles to
her aid. They rallied in great numbers, roused to indignation. The
inglorious king, terrified by the storm he had raised, released
Matthias, and fled from Buda to Vienna, pursued by the execrations and
menaces of the Hungarians.

He soon after repaired to Prague, in Bohemia, to solemnize his marriage
with Magdalen, daughter of Charles VII., King of France. He had just
reached the city, and was making preparations for his marriage in
unusual splendor, when he was attacked by a malignant disease, supposed
to be the plague, and died after a sickness of but thirty-six hours. The
unhappy king, who, through the stormy scenes of his short life, had
developed no grandeur of soul, was oppressed with the awfulness of
passing to the final judgment. In the ordinances of the Church he sought
to find solace for a sinful and a troubled spirit. Having received the
sacrament of the Lord's Supper, with dying lips he commenced repeating
the Lord's prayer. He had just uttered the words "deliver us from evil,"
when his spirit took its flight to the judgment seat of Christ.

Frederic, the emperor, Duke of Styria, was now the oldest lineal
descendant of Rhodolph of Hapsburg, founder of the house of Austria. The
imperial dignity had now degenerated into almost an empty title. The
Germanic empire consisted of a few large sovereignties and a
conglomeration of petty dukedoms, principalities, and States of various
names, very loosely held together, in their heterogeneous and
independent rulers and governments, by one nominal sovereign upon whom
the jealous States were willing to confer but little real power. A
writer at that time, Æneas Sylvius, addressing the Germans, says:

"Although you acknowledge the emperor for your king and master, he
possesses but a precarious sovereignty; he has no power; you only obey
him when you choose; and you are seldom inclined to obey. You are all
desirous to be free; neither the princes nor the States render to him
what is due. He has no revenue, no treasure. Hence you are involved in
endless contests and daily wars. Hence also rapine, murder,
conflagrations, and a thousand evils which arise from divided
authority."

Upon the death of Ladislaus there was a great rush and grasping for the
vacant thrones of Bohemia and Hungary, and for possession of the rich
dukedoms of Austria. After a long conflict the Austrian estates were
divided into three portions. Frederic, the emperor, took Upper Austria;
his brother Albert, who had succeeded to the Swiss estates, took Lower
Austria; Sigismond, Albert's nephew, a man of great energy of character,
took Carinthia. The three occupied the palace in Vienna in joint
residence.

The energetic regent, George Podiebrad, by adroit diplomacy succeeded,
after an arduous contest, in obtaining the election by the Bohemian
nobles to the throne of Bohemia. The very day he was chosen he was
inaugurated at Prague, and though rival candidates united with the pope
to depose him, he maintained his position against them all.

Frederic, the emperor, had been quite sanguine in the hopes of obtaining
the crown of Bohemia. Bitterly disappointed there, he at first made a
show of hostile resistance; but thinking better of the matter, he
concluded to acquiesce in the elevation of Podiebrad, to secure amicable
relations with him, and to seek his aid in promotion of his efforts to
obtain the crown of Hungary. Here again the emperor failed. The nobles
assembled in great strength at Buda, and elected unanimously Matthias,
the only surviving son of the heroic Hunniades, whose memory was
embalmed in the hearts of all the Hungarians. The boy then, for he was
but a boy, and was styled contemptuously by the disappointed Frederic
the boy king, entered into an alliance with Podiebrad for mutual
protection, and engaged the hand of his daughter in marriage. Thus was
the great kingdom of Austria, but recently so powerful in the union of
all the Austrian States with Bohemia and Hungary, again divided and
disintegrated. The emperor, in his vexation, foolishly sent an army of
five thousand men into Hungary, insanely hoping to take the crown by
force of arms, but he was soon compelled to relinquish the hopeless
enterprise.

And now Frederic and Albert began to quarrel at Vienna. The emperor was
arrogant and domineering. Albert was irritable and jealous. First came
angry words; then the enlisting of partisans, and then all the miseries
of fierce and determined civil war. The capital was divided into hostile
factions, and the whole country was ravaged by the sweep of armies. The
populace of Vienna, espousing the cause of Albert, rose in insurrection,
pillaged the houses of the adherents of Frederic, drove Frederic, with
his wife and infant child, into the citadel, and invested the fortress.
Albert placed himself at the head of the insurgents and conducted the
siege. The emperor, though he had but two hundred men in the garrison,
held out valiantly. But famine would soon have compelled him to
capitulate, had not the King of Bohemia, with a force of thirteen
thousand men, marched to his aid. Podiebrad relieved the emperor, and
secured a verbal reconciliation between the two angry brothers, which
lasted until the Bohemian forces had returned to their country, when the
feud burst out anew and with increased violence. The emperor procured
the ban of the empire against his brother, and the pope excommunicated
him. Still Albert fought fiercely, and the strife raged without
intermission until Albert suddenly died on the 4th of December, 1463.

The Turks, who, during all these years, had been making predatory
excursions along the frontiers of Hungary, now, in three strong bands of
ten thousand each, overran Servia and Bosnia, and spread their
devastations even into the heart of Illyria, as far as the metropolitan
city of Laybach. The ravages of fire and sword marked their progress.
They burnt every village, every solitary cottage, and the inhabitants
were indiscriminately slain. Frederic, the emperor, a man of but little
energy, was at his country residence at Lintz, apparently more anxious,
writes a contemporary, "to shield his plants from frost, than to defend
his domains against these barbarians."

The bold barons of Carniola, however, rallied their vassals, raised an
army of twenty thousand men, and drove the Turks back to the Bosphorus.
But the invaders, during their unimpeded march, had slain six thousand
Christians, and they carried back with them eight thousand captives.

Again, a few years after, the Turks, with a still larger army, rushed
through the defiles of the Illyrian mountains, upon the plains of
Carinthia. Their march was like the flow of volcanic fire. They left
behind them utter desolation, smouldering hearth-stones and fields
crimsoned with blood. At length they retired of their own accord,
dragging after them twenty thousand captives. During a period of
twenty-seven years, under the imbecile reign of Frederic, the very heart
of Europe was twelve times scourged by the inroads of these savages. No
tongue can tell the woes which were inflicted upon humanity. Existence,
to the masses of the people, in that day, must indeed have been a curse.
Ground to the very lowest depths of poverty by the exactions of
ecclesiastics and nobles, in rags, starving, with no social or
intellectual joys, they might indeed have envied the beasts of the
field.

The conduct of Frederic seems to be marked with increasing treachery and
perfidy. Jealous of the growing power of George Podiebrad, he instigated
Matthias, King of Hungary, to make war upon Bohemia, promising Matthias
the Bohemian crown. Infamously the King of Hungary accepted the bribe,
and raising a powerful army, invaded Bohemia, to wrest the crown from
his father-in-law. His armies were pressing on so victoriously, in
conjunction with those of Frederic, that the emperor was now alarmed
lest Matthias, uniting the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia, should become
too powerful. He therefore not only abandoned him, but stirred up an
insurrection among the Hungarian nobles, which compelled Matthias to
abandon Bohemia and return home.

Matthias, having quelled the insurrection, was so enraged with the
emperor, that he declared war against him, and immediately invaded
Austria. The emperor was now so distrusted that he could not find a
single ally. Austria alone, was no match for Hungary. Matthias overran
all Lower Austria, took all the fortresses upon the Danube, and invested
Vienna. The emperor fled in dismay to Lintz, and was obliged to purchase
an ignominious peace by an immense sum of money, all of which was of
course to be extorted by taxes on the miserable and starving peasantry.

Poland, Bohemia and the Turks, now all pounced upon Hungary, and
Frederic, deeming this a providential indication that Hungary could not
enforce the fulfillment of the treaty, refused to pay the money.
Matthias, greatly exasperated, made the best terms he could with Poland,
and again led his armies in Austria. For four years the warfare raged
fiercely, when all Lower Austria, including the capital, was in the
hands of Matthias, and the emperor was driven from his hereditary
domains; and, accompanied by a few followers, he wandered a fugitive
from city to city, from convent to convent, seeking aid from all, but
finding none.



CHAPTER V.

THE EMPERORS FREDERIC II. AND MAXIMILIAN I.

From 1477 to 1500.

Wanderings of the Emperor Frederic.--Proposed Alliance with the Duke of
Burgundy.--Mutual Distrust.--Marriage of Mary.--The Age of
Chivalry.--The Motive inducing the Lord of Praunstein to declare
War.--Death of Frederic II.--The Emperor's Secret.--Designs of the
Turks.--Death of Mahomet II.--First Establishment of standing
Armies.--Use of Gunpowder.--Energy of Maximilian.--French
Aggressions.--The League to expel the French.--Disappointments of
Maximilian.--Bribing the Pope.--Invasion of Italy.--Capture and
Recapture.--The Chevalier De Bayard.


Adversity only developed more fully the weak and ignoble character of
Frederic. He wandered about, recognized Emperor of Germany, but a
fugitive from his own Austrian estates, occasionally encountering pity,
but never sympathy or respect. Matthias professed his readiness to
surrender Austria back to Frederic so soon as he would fulfill the
treaty by paying the stipulated money. Frederic was accompanied in his
wanderings by his son Maximilian, a remarkably elegant lad, fourteen
years of age. They came to the court of the powerful Duke of Burgundy.
The dukedom extended over wide realms, populous and opulent, and the
duke had the power of a sovereign but not the regal title. He was
ambitious of elevating his dukedom into a kingdom and of being crowned
king; and he agreed to give his only daughter and heiress, Mary, a
beautiful and accomplished girl, to the emperor's son Maximilian, if
Frederic would confer upon his estates the regal dignity and crown him
king. The bargain was made, and Maximilian and Mary both were delighted,
for they regarded each other with all the warmth of young lovers. Mary,
heiress to the dukedom of Burgundy, was a prize which any monarch might
covet; and half the princes of Europe were striving for her hand.

But now came a new difficulty. Neither the emperor nor duke had the
slightest confidence in each other. The King of France, who had hoped to
obtain the hand of Mary for his son the dauphin, caused the suspicion to
be whispered into the ear of Frederic that the Duke of Burgundy sought
the kingly crown only as the first step to the imperial crown; and that
so soon as the dukedom was elevated into a kingdom, Charles, the Duke of
Burgundy, would avail himself of his increased power, to dethrone
Frederic and grasp the crown of Germany. This was probably all true.
Charles, fully understanding the perfidious nature of Frederic, did not
dare to solemnize the marriage until he first should be crowned.
Frederic, on the other hand, did not dare to crown the duke until the
marriage was solemnized, for he had no confidence that the duke, after
having attained the regal dignity, would fulfill his pledge.

Charles was for hurrying the coronation, Frederic for pushing the
marriage. A magnificent throne was erected in the cathedral at Treves,
and preparations were making on the grandest scale for the coronation
solemnities, when Frederic, who did not like to tell the duke plumply to
his face that he was fearful of being cheated, extricated himself from
his embarrassment by feigning important business which called him
suddenly to Cologne. A scene of petty and disgraceful intrigues ensued
between the exasperated duke and emperor, and there were the marching
and the countermarching of hostile bands and the usual miseries of war,
until the death of Duke Charles at the battle of Nancy on the 5th of
January, 1477.

The King of France now made a desperate endeavor to obtain the hand of
Mary for his son. One of the novel acts of this imperial courtship, was
to send an army into Burgundy, which wrested a large portion of Mary's
dominions from her, which the king, Louis XI., refused to surrender
unless Mary would marry his son. Many of her nobles urged the claims of
France. But love in the heart of Mary was stronger than political
expediency, and more persuasive than the entreaties of her nobles. To
relieve herself from importunity, she was hurriedly married, three
months after the death of her father, by proxy to Maximilian.

In August the young prince, but eighteen years of age, with a splendid
retinue, made his public entry into Ghent. His commanding person and the
elegance of his manners, attracted universal admiration. His subjects
rallied with enthusiasm around him, and, guided by his prowess, in a
continued warfare of five years, drove the invading French from their
territories. But death, the goal to which every one tends, was suddenly
and unexpectedly reached by Mary. She died the 7th of August, 1479,
leaving two infant children, Philip and Margaret.

The Emperor Frederic also succeeded, by diplomatic cunning, in convening
the diet of electors and choosing Maximilian as his successor to the
imperial throne. Frederic and Maximilian now united in the endeavor to
recover Austria from the King of Hungary. The German princes, however,
notwithstanding the summons of the emperor, refused to take any part in
the private quarrels of Austria, and thus the battle would have to be
fought between the troops of Maximilian and of Matthias. Maximilian
prudently decided that it would be better to purchase the redemption of
the territory with money than with blood. The affair was in negotiation
when Matthias was taken sick and died the 15th of July, 1490. He left no
heir, and the Hungarian nobles chose Ladislaus, King of Bohemia, to
succeed him. Maximilian had been confident of obtaining the crown of
Hungary. Exasperated by the disappointment, he relinquished all idea of
purchasing his patrimonial estates, but making a sudden rush with his
troops upon the Hungarians, he drove them out of Austria, and pursued
them far over the frontiers of Hungary. Ladislaus, the new King of
Hungary, now listened to terms of peace. A singular treaty was made. The
Bohemian king was to retain the crown of Hungary, officiating as
reigning monarch, while Maximilian was to have the _title_ of King of
Hungary. Ladislaus relinquished all claim to the Austrian territories,
and paid a large sum of money as indemnity for the war.

Thus Austria again comes into independent existence, to watch amidst the
tumult and strife of Europe for opportunities to enlarge her territories
and increase her power. Maximilian was a prince, energetic and brave,
who would not allow any opportunity to escape him. In those dark days of
violence and of blood, every petty quarrel was settled by the sword. All
over Germany the clash of steel against steel was ever resounding. Not
only kings and dukes engaged in wars, but the most insignificant baron
would gather his few retainers around him and declare formal war against
the occupant of the adjacent castle. The spirit of chivalry, so called,
was so rampant that private individuals would send a challenge to the
emperor. Contemporary writers record many curious specimens of these
declarations of war. The Lord of Praunstein declared war against the
city of Frankfort, because a young lady of that city refused to dance
with his uncle at a ball.

Frederic was now suffering from the infirmities of age. Surrendering the
administration of affairs, both in Austria and over the estates of the
empire, to Maximilian, he retired, with his wife and three young
daughters, to Lintz, where he devoted himself, at the close of his long
and turbulent reign, to the peaceful pursuits of rural life. A cancerous
affection of the leg rendered it necessary for him to submit to the
amputation of the limb. He submitted to the painful operation with the
greatest fortitude, and taking up his severed limb, with his accustomed
phlegm remarked to those standing by,

"What difference is there between an emperor and a peasant? Or rather,
is not a sound peasant better than a sick emperor? Yet I hope to enjoy
the greatest good which can happen to man--a happy exit from this
transitory life."

The shock of a second amputation, which from the vitiated state of his
blood seemed necessary, was too great for his enfeebled frame to bear.
He died August 19th, 1493, seventy-eight years of age, and after a reign
of fifty-three years. He was what would be called, in these days, an
ultra temperance man, never drinking even wine, and expressing ever the
strongest abhorrence of alcoholic drinks, calling them the parent of all
vices. He seems to have anticipated the future greatness of Austria; for
he had imprinted upon all his books, engraved upon his plate and carved
into the walls of his palace a mysterious species of anagram composed of
the five vowels, A, E, I, O, U.

The significance of this great secret no one could obtain from him. It
of course excited great curiosity, as it everywhere met the eye of the
public. After his death the riddle was solved by finding among his
papers the following interpretation--

_Austri Est Imperare Orbi Universo._

Austria Is To govern The world Universal.

Maximilian, in the prime of manhood, energetic, ambitious, and invested
with the imperial dignity, now assumed the government of the Austrian
States. The prospect of greatness was brilliant before Maximilian. The
crowns of Bohemia and Hungary were united in the person of Ladislaus,
who was without children. As Maximilian already enjoyed the title of
King of Hungary, no one enjoyed so good a chance as he of securing both
of those crowns so soon as they should fall from the brow of Ladislaus.

Europe was still trembling before the threatening cimeter of the Turk.
Mahomet II., having annihilated the Greek empire, and consolidated his
vast power, and checked in his career by the warlike barons of Hungary,
now cast a lustful eye across the Adriatic to the shores of Italy. He
crossed the sea, landed a powerful army and established twenty thousand
men, strongly garrisoned, at Otranto, and supplied with provisions for a
year. All Italy was in consternation, for a passage was now open
directly from Turkey to Naples and Rome. Mahomet boasted that he would
soon feed his horse on the altar of St. Peter's. The pope, Sextus IV.,
in dismay, was about abandoning Rome, and as there was no hope of
uniting the discordant States of Italy in any effectual resistance, it
seemed inevitable that Italy, like Greece, would soon become a Turkish
province. And where then could it be hoped that the ravages of the Turks
would be arrested?

In this crisis, so alarming, Providence interposed, and the sudden death
of Mahomet, in the vigor of his pride and ambition, averted the danger.
Bajazet II. succeeded to the Moslem throne, an indolent and imbecile
sultan. Insurrection in his own dominions exhausted all his feeble
energies. The Neapolitans, encouraged, raised an army, recovered
Otranto, and drove the Turks out of Italy. Troubles in the Turkish
dominions now gave Christendom a short respite, as all the strength of
the sultan was required to subjugate insurgent Circassia and Egypt.

Though the Emperor of Germany was esteemed the first sovereign in
Europe, and, on state occasions, was served by kings and electors, he
had in reality but little power. The kings who formed his retinue on
occasions of ceremonial pomp, were often vastly his superiors in wealth
and power. Frequently he possessed no territory of his own, not even a
castle, but depended upon the uncertain aids reluctantly granted by the
diet.

Gunpowder was now coming into use as one of the most efficient engines
of destruction, and was working great changes in the science of war. It
became necessary to have troops drilled to the use of cannon and
muskets. The baron could no longer summon his vassals, at the moment, to
abandon the plow, and seize pike and saber for battle, where the strong
arm only was needed. Disciplined troops were needed, who could sweep the
field with well-aimed bullets, and crumble walls with shot and shells.
This led to the establishment of standing armies, and gave the great
powers an immense advantage over their weaker neighbors. The invention
of printing, also, which began to be operative about the middle of the
fifteenth century, rapidly changed, by the diffusion of intelligence,
the state of society, hitherto so barbarous. The learned men of Greece,
driven from their country by the Turkish invasion, were scattered over
Europe, and contributed not a little to the extension of the love of
letters. The discovery of the mariner's compass and improvements in
nautical astronomy, also opened new sources of knowledge and of wealth,
and the human mind all over Europe commenced a new start in the career
of civilization. Men of letters began to share in those honors which
heretofore had belonged exclusively to men of war; and the arts of peace
began to claim consideration with those who had been accustomed to
respect only the science of destruction.

Maximilian was at Innspruck when he received intelligence of the death
of his father. He commenced his reign with an act of rigor which was
characteristic of his whole career. A horde of Turks had penetrated
Styria and Carniola, laying every thing waste before them as far as
Carniola. Maximilian, sounding the alarm, inspired his countrymen with
the same energy which animated his own breast. Fifteen thousand men
rallied at the blast of his bugles. Instead of intrusting the command of
them to his generals, he placed himself at their head, and made so
fierce an onset upon the invaders, that they precipitately fled.
Maximilian returned at the head of his troops triumphant to Vienna,
where he was received with acclamations such as had seldom resounded in
the metropolis. He was hailed as the deliverer of his country, and at
once rose to the highest position in the esteem and affection of the
Austrians.

Maximilian had encountered innumerable difficulties in Burgundy, and was
not unwilling to escape from the vexations and cares of that distant
dukedom, by surrendering its government to his son Philip, who was now
sixteen years of age, and whom the Burgundians claimed to be their ruler
as the heir of Mary. The Swiss estates were also sundered from Austrian
dominion, and, uniting with the Swiss confederacy, were no longer
subject to the house of Hapsburg. Thus Maximilian had the Austrian
estates upon the Danube only, as the nucleus of the empire he was
ambitious of establishing.

Conscious of his power, and rejoicing in the imperial title, he had no
idea of playing an obscure part on the conspicuous stage of European
affairs. With an eagle eye he watched the condition of the empire, and
no less eagerly did he fix his eye upon the movements of those great
southern powers, now becoming consolidated into kingdoms and empires,
and marshaling armies which threatened again to bring all Europe under a
dominion as wide and despotic as that of Rome.

Charles VIII., King of France, crossed the Alps with an army of
twenty-two thousand men, in the highest state of discipline, and armed
with all the modern enginery of war. With ease he subjugated Tuscany,
and in a triumphant march through Pisa and Siena, entered Rome as a
conqueror. It was the 31st of December, 1394, when Charles, by
torchlight, at the head of his exultant troops, entered the eternal
city. The pope threw himself into the castle of St. Angelo, but was soon
compelled to capitulate and to resign all his fortresses to the
conqueror. Charles then continued his march to Naples, which he reached
on the 22d of February. He overran and subjugated the whole kingdom,
and, having consolidated his conquest, entered Naples on a white steed,
beneath imperial banners, and arrogantly assumed the title of King of
Naples, Sicily and Jerusalem. Alphonso, King of Naples, in despair,
abdicated in favor of his son, Ferdinand; and Ferdinand, unable to
oppose any effectual resistance, abandoned his kingdom to the conqueror,
and fled to the island of Ischia.

These alarming aggressions on the part of France, already very powerful,
excited general consternation throughout Europe. Maximilian, as emperor,
was highly incensed, and roused all his energies to check the progress
of so dangerous a rival. The Austrian States alone could by no means
cope with the kingdom of France. Maximilian sent agents to the pope, to
the Dukes of Milan and Florence, and to the King of Arragon, and formed
a secret league to expel the French from Italy, and restore Ferdinand to
Naples. It was understood that the strength of France was such, that
this enterprise could only be achieved through a long war, and that the
allies must continue united to prevent France, when once expelled from
Italy, from renewing her aggressions. The league was to continue
twenty-two years. The pope was to furnish six thousand men, and the
other Italian States twelve thousand. Maximilian promised to furnish
nine thousand. Venice granted the troops of the emperor a free passage
through her dominions.

These important first steps being thus taken secretly and securely, the
emperor summoned a diet of Germany to enlist the States of the empire in
the enterprise. This was the most difficult task, and yet nothing could
be accomplished without the coöperation of Germany. But the Germanic
States, loosely held together, jealous of each other, each grasping
solely at its own aggrandizement, reluctantly delegating any power to
the emperor, were slow to promise coöperation in any general enterprise,
and having promised, were still slower to perform. The emperor had no
power to enforce the fulfillment of agreements, and could only
supplicate. During the long reign of Frederic the imperial dignity had
lapsed more and more into an empty title; and Maximilian had an arduous
task before him in securing even respectful attention to his demands. He
was fully aware of the difficulties, and made arrangements accordingly.

The memorable diet was summoned at Worms, on the 26th of May, 1496. The
emperor had succeeded, by great exertion, in assembling a more numerous
concourse of the princes and nobles of the empire than had ever met on a
similar occasion. He presided in person, and in a long and earnest
address endeavored to rouse the empire to a sense of its own dignity and
its own high mission as the regulator of the affairs of Europe. He spoke
earnestly of their duty to combine and chastise the insolence of the
Turks; but waiving that for the present moment, he unfolded to them the
danger to which Europe was immediately and imminently exposed by the
encroachments of France. To add to the force of his words, he introduced
ambassadors from the King of Naples, who informed the assembly of the
conquests of the French, of their haughty bearing, and implored the aid
of the diet to repel the invaders. The Duke of Milan was then presented,
and, as a member of the empire, he implored as a favor and claimed as a
right, the armies of the empire for the salvation of his duchy. And then
the legate of the pope, in the robes of the Church, and speaking in the
name of the Holy Father to his children, pathetically described the
indignities to which the pope had been exposed, driven from his palace,
bombarded in the fortress to which he had retreated, compelled to
capitulate and leave his kingdom in the hands of the enemy; he
expatiated upon the impiety of the French troops, the sacrilegious
horrors of which they had been guilty, and in tones of eloquence hardly
surpassed by Peter the Hermit, strove to rouse them to a crusade for the
rescue of the pope and his sacred possessions.

Maximilian had now exhausted all his powers of persuasion. He had done
apparently enough to rouse every heart to intensest action. But the diet
listened coldly to all these appeals, and then in substance replied,

"We admit the necessity of checking the incursions of the Turks; we
admit that it is important to check the progress of the French. But our
first duty is to secure peace in Germany. The States of the empire are
embroiled in incessant wars with each other. All attempts to prevent
these private wars between the States of the empire have hitherto
failed. Before we can vote money and men for any foreign enterprise
whatever, we must secure internal tranquillity. This can only be done by
establishing a supreme tribunal, supported by a power which can enforce
its decisions."

These views were so manifestly judicious, that Maximilian assented to
them, and, anxious to lose no time in raising troops to expel the French
from Italy, he set immediately about the organization of an imperial
tribunal to regulate the internal affairs of the empire. A court was
created called the Imperial Chamber. It was composed of a president and
sixteen judges, half of whom were taken from the army, and half from the
class of scholars. To secure impartiality, the judges held their office
for life. A majority of suffrages decided a question and in case of a
tie, the president gave a casting vote. The emperor reserved the right
of deciding certain questions himself. This court gradually became one
of the most important and salutary institutions of the German empire.

By the 7th of August these important measures were arranged. Maximilian
had made great concessions of his imperial dignity in transferring so
much of his nominal power to the Imperial Chamber, and he was now
sanguine that the States would vote him the supplies which were needed
to expel the French from Italy, or, in more honest words, to win for the
empire in Italy that ascendency which France had attained. But bitter
indeed was his disappointment. After long deliberation and vexatious
delays, the diet voted a ridiculous sum, less than one hundred and fifty
thousand dollars, to raise an army "sufficient to check the progress of
the French." One third of this sum Maximilian was to raise from his
Austrian States; the remaining two thirds he was permitted to obtain by
a loan. Four years were to be allowed for raising the money, and the
emperor, as a condition for the reception of even this miserable boon,
was required to pledge his word of honor that at the expiration of the
four years he would raise no more. And even these hundred and fifty
thousand dollars were to be intrusted to seven treasurers, to be
administered according to their discretion. One only of these treasurers
was to be chosen by the emperor, and the other six by the diet.

Deeply chagrined by this result, Maximilian was able to raise only three
thousand men, instead of the nine thousand which he had promised the
league. Charles VIII., informed of the formidable coalition combining
against him, and not aware of the feeble resources of the emperor,
apprehensive that the armies of Germany, marching down and uniting with
the roused States of Italy, might cut off his retreat and overwhelm him,
decided that the "better part of courage is discretion;" and he
accordingly abandoned his conquests, recrossed the Apennines, fought his
backward path through Italy, and returned to France. He, however, left
behind him six thousand men strongly intrenched, to await his return
with a new and more powerful armament.

Maximilian now resolved chivalrously to throw himself into Italy, and
endeavor to rouse the Italians themselves to resist the threatened
invasion, trusting that the diet of Germany, when they should see him
struggling against the hosts of France, would send troops to his aid.
With five hundred horse, and about a thousand foot soldiers, he crossed
the Alps. Here he learned that for some unknown reason Charles had
postponed his expedition. Recoiling from the ridicule attending a
quixotic and useless adventure, he hunted around for some time to find
some heroic achievement which would redeem his name from reproach, when,
thwarted in every thing, he returned to Austria, chagrined and
humiliated.

Thus frustrated in all his attempts to gain ascendency in Italy,
Maximilian turned his eyes to the Swiss estates of the house of
Hapsburg, now sundered from the Austrian territories. He made a vigorous
effort, first by diplomacy, then by force of arms, to regain them. Here
again he was frustrated, and was compelled to enter into a capitulation
by which he acknowledged the independence of the Helvetic States, and
their permanent severance from Austrian jurisdiction.

In April, 1498, Charles VIII. died, and Louis XII. succeeded him on the
throne of France. Louis immediately made preparations for a new invasion
of Italy. In those miserable days of violence and blood, almost any
prince was ready to embark in war under anybody's banner, where there
was the least prospect of personal aggrandizement. The question of right
or wrong, seemed seldom to enter any one's mind. Louis fixed his eyes
upon the duchy of Milan as the richest and most available prize within
his grasp. Conscious that he would meet with much opposition, he looked
around for allies.

"If you will aid me," he said to Pope Alexander VI., "I will assist you
in your war against the Duke of Romagna. I will give your son, Caesar
Borgia,[1] a pension of two thousand dollars a year, will confer upon
him an important command in my army, and will procure for him a marriage
with a princess of the royal house of Navarre."

[Footnote 1: Cæsar Borgia, who has filled the world with the renown of
his infamy, was the illegitimate son of Alexander VI., and of a Roman
lady named Yanozza.]

The holy father could not resist this bribe, and eagerly joined the
robber king in his foray. To Venice Louis said--

"If you will unite with me, I will assist you in annexing to your
domains the city of Cremona, and the Ghiaradadda." Lured by such hopes
of plunder, Venice was as eager as the pope to take a share in the
piratic expedition. Louis then sent to the court of Turin, and offered
them large sums of money and increased territory, if they would allow
him a free passage across the Alps. Turin bowed obsequiously, and
grasped at the easy bargain. To Florence he said, "If you raise a hand
to assist the Duke of Milan, I will crush you. If you remain quiet, I
will leave you unharmed." Florence, overawed, remained as meek as a
lamb. The diplomacy being thus successfully closed, an army of
twenty-two thousand men was put in vigorous motion in July, 1499. They
crossed the Alps, fought a few battles, in which, with overpowering
numbers, they easily conquered their opposers, and in twenty days were
in possession of Milan. The Duke Ludovico with difficulty escaped. With
a few followers he threaded the defiles of the Tyrolese mountains, and
hastened to Innspruck, the capital of Tyrol, where Maximilian then was,
to whom he conveyed the first tidings of his disaster. Louis XII.
followed after his triumphant army, and on the 6th of October made a
triumphal entry into the captured city, and was inaugurated Duke of
Milan.

Maximilian promised assistance, but could raise neither money nor men.
Ludovico, however, succeeded in hiring fifteen hundred Burgundian
horsemen, and eight thousand Swiss mercenaries--for in those ages of
ignorance and crime all men were ready, for pay, to fight in any
cause--and emerging from the mountains upon the plains of Milan, found
all his former subjects disgusted with the French, and eager to rally
under his banners. His army increased at every step. He fell fiercely
upon the invaders, routed them everywhere, drove them from the duchy,
and recovered his country and his capital as rapidly as he had lost
them. One fortress only the French maintained. The intrepid Chevalier De
Bayard, _the knight without fear and without reproach_, threw himself
into the citadel of Novarra, and held out against all the efforts of
Ludovico, awaiting the succor which he was sure would come from his
powerful sovereign the King of France.



CHAPTER VI.

MAXIMILIAN I.

From 1500 to 1519.

Base Treachery of the Swiss Soldiers.--Perfidy of Ferdinand of
Arragon.--Appeals by Superstition.--Coalition with Spain.--The League of
Cambray.--Infamy of the Pope.--The Kings's Apology.--Failure of the
Plot.--Germany Aroused.--Confidence of Maximilian.--Longings for the
Pontifical Chair.--Maximilian Bribed.--Leo X.--Dawning Prosperity.--
Matrimonial Projects.--Commencement of the War of Reformation.--Sickness
of Maximilian.--His Last Directions.--His Death.--The Standard by which
his Character is to be Judged.


Louis XII., stung by the disgrace of his speedy expulsion from Milan,
immediately raised another army of five thousand horse and fifteen
thousand foot to recover his lost plunder. He also sent to Switzerland
to hire troops, and without difficulty engaged ten thousand men to meet,
on the plains of Milan, the six thousand of their brethren whom Ludovico
had hired, to hew each other to pieces for the miserable pittance of a
few pennies a day. But Louis XII. was as great in diplomacy as in war.
He sent secret emissaries to the Swiss in the camp of Ludovico, offering
them larger wages if they would abandon the service of Ludovico and
return home. They promptly closed the bargain, unfurled the banner of
mutiny, and informed the Duke of Milan that they could not, in
conscience, fight against their own brethren. The duke was in despair.
He plead even with tears that they would not abandon him. All was in
vain. They not only commenced their march home, but basely betrayed the
duke to the French. He was taken prisoner by Louis, carried to France
and for five years was kept in rigorous confinement in the strong
fortresses of the kingdom. Afterward, through the intercession of
Maximilian, he was allowed a little more freedom. He was, however, kept
in captivity until he died in the year 1510. Ludovico merits no
commiseration. He was as perfidious and unprincipled as any of his
assailants could be.

The reconquest of Milan by Louis, and the capture of Ludovico, alarmed
Maximilian and roused him to new efforts. He again summoned the States
of the empire and implored their coöperation to resist the aggressions
of France. But he was as unsuccessful as in his previous endeavors.
Louis watched anxiously the movements of the German diet, and finding
that he had nothing to fear from the troops of the empire, having
secured the investiture of Milan, prepared for the invasion of Naples.
The venal pope was easily bought over. Even Ferdinand, the King of
Arragon, was induced to loan his connivance to a plan for robbing a near
relative of his crown, by the promise of sharing in the spoil. A treaty
of partition was entered into by the two robber kings, by which
Ferdinand of Arragon was to receive Calabria and Apulia, and the King of
France the remaining States of the Neapolitan kingdom. The pope was
confidentially informed of this secret plot, which was arranged at
Grenada, and promised the plunderers his benediction, in consideration
of the abundant reward promised to him.

The doom of the King of Naples was now sealed. All unconscious that his
own relative, Ferdinand of Arragon, was conspiring against him, he
appealed to Ferdinand for aid against the King of France. The perfidious
king considered this as quite a providential interposition in his favor.
He affected great zeal for the King of Naples, sent a powerful army into
his kingdom, and stationed his troops in the important fortresses. The
infamous fraud was now accomplished. Frederic of Naples, to his dismay,
found that he had been placing his empire in the hands of his enemies
instead of friends; at the same time the troops of Louis arrived at
Rome, where they were cordially received; and the pope immediately, on
the 25th of June, 1501, issued a bull deposing Frederic from his
kingdom, and, by virtue of that spiritual authority which he derived
from the Apostle Peter, invested Louis and Ferdinand with the dominions
of Frederic. Few men are more to be commiserated than a crownless king.
Frederic, in his despair, threw himself upon the clemency of Louis. He
was taken to France and was there fed and clothed by the royal bounty.

Maximilian impatiently watched the events from his home in Austria, and
burned with the desire to take a more active part in these stirring
scenes. Despairing, however, to rouse the German States to any effectual
intervention in the affairs of southern Europe, he now endeavored to
rouse the enthusiasm of the German nobles against the Turks. In this, by
appealing to superstition, he was somewhat successful. He addressed the
following circular letter to the German States:

"A stone, weighing two hundred pounds, recently fell from heaven, near
the army under my command in Upper Alsace, and I caused it, as a fatal
warning from God to men, to be hung up in the neighboring church of
Encisheim. In vain I myself explained to all Christian kings the
signification of this mysterious stone. The Almighty punished the
neglect of this warning with a dreadful scourge, from which thousands
have suffered death, or pains worse than death. But since this
punishment of the abominable sins of men has produced no effect, God has
imprinted in a miraculous manner the sign of the cross, and the
instruments of our Lord's passion in dark and bloody colors, on the
bodies and garments of thousands. The appearance of these signs in
Germany, in particular, does not indeed denote that the Germans have
been peculiarly distinguished in guilt, but rather that they should set
the example to the rest of the world, by being the first to undertake a
crusade against the infidels."

For a time Maximilian seemed quite encouraged, for quite a wave of
religious enthusiasm seemed to roll over Europe. All the energies of the
pope were apparently enlisted, and he raised, through all the domains of
the Church, large sums of money for the holy enterprise of driving the
invading infidels out of Europe. England and France both proffered their
co-operation, and England, opening her inexhaustible purse, presented a
subsidy of ten thousand pounds. The German nobles rallied in large
numbers under the banner of the cross. But disappointment seemed to be
the doom of the emperor. The King of France sent no aid. The pope,
iniquitously squandered all the money he had raised upon his infamous,
dissolute son, Cæsar Borgia. And the emperor himself was drawn into a
war with Bavaria, to settle the right of succession between two rival
claimants. The settlement of the question devolved upon Maximilian as
emperor, and his dignity was involved in securing respect for his
decision. Thus the whole gorgeous plan of a war against the Turks, such
as Europe had never beheld, vanished into thin air, and Maximilian was
found at the head of fourteen thousand infantry, and twelve thousand
horse, engaged in a quarrel in the heart of Germany. In this war
Maximilian was successful, and he rewarded himself by annexing to
Austria several small provinces, the sum total of which quite enlarged
his small domains.

By this time the kings of France and Spain were fiercely fighting over
their conquest of Naples and Sicily, each striving to grasp the lion's
share. Maximilian thought his interests would be promoted by aiding the
Spaniards, and he accordingly sent three thousand men to Trieste, where
they embarked, and sailing down the Adriatic, united with the Spanish
troops. The French were driven out of Italy. There then ensued, for
several years, wars and intrigues in which France, Spain, Italy and
Austria were involved; all alike selfish and grasping. Armies were ever
moving to and fro, and the people of Europe, by the victories of kings
and nobles, were kept in a condition of misery. No one seemed ever to
think of their rights or their happiness.

Various circumstances had exasperated Maximilian very much against the
Venetians. All the powers of Europe were then ready to combine against
any other power whatever, if there was a chance of obtaining any share
in the division of the plunder. Maximilian found no difficulty in
secretly forming one of the most formidable leagues history had then
recorded, the celebrated league of Cambray. No sympathy need be wasted
upon the Venetians, the victims of this coalition, for they had rendered
themselves universally detestable by their arrogance, rapacity, perfidy
and pride. France joined the coalition, and, in view of her power, was
to receive a lion's share of the prey--the provinces of Brescia,
Bergamo, Cremona, and the Ghiradadda. The King of Arragon was to send
ships and troops, and receive his pay in the maritime towns on the
shores of the Adriatic. The pope, Julius II., the most grasping,
perfidious and selfish of them all, demanded Ravenna, Cervia, Faenza,
Rimini, Immola and Cesena. His exorbitant claims were assented to, as it
was infinitely important that the piratic expedition should be
sanctioned by the blessing of the Church. Maximilian was to receive, in
addition to some territories which Venice had wrested from him,
Roveredo, Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Trevigi, and the Friuli. As Maximilian
was bound by a truce with Venice, and as in those days of chivalry some
little regard was to be paid to one's word of honor, Maximilian was only
to march at the summons of the pope, which no true son of the Church,
under any circumstances, was at liberty to disobey. Sundry other minor
dukes and princes were engaged in the plot, who were also to receive a
proportionate share of the spoil.

After these arrangements were all completed, the holy father, with
characteristic infamy, made private overtures to the Venetians,
revealing to them the whole plot, and offering to withdraw from the
confederacy and thwart all its plans, if Venice would pay more as the
reward of perfidy than Rome could hope to acquire by force of arms. The
haughty republic rejected the infamous proposal, and prepared for a
desperate defense.

All the powers of the confederacy were now collecting their troops. But
Maximilian was dependent upon the German diet for his ability to fulfill
his part of the contract. He assembled the diet at Worms on the 21st of
April, 1509, presented to them the plan of the league, and solicited
their support. The diet refused to cooperate, and hardly affecting even
the forms of respect, couched its refusal in terms of stinging rebuke.

"We are tired," they said, "of these innumerable calls for troops and
money. We can not support the burden of these frequent diets, involving
the expense of long journeys, and we are weary of expeditions and wars.
If the emperor enters into treaties with France and the pope without
consulting us, it is his concern and not ours, and we are not bound to
aid him to fulfill his agreement. And even if we were to vote the
succors which are now asked of us, we should only be involved in
embarrassment and disgrace, as we have been by the previous enterprises
of the emperor."

Such, in brief, was the response of the diet. It drew from the emperor a
long defense of his conduct, which he called an "Apology," and which is
considered one of the most curious and characteristic documents of those
days. He made no attempt to conceal his vexation, but assailed them in
strong language of reproach.

"I have concluded a treaty with my allies," he wrote, "in conformity to
the dictates of conscience and duty, and for the honor, glory and
happiness of the empire and of Christendom. The negotiation could not be
postponed, and if I had convoked a diet to demand the advice of the
States, the treaty would never have been concluded. I was under the
necessity of concealing the project of the combined powers, that we
might fall on the Venetians at once and unexpectedly, which could not
have been effected in the midst of public deliberations and endless
discussions; and I have, I trust, clearly proved, both in my public and
my private communications, the advantage which is likely to result from
this union. If the aids hitherto granted by diets have produced nothing
but disgrace and dishonor, I am not to blame, but the States who acted
so scandalously in granting their succors with so much reluctance and
delay. As for myself, I have, on the contrary, exposed my treasure, my
countries, my subjects and my life, while the generality of the German
States have remained in dishonorable tranquillity at home. I have more
reason to complain of you than you of me; for you have constantly
refused me your approbation and assistance; and even when you have
granted succors, you have rendered them fruitless by the scantiness and
tardiness of your supplies, and compelled me to dissipate my own
revenues, and injure my own subjects."

Of course these bitter recriminations accomplished nothing in changing
the action of the diet, and Maximilian was thrown upon the Austrian
States alone for supplies. Louis of France, at the head of seventeen
thousand troops, crossed the Alps. The pope fulminated a bull of
excommunication against the Venetians, and sent an army of ten thousand
men. The Duke of Ferrara and the Marquis of Mantua sent their
contingents. Maximilian, by great exertions, sent a few battalions
through the mountains of the Tyrol, and was preparing to follow with
stronger forces. Province after province fell before the resistless
invaders, and Venice would have fallen irretrievably had not the
conquerors began to quarrel among themselves. The pope, in secret
treaty, was endeavoring to secure his private interests, regardless of
the interests of the allies. Louis, from some pique, withdrew his
forces, and abandoned Maximilian in the hour of peril, and the emperor,
shackled by want of money, and having but a feeble force, was quite
unable to make progress alone against the Venetian troops.

It does not seem to be the will of Providence that the plots of
unprincipled men, even against men as bad as themselves, should be more
than transiently prosperous. Maximilian, thus again utterly thwarted in
one of his most magnificent plans, covered with disgrace, and irritated
almost beyond endurance, after attempting in vain to negotiate a truce
with the Venetians, was compelled to retreat across the Alps, inveighing
bitterly against the perfidious refusal to fulfill a perfidious
agreement.

The holy father, Julius II., outwitted all his accomplices. He secured
from Venice very valuable accessions of territory, and then, recalling
his ecclesiastical denunciations, united with Venice to drive the
_barbarians_, as he affectionately called his French and German allies,
out of Italy. Maximilian returned to Austria as in a funeral march,
ventured to summon another diet, told them how shamefully he had been
treated by France, Venice and the pope, and again implored them to do
something to help him. Perseverance is surely the most efficient of
virtues. Incredible as it may seem, the emperor now obtained some little
success. The diet, indignant at the conduct of the pope, and alarmed at
so formidable a union as that between the papal States and Venice, voted
a succor of six thousand infantry and eighteen hundred horse. This
encouraged the emperor, and forgetting his quarrel with Louis XII. of
France, in the stronger passion of personal aggrandizement which
influenced him, he entered into another alliance with Louis against the
pope and Venice, and then made a still stronger and a religious appeal
to Germany for aid. A certain class of politicians in all countries and
in all ages, have occasionally expressed great solicitude for the
reputation of religion.

"The power and government of the pope," the emperor proclaimed, "which
ought to be an example to the faithful, present, on the contrary,
nothing but trouble and disorder. The enormous sums daily extorted from
Germany, are perverted to the purposes of luxury or worldly views,
instead of being employed for the service of God, or against the
infidels. As Emperor of Germany, as advocate and protector of the
Christian Church, it is my duty to examine into such irregularities, and
exert all my efforts for the glory of God and the advantage of the
empire; and as there is an evident necessity to reëstablish due order
and decency, both in the ecclesiastical and temporal state, I have
resolved to call a general council, without which nothing permanent can
be effected."

It is said that Maximilian was now so confident of success, that he had
decided to divide Italy between himself and France. He was to take
Venice and the States of the Church, and France was to have the rest.
Pope Julius was to be deposed, and to be succeeded by Pope Maximilian.
The following letter from Maximilian to his daughter, reveals his
ambitious views at the time. It is dated the 18th of September, 1511.

"To-morrow I shall send the Bishop of Guzk to the pope at Rome, to
conclude an agreement with him that I may be appointed his coadjutor,
and on his death succeed to the papacy, and become a priest, and
afterwards a saint, that you may be bound to worship me, of which I
shall be very proud. I have written on this subject to the King of
Arragon, intreating him to favor my undertaking, and he has promised me
his assistance, provided I resign my imperial crown to my grandson
Charles, which I am very ready to do. The people and nobles of Rome have
offered to support me against the French and Spanish party. They can
muster twenty thousand combatants, and have sent me word that they are
inclined to favor my scheme of being pope, and will not consent to have
either a Frenchman, a Spaniard or a Venetian.

"I have already began to sound the cardinals, and, for that purpose, two
or three hundred thousand ducats would be of great service to me, as
their partiality to me is very great. The King of Arragon has ordered
his ambassadors to assure me that he will command the Spanish cardinals
to favor my pretensions to the papacy. I intreat you to keep this matter
secret for the present, though I am afraid it will soon be known, for it
is impossible to carry on a business secretly for which it is necessary
to gain over so many persons, and to have so much money. Adieu. Written
with the hand of your dear father Maximilian, future pope. The pope's
fever has increased, and he can not live long."

It is painful to follow out the windings of intrigue and the labyrinths
of guile, where selfishness seemed to actuate every heart, and where all
alike seem destitute of any principle of Christian integrity. Bad as the
world is now, and selfish as political aspirants are now, humanity has
made immense progress since that dark age of superstition, fraud and
violence. After many victories and many defeats, after innumerable
fluctuations of guile, Maximilian accepted a bribe, and withdrew his
forces, and the King of France was summoned home by the invasion of his
own territories by the King of Arragon and Henry VIII. of England, who,
for a suitable consideration, had been induced to join Venice and the
pope. At the end of this long campaign of diplomacy, perfidy and blood,
in which misery had rioted through ten thousand cottages, whose
inhabitants the warriors regarded no more than the occupants of the
ant-hills they trampled beneath their feet, it was found that no one had
gained any thing but toil and disappointment.

On the 21st of February, 1513, Pope Julius II. died, and the cardinals,
rejecting all the overtures of the emperor, elected John of Medici pope,
who assumed the name of Leo X. The new pontiff was but thirty-six years
of age, a man of brilliant talents, and devoted to the pursuit of
letters. Inspired by boundless ambition, he wished to signalize his
reign by the magnificence of his court and the grandeur of his
achievements.

Thus far nothing but disaster seemed to attend the enterprises of
Maximilian; but now the tide suddenly turned and rolled in upon him
billows of prosperity. It will be remembered that Maximilian married,
for his first wife, Mary, the daughter of the Duke of Burgundy. Their
son Philip married Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, whose
marriage, uniting the kingdoms of Castile and Arragon, created the
splendid kingdom of Spain. Philip died young, leaving a son, Charles,
and Joanna, an insane wife, to watch his grave through weary years of
woe. Upon the death of Ferdinand, in January, 1516, Charles, the
grandson of Maximilian, became undisputed heir to the whole monarchy of
Spain; then, perhaps, the grandest power in Europe, including Naples,
Sicily and Navarre. This magnificent inheritance, coming so directly
into the family, and into the line of succession, invested Maximilian
and the house of Austria with new dignity.

It was now an object of intense solicitude with Maximilian, to secure
the reversion of the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia, which were both upon
the brow of Ladislaus, to his own family. With this object in view, and
to render assurance doubly sure, he succeeded in negotiating a marriage
between two children of Ladislaus, a son and a daughter, and two of his
own grand-children. This was a far pleasanter mode of acquiring
territory and family aggrandizement than by the sword. In celebration of
the betrothals, Ladislaus and his brother Sigismond, King of Poland,
visited Vienna, where Ladislaus was so delighted with the magnificent
hospitality of his reception, that he even urged upon the emperor, who
was then a widower, fifty-eight years of age, that he should marry
another of his daughters, though she had but attained her thirteenth
year. The emperor declined the honor, jocularly remarking--

"There is no method more pleasant to kill an old man, than to marry him
to a young bride."

The German empire was then divided into ten districts, or circles, as
they were then called, each of which was responsible for the maintenance
of peace among its own members. These districts were, Austria, Burgundy,
the Upper Rhine, the Lower Rhine, Franconia, Bavaria, Suabia,
Westphalia, Upper Saxony and Lower Saxony. The affairs of each district
were to be regulated by a court of a few nobles, called a diet. The
emperor devoted especial attention to the improvement of his own estate
of Austria, which he subdivided into two districts, and these into still
smaller districts. Over all, for the settlement of all important points
of dispute, he established a tribunal called the Aulic Council, which
subsequently exerted a powerful influence over the affairs of Austria.

One more final effort Maximilian made to rouse Germany to combine to
drive the Turks out of Europe. Though the benighted masses looked up
with much reverence to the pontiff, the princes and the nobles regarded
him only as a _power_, wielding, in addition to the military arm, the
potent energies of superstition. A diet was convened. The pope's legate
appeared, and sustained the eloquent appeal of the emperor with the
paternal commands of the holy father. But the press was now becoming a
power in Europe, diffusing intelligence and giving freedom to thought
and expression. The diet, after listening patiently to the arguments of
the emperor and the requests of the pontiff, dryly replied--

"We think that Christianity has more to fear from the pope than from the
Turks. Much as we may dread the ravages of the infidel, they can hardly
drain Christendom more effectually than it is now drained by the
exactions of the Church."

It was at Augsburg in July, 1518, that the diet ventured thus boldly to
speak. This was one year after Luther had nailed upon the church door in
Wittemberg, his ninety-five propositions, which had roused all Germany
to scrutinize the abominable corruptions of the papal church. This bold
language of the diet, influenced by the still bolder language of the
intrepid monk, alarmed Leo X., and on the 7th of August he issued his
summons commanding Luther to repair to Rome to answer for heresy.
Maximilian, who had been foiled in his own attempt to attain the chair
of St. Peter, who had seen so much of the infamous career of Julius and
Alexander, as to lose all his reverence for the sacred character of the
popes, and who regarded Leo X. merely as a successful rival who had
thwarted his own plans, espoused, with cautious development, but with
true interest, the cause of the reformer. And now came the great war of
the Reformation, agitating Germany in every quarter, and rousing the
lethargic intellect of the nations as nothing else could rouse it.
Maximilian, with characteristic fickleness, or rather, with
characteristic pliancy before every breeze of self-interest, was now on
the one side, now on the other, and now, nobody knew where, until his
career was terminated by sudden and fatal sickness.

The emperor was at Innspruck, all overwhelmed with his cares and his
plans of ambition, when he was seized with a slight fever. Hoping to be
benefited by a change of air, he set out to travel by slow stages to one
of his castles among the mountains of Upper Austria. The disease,
however, rapidly increased, and it was soon evident that death was
approaching. The peculiarities of his character were never more
strikingly developed than in these last solemn hours. Being told by his
physicians that he had not long to live and that he must now prepare for
the final judgment, he calmly replied, "I have long ago made that
preparation. Had I not done so, it would be too late now."

For four years he had been conscious of declining health, and had always
carried with him, wherever he traveled, an oaken coffin, with his shroud
and other requisites for his funeral. With very minute directions he
settled all his worldly affairs, and gave the most particular
instructions respecting his funeral. Changing his linen, he strictly
enjoined that his shirt should not be removed after his death, for his
fastidious modesty was shocked by the idea of the exposure of his body,
even after the soul had taken its flight.

He ordered his hair, after his death, to be cut off, all his teeth to be
extracted, pounded to powder and publicly burned in the chapel of his
palace. For one day his remains were to be exposed to the public, as a
lesson of mortality. They were then to be placed in a sack filled with
quicklime. The sack was to be enveloped in folds of silk and satin, and
then placed in the oaken coffin which had been so long awaiting his
remains. The coffin was then to be deposited under the altar of the
chapel of his palace at Neustadt, in such a position that the
officiating priest should ever trample over his head and heart. The king
expressed the hope that this humiliation of his body would, in some
degree, be accepted by the Deity in atonement for the sins of his soul.
How universal the instinct that sin needs an atonement!

Having finished these directions the emperor observed that some of his
attendants were in tears. "Do you weep," said he, "because you see a
mortal die? Such tears become women rather than men." The emperor was
now dying. As the ecclesiastics repeated the prayers of the Church, the
emperor gave the responses until his voice failed, and then continued to
give tokens of recognition and of faith, by making the sign of the
cross. At three o'clock in the morning of the 11th of January, 1519, the
Emperor Maximilian breathed his last. He was then in the sixtieth year
of his age.

Maximilian is justly considered one of the most renowned of the
descendants of Rhodolph of Hapsburg. It is saying but little for his
moral integrity, to affirm that he was one of the best of the rulers of
his age. According to his ideas of religion, he was a religious man.
According to his ideas of honesty and of honor, he was both an honest
and an honorable man. According to his idea of what is called _moral
conduct_, he was irreproachable, being addicted to no _ungenteel_ vices,
or any sins which would be condemned by his associates. His ambition was
not to secure for himself ease or luxury, but to extend his imperial
power, and to aggrandize his family. For these objects he passed his
life, ever tossed upon the billows of toil and trouble. In industry and
perseverance, he has rarely been surpassed.

Notwithstanding the innumerable interruptions and cares attendant upon
his station, he still found time, one can hardly imagine when, to become
a proficient in all the learning of the day. He wrote and spoke four
languages readily, Latin, French, German and Italian. Few men have
possessed more persuasive powers of eloquence. All the arts and sciences
he warmly patronized, and men of letters of every class found in him a
protector. But history must truthfully declare that there was no perfidy
of which he would not be guilty, and no meanness to which he would not
stoop, if he could only extend his hereditary domains and add to his
family renown.



CHAPTER VII.

CHARLES V. AND THE REFORMATION.

From 1519 to 1531.

Charles V. of Spain.--His Election as Emperor of Germany.--His
Coronation.--The first Constitution.--Progress of the Reformation.--The
Pope's Bull against Luther.--His Contempt for his Holiness.--The Diet at
Worms.--Frederic's Objection to the Condemnation of Luther by the
Diet.--He obtains for Luther the Right of Defense.--Luther's triumphal
March to the Tribunal.--Charles urged to violate his Safe Conduct.--
Luther's Patmos.--Marriage of Sister Catharine Bora to Luther.--Terrible
Insurrection.--The Holy League.--The Protest of Spires.--Confession of
Augsburg.--The two Confessions.--Compulsory Measures.


Charles V. of Spain, as the nearest male heir, inherited from Maximilian
the Austrian States. He was the grandson of the late emperor, son of
Philip and of Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, and was born
on the 24th of February, 1500. He had been carefully educated in the
learning and accomplishments of the age, and particularly in the arts of
war. At the death of his grandfather, Ferdinand, Charles, though but
sixteen years of age, assumed the title of King of Spain, and though
strongly opposed for a time, he grasped firmly and held securely the
reins of government.

Joanna, his mother, was legally the sovereign, both by the laws of
united Castile and Arragon, and by the testaments of Isabella and
Ferdinand. But she was insane, and was sunk in such depths of melancholy
as to be almost unconscious of the scenes which were transpiring around
her. Two years had elapsed between the accession of Charles V. to the
throne of Spain and the death of his grandfather, Maximilian. The young
king, with wonderful energy of character, had, during that time,
established himself very firmly on the throne. Upon the death of
Maximilian many claimants rose for the imperial throne. Henry VIII. of
England and Francis of France, were prominent among the competitors. For
six months all the arts of diplomacy were exhausted by the various
candidates, and Charles of Spain won the prize. On the 28th of June,
1519, he was unanimously elected Emperor of Germany. The youthful
sovereign, who was but nineteen years of age, was at Barcelona when he
received the first intelligence of his election. He had sufficient
strength of character to avoid the slightest appearance of exultation,
but received the announcement with dignity and gravity far above his
years.

The Spaniards were exceedingly excited and alarmed by the news. They
feared that their young sovereign, of whom they had already begun to be
proud, would leave Spain to establish his court in the German empire,
and they should thus be left, as a distant province, to the government
of a viceroy. The king was consequently flooded with petitions, from all
parts of his dominions, not to accept the imperial crown. But Charles
was as ambitious as his grandfather, Maximilian, whose foresight and
maneuvering had set in train those influences which had elevated him to
the imperial dignity.

Soon a solemn embassy arrived, and, with the customary pomp, proffered
to Charles the crown which so many had coveted. Charles accepted the
office, and made immediate preparations, notwithstanding the increasing
clamor of his subjects, to go to Germany for his coronation. Intrusting
the government of Spain during his absence to officers in whom he
reposed confidence, he embarked on shipboard, and landing first at Dover
in England, made a visit of four days to Henry VIII. He then continued
his voyage to the Netherlands; proceeding thence to Aix-la-Chapelle, he
was crowned on the 20th of October, 1520, with magnificence far
surpassing that of any of his predecessors. Thus Charles V., when but
twenty years of age, was the King of Spain and the crowned Emperor of
Germany. It is a great mistake to suppose that youthful precocity is one
of the innovations of modern times.

In the changes of the political kaleidoscope, Austria had now become a
part of Spain, or rather a prince of Austrian descent, a lineal heir of
the house of Hapsburg, had inherited the dominion of Spain, the most
extensive monarchy, in its continental domains and its colonial
possessions, then upon the globe. The Germanic confederation at this
time made a decided step in advance. Hitherto the emperors, when
crowned, had made a sort of verbal promise to administer the government
in accordance with the laws and customs of the several states. They
were, however, apprehensive that the new emperor, availing himself of
the vast power which he possessed independently of the imperial crown,
might, by gradual encroachments, defraud them of their rights. A sort of
constitution was accordingly drawn up, consisting of thirty-six
articles, defining quite minutely the laws, customs and privileges of
the empire, which constitution Charles was required to sign before his
coronation.

Charles presided in person over his first diet which he had convened at
Worms on the 6th of January, 1521. The theological and political war of
the Reformation was now agitating all Germany, and raging with the
utmost violence. Luther had torn the vail from the corruptions of
papacy, and was exhibiting to astonished Europe the enormous aggression
and the unbridled licentiousness of pontifical power. Letter succeeded
letter, and pamphlet pamphlet, and they fell upon the decaying hierarchy
like shot and shell upon the walls of a fortress already crumbling and
tottering through age.

On the 15th of July, 1520, three months before the coronation of Charles
V., the pope issued his world-renowned bull against the intrepid monk.
He condemned Luther as a heretic, forbade the reading of his writings,
excommunicated him if he did not retract within sixty days, and all
princes and states were commanded, under pain of incurring the same
censure, to seize his person and punish him and his adherents. Many were
overawed by these menaces of the holy father, who held the keys of
heaven and of hell. The fate of Luther was considered sealed. His works
were publicly burned in several cities.

Luther, undaunted, replied with blow for blow. He declared the pope to
be antichrist, renounced all obedience to him, detailed with scathing
severity the conduct of corrupt pontiffs, and called upon the whole
nation to renounce all allegiance to the scandalous court of Rome. To
cap the climax of his contempt and defiance, he, on the 10th of
December, 1520, not two months after the crowning of Charles V., led his
admiring followers, the professors and students of the university of
Wittemberg, in procession to the eastern gate of the city, where, in the
presence of a vast concourse, he committed the papal bull to the flames,
exclaiming, in the words of Ezekiel, "Because thou hast troubled the
Holy One of God, let eternal fire consume thee." This dauntless spirit
of the reformer inspired his disciples throughout Germany with new
courage, and in many other cities the pope's bull of excommunication was
burned with expressions of indignation and contempt.

Such was the state of this great religious controversy when Charles V.
held his first diet at Worms. The pope, wielding all the energies of
religious fanaticism, and with immense temporal revenues at his
disposal, with ecclesiastics, officers of his spiritual court, scattered
all over Europe, who exercised almost a supernatural power over the
minds of the benighted masses, was still perhaps the most formidable
power in Europe. The new emperor, with immense schemes of ambition
opening before his youthful and ardent mind, and with no principles of
heartfelt piety to incline him to seek and love the truth, as a matter
of course sought the favor of the imperial pontiff, and was not at all
disposed to espouse the cause of the obscure monk.

Charles, therefore, received courteously the legates of the pontiff at
the diet, gave them a friendly hearing as they inveighed against the
heresy of Luther, and proposed that the diet should also condemn the
reformer. Fortunately for Luther he was a subject of the electorate of
Saxony, and neither pope nor emperor could touch him but through the
elector. Frederic, the Duke of Saxony, one of the electors of the
empire, governed a territory of nearly fifteen thousand square miles,
more than twice as large as the State of Massachusetts, and containing
nearly three millions of inhabitants. The duchy has since passed through
many changes and dismemberments, but in the early part of the sixteenth
century the Elector of Saxony was one of the most powerful princes of
the German empire. Frederic was not disposed to surrender his subject
untried and uncondemned to the discipline of the Roman pontiff. He
accordingly objected to this summary condemnation of Luther, and
declared that before judgment was pronounced, the accused should be
heard in his own defense. Charles, who was by no means aware how
extensively the opinions of Luther had been circulated and received, was
surprised to find many nobles, each emboldened by the rest, rise in the
diet and denounce, in terms of ever-increasing severity, the exactions
and the arrogance of the court of Rome.

Notwithstanding the remonstrances of the pope's legates, the emperor
found it necessary to yield to the demands of the diet, and to allow
Luther the privilege of being heard, though he avowed to the friends of
the pope that Luther should not be permitted to make any defense, but
should only have an opportunity to confess his heresy and implore
forgiveness. Worms, where the diet was in session, on the west banks of
the Rhine, was not within the territories of the Elector of Saxony, and
consequently the emperor, in sending a summons to Luther to present
himself before the diet, sent, also, a safe conduct. With alacrity the
bold reformer obeyed the summons. From Wittemberg, where Luther was both
professor in the university and also pastor of a church, to Worms, was a
distance of nearly three hundred miles. But the journey of the reformer,
through all of this long road was almost like a triumphal procession.
Crowds gathered everywhere to behold the man who had dared to bid
defiance to the terrors of that spiritual power before which the
haughtiest monarchs had trembled. The people had read the writings of
Luther, and justly regarded him as the advocate of civil and religious
liberty. The nobles, who had often been humiliated by the arrogance of
the pontiff, admired a man who was bringing a new power into the field
for their disenthrallment.

When Luther had arrived within three miles of Worms, accompanied by a
few friends and the imperial herald who had summoned him, he was met by
a procession of two thousand persons, who had come from the city to form
his escort. Some friends in the city sent him a warning that he could
not rely upon the protection of his _safe conduct_, that he would
probably be perfidiously arrested, and they intreated him to retire
immediately again to Saxony. Luther made the memorable reply,

"I will go to Worms, if as many devils meet me there as there are tiles
upon the roofs of the houses."

The emperor was astonished to find that greater crowds were assembled,
and greater enthusiasm was displayed in witnessing the entrance of the
monk of Wittemberg, than had greeted the imperial entrance to the city.

It was indeed an august assemblage before which Luther was arrayed. The
emperor himself presided, sustained by his brother, the Archduke
Ferdinand. Six electors, twenty-four dukes, seven margraves, thirty
bishops and prelates, and an uncounted number of princes, counts, lords
and ambassadors filled the spacious hall. It was the 18th of April,
1521. His speech, fearless, dignified, eloquent, unanswerable, occupied
two hours. He closed with the noble words,

"Let me be refuted and convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or
by the clearest arguments; otherwise I can not and will not recant; for
it is neither safe nor expedient to act against conscience. Here I take
my stand. I can do no otherwise, so help me God, Amen."

In this sublime moral conflict Luther came off the undisputed conqueror.
The legates of the pope, exasperated at his triumph, intreated the
emperor to arrest him, in defiance of his word of honor pledged for his
safety. Charles rejected the infamous proposal with disdain. Still he
was greatly annoyed at so serious a schism in the Church, which
threatened to alienate from him the patronage of the pope. It was
evident that Luther was too strongly intrenched in the hearts of the
Germans, for the youthful emperor, whose crown was not yet warm upon his
brow, and who was almost a stranger in Germany, to undertake to crush
him. To appease the pope he drew up an apologetic declaration, in which
he said, in terms which do not honor his memory,

"Descended as I am from the Christian emperors of Germany, the Catholic
kings of Spain, and from the archdukes of Austria and the Dukes of
Burgundy, all of whom have preserved, to the last moment of their lives,
their fidelity to the Church, and have always been the defenders and
protectors of the Catholic faith, its decrees, ceremonies and usages, I
have been, am still, and will ever be devoted to those Christian
doctrines, and the constitution of the Church which they have left to me
as a sacred inheritance. And as it is evident that a simple monk has
advanced opinions contrary to the sentiments of all Christians, past and
present, I am firmly determined to wipe away the reproach which a
toleration of such errors would cast on Germany, and to employ all my
powers and resources, my body, my blood, my life, and even my soul, in
checking the progress of this sacrilegious doctrine. I will not,
therefore, permit Luther to enter into any further explanation, and will
instantly dismiss and afterward treat him as a heretic. But I can not
violate my safe conduct, but will cause him to be conducted safely back
to Wittemberg."

The emperor now attempted to accomplish by intrigue that which he could
not attain by authority of force. He held a private interview with the
reformer, and endeavored, by all those arts at the disposal of an
emperor, to influence Luther to a recantation. Failing utterly in this,
he delayed further operations for a month, until many of the diet,
including the Elector of Saxony and other powerful friends of Luther,
had retired. He then, having carefully retained those who would be
obsequious to his will, caused a decree to be enacted, as if it were the
unanimous sentiment of the diet, that Luther was a heretic; confirmed
the sentence of the pope, and pronounced the ban of the empire against
all who should countenance or protect him.

But Luther, on the 26th of May, had left Worms on his return to
Wittemberg. When he had passed over about half the distance, his friend
and admirer, Frederic of Saxony, conscious of the imminent peril which
hung over the intrepid monk, sent a troop of masked horsemen who seized
him and conveyed him to the castle of Wartburg, where Frederic kept him
safely concealed for nine months, not allowing even his friends to know
the place of his concealment. Luther, acquiescing in the prudence of
this measure, called this retreat his Patmos, and devoted himself most
assiduously to the study of the Scriptures, and commenced his most
admirable translation of the Bible into the German language, a work
which has contributed vastly more than all others to disseminate the
principles of the Reformation throughout Germany.

It will be remembered that Maximilian's son Ferdinand, who was brother
to Charles V., had married Anne, daughter of Ladislaus, King of Hungary
and Bohemia. Disturbances in Spain rendered it necessary for the emperor
to leave Germany, and for eight years his attention was almost
constantly occupied by wars and intrigues in southern Europe. Ferdinand
was invested with the government of the Austrian States. In the year
1521, Leo X. died, and Adrian, who seems to have been truly a
conscientious Christian man, assumed the tiara. He saw the deep
corruptions of the Church, confessed them openly, mourned over them and
declared that the Church needed a thorough reformation.

This admission, of course, wonderfully strengthened the Lutheran party.
The diet, meeting soon after, drew up a list of a hundred grievances,
which they intreated the pope to reform, declaring that Germany could no
longer endure them. They declared that Luther had opened the eyes of the
people to these corruptions, and that they would not suffer the edicts
of the diet of Worms to be enforced. Ferdinand of Austria, entering into
the views of his brother, was anxious to arrest the progress of the new
ideas, now spreading with great rapidity, and he entered--instructed by
a legate, Campegio, from the pope--into an engagement with the Duke of
Bavaria, and most of the German bishops, to carry the edict of Worms
into effect.

Frederic, the Elector of Saxony, died in 1525, but he was succeeded by
his brother John the Constant, who cordially embraced and publicly
avowed the doctrines of the Reformation; and Luther, in July of this
year, gave the last signal proof of his entire emancipation from the
superstitions of the papacy by marrying Catharine Bora, a noble lady
who, having espoused his views, had left the nunnery where she had been
an inmate. It is impossible for one now to conceive the impression which
was produced in Catholic Europe by the marriage of a priest and a nun.

Many of the German princes now followed the example of John of Saxony,
and openly avowed their faith in the Lutheran doctrines. In the Austrian
States, notwithstanding all Ferdinand's efforts to the contrary, the new
faith steadily spread, commanding the assent of the most virtuous and
the most intelligent. Many of the nobles avowed themselves Lutherans, as
did even some of the professors in the university at Vienna. The vital
questions at issue, taking hold, as they did, of the deepest emotions of
the soul and the daily habits of life, roused the general mind to the
most intense activity. The bitterest hostility sprung up between the two
parties, and many persons, without piety and without judgment, threw off
the superstitions of the papacy, only to adopt other superstitions
equally revolting. The sect of Anabaptists rose, abjuring all civil as
well as all religious authority, claiming to be the elect of God,
advocating a community of goods and of wives, and discarding all
restraint. They roused the ignorant peasantry, and easily showed them
that they were suffering as much injustice from feudal lords as from
papal bishops. It was the breaking out of the French Revolution on a
small scale. Germany was desolated by infuriate bands, demolishing alike
the castles of the nobles and the palaces of the bishops, and sparing
neither age nor sex in their indiscriminate slaughter.

The insurrection was so terrible, that both Lutherans and papists united
to quell it; and so fierce were these fanatics, that a hundred thousand
perished on fields of blood before the rebellion was quelled. These
outrages were, of course, by the Catholics regarded as the legitimate
results of the new doctrines, and it surely can not be denied that they
sprung from them. The fire which glows on the hearth may consume the
dwelling. But Luther and his friends assailed the Anabaptists with every
weapon they could wield. The Catholics formed powerful combinations to
arrest the spread of evangelical views. The reformers organized
combinations equally powerful to diffuse those opinions, which they were
sure involved the welfare of the world.

Charles V., having somewhat allayed the troubles which harassed him in
southern Europe, now turned his attention to Germany, and resolved, with
a strong hand, to suppress the religious agitation. In a letter to the
German States he very peremptorily announced his determination,
declaring that he would exterminate the errors of Luther, exhorting
them, to resist all attacks against the ancient usages of the Church,
and expressing to each of the Catholic princes his earnest approval of
their conduct.

Germany was now threatened with civil war. The Catholics demanded the
enforcement of the edict of Worms. The reformers demanded perfect
toleration--that every man should enjoy freedom of opinion and of
worship. A new war in Italy perhaps prevented this appeal to arms, as
Charles V. found himself involved in new difficulties which engrossed
all his energies. Ferdinand found the Austrian States so divided by this
controversy, that it became necessary for him to assume some degree of
impartiality, and to submit to something like toleration. A new pope,
Clement VII., succeeded the short reign of Adrian, and all the ambition,
intrigue and corruption which had hitherto marked the course of the
court of Rome, resumed their sway. The pope formed the celebrated Holy
League to arrest the progress of the new opinions; and this led all the
princes of the empire, who had espoused the Lutheran doctrines, more
openly and cordially to combine in self-defense. In every country in
Europe the doctrines of the reformer spread rapidly, and the papal
throne was shaken to its base.

Charles V., whose arms were successful in southern Europe, and whose
power was daily increasing, was still very desirous of restoring quiet
to Europe by reëstablishing the supremacy of the papal Church, and
crushing out dissent. He accordingly convened another diet at Spires,
the capital of Rhenish Bavaria, on the 15th of March, 1529. As the
emperor was detained in Italy, his brother Ferdinand presided. The diet
was of course divided, but the majority passed very stringent
resolutions against the Reformation. It was enacted that the edict of
Worms should be enforced; that the mass should be reëstablished wherever
it had been abolished; and that preachers should promulgate no new
doctrines. The minority entered their protest. They urged that the mass
had been clearly proved to be contrary to the Word of God; that the
Scriptures were the only certain rule of life; and declared their
resolution to maintain the truths of the Old and New Testaments,
regardless of traditions. This _Protest_ was sustained by powerful
names--John, Elector of Saxony; George, Margrave of Brandenburg; two
Dukes of Brunswick; the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel; the Prince of Anhalt,
and fourteen imperial cities, to which were soon added ten more. Nothing
can more decisively show than this the wonderful progress which the
Reformation in so short a time had made. From this Protest the reformers
received the name of Protestants, which they have since retained.

The emperor, flushed with success, now resolved, with new energy, to
assail the principles of the Reformation. Leaving Spain he went to
Italy, and met the pope, Clement VII., at Bologna, in February, 1530.
The pope and the emperor held many long and private interviews. What
they said no one knows. But Charles V., who was eminently a sagacious
man, became convinced that the difficulty had become far too serious to
be easily healed, that men of such power had embraced the Lutheran
doctrines that it was expedient to change the tone of menace into one of
respect and conciliation. He accordingly issued a call for another diet
to meet in April, 1530, at the city of Augsburg in Bavaria.

"I have convened," he wrote, "this assembly to consider the difference
of opinion on the subject of religion. It is my intention to hear both
parties with candor and charity, to examine their respective arguments,
to correct and reform what requires to be corrected and reformed, that
the truth being known, and harmony established, there may, in future, be
only one pure and simple faith, and, as all are disciples of the same
Jesus, all may form one and the same Church."

These fair words, however, only excited the suspicions of the
Protestants, which suspicions subsequent events proved to be well
founded. The emperor entered Augsburg in great state, and immediately
assumed a dictatorial air, requiring the diet to attend high mass with
him, and to take part in the procession of the host.

"I will rather," said the Marquis of Brandenburg to the emperor,
"instantly offer my head to the executioner, than renounce the gospel
and approve idolatry. Christ did not institute the sacrament of the
Lord's Supper to be carried in pomp through the streets, nor to be
adored by the people. He said, 'Take, eat;' but never said, 'Put this
sacrament into a vase, carry it publicly in triumph, and let the people
prostrate themselves before it.'"

The Protestants, availing themselves of the emperor's declaration that
it was his intention to hear the sentiments of all, drew up a confession
of their faith, which they presented to the emperor in German and in
Latin. This celebrated creed is known in history as the _Confession of
Augsburg_. The emperor was quite embarrassed by this document, as he was
well aware of the argumentative powers of the reformers, and feared that
the document, attaining celebrity, and being read eagerly all over the
empire, would only multiply converts to their views. At first he refused
to allow it to be read. But finding that this only created commotion
which would add celebrity to the confession, he adjourned the diet to a
small chapel where but two hundred could be convened. When the
Chancellor of Saxony rose to read the confession, the emperor commanded
that he should read the Latin copy, a language which but few of the
Germans understood.

"Sire," said the chancellor, "we are now on German ground. I trust that
your majesty will not order the apology of our faith, which ought to be
made as public as possible, to be read in a language not understood by
the Germans."

The emperor was compelled to yield to so reasonable a request. The
adjacent apartments, and the court-yard of the palace, were all filled
with an eager crowd. The chancellor read the creed in a voice so clear
and loud that the whole multitude could hear. The emperor was very
uneasy, and at the close of the reading, which occupied two hours, took
both the Latin and the German copies, and requested that the confession
should not be published without his consent. Luther and Melancthon drew
up this celebrated document. Melancthon was an exceedingly mild and
amiable man, and such a lover of peace that he would perhaps do a little
violence to his own conscience in the attempt to conciliate those from
whom he was constrained to differ. Luther, on the contrary, was a man of
great force, decision and fearlessness, who would speak the truth in the
plainest terms, without softening a phrase to conciliate either friend
or foe. The Confession of Augsburg being the joint production of both
Melancthon and Luther, did not _exactly_ suit either. It was a little
too uncompromising for Melancthon, a little too pliant and yielding for
Luther. Melancthon soon after took the confession and changed it to
bring it into more entire accordance with his spirit. Hence a division
which, in oblivion of its origin, has continued to the present day.
Those who adhered to the original document which was presented to the
emperor, were called Lutherans; those who adopted the confession as
softened by Melancthon, were called German Reformed.

The emperor now threw off the mask, and carrying with him the majority
of the diet, issued a decree of intolerance and menace, in which he
declared that all the ceremonies, doctrines and usages of the papal
church, without exception, were to be reëstablished, married priests
deposed, suppressed convents restored, and every innovation, of whatever
kind, to be revoked. All who opposed this decree were to be exposed to
the ban of the empire, with all its pains and penalties.

This was indeed an appalling measure. Recantation or war was the only
alternative. Charles, being still much occupied by the affairs of his
vast kingdom of Spain, with all its ambitions and wars, needed a
coadjutor in the government of Germany, as serious trouble was evidently
near at hand. He therefore proposed the election of his brother
Ferdinand as coadjutor with him in administering the affairs of Germany.
Ferdinand, who had recently united to the Austrian territories the
crowns of Hungary and Bohemia, was consequently chosen, on the 5th of
January, 1531, King of the Romans. Charles was determined to enforce his
decrees, and both parties now prepared for war.



CHAPTER VIII.

CHARLES V. AND THE REFORMATION.

From 1531 to 1552.

Determination to crush Protestantism.--Incursion of the Turks.--Valor of
the Protestants.--Preparations for renewed Hostilities.--Augmentation of
the Protestant Forces.--The Council of Trent.--Mutual Consternation.--
Defeat of the Protestant Army.--Unlooked for Succor.--Revolt in the
Emperor's Army.--The Fluctuations of Fortune.--Ignoble Revenge.--Capture
of Wittemberg.--Protestantism Apparently Crushed.--Plot against
Charles.--Maurice of Saxony.--A Change of Scene.--The Biter Bit.--The
Emperor humbled.--His Flight.--His determined Will.


The intolerant decrees of the diet of Augsburg, and the evident
determination of the emperor unrelentingly to enforce them, spread the
greatest alarm among the Protestants. They immediately assembled at
Smalkalde in December, 1530, and entered into a league for mutual
protection. The emperor was resolved to crush the Protestants. The
Protestants were resolved not to be crushed. The sword of the Catholics
was drawn for the assault--the sword of the reformers for defense. Civil
war was just bursting forth in all its horrors, when the Turks, with an
army three hundred thousand strong, like ravening wolves rushed into
Hungary. This danger was appalling. The Turks in their bloody march had,
as yet, encountered no effectual resistance; though they had experienced
temporary checks, their progress had been on the whole resistless, and
wherever they had planted their feet they had established themselves
firmly. Originating as a small tribe on the shores of the Caspian, they
had spread over all Asia Minor, had crossed the Bosphorus, captured
Constantinople, and had brought all Greece under their sway. They were
still pressing on, flushed with victory. Christian Europe was trembling
before them. And now an army of three hundred thousand had crossed the
Danube, sweeping all opposition before them, and were spreading terror
and destruction through Hungary. The capture of that immense kingdom
seemed to leave all Europe defenseless.

The emperor and his Catholic friends were fearfully alarmed. Here was a
danger more to be dreaded than even the doctrines of Luther. All the
energies of Christendom were requisite to repel this invasion. The
emperor was compelled to appeal to the Protestant princes to coöperate
in this great emergence. But they had more to fear from the fiery
persecution of the papal church than from the cimeter of the infidel,
and they refused any coöperation with the emperor so long as the menaces
of the Augsburg decrees were suspended over them. The emperor wished the
Protestants to help him drive out the Turks, that then, relieved from
that danger, he might turn all his energies against the Protestants.

After various negotiations it was agreed, as a temporary arrangement,
that there should be a truce of the Catholic persecution until another
general council should be called, and that until then the Protestants
should be allowed freedom of conscience and of worship. The German
States now turned their whole force against the Turks. The Protestants
contributed to the war with energy which amazed the Catholics. They even
trebled the contingents which they had agreed to furnish, and marched to
the assault with the greatest intrepidity. The Turks were driven from
Hungary, and then the emperor, in violation of his pledge, recommenced
proceeding against the Protestants. But it was the worst moment the
infatuated emperor could have selected. The Protestants, already armed
and marshaled, were not at all disposed to lie down to be trodden upon
by their foes. They renewed their confederacy, drove the emperor's
Austrian troops out of the territories of Wirtemberg, which they had
seized, and restored the duchy to the Protestant duke, Ulric. Civil war
had now commenced. But the Protestants were strong, determined, and had
proved their valor in the recent war with the Turks. The more moderate
of the papal party, foreseeing a strife which might be interminable,
interposed, and succeeded in effecting a compromise which again secured
transient peace.

Charles, however, had not yet abandoned his design to compel the
Protestants to return to the papal church. He was merely temporizing
till he could bring such an array of the papal powers against the
reformers that they could present no successful resistance. With this
intention he entered into a secret treaty with the powerful King of
France, in which Francis agreed to concentrate all the forces of his
kingdom to crush the Lutheran doctrines. He then succeeded in concluding
a truce with the Turks for five years. He was now prepared to act with
decision against the reformed religion.

But while Charles had been marshaling his party the Protestants had been
rapidly increasing. Eloquent preachers, able writers, had everywhere
proclaimed the corruptions of the papacy and urged a pure gospel. These
corruptions were so palpable that they could not bear the light. The
most intelligent and conscientious, all over Europe, were rapidly
embracing the new doctrines. These new doctrines embraced and involved
principles of civil as well as religious liberty. The Bible is the most
formidable book which was ever penned against aristocratic usurpation.
God is the universal Father. All men are brothers. The despots of that
day regarded the controversy as one which, in the end, involved the
stability of their thrones. "Give us light," the Protestants said. "Give
us darkness," responded the papacy, "or the submissive masses will rise
and overthrow despotic thrones as well as idolatrous altars."

Several of the ablest and most powerful of the bishops who, in that day
of darkness, had been groping in the dark, now that light had come into
the world, rejoiced in that light, and enthusiastically espoused the
truth. The emperor was quite appalled when he learned that the
Archbishop of Cologne, who was also one of the electors of the empire,
had joined the reformers; for, in addition to the vast influence of his
name, this conversion gave the Protestants a majority in the electoral
diet, so many of the German princes had already adopted the opinions of
Luther. The Protestants, encouraged by the rapidity with which their
doctrines were spreading, were not at all disposed to humble themselves
before their opponents, but with their hands upon the hilts of their
swords, declared that they would not bow their necks to intolerance.

It was indeed a formidable power which the emperor was now about to
marshal against the Protestants. He had France, Spain, all the roused
energies of the pope and his extended dominions, and all the Catholic
States of the empire. But Protestantism, which had overrun Germany, had
pervaded Switzerland and France, and was daily on the increase. The pope
and the more zealous papists were impatient and indignant that the
emperor did not press his measures with more vigor. But the sagacious
Charles more clearly saw the difficulties to be surmounted than they
did, and while no less determined in his resolves, was more prudent and
wary in his measures.

With the consent of the pope he summoned a general council to meet at
Trent on the confines of his own Austrian territories, where he could
easily have every thing under his own control. He did every thing in his
power, in the meantime to promote division among the Protestants, by
trying to enter into private negotiations with the Protestant princes.
He had the effrontery to urge the Protestants to send their divines to
the council of Trent, and agreed to abide by its decisions, even when
that council was summoned by the pope, and was to be so organized as to
secure an overwhelming majority to the papists. The Protestants, of
course, rejected so silly a proposition, and refused to recognize the
decrees of such a council as of any binding authority.

In preparation for enforcing the decrees which he intended to have
enacted by the council of Trent, Charles obtained from the pope thirteen
thousand troops, and five hundred thousand ducats (one million one
hundred thousand dollars). He raised one army in the Low Countries to
march upon Germany. He gathered another army in his hereditary States of
Austria. His brother Ferdinand, as King of Hungary and Bohemia, raised a
large army in each of those dominions. The King of France mustered his
legions, and boasted of the condign punishment to which he would consign
the heretics. The pope issued a decree offering the entire pardon of all
sins to those who should engage in this holy war for the extirpation of
the doctrines of the reformers.

The Protestants were for a moment in consternation in view of the
gatherings of so portentous a storm. The emperor, by false professions
and affected clemency, had so deceived them that they were quite
unprepared for so formidable an attack. They soon, however, saw that
their only salvation depended upon a vigorous defense, and they
marshaled their forces for war. With promptness and energy which even
astonished themselves, they speedily raised an army which, on the
junction of its several corps, amounted to eighty thousand men. In its
intelligence, valor, discipline and equipments, it was probably the best
army which had ever been assembled in the States of Germany. Resolutely
they marched under Schartlin, one of the most experienced generals of
the age, toward Ratisbon, where the emperor was holding a diet.

Charles V. was as much alarmed by this unexpected apparition, as the
Protestants had been alarmed by the preparations of the emperor. He had
supposed that his force was so resistless that the Protestants would see
at once the hopelessness of resistance, and would yield without a
struggle. The emperor had a guard of but eight thousand troops at
Ratisbon. The Duke of Bavaria, in whose dominions he was, was wavering,
and the papal troops had not commenced their march. But there was not a
moment to be lost. The emperor himself might be surrounded and taken
captive. He retired precipitately about thirty miles south to the strong
fortress of Landshut, where he could hold out until he received succor
from his Austrian territories, which were very near, and also from the
pope.

Charles soon received powerful reinforcements from Austria, from the
pope, and from his Spanish kingdom. With these he marched some forty
miles west to Ingolstadt and intrenched himself beneath its massive
walls. Here he waited for further reinforcements, and then commencing
the offensive, marched up the Danube, taking possession of the cities on
either bank. And now the marshaled forces of the emperor began to crowd
the Protestants on all sides. The army became bewildered, and instead of
keeping together, separated to repel the attack at different points.
This caused the ruin of the Protestant army. The dissevered fragments
were speedily dispersed. The emperor triumphantly entered the Protestant
cities of Ulm and Augsburg, Strasbourg and Frankfort, compelled them to
accept humiliating conditions, to surrender their artillery and military
stores, and to pay enormous fines. The Archbishop of Cologne was deposed
from his dignities. The emperor had thrown his foes upon the ground and
bound them.

All the Protestant princes but two were vanquished, the Elector of
Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse. It was evident that they must soon
yield to the overwhelming force of the emperor. It was a day of
disaster, in which no gleam of light seemed to dawn upon the Protestant
cause. But in that gloomy hour we see again the illustration of that
sentiment, that "the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to
the strong." Unthinking infidelity says sarcastically, "Providence
always helps the heavy battalions." But Providence often brings to the
discomfited, in their despair, reinforcements all unlooked for.

There were in the army of Ferdinand, gathered from the Austrian
territories by the force of military conscription, many troops more or
less influenced by the reformed religion. They were dissatisfied with
this warfare against their brothers, and their dissatisfaction increased
to murmurs and then to revolt. Thus encouraged, the Protestant nobles in
Bohemia rose against Ferdinand their king, and the victorious Ferdinand
suddenly found his strong battalions melting away, and his banners on
the retreat.

The other powers of Europe began to look with alarm upon the vast
ascendency which Charles V. was attaining over Europe. His exacting and
aggressive spirit assumed a more menacing aspect than the doctrines of
Luther. The King of France, Francis I., with the characteristic perfidy
of the times, meeting cunning with cunning, formed a secret league
against his ally, combining, in that league, the English ministry who
governed during the minority of Edward VI., and also the coöperation of
the illustrious Gustavus Vasa, the powerful King of Sweden, who was then
strongly inclined to that faith of the reformers which he afterwards
openly avowed. Even the pope, who had always felt a little jealous of
the power of the emperor, thought that as the Protestants were now put
down it might be well to check the ambition of Charles V. a little, and
he accordingly ordered all his troops to return to Italy. The holy
father, Paul III., even sent money to the Protestant Elector of Saxony,
to enable him to resist the emperor, and sent ambassadors to the Turks,
to induce them to break the truce and make war upon Christendom, that
the emperor might be thus embarrassed.

Charles thus found himself, in the midst of his victories, suddenly at a
stand. He could no longer carry on offensive operations, but was
compelled to prepare for defense against the attacks with which he was
threatened on every side.

Again, the kaleidoscope of political combination received a jar, and all
was changed. The King of France died. This so embarrassed the affairs of
the confederation which Francis had organized with so much toil and
care, that Charles availed himself of it to make a sudden and vigorous
march against the Elector of Saxony. He entered his territories with an
army of thirty-three thousand men, and swept all opposition before him.
In a final and desperate battle the troops of the elector were cut to
pieces, and the elector himself, surrounded on all sides, sorely wounded
in the face and covered with blood, was taken prisoner. Charles
disgraced his character by the exhibition of a very ignoble spirit of
revenge. The captive elector, as he was led into the presence of his
conqueror, said--

"Most powerful and gracious emperor, the fortune of war has now rendered
me your prisoner, and I hope to be treated--"

Here the emperor indignantly interrupted him, saying--

"I am _now_ your gracious emperor! Lately you could only vouchsafe me
the title of Charles of Ghent!"

Then turning abruptly upon his heel, he consigned his prisoner to the
custody of one of the Spanish generals. The emperor marched immediately
to Wittemberg, which was distant but a few miles. It was a well
fortified town, and was resolutely defended by Isabella, the wife of the
elector. The emperor, maddened by the resistance, summoned a court
martial, and sentenced the elector to instant death unless he ordered
the surrender of the fortress. He at first refused, and prepared to die.
But the tears of his wife and his family conquered his resolution, and
the city was surrendered. The emperor took from his captive the
electoral dignity, and extorted from him the most cruel concessions as
the ransom for his life. Without a murmur he surrendered wealth, power
and rank, but neither entreaties nor menaces could induce him in a
single point to abjure his Christian faith.

Charles now entered Wittemberg in triumph. The great reformer had just
died. The emperor visited the grave of Luther, and when urged to
dishonor his remains, replied--

"I war not with the dead, but with the living. Let him repose in peace;
he is already before his Judge."

The Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, now the only member of the Protestant
league remaining in arms, was in a condition utterly hopeless, and was
compelled to make an unconditional submission.

The landgrave, ruined in fortune, and crushed in spirit, was led a
captive into the imperial camp at Halle, in Saxony, the 19th of June,
1547. He knelt before the throne, and made an humble confession of his
crime in resisting the emperor; he resigned himself and all his
dominions to the clemency of his sovereign. As he rose to kiss the hand
of the emperor, Charles turned contemptuously from him and ordered him
to be conveyed to one of the apartments of the palace as a prisoner.
Most ignobly the emperor led his two illustrious captives, the Elector
of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, as captives from city to
city, exhibiting them as proofs of his triumph, and as a warning to all
others to avoid their fate. Very strong jealousies had now sprung up
between the emperor and the pope, and they could not cooperate. The
emperor, consequently, undertook to settle the religious differences
himself. He caused twenty-six articles to be drawn up as the basis of
pacification, which he wished both the Catholics and the Protestants to
sign. The pope was indignant, and the Catholics were disgusted with this
interference of the emperor in the faith of the Church, a matter which
in their view belonged exclusively to the pope and the councils which he
might convene.

The emperor, however, resolutely persevered in the endeavor to compel
the Protestants to subscribe to his articles, and punished severely
those who refused to do so. In his Burgundian provinces he endeavored to
establish the inquisition, that all heresy might be nipped in the bud.
In his zeal he quite outstripped the pope. As Julius III. had now
ascended the pontifical throne, Charles, fearful that he might be too
liberal in his policy towards the reformers, and might make too many
concessions, extorted from him the promise that he would not introduce
any reformation in the Church without consulting him and obtaining his
consent. Thus the pope himself became but one of the dependents of
Charles V., and all the corruptions of the Church were sustained by the
imperial arm. He then, through the submissive pope, summoned a council
of Catholic divines to meet at Trent. He had arranged in his own mind
the decrees which they were to issue, and had entered into a treaty with
the new King of France, Henry II., by which the French monarch agreed,
with all the military force of his kingdom, to maintain the decrees of
the council of Trent, whatever they might be.

The emperor had now apparently attained all his ends. He had crushed the
Protestant league, vanquished the Protestant princes, subjected the pope
to his will, arranged religious matters according to his views, and had
now assembled a subservient council to ratify and confirm all he had
done. But with this success he had become arrogant, implacable and
cruel. His friends had become alienated and his enemies exasperated.
Even the most rigorous Catholics were alarmed at his assumptions, and
the pope was humiliated by his haughty bearing.

Charles assembled a diet of the States of the empire at Augsburg, the
26th of July, 1550. He entered the city with the pomp and the pride of a
conqueror, and with such an array of military force as to awe the States
into compliance with his wishes. He then demanded of all the States of
the empire an agreement that they would enforce, in all their dominions
the decrees of the council of Trent, which council was soon to be
convened. There is sublimity in the energy with which this monarch
moved, step by step, toward the accomplishment of his plans. He seemed
to leave no chance for failure. The members of the diet were as
obsequious as spaniels to their imperious master, and watched his
countenance to learn when they were to say yes, and when no.

In one thing only he failed. He wished to have his son Philip elected as
his successor on the imperial throne. His brother Ferdinand opposed him
in this ambitious plan, and thus emboldened the diet to declare that
while the emperor was living it was illegal to choose his successor, as
it tended to render the imperial crown hereditary. The emperor,
sagacious as he was domineering, waived the prosecution of his plan for
the present, preparing to resume it when he had punished and paralyzed
those who opposed.

The emperor had deposed Frederic the Elector of Saxony, and placed over
his dominions, Maurice, a nephew of the deposed elector. Maurice had
married a daughter of the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel. He was a man of
commanding abilities, and as shrewd, sagacious and ambitious as the
emperor himself. He had been strongly inclined to the Lutheran
doctrines, but had been bought over to espouse the cause of Charles V.
by the brilliant offer of the territories of Saxony. Maurice, as he saw
blow after blow falling upon his former friends; one prince after
another ejected from his estates, Protestantism crushed, and finally his
own uncle and his wife's father led about to grace the triumph of the
conqueror; as he saw the vast power to which the emperor had attained,
and that the liberties of the German empire were in entire subjection to
his will, his pride was wounded, his patriotism aroused, and his
Protestant sympathies revived. Maurice, meeting Charles V. on the field
of intrigue, was Greek meeting Greek.

Maurice now began with great guile and profound sagacity to plot against
the despotic emperor. Two circumstances essentially aided him. Charles
coveted the dukedoms of Parma and Placentia in Italy, and the Duke
Ottavia had been deposed. He rallied his subjects and succeeded in
uniting France on his side, for Henry II. was alarmed at the
encroachments the emperor was making in Italy. A very fierce war
instantly blazed forth, the Duke of Parma and Henry II. on one side, the
pope and the emperor on the other. At the same time the Turks, under the
leadership of the Sultan Solyman himself, were organizing a formidable
force for the invasion of Hungary, which invasion would require all the
energies of Ferdinand, with all the forces he could raise in Austria,
Hungary and Bohemia to repel.

Next to Hungary and Bohemia, Saxony was perhaps the most powerful State
of the Germanic confederacy. The emperor placed full reliance upon
Maurice, and the Protestants in their despair would have thought of him
as the very last to come to their aid; for he had marched vigorously in
the armies of the emperor to crush the Protestants, and was occupying
the territories of their most able and steadfast friend. Secretly,
Maurice made proposals to all the leading Protestant princes of the
empire, and having made every thing ready for an outbreak, he entered
into a treaty with the King of France, who promised large subsidies and
an efficient military force.

Maurice conducted these intrigues with such consummate skill that the
emperor had not the slightest suspicion of the storm which was
gathering. Every thing being matured, early in April, 1552, Maurice
suddenly appeared before the gates of Augsburg with an army of
twenty-five thousand men. At the same time he issued a declaration that
he had taken up arms to prevent the destruction of the Protestant
religion, to defend the liberties of Germany which the emperor had
infringed, and to rescue his relatives from their long and unjust
imprisonment. The King of France and other princes issued similar
declarations. The smothered disaffection with the emperor instantly
blazed forth all over the German empire. The cause of Maurice was
extremely popular. The Protestants in a mass, and many others, flocked
to his standard. As by magic and in a day, all was changed. The imperial
towns Augsburg, Nuremberg and others, threw open their gates joyfully to
Maurice. Whole provinces rushed to his standard. He was everywhere
received as the guardian of civil and religious liberty. The ejected
Protestant rulers and magistrates were reinstated, the Protestant
churches opened, the Protestant preachers restored. In one month the
Protestant party was predominant in the German empire, and the Catholic
party either neutral or secretly favoring one who was humbling that
haughty emperor whom even the Catholics had begun to fear. The prelates
who were assembling at Trent, alarmed by so sudden and astounding a
revolution, dissolved the assembly and hastened to their homes.

The emperor was at Innspruck seated in his arm chair, with his limbs
bandaged in flannel, enfeebled and suffering from a severe attack of the
gout, when the intelligence of this sudden and overwhelming reverse
reached him. He was astonished and utterly confounded. In weakness and
pain, unable to leave his couch, with his treasury exhausted, his armies
widely scattered, and so pressed by their foes that they could not be
concentrated from their wide dispersion, there was nothing left for him
but to endeavor to beguile Maurice into a truce. But Maurice was as much
at home in all the arts of cunning as the emperor, and instead of being
beguiled, contrived to entrap his antagonist. This was a new and a very
salutary experience for Charles. It is a very novel sensation for a
successful rogue to be the dupe of roguery.

Maurice pressed on, his army gathering force at every step. He entered
the Tyrol, swept through all its valleys, took possession of all its
castles and its sublime fastnesses, and the blasts of his bugles
reverberated among the cliffs of the Alps, ever sounding the charge and
announcing victory, never signaling a defeat. The emperor was reduced to
the terrible humiliation of saving himself from capture only by flight.
The emperor could hardly credit his senses when told that his conquering
foes were within two days' march of Innspruck, and that a squadron of
horse might at any hour appear and cut off his retreat. It was in the
night when these appalling tidings were brought to him. The tortures of
the gout would not allow him to mount on horseback, neither could he
bear the jolting in a carriage over the rough roads. It was a dark and
stormy night, the 20th of May, 1552. The rain fell in torrents, and the
wind howled through the fir-trees and around the crags of the Alps. Some
attendants wrapped the monarch in blankets, took him out into the
court-yard of the palace, and placed him in a litter. Attendants led the
way with lanterns, and thus, through the inundated and storm-swept
defiles of the mountains, they fled with their helpless sovereign
through the long hours of the tempestuous night, not daring to stop one
moment lest they should hear behind them the clatter of the iron hoofs
of their pursuers. What a change for one short month to produce! What a
comment upon earthly grandeur! It is well for man in the hour of most
exultant prosperity to be humble. He knows not how soon he may fall.
Instructive indeed is the apostrophe of Cardinal Wolsey, illustrated as
the truth he utters is by almost every page of history:

  "This is the state of man; to-day he puts forth
   The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms,
   The third day comes a frost, a killing frost;
   And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
   His greatness is a ripening--nips his root,
   And then he falls as I do."

The fugitive emperor did not venture to stop for refreshment or repose
until he had reached the strong town of Villach in Carinthia, nearly one
hundred and fifty miles west of Innspruck. The troops of Maurice soon
entered the city which the emperor had abandoned, and the imperial
palace was surrendered to pillage. Heroic courage, indomitable
perseverance always commands respect. These are great and noble
qualities, though they may be exerted in a bad cause. The will of
Charles was unconquerable. In these hours of disaster, tortured with
pain, driven from his palace, deserted by his allies, impoverished, and
borne upon his litter in humiliating flight before his foes, he was just
as determined to enforce his plans as in the most brilliant hour of
victory.

He sent his brother Ferdinand and other ambassadors to Passau to meet
Maurice, and mediate for a settlement of the difficulties. Maurice now
had no need of diplomacy. His demands were simple and reasonable. They
were, that the emperor should liberate his father-in-law from captivity,
tolerate the Protestant religion, and grant to the German States their
accustomed liberty. But the emperor would not yield a single point.
Though his brother Ferdinand urged him to yield, though his Catholic
ambassadors intreated him to yield, though they declared that if he did
not they should be compelled to abandon his cause and make the best
terms for themselves with the conqueror that they could, still nothing
could bend his inflexible will, and the armies, after the lull of a few
days, were again in motion. The despotism of the emperor we abhor; but
his indomitable perseverance and unconquerable energy are worthy of all
admiration and imitation. Had they but been exerted in a good cause!



CHAPTER IX.

CHARLES V. AND THE TURKISH WARS.

From 1552 to 1555.

The Treaty of Passau.--The Emperor yields.--His continued Reverses.--The
Toleration Compromise.--Mutual Dissatisfation.--Remarkable Despondency
of the Emperor Charles.--His Address to the Convention at Brussels.--The
Convent of St. Justus.--Charles returns to Spain.--His Convent
Life.--The mock Burial.--His Death.--His Traits of Character.--The
King's Compliment to Titian.--The Condition of Austria.--Rapid Advance
of the Turks.--Reasons for the Inaction of the Christians.--The Sultan's
Method of overcoming Difficulties.--The little Fortress of Guntz.--What
it accomplished.


The Turks, animated by this civil war which was raging in Germany, were
pressing their march upon Hungary with great vigor, and the troops of
Ferdinand were retiring discomfited before the invader. Henry of France
and the Duke of Parma were also achieving victories in Italy endangering
the whole power of the emperor over those States. Ferdinand, appalled by
the prospect of the loss of Hungary, imploringly besought the emperor to
listen to terms of reconciliation. The Catholic princes, terrified in
view of the progress of the infidel, foreseeing the entire subjection of
Europe to the arms of the Moslem unless Christendom could combine in
self-defense, joined their voices with that of Ferdinand so earnestly
and in such impassioned tones, that the emperor finally, though very
reluctantly, gave his assent to the celebrated treaty of Passau, on the
2d of August, 1552. By this pacification the captives were released,
freedom of conscience and of worship was established, and the Protestant
troops, being disbanded, were at liberty to enter into the service of
Ferdinand to repel the Turks. Within six months a diet was to be
assembled to attempt an amicable adjustment of all civil and religious
difficulties.

The intrepid Maurice immediately marched, accompanied by many of the
Protestant princes, and at the head of a powerful army, to repel the
Mohammedan armies. Charles, relieved from his German troubles, gathered
his strength to wreak revenge upon the King of France. But fortune
seemed to have deserted him. Defeat and disgrace accompanied his march.
Having penetrated the French province of Lorraine, he laid siege to
Metz. After losing thirty thousand men beneath its walls, he was
compelled, in the depth of winter, to raise the siege and retreat. His
armies were everywhere routed; the Turks menaced the shores of Italy;
the pope became his inveterate enemy, and joined France against him.
Maurice was struck by a bullet, and fell on the field of battle. The
electorate of Saxony passed into the hands of Augustus, a brother of
Maurice, while the former elector, Ferdinand, who shortly after died,
received some slight indemnification.

Such was the state of affairs when the promised diet was summoned at
Passau. It met on the 5th of February, 1555. The emperor was confined
with the gout at Brussels, and his brother Ferdinand presided. It was a
propitious hour for the Protestants. Charles was sick, dejected and in
adversity. The better portion of the Catholics were disgusted with the
intolerance of the emperor, intolerance which even the more
conscientious popes could not countenance. Ferdinand was fully aware
that he could not defend his own kingdom of Hungary from the Turks
without the intervention of Protestant arms. He was, therefore, warmly
in favor of conciliation.

The world was not yet sufficiently enlightened to comprehend the beauty
of a true toleration, entire freedom of conscience and of worship. After
long and very exciting debates--after being again and again at the point
of grasping their arms anew--they finally agreed that the Protestants
should enjoy the free exercise of their religion wherever Protestantism
had been established and recognized by the Confession of Augsburg. That
in all other places Protestant princes might prohibit the Catholic
religion in their States, and Catholic princes prohibit the Protestant
religion. But in each case the ejected party was at liberty to sell
their property and move without molestation to some State where their
religion was dominant. In the free cities of the empire, where both
religions were established, both were to be tolerated.

Thus far, and no further, had the spirit of toleration made progress in
the middle of the sixteenth century.

Such was the basis of the pacification. Neither party was satisfied.
Each felt that it had surrendered far too much to the other; and there
was subsequently much disagreement respecting the interpretation of some
of the most important articles. The pope, Paul IV., was indignant that
such toleration had been granted to the Protestants, and threatened the
emperor and his brother Ferdinand of Austria with excommunication if
they did not declare these decrees null and void throughout their
dominions. At the same time he entered into correspondence with Henry
II. of France to form a new holy league for the defense of the papal
church against the inroads of heresy.

And now occurred one of the most extraordinary events which history has
recorded. Charles V., who had been the most enterprising and ambitious
prince in Europe, and the most insatiable in his thirst for power,
became the victim of the most extreme despondency. Harassed by the
perplexities which pressed in upon him from his widely-extended realms,
annoyed by the undutiful and haughty conduct of his son, who was
endeavoring to wrest authority from his father by taking advantage of
all his misfortunes, and perhaps inheriting a melancholy temperament
from his mother, who died in the glooms of insanity, and, more than all,
mortified and wounded by so sudden and so vast a reverse of fortune, in
which all his plans seemed to have failed--thus oppressed, humbled, he
retired in disgust to his room, indulged in the most fretful temper,
admitted none but his sister and a few confidential servants to his
presence, and so entirely neglected all business as to pass nine months
without signing a single paper.

While the emperor was in this melancholy state, his insane mother, who
had lingered for years in delirious gloom, died on the 4th of April,
1555. It will be remembered that Charles had inherited valuable estates
in the Low Countries from his marriage with the daughter of the Duke of
Burgundy. Having resolved to abdicate all his power and titles in favor
of his son, he convened the States of the Low Countries at Brussels on
the 25th of October, 1555. Charles was then but fifty-five years of age,
and should have been in the strength of vigorous manhood. But he was
prematurely old, worn down with care, toil and disappointment. He
attended the assembly accompanied by his son Philip. Tottering beneath
infirmities, he leaned upon the shoulders of a friend for support, and
addressed the assembly in a long and somewhat boastful speech,
enumerating all the acts of his administration, his endeavors, his long
and weary journeys, his sleepless care, his wars, and, above all, his
victories. In conclusion he said:

"While my health enabled me to perform my duty, I cheerfully bore the
burden; but as my constitution is now broken by an incurable distemper,
and my infirmities admonish me to retire, the happiness of my people
affects me more than the ambition of reigning. Instead of a decrepid old
man, tottering on the brink of the grave, I transfer your allegiance to
a sovereign in the prime of life, vigilant, sagacious, active and
enterprising. With respect to myself, if I have committed any error in
the course of a long administration, forgive and impute it to my
weakness, not to my intention. I shall ever retain a grateful sense of
your fidelity and attachment, and your welfare shall be the great object
of my prayers to Almighty God, to whom I now consecrate the remainder of
my days."

Then turning to his son Philip, he said:

"And you, my son, let the grateful recollection of this day redouble
your care and affection for your people. Other sovereigns may rejoice in
having given birth to their sons and in leaving their States to them
after their death. But I am anxious to enjoy, during my life, the double
satisfaction of feeling that you are indebted to me both for your birth
and power. Few monarchs will follow my example, and in the lapse of ages
I have scarcely found one whom I myself would imitate. The resolution,
therefore, which I have taken, and which I now carry into execution,
will be justified only by your proving yourself worthy of it. And you
will alone render yourself worthy of the extraordinary confidence which
I now repose in you by a zealous protection of your religion, and by
maintaining the purity of the Catholic faith, and by governing with
justice and moderation. And may you, if ever you are desirous of
retiring like myself to the tranquillity of private life, enjoy the
inexpressible happiness of having such a son, that you may resign your
crown to him with the same satisfaction as I now deliver mine to you."

The emperor was here entirely overcome by emotion, and embracing Philip,
sank exhausted into his chair. The affecting scene moved all the
audience to tears. Soon after this, with the same formalities the
emperor resigned the crown of Spain to his son, reserving to himself, of
all his dignities and vast revenues, only a pension of about twenty
thousand dollars a year. For some months he remained in the Low
Countries, and then returned to Spain to seek an asylum in a convent
there.

When in the pride of his power he once, while journeying in Spain, came
upon the convent of St. Justus in Estramadura, situated in a lovely
vale, secluded from all the bustle of life. The massive pile was
embosomed among the hills; forests spread widely around, and a beautiful
rivulet murmured by its walls. As the emperor gazed upon the enchanting
scene of solitude and silence he exclaimed, "Behold a lovely retreat for
another Diocletian!"

The picture of the convent of St. Justus had ever remained in his mind,
and perhaps had influenced him, when overwhelmed with care, to seek its
peaceful retirement. Embarking in a ship for Spain, he landed at Loredo
on the 28th of September, 1556. As soon as his feet touched the soil of
his native land he prostrated himself to the earth, kissed the ground,
and said,

"Naked came I into the world, and naked I return to thee, thou common
mother of mankind. To thee I dedicate my body, as the only return I can
make for all the benefits conferred on me."

Then kneeling, and holding the crucifix before him, with tears streaming
from his eyes, and all unmindful of the attendants who were around, he
breathed a fervent prayer of gratitude for the past, and commended
himself to God for the future. By slow and easy stages, as he was very
infirm, he journeyed to the vale of Estramadura, near Placentia, and
entered upon his silent, monastic life.

His apartments consisted of six small cells. The stone walls were
whitewashed, and the rooms furnished with the utmost frugality. Within
the walls of the convent, and communicating with the chapel, there was a
small garden, which the emperor had tastefully arranged with shrubbery
and flowers. Here Charles passed the brief remainder of his days. He
amused himself with laboring in the garden with his own hands. He
regularly attended worship in the chapel twice every day, and took part
in the service, manifestly with the greatest sincerity and devotion.

The emperor had not a cultivated mind, and was not fond of either
literary or scientific pursuits. To beguile the hours he amused himself
with tools, carving toys for children, and ingenious puppets and
automata to astonish the peasants. For a time he was very happy in his
new employment. After so stormy a life, the perfect repose and freedom
from care which he enjoyed in the convent, seemed to him the perfection
of bliss. But soon the novelty wore away, and his constitutional
despondency returned with accumulated power.

His dejection now assumed the form of religious melancholy. He began to
devote every moment of his time to devotional reading and prayer,
esteeming all amusements and all employments sinful which interfered
with his spiritual exercises. He expressed to the Bishop of Toledo his
determination to devote, for the rest of his days, every moment to the
service of God. With the utmost scrupulousness he carried out this plan.
He practiced rigid fasts, and conformed to all the austerity of convent
discipline. He renounced his pension, and sitting at the abstemious
table with the monks, declined seeing any other company than that of the
world-renouncing priests and friars around him. He scourged himself with
the most cruel severity, till his back was lacerated with the whip. He
whole soul seemed to crave suffering, in expiation for his sins. His
ingenuity was tasked to devise new methods of mortification and
humiliation. Ambition had ever been the ruling passion of his soul, and
now he was ambitious to suffer more, and to abuse himself more than any
other mortal had ever done.

Goaded by this impulse, he at last devised the scheme of solemnising his
own funeral. All the melancholy arrangements for his burial were made;
the coffin provided; the emperor reclined upon his bed as dead; he was
wrapped in his shroud, and placed in his coffin. The monks, and all the
inmates of the convent attended in mourning; the bells tolled; requiems
were chanted by the choir; the funeral service was read, and then the
emperor, as if dead, was placed in the tomb of the chapel, and the
congregation retired. The monarch, after remaining some time in his
coffin to impress himself with the sense of what it is to die, and be
buried, rose from his tomb, kneeled before the altar for some time in
worship, and then returned to his cell to pass the night in deep
meditation and prayer.

The shock and the chill of this solemn scene were too much for the old
monarch's feeble frame and weakened mind. He was seized with a fever,
and in a few days breathed his last, in the 59th year of his age. He had
spent a little over three years in the convent. The life of Charles V.
was a sad one. Through all his days he was consumed by unsatisfied
ambition, and he seldom enjoyed an hour of contentment. To his son he
said--

"I leave you a heavy burden; for, since my shoulders have borne it, I
have not passed one day exempt from disquietude."

Indeed it would seem that there could have been but little happiness for
anybody in those dark days of feudal oppression and of incessant wars.
Ambition, intrigue, duplicity, reigned over the lives of princes and
nobles, while the masses of the people were ever trampled down by
oppressive lords and contending armies. Europe was a field of fire and
blood. The cimeter of the Turk spared neither mother, maiden nor babe.
Cities and villages were mercilessly burned, cottages set in flames,
fields of grain destroyed, and whole populations carried into slavery,
where they miserably died. And the ravages of Christian warfare, duke
against duke, baron against baron, king against king, were hardly less
cruel and desolating. Balls from opposing batteries regard not the
helpless ones in their range. Charging squadrons must trample down with
iron hoof all who are in their way. The wail of misery rose from every
portion of Europe. The world has surely made some progress since that
day.

There was but very little that was loveable in the character of Charles,
and he seems to have had but very few friends. So intense and earnest
was he in the prosecution of the plans of grandeur which engrossed his
soul, that he was seldom known to smile. He had many of the attributes
of greatness, indomitable energy and perseverance, untiring industry,
comprehensive grasp of thought and capability of superintending the
minutest details. He had, also, a certain fanatic conscientiousness
about him, like that which actuated Saul of Tarsus, when, holding the
garments of those who stoned the martyr, he "verily thought that he was
doing God service."

Many anecdotes are told illustrative of certain estimable traits in his
character. When a boy, like other boys, he was not fond of study, and
being very self-willed, he would not yield to the entreaties of his
tutors. He consequently had but an imperfect education, which may in
part account for his excessive illiberality, and for many of his
stupendous follies. The mind, enlarged by liberal culture, is ever
tolerant. He afterwards regretted exceedingly this neglect of his early
studies. At Genoa, on some public occasion, he was addressed in a Latin
oration, not one word of which he understood.

"I now feel," he said, "the justice of my preceptor Adrian's
remonstrances, who frequently used to predict that I should be punished
for the thoughtlessness of my youth."

He was fond of the society of learned men, and treated them with great
respect. Some of the nobles complained that the emperor treated the
celebrated historian, Guicciardini, with much more respect than he did
them. He replied--

"I can, by a word, create a hundred nobles; but God alone can create a
Guicciardini."

He greatly admired the genius of Titian, and considered him one of the
most resplendent ornaments of his empire. He knew full well that Titian
would be remembered long after thousands of the proudest grandees of his
empire had sunk into oblivion. He loved to go into the studio of the
illustrious painter, and watch the creations of beauty as they rose
beneath his pencil. One day Titian accidentally dropped his brush. The
emperor picked it up, and, presenting it to the artist, said
gracefully--

"Titian is worthy of being served by an emperor."

Charles V. never, apparently, inspired the glow of affection, or an
emotion of enthusiasm in any bosom. He accomplished some reforms in the
German empire, and the only interest his name now excites is the
interest necessarily involved in the sublime drama of his long and
eventful reign.

It is now necessary to retrace our steps for a few years, that we may
note the vicissitudes of Austria, while the empire was passing through
the scenes we have narrated.

Ferdinand I., the brother of Charles V., who was left alone in the
government of Austria, was the second son of Philip the Handsome and
Joanna of Spain. His birth was illustrious, the Emperor Maximilian being
his paternal grandfather, and Ferdinand and Isabella being his
grandparents on his mother's side. He was born in Spain, March 10, 1503,
and received a respectable education. His manners were courteous and
winning, and he was so much more popular than Charles as quite to excite
the jealousy of his imperious and imperial spirit. Charles, upon
attaining the throne, ceded to his brother the Austrian territories,
which then consisted of four small provinces, Austria, Styria, Carinthia
and Carniola, with the Tyrol.

Ferdinand married Ann, princess of Hungary and Bohemia. The death of his
wife's brother Louis made her the heiress of those two crowns, and thus
secured to Ferdinand the magnificent dowry of the kingdoms of Hungary
and Bohemia. But possession of the scepter of those realms was by no
means a sinecure. The Turkish power, which had been for many years
increasing with the most alarming rapidity and had now acquired
appalling strength, kept Hungary, and even the Austrian States, in
constant and terrible alarm.

The Turks, sweeping over Persia, Arabia, Egypt, Syria, all Asia Minor,
crossing the straits and inundating Greece, fierce and semi-savage, with
just civilization enough to organize and guide with skill their
wolf-like ferocity, were now pressing Europe in Spain, in Italy, and
were crowding, in wave after wave of invasion, up the valley of the
Danube. They had created a navy which was able to cope with the most
powerful fleets of Europe, and island after island of the Mediterranean
was yielding to their sway.

In 1520, Solyman, called the Magnificent, overran Bosnia, and advancing
to the Danube, besieged and captured Belgrade, which strong fortress was
considered the only reliable barrier against his encroachments. At the
same time his fleet took possession of the island of Rhodes. After some
slight reverses, which the Turks considered merely embarrassments, they
resumed their aggressions, and Solyman, in 1525, again crossing the
Danube, entered Hungary with an army of two hundred thousand men. Louis,
who was then King of Hungary, brother of the wife of Ferdinand, was able
to raise an army of but thirty thousand to meet him. With more courage
than discretion, leading this feeble band, he advanced to resist the
foe. They met on the plains of Mohatz. The Turks made short work of it.
In a few hours, with their cimeters they hewed down nearly the whole
Christian army. The remnant escaped as lambs from wolves. The king, in
his heavy armor, spurred his horse into a stream to cross in his flight.
In attempting to ascend the bank, the noble charger, who had borne his
master bravely through the flood, fell back upon his rider, and the dead
body of the king was afterward picked up by the Turks, covered with the
mud of the morass. All Hungary would now have fallen into the hands of
the Turks had not Solyman been recalled by a rebellion in one of his own
provinces.

It was this event which placed the crowns of Bohemia and Hungary on the
brow of Ferdinand, and by annexing those two kingdoms to the Austrian
States, elevated Austria to be one of the first powers in Europe.
Ferdinand, thus strengthened sent ambassadors to Constantinople to
demand the restitution of Belgrade and other important towns which the
Turks still held in Hungary.

"Belgrade!" exclaimed the haughty sultan, when he heard the demand. "Go
tell your master that I am collecting troops and preparing for my
expedition. I will suspend at my neck the keys of my Hungarian
fortresses, and will bring them to that plain of Mohatz where Louis, by
the aid of Providence, found defeat and a grave. Let Ferdinand meet and
conquer me, and take them, after severing my head from my body! But if I
find him not there, I will seek him at Buda or follow him to Vienna."

Soon after this Solyman crossed the Danube with three hundred thousand
men, and advancing to Mohatz, encamped for several days upon the plain,
with all possible display or Oriental pomp and magnificence. Thus
proudly he threw down the gauntlet of defiance. But there was no
champion there to take it up. Striking his tents, and spreading his
banners to the breeze, in unimpeded march he ascended the Danube two
hundred miles from Belgrade to the city of Pest. And here his martial
bands made hill and vale reverberate the bugle blasts of victory. Pest,
the ancient capital of Hungary, rich in all the wealth of those days,
with a population of some sixty thousand, was situated on the left bank
of the river. Upon the opposite shore, connected by a fine bridge three
quarters of a mile in width, was the beautiful and opulent city of Buda.
In possession of these two maritime towns, then perhaps the most
important in Hungary, the Turks rioted for a few days in luxury and all
abominable outrage and indulgence, and then, leaving a strong garrison
to hold the fortresses, they continued their march. Pressing
resistlessly onward some hundred miles further, taking all the towns by
the way, on both sides of the Danube, they came to the city of Raab.

It seems incredible that there could have been such an unobstructed
march of the Turks, through the very heart of Hungary. But the Emperor
Charles V. was at that time in Italy, all engrossed in the fiercest
warfare there. Throughout the German empire the Catholics and the
Protestants were engaged in a conflict which absorbed all other
thoughts. And the Protestants resolutely refused to assist in repelling
the Turks while the sword of Catholic vengeance was suspended over them.
From Raab the invading army advanced some hundred miles further to the
very walls of Vienna. Ferdinand, conscious of his inability to meet the
foe in the open field, was concentrating all his available strength to
defend his capital.

At Cremnitz the Turks met with the first serious show of resistance. The
fortress was strong, and the garrison, inspired by the indomitable
energy and courage of their commandant, Nicholas, Count of Salm, for a
month repelled every assault of the foe. Day after day and night after
night the incessant bombardment continued; the walls were crumbed by the
storm of shot; column after column of the Turks rushed to the assault,
but all in vain. The sultan, disappointed and enraged, made one last
desperate effort, but his strong columns, thined, mangled and bleeding,
were compelled to retire in utter discomfiture.

Winter was now approaching. Reinforcements were also hastening from
Vienna, from Bohemia, and from other parts of the German empire.
Solyman, having devastated the country around him, and being all
unprepared for the storms of winter, was compelled to retire. He struck
his tents, and slowly and sullenly descended the Danube, wreaking
diabolical vengeance upon the helpless peasants, killing, burning and
destroying. Leaving a strong garrison to hold what remained of Buda and
Pest, he carried thousands with him into captivity, where, after years
of woe, they passed into the grave.

  "'Tis terrible to rouse the lion,
     Dreadful to cross the tiger's path;
  But the most terrible of terrors,
     Is man himself in his wild wrath."

Solyman spent two years in making preparation for another march to
Vienna, resolved to wipe out the disgrace of his last defeat by
capturing all the Austrian States, and of then spreading the terror of
his arms far and wide through the empire of Germany. The energy with
which he acted may be inferred from one well authenticated anecdote
illustrative of his character. He had ordered a bridge to be constructed
across the Drave. The engineer who had been sent to accomplish the task,
after a careful survey, reported that a bridge could not be constructed
at that point. Solyman sent him a linen cord with this message:

"The sultan, thy master, commands thee, without consideration of the
difficulties, to complete the bridge over the Drave. If thou doest it
not, on his arrival he will have thee strangled with this cord."

With a large army, thoroughly drilled, and equipped with all the
enginery of war, the sultan commenced his campaign. His force was so
stupendous and so incumbered with the necessary baggage and heavy
artillery, that it required a march of sixty days to pass from
Constantinople to Belgrade. Ferdinand, in inexpressible alarm, sent
ambassadors to Solyman, hoping to avert the storm by conciliation and
concessions. This indication of weakness but increased the arrogance of
the Turk.

He embarked his artillery on the Danube in a flotilla of three thousand
vessels. Then crossing the Save, which at Belgrade flows into the
Danube, he left the great central river of Europe on his right, and
marching almost due west through Sclavonia, approached the frontiers of
Styria, one of the most important provinces of the Austrian kingdom, by
the shortest route. Still it was a long march of some two hundred miles.
Among the defiles of the Illyrian mountains, through which he was
compelled to pass in his advance to Vienna, he came upon the little
fortress of Guntz, garrisoned only by eight hundred men. Solyman
expected to sweep this slight annoyance away as he would brush a fly
from his face. He sent his advance guard to demolish the impudent
obstacle; then, surprised by the resistance, he pushed forward a few
more battalions; then, enraged at the unexpected strength developed, he
ordered to the attack what he deemed an overwhelming force; and then, in
astonishment and fury, impelled against the fortress the combined
strength of his whole army. But the little crag stood, like a rock
opposing the flooding tide. The waves of war rolled on and dashed
against impenetrable and immovable granite, and were scattered back in
bloody spray. The fortress commanded the pass, and swept it clean with
an unintermitted storm of shot and balls. For twenty-eight days the
fortress resisted the whole force of the Turkish army, and prevented it
from advancing a mile. This check gave the terrified inhabitants of
Vienna, and of the surrounding region, time to unite for the defense of
the capital. The Protestants and the Catholics having settled their
difficulties by the pacification of Ratisbon, as we have before
narrated, combined all their energies; the pope sent his choicest
troops; all the ardent young men of the German empire, from the ocean to
the Alps, rushed to the banners of the cross, and one hundred and thirty
thousand men, including thirty thousand mounted horsemen, were speedily
gathered within and around the walls of Vienna.

Thus thwarted in his plans, Solyman found himself compelled to retreat
ingloriously, by the same path through which he had advanced. Thus
Christendom was relieved of this terrible menace. Though the Turks were
still in possession of Hungary, the allied troops of the empire
strangely dispersed without attempting to regain the kingdom from their
domination.



CHAPTER X.

FERDINAND I.--HIS WARS AND INTRIGUES.

From 1555 To 1562.

John Of Tapoli.--The Instability Of Compacts.--The Sultans's Demands.--A
Reign Of War.--Powers And Duties Of The Monarchs Of Bohemia.--The
Diet.--The King's Desire To Crush Protestantism.--The Entrance To
Prague.--Terror Of The Inhabitants.--The King's Conditions.--The Bloody
Diet.--Disciplinary Measures.--The Establishment Of The Order Of
Jesuits.--abdication Of Charles V. In Favor Of Ferdinand.--Power Of The
Pope.--Paul IV.--A Quiet But Powerful Blow.--The Progress Of The
Reformers.--Attempts To Reconcile The Protestants--The Unsuccessful
Assembly.


During all the wars with the Turks, a Transylvanian count, John of
Tapoli, was disputing Ferdinand's right to the throne of Hungary and
claiming it for himself. He even entered into negotiations with the
Turks, and coöperated with Solyman in his invasion of Hungary, having
the promise of the sultan that he should be appointed king of the realm
as soon as it was brought in subjection to Turkey. The Turks had now
possession of Hungary, and the sultan invested John of Tapoli with the
sovereignty of the kingdom, in the presence of a brilliant assemblage of
the officers of his army and of the Hungarian nobles.

The last discomfiture and retreat of Solyman encouraged Ferdinand to
redoubled exertions to reconquer Hungary from the combined forces of the
Turks and his Transylvanian rival. Several years passed away in
desultory, indecisive warfare, while John held his throne as tributary
king to the sultan. At last Ferdinand, finding that he could not resist
their united strength, and John becoming annoyed by the exactions of his
Turkish master, they agreed to a compromise, by which John, who was
aged, childless and infirm, was to remain king of all that part of
Hungary which he held until he died; and the whole kingdom was then to
revert to Ferdinand and his heirs--But it was agreed that should John
marry and have a son, that son should be viceroy, or, as the title then
was, _univode_, of his father's hereditary domain of _Transylvania_,
having no control over any portion of Hungary proper.

Somewhat to the disappointment of Ferdinand, the old monarch immediately
married a young bride. A son was born to them, and in fourteen days
after his birth the father died of a stroke of apoplexy. The child was
entitled to the viceroyship of Transylvania, while all the rest of
Hungary was to pass unincumbered to Ferdinand. But Isabella, the
ambitious young mother, who had married the decrepit monarch that she
might enjoy wealth and station, had no intention that her babe should be
less of a king than his father was. She was the daughter of Sigismond,
King of Poland, and relying upon the support of her regal father she
claimed the crown of Hungary for her boy, in defiance of the solemn
compact. In that age of chivalry a young and beautiful woman could
easily find defenders whatever might be her claims. Isabella soon
rallied around her banner many Hungarian nobles, and a large number of
adventurous knights from Poland.

Under her influence a large party of nobles met, chose the babe their
king, and crowned him, under the name of Stephen, with a great display
of military and religious pomp. They then conveyed him and his mother to
the strong castle of Buda and dispatched an embassy to the sultan at
Constantinople, avowing homage to him, as their feudal lord, and
imploring his immediate and vigorous support.

Ferdinand, thus defrauded, and conscious of his inability to rescue the
crown from the united forces of the Hungarian partisans of Stephen, and
from the Turks, condescended also to send a message to the sultan,
offering to hold the crown as his fief and to pay to the Porte the same
tribute which John had paid, if the sultan would support his claim. The
imperious Turk, knowing that he could depose the baby king at his
pleasure, insultingly rejected the proposals which Ferdinand had
humiliated himself in advancing. He returned in answer, that he
demanded, as the price of peace, not only that Ferdinand should renounce
all claim whatever to the crown of Hungary, but that he should also
acknowledge the Austrian territories as under vassalage to the Turkish
empire, and pay tribute accordingly.

Ferdinand, at the same time that he sent his embassy to Constantinople,
without waiting for a reply dispatched an army into Hungary, which
reached Buda and besieged Isabella and her son in the citadel.

He pressed the siege with such vigor that Isabella must have surrendered
had not an army of Turks come to her rescue. The Austrian troops were
defeated and dispersed. The sultan himself soon followed with a still
larger army, took possession of the city, secured the person of the
queen and the infant prince, and placed a garrison of ten thousand
janissaries in the citadel. The Turkish troops spread in all directions,
establishing themselves in towns, castles, fortresses, and setting at
defiance all Ferdinand's efforts to dislodge them. These events occurred
during the reign of the Emperor Charles V. The resources of Ferdinand
had become so exhausted that he was compelled, while affairs were in
this state, in the year 1545, ten years before the abdication of the
emperor, to implore of Solyman a suspension of arms.

The haughty sultan reluctantly consented to a truce of five years upon
condition that Ferdinand would pay him an annual tribute of about sixty
thousand dollars, and become feudatory of the Porte. To these
humiliating conditions Ferdinand felt compelled to assent. Solyman, thus
relieved from any trouble on the part of Ferdinand, compelled the queen
to renounce to himself all right which either she or her son had to the
throne. And now for many years we have nothing but a weary record of
intrigues, assassinations, wars and woes. Miserable Hungary was but a
field of blood. There were three parties, Ferdinand, Stephen and
Solyman, all alike ready to be guilty of any inhumanity or to perpetrate
any perfidy in the accomplishment of their plans. Ferdinand with his
armies held one portion of Hungary, Solyman another, and Stephen, with
his strong partisans another. Bombardment succeeded bombardment; cities
and provinces were now overrun by one set of troops and now by another;
the billows of war surged to and fro incessantly, and the wail of the
widow and the cry of the orphan ascended by day and by night to the ear
of God.

In 1556 the Turks again invested Stephen with the government of that
large portion of Hungary which they held, including Transylvania.
Ferdinand still was in possession of several important fortresses, and
of several of the western districts of Hungary bordering on the Austrian
States. Isabella, annoyed by her subjection to the Turks, made
propositions to Ferdinand for a reconciliation, and a truce was agreed
upon which gave the land rest for a few years.

While these storms were sweeping over Hungary, events of scarcely less
importance were transpiring in Bohemia. This kingdom was an elective
monarchy, and usually upon the death of a king the fiercest strife
ensued as to who should be his successor. The elected monarch, on
receiving the crown, was obliged to recognize the sovereignty of the
people as having chosen him for their ruler, and he promised to govern
according to the ancient constitution of the kingdom. The monarch,
however, generally found no difficulty in surrounding himself with such
strong supporters as to secure the election of his son or heir, and
frequently he had his successor chosen before his death. Thus the
monarchy, though nominally elective, was in its practical operation
essentially hereditary.

The authority of the crown was quite limited. The monarch was only
intrusted with so much power as the proud nobles were willing to
surrender to one of their number whom they appointed chief, whose
superiority they reluctantly acknowledged, and against whom they were
very frequently involved in wars. In those days the _people_ had hardly
a recognized existence. The nobles met in a congress called a diet, and
authorized their elected chief, the king, to impose taxes, raise troops,
declare war and institute laws according to their will. These diets were
differently composed under different reigns, and privileged cities were
sometimes authorized to send deputies whom they selected from the most
illustrious of their citizens. The king usually convoked the diets; but
in those stormy times of feuds, conspiracies and wars, there was hardly
any general rule. The nobles, displeased at some act of the king, would
themselves, through some one or more of their number, summon a diet and
organize resistance. The numbers attending such an irregular body were
of course very various. There appear to have been diets of the empire
composed of not more than half a dozen individuals, and others where as
many hundreds were assembled. Sometimes the meetings were peaceful, and
again tumultuous with the clashing of arms.

In Bohemia the conflict between the Catholics and the reformers had
raged with peculiar acrimony, and the reformers in that kingdom had
become a very numerous and influential body. Ferdinand was anxious to
check the progress of the Reformation, and he exerted all the power he
could command to defend and maintain Catholic supremacy. For ten years
Ferdinand was absent from Bohemia, all his energies being absorbed by
the Hungarian war. He was anxious to weaken the power of the nobles in
Bohemia. There was ever, in those days, either an open or a smothered
conflict between the king and the nobles, the monarch striving to grasp
more power, the nobles striving to keep him in subjection to them.
Ferdinand attempted to disarm the nobles by sending for all the
artillery of the kingdom, professing that he needed it to carry on his
war with the Turks. But the wary nobles held on to their artillery. He
then was guilty of the folly of hunting up some old exploded compacts,
in virtue of which he declared that Bohemia was not an elective but a
hereditary monarchy, and that he, as hereditary sovereign, held the
throne for himself and his heirs.

This announcement spread a flame of indignation through all the castles
of Bohemia. The nobles rallied, called a diet, passed strong
resolutions, organized an army, and adopted measures for vigorous
resistance. But Ferdinand was prepared for all these demonstrations. His
Hungarian truce enabled him to march a strong army on Bohemia. The party
in power has always numerous supporters from those who, being in office,
will lose their dignities by revolution. The king summoned all the well
affected to repair to his standards, threatening condign punishment to
all who did not give this proof of loyalty. Nobles and knights in great
numbers flocked to his encampment. With menacing steps his battalions
strode on, and triumphantly entered Prague, the capital city, situated
in the very heart of the kingdom.

The indignation in the city was great, but the king was too strong to be
resisted, and he speedily quelled all movements of tumult. Prague,
situated upon the steep and craggy banks of the Moldau, spanning the
stream, and with its antique dwellings rising tier above tier upon the
heights, is one of the most grand and imposing capitals of Europe. About
one hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants crowd its narrow streets and
massive edifices. Castles, fortresses, somber convents and the Gothic
palaces of the old Bohemian monarchs, occupying every picturesque
locality, as gray with age as the eternal crags upon which they stand,
and exhibiting every fantastic variety of architecture, present an
almost unrivaled aspect of beauty and of grandeur. The Palace on the
Hill alone is larger than the imperial palace at Vienna, containing over
four hundred apartments, some of them being rooms of magnificent
dimensions. The cathedral within the precincts of this palace occupied
more than one hundred and fifty years in its erection.

Ferdinand, with the iron energy and determined will of an enraged,
successful despot, stationed his troops at the gates, the bridges and at
every commanding position, and thus took military possession of the
city. The inhabitants, overawed and helpless, were in a state of terror.
The emperor summoned six hundred of the most influential of the citizens
to his palace, including all who possessed rank or office or wealth.
Tremblingly they came. As soon as they had entered, the gates were
closed and guarded, and they were all made prisoners. The king then,
seated upon his throne, in his royal robes, and with his armed officers
around him, ordered the captives like culprits to be led before him.
Sternly he charged them with treason, and demanded what excuse they had
to offer. They were powerless, and their only hope was in
self-abasement. One, speaking in the name of the rest, said:

"We will not presume to enter into any defense of our conduct with our
king and master. We cast ourselves upon his royal mercy."

They then all simultaneously threw themselves upon their knees,
imploring his pardon. The king allowed them to remain for some time in
that posture, that he might enjoy their humiliation. He then ordered his
officers to conduct them into the hall of justice, and detain them there
until he had decided respecting their punishment. For some hours they
were kept in this state of suspense. He then informed them, that out of
his great clemency he had decided to pardon them on the following
conditions.

They were to surrender all their constitutional privileges, whatever
they were, into the hands of the king, and be satisfied with whatever
privileges he might condescend to confer upon them. They were to bring
all their artillery, muskets and ammunition to the palace, and surrender
them to his officers; all the revenues of the city, together with a tax
upon malt and beer, were to be paid into his hands for his disposal, and
all their vassals, and their property of every kind, they were to resign
to the king and to his heirs, whom they were to acknowledge as the
_hereditary_ successors to the throne of Bohemia. Upon these conditions
the king promised to spare the rebellious city, and to pardon all the
offenders, excepting a few of the most prominent, whom he was determined
to punish with such severity as to prove an effectual warning to all
others.

The prisoners were terrified into the immediate ratification of these
hard terms. They were then all released, excepting forty, who were
reserved for more rigorous punishment. In the same manner the king sent
a summons to all the towns of the kingdom; and by the same terrors the
same terms were extorted. All the rural nobles, who had manifested a
spirit of resistance, were also summoned before a court of justice for
trial. Some fled the kingdom. Their estates were confiscated to
Ferdinand, and they were sentenced to death should they ever return.
Many others were deprived of their possessions. Twenty-six were thrown
into prison, and two condemned to public execution.

The king, having thus struck all the discontented with terror, summoned
a diet to meet in his palace at Prague. They met the 22d of August,
1547. A vast assemblage was convened, as no one who was summoned dared
to stay away. The king, wishing to give an intimation to the diet of
what they were to expect should they oppose his wishes, commenced the
session by publicly hanging four of the most illustrious of his
captives. One of these, high judge of the kingdom, was in the seventieth
year of his age. The Bloody Diet, as it has since been called, was
opened, and Ferdinand found all as pliant as he could wish. The royal
discipline had effected wonders. The slightest intimation of Ferdinand
was accepted with eagerness.

The execrable tyrant wished to impress the whole kingdom with a salutary
dread of incurring his paternal displeasure. He brought out the forty
prisoners who still remained in their dungeons. Eight of the most
distinguished men of the kingdom were led to three of the principal
cities, in each of which, in the public square, they were ignominiously
and cruelly whipped on the bare back. Before each flagellation the
executioner proclaimed--

"These men are punished because they are traitors, and because they
excited the people against their _hereditary_ master."

They then, with eight others, their property being confiscated, in utter
beggary, were driven as vagabonds from the kingdom. The rest, after
being impoverished by fines, were restored to liberty. Ferdinand adopted
vigorous measures to establish his despotic power. Considering the
Protestant religion as peculiarly hostile to despotism, in the
encouragement it afforded to education, to the elevation of the masses,
and to the diffusion of those principles of fraternal equality which
Christ enjoined; and considering the Catholic religion as the great
bulwark of kingly power, by the intolerance of the Church teaching the
benighted multitudes subjection to civil intolerance, Ferdinand, with
unceasing vigilance, and with melancholy success, endeavored to
eradicate the Lutheran doctrines from the kingdom. He established the
most rigorous censorship of the press, and would allow no foreign work,
unexamined, to enter the realm. He established in Bohemia the fanatic
order of the Jesuits, and intrusted to them the education of the young.

It is often impossible to reconcile the inconsistencies of the human
heart. Ferdinand, while guilty of such atrocities, affected, on some
points, the most scrupulous punctilios of honor. The clearly-defined
privileges which had been promised the Protestants, he would not
infringe in the least. They were permitted to give their children
Protestant teachers, and to conduct worship in their own way. He
effected his object of changing Bohemia from an elective to a hereditary
monarchy, and thus there was established in Bohemia the renowned
doctrine of regal legitimacy; of the _divine right_ of kings to govern.
With such a bloody hand was the doctrine of the sovereignty, not of the
_people_, but of the _nobles_, overthrown in Bohemia. The nobles are not
much to be commiserated, for they trampled upon the people as
mercilessly as the king did upon them. It is merely another illustration
of the old and melancholy story of the strong devouring the weak: the
owl takes the wren; the eagle the owl.

Bohemia, thus brought in subjection to a single mind, and shackled in
its spirit of free enterprise, began rapidly to exhibit symptoms of
decline and decay. It was a great revolution, accomplished by cunning
and energy, and maintained by the terrors of confiscation, exile and
death.

The Emperor Charles V., it will be remembered, had attempted in vain to
obtain the reversion of the imperial crown for his son Philip at his own
death. The crown of Spain was his hereditary possession, and that he
could transmit to his son. But the crown of the empire was elective.
Charles V. was so anxious to secure the imperial dignity for his son,
that he retained the crown of the empire for some months after
abdicating that of Spain, still hoping to influence the electors in
their choice. But there were so many obstacles in the way of the
recognition of the young Philip as emperor, that Charles, anxious to
retain the dignity in the family, reluctantly yielded to the intrigues
of his brother Ferdinand, who had now become so powerful that he could
perhaps triumph over any little irregularity in the succession and
silence murmurs.

Consequently, Charles, nine months after the abdication of the thrones
of the Low Countries and of Spain, tried the experiment of abdicating
the _elective_ crown of the empire in favor of Ferdinand. It was in many
respects such an act as if the President of the United States should
abdicate in favor of some one of his own choice. The emperor had,
however, a semblance of right to place the scepter in the hands of whom
he would during his lifetime. But, upon the death of the emperor, would
his appointee still hold his power, or would the crown at that moment be
considered as falling from his brow? It was the 7th of August, 1556,
when the emperor abdicated the throne of the empire in behalf of his
brother Ferdinand. It was a new event in history, without a precedent,
and the matter was long and earnestly discussed throughout the German
States. Notwithstanding all Ferdinand's energy, sagacity and despotic
power, two years elapsed before he could secure the acknowledgment of
his title, by the German States, and obtain a proclamation of his
imperial state.

The pope had thus far had such an amazing control over the conscience,
or rather the superstition of Europe, that the choice of the electors
was ever subject to the ratification of the holy father. It was
necessary for the emperor elect to journey to Rome, and be personally
crowned by the hands of the pope, before he could be considered in legal
possession of the imperial title and of a right to the occupancy of the
throne. Julius II., under peculiar circumstances, allowed Maximilian to
assume the title of _emperor elect_ while he postponed his visit to Rome
for coronation; but the want of the papal sanction, by the imposition of
the crown upon his brow by those _sacred hands_, thwarted Maximilian in
some of his most fondly-cherished measures.

Paul IV. was now pontiff, an old man, jealous of his prerogatives,
intolerant in the extreme, and cherishing the most exorbitant sense of
his spiritual power. He execrated the Protestants, and was indignant
with Ferdinand that he had shown them any mercy at all. But Ferdinand,
conscious of the importance of a papal coronation, sent a very
obsequious embassy to Rome, announcing his appointment as emperor, and
imploring the benediction of the holy father and the reception of the
crown from his hands. The haughty and disdainful reply of the pope was
characteristic of the times and of the man. It was in brief, as follows:

"The Emperor Charles has behaved like a madman; and his acts are no more
to be respected than the ravings of insanity. Charles V. received the
imperial crown from the head of the Church; in abdicating, that crown
could only return to the sacred hands which conferred it. The nomination
of Ferdinand as his successor we pronounce to be null and void. The
alleged ratification of the electors is a mockery, dishonored and
vitiated as it is by the votes of electors polluted with heresy. We
therefore command Ferdinand to relinquish all claim to the imperial
crown."

The irascible old pontiff, buried beneath the senseless pomps of the
Vatican, was not at all aware of the change which Protestant preaching
and writing had effected in the public mind of Germany. Italy was still
slumbering in the gloom of the dark ages; but light was beginning to
dawn upon the hills of the empire. One half of the population of the
German empire would rally only the more enthusiastically around
Ferdinand, if he would repel all papal assumptions with defiance and
contempt. Ferdinand was the wiser and the better informed man of the
two. He conducted with dignity and firmness which make us almost forget
his crimes. A diet was summoned, and it was quietly decreed that a
_papal coronation was no longer necessary_. That one short line was the
heaviest blow the papal throne had yet received. From it, it never
recovered and never can recover.

Paul IV. was astounded at such effrontery, and as soon as he had
recovered a little from his astonishment, alarmed in view of such a
declaration of independence, he took counsel of discretion, and
humiliating as it was, made advances for a reconciliation. Ferdinand was
also anxious to be on good terms with the pope. While negotiations were
pending, Paul died, his death being perhaps hastened by chagrin. Pius
IV. succeeded him, and pressed still more earnestly overtures for
reconciliation Ferdinand, through his ambassador, expressed his
willingness to pledge the accustomed _devotion_ and _reverence_ to the
head of the Church, omitting the word _obedience_. But the pope was
anxious, above all things, to have that emphatic word _obey_ introduced
into the ritual of subjection, and after employing all the arts of
diplomacy and cajolery, carried his point. Ferdinand, with duplicity
which was not honorable, let the word remain, saying that it was not his
act, but that of his ambassador. The pope affected satisfaction with the
formal acknowledgment of his power, while Ferdinand ever after refused
to recognize his authority. Thus terminated the long dependence, running
through ages of darkness and delusion, of the German emperors upon the
Roman see.

Ferdinand did not trouble himself to receive the crown from the pope,
and since his day the emperors of Germany have no longer been exposed to
the expense and the trouble of a journey to Rome for their coronation.
Though Ferdinand was strongly attached to the tenets of the papal
church, and would gladly have eradicated Protestantism from his domains,
he was compelled to treat the Protestants with some degree of
consideration, as he needed the aid of their arms in the wars in which
he was incessantly involved with the Turks. He even made great efforts
to introduce some measure of conciliation which should reconcile the two
parties, and thus reunite his realms under one system of doctrine and of
worship.

Still Protestantism was making rapid strides all over Europe. It had
become the dominant religion in Denmark and Sweden, and, by the
accession of Elizabeth to the throne of England, was firmly established
in that important kingdom. In France also the reformed religion had made
extensive inroads, gathering to its defense many of the noblest spirits,
in rank and intellect, in the realm. The terrors of the inquisition had
thus far prevented the truth from making much progress in Spain and
Portugal.

With the idea of promoting reconciliation, Ferdinand adopted a measure
which contributed greatly to his popularity with the Protestants. He
united with France and Spain in urging Pius IV., a mild and pliant
pontiff, to convene a council in Germany to heal the religious feud. He
drew up a memorial, which was published and widely scattered, declaring
that the Protestants had become far too powerful to be treated with
outrage or contempt; that there were undeniable wrongs in the Church
which needed to be reformed; and that no harm could accrue from
permitting the clergy to marry, and to administer both bread and wine to
the communicants in the Lord's Supper. It was a doctrine of the Church
of Rome, that the laity could receive the bread only; the wine was
reserved for the officiating priest.

This memorial of Ferdinand, drawn up with much distinctness and great
force of argument, was very grateful to the Protestants, but very
displeasing to the court of Rome. These conflicts raged for several
years without any decisive results. The efforts of Ferdinand to please
both parties, as usual, pleased neither. By the Protestants he was
regarded as a persecutor and intolerant; while the Catholics accused him
of lukewarmness, of conniving at heresy and of dishonoring the Church by
demanding of her concessions derogatory to her authority and her
dignity.

Ferdinand, finding that the Church clung with deathly tenacity to its
corruptions, assumed himself quite the attitude of a reformer. A
memorable council had been assembled at Trent on the 15th of January,
1562. Ferdinand urged the council to exhort the pope to examine if there
was not room for some reform in his own person, state or court.
"Because," said he, "the only true method to obtain authority for the
reformation of others, is to begin by amending oneself." He commented
upon the manifest impropriety of scandalous indulgences: of selling the
sacred offices of the Church to the highest bidder, regardless of
character; of extorting fees for the administration of the sacrament of
the Lord's Supper; of offering prayers and performing the services of
public devotion in a language which the people could not understand; and
other similar and most palpable abuses. Even the kings of France and
Spain united with the emperor in these remonstrances.

It is difficult now to conceive of the astonishment and indignation with
which the pope and his adherents received these very reasonable
suggestions, coming not from the Protestants but from the most staunch
advocates of the papacy. The see of Rome, corrupt to its very core,
would yield nothing. The more senseless and abominable any of its
corruptions were, the more tenaciously did pope and cardinals cling to
them. At last the emperor, in despair of seeing any thing accomplished,
requested that the assembly might be dissolved, saying, "Nothing good
can be expected, even if it continue its sittings for a hundred years."



CHAPTER XI.

DEATH OF FERDINAND I.--ACCESSION OF MAXIMILIAN II.

From 1562 to 1576.

The Council of Trent.--Spread of the Reformation.--Ferdinand's Attempt
to Influence the Pope.--His Arguments against Celibacy.--Stubbornness of
the Pope.--Maximilian II.--Displeasure of Ferdinand.--Motives for not
Abjuring the Catholic Faith.--Religious Strife in Europe.--Maximilian's
Address to Charles IX.--Mutual Toleration.--Romantic Pastime of
War.--Heroism of Nicholas, Count Of Zrini.--Accession of Power to
Austria.--Accession of Rhodolph III.--Death of Maximilian.


This celebrated council of Trent, which was called with the hope that by
a spirit of concession and reform the religious dissensions which
agitated Europe might be adjusted, declared, in the very bravado of
papal intolerance, the very worst abuses of the Church to be essential
articles of faith, which could only be renounced at the peril of eternal
condemnation, and thus presented an insuperable barrier to any
reconciliation between the Catholics and the Protestants. Ferdinand was
disappointed, and yet did not venture to break with the pope by
withholding his assent from the decrees which were enacted.

The Lutheran doctrines had spread widely through Ferdinand's hereditary
States of Austria. Several of the professors in the university at Vienna
had embraced those views; and quite a number of the most powerful and
opulent of the territorial lords even maintained Protestant chaplains at
their castles. The majority of the inhabitants of the Austrian States
had, in the course of a few years, become Protestants. Though Ferdinand
did every thing he dared to do to check their progress, forbidding the
circulation of Luther's translation of the Bible, and throwing all the
obstacles he could in the way of Protestant worship, he was compelled to
grant them very considerable toleration, and to overlook the infraction
of his decrees, that he might secure their aid to repel the Turks.
Providence seemed to overrule the Moslem invasion for the protection of
the Protestant faith. Notwithstanding all the efforts of Ferdinand, the
reformers gained ground in Austria as in other parts of Germany.

The two articles upon which the Protestants at this time placed most
stress were the right of the clergy to marry and the administration of
the communion under both kinds, as it was called; that is, that the
communicants should partake of both the bread and the wine. Ferdinand,
having failed entirely in inducing the council to submit to any reform,
opened direct communication with the pope to obtain for his subjects
indulgence in respect to these two articles. In advocacy of this measure
he wrote:

"In Bohemia no persuasion, no argument, no violence, not even arms and
war, have succeeded in abolishing the use of the cup as well as the
bread in the sacrament. In fact the Church itself permitted it, although
the popes revoked it by a breach of the conditions on which it was
granted. In the other States, Hungary, Austria, Silesia, Styria,
Carinthia, Carniola, Bavaria and other parts of Germany, many desire
with ardor the same indulgence. If this concession is granted they may
be reunited to the Church, but if refused they will be driven into the
party of the Protestants. So many of the priests have been degraded by
their diocesans for administering the sacrament in both kinds, that the
country is almost deprived of priests. Hence children die or grow up to
maturity without baptism; and men and women, of all ages and of all
ranks, live like the brutes, in the grossest ignorance of God and of
religion."

In reference to the marriage of the clergy he wrote: "If a permission to
the clergy to marry can not be granted, may not married men of learning
and probity be ordained, according to the custom of the eastern church;
or married priests be tolerated for a time, provided they act according
to the Catholic and Christian faith? And it may be justly asked whether
such concessions would not be far preferable to tolerating, as has
unfortunately been done, fornication and concubinage? I can not avoid
adding, what is a common observation, that priests who live in
concubinage are guilty of greater sin than those who are married; for
the last only transgress a law which is capable of being changed,
whereas the first sin against a divine law, which is capable of neither
change nor dispensation."

The pope, pressed with all the importunity which Ferdinand could urge,
reluctantly consented to the administration of the cup to the laity, but
resolutely refused to tolerate the marriage of the clergy. Ferdinand was
excessively annoyed by the stubbornness of the court of Rome in its
refusal to submit to the most reasonable reform, thus rendering it
impossible for him to allay the religious dissensions which were still
spreading and increasing in acrimony. His disappointment was so great
that it is said to have thrown him into the fever of which he died on
the 25th of July, 1564.

For several ages the archdukes of Austria had been endeavoring to unite
the Austrian States with Hungary and Bohemia under one monarchy. The
union had been temporarily effected once or twice, but Ferdinand
accomplished the permanent union, and may thus be considered as the
founder of the Austrian monarchy essentially as it now exists. As
Archduke of Austria, he inherited the Austrian duchies. By his marriage
with Anne, daughter of Ladislaus, King of Hungary and Bohemia, he
secured those crowns, which he made hereditary in his family. He left
three sons. The eldest, Maximilian, inherited the archduchy of Austria
and the crowns of Bohemia and Hungary, of course inheriting, with
Hungary, prospective war with the Turks. The second son, Ferdinand, had,
as his legacy, the government and the revenues of the Tyrol. The third
son, Charles, received Styria. There were nine daughters left, three of
whom took the vail and the rest formed illustrious marriages.

Ferdinand appears to have been a sincere Catholic, though he saw the
great corruptions of the Church and earnestly desired reform. As he
advanced in years he became more tolerant and gentle, and had his wise
counsels been pursued Europe would have escaped inexpressible woes.
Still he clung to the Church, unwisely seeking unity of faith and
discipline, which can hardly be attained in this world, rather than
toleration with allowed diversity.

Maximilian II. was thirty-seven years of age on his accession to the
throne. Although he was educated in the court of Spain, which was the
most bigoted and intolerant in Europe, yet he developed a character
remarkable for mildness, affability and tolerance. He was indebted for
these attractive traits to his tutor, a man of enlarged and cultivated
mind, and who had, like most men of his character at that time, a strong
leaning towards Protestantism. These principles took so firm a hold of
his youthful mind that they could never be eradicated. As he advanced in
life he became more and more interested in the Protestant faith. He
received a clergyman of the reformed religion as his chaplain and
private secretary, and partook of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper,
from his hands, in both kinds. Even while remaining in the Spanish court
he entered into a correspondence with several of the most influential
advocates of the Protestant faith. Returning to Austria from Spain, he
attended public worship in the chapels of the Protestants, and communed
with them in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. When some of his
friends warned him that by pursuing such a course he could never hope to
obtain the imperial crown of Germany, he replied:

"I will sacrifice all worldly interests for the sake of my salvation."

His father, the Emperor Ferdinand, was so much displeased with his son's
advocacy of the Protestant faith, that after many angry remonstrances he
threatened to disinherit him if he did not renounce all connection with
the reformers. But Maximilian, true to his conscience, would not allow
the apprehension of the loss of a crown to induce him to swerve from his
faith. Fully expecting to be thus cast off and banished from the
kingdom, he wrote to the Protestant elector Palatine:

"I have so deeply offended my father by maintaining a Lutheran preacher
in my service, that I am apprehensive of being expelled as a fugitive,
and hope to find an asylum in your court."

The Catholics of course looked with apprehension to the accession of
Maximilian to the throne, while the Protestants anticipated the event
with great hope. There were, however, many considerations of vast moment
influencing Maximilian not to separate himself, in form, from the
Catholic church. Philip, his cousin, King of Spain, was childless, and
should he die without issue, Ferdinand would inherit that magnificent
throne, which he could not hope to ascend, as an avowed Protestant,
without a long and bloody war. It had been the most earnest dying
injunction of his father that he should not abjure the Catholic faith.
His wife was a very zealous Catholic, as was also each one of his
brothers. There were very many who remained in the Catholic church whose
sympathies were with the reformers--who hoped to promote reformation in
the Church without leaving it. Influenced by such considerations,
Maximilian made a public confession of the Catholic faith, received his
father's confessor, and maintained, in his court, the usages of the
papal church. He was, however, the kind friend of the Protestants, ever
seeking to shield them from persecution, claiming for them a liberal
toleration, and seeking, in all ways, to promote fraternal religious
feeling throughout his domains.

The prudence of Maximilian wonderfully allayed the bitterness of
religious strife in Germany, while other portions of Europe were
desolated with the fiercest warfare between the Catholics and
Protestants. In France, in particular, the conflict raged with merciless
fury. It was on August 24th, 1572, but a few years after Maximilian
ascended the throne, when the Catholics of France perpetrated the
Massacre of St. Bartholomew, perhaps the most atrocious crime recorded
in history. The Catholics and Protestants in France were nearly equally
divided in numbers, wealth and rank. The papal party, finding it
impossible to crush their foes by force of arms, resolved to exterminate
them by a simultaneous massacre. They feigned toleration and
reconciliation. The court of Paris invited all the leading Protestants
of the kingdom to the metropolis to celebrate the nuptials of Henry, the
young King of Navarre, with Margaret, sister of Charles IX., the
reigning monarch. Secret orders were dispatched all over the kingdom,
for the conspirators, secretly armed, at a given signal, by midnight, to
rise upon the Protestants, men, women and children, and utterly
exterminate them. "Let not one remain alive," said the King of France,
"to tell the story."

The deed was nearly accomplished. The king himself, from a window of the
Louvre, fired upon his Protestant subjects, as they fled in dismay
through the streets. In a few hours eighty thousand of the Protestants
were mangled corpses. Protestantism in France has never recovered from
this blow. Maximilian openly expressed his execration of this deed,
though the pope ordered Te Deums to be chanted at Rome in exultation
over the crime. Not long after this horrible slaughter, Charles IX. died
in mental torment. Henry of Valois, brother of the deceased king,
succeeded to the throne. He was at that time King of Poland. Returning
to France, through Vienna, he had an interview with Maximilian, who
addressed him in those memorable words which have often been quoted to
the honor of the Austrian sovereign:

"There is no crime greater in princes," said Maximilian, "than to
tyrannize over the consciences of their subjects. By shedding the blood
of heretics, far from honoring the common Father of all, they incur the
divine vengeance; and while they aspire, by such means, to crowns in
heaven, they justly expose themselves to the loss of their earthly
kingdoms."

Under the peaceful and humane reign of Ferdinand, Germany was kept in a
general state of tranquillity, while storms of war and woe were sweeping
over almost all other parts of Europe. During all his reign, Maximilian
II. was unwearied in his endeavors to promote harmony between the two
great religious parties, by trying, on the one hand, to induce the pope
to make reasonable concessions, and, on the other hand, to induce the
Protestants to moderate their demands. His first great endeavor was to
induce the pope to consent to the marriage of the clergy. In this he
failed entirely. He then tried to form a basis of mutual agreement, upon
which the two parties could unite. His father had attempted this plan,
and found it utterly impracticable. Maximilian attempted it, with just
as little success. It has been attempted a thousand times since, and has
always failed. Good men are ever rising who mourn the divisions in the
Christian Church, and strive to form some plan of union, where all true
Christians can meet and fraternize, and forget their minor differences.
Alas! for poor human nature, there is but little prospect that this plan
can ever be accomplished. There will be always those who can not
discriminate between essential and non-essential differences of opinion.
Maximilian at last fell back simply upon the doctrine of a liberal
toleration, and in maintaining this he was eminently successful.

At one time the Turks were crowding him very hard in Hungary. A special
effort was requisite to raise troops to repel them. Maximilian summoned
a diet, and appealed to the assembled nobles for supplies of men and
money. In Austria proper, Protestantism was now in the decided
ascendency. The nobles took advantage of the emperor's wants to reply--

"We are ready to march to the assistance of our sovereign, to repel the
Turks from Hungary, if the Jesuits are first expelled from our
territories."

The answer of the king was characteristic of his policy and of his
career. "I have convened you," he said, "to give me contributions, not
remonstrances. I wish you to help me expel the Turks, not the Jesuits."

From many a prince this reply would have excited exasperation. But
Maximilian had established such a character for impartiality and
probity, that the rebuke was received with applause rather than with
murmurs, and the Protestants, with affectionate zeal, rallied around his
standard. So great was the influence of the king, that toleration, as
one of the virtues of the court, became the fashion, and the Catholics
and Protestants vied with each other in the manifestation of mutual
forbearance and good will. They met on equal terms in the palace of the
monarch, shared alike in his confidence and his favors, and cooperated
cordially in the festivities of the banqueting room, and in the toils of
the camp. We love to dwell upon the first beautiful specimen of
toleration which the world has seen in any court. It is the more
beautiful, and the more wonderful, as having occurred in a dark age of
bigotry, intolerance and persecution. And let us be sufficiently candid
to confess, that it was professedly a Roman Catholic monarch, a member
of the papal church, to whom the world is indebted for this first
recognition of true mental freedom. It can not be denied that Maximilian
II. was in advance of the avowed Protestants of his day.

Pope Pius V. was a bigot, inflexible, overbearing; and he determined,
with a bloody hand, to crush all dissent. From his throne in the Vatican
he cast an eagle eye to Germany, and was alarmed and indignant at the
innovations which Maximilian was permitting. In all haste he dispatched
a legate to remonstrate strongly against such liberality. Maximilian
received the legate, Cardinal Commendon, with courtesy, but for a time
firmly refused to change his policy in obedience to the exactions of the
pope. The pope brought to bear upon him all the influence of the Spanish
court. He was threatened with war by all the papal forces, sustained by
the then immense power of the Spanish monarchy. For a time Maximilian
was in great perplexity, and finally yielded to the pope so far as to
promise not to permit any further innovations than those which he had
already allowed, and not to extend his principles of toleration into any
of his States where they had not as yet been introduced. Thus, while he
did not retract any concessions he had made, he promised to stop where
he was, and proceed no further.

Maximilian was so deeply impressed with the calamities of war, that he
even sent an embassy to the Turks, offering to continue to pay the
tribute which they had exacted of his father, as the price of a
continued armistice. But Solyman, having made large preparations for the
renewed invasion of Hungary, and sanguine of success, haughtily rejected
the offer, and renewed hostilities.

Nearly all of the eastern and southern portions of Hungary were already
in the hands of the Turks. Maximilian held a few important towns and
strong fortresses on the western frontier. Not feeling strong enough to
attempt to repel the Turks from the portion they already held, he
strengthened his garrisons, and raising an army of eighty thousand men,
of which he assumed the command, he entered Hungary and marched down the
Danube about sixty miles to Raab, to await the foe and act on the
defensive. Solyman rendezvoused an immense army at Belgrade, and
commenced his march up the Danube.

"Old as I am," said he to his troops, "I am determined to chastise the
house of Austria, or to perish in the attempt beneath the walls of
Vienna."

It was beautiful spring weather, and the swelling buds and hourly
increasing verdure, decorated the fields with loveliness. For several
days the Turks marched along the right bank of the Danube, through green
fields, and beneath a sunny sky, encountering no foe. War seemed but as
the pastime of a festive day, as gay banners floated in the breeze,
groups of horsemen, gorgeously caparisoned, pranced along, and the
turbaned multitude, in brilliant uniform, with jokes, and laughter and
songs, leisurely ascended the majestic stream. A fleet of boats filled
the whole body of the river, impelled by sails when the wind favored,
or, when the winds were adverse, driven by the strong arms of the rowers
against the gentle tide. Each night the white tents were spread, and a
city for a hundred thousand inhabitants rose as by magic, with its
grassy streets, its squares, its busy population, its music, its
splendor, blazing in all the regalia of war. As by magic the city rose
in the rays of the declining sun. As by magic it disappeared in the
early dawn of the morning, and the mighty hosts moved on.

A few days thus passed, when Solyman approached the fortified town of
Zigeth, near the confluence of the Drave and the Danube. Nicholas, Count
of Zrini, was intrusted with the defense of this place, and he fulfilled
his trust with heroism and valor which has immortalized both his name
and the fortress which he defended. Zrini had a garrison of but three
thousand men. An army of nearly a hundred thousand were marching upon
him. Zrini collected his troops, and took a solemn oath, in the presence
of all, that, true to God, to his Christian faith, and his country, he
never would surrender the town to the Turks, but with his life. He then
required each soldier individually to take the same oath to his captain.
All the captains then, in the presence of the assembled troops, took the
same oath to him.

The Turks soon arrived and commenced an unceasing bombardment day and
night. The little garrison vigorously responded. The besieged made
frequent sallies, spiking the guns of the besiegers, and again retiring
behind their works. But their overpowering foes advanced, inch by inch,
till they got possession of what was called the "old city." The besieged
retiring to the "new city," resumed the defense with unabated ardor. The
storm of war raged incessantly for many days, and the new city was
reduced to a smoldering heap of fire and ashes. The Turks, with
incredible labor, raised immense mounds of earth and stone, on the
summits of which they planted their batteries, where they could throw
their shot, with unobstructed aim, into every part of the city. Roads
were constructed across the marsh, and the swarming multitudes, in
defiance of all the efforts of the heroic little garrison, filled up the
ditch, and were just on the rush to take the place by a general assault,
when Zrini abandoned the new city to flames, and threw himself into the
citadel. His force was now reduced to about a thousand men. Day after
day the storm of war blazed with demoniac fury around the citadel. Mines
were dug, and, as by volcanic explosions, bastions, with men and guns,
were blown high into the air. The indomitable Hungarians made many
sallies, cutting down the gunners and spiking the guns, but they were
always driven back with heavy loss. Repeated demands for capitulation
were sent in and as repeatedly rejected. For a week seven assaults were
made daily upon the citadel by the Turks, but they were always repulsed.
At length the outer citadel was entirely demolished. Then the heroic
band retired to the inner works. They were now without ammunition or
provisions, and the Turks, exasperated by such a defense, were almost
gnashing their teeth with rage. The old sultan, Solyman, actually died
from the intensity of his vexation and wrath. The death of the sultan
was concealed from the Turkish troops, and a general assault was
arranged upon the inner works. The hour had now come when they must
surrender or die, for the citadel was all battered into a pile of
smoldering ruins, and there were no ramparts capable of checking the
progress of the foe. Zrini assembled his little band, now counting but
six hundred, and said,

"Remember your oath. We must die in the flames, or perish with hunger,
or go forth to meet the foe. Let us die like men. Follow me, and do as I
do."

They made a simultaneous rush from their defenses into the thickest of
the enemy. For a few moments there was a scene of wildest uproar and
confusion, and the brave defenders were all silent in death. The Turks
with shouts of triumph now rushed into the citadel. But Zrini had fired
trains leading to the subterranean vaults of powder, and when the ruins
were covered with the conquerors, a sullen roar ran beneath the ground
and the whole citadel, men, horses, rocks and artillery were thrown into
the air, and fell a commingled mass of ruin, fire and blood. A more
heroic defense history has not recorded. Twenty thousand Turks perished
in this siege. The body of Zrini was found in the midst of the mangled
dead. His head was cut off and, affixed to a pole, was raised as a
trophy before the tent of the deceased sultan.

The death of Solyman, and the delay which this desperate siege had
caused, embarrassed all the plans of the invaders, and they resolved
upon a retreat. The troops were consequently withdrawn from Hungary, and
returned to Constantinople.

Maximilian, behind his intrenchments at Raab, did not dare to march to
the succor of the beleaguered garrison, for overpowering numbers would
immediately have destroyed him had he appeared in the open field. But
upon the withdrawal of the Turks he disbanded his army, after having
replenished his garrisons, and returned to Vienna. Selim succeeded
Solyman, and Maximilian sent an embassy to Constantinople to offer terms
of peace. At the same time, to add weight to his negotiations, he
collected a large army, and made the most vigorous preparations for the
prosecution of the war.

Selim, just commencing his reign, anxious to consolidate his power, and
embarrassed by insurrection in his own realms, was glad to conclude an
armistice on terms highly favorable to Maximilian. John Sigismond, who
had been crowned by the Turks, as their tributary King of Hungary, was
to retain Transylvania. The Turks were to hold the country generally
between Transylvania and the river Teiss, while Ferdinand was to have
the remainder, extending many hundred miles from the Teiss to Austria.
The Prince of Transylvania was compelled, though very reluctantly, to
assent to this treaty. He engaged not to assume the title of King of
Hungary, except in correspondence with the Turks. The emperor promised
him one of his nieces in marriage, and in return it was agreed that
should John Sigismond die without male issue, Transylvania should revert
to the crown of Hungary.

Soon after this treaty, John Sigismond died, before his marriage with
the emperor's niece, and Transylvania was again united to Hungary and
came under the sway of Maximilian. This event formed quite an accession
to the power of the Austrian monarch, as he now held all of Hungary save
the southern and central portion where the Turks had garrisoned the
fortresses. The pope, the King of Spain, and the Venetians, now sent
united ambassadors to the emperor urging him to summon the armies of the
empire and drive the Turks entirely out of Hungary. Cardinal Commendon
assured the emperor, in the name of the holy father of the Church, that
it was no sin to violate any compact with the infidel. Maximilian nobly
replied,

"The faith of treaties ought to be considered as inviolable, and a
Christian can never be justified in breaking an oath."

Maximilian never enjoyed vigorous health, and being anxious to secure
the tranquillity of his extended realms after his death, he had his
eldest son, Rhodolph, in a diet at Presburg, crowned King of Hungary.
Rhodolph at once entered upon the government of his realm as viceroy
during the life of his father. Thus he would have all the reins of
government in his hands, and, at the death of the emperor, there would
be no apparent change.

It will be remembered that Ferdinand had, by violence and treachery,
wrested from the Bohemians the privilege of electing their sovereign,
and had thus converted Bohemia into an hereditary monarchy. Maximilian,
with characteristic prudence, wished to maintain the hereditary right
thus established, while at the same time he wished to avoid wounding the
prejudices of those who had surrendered the right of suffrage only to
fraud and the sword. He accordingly convoked a diet at Prague. The
nobles were assembled in large numbers, and the occasion was invested
with unusual solemnity. The emperor himself introduced to them his son,
and recommended him to them as their future sovereign. The nobles were
much gratified by so unexpected a concession, and with enthusiasm
accepted their new king. The emperor had thus wisely secured for his son
the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia.

Having succeeded in these two important measures, Maximilian set about
the more difficult enterprise of securing for his son his succession
upon the imperial throne. This was a difficult matter in the strong
rivalry which then existed between the Catholics and the Protestants.
With caution and conciliation, encountering and overturning innumerable
obstacles, Maximilian proceeded, until having, as he supposed, a fair
chance of success, he summoned the diet of electors at Ratisbon. But
here new difficulties arose. The Protestants were jealous of their
constantly imperiled privileges, and wished to surround them with
additional safeguards. The Catholics, on the contrary, stimulated by the
court of Rome, wished to withdraw the toleration already granted, and to
pursue the Protestant faith with new rigor. The meeting of the diet was
long and stormy, and again they were upon the point of a violent
dissolution. But the wisdom, moderation and perseverance of Maximilian
finally prevailed, and his success was entire. Rhodolph III. was
unanimously chosen to succeed him upon the imperial throne, and was
crowned at Ratisbon on the 1st of November, 1575.

Poland was strictly an elective monarchy. The tumultuous nobles had
established a law prohibiting the election of a successor during the
lifetime of the monarch. Their last king had been the reckless,
chivalrous Henry, Duke of Anjou, brother of Charles IX. of France.
Charles IX. having died without issue, Henry succeeded him upon the
throne of France, and abdicated the crown of the semi-barbaric wilds of
Poland. The nobles were about to assemble for the election. There were
many influential candidates. Maximilian was anxious to obtain the crown
for his son Ernest. Much to the surprise of Maximilian, he himself was
chosen king. Protestantism had gained the ascendency in Poland, and a
large majority of the nobles united upon Maximilian. The electors
honored both themselves and the emperor in assigning, as the reason for
their choice, that the emperor had conciliated the contending factions
of the Christian world, and had acquired more glory by his pacific
policy than other princes had acquired in the exploits of war.

There were curious conditions at that time assigned to the occupancy of
the throne of Poland. The elected monarch, before receiving the crown,
was required to give his pledge that he would reside two years
uninterruptedly in the kingdom, and that then he would not leave without
the consent of the nobles. He was also required to construct four
fortresses at his own expense, and to pay all the debts of the last
monarch, however heavy they might be, including the arrears of the
troops. He was also to maintain a sort of guard of honor, consisting of
ten thousand Polish horsemen.

In addition to the embarrassment which these conditions presented, there
were many indications of jealousy on the part of other powers, in view
of the wonderful aggrandizement of Austria. Encouraged by the emperor's
delay and by the hostility of other powers, a minority of the nobles
chose Stephen Bathori, a Transylvanian prince, King of Poland; and to
strengthen his title, married him to Anne, sister to Sigismond Augustus,
the King of Poland who preceded the Duke of Anjou. Maximilian thus
aroused, signed the articles of agreement, and the two rival monarchs
prepared for war. The kingdoms of Europe were arraying themselves, some
on the one side and some on the other, and there was the prospect of a
long, desperate and bloody strife, when death stilled the tumult.

Maximilian had long been declining. On the 12th of October, 1576, he
breathed his last at Ratisbon. He apparently died the death of the
Christian, tranquilly surrendering his spirit to his Saviour. He died in
the fiftieth year of his age and the twelfth of his reign. He had lived,
for those dark days, eminently the life of the righteous, and his end
was peace.

  "So fades the summer cloud away,
    So sinks the gale when storms are o'er
  So gently shuts the eye of day,
    So dies a wave along the shore."



CHAPTER XII.

CHARACTER OF MAXIMILIAN II.--SUCCESSION OF RHODOLPH III.

From 1576 to 1604.

Character of Maximilian.--His Accomplishments.--His Wife.--Fate of his
Children.--Rhodolph III.--The Liberty of Worship.--Means of
Emancipation.--Rhodolph's Attempts against Protestantism.--Declaration
of a higher Law.--Theological Differences.--The Confederacy at
Heilbrun.--The Gregorian Calendar.--Intolerance in Bohemia.--The Trap of
the Monks.--Invasion of the Turks.--Their Defeat.--Coalition with
Sigismond.--Sale of Transylvania.--Rule of Basta.--The Empire captured
and recaptured.--Devastation of the Country.--Treatment of Stephen
Botskoi.


It is indeed refreshing, in the midst of the long list of selfish and
ambitious sovereigns who have disgraced the thrones of Europe, to meet
with such a prince as Maximilian, a gentleman, a philosopher, a
philanthropist and a Christian. Henry of Valois, on his return from
Poland to France, visited Maximilian at Vienna. Henry was considered one
of the most polished men of his age. He remarked in his palace at Paris
that in all his travels he had never met a more accomplished gentleman
than the Emperor Maximilian. Similar is the testimony of all his
contemporaries. With all alike, at all times, and under all
circumstances, he was courteous and affable. His amiability shone as
conspicuously at home as abroad, and he was invariably the kind husband,
the tender father, the indulgent master and the faithful friend.

In early life he had vigorously prosecuted his studies, and thus
possessed the invaluable blessing of a highly cultivated mind. Fond of
the languages, he not only wrote and conversed in the Latin tongue with
fluency and elegance, but was quite at home in all the languages of his
extensive domains. Notwithstanding the immense cares devolving upon the
ruler of so extended an empire, he appropriated a portion of time every
day to devotional reading and prayer; and his hours were methodically
arranged for business, recreation and repose. The most humble subject
found easy access to his person, and always obtained a patient hearing.
When he was chosen King of Poland, some ambassadors from Bohemia
voluntarily went to Poland to testify to the virtues of their king. It
was a heartfelt tribute, such as few sovereigns have ever received.

"We Bohemians," said they, "are as happy under his government as if he
were our father. Our privileges, laws, rights, liberties and usages are
protected and defended. Not less just than wise, he confers the offices
and dignities of the kingdom only on natives of rank, and is not
influenced by favor or artifice. He introduces no innovations contrary
to our immunities; and when the great expenses which he incurs for the
good of Christendom render contributions necessary, he levies them
without violence, and with the approbation of the States. But what may
be almost considered a miracle is, the prudence and impartiality of his
conduct toward persons of a different faith, always recommending union,
concord, peace, toleration and mutual regard. He listens even to the
meanest of his subjects, readily receives their petitions and renders
impartial justice to all."

Not an act of injustice sullied his reign, and during his administration
nearly all Germany, with the exception of Hungary, enjoyed almost
uninterrupted tranquillity. Catholics and Protestants unite in his
praises, and have conferred upon him the surname of the Delight of
Mankind. His wife Mary was the daughter of Charles V. She was an
accomplished, exemplary woman, entirely devoted to the Catholic faith.
For this devotion, notwithstanding the tolerant spirit of her husband,
she was warmly extolled by the Catholics. Gregory XIII. called her the
firm column of the Catholic faith, and Pius V. pronounced her worthy of
being worshiped. After the death of her husband she returned to Spain,
to the bigoted court of her bigoted brother Philip. Upon reaching Madrid
she developed the spirit which dishonored her, in expressing great joy
that she was once more in a country where no heretic was tolerated. Soon
after she entered a nunnery where she remained seven years until her
death.

It is interesting briefly to trace out the history of the children of
this royal family. It certainly will not tend to make one any more
discontented to move in a humbler sphere. Maximilian left three
daughters and five sons.

Anne, the eldest daughter, was engaged to her cousin, Don Carlos, only
son of her uncle Philip, King of Spain. As he was consequently heir to
the Spanish throne, this was a brilliant match. History thus records the
person and character of Don Carlos. He was sickly and one of his legs
was shorter than the other. His temper was not only violent, but
furious, breaking over all restraints, and the malignant passions were
those alone which governed him. He always slept with two naked swords
under his pillow, two loaded pistols, and several loaded guns, with a
chest of fire-arms at the side of his bed. He formed a conspiracy to
murder his father. He was arrested and imprisoned. Choking with rage, he
called for a fire, and threw himself into the flames, hoping to
suffocate himself. Being rescued, he attempted to starve himself.
Failing in this, he tried to choke himself by swallowing a diamond. He
threw off his clothes, and went naked and barefoot on the stone floor,
hoping to engender some fatal disease. For eleven days he took no food
but ice. At length the wretched man died, and thus Anne lost her lover.
But Philip, the father of Don Carlos, and own uncle of Anne, concluded
to take her for himself. She lived a few years as Queen of Spain, and
died four years after the death of her father, Maximilian.

Elizabeth, the second daughter, was beautiful. At sixteen years of age
she married Charles IX., King of France, who was then twenty years old.
Charles IX. ascended the throne when but ten years of age, under the
regency of his infamous mother, Catherine de Medici, perhaps the most
demoniac female earth has known. Under her tutelage, her boy, equally
impotent in body and in mind, became as pitiable a creature as ever
disgraced a throne. The only energy he ever showed was in shooting the
Protestants from a window of the Louvre in the horrible Massacre of St.
Bartholomew, which he planned at the instigation of his fiend-like
mother. A few wretched years the youthful queen lived with the monster,
when his death released her from that bondage. She then returned to
Vienna, a young and childless widow, but twenty years of age. She built
and endowed the splendid monastery of St. Mary de Angelis, and having
seen enough of the pomp of the world, shut herself up from the world in
the imprisonment of its cloisters, where she recounted her beads for
nineteen years, until she died in 1592.

Margaret, the youngest daughter, after her father's death, accompanied
her mother to Spain. Her sister Anne soon after died, and Philip II.,
her morose and debauched husband, having already buried four wives, and
no one can tell how many guilty favorites, sought the hand of his young
and fresh niece. But Margaret wisely preferred the gloom of the cloister
to the Babylonish glare of the palace. She rejected the polluted and
withered hand, and in solitude and silence, as a hooded nun, she
remained immured in her cell for fifty-seven years. Then her pure spirit
passed from a joyless life on earth, we trust, to a happy home in
heaven.

Rhodolph, the eldest son, succeeded his father, and in the subsequent
pages we shall record his career.

Ernest, the second son, was a mild, bashful young man, of a temperament
so singularly melancholy that he was rarely known to smile. His brother
Rhodolph gave him the appointment of Governor of Hungary. He passed
quietly down the stream of time until he was forty-two years of age,
when he died of the stone, a disease which had long tortured him with
excruciating pangs.

Matthias, the third son, became a restless, turbulent man, whose deeds
we shall have occasion to record in connection with his brother
Rhodolph, whom he sternly and successfully opposed.

Maximilian, the fourth son, when thirty years of age was elected King of
Poland. An opposition party chose John, son of the King of Sweden. The
rival candidates appealed to the cruel arbitration of the sword. In a
decisive battle Maximilian's troops were defeated, and he was taken
prisoner. He was only released upon his giving the pledge that he
renounced all his right to the throne. He rambled about, now governing a
province, and now fighting the Turks, until he died unmarried, sixty
years of age.

Albert, the youngest son, was destined to the Church. He was sent to
Spain, and under the patronage of his royal uncle he soon rose to
exalted ecclesiastical dignities. He, however, eventually renounced
these for more alluring temporal honors. Surrendering his cardinal's
hat, and archiepiscopal robes, he espoused Isabella, daughter of Philip,
and from the governorship of Portugal was promoted to the sovereignty of
the Netherlands. Here he encountered only opposition and war. After a
stormy and unsuccessful life, in which he was thwarted in all his plans,
he died childless.

From this digression let us return to Rhodolph III., the heir to the
titles and the sovereignties of his father the emperor. It was indeed a
splendid inheritance which fell to his lot. He was the sole possessor of
the archduchy of Austria, King of Bohemia and of Hungary, and Emperor of
Germany. He was but twenty-five years of age when he entered upon the
undisputed possession of all these dignities. His natural disposition
was mild and amiable, his education had been carefully attended to, his
moral character was good, a rare virtue in those days, and he had
already evinced much industry, energy and talents for business. His
father had left the finances and the internal administration of all his
realms in good condition; his moderation had greatly mitigated the
religious animosities which disturbed other portions of Europe, and all
obstacles to a peaceful and prosperous reign seemed to have been
removed.

But all these prospects were blighted by the religious bigotry which had
gained a firm hold of the mind of the young emperor. When he was but
twelve years of age he was sent to Madrid to be educated. Philip II., of
Spain, Rhodolph's uncle, had an only daughter, and no son, and there
seemed to be no prospect that his queen would give birth to another
child. Philip consequently thought of adopting Rhodolph as his successor
to the Spanish throne, and of marrying him to his daughter. In the court
of Spain where the Jesuits held supreme sway, and where Rhodolph was
intrusted to their guidance, the superstitious sentiments which he had
imbibed from his mother were still more deeply rooted. The Jesuits found
Rhodolph a docile pupil; and never on earth have there been found a set
of men who, more thoroughly than the Jesuits, have understood the art of
educating the mind to subjection. Rhodolph was instructed in all the
petty arts of intrigue and dissimulation, and was brought into entire
subserviency to the Spanish court. Thus educated, Rhodolph received the
crown.

He commenced his reign with the desperate resolve to crush out
Protestantism, either by force or guile, and to bring back his realms to
the papal church. Even the toleration of Maximilian, in those dark days,
did not allow freedom of worship to any but the nobles. The wealthy and
emancipated citizens of Vienna, and other royal cities, could not
establish a church of their own; they could only, under protection of
the nobles, attend the churches which the nobles sustained. In other
words, the people were slaves, who were hardly thought of in any state
arrangements. The nobles were merely the slaveholders. As there was not
difference of color to mark the difference between the slaveholder and
the slaves or vassals, many in the cities, who had in various ways
achieved their emancipation, had become wealthy and instructed, and were
slowly claiming some few rights. The country nobles could assemble their
vassals in the churches where they had obtained toleration. In some few
cases some of the citizens of the large towns, who had obtained
emancipation from some feudal oppressions, had certain defined political
privileges granted them. But, in general, the nobles or slaveholders,
some having more, and some having less wealth and power, were all whom
even Maximilian thought of including in his acts of toleration. A
learned man in the universities, or a wealthy man in the walks of
commerce, was compelled to find shelter under the protection of some
powerful noble. There were nobles of all ranks, from the dukes, who
could bring twenty thousand armed men into the field, down to the most
petty, impoverished baron, who had perhaps not half a dozen vassals.

Rhodolph's first measure was to prevent the _burghers_, as they were
called, who were those who had in various ways obtained emancipation
from vassal service, and in the large cities had acquired energy, wealth
and an air of independence, from attending Protestant worship. The
nobles were very jealous of their privileges, and were prompt to combine
whenever they thought them infringed. Fearful of rousing the nobles,
Rhodolph issued a decree, confirming the toleration which his father had
granted the nobles, but forbidding the burghers from attending
Protestant worship. This was very adroitly done, as it did not interfere
with the vassals of the rural nobles on their estates; and these
burghers were freed men, over whom the nobles could claim no authority.
At the same time Rhodolph silenced three of the most eloquent and
influential of the Protestant ministers, under the plea that they
assailed the Catholic church with too much virulence; and he also
forbade any one thenceforward to officiate as a Protestant clergyman
without a license from him. These were very decisive acts, and yet very
adroit ones, as they did not directly interfere with any of the
immunities of the nobles.

The Protestants were, however, much alarmed by these measures, as
indicative of the intolerant policy of the new king. The preachers met
together to consult. They corresponded with foreign universities
respecting the proper course to pursue; and the Protestant nobles met to
confer upon the posture of affairs. As the result of their conferences,
they issued a remonstrance, declaring that they could not yield to such
an infringement of the rights of conscience, and that "they were bound
to obey God rather than man."

Rhodolph was pleased with this resistance, as it afforded him some
excuse for striking a still heavier blow. He declared the remonstrants
guilty of rebellion. As a punishment, he banished several Protestant
ministers, and utterly forbade the exercise of any Protestant worship
whatever, in any of the royal towns, including Vienna itself. He
communicated with the leading Catholics in the Church and in the State,
urging them to act with energy, concert and unanimity. He removed the
Protestants from office, and supplied their places with Catholics. He
forbade any license to preach or academical degree, or professorship in
the universities from being conferred upon any one who did not sign the
formulary of the Catholic faith. He ordered a new catechism to be drawn
up for universal use in the schools, that there should be no more
Protestant education of children; he allowed no town to choose any
officer without his approbation, and he refused to ratify any choice
which did not fall upon a Catholic. No person was to be admitted to the
rights of burghership, until he had taken an oath of submission to the
Catholic priesthood. These high-handed measures led to the outbreak of a
few insurrections, which the emperor crushed with iron rigor. In the
course of a few years, by the vigorous and unrelenting prosecution of
these measures, Rhodolph gave the Catholics the ascendency in all his
realms.

While the Catholics were all united, the Protestants were shamefully
divided upon the most trivial points of discipline, or upon abstruse
questions in philosophy above the reach of mortal minds. It was as true
then, as in the days of our Saviour, that "the children of this world
are wiser in their generation than the children of light." Henry IV., of
France, who had not then embraced the Catholic faith, was anxious to
unite the two great parties of Lutherans and Calvinists, who were as
hostile to each other as they were to the Catholics. He sent an
ambassador to Germany to urge their union. He entreated them to call a
general synod, suggesting, that as they differed only on the single
point of the Lord's Supper, it would be easy for them to form some basis
of fraternal and harmonious action.

The Catholic church received the doctrine, so called, of
_transubstantiation_; that is, the bread and wine, used in the Lord's
Supper, is converted into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ,
that it is no longer bread and wine, but real flesh and blood; and none
the less so, because it does not appear such to our senses. Luther
renounced the doctrine of transubstantiation, and adopted, in its stead,
what he called _consubstantiation_; that is, that after the consecration
of the elements, the body and blood of Christ are substantially _present
with_ (cum et sub,) with and under, the substance of the bread and wine.
Calvin taught that the bread and wine represented the real body and
blood of Christ, and that the body and blood were _spiritually present_
in the sacrament. It is a deplorable exhibition of the weakness of good
men, that the Lutherans and the Calvinists should have wasted their
energies in contending together upon such a point. But we moderns have
no right to boast. Precisely the same spirit is manifested now, and
denominations differ and strive together upon questions which the human
mind can never settle. The spirit which then animated the two parties
may be inferred from the reply of the Lutherans.

"The partisans of Calvin," they wrote, "have accumulated such numberless
errors in regard to the person of Christ, the communication of His
merits and the dignity of human nature; have given such forced
explanations of the Scriptures, and adopted so many blasphemies, that
the question of the Lord's Supper, far from being the principal, has
become the least point of difference. An outward union, merely for
worldly purposes, in which each party is suffered to maintain its
peculiar tenets, can neither be agreeable to God nor useful to the
Church. These considerations induced us to insert into the formulary of
concord a condemnation of the Calvinistical errors; and to declare our
public decision that false principles should not be covered with the
semblance of exterior union, and tolerated under pretense of the right
of private judgment, but that all should submit to the Word of God, as
the only rule to which their faith and instructions should be
conformable."

They, in conclusion, very politely informed King Henry IV. himself, that
if he wished to unite with them, he must sign their creed. This was
sincerity, honesty, but it was the sincerity and honesty of minds but
partially disinthralled from the bigotry of the dark ages. While the
Protestants were thus unhappily disunited, the pope coöperated with the
emperor, and wheeled all his mighty forces into the line to recover the
ground which the papal church had lost. Several of the more enlightened
of the Protestant princes, seeing all their efforts paralyzed by
disunion, endeavored to heal the schism. But the Lutheran leaders would
not listen to the Calvinists, nor the Calvinists to the Lutherans, and
the masses, as usual, blindly followed their leaders.

Several of the Calvinist princes and nobles, the Lutherans refusing to
meet with them, united in a confederacy at Heilbrun, and drew up a long
list of grievances, declaring that, until they were redressed, they
should withhold the succors which the emperor had solicited to repel the
Turks. Most of these grievances were very serious, sufficiently so to
rouse men to almost any desperation of resistance. But it would be
amusing, were it not humiliating, to find among them the complaint that
the pope had changed the calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian.

By the Julian calendar, or Old Style as it was called, the solar year
was estimated at three hundred and sixty-five days and six hours; but it
exceeds this by about eleven minutes. As no allowance was made for these
minutes, which amount to a day in about one hundred and thirty years,
the current year had, in process of ages, advanced ten days beyond the
real time. Thus the vernal equinox, which really took place on the 10th
of March, was assigned in the calendar to the 21st. To rectify this
important error the New Style, or Gregorian calendar, was introduced, so
called from Pope Gregory XII. Ten days were dropped after the 4th of
October, 1582, and the 5th was called the 15th. This reform of the
calendar, correct and necessary as it was, was for a long time adopted
only by the Catholic princes, so hostile were the Protestants to any
thing whatever which originated from the pope. In their list of
grievances they mentioned this most salutary reform as one, stating that
the pope and the Jesuits presumed even to change the order of times and
years.

This confederacy of the Calvinists, unaided by the Lutherans,
accomplished nothing; but still, as year after year the disaffection
increased, their numbers gradually increased also, until, on the 12th of
February, 1603, at Heidelberg they entered into quite a formidable
alliance, offensive and defensive.

Rhodolph, encouraged by success, pressed his measure of intolerance with
renovated vigor. Having quite effectually abolished the Protestant
worship in the States of Austria, he turned his attention to Bohemia,
where, under the mild government of his father, the Protestants had
enjoyed a degree of liberty of conscience hardly known in any other part
of Europe. The realm was startled by the promulgation of a decree
forbidding both Calvinists and Lutherans from holding any meetings for
divine worship, and declaring them incapacitated from holding any
official employment whatever. At the same time he abolished all their
schools, and either closed all their churches, or placed in them
Catholic preachers. These same decrees were also promulgated and these
same measures adopted in Hungary. And still the Protestants, insanely
quarreling among themselves upon the most abstruse points of theological
philosophy, chose rather to be devoured piecemeal by their great enemy
than to combine in self-defense.

The emperor now turned from his own dominions of Austria, Hungary and
Bohemia, where he reigned in undisputed sway, to other States of the
empire, which were governed by their own independent rulers and laws,
and where the power of the emperor was shadowy and limited. He began
with the city of Aix-la-Chapelle, in a Prussian province on the Lower
Rhine; sent an army there, took possession of the town, expelled the
Protestants from the magistracy, driving some of them into exile,
inflicting heavy fines upon others, and abolishing entirely the exercise
of the Protestant religion.

He then turned to Donauworth, an important city of Bavaria, upon the
Upper Danube. This was a Protestant city, having within its walls but
few Catholics. There was in the city one Catholic religious
establishment, a Benedictine abbey. The friars enjoyed unlimited freedom
of conscience and worship within their own walls, but were not permitted
to occupy the streets with their processions, performing the forms and
ceremonies of the Catholic church. The Catholics, encouraged by the
emperor, sent out a procession from the walls of the abbey, with
torches, banners, relics and all the pageants of Catholic worship. The
magistrates stopped the procession, took away their banners and sent
them back to the abbey, and then suffered the procession to proceed.
Soon after the friars got up another procession on a funeral occasion.
The magistrates, apprehensive that this was a trap to excite them to
some opposition which would render it plausible for the emperor to
interfere, suffered the procession to proceed unmolested. In a few days
the monks repeated the experiment. The populace had now become excited,
and there were threats of violence. The magistrates, fearful of the
consequences, did every thing in their power to soothe the people, and
urged them, by earnest proclamation, to abstain from all tumult. For
some time the procession, displaying all the hated pomp of papal
worship, paraded the streets undisturbed. But at length the populace
became ungovernable, attacked the monks, demolished their pageants and
pelted them with mire back into the convent.

This was enough. The emperor published the ban of the empire, and sent
the Duke of Bavaria with an army to execute the decree. Resistance was
hopeless. The troops took possession of the town, abolished the
Protestant religion, and delivered the churches to the Catholics.

The Protestants now saw that there was no hope for them but in union.
Thus driven together by an outward pressure which was every day growing
more menacing and severe, the chiefs of the Protestant party met at
Aschhausen and established a confederacy to continue for ten years. Thus
united, they drew up a list of grievances, and sent an embassy to
present their demands to the emperor. And now came a very serious turn
in the fortunes of Rhodolph. Notwithstanding the armistice which had
been concluded with the Turks by Rhodolph, a predatory warfare continued
to rage along the borders. Neither the emperor nor the sultan, had they
wished it, could prevent fiery spirits, garrisoned in fortresses
frowning at each other, from meeting occasionally in hostile encounter.
And both parties were willing that their soldiers should have enough to
do to keep up their courage and their warlike spirit. Aggression
succeeding aggression, sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other,
the sultan at last, in a moment of exasperation, resolved to break the
truce.

A large army of Turks invaded Croatia, took several fortresses, and
marching up the valley of the Save, were opening before them a route
into the heart of the Austrian States. The emperor hastily gathered an
army to oppose them. They met before Siseck, at the confluence of the
Kulpa and the Save. The Turks were totally defeated, with the loss of
twelve thousand men. Exasperated by the defeat, the sultan roused his
energies anew, and war again raged in all its horrors. The advantage was
with the Turks, and they gradually forced their way up the valley of the
Danube, taking fortress after fortress, till they were in possession of
the important town of Raab, within a hundred miles of Vienna.

Sigismond, the waivode or governor of Transylvania, an energetic,
high-spirited man, had, by his arms, brought the provinces of Wallachia
and Moldavia under subjection to him. Having attained such power, he was
galled at the idea of holding his government under the protection of the
Turks. He accordingly abandoned the sultan, and entered into a coalition
with the emperor. The united armies fell furiously upon the Turks, and
drove them back to Constantinople.

The sultan, himself a man of exceedingly ferocious character, was
thoroughly aroused by this disgrace. He raised an immense army, placed
himself at its head, and in 1596 again invaded Hungary. He drove the
Austrians everywhere before him, and but for the lateness of the season
would have bombarded Vienna. Sigismond, in the hour of victory, sold
Transylvania to Rhodolph for the governorship of some provinces in
Silesia, and a large annual pension. There was some fighting before the
question was fully settled in favor of the emperor, and then he placed
the purchased and the conquered province under the government of the
imperial general Basta.

The rule of Basta was so despotic that the Transylvanians rose in
revolt, and under an intrepid chief, Moses Tzekeli, appealed to the
Turks for aid. The Turks were rejoiced again to find the Christians
divided, and hastened to avail themselves of the coöperation of the
disaffected. The Austrians were driven from Transylvania, and the Turks
aided in crowning Tzekeli Prince of Transylvania, under the protection
of the Porte. The Austrians, however, soon returned in greater force,
killed Tzekeli in the confusion of battle, and reconquered the country.
During all this time wretched Hungary was ravaged with incessant wars
between the Turks and Austrians. Army after army swept to and fro over
the smoldering cities and desolated plains. Neither party gained any
decisive advantage, while Hungary was exposed to misery which no pen can
describe. Cities were bombarded, now by the Austrians and now by the
Turks, villages were burned, harvests trodden down, every thing eatable
was consumed. Outrages were perpetrated upon the helpless population by
the ferocious Turks which can not be told.

The Hungarians lost all confidence in Rhodolph. The bigoted emperor was
so much engaged in the attempt to extirpate what he called heresy from
his realms, that he neglected to send armies sufficiently strong to
protect Hungary from these ravages. He could have done this without much
difficulty; but absorbed in his hostility to Protestantism, he merely
sent sufficient troops to Hungary to keep the country in a constant
state of warfare. He filled every important governmental post in Hungary
with Catholics and foreigners. To all the complaints of the Hungarians
he turned a deaf ear; and his own Austrian troops frequently rivaled the
Turks in devastation and pillage. At the same time he issued the most
intolerant edicts, depriving the Protestants of all their rights, and
endeavoring to force the Roman Catholic religion upon the community.

He allowed, and even encouraged, his rapacious generals to insult and
defraud the Protestant Hungarian nobles, seizing their castles,
confiscating their estates and driving them into exile. This oppression
at last became unendurable. The people were driven to despair. One of
the most illustrious nobles of Hungary, a magnate of great wealth and
distinction, Stephen Botskoi, repaired to Prague to inform the emperor
of the deplorable state of Hungary and to seek redress. He was treated
with the utmost indignity; was detained for hours in the ante-chamber of
the emperor, where he encountered the most cutting insults from the
minions of the court. The indignation of the high-spirited noble was
roused to the highest pitch. And when, on his return to Hungary, he
found his estates plundered and devastated by order of the imperial
governor, he was all ready to head an insurrection.



CHAPTER XIII.

RHODOLPH III. AND MATTHIAS.

From 1604 to 1609.

Botskoi's Manifesto.--Horrible Suffering in Transylvania.--Character of
Botskoi.--Confidence of the Protestants.--Superstition of Rhodolph.--His
Mystic Studies.--Acquirements of Matthias.--Schemes of Matthias.--His
Increasing Power.--Treaty with the Turks.--Demands on Rhodolph.--The
Compromise.--Perfidy of Matthias.--The Margravite.--Filibustering.--The
People's Diet.--A Hint to Royalty.--The Bloodless Triumph.--Demands of
the Germans.--Address of the Prince of Anhalt to the King.


Stephen Botskoi issued a spirited manifesto to his countrymen, urging
them to seek by force of arms that redress which they could obtain in no
other way. The Hungarians flocked in crowds to his standard. Many
soldiers deserted from the service of the emperor and joined the
insurrection. Botskoi soon found himself in possession of a force
sufficiently powerful to meet the Austrian troops in the field. The two
hostile armies soon met in the vicinity of Cassau. The imperial troops
were defeated with great slaughter, and the city of Cassau fell into the
hands of Botskoi; soon his victorious troops took several other
important fortresses. The inhabitants of Transylvania, encouraged by the
success of Botskoi, and detesting the imperial rule, also in great
numbers crowded his ranks and intreated him to march into Transylvania.
He promptly obeyed their summons. The misery of the Transylvanians was,
if possible, still greater than that of the Hungarians. Their country
presented but a wide expanse of ruin and starvation. Every aspect of
comfort and industry was obliterated. The famishing inhabitants were
compelled to use the most disgusting animals for food; and when these
were gone, in many cases they went to the grave-yard, in the frenzied
torments of hunger, and devoured the decaying bodies of the dead.
Pestilence followed in the train of these woes, and the land was filled
with the dying and the dead.

The Turks marched to the aid of Botskoi to expel the Austrians. Even the
sway of the Mussulman was preferable to that of the bigoted Rhodolph.
Hungary, Transylvania and Turkey united, and the detested Austrians were
driven out of Transylvania, and Botskoi, at the head of his victorious
army, and hailed by thousands as the deliverer of Transylvania, was
inaugurated prince of the province. He then returned to Hungary, where
an immense Turkish army received him, in the plains of Rahoz, with regal
honors. Here a throne was erected. The banners of the majestic host
fluttered in the breeze, and musical bands filled the air with their
triumphal strains as the regal diadem was placed upon the brow of
Botskoi, and he was proclaimed King of Hungary. The Sultan Achment sent,
with his congratulations to the victorious noble, a saber of exquisite
temper and finish, and a gorgeous standard. The grand vizier himself
placed the royal diadem upon his brow.

Botskoi was a nobleman in every sense of the word. He thought it best
publicly to accept these honors in gratitude to the sultan for his
friendship and aid, and also to encourage and embolden the Hungarians to
retain what they had already acquired. He knew that there were bloody
battles still before them, for the emperor would doubtless redouble his
efforts to regain his Hungarian possessions. At the same time Botskoi,
in the spirit of true patriotism, was not willing even to appear to have
usurped the government through the energies of the sword. He therefore
declared that he should not claim the crown unless he should be freely
elected by the nobles; and that he accepted these honors simply as
tokens of the confidence of the allied army, and as a means of
strengthening their power to resist the emperor.

The campaign was now urged with great vigor, and nearly all of Hungary
was conquered. Such was the first great disaster which the intolerance
and folly of Rhodolph brought upon him. The Turks and the Hungarians
were now good friends, cordially coöperating. A few more battles would
place them in possession of the whole of Hungary, and then, in their
alliance they could defy all the power of the emperor, and penetrate
even the very heart of his hereditary dominions of Austria. Rhodolph, in
this sudden peril, knew not where to look for aid. The Protestants, who
constituted one half of the physical force, not only of Bohemia and of
the Austrian States, but of all Germany, had been insulted and oppressed
beyond all hope of reconciliation. They dreaded the papal emperor more
than the Mohammedan sultan. They were ready to hail Botskoi as their
deliverer from intolerable despotism, and to swell the ranks of his
army. Botskoi was a Protestant, and the sympathies of the Protestants
all over Germany were with him. Elated by his advance, the Protestants
withheld all contributions from the emperor, and began to form
combinations in favor of the Protestant chief. Rhodolph was astonished
at this sudden reverse, and quite in dismay. He had no resource but to
implore the aid of the Spanish court.

Rhodolph was as superstitious as he was bigoted and cruel. Through the
mysteries of alchymy he had been taught to believe that his life would
be endangered by one of his own blood. The idea haunted him by night and
by day; he was to be assassinated, and by a near relative. He was afraid
to marry lest his own child might prove his destined murderer. He was
afraid to have his brothers marry lest it might be a nephew who was to
perpetrate the deed. He did not dare to attend church, or to appear any
where in public without taking the greatest precautions against any
possibility of attack. The galleries of his palace were so arranged with
windows in the roof, that he could pass from one apartment to another
sheltered by impenetrable walls.

This terror, which pursued him every hour, palsied his energies; and
while the Turks were drawing nearer to his capital, and Hungary had
broken from his sway, and insurrection was breaking out in all parts of
his dominions, he secluded himself in the most retired apartments of his
palace at Prague, haunted by visions of terror, as miserable himself as
he had already made millions of his subjects. He devoted himself to the
study of the mystic sciences of astrology and alchymy. He became
irritable, morose, and melancholy even to madness. Foreign ambassadors
could not get admission to his presence. His religion, consisting
entirely in ecclesiastical rituals and papal dogmas, not in Christian
morals, could not dissuade him from the most degrading sensual vice.
Low-born mistresses, whom he was continually changing, became his only
companions, and thus sunk in sin, shame and misery, he virtually
abandoned his ruined realms to their fate.

Rhodolph had received the empire from the hands of his noble father in a
state of the very highest prosperity. In thirty years, by shameful
misgovernment, he had carried it to the brink of ruin. Rhodolph's third
brother, Matthias, was now forty-nine years of age. He had been educated
by the illustrious Busbequias, whose mind had been liberalized by study
in the most celebrated universities of Flanders, France and Italy. His
teacher had passed many years as an ambassador in the court of the
sultan, and thus had been able to give his pupil a very intimate
acquaintance with the resources, the military tactics, the manners and
customs of the Turks. He excelled in military exercises, and was
passionately devoted to the art of war. In all respects he was the
reverse of his brother--energetic, frank, impulsive. The two brothers,
so dissimilar, had no ideas in common, and were always involved in
bickerings.

The Netherlands had risen in revolt against the infamous Philip II. of
Spain. They chose the intrepid and warlike Matthias as their leader.
With alacrity he assumed the perilous post. The rivalry of the chiefs
thwarted his plans, and he resigned his post and returned to Austria,
where his brother, the emperor, refused even to see him, probably
fearing assassination. Matthias took up his residence at Lintz, where he
lived for some time in obscurity and penury. His imperial brother would
neither give him help nor employment. The restless prince fretted like a
tiger in his cage.

In 1595 Rhodolph's second brother, Ernest, died childless, and thus
Matthias became heir presumptive to the crown of Austria. From that time
Rhodolph made a change, and intrusted him with high offices. Still the
brothers were no nearer to each other in affection. Rhodolph dreaded the
ambition and was jealous of the rising power of his brother. He no
longer dared to treat him ignominiously, lest his brother should be
provoked to some desperate act of retaliation. On the other hand,
Matthias despised the weakness and superstition of Rhodolph. The
increasing troubles in the realm and the utter inefficiency of Rhodolph,
convinced Matthias that the day was near when he must thrust Rhodolph
from the throne he disgraced, and take his seat upon it, or the splendid
hereditary domains which had descended to them from their ancestors
would pass from their hands forever.

With this object in view, he did all he could to conciliate the
Catholics, while he attempted to secure the Protestants by promising to
return to the principles of toleration established by his father,
Maximilian. Matthias rapidly increased in popularity, and as rapidly
Rhodolph was sinking into disgrace. Catholics and Protestants saw alike
that the ruin of Austria was impending, and that apparently there was no
hope but in the deposition of Rhodolph and the enthronement of Matthias.

It was not difficult to accomplish this revolution, and yet it required
energy, secrecy and an extended combination. Even the weakest reigning
monarch has power in his hands which can only be wrested from him by
both strength and skill. Matthias first gained over to his plan his
younger brother, Maximilian, and two of his cousins, princes of the
Styrian line. They entered into a secret agreement, by which they
declared that in consequence of the incapacity of Rhodolph, he was to be
considered as deposed by the will of Providence, and that Matthias was
entitled to the sovereignty as head of the house of Austria. Matthias
then gained, by the varied arts of diplomatic bargaining, the promised
support of several other princes. He purchased the coöperation of
Botskoi by surrendering to him the whole of Transylvania, and all of
Hungary to the river Theiss, which, including Transylvania, constitutes
one half of the majestic kingdom. Matthias agreed to grant general
toleration to all Protestants, both Lutherans and Calvinists, and also
to render them equally eligible with the Catholics to all offices of
emolument and honor. Both parties then agreed to unite against the Turks
if they refused to accede to honorable terms of peace. The sultan,
conscious that such a union would be more than he could successfully
oppose, listened to the conditions of peace when they afterwards made
them, as he had never condescended to listen before. It is indicative of
the power which the Turks had at that day attained, that a truce with
the sultan for twenty years, allowing each party to retain possession of
the territories which they then held, was purchased by paying a sum
outright, amounting to two hundred thousand dollars. The annual tribute,
however, was no longer to be paid, and thus Christendom was released
from the degradation of vassalage to the Turk.

Rhodolph, who had long looked with a suspicious eye upon Matthias,
watching him very narrowly, began now to see indications of the plot. He
therefore, aided by the counsel and the energy of the King of Spain, who
was implacable in his hostility to Matthias, resolved to make his cousin
Ferdinand, a Styrian prince, his heir to succeed him upon the throne. He
conferred upon Ferdinand exalted dignities; appointed him to preside in
his stead at a diet at Ratisbon, and issued a proclamation full of most
bitter recriminations against Matthias.

Matters had now come to such a pass that Matthias was compelled either
to bow in humble submission to his brother, or by force of arms to
execute his purposes. With such an alternative he was not a man long to
delay his decision. Still he advanced in his plans, though firmly, with
great circumspection. To gain the Protestants was to gain one half of
the physical power of united Austria, and more than one half of its
energy and intelligence. He appointed a rendezvous for his troops at
Znaim in Moravia, and while Rhodolph was timidly secluding himself in
his palace at Prague, Matthias left Vienna with ten thousand men, and
marched to meet them. He was received by the troops assembled at Znaim
with enthusiasm. Having thus collected an army of twenty-five thousand
men, he entered Bohemia. On the 10th of May, 1608, he reached Craslau,
within sixty miles of Prague. Great multitudes now crowded around him
and openly espoused his cause. He now declared openly and to all, that
it was his intention to depose his brother and claim for himself the
government of Hungary, Austria and Bohemia.

He then urged his battalions onward, and pressed with rapid march
towards Prague. Rhodolph was now roused to some degree of energy. He
summoned all his supporters to rally around him. It was a late hour for
such a call, but the Catholic nobles generally, all over the kingdom,
were instantly in motion. Many Protestant nobles also attended the
assembly, hoping to extort from the emperor some measures of toleration.
The emperor was so frightened that he was ready to promise almost any
thing. He even crept from his secluded apartments and presided over the
meeting in person. The Protestant nobles drew up a paper demanding the
same toleration which Maximilian had granted, with the additional
permission to build churches and to have their own burying-grounds. With
this paper, to which five or six hundred signatures were attached, they
went to the palace, demanded admission to the emperor, and required him
immediately to give his assent to them. It was not necessary for them to
add any threat, for the emperor knew that there was an Austrian and
Hungarian army within a few hours' march.

While matters were in this state, commissioners from Matthias arrived to
inform the king that he must cede the crown to his brother and retire
into the Tyrol. The emperor, in terror, inquired, "What shall I do?" The
Protestants demanded an immediate declaration, either that he would or
would not grant their request. His friends told him that resistance was
unavailing, and that he must come to an accommodation. Still the emperor
had now thirty-six thousand troops in and around Prague. They were,
however, inspired with no enthusiasm for his person, and it was quite
doubtful whether they would fight. A few skirmishes took place between
the advance guards with such results as to increase Rhodolph's alarm.

He consequently sent envoys to his brother. They met at Liebau, and
after a negotiation of four days they made a partial compromise, by
which Rhodolph ceded to Matthias, without reservation, Hungary, Austria
and Moravia. Matthias was also declared to be the successor to the crown
of Bohemia should Rhodolph die without issue male, and Matthias was
immediately to assume the title of "appointed King of Bohemia." The
crown and scepter of Hungary were surrendered to Matthias. He received
them with great pomp at the head of his army, and then leading his
triumphant battalions out of Bohemia, he returned to Vienna and entered
the city with all the military parade of a returning conqueror.

Matthias had now gained his great object, but he was not at all inclined
to fulfill his promises. He assembled the nobles of Austria, to receive
from them their oaths of allegiance. But the Protestants, taught caution
by long experience, wished first to see the decree of toleration which
he had promised. Many of the Protestants, at a distance from the
capital, not waiting for the issuing of the decree, but relying upon his
promise, reëstablished their worship, and the Lord of Inzendorf threw
open his chapel to the citizens of the town. But Matthias was now
disposed to play the despot. He arrested the Lord of Inzendorf, and
closed his church. He demanded of all the lords, Protestant as well as
Catholic, an unconditional oath of allegiance, giving vague promises,
that perhaps at some future time he would promulgate a decree of
toleration, but declaring that he was not bound to do so, on the
miserable quibble that, as he had received from Rhodolph a hereditary
title, he was not bound to grant any thing but what he had received.

The Protestants were alarmed and exasperated. They grasped their arms;
they retired in a body from Vienna to Hern; threw garrisons and
provisions into several important fortresses; ordered a levy of every
fifth man; sent to Hungary and Moravia to rally their friends there, and
with amazing energy and celerity formed a league for the defense of
their faith. Matthias was now alarmed. He had not anticipated such
energetic action, and he hastened to Presburg, the capital of Hungary,
to secure, if possible, a firm seat upon the throne. A large force of
richly caparisoned troops followed him, and he entered the capital with
splendor, which he hoped would dazzle the Hungarians. The regal crown
and regalia, studded with priceless jewels, which belonged to Hungary,
he took with him, with great parade. Hungary had been deprived of these
treasures, which were the pride of the nation, for seventy years. But
the Protestant nobles were not to be cajoled with such tinsel. They
remained firm in their demands, and refused to accept him as their
sovereign until the promised toleration was granted. Their claims were
very distinct and intelligible, demanding full toleration for both
Calvinists and Lutherans, and equal eligibility for Protestants with
Catholics, to all governmental offices; none but native Hungarians were
to be placed in office; the king was to reside in Hungary, and when
necessarily absent, was to intrust the government to a regent, chosen
jointly by the king and the nobles; Jesuits were not to be admitted into
the kingdom; no foreign troops were to be admitted, unless there was war
with the Turks, and the king was not to declare war without the consent
of the nobles.

Matthias was very reluctant to sign such conditions, for he was very
jealous of his newly-acquired power as a sovereign. But a refusal would
have exposed him to a civil war, with such forces arrayed against him as
to render the result at least doubtful. The Austrian States were already
in open insurrection. The emissaries of Rhodolph were busy, fanning the
flames of discontent, and making great promises to those who would
restore Rhodolph to the throne. Intolerant and odious as Rhodolph had
been, his great reverses excited sympathy, and many were disposed to
regard Matthias but as a usurper. Thus influenced, Matthias not only
signed all the conditions, but was also constrained to carry them, into
immediate execution. These conditions being fulfilled, the nobles met on
the 19th of November, 1606, and elected Matthias king, and inaugurated
him with the customary forms.

Matthias now returned to Vienna, to quell the insurrection in the
Austrian States. The two countries were so entirely independent of each
other, though now under the same ruler, that he had no fear that his
Hungarian subjects would interfere at all in the internal administration
of Austria. Matthias was resolved to make up for the concessions he had
granted the Hungarians, by ruling with more despotic sway in Austria.
The pope proffered him his aid. The powerful bishops of Passau and
Vienna assured him of efficient support, and encouraged the adoption of
energetic measures. Thus strengthened Matthias, who was so pliant and
humble in Hungary, assumed the most haughty airs of the sovereign in
Austria. He peremptorily ordered the Protestants to be silent, and to
cease their murmurings, or he would visit them with the most exemplary
punishment.

North-east of the duchy of Austria, and lying between the kingdoms of
Hungary and Bohemia, was the province of Moravia. This territory was
about the size of the State of Massachusetts, and its chief noble, or
governor, held the title of margrave, or marquis. Hence the province,
which belonged to the Austrian empire, was called the margraviate of
Moravia. It contained a population of a little over a million. The
nobles of Moravia immediately made common cause with those of Austria,
for they knew that they must share the same fate. Matthias was again
alarmed, and brought to terms. On the 16th of March, 1609, he signed a
capitulation, which restored to all the Austrian provinces all the
toleration which they had enjoyed under Maximilian II. The nobles then,
of all the States of Austria, took the oath of allegiance to Matthias.

The ambitious monarch, having thus for succeeded, looked with a covetous
eye towards Transylvania. That majestic province, on the eastern borders
of Hungary, being three times the size of Massachusetts, and containing
a population of about two millions, would prove a splendid addition to
the Hungarian kingdom. While Matthias was secretly encouraging what in
modern times and republican parlance is called a filibustering
expedition, for the sake of annexing Transylvania to the area of
Hungary, a new object of ambition, and one still more alluring, opened
before him.

The Protestants in Bohemia were quite excited when they heard of the
great privileges which their brethren in Hungary, and in the Austrian
provinces had extorted from Matthias. This rendered them more restless
under the intolerable burdens imposed upon them. Soon after the armies
of Matthias had withdrawn from Bohemia, Rhodolph, according to his
promise, summoned a diet to deliberate upon the state of affairs. The
Protestants, who despised Rhodolph, attended the diet, resolved to
demand reform, and, if necessary, to seek it by force of arms. They at
once assumed a bold front, and refused to discuss any civil affairs
whatever, until the freedom of religious worship, which they had enjoyed
under Maximilian, was restored to them. But Rhodolph, infatuated, and
under the baleful influence of the Jesuits, refused to listen to their
appeal.

Matthias, informed of this state of affairs, saw that there was a fine
opportunity for him to place himself at the head of the Protestants, who
constituted not only a majority in Bohemia, but were also a majority in
the diet. He therefore sent his emissaries among them to encourage them
with assurances of his sympathy and aid. The diet which Rhodolph had
summoned, separated without coming to other result than rousing
thoroughly the spirit of the Protestants. They boldly called another
diet to meet in May, in the city of Prague itself, under the very shadow
of the palace of Rhodolph, and sent deputies to Matthias, and to the
Protestant princes generally of the German empire, soliciting their
support. Rhodolph issued a proclamation forbidding them to meet.
Regardless of this injunction they met, at the appointed time and place,
opened the meeting with imposing ceremonies, and made quiet preparation
to repel force with force. These preparations were so effectually made
that upon an alarm being given that the troops of Rhodolph were
approaching to disperse the assembly, in less than an hour twelve
hundred mounted knights and more than ten thousand foot soldiers
surrounded their hall as a guard.

This was a very broad hint to the emperor, and it surprisingly
enlightened him. He began to bow and to apologize, and to asserverate
upon his word of honor that he meant to do what was right, and from
denunciations, he passed by a single step to cajolery and fawning. It
was, however, only his intention to gain time till he could secure the
coöperation of the pope, and other Catholic princes. The Protestants,
however, were not to be thus deluded. As unmindful of his protestations
as they had been of his menaces, they proceeded resolutely in
establishing an energetic organization for the defense of their civil
and religious rights. They decreed the levying of an army, and appointed
three of the most distinguished nobles as generals. The decree was
hardly passed before it was carried into execution, and an army of three
thousand foot soldiers, and two thousand horsemen was assembled as by
magic, and their numbers were daily increasing.

Rhodolph, still cloistered in his palace, looked with amazement upon
this rising storm. He had no longer energy for any decisive action. With
mulish obstinacy he would concede nothing, neither had he force of
character to marshal any decisive resistance. But at last he saw that
the hand of Matthias was also in the movement; that his ambitious,
unrelenting brother was cooperating with his foes, and would inevitably
hurl him from the throne of Bohemia, as he had already done from the
kingdom of Hungary and from the dukedom of Austria. He was
panic-stricken by this sudden revelation, and in the utmost haste issued
a decree, dated July 5th, 1609, granting to the Protestants full
toleration of religious worship, and every other right they had
demanded. The despotic old king became all of a sudden as docile and
pliant as a child. He assured his faithful and well-beloved Protestant
subjects that they might worship God in their own chapels without any
molestation; that they might build churches that they might establish
schools for their children; that their clergy might meet in
ecclesiastical councils; that they might choose chiefs, who should be
confirmed by the sovereign, to watch over their religious privileges and
to guard against any infringement of this edict; and finally, all
ordinances contrary to this act of free and full toleration, which might
hereafter be issued, either by the present sovereign or any of his
successors, were declared null and void.

The Protestants behaved nobly in this hour of bloodless triumph. Their
demands were reasonable and honorable, and they sought no infringement
whatever of the rights of others. Their brethren of Silesia had aided
them in this great achievement. The duchy of Silesia was then dependent
upon Bohemia, and was just north of Moldavia. It contained a population
of about a million and a half, scattered over a territory of about
fifteen thousand square miles. The Protestants demanded that the
Silesians should share in the decree. "Most certainly," replied the
amiable Rhodolph. An act of general amnesty for all political offenses
was then passed, and peace was restored to Germany.

Never was more forcibly seen, than on this occasion, the power of the
higher classes over the masses of the people. In fact, popular tumults,
disgraceful mobs, are almost invariably excited by the higher classes,
who push the mob on while they themselves keep in the background. It was
now for the interest of the leaders, both Catholic and Protestant, that
there should be peace, and the populace immediately imbibed that spirit.
The Protestant chapel stood by the side of the Romish cathedral, and the
congregations mingled freely in courtesy and kindness, as they passed to
and from their places of worship. Mutual forbearance and good will
seemed at once to be restored. And now the several cities of the German
empire, where religious freedom had been crushed by the emperor, began
to throng his palace with remonstrants and demands. They, united,
resolved at every hazard to attain the privileges which their brethren
in Bohemia and Austria had secured. The Prince of Anhalt, an able and
intrepid man, was dispatched to Prague with a list of grievances. In
very plain language he inveighed against the government of the emperor,
and demanded for Donauworth and other cities of the German empire, the
civil and religious freedom of which Rhodolph had deprived them;
declaring, without any softening of expression, that if the emperor did
not peacefully grant their requests, they would seek redress by force of
arms. The humiliated and dishonored emperor tried to pacify the prince
by vague promises and honeyed words, to which the prince replied in
language which at once informed the emperor that the time for dalliance
had passed.

"I fear," said the Prince of Anhalt, in words which sovereigns are not
accustomed to hear, "that this answer will rather tend to prolong the
dispute than to tranquillize the united princes. I am bound in duty to
represent to your imperial majesty the dangerous flame which I now see
bursting forth in Germany. Your counselors are ill adapted to extinguish
this rising flame--those counselors who have brought you into such
imminent danger, and who have nearly destroyed public confidence, credit
and prosperity throughout your dominions. I must likewise exhort your
imperial majesty to take all important affairs into consideration
yourself, intreating you to recollect the example of Julius Cæsar, who,
had he not neglected to read the note presented to him as he was going
to the capitol, would not have received the twenty wounds which caused
his death."

This last remark threw the emperor into a paroxysm of terror. He had
long been trembling from the apprehension of assassination. This
allusion to Julius Cæsar he considered an intimation that his hour was
at hand. His terror was so great that Prince Anhalt had to assure him,
again and again, that he intended no such menace, and that he was not
aware that any conspiracy was thought of any where, for his death. The
emperor was, however, so alarmed that he promised any thing and every
thing. He doubtless intended to fulfill his promise, but subsequent
troubles arose which absorbed all his remaining feeble energies, and
obliterated past engagements from his mind.

Matthias was watching all the events with the intensest eagerness, as
affording a brilliant prospect to him, to obtain the crown of Bohemia,
and the scepter of the empire. This ambition consumed his days and his
nights, verifying the adage, "uneasy lies the head which wears a crown."



CHAPTER XIV.

RHODOLPH III. AND MATTHIAS.

From 1609 to 1612.

Difficulties as to the Succession.--Hostility of Henry IV. to the House
of Austria.--Assassination of Henry IV.--Similarity in Sully's and
Napoleon's Plans.--Exultation of the Catholics.--The Brothers'
Compact.--How Rhodolph Kept It.--Seizure of Prague.--Rhodolph a
Prisoner.--The King's Abdication.--Conditions Attached to the
Crown.--Rage of Rhodolph.--Matthias Elected King.--The Emperor's
Residence.--Rejoicings of the Protestants.--Reply of the
Ambassadors.--The Nuremburg Diet.--The Unkindest Cut of All.--Rhodolph's
Humiliation And Death.


And now suddenly arose another question which threatened to involve all
Europe in war. The Duke of Cleves, Juliers, and Berg died without issue.
This splendid duchy, or rather combination of duchies, spread over a
territory of several thousand square miles, and was inhabited by over a
million of inhabitants. There were many claimants to the succession, and
the question was so singularly intricate and involved, that there were
many who seemed to have an equal right to the possession. The emperor,
by virtue of his imperial authority, issued an edict, putting the
territory in sequestration, till the question should be decided by the
proper tribunals, and, in the meantime, placing the territory in the
hands of one of his own family as administrator.

This act, together with the known wishes of Spain to prevent so
important a region, lying near the Netherlands, from falling into the
hands of the Protestants, immediately changed the character of the
dispute into a religious contest, and, as by magic, all Europe wheeled
into line on the one side or the other, Every other question was lost
sight of, in the all-absorbing one, Shall the duchy fall into the hands
of the Protestants or the Catholics?

Henry IV. of France zealously espoused the cause of the Protestants. He
was very hostile to the house of Austria for the assistance it had lent
to that celebrated league which for so many years had deluged France in
blood, and kept Henry IV. from the throne; and he was particularly
anxious to humble that proud power. Though Henry IV., after fighting for
many years the battles of Protestantism, had, from motives of policy,
avowed the Romish faith, he could never forget his mother's
instructions, his early predilections and his old friends and
supporters, the Protestants; and his sympathies were always with them.
Henry IV., as sagacious and energetic as he was ambitious, saw that he
could never expect a more favorable moment to strike the house of
Austria than the one then presented. The Emperor Rhodolph was weak, and
universally unpopular, not only with his own subjects, but throughout
Germany. The Protestants were all inimical to him, and he was involved
in desperate antagonism with his energetic brother Matthias. Still he
was a formidable foe, as, in a war involving religious questions, he
could rally around him all the Catholic powers of Europe.

Henry IV., preparatory to pouring his troops into the German empire,
entered into secret negotiations with England, Denmark, Switzerland,
Venice, whom he easily purchased with offers of plunder, and with the
Protestant princes of minor power on the continent. There were not a
few, indifferent upon religious matters, who were ready to engage in any
enterprise which would humble Spain and Austria. Henry collected a large
force on the frontiers of Germany, and, with ample materials of war, was
prepared, at a given signal, to burst into the territory of the empire.

The Catholics watched these movements with alarm, and began also to
organize. Rhodolph, who, from his position as emperor, should have been
their leader, was a wretched hypochondriac, trembling before imaginary
terrors, a prey to the most gloomy superstitions, and still concealed in
the secret chambers of his palace. He was a burden to his party, and was
regarded by them with contempt. Matthias was watching him, as the tiger
watches its prey. To human eyes it would appear that the destiny of the
house of Austria was sealed. Just at that critical point, one of those
unexpected events occurred, which so often rise to thwart the deepest
laid schemes of man.

On the 14th of May, 1610, Henry IV. left the Louvre in his carriage to
visit his prime minister, the illustrious Sully, who was sick. The city
was thronged with the multitudes assembled to witness the triumphant
entry of the queen, who had just been crowned. It was a beautiful spring
morning, and the king sat in his carriage with several of his nobles,
the windows of his carriage being drawn up. Just as the carriage was
turning up from the rue St. Honore into the rue Ferronnerie, the passage
was found blocked up by two carts. The moment the carriage stopped, a
man sprung from the crowd upon one of the spokes of the wheel, and
grasping a part of the coach with his right hand, with his left plunged
a dagger to the hilt into the heart of Henry IV. Instantly withdrawing
it, he repeated the blow, and with nervous strength again penetrated the
heart. The king dropped dead into the arms of his friends, the blood
gushing from the wound and from his mouth. The wretched assassin, a
fanatic monk, Francis Ravaillac, was immediately seized by the guard.
With difficulty they protected him from being torn in pieces by the
populace. He was reserved for a more terrible fate, and was subsequently
put to death by the most frightful tortures human ingenuity could
devise.

The poniard of the assassin changed the fate of Europe. Henry IV. had
formed one of the grandest plans which ever entered the human mind.
Though it is not at all probable that he could have executed it, the
attempt, with the immense means he had at his disposal, and with his
energy as a warrior and diplomatist, would doubtless have entirely
altered the aspect of human affairs. There was very much in his plan to
secure the approval of all those enlightened men who were mourning over
the incessant and cruel wars with which Europe was ever desolated. His
intention was to reconstruct Europe into fifteen States, as nearly
uniform in size and power as possible. These States were, according to
their own choice, to be monarchical or republican, and were to be
associated on a plan somewhat resembling that of the United States of
North America. In each State the majority were to decide which religion,
whether Protestant or Catholic, should be established. The Catholics
were all to leave the Protestant States, and assemble in their own. In
like manner the Protestants were to abandon the Catholic kingdoms. This
was the very highest point to which the spirit of toleration had then
attained. All Pagans and Mohammedans were to be driven out of Europe
into Asia. A civil tribunal was to be organized to settle all national
difficulties, so that there should be no more war. There was to be a
standing army belonging to the confederacy, to preserve the peace, and
enforce its decrees, consisting of two hundred and seventy thousand
infantry, fifty thousand cavalry, two hundred cannon, and one hundred
and twenty ships of war.

This plan was by no means so chimerical as at first glance it might seem
to be. The sagacious Sully examined it in all its details, and gave it
his cordial support. The coöperation of two or three of the leading
powers would have invested the plan with sufficient moral and physical
support to render its success even probable. But the single poniard of
the monk Ravaillac arrested it all.

The Emperor Napoleon I. had formed essentially the same plan, with the
same humane desire to put an end to interminable wars; but he had
adopted far nobler principles of toleration. "One of my great plans,"
said he at St. Helena, "was the rejoining, the concentration of those
same geographical nations which have been disunited and parcelled out by
revolution and policy. There are dispersed in Europe upwards of thirty
millions of French, fifteen millions of Spaniards, fifteen millions of
Italians, and thirty millions of Germans. It was my intention to
incorporate these several people each into one nation. It would have
been a noble thing to have advanced into posterity with such a train,
and attended by the blessings of future ages. I felt myself worthy of
this glory.

"After this summary simplification, it would have been possible to
indulge the chimera of the _beau ideal_ of civilization. In this state
of things there would have been some chance of establishing in every
country a unity of codes, of principles, of opinions, of sentiments,
views and interests. Then perhaps, by the help of the universal
diffusion of knowledge, one might have thought of attempting in the
great human family the application of the American Congress, or the
Amphictyons of Greece. What a perspective of power, grandeur, happiness
and prosperity would thus have appeared.

"The concentration of thirty or forty millions of Frenchmen was
completed and perfected. That of fifteen millions of Spaniards was
nearly accomplished. Because I did not subdue the Spaniards, it will
henceforth be argued that they were invincible, for nothing is more
common than to convert accident into principle. But the fact is that
they were actually conquered, and, at the very moment when they escaped
me, the Cortes of Cadiz were secretly in treaty with me. They were not
delivered either by their own resistance or by the efforts of the
English, but by the reverses which I sustained at different points, and,
above all, by the error I committed in transferring my whole forces to
the distance of three thousand miles from them. Had it not been for
this, the Spanish government would have been shortly consolidated, the
public mind would have been tranquilized, and hostile parties would have
been rallied together. Three or four years would have restored the
Spaniards to profound peace and brilliant prosperity. They would have
become a compact nation, and I should have well deserved their
gratitude, for I should have saved them from the tyranny by which they
are now oppressed, and the terrible agitations which await them.

"With regard to the fifteen millions of Italians, their concentration
was already far advanced; it only wanted maturity. The people were daily
becoming more firmly established in the unity of principles and
legislation, and also in the unity of thought and feeling--that certain
and infallible cement of human thought and concentration. The union of
Piedmont to France, and the junction of Parma, Tuscany and Rome, were,
in my mind, only temporary measures, intended merely to guarantee and
promote the national education of the Italians. The portions of Italy
that were united to France, though that union might have been regarded
as the result of invasion on our part, were, in spite of their Italian
patriotism, the very places that continued most attached to us.

"All the south of Europe, therefore, would soon have been rendered
compact in point of locality, views, opinions, sentiments and interests.
In this state of things, what would have been the weight of all the
nations of the North? What human efforts could have broken through so
strong a barrier? The concentration of the Germans must have been
effected more gradually, and therefore I had done no more than simplify
their monstrous complication. Not that they were unprepared for
concentralization; on the contrary, they were too well prepared for it,
and they might have blindly risen in reaction against us before they had
comprehended our designs. How happens it that no German prince has yet
formed a just notion of the spirit of his nation, and turned it to good
account? Certainly if Heaven had made me a prince of Germany, amid the
critical events of our times I should infallibly have governed the
thirty millions of Germans combined; and, from what I know of them, I
think I may venture to affirm that if they had once elected and
proclaimed me they would not have forsaken me, and I should never have
been at St. Helena.

"At all events," the emperor continued, after a moment's pause, "this
concentration will be brought about sooner or later by the very force of
events. The impulse is given, and I think that since my fall and the
destruction of my system, no grand equilibrium can possibly be
established in Europe except by the concentration and confederation of
the principal nations. The sovereign who in the first great conflict
shall sincerely embrace the cause of the people, will find himself at
the head of Europe, and may attempt whatever he pleases."

Thus similar were the plans of these two most illustrious men. But from
this digression let us return to the affairs of Austria. With the death
of Henry IV., fell the stupendous plan which his genius conceived, and
which his genius alone could execute. The Protestants, all over Europe,
regarded his death as a terrible blow. Still they did not despair of
securing the contested duchy for a Protestant prince. The fall of Henry
IV. raised from the Catholics a shout of exultation, and they redoubled
their zeal.

The various princes of the house of Austria, brothers, uncles, cousins,
holding important posts all over the empire, were much alarmed in view
of the peril to which the family ascending was exposed by the feebleness
of Rhodolph. They held a private family conference, and decided that the
interests of all required that there should be reconciliation between
Matthias and Rhodolph; or that, in their divided state, they would fall
victims to their numerous foes. The brothers agreed to an outward
reconciliation; but there was not the slightest mitigation of the rancor
which filled their hearts. Matthias, however, consented to acknowledge
the superiority of his brother, the emperor, to honor him as the head of
the family, and to hold his possessions as fiefs of Rhodolph intrusted
to him by favor. Rhodolph, while hating Matthias, and watching for an
opportunity to crush him, promised to regard him hereafter as a brother
and a friend.

And now Rhodolph developed unexpected energy, mingled with treachery and
disgraceful duplicity. He secretly and treacherously invited the
Archduke Leopold, who was also Bishop of Passau and Strasbourg, and one
of the most bigoted of the warrior ecclesiastics of the papal church, to
invade, with an army of sixteen thousand men, Rhodolph's own kingdom of
Bohemia, under the plea that the wages of the soldiers had not been
paid. It was his object, by thus introducing an army of Roman Catholics
into his kingdom, and betraying into their hands several strong
fortresses, then to place himself at their head, rally the Catholics of
Bohemia around him, annul all the edicts of toleration, crush the
Protestants, and then to march to the punishment of Matthias.

The troops, in accordance with their treacherous plan, burst into Upper
Austria, where the emperor had provided that there should be no force to
oppose them. They spread themselves over the country, robbing the
Protestants and destroying their property with the most wanton cruelty.
Crossing the Danube they continued their march and entered Bohemia.
Still Rhodolph kept quiet in his palace, sending no force to oppose, but
on the contrary contriving that towns and fortresses, left defenseless,
should fall easily into their hands. Bohemia was in a terrible state of
agitation. Wherever the invading army appeared, it wreaked dire
vengeance upon the Protestants. The leaders of the Protestants hurriedly
ran together, and, suspicious of treachery, sent an earnest appeal to
the king.

The infamous emperor, not yet ready to lay aside the vail, called Heaven
to witness that the irruption was made without his knowledge, and
advised vigorous measures to repel the foe, while he carefully thwarted
the execution of any such measures. At the same time he issued a
proclamation to Leopold, commanding him to retire. Leopold understood
all this beforehand, and smiling, pressed on. Aided by the treason of
the king, they reached Prague, seized one of the gates, massacred the
guard, and took possession of the capital. The emperor now came forward
and disclosed his plans. The foreign troops, holding Prague and many
other of the most important towns and fortresses in the kingdom, took
the oath of allegiance to Rhodolph as their sovereign, and he placed in
their hands five pieces of heavy artillery, which were planted in
battery on an eminence which commanded the town. A part of Bohemia
rallied around the king in support of these atrocious measures.

But all the Protestants, and all who had any sympathy with the
Protestants, were exasperated to the highest pitch. They immediately
dispatched messengers to Matthias and to their friends in Moravia,
imploring aid. Matthias immediately started eight thousand Hungarians on
the march. As they entered Bohemia with rapid steps and pushed their way
toward Prague they were joined every hour by Protestant levies pouring
in from all quarters. So rapidly did their ranks increase that Leopold's
troops, not daring to await their arrival, in a panic, fled by night.
They were pursued on their retreat, attacked, and put to flight with the
loss of two thousand men. The ecclesiastical duke, in shame and
confusion, slunk away to his episcopal castle of Passau.

The contemptible Rhodolph now first proposed terms of reconciliation,
and then implored the clemency of his indignant conquerors. They turned
from the overtures of the perjured monarch with disdain, burst into the
city of Prague, surrounded every avenue to the palace, and took Rhodolph
a prisoner. Soon Matthias arrived, mounted in regal splendor, at the
head of a gorgeous retinue. The army received him with thunders of
acclaim. Rhodolph, a captive in his palace, heard the explosion of
artillery, the ringing of bells and the shouts of the populace,
welcoming his dreaded and detested rival to the capital. It was the 20th
of March, 1611. The nobles commanded Rhodolph to summon a diet. The
humiliated, degraded, helpless emperor knew full well what this
signified, but dared not disobey. He summoned a diet. It was immediately
convened. Rhodolph sent in a message, saying,

"Since, on account of my advanced age, I am no longer capable of
supporting the weight of government, I hereby abdicate the throne, and
earnestly desire that my brother Matthias may be crowned without delay."

The diet were disposed very promptly to gratify the king in his
expressed wishes. But there arose some very formidable difficulties. The
German princes, who were attached to the cause which Rhodolph had so
cordially espoused, and who foresaw that his fall threatened the
ascendency of Protestantism throughout the empire, sent their
ambassadors to the Bohemian nobles with the menace of the vengeance of
the empire, if they proceeded to the deposition of Rhodolph and to the
inauguration of Matthias, whom they stigmatized as an usurper. This
unexpected interposition reanimated the hopes of Rhodolph, and he
instantly found such renovation of youth and strength as to feel quite
able to bear the burden of the crown a little longer; and consequently,
notwithstanding his abdication, through his friends, all the most
accomplished mechanism of diplomacy, with its menaces, its bribes, and
its artifice were employed to thwart the movements of Matthias and his
friends.

There was still another very great difficulty. Matthias was very
ambitious, and wished to be a sovereign, with sovereign power. He was
very reluctant to surrender the least portion of those prerogatives
which his regal ancestors had grasped. But the nobles deemed this a
favorable opportunity to regain their lost power. They were disposed to
make a hard bargain with Matthias. They demanded--1st, that the throne
should no longer be hereditary, but elective; 2d, that the nobles should
be permitted to meet in a diet, or congress, to deliberate upon public
affairs whenever and wherever they pleased; 3d, that all financial and
military affairs should be left in their hands; 4th, that although the
king might appoint all the great officers of state, they might remove
any of them at pleasure; 5th, that it should be the privilege of the
nobles to form all foreign alliances; 6th, that they were to be
empowered to form an armed force by their own authority.

Matthias hesitated in giving his assent to such demands, which seemed to
reduce him to a cipher, conferring upon him only the shadow of a crown.
Rhodolph, however, who was eager to make any concessions, had his agents
busy through the diet, with assurances that the emperor would grant all
these concessions. But Rhodolph had fallen too low to rise again. The
diet spurned all his offers, and chose Matthias, though he postponed his
decision upon these articles until he could convene a future and more
general diet. Rhodolph had eagerly caught at the hope of regaining his
crown. As his messengers returned to him in the palace with the tidings
of their defeat, he was overwhelmed with indignation, shame and despair.
In a paroxysm of agony he threw up his window, and looking out upon the
city, exclaimed,

"O Prague, unthankful Prague, who hast been so highly elevated by me;
now thou spurnest at thy benefactor. May the curse and vengeance of God
fall upon thee and all Bohemia."

The 23d of May was appointed for the coronation. The nobles drew up a
paper, which they required Rhodolph to sign, absolving his subjects from
their oath of allegiance to him. The degraded king writhed in helpless
indignation, for he was a captive. With the foolish petulance of a
spoiled child, as he affixed his signature in almost an illegible
scrawl, he dashed blots of ink upon the paper, and then, tearing the pen
to pieces, threw it upon the floor, and trampled it beneath his feet.

It was still apprehended that the adherents of Rhodolph might make some
armed demonstration in his favor. As a precaution against this, the city
was filled with troops, the gates closed, and carefully guarded. The
nobles met in the great hall of the palace. It was called a meeting of
the States, for it included the higher nobles, the higher clergy, and a
few citizens, as representatives of certain privileged cities. The
forced abdication of Rhodolph was first read. It was as follows:--

"In conformity with the humble request of the States of our kingdom, we
graciously declare the three estates, as well as all the inhabitants of
all ranks and conditions, free from all subjection, duty and obligation;
and we release them from their oath of allegiance, which they have taken
to us as their king, with a view to prevent all future dissensions and
confusion. We do this for the greater security and advantage of the
whole kingdom of Bohemia, over which we have ruled six-and-thirty years,
where we have almost always resided, and which, during our
administration, has been maintained in peace, and increased in riches
and splendor. We accordingly, in virtue of this present voluntary
resignation, and after due reflection, do, from this day, release our
subjects from all duty and obligation."

Matthias was then chosen king, in accordance with all the ancient
customs of the hereditary monarchy of Bohemia. The States immediately
proceeded to his coronation. Every effort was made to dazzle the
multitude with the splendors of the coronation, and to throw a halo of
glory around the event, not merely as the accession of a new monarch to
the throne, but as the introduction of a great reform in reinstating the
nation in its pristine rights.

While the capital was resounding with these rejoicings, Rhodolph had
retired to a villa at some distance from the city, in a secluded glen
among the mountains, that he might close his ears against the hateful
sounds. The next day Matthias, fraternally or maliciously, for it is not
easy to judge which motive actuated him, sent a stinging message of
assumed gratitude to his brother, thanking him for relinquishing in his
brother's favor his throne and his palaces, and expressing the hope that
they might still live together in fraternal confidence and affection.

Matthias and the States consulted their own honor rather than Rhodolph's
merits, in treating him with great magnanimity. Though Rhodolph had
lost, one by one, all his own hereditary or acquired territories,
Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, he still retained the imperial crown of
Germany. This gave him rank and certain official honors, with but little
real power. The emperor, who was also a powerful sovereign in his own
right, could marshal his own forces to establish his decrees. But the
emperor, who had no treasury or army of his own, was powerless indeed.

The emperor was permitted to occupy one of the palaces at Prague. He
received an annual pension of nearly a million of dollars; and the
territories and revenues of four lordships were conferred upon him.
Matthias having consolidated his government, and appointed the great
officers of his kingdom, left Prague without having any interview with
his brother, and returned to his central capital at Vienna, where he
married Anne, daughter of his uncle Ferdinand of Tyrol.

The Protestants all over the German empire hailed these events with
public rejoicing. Rhodolph had been their implacable foe. He was now
disarmed and incapable of doing them any serious injury. Matthias was
professedly their friend, had been placed in power mainly as their
sovereign, and was now invested with such power, as sovereign of the
collected realms of Austria, that he could effectually protect them from
persecution. This success emboldened them to unite in a strong,
wide-spread confederacy for the protection of their rights. The
Protestant nobles and princes, with the most distinguished of their
clergy from all parts of the German empire, held a congress at
Rothenburg. This great assembly, in the number, splendor and dignity of
its attendants, vied with regal diets. Many of the most illustrious
princes of the empire were there in person, with imposing retinues. The
emperor and Matthias both deemed it expedient to send ambassadors to the
meeting. The congress at Rothenburg was one of the most memorable
movements of the Protestant party. They drew up minute regulations for
the government of their confederacy, established a system of taxation
among themselves, made efficient arrangements for the levying of troops,
established arsenals and magazines, and strongly garrisoned a fortress,
to be the nucleus of their gathering should they at any time be
compelled to appeal to arms.

Rhodolph, through his ambassadors, appeared before this resplendent
assembly the mean and miserable sycophant he ever was in days of
disaster. He was so silly as to try to win them again to his cause. He
coaxed and made the most liberal promises, but all in vain. Their reply
was indignant and decisive, yet dignified.

"We have too long," they replied, "been duped by specious and deceitful
promises. We now demand actions, not words. Let the emperor show us by
the acts of his administration that his spirit is changed, and then, and
then only, can we confide in him."

Matthias was still apprehensive that the emperor might rally the
Catholic forces of Germany, and in union with the pope and the
formidable power of the Spanish court, make an attempt to recover his
Bohemian throne. It was manifest that with any energy of character,
Rhodolph might combine Catholic Europe, and inundate the plains of
Germany with blood. While it was very important, therefore, that
Matthias should do every thing he could to avoid exasperating the
Catholics, it was essential to his cause that he should rally around him
the sympathies of the Protestants.

The ambassadors of Matthias respectfully announced to the congress the
events which had transpired in Bohemia in the transference of the crown,
and solicited the support of the congress. The Protestant princes
received this communication with satisfaction, promised their support in
case it should be needed, and, conscious of the danger of provoking
Rhodolph to any desperate efforts to rouse the Catholics, recommended
that he should be treated with brotherly kindness, and, at the same
time, watched with a vigilant eye.

Rhodolph, disappointed here, summoned an electoral meeting of the
empire, to be held at Nuremburg on the 14th of December, 1711. He hoped
that a majority of the electors would be his friends. Before this body
he presented a very pathetic account of his grievances, delineating in
most melancholy colors the sorrows which attend fallen grandeur. He
detailed his privations and necessities, the straits to which he was
reduced by poverty, his utter inability to maintain a state befitting
the imperial dignity, and implored them, with the eloquence of a
Neapolitan mendicant, to grant him a suitable establishment, and not to
abandon him, in his old age, to penury and dishonor.

The reply of the electors to the dispirited, degraded, downtrodden old
monarch was the unkindest cut of all. Much as Rhodolph is to be
execrated and despised, one can hardly refrain from an emotion of
sympathy in view of this new blow which fell upon him. A deputation sent
from the electoral college met him in his palace at Prague. Mercilessly
they recapitulated most of the complaints which the Protestants had
brought against him, declined rendering him any pecuniary relief, and
requested him to nominate some one to be chosen as his successor on the
imperial throne.

"The emperor," said the delegation in conclusion, "is himself the
principal author of his own distresses and misfortunes. The contempt
into which he has fallen and the disgrace which, through him, is
reflected upon the empire, is derived from his own indolence and his
obstinacy in following perverse counsels. He might have escaped all
these calamities if, instead of resigning himself to corrupt and
interested ministers, he had followed the salutary counsels of the
electors."

They closed this overwhelming announcement by demanding the immediate
assembling of a diet to elect an emperor to succeed him on the throne of
Germany. Rhodolph, not yet quite sufficiently humiliated to officiate as
his own executioner, though he promised to summon a diet, evaded the
fulfillment of his promise. The electors, not disposed to dally with him
at all, called the assembly by their own authority to meet on the 31st
of May.

This seemed to be the finishing blow. Rhodolph, now sixty years of age,
enfeebled and emaciated by disease and melancholy, threw himself upon
his bed to die. Death, so often invoked in vain by the miserable, came
to his aid. He welcomed its approach. To those around his bed he
remarked,

"When a youth, I experienced the most exquisite pleasure in returning
from Spain to my native country. How much more joyful ought I to be when
I am about to be delivered from the calamities of human nature, and
transferred to a heavenly country where there is no change of time, and
where no sorrow can enter!"

In the tomb let him be forgotten.



CHAPTER XV.

MATTHIAS.

From 1612 to 1619.

Matthias Elected Emperor of Germany.--His despotic Character.--His Plans
thwarted.--Mulheim.--Gathering Clouds.--Family Intrigue.--Coronation of
Ferdinand.--His Bigotry.--Henry, Count of Thurn.--Convention at
Prague.--The King's Reply.--The Die cast.--Amusing Defense of an
Outrage.--Ferdinand's Manifesto.--Seizure of Cardinal Kleses.--The
King's Rage.--Retreat of the King's Troops.--Humiliation of
Ferdinand.--The Difficulties referred.--Death of Matthias.


Upon the death of Rhodolph, Matthias promptly offered himself as a
candidate for the imperial crown. But the Catholics, suspicious of
Matthias, in consequence of his connection with the Protestants,
centered upon the Archduke Albert, sovereign of the Netherlands, as
their candidate. Many of the Protestants, also, jealous of the vast
power Matthias was attaining, and not having full confidence in his
integrity, offered their suffrages to Maximilian, the younger brother of
Matthias. But notwithstanding this want of unanimity, political intrigue
removed all difficulties and Matthias was unanimously elected Emperor of
Germany.

The new emperor was a man of renown. His wonderful achievements had
arrested the attention of Europe, and it was expected that in his hands
the administration of the empire would be conducted with almost
unprecedented skill and vigor. But clouds and storms immediately began
to lower around the throne. Matthias had no spirit of toleration in his
heart, and every tolerant act he had assented to, had been extorted from
him. He was, by nature, a despot, and most reluctantly, for the sake of
grasping the reins of power, he had relinquished a few of the royal
prerogatives. He had thus far evaded many of the claims which had been
made upon him, and which he had partially promised to grant, and now,
being both king and emperor, he was disposed to grasp all power, both
secular and religious, which he could attain.

Matthias's first endeavor was to recover Transylvania. This province had
fallen into the hands of Gabriel Bethlehem, who was under the protection
of the Turks. Matthias, thinking that a war with the infidel would be
popular, summoned a diet and solicited succors to drive the Turks from
Moldavia and Wallachia, where they had recently established themselves.
The Protestants, however, presented a list of grievances which they
wished to have redressed before they listened to his request. The
Catholics, on the other hand, presented a list of their grievances,
which consisted, mainly, in privileges granted the Protestants, which
they also demanded to have redressed before they could vote any supplies
to the emperor. These demands were so diametrically hostile to each
other, that there could be no reconciliation. After an angry debate the
diet broke up in confusion, having accomplished nothing.

Matthias, disappointed in this endeavor, now applied to the several
States of his widely extended Austrian domains--to his own subjects. A
general assembly was convened at Lintz. Matthias proposed his plans,
urging the impolicy of allowing the Turks to retain the conquered
provinces, and to remain in the ascendency in Transylvania. But here
again Matthias was disappointed. The Bohemian Protestants were indignant
in view of some restrictions upon their worship, imposed by the emperor
to please the Catholics. The Hungarians, weary of the miseries of war,
were disposed on any terms to seek peace with the Turks. The Austrians
had already expended an immense amount of blood and money on the
battle-fields of Hungary, and urged the emperor to send an ambassador to
treat for peace. Matthias was excessively annoyed in being thus thwarted
in all his plans.

Just at this time a Turkish envoy arrived at Vienna, proposing a truce
for twenty years. The Turks had never before condescended to send an
embassage to a Christian power. This afforded Matthias an honorable
pretext for abandoning his warlike plan, and the truce was agreed to.

The incessant conflict between the Catholics and Protestants allowed
Germany no repose. A sincere toleration, such as existed during the
reign of Maximilian I., established fraternal feelings between the
contending parties. But it required ages of suffering and peculiar
combination of circumstances, to lead the king and the nobles to a
cordial consent to that toleration. But the bigotry of Rhodolph and the
trickery of Matthias, had so exasperated the parties, and rendered them
so suspicious of each other, that the emperor, even had he been so
disposed, could not, but by very slow and gradual steps, have secured
reconciliation. Rhodolph had put what was called the ban of the empire
upon the Protestant city of Aix-la-Chapelle, removing the Protestants
from the magistracy, and banishing their chiefs from the city. When
Rhodolph was sinking into disgrace and had lost his power, the
Protestants, being in the majority, took up arms, reflected their
magistracy, and expelled the Jesuits from the city. The Catholics now
appealed to Matthias, and he insanely revived the ban against the
Protestants, and commissioned Albert, Archduke of Cologne, a bigoted
Catholic, to march with an army to Aix-la-Chapelle and enforce its
execution.

Opposite Cologne, on the Rhine, the Protestants, in the days of bitter
persecution, had established the town of Mulheim. Several of the
neighboring Protestant princes defended with their arms the refugees who
settled there from all parts of Germany. The town was strongly
fortified, and here the Protestants, with arms in their hands,
maintained perfect freedom of religious worship. The city grew rapidly
and became one of the most important fortresses upon the river. The
Catholics, jealous of its growing power, appealed to the emperor. He
issued a decree ordering the Protestants to demolish every fortification
of the place within thirty days; and to put up no more buildings
whatever.

These decrees were both enforced by the aid of a Spanish army of thirty
thousand men, which, having executed the ban, descended the river and
captured several others of the most important of the Protestant towns.
Of course all Germany was in a ferment. Everywhere was heard the
clashing of arms, and every thing indicated the immediate outburst of
civil war. Matthias was in great perplexity, and his health rapidly
failed beneath the burden of care and sorrow. All the thoughts of
Matthias were now turned to the retaining of the triple crown of
Bohemia, Hungary and the empire, in the family. Matthias was old, sick
and childless. Maximilian, his next brother, was fifty-nine years of age
and unmarried. The next brother, Albert, was fifty-eight, and without
children. Neither of the brothers could consequently receive the crowns
with any hope of retaining them in the family. Matthias turned to his
cousin Ferdinand, head of the Styrian branch of the family, as the
nearest relative who was likely to continue the succession. In
accordance with the custom which had grown up, Matthias wished to
nominate his successor, and have him recognized and crowned before his
death, so that immediately upon his death the new sovereign, already
crowned, could enter upon the government without any interregnum.

The brothers, appreciating the importance of retaining the crown in the
family, and conscious that all the united influence they then possessed
was essential to securing that result, assented to the plan, and
coöperated in the nomination of Ferdinand. All the arts of diplomatic
intrigue were called into requisition to attain these important ends.
The Bohemian crown was now electoral; and it was necessary to persuade
the electors to choose Ferdinand, one of the most intolerant Catholics
who ever swayed a scepter. The crown of Hungary was nominally
hereditary. But the turbulent nobles, ever armed, and strong in their
fortresses, would accept no monarch whom they did not approve. To secure
also the electoral vote for Emperor of Germany, while parties were so
divided and so bitterly hostile to each other, required the most adroit
application of bribes and menaces.

Matthias made his first movement in Bohemia. Having adopted previous
measures to gain the support of the principal nobles, he summoned a diet
at Prague, which he attended in person, accompanied by Ferdinand. In a
brief speech he thus addressed them.

"As I and my brothers," said the king, "are without children, I deem it
necessary, for the advantage of Bohemia, and to prevent future contests,
that my cousin Ferdinand should be proclaimed and crowned king. I
therefore request you to fix a day for the confirmation of this
appointment."

Some of the leading Protestants opposed this, on the ground of the known
intolerance of Ferdinand. But the majority, either won over by the arts
of Matthias, or dreading civil war, accepted Ferdinand. He was crowned
on the 10th of June, 1616, he promising not to interfere with the
government during the lifetime of Matthias. The emperor now turned to
Hungary, and, by the adoption of the same measures, secured the same
results. The nobles accepted Ferdinand, and he was solemnly crowned at
Presburg.

Ferdinand was Archduke of Styria, a province of Austria embracing a
little more than eight thousand square miles, being about the size of
the State of Massachusetts, and containing about a million of
inhabitants. He was educated by the Jesuits after the strictest manner
of their religion. He became so thoroughly imbued with the spirit of his
monastic education, that he was anxious to assume the cowl of the monk,
and enter the order of the Jesuits. His devotion to the papal church
assumed the aspect of the most inflexible intolerance towards all
dissent. In the administration of the government of his own duchy, he
had given free swing to his bigotry. Marshaling his troops, he had
driven all the Protestant preachers from his domains. He had made a
pilgrimage to Rome, to receive the benediction of the pope, and another
to Loretto, where, prostrating himself before the miraculous image, he
vowed never to cease his exertions until he had extirpated all heresy
from his territories. He often declared that he would beg his bread from
door to door, submit to every insult, to every calamity, sacrifice even
life itself, rather than suffer the true Church to be injured. Ferdinand
was no time-server--no hypocrite. He was a genuine bigot, sincere and
conscientious. Animated by this spirit, although two thirds of the
inhabitants of Styria were Protestants, he banished all their preachers,
professors and schoolmasters; closed their churches, seminaries and
schools; even tore down the churches and school-houses; multiplied papal
institutions, and called in teachers and preachers from other States.

Matthias and Ferdinand now seemed jointly to reign, and the Protestants
were soon alarmed by indications that a new spirit was animating the
councils of the sovereign. The most inflexible Catholics were received
as the friends and advisers of the king. The Jesuits loudly exulted,
declaring that heresy was no longer to be tolerated. Banishments and
confiscations were talked of, and the alarm of the Protestants became
intense and universal: they looked forward to the commencement of the
reign of Ferdinand with terror.

As was to be expected, such wrongs and perils called out an avenger.
Matthew Henry, Count of Thurn, was one of the most illustrious and
wealthy of the Bohemian nobles. He had long been a warm advocate of the
doctrines of the Reformation; and having, in the wars with the Turks,
acquired a great reputation for military capacity and courage, and being
also a man of great powers of eloquence, and of exceedingly popular
manners, he had become quite the idol of the Protestant party. He had
zealously opposed the election of Ferdinand to the throne of Bohemia,
and had thus increased that jealousy and dislike with which both
Matthias and Ferdinand had previously regarded so formidable an
opponent. He was, in consequence, very summarily deprived of some very
important dignities. This roused his impetuous spirit, and caused the
Protestants more confidingly to rally around him as a martyr to their
cause.

The Count of Thurn, as prudent as he was bold, as deliberate as he was
energetic, aware of the fearful hazard of entering into hostilities with
the sovereign who was at the same time king of all the Austrian realms,
and Emperor of Germany, conferred with the leading Protestant princes,
and organized a confederacy so strong that all the energies of the
empire could with difficulty crush it. They were not disposed to make
any aggressive movements, but to defend their rights if assailed. The
inhabitants of a town in the vicinity of Prague began to erect a church
for Protestant worship. The Roman Catholic bishop, who presided over
that diocese, forbade them to proceed. They plead a royal edict, which
authorized them to erect the church, and continued their work,
regardless of the prohibition. Count Thurn encouraged them to persevere,
promising them ample support. The bishop appealed to the Emperor
Matthias. He also issued his prohibition; but aware of the strength of
the Protestants, did not venture to attempt to enforce it by arms.
Ferdinand, however, was not disposed to yield to this spirit, and by his
influence obtained an order, demanding the immediate surrender of the
church to the Catholics, or its entire demolition. The bishop attempted
its destruction by an armed force, but the Protestants defended their
property, and sent a committee to Matthias, petitioning for a revocation
of the mandate. These deputies were seized and imprisoned by the king,
and an imperial force was sent to the town, Brunau, to take possession
of the church. From so small a beginning rose the Thirty Years' War.

Count Thurn immediately summoned a convention of six delegates from each
of the districts, called circles in Bohemia. The delegates met at Prague
on the 16th of March, 1618. An immense concourse of Protestants from all
parts of the surrounding country accompanied the delegates to the
capital. Count Thurn was a man of surpassing eloquence, and seemed to
control at will all the passions of the human heart. In the boldest
strains of eloquence he addressed the assembly, and roused them to the
most enthusiastic resolve to defend at all hazards their civil and
religious rights. They unanimously passed a resolve that the demolition
of the church and the suspension of the Protestant worship were
violations of the royal edict, and they drew up a petition to the
emperor demanding the redress of this grievance, and the liberation of
the imprisoned deputies from Brunau. The meeting then adjourned, to be
reassembled soon to hear the reply of the emperor.

As the delegates and the multitudes who accompanied them returned to
their homes, they spread everywhere the impression produced upon their
minds by the glowing eloquence of Count Thurn. The Protestant mind was
roused to the highest pitch by the truthful representation, that the
court had adopted a deliberate plan for the utter extirpation of
Protestant worship throughout Bohemia, and that foreign troops were to
be brought in to execute this decree. These convictions were
strengthened and the alarm increased by the defiant reply which Matthias
sent back from his palace in Vienna to his Bohemian subjects. He accused
the delegates of treason and of circulating false and slanderous
reports, and declared that they should be punished according to their
deserts. He forbade them to meet again, or to interfere in any way with
the affairs of Brunau, stating that at his leisure he would repair to
Prague and attend to the business himself.

The king could not have framed an answer better calculated to exasperate
the people, and rouse them to the most determined resistance. Count
Thurn, regardless of the prohibition, called the delegates together and
read to them the answer, which the king had not addressed to them but to
the council of regency. He then addressed them again in those
impassioned strains which he had ever at command, and roused them almost
to fury against those Catholic lords who had dictated this answer to the
king and obtained his signature.

The next day the nobles met again. They came to the place of meeting
thoroughly armed and surrounded by their retainers, prepared to repel
force by force. Count Thurn now wished to lead them to some act of
hostility so decisive that they would be irrecoverably committed. The
king's council of regency was then assembled in the palace of Prague.
The regency consisted of seven Catholics and three Protestants. For some
unknown reason the Protestant lords were not present on this occasion.
Three of the members of the regency, Slavata and Martinetz and the
burgrave of Prague, were peculiarly obnoxious on account of the
implacable spirit with which they had ever persecuted the reformers.
These lords were the especial friends of Ferdinand and had great
influence with Matthias, and it was not doubted that they had framed the
answer which the emperor had returned. Incited by Count Thurn, several
of the most resolute of the delegates, led by the count, proceeded to
the palace, and burst into the room where the regency was in session.

Their leader, addressing Slavata, Martinetz, and Diepold, the burgrave,
said, "Our business is with you. We wish to know if you are responsible
for the answer returned to us by the king."

"That," one of them replied, "is a secret of state which we are not
bound to reveal."

"Let us follow," exclaimed the Protestant chief, "the ancient custom of
Bohemia, and hurl them from the window."

They were in a room in the tower of the castle, and it was eighty feet
to the water of the moat. The Catholic lords were instantly seized,
dragged to the window and thrust out. Almost incredible as it may seem,
the water and the mud of the moat so broke their fall, that neither of
them was killed. They all recovered from the effects of their fall.
Having performed this deed, Count Thurn and his companions returned to
the delegates, informed them of what they had done, and urged them that
the only hope of safety now, for any Protestant, was for all to unite in
open and desperate resistance. Then mounting his horse, and protected by
a strong body-guard, he rode through the streets of Prague, stopping at
every corner to harangue the Protestant populace. The city was thronged
on the occasion by Protestants from all parts of the kingdom.

"I do not," he exclaimed, "propose myself as your chief, but as your
companion, in that peril which will lead us to happy freedom or to
glorious death. The die is thrown. It is too late to recall what is
past. Your safety depends alone on unanimity and courage, and if you
hesitate to burst asunder your chains, you have no alternative but to
perish by the hands of the executioner."

He was everywhere greeted with shouts of enthusiasm, and the whole
Protestant population were united as one man in the cause. Even many of
the moderate Catholics, disgusted with the despotism of the newly
elected king, which embraced civil as well as religious affairs, joined
the Protestants, for they feared the loss of their civil rights more
than they dreaded the inroads of heresy.

With amazing celerity they now organized to repel the force which they
knew that the emperor would immediately send to crush them. Within three
days their plans were all matured and an organization effected which
made the king tremble in his palace. Count Thurn was appointed their
commander, an executive committee of thirty very efficient men was
chosen, which committee immediately issued orders for the levy of troops
all over the kingdom. Envoys were sent to Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia, and
Hungary, and to the Protestants all over the German empire. The
Archbishop of Prague was expelled from the city, and the Jesuits were
also banished. They then issued a proclamation in defense of their
conduct, which they sent to the king with a firm but respectful letter.

One can not but be amused in reading their defense of the outrage
against the council of regency. "We have thrown from the windows," they
said, "the two ministers who have been the enemies of the State,
together with their creature and flatterer, in conformity with an
ancient custom prevalent throughout all Bohemia, as well as in the
capital. This custom is justified by the example of Jezebel in holy
Writ, who was thrown from a window for persecuting the people of God;
and it was common among the Romans, and all other nations of antiquity,
who hurled the disturbers of the public peace from rocks and
precipices."

Matthias had very reluctantly sent his insulting and defiant answer to
the reasonable complaints of the Protestants, and he was thunderstruck
in contemplating the storm which had thus been raised--a storm which
apparently no human wisdom could now allay. There are no energies so
potent as those which are aroused by religious convictions. Matthias
well knew the ascendency of the Protestants all over Bohemia, and that
their spirit, once thoroughly aroused, could not be easily quelled by
any opposing force he could array. He was also aware that Ferdinand was
thoroughly detested by the Protestant leaders, and that it was by no
means improbable that this revolt would thwart all his plans in securing
his succession.

As the Protestants had not renounced their allegiance, Matthias was
strongly disposed to measures of conciliation, and several of the most
influential, yet fair-minded Catholics supported him in these views. The
Protestants were too numerous to be annihilated, and too strong in their
desperation to be crushed. But Ferdinand, guided by the Jesuits, was
implacable. He issued a manifesto, which was but a transcript of his own
soul, and which is really sublime in the sincerity and fervor of its
intolerance.

"All attempts," said he, "to bring to reason a people whom God has
struck with judicial blindness will be in vain. Since the introduction
of heresy into Bohemia, we have seen nothing but tumults, disobedience
and rebellion. While the Catholics and the sovereign have displayed only
lenity and moderation, these sects have become stronger, more violent
and more insolent; having gained all their objects in religious affairs,
they turn their arms against the civil government, and attack the
supreme authority under the pretense of conscience; not content with
confederating themselves against their sovereign, they have usurped the
power of taxation, and have made alliances with foreign States,
particularly with the Protestant princes of Germany, in order to deprive
him of the very means of reducing them to obedience. They have left
nothing to the sovereign but his palaces and the convents; and after
their recent outrages against his ministers, and the usurpation of the
regal revenues, no object remains for their vengeance and rapacity but
the persons of the sovereign and his successor, and the whole house of
Austria.

"If sovereign power emanates from God, these atrocious deeds must
proceed from the devil, and therefore must draw down divine punishment.
Neither can God be pleased with the conduct of the sovereign, in
conniving at or acquiescing in all the demands of the disobedient.
Nothing now remains for him, but to submit to be lorded by his subjects,
or to free himself from this disgraceful slavery before his territories
are formed into a republic. The rebels have at length deprived
themselves of the only plausible argument which their preachers have
incessantly thundered from the pulpit, that they were contending for
religious freedom; and the emperor and the house of Austria have now the
fairest opportunity to convince the world that their sole object is only
to deliver themselves from slavery and restore their legal authority.
They are secure of divine support, and they have only the alternative of
a war by which they may regain their power, or a peace which is far more
dishonorable and dangerous than war. If successful, the forfeited
property of the rebels will defray the expense of their armaments; if
the event of hostilities be unfortunate, they can only lose, with honor,
and with arms in their hands, the rights and prerogatives which are and
will be wrested from them with shame and dishonor. It is better not to
reign than to be the slave of subjects. It is far more desirable and
glorious to shed our blood at the foot of the throne than to be driven
from it like criminals and malefactors."

Matthias endeavored to unite his own peace policy with the energetic
warlike measures urged by Ferdinand. He attempted to overawe by a great
demonstration of physical force, while at the same time he made very
pacific proposals. Applying to Spain for aid, the Spanish court sent him
eight thousand troops from the Netherlands; he also raised, in his own
dominions, ten thousand men. Having assembled this force he sent word to
the Protestants, that if they would disband their force he would do the
same, and that he would confirm the royal edict and give full security
for the maintenance of their civil and religious privileges. The
Protestants refused to disband, knowing that they could place no
reliance upon the word of the unstable monarch who was crowded by the
rising power of the energetic Ferdinand. The ambitious naturally
deserted the court of the sovereign whose days were declining, to enlist
in the service of one who was just entering upon the kingly power.

Ferdinand was enraged at what he considered the pusillanimity of the
king. Maximilian, the younger brother of Matthias, cordially espoused
the cause of Ferdinand. Cardinal Kleses, a Catholic of commanding
influence and of enlightened, liberal views, was the counselor of the
king. Ferdinand and Maximilian resolved that he should no longer have
access to the ear of the pliant monarch, but he could be removed from
the court only by violence. With an armed band they entered the palace
at Vienna, seized the cardinal in the midst of the court, stripped him
of his robes, hurried him into a carriage, and conveyed him to a strong
castle in the midst of the mountains of the Tyrol, where they held him a
close prisoner. The emperor was at the time confined to his bed with the
gout. As soon as they had sent off the cardinal, Ferdinand and
Maximilian repaired to the royal chamber, informed the emperor of what
they had done, and attempted to justify the deed on the plea that the
cardinal was a weak and wicked minister whose policy would certainly
divide and ruin the house of Austria.

The emperor was in his bed as he received this insulting announcement of
a still more insulting outrage. For a moment he was speechless with
rage. But he was old, sick and powerless. This act revealed to him that
the scepter had fallen from his hands. In a paroxysm of excitement, to
prevent himself from speaking he thrust the bed-clothes into his mouth,
nearly suffocating himself. Resistance was in vain. He feared that
should he manifest any, he also might be torn from his palace, a
captive, to share the prison of the cardinal. In sullen indignation he
submitted to the outrage.

Ferdinand and Maximilian now pursued their energetic measures of
hostility unopposed. They immediately put the army in motion to invade
Bohemia, and boasted that the Protestants should soon be punished with
severity which would teach them a lesson they would never forget. But
the Protestants were on the alert. Every town in the kingdom had joined
in the confederacy, and in a few weeks Count Thurn found himself at the
head of ten thousand men inspired with the most determined spirit. The
Silesians and Lusatians marched to help them, and the Protestant league
of Germany sent them timely supplies. The troops of Ferdinand found
opponents in every pass and in every defile, and in their endeavor to
force their way through the fastnesses of the mountains, were frequently
driven back with great loss. At length the troops of Ferdinand, defeated
at every point, were compelled to retreat in shame back to Austria,
leaving all Bohemia in the hands of the Protestants.

Ferdinand was now in trouble and disgrace. His plans had signally
failed. The Protestants all over Germany were in arms, and their spirits
roused to the highest pitch; many of the moderate Catholics refused to
march against them, declaring that the Protestants were right in
resisting such oppression. They feared Ferdinand, and were apprehensive
that his despotic temper, commencing with religious intolerance, would
terminate in civil tyranny. It was evident to all that the Protestants
could not be put down by force of arms, and even Ferdinand was so
intensely humiliated that he was constrained to assent to the proposal
which Matthias made to refer their difficulty to arbitration. Four
princes were selected as the referees--the Electors of Mentz, Bavaria,
Saxony and Palatine. They were to meet at Egra the 14th of April, 1619.

But Matthias, the victim of disappointment and grief, was now rapidly
approaching his end. The palace at Vienna was shrouded in gloom, and no
smiles were seen there, and no sounds of joy were heard in those regal
saloons. The wife of Matthias, whom he tenderly loved, oppressed by the
humiliation and anguish which she saw her husband enduring, died of a
broken heart. Matthias was inconsolable under this irretrievable loss.
Lying upon his bed tortured with the pain of the gout, sinking under
incurable disease, with no pleasant memories of the past to cheer him,
with disgrace and disaster accumulating, and with no bright hopes beyond
the grave, he loathed life and dreaded death. The emperor in his palace
was perhaps the most pitiable object which could be found in all his
realms. He tossed upon his pillow, the victim of remorse and despair,
now condemning himself for his cruel treatment of his brother Rhodolph,
now inveighing bitterly against the inhumanity and arrogance of
Ferdinand and Maximilian. On the 20th of March, 1619, the despairing
spirit of the emperor passed away to the tribunal of the "King of kings
and the Lord of lords."



CHAPTER XVI.

FERDINAND II.

From 1619 to 1621.

Possessions of the Emperor.--Power of the Protestants of
Bohemia.--General Spirit of Insurrection.--Anxiety of Ferdinand.--
Insurrection led by Count Thurn.--Unpopularity of the Emperor.--
Affecting Declaration of the Emperor.--Insurrection in Vienna.--The
Arrival of Succor.--Ferdinand seeks the imperial Throne.--Repudiated by
Bohemia.--The Palatinate.--Frederic offered the Crown of Bohemia.--
Frederic crowned.--Revolt in Hungary.--Desperate Condition of the
Emperor.--Catholic League.--The Calvinists and the Puritans.--Duplicity
of the Emperor.--Foreign Combinations.--Truce between the Catholics and
the Protestants.--The Attack upon Bohemia.--Battle of the White
Mountain.


Ferdinand, who now ascended the throne by right of the coronation he had
already received, was in the prime of life, being but forty-one years of
age, and was in possession of a rare accumulation of dignities. He was
Archduke of Austria, King of Hungary and of Bohemia, Duke of Styria,
Carinthia and Carniola, and held joint possession, with his two
brothers, of the spacious territory of the Tyrol. Thus all these
wide-spread and powerful territories, with different languages,
different laws, and diverse manners and customs, were united under the
Austrian monarchy, which was now undeniably one of the leading powers of
Europe. In addition to all these titles and possessions, he was a
prominent candidate for the imperial crown of Germany. To secure this
additional dignity he could rely upon his own family influence, which
was very powerful, and also upon the aid of the Spanish monarchy. When
we contemplate his accession in this light, he appears as one of the
most powerful monarchs who ever ascended a throne.

But there is another side to the picture. The spirit of rebellion
against his authority had spread through nearly all his territories, and
he had neither State nor kingdom where his power seemed stable. In
whatever direction he turned his eyes, he saw either the gleam of
hostile arms or the people in a tumult just ready to combine against
him.

The Protestants of Bohemia had much to encourage them. All the kingdom,
excepting one fortress, was in their possession. All the Protestants of
the German empire had espoused their cause. The Silesians, Lusatians and
Moravians were in open revolt. The Hungarian Protestants, animated by
the success of the Bohemians, were eager to follow their example and
throw off the yoke of Ferdinand. With iron tyranny he had silenced every
Protestant voice in the Styrian provinces, and had crushed every
semblance of religious liberty. But the successful example of the
Bohemians had roused the Styrians, and they also were on the eve of
making a bold move in defense of their rights. Even in Austria itself,
and beneath the very shadow of the palaces of Vienna, conspiracies were
rife, and insurrection was only checked by the presence of the army
which had been driven out of Bohemia.

Even Ferdinand could not be blind to the difficulties which were
accumulating upon him, and to the precarious tenure of his power. He saw
the necessity of persevering in the attempt at conciliation which he had
so reluctantly commenced. And yet, with strange infatuation, he proposed
an accommodation in a manner which was deemed insulting, and which
tended only to exasperate. The very day of his accession to the throne,
he sent a commission to Prague, to propose a truce; but, instead of
conferring with the Protestant leaders, he seemed to treat them with
intentional contempt, by addressing his proposal to that very council of
regency which had become so obnoxious. The Protestants, justly regarding
this as an indication of the implacable state of his mind, and conscious
that the proposed truce would only enable him more effectually to rally
his forces, made no reply whatever to his proposals. Ferdinand,
perceiving that he had made a great mistake, and that he had not rightly
appreciated the spirit of his foes, humbled himself a little more, and
made still another attempt at conciliation. But the Protestants had now
resolved that Ferdinand should never be King of Bohemia. It had become
an established tenet of the Catholic church that it is not necessary to
keep faith with heretics. Whatever solemn promises Ferdinand might make,
the pope would absolve him from all sin in violating them.

Count Thurn, with sixteen thousand men, marched into Moravia. The people
rose simultaneously to greet him. He entered Brunn, the capital, in
triumph. The revolution was immediate and entire. They abolished the
Austrian government, established the Protestant worship, and organized a
new government similar to that which they had instituted in Bohemia.
Crossing the frontier, Count Thurn boldly entered Austria and, meeting
no foe capable of retarding his steps, he pushed vigorously on even to
the very gates of Vienna. As he had no heavy artillery capable of
battering down the walls, and as he knew that he had many partisans
within the walls of the city, he took possession of the suburbs,
blockaded the town, and waited for the slow operation of a siege, hoping
thus to be able to take the capital and the person of the sovereign
without bloodshed.

Ferdinand had brought such trouble upon the country, that he was now
almost as unpopular with the Catholics as with the Protestants, and all
his appeals to them for aid were of but little avail. The sudden
approach of Count Thurn had amazed and discomfited him, and he knew not
in what direction to look for aid. Cooped up in his capital, he could
hold no communication with foreign powers, and his own subjects
manifested no disposition to come to his rescue. The evidences of
popular discontent, even in the city, were every hour becoming more
manifest, and the unhappy sovereign was in hourly expectation of an
insurrection in the streets.

The surrender of Vienna involved the loss of Austria. With the loss of
Austria vanished all hopes of the imperial crown. Bohemia, Austria, and
the German scepter gone, Hungary would soon follow; and then, his own
Styrian territories, sustained and aided by their successful neighbors,
would speedily discard his sway. Ferdinand saw it all clearly, and was
in an agony of despair. He has confided to his confessor the emotions
which, in those terrible hours, agitated his soul. It is affecting to
read the declaration, indicative as it is that the most cruel and
perfidious man may be sincere and even conscientious in his cruelty and
crime. To his Jesuitical confessor, Bartholomew Valerius, he said,

"I have reflected on the dangers which threaten me and my family, both
at home and abroad. With an enemy in the suburbs, sensible that the
Protestants are plotting my ruin, I implore that help from God which I
can not expect from man. I had recourse to my Saviour, and said, 'Lord
Jesus Christ, Thou Redeemer of mankind, Thou to whom all hearts are
opened, Thou knowest that I seek Thy honor, not my own. If it be Thy
will, that, in this extremity, I should be overcome by thy enemies, and
be made the sport and contempt of the world, I will drink of the bitter
cup. Thy will be done.' I had hardly spoken these words before I was
inspired with new hope, and felt a full conviction that God would
frustrate the designs of my enemies."

Nerved by such a spirit, Ferdinand was prepared to endure all things
rather than yield the slightest point. Hour after hour his situation
became more desperate, and still he remained inflexible. Balls from the
batteries of Count Thurn struck even the walls of his palace; murmurs
filled the streets, and menaces rose to his ears from beneath his
windows. "Let us put his evil counselors to the sword," the disaffected
exclaimed; "shut him up in a convent; and educate his children in the
Protestant religion."

At length the crisis had apparently arrived. Insurrection was organized.
Clamorous bands surged through the streets, and there was a state of
tumult which no police force could quell. A band of armed men burst into
the palace, forced their way into the presence of Ferdinand, and
demanded the surrender of the city. At that moment, when Ferdinand might
well have been in despair, the unexpected sound of trumpets was heard in
the streets, and the tramp of a squadron of cavalry. The king was as
much amazed as were the insurgents. The deputies, not knowing what it
meant, in great alarm retreated from the palace. The squadron swept the
streets, and surrounded the palace. They had been sent to the city by
the general who had command of the Austrian forces, and, arriving at
full speed, had entered unexpectedly at the only gate which the
besiegers had not guarded.

Their arrival, as if by heavenly commission, and the tidings they
brought of other succor near at hand, reanimated the king and his
partisans, and instantly the whole aspect of things within the city was
changed. Six hundred students in the Roman Catholic institutions of the
city flew to arms, and organized themselves as a body-guard of the king.
All the zealous Catholics formed themselves into military bands, and
this encouraged that numerous neutral party, always existing in such
seasons of uncertainty, ready to join those who shall prove to be the
strongest. The Protestants fled from the city, and sought protection
under the banners of Count Thurn.

In the meantime the Catholics in Bohemia, taking advantage of the
absence of Count Thurn with his troops, had surrounded Prague, and were
demanding its capitulation. This rendered it necessary for the Bohemian
army immediately to strike their tents and return to Bohemia. Never was
there a more sudden and perfect deliverance. It was, however,
deliverance only from the momentary peril. The great elements of
discontent and conflict remained unchanged.

It was very evident that the difficulties which Ferdinand had to
encounter in his Austrian dominions, were so immense that he could not
hope to surmount them without foreign aid. He consequently deemed it a
matter important above all others to secure the imperial throne. Without
this strength the loss of all his Austrian possessions was inevitable.
With the influence and the power which the crown of Germany would confer
upon him he could hope to gain all. Ferdinand immediately left Vienna
and visited the most influential of the German princes to secure their
support for his election. The Catholics all over Germany, alarmed by the
vigor and energy which had been displayed by the Protestants, laid aside
their several preferences, and gradually all united upon Ferdinand. The
Protestants, foolishly allowing their Lutheran and Calvinistic
differences to disunite them, could not agree in their candidate.
Consequently Ferdinand was elected, and immediately crowned emperor, the
9th of September, 1619.

The Bohemians, however, remained firm in their resolve to repudiate him
utterly as their king. They summoned a diet of the States of Bohemia,
Moravia, Silesia and Lusatia to meet at Prague. Delegates also attended
the diet from Upper and Lower Austria, as also many nobles from distant
Hungary. The diet drew up a very formidable list of grievances, and
declared, in view of them, that Ferdinand had forfeited all right to the
crown of Bohemia, and that consequently it was their duty, in accordance
with the ancient usages, to proceed to the election of a sovereign. The
Catholics were now so entirely in the minority in Bohemia that the
Protestants held the undisputed control. They first chose the Elector of
Saxony. He, conscious that he could maintain his post only by a long and
uncertain war, declined the perilous dignity. They then with great
unanimity elected Frederic, the Elector of Palatine.

The Palatinate was a territory bordering on Bohemia, of over four
thousand square miles, and contained nearly seven hundred thousand
inhabitants. The elector, Frederic V., was thus a prince of no small
power in his own right. He had married a daughter of James I. of
England, and had many powerful relatives. Frederic was an affable,
accomplished, kind-hearted man, quite ambitious, and with but little
force of character. He was much pleased at the idea of being elevated to
the dignity of a king, and was yet not a little appalled in
contemplating the dangers which it was manifest he must encounter. His
mother, with maternal solicitude, trembling for her son, intreated him
not to accept the perilous crown. His father-in-law, James, remonstrated
against it, sternly declaring that he would never patronize subjects in
rebellion against their sovereign, that he would never acknowledge
Frederic's title as king, or render him, under any circumstances, either
sympathy or support. On the other hand the members of the Protestant
league urged his acceptance; his uncles united strongly with them in
recommending it, and above all, his fascinating wife, whom he dotingly
loved, and who, delighted at the idea of being a queen, threw herself
into his arms, and plead in those persuasive tones which the pliant
heart of Frederic could not resist. The Protestant clergy, also, in a
strong delegation waited upon him, and intreated him in the name of that
Providence which had apparently proffered to him the crown, to accept it
in fidelity to himself, to his country and to the true religion.

The trembling hand and the tearful eye with which Frederic accepted the
crown, proved his incapacity to bear the burden in those stormy days.
Placing the government of the Palatinate in the hands of the Duke of
Deux Ponts, he repaired, with his family, to Prague. A rejoicing
multitude met him at several leagues from the capital, and escorted him
to the city with an unwonted display of popular enthusiasm. He was
crowned with splendor such as Bohemia had never witnessed before.

For a time the Bohemians surrendered themselves to the most extravagant
joy. Frederic was exceedingly amiable, and just the prince to win, in
calm and sunny days, the enthusiastic admiration of his subjects. They
were highly gratified in having the King of Bohemia dwell in his own
capital at Prague, a privilege and honor which they had seldom enjoyed.
Many of the German princes acknowledged Frederic's title, as did also
Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Vienna. The revolution in Bohemia was
apparently consummated, and to the ordinary observer no cloud could be
seen darkening the horizon.

The Bohemians were strengthened in their sense of security by a similar
revolution which was taking place in Hungary. As soon as Ferdinand left
Vienna, to seek the crown of Germany, the Protestants of Hungary threw
off their allegiance to Austria, and rallied around the banners of their
bold, indomitable leader, Gabriel Bethlehem. They fell upon the imperial
forces with resistless fury and speedily dispersed them. Having captured
several of the most important fortresses, and having many troops to
spare, Gabriel Bethlehem sent eighteen thousand men into Moravia to aid
Count Thurn to disperse the imperial forces there. He then marched
triumphantly to Presburg, the renowned capital of Hungary, within thirty
miles of Vienna, where he was received by the majority of the
inhabitants with open arms. He took possession of the sacred crown and
of the crown jewels, called an assembly of the nobles from the various
States of Hungary and Transylvania, and united them in a firm band
against Ferdinand. He now marched up the banks of the Danube into
Austria. Count Thurn advanced from Moravia to meet him. The junction of
their forces placed the two leaders in command of sixty thousand men.
They followed along the left bank of the majestic Danube until they
arrived opposite Vienna. Here they found eighteen thousand troops posted
to oppose. After a short conflict, the imperial troops retreated from
behind their intrenchments across the river, and blew up the bridge.

In such a deplorable condition did the Emperor Ferdinand find his
affairs, as he returned from Germany to Austria. He was apparently in a
desperate position, and no human sagacity could foresee how he could
retrieve his fallen fortunes. Apparently, could his despotic arm then
have been broken, Europe might have been spared many years of war and
woe. But the designs of Providence are inscrutable. Again there was
apparently almost miraculous interposition. The imperial troops were
rapidly concentrated in the vicinity of Vienna, to prevent the passage
of the broad, deep and rapid river by the allied army. A strong force
was dispatched down the right bank of the Danube, which attacked and
dispersed a force left to protect the communication with Hungary. The
season was far advanced, and it was intensely cold in those northern
latitudes. The allied army had been collected so suddenly, that no
suitable provision had been made for feeding so vast a host. Famine
added its terrors to the cold blasts which menacingly swept the plains,
and as there was imminent danger that the imperial army might cut off
entirely the communication of the allies with Hungary, Gabriel Bethlehem
decided to relinquish the enterprise of taking Vienna, and retired
unimpeded to Presburg. Almost every fortress in Hungary was now in the
possession of the Hungarians, and Ferdinand, though his capital was
released, saw that Hungary as well as Bohemia had escaped from his
hands. At Presburg Gabriel was, with imposing ceremonies, proclaimed
King of Hungary, and a decree of proscription and banishment was issued
against all the adherents of Ferdinand.

Germany was now divided into two great leagues, the Catholic and the
Protestant. Though nominally religious parties, they were political as
well as religious, and subject to all the fluctuations and corruptions
attending such combinations. The Protestant league, composed of princes
of every degree of dignity, who came from all parts of Germany, proudly
mounted and armed, and attended by armed retainers, from a few score to
many hundreds or even thousands, met at Nuremburg. It was one of the
most influential and imposing assemblages which had ever gathered in
Europe. The Catholics, with no less display of pomp and power, for their
league embraced many of the haughtiest sovereigns in Europe, met at
Wurtzburg. There were, of course, not a few who were entirely
indifferent as to the religious questions involved, and who were
Catholics or Protestants, in subserviency to the dictates of interest or
ambition. Both parties contended with the arts of diplomacy as well as
with those of war. The Spanish court was preparing a powerful armament
to send from the Netherlands to the help of Ferdinand. The Protestants
sent an army to Ulm to watch their movements, and to cut them off.

Ferdinand was as energetic as he had previously proved himself
inflexible and persevering. In person he visited Munich, the capital of
Bavaria, that he might more warmly interest in his favor Maximilian, the
illustrious and warlike duke. The emperor made him brilliant promises,
and secured his cordial coöperation. The Duke of Bavaria, and the
Elector of the Palatinate, were neighbors and rivals; and the emperor
offered Maximilian the spoils of the Palatinate, if they should be
successful in their warfare against the newly elected Bohemian king.
Maximilian, thus persuaded, placed all his force at the disposal of the
emperor.

The Elector of Saxony was a Lutheran; the Elector Palatine a Calvinist.
The Lutherans believed, that after the consecration of the bread and
wine at the sacramental table, the body and blood of Christ were
spiritually present with that bread and wine. This doctrine, which they
called _consubstantiation_, they adopted in antagonism to the papal
doctrine of _transubstantiation_, which was that the bread and wine were
actually transformed into, and became the real body and blood of Christ.

The difference between the Calvinists and the Lutherans, as we have
before mentioned, was that, while the former considered the bread and
wine in the sacraments as _representing_ the body and the blood of
Christ, the latter considered the body and the blood as spiritually
present in the consecrated elements. This trivial difference divided
brethren who were agreed upon all the great points of Christian faith,
duty and obligation. It is melancholy, and yet instructive to observe,
through the course of history, how large a proportion of the energies of
Christians have been absorbed in contentions against each other upon
shadowy points of doctrine, while a world has been perishing in
wickedness. The most efficient men in the Church on earth, have had
about one half of their energies paralyzed by contentions with their own
Christian brethren. It is so now. The most energetic men, in pleading
the cause of Christ, are often assailed even more unrelentingly by
brethren who differ with them upon some small point of doctrine, than by
a hostile world.

Human nature, even when partially sanctified, is frail indeed. The
Elector of Saxony was perhaps a good man, but he was a weak one. He was
a zealous Lutheran, and was shocked that a Calvinist, a man who held the
destructive error that the bread and wine only _represented_ the body
and the blood of Christ, should be raised to the throne of Bohemia, and
thus become the leader of the Protestant party. The Elector of Saxony
and the Elector of the Palatine had also been naturally rivals, as
neighbors, and possessors of about equal rank and power. Though the
Calvinists, to conciliate the Lutherans, had offered the throne to the
Elector of Saxony, and he had declined it, as too perilous a post for
him to occupy, still he was weakly jealous of his rival who had assumed
that post, and was thus elevated above him to the kingly dignity.

Ferdinand understood all this, and shrewdly availed himself of it. He
plied the elector with arguments and promises, assuring him that the
points in dispute were political merely and not religious; that he had
no intention of opposing the Protestant religion, and that if the
elector would abandon the Protestant league, he would reward him with a
large accession of territory. It seems incredible that the Elector of
Saxony could have been influenced by such representations. But so it
was. Averring that he could not in conscience uphold a man who did not
embrace the vital doctrine of the spiritual presence, he abandoned his
Protestant brethren, and drew with him the Landgrave of Hesse, and
several other Lutheran princes. This was a very serious defection, which
disheartened the Protestants as much as it encouraged Ferdinand.

The wily emperor having succeeded so admirably with the Protestant
elector, now turned to the Roman Catholic court of France--that infamous
court, still crimsoned with the blood of the St. Bartholomew massacre.
Then, with diplomatic tergiversation, he represented that the conflict
was not a political one, but purely religious, involving the interests
of the Church. He urged that the peace of France and of Europe required
that the Protestant heresy should be utterly effaced; and he provoked
the resentment of the court by showing how much aid the Protestants in
Europe had ever received from the Palatinate family. Here again he was
completely successful, and the young king, Louis XIII., who was
controlled by his bigoted yet powerful minister, the Duke of Luines,
cordially espoused his cause.

Spain, intolerant, despotic, hating Protestantism with perfect hatred,
was eager with its aid. A well furnished army of twenty-four thousand
men was sent from the Netherlands, and also a large sum of money was
placed in the treasury of Ferdinand. Even the British monarch,
notwithstanding the clamors of the nation, was maneuvered into
neutrality. And most surprising of all, Ferdinand was successful in
securing a truce with Gabriel Bethlehem, which, though it conferred
peace upon Hungary, deprived the Bohemians of their powerful support.

The Protestants were strong in their combination; but still it was a
power of fearful strength now arrayed against them. It was evident that
Europe was on the eve of a long and terrible struggle. The two forces
began to assemble. The Protestants rendezvoused at Ulm, under the
command of the Margrave of Anspach. The Catholic troops, from their wide
dispersion, were concentrating at Guntzburg, to be led by the Duke of
Bavaria. The attention of all Europe was arrested by these immense
gatherings. All hearts were oppressed with solicitude, for the parties
were very equally matched, and results of most momentous importance were
dependent upon the issue.

In this state of affairs the Protestant league, which extended through
Europe, entered into a truce with the Catholic league, which also
extended through Europe, that they should both withdraw from the
contest, leaving Ferdinand and the Bohemians to settle the dispute as
they best could. This seemed very much to narrow the field of strife,
but the measure, in its practical results, was far more favorable to
Ferdinand than to the Bohemians. The emperor thus disembarrassed, by
important concessions, and by menaces, brought the Protestants of Lower
Austria into submission. The masses, overawed by a show of power which
they could not resist, yielded; the few who refused to bow in homage to
the emperor were punished as guilty of treason.

Ferdinand, by these cautious steps, was now prepared to concentrate his
energies upon Bohemia. He first attacked the dependent provinces of
Bohemia, one by one, sending an army of twenty-five thousand men to take
them unprepared. Having subjected all of Upper Austria to his sway, with
fifty thousand men he entered Bohemia. Their march was energetic and
sanguinary. With such an overpowering force they took fortress after
fortress, scaling ramparts, mercilessly cutting down garrisons,
plundering and burning towns, and massacreing the inhabitants. Neither
sex nor age was spared, and a brutal soldiery gratified their passions
in the perpetration of indescribable horrors. Even the Duke of Bavaria
was shocked at such barbarities, and entered his remonstrances against
them. Many large towns, terrified by the atrocities perpetrated upon
those who resisted the imperial arms, threw open their gates, hoping
thus, by submission, to appease the vengeance of the conqueror.

Frederic was a weak man, not at all capable of encountering such a
storm, and the Bohemians had consequently no one to rally and to guide
them with efficiency. His situation was now alarming in the extreme. He
was abandoned by the Protestant league, hemmed in on every side by the
imperial troops, and his hereditary domains of the Palatinate were
overrun by twenty thousand Spaniards. His subjects, alarmed at his utter
inefficiency, and terrified by the calamities which were falling, like
avalanche after avalanche upon them, became dissatisfied with him, and
despairing respecting their own fate. He was a Calvinist, and the
Lutherans had never warmly received him. The impotent monarch, instead
of establishing himself in the affections of his subjects, by vigorously
driving the invaders from his realms, with almost inconceivable
silliness endeavored to win their popularity by balls and smiles,
pleasant words and masquerades. In fact, Frederic, by his utter
inefficiency, was a foe more to be dreaded by Bohemia than Ferdinand.

The armies of the emperor pressed on, throwing the whole kingdom into a
state of consternation and dismay. The army of Frederic, which dared not
emerge from its intrenchments at Pritznitz, about fifty miles south of
Prague, consisted of but twenty-two thousand men, poorly armed, badly
clothed, wretchedly supplied with military stores, and almost in a state
of mutiny from arrears of pay. The generals were in perplexity and
disagreement. Some, in the recklessness of despair, were for marching to
meet the foe and to risk a battle; others were for avoiding a conflict,
and thus protracting the war till the severity of winter should drive
their enemies from the field, when they would have some time to prepare
for another year's campaign. These difficulties led Frederic to apply
for a truce. But Ferdinand was too wise to lose by wasting time in
negotiations, vantage ground he had already gained. He refused to listen
to any word except the unequivocal declaration that Frederic
relinquished all right to the crown. Pressing his forces onward, he
drove the Bohemians from behind their ramparts at Pritznitz, and pursued
them down the Moldau even to the walls of Prague.

Upon a magnificent eminence called the White Mountain, which commanded
the city and its most important approaches, the disheartened army of
Frederic stopped in its flight, and made its last stand. The enemy were
in hot pursuit. The Bohemians in breathless haste began to throw up
intrenchments along the ravines, and to plant their batteries on the
hills, when the banners of Ferdinand were seen approaching. The emperor
was too energetic a warrior to allow his panic-stricken foes time to
regain their courage. Without an hour's delay he urged his victorious
columns to the charge. The Bohemians fought desperately, with far more
spirit than could have been expected. But they were overpowered by
numbers, and in one short hour the army of Frederic was annihilated.
Four thousand were left dead upon the field, one thousand were drowned
in the frantic attempt to swim the Moldau, and the rest were either
dispersed as fugitives over hill and valley or taken captive. The
victory of the emperor was complete, the hopes of Frederic crushed, and
the fate of Bohemia sealed.

The contemptible Frederic, while this fierce battle was raging beneath
the very walls of his capital, instead of placing himself at the head of
his troops, was in the heart of the city, in the banqueting-hall of his
palace, bowing and smiling and feasting his friends. The Prince of
Anhalt, who was in command of the Bohemian army, had sent a most urgent
message to the king, intreating him to dispatch immediately to his aid
all the troops in the city, and especially to repair himself to the camp
to encourage the troops by his presence. Frederic was at the table when
he received this message, and sent word back that he could not come
until after dinner. As soon as the combat commenced, another still more
urgent message was sent, to which he returned the same reply. _After
dinner_ he mounted his horse and rode to the gate which led to the White
Mountain. The thunders of the terrible battle filled the air; the whole
city was in the wildest state of terror and confusion; the gates barred
and barricaded. Even the king could not get out. He climbed one of the
towers of the wall and looked out upon the gory field, strewn with
corpses, where his army _had been_, but was no more. He returned hastily
to his palace, and met there the Prince of Anhalt, who, with a few
fugitives, had succeeded in entering the city by one of the gates.

The city now could not defend itself for an hour. The batteries of
Ferdinand were beginning to play upon the walls, when Frederic sent out
a flag of truce soliciting a cessation of hostilities for twenty-four
hours, that they might negotiate respecting peace. The peremptory reply
returned was, that there should not be truce for a single moment, unless
Frederic would renounce all pretension to the crown of Bohemia. With
such a renunciation truce would be granted for eight hours. Frederic
acceded to the demand, and the noise of war was hushed.



CHAPTER XVII.

FERDINAND II.

From 1621 to 1629.

Pusillanimity of Frederic.--Intreaties of the Citizens of
Prague.--Shameful Flight of Frederic.--Vengeance Inflicted Upon
Bohemia.--Protestantism and Civil Freedom.--Vast Power of the
Emperor.--Alarm of Europe.--James I.--Treaty of Marriage for the Prince
of Wales.--Cardinal Richelieu.--New League of the Protestants.--
Desolating War.--Defeat of the King of Denmark.--Energy of
Wallenstein.--Triumph of Ferdinand.--New Acts of Intolerance.--
Severities in Bohemia.--Desolation of the Kingdom.--Dissatisfaction of
the Duke of Bavaria.--Meeting of the Catholic Princes.--The Emperor
Humbled.


The citizens of Prague were indignant at the pusillanimity of Frederic.
In a body they repaired to the palace and tried to rouse his feeble
spirits. They urged him to adopt a manly resistance, and offered to
mount the ramparts and beat off the foe until succor could arrive. But
Frederic told them that he had resolved to leave Prague, that he should
escape during the darkness of the night, and advised them to capitulate
on the most favorable terms they could obtain. The inhabitants of the
city were in despair. They knew that they had nothing to hope from the
clemency of the conqueror, and that there was no salvation for them from
irretrievable ruin but in the most desperate warfare. Even now, though
the enemy was at their gates, their situation was by no means hopeless
with a leader of any energy.

"We have still," they urged, "sufficient strength to withstand a siege.
The city is not invested on every side, and reinforcements can enter by
some of the gates. We have ample means in the city to support all the
troops which can be assembled within its walls. The soldiers who have
escaped from the disastrous battle need but to see the Bohemian banners
again unfurled and to hear the blast of the bugle, to return to their
ranks. Eight thousand troops are within a few hours' march of us. There
is another strong band in the rear of the enemy, prepared to cut off
their communications. Several strong fortresses, filled with arms and
ammunition, are still in our possession, and the Bohemians, animated by
the remembrance of the heroic deeds of their ancestors, are eager to
retrieve their fortunes."

Had Frederic possessed a tithe of the perseverance and energy of
Ferdinand, with these resources he might soon have arrested the steps of
the conqueror. Never was the characteristic remark of Napoleon to Ney
better verified, that "an army of deer led by a lion is better than an
army of lions led by a deer." Frederic was panic-stricken for fear he
might fall into the hands of Ferdinand, from whom he well knew that he
was to expect no mercy. With ignominious haste, abandoning every thing,
even the coronation regalia, at midnight, surrounded by a few friends,
he stole out at one of the gates of the city, and putting spurs to his
horse, allowed himself no rest until he was safe within the walls of
Berlin, two hundred miles from Prague.

The despairing citizens, thus deserted by their sovereign, and with a
victorious foe at their very walls, had no alternative but to throw open
their gates and submit to the mercy of the conqueror. The next day the
whole imperial army, under the Duke of Bavaria, with floating banners
and exultant music, entered the streets of the capital, and took
possession of the palaces. The tyrant Ferdinand was as vengeful and
venomous as he was vigorous and unyielding. The city was immediately
disarmed, and the government intrusted to a vigorous Roman Catholic
prince, Charles of Lichtenstein. A strong garrison was left in the city
to crush, with a bloody hand, any indications of insurrection, and then
the Duke of Bavaria returned with most of his army to Munich, his
capital, tottering beneath the burden of plunder.

There was a moment's lull before the tempest of imperial wrath burst
upon doomed Bohemia. Ferdinand seemed to deliberate, and gather his
strength, that he might strike a blow which would be felt forever. He
did strike such a blow--one which has been remembered for two hundred
years, and which will not be forgotten for ages to come--one which
doomed parents and children to weary years of vagabondage, penury and
woe which must have made life a burden.

On the night of the 21st of January, three months after the
capitulation, and when the inhabitants of Prague had begun to hope that
there might, after all, be some mercy in the bosom of Ferdinand, forty
of the leading citizens of the place were simultaneously arrested. They
were torn from their families and thrown into dungeons where they were
kept in terrific suspense for four months. They were then brought before
an imperial commission and condemned as guilty of high treason. All
their property was confiscated, nothing whatever being left for their
helpless families. Twenty-three were immediately executed upon the
scaffold, and all the rest were either consigned to life-long
imprisonment, or driven into banishment. Twenty-seven other nobles, who
had escaped from the kingdom, were declared traitors. Their castles were
seized, their property confiscated and presented as rewards to Roman
Catholic nobles who were the friends of Ferdinand. An order was then
issued for all the nobles and landholders throughout the kingdom to send
in a confession of whatever aid they had rendered, or encouragement they
had given to the insurrection. And the most terrible vengeance was
threatened against any one who should afterward be proved guilty of any
act whatever of which he had not made confession. The consternation
which this decree excited was so great, that not only was every one
anxious to confess the slightest act which could be construed as
unfriendly to the emperor, but many, in their terror, were driven to
accuse themselves of guilt, who had taken no share in the movement.
Seven hundred nobles, and the whole body of Protestant landholders,
placed their names on the list of those who confessed guilt and implored
pardon.

The fiend-like emperor, then, in the mockery of mercy, declared that in
view of his great clemency and their humble confession, he would spare
their forfeited lives, and would only punish them by depriving them of
their estates. He took their mansions, their estates, their property,
and turned them adrift upon the world, with their wives and their
children, fugitives and penniless. Thus between one and two thousand of
the most ancient and noble families of the kingdom were rendered
houseless and utterly beggared. Their friends, involved with them in the
same woe, could render no assistance. They were denounced as traitors;
no one dared befriend them, and their possessions were given to those
who had rallied beneath the banners of the emperor. "To the victors
belong the spoils." No pen can describe the ruin of these ancient
families. No imagination can follow them in their steps of starvation
and despair, until death came to their relief.

Ferdinand considered Protestantism and rebellion as synonymous terms.
And well he might, for Protestantism has ever been arrayed as firmly
against civil as against religious despotism. The doctrines of the
reformers, from the days of Luther and Calvin, have always been
associated with political liberty. Ferdinand was determined to crush
Protestantism. The punishment of the Elector Palatine was to be a signal
and an appalling warning to all who in future should think of disputing
the imperial sway. The elector himself, having renounced the throne, had
escaped beyond the emperor's reach. But Ferdinand took possession of his
ancestral territories and divided them among his Roman Catholic allies.
The electoral vote which he held in the diet of the empire, Ferdinand
transferred to the Duke of Bavaria, thus reducing the Protestant vote to
two, and securing an additional Catholic suffrage. The ban of the empire
was also published against the Prince of Anhalt, the Count of Hohenloe,
and the Duke Jaegendorf, who had been supporters of Frederic. This ban
of the empire deprived them of their territories, of their rank, and of
their possessions.

The Protestants throughout the empire were terrified by these fierce
acts of vengeance, and were fearful of sharing the same fate. They now
regretted bitterly that they had disbanded their organization. They
dared not make any move against the emperor, who was flushed with pride
and power, lest he should pounce at once upon them. The emperor
consequently marched unimpeded in his stern chastisements. Frederic was
thus deserted entirely by the Protestant union; and his father-in-law,
James of England, in accordance with his threat, refused to lend him any
aid. Various most heroic efforts were made by a few intrepid nobles but
one after another they were crushed by the iron hand of the emperor.

Ferdinand, having thus triumphed over all his foes, and having divided
their domains among his own followers, called a meeting of the electors
who were devoted to his cause, at Ratisbon, on the 25th of February,
1623, to confirm what he had done. In every portion of the empire, where
the arm of the emperor could reach them, the Protestants were receiving
heavy blows. They were now thoroughly alarmed and aroused. The Catholics
all over Europe were renewing their league; all the Catholic powers were
banded together, and Protestantism seemed on the eve of being destroyed
by the sword of persecution.

Other parts of Europe also began to look with alarm upon the vast power
acquired by Austria. There was but little of conciliation in the
character of Ferdinand, and his unbounded success, while it rendered him
more haughty, excited also the jealousy of the neighboring powers. In
Lower Saxony, nearly all the nobles and men of influence were
Protestants. The principal portion of the ecclesiastical property was in
their hands. It was very evident that unless the despotism of Ferdinand
was checked, he would soon wrest from them their titles and possessions,
and none the less readily because he had succeeded in bribing the
Elector of Saxony to remain neutral while he tore the crown of Bohemia
from the Elector of the Palatine, and despoiled him of his wide-spread
ancestral territories.

James I. of England had been negotiating a marriage of his son, the
Prince of Wales, subsequently Charles I., with the daughter of the King
of Spain. This would have been, in that day, a brilliant match for his
son; and as the Spanish monarch was a member of the house of Austria,
and a coöperator with his cousin, the Emperor Ferdinand, in all his
measures in Germany, it was an additional reason why James should not
interfere in defense of his son-in-law, Frederic of the Palatine. But
now this match was broken off by the influence of the haughty English
minister Buckingham, who had the complete control of the feeble mind of
the British monarch. A treaty of marriage was soon concluded between the
Prince of Wales and Henrietta, a princess of France. There was
hereditary hostility between France and Spain, and both England and
France were now quite willing to humble the house of Austria. The nobles
of Lower Saxony availed themselves of this new turn in the posture of
affairs, and obtained promises of aid from them both, and, through their
intercession, aid also from Denmark and Sweden.

Richelieu, the imperious French minister, was embarrassed by two
antagonistic passions. He was eager to humble the house of Austria; and
this he could only do by lending aid to the Protestants. On the other
hand, it was the great object of his ambition to restore the royal
authority to unlimited power, and this he could only accomplish by
aiding the house of Austria to crush the Protestants, whose love of
freedom all despots have abhorred. Impelled by these conflicting
passions, he did all in his power to extirpate Protestantism from
France, while he omitted neither lures nor intrigues to urge the
Protestants in Germany to rise against the despotism of Austria.
Gustavus Adolphus, of Sweden, was personally inimical to Ferdinand, in
consequence of injuries he had received at his hands. Christian IV. of
Denmark was cousin to Elizabeth, the mother of Frederic, and, in
addition to this interest in the conflict which relationship gave him,
he was also trembling lest some of his own possessions should soon be
wrested from him by the all-grasping emperor. A year was employed, the
year 1624, in innumerable secret intrigues, and plans of combination,
for a general rising of the Protestant powers. It was necessary that the
utmost secrecy should be observed in forming the coalition, and that all
should be ready, at the same moment, to cooperate against a foe so able,
so determined and so powerful.

Matters being thus essentially arranged, the States of Lower Saxony, who
were to take the lead, held a meeting at Segeberg on the 25th of March,
1625. They formed a league for the preservation of their religion and
liberties, settled the amount of money and men which each of the
contracting parties was to furnish, and chose Christian IV., King of
Denmark, their leader. The emperor had for some time suspected that a
confederacy was in the process of formation, and had kept a watchful eye
upon every movement. The vail was now laid aside, and Christian IV.
issued a proclamation, stating the reasons why they had taken up arms
against the emperor. This was the signal for a blaze of war, which
wrapped all northern Europe in a wide conflagration. Victory ebbed and
flowed. Bohemia, Hungary, Denmark, Austria--all the States of the
empire, were swept and devastated by pursuing and retreating armies. But
gradually the emperor gained. First he overwhelmed all opposition in
Lower Saxony, and riveting anew the shackles of despotism, rewarded his
followers with the spoils of the vanquished. Then he silenced every
murmur in Austria, so that no foe dared lift up the voice or peep. Then
he poured his legions into Hungary, swept back the tide of victory which
had been following the Hungarian banners, and struck blow after blow,
until Gabriel Bethlehem was compelled to cry for peace and mercy.
Bohemia, previously disarmed and impoverished, was speedily struck down.

And now the emperor turned his energies against the panic-stricken King
of Denmark. He pursued him from fortress to fortress; attacked him in
the open field, and beat him; attacked him behind his intrenchments, and
drove him from them through the valleys, and over the hills, across
rivers, and into forests; bombarded his cities, plundered his provinces,
shot down his subjects, till the king, reduced almost to the last
extremity, implored peace. The emperor repelled his advances with scorn,
demanding conditions of debasement more to be dreaded than death. The
King of Denmark fled to the isles of the Baltic. Ferdinand took
possession of the shores of this northern sea, and immediately commenced
with vigor creating a fleet, that he might have sea as well as land
forces, that he might pursue the Danish monarch over the water, and that
he might more effectually punish Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. He had
determined to dethrone this monarch, and to transfer the crown of Sweden
to Sigismond, his brother-in-law, King of Poland, who was almost as
zealous a Roman Catholic as was the emperor himself.

He drove the two Dukes of Mecklenburg from their territory, and gave the
rich and beautiful duchy, extending along the south-eastern shore of the
Baltic, to his renowned general, Wallenstein. This fierce, ambitious
warrior was made generalissimo of all the imperial troops by land, and
admiral of the Baltic sea. Ferdinand took possession of all the ports,
from the mouth of the Keil, to Kolberg, at the mouth of the Persante.
Wismar, on the magnificent bay bearing the same name, was made the great
naval depot; and, by building, buying, hiring and robbing, the emperor
soon collected quite a formidable fleet. The immense duchy of Pomerania
was just north-east of Mecklenburg, extending along the eastern shore of
the Baltic sea some hundred and eighty miles, and about sixty miles in
breadth. Though the duke had in no way displeased Ferdinand, the emperor
grasped the magnificent duchy, and held it by the power of his
resistless armies. Crossing a narrow arm of the sea, he took the rich
and populous islands of Rugen and Usedom, and laid siege to the city of
Stralsund, which almost commanded the Baltic sea.

The kings of Sweden and Denmark, appalled by the rapid strides of the
imperial general, united all their strength to resist him. They threw a
strong garrison into Stralsund, and sent the fleets of both kingdoms to
aid in repelling the attack, and succeeded in baffling all the attempts
of Wallenstein, and finally in driving him off, though he had boasted
that "he would reduce Stralsund, even if it were bound to heaven with
chains of adamant." Though frustrated in this attempt, the armies of
Ferdinand had swept along so resistlessly, that the King of Denmark was
ready to make almost any sacrifice for peace. A congress was accordingly
held at Lubec in May, 1629, when peace was made; Ferdinand retaining a
large portion of his conquests, and the King of Denmark engaging no
longer to interfere in the affairs of the empire.

Ferdinand was now triumphant over all his foes. The Protestants
throughout the empire were crushed, and all their allies vanquished. He
now deemed himself omnipotent, and with wild ambition contemplated the
utter extirpation of Protestantism, and the subjugation of nearly all of
Europe to his sway. He formed the most intimate alliance with the branch
of his house ruling over Spain, hoping that thus the house of Austria
might be the arbiter of the fate of Europe. The condition of Europe at
that time was peculiarly favorable for the designs of the emperor.
Charles I. of England was struggling against that Parliament which soon
deprived him both of his crown and his head. France was agitated, from
the Rhine to the Pyrenees, by civil war, the Catholics striving to
exterminate the Protestants. Insurrections in Turkey absorbed all the
energies of the Ottoman court, leaving them no time to think of
interfering with the affairs of Europe. The King of Denmark was
humiliated and prostrate. Sweden was too far distant and too feeble to
excite alarm. Sigismond of Poland was in intimate alliance with the
emperor. Gabriel Bethlehem of Hungary was languishing on a bed of
disease and pain, and only asked permission to die in peace.

The first step which the emperor now took was to revoke all the
concessions which had been granted to the Protestants. In Upper Austria,
where he felt especially strong, he abolished the Protestant worship
utterly. In Lower Austria he was slightly embarrassed by engagements
which he had so solemnly made, and dared not trample upon them without
some little show of moderation. First he prohibited the circulation of
all Protestant books; he then annulled all baptisms and marriages
performed by Protestants; then all Protestants were excluded from
holding any civil or military office; then he issued a decree that all
the children, without exception, should be educated by Catholic priests,
and that every individual should attend Catholic worship. Thus coil by
coil he wound around his subjects the chain of unrelenting intolerance.

In Bohemia he was especially severe, apparently delighting to punish
those who had made a struggle for civil and religious liberty. Every
school teacher, university professor and Christian minister, was ejected
from office, and their places in schools, universities and churches were
supplied by Catholic monks. No person was allowed to exercise any
mechanical trade whatever, unless he professed the Roman Catholic faith.
A very severe fine was inflicted upon any one who should be detected
worshiping at any time, even in family prayer, according to the
doctrines and customs of the Protestant church. Protestant marriages
were pronounced illegal, their children illegitimate, their wills
invalid. The Protestant poor were driven from the hospitals and the
alms-houses. No Protestant was allowed to reside in the capital city of
Prague, but, whatever his wealth or rank, he was driven ignominiously
from the metropolis.

In the smaller towns and remote provinces of the kingdom, a military
force, accompanied by Jesuits and Capuchin friars, sought out the
Protestants, and they were exposed to every conceivable insult and
indignity. Their houses were pillaged, their wives and children
surrendered to all the outrages of a cruel soldiery; many were
massacred; many, hunted like wild beasts, were driven into the forest;
many were put to the torture, and as their bones were crushed and
quivering nerves were torn, they were required to give in their adhesion
to the Catholic faith. The persecution to which the Bohemians were
subjected has perhaps never been exceeded in severity.

While Bohemia was writhing beneath these woes, the emperor, to secure
the succession, repaired in regal pomp to Prague, and crowned his son
King of Bohemia. He then issued a decree abolishing the right which the
Bohemians had claimed, to elect their king, forbade the use of the
Bohemian language in the court and in all public transactions, and
annulled all past edicts of toleration. He proclaimed that no religion
but the Roman Catholic should henceforth be tolerated in Bohemia, and
that all who did not immediately return to the bosom of the Church
should be banished from the kingdom. This cruel edict drove into
banishment thirty thousand families. These Protestant families composed
the best portion of the community, including the most illustrious in
rank, the most intelligent, the most industrious and the most virtuous,
No State could meet with such a loss without feeling it deeply, and
Bohemia has never yet recovered from the blow. One of the Bohemian
historians, himself a Roman Catholic, thus describes the change which
persecution wrought in Bohemia:

"The records of history scarcely furnish a similar example of such a
change as Bohemia underwent during the reign of Ferdinand II. In 1620,
the monks and a few of the nobility only excepted, the whole country was
entirely Protestant. At the death of Ferdinand it was, in appearance at
least, Catholic. Till the battle of the White Mountain the States
enjoyed more exclusive privileges than the Parliament of England. They
enacted laws, imposed taxes, contracted alliances, declared war and
peace, and chose or confirmed their kings. But all these they now lost.

"Till this fatal period the Bohemians were daring, undaunted,
enterprising, emulous of fame; now they have lost all their courage,
their national pride, their enterprising spirit. Their courage lay
buried in the White Mountain. Individuals still possessed personal
valor, military ardor and a thirst of glory, but, blended with other
nations, they resembled the waters of the Moldau which join those of the
Elbe. These united streams bear ships, overflow lands and overturn
rocks; yet the Elbe is only mentioned, and the Moldau forgotten.

"The Bohemian language, which had been used in all the courts of
justice, and which was in high estimation among the nobles, fell into
contempt. The German was introduced, became the general language among
the nobles and citizens, and was used by the monks in their sermons. The
inhabitants of the towns began to be ashamed of their native tongue,
which was confined to the villages and called the language of peasants.
The arts and sciences, so highly cultivated and esteemed under Rhodolph,
sunk beyond recovery. During the period which immediately followed the
banishment of the Protestants, Bohemia scarcely produced one man who
became eminent in any branch of learning. The greater part of the
schools were conducted by Jesuits and other monkish orders, and nothing
taught therein but bad Latin.

"It can not be denied that several of the Jesuits were men of great
learning and science; but their system was to keep the people in
ignorance. Agreeably to this principle they gave their scholars only the
rind, and kept to themselves the pulp of literature. With this view they
traveled from town to town as missionaries, and went from house to
house, examining all books, which the landlord was compelled under pain
of eternal damnation to produce. The greater part they confiscated and
burnt. They thus endeavored to extinguish the ancient literature of the
country, labored to persuade the students that before the introduction
of their order into Bohemia nothing but ignorance prevailed, and
carefully concealed the learned labors and even the names of our
ancestors."

Ferdinand, having thus bound Bohemia hand and foot, and having
accomplished all his purpose in that kingdom, now endeavored, by
cautious but very decisive steps, to expel Protestant doctrines from all
parts of the German empire. Decree succeeded decree, depriving
Protestants of their rights and conferring upon the Roman Catholics
wealth and station. He had a powerful and triumphant standing army at
his control, under the energetic and bigoted Wallenstein, ready and able
to enforce his ordinances. No Protestant prince dared to make any show
of resistance. All the church property was torn from the Protestants,
and this vast sum, together with the confiscated territories of those
Protestant princes or nobles who had ventured to resist the emperor,
placed at his disposal a large fund from which to reward his followers.
The emperor kept, however, a large portion of the spoils in his own
hands for the enriching of his own family.

This state of things soon alarmed even the Catholics. The emperor was
growing too powerful, and his power was bearing profusely its natural
fruit of pride and arrogance. The army was insolent, trampling alike
upon friend and foe. As there was no longer any war, the army had become
merely the sword of the emperor to maintain his despotism. Wallenstein
had become so essential to the emperor, and possessed such power at the
head of the army, that he assumed all the air and state of a sovereign,
and insulted the highest nobles and the most powerful bishops by his
assumptions of superiority. The electors of the empire perceiving that
the emperor was centralizing power in his own hands, and that they would
soon become merely provincial governors, compelled to obey his laws and
subject to his appointment and removal, began to whisper to each other
their alarm.

The Duke of Bavaria was one of the most powerful princes of the German
empire. He had been the rival of Count Wallenstein, and was now
exceedingly annoyed by the arrogance of this haughty military chief.
Wallenstein was the emperor's right arm of strength. Inflamed by as
intense an ambition as ever burned in a human bosom, every thought and
energy was devoted to self-aggrandizement. He had been educated a
Protestant, but abandoned those views for the Catholic faith which
opened a more alluring field to ambition. Sacrificing the passions of
youth he married a widow, infirm and of advanced age, but of great
wealth. The death of his wrinkled bride soon left him the vast property
without incumbrance. He then entered into a matrimonial alliance which
favored his political prospects, marrying Isabella, the daughter of
Count Harruch, who was one of the emperor's greatest favorites.

When Ferdinand's fortunes were at a low ebb, and he knew not in which
way to find either money or an army, Wallenstein offered to raise fifty
thousand men at his own expense, to pay their wages, supply them with
arms and all the munitions of war, and to call upon the emperor for no
pecuniary assistance whatever, if the emperor would allow him to retain
the plunder he could extort from the conquered. Upon this majestic scale
Wallenstein planned to act the part of a highwayman. Ferdinand's
necessities were so great that he gladly availed himself of this
infamous offer. Wallenstein made money by the bargain. Wherever he
marched he compelled the people to support his army, and to support it
luxuriously. The emperor had now constituted him admiral of the Baltic
fleet, and had conferred upon him the title of duke, with the splendid
duchy of Mecklenburg, and the principality of Sagan in Silesia. His
overbearing conduct and his enormous extortions--he having, in seven
years, wrested from the German princes more than four hundred million of
dollars--excited a general feeling of discontent, in which the powerful
Duke of Bavaria took the lead.

Envy is a stronger passion than political religion. Zealous as the Duke
of Bavaria had been in the cause of the papal church, he now forgot that
church in his zeal to abase an arrogant and insulting rival. Richelieu,
the prime minister of France, was eagerly watching for opportunities to
humiliate the house of Austria, and he, with alacrity, met the advances
of the Duke of Bavaria, and conspired with him to form a Catholic
league, to check the ambition of Wallenstein, and to arrest the enormous
strides of the emperor. With this object in view, a large number of the
most powerful Catholic princes met at Heidelberg, in March, 1629, and
passed resolutions soliciting Ferdinand to summon a diet of the German
empire to take into consideration the evils occasioned by the army of
Wallenstein, and to propose a remedy. The emperor had, in his arrogance,
commanded the princes of the various States in the departments of Suabia
and Franconia, to disband their troops. To this demand they returned the
bold and spirited reply,

"Till we have received an indemnification, or a pledge for the payment
of our expenses, we will neither disband a single soldier, nor
relinquish a foot of territory, ecclesiastical or secular, _demand it
who will_."

The emperor did not venture to disregard the request for him to summon a
diet. Indeed he was anxious, on his own account, to convene the
electors, for he wished to secure the election of his son to the throne
of the empire, and he needed succors to aid him in the ambitious wars
which he was waging in various and distant parts of Europe. The diet was
assembled at Ratisbon: the emperor presided in person. As he had
important favors to solicit, he assumed a very conciliatory tone. He
expressed his regret that the troops had been guilty of such disorders,
and promised immediate redress. He then, supposing that his promise
would be an ample satisfaction, very graciously solicited of them the
succession of the imperial throne for his son, and supplies for his
army.

But the electors were not at all in a pliant mood. Some were resolved
that, at all hazards, the imperial army, which threatened Germany,
should be reduced, and that Wallenstein should be dismissed from the
command. Others were equally determined that the crown of the empire
should not descend to the son of Ferdinand. The Duke of Bavaria headed
the party who would debase Wallenstein; and Cardinal Richelieu, with all
the potent influences of intrigue and bribery at the command of the
French court, was the soul of the party resolved to wrest the crown of
the empire from the house of Austria. Richelieu sent two of the most
accomplished diplomatists France could furnish, as ambassadors to the
diet, who, while maintaining, as far as possible, the guise of
friendship, were to do every thing in their power to thwart the election
of Ferdinand's son. These were supplied with inexhaustible means for the
purchase of votes, and were authorized to make any promises, however
extravagant, which should be deemed essential for the attainment of
their object.

Ferdinand, long accustomed to have his own way, was not anticipating any
serious resistance. He was therefore amazed and confounded, when the
diet returned to him, instead of their humble submission and
congratulations, a long, detailed, emphatic remonstrance against the
enormities perpetrated by the imperial army, and demanding the immediate
reduction of the army, now one hundred and fifty thousand strong, and
the dismission of Wallenstein, before they could proceed to any other
business whatever. This bold stand animated the Protestant princes of
the empire, and they began to be clamorous for their rights. Some of the
Catholics even espoused their cause, warning Ferdinand that, unless he
granted the Protestants some degree of toleration, they would seek
redress by joining the enemies of the empire.

It would have been impossible to frame three demands more obnoxious to
the emperor. To crush the Protestants had absorbed the energies of his
life; and now that they were utterly prostrate, to lift them up and
place them on their feet again, was an idea he could not endure. The
imperial army had been his supple tool. By its instrumentality he had
gained all his power, and by its energies alone he retained that power.
To disband the army was to leave himself defenseless. Wallenstein had
been every thing to the emperor, and Ferdinand still needed the support
of his inflexible and unscrupulous energies. Wallenstein was in the
cabinet of the emperor advising him in this hour of perplexity. His
counsel was characteristic of his impetuous, headlong spirit. He advised
the emperor to pour his army into the territory of the Duke of Bavaria;
chastise him and all his associates for their insolence, and thus
overawe the rest. But the Duke of Bavaria was in favor of electing the
emperor's son as his successor on the throne of the empire; and
Ferdinand's heart was fixed upon this object.

"Dismiss Wallenstein, and reduce the army," said the Duke of Bavaria,
"and the Catholic electors will vote for your son; grant the required
toleration to the Protestants, and they will vote for him likewise."

The emperor yielded, deciding in his own mind, aided by the Jesuitical
suggestions of a monk, that he could afterwards recall Wallenstein, and
assemble anew his dispersed battalions. He dismissed sixteen thousand of
his best cavalry; suspended some of the most obnoxious edicts against
the Protestants, and _implored_ Wallenstein to resign his post. The
emperor was terribly afraid that this proud general would refuse, and
would lead the army to mutiny. The emperor accordingly accompanied his
request with every expression of gratitude and regret, and assured the
general of his continued favor. Wallenstein, well aware that the
disgrace would be but temporary, quietly yielded. He dismissed the
envoys of the emperor with presents, wrote a very submissive letter,
and, with much ostentation of obedience, retired to private life.



CHAPTER XVIII.

FERDINAND II. AND GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS.

From 1629 to 1632.

Vexation of Ferdinand.--Gustavus Adolphus.--Address to the nobles of
Sweden.--March of Gustavus.--Appeal to the Protestants.--Magdeburg joins
Gustavus.--Destruction of the city.--Consternation of the Protestants.--
Exultation of the Catholics.--The Elector of Saxony driven from his
domains.--Battle of Leipsig.--The Swedes penetrate Bohemia.--Freedom of
conscience established.--Death of Tilly.--The Retirement of
Wallenstein.--The command resumed by Wallenstein.--Capture of
Prague.--Encounter between Wallenstein and Gustavus.--Battle of
Lutzen.--Death of Gustavus.


The hand of France was conspicuous in wresting all these sacrifices from
the emperor, and was then still more conspicuous in thwarting his plans
for the election of his son. The ambassadors of Richelieu, with
diplomatic adroitness, urged upon the diet the Duke of Bavaria as
candidate for the imperial crown. This tempting offer silenced the duke,
and he could make no more efforts for the emperor. The Protestants
greatly preferred the duke to any one of the race of the bigoted
Ferdinand. The emperor was excessively chagrined by this aspect of
affairs, and abruptly dissolved the diet. He felt that he had been duped
by France; that a cunning monk, Richelieu's ambassador, had outwitted
him. In his vexation he exclaimed, "A Capuchin friar has disarmed me
with his rosary, and covered six electoral caps with his cowl."

The emperor was meditating vengeance--the recall of Wallenstein, the
reconstruction of the army, the annulling of the edict of toleration,
the march of an invading force into the territories of the Duke of
Bavaria, and the chastisement of all, Catholics as well as Protestants,
who had aided in thwarting his plans--when suddenly a new enemy
appeared. Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, reigning over his remote
realms on the western shores of the Baltic, though a zealous Protestant,
was regarded by Ferdinand as a foe too distant and too feeble to be
either respected or feared. But Gustavus, a man of exalted abilities,
and of vast energy, was watching with intense interest the despotic
strides of the emperor. In his endeavors to mediate in behalf of the
Protestants of Germany, he had encountered repeated insults on the part
of Ferdinand. The imperial troops were now approaching his own kingdom.
They had driven Christian IV., King of Denmark, from his continental
territories on the eastern shore of the Baltic, had already taken
possession of several of the islands, and were constructing a fleet
which threatened the command of that important sea. Gustavus was
alarmed, and roused himself to assume the championship of the civil and
religious liberties of Europe. He conferred with all the leading
Protestant princes, formed alliances, secured funds, stationed troops to
protect his own frontiers, and then, assembling the States of his
kingdom, entailed the succession of the crown on his only child
Christiana, explained to them his plans of war against the emperor, and
concluded a dignified and truly pathetic harangue with the following
words.

"The enterprise in which I am about to engage is not one dictated by the
love of conquest or by personal ambition. Our honor, our religion and
our independence are imperiled. I am to encounter great dangers, and may
fall upon the field of battle. If it be God's will that I should die in
the defense of liberty, of my country and of mankind, I cheerfully
surrender myself to the sacrifice. It is my duty as a sovereign to obey
the King of kings without murmuring, and to resign the power I have
received from His hands whenever it shall suit His all-wise purposes. I
shall yield up my last breath with the firm persuasion that Providence
will support my subjects because they are faithful and virtuous, and
that my ministers, generals and senators will punctually discharge their
duty to my child because they love justice, respect me, and feel for
their country."

The king himself was affected as he uttered these words, and tears
moistened the eyes of many of the stern warriors who surrounded him.
With general acclaim they approved of his plan, voted him all the
succors he required, and enthusiastically offered their own fortunes and
lives to his service. Gustavus assembled a fleet at Elfsnaben, crossed
the Baltic sea, and in June, 1630, landed thirty thousand troops in
Pomerania, which Wallenstein had overrun. The imperial army, unprepared
for such an assault, fled before the Swedish king. Marching rapidly,
Gustavus took Stettin, the capital of the duchy, situated at the mouth
of the Oder, and commanding that stream. Driving the imperial troops
everywhere before him from Pomerania, and pursuing them into the
adjoining Mark of Brandenburg, he took possession of a large part of
that territory. He issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of Germany,
recapitulating the arbitrary and despotic acts of the emperor, and
calling upon all Protestants to aid in an enterprise, in the success of
which the very existence of Protestantism in Germany seemed to be
involved. But so utterly had the emperor crushed the spirits of the
Protestants by his fiend-like severity, that but few ventured to respond
to his appeal. The rulers, however, of many of the Protestant States met
at Leipsic, and without venturing to espouse the cause of Gustavus, and
without even alluding to his invasion, they addressed a letter to the
emperor demanding a redress of grievances, and informing him that they
had decided to establish a permanent council for the direction of their
own affairs, and to raise an army of forty thousand men for their own
protection.

Most of these events had occurred while the emperor, with Wallenstein,
was at Ratisbon, intriguing to secure the succession of the imperial
crown for his son. They both looked upon the march of the King of Sweden
into the heart of Germany as the fool-hardy act of a mad adventurer. The
courtiers ridiculed his transient conquests, saying, "Gustavus Adolphus
is a king of snow. Like a snowball he will melt in a southern clime."
Wallenstein was particularly contemptuous. "I will whip him back to his
country," said he, "like a truant school-boy, with rods." Ferdinand was
for a time deceived by these representations, and was by no means aware
of the real peril which threatened him. The diet which the emperor had
assembled made a proclamation of war against Gustavus, but adopted no
measures of energy adequate to the occasion. The emperor sent a silly
message to Gustavus that if he did not retire immediately from Germany
he would attack him with his whole force. To this folly Gustavus
returned a contemptuous reply.

A few of the minor Protestant princes now ventured to take arms and join
the standard of Gustavus. The important city of Magdeburg, in Saxony, on
the Elbe, espoused his cause. This city, with its bastions and outworks
completely commanding the Elbe, formed one of the strongest fortresses
of Europe. It contained, exclusive of its strong garrison, thirty
thousand inhabitants. It was now evident to Ferdinand that vigorous
action was called for. He could not, consistently with his dignity,
recall Wallenstein in the same breath with which he had dismissed him.
He accordingly concentrated his troops and placed them under the command
of Count Tilly. The imperial troops were dispatched to Magdeburg. They
surrounded the doomed city, assailed it furiously, and proclaimed their
intention of making it a signal mark of imperial vengeance.
Notwithstanding the utmost efforts of Gustavus to hasten to their
relief, he was foiled in his endeavors, and the town was carried by
assault on the 10th of May. Never, perhaps, did earth witness a more
cruel exhibition of the horrors of war. The soul sickens in the
contemplation of outrages so fiend-like. We prefer to give the narrative
of these deeds, which it is the duty of history to record, in the
language of another.

"All the horrors ever exercised against a captured place were repeated
and almost surpassed, on this dreadful event, which, notwithstanding all
the subsequent disorders and the lapse of time, is still fresh in the
recollection of its inhabitants and of Germany. Neither age, beauty nor
innocence, neither infancy nor decrepitude, found refuge or compassion
from the fury of the licentious soldiery. No retreat was sufficiently
secure to escape their rapacity and vengeance; no sanctuary sufficiently
sacred to repress their lust and cruelty. Infants were murdered before
the eyes of their parents, daughters and wives violated in the arms of
their fathers and husbands. Some of the imperial officers, recoiling
from this terrible scene, flew to Count Tilly and supplicated him to put
a stop to the carnage. 'Stay yet an hour,' was his barbarous reply; 'let
the soldier have some compensation for his dangers and fatigues.'

"The troops, left to themselves, after sating their passions, and almost
exhausting their cruelty in three hours of pillage and massacre, set
fire to the town, and the flames were in an instant spread by the wind
to every quarter of the place. Then opened a scene which surpassed all
the former horrors. Those who had hitherto escaped, or who were forced
by the flames from their hiding-places, experienced a more dreadful
fate. Numbers were driven into the Elbe, others massacred with every
species of savage barbarity--the wombs of pregnant women ripped up, and
infants thrown into the fire or impaled on pikes and suspended over the
flames. History has no terms, poetry no language, painting no colors to
depict all the horrors of the scene. In less than ten hours the most
rich, the most flourishing and the most populous town in Germany was
reduced to ashes. The cathedral, a single convent and a few miserable
huts, were all that were left of its numerous buildings, and scarcely
more than a thousand souls all that remained of more than thirty
thousand inhabitants.

"After an interval of two days, when the soldiers were fatigued, if not
sated, with devastation and slaughter, and when the flames had begun to
subside, Tilly entered the town in triumph. To make room for his passage
the streets were cleared and six thousand carcasses thrown into the
Elbe. He ordered the pillage to cease, pardoned the scanty remnant of
the inhabitants, who had taken refuge in the cathedral, and, surrounded
by flames and carnage, had remained three days without food or
refreshment, under all the terrors of impending fate. After hearing a
_Te Deum_ in the midst of military pomp, he paraded the streets; and
even though his unfeeling heart seemed touched with the horrors of the
scene, he could not refrain from the savage exultation of boasting to
the emperor, and comparing the assault of Magdeburg to the sack of Troy
and of Jerusalem."

This terrible display of vengeance struck the Protestants with
consternation. The extreme Catholic party were exultant, and their
chiefs met in a general assembly and passed resolutions approving the
course of the emperor and pledging him their support. Ferdinand was much
encouraged by this change in his favor, and declared his intention of
silencing all Protestant voices. He recalled an army of twenty-four
thousand men from Italy. They crossed the Alps, and, as they marched
through the frontier States of the empire, they spread devastation and
ruin through all the Protestant territories, exacting enormous
contributions, compelling the Protestant princes, on oath, to renounce
the Protestant league, and to unite with the Catholic confederacy
against the King of Sweden.

In the meantime, Gustavus pressed forward into the duchy of Mecklenburg,
driving the imperial troops before him. Tilly retired into the territory
of the Elector of Saxony, robbing, burning and destroying everywhere.
Uniting his force with the army from Italy he ravaged the country,
resistlessly advancing even to Leipsic, and capturing the city. The
elector, quite unable to cope with so powerful a foe, retired with his
troops to the Swedish camp, where he entered into an offensive and
defensive alliance with Gustavus. The Swedish army, thus reinforced,
hastened to the relief of Leipsic, and arrived before its walls the very
day on which the city surrendered.

Tilly, with the pride of a conqueror, advanced to meet them. The two
armies, about equal in numbers, and commanded by their renowned
captains, met but a few miles from the city. Neither of the commanders
had ever before suffered a defeat. It was a duel, in which one or the
other must fall. Every soldier in the ranks felt the sublimity of the
hour. For some time there was marching and countermarching--the planting
of batteries, and the gathering of squadrons and solid columns, each one
hesitating to strike the first blow. At last the signal was given by the
discharge of three pieces of cannon from one of the batteries of Tilly.
Instantly a thunder peal rolled along the extended lines from wing to
wing. The awful work of death was begun. Hour after hour the fierce and
bloody fight continued, as the surges of victory and defeat swept to and
fro upon the plain. But the ever uncertain fortune of battle decided in
favor of the Swedes. As the darkness of evening came prematurely on,
deepened by the clouds of smoke which canopied the field, the
imperialists were everywhere flying in dismay. Tilly, having been struck
by three balls, was conveyed from the field in excruciating pain to a
retreat in Halle. Seven thousand of his troops lay dead upon the field.
Five thousand were taken prisoners. All the imperial artillery and
baggage fell into the hands of the conqueror. The rest of the army was
so dispersed that but two thousand could be rallied under the imperial
banners.

Gustavus, thus triumphant, dispatched a portion of his army, under the
Elector of Saxony, to rescue Bohemia from the tyrant grasp of the
emperor. Gustavus himself, with another portion, marched in various
directions to cut off the resources of the enemy and to combine the
scattered parts of the Protestant confederacy. His progress was like the
tranquil march of a sovereign in his own dominions, greeted by the
enthusiasm of his subjects. He descended the Maine to the Rhine, and
then ascending the Rhine, took every fortress from Maine to Strasbourg.
While Gustavus was thus extending his conquests through the very heart
of Germany, the Elector of Saxony reclaimed all of Bohemia from the
imperial arms. Prague itself capitulated to the Saxon troops. Count
Thurn led the Saxon troops in triumph over the same bridge which he, but
a few months before, had traversed a fugitive. He found, impaled upon
the bridge, the shriveled heads of twelve of his companions, which he
enveloped in black satin and buried with funeral honors.

The Protestants of Bohemia rose enthusiastically to greet their
deliverers. Their churches, schools and universities were reëstablished.
Their preachers resumed their functions. Many returned from exile and
rejoiced in the restoration of their confiscated property. The Elector
of Saxony retaliated upon the Catholics the cruel wrongs which they had
inflicted upon the Protestants. Their castles were plundered, their
nobles driven into exile, and the conquerors loaded themselves with the
spoils of the vanquished.

But Ferdinand, as firm and inexorable in adversity as in prosperity,
bowed not before disaster. He roused the Catholics to a sense of their
danger, organized new coalitions, raised new armies. Tilly, with
recruited forces, was urged on to arrest the march of the conqueror.
Burning under the sense of shame for his defeat at Leipsic, he placed
himself at the head of his veterans, fell, struck by a musket-ball, and
died, after a few days of intense suffering, at the age of
seventy-three. The vast Austrian empire, composed of so many
heterogeneous States, bound together only by the iron energy of
Ferdinand, seemed now upon the eve of its dissolution. The Protestants,
who composed in most of the States a majority, were cordially rallying
beneath the banners of Gustavus. They had been in a state of despair.
They now rose in exalted hope. Many of the minor princes who had been
nominally Catholics, but whose Christian creeds were merely political
dogmas, threw themselves into the arms of Gustavus. Even the Elector of
Bavaria was so helpless in his isolation, that, champion as he had been
of the Catholic party, there seemed to be no salvation for him but in
abandoning the cause of Ferdinand. Gustavus was now, with a victorious
army, in the heart of Germany. He was in possession of the whole western
country from the Baltic to the frontiers of France, and apparently a
majority of the population were in sympathy with him.

Ferdinand at first resolved, in this dire extremity, to assume himself
the command of his armies, and in person to enter the field. This was
heroic madness, and his friends soon convinced him of the folly of one
so inexperienced in the arts of war undertaking to cope with Gustavus
Adolphus, now the most experienced and renowned captain in Europe. He
then thought of appointing his son, the Archduke Ferdinand,
commander-in-chief. But Ferdinand was but twenty-three years of age, and
though a young man of decided abilities, was by no means able to
encounter on the field the skill and heroism of the Swedish warrior. In
this extremity, Ferdinand was compelled to turn his eyes to his
discarded general Wallenstein.

This extraordinary man, in renouncing, at the command of his sovereign,
his military supremacy, retired with boundless wealth, and assumed a
style of living surpassing even regal splendor. His gorgeous palace at
Prague was patrolled by sentinels. A body-guard of fifty halberdiers, in
sumptuous uniform, ever waited in his ante-chamber. Twelve nobles
attended his person, and four gentlemen ushers introduced to his
presence those whom he condescended to favor with an audience. Sixty
pages, taken from the most illustrious families, embellished his courts.
His steward was a baron of the highest rank; and even the chamberlain of
the emperor had left Ferdinand's court, that he might serve in the more
princely palace of this haughty subject. A hundred guests dined daily at
his table. His gardens and parks were embellished with more than
oriental magnificence. Even his stables were furnished with marble
mangers, and supplied with water from an ever-living fountain. Upon his
journeys he was accompanied by a suite of twelve coaches of state and
fifty carriages. A large retinue of wagons conveyed his plate and
equipage. Fifty mounted grooms followed with fifty led horses richly
caparisoned. (Coxe's "House of Austria," ii., 254.)

Wallenstein watched the difficulties gathering around the emperor with
satisfaction which he could not easily disguise. Though intensely eager
to be restored to the command of the armies, he affected an air of great
indifference, and when the emperor suggested his restoration, he very
adroitly played the coquette. The emperor at first proposed that his
son, the Archduke Ferdinand, should nominally have the command, while
Wallenstein should be his executive and advisory general. "I would not
serve," said the impious captain, "as second in command under God
Himself."

After long negotiation, Wallenstein, with well-feigned reluctance,
consented to relinquish for a few weeks the sweets of private life, and
to recruit an army, and bring it under suitable discipline. He, however,
limited the time of his command to three months. With his boundless
wealth and amazing energy, he immediately set all springs in motion.
Adventurers from all parts of Europe, lured by the splendor of his past
achievements, crowded his ranks. In addition to his own vast opulence,
the pope and the court of Spain opened freely to him their purses. As by
magic he was in a few weeks at the head of forty thousand men. In
companies, regiments and battalions they were incessantly drilled, and
by the close of three months this splendid army, thoroughly furnished,
and in the highest state of discipline, was presented to the emperor.
Every step he had taken had convinced, and was intended to convince
Ferdinand that his salvation depended upon the energies of Wallenstein.
Gustavus was now, in the full tide of victory, marching from the Rhine
to the Danube, threatening to press his conquests even to Vienna.
Ferdinand was compelled to assume the attitude of a suppliant, and to
implore his proud general to accept the command of which he had so
recently been deprived. Wallenstein exacted terms so humiliating as in
reality to divest the emperor of his imperial power. He was to be
declared generalissimo of all the forces of the empire, and to be
invested with unlimited authority. The emperor pledged himself that
neither he nor his son would ever enter the camp. Wallenstein was to
appoint all his officers, distribute all rewards, and the emperor was
not allowed to grant either a pardon or a safe-conduct without the
confirmation of Wallenstein. The general was to levy what contribution
he pleased upon the vanquished enemy, confiscate property, and no peace
or truce was to be made with the enemy without his consent. Finally, he
was to receive, either from the spoils of the enemy, or from the
hereditary States of the empire, princely remuneration for his services.

Armed with such enormous power, Wallenstein consented to place himself
at the head of the army. He marched to Prague, and without difficulty
took the city. Gradually he drove the Saxon troops from all their
fortresses in Bohemia. Then advancing to Bavaria, he effected a junction
with Bavarian troops, and found himself sufficiently strong to attempt
to arrest the march of Gustavus. The imperial force now amounted to
sixty thousand men. Wallenstein was so sanguine of success, that he
boasted that in a few days he would decide the question, whether
Gustavus Adolphus or Wallenstein was to be master of the world. The
Swedish king was at Nuremberg with but twenty thousand men, when he
heard of the approach of the imperial army, three times outnumbering his
own. Disdaining to retreat, he threw up redoubts, and prepared for a
desperate defense. As Wallenstein brought up his heavy battalions, he
was so much overawed by the military genius which Gustavus had displayed
in his strong intrenchments, and by the bold front which the Swedes
presented, that notwithstanding his boast, he did not dare to hazard an
attack. He accordingly threw up intrenchments opposite the works of the
Swedes, and there the two armies remained, looking each other in the
face for eight weeks, neither daring to withdraw from behind their
intrenchments, and each hoping to starve the other party out. Gustavus
did every thing in his power to provoke Wallenstein to the attack, but
the wary general, notwithstanding the importunities of his officers, and
the clamors of his soldiers, refused to risk an engagement. Both parties
were all the time strengthening their intrenchments and gathering
reinforcements.

At last Gustavus resolved upon an attack. He led his troops against the
intrenchments of Wallenstein, which resembled a fortress rather than a
camp. The Swedes clambered over the intrenchments, and assailed the
imperialists with as much valor and energy as mortals ever exhibited.
They were, however, with equal fury repelled, and after a long conflict
were compelled to retire again behind their fortifications with the loss
of three thousand of their best troops. For another fortnight the two
armies remained watching each other, and then Gustavus, leaving a strong
garrison in Nuremberg, slowly and defiantly retired. Wallenstein stood
so much in fear of the tactics of Gustavus that he did not even venture
to molest his retreat. During this singular struggle of patient
endurance, both armies suffered fearfully from sickness and famine. In
the city of Nuremberg ten thousand perished. Gustavus buried twenty
thousand of his men beneath his intrenchments. And in the imperial army,
after the retreat of Gustavus, but thirty thousand troops were left to
answer the roll-call.

Wallenstein claimed, and with justice, the merit of having arrested the
steps of Gustavus, though he could not boast of any very chivalrous
exploits. After various maneuvering, and desolating marches, the two
armies, with large reinforcements, met at Lutzen, about thirty miles
from Leipsic. It was in the edge of the evening when they arrived within
sight of each other's banners. Both parties passed an anxious night,
preparing for the decisive battle which the dawn of the morning would
usher in.

Wallenstein was fearfully alarmed. He had not willingly met his dreaded
antagonist, and would now gladly escape the issues of battle. He called
a council of war, and even suggested a retreat. But it was decided that
such an attempt in the night, and while watched by so able and vigilant
a foe, would probably involve the army in irretrievable ruin, besides
exposing his own name to deep disgrace. The imperial troops, thirty
thousand strong, quite outnumbered the army of Gustavus, and the
officers of Wallenstein unanimously advised to give battle. Wallenstein
was a superstitious man and deeply devoted to astrological science. He
consulted his astrologers, and they declared the stars to be
unpropitious to Gustavus. This at once decided him. He resolved,
however, to act on the defensive, and through the night employed the
energies of his army in throwing up intrenchments. In the earliest dawn
of the morning mass was celebrated throughout the whole camp, and
Wallenstein on horseback rode along behind the redoubts, urging his
troops, by every consideration, to fight valiantly for their emperor and
their religion.

The morning was dark and lowering, and such an impenetrable fog
enveloped the armies that they were not visible to each other. It was
near noon ere the fog arose, and the two armies, in the full blaze of an
unclouded sun, gazed, awe-stricken, upon each other. The imperial troops
and the Swedish troops were alike renowned; and Gustavus Adolphus and
Wallenstein were, by universal admission, the two ablest captains in
Europe. Neither force could even affect to despise the other. The scene
unfolded, as the vapor swept away, was one which even war has seldom
presented. The vast plain of Lutzen extended many miles, almost as
smooth, level and treeless as a western prairie. Through the center of
this plain ran a nearly straight and wide road. On one side of this
road, in long line, extending one or two miles, was the army of
Wallenstein. His whole front was protected by a ditch and redoubts
bristling with bayonets. Behind these intrenchments his army was
extended; the numerous and well-mounted cavalry at the wings, the
artillery, in ponderous batteries, at the center, with here and there
solid squares of infantry to meet the rush of the assailing columns. On
the other side of the road, and within musket-shot, were drawn up in a
parallel line the troops of Gustavus. He had interspersed along his
double line bands of cavalry, with artillery and platoons of musketeers,
that he might be prepared from any point to make or repel assault. The
whole host stood reverently, with uncovered heads, as a public prayer
was offered. The Psalm which Watts has so majestically versified was
read--

  "God is the refuge of his saints,
  When storms of dark distress invade;
  Ere we can offer our complaints,
  Behold him present with his aid.

  "Let mountains from their seats be hurled
  Down to the deep, and buried there,
  Convulsions shake the solid world;
  Our faith shall never yield to fear."

From twenty thousand voices the solemn hymn arose and floated over the
field--celestial songs, to be succeeded by demoniac clangor. Both
parties appealed to the God of battle; both parties seemed to feel that
their cause was just. Alas for man!

Gustavus now ordered the attack. A solid column emerged from his ranks,
crossed the road, in breathless silence approached the trenches, while
both armies looked on. They were received with a volcanic sheet of flame
which prostrated half of them bleeding upon the sod. Gustavus ordered
column after column to follow on to support the assailants, and to
pierce the enemy's center. In his zeal he threw himself from his horse,
seized a pike, and rushed to head the attack. Wallenstein energetically
ordered up cavalry and artillery to strengthen the point so fiercely
assailed. And now the storm of war blazed along the whole lines. A
sulphureous canopy settled down over the contending hosts, and
thunderings, shrieks, clangor as of Pandemonium, filled the air. The
king, as reckless of life as if he had been the meanest soldier, rushed
to every spot where the battle raged the fiercest. Learning that his
troops upon the left were yielding to the imperial fire, he mounted his
horse and was galloping across the field swept by the storm of war, when
a bullet struck his arm and shattered the bone. Almost at the same
moment another bullet struck his breast, and he fell mortally wounded
from his horse, exclaiming, "My God! my God!"

The command now devolved upon the Duke of Saxe Weimar. The horse of
Gustavus, galloping along the lines, conveyed to the whole army the
dispiriting intelligence that their beloved chieftain had fallen. The
duke spread the report that he was not killed, but taken prisoner, and
summoned all to the rescue. This roused the Swedes to superhuman
exertions. They rushed over the ramparts, driving the infantry back upon
the cavalry, and the whole imperial line was thrown into confusion. Just
at that moment, when both parties were in the extreme of exhaustion,
when the Swedes were shouting victory and the imperialists were flying
in dismay, General Pappenheim, with eight fresh regiments of imperial
cavalry, came galloping upon the field. This seemed at once to restore
the battle to the imperialists, and the Swedes were apparently undone.
But just then a chance bullet struck Pappenheim and he fell, mortally
wounded, from his horse. The cry ran through the imperial ranks,
"Pappenheim is killed and the battle is lost." No further efforts of
Wallenstein were of any avail to arrest the confusion. His whole host
turned and fled. Fortunately for them, the darkness of the approaching
night, and a dense fog settling upon the plain, concealed them from
their pursuers. During the night the imperialists retired, and in the
morning the Swedes found themselves in possession of the field with no
foe in sight. But the Swedes had no heart to exult over their victory.
The loss of their beloved king was a greater calamity than any defeat
could have been. His mangled body was found, covered with blood, in the
midst of heaps of the slain, and so much mutilated with the tramplings
of cavalry as to be with difficulty recognized.



CHAPTER XIX.

FERDINAND II., FERDINAND III. AND LEOPOLD I

From 1632 to 1662.

Character of Gustavus Adolphus.--Exultation of the Imperialists.--
Disgrace of Wallenstein.--He Offers to Surrender to the Swedish
General.--His Assassination.--Ferdinand's Son Elected as his
Successor.--Death of Ferdinand.--Close of the War.--Abdication of
Christina.--Charles Gustavus.--Preparations for War.--Death Of Ferdinand
III.--Leopold Elected Emperor.--Hostilities Renewed.--Death of Charles
Gustavus.--Diet Convened.--Invasion of the Turks.


The battle of Lutzen was fought on the 16th of November, 1632. It is
generally estimated that the imperial troops were forty thousand, while
there were but twenty-seven thousand in the Swedish army. Gustavus was
then thirty-eight years of age. A plain stone still marks the spot where
he fell. A few poplars surround it, and it has become a shrine visited
by strangers from all parts of the world. Traces of his blood are still
shown in the town-house of Lutzen, where his body was transported from
the fatal field. The buff waistcoat he wore in the engagement, pierced
by the bullet which took his life, is preserved as a trophy in the
arsenal at Vienna.

Both as a monarch and a man, this illustrious sovereign stands in the
highest ranks. He possessed the peculiar power of winning the ardent
attachment of all who approached him. Every soldier in the army was
devoted to him, for he shared all their toils and perils. "Cities," he
said, "are not taken by keeping in tents; as scholars, in the absence of
the master, shut their books, so my troops, without my presence, would
slacken their blows."

In very many traits of character he resembled Napoleon, combining in his
genius the highest attributes of the statesman and the soldier. Like
Napoleon he was a predestinarian, believing himself the child of
Providence, raised for the accomplishment of great purposes, and that
the decrees of his destiny no foresight could thwart. When urged to
spare his person in the peril of battle, he replied,

"My hour is written in heaven, and can not be reversed."

Frederic, the unhappy Elector of the Palatine, and King of Bohemia, who
had been driven from his realms by Ferdinand, and who, for some years,
had been wandering from court to court in Europe, seeking an asylum, was
waiting at Mentz, trusting that the success of the armies of Gustavus
would soon restore him to his throne. The death of the king shattered
all his hopes. Disappointment and chagrin threw him into a fever of
which he died, in the thirty-ninth year of his age. The death of
Gustavus was considered by the Catholics such a singular interposition
of Providence in their behalf, that, regardless of the disaster of
Lutzen, they surrendered themselves to the most enthusiastic joy. Even
in Spain bells were rung, and the streets of Madrid blazed with bonfires
and illuminations. At Vienna it was regarded as a victory, and _Te
Deums_ were chanted in the cathedral. Ferdinand, however, conducted with
a decorum which should be recorded to his honor. He expressed the
fullest appreciation of the grand qualities of his opponent, and in
graceful words regretted his untimely death. When the bloody waistcoat,
perforated by the bullet, was shown him, he turned from it with
utterances of sadness and regret. Even if this were all feigned, it
shows a sense of external propriety worthy of record.

It was the genius of Gustavus alone which had held together the
Protestant confederacy. No more aid of any efficiency could be
anticipated from Sweden. Christina, the daughter and heiress of
Gustavus, was in her seventh year. The crown was claimed by her cousin
Ladislaus, the King of Poland, and this disputed succession threatened
the kingdom with the calamities of civil war. The Senate of Sweden in
this emergence conducted with great prudence. That they might secure an
honorable peace they presented a bold front of war. A council of regency
was appointed, abundant succors in men and money voted, and the
Chancellor Oxenstiern, a man of commanding civil and military talents,
was intrusted with the sole conduct of the war. The Senate declared the
young queen the legitimate successor to the throne, and forbade all
allusion to the claims of Ladislaus, under the penalty of high treason.

Oxenstiern proved himself worthy to be the successor of Gustavus. He
vigorously renewed alliances with the German princes, and endeavored to
follow out the able plans sketched by the departed monarch. Wallenstein,
humiliated by his defeat, had fallen back into Bohemia, and now, with
moderation strangely inconsistent with his previous career, urged the
emperor to conciliate the Protestants by publishing a decree of general
amnesty, and by proposing peace on favorable terms. But the iron will of
Ferdinand was inflexible. In heart, exulting that his most formidable
foe was removed, he resolved with unrelenting vigor to prosecute the
war. The storm of battle raged anew; and to the surprise of Ferdinand,
Oxenstiern moved forward with strides of victory as signal as those of
his illustrious predecessor. Wallenstein meanly attempted to throw the
blame of the disaster at Lutzen upon the alleged cowardice of his
officers. Seventeen of them he hanged, and consigned fifty others to
infamy by inscribing their names upon the gallows.

So haughty a man could not but have many enemies at court. They
combined, and easily persuaded Ferdinand, who had also been insulted by
his arrogance, again to degrade him. Wallenstein, informed of their
machinations, endeavored to rally the army to a mutiny in his favor.
Ferdinand, alarmed by this intelligence, which even threatened his own
dethronement, immediately dismissed Wallenstein from the command, and
dispatched officers from Vienna to seize his person, dead or alive. This
roused Wallenstein to desperation. Having secured the coöperation of his
leading officers, he dispatched envoys to the Swedish camp, offering to
surrender important fortresses to Oxenstiern, and to join him against
the emperor. It was an atrocious act of treason, and so marvellous in
its aspect, that Oxenstiern regarded it as mere duplicity on the part of
Wallenstein, intended to lead him into a trap. He therefore dismissed
the envoy, rejecting the offer. His officers now abandoned him, and
Gallas, who was appointed as his successor, took command of the army.

With a few devoted adherents, and one regiment of troops, he took refuge
in the strong fortress of Egra, hoping to maintain himself there until
he could enter into some arrangement with the Swedes. The officers
around him, whom he had elevated and enriched by his iniquitous bounty,
entered into a conspiracy to purchase the favor of the emperor by the
assassination of their doomed general. It was a very difficult
enterprise, and one which exposed the conspirators to the most imminent
peril.

On the 25th of February, 1634, the conspirators gave a magnificent
entertainment in the castle. They sat long at the table, wine flowed
freely, and as the darkness of night enveloped the castle, fourteen men,
armed to the teeth, rushed into the banqueting hall from two opposite
doors, and fell upon the friends of Wallenstein. Though thus taken by
surprise, they fought fiercely, and killed several of their assailants
before they were cut down. They all, however, were soon dispatched. The
conspirators, fifty in number, then ascended the stairs of the castle to
the chamber of Wallenstein. They cut down the sentinel at his door, and
broke into the room. Wallenstein had retired to his bed, but alarmed by
the clamor, he arose, and was standing at the window in his shirt,
shouting from it to the soldiers for assistance.

"Are you," exclaimed one of the conspirators, "the traitor who is going
to deliver the imperial troops to the enemy, and tear the crown from the
head of the emperor?"

Wallenstein was perfectly helpless. He looked around, and deigned no
reply. "You must die," continued the conspirator, advancing with his
halberd. Wallenstein, in silence, opened his arms to receive the blow.
The sharp blade pierced his body, and he fell dead upon the floor. The
alarm now spread through the town. The soldiers seized their arms, and
flocked to avenge their general. But the leading friends of Wallenstein
were slain; and the other officers easily satisfied the fickle soldiery
that their general was a traitor, and with rather a languid cry of "Long
live Ferdinand," they returned to duty.

Two of the leading assassins hastened to Vienna to inform the emperor of
the deed they had perpetrated. It was welcome intelligence to Ferdinand,
and he finished the work they had thus commenced by hanging and
beheading the adherents of Wallenstein without mercy. The assassins were
abundantly rewarded. The emperor still prosecuted the war with
perseverance, which no disasters could check. Gradually the imperial
arms gained the ascendency. The Protestant princes became divided and
jealous of each other. The emperor succeeded in detaching from the
alliance, and negotiating a separate peace with the powerful Electors of
Saxony and Brandenburg. He then assembled a diet at Ratisbon on the 15th
of September, 1639, and without much difficulty secured the election of
his son Ferdinand to succeed him on the imperial throne. The emperor
presided at this diet in person. He was overjoyed in the attainment of
this great object of his ambition. He was now fifty-nine years of age,
in very feeble health, and quite worn out by a life of incessant anxiety
and toil. He returned to Vienna, and in four months, on the 15th of
February, 1637, breathed his last.

For eighteen years Germany had now been distracted by war. The
contending parties were so exasperated against each other, that no human
wisdom could, at once, allay the strife. The new king and emperor,
Ferdinand III., wished for peace, but he could not obtain it on terms
which he thought honorable to the memory of his father. The Swedish army
was still in Germany, aided by the Protestant princes of the empire, and
especially by the armies and the treasury of France. The thunders of
battle were daily heard, and the paths of these hostile bands were ever
marked by smoldering ruins and blood. Vials of woe were emptied,
unsurpassed in apocalyptic vision. In the siege of Brisac, the wretched
inhabitants were reduced to such a condition of starvation, that a guard
was stationed at the burying ground to prevent them from devouring the
putrid carcasses of the dead.

For eleven years history gives us nothing but a dismal record of weary
marches, sieges, battles, bombardments, conflagrations, and all the
unimaginable brutalities and miseries of war. The war had now raged for
thirty years. Hundreds of thousands of lives had been lost. Millions of
property had been destroyed, and other millions squandered in the arts
of destruction. Nearly all Europe had been drawn into this vortex of
fury and misery. All parties were now weary. And yet seven years of
negotiation had been employed before they could consent to meet to
consult upon a general peace. At length congresses of the belligerent
powers were assembled in two important towns of Westphalia, Osnabruck
and Munster. Ridiculous disputes upon etiquette rendered this division
of the congress necessary. The ministers of _electors_ enjoyed the title
of _excellency_. The ministers of _princes_ claimed the same title.
Months were employed in settling that question. Then a difficulty arose
as to the seats at table, who were entitled to the positions of honor.
After long debate, this point was settled by having a large round table
made, to which there could be no head and no foot.

For four years the great questions of European policy were discussed by
this assembly. The all-important treaty, known in history as the peace
of Westphalia, and which established the general condition of Europe for
one hundred and fifty years, was signed on the 24th of October, 1648.
The contracting parties included all the great and nearly all the minor
powers of Europe. The articles of this renowned treaty are vastly too
voluminous to be recorded here. The family of Frederic received back the
Palatinate of which he had been deprived. The Protestants were restored
to nearly all the rights which they had enjoyed under the beneficent
reign of Maximilian II. The princes of the German empire, kings, dukes,
electors, marquises, princes, of whatever name, pledged themselves not
to oppress those of their subjects who differed from them in religious
faith. The pope protested against this toleration, but his protest was
disregarded. The German empire lost its unity, and became a
conglomeration of three hundred independent sovereignties. Each petty
prince or duke, though possessing but a few square miles of territory,
was recognized as a sovereign power, entitled to its court, its army,
and its foreign alliances. The emperor thus lost much of that power
which he had inherited from his ancestors; as those princes, whom he had
previously regarded as vassals, now shared with him sovereign dignity.

Ferdinand III., however, weary of the war which for so many years had
allowed him not an hour of repose, gladly acceded to these terms of
peace, and in good faith employed himself in carrying out the terms of
the treaty. After the exchange of ratifications another congress was
assembled at Nuremburg to settle some of the minute details, which
continued in session two years, when at length, in 1651, the armies were
disbanded, and Germany was released from the presence of a foreign foe.

Internal peace being thus secured, Ferdinand was anxious, before his
death, to secure the succession of the imperial crown to his son who
bore his own name. He accordingly assembled a meeting of the electors at
Prague, and by the free use of bribes and diplomatic intrigue, obtained
their engagement to support his son. He accomplished his purpose, and
Ferdinand, quite to the astonishment of Germany, was chosen unanimously,
King of the Romans--the title assumed by the emperor elect. In June,
1653, the young prince was crowned at Ratisbon. The joy of his father,
however, was of short duration. In one year from that time the
small-pox, in its most loathsome form, seized the prince, and after a
few days of anguish he died. His father was almost inconsolable with
grief. As soon as he had partially recovered from the blow, he brought
forward his second son, Leopold, and with but little difficulty secured
for him the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia, but was disappointed in his
attempts to secure the suffrages of the German electors.

With energy, moderation and sagacity, the peacefully disposed Ferdinand
so administered the government as to allay for seven years all the
menaces of war which were continually arising. For so long a period had
Germany been devastated by this most direful of earthly calamities,
which is indeed the accumulation of all conceivable woes, ever leading
in its train pestilence and famine, that peace seemed to the people a
heavenly boon. The fields were again cultivated, the cities and villages
repaired, and comfort began again gradually to make its appearance in
homes long desolate. It is one of the deepest mysteries of the divine
government that the destinies of millions should be so entirely placed
in the hands of a single man. Had Ferdinand II. been an enlightened,
good man, millions would have been saved from life-long ruin and misery.

One pert young king, in the search of glory, kindled again the lurid
flames of war. Christina, Queen of Sweden, daughter of Gustavus
Adolphus, influenced by romantic dreams, abdicated the throne and
retired to the seclusion of the cloister. Her cousin, Charles Gustavus,
succeeded her. He thought it a fine thing to play the soldier, and to
win renown by consigning the homes of thousands to blood and misery. He
was a king, and the power was in his hands. Merely to gratify this
fiend-like ambition, he laid claim to the crown of Poland, and raised an
army for the invasion of that kingdom. A portion of Poland was then in a
state of insurrection, the Ukraine Cossacks having risen against John
Cassimar, the king. Charles Gustavus thought that this presented him an
opportunity to obtain celebrity as a warrior, with but little danger of
failure. He marched into the doomed country, leaving behind him a wake
of fire and blood. Cities and villages were burned; the soil was
drenched with the blood of fathers and sons, his bugle blasts were
echoed by the agonizing groans of widows and orphans, until at last, in
an awful battle of three days, under the walls of Warsaw, the Polish
army, struggling in self-defense, was cut to pieces, and Charles
Gustavus was crowned a conqueror. Elated by this infernal deed, the most
infernal which mortal man can commit, he began to look around to decide
in what direction to extend his conquests.

Ferdinand III., anxious as he was to preserve peace, could not but look
with alarm upon the movements which now threatened the States of the
empire. It was necessary to present a barrier to the inroads of such a
ruffian. He accordingly assembled a diet at Frankfort and demanded
succors to oppose the threatened invasion on the north. He raised an
army, entered into an alliance with the defeated and prostrate, yet
still struggling Poles, and was just commencing his march, when he was
seized with sudden illness and died, on the 3d of March, 1657. Ferdinand
was a good man. He was not responsible for the wars which desolated the
empire during the first years of his reign, for he was doing every thing
in his power to bring those wars to a close. His administration was a
blessing to millions. Just before his death he said, and with truth
which no one will controvert, "During my whole reign no one can reproach
me with a single act which I knew to be unjust." Happy is the monarch
who can go into the presence of the King of kings with such a
conscience.

The death of the emperor was caused by a singular accident. He was not
very well, and was lying upon a couch in one of the chambers of his
palace. He had an infant son, but a few weeks old, lying in a cradle in
the nursery. A fire broke out in the apartment of the young prince. The
whole palace was instantly in clamor and confusion. Some attendants
seized the cradle of the young prince, and rushed with it to the chamber
of the emperor. In their haste and terror they struck the cradle with
such violence against the wall that it was broken to pieces and the
child fell, screaming, upon the floor. The cry of fire, the tumult, the
bursting into the room, the dashing of the cradle and the shrieks of the
child, so shocked the debilitated king that he died within an hour.

Leopold was but eighteen years of age when he succeeded to the
sovereignty of all the Austrian dominions, including the crowns of
Hungary and Bohemia. It was the first great object of his ambition to
secure the imperial throne also, which his father had failed to obtain
for him. Louis XIV. was now the youthful sovereign of France. He,
through his ambitious and able minister, Mazarin, did every thing in his
power to thwart the endeavors of Ferdinand, and to obtain the brilliant
prize for himself. The King of Sweden united with the French court in
the endeavor to abase the pride of the house of Austria. But
notwithstanding all their efforts, Leopold carried his point, and was
unanimously elected emperor, and crowned on the 31st of July, 1657. The
princes of the empire, however, greatly strengthened in their
independence by the articles of the peace of Westphalia, increasingly
jealous of their rights, attached forty-five conditions to their
acceptance of Leopold as emperor. Thus, notwithstanding the imperial
title, Leopold had as little power over the States of the empire as the
President of the United States has over the internal concerns of Maine
or Louisiana. In all such cases there is ever a conflict between two
parties, the one seeking the centralization of power, and the other
advocating its dispersion into various distant central points.

The flames of war which Charles Gustavus had kindled were still blazing.
Leopold continued the alliance which his father had formed with the
Poles, and sent an army of sixteen thousand men into Poland, hoping to
cut off the retreat of Charles Gustavus, and take him and all his army
prisoners. But the Swedish monarch was as sagacious and energetic as he
was unscrupulous and ambitious. Both parties formed alliances. State
after State was drawn into the conflict. The flame spread like a
conflagration. Fleets met in deadly conflict on the Baltic, and
crimsoned its waves with blood. The thunders of war were soon again
echoing over all the plains of northern and western Germany--and all
this because a proud, unprincipled young man, who chanced to be a king,
wished to be called a _hero_.

He accomplished his object. Through burning homes and bleeding hearts
and crushed hopes he marched to his renown. The forces of the empire
were allied with Denmark and Poland against him. With skill and energy
which can hardly find a parallel in the tales of romance, he baffled all
the combinations of his foes. Energy is a noble quality, and we may
admire its exhibition even though we detest the cause which has called
it forth. The Swedish fleet had been sunk by the Danes, and Charles
Gustavus was driven from the waters of the Baltic. With a few transports
he secretly conveyed an army across the Cattegat to the northern coast
of Jutland, marched rapidly down those inhospitable shores until he came
to the narrow strait, called the Little Belt, which separates Jutland
from the large island of Fyen. He crossed this strait on the ice,
dispersed a corps of Danes posted to arrest him, traversed the island,
exposed to all the storms of mid-winter, some sixty miles to its eastern
shore. A series of islands, with intervening straits clogged with ice,
bridged by a long and circuitous way his passage across the Great Belt.
A march of ten miles across the hummocks, rising and falling with the
tides, landed him upon the almost pathless snows of Langeland. Crossing
that dreary waste diagonally some dozen miles to another arm of the sea
ten miles wide, which the ices of a winter of almost unprecedented
severity had also bridged, pushing boldly on, with a recklessness which
nothing but success redeems from stupendous infatuation, he crossed this
fragile surface, which any storm might crumble beneath his feet, and
landed upon the western coast of Laaland. A march of thirty-five miles
over a treeless, shelterless and almost uninhabited expanse, brought him
to the eastern shore. Easily crossing a narrow strait about a mile in
width, he plunged into the forests of the island of Falster. A dreary
march of twenty-seven miles conducted him to the last remaining arm of
the sea which separated him from Zealand. This strait, from twelve to
fifteen miles in breadth, was also closed by ice. Charles Gustavus led
his hardy soldiers across it, and then, with accelerated steps, pressed
on some sixty miles to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. In sixteen
days after landing in Jutland, his troops were encamped in Zealand
before the gates of the capital.

The King of Denmark was appalled at such a sudden apparition. His allies
were too remote to render him any assistance. Never dreaming of such an
attack, his capital was quite defenseless in that quarter. Overwhelmed
with terror and despondency, he was compelled to submit to such terms as
the conqueror might dictate. The conqueror was inexorable in his
demands. Sweden was aggrandized, and Denmark humiliated.

Leopold was greatly chagrined by this sudden prostration of his faithful
ally. In the midst of these scenes of ambition and of conquest, the
"king of terrors" came with his summons to Charles Gustavus. The passage
of this blood-stained warrior to the world of spirits reminds us of the
sublime vision of Isaiah when the King of Babylon sank into the grave:

"Hell from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming; it
stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it
hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they
shall speak and say unto thee,

"'Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? Thy
pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols; the worm
is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from
heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the
ground which didst weaken the nations!'

"They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee and consider thee,
saying, 'Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, and didst shake
kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities
thereof, that opened not the house of his prisoners?'"

The death of Charles Gustavus was the signal for the strife of war to
cease, and the belligerent nations soon came to terms of accommodation.
But scarcely was peace proclaimed ere new troubles arose in Hungary. The
barbarian Turks, with their head-quarters at Constantinople, lived in a
state of continual anarchy. The cimeter was their only law. The palace
of the sultan was the scene of incessant assassinations. Nothing ever
prevented them from assailing their neighbors but incessant quarrels
among themselves. The life of the Turkish empire was composed of bloody
insurrections at home, and still more bloody wars abroad. Mahomet IV.
was now sultan. He was but twenty years of age. A quarrel for ascendency
among the beauties of his harem had involved the empire in a civil war.
The sultan, after a long conflict, crushed the insurrection with a
blood-red hand. Having restored internal tranquillity, he prepared as
usual for foreign war. By intrigue and the force of arms they took
possession of most of the fortresses of Transylvania, and crossing the
frontier, entered Hungary, and laid siege to Great Wardein.

Leopold immediately dispatched ten thousand men to succor the besieged
town and to garrison other important fortresses. His succors arrived too
late. Great Wardein fell into the hands of the Turks, and they commenced
their merciless ravages. Hungary was in a wretched condition. The king,
residing in Vienna, was merely a nominal sovereign. Chosen by nobles
proud of their independence, and jealous of each other and of their
feudal rights, they were unwilling to delegate to the sovereign any
efficient power. They would crown him with great splendor of gold and
jewelry, and crowd his court in their magnificent display, but they
would not grant him the prerogative to make war or peace, to levy taxes,
or to exercise any other of the peculiar attributes of sovereignty. The
king, with all his sounding titles and gorgeous parade, was in reality
but the chairman of a committee of nobles. The real power was with the
Hungarian diet.

This diet, or congress, was a peculiar body. Originally it consisted of
the whole body of nobles, who assembled annually on horseback on the
vast plain of Rakoz, near Buda. Eighty thousand nobles, many of them
with powerful revenues, were frequently convened at these tumultuous
gatherings. The people were thought to have no rights which a noble was
bound to respect. They lived in hovels, hardly superior to those which a
humane farmer now prepares for his swine. The only function they
fulfilled was, by a life of exhausting toil and suffering, to raise the
funds which the nobles expended in their wars and their pleasure; and to
march to the field of blood when summoned by the bugle. In fact history
has hardly condescended to allude to the people. We have minutely
detailed the intrigues and the conflicts of kings and nobles, when
generation after generation of the masses of the people have passed
away, as little thought of as billows upon the beach.

These immense gatherings of the nobles were found to be so unwieldy, and
so inconvenient for the transaction of any efficient business, that
Sigismond, at the commencement of the fifteenth century, introduced a
limited kind of representation. The bishops, who stood first in wealth,
power and rank, and the highest dukes, attended in person. The nobles of
less exalted rank sent their delegates, and the assembly, much
diminished in number, was transferred from the open plain to the city of
Presburg. The diet, at the time of which we write, was assembled once in
three years, and at such other times as the sovereign thought it
necessary to convene it. The diet controlled the king, unless he chanced
to be a man of such commanding character, that by moral power he could
bring the diet to his feet. A clause had been inserted in the coronation
oath, that the nobles, without guilt, could oppose the authority of the
king, whenever he transgressed their privileges; it was also declared
that no foreign troops could be introduced into the kingdom without the
consent of the diet.

Under such a government, it was inevitable that the king should be
involved in a continued conflict with the nobles. The nobles wished for
aid to repel the Turks; and yet they were unwilling that an Austrian
army should be introduced into Hungary, lest it should enable the king
to enlarge those prerogatives which he was ever seeking to extend, and
which they were ever endeavoring to curtail.

Leopold convened the diet at Presburg. They had a stormy session.
Leopold had commenced some persecution of the Protestants in the States
of Austria. This excited the alarm of the Protestant nobles of Hungary;
and they had reason to dread the intolerance of the Roman Catholics,
more than the cimeter of the Turk. They openly accused Leopold of
commencing persecution, and declared that it was his intention to reduce
Hungary to the state to which Ferdinand II. had reduced Bohemia. They
met all the suggestions of Leopold, for decisive action, with so many
provisos and precautions, that nothing could be done. It is dangerous to
surrender one's arms to a highway robber, or one whom we fear may prove
such, even if he does promise with them to aid in repelling a foe. The
Catholics and the Protestants became involved in altercation, and the
diet was abruptly dissolved.

The Turks eagerly watched their movements, and, encouraged by these
dissensions, soon burst into Hungary with an army of one hundred
thousand men. They crossed the Drave at Esseg, and, ascending the valley
of the Danube, directly north one hundred and fifty miles, crossed that
stream unopposed at Buda. Still ascending the stream, which here flows
from the west, they spread devastation everywhere around them, until
they arrived nearly within sight of the steeples of Vienna. The capital
was in consternation. To add to their terror and their peril, the
emperor was dangerously sick of the small-pox, a disease which had so
often proved fatal to members of the royal family. One of the imperial
generals, near Presburg, in a strong position, held the invading army in
check a few days. The ministry, in their consternation, appealed to all
the powers of Christendom to hasten to the rescue of the cross, now so
seriously imperiled by the crescent. Forces flowed in, which for a time
arrested the further advance of the Moslem banners, and afforded time to
prepare for more efficient action.



CHAPTER XX.

LEOPOLD I.

From 1662 to 1697.

Invasion of the Turks.--A Treaty concluded.--Possessions of Leopold.--
Invasion of the French.--League of Augsburg.--Devastation of the
Palatinate.--Invasion of Hungary.--Emeric Tekeli.--Union of Emeric
Tekeli with the Turks.--Leopold applies to Sobieski.--He immediately
marches to his Aid.--The Turks conquered.--Sobieski's triumphal
Receptions.--Meanness of Leopold.--Revenge upon Hungary.--Peace
concluded.--Contest for Spain.


While Europe was rousing itself to repel this invasion of the Turks, the
grand vizier, leaving garrisons in the strong fortresses of the Danube,
withdrew the remainder of his army to prepare for a still more
formidable invasion the ensuing year. Most of the European powers seemed
disposed to render the emperor some aid. The pope transmitted to him
about two hundred thousand dollars. France sent a detachment of six
thousand men. Spain, Venice, Genoa, Tuscany and Mantua, forwarded
important contributions of money and military stores. Early in the
summer the Turks, in a powerful and well provided army, commenced their
march anew. Ascending the valley of the Save, where they encountered no
opposition, they traversed Styria, that they might penetrate to the seat
of war through a defenseless frontier. The troops assembled by Leopold,
sixty thousand in number, under the renowned Prince Montecuculi,
stationed themselves in a very strong position at St. Gothard, behind
the river Raab, which flows into the Danube about one hundred miles
below Vienna. Here they threw up their intrenchments and prepared to
resist the progress of the invader.

The Turks soon arrived and spread themselves out in military array upon
the opposite side of the narrow but rapid stream. As the hostile armies
were preparing for an engagement, a young Turk, magnificently mounted,
and in gorgeous uniform, having crossed the stream with a party of
cavalry, rode in advance of the troop, upon the plain, and in the spirit
of ancient chivalry challenged any Christian knight to meet him in
single combat. The Chevalier of Lorraine accepted the challenge, and
rode forth to the encounter. Both armies looked silently on to witness
the issue of the duel. It was of but a few moments' duration. Lorraine,
warding off every blow of his antagonist, soon passed his sword through
the body of the Turk, and he fell dead from his horse. The victor
returned to the Christian camp, leading in triumph the splendid steed of
his antagonist.

And now the signal was given for the general battle. The Turks
impetuously crossing the narrow stream, assailed the Christian camp in
all directions, with their characteristic physical bravery, the most
common, cheap and vulgar of all earthly virtues. A few months of
military discipline will make fearless soldiers of the most ignominious
wretches who can be raked from the gutters of Christian or heathen
lands. The battle was waged with intense fierceness on both sides, and
was long continued with varying success. At last the Turks were routed
on every portion of the field, and leaving nearly twenty thousand of
their number either dead upon the plain or drowned in the Raab, they
commenced a precipitate flight.

Leopold was, for many reasons, very anxious for peace, and immediately
proposed terms very favorable to the Turks. The sultan was so
disheartened by this signal reverse that he readily listened to the
propositions of the emperor, and within nine days after the battle of
St. Gothard, to the astonishment of all Europe, a truce was concluded
for twenty years. The Hungarians were much displeased with the terms of
this treaty; for in the first place, it was contrary to the laws of the
kingdom for the king to make peace without the consent of the diet, and
in the second place, the conditions he offered the Turks were
humiliating to the Hungarians. Leopold confirmed to the Turks their
ascendency in Transylvania, and allowed them to retain Great Wardein,
and two other important fortresses in Hungary. It was with no little
difficulty that the emperor persuaded the diet to ratify these terms.

Leopold is to be considered under the twofold light of sovereign of
Austria and Emperor of Germany. We have seen that his power as emperor
was quite limited. His power as sovereign of Austria, also varied
greatly in the different States of his widely extended realms. In the
Austrian duchies proper, upon the Danube, of which he was, by long
hereditary descent, archduke, his sway was almost omnipotent. In Bohemia
he was powerful, though much less so than in Austria, and it was
necessary for him to move with caution there, and not to disturb the
ancient usages of the realm lest he should excite insurrection. In
Hungary, where the laws and customs were entirely different, Leopold
held merely a nominal, hardly a recognized sway. The bold Hungarian
barons, always steel-clad and mounted for war, in their tumultuous
diets, governed the kingdom. There were other remote duchies and
principalities, too feeble to stand by themselves, and ever changing
masters, as they were conquered or sought the protection of other
powers, which, under the reign of Leopold, were portions of wide
extended Austria. Another large and vastly important accession was now
made to his realms. The Tyrol, which, in its natural features, may be
considered but an extension of Switzerland, is a territory of about one
hundred miles square, traversed through its whole extent by the Alps.
Lying just south of Austria it is the key to Italy, opening through its
defiles a passage to the sunny plains of the Peninsula; and through
those fastnesses, guarded by frowning castles, no foe could force his
way, into the valleys of the Tyrol. The most sublime road in Europe is
that over Mount Brenner, along the banks of the Adige. This province had
long been in the hands of members of the Austrian family.

On the 15th of June, 1665, Sigismond Francis, Duke of Tyrol, and cousin
of Leopold, died, leaving no issue, and the province escheated with its
million of inhabitants to Leopold, as the next heir. This brought a
large accession of revenue and of military force, to the kingdom.
Austria was now the leading power in Europe, and Leopold, in rank and
position, the most illustrious sovereign. Louis XIV. had recently
married Maria Theresa, eldest daughter of Philip IV., King of Spain.
Philip, who was anxious to retain the crown of Spain in his own family,
extorted from Maria Theresa, and from her husband, Louis XIV., the
renunciation of all right of succession, in favor of his second
daughter, Margaret, whom he betrothed to Leopold. Philip died in
September, 1665, leaving these two daughters, one of whom was married to
the King of France, and leaving also an infant son, who succeeded to the
throne under the regency of his mother, Ann, daughter of Ferdinand III.,
of Austria. Margaret was then too young to be married, but in a year
from this time, in September, 1666, her nuptials were celebrated with
great splendor at Madrid. The ambitious French monarch, taking advantage
of the minority of the King of Spain, and of the feeble regency, and in
defiance of the solemn renunciation made at his marriage, resolved to
annex the Spanish provinces of the Low Countries to France, and invaded
the kingdom, leading himself an army of thirty thousand men. The Spanish
court immediately appealed to Leopold for assistance. But Leopold was so
embarrassed by troubles in Hungary, and by discontents in the empire
that he could render no efficient aid. England, however, and other
powers of Europe, jealous of the aggrandizement of Louis XIV. combined,
and compelled him to abandon a large portion of the Netherlands, though
he still retained several fortresses. The ambition of Louis XIV. was
inflamed, not checked by this reverse, and all Europe was involved again
in bloody wars. The aggressions of France, and the devastations of
Tarenne in the Palatinate, roused Germany to listen to the appeals of
Leopold, and the empire declared war against France. Months of
desolating war rolled on, decisive of no results, except universal
misery. The fierce conflict continued with unintermitted fury until
1679, when the haughty monarch of France, who was as sagacious in
diplomacy as he was able in war, by bribes and threats succeeded in
detaching one after another from the coalition against him, until
Leopold, deserted by nearly all his allies, was also compelled to accede
to peace.

France, under Louis XIV., was now the dominant power in Europe. Every
court seemed to be agitated by the intrigues of this haughty sovereign,
and one becomes weary of describing the incessant fluctuations of the
warfare. The arrogance of Louis, his unblushing perfidy and his
insulting assumptions of superiority over all other powers, exasperated
the emperor to the highest pitch. But the French monarch, by secret
missions and abounding bribes, kept Hungary in continued commotion, and
excited such jealousy in the different States of the empire, that
Leopold was compelled to submit in silent indignation to wrongs almost
too grievous for human nature to bear.

At length Leopold succeeded in organizing another coalition to resist
the aggressions of Louis XIV. The Prince of Orange, the King of Sweden
and the Elector of Brandenburg were the principal parties united with
the emperor in this confederacy, which was concluded, under the name of
the "League of Augsburg," on the 21st of June, 1686. An army of sixty
thousand men was immediately raised. From all parts of Germany troops
were now hurrying towards the Rhine. Louis, alarmed, retired from the
Palatinate, which he had overrun, and, to place a barrier between
himself and his foes, ordered the utter devastation of the unhappy
country. The diabolical order was executed by Turenne. The whole of the
Palatinate was surrendered to pillage and conflagration. The elector,
from the towers of his castle at Mannheim, saw at one time two cities
and twenty-five villages in flames. He had no force sufficient to
warrant him to leave the walls of his fortress to oppose the foe. He
was, however, so moved to despair by the sight, that he sent a challenge
to Turenne to meet him in single combat. Turenne, by command of the
king, declined accepting the challenge. More than forty large towns,
besides innumerable villages, were given up to the flames. It was
mid-winter. The fields were covered with snow, and swept by freezing
blasts. The wretched inhabitants, parents and children, driven into the
bleak plains without food or clothing or shelter, perished miserably by
thousands. The devastation of the Palatinate is one of the most cruel
deeds which war has ever perpetrated. For these woes, which no
imagination can gauge, Louis XIV. is responsible. He has escaped any
adequate earthly penalty for the crime, but the instinctive sense of
justice implanted in every breast, demands that he should not escape the
retributions of a righteous God. "After death cometh the judgment."

This horrible deed roused Germany. All Europe now combined against
France, except Portugal, Russia and a few of the Italian States. The
tide now turned in favor of the house of Austria. Germany was so alarmed
by the arrogance of France, that, to strengthen the power of the
emperor, the diet with almost perfect unanimity elected his son Joseph,
though a lad but eleven years of age, to succeed to the imperial throne.
Indeed, Leopold presented his son in a manner which seemed to claim the
crown for him as his hereditary right, and the diet did not resist that
claim. France, rich and powerful, with marvelous energy breasted her
host of foes. All Europe was in a blaze. The war raged on the ocean,
over the marshes of Holland, along the banks of the Rhine, upon the
plains of Italy, through the defiles of the Alps and far away on the
steppes of Hungary and the shores of the Euxine. To all these points the
emperor was compelled to send his troops. Year after year of carnage and
woe rolled on, during which hardly a happy family could be found in all
Europe.

  "Man's inhumanity to man
  Made countless millions mourn."

At last all parties became weary of the war, and none of the powers
having gained any thing of any importance by these long years of crime
and misery, for which Louis XIV., as the aggressor, is mainly
responsible, peace was signed on the 30th of October, 1697. One
important thing, indeed, had been accomplished. The rapacious Louis XIV.
had been checked in his career of spoliation. But his insatiate ambition
was by no means subdued. He desired peace only that he might more
successfully prosecute his plans of aggrandizement. He soon, by his
system of robbery, involved Europe again in war. Perhaps no man has ever
lived who has caused more bloody deaths and more wide-spread destruction
of human happiness than Louis XIV. We wonder not that in the French
Revolution an exasperated people should have rifled his sepulcher and
spurned his skull over the pavements as a foot-ball.

Leopold, during the progress of these wars, by the aid of the armies
which the empire furnished him, recovered all of Hungary and
Transylvania, driving the Turks beyond the Danube. But the proud
Hungarian nobles were about as much opposed to the rule of the Austrian
king as to that of the Turkish sultan. The Protestants gained but little
by the change, for the Mohammedan was about as tolerant as the papist.
They all suspected Leopold of the design of establishing over them
despotic power, and they formed a secret confederacy for their own
protection. Leopold, released from his warfare against France and the
Turks, was now anxious to consolidate his power in Hungary, and justly
regarding the Roman Catholic religion as the great bulwark against
liberty, encouraged the Catholics to persecute the Protestants.

Leopold took advantage of this conspiracy to march an army into Hungary,
and attacking the discontented nobles, who had raised an army, he
crushed them with terrible severity. No mercy was shown. He exhausted
the energies of confiscation, exile and the scaffold upon his foes; and
then, having intimidated all so that no one dared to murmur, declared
the monarchy of Hungary no longer elective but hereditary, like that of
Bohemia. He even had the assurance to summon a diet of the nobles to
confirm this decree which defrauded them of their time-honored rights.
The nobles who were summoned, terrified, instead of obeying, fled into
Transylvania. The despot then issued an insulting and menacing
proclamation, declaring that the power he exercised he received from
God, and calling upon all to manifest implicit submission under peril of
his vengeance. He then extorted a large contribution of money from the
kingdom, and quartered upon the inhabitants thirty thousand troops to
awe them into subjection.

This proclamation was immediately followed by another, changing the
whole form of government of the kingdom, and establishing an unlimited
despotism. He then moved vigorously for the extirpation of the
Protestant religion. The Protestant pastors were silenced; courts were
instituted for the suppression of heresy; two hundred and fifty
Protestant ministers were sentenced to be burned at the stake, and then,
as an act of extraordinary clemency, on the part of the despot, their
punishment was commuted to hard labor in the galleys for life. All the
nameless horrors of inquisitorial cruelty desolated the land.

Catholics and Protestants were alike driven to despair by these civil
and religious outrages. They combined, and were aided both by France and
Turkey; not that France and Turkey loved justice and humanity, but they
hated the house of Austria, and wished to weaken its power, that they
might enrich themselves by the spoils. A noble chief, Emeric Tekeli, who
had fled from Hungary to Poland, and who hated Austria as Hannibal hated
Rome, was invested with the command of the Hungarian patriots. Victory
followed his standard, until the emperor, threatened with entire
expulsion from the kingdom, offered to reëstablish the ancient laws
which he had abrogated, and to restore to the Hungarians all those civil
and religious privileges of which he had so ruthlessly defrauded them.

But the Hungarians were no longer to be deceived by his perfidious
promises. They continued the war; and the sultan sent an army of two
hundred thousand men to cooperate with Tekeli. The emperor, unable to
meet so formidable an army, abandoned his garrisons, and, retiring from
the distant parts of the kingdom, concentrated his troops at Presburg.
But with all his efforts, he was able to raise an army of only forty
thousand men. The Duke of Lorraine, who was intrusted with the command
of the imperial troops, was compelled to retreat precipitately before
outnumbering foes, and he fled upon the Danube, pursued by the combined
Hungarians and Turks, until he found refuge within the walls of Vienna.
The city was quite unprepared for resistance, its fortifications being
dilapidated, and its garrison feeble. Universal consternation seized the
inhabitants. All along the valley of the Danube the population fled in
terror before the advance of the Turks. Leopold, with his family, at
midnight, departed ingloriously from the city, to seek a distant refuge.
The citizens followed the example of their sovereign, and all the roads
leading westward and northward from the city were crowded with
fugitives, in carriages, on horseback and on foot, and with all kinds of
vehicles laden with the treasures of the metropolis. The churches were
filled with the sick and the aged, pathetically imploring the protection
of Heaven.

The Duke of Lorraine conducted with great energy, repairing the
dilapidated fortifications, stationing in posts of peril the veteran
troops, and marshaling the citizens and the students to coöperate with
the garrison. On the 14th of July, 1682, the banners of the advance
guard of the Turkish army were seen from the walls of Vienna. Soon the
whole mighty host, like an inundation, came surging on, and, surrounding
the city, invested it on all sides. The terrific assault from
innumerable batteries immediately commenced. The besieged were soon
reduced to the last extremity for want of provisions, and famine and
pestilence rioting within the walls, destroyed more than the shot of the
enemy. The suburbs were destroyed, the principal outworks taken, several
breaches were battered in the walls, and the terrified inhabitants were
hourly in expectation that the city would be taken by storm. There can
not be, this side of the world of woe, any thing more terrible than such
an event.

The emperor, in his terror, had dispatched envoys all over Germany to
rally troops for the defense of Vienna and the empire. He himself had
hastened to Poland, where, with frantic intreaties, he pressed the king,
the renowned John Sobieski, whose very name was a terror, to rush to his
relief. Sobieski left orders for a powerful army immediately to commence
their march. But, without waiting for their comparatively slow
movements, he placed himself at the head of three thousand Polish
horsemen, and, without incumbering himself with luggage, like the sweep
of the whirlwind traversed Silesia and Moravia, and reached Tulen, on
the banks of the Danube, about twenty miles above Vienna. He had been
told by the emperor that here he would find an army awaiting him, and a
bridge constructed, by which he could cross the stream. But, to his
bitter disappointment, he found no army, and the bridge unfinished.
Indignantly he exclaimed,

"What does the emperor mean? Does he think me a mere adventurer? I left
my own army that I might take command of his. It is not for myself that
I fight, but for him."

Notwithstanding this disappointment, he called into requisition all his
energies to meet the crisis. The bridge was pushed forward to its
completion. The loitering German troops were hurried on to the
rendezvous. After a few days the Polish troops, by forced marches,
arrived, and Sobieski found himself at the head of sixty thousand men,
experienced soldiers, and well supplied with all the munitions of war.
On the 11th of September the inhabitants of the city were overjoyed, in
descrying from the towers of the city, in the distance, the approaching
banners of the Polish and German army. Sobieski ascended an elevation,
and long and carefully scrutinized the position of the besieging host.
He then calmly remarked,

"The grand vizier has selected a bad position. I understand him. He is
ignorant of the arts of war, and yet thinks that he has military genius.
It will be so easy to conquer him, that we shall obtain no honor from
the victory."

Early the next morning, the 12th of September, the Polish and German
troops rushed to the assault, with such amazing impetuosity, and guided
by such military skill, that the Turks were swept before them as by a
torrent. The army of the grand vizier, seized by a panic, fled so
precipitately, that they left baggage, tents, ammunition and provisions
behind. The garrison emerged from the city, and coöperated with the
victors, and booty of indescribable value fell into their hands. As
Sobieski took possession of the abandoned camp, stored with all the
wealth and luxuries of the East, he wrote, in a tone of pleasantry to
his wife,

"The grand vizier has left me his heir, and I inherit millions of
ducats. When I return home I shall not be met with the reproach of the
Tartar wives, 'You are not a man, because you have come back without
booty.'"

The inhabitants of Vienna flocked out from the city to greet the king as
an angel deliverer sent from heaven. The next morning the gates of the
city were thrown open, the streets were garlanded with flowers, and the
King of Poland had a triumphal reception in the streets of the
metropolis. The enthusiasm and gratitude of the people passed all
ordinary bounds. The bells rang their merriest peals; files of maidens
lined his path, and acclamations, bursting from the heart, greeted him
every step of his way. They called him their father and deliverer. They
struggled to kiss his feet and even to touch his garments. With
difficulty he pressed through the grateful crowd to the cathedral, where
he prostrated himself before the altar, and returned thanks to God for
the signal victory. As he returned, after a public dinner, to his camp,
he said, "This is the happiest day of my life."

Two days after this, Leopold returned, trembling and humiliated to his
capital. He was received in silence, and with undisguised contempt. His
mortification was intense, and he could not endure to hear the praises
which were everywhere lavished upon Sobieski. Jealousy rankled in his
heart, and he vented his spite upon all around him. It was necessary
that he should have an interview with the heroic king who had so nobly
come to his rescue. But instead of meeting him with a warm and grateful
heart, he began to study the punctilios of etiquette, that the dreaded
interview might be rendered as cold and formal as possible.

Sobieski was merely an elective monarch. Leopold was a hereditary king
and an emperor. Leopold even expressed some doubt whether it were
consistent with his exalted dignity to grant the Polish king the honor
of an audience. He inquired whether an _elected monarch_ had ever been
admitted to the presence of an _emperor_; and if so, with what forms, in
the present case, the king should be received. The Duke of Lorraine, of
whom he made the inquiry, disgusted with the mean spirit of the emperor,
nobly replied, "With open arms."

But the soulless Leopold had every movement punctiliously arranged
according to the dictates of his ignoble spirit. The Polish and Austrian
armies were drawn up in opposite lines upon the plain before the city.
At a concerted signal the emperor and the king emerged from their
respective ranks, and rode out upon the open plain to meet each other.
Sobieski, a man of splendid bearing, magnificently mounted, and dressed
in the brilliant uniform of a Polish warrior, attracted all eyes and the
admiration of all hearts. His war steed pranced proudly as if conscious
of the royal burden he bore, and of the victories he had achieved.
Leopold was an ungainly man at the best. Conscious of his inability to
vie with the hero, in his personal presence, he affected the utmost
simplicity of dress and equipage. Humiliated also by the cold reception
he had met and by the consciousness of extreme unpopularity in both
armies, he was embarrassed and deject. The contrast was very striking,
adding to the renown of Sobieski, and sinking Leopold still deeper in
contempt.

The two sovereigns advanced, formally saluted each other with bows,
dismounted and embraced. A few cold words were exchanged, when they
again embraced and remounted to review the troops. But Sobieski, frank,
cordial, impulsive, was so disgusted with this reception, so different
from what he had a right to expect, that he excused himself, and rode to
his tent, leaving his chancellor Zaluski to accompany the emperor on the
review. As Leopold rode along the lines he was received in contemptuous
silence, and he returned to his palace in Vienna, tortured by wounded
pride and chagrin.

The treasure abandoned by the Turks was so abundant that five days were
spent in gathering it up. The victorious army then commenced the pursuit
of the retreating foe. About one hundred and fifty miles below Vienna,
where the majestic Danube turns suddenly from its eastern course and
flows toward the south, is situated the imperial city of Gran. Upon a
high precipitous rock, overlooking both the town and the river, there
had stood for centuries one of the most imposing fortresses which mortal
hands have ever reared. For seventy years this post had been in the
hands of the Turks, and strongly garrisoned by four thousand troops, had
bid defiance to every assault. Here the thinned and bleeding battalions
of the grand vizier sought refuge. Sobieski and the Duke of Lorraine,
flushed with victory, hurled their masses upon the disheartened foe, and
the Turks were routed with enormous slaughter. Seven thousand gory
corpses of the dead strewed the plain. Many thousands were driven into
the river and drowned. The fortress was taken, sword in hand; and the
remnant of the Moslem army, in utter discomfiture, fled down the Danube,
hardly resting, by night or by day, till they were safe behind the
ramparts of Belgrade.

Both the German and the Polish troops were disgusted with Leopold.
Having reconquered Hungary for the emperor, they were not disposed to
remain longer in his service. Most of the German auxiliaries,
disbanding, returned to their own countries. Sobieski, declaring that he
was willing to fight against the Turks, but not against Tekeli and his
Christian confederates, led back his troops to Poland. The Duke of
Lorraine was now left with the Austrian troops to struggle against
Tekeli with the Hungarian patriots. The Turks, exasperated by the
defeat, accused Tekeli of being the cause. By stratagem he was seized
and sent in chains to Constantinople. The chief who succeeded him turned
traitor and joined the imperialists. The cause of the patriots was
ruined. Victory now kept pace with the march of the Duke of Lorraine.
The Turks were driven from all their fortresses, and Leopold again had
Hungary at his feet. His vengeance was such as might have been expected
from such a man.

Far away, in the wilds of northern Hungary, at the base of the
Carpathian, mountains, on the river Tarcza, one of the tributaries of
the Theiss, is the strongly fortified town of Eperies. At this remote
spot the diabolical emperor established his revolutionary tribunal, as
if he thought that the shrieks of his victims, there echoing through the
savage defiles of the mountains, could not awaken the horror of
civilized Europe. His armed bands scoured the country and transported to
Eperies every individual, man, woman and child, who was even suspected
of sympathizing with the insurgents. There was hardly a man of wealth or
influence in the kingdom who was not dragged before this horrible
tribunal, composed of ignorant, brutal, sanguinary officers of the king.
Their summary trial, without any forms of justice, was an awful tragedy.
They were thrown into dungeons; their property confiscated; they were
exposed to the most direful tortures which human ingenuity could devise,
to extort confession and to compel them to criminate friends. By scores
they were daily consigned to the scaffold. Thirty executioners, with
their assistants, found constant employment in beheading the condemned.
In the middle of the town, the scaffold was raised for this butchery.
The spot is still called "The Bloody Theater of Eperies."

Leopold, having thus glutted his vengeance, defiantly convoked a diet
and crowned his son Joseph, a boy twelve years of age, as King of
Hungary, practically saying to the nobles, "Dispute his hereditary right
now, if you dare." The emperor had been too often instructed in the
vicissitudes of war to feel that even in this hour of triumph he was
perfectly safe. He knew that other days might come; that other foes
might rise; and that Hungary could never forget the rights of which she
had been defrauded. He therefore exhausted all the arts of threats and
bribes to induce the diet to pass a decree that the crown was no longer
elective but hereditary. It is marvelous that in such an hour there
could have been any energy left to resist his will. But with all his
terrors he could only extort from the diet their consent that the
succession to the crown should be confirmed in the males, but that upon
the extinction of the _male_ line the crown, instead of being hereditary
in the female line, should revert to the nation, who should again confer
it by the right of election.

Leopold reluctantly yielded to this, as the most he could then hope to
accomplish. The emperor, elated by success, assumed such imperious airs
as to repel from him all his former allies. For several years Hungary
was but a battle field where Austrians and Turks met in incessant and
bloody conflicts. But Leopold, in possession of all the fortresses,
succeeded in repelling each successive invasion.

Both parties became weary of war. In November, 1697, negotiations were
opened at Carlovitz, and a truce was concluded for twenty-five years.
The Turks abandoned both Hungary and Transylvania, and these two
important provinces became more firmly than ever before, integral
portions of the Austrian empire. By the peace of Carlovitz the sultan
lost one half of his possessions in Europe. Austria, in the grandeur of
her territory, was never more powerful than at this hour: extending
across the whole breadth of Europe, from the valley of the Rhine to the
Euxine sea, and from the Carpathian mountains to the plains of Italy. A
more heterogeneous conglomeration of States never existed, consisting of
kingdoms, archduchies, duchies, principalities, counties, margraves,
landgraves and imperial cities, nearly all with their hereditary rulers
subordinate to the emperor, and with their local customs and laws.

Leopold, though a weak and bad man, in addition to all this power,
swayed also the imperial scepter over all the States of Germany. Though
his empire over all was frail, and his vast dominions were liable at any
moment to crumble to pieces, he still was not content with consolidating
the realms he held, but was anxiously grasping for more. Spain was the
prize now to be won. Louis XIV., with the concentrated energies of the
French kingdom, was claiming it by virtue of his marriage with the
eldest daughter of the deceased monarch, notwithstanding his solemn
renunciation of all right at his marriage in favor of the second
daughter. Leopold, as the husband of the second daughter, claimed the
crown, in the event, then impending, of the death of the imbecile and
childless king. This quarrel agitated Europe to its center, and deluged
her fields with blood. If the _elective_ franchise is at times the
source of agitation, the law of _hereditary_ succession most certainly
does not always confer tranquillity and peace.



CHAPTER XXI.

LEOPOLD I. AND THE SPANISH SUCCESSION.

From 1697 to 1710.

The Spanish Succession.--The Impotence of Charles II.--Appeal to the
Pope.--His Decision.--Death of Charles II.--Accession of Philip
V.--Indignation of Austria.--The outbreak of War.--Charles III.
crowned.--Insurrection in Hungary.--Defection of Bavaria.--The Battle of
Blenheim.--Death of Leopold I.--Eleonora.--Accession of Joseph
I.--Charles XII. of Sweden.--Charles III. in Spain.--Battle of
Malplaquet.--Charles at Barcelona.--Charles at Madrid.


Charles II., King of Spain, was one of the most impotent of men, in both
body and mind. The law of hereditary descent had placed this semi-idiot
upon the throne of Spain to control the destinies of twenty millions of
people. The same law, in the event of his death without heirs, would
carry the crown across the Pyrenees to a little boy in the palace of
Versailles, or two thousand miles, to the banks of the Danube, to
another little boy in the gardens of Vienna. Louis XIV. claimed the
Spanish scepter in behalf of his wife, the Spanish princess Maria
Theresa, and her son. Leopold claimed it in behalf of his deceased wife,
Margaret, and her child. For many years before the death of Philip II.
the envoys of France and Austria crowded the court of Spain, employing
all the arts of intrigue and bribery to forward the interests of their
several sovereigns. The different courts of Europe espoused the claims
of the one party or the other, accordingly as their interests would be
promoted by the aggrandizement of the house of Bourbon or the house of
Hapsburg.

Louis XIV. prepared to strike a sudden blow by gathering an army of one
hundred thousand men in his fortresses near the Spanish frontier, in
establishing immense magazines of military stores, and in filling the
adjacent harbors with ships of war. The sagacious French monarch had
secured the coöperation of the pope, and of some of the most influential
Jesuits who surrounded the sick and dying monarch. Charles II. had long
been harassed by the importunities of both parties that he should give
the influence of his voice in the decision. Tortured by the incessant
vacillations of his own mind, he was at last influenced, by the
suggestions of his spiritual advisers, to refer the question to the
pope. He accordingly sent an embassage to the pontiff with a letter
soliciting counsel.

"Having no children," he observed, "and being obliged to appoint an heir
to the Spanish crown from a foreign family, we find such great obscurity
in the law of succession, that we are unable to form a settled
determination. Strict justice is our aim; and, to be able to decide with
that justice, we have offered up constant prayers to God. We are anxious
to act rightly, and we have recourse to your holiness, as to an
infallible guide, intreating you to consult with the cardinals and
divines, and, after having attentively examined the testaments of our
ancestors, to decide according to the rules of right and equity."

Pope Innocent XII. was already prepared for this appeal, and was engaged
to act as the agent of the French court. The hoary-headed pontiff, with
one foot in the grave, affected the character of great honesty and
impartiality. He required forty days to examine the important case, and
to seek divine assistance. He then returned the following answer,
admirably adapted to influence a weak and superstitious prince:

"Being myself," he wrote, "in a situation similar to that of his
Catholic majesty, the King of Spain, on the point of appearing at the
judgment-seat of Christ, and rendering an account to the sovereign
pastor of the flock which has been intrusted to my care, I am bound to
give such advice as will not reproach my conscience on the day of
judgment. Your majesty ought not to put the interests of the house of
Austria in competition with those of eternity. Neither should you be
ignorant that the French claimants are the rightful heirs of the crown,
and no member of the Austrian family has the smallest legitimate
pretension. It is therefore your duty to omit no precaution, which your
wisdom can suggest, to render justice where justice is due, and to
secure, by every means in your power, the undivided succession of the
Spanish monarchy to the French claimants."

Charles, as fickle as the wind, still remained undecided, and his
anxieties preying upon his feeble frame, already exhausted by disease,
caused him rapidly to decline. He was now confined to his chamber and
his bed, and his death was hourly expected. He hated the French, and all
his sympathies were with Austria. Some priests entered his chamber,
professedly to perform the pompous and sepulchral service of the church
of Rome for the dying. In this hour of languor, and in the prospect of
immediate death, they assailed the imbecile monarch with all the terrors
of superstition. They depicted the responsibility which he would incur
should he entail on the kingdom the woes of a disputed succession; they
assured him that he could not, without unpardonable guilt, reject the
decision of the holy father of the Church; and growing more eager and
excited, they denounced upon him the vengeance of Almighty God, if he
did not bequeath the crown, now falling from his brow, to the Bourbons
of France.

The dying, half-delirious king, appalled by the terrors of eternal
damnation, yielded helplessly to their demands. A will was already
prepared awaiting his signature. With a hand trembling in death, the
king attached to it his name; but as he did so, he burst into tears,
exclaiming, "I am already nothing." It was supposed that he could then
survive but a few hours. Contrary to all expectation he revived, and
expressed the keenest indignation and anguish that he had been thus
beguiled to decide against Austria, and in favor of France. He even sent
a courier to the emperor, announcing his determination to decide in
favor of the Austrian claimant. The flickering flame of life, thus
revived for a moment, glimmered again in the socket and expired. The
wretched king died the 1st of November, 1699, in the fortieth year of
his age, and the thirty-sixth of his reign.

On the day of his death a council of State was convened, and the will,
the very existence of which was generally unknown, was read. It declared
the Dauphin of France, son of the Spanish princess Maria Theresa, to be
the successor to all the Spanish dominions; and required all subjects
and vassals of Spain to acknowledge him. The Austrian party were
astounded at this revelation. The French party were prepared to receive
it without any surprise. The son of Maria Theresa was dead, and the
crown consequently passed to her grandson Philip. Louis XIV. immediately
acknowledged his title, when he was proclaimed king, and took quiet
possession of the throne of Spain on the 24th of November, 1700, as
Philip V.

It was by such fraud that the Bourbons of France attained the succession
to the Spanish crown; a fraud as palpable as was ever committed; for
Maria Theresa had renounced all her rights to the throne; this
renunciation had been confirmed by the will of her father Philip IV.,
sanctioned by the Cortes of Spain, and solemnly ratified by her husband,
Louis XIV. Such is "legitimacy--the divine right of kings." All the
great powers of Europe, excepting the emperor, promptly acknowledged the
title of Philip V.

Leopold, enraged beyond measure, dispatched envoys to rouse the empire,
and made the most formidable preparations for war. A force of eighty
thousand men was soon assembled. The war commenced in Italy. Leopold
sent down his German troops through the defiles of the Tyrol, and, in
the valley of the Adige, they encountered the combined armies of France,
Spain and Italy. Prince Eugene, who had already acquired great renown in
the wars against the Turks, though by birth a French noble, had long
been in the Austrian service, and led the Austrian troops. William, of
England, jealous of the encroachments of Louis XIV., and leading with
him the States of Holland, formed an alliance with Austria. This was
pretty equally dividing the military power of Europe, and a war of
course ensued, almost unparalleled in its sanguinary ferocity. The
English nation supported the monarch; the House of Lords, in an address
to the king, declared that "his majesty, his subjects and his allies,
could never be secure till the house of Austria should be restored to
its rights, and the invader of the Spanish monarchy brought to reason."
Forty thousand sailors and forty thousand land troops were promptly
voted for the war.

William died on the 16th of March, in consequence of a fall from his
horse, and was succeeded by Anne, daughter of James II. She was,
however, but nominally the sovereign. The infamously renowned Duke of
Marlborough became the real monarch, and with great skill and energy
prosecuted the eleven years' war which ensued, which is known in history
as the War of the Spanish Succession. For many months the conflict raged
with the usual fluctuations, the Austrian forces being commanded on the
Rhine by the Duke of Marlborough, and in Italy by Prince Eugene.
Portugal soon joined the Austrian alliance, and Philip V. and the French
becoming unpopular in Spain, a small party rose there, advocating the
claims of the house of Austria. Thus supported, Leopold, at Vienna,
declared his son Charles King of Spain, and crowned him as such in
Vienna. By the aid of the English fleet he passed from Holland to
England, and thence to Lisbon, where a powerful army was assembled to
invade Spain, wrest the crown from Philip, and place it upon the brow of
Charles III.

And now Leopold began to reap the bitter consequences of his atrocious
conduct in Hungary. The Hungarian nobles embraced this opportunity, when
the imperial armies were fully engaged, to rise in a new and formidable
invasion. Francis Ragotsky, a Transylvanian prince, led in the heroic
enterprise. He was of one of the noblest and wealthiest families of the
realm, and was goaded to action by the bitterest wrongs. His grandfather
and uncle had been beheaded; his father robbed of his property and his
rank; his cousin doomed to perpetual imprisonment; his father-in-law
proscribed, and his mother driven into exile. The French court
immediately opened a secret correspondence with Ragotsky, promising him
large supplies of men and money, and encouraging him with hopes of the
coöperation of the Turks. Ragotsky secretly assembled a band of
determined followers, in the savage solitudes of the Carpathian
mountains, and suddenly descended into the plains of Hungary, at the
head of his wild followers, calling upon his countrymen to rise and
shake off the yoke of the detested Austrian. Adherents rapidly gathered
around his standard; several fortresses fell into his hands, and he soon
found himself at the head of twenty thousand well armed troops. The
flame of insurrection spread, with electric rapidity, through all
Hungary and Transylvania.

The tyrant Leopold, as he heard these unexpected tidings, was struck
with consternation. He sent all the troops he could collect to oppose
the patriots, but they could make no impression upon an indignant nation
in arms. He then, in his panic, attempted negotiation. But the
Hungarians demanded terms both reasonable and honorable, and to neither
of these could the emperor possibly submit. They required that the
monarchy should no longer be hereditary, but elective, according to
immemorial usage; that the Hungarians should have the right to resist
_illegal_ power without the charge of treason; that foreign officers and
garrisons should be removed from the kingdom; that the Protestants
should be reëstablished in the free exercise of their religion, and that
their confiscated estates should be restored. The despot could not
listen for one moment to requirements so just; and appalled by the
advance of the patriots toward Vienna, he recalled the troops from
Italy.

About the same time the Duke of Bavaria, disgusted with the arrogance
and the despotism of Leopold, renounced allegiance to the emperor,
entered into an alliance with the French, and at the head of forty
thousand troops, French and Bavarians, commenced the invasion of Austria
from the west. Both Eugene and Marlborough hastened to the rescue of the
emperor. Combining their forces, with awful slaughter they mowed down
the French and Bavarians at Blenheim, and then overran all Bavaria. The
elector fled with the mutilated remnants of his army to France. The
conquerors seized all the fortresses, all the guns and ammunition;
disbanded the Bavarian troops, took possession of the revenues of the
kingdom, and assigned to the heart-broken wife of the duke a humble
residence in the dismantled capital of the duchy.

The signal victory of Blenheim enabled Leopold to concentrate his
energies upon Hungary. It was now winter, and the belligerents, during
these stormy months, were active in making preparations for the campaign
of the spring. But Leopold's hour was now tolled. That summons came
which prince and peasant must alike obey, and the emperor, after a few
months of languor and pain, on the 5th of May, 1705, passed away to that
tribunal where each must answer for every deed done in the body. He was
sixty-five years of age, and had occupied the throne forty-six years.
This is the longest reign recorded in the Austrian annals, excepting
that of Frederic III.

The reign of Leopold was eventful and woeful. It was almost one
continued scene of carnage. In his character there was a singular
blending of the good and the bad. In what is usually called moral
character he was irreproachable. He was a faithful husband, a kind
father, and had no taste for any sensual pleasures. In his natural
disposition he was melancholy, and so exceedingly reserved, that he
lived in his palace almost the life of a recluse. Though he was called
the most learned prince of his age, a Jesuitical education had so
poisoned and debauched his mind, that while perpetrating the most
grievous crimes of perfidy and cruelty, he seemed sincerely to feel that
he was doing God service. His persecution of the Protestants was
persistent, relentless and horrible; while at the same time he was
scrupulous in his devotions, never allowing the cares of business to
interfere with the prescribed duties of the Church. _The Church_, the
human church of popes, cardinals, bishops and priests, was his guide,
not the _divine Bible_. Hence his darkness of mind and his crimes. Pope
Innocent XI. deemed him worthy of canonization. But an indignant world
must in justice inscribe upon his tomb, "Tyrant and Persecutor."

He was three times married; first, to Margaret, daughter of Philip IV.
of Spain; again, to Claudia, daughter of Ferdinand of Tyrol; and a third
time, to Eleonora, daughter of Philip, Elector Palatine. The character
and history of his third wife are peculiarly illustrative of the kind of
religion inculcated in that day, and of the beautiful spirit of piety
often exemplified in the midst of melancholy errors.

In the castle of her father, Eleonora was taught, by priests and nuns,
that God was only acceptably worshiped by self-sacrifice and
mortification. The devout child longed for the love of God more than for
any thing else. Guided by the teachings of those who, however sincere,
certainly misunderstood the spirit of the gospel, she deprived herself
of every innocent gratification, and practiced upon her fragile frame
all the severities of an anchorite. She had been taught that celibacy
was a virtue peculiarly acceptable to God, and resolutely declined all
solicitations for her hand.

The emperor, after the death of his first wife, sought Eleonora as his
bride. It was the most brilliant match Europe could offer. Eleonora,
from religious scruples, rejected the offer, notwithstanding all the
importunities of her parents, who could not feel reconciled to the loss
of so splendid an alliance. The devout maiden, in the conflict, exposed
herself, bonnet-less, to sun and wind, that she might render herself
unattractive, tanned, sun burnt, and freckled, so that the emperor might
not desire her. She succeeded in repelling the suit, and the emperor
married Claudia of the Tyrol. The court of the Elector Palatine was
brilliant in opulence and gayety. Eleonora was compelled to mingle with
the festive throng in the scenes of pomp and splendor; but her thoughts,
her affections, were elsewhere, and all the vanities of princely life
had no influence in leading her heart from God. She passed several
hours, every day, in devotional reading and prayer. She kept a very
careful register of her thoughts and actions, scrutinizing and
condemning with unsparing severity every questionable emotion. Every
sick bed of the poor peasants around, she visited with sympathy and as a
tender nurse. She groped her way into the glooms of prison dungeons to
convey solace to the prisoner. She wrought ornaments for the Church, and
toiled, even to weariness and exhaustion, in making garments for the
poor.

Claudia in three years died, and the emperor again was left a widower.
Again he applied for the hand of Eleonora. Her spiritual advisers now
urged that it was clearly the will of God that she should fill the first
throne of the universe, as the patroness and protectress of the Catholic
church. For such an object she would have been willing to sweep the
streets or to die in a dungeon. Yielding to these persuasions she
married the emperor, and was conveyed, as in a triumphal march, to the
gorgeous palaces of Vienna. But her character and her mode of life were
not changed. Though she sat at the imperial table, which was loaded with
every conceivable luxury, she condemned herself to fare as humble and
abstemious as could be found in the hut of the most impoverished
peasant. It was needful for her at times to appear in the rich garb of
an empress, but to prevent any possible indulgence of pride, she had her
bracelets and jewelry so arranged with sharp brads as to keep her in
continued suffering by the laceration of the flesh.

She was, notwithstanding these austerities, which she practiced with the
utmost secrecy, indefatigable in the discharge of her duties as a wife
and an empress. She often attended the opera with the emperor, but
always took with her the Psalms of David, bound to resemble the books of
the performance, and while the tragic or the comic scenes of the stage
were transpiring before her, she was studying the devout lyrics of the
Psalmist of Israel. She translated all the Psalms into German verse; and
also translated from the French, and had printed for the benefit of her
subjects, a devotional work entitled, "Pious Reflections for every Day
of the Month." During the last sickness of her husband she watched with
unwearied assiduity at his bed-side, shrinking from no amount of
exhaustion or toil, She survived her husband fifteen years, devoting all
this time to austerities, self-mortification and deeds of charity. She
died in 1720; and at her express request was buried without any parade,
and with no other inscription upon her tomb than--

  ELEONORA,

  A POOR SINNER,

  Died, January 17, 1720.

Joseph, the eldest son of Leopold, was twenty-five years of age when, by
the death of his father, he was called to the throne as both king and
emperor. He immediately and cordially coöperated with the alliance his
father had formed, and pressed the war against France, Spain and Italy.
Louis XIV. was not a man, however, to be disheartened by disaster.
Though thousands of his choicest troops had found a grave at Blenheim,
he immediately collected another army of one hundred and sixty thousand
men, and pushed them forward to the seat of war on the Rhine and the
Danube. Marlborough and Eugene led Austrian forces to the field still
more powerful. The whole summer was spent in marches, countermarches and
bloody battles on both sides of the Rhine. Winter came, and its storms
and snows drove the exhausted, bleeding combatants from the bleak plains
to shelter and the fireside. All Europe, through the winter months,
resounded with preparations for another campaign. There was hardly a
petty prince on the continent who was not drawn into the strife--to
decide whether Philip of Bourbon or Charles of Hapsburg, was entitled by
hereditary descent to the throne of Spain.

And now suddenly Charles XII. of Sweden burst in upon the scene, like a
meteor amidst the stars of midnight. A more bloody apparition never
emerged from the sulphureous canopy of war. Having perfect contempt for
all enervating pleasures, with an iron frame and the abstemious habits
of a Spartan, he rushed through a career which has excited the wonder of
the world. He joined the Austrian party; struck down Denmark at a blow;
penetrated Russia in mid-winter, driving the Russian troops before him
as dogs scatter wolves; pressed on triumphantly to Poland, through an
interminable series of battles; drove the king from the country, and
placed a new sovereign of his own selection upon the throne; and then,
proudly assuming to hold the balance between the rival powers of France
and Austria, made demands of Joseph I., as if the emperor were but the
vassal of the King of Sweden. France and Austria were alike anxious to
gain the coöperation of this energetic arm.

Early in May, 1706, the armies of Austria and France, each about seventy
thousand strong, met in the Netherlands. Marlborough led the allied
Austrian troops; the Duke of Bavaria was in command of the French. The
French were again routed, almost as disastrously as at Blenheim, losing
thirteen thousand men and fifty pieces of artillery. On the Rhine and in
Italy the French arms were also in disgrace. Throughout the summer
battle succeeded battle, and siege followed siege. When the snows of
another winter whitened the plains of Europe, the armies again retired
to winter quarters, the Austrian party having made very decided progress
as the result of the campaign. Marlborough was in possession of most of
the Netherlands, and was threatening France with invasion. Eugene had
driven the French out of Italy, and had brought many of the Italian
provinces under the dominion of Austria.

In Spain, also, the warfare was fiercely raging. Charles III., who had
been crowned in Vienna King of Spain, and who, as we have mentioned, had
been conveyed to Lisbon by a British fleet, joined by the King of
Portugal, and at the head of an allied army, marched towards the
frontiers of Spain. The Spaniards, though they disliked the French,
hated virulently the English and the Dutch, both of whom they considered
heretics. Their national pride was roused in seeing England, Holland and
Portugal marching upon them to place over Spain an Austrian king. The
populace rose, and after a few sanguinary conflicts drove the invaders
from their borders. December's storms separated the two armies,
compelling them to seek winter quarters, with only the frontier line
between them. It was in one of the campaigns of this war, in 1704, that
the English took the rock of Gibraltar, which they have held from that
day till this.

The British people began to remonstrate bitterly against this boundless
expenditure of blood and treasure merely to remove a Bourbon prince, and
place a Hapsburg prince upon the throne of Spain. Both were alike
despotic in character, and Europe had as much to fear from the
aggressions of the house of Austria as from the ambition of the King of
France. The Emperor Joseph was very apprehensive that the English court
might be induced to withdraw from the alliance, and fearing that they
might sacrifice, as the price of accommodation, his conquests in Italy,
he privately concluded with France a treaty of neutrality for Italy.
This secured to him what he had already acquired there, and saved France
and Spain from the danger of losing any more Italian States.

Though the allies were indignant, and remonstrated against this
transaction, they did not see fit to abandon the war. Immense
preparations were made to invade France from the Netherlands and from
Piedmont, in the opening of the spring of 1707. Both efforts were only
successful in spreading far and wide conflagration and blood. The
invaders were driven from the kingdom with heavy loss. The campaign in
Spain, this year, was also exceedingly disastrous to the Austrian arms.
The heterogeneous army of Charles III., composed of Germans, English,
Dutch, Portuguese, and a few Spanish refugees, were routed, and with the
loss of thirteen thousand men were driven from the kingdom. Joseph,
however, who stood in great dread of so terrible an enemy as Charles
XII., succeeded in purchasing his neutrality, and this fiery warrior
marched off with his battalions, forty-three thousand strong, to drive
Peter I. from the throne of Russia.

Joseph I., with exhausted resources, and embarrassed by the claims of so
wide-spread a war, was able to do but little for the subjugation of
Hungary. As the campaign of 1708 opened, two immense armies, each about
eighty thousand strong, were maneuvering near Brussels. After a long
series of marches and combinations a general engagement ensued, in which
the Austrian party, under Marlborough and Eugene, were decisively
triumphant. The French were routed with the loss of fifteen thousand in
killed, wounded and prisoners. During the whole summer the war raged
throughout the Low Countries with unabated violence. In Spain, Austria
was not able to make any progress against Philip and his forces.

Another winter came, and again the wearied combatants, all of whom had
received about as many blows as they had given, sought repose. The
winter was passed in fruitless negotiations, and as soon as the buds of
another spring began to swell, the thunders of war were again pealing
over nearly all the hills and valleys of Europe. The Austrian party had
resolved, by a gigantic effort, to send an army of one hundred thousand
men to the gates of Paris, there to dictate terms to the French monarch.
On the 11th of September, 1709, the Austrian force, eighty thousand
strong, with eighty pieces of cannon, encountered the French, seventy
thousand in number, with eighty pieces of cannon, on the field of
Malplaquet. The bloodiest battle of the Spanish succession was then
fought. The Austrian party, guided by Marlborough and Eugene, justly
claimed the victory, as they held the field. But they lost twenty
thousand in killed and wounded, and took neither prisoners nor guns. The
loss of the French was but ten thousand. All this slaughter seemed to be
accomplishing nothing. Philip still stood firm upon the Spanish throne,
and Charles could scarcely gain the slightest foothold in the kingdom
which he claimed. On the side of the Rhine and of Italy, though blood
flowed like water, nothing was accomplished; the plan of invading France
had totally failed, and again the combatants were compelled to retire to
winter quarters.

For nine years this bloody war had now desolated Europe. It is not easy
to defend the cause of Austria and her allies in this cruel conflict.
The Spaniards undeniably preferred Philip as their king. Louis XIV. had
repeatedly expressed his readiness to withdraw entirely from the
conflict. But the Austrian allies demanded that he should either by
force or persuasion remove Philip from Spain, and place the kingdom in
the hands of the Austrian prince. But Philip was now an independent
sovereign who for ten years had occupied the throne. He was resolved not
to abdicate, and his subjects were resolved to support him. Louis XIV.
said that he could not wage warfare against his own grandson. The
wretched old monarch, now feeble, childless, and woe crushed, whose soul
was already crimsoned with the blood of countless thousands, was so
dispirited by defeat, and so weary of the war, that though he still
refused to send his armies against his grandson, he even offered to pay
a monthly subsidy of two hundred thousand dollars (one million livres)
to the allied Austrian party, to be employed in the expulsion of Philip,
if they would cease to make war upon him. Even to these terms, after
blood had been flowing in torrents for ten years, Austria, England and
Holland would not accede. "If I must fight either Austria and her
allies," said Louis XIV., "or the Spaniards, led by their king, my own
grandson, I prefer to fight the Austrians."

The returning sun of the summer of 1710, found the hostile armies again
in the field. The allies of Austria, early in April, hoping to surprise
the French, assembled, ninety thousand in number, on the Flemish
frontiers of France, trusting that by an unexpected attack they might
break down the fortresses which had hitherto impeded their way. But the
French were on the alert to resist them, and the whole summer was again
expended in fruitless battles. These fierce conflicts so concentrated
the energies of war in the Netherlands, that but little was attempted in
the way of invading Spain. The Spanish nobles rallied around Philip,
melted their plate to replenish his treasury, and led their vassals to
fight his battles. The ecclesiastics, as a body, supported his cause.
Philip was a zealous Catholic, and the priests considered him as the
defender of the Church, while they had no confidence in Charles of
Austria, whose cause was advocated by heretical England and Holland.

Charles III. was now in Catalonia, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
He had landed at Barcelona, with a strong force of English and Germans.
He was a man of but little character, and his military operations were
conducted entirely by the English general Stanhope and the German
general Staremberg. The English general was haughty and domineering; the
German proud and stubborn. They were in a continued quarrel contesting
the preeminence. The two rival monarchs, with forces about equal, met in
Catalonia a few miles from Saragossa, on the 24th of July, 1710. Though
the inefficient Charles was very reluctant to hazard a battle, the
generals insisted upon it. The Spaniards were speedily and totally
routed. Philip fled with a small body-guard to Lerida. His array was
thoroughly dispersed. The conquerors pressed on toward Madrid, crossed
the Ebro at Saragossa, where they again encountered, but a short
distance from the city, an army strongly posted upon some heights.
Philip was already there. The conflict was short but bloody, and the
generals of Charles were again victorious. Philip, with a disheartened
remnant of his troops, retreated to Madrid. The generals dragged the
timid and reluctant Charles on to Madrid, where they arrived on the 28th
of September. There was no force at the capital to oppose them. They
were received, however, by the citizens of the metropolis as foreign
conquerors. Charles rode through the deserted streets, meeting only with
sullen silence. A few who were hired to shout, were pelted, by the
populace, with mud, as traitors to their lawful king. None flocked to
his standard. Nobles, clergy, populace, all alike stood aloof from him.
Charles and his generals were embarrassed and perplexed. They could not
compel the nation to receive the Austrian king.

Philip, in the meantime, who had much energy and popularity of
character, was rapidly retrieving his losses, and troops were flocking
to his camp from all parts of Spain. He established his court at
Yalladolid, about one hundred and fifty miles north-east from Madrid.
His troops, dispersed by the two disastrous battles, were reassembled at
Lerida. The peasants rose in large numbers and joined them, and cut off
all communication between Charles at Madrid and his ships at Barcelona.
The Spanish grandees sent urgent messages to France for succors. General
Yendome, at the head of three thousand horse, swept through the defiles
of the Pyrenees, and, with exultant music and waving banners, joined
Philip at Valladolid. Universal enthusiasm was excited. Soon thirty
thousand infantry entered the camp, and then took positions on the
Tagus, where they could cut off any reinforcements which might attempt
to march from Portugal to aid the invaders.

Charles was apparently in a desperate situation. Famine and consequent
sickness were in his camp. His army was daily dwindling away. He was
emphatically in an enemy's country. Not a soldier could stray from the
ranks without danger of assassination. He had taken Madrid, and Madrid
was his prison.



CHAPTER XXII.

JOSEPH I. AND CHARLES VI.

From 1710 to 1717.

Perplexities in Madrid.--Flight of Charles.--Retreat of the Austrian
Army.--Stanhope's Division Cut Off.--Capture of Stanhope.--Staremberg
Assailed.--Retreat to Barcelona.--Attempt to Pacify Hungary.--The
Hungarian Diet.--Baronial Crowning of Kagotsky.--Renewal of the
Hungarian War.--Enterprise of Herbeville.--The Hungarians
Crushed.--Lenity of Joseph.--Death of Joseph.--Accession of Charles
VI.--His Career in Spain.--Capture of Barcelona.--The Siege.--The
Rescue.--Character of Charles.--Cloisters of Montserrat.--Increased
Efforts for the Spanish Crown.--Charles Crowned Emperor of Austria and
Hungary.--Bohemia.--Deplorable Condition of Louis XIV.


Generals Stanhope and Staremberg, who managed the affairs of Charles,
with but little respect for his judgment, and none for his
administrative qualities, were in great perplexity respecting the course
to be pursued. Some recommended the transference of the court from
Madrid to Saragossa, where they would be nearer to their supplies.
Others urged removal to Barcelona, where they would be under the
protection of the British fleet. It was necessary to watch over Charles
with the utmost care, as he was in constant danger of assassination.
While in this state of uncertainty, tidings reached Madrid that the Duke
of Noailles was on the march, with fifteen thousand men, to cut off the
retreat of the Austrians, and at the same time Philip was advancing with
a powerful army from Valladolid. This intelligence rendered instant
action necessary. The Austrian party precipitately evacuated Madrid,
followed by the execrations of the people. As soon as the last
battalions had left the city, the ringing of bells, the firing of
artillery, and the shouts of the people, announced the popular
exultation in view of the departure of Charles, and the cordial greeting
they were giving to his rival Philip. The complications of politics are
very curious. The British government was here, through years of war and
blood, endeavoring to drive from his throne the acknowledged King of
Spain. In less than a hundred years we find this same government again
deluging Europe in blood, to reseat upon the throne the miserable
Ferdinand, the lineal descendant of this Bourbon prince.

Charles put spurs to his horse, and accompanied by a glittering
cavalcade of two thousand cavaliers, galloped over the mountains to
Barcelona. His army, under the leadership of his efficient English
general, followed rapidly but cautiously on, hoping to press through the
defiles of the mountains which separated them from Arragon before their
passage could be obstructed by the foe. The troops were chagrined and
dispirited; the generals in that state of ill humor which want of
success generally engenders. The roads were bad, provisions scarce, the
inhabitants of the country bitterly hostile. It was the middle of
November, and cold blasts swept through the mountains. Staremberg led
the van, and Stanhope, with four thousand English troops, occupied the
post of peril in a retreat, the rear. As the people of the country would
furnish them with no supplies, the pillage of towns and villages became
a necessity; but it none the less added to the exasperation of the
Spaniards.

A hurried march of about eighty miles brought the troops to the banks of
the Tagus. As General Staremberg, at the head of the advance guard,
pressed eagerly on, he left Stanhope at quite a distance behind. They
encamped for a night, the advance at Cifuentes, the rear at Brihuega.
The hostility of the natives was such that almost all communication was
cut off between the two sections of the army. In the confusion of the
hasty retreat, and as no enemy was apprehended in that portion of the
way, the importance of hourly communication was forgotten. In the
morning, as Stanhope put his troops again in motion, he was surprised
and alarmed in seeing upon the hills before him the banners of an
opposing host, far outnumbering his own, and strongly intrenched. The
Earl of Stanhope at once appreciated the nearly utter hopelessness of
his position. He was cut off from the rest of the army, had no
artillery, but little ammunition, and was almost entirely destitute of
provision. Still he scorned to surrender. He threw his troops behind a
stone wall, and vigorously commenced fortifying his position, hoping to
be able to hold out until Staremberg, hearing of his situation, should
come to his release.

During the whole day he beat back the assaults of the Spanish army. In
the meantime Staremberg was pressing on to Barcelona. In the evening of
that day he heard of the peril of his rear guard. His troops were
exhausted; the night of pitchy blackness, and the miry roads, cut to
pieces by the heavy artillery and baggage wagons, were horrible. Through
the night he made preparations to turn back to aid his beleaguered
friends. It was, however, midday before he could collect his scattered
troops, from their straggling march, and commence retracing his steps.
In a few hours the low sun of a November day sunk below the hills. The
troops, overtaken by darkness, stumbling through the gloom, and
apprehensive of a midnight attack, rested upon their arms, waiting,
through the weary hours, for the dawn of the morning. The second day
came, and the weary troops toiled through the mire, while Stanhope, from
behind his slight parapet, baffled all the efforts of his foes.

The third morning dawned. Staremberg was within some fifteen miles of
Briehuga. Stanhope had now exhausted all his ammunition. The inhabitants
of the town rose against him and attacked him in the rear, while the foe
pressed him in front. A large number of his troops had already fallen,
and no longer resistance was possible. Stanhope and the remnant of his
band were taken captive and conducted into the town of Briehuga.
Staremberg, unaware of the surrender, pushed on until he came within a
league of Briehuga. Anxiously he threw up signals, but could obtain no
response. His fears of the worst were soon confirmed by seeing the
Spanish army, in brilliant battle array, approaching to assail him.
Philip himself was there to animate them by his presence; and the heroic
French general, the Duke of Vendome, a descendant of Henry IV., led the
charging columns.

Though the troops of Staremberg were inferior in number to those of the
Spanish monarch, and greatly fatigued by their forced marches, a retreat
at that moment, in the face of so active an enemy, was not to be thought
of. The battle immediately commenced, with its rushing squadrons and its
thunder peals. The Spaniards, sanguine of success, and inspired with the
intensest hatred of their _heretical_ foes, charged with irresistible
fury. The left wing of Staremberg was speedily cut to pieces, and the
baggage taken. The center and the right maintained their ground until
night came to their protection. Staremberg's army was now reduced to
nine thousand. His horses were either slain or worn out by fatigue. He
was consequently compelled to abandon all his artillery and most of his
baggage, as he again commenced a rapid retreat towards Barcelona. The
enemy pressed him every step of the way. But with great heroism and
military skill he baffled their endeavors to destroy him, and after one
of the most arduous marches on record, reached Barcelona with a feeble
remnant of but seven thousand men, ragged, emaciated and bleeding.
Behind the walls of this fortified city, and protected by the fleet of
England, they found repose.

We must now turn back a few years, to trace the progress of events in
Hungary and Austria. Joseph, the emperor, had sufficient intelligence to
understand that the rebellious and anarchical state of Hungary was owing
to the cruelty and intolerance of his father. He saw, also, that there
could be no hope of permanent tranquillity but in paying some respect to
the aspirations for civil and religious liberty. The troubles in Hungary
distracted his attention, exhausted the energies of his troops, and
deprived him of a large portion of his political and military power. He
now resolved to try the effect of concessions. The opportunity was
propitious, as he could throw upon his father the blame of all past
decrees. He accordingly sent a messenger to the Hungarian nobles with
the declaration that during his father's lifetime he had never
interfered in the government, and that consequently he was in no respect
responsible for the persecution of which they complained. And he
promised, on the honor of a king, that instead of attempting the
enforcement of those rigorous decrees, he would faithfully fulfill all
the articles he had sworn to observe at his coronation; and that he
accordingly summoned a diet for the redress of their grievances and the
confirmation of all their ancient privileges. As proof of his sincerity,
he dismissed those ministers who had advised the intolerant decrees
enacted by Leopold, and appointed in their place men of more mild and
lenient character.

But the Hungarians, deeming themselves now in a position to enforce
their claims by the energies of their army, feared to trust to the
promises of a court so often perjured. Without openly renouncing
allegiance to Austria, and declaring independence, they, through
Ragotsky, summoned a diet to meet at Stetzim, where their session would
be protected by the Hungarian army. There was a large gathering of all
the first nobility of the realm. A spacious tent was spread for the
imposing assembly, and the army encircled it as with a sheltering
embrace. The session was opened with prayer and the administration of
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Will the time ever come when the
members of the United States Congress will meet as Christian brethren,
at the table of our Saviour, as they commence their annual deliberations
for the welfare of this republic? The nobles formed a confederacy for
the government of the country. The legislative power was committed to a
senate of twenty-four nobles. Ragotsky was chosen military chief, with
the title of Dux, or leader. Four of the most illustrious nobles raised
Ragotsky upon a buckler on their shoulders, when he took the oath of
fidelity to the government thus provisionally established, and then
administered the oath to his confederates. They all bound themselves
solemnly not to conclude any peace with the emperor, until their ancient
rights, both civil and religious, were fully restored.

In reply to the advances made by the emperor, they returned the very
reasonable and moderate demands that their chief, Ragotsky, should be
reinstated in his ancestral realms of Transylvania, that the claim of
_hereditary_ sovereignty should be relinquished, and that there should
be the restoration of those ancient civil and religious immunities of
which Leopold had defrauded them. Upon these conditions they promised to
recognize Joseph as their sovereign during his lifetime; claiming at his
death their time-honored right of choosing his successor. Joseph would
not listen for one moment to these terms, and the war was renewed with
fury.

The Hungarian patriots had seventy-five thousand men under arms. The
spirit of the whole nation was with them, and the Austrian troops were
driven from almost every fortress in the kingdom. The affairs of Joseph
seemed to be almost desperate, his armies struggling against
overpowering foes all over Europe, from the remotest borders of
Transylvania to the frontiers of Portugal. The vicissitudes of war are
proverbial. An energetic, sagacious general, Herbeville, with great
military sagacity, and aided by a peculiar series of fortunate events,
marched down the valley of the Danube to Buda; crossed the stream to
Pesth; pushed boldly on through the heart of Hungary to Great Waradin,
forced the defiles of the mountains, and entered Transylvania. Through a
series of brilliant victories he took fortress after fortress, until he
subjugated the whole of Transylvania, and brought it again into
subjection to the Austrian crown. This was in November, 1705.

But the Hungarians, instead of being intimidated by the success of the
imperial arms, summoned another diet. It was held in the open field in
accordance with ancient custom, and was thronged by thousands from all
parts of the kingdom. With great enthusiasm and public acclaim the
resolution was passed that Joseph was a tyrant and a usurper, animated
by the hereditary despotism of the Austrian family. This truthful
utterance roused anew the ire of the emperor. He resolved upon a
desperate effort to bring Hungary into subjection. Leaving his English
and Dutch allies to meet the brunt of the battle on the Rhine and in the
Netherlands, he recalled his best troops, and made forced levies in
Austria until he had created an army sufficiently strong, as he thought,
to sweep down all opposition. These troops he placed under the most
experienced generals, and sent them into Hungary in the summer of 1708.
France, weakened by repeated defeats, could send the Hungarians no aid,
and the imperial troops, through bloody battles, victoriously traversed
the kingdom. Everywhere the Hungarians were routed and dispersed, until
no semblance of an army was left to oppose the victors. It seems that
life in those days, to the masses of the people, swept incessantly by
these fiery surges of war, could only have been a scene, from the cradle
to the grave, of blood and agony. For two years this dismal storm of
battle howled over all the Hungarian plains, and then the kingdom, like
a victim exhausted, prostrate and bleeding, was taken captive and firmly
bound.

Ragotsky, denounced with the penalty of high treason, escaped to Poland.
The emperor, anxious no longer to exasperate, proposed measures of
unusual moderation. He assembled a convention; promised a general
amnesty for all political offenses, the restitution of confiscated
property, the liberation of prisoners, and the confirmation of all the
rights which he had promised at his coronation. Some important points
were not touched upon; others were passed over in vague and general
terms. The Hungarians, helpless as a babe, had nothing to do but to
submit, whatever the terms might be. They were surprised at the
unprecedented lenity of the conqueror, and the treaty of peace and
subjection was signed in January, 1711.

In three months after the signing of this treaty, Joseph I. died of the
small-pox, in his palace of Vienna. He was but thirty-three years of
age. For a sovereign educated from the cradle to despotic rule, and
instructed by one of the most bigoted of fathers, he was an unusually
good man, and must be regarded as one of the best sovereigns who have
swayed the scepter of Austrian despotism.

The law of hereditary descent is frequently involved in great
embarrassment. Leopold, to obviate disputes which he foresaw were likely
to arise, had assigned Hungary, Bohemia, and his other hereditary
estates, to Joseph. To Charles he had assigned the vast Spanish
inheritance. In case Joseph should die without male issue he had decreed
that the crown of the Austrian dominions should also pass to Charles. In
case Charles should also die without issue male, the crown should then
revert to the daughters of Joseph in preference to those of Charles.
Joseph left no son. He had two daughters, the eldest of whom was but
twelve years of age. Charles, who was now in Barcelona, claiming the
crown of Spain as Charles III., had no Spanish blood in his veins. He
was the son of Leopold, and of his third wife, the devout and lovely
Eleonora, daughter of the Elector Palatine. He was now but twenty-eight
years of age. For ten years he had been struggling for the crown which
his father Leopold had claimed, as succeeding to the rights of his first
wife Margaret, daughter of Philip IV.

Charles was a genteel, accomplished young man of eighteen when he left
his father's palace at Vienna, for England, where a British fleet was to
convey him to Portugal, and, by the energy of its fleet and army, place
him upon the throne of Spain. He was received at Portsmouth in England,
when he landed from Holland, with much parade, and was conducted by the
Dukes of Maryborough and Somerset to Windsor castle, where he had an
interview with Queen Anne. His appearance at that time is thus described
by his partial chroniclers:

"The court was very splendid and much thronged. The queen's behavior
toward him was very noble and obliging. The young king charmed all who
were present. He had a gravity beyond his age, tempered with much
modesty. His behavior in all points was so exact, that there was not a
circumstance in his whole deportment which was liable to censure. He
paid an extraordinary respect to the queen, and yet maintained a due
greatness in it. He had the art of seeming well pleased with every
thing, without so much as smiling once all the while he was at court,
which was only three days. He spoke but little, and all he said was
judicious and obliging."

Young Charles was engaged to the daughter of the King of Portugal; but
the young lady died just before his arrival at Lisbon. As he had never
seen the infanta, his grief could not have been very deep, however great
his disappointment might have been. He made several attempts to
penetrate Spain by the Portuguese frontier, but being repelled in every
effort, by the troops of Philip, he again embarked, and with twelve
thousand troops in an English fleet, sailed around the Peninsula,
entered the Mediterranean and landed on the shores of Catalonia, where
he had been led to believe that the inhabitants in a body would rally
around him. But he was bitterly disappointed. The Earl of Peterborough,
who was intrusted with the command of this expedition, in a letter home
gave free utterance to his disappointment and chagrin.

"Instead of ten thousand men, and in arms," he wrote, "to cover our
landing and strengthen our camp, we found only so many higglers and
sutlers flocking into it. Instead of finding Barcelona in a weak
condition, and ready to surrender upon the first appearance of our
troops, we found a strong garrison to oppose us, and a hostile army
almost equal to our own."

In this dilemma a council of war was held, and though many were in favor
of abandoning the enterprise and returning to Portugal, it was at last
determined, through the urgency of Charles, to remain and lay siege to
the city. Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, was then the principal
sea-port of the Spanish peninsula on the Mediterranean. It contained a
population of about one hundred and forty thousand. It was strongly
fortified. West of the city there was a mountain called Montjoy, upon
which there was a strong fort which commanded the harbor and the town.
After a short siege this fort was taken by storm, and the city was then
forced to surrender.

Philip soon advanced with an army of French and Spaniards to retake the
city. The English fleet had retired. Twenty-eight French ships of war
blockaded the harbor, which they could not enter, as it was commanded by
the guns of Montjoy. The siege was very desperate both in the assault
and the defense. The young king, Charles, was in the most imminent
danger of falling into the bands of his foes. There was no possibility
of escape, and it seemed inevitable that the city must either surrender,
or be taken by storm. The French and Spanish army numbered twenty
thousand men. They first attempted to storm Montjoy, but were repulsed
with great slaughter. They then besieged it, and by regular approaches
compelled its capitulation in three weeks.

This noble resistance enabled the troops in the city greatly to multiply
and increase their defenses. They thus succeeded in protracting the
siege of the town five weeks longer. Every day the beleagured troops
from the crumbling ramparts watched the blue expanse of the
Mediterranean, hoping to see the sails of an English fleet coming to
their rescue. Two breaches were already effected in the walls. The
garrison, reduced to two thousand, and exhausted by superhuman exertions
by day and by night, were almost in the last stages of despair, when, in
the distant horizon, the long looked-for fleet appeared. The French
ships, by no means able to cope with such a force, spread their sails,
and sought safety in flight.

The English fleet, amounting to fifty sail of the line, and transporting
a large number of land troops, triumphantly entered the harbor on the
3rd of May, 1708. The fresh soldiers were speedily landed, and marched
to the ramparts and the breaches. This strong reinforcement annihilated
the hopes of the besiegers. Apprehensive of an immediate sally, they
retreated with such precipitation that they left behind them in the
hospitals their sick and wounded; they also abandoned their heavy
artillery, and an immense quantity of military stores.

Whatever energy Charles might have shown during the siege, all seemed
now to evaporate. When the shot of the foe were crumbling the walls of
Barcelona, he was in danger of the terrible doom of being taken a
captive, which would have been the annihilation of all his hopes.
Despair nerved him to effort. But now his person was no longer in
danger; and his natural inefficiency and dilatoriness returned.
Notwithstanding the urgent intreaties of the Earl of Peterborough to
pursue the foe, he insisted upon first making a pilgrimage to the shrine
of the holy Virgin at Montserrat, twenty-four miles from Barcelona.

This curious monastery consists of but a succession of cloisters or
hermitages hewn out of the solid rock. They are only accessible by steps
as steep as a ladder, which are also hewn upon the face of the almost
precipitous mountain. The highest of these cells, and which are occupied
by the youngest monks, are at an elevation of three or four thousand
feet above the level of the Mediterranean. Soon after Charles's
pilgrimage to Montserrat, he made a triumphal march to Madrid, entered
the city, and caused himself to be proclaimed king under the title of
Charles III. But Philip soon came upon him with such force that he was
compelled to retreat back to Barcelona. Again, in 1710, he succeeded in
reaching Madrid, and, as we have described, he was driven back, with
accumulated disaster, to Catalonia.

Three months after this defeat, when his affairs in Spain were assuming
the gloomiest aspect, a courier arrived at Barcelona, and informed him
that his brother Joseph was dead; that he had already been proclaimed
King of Hungary and Bohemia, and Archduke of Austria; and that it was a
matter of the most urgent necessity that he should immediately return to
Germany. Charles immediately embarked at Barcelona, and landed near
Genoa on the 27th of September. Rapidly pressing on through the Italian
States, he entered Milan on the 16th of October, where he was greeted
with the joyful intelligence that a diet had been convened under the
influence of Prince Eugene, and that by its unanimous vote he was
invested with the imperial throne. He immediately proceeded through the
Tyrol to Frankfort, where he was crowned on the 22d of December. He was
now more than ever determined that the diadem of Spain should be added
to the other crowns which had been placed upon his brow.

In the incessant wars which for centuries had been waged between the
princes and States of Germany and the emperor, the States had acquired
virtually a constitution, which they called a capitulation. When Charles
was crowned as Charles VI., he was obliged to promise that he would
never assemble a diet or council without convening all the princes and
States of the empire; that he would never wage war, or conclude peace,
or enter into alliance with any nation without the consent of the
States; that he would not, of his own authority, put any prince under
the ban of the empire; that confiscated territory should never be
conferred upon any members of his own family, and that no successor to
the imperial crown should be chosen during his lifetime, unless absence
from Germany or the infirmities of age rendered him incapable of
administering the affairs of the empire.

The emperor, invested with the imperial crown, hastened to Vienna, and,
with unexpected energy, entered upon the administration of the
complicated interests of his widespread realms. After passing a few
weeks in Vienna, he repaired to Prague, where, in May, he was, with much
pomp, crowned King of Hungary. He then returned to Vienna, and prepared
to press with new vigor the war of the Spanish succession.

Louis XIV. was now suffering the earthly retribution for his ill-spent
life. The finances of the realm were in a state of hopeless
embarrassment; famine was filling the kingdom with misery; his armies
were everywhere defeated; the imprecations of a beggared people were
rising around his throne; his palace was the scene of incessant feuds
and intrigues. His children were dead; he was old, infirm, sick, the
victim of insupportable melancholy--utterly weary of life, and yet
awfully afraid to die. France, in the person of Louis XIV., who could
justly say, "I am the State," was humbled.

The accession of Charles to the throne of the empire, and to that of
Austria, Hungary and Bohemia, while at the same time he claimed
sovereignty over the vast realms of the Spanish kingdom, invested him
with such enormous power, that England, which had combined Europe
against the colossal growth of France, having humbled that power, was
disposed to form a combination against Austria. There was in consequence
an immediate relaxation of hostilities just at the time when the French
batteries on the frontiers were battered down, and when the allied army
had apparently an unobstructed way opened to the gates of Paris. In this
state of affairs the British ministry pressed negotiations for peace.
The preliminaries were settled in London on the 8th of October, 1711. By
this treaty Louis XIV. agreed to make such a change in the law of
hereditary descent, as to render it impossible for any king to wear at
the same time the crowns of France and of Spain, and made various other
important concessions.

Charles, whose ambition was roused by his sudden and unexpected
elevation, exerted all his energies to thwart the progress of
negotiations, and bitterly complained that the allies were dishonorably
deserting the cause which they had espoused. The emperor dispatched
circular letters to all the courts of Europe, and sent Prince Eugene as
a special ambassador to London, to influence Queen Anne, if possible, to
persevere in the grand alliance. But he was entirely unsuccessful. The
Duke of Marlborough was disgraced, and dismissed from office. The peace
party rendered Eugene so unpopular that he was insulted in the streets
of London. The Austrian party in England was utterly defeated, and a
congress was appointed to meet at Utrecht to settle the terms of peace.
But Charles was now so powerful that he resolved to prosecute the war
even though abandoned by England. He accordingly sent an ambassador to
Utrecht to embarrass the proceedings as much as possible, and, in case
the grand alliance should be broken up, to secure as many powers as
possible in fidelity to Austria.

The States of the Netherlands were still warmly with Austria, as they
dreaded so formidable a power as France directly upon their frontier.
The other minor powers of the alliance were also rather inclined to
remain with Austria. The war continued while the terms of peace were
under discussion. England, however, entered into a private understanding
with France, and the Duke of Ormond, who had succeeded Marlborough,
received secret orders not to take part in any battle or siege. The
developments, upon fields of battle, of this dishonorable arrangement,
caused great indignation on the part of the allies. The British forces
withdrew, and the French armies, taking advantage of the great
embarrassments thus caused, were again gaining the ascendency. Portugal
soon followed the example of England and abandoned the alliance. The
Duke of Savoy was the next to leave. The alliance was evidently
crumbling to pieces, and on the 11th of April, 1713, all the
belligerents, excepting the emperor, signed the treaty of peace. Philip
of Spain also acceded to the same articles.

Charles was very indignant in being thus abandoned; and unduly
estimating his strength, resolved alone, with the resources which the
empire afforded him, to prosecute the war against France and Spain.
Having nothing to fear from a Spanish invasion, he for a time
relinquished his attempts upon Spain, and concentrating his armies upon
the Rhine, prepared for a desperate onset upon France. For two years the
war raged between Austria and France with war's usual vicissitudes of
defeat and victory on either side. It was soon evident that the
combatants were too equally matched for either party to hope to gain any
decisive advantage over the other. On the 7th of September, 1714, France
and Austria agreed to sheathe the sword. The war had raged for fourteen
years, with an expenditure of blood and treasure, and an accumulation of
misery which never can be gauged. Every party had lost fourfold more
than it had gained. "A war," says Marshal Villers, "which had desolated
the greater part of Europe, was concluded almost on the very terms which
might have been procured at the commencement of hostilities."

By this treaty of peace, which was signed at Baden, in Switzerland, the
States of the Netherlands were left in the hands of Austria; and also
the Italian States of Naples, Milan, Mantua and Sardinia. The thunders
of artillery had hardly ceased to reverberate over the marshes of
Holland and along the banks of the Rhine, ere the "blast of war's loud
organ" and the tramp of charging squadrons were heard rising anew from
the distant mountains of Sclavonia. The Turks, in violation of their
treaty of peace, were again on the march, ascending the Danube along its
southern banks, through the defiles of the Sclavonian mountains. In a
motley mass of one hundred and fifty thousand men they had passed
Belgrade, crossed the Save, and were approaching Peterwarden.

Eugene was instantly dispatched with an efficient, compact army,
disciplined by twelve years of warfare, to resist the Moslem invaders.
The hostile battalions met at Karlowitz, but a few miles from
Peterwarden, on the 5th of August, 1716. The tempest blazed with
terrific fury for a few hours, when the Turkish host turned and fled.
Thirty thousand of their number, including the grand vizier who led the
host, were left dead upon the field. In their utter discomfiture they
abandoned two hundred and fifty pieces of heavy artillery, and baggage,
tents and military stores to an immense amount. Fifty Turkish banners
embellished the camp of the victors.

And now Eugene led his triumphant troops, sixty thousand in number, down
the river to lay siege to Belgrade. This fortress, which the labor of
ages had strengthened, was garrisoned by thirty thousand troops, and was
deemed almost impregnable. Eugene invested the place and commenced the
slow and tedious operations of a siege. The sultan immediately
dispatched an army of two hundred thousand men to the relief of his
beleaguered fortress. The Turks, arriving at the scene of action, did
not venture an assault upon their intrenched foes, but intrenched
themselves on heights, outside of the besieging camp, in a semicircle
extending from the Danube to the Save. They thus shut up the besiegers
in the miasmatic marshes which surrounded the city, cut off their
supplies of provisions, and from their advancing batteries threw shot
into the Austrian camp. "A man," said Napoleon, "is not a soldier." The
Turks had two hundred thousand _men_ in their camp, raw recruits. Eugene
had sixty thousand veteran _soldiers_. He decided to drive off the Turks
who annoyed him. It was necessary for him to detach twenty thousand to
hold in check the garrison of Belgrade, who might sally to the relief of
their companions. This left him but forty thousand troops with whom to
assail two hundred thousand strongly intrenched. He did not hesitate in
the undertaking.



CHAPTER XXIII.

CHARLES VI.

From 1716 to 1727.

Heroic Decision of Eugene.--Battle of Belgrade.--Utter Rout of the
Turks.--Possessions of Charles VI.--The Elector of Hanover Succeeds to
the English Throne.--Preparations for War.--State of Italy.--Philip V.
of Spain.--Diplomatic Agitations.--Palace of St. Ildefonso.--Order of
the Golden Fleece.--Rejection of Maria Anne.--Contest for the Rock of
Gibraltar.--Dismissal of Ripperda.--Treaty of Vienna.--Peace Concluded.


The enterprise upon which Eugene had resolved was bold in the extreme.
It could only be accomplished by consummate bravery aided by equal
military skill. The foe they were to attack were five to one, and were
protected by well-constructed redoubts, armed with the most formidable
batteries. They were also abundantly supplied with cavalry, and the
Turkish cavalry were esteemed the finest horsemen in the world. There
was but one circumstance in favor of Eugene. The Turks did not dream
that he would have the audacity to march from the protection of his
intrenchments and assail them behind their own strong ramparts. There
was consequently but little difficulty in effecting a surprise.

All the arrangements were made with the utmost precision and secrecy for
a midnight attack. The favorable hour came. The sun went down in clouds,
and a night of Egyptian darkness enveloped the armies. The glimmer of
innumerable camp-fires only pointed out the position of the foe, without
throwing any illumination upon the field. Eugene visited all the posts
of the army, ordered abundant refreshment to be distributed to the
troops, addressed them in encouraging words, to impress upon them the
importance of the enterprise, and minutely assigned to each battalion,
regiment, brigade and division its duty, that there might be no
confusion. The whole plan was carefully arranged in all its details and
in all its grand combination. As the bells of Belgrade tolled the hour
of twelve at midnight, three bombs, simultaneously discharged, put the
whole Austrian army in rapid and noiseless motion.

A dense fog had now descended, through which they could with difficulty
discern the twinkling lights of the Turkish camp. Rapidly they traversed
the intervening space, and in dense, solid columns, rushed over the
ramparts of the foe. Bombs, cannon, musketry, bayonets, cavalry, all
were employed, amidst the thunderings and the lightnings of that
midnight storm of war, in the work of destruction. The Turks, roused
from their slumber, amazed, bewildered, fought for a short time with
maniacal fury, often pouring volleys of bullets into the bosoms of their
friends, and with bloody cimeters smiting indiscriminately on the right
hand and the left, till, in the midst of a scene of confusion and horror
which no imagination can conceive, they broke and fled. Two hundred
thousand men, lighted only by the flash of guns which mowed their ranks,
with thousands of panic-stricken cavalry trampling over them, while the
crash of musketry, the explosions of artillery, the shouts of the
assailants and the fugitives, and the shrieks of the dying, blended in a
roar more appalling than heaven's heaviest thunders, presented a scene
which has few parallels even in the horrid annals of war.

The morning dawned upon a field of blood and death. The victory of the
Austrians was most decisive. The flower of the Turkish army was cut to
pieces, and the remnant was utterly dispersed. The Turkish camp, with
all its abundant booty of tents, provisions, ammunition and artillery,
fell into the hands of the conqueror. So signal was the victory, that
the disheartened Turks made no attempt to retrieve their loss. Belgrade
was surrendered to the Austrians, and the sultan implored peace. The
articles were signed in Passarovitz, a small town of Servia, in July,
1718. By this treaty the emperor added Belgrade to his dominions, and
also a large part of Wallachia and Servia.

Austria and Spain were still in heart at war, as the emperor claimed the
crown of Spain, and was only delaying active hostilities until he could
dispose of his more immediate foes. Charles, soon after the death of his
cousin, the Portuguese princess, with whom he had formed a matrimonial
engagement, married Elizabeth Christina, a princess of Brunswick. The
imperial family now consisted of three daughters, Maria Theresa, Maria
Anne and Maria Amelia. It will be remembered that by the family compact
established by Leopold, the succession was entailed upon Charles in
preference to the daughters of Joseph, in case Joseph should die without
male issue. But should Charles die without male issue, the crown was to
revert to the daughters of Joseph in preference to those of Charles. The
emperor, having three daughters and no sons, with natural parental
partiality, but unjustly, and with great want of magnanimity, was
anxious to deprive the daughters of Joseph of their rights, that he
might secure the crown for his own daughters. He accordingly issued a
decree reversing this contract, and settling the right of succession
first upon his daughters, should he die without sons, then upon the
daughters of Joseph, one of whom had married the Elector of Saxony and
the other the Elector of Bavaria. After them he declared his sister, who
had married the King of Portugal, and then his other sisters, the
daughters of Leopold, to be in the line of succession. This new law of
succession Charles issued under the name of the Pragmatic Sanction. He
compelled his nieces, the daughters of Joseph, to give their assent to
this Sanction, and then, for the remainder of his reign, made the
greatest efforts to induce all the powers of Europe to acknowledge its
validity.

Charles VI. was now, as to the extent of territory over which he reigned
and the population subject to his sway, decidedly the most powerful
monarch in Christendom. Three hundred princes of the German empire
acknowledged him as their elected sovereign. By hereditary right he
claimed dominion over Bohemia, Hungary, Transylvania, Wallachia, Servia,
Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, the Tyrol, and all the rich and populous
States of the Netherlands. Naples, Sicily, Mantua and Milan in Italy,
also recognized his sovereignty. To enlightened reason nothing can seem
more absurd than that one man, of very moderate capacities, luxuriating
in his palace at Vienna, should pretend to hold dominion over so many
millions so widely dispersed. But the progress of the world towards
intelligent liberty has been very slow. When we contrast the
constitution of the United States with such a political condition, all
our evils and difficulties dwindle to utter insignificance.

Still the power of the emperor was in many respects apparent rather than
real. Each of these States had its own customs and laws. The nobles were
tumultuary, and ever ready, if their privileges were infringed, to rise
in insurrection. Military force alone could hold these turbulent realms
in awe; and the old feudal servitude which crushed the millions, was but
another name for anarchy. The peace establishment of the emperor
amounted to one hundred thousand men, and every one of these was
necessary simply to garrison his fortresses. The enormous expense of the
support of such an army, with all the outlays for the materiel of war,
the cavalry, and the structure of vast fortresses, exhausted the
revenues of a kingdom in which the masses of the people were so
miserably poor that they were scarcely elevated above the beasts of the
field, and where the finances had long been in almost irreparable
disorder. The years of peace, however, were very few. War, a maelstrom
which ingulfs uncounted millions, seems to have been the normal state of
Germany. But the treasury of Charles was so constantly drained that he
could never, even in his greatest straits, raise more than one hundred
and sixty thousand men; and he was often compelled to call upon the aid
of a foreign purse to meet the expense which that number involved.
Within a hundred years the nations have made vast strides in wealth, and
in the consequent ability to throw away millions in war.

Charles VI. commenced his reign with intense devotion to business. He
resolved to be an illustrious emperor, vigorously superintending all the
interests of the empire, legislative, judicial and executive. For a few
weeks he was busy night and day, buried in a hopeless mass of diplomatic
papers. But he soon became weary of this, and leaving all the ordinary
affairs of the State in the hands of agents, amused himself with his
violin and in chasing rabbits. As more serious employment, he gave
pompous receptions, and enveloped himself in imperial ceremony and the
most approved courtly etiquette. He still, however, insisted upon giving
his approval to all measures adopted by his ministers, before they were
carried into execution. But as he was too busy with his entertainments,
his music and the chase, to devote much time to the dry details of
government, papers were accumulating in a mountainous heap in his
cabinet, and the most important business was neglected.

Charles XII. was now King of Sweden; Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia;
George I., King of England; and the shameful regency had succeeded, in
France, the reign of Louis XIV. For eighteen years a bloody war had been
sweeping the plains of Poland, Russia and Sweden. Thousands had been
torn to pieces by the enginery of war, and trampled beneath iron hoofs.
Millions of women and children had been impoverished, beggared, and
turned out houseless into the fields to moan and starve and die. The
claims of humanity must ever yield to the requisitions of war. This
fierce battle of eighteen years was fought to decide which of three men,
Peter of Russia, Charles of Sweden, or Augustus of Poland, should have
the right to exact tribute from Livonia. This province was a vast
pasture on the Baltic, containing about seventeen thousand square miles,
and inhabited by about five hundred thousand poor herdsmen and tillers
of the soil.

Peter the Great was in the end victorious in this long conflict; and
having attached large portions of Sweden to his territory, with a navy
upon the Baltic, and a disciplined army, began to be regarded as a
European power, and was quite disposed to make his voice heard in the
diplomacy of Europe. Queen Anne having died, leaving no children, the
law of hereditary descent carried the crown of England to Germany, and
placed it upon the brow of the Elector of Hanover, who, as grandson of
James I., was the nearest heir, but who could not speak a word of
English, who knew nothing of constitutional law, and who was about as
well qualified to govern England as a Patagonian or Esquimaux would have
been. But obedience to this law of hereditary descent was a political
necessity. There were thousands of able men in England who could have
administered the government with honor to themselves and to the country.
But it is said in reply that the people of England, as a body, were not
then, and probably are not even now, sufficiently enlightened to be
intrusted with the choice of their own rulers. Respect for the
ballot-box is one of the last and highest attainments of civilization.
Recent developments in our own land have led many to fear that barbarism
is gaining upon the people. If the _ballot-box_ be overturned, the
_cartridge-box_ must take its place. The great battle we have to fight
is the battle against popular ignorance. The great army we are to
support is the army of teachers in the schools and in the pulpit,
elevating the mind to the highest possible intelligence, and guiding the
heart by the pure spirit of the gospel.

The emperor was so crowded with affairs of immediate urgency, and it was
so evident that he could not drive Philip from the throne, now that he
was recognized by all Europe, that he postponed the attempt for a
season, while he still adopted the title of King of Spain. His troops
had hardly returned from the brilliant campaign of Belgrade, ere the
emperor saw a cloud gathering in the north, which excited his most
serious apprehension. Russia and Sweden, irritated by some of the acts
of the emperor, formed an alliance for the invasion of the German
empire. The fierce warriors of the north, led by such captains as
Charles XII. and Peter the Great, were foes not to be despised. This
threatened invasion not only alarmed the emperor, but alarmed George I.
of England, as his electorate of Hanover was imperiled; and also excited
the fears of Augustus, the Elector of Saxony, who had regained the
throne of Poland. England and Poland consequently united with the
emperor, and formidable preparations were in progress for a terrible
war, when one single chance bullet, upon the field of Pultowa, struck
Charles XII., as he was looking over the parapet, and dispersed this
cloud which threatened the desolation of all Europe.

Austria was now the preponderating power in degenerate Italy. Even those
States which were not in subjection to the emperor, were overawed by his
imperious spirit. Genoa was nominally independent. The Genoese arrested
one of the imperial officers for some violation of the laws of the
republic. The emperor sent an army to the gates of the city, threatening
it with bombardment and utter destruction. They were thus compelled
immediately to liberate the officer, to pay a fine of three hundred
thousand dollars, and to send a senator to Vienna with humble
expressions of contrition, and to implore pardon.

The kingdom of Sardinia was at this time the most powerful State in
Italy, if we except those united Italian States which now composed an
integral part of the Austrian empire. Victor Asmedeus, the energetic
king, had a small but vigorous army, and held himself ready, with this
army, for a suitable remuneration, to engage in the service of any
sovereign, without asking any troublesome questions as to the
righteousness of the expedition in which he was to serve. The Sardinian
king was growing rich, and consequently ambitious. He wished to rise
from the rank of a secondary to that of a primary power in Europe. There
was but one direction in which he could hope to extend his territories,
and that was by pressing into Lombardy. He had made the remark, which
was repeated to the emperor, "I must acquire Lombardy piece by piece, as
I eat an artichoke." Charles, consequently, watched Victor with a
suspicious eye.

The four great powers of middle and southern Europe were Austria,
England, France, and Spain. All the other minor States, innumerable in
name as well as number, were compelled to take refuge, openly or
secretly, beneath one or another of these great monarchies.

In France, the Duke of Orleans, the regent during the minority of Louis
XV., whose court, in the enormous expenditures of vice, exhausted the
yearly earnings of a population of twenty millions, was anxious to unite
the Bourbon' branches of France and Spain in more intimate alliance. He
accordingly affianced the young sovereign of France to Mary Anne,
daughter of Philip V. of Spain. At the same time he married his own
daughter to the king's oldest son, the Prince of Asturias, who was heir
to the throne. Mary Anne, to whom the young king was affianced, was only
four years of age.

The personal history of the monarchs of Europe is, almost without
exception, a melancholy history. By their ambition and their wars they
whelmed the cottages in misery, and by a righteous retribution misery
also inundated the palace. Philip V. became the victim of the most
insupportable melancholy. Earth had no joy which could lift the cloud of
gloom from his soul. For months he was never known to smile. Imprisoning
himself in his palace he refused to see any company, and left all the
cares of government in the hands of his wife, Elizabeth Farnese.

Germany was still agitated by the great religious contest between the
Catholics and the Protestants, which divided the empire into two nearly
equal parties, bitterly hostile to each other. Various fruitless
attempts had been made to bring the parties together, into _unity of
faith_, by compromise. Neither party were reconciled to cordial
_toleration_, free and full, in which alone harmony can be obtained. In
all the States of the empire the Catholics and the Protestants were
coming continually into collision. Charles, though a very decided
Catholic, was not disposed to persecute the Protestants, as most of his
predecessors had done, for he feared to rouse them to despair.

England, France, Austria and Spain, were now involved in an inextricable
maze of diplomacy. Congresses were assembled and dissolved; treaties
made and violated; alliances formed and broken. Weary of the conflict of
arms, they were engaged in the more harmless squabbles of intrigue, each
seeking its own aggrandizement. Philip V., who had fought so many bloody
battles to acquire the crown of Spain, now, disgusted with the cares
which that crown involved, overwhelmed with melancholy, and trembling in
view of the final judgment of God, suddenly abdicated the throne in
favor of his son Louis, and took a solemn oath that he would never
resume it again. This event, which surprised Europe, took place on the
10th of February, 1724. Philip retired to St. Ildefonso.

The celebrated palace of St. Ildefonso, which became the retreat of the
monarch, was about forty miles north of Madrid, in an elevated ravine
among the mountains of Gaudarruma. It was an enormous pile, nearly four
thousand feet above the level of the sea, and reared by the Spanish
monarchs at an expense exceeding thirty millions of dollars. The palace,
two stories high, and occupying three sides of a square, presents a
front five hundred and thirty feet in length. In this front alone there
are, upon each story, twelve gorgeous apartments in a suite. The
interior is decorated in the richest style of art, with frescoed
ceilings, and splendid mirrors, and tesselated floors of variegated
marble. The furniture was embellishcd with gorgeous carvings, and
enriched with marble, jasper and verd-antique. The galleries were filled
with the most costly productions of the chisel and the pencil. The
spacious garden, spread out before the palace, was cultivated with the
utmost care, and ornamented with fountains surpassing even those of
Versailles.

To this magnificent retreat Philip V. retired with his imperious,
ambitious wife. She was the step-mother of his son who had succeeded to
the throne. For a long time, by the vigor of her mind, she had dominated
over her husband, and had in reality been the sovereign of Spain. In the
magnificent palace of St. Ildefonso, she was by no means inclined to
relinquish her power. Gathering a brilliant court around her, she still
issued her decrees, and exerted a powerful influence over the kingdom.
The young Louis, who was but a boy, was not disposed to engage in a
quarrel with his mother, and for a time submitted to this interference;
but gradually he was roused by his adherents, to emancipate himself from
these shackles, and to assume the authority of a sovereign. This led to
very serious trouble. The abdicated king, in his moping melancholy, was
entirely in subjection to his wife. There were now two rival courts.
Parties were organizing. Some were for deposing the son; others for
imprisoning the father. The kingdom was on the eve of a civil war, when
death kindly came to settle the difficulty.

The young King Louis, but eighteen years of age, after a nominal reign
of but eight months, was seized with that awful scourge the small-pox,
and, after a few days of suffering and delirium, was consigned to the
tomb. Philip, notwithstanding his vow, was constrained by his wife to
resume the crown, she probably promising to relieve him of all care.
Such are the vicissitudes of a hereditary government. Elizabeth, with
woman's spirit, now commanded the emperor to renounce the title of King
of Spain, which he still claimed. Charles, with the spirit of an
emperor, declared that he would do no such thing.

There was another serious source of difficulty between the two monarchs,
which has descended, generation after generation, to our own time, and
to this day is only settled by each party quietly persisting in his own
claim.

In the year 1430 Philip III., Duke of Burgundy, instituted a new order
of knighthood for the protection of the Catholic church, to be called
the order of the Golden Fleece. But twenty-four members were to be
admitted, and Philip himself was the grand master. Annual meetings were
held to fill vacancies. Charles V., as grand master, increased the
number of knights to fifty-one. After his death, as the Burgundian
provinces and the Netherlands passed under the dominion of Spain, the
Spanish monarchs exercised the office of grand master, and conferred the
dignity, which was now regarded the highest order of knighthood in
Europe, according to their pleasure. But Charles VI., now in admitted
possession of the Netherlands, by virtue of that possession claimed the
office of grand master of the Golden Fleece. Philip also claimed it as
the inheritance of the kings of Spain. The dispute has never been
settled. Both parties still claim it, and the order is still conferred
both at Vienna and Madrid.

Other powers interfered, in the endeavor to promote reconciliation
between the hostile courts, but, as usual, only increased the acrimony
of the two parties. The young Spanish princess Mary Anne, who was
affianced to the Dauphin of France, was sent to Paris for her education,
and that she might become familiar with the etiquette of a court over
which she was to preside as queen. For a time she was treated with great
attention, and child as she was, received all the homage which the
courtiers were accustomed to pay to the Queen of France. But amidst the
intrigues of the times a change arose, and it was deemed a matter of
state policy to marry the boy-king to another princess. The French court
consequently rejected Maria Anne and sent her back to Spain, and married
Louis, then but fifteen years of age, to Maria Lebrinsky, daughter of
the King of Poland. The rejected child was too young fully to appreciate
the mortification. Her parents, however, felt the insult most keenly.
The whole Spanish court was roused to resent it as a national outrage.
The queen was so indignant that she tore from her arm a bracelet which
she wore, containing a portrait of Louis XV., and dashing it upon the
floor, trampled it beneath her feet. Even the king was roused from his
gloom by the humiliation of his child, and declared that no amount of
blood could atone for such an indignity.

Under the influence of this exasperation, the queen resolved to seek
reconciliation with Austria, that all friendly relations might be
abandoned with France, and that Spain and Austria might be brought into
intimate alliance to operate against their common foe. A renowned
Spanish diplomatist, the Baron of Ripperda, had been for some time a
secret agent of the queen at the court of Vienna, watching the progress
of events there. He resided in the suburbs under a fictitious name, and
eluding the vigilance of the ministry, had held by night several secret
interviews with the emperor, proposing to him, in the name of the queen,
plans of reconciliation. Letters were immediately dispatched to Ripperda
urging him to come to an accommodation with the emperor upon almost any
terms.

A treaty was soon concluded, early in the spring of 1725. The emperor
renounced all claim to the Spanish crown, entered into an alliance, both
offensive and defensive, with Philip, and promised to aid, both with men
and money, to help recover Gibraltar from the English, which fortress
they had held since they seized upon it in the war of the Spanish
succession. In consideration of these great concessions Philip agreed to
recognize the right of the emperor to the Netherlands and to his
acquisitions in Italy. He opened all the ports of Spain to the subjects
of the emperor, and pledged himself to support the Pragmatic Sanction,
which wrested the crown of Austria from the daughters of Joseph, and
transmitted it to the daughters of Charles. It was this last clause
which influenced the emperor, for his whole heart was set upon the
accomplishment of this important result, and he was willing to make
almost any sacrifice to attain it. There were also some secret articles
attached which have never been divulged.

The immediate demand of Spain for the surrender of the rock of Gibraltar
was the signal for all Europe to marshal itself for war--a war which
threatened the destruction of hundreds of thousands of lives, millions
of property, and which was sure to spread far and wide over populous
cities and extended provinces, carnage, conflagration, and unspeakable
woe. The question was, whether England or Spain should have possession
of a rock seven miles long and one mile broad, which was supposed, but
very erroneously, to command the Mediterranean. To the rest of Europe it
was hardly a matter of the slightest moment whether the flag of England
or Spain waved over those granite cliffs. It seems incredible that
beings endowed with reason could be guilty of such madness.

England, with great vigor, immediately rallied on her side France,
Hanover, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. On the other side were Spain,
Austria, Russia, Prussia and a large number of the minor States of
Germany. Many months were occupied in consolidating these coalitions,
and in raising the armies and gathering the materials for the war.

In the meantime Ripperda, having so successfully, as he supposed,
concluded his negotiations at Vienna, in a high state of exultation
commenced his journey back to Spain. Passing down through the Tyrol and
traversing Italy he embarked at Genoa and landed at Barcelona. Here he
boasted loudly of what he had accomplished.

"Spain and the emperor now united," he said, "will give the law to
Europe. The emperor has one hundred and fifty thousand troops under
arms, and in six months can bring as many more into the field. France
shall be pillaged. George I. shall be driven both from his German and
his British territories."

From Barcelona Ripperda traveled rapidly to Madrid, where he was
received with almost regal honors by the queen, who was now in reality
the sovereign. She immediately appointed him Secretary of State, and
transferred to him the reins of government which she had taken from the
unresisting hands of her moping husband. Thus Ripperda became, in all
but title, the King of Spain. He was a weak man, of just those traits of
character which would make him a haughty woman's favorite. He was so
elated with this success, became so insufferably vain, and assumed such
imperious airs as to disgust all parties. He made the most extravagant
promises of the subsidies the emperor was to furnish, and of the powers
which were to combine to trample England and France beneath their feet.
It was soon seen that these promises were merely the vain-glorious
boasts of his own heated brain. Even the imperial ambassador at Madrid
was so repelled by his arrogance, that he avoided as far as possible all
social and even diplomatic intercourse with him. There was a general
combination of the courtiers to crush the favorite. The queen, who, with
all her ambition, had a good share of sagacity, soon saw the mistake she
had made, and in four months after Ripperda's return to Madrid, he was
dismissed in disgrace.

A general storm of contempt and indignation pursued the discarded
minister. His rage was now inflamed as much as his vanity had been.
Fearful of arrest and imprisonment, and burning with that spirit of
revenge which is ever strongest in weakest minds, he took refuge in the
house of the British ambassador, Mr. Stanhope. Hostilities had not yet
commenced. Indeed there had been no declaration of war, and diplomatic
relations still continued undisturbed. Each party was acting secretly,
and watching the movements of the other with a jealous eye.

Ripperda sought protection beneath the flag of England, and with the
characteristic ignominy of deserters and traitors, endeavored to
ingratiate himself with his new friends by disclosing all the secrets of
his negotiations at Vienna. Under these circumstances full confidence
can not be placed in his declarations, for he had already proved himself
to be quite unscrupulous in regard to truth. The indignant queen sent an
armed force, arrested the duke in the house of the British ambassador,
and sent him, in close imprisonment, to the castle of Segovia. He,
however, soon escaped from there and fled to England, where he
reiterated his declarations respecting the secret articles of the treaty
of Vienna. The most important of these declarations was, that Spain and
the emperor had agreed to drive George I. from England and to place the
Pretender, who had still many adherents, upon the British throne. It was
also asserted that marriage contracts were entered into which, by
uniting the daughters of the emperor with the sons of the Spanish
monarch, would eventually place the crowns of Austria and Spain upon the
same brow. The thought of such a vast accumulation of power in the hands
of any one monarch, alarmed all the rest of Europe. Both Spain and the
emperor denied many of the statements made by Ripperda. But as _truth_
has not been esteemed a diplomatic virtue, and as both Ripperda and the
sovereigns he had served were equally tempted to falsehood, and were
equally destitute of any character for truth, it is not easy to decide
which party to believe.

England and France took occasion, through these disclosures, to rouse
the alarm of Europe. So much apprehension was excited in Prussia,
Bavaria, and with other princes of the empire, who were appalled at the
thought of having another Spanish prince upon the imperial throne, that
the emperor sent ambassadors to these courts to appease their anxiety,
and issued a public declaration denying that any such marriages were in
contemplation; while at the same time he was promising the Queen of
Spain these marriages, to secure her support. England and France accuse
the emperor of deliberate, persistent, unblushing falsehood.

The emperor seems now to have become involved in an inextricable maze of
prevarication and duplicity, striving in one court to accomplish
purposes which in other courts he was denying that he wished to
accomplish. His embarrassment at length became so great, the greater
part of Europe being roused and jealous, that he was compelled to
abandon Spain, and reluctantly to sign a treaty of amity with France and
England. A general armistice was agreed upon for seven years. The King
of Spain, thus abandoned by the emperor, was also compelled to smother
his indignation and to roll back his artillery into the arsenals. Thus
this black cloud of war, which threatened all Europe with desolation,
was apparently dispelled. This treaty, which seemed to restore peace to
Europe, was signed in June, 1727. It was, however, a hollow peace. The
spirit of ambition and aggression animated every court; and each one was
ready, in defiance of treaties and in defiance of the misery of the
world, again to unsheath the sword as soon as any opportunity should
offer for the increase of territory or power.



CHAPTER XXIV.

CHARLES VI. AND THE POLISH WAR.

From 1727 to 1735.

Cardinal Fleury.--The Emperor of Austria Urges the Pragmatic Sanction.--
He Promises His Two Daughters to the Two Sons of the Queen of
Spain.--France, England and Spain Unite Against Austria.--Charles VI.
Issues Orders to Prepare for War.--His Perplexities.--Secret Overtures
to England.--The Crown of Poland.--Meeting of the Polish Congress.--
Stanislaus Goes to Poland.--Augustus III. Crowned.--War.--Charles Sends
an Army to Lombardy.--Difficulties of Prince Eugene.--Charles's
Displeasure with England.--Letter to Count Kinsky.--Hostilities Renewed.


The young King of France, Louis XV., from amidst the orgies of his court
which rivaled Babylon in corruption, was now seventeen years of age, and
was beginning to shake off the trammels of guardianship and to take some
ambitious part in government. The infamous regent, the Duke of Orleans,
died suddenly of apoplexy in 1723. Gradually the king's preceptor,
Fleury, obtained the entire ascendency over the mind of his pupil, and
became the chief director of affairs. He saw the policy of reuniting the
Bourbons of France and Spain for the support of each other. The policy
was consequently adopted of cultivating friendly relations between the
two kingdoms. Cardinal Fleury was much disposed to thwart the plans of
the emperor. A congress of the leading powers had been assembled at
Soissons in June, 1728, to settle some diplomatic questions. The
favorite object of the emperor now was, to obtain from the European
powers the formal guarantee to support his decree of succession which
conveyed the crown of Austria to his daughters, in preference to those
of his brother Joseph.

The emperor urged the Pragmatic Sanction strongly upon the congress, as
the basis upon which he would enter into friendly relations with all the
powers. Fleury opposed it, and with such influence over the other
plenipotentiaries as to secure its rejection. The emperor was much
irritated, and intimated war. France and England retorted defiance.
Spain was becoming alienated from the emperor, who had abandoned her
cause, and was again entering into alliance with France. The emperor had
promised his eldest daughter, Maria Theresa, to Carlos, son of the Queen
of Spain, and a second daughter to the next son, Philip. These were as
brilliant matches as an ambitious mother could desire. But while the
emperor was making secret and solemn promises to the Queen of Spain,
that these marriages should be consummated, which would secure to the
son of the queen the Austrian, as well as the Spanish crown, he was
declaring to the courts of Europe that he had no such plans in
contemplation.

The Spanish queen, at length, annoyed, and goaded on by France and
England, sent an ambassador to Vienna, and demanded of the emperor a
written promise that Maria Theresa was to be the bride of Carlos. The
emperor was now brought to the end of his intrigues. He had been careful
heretofore to give only verbal promises, through his ministers. After
his reiterated public denials that any such alliance was anticipated, he
did not dare commit himself by giving the required document. An
apologetic, equivocal answer was returned which so roused the ire of the
queen, that, breaking off from Austria, she at once entered into a
treaty of cordial union with England and France.

It will readily be seen that all these wars and intrigues had but little
reference to the welfare of the masses of the people. They were hardly
more thought of than the cattle and the poultry. The only purpose they
served was, by unintermitted toil, to raise the wealth which supported
the castle and the palace, and to march to the field to fight battles,
in which they had no earthly interest. The written history of Europe is
only the history of kings and nobles--their ambitions, intrigues and
war. The unwritten history of the dumb, toiling millions, defrauded of
their rights, doomed to poverty and ignorance, is only recorded in the
book of God's remembrance. When that page shall be read, every ear that
hears it will tingle.

The frail connection between Austria and Spain was now terminated.
England, France and Spain entered into an alliance to make vigorous war
against Charles VI. if he manifested any hostility to any of the
articles of the treaty into which they had entered. The Queen of Spain,
in her spite, forbade the subjects of the emperor from trading at all
with Spain, and granted to her new allies the exclusive right to the
Spanish trade. She went so far in her reconciliation with England as to
assure the king that he was quite welcome to retain the rock of
Gibraltar which he held with so tenacious a grasp.

In this treaty, with studied neglect, even the name of the emperor was
not mentioned; and yet the allies, as if to provoke a quarrel, sent
Charles VI. a copy, peremptorily demanding assent to the treaty without
his having taken any part whatever in the negotiation.

This insulting demand fell like a bomb-shell in the palace at Vienna.
Emperor, ministers, courtiers, all were aroused to a frenzy of
indignation. "So insulting a message," said Count Zinzendorf, "is
unparalleled, even in the annals of savages." The emperor condescended
to make no reply, but very spiritedly issued orders to all parts of the
empire, for his troops to hold themselves in readiness for war.

And yet Charles was overwhelmed with anxiety, and was almost in despair.
It was a terrible humiliation for the emperor to be compelled to submit,
unavenged, to such an insult. But how could the emperor alone, venture
to meet in battle England, France, Spain and all the other powers whom
three such kingdoms could, either by persuasion or compulsion, bring
into their alliance? He pleaded with his natural allies. Russia had not
been insulted, and was unwilling to engage in so distant a war. Prussia
had no hope of gaining any thing, and declined the contest. Sardinia
sent a polite message to the emperor that it was more for her interest
to enter into an alliance with her nearer neighbors, France, Spain and
England, and that she had accordingly done so. The treasury of Charles
was exhausted; his States were impoverished by constant and desolating
wars. And his troops manifested but little zeal to enter the field
against so fearful a superiority of force. The emperor, tortured almost
beyond endurance by chagrin, was yet compelled to submit.

The allies were quite willing to provoke a war with the emperor; but as
he received their insults so meekly, and made no movement against them,
they were rather disposed to march against him. Spain wanted Parma and
Tuscany, but France was not willing to have Spain make so great an
accession to her Italian power. France wished to extend her area north,
through the States of the Netherlands. But England was unwilling to see
the French power thus aggrandized. England had her aspirations, to which
both France and Spain were opposed. Thus the allies operated as a check
upon each other.

The emperor found some little consolation in this growing disunion, and
did all in his power to foment it. Wishing to humble the Bourbons of
France and Spain, he made secret overtures to England. The offers of the
emperor were of such a nature, that England eagerly accepted them,
returned to friendly relations with the emperor, and, to his extreme
joy, pledged herself to support the Pragmatic Sanction.

It seems to have been the great object of the emperor's life to secure
the crown of Austria for his daughters. It was an exceedingly
disgraceful act. There was no single respectable reason to be brought
forward why his daughters should crowd from the throne the daughters of
his elder deceased brother, the Emperor Joseph. Charles was so aware of
the gross injustice of the deed, and that the ordinary integrity of
humanity would rise against him, that he felt the necessity of
exhausting all the arts of diplomacy to secure for his daughters the
pledged support of the surrounding thrones. He had now by intrigues of
many years obtained the guarantee of the Pragmatic Sanction from Russia,
Prussia, Holland, Spain and England. France still refused her pledge, as
did also many of the minor States of the empire. The emperor, encouraged
by the success he had thus far met with, pushed his efforts with renewed
vigor, and in January, 1732, exulted that he had gained the guarantee of
the Pragmatic Sanction from all the Germanic body, with the exception of
Bavaria, Palatine and Saxony.

And now a new difficulty arose to embroil Europe in trouble. When
Charles XII., like a thunderbolt of war, burst upon Poland, he drove
Augustus II. from the throne, and placed upon it Stanislaus Leczinski, a
Polish noble, whom he had picked up by the way, and whose heroic
character secured the admiration of this semi-insane monarch. Augustus,
utterly crushed, was compelled by his eccentric victor to send the crown
jewels and the archives, with a letter of congratulation, to Stanislaus.
This was in the year 1706. Three years after this, in 1709, Charles XII.
suffered a memorable defeat at Pultowa. Augustus II., then at the head
of an army, regained his kingdom, and Stanislaus fled in disguise. After
numerous adventures and fearful afflictions, the court of France offered
him a retreat in Wissembourg in Alsace. Here the ex-king remained for
six years, when his beautiful daughter Mary was selected to take the
place of the rejected Mary of Spain, as the wife of the young dauphin,
Louis XV.

In the year 1733 Augustus II. died. In anticipation of this event
Austria had been very busy, hoping to secure the elective crown of
Poland for the son of Augustus who had inherited his father's name, and
who had promised to support the Pragmatic Sanction. France was equally
busy in the endeavor to place the scepter of Poland in the hand of
Stanislaus, father of the queen. From the time of the marriage of his
daughter with Louis XV., Stanislaus received a handsome pension from the
French treasury, maintained a court of regal splendor, and received all
the honors due to a sovereign. All the energies of the French court were
now aroused to secure the crown for Stanislaus. Russia, Prussia and
Austria were in natural sympathy. They wished to secure the alliance of
Poland, and were also both anxious to destroy the republican principle
of _electing_ rulers, and to introduce hereditary descent of the crown
in all the kingdoms of Europe. But an election by the nobles was now
indispensable, and the rival powers were, with all the arts known in
courts, pushing the claims of their several candidates. It was an
important question, for upon it depended whether warlike Poland was to
be the ally of the Austrian or of the French party. Poland was also
becoming quite republican in its tendencies, and had adopted a
constitution which greatly limited the power of the crown. Augustus
would be but a tool in the hands of Russia, Prussia and Austria, and
would cooperate with them in crushing the spirit of liberty in Poland.
These three great northern powers became so roused upon the subject,
that they put their troops in motion, threatening to exclude Stanislaus
by force.

This language of menace and display of arms roused France. The king,
while inundating Poland with agents, and lavishing the treasure of
France in bribes to secure the election of Stanislaus, assumed an air of
virtuous indignation in view of the interference of the Austrian party,
and declared that no foreign power should interfere in any way with the
freedom of the election. This led the emperor to issue a
counter-memorial inveighing against the intermeddling of France.

In the midst of these turmoils the congress of Polish nobles met to
choose their king. It was immediately apparent that there was a very
powerful party organized in favor of Stanislaus. The emperor was for
marching directly into the kingdom with an army which he had already
assembled in Silesia for this purpose, and with the bayonet make up for
any deficiency which his party might want in votes. Though Prussia
demurred, he put his troops in motion, and the imperial and Russian
ambassadors at Warsaw informed the marshal of the diet that Catharine,
who was now Empress of Russia, and Charles, had decided to exclude
Stanislaus from Poland by force.

These threats produced their natural effect upon the bold warrior barons
of Poland. Exasperated rather than intimidated, they assembled, many
thousands in number, on the great plain of Wola, but a few miles from
Warsaw, and with great unanimity chose Stanislaus their king. This was
the 12th of September, 1733. Stanislaus, anticipating the result, had
left France in disguise, accompanied by a single attendant, to undertake
the bold enterprise of traversing the heart of Germany, eluding all the
vigilance of the emperor, and of entering Poland notwithstanding all the
efforts of Austria, Russia and Prussia to keep him away. It was a very
hazardous adventure, for his arrest would have proved his ruin. Though
he encountered innumerable dangers, with marvelous sagacity and heroism
he succeeded, and reached Warsaw on the 9th of September, just three
days before the election. In regal splendor he rode, as soon as informed
of his election, to the tented field where the nobles were convened. He
was received with the clashing of weapons, the explosions of artillery,
and the acclamations of thousands.

But the Poles were not sufficiently enlightened fully to comprehend the
virtue and the sacredness of the ballot-box. The Russian army was now
hastening to the gates of Warsaw. The small minority of Polish nobles
opposed to the election of Stanislaus seceded from the diet, mounted
their horses, crossed the Vistula, and joined the invading array to make
war upon the sovereign whom the majority had chosen. The retribution for
such folly and wickedness has come. There is no longer any Poland. They
who despise the authority of the ballot-box inevitably usher in the
bayonets of despotism. Under the protection of this army the minority
held another diet at Kamien (on the 5th of October), a village just
outside the suburbs of Warsaw, and chose as the sovereign of Poland
Augustus, son of the deceased king. The minority, aided by the Russian
and imperial armies, were too strong for the majority. They took
possession of Warsaw, and crowned their candidate king, with the title
of Augustus III. Stanislaus, pressed by an overpowering force, retreated
to Dantzic, at the mouth of the Vistula, about two hundred miles from
Warsaw. Here he was surrounded by the Russian troops and held in close
siege, while Augustus III. took possession of Poland. France could do
nothing. A weary march of more than a thousand miles separated Paris
from Warsaw, and the French troops would be compelled to fight their way
through the very heart of the German empire, and at the end of the
journey to meet the united armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Poland
under her king, now in possession of all the fortresses.

Though Louis XV. could make no effectual resistance, it was not in human
nature but that he should seek revenge. When shepherds quarrel, they
kill each other's flocks. When kings quarrel, they kill the poor
peasants in each other's territories, and burn their homes. France
succeeded in enlisting in her behalf Spain and Sardinia. Austria and
Russia were upon the other side. Prussia, jealous of the emperor's
greatness, declined any active participation. Most of the other powers
of Europe also remained neutral. France had now no hope of placing
Stanislaus upon the throne; she only sought revenge, determined to
humble the house of Austria. The mercenary King of Sardinia, Charles
Emanuel, was willing to serve the one who would pay the most. He first
offered himself to the emperor, but upon terms too exorbitant to be
accepted. France and Spain immediately offered him terms even more
advantageous than those he had demanded of the emperor. The contract was
settled, and the Sardinian army marched into the allied camp.

The King of Sardinia, who was as ready to employ guile as force in
warfare, so thoroughly deceived the emperor as to lead him to believe
that he had accepted the emperor's terms, and that Sardinia was to be
allied with Austria, even when the whole contract was settled with
France and Spain, and the plan of the campaign was matured. So utterly
was the emperor deluded by a fraud so contemptible, in the view of every
honorable mind, that he sent great convoys of grain, and a large supply
of shot, shells and artillery from the arsenals of Milan into the
Sardinian camp. Charles Emanuel, dead to all sense of magnanimity,
rubbed his hands with delight in the successful perpetration of such
fraud, exclaiming, "_An virtus an dolos, quis ab hoste requirat_."

So cunningly was this stratagem carried on, that the emperor was not
undeceived until his own artillery, which he had sent to Charles
Emanuel, were thundering at the gates of the city of Milan, and the shot
and shells which he had so unsuspectingly furnished were mowing down the
imperial troops. So sudden was the attack, so unprepared was Austrian
Lombardy to meet it, that in twelve weeks the Sardinian troops overran
the whole territory, seized every city and magazine, with all their
treasures, leaving the fortress of Mantua alone in the possession of the
imperial troops. It was the policy of Louis XV. to attack Austria in the
remote portions of her widely-extended dominions, and to cut off
province by province. He also made special and successful efforts to
detach the interests of the German empire from those of Austria, so that
the princes of the empire might claim neutrality. It was against the
possessions of Charles VI., not against the independent States of the
empire, that Louis XV. urged war.

The storms of winter were now at hand, and both parties were compelled
to abandon the field until spring. But during the winter every nerve was
strained by the combatants in preparation for the strife which the
returning sun would introduce. The emperor established strong defenses
along the banks of the Rhine to prevent the passage of the French; he
also sent agents to all the princes of the empire to enlist them in his
cause, and succeeded, notwithstanding the remonstrances of many who
claimed neutrality, in obtaining a vote from a diet which he assembled,
for a large sum of money, and for an army of one hundred and twenty
thousand men.

The loss of Lombardy troubled Charles exceedingly, for it threatened the
loss of all his Italian possessions. Notwithstanding the severity of the
winter he sent to Mantua all the troops he could raise from his
hereditary domains; and ordered every possible effort to be made to be
prepared to undertake the offensive in the spring, and to drive the
Sardinians from Lombardy. In the beginning of May the emperor had
assembled within and around Mantua, sixty thousand men, under the
command of Count Merci. The hostile forces soon met, and battle after
battle thundered over the Italian plains. On the 29th of June the two
armies encountered each other in the vicinity of Parma, in such numbers
as to give promise of a decisive battle. For ten hours the demoniac
storm raged unintermitted. Ten thousand of the dead covered the ground.
Neither party had taken a single standard or a single prisoner, an event
almost unparalleled in the history of battles. From the utter exhaustion
of both parties the strife ceased. The Sardinians and French, mangled
and bleeding, retired within the walls of Parma. The Austrians, equally
bruised and bloody, having lost their leader, retired to Reggio. Three
hundred and forty of the Austrian officers were either killed or
wounded.

The King of Sardinia was absent during this engagement, having gone to
Turin to visit his wife, who was sick. The morning after the battle,
however, he joined the army, and succeeded in cutting off an Austrian
division of twelve hundred men, whom he took prisoners. Both parties now
waited for a time to heal their wounds, repair their shattered weapons,
get rested and receive reinforcements. Ten thousand poor peasants, who
had not the slightest interest in the quarrel, had now met with a bloody
death, and other thousands were now to be brought forward and offered as
victims on this altar of kingly ambition. By the middle of July they
were again prepared to take the field. Both parties struggled with
almost superhuman energies in the work of mutual destruction; villages
were burned, cities stormed, fields crimsoned with blood and strewn with
the slain, while no decisive advantage was gained. In the desperation of
the strife the hostile battalions were hurled against each other until
the beginning of January. They waded morasses, slept in drenching
storms, and were swept by freezing blasts. Sickness entered the camp,
and was even more fatal than the bullet of the foe. Thousands moaned and
died in their misery, upon pallets of straw, where no sister, wife or
mother could soothe the dying anguish. Another winter only afforded the
combatants opportunity to nurse their strength that they might deal
still heavier blows in another campaign.

While the imperial troops were struggling against Sardinia and France on
the plains of Lombardy, a Spanish squadron landed a strong military
force of French and Spaniards upon the peninsula of southern Italy, and
meeting with no force sufficiently powerful to oppose them, speedily
overran Naples and Sicily. The Spanish troops silenced the forts which
defended the city of Naples, and taking the garrison prisoners, entered
the metropolis in triumphal array, greeted by the acclamations of the
populace, who hated the Austrians. After many battles, in which
thousands were slain, the Austrians were driven out of all the
Neapolitan States, and Carlos, the oldest son of Philip V. of Spain, was
crowned King of Naples, with the title of Charles III. The island of
Sicily was speedily subjugated and also attached to the Neapolitan
crown.

These losses the emperor felt most keenly. Upon the Rhine he had made
great preparations, strengthening fortresses and collecting troops,
which he placed under the command of his veteran general, Prince Eugene.
He was quite sanguine that here he would be abundantly able to repel the
assaults of his foes. But here again he was doomed to bitter
disappointment. The emperor found a vast disproportion between promise
and performance. The diet had voted him one hundred and twenty thousand
troops; they furnished twelve thousand. They voted abundant supplies;
they furnished almost none at all.

The campaign opened the 9th of April, 1734, the French crossing the
Rhine near Truerbuch, in three strong columns, notwithstanding all the
efforts of the Austrians to resist them. Prince Eugene, by birth a
Frenchman, reluctantly assumed the command. He had remonstrated with the
emperor against any forcible interference in the Polish election,
assuring him that he would thus expose himself, almost without allies,
to all the power of France. Eugene did not hesitate openly to express
his disapprobation of the war. "I can take no interest in this war," he
said; "the question at issue is not important enough to authorize the
death of a chicken."

Eugene, upon his arrival from Vienna, at the Austrian camp, found but
twenty-five thousand men. They were composed of a motley assemblage from
different States, undisciplined, unaccustomed to act together and with
no confidence in each other. The commanders of the various corps were
quarreling for the precedence in rank, and there was no unity or
subordination in the army. They were retreating before the French, who,
in numbers, in discipline, and in the materiel of war, were vastly in
the superiority. Eugene saw at once that it would be folly to risk a
battle, and that all he could hope to accomplish was to throw such
embarrassments as he might in the path of the victors.

The young officers, ignorant, impetuous and reckless, were for giving
battle, which would inevitably have resulted in the destruction of the
army. They were so vexed by the wise caution of Eugene, which they
regarded as pusillanimity, that they complained to the emperor that the
veteran general was in his dotage, that he was broken both in body and
mind, and quite unfit to command the army. These representations induced
the emperor to send a spy to watch the conduct of Eugene. Though deeply
wounded by these suspicions, the experienced general could not be
provoked to hazard an engagement. He retreated from post to post, merely
checking the progress of the enemy, till the campaign was over, and the
ice and snow of a German winter drove all to winter quarters.

While recruiting for the campaign of 1735, Prince Eugene wrote a series
of most earnest letters to his confidential agent in London, which
letters were laid before George II., urging England to come to the help
of the emperor in his great extremity. Though George was eager to put
the fleet and army of England in motion, the British cabinet wisely
refused to plunge the nation into war for such a cause, and the emperor
was left to reap the bitter fruit of his despotism and folly. The
emperor endeavored to frighten England by saying that he was reduced to
such an extremity that if the British cabinet did not give him aid, he
should be compelled to seek peace by giving his daughter, with Austria
in her hand as her dowry, to Carlos, now King of Naples and heir
apparent to the crown of Spain. He well knew that to prevent such an
acquisition of power on the part of the Spanish monarch, who was also in
intimate alliance with France, England would be ready to expend any
amount of blood and treasure.

Charles VI. waited with great impatience to see the result of this
menace, hardly doubting that it would bring England immediately to
terms. Bitter was his disappointment and his despair when he received
from the court of St. James the calm reply, that England could not
possibly take a part in this war, and that in view of the great
embarrassments in which the emperor was involved, England would take no
offense in case of the marriage of the emperor's second daughter to
Carlos. England then advised the emperor to make peace by surrendering
the Netherlands.

The emperor was now greatly enraged, and inveighed bitterly against
England as guilty of the grossest perfidy. He declared that England had
been as deeply interested as he was in excluding Stanislaus from the
throne of Poland; that it was more important for England than for
Austria to curb the exorbitant power of France; that in every step he
had taken against Stanislaus, he had consulted England, and had acted in
accordance with her counsel; that England was reaping the benefit of
having the father-in-law of the French king expelled from the Polish
throne; that England had solemnly promised to support him in these
measures, and now having derived all the advantage, basely abandoned
him. There were bitter charges, and it has never been denied that they
were mainly true. The emperor, in his indignation, threatened to tell
the whole story to the _people_ of England. It is strange that the
emperor had found out that there were _people_ in England. In no other
part of Europe was there any thing but _nobles_ and _peasants_.

In this extraordinary letter, addressed to Count Kinsky, the imperial
ambassador in London, the emperor wrote:

"On the death of Augustus II., King of Poland, my first care was to
communicate to the King of England the principles on which I acted. I
followed, in every instance, his advice.... England has never failed to
give me promises, both before and since the commencement of the war, but
instead of fulfilling those promises, she has even favored my
enemies.... Let the king know that I never will consent to the plan of
pacification now in agitation; that I had rather suffer the worst of
extremities than accede to such disadvantageous proposals, and that even
if I should not be able to prevent them, I will justify my honor and my
dignity, by publishing a circumstantial account of all the transaction,
together with all the documents which I have now in possession.... If
these representations fail, means must be taken to publish and circulate
throughout England our answer to the proposal of good offices which was
not made till after the expiration of nine months. Should the court of
London proceed so far as to make such propositions of peace as are
supposed to be in agitation, you will not delay a moment to circulate
throughout England a memorial, containing a recapitulation of all
negotiations which have taken place since 1710, together with the
authentic documents, detailing my just complaints, and reclaiming, in
the most solemn manner, the execution of the guaranties."

One more effort the emperor made, and it was indeed a desperate one. He
dispatched a secret agent, an English Roman Catholic, by the name of
Strickland, to London, to endeavor to overthrow the ministry and bring
in a cabinet in favor of him. In this, of course, he failed entirely.
Nothing now remained for him but to submit, with the best grace he
could, to the terms exacted by his foes. In the general pacification
great interests were at stake, and all the leading powers of Europe
demanded a voice in the proceedings. For many months the negotiations
were protracted. England and France became involved in an angry dispute.
Each power was endeavoring to grasp all it could, while at the same time
it was striving to check the rapacity of every other power. There was a
general armistice while these negotiations were pending. It was,
however, found exceedingly difficult to reconcile all conflicting
interests. New parties were formed; new combinations entered into, and
all parties began to aim for a renewal of the strife. England,
exasperated against France, in menace made an imposing display of her
fleet and navy. The emperor was delighted, and, trusting to gain new
allies, exerted his skill of diplomacy to involve the contracting
parties in confusion and discord.

Thus encouraged, the emperor refused to accede to the terms demanded. He
was required to give up the Netherlands, and all his foreign
possessions, and to retire to his hereditary dominions. "What a severe
sentence," exclaimed Count Zinzendorf, the emperor's ambassador, "have
you passed on the emperor. No malefactor was ever carried with so hard a
doom to the gibbet."

The armies again took the field. Eugene, again, though with great
reluctance, assumed the command of the imperial forces. France had
assembled one hundred thousand men upon the Rhine. Eugene had but thirty
thousand men to meet them. He assured the emperor that with such a force
he could not successfully carry on the war. Jealous of his reputation,
he said, sadly, "to find myself in the same condition as last year, will
be only exposing myself to the censure of the world, which judges by
appearance, as if I were less capable, in my old age, to support the
reputation of my former successes." With consummate generalship, this
small force held the whole French army in check.



CHAPTER XXV.

CHARLES VI. AND THE TURKISH WAR RENEWED.

From 1735 to 1730.

Anxiety Of Austrian Office-Holders.--Maria Theresa.--The Duke Of
Lorraine.--Distraction Of The Emperor.--Tuscany Assigned To The Duke Of
Lorraine.--Death Of Eugene.--Rising Greatness Of Russia.--New War With
The Turks.--Condition Of The Army.--Commencement Of Hostilities.--
Capture Of Nissa.--Inefficient Campaign.--Disgrace Of Seckendorf.--The
Duke Of Lorraine Placed In Command.--Siege Of Orsova.--Belgrade Besieged
By The Turks.--The Third Campaign.--Battle Of Crotzka.--Defeat Of The
Austrians.--Consternation In Vienna.--Barbarism Of The Turks.--The
Surrender Of Belgrade.


The emperor being quite unable, either on the Rhine or in Italy,
successfully to compete with his foes, received blow after blow, which
exceedingly disheartened him. His affairs were in a desperate condition,
and, to add to his grief, dissensions filled his cabinet; his
counsellors mutually accusing each other of being the cause of the
impending ruin. The Italian possessions of the emperor had been thronged
with Austrian nobles, filling all the posts of office and of honor, and
receiving rich salaries. A change of administration, in the transference
of these States to the dominion of Spain and Sardinia, "reformed" all
these Austrian office-holders out of their places, and conferred these
posts upon Spaniards and Sardinians. The ejected Austrian nobles crowded
the court of the emperor, with the most passionate importunities that he
would enter into a separate accommodation with Spain, and secure the
restoration of the Italian provinces by giving his eldest daughter,
Maria Theresa, to the Spanish prince, Carlos. This would seem to be a
very simple arrangement, especially since the Queen of Spain so
earnestly desired this match, that she was willing to make almost any
sacrifice for its accomplishment. But there was an inseparable obstacle
in the way of any such arrangement.

Maria Theresa had just attained her eighteenth year. She was a young
lady of extraordinary force of character, and of an imperial spirit; and
she had not the slightest idea of having her person disposed of as a
mere make-weight in the diplomacy of Europe. She knew that the crown of
Austria was soon to be hers; she understood the weakness of her father,
and was well aware that she was far more capable of wearing that crown
than he had ever been; and she was already far more disposed to take the
reins of government from her father's hand, than she was to submit
herself to his control. With such a character, and such anticipations,
she had become passionately attached to the young Duke of Lorraine, who
was eight years her senior, and who had for some years been one of the
most brilliant ornaments of her father's court.

The duchy of Lorraine was one of the most extensive and opulent of the
minor States of the German empire. Admirably situated upon the Rhine and
the Meuse, and extending to the sea, it embraced over ten thousand
square miles, and contained a population of over a million and a half.
The duke, Francis Stephen, was the heir of an illustrious line, whose
lineage could be traced for many centuries. Germany, France and Spain,
united, had not sufficient power to induce Maria Theresa to reject
Francis Stephen, the grandson of her father's sister, the playmate of
her childhood, and now her devoted lover, heroic and fascinating, for
the Spanish Carlos, of whom she knew little, and for whom she cared
less. Ambition also powerfully operated on the very peculiar mind of
Maria Theresa. She had much of the exacting spirit of Elizabeth,
England's maiden queen, and was emulous of supremacy which no one would
share. She, in her own right, was to inherit the crown of Austria, and
Francis Stephen, high-born and noble as he was, and her recognized
husband, would still be her subject. She could confer upon him dignity
and power, retaining a supremacy which even he could never reach.

The emperor was fully aware of the attachment of his daughter to
Francis, of her inflexible character; and even when pretending to
negotiate for her marriage with Carlos, he was conscious that it was all
a mere pretense, and that the union could never be effected. The British
minister at Vienna saw very clearly the true state of affairs, and when
the emperor was endeavoring to intimidate England by the menace that he
would unite the crowns of Spain and Austria by uniting Maria and Carlos,
the minister wrote to his home government as follows:

"Maria Theresa is a princess of the highest spirit; her father's losses
are her own. She reasons already; she enters into affairs; she admires
his virtues, but condemns his mismanagement; and is of a temper so
formed for rule and ambition, as to look upon him as little more than
her administrator. Notwithstanding this lofty humor by day, she sighs
and pines all night for her Duke of Lorraine. If she sleeps, it is only
to dream of him; if she wakes, it is but to talk of him to the lady in
waiting; so that there is no more probability of her forgetting the very
individual government, and the very individual husband which she thinks
herself born to, than of her forgiving the authors of her losing
either."

The empress was cordially coöperating with her daughter. The emperor was
in a state of utter distraction. His affairs were fast going to ruin; he
was harassed by counter intreaties; he knew not which way to turn, or
what to do. Insupportable gloom oppressed his spirit. Pale and haggard,
he wandered through the rooms of his palace, the image of woe. At night
he tossed sleepless upon his bed, moaning in anguish which he then did
not attempt to conceal, and giving free utterance to all the mental
tortures which were goading him to madness. The queen became seriously
alarmed lest his reason should break down beneath such a weight of woe.
It was clear that neither reason nor life could long withstand such a
struggle.

Thus in despair, the emperor made proposals for a secret and separate
accommodation with France. Louis XV. promptly listened, and offered
terms, appallingly definite, and cruel enough to extort the last drop of
blood from the emperor's sinking heart. "Give me," said the French king,
"the duchy of Lorraine, and I will withdraw my armies, and leave Austria
to make the best terms she can with Spain."

How could the emperor wrest from his prospective son-in-law his
magnificent ancestral inheritance? The duke could not hold his realms
for an hour against the armies of France, should the emperor consent to
their surrender; and conscious of the desperation to which the emperor
was driven, and of his helplessness, he was himself plunged into the
deepest dismay and anguish. He held an interview with the British
minister to see if it were not possible that England might interpose her
aid in his behalf. In frantic grief he lost his self control, and,
throwing himself into a chair, pressed his brow convulsively, and
exclaimed, "Great God! will not England help me? Has not his majesty
with his own lips, over and over again, promised to stand by me?"

The French armies were advancing; shot and shell were falling upon
village and city; fortress after fortress was surrendering. "Give me
Lorraine," repeated Louis XV., persistently, "or I will take all
Austria." There was no alternative but for the emperor to drink to the
dregs the bitter cup which his own hand had mingled. He surrendered
Lorraine to France. He, however, succeeded in obtaining some slight
compensation for the defrauded duke. The French court allowed him a
pension of ninety thousand dollars a year, until the death of the aged
Duke of Tuscany, who was the last of the Medici line, promising that
then Tuscany, one of the most important duchies of central Italy, should
pass into the hands of Francis. Should Sardinia offer any opposition,
the King of France promised to unite with the emperor in maintaining
Francis in his possession by force of arms. Peace was thus obtained with
France. Peace was then made with Spain and Sardinia, by surrendering to
Spain Naples and Sicily, and to Sardinia most of the other Austrian
provinces in Italy. Thus scourged and despoiled, the emperor, a humbled,
woe-stricken man, retreated to the seclusion of his palace.

While these affairs were in progress, Francis Stephen derived very
considerable solace by his marriage with Maria Theresa. Their nuptials
took place at Vienna on the 12th of February, 1736. The emperor made the
consent of the duke to the cession of Lorraine to France, a condition of
the marriage. As the duke struggled against the surrender of his
paternal domains, Cartenstein, the emperor's confidential minister,
insultingly said to him, "Monseigneur, point de cession, point
d'archiduchesse." _My lord, no cession, no archduchess._ Fortunately for
Francis, in about a year after his marriage the Duke of Tuscany died,
and Francis, with his bride, hastened to his new home in the palaces of
Leghorn. Though the duke mourned bitterly over the loss of his ancestral
domains, Tuscany was no mean inheritance. The duke was absolute monarch
of the duchy, which contained about eight thousand square miles and a
population of a million. The revenues of the archduchy were some four
millions of dollars. The army consisted of six thousand troops.

Two months after the marriage of Maria Theresa, Prince Eugene died
quietly in his bed at the age of seventy-three. He had passed his whole
lifetime riding over fields of battle swept by bullets and plowed by
shot. He had always exposed his own person with utter recklessness,
leading the charge, and being the first to enter the breach or climb the
rampart. Though often wounded, he escaped all these perils, and breathed
his last in peace upon his pillow in Vienna.

His funeral was attended with regal honors. For three days the corpse
lay in state, with the coat of mail, the helmet and the gauntlets which
the warrior had worn in so many fierce battles, suspended over his
lifeless remains. His heart was sent in an urn to be deposited in the
royal tomb where his ancestors slumbered. His embalmed body was interred
in the metropolitan church in Vienna. The emperor and all the court
attended the funeral, and his remains were borne to the grave with
honors rarely conferred upon any but crowned heads.

The Ottoman power had now passed its culminating point, and was
evidently on the wane. The Russian empire was beginning to arrest the
attention of Europe, and was ambitious of making its voice heard in the
diplomacy of the European monarchies. Being destitute of any sea coast,
it was excluded from all commercial intercourse with foreign nations,
and in its cold, northern realm, "leaning," as Napoleon once said,
"against the North Pole," seemed to be shut up to barbarism. It had been
a leading object of the ambition of Peter the Great to secure a maritime
port for his kingdom. He at first attempted a naval depot on his extreme
southern border, at the mouth of the Don, on the sea of Azof. This would
open to him the commerce of the Mediterranean through the Azof, the
Euxine and the Marmora. But the assailing Turks drove him from these
shores, and he was compelled to surrender the fortresses he had
commenced to their arms. He then turned to his western frontier, and,
with an incredible expenditure of money and sacrifice of life, reared
upon the marshes of the Baltic the imperial city of St. Petersburg.
Peter I. died in 1725, leaving the crown to his wife Catharine. She,
however, survived him but two years, when she died, in 1727, leaving two
daughters. The crown then passed to the grandson of Peter I., a boy of
thirteen. In three years he died of the small-pox. Anna, the daughter of
the oldest brother of Peter I., now ascended the throne, and reigned,
through her favorites, with relentless rigor.

It was one of the first objects of Anna's ambition to secure a harbor
for maritime commerce in the more sunny climes of southern Europe. St.
Petersburg, far away upon the frozen shores of the Baltic, where the
harbor was shut up with ice for five months in the year, presented but a
cheerless prospect for the formation of a merchant marine. She
accordingly revived the original project of Peter the Great, and waged
war with the Turks to recover the lost province on the shores of the
Euxine. Russia had been mainly instrumental in placing Augustus II. on
the throne of Poland; Anna was consequently sure of his sympathy and
coöperation. She also sent to Austria to secure the alliance of the
emperor. Charles VI., though his army was in a state of decay and his
treasury empty, eagerly embarked in the enterprise. He was in a
continued state of apprehension from the threatened invasion of the
Turks. He hoped also, aided by the powerful arm of Russia, to be able to
gain territories in the east which would afford some compensation for
his enormous losses in the south and in the west.

While negotiations were pending, the Russian armies were already on the
march. They took Azof after a siege of but a fortnight, and then overran
and took possession of the whole Crimea, driving the Turks before them.
Charles VI. was a very scrupulous Roman Catholic, and was animated to
the strife by the declaration of his confessor that it was his duty, as
a Christian prince, to aid in extirpating the enemies of the Church of
Christ. The Turks were greatly alarmed by these successes of the
Russians, and by the formidable preparations of the other powers allied
against them.

The emperor hoped that fortune, so long adverse, was now turning in his
favor. He collected a large force on the frontiers of Turkey, and
intrusted the command to General Seckendorf. The general hastened into
Hungary to the rendezvous of the troops. He found the army in a
deplorable condition. The treasury being exhausted, they were but poorly
supplied with the necessaries of war, and the generals and contractors
had contrived to appropriate to themselves most of the funds which had
been furnished. The general wrote to the emperor, presenting a
lamentable picture of the destitution of the army.

"I can not," he said, "consistently with my duty to God and the emperor,
conceal the miserable condition of the barracks and the hospitals. The
troops, crowded together without sufficient bedding to cover them, are a
prey to innumerable disorders, and are exposed to the rain, and other
inclemencies of the weather, from the dilapidated state of the caserns,
the roofs of which are in perpetual danger of being overthrown by the
wind. All the frontier fortresses, and even Belgrade, are incapable of
the smallest resistance, as well from the dilapidated state of the
fortifications as from a total want of artillery, ammunition and other
requisites. The naval armament is in a state of irreparable disorder.
Some companies of my regiment of Belgrade are thrust into holes where a
man would not put even his favorite hounds; and I can not see the
situation of these miserable and half-starved wretches without tears.
These melancholy circumstances portend the loss of these fine kingdoms
with the same rapidity as that of the States of Italy."

The bold Commander-in-chief also declared that many of the generals were
so utterly incapable of discharging their duties, that nothing could be
anticipated, under their guidance, but defeat and ruin. He complained
that the governors of those distant provinces, quite neglecting the
responsibilities of their offices, were spending their time in hunting
and other trivial amusements. These remonstrances roused the emperor,
and decisive reforms were undertaken. The main plan of the campaign was
for the Russians, who were already on the shores of the Black sea, to
press on to the mouth of the Danube, and then to march up the stream.
The Austrians were to follow down the Danube to the Turkish province of
Wallachia, and then, marching through the heart of that province, either
effect a junction with the Russians, or inclose the Turks between the
two armies. At the same time a large Austrian force, marching through
Bosnia and Servia, and driving the Turks out, were to take military
possession of those countries and join the main army in its union on the
lower Danube.

Matters being thus arranged, General Seckendorf took the command of the
Austrian troops, with the assurance that he should be furnished with one
hundred and twenty-six thousand men, provided with all the implements of
war, and that he should receive a monthly remittance of one million two
hundred thousand dollars for the pay of the troops. The emperor,
however, found it much easier to make promises than to fulfill them. The
month of August had already arrived and Seckendorf, notwithstanding his
most strenuous exertions, had assembled at Belgrade but thirty thousand
infantry and fifteen thousand cavalry. The Turks, with extraordinary
energy, had raised a much more formidable and a better equipped army.
Just as Seckendorf was commencing his march, having minutely arranged
all the stages of the campaign, to his surprise and indignation he
received orders to leave the valley of the Danube and march directly
south about one hundred and fifty miles into the heart of Servia, and
lay siege to the fortress of Nissa. The whole plan of the campaign was
thus frustrated. Magazines, at great expense, had been established, and
arrangements made for floating the heavy baggage down the stream. Now
the troops were to march through morasses and over mountains, without
suitable baggage wagons, and with no means of supplying themselves with
provisions in so hostile and inhospitable a country.

But the command of the emperor was not to be disobeyed. For twenty-eight
days they toiled along, encountering innumerable impediments, many
perishing by the way, until they arrived, in a state of extreme
exhaustion and destitution, before the walls of Nissa. Fortunately the
city was entirely unprepared for an attack, which had not been at all
anticipated, and the garrison speedily surrendered. Here Seckendorf,
having dispatched parties to seize the neighboring fortress, and the
passes of the mountains, waited for further orders from Vienna. The army
were so dissatisfied with their position and their hardships, that they
at last almost rose in mutiny, and Seckendorf, having accomplished
nothing of any moment, was compelled to retrace his steps to the banks
of the Danube, where he arrived on the 16th of October. Thus the
campaign was a total failure.

Bitter complaints were uttered both by the army and the nation. The
emperor, with the characteristic injustice of an ignoble mind,
attributed the unfortunate campaign to the incapacity of Seckendorf,
whose judicious plans he had so ruthlessly thwarted. The heroic general
was immediately disgraced and recalled, and the command of the army
given to General Philippi. The friends of General Seckendorf, aware of
his peril, urged him to seek safety in flight. But he, emboldened by
conscious innocence, obeyed the imperial commands and repaired to
Vienna. Seckendorf was a Protestant. His appointment to the supreme
command gave great offense to the Catholics, and the priests, from their
pulpits, inveighed loudly against him as a heretic, whom God could not
bless. They arraigned his appointment as impious, and declared that, in
consequence, nothing was to be expected but divine indignation.
Immediately upon his arrival in Vienna the emperor ordered his arrest. A
strong guard was placed over him, in his own house, and articles of
impeachment were drawn up against him. His doom was sealed. Every
misadventure was attributed to negligence, cupidity or treachery. He
could offer no defense which would be of any avail, for he was not
permitted to exhibit the orders he had received from the emperor, lest
the emperor himself should be proved guilty of those disasters which he
was thus dishonorably endeavoring to throw upon another. The unhappy
Seckendorf, thus made the victim of the faults of others, was condemned
to the dungeon. He was sent to imprisonment in the castle of Glatz,
where he lingered in captivity for many years until the death of the
emperor.

Charles now, in accordance with the clamor of the priests, removed all
Protestants from command in the army and supplied their places with
Catholics. The Duke of Lorraine, who had recently married Maria Theresa,
was appointed generalissimo. But as the duke was young, inexperienced in
war, and, as yet, had displayed none of that peculiar talent requisite
for the guidance of armies, the emperor placed next to him, as the
acting commander, Marshal Konigsegg. The emperor also gave orders that
every important movement should be directed by a council of war, and
that in case of a tie the casting vote should be given, not by the Duke
of Lorraine, but by the veteran commander Konigsegg. The duke was an
exceedingly amiable man, of very courtly manners and winning address. He
was scholarly in his tastes, and not at all fond of the hardships of
war, with its exposure, fatigue and butchery. Though a man of perhaps
more than ordinary intellectual power, he was easily depressed by
adversity, and not calculated to brave the fierce storms of disaster.

Early in March the Turks opened the campaign by sending an army of
twenty thousand men to besiege Orsova, an important fortress on an
island of the Danube, about one hundred miles below Belgrade. They
planted their batteries upon both the northern and the southern banks of
the Danube, and opened a storm of shot and shell upon the fortress. The
Duke of Lorraine hastened to the relief of the important post, which
quite commanded that portion of the stream. The imperial troops pressed
on until they arrived within a few miles of the fortress. The Turks
marched to meet them, and plunged into their camp with great fierceness.
After a short but desperate conflict, the Turks were repulsed, and
retreating in a panic, they broke up their camp before the walls of
Orsova and retired.

This slight success, after so many disasters, caused immense exultation.
The Duke of Lorraine was lauded as one of the greatest generals of the
age. The pulpits rang with his praises, and it was announced that now,
that the troops were placed under a true child of the Church, Providence
might be expected to smile. Soon, however, the imperial army, while
incautiously passing through a defile, was assailed by a strong force of
the Turks, and compelled to retreat, having lost three thousand men. The
Turks resumed the siege of Orsova; and the Duke of Lorraine, quite
disheartened, returned to Vienna, leaving the command of the army to
Konigsegg. The Turks soon captured the fortress, and then, ascending the
river, drove the imperial troops before them to Belgrade. The Turks
invested the city, and the beleaguered troops were rapidly swept away by
famine and pestilence. The imperial cavalry, crossing the Save, rapidly
continued their retreat. Konigsegg was now recalled in disgrace, as
incapable of conducting the war, and the command was given to General
Kevenhuller. He was equally unsuccessful in resisting the foe; and,
after a series of indecisive battles, the storms of November drove both
parties to winter quarters, and another campaign was finished. The
Russians had also fought some fierce battles; but their campaign was as
ineffective as that of the Austrians.

The court of Vienna was now in a state of utter confusion. There was no
leading mind to assume any authority, and there was irremediable
discordance of counsel. The Duke of Lorraine was in hopeless disgrace;
even the emperor assenting to the universal cry against him. In a state
almost of distraction the emperor exclaimed, "Is the fortune of my
empire departed with Eugene?" The disgraceful retreat to Belgrade seemed
to haunt him day and night; and he repeated again and again to himself,
as he paced the floor of his apartment, "that unfortunate, that fatal
retreat." Disasters had been so rapidly accumulating upon him, that he
feared for every thing. He expressed the greatest anxiety lest his
daughter, Maria Theresa, who was to succeed him upon the throne, might
be intercepted, in the case of his sudden death, from returning to
Austria, and excluded from the throne. The emperor was in a state of
mind nearly bordering upon insanity.

At length the sun of another spring returned, the spring of 1739, and
the recruited armies were prepared again to take the field. The emperor
placed a new commander, Marshal Wallis, in command of the Austrian
troops. He was a man of ability, but overbearing and morose, being
described by a contemporary as one who hated everybody, and who was
hated by everybody in return. Fifty miles north of Belgrade, on the
south bank of the Danube, is the fortified town of Peterwardein, so
called as the rendezvous where Peter the Hermit marshaled the soldiers
of the first crusade. This fortress had long been esteemed one of the
strongest of the Austrian empire. It was appointed as the rendezvous of
the imperial troops, and all the energies of the now exhausted empire
were expended in gathering there as large a force as possible. But,
notwithstanding the utmost efforts, in May but thirty thousand men were
assembled, and these but very poorly provided with the costly
necessaries of war. Another auxiliary force of ten thousand men was
collected at Temeswar, a strong fortress twenty-five miles north of
Peterwardein. With these forces Wallis was making preparations to
attempt to recover Orsova from the Turks, when he received positive
orders to engage the enemy with his whole force on the first
opportunity.

The army marched down the banks of the river, conveying its baggage and
heavy artillery in a flotilla to Belgrade, where it arrived on the 11th
of June. Here they were informed that the Turkish army was about twenty
miles below on the river at Crotzka. The imperial army was immediately
pressed forward, in accordance with the emperor's orders, to attack the
foe. The Turks were strongly posted, and far exceeded the Austrians in
number. At five o'clock on the morning of the 21st of July the battle
commenced, and blazed fiercely through all the hours of the day until
the sun went down. Seven thousand Austrians were then dead upon the
plain. The Turks were preparing to renew the conflict in the morning,
when Wallis ordered a retreat, which was securely effected during the
darkness of the night. On the ensuing day the Turks pursued them to the
walls of Belgrade, and, driving them across the river, opened the fire
of their batteries upon the city. The Turks commenced the siege in form,
and were so powerful, that Wallis could do nothing to retard their
operations. A breach was ere long made in one of the bastions; an
assault was hourly expected which the garrison was in no condition to
repel. Wallis sent word to the emperor that the surrender of Belgrade
was inevitable; that it was necessary immediately to retreat to
Peterwardein, and that the Turks, flushed with victory, might soon be at
the gates of Vienna.

Great was the consternation which pervaded the court and the capital
upon the reception of these tidings. The ministers all began to
criminate each other. The general voice clamored for peace upon almost
any terms. The emperor alone remained firm. He dispatched another
officer, General Schmettan, to hasten with all expedition to the
imperial camp, and prevent, if possible, the impending disaster. He
earnestly pressed the hand of the general as he took his leave, and
said--

"Use the utmost diligence to arrive before the retreat of the army;
assume the defense of Belgrade, and save it, if not too late, from
falling into the hands of the enemy."

The energy of Schmettan arrested the retreat of Wallis, and revived the
desponding hopes of the garrison of Belgrade. Bastion after bastion was
recovered. The Turks were driven back from the advance posts they had
occupied. A new spirit animated the whole Austrian army, and from the
depths of despair they were rising to sanguine hopes of victory, when
the stunning news arrived that the emperor had sent an envoy to the
Turkish camp, and had obtained peace by the surrender of Belgrade. Count
Neuperg having received full powers from the emperor to treat, very
imprudently entered the camp of the barbaric Turk, without requiring any
hostages for his safety. The barbarians, regardless of the flag of
truce, and of all the rules of civilized warfare, arrested Count
Neuperg, and put him under guard. He was then conducted into the
presence of the grand vizier, who was arrayed in state, surrounded by
his bashaws. The grand vizier haughtily demanded the terms Neuperg was
authorized to offer.

"The emperor, my master," said Neuperg, "has intrusted me with full
powers to negotiate a peace, and is willing, for the sake of peace, to
cede the province of Wallachia to Turkey provided the fortress of Orsova
be dismantled."

The grand vizier rose, came forward, and deliberately spit in the face
of the Count Neuperg, and exclaimed,

"Infidel dog! thou provest thyself a spy, with all thy powers. Since
thou hast brought no letter from the Vizier Wallis, and hast concealed
his offer to surrender Belgrade, thou shalt be sent to Constantinople to
receive the punishment thou deservest."

Count Neuperg, after this insult, was conducted into close confinement.
The French ambassador, Villeneuve, now arrived. He had adopted the
precaution of obtaining hostages before intrusting himself in the hands
of the Turks. The grand vizier would not listen to any terms of
accommodation but upon the basis of the surrender of Belgrade. The Turks
carried their point in every thing. The emperor surrendered Belgrade,
relinquished to them Orsova, agreed to demolish all the fortresses of
his own province of Media, and ceded to Turkey Servia and various other
contiguous districts. It was a humiliating treaty for Austria. Already
despoiled in Italy and on the Rhine, the emperor was now compelled to
abandon to the Turks extensive territories and important fortresses upon
the lower Danube.

General Schmettan, totally unconscious of these proceedings, was
conducting the defense of Belgrade with great vigor and with great
success, when he was astounded by the arrival of a courier in his camp,
presenting to him the following laconic note from Count Neuperg:

"Peace was signed this morning between the emperor, our master, and the
Porte. Let hostilities cease, therefore, on the receipt of this. In half
an hour I shall follow, and announce the particulars myself."

General Schmettan could hardly repress his indignation, and, when Count
Neuperg arrived, intreated that the surrender of Belgrade might be
postponed until the terms had been sent to the emperor for his
ratification. But Neuperg would listen to no such suggestions, and,
indignant that any obstacle should be thrown in the way of the
fulfillment of the treaty, menacingly said,

"If you choose to disobey the orders of the emperor, and to delay the
execution of the article relative to Belgrade, I will instantly dispatch
a courier to Vienna, and charge you with all the misfortunes which may
result. I had great difficulty in diverting the grand vizier from the
demand of Sirmia, Sclavonia and the bannat of Temeswar; and when I have
dispatched a courier, I will return into the Turkish camp and protest
against this violation of the treaty."

General Schmettan was compelled to yield. Eight hundred janissaries took
possession of one of the gates of the city; and the Turkish officers
rode triumphantly into the streets, waving before them in defiance the
banners they had taken at Crotzka. The new fortifications were blown up,
and the imperial army, in grief and shame, retired up the river to
Peterwardein. They had hardly evacuated the city ere Count Neuperg, to
his inexpressible mortification, received a letter from the emperor
stating that nothing could reconcile him to the idea of surrendering
Belgrade but the conviction that its defense was utterly hopeless; but
that learning that this was by no means the case, he intreated him on no
account to think of the surrender of the city. To add to the chagrin of
the count, he also ascertained, at the same time, that the Turks were in
such a deplorable condition that they were just on the point of
retreating, and would gladly have purchased peace at almost any
sacrifice. A little more diplomatic skill might have wrested from the
Turks even a larger extent of territory than the emperor had so
foolishly surrendered to them.



CHAPTER XXVI.

MARIA THERESA.

From 1739 to 1741.

Anguish of the King.--Letter to the Queen of Russia.--The imperial
Circular.--Deplorable Condition of Austria.--Death of Charles
VI.--Accession of Maria Theresa.--Vigorous Measures of the Queen.--Claim
of the Duke of Bavaria.--Responses from the Courts.--Coldness of the
French Court.--Frederic of Russia.--His Invasion of Silesia.--March of
the Austrians.--Battle of Molnitz.--Firmness of Maria Theresa.--Proposed
Division of Plunder.--Villainy of Frederic.--Interview with the
King.--Character of Frederic.--Commencement of the General Invasion.


Every intelligent man in Austria felt degraded by the peace which had
been made with the Turks. The tidings were received throughout the ranks
of the army with a general outburst of grief and indignation. The troops
intreated their officers to lead them against the foe, declaring that
they would speedily drive the Turks from Belgrade, which had been so
ignominiously surrendered. The populace of Vienna rose in insurrection,
and would have torn down the houses of the ministers who had recommended
the peace but for the interposition of the military. The emperor was
almost beside himself with anguish. He could not appease the clamors of
the nation. He was also in alliance with Russia, and knew not how to
meet the reproaches of the court of St. Petersburg for having so
needlessly surrendered the most important fortress on the Turkish
frontier. In an interview which he held with the Russian ambassador his
embarrassment was painful to witness. To the Queen of Russia he wrote in
terms expressive of the extreme agony of his mind, and, with
characteristic want of magnanimity cast the blame of the very measures
he had ordered upon the agents who had merely executed his will.

"While I am writing this letter," he said, "to your imperial majesty, my
heart is filled with the most excessive grief. I was much less touched
with the advantages gained by the enemy and the news of the siege of
Belgrade, than with the advice I have received concerning the shameful
preliminary articles concluded by Count Neuperg.

"The history of past ages exhibits no vestiges of such an event. I was
on the point of preventing the fatal and too hasty execution of these
preliminaries, when I heard that they were already partly executed, even
before the design had been communicated to me. Thus I see my hands tied
by those who ought to glory in obeying me. All who have approached me
since that fatal day, are so many witnesses of the excess of my grief.
Although I have many times experienced adversity, I never was so much
afflicted as by this event. Your majesty has a right to complain of some
who ought to have obeyed my orders; but I had no part in what they have
done. Though all the forces of the Ottoman empire were turned against me
I was not disheartened, but still did all in my power for the common
cause. I shall not, however, fail to perform in due time what avenging
justice requires. In this dismal series of misfortunes I have still one
comfort left, which is that the fault can not be thrown upon me. It lies
entirely on such of my officers as ratified the disgraceful
preliminaries without my knowledge, against my consent, and even
contrary to my express orders."

This apologetic letter was followed by a circular to all the imperial
ambassadors in the various courts of Europe, which circular was filled
with the bitterest denunciation of Count Neuperg and Marshal Wallis. It
declared that the emperor was not in any way implicated in the shameful
surrender of Belgrade. The marshal and the count, thus assailed and held
up to the scorn and execration of Europe, ventured to reply that they
had strictly conformed to their instructions. The common sense of the
community taught them that, in so rigorous and punctilious a court as
that of Vienna, no agent of the emperor would dare to act contrary to
his received instructions. Thus the infamous attempts of Charles to
brand his officers with ignominy did but rebound upon himself. The
almost universal voice condemned the emperor and acquitted the
plenipotentiaries.

While the emperor was thus filling all the courts of Europe with his
clamor against Count Neuperg, declaring that he had exceeded his powers
and that he deserved to be hung, he at the same time, with almost
idiotic fatuity, sent the same Count Neuperg back to the Turkish camp to
settle some items which yet required adjustment. This proved, to every
mind, the insincerity of Charles. The Russians, thus forsaken by
Austria, also made peace with the Turks. They consented to demolish
their fortress of Azof, to relinquish all pretensions to the right of
navigating the Black sea, and to allow a vast extent of territory upon
its northern shores to remain an uninhabited desert, as a barrier
between Russia and Turkey. The treaty being definitively settled, both
Marshal Wallis and Count Neuperg were arrested and sent to prison, where
they were detained until the death of Charles VI.

Care and sorrow were now hurrying the emperor to the grave. Wan and
haggard he moved about his palace, mourning his doom, and complaining
that it was his destiny to be disappointed in every cherished plan of
his life. All his affairs were in inextricable confusion, and his empire
seemed crumbling to decay. A cotemporary writer thus describes the
situation of the court and the nation:

"Every thing in this court is running into the last confusion and ruin;
where there are as visible signs of folly and madness, as ever were
inflicted upon a people whom Heaven is determined to destroy, no less by
domestic divisions, than by the more public calamities of repeated
defeats, defenselessness, poverty and plagues."

Early in October, 1740, the emperor, restless, and feverish in body and
mind, repaired to one of his country palaces a few miles distant from
Vienna. The season was prematurely cold and gloomy, with frost and
storms of sleet. In consequence of a chill the enfeebled monarch was
seized with an attack of the gout, which was followed by a very severe
fit of the colic. The night of the 10th of October he writhed in pain
upon his bed, while repeated vomitings weakened his already exhausted
frame. The next day he was conveyed to Vienna, but in such extreme
debility that he fainted several times in his carriage by the way.
Almost in a state of insensibility he was carried to the retired palace
of La Favourite in the vicinity of Vienna, and placed in his bed. It was
soon evident that his stormy life was now drawing near to its close.
Patiently he bore his severe sufferings, and as his physicians were
unable to agree respecting the nature of his disease, he said to them,
calmly,

"Cease your disputes. I shall soon be dead. You can then open my body
and ascertain the cause of my death."

Priests were admitted to his chamber who performed the last offices of
the Church for the dying. With perfect composure, he made all the
arrangements relative to the succession to the throne. One after another
the members of his family were introduced, and he affectionately bade
them adieu, giving to each appropriate words of counsel. To his
daughter, Maria Theresa, who was not present, and who was to succeed
him, he sent his earnest blessing. With the Duke of Lorraine, her
husband, he had a private interview of two hours. On the 20th of
October, 1740, at two o'clock in the morning, he died, in the
fifty-sixth year of his age, and the thirtieth of his reign. Weary of
the world, he willingly retired to the anticipated repose of the grave.

  "To die,--to sleep;--
  To sleep! perchance to dream;--ay, there's the rub;
  For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
  When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
  Must give us pause."

By the death of Charles VI. the male line of the house of Hapsburg
became extinct, after having continued in uninterrupted succession for
over four hundred years. His eldest daughter, Maria Theresa, who now
succeeded to the crown of Austria, was twenty-four years of age. Her
figure was tall, graceful and commanding. Her features were beautiful,
and her smile sweet and winning. She was born to command, combining in
her character woman's power of fascination with man's energy. Though so
far advanced in pregnancy that she was not permitted to see her dying
father, the very day after his death she so rallied her energies as to
give an audience to the minister of state, and to assume the government
with that marvelous vigor which characterized her whole reign.

Seldom has a kingdom been in a more deplorable condition than was
Austria on the morning when the scepter passed into the hands of Maria
Theresa. There were not forty thousand dollars in the treasury; the
state was enormously in debt; the whole army did not amount to more than
thirty thousand men, widely dispersed, clamoring for want of pay, and
almost entirely destitute of the materials for war. The vintage had been
cut off by the frost, producing great distress in the country. There was
a famine in Vienna, and many were starving for want of food. The
peasants, in the neighborhood of the metropolis, were rising in
insurrection, ravaging the fields in search of game; while rumors were
industriously circulated that the government was dissolved, that the
succession was disputed, and that the Duke of Bavaria was on the march,
with an army, to claim the crown. The distant provinces were anxious to
shake off the Austrian yoke. Bohemia was agitated; and the restless
barons of Hungary were upon the point of grasping their arms, and, under
the protection of Turkey, of claiming their ancestral hereditary rights.
Notwithstanding the untiring endeavors of the emperor to obtain the
assent of Europe to the Pragmatic Sanction, many influential courts
refused to recognize the right of Maria Theresa to the crown. The
ministers were desponding, irresolute and incapable. Maria Theresa was
young, quite inexperienced and in delicate health, being upon the eve of
her confinement. The English ambassador, describing the state of affairs
in Vienna as they appeared to him at this time, wrote:

"To the ministers, the Turks seem to be already in Hungary; the
Hungarians in insurrection; the Bohemians in open revolt; the Duke of
Bavaria, with his army, at the gates of Vienna; and France the soul of
all these movements. The ministers were not only in despair, but that
despair even was not capable of rousing them to any desperate
exertions."

Maria Theresa immediately dispatched couriers to inform the northern
powers of her accession to the crown, and troops were forwarded to the
frontiers to prevent any hostile invasion from Bavaria. The Duke of
Bavaria claimed the Austrian crown in virtue of the will of Ferdinand
I., which, he affirmed, devised the crown to his daughters and their
descendants in case of the failure of the male line. As the male line
was now extinct, by this decree the scepter would pass to the Duke of
Bavaria. Charles VI. had foreseen this claim, and endeavored to set it
aside by the declaration that the clause referred to in the will of
Ferdinand I. had reference to _legitimate heirs_, not _male_ merely, and
that, consequently, it did not set aside female descendants. In proof of
this, Maria Theresa had the will exhibited to all the leading officers
of state, and to the foreign ambassadors. It appeared that _legitimate
heirs_ was the phrase. And now the question hinged upon the point,
whether females were _legitimate heirs_. In some kingdoms of Europe they
were; in others they were not. In Austria the custom had been variable.
Here was a nicely-balanced question, sufficiently momentous to divide
Europe, and which might put all the armies of the continent in motion.
There were also other claimants for the crown, but none who could
present so plausible a plea as that of the Duke of Bavaria.

Maria Theresa now waited with great anxiety for the reply she should
receive from the foreign powers whom she had notified of her accession.
The Duke of Bavaria was equally active and solicitous, and it was quite
uncertain whose claim would be supported by the surrounding courts. The
first response came from Prussia. The king sent his congratulations, and
acknowledged the title of Maria Theresa. This was followed by a letter
from Augustus of Poland, containing the same friendly recognition.
Russia then sent in assurances of cordial support. The King of England
returned a friendly answer, promising coöperation. All this was
cheering. But France was then the great power on the continent, and
could carry with her one half of Europe in almost any cause. The
response was looked for from France with great anxiety. Day after day,
week after week passed, and no response came. At length the French
Secretary of State gave a cautious and merely verbal declaration of the
friendly disposition of the French court. Cardinal Fleury, the
illustrious French Secretary of State, was cold, formal and excessively
polite. Maria Theresa at once inferred that France withheld her
acknowledgment, merely waiting for a favorable opportunity to recognize
the claims of the Duke of Bavaria.

While matters were in this state, to the surprise of all, Frederic, King
of Prussia, drew his sword, and demanded large and indefinite portions
of Austria to be annexed to his territories. Disdaining all appeal to
any documentary evidence, and scorning to reply to any questionings as
to his right, he demanded vast provinces, as a highwayman demands one's
purse, with the pistol at his breast. This fiery young prince,
inheriting the most magnificent army in Europe, considering its
discipline and equipments, was determined to display his gallantry as a
fighter, with Europe for the arena. As he was looking about to find some
suitable foe against which he could hurl his seventy-five thousand men,
the defenseless yet large and opulent duchy of Silesia presented itself
as a glittering prize worth the claiming by a royal highwayman.

The Austrian province of Silesia bordered a portion of Prussia. "While
treacherously professing friendship with the court of Vienna, with great
secrecy and sagacity Frederic assembled a large force of his best troops
in the vicinity of Berlin, and in mid-winter, when the snow lay deep
upon the plains, made a sudden rush into Silesia, and, crushing at a
blow all opposition, took possession of the whole duchy. Having
accomplished this feat, he still pretended great friendship for Maria
Theresa, and sent an ambassador to inform her that he was afraid that
some of the foreign powers, now conspiring against her, might seize the
duchy, and thus wrest it from her; that he had accordingly taken it to
hold it in safety; and that since it was so very important, for the
tranquillity of his kingdom, that Silesia should not fall into the hands
of an enemy, he hoped that Maria Theresa would allow him to retain the
duchy as an indemnity for the expense he had been at in taking it."

This most extraordinary and impertinent message was accompanied by a
threat. The ambassador of the Prussian king, a man haughty and
semi-barbaric in his demeanor, gave his message in a private interview
with the queen's husband, Francis, the Duke of Lorraine. In conclusion,
the ambassador added, "No one is more firm in his resolutions than the
King of Prussia. He must and will take Silesia. If not secured by the
immediate cession of that province, his troops and money will be offered
to the Duke of Bavaria."

"Go tell your master," the Duke of Lorraine replied with dignity, "that
while he has a single soldier in Silesia, we will rather perish than
enter into any discussion. If he will evacuate the duchy, we will treat
with him at Berlin. For my part, not for the imperial crown, nor even
for the whole world, will I sacrifice one inch of the queen's lawful
possessions."

While these negotiations were pending, the king himself made an
ostentatious entry into Silesia. The majority of the Silesians were
Protestants. The King of Prussia, who had discarded religion of all
kinds, had of course discarded that of Rome, and was thus nominally a
Protestant. The Protestants, who had suffered so much from the
persecutions of the Catholic church, had less to fear from the
infidelity of Berlin than from the fanaticism of Rome. Frederic was
consequently generally received with rejoicings. The duchy of Silesia
was indeed a desirable prize. Spreading over a region of more than
fifteen thousand square miles, and containing a population of more than
a million and a half, it presented to its feudal lord an ample revenue
and the means of raising a large army. Breslau, the capital of the
duchy, upon the Oder, contained a population of over eighty thousand.
Built upon several islands of that beautiful stream, its situation was
attractive, while in its palaces and its ornamental squares, it vied
with the finest capitals of Europe.

Frederic entered the city in triumph in January, 1741. The small
Austrian garrison, consisting of but three thousand men, retired before
him into Moravia. The Prussian monarch took possession of the revenues
of the duchy, organized the government under his own officers,
garrisoned the fortresses and returned to Berlin. Maria Theresa appealed
to friendly courts for aid. Most of them were lavish in promises, but
she waited in vain for any fulfillment. Neither money, arms nor men were
sent to her. Maria Theresa, thus abandoned and thrown upon her own
unaided energies, collected a small army in Moravia, on the confines of
Silesia, and intrusted the command to Count Neuperg, whom she liberated
from the prison to which her father had so unjustly consigned him. But
it was mid-winter. The roads were almost impassable. The treasury of the
Austrian court was so empty that but meager supplies could be provided
for the troops. A ridge of mountains, whose defiles were blocked up with
snow, spread between Silesia and Moravia.

It was not until the close of March that Marshal Neuperg was able to
force his way through these defiles and enter Silesia. The Prussians,
not aware of their danger, were reposing in their cantonments. Neuperg
hoped to take them by surprise and cut them off in detail. Indeed
Frederic, who, by chance, was at Jagerndorf inspecting a fortress, was
nearly surrounded by a party of Austrian hussars, and very narrowly
escaped capture. The ground was still covered with snow as the Austrian
troops toiled painfully through the mountains to penetrate the Silesian
plains. Frederic rapidly concentrated his scattered troops to meet the
foe. The warlike character of the Prussian king was as yet undeveloped,
and Neuperg, unconscious of the tremendous energies he was to encounter,
and supposing that the Prussian garrisons would fly in dismay before
him, was giving his troops, after their exhausting march, a few days of
repose in the Vicinity of Molnitz.

On the 8th of April there was a thick fall of snow, filling the air and
covering the fields. Frederic availed himself of the storm, which
curtained him from all observation, to urge forward his troops, that he
might overwhelm the Austrians by a fierce surprise. While Neuperg was
thus resting, all unconscious of danger, twenty-seven battalions,
consisting of sixteen thousand men, and twenty-nine squadrons of horse,
amounting to six thousand, were, in the smothering snow, taking their
positions for battle. On the morning of the 10th the snow ceased to
fall, the clouds broke, and the sun came out clear and bright, when
Neuperg saw that another and a far more fearful storm had gathered, and
that its thunderbolts were about to be hurled into the midst of his
camp.

The Prussian batteries opened their fire, spreading death through the
ranks of the Austrians, even while they were hastily forming in line of
battle. Still the Austrian veterans, accustomed to all the vicissitudes
of war, undismayed, rapidly threw themselves into columns and rushed
upon the foe. Fiercely the battle raged hour after hour until the middle
of the afternoon, when the field was covered with the dead and crimsoned
with blood. The Austrians, having lost three thousand in slain and two
thousand in prisoners, retired in confusion, surrendering the field,
with several guns and banners, to the victors. This memorable battle
gave Silesia to Prussia, and opened the war of the Austrian succession.

The Duke of Lorraine was greatly alarmed by the threatening attitude
which affairs now assumed. It was evident that France, Prussia, Bavaria
and many other powers were combining against Austria, to rob her of her
provinces, and perhaps to dismember the kingdom entirely. Not a single
court as yet had manifested any disposition to assist Maria Theresa.
England urged the Austrian court to buy the peace of Prussia at almost
any price. Francis, Duke of Lorraine, was earnestly for yielding, and
intreated his wife to surrender a part for the sake of retaining the
rest. "We had better," he said, "surrender Silesia to Prussia, and thus
purchase peace with Frederic, than meet the chances of so general a war
as now threatens Austria."

But Maria Theresa was as imperial in character and as indomitable in
spirit as Frederic of Prussia. With indignation she rejected all such
counsel, declaring that she would never cede one inch of her territories
to any claimant, and that, even if her allies all abandoned her, she
would throw herself upon her subjects and upon her armies, and perish,
if need be, in defense of the integrity of Austria.

Frederic now established his court and cabinet at the camp of Molnitz.
Couriers were ever coming and going. Envoys from France and Bavaria were
in constant secret conference with him. France, jealous of the power of
Austria, was plotting its dismemberment, even while protesting
friendship. Bavaria was willing to unite with Prussia in seizing the
empire and in dividing the spoil. These courts seemed to lay no claim to
any higher morality than that of ordinary highwaymen. The doom of Maria
Theresa was apparently sealed. Austria was to be plundered. Other
parties now began to rush in with their claims, that they might share in
the booty. Philip V. of Spain put in his claim for the Austrian crown as
the lineal descendant of the Emperor Charles V. Augustus, King of
Poland, urged the right of his wife Maria, eldest daughter of Joseph.
And even Charles Emanuel, King of Sardinia, hunted up an obsolete claim,
through the line of the second daughter of Philip II.

At the camp of Molnitz the plan was matured of giving Bohemia and Upper
Austria to the Duke of Bavaria. Frederic of Prussia was to receive Upper
Silesia and Glatz. Augustus of Poland was to annex to his kingdom
Moravia and Upper Silesia. Lombardy was assigned to Spain. Sardinia was
to receive some compensation not yet fully decided upon. The whole
transaction was a piece of as unmitigated villainy as ever transpired.
One can not but feel a little sympathy for Austria which had thus fallen
among thieves, and was stripped and bleeding. Our sympathies are,
however, somewhat alleviated by the reflection that Austria was just as
eager as any of the other powers for any such piratic expedition, and
that, soon after, she united with Russia and Prussia in plundering
Poland. And when Poland was dismembered by a trio of regal robbers, she
only incurred the same doom which she was now eager to inflict upon
Austria. When pirates and robbers plunder each other, the victims are
not entitled to much sympathy. To the masses of the people it made but
little difference whether their life's blood was wrung from them by
Russian, Prussian or Austrian despots. Under whatever rule they lived,
they were alike doomed to toil as beasts of burden in the field, or to
perish amidst the hardships and the carnage of the camp.

These plans were all revealed to Maria Theresa, and with such a
combination of foes so powerful, it seemed as if no earthly wisdom could
avert her doom. But her lofty spirit remained unyielding, and she
refused all offers of accommodation based upon the surrender of any
portion of her territories. England endeavored to induce Frederic to
consent to take the duchy of Glogau alone, suggesting that thus his
Prussian majesty had it in his power to conclude an honorable peace, and
to show his magnanimity by restoring tranquillity to Europe.

"At the beginning of the war," Frederic replied, "I might perhaps have
been contented with this proposal. At present I must have four duchies.
But do not," he exclaimed, impatiently, "talk to me of _magnanimity_. A
prince must consult his own interests. I am not averse to peace; but I
want four duchies, and I will have them."

Frederic of Prussia was no hypocrite. He was a highway robber and did
not profess to be any thing else. His power was such that instead of
demanding of the helpless traveler his watch, he could demand of
powerful nations their revenues. If they did not yield to his demands he
shot them down without compunction, and left them in their blood. The
British minister ventured to ask what four duchies Frederic intended to
take. No reply could be obtained to this question. By the four duchies
he simply meant that he intended to extend the area of Prussia over
every inch of territory he could possibly acquire, either by fair means
or by foul.

England, alarmed by these combinations, which it was evident that France
was sagaciously forming and guiding, and from the successful prosecution
of which plans it was certain that France would secure some immense
accession of power, granted to Austria a subsidy of one million five
hundred thousand dollars, to aid her in repelling her foes. Still the
danger from the grand confederacy became so imminent, that the Duke of
Lorraine and all the Austrian ministry united with the British
ambassador, in entreating Maria Theresa to try to break up the
confederacy and purchase peace with Prussia by offering Frederic the
duchy of Glogau. With extreme reluctance the queen at length yielded to
these importunities, and consented that an envoy should take the
proposal to the Prussian camp at Molnitz. As the envoy was about to
leave he expressed some apprehension that the Prussian king might reject
the proffer.

"I wish he may reject it," exclaimed the queen, passionately. "It would
be a relief to my conscience. God only knows how I can answer to my
subjects for the cession of the duchy, having sworn to them never to
alienate any part of our country."

Mr. Robinson, the British ambassador, as mediator, took these terms to
the Prussian camp. In the endeavor to make as good a bargain as
possible, he was first to offer Austrian Guelderland. If that failed he
was then to offer Limburg, a province of the Netherlands, containing
sixteen hundred square miles, and if this was not accepted, he was
authorized, as the ultimatum, to consent to the cession of the duchy of
Glogau. The Prussian king received the ambassadors, on the 5th of
August, in a large tent, in his camp at Molanitz. The king was a blunt,
uncourtly man, and the interview was attended with none of the amenities
of polished life. After a few desultory remarks, the British ambassador
opened the business by saying that he was authorized by the Queen of
Austria to offer, as the basis of peace, the cession to Prussia of
Austrian Guelderland.

"What a beggarly offer," exclaimed the king. "This is extremely
impertinent. What! nothing but a paltry town for all my just pretensions
in Silesia!"

In this tirade of passion, either affected or real, he continued for
some time. Mr. Robinson waited patiently until this outburst was
exhausted, and then hesitatingly remarked that the queen was so anxious
to secure the peace of Europe, that if tranquillity could not be
restored on other terms she was even willing to cede to Prussia, in
addition, the province of Limburg.

"Indeed!" said the ill-bred, clownish king, contemptuously. "And how can
the queen think of violating her solemn oath which renders every inch of
the Low Countries inalienable. I have no desire to obtain distant
territory which will be useless to me; much less do I wish to expend
money in new fortification. Neither the French nor the Dutch have
offended me; and I do not wish to offend them, by acquiring territory in
the vicinity of their realms. If I should accept Limburg, what security
could I have that I should be permitted to retain it?"

The ambassador replied, "England, Russia and Saxony, will give their
guaranty."

"Guaranties," rejoined the king, sneeringly. "Who, in these times, pays
any regard to pledges? Have not both England and France pledged
themselves to support the Pragmatic Sanction? Why do they not keep their
promises? The conduct of these powers is ridiculous. They only do what
is for their own interests. As for me, I am at the head of an invincible
army. I want Silesia. I have taken it, and I intend to keep it. What
kind of a reputation should I have if I should abandon the first
enterprise of my reign? No! I will sooner be crushed with my whole army,
than renounce my rights in Silesia. Let those who want peace grant me my
demands. If they prefer to fight again, they can do so, and again be
beaten."

Mr. Robinson ventured to offer a few soothing words to calm the
ferocious brute, and then proposed to give to him Glogau, a small but
rich duchy of about six hundred square miles, near the frontiers of
Prussia.

Frederic rose in a rage, and with loud voice and threatening gestures,
exclaimed,

"If the queen does not, within six weeks, yield to my demands, I will
double them. Return with this answer to Vienna. They who want peace with
me, will not oppose my wishes. I am sick of ultimatums; I will hear no
more of them. I demand Silesia. This is my final answer. I will give no
other."

Then turning upon his heel, with an air of towering indignation, he
retired behind the inner curtain of his tent. Such was the man to whom
Providence, in its inscrutable wisdom, had assigned a throne, and a
highly disciplined army of seventy-five thousand men. To northern Europe
he proved an awful scourge, inflicting woes, which no tongue can
adequately tell.

And now the storm of war seemed to commence in earnest. The Duke of
Bavaria issued a manifesto, declaring his right to the whole Austrian
inheritance, and pronouncing Maria Theresa a usurper. He immediately
marched an army into one of the provinces of Austria. At the same time,
two French armies were preparing to cross the Rhine to cooperate with
the Bavarian troops. The King of Prussia was also on the march,
extending his conquests. Still Maria Theresa remained inflexible,
refusing to purchase peace with Prussia by the surrender of Silesia.

"The resolution of the queen is taken," she said. "If the House of
Austria must perish, it is indifferent whether it perishes by an Elector
of Bavaria, or by an Elector of Brandenburg."

While these all important matters were under discussion, the queen, on
the 13th of March, gave birth to a son, the Archduke Joseph. This event
strengthened the queen's resolution, to preserve, not only for herself,
but for her son and heir, the Austrian empire in its integrity. From her
infancy she had imbibed the most exalted ideas of the dignity and
grandeur of the house of Hapsburg. She had also been taught that her
inheritance was a solemn trust which she was religiously bound to
preserve. Thus religious principle, family pride and maternal love all
now combined to increase the inflexibility of a will which by nature was
indomitable.



CHAPTER XXVII.

MARIA THERESA.

From 1741 to 1743.

Character of Francis, Duke of Lorraine.--Policy of European
Courts.--Plan of the Allies.--Siege of Prague.--Desperate Condition of
the Queen.--Her Coronation in Hungary.--Enthusiasm of the Barons.--
Speech of Maria Theresa.--Peace with Frederic of Prussia.--His
Duplicity.--Military Movement of the Duke of Lorraine.--Battle of
Chazleau.--Second Treaty with Frederic.--Despondency of the Duke of
Bavaria.--March of Mallebois.--Extraordinary Retreat of
Belleisle.--Recovery of Prague by the Queen.


Maria Theresa, as imperial in spirit as in position, was unwilling to
share the crown, even with her husband. Francis officiated as her chief
minister, giving audience to foreign ambassadors, and attending to many
of the details of government, yet he had but little influence in the
direction of affairs. Though a very handsome man, of polished address,
and well cultivated understanding, he was not a man of either brilliant
or commanding intellect. Maria Theresa, as a woman, could not aspire to
the imperial throne; but all the energies of her ambitious nature were
roused to secure that dignity for her husband. Francis was very anxious
to secure for himself the electoral vote of Prussia, and he,
consequently, was accused of being willing to cede Austrian territory to
Frederic to purchase his support. This deprived him of all influence
whenever he avowed sentiments contrary to those of the queen.

England, jealous of the vast continental power of France, was anxious to
strengthen Austria, as a means of holding France in check. Seldom, in
any of these courts, was the question of right or wrong considered, in
any transaction. Each court sought only its own aggrandizement and the
humiliation of its foes. The British cabinet, now, with very
considerable zeal, espoused the cause of Maria Theresa. Pamphlets were
circulated to rouse the enthusiasm of the nation, by depicting the
wrongs of a young and beautiful queen, so unchivalrously assailed by
bearded monarchs in overwhelming combination. The national ardor was
thus easily kindled. On the 8th of August the King of England, in an
animated speech from the throne, urged Parliament to support Maria
Theresa, thus to maintain the _balance of power_ in Europe. One million
five hundred thousand dollars were immediately voted, with strong
resolutions in favor of the queen. The Austrian ambassador, in
transmitting this money and these resolutions to the queen, urged that
no sacrifice should be made to purchase peace with Prussia; affirming
that the king, the Parliament, and the people of England were all roused
to enthusiasm in behalf of Austria; and that England would spend its
last penny, and shed its last drop of blood, in defense of the cause of
Maria Theresa. This encouraged the queen exceedingly, for she was
sanguine that Holland, the natural ally of England, would follow the
example of that nation. She also cherished strong hopes that Russia
might come to her aid.

It was the plan of France to rob Maria Theresa of all her possessions
excepting Hungary, to which distant kingdom she was to be driven, and
where she was to be left undisturbed to defend herself as she best could
against the Turks. Thus the confederates would have, to divide among
themselves, the States of the Netherlands, the kingdom of Bohemia, the
Tyrol, the duchies of Austria, Silesia, Moravia, Carinthia, Servia and
various other duchies opulent and populous, over which the vast empire
of Austria had extended its sway.

The French armies crossed the Rhine and united with the Bavarian troops.
The combined battalions marched, sweeping all opposition before them, to
Lintz, the capital of upper Austria. This city, containing about thirty
thousand inhabitants, is within a hundred miles of Vienna, and is one of
the most beautiful in Germany. Here, with much military and civic pomp,
the Duke of Bavaria was inaugurated Archduke of the Austrian duchies. A
detachment of the army was then dispatched down the river to Polten,
within twenty-four miles of Vienna; from whence a summons was sent to
the capital to surrender. At the same time a powerful army turned its
steps north, and pressing on a hundred and fifty miles, over the
mountains and through the plains of Bohemia, laid siege to Prague, which
was filled with magazines, and weakly garrisoned. Frederic, now in
possession of all Silesia, was leading his troops to cooperate with
those of France and Bavaria.

The cause of Maria Theresa was now, to human vision, desperate. Immense
armies were invading her realms. Prague was invested; Vienna threatened
with immediate siege; her treasury was empty; her little army defeated
and scattered; she was abandoned by her allies, and nothing seemed to
remain for her but to submit to her conquerors. Hungary still clung
firmly to the queen, and she had been crowned at Presburg with boundless
enthusiasm. An eyewitness has thus described this scene:--

"The coronation was magnificent. The queen was all charm. She rode
gallantly up the Royal Mount, a hillock in the vicinity of Presburg,
which the new sovereign ascends on horseback, and waving a drawn sword,
defied the four corners of the world, in a manner to show that she had
no occasion for that weapon to conquer all who saw her. The antiquated
crown received new graces from her head; and the old tattered robe of
St. Stephen became her as well as her own rich habit, if diamonds,
pearls and all sorts of precious stones can be called clothes,"

She had but recently risen from the bed of confinement and the delicacy
of her appearance added to her attractions. A table was spread for a
public entertainment, around which all the dignitaries of the realm were
assembled--dukes who could lead thousands of troops into the field, bold
barons, with their bronzed followers, whose iron sinews had been
toughened in innumerable wars. It was a warm summer day, and the cheek
of the youthful queen glowed with the warmth and with the excitement of
the hour. Her beautiful hair fell in ringlets upon her shoulders and
over her full bosom. She sat at the head of the table all queenly in
loveliness, and imperial in character. The bold, high-spirited nobles,
who surrounded her, could appreciate her position, assailed by half the
monarchies of Europe, and left alone to combat them all. Their
chivalrous enthusiasm was thus aroused.

The statesmen of Vienna had endeavored to dissuade the queen from making
any appeal to the Hungarians. When Charles VI. made an effort to secure
their assent to the Pragmatic Sanction, the war-worn barons replied
haughtily, "We are accustomed to be governed by men, not by women." The
ministers at Vienna feared, therefore, that the very sight of the queen,
youthful, frail and powerless, would stir these barons to immediate
insurrection, and that they would scorn such a sovereign to guide them
in the fierce wars which her crown involved. But Maria Theresa better
understood human nature. She believed that the same barons, who would
resist the demands of the Emperor Charles VI., would rally with
enthusiasm around a defenseless woman, appealing to them for aid. The
cordiality and ever-increasing glow of ardor with which she was greeted
at the coronation and at the dinner encouraged her hopes.

She summoned all the nobles to meet her in the great hall of the castle.
The hall was crowded with as brilliant an assemblage of rank and power
as Hungary could furnish. The queen entered, accompanied by her retinue.
She was dressed in deep mourning, in the Hungarian costume, with the
crown of St. Stephen upon her brow, and the regal cimiter at her side.
With a majestic step she traversed the apartment, and ascended the
platform or tribune from whence the Kings of Hungary were accustomed to
address their congregated lords. All eyes were fixed upon her, and the
most solemn silence pervaded the assemblage.

The Latin language was then, in Hungary, the language of diplomacy and
of the court. All the records of the kingdom were preserved in that
language, and no one spoke, in the deliberations of the diet, but in the
majestic tongue of ancient Rome. The queen, after a pause of a few
moments, during which she carefully scanned the assemblage, addressing
them in Latin, said:--

"The disastrous situation of our affairs has moved us to lay before our
dear and faithful States of Hungary, the recent invasion of Austria, the
danger now impending over this kingdom, and a proposal for the
consideration of a remedy. The very existence of the kingdom of Hungary,
of our own person, of our children and our crown, is now at stake.
Forsaken by all, we place our sole resource in the fidelity, arms and
long tried valor of the Hungarians; exhorting you, the states and
orders, to deliberate without delay in this extreme danger, on the most
effectual measures for the security of our person, of our children and
of our crown, and to carry them into immediate execution. In regard to
ourself, the faithful states and orders of Hungary shall experience our
hearty coöperation in all things which may promote the pristine
happiness of this ancient kingdom, and the honor of the people."

(Some may feel interested in reading this speech in the original Latin,
as it is now found recorded in the archives of Hungary. It is as
follows:

"Allocutio Reginæ Hungariæ Mariæ Theresiæ, anno 1741. Afflictus rerum
nostrarum status nos movit, ut fidelibus perchari regni Hungariæ
statibus de hostili provinciæ nostræ hereditariæ, Austriæ invasione, et
imminente regno huic periculo, adeoque de considerando remedio
propositionem scrïpto facíamus. Agitur de regno Hungarïa, de persona
nostrâ, prolibus nostris, et coronâ, ab omnibus derelictï, unice ad
inclytorum statuum fidelitatem, arma, et Hungarorum priscam virtutem
confugimus, ímpense hortantes, velint status et ordines in hoc maximo
periculo de securitate personæ nostræ, prolium, coronæ, et regni quanto
ocius consulere, et ea in effectum etiam deducere. Quantum ex parte
nostra est, quæcunque pro pristina regni hujus felicïtate, et gentis
decore forent, in iis omnibus benignitatem et clementiam nostram regiam
fideles status et ordines regni experturi sunt.")

The response was instantaneous and emphatic. A thousand warriors drew
their sabers half out of their scabbards, and then thrust them back to
the hilt, with a clangor like the clash of swords on the field of
battle. Then with one voice they shouted, "Moriamur pro nostra rege,
Maria Theresa"--_We will die for our sovereign, Maria Theresa_.

The queen, until now, had preserved a perfectly calm and composed
demeanor. But this outburst of enthusiasm overpowered her, and
forgetting the queen, she pressed her handkerchief to her eyes and burst
into a flood of tears. No manly heart could stand this unmoved. Every
eye was moistened, every heart throbbed with admiration and devotion,
and a scene of indescribable enthusiasm ensued. Hungary was now
effectually roused, and Maria Theresa was queen of all hearts. Every
noble was ready to march his vassals and to open his purse at her
bidding. All through the wide extended realm, the enthusiasm rolled like
an inundation. The remote tribes on the banks of the Save, the Theiss,
the Drave, and the lower Danube flocked to her standards. They came,
semi-savage bands, in uncouth garb, and speaking unintelligible
tongues--Croats, Pandours, Sclavonians, Warusdinians and Tolpaches.
Germany was astounded at the spectacle of these wild, fierce men,
apparently as tameless and as fearless as wolves. The enthusiasm spread
rapidly all over the States of Austria. The young men, and especially
the students in the universities, espoused the cause of the queen with
deathless fervor. Vienna was strongly fortified, all hands engaging in
the work. So wonderful was this movement, that the allies were alarmed.
They had already become involved in quarrels about the division of the
anticipated booty.

Frederic of Prussia was the first to implore peace. The Elector of
Bavaria was a rival sovereign, and Frederic preferred seeing Austria in
the hands of the queen, rather than in the hands of the elector. He was,
therefore, anxious to withdraw from the confederacy, and to oppose the
allies. The queen, as anxious as Frederic to come to an accommodation,
sent an ambassador to ascertain his terms. In laconic phrase,
characteristic of this singular man, he returned the following answer:--

"All lower Silesia; the river Neiss for the boundary. The town of Neiss
as well as Glatz. Beyond the Oder the ancient limits to continue between
the duchies of Brieg and Oppelon. Breslau for us. The affairs of
religion in _statu quo_. No dependence on Bohemia; a cession forever. In
return we will proceed no further. We will besiege Neiss for form. The
commandant shall surrender and depart. We will pass quietly into winter
quarters, and the Austrian army may go where they will. Let the whole be
concluded in twelve days."

These terms were assented to. The king promised never to ask any further
territory from the queen, and not to act offensively against the queen
or any of her allies. Though the queen placed not the slightest
confidence in the integrity of the Prussian monarch, she rejoiced in
this treaty, which enabled her to turn all her attention to her other
foes. The allies were now in possession of nearly all of Bohemia and
were menacing Prague.

The Duke of Lorraine hastened with sixty thousand men to the relief of
the capital. He had arrived within nine miles of the city, when he
learned, to his extreme chagrin, that the preceding night Prague had
been taken by surprise. That very day the Elector of Bavaria made a
triumphal entry into the town, and was soon crowned King of Bohemia. And
now the electoral diet of Germany met, and, to the extreme
disappointment of Maria Theresa, chose, as Emperor of Germany, instead
of her husband, the Elector of Bavaria, whom they also acknowledged King
of Bohemia. He received the imperial crown at Frankfort on the 12th of
February, 1742, with the title of Charles VII.

The Duke of Lorraine having been thus thwarted in his plan of relieving
Prague, and not being prepared to assail the allied army in possession
of the citadel, and behind the ramparts of the city, detached a part of
his army to keep the enemy in check, and sent General Kevenhuller, with
thirty thousand men, to invade and take possession of Bavaria, now
nearly emptied of its troops. By very sagacious movements the general
soon became master of all the defiles of the Bavarian mountains. He then
pressed forward, overcoming all opposition, and in triumph entered
Munich, the capital of Bavaria, the very day Charles was chosen emperor.
Thus the elector, as he received the imperial crown, dropped his own
hereditary estates from his hand.

This triumph of the queen's arms alarmed Frederic of Prussia. He reposed
as little confidence in the honesty of the Austrian court as they
reposed in him. He was afraid that the queen, thus victorious, would
march her triumphant battalions into Silesia and regain the lost duchy.
He consequently, in total disregard of his treaty, and without troubling
himself to make any declaration of war, resumed hostilities. He entered
into a treaty with his old rival, the Elector of Bavaria, now King of
Bohemia, and Emperor of Germany. Receiving from the emperor large
accessions of territory, Frederic devoted his purse and array to the
allies. His armies were immediately in motion. They overran Moravia, and
were soon in possession of all of its most important fortresses. All the
energies of Frederic were consecrated to any cause in which he enlisted.
He was indefatigable in his activity. With no sense of dishonor in
violating a solemn treaty, with no sense of shame in conspiring with
banded despots against a youthful queen, of whose youth, and feebleness
and feminine nature they wished to take advantage that they might rob
her of her possessions, Frederic rode from camp to camp, from capital to
capital, to infuse new vigor into the alliance. He visited the Elector
of Saxony at Dresden, then galloped to Prague, then returned through
Moravia, and placed himself at the head of his army. Marching vigorously
onward, he entered upper Austria. His hussars spread terror in all
directions, even to the gates of Vienna.

The Hungarian troops pressed forward in defense of the queen. Wide
leagues of country were desolated by war, as all over Germany the
hostile battalions swept to and fro. The Duke of Lorraine hastened from
Moravia for the defense of Vienna, while detached portions of the
Austrian army were on the rapid march, in all directions, to join him.
On the 16th of May, 1742, the Austrian army, under the Duke of Lorraine,
and the Prussian army under Frederic, encountered each other, in about
equal numbers, at Chazleau. Equal in numbers, equal in skill, equal in
bravery, they fought with equal success. After several hours of awful
carnage, fourteen thousand corpses strewed the ground. Seven thousand
were Austrians, seven thousand Prussians. The Duke of Lorraine retired
first, leaving a thousand prisoners, eighteen pieces of artillery and
two standards, with the foe; but he took with him, captured from the
Prussians, a thousand prisoners, fourteen cannon, and two standards. As
the duke left Frederic in possession of the field, it was considered a
Prussian victory. But it was a victory decisive of no results, as each
party was alike crippled. Frederic was much disappointed. He had
anticipated the annihilation of the Austrian army, and a triumphant
march to Vienna, where, in the palaces of the Austrian kings, he
intended to dictate terms to the prostrate monarchy.

The queen had effectually checked his progress, new levies were crowding
to her aid, and it was in vain for Frederic, with his diminished and
exhausted regiments, to undertake an assault upon the ramparts of
Vienna. Again he proposed terms of peace. He demanded all of upper as
well as lower Silesia, and the county of Glatz, containing nearly seven
hundred square miles, and a population of a little over sixty thousand.
Maria Theresa, crowded by her other enemies, was exceedingly anxious to
detach a foe so powerful and active, and she accordingly assented to the
hard terms. This new treaty was signed at Breslau, on the 11th of June,
and was soon ratified by both sovereigns. The Elector of Saxony was also
included in this treaty and retired from the contest.

The withdrawal of these forces seemed to turn the tide of battle in
favor of the Austrians. The troops from Hungary fought with the most
romantic devotion. A band of Croats in the night swam across a river,
with their sabers in their mouths, and climbing on each other's
shoulders, scaled the walls of the fortress of Piseck, and made the
garrison prisoners of war. The Austrians, dispersing the allied French
and Bavarians in many successful skirmishes, advanced to the walls of
Prague. With seventy thousand men, the Duke of Lorraine commenced the
siege of this capital, so renowned in the melancholy annals of war. The
sympathies of Europe began to turn in favor of Maria Theresa. It became
a general impression, that the preservation of the Austrian monarchy was
essential to hold France in check, which colossal power seemed to
threaten the liberties of Europe. The cabinet of England was especially
animated by this sentiment, and a change in the ministry being effected,
the court of St. James sent assurances to Vienna of their readiness to
support the queen with the whole power of the British empire. Large
supplies of men and money were immediately voted. Sixteen thousand men
were landed in Flanders to cooperate with the Austrian troops. Holland,
instigated by the example of England, granted Maria Theresa a subsidy of
eight hundred and forty thousand florins. The new Queen of Russia, also,
Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, adopted measures highly
favorable to Austria.

In Italy affairs took a singular turn in favor of the Austrian queen.
The King of Sardinia, ever ready to embark his troops in any enterprise
which gave him promise of booty, alarmed by the grasping ambition of
France and Spain, who were ever seizing the lion's share in all plunder,
seeing that he could not hope for much advantage in his alliance with
them, proposed to the queen that if she would cede to him certain of the
Milanese provinces, he would march his troops into her camp. This was a
great gain for Maria Theresa. The Sardinian troops guarding the passes
of the Alps, shut out the French, during the whole campaign, from
entering Italy. At the same time the Sardinian king, with another
portion of his army, aided by the Austrian troops, overran the whole
duchy of Modena, and drove out the Spaniards. The English fleet in the
Mediterranean cooperated in this important measure. By the threat of a
bombardment they compelled the King of Naples to withdraw from the
French and Spanish alliance. Thus Austria again planted her foot in
Italy. This extraordinary and unanticipated success created the utmost
joy and exultation in Vienna. The despondency of the French court was
correspondingly great. A few months had totally changed the aspect of
affairs. The allied troops were rapidly melting away, with none to fill
up the dwindling ranks. The proud army which had swept over Germany,
defying all opposition, was now cooped up within the walls of Prague,
beleaguered by a foe whom victory had rendered sanguine. The new
emperor, claiming the crown of Austria, had lost his own territory of
Bavaria; and the capital of Bohemia, where he had so recently been
enthroned, was hourly in peril of falling into the hands of his foes.

Under these circumstances the hopes of the Duke of Bavaria sank rapidly
into despair. The hour of disaster revealed a meanness of spirit which
prosperity had not developed. He sued for peace, writing a dishonorable
and cringing letter, in which he protested that he was not to blame for
the war, but that the whole guilt rested upon the French court, which
had inveigled him to present his claim and commence hostilities. Maria
Theresa made no other reply to this humiliating epistle than to publish
it, and give it a wide circulation throughout Europe. Cardinal Fleury,
the French minister of state, indignant at this breach of confidence,
sent to the cabinet of Vienna a remonstrance and a counter statement.
This paper also the queen gave to the public.

Marshal Belleisle was in command of the French and Bavarian troops,
which were besieged in Prague. The force rapidly gathering around him
was such as to render retreat impossible. The city was unprepared for a
siege, and famine soon began to stare the citizens and garrison in the
face. The marshal, reduced to the last extremity, offered to evacuate
the city and march out of Bohemia, if he could be permitted to retire
unmolested, with arms, artillery and baggage. The Duke of Lorraine, to
avoid a battle which would be rendered sanguinary through despair, was
ready and even anxious to assent to these terms. His leading generals
were of the same opinion, as they wished to avoid a needless effusion of
blood.

The offered terms of capitulation were sent to Maria Theresa. She
rejected them with disdain. She displayed a revengeful spirit, natural,
perhaps, under the circumstances, but which reflects but little honor
upon her character.

"I will not," she replied, in the presence of the whole court; "I will
not grant any capitulation to the French army. I will listen to no
terms, to no proposition from Cardinal Fleury. I am astonished that he
should come to me now with proposals for peace; _he_ who endeavored to
excite all the princes of Germany to crush me. I have acted with too
much condescension to the court of France. Compelled by the necessities
of my situation I debased my royal dignity by writing to the cardinal in
terms which would have softened the most obdurate rock. He insolently
rejected my entreaties; and the only answer I obtained was that his most
Christian majesty had contracted engagements which he could not violate.
I can prove, by documents now in my possession, that the French
endeavored to excite sedition even in the heart of my dominions; that
they attempted to overturn the fundamental laws of the empire, and to
set all Germany in a flame. I will transmit these proofs to posterity as
a warning to the empire."

The ambition of Maria Theresa was now greatly roused. She resolved to
retain the whole of Bavaria which she had taken from the elector. The
duchy of Lorraine, which had been wrested from her husband, was
immediately to be invaded and restored to the empire. The dominions
which had been torn from her father in Italy were to be reannexed to the
Austrian crown, and Alsace upon the Rhine was to be reclaimed. Thus, far
from being now satisfied with the possessions she had inherited from her
father, her whole soul was roused, in these hours of triumph, to conquer
vast accessions for her domains. She dreamed only of conquest, and in
her elation parceled out the dominions of France and Bavaria as
liberally and as unscrupulously as they had divided among themselves the
domain of the house of Austria.

The French, alarmed, made a great effort to relieve Prague. An army,
which on its march was increased to sixty thousand men, was sent six
hundred miles to cross rivers, to penetrate defiles of mountains crowded
with hostile troops, that they might rescue Prague and its garrison from
the besiegers. With consummate skill and energy this critical movement
was directed by General Mallebois. The garrison of the city were in a
state of great distress. The trenches were open and the siege was pushed
with great vigilance. All within the walls of the beleaguered city were
reduced to extreme suffering. Horse flesh was considered a delicacy
which was reserved for the sick. The French made sally after sally to
spike the guns which were battering down the walls. As Mallebois, with
his powerful reënforcement, drew near, their courage rose. The Duke of
Lorraine became increasingly anxious to secure the capitulation before
the arrival of the army of relief, and proposed a conference to decide
upon terms, which should be transmitted for approval to the courts of
Vienna and of Paris. But the imperious Austrian queen, as soon as she
heard of this movement, quite regardless of the feelings of her husband,
whom she censured as severely as she would any corporal in the army,
issued orders prohibiting, peremptorily, any such conference.

"I will not suffer," she said "any council to be held in the army. From
Vienna alone are orders to be received. I disavow and forbid all such
proceedings, _let the blame fall where it may_."

She knew full well that it was her husband who had proposed this plan;
and he knew, and all Austria knew, that it was the Duke of Lorraine who
was thus severely and publicly reprimanded. But the husband of Maria
Theresa was often reminded that he was but the subject of the queen. So
peremptory a mandate admitted of no compromise. The Austrians plied
their batteries with new vigor, the wan and skeleton soldiers fought
perseveringly at their embrasures; and the battalions of Mallebois, by
forced marches, pressed on through the mountains of Bohemia, to the
eventful arena. A division of the Austrian army was dispatched to the
passes of Satz and Caden, which it would be necessary for the French to
thread, in approaching Prague. The troops of Mallebois, when they
arrived at these defiles, were so exhausted by their long and forced
marches, that they were incapable of forcing their way against the
opposition they encountered in the passes of the mountains. After a
severe struggle, Mallebois was compelled to relinquish the design of
relieving Prague, and storms of snow beginning to incumber his path, he
retired across the Danube, and throwing up an intrenched camp,
established himself in winter quarters. The Austrian division, thus
successful, returned to Prague, and the blockade was resumed. There
seemed to be now no hope for the French, and their unconditional
surrender was hourly expected. Affairs were in this state, when Europe
was astounded by the report that the French general, Belleisle, with a
force of eleven thousand foot and three thousand horse, had effected his
escape from the battered walls of the city and was in successful
retreat.

It was the depth of winter. The ground was covered with snow, and
freezing blasts swept the fields. The besiegers were compelled to
retreat to the protection of their huts. Taking advantage of a cold and
stormy night, Belleisle formed his whole force into a single column,
and, leaving behind him his sick and wounded, and every unnecessary
incumbrance, marched noiselessly but rapidly from one of the gates of
the city. He took with him but thirty cannon and provisions for twelve
days. It was a heroic but an awful retreat. The army, already exhausted
and emaciate by famine, toiled on over morasses, through forests, over
mountains, facing frost and wind and snow, and occasionally fighting
their way against their foes, until on the twelfth day they reached Egra
on the frontiers of Bavaria, about one hundred and twenty miles east
from Prague.

Their sufferings were fearful: They had nothing to eat but frozen bread,
and at night they sought repose, tentless, and upon the drifted snow.
The whole distance was strewed with the bodies of the dead. Each morning
mounds of frozen corpses indicated the places of the night's bivouac.
Twelve hundred perished during this dreadful march. Of those who
survived, many, at Egra, were obliged to undergo the amputation of their
frozen limbs. General Belleisle himself, during the whole retreat, was
suffering from such a severe attack of rheumatism, that he was unable
either to walk or ride. His mind, however, was full of vigor and his
energies unabated. Carried in a sedan chair he reconnoitred the way,
pointed out the roads, visited every part of the extended line of march,
encouraged the fainting troops, and superintended all the minutest
details of the retreat. "Notwithstanding the losses of his army," it is
recorded, "he had the satisfaction of preserving the flower of the
French forces, of saving every cannon which bore the arms of his master,
and of not leaving the smallest trophy to grace the triumph of the
enemy."

In the citadel of Prague, Belleisle had left six thousand troops, to
prevent the eager pursuit of the Austrians. The Prince Sobcuitz, now in
command of the besieging force, mortified and irritated by the escape,
sent a summons to the garrison demanding its immediate and unconditional
surrender. Chevert, the gallant commander, replied to the officer who
brought the summons,--

"Tell the prince that if he will not grant me the honors of war, I will
set fire to the four corners of Prague, and bury myself under its
ruins."

The destruction of Prague, with all its treasures of architecture and
art, was too serious a calamity to be hazarded. Chevert was permitted to
retire with the honors of war, and with his division he soon rejoined
the army at Egra. Maria Theresa was exceedingly chagrined by the escape
of the French, and in the seclusion of her palace she gave vent to the
bitterness of her anguish. In public, however, she assumed an attitude
of triumph and great exultation in view of the recovery of Prague. She
celebrated the event by magnificent entertainments. In imitation of the
Olympic games, she established chariot races, in which ladies alone were
the competitors, and even condescended herself, with her sister, to
enter the lists.

All Bohemia, excepting Egra, was now reclaimed. Early in the spring
Maria Theresa visited Prague, where, on the 12th of May, 1743, with
great splendor she was crowned Queen of Bohemia. General Belleisle,
leaving a small garrison at Egra, with the remnant of his force crossed
the Rhine and returned to France. He had entered Germany a few months
before, a conqueror at the head of forty thousand men. He retired a
fugitive with eight thousand men in his train, ragged, emaciate and
mutilated.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

MARIA THERESA.

From 1743 to 1748.

Prosperous Aspect of Austrian Affairs.--Capture of Egra.--Vast Extent of
Austria.--Dispute with Sardinia.--Marriage of Charles of Lorraine with
The Queen's Sister.--Invasion of Alsace.--Frederic Overruns Bohemia.--
Bohemia Recovered by Prince Charles.--Death of the Emperor Charles
VII.--Venality of the Old Monarchies.--Battle of Hohenfriedberg.--Sir
Thomas Robinson's Interview with Maria Theresa.--Hungarian
Enthusiasm.--The Duke of Lorraine Elected Emperor.--Continuation of the
War.--Treaty of Peace.--Indignation of Maria Theresa.


The cause of Maria Theresa, at the commencement of the year 1743, was
triumphant all over her widely extended domains. Russia was cordial in
friendship. Holland, in token of hostility to France, sent the queen an
efficient loan of six thousand men, thoroughly equipped for the field.
The King of Sardinia, grateful for his share in the plunder of the
French and Spanish provinces in Italy, and conscious that he could
retain those spoils only by the aid of Austria, sent to the queen, in
addition to the coöperation of his armies, a gift of a million of
dollars. England, also, still anxious to check the growth of France,
continued her subsidy of a million and a half, and also with both fleet
and army contributed very efficient military aid. The whole force of
Austria was now turned against France. The French were speedily driven
from Bavaria; and Munich, the capital, fell into the hands of the
Austrians. The emperor, in extreme dejection, unable to present any
front of resistance, sent to the queen entreating a treaty of
neutrality, offering to withdraw all claims to the Austrian succession,
and consenting to leave his Bavarian realm in the hands of Maria Theresa
until a general peace. The emperor, thus humiliated and stripped of all
his territories, retired to Frankfort.

On the 7th of September Egra was captured, and the queen was placed in
possession of all her hereditary domains. The wonderful firmness and
energy which she had displayed, and the consummate wisdom with which she
had conceived and executed her measures, excited the admiration of
Europe. In Vienna, and throughout all the States of Austria, her
popularity was unbounded. After the battle of Dettingen, in which her
troops gained a decisive victory, as the queen was returning to Vienna
from a water excursion, she found the banks of the Danube, for nine
miles, crowded with her rejoicing subjects. In triumph she was escorted
into the capital, greeted by every demonstration of the most
enthusiastic joy.

Austria and England were now prepared to mature their plans for the
dismemberment of France. The commissioners met at Hanau, a small
fortified town, a few miles east of Frankfort. They met, however, only
to quarrel fiercely. Austrian and English pride clashed in instant
collision. Lord Stair, imperious and irritable, regarded the Austrians
as outside barbarians whom England was feeding, clothing and protecting.
The Austrian officers regarded the English as remote islanders from whom
they had hired money and men. The Austrians were amazed at the impudence
of the English in assuming the direction of affairs. The British
officers were equally astounded that the Austrians should presume to
take the lead. No plan of coöperation could be agreed upon, and the
conference broke up in confusion,

The queen, whose heart was still fixed upon the elevation of her husband
to the throne of the empire, was anxious to depose the emperor. But
England was no more willing to see Austria dominant over Europe than to
see France thus powerful. Maria Theresa was now in possession of all her
vast ancestral domains, and England judged that it would endanger the
balance of power to place upon the brow of her husband the imperial
crown. The British cabinet consequently espoused the cause of the
Elector of Bavaria, and entered into a private arrangement with him,
agreeing to acknowledge him as emperor, and to give him an annual
pension that he might suitably support the dignity of his station. The
wealth of England seems to have been inexhaustible, for half the
monarchs of Europe have, at one time or other, been fed and clothed from
her treasury. George II. contracted to pay the emperor, within forty
days, three hundred thousand dollars, and to do all in his power to
constrain the queen of Austria to acknowledge his title.

Maria Theresa had promised the King of Sardinia large accessions of
territory in Italy, as the price for his coöperation. But now, having
acquired those Italian territories, she was exceedingly reluctant to
part with any one of them, and very dishonorably evaded, by every
possible pretense, the fulfillment of her agreement. The queen
considered herself now so strong that she was not anxious to preserve
the alliance of Sardinia. She thought her Italian possessions secure,
even in case of the defection of the Sardinian king. Sardinia appealed
to England, as one of the allies, to interpose for the execution of the
treaty. To the remonstrance of England the queen peevishly replied,

"It is the policy of England to lead me from one sacrifice to another. I
am expected to expose my troops for no other end than voluntarily to
strip myself of my possessions. Should the cession of the Italian
provinces, which the King of Sardinia claims, be extorted from me, what
remains in Italy will not be worth defending, and the only alternative
left is that of being stripped either by England or France."

While the queen was not willing to give as much as she had agreed to
bestow, the greedy King of Sardinia was grasping at more than she had
promised. At last the king, in a rage threatened, that if she did not
immediately comply with his demands, he would unite with France and
Spain and the emperor against Austria. This angry menace brought the
queen to terms, and articles of agreement satisfactory to Sardinia were
signed. During the whole of this summer of 1743, though large armies
were continually in motion, and there were many sanguinary battles, and
all the arts of peace were destroyed, and conflagration, death and woe
were sent to ten thousand homes, nothing effectual was accomplished by
either party. The strife did not cease until winter drove the weary
combatants to their retreats.

For the protection of the Austrian possessions against the French and
Spanish, the queen agreed to maintain in Italy an army of thirty
thousand men, to be placed under the command of the King of Sardinia,
who was to add to them an army of forty-five thousand. England, with
characteristic prodigality, voted a million of dollars annually, to aid
in the payment of these troops. It was the object of England, to prevent
France from strengthening herself by Italian possessions. The cabinet of
St. James took such an interest in this treaty that, to secure its
enactment, one million five hundred thousand dollars were paid down, in
addition to the annual subsidy. England also agreed to maintain a strong
squadron in the Mediterranean to coöperate with Sardinia and Austria.

Amidst these scenes of war, the usual dramas of domestic life moved on.
Prince Charles of Lorraine, had long been ardently attached to Mary
Anne, younger sister of Maria Theresa. The young prince had greatly
signalized himself on the field of battle. Their nuptials were attended
in Vienna with great splendor and rejoicings. It was a union of loving
hearts. Charles was appointed to the government of the Austrian
Netherlands. One short and happy year passed away, when Mary Anne, in
the sorrows of child-birth, breathed her last.

The winter was passed by all parties in making the most vigorous
preparations for a new campaign. England and France were now thoroughly
aroused, and bitterly irritated against each other. Hitherto they had
acted as auxiliaries for other parties. Now they summoned all their
energies, and became principals in the conflict. France issued a formal
declaration of war against England and Austria, raised an army of one
hundred thousand men, and the debauched king himself, Louis XV., left
his _Pare Aux Cerfs_ and placed himself at the head of the army. Marshal
Saxe was the active commander. He was provided with a train of artillery
superior to any which had ever before appeared on any field. Entering
the Netherlands he swept all opposition before him.

The French department of Alsace, upon the Rhine, embraced over forty
thousand square miles of territory, and contained a population of about
a million. While Marshal Saxe was ravaging the Netherlands, an Austrian
army, sixty thousand strong, crossed the Rhine, like a torrent burst
into Alsace, and spread equal ravages through the cities and villages of
France. Bombardment echoed to bombardment; conflagration blazed in
response to conflagration; and the shrieks of the widow, and the moans
of the orphan which rose from the marshes of Burgundy, were reechoed in
an undying wail along the valleys of the Rhine.

The King of France, alarmed by the progress which the Austrians were
making in his own territories, ordered thirty thousand troops, from the
army in the Netherlands, to be dispatched to the protection of Alsace.
Again the tide was turning against Maria Theresa. She had become so
arrogant and exacting, that she had excited the displeasure of nearly
all the empire. She persistently refused to acknowledge the emperor,
who, beyond all dispute, was legally elected; she treated the diet
contemptuously; she did not disguise her determination to hold Bavaria
by the right of conquest, and to annex it to Austria; she had compelled
the Bavarians to take the oath of allegiance to her; she was avowedly
meditating gigantic projects in the conquest of France and Italy; and it
was very evident that she was maturing her plans for the reconquest of
Silesia. Such inordinate ambition alarmed all the neighboring courts.
Frederic of Prussia was particularly alarmed lest he should lose
Silesia. With his accustomed energy he again drew his sword against the
queen, and became the soul of a new confederacy which combined many of
the princes of the empire whom the haughty queen had treated with so
much indignity. In this new league, formed by Frederic, the Elector
Palatine and the King of Sweden were brought into the field against
Maria Theresa. All this was effected with the utmost secrecy, and the
queen had no intimation of her danger until the troops were in motion.
Frederic published a manifesto in which he declared that he took up arms
"to restore to the German empire its liberty, to the emperor his
dignity, and to Europe repose."

With his strong army he burst into Bohemia, now drained of its troops to
meet the war in the Netherlands and on the Rhine. With a lion's tread,
brushing all opposition away, he advanced to Prague. The capital was
compelled to surrender, and the garrison of fifteen thousand troops
became prisoners of war. Nearly all the fortresses of the kingdom fell
into his hands. Establishing garrisons at Tabor, Budweiss, Frauenberg,
and other important posts, he then made an irruption into Bavaria,
scattered the Austrian troops in all directions, entered Munich in
triumph, and reinstated the emperor in the possession of his capital and
his duchy. Such are the fortunes of war. The queen heard these tidings
of accumulated disaster in dismay. In a few weeks of a summer's
campaign, when she supposed that Europe was almost a suppliant at her
feet, she found herself deprived of the Netherlands, of the whole
kingdom of Bohemia, the brightest jewel in her crown, and of the
electorate of Bavaria.

But the resolution and energy of the queen remained indomitable. Maria
Theresa and Frederic were fairly pitted against each other. It was Greek
meeting Greek. The queen immediately recalled the army from Alsace, and
in person repaired to Presburg, where she summoned a diet of the
Hungarian nobles. In accordance with an ancient custom, a blood-red flag
waved from all the castles in the kingdom, summoning the people to a
levy _en masse_, or, as it was then called, to a general insurrection.
An army of nearly eighty thousand men was almost instantly raised. A
cotemporary historian, speaking of this event, says:

"This amazing unanimity of a people so divided amongst themselves as the
Hungarians, especially in point of religion, could only be effected by
the address of Maria Theresa, who seemed to possess one part of the
character of Elizabeth of England, that of making every man about her a
hero."

Prince Charles re-crossed the Rhine, and, by a vigorous march through
Suabia, returned to Bohemia. By surprise, with a vastly superior force,
he assailed the fortresses garrisoned by the Prussian troops, gradually
took one after another, and ere long drove the Prussians, with vast
slaughter, out of the whole kingdom. Though disaster, in this campaign,
followed the banners of Maria Theresa in the Netherlands and in Italy,
she forgot those reverses in exultation at the discomfiture of her great
rival Frederic. She had recovered Bohemia, and was now sanguine that she
soon would regain Silesia, the loss of which province ever weighed
heavily upon her heart. But in her character woman's weakness was allied
with woman's determination. She imagined that she could rouse the
chivalry of her allies as easily as that of the Hungarian barons, and
that foreign courts, forgetful of their own grasping ambition, would
place themselves as pliant instruments in her hands.

In this posture of affairs, the hand of Providence was again interposed,
in an event which removed from the path of the queen a serious obstacle,
and opened to her aspiring mind new visions of grandeur. The Emperor
Charles VII., an amiable man, of moderate abilities, was quite crushed
in spirit by the calamities accumulating upon him. Though he had
regained his capital, he was in hourly peril of being driven from it
again. Anguish so preyed upon his mind, that, pale and wan, he was
thrown upon a sick bed. While in this state he was very injudiciously
informed of a great defeat which his troops had encountered. It was a
death-blow to the emperor. He moaned, turned over in his bed, and died,
on the 20th of January, 1745.

The imperial crown was thus thrown down among the combatants, and a
scramble ensued for its possession such as Europe had never witnessed
before. Every court was agitated, and the combinations of intrigue were
as innumerable as were the aspirants for the crown. The spring of 1745
opened with clouds of war darkening every quarter of the horizon.
England opened the campaign in Italy and the Netherlands, her whole
object now being to humble France. Maria Theresa remained uncompromising
in her disposition to relinquish nothing and to grasp every thing. The
cabinet of England, with far higher views of policy, were anxious to
detach some of the numerous foes combined against Austria; but it was
almost impossible to induce the queen to make the slightest abatement of
her desires. She had set her heart upon annexing all of Bavaria to her
realms. That immense duchy, now a kingdom, was about the size of the
State of South Carolina, containing over thirty thousand square miles.
Its population amounted to about four millions. The death of the Emperor
Charles VII., who was Elector of Bavaria, transmitted the sovereignty of
this realm to his son, Maximilian Joseph.

Maximilian was anxious to withdraw from the strife. He agreed to
renounce all claim to the Austrian succession, to acknowledge the
validity of the queen's title, to dismiss the auxiliary troops, and to
give his electoral vote to the Duke of Lorraine for emperor. But so
eager was the queen to grasp the Bavarian dominions, that it was with
the utmost difficulty that England could induce her to accede even to
these terms.

It is humiliating to record the readiness of these old monarchies to
sell themselves and their armies to any cause which would pay the price
demanded. For seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars England purchased
the alliance of Poland, and her army of thirty thousand men. Before the
treaty was formally ratified, the Emperor Charles VII. died, and there
were indications that Bavaria would withdraw from the French alliance.
This alarmed the French ministry, and they immediately offered Poland a
larger sum than England had proffered, to send her army to the French
camp. The bargain was on the point of being settled, when England and
Austria again rushed in, and whispered in the ear of Augustus that they
intended to chastise the King of Prussia thoroughly, and that if Poland
would help them, Poland should be rewarded with generous slices of the
Prussian territory. This was a resistless bribe, and the Polish banners
were borne in the train of the Austrian alliance.

The Duke of Lorraine was much annoyed by the imperial assumption of his
wife. She was anxious to secure for him the crown of Germany, as adding
to her power and grandeur. But Francis was still more anxious to attain
that dignity, as his position in the court, as merely the docile subject
of his wife, the queen, was exceedingly humiliating. The spring of 1745
found all parties prepared for the renewal of the fight. The drama was
opened by the terrible battle of Fontenoy in the Netherlands. On the
11th of May eighty thousand French met the Austrian allied army of fifty
thousand. After a few hours of terrific slaughter the allies retreated,
leaving the French in possession of the field. In Italy, also, the tide
of war set against the queen. The French and Spaniards poured an army of
seventy thousand men over the Alps into Italy. The queen, even with the
aid of Sardinia, had no force capable of resisting them. The allies
swept the country. The King of Sardinia was driven behind the walls of
his capital. In this one short campaign Tortona, Placentia, Parma,
Pavia, Cazale and Aste were wrested from the Austrians, and the citadels
of Alexandria and Milan were blockaded.

The queen had weakened her armies both in the Netherlands and Italy that
she might accumulate a force sufficient to recover Silesia, and to crush,
if possible, her great antagonist Frederic. Maria Theresa was greatly
elated by her success in driving the Prussians from Bavaria, and
Frederic was mortified and irritated by this first defeat of his arms.
Thus animated, the one by hope, the other by vengeance, Maria and
Frederic gathered all their resources for a trial of strength on the
plains of Silesia. France, fully occupied in the Netherlands and in
Italy, could render Frederic no assistance. His prospects began to look
dark. War had made sad ravages in his army, and he found much difficulty
in filling up his wasted battalions. His treasury was exhausted. Still
the indomitable monarch indulged in no emotions of dejection.

Each party was fully aware of the vigilance and energy of its
antagonist. Their forces were early in the field. The month of April was
passed in stratagems and skirmishes, each endeavoring in vain to obtain
some advantage over the other in position or combinations. Early in May
there was a pretty severe conflict, in which the Prussians gained the
advantage. They feigned, however, dejection and alarm, and apparently
commenced a retreat. The Austrians, emboldened by this subterfuge,
pursued them with indiscreet haste. Prince Charles pressed the retiring
hosts, and followed closely after them through the passes of the
mountains to Landshut and Friedburg. Frederic fled as if in a panic,
throwing no obstacle in the path of his pursuers, seeming only anxious
to gain the ramparts of Breslau. Suddenly the Prussians turned--the
whole army being concentrated in columns of enormous strength. They had
chosen their ground and their hour. It was before the break of day on
the 3d of June, among the hills of Hohenfriedberg. The Austrians were
taken utterly by surprise. For seven hours they repelled the impetuous
onset of their foes. But when four thousand of their number were mangled
corpses, seven thousand captives in the hands of the enemy, seventy-six
standards and sixty-six pieces of artillery wrested from them, the
broken bands of the Austrians turned and fled, pursued and incessantly
pelted by Frederic through the defiles of the mountains back to Bohemia.
The Austrians found no rest till they had escaped beyond the
Riesengeberg, and placed the waves of the Elbe between themselves and
their pursuers. The Prussians followed to the opposite bank, and there
the two armies remained for three months looking each other in the face.

Frederic, having gained so signal a victory, again proposed peace.
England, exceedingly desirous to detach from the allies so energetic a
foe, urged the queen, in the strongest terms, to accede to the
overtures. The queen, however, never dismayed by adversity, still
adhered to her resolve to reconquer Silesia. The English cabinet,
finding Maria Theresa deaf to all their remonstrances and entreaties,
endeavored to intimidate her by the threat of withdrawing their
subsidies.

The English ambassador, Sir Thomas Robinson, with this object in view,
demanded an audience with the queen. The interview, as he has recorded
it, is worthy of preservation.

"England," said the ambassador to the queen, "has this year furnished
five million, three hundred and ninety-three thousand seven hundred and
sixty-five dollars. The nation is not in a condition to maintain a
superiority over the allies in the Netherlands, Italy and Silesia. It
is, therefore, indispensable to diminish the force of the enemy. France
can not be detached from the alliance. Prussia can be and must be. This
concession England expects from Austria. What is to be done must be done
immediately. The King of Prussia can not be driven from Bohemia this
campaign. By making peace with him, and thus securing his voluntary
withdrawal, your majesty can send troops to the Netherlands, and check
the rapid progress of the French, who now threaten the very existence of
England and Holland. If they fall, Austria must inevitably fall also. If
peace can be, made with Prussia France can be checked, and the Duke of
Lorraine can be chosen emperor."

"I feel exceedingly grateful," the queen replied, "to the king and the
English nation, and am ready to show it in every way in my power. Upon
this matter I will consult my ministers and acquaint you with my answer.
But whatever may be the decision, I can not spare a man from the
neighborhood of the King of Prussia. In peace, as well as in war, I need
them all for the defense of my person and family."

"It is affirmed," Sir Thomas Robinson replied, "that seventy thousand
men are employed against Prussia. From such a force enough might be
spared to render efficient aid in Italy and in the Netherlands."

"I can not spare a man," the queen abruptly replied.

Sir Thomas was a little touched, and with some spirit rejoined, "If your
majesty can not spare her troops for the general cause, England will
soon find it necessary to withdraw her armies also, to be employed at
home."

This was a home thrust, and the queen felt it, and replied, "But why may
we not as well detach France from the alliance, as Prussia?"

"Because Prussia," was the reply, "can be more easily induced to accede
to peace, by allowing her to retain what she now has, than France can be
induced to yield, by surrendering, as she must, large portions of her
present acquisitions."

"I must have an opportunity," Maria Theresa continued, "to strike
Prussia another blow. Prince Charles has still enough men to give
battle."

"But should he be the victor in the battle," Sir Thomas replied,
"Silesia is not conquered. And if the battle be lost, your majesty is
well nigh ruined."

"If I had determined," said the queen, "to make peace with Frederic
to-morrow, I would give him battle to-night. But why in such a hurry?
Why this interruption of operations which are by no means to be
despaired of? Give me only to October, and then you may do as you
please."

"October will close this campaign," was the answer. "Our affairs are
going so disastrously, that unless we can detach Prussia, by that time
France and Prussia will be able to dictate terms to which we shall be
compelled to accede."

"That might be true," the queen replied, tartly, "if I were to waste my
time, as you are urging me to do, in marching my troops from Bohemia to
the Rhine, and from the Rhine to the Netherlands. But as for my troops,
I have not a single general who would condescend to command such merely
_machinery_ armies. As for the Duke of Lorraine, and my brother, Prince
Charles, they shall not thus degrade themselves. The great duke is not
so ambitious of an empty honor, much less to enjoy it under the
patronage of Prussia. You speak of the imperial dignity! Is it
compatible with the loss of Silesia? Great God! give me only till
October. I shall then at least be able to secure better conditions."

The English ambassador now ventured, in guarded phrase, but very
decisively, to inform the queen that unless she could accede to these
views, England would be constrained to withdraw her assistance, and,
making the best terms she could for herself with the enemy, leave
Austria to fight her own battles; and that England requested an
immediate and a specific answer. Even this serious menace did not move
the inflexible will of the queen. She, with much calmness, replied,

"It is that I might, with the utmost promptness, attend to this
business, that I have given you so expeditious an audience, and that I
have summoned my council to meet so early. I see, however, very clearly,
that whatever may be my decisions, they will have but little influence
upon measures which are to be adopted elsewhere."

The queen convened her council, and then informed England, in most
courteous phrase, that she could not accede to the proposition. The
British cabinet immediately entered into a private arrangement with
Prussia, guaranteeing to Frederic the possession of Silesia, in
consideration of Prussia's agreement not to molest England's Hanoverian
possessions.

Maria Theresa was exceedingly indignant when she became acquainted with
this treaty. She sent peremptory orders to Prince Charles to prosecute
hostilities with the utmost vigor, and with great energy dispatched
reënforcements to his camp. The Hungarians, with their accustomed
enthusiasm, flocked to the aid of the queen; and Frederic, pressed by
superior numbers, retreated from Bohemia back to Silesia, pursued and
pelted in his turn by the artillery of Prince Charles. But Frederic soon
turned upon his foes, who almost surrounded him with double his own
number of men. His army was compact and in the highest state of
discipline. A scene of terrible carnage ensued, in which the Austrians,
having lost four thousand in killed and two thousand taken prisoners,
were utterly routed and scattered. The proud victor, gathering up his
weakened battalions, one fourth of whom had been either killed or
wounded in this short, fierce storm of war, continued his retreat
unmolested.

While Maria Theresa, with such almost superhuman inflexibility, was
pressing her own plans, the electoral diet of Germany was assembled at
Frankfort, and Francis, Duke of Lorraine, was chosen emperor, with the
title of Francis I. The queen was at Frankfort when the diet had
assembled, and was plying all her energies in favor of her husband,
while awaiting, with intense solicitude, the result of the election.
When the choice was announced to her, she stepped out upon the balcony
of the palace, and was the first to shout, "Long live the emperor,
Francis I." The immense concourse assembled in the streets caught and
reëchoed the cry. This result was exceedingly gratifying to the queen;
she regarded it as a noble triumph, adding to the power and the luster
of her house.

The duke, now the emperor, was at Heidelberg, with an army of sixty
thousand men. The queen hastened to him with her congratulations. The
emperor, no longer a submissive subject, received his queenly spouse
with great dignity at the head of his army. The whole host was drawn up
in two lines, and the queen rode between, bowing to the regiments on the
right hand and the left, with majesty and grace which all admired.

Though the queen's treasury was so exhausted that she had been compelled
to melt the church plate to pay her troops, she was now so elated that,
regardless of the storms of winter, she resolved to send an army to
Berlin, to chastise Frederic in his own capital, and there recover long
lost Silesia. But Frederic was not thus to be caught napping. Informed
of the plan, he succeeded in surprising the Austrian army, and dispersed
them after the slaughter of five thousand men. The queen's troops, who
had entered Silesia, were thus driven pell-mell back to Bohemia. The
Prussian king then invaded Saxony, driving all before him. He took
possession of the whole electorate, and entered Dresden, its capital, in
triumph. This was a terrible defeat for the queen. Though she had often
said that she would part with her last garment before she would consent
to the surrender of Silesia, she felt now compelled to yield. Accepting
the proffered mediation of England, on the 25th of December, 1745, she
signed the treaty of Dresden, by which she left Silesia in the hands of
Frederic. He agreed to withdraw his troops from Saxony, and to
acknowledge the imperial title of Francis I.

England, in consequence of rebellion at home, had been compelled to
withdraw her troops from the Netherlands; and France, advancing with
great vigor, took fortress after fortress, until nearly all of the Low
Countries had fallen into her hands. In Italy, however, the Austrians
were successful, and Maria Theresa, having dispatched thirty thousand
troops to their aid, cherished sanguine hopes that she might recover
Milan and Naples. All the belligerent powers, excepting Maria Theresa,
weary of the long war, were anxious for peace. She, however, still
clung, with deathless tenacity, to her determination to recover Silesia,
and to win provinces in Italy. England and France were equally desirous
to sheathe the sword. France could only attack England in the
Netherlands; England could only assail France in her marine. They were
both successful. France drove England from the continent; England drove
France from the ocean.

Notwithstanding the most earnest endeavors of the allies, Maria Theresa
refused to listen to any terms of peace, and succeeded in preventing the
other powers from coming to any accommodation. All parties,
consequently, prepared for another campaign. Prussia entered into an
alliance with Austria, by which she agreed to furnish her with thirty
thousand troops. The queen made gigantic efforts to drive the French
from the Netherlands. England and Holland voted an army of forty
thousand each. The queen furnished sixty thousand; making an army of one
hundred and forty thousand to operate in the Netherlands. At the same
time the queen sent sixty thousand men to Italy, to be joined by
forty-five thousand Sardinians. All the energies of the English fleet
were also combined with these formidable preparations. Though never
before during the war had such forces been brought into the field, the
campaign was quite disastrous to Austria and her allies. Many bloody
battles were fought, and many thousands perished in agony; but nothing
of any importance was gained by either party. When winter separated the
combatants, they retired exhausted and bleeding.

Again France made overtures for a general pacification, on terms which
were eminently honorable. England was disposed to listen to those terms.
But the queen had not yet accomplished her purposes, and she succeeded
in securing the rejection of the proposals. Again the belligerents
gathered their resources, with still increasing vigor, for another
campaign. The British cabinet seemed now to be out of all patience with
Maria Theresa. They accused her of not supplying the contingents she had
promised, they threatened to withhold their subsidies, many bitter
recriminations passed, but still the queen, undismayed by the
contentions, urged forward her preparations for the new campaign, till
she was thunderstruck with the tidings that the preliminaries of peace
were already signed by England, France and Holland.

Maria Theresa received the first formal notification of the terms agreed
to by the three contracting powers, from the English minister, Sir
Thomas Robinson, who urged her concurrence in the treaty. The indignant
queen could not refrain from giving free vent to her displeasure.
Listening for a moment impatiently to his words, she overwhelmed him
with a torrent of reproaches.

"You, sir," she exclaimed, "who had such a share in the sacrifice of
Silesia; you, who contributed more than any one in procuring the
cessions to Sardinia, do you still think to persuade me? No! I am
neither a child nor a fool! If you will have an instant peace, make it.
I can negotiate for myself. Why am I always to be excluded from
transacting my own business? My enemies will give me better conditions
than my friends. Place me where I was in Italy before the war; but _your
King of Sardinia_ must have all, without one thought for me. This treaty
was not made for me, but for him, for him singly. Great God, how have I
been used by that court! There is _your King of Prussia_! Indeed these
circumstances tear open too many old wounds and create too many new
ones. Agree to such a treaty as this!" she exclaimed indignantly. "No,
no, I will rather lose my head."



CHAPTER XXIX.

MARIA THERESA.

From 1748 to 1759.

Treaty of Peace.--Dissatisfaction of Maria Theresa.--Preparation for
War.--Rupture between England and Austria.--Maria Theresa.--Alliance
with France.--Influence of Marchioness of Pompadour.--Bitter Reproaches
Between Austria and England.--Commencement of the Seven Years'
War.--Energy of Frederic of Prussia.--Sanguinary Battles.--Vicissitudes
of War.--Desperate Situation of Frederic.--Elation of Maria Theresa.--
Her Ambitious Plans.--Awful Defeat of the Prussians at Berlin.


Notwithstanding the bitter opposition of Maria Theresa to peace, the
definitive treaty was signed at Aix-la-Chapelle on the 18th of October,
1748, by France, England and Holland. Spain and Sardinia soon also gave
in their adhesion. The queen, finding it impossible to resist the
determination of the other powers, at length reluctantly yielded, and
accepted the terms, which they were ready unitedly to enforce should she
refuse to accede to them. By this treaty all the contracting powers gave
their assent to the Pragmatic Sanction. The queen was required to
surrender her conquests in Italy, and to confirm her cessions of Silesia
to Prussia. Thus terminated this long and cruel war. Though at the
commencement the queen was threatened with utter destruction, and she
had come out from the contests with signal honor, retaining all her vast
possessions, excepting Silesia and the Italian provinces, still she
could not repress her chagrin. Her complaints were loud and reiterated.
When the British minister requested an audience to congratulate her upon
the return of peace, she snappishly replied,

"A visit of condolence would be more proper, under these circumstances,
than one of congratulation. The British minister will oblige me by
making no allusion whatever to so disagreeable a topic."

The queen was not only well aware that this peace could not long
continue, but was fully resolved that it should not be permanent. Her
great rival, Frederic, had wrested from her Silesia, and she was
determined that there should be no stable peace until she had regained
it. With wonderful energy she availed herself of this short respite in
replenishing her treasury and in recruiting her armies. Frederic himself
has recorded the masculine vigor with which she prepared herself for the
renewal of war.

"Maria Theresa," he says, "in the secrecy of her cabinet, arranged those
great projects which she afterwards carried into execution. She
introduced an order and economy into the finances unknown to her
ancestors; and her revenues far exceeded those of her father, even when
he was master of Naples, Parma, Silesia and Servia. Having learned the
necessity of introducing into her army a better discipline, she annually
formed camps in the provinces, which she visited herself that she might
animate the troops by her presence and bounty. She established a
military academy at Vienna, and collected the most skillful professors
of all the sciences and exercises which tend to elucidate or improve the
art of war. By these institutions the army acquired, under Maria
Theresa, such a degree of perfection as it had never attained under any
of her predecessors; and a woman accomplished designs worthy of a great
man."

The queen immediately organized a standing army of one hundred and eight
thousand men, who were brought under the highest state of discipline,
and were encamped in such positions that they could, at any day, be
concentrated ready for combined action. The one great object which now
seemed to engross her mind was the recovery of Silesia. It was, of
course, a subject not to be spoken of openly; but in secret conference
with her ministers she unfolded her plans and sought counsel. Her
intense devotion to political affairs, united to a mind of great
activity and native strength, soon placed her above her ministers in
intelligence and sagacity; and conscious of superior powers, she leaned
less upon them, and relied upon her own resources. With a judgment thus
matured she became convinced of the incapacity of her cabinet, and with
great skill in the discernment of character, chose Count Kaunitz, who
was then her ambassador at Paris, prime minister. Kaunitz, son of the
governor of Moravia, had given signal proof of his diplomatic abilities,
in Rome and in Paris. For nearly forty years he remained at the head of
foreign affairs, and, in conjunction with the queen, administered the
government of Austria.

Policy had for some time allied Austria and England, but there had never
been any real friendship between the two cabinets. The high tone of
superiority ever assumed by the court of St. James, its offensive
declaration that the arm of England alone had saved the house of Austria
from utter ruin, and the imperious demand for corresponding gratitude,
annoyed and exasperated the proud court of Vienna. The British cabinet
were frequently remonstrated with against the assumption of such airs,
and the employment of language so haughty in their diplomatic
intercourse. But the British government has never been celebrated for
courtesy in its intercourse with weaker powers. The chancellor Kaunitz
entreated them, in their communications, to respect the sex and temper
of the queen, and not to irritate her by demeanor so overbearing. The
emperor himself entered a remonstrance against the discourtesy which
characterized their intercourse. Even the queen, unwilling to break off
friendly relations with her unpolished allies, complained to the British
ambassador of the arrogant style of the English documents.

"They do not," said the queen, "disturb me, but they give great offense
to others, and endanger the amity existing between the two nations. I
would wish that more courtesy might mark our intercourse."

But the amenities of polished life, the rude islanders despised. The
British ambassador at Vienna, Sir Robert Keith, a gentlemanly man, was
often mortified at the messages he was compelled to communicate to the
queen. Occasionally the messages were couched in terms so peremptory and
offensive that he could not summon resolution to deliver them, and thus
he more than once incurred the censure of the king and cabinet, for his
sense of propriety and delicacy. These remonstrances were all
unavailing, and at length the Austrian cabinet began to reply with equal
rancor.

This state of things led the Austrian cabinet to turn to France, and
seek the establishment of friendly relations with that court. Louis XV.,
the most miserable of debauchees, was nominally king. His mistress,
Jeanette Poisson, who was as thoroughly polluted as her regal paramour,
governed the monarch, and through him France. The king had ennobled her
with the title of Marchioness of Pompadour. Her power was so boundless
and indisputable that the most illustrious ladies of the French court
were happy to serve as her waiting women. Whenever she walked out, one
of the highest nobles of the realm accompanied her as her attendant,
obsequiously bearing her shawl upon his arm, to spread it over her
shoulders in case it should be needed. Ambassadors and ministers she
summoned before her, assuming that air of royalty which she had
purchased with her merchantable charms. Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu,
waited in her ante-chambers, and implored her patronage. The haughty
mistress became even weary of their adulation.

"Not only," said she one day, to the Abbé de Bernis, "have I all the
nobility at my feet, but even my lap-dog is weary of their fawning."

With many apologies for requiring of the high-minded Maria Theresa a
sacrifice, Kaunitz suggested to her the expediency of cultivating the
friendship of Pompadour. Silesia was engraved upon the heart of the
queen, and she was prepared to do any thing which could aid her in the
reconquest of that duchy. She stooped so low as to write a letter with
her own hand to the marchioness, addressing her as "our dear friend and
cousin."

This was a new triumph for Pompadour, and it delighted her beyond
measure. To have the most illustrious sovereign of Europe, combining in
her person the titles of Queen of Austria and Empress of Germany,
solicit her friendship and her good offices, so excited the vanity of
the mistress, that she became immediately the warm friend of Maria
Theresa, and her all powerful advocate in the court of Versailles.
England was now becoming embroiled with France in reference to the
possessions upon the St. Lawrence and Ohio in North America. In case of
war, France would immediately make an attack upon Hanover. England was
anxious to secure the Austrian alliance, that the armies of the queen
might aid in the protection of Hanover. But Austria, being now in secret
conference with France, was very reserved. England coaxed and
threatened, but could get no definite or satisfactory answer. Quite
enraged, the British cabinet sent a final declaration that, "should the
empress decline fulfilling the conditions required, the king can not
take any measures in coöperation with Austria, and the present system of
European policy must be dissolved."

The reply of the empress queen develops the feelings of irritation and
bitterness which at that time existed between the two cabinets of
Austria and England.

"The queen," Maria Theresa replied, "has never had the satisfaction of
seeing England do justice to her principles. If the army of Austria were
merely the hired soldiers of England, the British cabinet could not more
decisively assume the control of their movements than it now does, by
requiring their removal from the center of Austria, for the defense of
England and Hanover. We are reproached with the great efforts England
has made in behalf of the house of Austria. But to these efforts England
owes its present greatness. If Austria has derived useful succors from
England, she has purchased those succors with the blood and ruin of her
subjects; while England has been opening to herself new sources of
wealth and power. We regret the necessity of uttering these truths in
reply to unjust and unceasing reproaches. Could any consideration
diminish our gratitude towards England, it would be thus diminished by
her constant endeavor to represent the aid she has furnished us as
entirely gratuitous, when this aid has always been and always will be
dictated by her own interests."

Such goading as this brought back a roar. The British envoy was ordered
to demand an explicit and categorical reply to the following questions:

1. If the French attack Hanover, will the queen render England
assistance?

2. What number of troops will she send; and how soon will they be in
motion to join the British and Hanoverian troops?

The Austrian minister, Kaunitz, evaded a reply, coldly answering, "Our
ultimatum has been given. The queen deems those declarations as ample as
can be expected in the present posture of affairs; nor can she give any
further reply till England shall have more fully explained her
intentions."

Thus repulsed, England turned to Prussia, and sought alliance with the
most inveterate enemy of Austria. Frederic, fearing an assault from
united Russia and Austria, eagerly entered into friendly relations with
England, and on the 16th of January, 1756, entered into a treaty with
the cabinet of Great Britain for the defense of Hanover.

Maria Theresa was quite delighted with this arrangement, for affairs
were moving much to her satisfaction at Versailles. Her "dear friend and
cousin" Jeanette Poisson, had dismissed all the ministers who were
unfriendly to Austria, and had replaced them with her own creatures who
were in favor of the Austrian alliance. A double motive influenced the
Marchioness of Pompadour. Her vanity was gratified by the advances of
Maria Theresa, and revenge roused her soul against Frederic of Prussia,
who had indulged in a cutting witticism upon her position and character.

The marchioness, with one of her favorites, Cardinal Bernis, met the
Austrian ambassador in one of the private apartments of the palace of
the Luxembourg, and arranged the plan of the alliance between France and
Austria. Maria Theresa, without the knowledge of her ministers, or even
of her husband the emperor, privately conducted these negotiations with
the Marchioness du Pompadour. M. Kaunitz was the agent employed by the
queen in this transaction. Louis XV., sunk in the lowest depths of
debauchery, consented to any arrangements his mistress might propose.
But when the treaty was all matured it became necessary to present it to
the Council of State. The queen, knowing how astounded her husband would
be to learn what she had been doing, and aware of the shock it would
give the ministry to think of an alliance with France, pretended to
entire ignorance of the measures she had been so energetically
prosecuting.

In very guarded and apologetic phrase, Kaunitz introduced the delicate
subject. The announcement of the unexpected alliance with France struck
all with astonishment and indignation. Francis, vehemently moved, rose,
and smiting the table with his hand, exclaimed, "Such an alliance is
unnatural and impracticable--it never shall take place." The empress, by
nods and winks, encouraged her minister, and he went on detailing the
great advantages to result from the French alliance. Maria Theresa
listened with great attention to his arguments, and was apparently
convinced by them. She then gave her approbation so decisively as to
silence all debate. She said that such a treaty was so manifestly for
the interest of Austria, that she was fearful that France would not
accede to it. Since she knew that the matter was already arranged and
settled with the French court, this was a downright lie, though the
queen probably regarded it as a venial fib, or as diplomacy.

Thus curiously England and Austria had changed their allies. George II.
and Frederic II., from being rancorous foes became friends, and Maria
Theresa and Louis XV. unfurled their flags together. England was
indignant with Austria for the French alliance, Austria was indignant
with England for the Prussian alliance. Each accused the other of being
the first to abandon the ancient treaty. As the British ambassador
reproached the queen with this abandonment, she replied,

"I have not abandoned the old system, but Great Britain has abandoned me
and that system, by concluding the Prussian treaty, the first
intelligence of which struck me like a fit of apoplexy. I and the King
of Prussia are incompatible. No consideration on earth shall induce me
to enter into any engagement to which he is a party. Why should you be
surprised if, following your example in concluding a treaty with
Prussia, I should enter into an engagement with France?"

"I have but two enemies," Maria Theresa said again, "whom I have to
dread--the King of Prussia and the Turks. And while I and the Empress of
Russia continue on the same good terms as now subsist between us, we
shall, I trust, be able to convince Europe that we are in a condition to
defend ourselves against those adversaries, however formidable."

The queen still kept her eye anxiously fixed upon Silesia, and in secret
combination with the Empress of Russia made preparation for a sudden
invasion. With as much secrecy as was possible, large armies were
congregated in the vicinity of Prague, while Russia was cautiously
concentrating her troops upon the frontiers of Livonia. But Frederic was
on the alert, and immediately demanded of the empress queen the
significance of these military movements.

"In the present crisis," the queen replied, "I deem it necessary to take
measures for the security of myself and my allies, which tend to the
prejudice of no one."

So vague an answer was of course unsatisfactory, and the haughty
Prussian king reiterated his demand in very imperious tones.

"I wish," said he, "for an immediate and categorical answer, not
delivered in an oracular style, ambiguous and inconclusive, respecting
the armaments in Bohemia, and I demand a positive assurance that the
queen will not attack me either during this or the following year."

The answer returned by the queen to this demand was equally
unsatisfactory with the first, and the energetic Prussian monarch,
wasting no more words, instantly invaded Saxony with a powerful army,
overran the duchy, and took possession of Dresden, its capital. Then
wheeling his troops, with twenty-four thousand men he marched boldly
into Bohemia. The queen dispatched an army of forty thousand to meet
him. The fierce encounter took place at Lowositz, near the banks of the
Elbe. The military genius of Frederic prevailed, and the Austrians were
repulsed, though the slaughter was about equal on each side, six
thousand men, three thousand upon each side, being left in their blood.
Frederic took possession of Saxony as a conquered province. Seventeen
thousand soldiers, whom he made prisoners, he forced into his own
service. Eighty pieces of cannon were added to his artillery train, and
the revenues of Saxony replenished his purse.

The anger of Maria Theresa, at this humiliation of her ally, was roused
to the highest pitch, and she spent the winter in the most vigorous
preparations for the campaign of the spring. She took advantage of
religious fanaticism, and represented, through all the Catholic courts
of Europe, that there was a league of the two heretical powers, England
and Prussia, against the faithful children of the Church. Jeanette
Poisson, Marchioness of Pompadour, who now controlled the destinies of
France, raised, for the service of Maria Theresa, an army of one hundred
and five thousand men, paid all the expenses of ten thousand Bavarian
troops, and promised the queen an annual subsidy of twelve millions of
imperial florins. The emperor, regarding the invasion of Saxony as an
insult to the empire, roused the States of Germany to coöperate with the
queen. Europe was again ablaze with war.

It was indeed a fearful combination now prepared to make a rush upon the
King of Prussia. France had assembled eighty thousand men on the Rhine.
The Swedes were rallying in great numbers on the frontiers of Pomerania.
The Russians had concentrated an army sixty thousand strong on the
borders of Livonia. And the Queen of Austria had one hundred and fifty
thousand men on the march, through Hungary and Bohemia, to the frontiers
of Silesia. Frederic, with an eagle eye, was watching all these
movements, and was employing all his amazing energies to meet the
crisis. He resolved to have the advantage of striking the first blow,
and adopted the bold measure of marching directly into the heart of the
Austrian States. To deceive the allies he pretended to be very much
frightened, and by breaking down bridges and establishing fortresses
seemed intent upon merely presenting a desperate defense behind his
ramparts.

Suddenly, in three strong, dense columns, Frederic burst into Bohemia
and advanced, with rapid and resistless strides, towards Prague. The
unprepared Austrian bands were driven before these impetuous assailants
as chaff is dispersed by the whirlwind. With great precipitation the
Austrian troops, from all quarters, fled to the city of Prague and
rallied beneath its walls. Seventy thousand men were soon collected,
strongly intrenched behind ramparts, thrown up outside of the city, from
which ramparts, in case of disaster, they could retire behind the walls
and into the citadel.

The king, with his army, came rushing on like the sweep of the tornado,
and plunged, as a thunderbolt of war, into the camp of the Austrians.
For a few hours the battle blazed as if it were a strife of demons--hell
in high carnival. Eighteen thousand Prussians were mowed down by the
Austrian batteries, before the fierce assailants could scale the
ramparts. Then, with cimeter and bayonet, they took a bloody revenge.
Eight thousand Austrians were speedily weltering in blood. The shriek of
the battle penetrated all the dwellings in Prague, appalling every ear,
like a wail from the world of woe. The routed Austrians, leaving nine
thousand prisoners, in the hands of Frederic, rushed through the gates
into the city, while a storm of shot from the batteries on the walls
drove back the pursuing Prussians.

Prague, with the broken army thus driven within its walls, now contained
one hundred thousand inhabitants. The city was totally unprepared for a
siege. All supplies of food being cut off, the inhabitants were soon
reduced to extreme suffering. The queen was exceedingly anxious that the
city should hold out until she could hasten to its relief. She succeeded
in sending a message to the besieged army, by a captain of grenadiers,
who contrived to evade the vigilance of the besiegers and to gain
entrance to the city.

"I am concerned," said the empress, "that so many generals, with so
considerable a force, must remain besieged in Prague, but I augur
favorably for the event. I can not too strongly impress upon your minds
that the troops will incur everlasting disgrace should they not effect
what the French in the last war performed with far inferior numbers. The
honor of the whole nation, as well as that of the imperial aims, is
interested in their present behavior. The security of Bohemia, of my
other hereditary dominions, and of the German empire itself, depends on
a gallant defense and the preservation of Prague.

"The army under the command of Marshal Daun is daily strengthening, and
will soon be in a condition to raise the siege. The French are
approaching with all diligence. The Swedes are marching to my
assistance. In a short space of time affairs will, under divine
Providence, wear a better aspect."

The scene in Prague was awful. Famine strode through all the streets,
covering the pavements with the emaciate corpses of the dead. An
incessant bombardment was kept up from the Prussian batteries, and shot
and shell were falling incessantly, by day and by night, in every
portion of the city. Conflagrations were continually blazing; there was
no possible place of safety; shells exploded in parlors, in chambers, in
cellars, tearing limb from limb, and burying the mutilated dead beneath
the ruins of their dwellings. The booming of the cannon, from the
distant batteries, was answered by the thunder of the guns from the
citadel and the walls, and blended with all this uproar rose the
uninterrupted shrieks of the wounded and the dying. The cannonade from
the Prussian batteries was so destructive, that in a few days one
quarter of the entire city was demolished.

Count Daun, with sixty thousand men, was soon advancing rapidly towards
Prague. Frederic, leaving a small force to continue the blockade of the
city, marched with the remainder of his troops to assail the Austrian
general. They soon met, and fought for some hours as fiercely as mortals
can fight. The slaughter on both sides was awful. At length the fortune
of war turned in favor of the Austrians, though they laid down nine
thousand husbands, fathers, sons, in bloody death, as the price of the
victory. Frederic was almost frantic with grief and rage as he saw his
proud battalions melting away before the batteries of the foe. Six times
his cavalry charged with the utmost impetuosity, and six times they were
as fiercely repulsed. Frederic was finally compelled to withdraw,
leaving fourteen thousand of his troops either slain or prisoners.
Twenty-two Prussian standards and forty-three pieces of artillery were
taken by the Austrians.

The tidings of this victory elated Maria Theresa almost to delirium.
Feasts were given, medals struck, presents given, and the whole empire
blazed with illuminations, and rang with all the voices of joy. The
queen even condescended to call in person upon the Countess Daun to
congratulate her upon the great victory attained by her husband. She
instituted, on the occasion, a new military order of merit, called the
order of Maria Theresa. Count Daun and his most illustrious officers
were honored with the first positions in this new order of knighthood.

The Prussians were compelled to raise the siege of Prague, and to
retreat with precipitation. Bohemia was speedily evacuated by the
Prussian troops. The queen was now determined to crush Frederic
entirely, so that he might never rise again. His kingdom was to be taken
from him, carved up, and apportioned out between Austria, Sweden, Poland
and Russia.

The Prussians retreated, in a broken band of but twenty-five thousand
men, into the heart of Silesia, to Breslau, its beautiful and strongly
fortified capital. This city, situated upon the Oder, at its junction
with the Ohlau, contained a population of nearly eighty thousand. The
fugitive troops sought refuge behind its walls, protected as they were
by batteries of the heaviest artillery. The Austrians, strengthened by
the French, with an army now amounting to ninety thousand, followed
closely on, and with their siege artillery commenced the cannonade of
the city. An awful scene of carnage ensued, in which the Austrians lost
eight thousand men and the Prussians five thousand, when the remnant of
the Prussian garrison, retreating by night through a remote gate, left
the city in the hands of the Austrians.

It was now mid-winter. But the iron-nerved Frederic, undismayed by these
terrible reverses, collected the scattered fragments of his army, and,
finding himself at the head of thirty thousand men, advanced to Breslau
in the desperate attempt to regain his capital. His force was so
inconsiderable as to excite the ridicule of the Austrians. Upon the
approach of Frederic, Prince Charles, disdaining to hide behind the
ramparts of the city on the defensive, against a foe thus insulting him
with inferior numbers, marched to meet the Prussians. The interview
between Prince Charles and Frederic was short but very decisive, lasting
only from the hour of dinner to the going down of a December's sun. The
twilight of the wintry day had not yet come when seven thousand
Austrians were lying mangled in death on the blood-stained snow. Twenty
thousand were made prisoners. All the baggage of the Austrian army, the
military chest, one hundred and thirty-four pieces of cannon, and
fifty-nine standards fell into the hands of the victors. For this
victory Frederic paid the price of five thousand lives; but _life_ to
the poor Prussian soldier must have been a joyless scene, and death must
have been a relief.

Frederic now, with triumphant banners, approached the city. It
immediately capitulated, surrendering nearly eighteen thousand soldiers,
six hundred and eighty-six officers and thirteen generals as prisoners
of war. In this one storm of battle, protracted through but a few days,
Maria Theresa lost fifty thousand men. Frederic then turned upon the
Russians, and drove them out of Silesia. The same doom awaited the
Swedes, and they fled precipitately to winter quarters behind the cannon
of Stralsund. Thus terminated the memorable campaign of 1757, the most
memorable of the Seven Years' War. The Austrian army was almost
annihilated; but the spirit of the strife was not subdued in any breast.

The returning sun of spring was but the harbinger of new woes for
war-stricken Europe. England, being essentially a maritime power, could
render Frederic but little assistance in troops; but the cabinet of St.
James was lavish in voting money. Encouraged by the vigor Frederic had
shown, the British cabinet, with enthusiasm, voted him an annual subsidy
of three million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

Austria was so exhausted in means and in men, that notwithstanding the
most herculean efforts of the queen, it was not until April of the year
1758 that she was able to concentrate fifty thousand men in the field,
with the expensive equipments which war demands. Frederic, aided by the
gold of England, was early on the move, and had already opened the
campaign by the invasion of Moravia, and by besieging Olmutz.

The summer was passed in a series of incessant battles, sweeping all
over Germany, with the usual vicissitudes of war. In the great battle of
Hockkirchen Frederic encountered a woful defeat. The battle took place
on the 14th of October, and lasted five hours. Eight thousand Austrians
and nine thousand Prussians were stretched lifeless upon the plain.
Frederic was at last compelled to retreat, abandoning his tents, his
baggage, one hundred and one cannon, and thirty standards. Nearly every
Prussian general was wounded. The king himself was grazed by a ball; his
horse was shot from under him, and two pages were killed at his side.

Again Vienna blazed with illuminations and rang with rejoicing, and the
queen liberally dispensed her gifts and her congratulations. Still
nothing effectual was accomplished by all this enormous expenditure of
treasure, this carnage and woe; and again the exhausted combatants
retired to seek shelter from the storms of winter. Thus terminated the
third year of this cruel and wasting war.

The spring of 1759 opened brightly for Maria Theresa. Her army, flushed
by the victory of the last autumn, was in high health and spirits. All
the allies of Austria redoubled their exertions; and the Catholic States
of Germany with religious zeal rallied against the two heretical
kingdoms of Prussia and England. The armies of France, Austria, Sweden
and Russia were now marching upon Prussia, and it seemed impossible that
the king could withstand such adversaries. More fiercely than ever the
storm of war raged. Frederic, at the head of forty thousand men, early
in June met eighty thousand Russians and Austrians upon the banks of the
Oder, near Frankfort. For seven hours the action lasted, and the allies
were routed with enormous slaughter; but the king, pursuing his victory
too far with his exhausted troops, was turned upon by the foe, and was
routed himself in turn, with the slaughter of one half of his whole
army. Twenty-four thousand of the allies and twenty thousand Prussians
perished on that bloody day.

Frederic exposed his person with the utmost recklessness. Two horses
were shot beneath him; several musket balls pierced his clothes; he was
slightly wounded, and was rescued from the foe only by the almost
superhuman exertions of his hussars. In the darkness of the night the
Prussians secured their retreat.

We have mentioned that at first Frederic seemed to have gained the
victory. So sanguine was he then of success that he dispatched a courier
from the field, with the following billet to the queen at Berlin:--

"We have driven the enemy from their intrenchments; in two hours expect
to hear of a glorious victory."

Hardly two hours had elapsed ere another courier was sent to the queen
with the following appalling message:--

"Remove from Berlin with the royal family. Let the archives be carried
to Potsdam, and the capital make conditions with the enemy."

In this terrible battle the enemy lost so fearfully that no effort was
made to pursue Frederic. Disaster never disheartened the Prussian king.
It seemed but to rouse anew his energies. With amazing vigor he rallied
his scattered forces, and called in reënforcements. The gold of England
was at his disposal; he dismantled distant fortresses and brought their
cannon into the field, and in a few days was at the head of twenty-eight
thousand men, beneath the walls of his capital, ready again to face the
foe.

The thunderings of battle continued week after week, in unintermitted
roar throughout nearly all of Germany. Winter again came. Frederic had
suffered awfully during the campaign, but was still unsubdued. The
warfare was protracted even into the middle of the winter. The soldiers,
in the fields, wading through snow a foot deep, suffered more from
famine, frost and sickness than from the bullet of the foe. In the
Austrian army four thousand died, in sixteen days of December, from the
inclemency of the weather. Thus terminated the campaign of 1759.



CHAPTER XXX.

MARIA THERESA.

From 1759 to 1780.

Desolations of War.--Disasters of Prussia.--Despondency of Frederic.--
Death of the Empress Elizabeth.--Accession of Paul III.--Assassination
of Paul III.--Accession of Catharine.--Discomfiture of the Austrians.--
Treaty of Peace.--Election of Joseph to the Throne of the Empire.--Death
of Francis.--Character of Francis.--Anecdotes.--Energy of Maria
Theresa.--Poniatowski.--Partition of Poland.--Maria Theresa as a
Mother.--War With Bavaria.--Peace.--Death of Maria Theresa.--Family of
the Empress.--Accession of Joseph II.--His Character.


The spring of 1760 found all parties eager for the renewal of the
strife, but none more so than Maria Theresa. The King of Prussia was,
however, in a deplorable condition. The veteran army, in which he had
taken so much pride, was now annihilated. With despotic power he had
assembled a new army; but it was composed of peasants, raw recruits, but
poorly prepared to encounter the horrors of war. The allies were
marching against him with two hundred and fifty thousand men. Frederic,
with his utmost efforts, could muster but seventy-five thousand, who, to
use his own language, "were half peasants, half deserters from the
enemy, soldiers no longer fit for service, but only for show."

Month after month passed away, during which the whole of Prussia
presented the aspect of one wide field of battle. Frederic fought with
the energies of desperation. Villages were everywhere blazing, squadrons
charging, and the thunders of an incessant cannonade deafened the ear by
night and by day. On the whole the campaign terminated in favor of
Frederic; the allies being thwarted in all their endeavors to crush him.
In one battle Maria Theresa lost twenty thousand men.

During the ensuing winter all the continental powers were again
preparing for the resumption of hostilities in the spring, when the
British people, weary of the enormous expenditures of the war, began to
be clamorous for peace. The French treasury was also utterly exhausted.
France made overtures to England for a cessation of hostilities; and
these two powers, with peaceful overtures, addressed Maria Theresa. The
queen, though fully resolved to prosecute the war until she should
attain her object, thought it not prudent to reject outright such
proposals, but consented to the assembling of a congress at Augsburg.
Hostilities were not suspended during the meeting of the congress, and
the Austrian queen was sanguine in the hope of being speedily able to
crush her Prussian rival. Every general in the field had experienced
such terrible disasters, and the fortune of war seemed so fickle, now
lighting upon one banner and now upon another, that all parties were
wary, practicing the extreme of caution, and disposed rather to act upon
the defensive. Though not a single pitched battle was fought, the
allies, outnumbering the Prussians, three to one, continually gained
fortresses, intrenchments and positions, until the spirit even of
Frederic was broken by calamities, and he yielded to despair. He no
longer hoped to be able to preserve his empire, but proudly resolved to
bury himself beneath its ruins. His despondency could not be concealed
from his army, and his bravest troops declared that they could fight no
longer.

Maria Theresa was elated beyond measure. England was withdrawing from
Prussia. Frederic was utterly exhausted both as to money and men; one
campaign more would finish the work, and Prussia would lie helpless at
the feet of Maria Theresa, and her most sanguine anticipations would be
realized. But the deepest laid plans of man are often thwarted by
apparently the most trivial events. One single individual chanced to be
taken sick and die. That individual was Elizabeth, the Empress of
Russia. On the 5th of January, 1762, she was lying upon her bed an
emaciate suffering woman, gasping in death. The departure of her last
breath changed the fate of Europe.

Paul III., her nephew, who succeeded the empress, detested Maria
Theresa, and often inveighed bitterly against her haughtiness and her
ambition. On the contrary, he admired the King of Prussia. He had
visited the court of Berlin, where he had been received with marked
attention; and Frederic was his model of a hero. He had watched with
enthusiastic admiration the fortitude and military prowess of the
Prussian king, and had even sent to him many messages of sympathy, and
had communicated to him secrets of the cabinet and their plans of
operation. Now, enthroned as Emperor of Russia, without reserve he
avowed his attachment to Frederic, and ordered his troops to abstain
from hostilities, and to quit the Austrian army. At the same time he
sent a minister to Berlin to conclude an alliance with the hero he so
greatly admired. He even asked for himself a position in the Prussian
army as lieutenant under Frederic.

The Swedish court was so intimately allied with that of St. Petersburg,
that the cabinet of Stockholm also withdrew from the Austrian alliance,
and thus Maria Theresa, at a blow, lost two of her most efficient
allies. The King of Prussia rose immediately from his despondency, and
the whole kingdom shared in his exultation and his joy. The Prussian
troops, in conjunction with the Russians, were now superior to the
Austrians, and were prepared to assume the offensive. But again
Providence interposed. A conspiracy was formed against the Russian
emperor, headed by his wife whom he had treated with great brutality,
and Paul III. lost both his crown and his life, in July 1762, after a
reign of less than six months.

Catharine II., wife of Paul III., with a bloody hand took the crown from
the brow of her murdered husband and placed it upon her own head. She
immediately dissolved the Prussian alliance, declared Frederic an enemy
to the Prussian name, and ordered her troops, in coöperation with those
of Austria, to resume hostilities against Frederic. It was an
instantaneous change, confounding all the projects of man. The energetic
Prussian king, before the Russian troops had time so to change their
positions as to coöperate with the Austrians, assailed the troops of
Maria Theresa with such impetuosity as to drive them out of Silesia.
Pursuing his advantage Frederic overran Saxony, and then turning into
Bohemia, drove the Austrians before him to the walls of Prague.
Influenced by these disasters and other considerations, Catharine
decided to retire from the contest. At the same time the Turks, excited
by Frederic, commenced anew their invasion of Hungary. Maria Theresa was
in dismay. Her money was gone. Her allies were dropping from her. The
Turks were advancing triumphantly up the Danube, and Frederic was
enriching himself with the spoils of Saxony and Bohemia. Influenced by
these considerations she made overtures for peace, consenting to
renounce Silesia, for the recovery of which province she had in vain
caused Europe to be desolated with blood for so many years. A treaty of
peace was soon signed, Frederic agreeing to evacuate Saxony; and thus
terminated the bloody Seven Years' War.

Maria Theresa's eldest son Joseph was now twenty-three years of age. Her
influence and that of the Emperor Francis was such, that they secured
his election to succeed to the throne of the empire upon the death of
his father. The emperor elect received the title of King of the Romans.
The important election took place at Frankfort, on the 27th of May,
1764. The health of the Emperor Francis I., had for some time been
precarious, he being threatened with apoplexy. Three months after the
election of his son to succeed him upon the imperial throne, Francis was
at Inspruck in the Tyrol, to attend the nuptials of his second son
Leopold, with Maria Louisa, infanta of Spain. He was feeble and
dejected, and longed to return to his home in Vienna. He imagined that
the bracing air of the Tyrol did not agree with his health, and looking
out upon the summits which tower around Inspruck exclaimed,

"Oh! if I could but once quit these mountains of the Tyrol."

On the morning of the 18th of August, his symptoms assumed so
threatening a form, that his friends urged him to be bled. The emperor
declined, saying,

"I am engaged this evening to sup with Joseph, and I will not disappoint
him; but I will be blooded to-morrow."

The evening came, and as he was preparing to go and sup with his son, he
dropped instantly dead upon the floor. Fifty-eight years was his
allotted pilgrimage--a pilgrimage of care and toil and sorrow. Even when
elevated to the imperial throne, his position was humiliating, being
ever overshadowed by the grandeur of his wife. At times he felt this
most keenly, and could not refrain from giving imprudent utterance to
his mortification. Being at one time present at a levee, which the
empress was giving to her subjects, he retired, in chagrin, from the
imperial circle into a corner of the saloon, and took his seat near two
ladies of the court. They immediately, in accordance with regal
etiquette, rose.

"Do not regard me," said the emperor bitterly, and yet with an attempt
at playfulness, "for I shall remain here until the _court_ has retired,
and shall then amuse myself in contemplating the crowd."

One of the ladies replied, "As long as your imperial majesty is present
the court will be here."

"You are mistaken," rejoined the emperor, with a forced smile; "the
empress and my children are the court. I am here only as a private
individual."

Francis I., though an impotent emperor, would have made a very good
exchange broker. He seemed to be fond of mercantile life, establishing
manufactories, and letting out money on bond and mortgage. When the
queen was greatly pressed for funds he would sometimes accept her paper,
always taking care to obtain the most unexceptionable security. He
engaged in a partnership with two very efficient men for farming the
revenues of Saxony. He even entered into a contract to supply the
_Prussian_ army with forage, when that army was expending all its
energies, during the Seven Years' War, against the troops of Maria
Theresa. He judged that his wife was capable of taking care of herself.
And she was. Notwithstanding these traits of character, he was an
exceedingly amiable and charitable man, distributing annually five
hundred thousand dollars for the relief of distress. Many anecdotes are
related illustrative of the emperor's utter fearlessness of danger, and
of the kindness of his heart. There was a terrible conflagration in
Vienna. A saltpeter magazine was in flames, and the operatives exposed
to great danger. An explosion was momentarily expected, and the firemen,
in dismay, ventured but little aid. The emperor, regardless of peril,
approached near the fire to give directions. His attendants urged him
not thus to expose his person.

"Do not be alarmed for me," said the emperor, "think only of those poor
creatures who are in such danger of perishing."

At another time a fearful inundation swept the valley of the Danube.
Many houses were submerged in isolated positions, all but their roofs.
In several cases the families had taken refuge on the tops of the
houses, and had remained three days and three nights without food.
Immense blocks of ice, swept down by the flood, seemed to render it
impossible to convey relief to the sufferers. The most intrepid boatmen
of the Danube dared not venture into the boiling surge. The emperor
threw himself into a boat, seized the oars, and saying, "My example may
at least influence others," pushed out into the flood and successfully
rowed to one of the houses. The boatmen were shamed into heroism, and
the imperiled people were saved.

Maria Theresa does not appear to have been very deeply afflicted by the
death of her husband; or we should, perhaps, rather say that her grief
assumed the character which one would anticipate from a person of her
peculiar frame of mind. The emperor had not been faithful to his kingly
spouse, and she was well acquainted with his numerous infidelities.
Still she seems affectionately to have cherished the memory of his
gentle virtues. With her own hands she prepared his shroud, and she
never after laid aside her weeds of mourning. She often descended into
the vault where his remains were deposited, and passed hours in prayer
by the side of his coffin.

Joseph, of course, having been preëlected, immediately assumed the
imperial crown. Maria Theresa had but little time to devote to grief.
She had lost Silesia, and that was a calamity apparently far heavier
than the death of her husband. Millions of treasure, and countless
thousands of lives had been expended, and all in vain, for the recovery
of that province. She now began to look around for territory she could
grasp in compensation for her loss. Poland was surrounded by Austria,
Russia and Prussia. The population consisted of two classes--the nobles
who possessed all the power, and the _people_ who were in a state of the
most abject feudal vassalage. By the laws of Poland every person was a
noble who was not engaged in any industrial occupation and who owned any
land, or who had descended from those who ever had held any land. The
government was what may perhaps be called an aristocratic republic. The
masses were mere slaves. The nobles were in a state of political
equality. They chose a chieftain whom they called _king_, but whose
power was a mere shadow. At this time Poland was in a state of anarchy.
Civil war desolated the kingdom, the nobles being divided into numerous
factions, and fighting fiercely against each other. Catharine, the
Empress of Russia, espoused the cause of her favorite, Count
Poniatowski, who was one of the candidates for the crown of Poland, and
by the influence of her money and her armies placed him upon the throne
and maintained him there. Poland thus, under the influence of the
Russian queen, became, as it were, a mere province of the Russian
empire.

Poniatowski, a proud man, soon felt galled by the chains which Catharine
threw around him. Frederic of Prussia united with Catharine in the
endeavor to make Poniatowski subservient to their wishes. Maria Theresa
eagerly put in her claim for influence in Poland. Thus the whole realm
became a confused scene of bloodshed and devastation. Frederic of
Prussia, the great regal highwayman, now proposed to Austria and Russia
that they should settle all the difficulty by just dividing Poland
between them. To their united armies Poland could present no resistance.
Maria Theresa sent her dutiful son Joseph, the emperor, to Silesia, to
confer with Frederic upon this subject. The interview took place at
Neiss, on the 25th of August, 1769. The two sovereigns vied with each
other in the interchange of courtesies, and parted most excellent
friends. Soon after, they held another interview at Neustadt, in
Moravia, when the long rivalry between the houses of Hapsburg and
Brandenburg seemed to melt down into most cordial union. The map of
Poland was placed before the two sovereigns, and they marked out the
portion of booty to be assigned to each of the three imperial
highwaymen. The troops of Russia, Austria and Prussia were already in
Poland. The matter being thus settled between Prussia and Austria, the
Prussian king immediately conferred with Catharine at St. Petersburg.
This ambitious and unprincipled woman snatched at the bait presented,
and the infamous partition was agreed to. Maria Theresa was very greedy,
and demanded nearly half of Poland as her share. This exorbitant claim,
which she with much pertinacity adhered to, so offended the two other
sovereigns that they came near fighting about the division of the spoil.
The queen was at length compelled to lower her pretensions. The final
treaty was signed between the three powers on the 5th of August, 1772.

The three armies were immediately put in motion, and each took
possession of that portion of the Polish territory which was assigned to
its sovereign. In a few days the deed was done. By this act Austria
received an accession of twenty-seven thousand square miles of the
richest of the Polish territory, containing a population of two million
five hundred thousand souls. Russia received a more inhospitable region,
embracing forty-two thousand square miles, and a population of one
million five hundred thousand. The share of Frederic amounted to
thirteen thousand three hundred and seventy-five square miles, and eight
hundred and sixty thousand souls.

Notwithstanding this cruel dismemberment, there was still a feeble
Poland left, upon which the three powers were continually gnawing, each
watching the others, and snarling at them lest they should get more than
their share. After twenty years of jealous watchings the three powers
decided to finish their infamous work, and Poland was blotted from the
map of Europe. In the two divisions Austria received forty-five thousand
square miles and five million of inhabitants. Maria Theresa was now upon
the highest pinnacle of her glory and her power. She had a highly
disciplined army of two hundred thousand men; her treasury was
replenished, and her wide-spread realms were in the enjoyment of peace.
Life had been to her, thus far, but a stormy sea, and weary of toil and
care, she now hoped to close her days in tranquillity.

The queen was a stern and stately mother. While pressed by all these
cares of state, sufficient to have crushed any ordinary mind, she had
given birth to sixteen children. But as each child was born it was
placed in the hands of careful nurses, and received but little of
parental caressings. It was seldom that she saw her children more than
once a week. Absorbed by high political interests, she contented herself
with receiving a daily report from the nursery. Every morning her
physician, Van Swieter, visited the young imperial family, and then
presented a formal statement of their condition to the strong-minded
mother. Yet the empress was very desirous of having it understood that
she was the most faithful of parents. Whenever any foreign ambassador
arrived at Vienna, the empress would contrive to have an interview, as
it were by accident, when she had collected around her her interesting
family. As the illustrious stranger retired the children also retired to
their nursery.

One of the daughters, Josepha, was betrothed to the King of Naples. A
few days before she was to leave Vienna the queen required her, in
obedience to long established etiquette, to descend into the tomb of her
ancestors and offer up a prayer. The sister-in-law, the Emperor Joseph's
wife, had just died of the small-pox, and her remains, disfigured by
that awful disease, had but recently been deposited in the tomb. The
timid maiden was horror-stricken at the requirement, and regarded it as
her death doom. But an order from Maria Theresa no one was to disobey.
With tears filling her eyes, she took her younger sister, Maria
Antoinette, upon her knee, and said,

"I am about to leave you, Maria, not for Naples, but to die. I must
visit the tomb of our ancestors, and I am sure that I shall take the
small-pox, and shall soon be buried there." Her fears were verified. The
disease, in its most virulent form, seized her, and in a few days her
remains were also consigned to the tomb.

In May, 1770, Maria Antoinette, then but fifteen years of age, and
marvelously beautiful, was married to the young dauphin of France,
subsequently the unhappy Louis XVI. As she left Vienna, for that throne
from which she was to descend to the guillotine, her mother sent by her
hand the following letter to her husband:

"Your bride, dear dauphin, is separated from me. As she has ever been my
delight so will she be your happiness. For this purpose have I educated
her; for I have long been aware that she was to be the companion of your
life. I have enjoined upon her, as among her highest duties, the most
tender attachment to your person, the greatest attention to every thing
that can please or make you happy. Above all, I have recommended to her
humility towards God, because I am convinced that it is impossible for
us to contribute to the happiness of the subjects confided to us,
without love to Him who breaks the scepters and crushes the thrones of
kings according to His own will."

In December, 1777, the Duke of Bavaria died without male issue. Many
claimants instantly rose, ambitious of so princely an inheritance. Maria
Theresa could not resist the temptation to put in her claim. With her
accustomed promptness, she immediately ordered her troops in motion,
and, descending from Bohemia, entered the electorate. Maria Theresa had
no one to fear but Frederic of Prussia, who vehemently remonstrated
against such an accession of power to the empire of Austria. After an
earnest correspondence the queen proposed that Bavaria should be divided
between them as they had partitioned Poland. Still they could not agree,
and the question was submitted to the cruel arbitrament of battle. The
young Emperor Joseph was much pleased with this issue, for he was
thirsting for military fame, and was proud to contend with so renowned
an antagonist. The death of hundreds of thousands of men in the game of
war, was of little more moment to him than the loss of a few pieces in a
game of chess.

The Emperor Joseph was soon at the head of one hundred thousand men. The
King of Prussia, with nearly an equal force, marched to meet him. Both
commanders were exceedingly wary, and the whole campaign was passed in
maneuvers and marchings, with a few unimportant battles. The queen was
weary of war, and often spoke, with tears in her eyes, of the
commencement of hostilities. Without the knowledge of her son, who
rejoiced in the opening strife, she entered into a private
correspondence with Frederic, in which she wrote, by her secret
messenger, M. Thugut:

"I regret exceedingly that the King of Prussia and myself, in our
advanced years, are about to tear the gray hairs from each other's
heads. My age, and my earnest desire to maintain peace are well known.
My maternal heart is alarmed for the safety of my sons who are in the
army. I take this step without the knowledge of my son the emperor, and
I entreat that you will not divulge it. I conjure you to unite your
efforts with mine to reëstablish harmony."

The reply of Frederic was courteous and beautiful. "Baron Thugut," he
wrote, "has delivered me your majesty's letter, and no one is, or shall
be acquainted with his arrival. It was worthy of your majesty to give
such proofs of moderation, after having so heroically maintained the
inheritance of your ancestors. The tender attachment you display for
your son the emperor, and the princes of your blood, deserves the
applause of every heart, and augments, if possible, the high
consideration I entertain for your majesty. I have added some articles
to the propositions of M. Thugut, most of which have been allowed, and
others which, I hope, will meet with little difficulty. He will
immediately depart for Vienna, and will be able to return in five or six
days, during which time I will act with such caution that your imperial
majesty may have no cause of apprehension for the safety of any part of
your family, and particularly of the emperor, whom I love and esteem,
although our opinions differ in regard to the affairs of Germany."

But the Emperor Joseph was bitterly opposed to peace, and thwarted his
mother's benevolent intentions in every possible way. Still the empress
succeeded, and the articles were signed at Teschen, the 13th day of May,
1779. The queen was overjoyed at the result, and was often heard to say
that no act of her administration had given her such heartfelt joy. When
she received the news she exclaimed,

"My happiness is full. I am not partial to Frederic, but I must do him
the justice to confess that he has acted nobly and honorably. He
promised me to make peace on reasonable terms, and he has kept his word.
I am inexpressibly happy to spare the effusion of so much blood."

The hour was now approaching when Maria Theresa was to die. She had for
some time been failing from a disease of the lungs, and she was now
rapidly declining. Her sufferings, as she took her chamber and her bed,
became very severe; but the stoicism of her character remained unshaken.
In one of her seasons of acute agony she exclaimed,

"God grant that these sufferings may soon terminate, for, otherwise, I
know not if I can much longer endure them."

Her son Maximilian stood by her bed-side. She raised her eyes to him and
said,

"I have been enabled thus far to bear these pangs with firmness and
constancy. Pray to God, my son, that I may preserve my tranquillity to
the last."

The dying hour, long sighed for, came. She partook of the sacrament of
the Lord's Supper, and then, assembling her family around her, addressed
to them her last words.

"I have received the sacraments," said she, "and feel that I am now to
die." Then addressing the emperor, she continued, "My son, all my
possessions after my death revert to you. To your care I commend my
children. Be to them a father. I shall die contented, you giving me that
promise." Then looking to the other children she added, "Regard the
emperor as your sovereign. Obey him, respect him, confide in him, and
follow his advice in all things, and you will secure his friendship and
protection."

Her mind continued active and intensely occupied with the affairs of her
family and of her kingdom, until the very last moment. During the night
succeeding her final interview with her children, though suffering from
repeated fits of suffocation, she held a long interview with the emperor
upon affairs of state. Her son, distressed by her evident exhaustion,
entreated her to take some repose; but she replied,

"In a few hours I shall appear before the judgment-seat of God; and
would you have me lose my time in sleep?"

Expressing solicitude in behalf of the numerous persons dependent upon
her, who, after her death, might be left friendless, she remarked,

"I could wish for immortality on earth, for no other reason than for the
power of relieving the distressed."

She died on the 29th of November, 1780, in the sixty-fourth year of her
age and the forty-first of her reign.

This illustrious woman had given birth to six sons and ten daughters.
Nine of these children survived her. Joseph, already emperor, succeeded
her upon the throne of Austria, and dying childless, surrendered the
crown to his next brother Leopold. Ferdinand, the third son, became
governor of Austrian Lombardy. Upon Maximilian was conferred the
electorate of Cologne. Mary Anne became abbess of a nunnery. Christina
married the Duke of Saxony. Elizabeth entered a convent and became
abbess. Caroline married the King of Naples, and was an infamous woman.
Her sister Joanna, was first betrothed to the king, but she died of
small-pox; Josepha was then destined to supply her place; but she also
fell a victim to that terrible disease. Thus the situation was vacant
for Caroline. Maria Antoinette married Louis the dauphin, and the story
of her woes has filled the world.

The Emperor Joseph II., who now inherited the crown of Austria, was
forty years of age, a man of strong mind, educated by observation and
travel, rather than by books. He was anxious to elevate and educate his
subjects, declaring that it was his great ambition to rule over freemen.
He had many noble traits of character, and innumerable anecdotes are
related illustrative of his energy and humanity. In war he was ambitious
of taking his full share of hardship, sleeping on the bare ground and
partaking of the soldiers' homely fare. He was exceedingly popular at
the time of his accession to the throne, and great anticipations were
cherished of a golden age about to dawn upon Austria. "His toilet,"
writes one of his eulogists, "is that of a common soldier, his wardrobe
that of a sergeant, business his recreation, and his life perpetual
motion."

The Austrian monarchy now embraced one hundred and eighty thousand
square miles, containing twenty-four millions of inhabitants. It was
indeed a heterogeneous realm, composed of a vast number of distinct
nations and provinces, differing in language, religion, government,
laws, customs and civilization. In most of these countries the feudal
system existed in all its direful oppression. Many of the provinces of
the Austrian empire, like the Netherlands, Lombardy and Suabia, were
separated by many leagues from the great central empire. The Roman
Catholic religion was dominant in nearly all the States, and the clergy
possessed enormous wealth and power. The masses of the people were sunk
in the lowest depths of poverty and ignorance. The aristocratic few
rejoiced in luxury and splendor.



CHAPTER XXXI.

JOSEPH II. AND LEOPOLD II.

From 1780 to 1792.

Accession of Joseph II.--His Plans of Reform.--Pius VI.--Emancipation of
the Serfs.--Joseph's Visit to his Sister, Maria Antoinette.--Ambitions
Designs.--The Imperial Sleigh Ride.--Barges on the Dneister.--Excursion
to the Crimea.--War with Turkey.--Defeat of the Austrians.--Great
Successes.--Death of Joseph.--His Character.--Accession of Leopold
II.--His Efforts to confirm Despotism.--The French Revolution.--European
Coalition.--Death of Leopold.--His Profligacy.--Accession of Francis
II.--Present Extent and Power of Austria.--Its Army.--Policy of the
Government.


When Joseph ascended the throne there were ten languages, besides
several dialects, spoken in Austria--the German, Hungarian, Sclavonian,
Latin, Wallachian, Turkish, modern Greek, Italian, Flemish and French.
The new king formed the desperate resolve to fuse the discordant kingdom
into one homogeneous mass, obliterating all distinctions of laws,
religion, language and manners. It was a benevolent design, but one
which far surpassed the power of man to execute. He first attempted to
obliterate all the old national landmarks, and divided the kingdom into
thirteen States, in each of which he instituted the same code of laws.
He ordered the German language alone to be used in public documents and
offices; declared the Roman Catholic religion to be dominant. There were
two thousand convents in Austria. He reduced them to seven hundred, and
cut down the number of thirty-two thousand idle monks to twenty-seven
hundred; and nobly issued an edict of toleration, granting to all
members of Protestant churches the free exercise of their religion. All
Christians, of every denomination, were declared to be equally eligible
to any offices in the State.

These enlightened innovations roused the terror and rage of bigoted
Rome. Pope Pius VI. was so much alarmed that he took a journey to
Vienna, that he might personally remonstrate with the emperor. But
Joseph was inflexible, and the Pope returned to Rome chagrined and
humiliated that he had acted the part of a suppliant in vain.

The serfs were all emancipated from feudal vassalage, and thus, in an
hour, the slavery under which the peasants had groaned for ages was
abolished. He established universities, academies and public schools;
encouraged literature and science in every way, and took from the
priests their office of censorship of the press, an office which they
had long held. To encourage domestic manufactures he imposed a very
heavy duty upon all articles of foreign manufacture. New roads were
constructed at what was called enormous expense, and yet at expense
which was as nothing compared with the cost of a single battle.

Joseph, soon after his coronation, made a visit to his sister Maria
Antoinette in France, where he was received with the most profuse
hospitality, and the bonds of friendship between the two courts were
much strengthened. The ambition for territorial aggrandizement seems to
have been an hereditary disease of the Austrian monarchs. Joseph was
very anxious to attach Bavaria to his realms. Proceeding with great
caution he first secured, by diplomatic skill, the non-intervention of
France and Russia. England was too much engaged in the war of the
American Revolution to interfere. He raised an army of eighty thousand
men to crush any opposition, and then informed the Duke of Bavaria that
he must exchange his dominions for the Austrian Netherlands. He
requested the duke to give him an answer in eight days, but declared
peremptorily that in case he manifested any reluctance, the emperor
would be under the painful necessity of compelling him to make the
exchange.

The duke appealed to Russia, France and Prussia for aid. The emperor had
bought over Russia and France. Frederic of Prussia, though seventy-four
years of age, encouraged the duke to reject the proposal, and promised
his support. The King of Prussia issued a remonstrance against this
despotic act of Austria, which remonstrance was sent to all the courts
of Europe. Joseph, on encountering this unexpected obstacle, and finding
Europe combining against him, renounced his plan and published a
declaration that he had never intended to effect the exchange by force.
This disavowal, however, deceived no one. A confederacy was soon formed,
under the auspices of Frederic of Prussia, to check the encroachments of
the house of Austria. This Germanic League was almost the last act of
Frederic. He died August 17, 1786, after a reign of forty-seven years,
in the seventy-fifth year of his age.

The ambitious Empress of Russia, having already obtained the Crimea, was
intent upon the subversion of the Ottoman empire, that she might acquire
Constantinople as her maritime metropolis in the sunny south. Joseph was
willing to allow her to proceed unobstructed in the dismemberment of
Turkey, if she would not interfere with his plans of reform and
aggrandizement in Germany.

In January, 1787, the Empress of Russia set out on a pleasure excursion
of two thousand miles to the Crimea; perhaps the most magnificent
pleasure excursion that was ever attempted. She was accompanied by all
the court, by the French, English and Austrian ministers, and by a very
gorgeous retinue. It was mid-winter, when the imperial party, wrapped in
furs, and in large sledges richly decorated, and prepared expressly for
the journey, commenced their sleigh ride of a thousand miles. Music
greeted them all along the way; bonfires blazed on every hill; palaces,
brilliant with illuminations and profusely supplied with every luxury,
welcomed them at each stage where they stopped for refreshment or
repose. The roads were put in perfect order; and relays of fresh horses
every few miles being harnessed to the sledges, they swept like the wind
over the hills and through the valleys.

The drive of a few weeks, with many loiterings for pleasure in the
cities on the way, took them to Kief on the Dnieper. This ancient city,
the residence of the grand dukes of Russia, contained a population of
about twenty-six thousand. Here the imperial court established itself in
the ducal palaces, and with music, songs and dances beguiled the days
until, with the returning spring, the river opened. In the meantime an
immense flotilla of imperial barges had been prepared to drift down the
stream, a thousand miles, to its mouth at Kherson, where the river flows
into the Black sea. These barges were of magnificent dimensions,
floating palaces, containing gorgeous saloons and spacious sleeping
apartments. As they were constructed merely to float upon the rapid
current of the stream, impelled by sails when the breeze should favor,
they could easily be provided with all the appliances of luxury. It is
difficult to conceive of a jaunt which would present more of the
attractions of pleasure, than thus to glide in saloons of elegance, with
imperial resources and surrounded by youth, beauty, genius and rank, for
a thousand miles down the current of one of the wildest and most
romantic streams of Europe.

It was a beautiful sunny morning of May, when the regal party,
accompanied by the music of military bands, and with floating banners,
entered the barges. The river, broad and deep, rolls on with majestic
flow, now through dense forests, black and gloomy, where the barking of
the bear is heard and wolves hold their nightly carousals; now it winds
through vast prairies hundreds of miles in extent; again it bursts
through mountain barriers where cliffs and crags rise sublimely
thousands of feet in the air; here with precipitous sides of granite,
bleak and scathed by the storms of centuries, and there with gloomy firs
and pines rising to the clouds, where eagles soar and scream and rear
their young. Flocks and herds now graze upon the banks; here lies the
scattered village, and its whole population, half civilized men, and
matrons and maidens in antique, grotesque attire, crowd the shores. Now
the pinnacles and the battlements of a great city rise to view. Armies
were gathered at several points to entertain the imperial pleasure-party
with all the pomp and pageantry of war. At Pultowa they witnessed the
maneuverings of a battle, with its thunderings and uproar and apparent
carnage--the exact representation of the celebrated battle of Pultowa,
which Peter the Great gained on the spot over Charles XII. of Sweden.

The Emperor Joseph had been invited to join this party, and, with his
court and retinue, was to meet them at Kherson, near the mouth of the
Dneister, and accompany the empress to the Crimea. But, perhaps
attracted by the splendor of the water excursion, he struck across the
country in a north-east direction, by the way of Lemberg, some six
hundred miles, to intercept the flotilla and join the party on the
river. But the water of the river suddenly fell, and some hundred miles
above Kherson, the flotilla ran upon a sand bar and could not be forced
over. The empress, who was apprised of the approach of the emperor, too
proud to be found in such a situation, hastily abandoned the flotilla,
and taking the carriages which they had with them, drove to meet Joseph.
The two imperial suites were soon united, and they swept on, a
glittering cavalcade, to Kherson. Joseph and Catharine rode in a
carriage together, where they had ample opportunity of talking over all
their plans of mutual aggrandizement. As no one was permitted to listen
to their conversations, their decisions can only be guessed at.

They entered the city of Kherson, then containing about sixty thousand
inhabitants, surrounded by all the magnificence which Russian and
Austrian opulence could exhibit. A triumphal arch spanned the gate, upon
which was inscribed in letters of gold, "The road to Byzantium." Four
days were passed here in revelry. The party then entered the Crimea, and
continued their journey as far as Sevastopol, where the empress was
delighted to find, within its capacious harbor, many Russian frigates at
anchor. Immense sums were expended in furnishing entertainments by the
way. At Batcheseria, where the two sovereigns occupied the ancient
palace of the khans, they looked out upon a mountain in a blaze of
illumination, and apparently pouring lava floods from its artificial
volcanic crater.

Joseph returned to Vienna, and immediately there was war--Austria and
Russia against Turkey. Joseph was anxious to secure the provinces of
Bosnia, Servia, Moldavia and Wallachia, and to extend his empire to the
Dneister. With great vigor he made his preparations, and an army of two
hundred thousand men, with two thousand pieces of artillery, were
speedily on the march down the Danube. Catharine was equally energetic
in her preparations, and all the north of Europe seemed to be on the
march for the overthrow of the Ottoman empire.

Proverbially fickle are the fortunes of war. Joseph commenced the siege
of Belgrade with high hopes. He was ignominiously defeated, and his
troops were driven, utterly routed, into Hungary, pursued by the Turks,
who spread ruin and devastation widely around them. Disaster followed
disaster. Disease entered the Austrian ranks, and the proud army melted
away. The emperor himself, with about forty thousand men, was nearly
surrounded by the enemy. He attempted a retreat by night. A false alarm
threw the troops into confusion and terror. The soldiers, in their
bewilderment fired upon each other, and an awful scene of tumult ensued.
The emperor, on horseback, endeavored to rally the fugitives, but he was
swept away by the crowd, and in the midnight darkness was separated from
his suite. Four thousand men perished in this defeat, and much of the
baggage and several guns were lost. The emperor reproached his
aides-de-camp with having deserted him. One of them sarcastically
replied,

"We used our utmost endeavors to keep up with your imperial majesty, but
our horses were not so fleet as yours."

Seventy thousand Austrians perished in this one campaign. The next year,
1789, was, however, as prosperous as this had been adverse. The Turks at
Rimnik were routed with enormous slaughter, and their whole camp, with
all its treasures, fell into the hands of the victors. Belgrade was
fiercely assailed and was soon compelled to capitulate. But Joseph was
now upon his dying bed. The tidings of these successes revived him for a
few hours, and leaving his sick chamber he was conveyed to the church of
St. Stephen, where thanksgivings were offered to God. A festival of
three days in Vienna gave expression to the public rejoicing.

England was now alarmed in view of the rapid strides of Austria and
Russia, and the cabinet of St. James formed a coalition with Holland and
Prussia to assist the Turks. France, now in the midst of her
revolutionary struggle, could take no part in these foreign questions.
These successes were, however, but a momentary gleam of sunshine which
penetrated the chamber of the dying monarch. Griefs innumerable
clustered around him. The inhabitants of the Netherlands rose in
successful rebellion and threw off the Austrian yoke. Prussia was making
immense preparations for the invasion of Austria. The Hungarians were
rising and demanding emancipation from the court of Vienna. These
calamities crushed the emperor. He moaned, and wept and died. In his
last hours he found much solace in religious observances, devoutly
receiving the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and passing much of his
time in prayer. He died on the 20th of February, 1790, in the
forty-ninth year of his age, and the tenth of his reign.

Joseph had been sincerely desirous of promoting the best interests of
his realms; but had been bitterly disappointed in the result of most of
his efforts at reform. Just before he died, he said, "I would have
engraven on my tomb, 'Here lies the sovereign who, with the best
intentions, never carried a single project into execution.'" He was
married twice, but both of his wives, in the prime of youth, fell
victims to the small-pox, that awful disease which seems to have been a
special scourge in the Austrian royal family. As Joseph II. died without
children, the crown passed to his next brother, Leopold, who was then
Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Leopold II., at his accession to the throne, was forty-three years of
age. He hastened to Vienna, and assumed the government. By prudent acts
of conciliation he succeeded in appeasing discontents, and soon
accomplished the great object of his desire in securing the election to
the imperial throne. He was crowned at Frankfort, October 9, 1790. With
frankness very unusual in the diplomacy of kings, he sought friendly
relations with all the neighboring powers. To Frederic William, who was
now King of Prussia, he wrote:

"In future, I solemnly protest, no views of aggrandizement will ever
enter into my political system. I shall doubtless employ all the means
in my possession to defend my country, should I unfortunately be driven
to such measures; but I will endeavor to give no umbrage. To your
majesty in particular, I will act as you act towards me, and will spare
no efforts to preserve perfect harmony."

To these friendly overtures, Frederic William responded in a similar
spirit; but still there were unsettled points of dispute between the two
kingdoms which threatened war, and large armies were gathered on their
respective frontiers in preparation for the commencement of hostilities.
In 1790, after much correspondence, they came to terms, and articles of
peace were signed. At the same time an armistice was concluded with the
Turks.

The spirit of liberty which had emancipated the colonies of North
America from the aristocratic sway of England, shivering the scepter of
feudal tyranny in France, had penetrated Hungary. Leopold was
endeavoring to rivet anew the shackles of despotism, when he received a
manly remonstrance from an assembly of Hungarians which had been
convened as Pest. In the following noble terms they addressed the king.

"The fame, august sovereign, which has preceded you, has declared you a
just and gracious prince. It says that you forget not that you are a
man; that you are sensible that the king was made for the people, not
the people for the king. From the rights of nations and of man, and from
that social compact whence states arose, it is incontestable that the
sovereignty originates from the people. This axiom, our parent Nature
has impressed on the hearts of all. It is one of those which a just
prince (and such we trust your majesty ever will be) can not dispute. It
is one of those inalienable imprescriptible rights which the people can
not forfeit by neglect or disuse. Our constitution places the
sovereignty jointly in the king and people, in such a manner that the
remedies necessary to be applied according to the ends of social life,
for the security of persons and property, are in the power of the
people.

"We are sure, therefore, that at the meeting of the ensuing diet, your
majesty will not confine yourself to the objects mentioned in your
rescript, but will also restore our freedom to us, in like manner as to
the Belgians, who have conquered theirs with the sword. It would be an
example big with danger, to teach the world that a people can only
protect or regain their liberties by the sword and not by obedience."

But Leopold, trembling at the progress which freedom was making in
France, determined to crush this spirit with an iron heel. Their
petition was rejected with scorn and menace.

With great splendor Leopold entered Presburg, and was crowned King of
Hungary on the 10th of November, 1790. Having thus silenced the murmurs
in Hungary, and established his authority there, he next turned his
attention to the recovery of the Netherlands. The people there,
breathing the spirit of French liberty, had, by a simultaneous rising,
thrown off the detestable Austrian yoke. Forty-five thousand men were
sent to effect their subjugation. On the 20th of November, the army
appeared before Brussels. In less than one year all the provinces were
again brought under subjection to the Austrian power.

Leopold, thus successful, now turned his attention to France. Maria
Antoinette was his sister. He had another sister in the infamous Queen
Caroline of Naples. The complaints which came incessantly from
Versailles and the Tuilleries filled his ear, touched his affections,
and roused his indignation. Twenty-five millions of people had ventured
to assert their rights against the intolerable arrogance of the French
court. Leopold now gathered his armies to trample those people down, and
to replace the scepter of unlimited despotism in the hands of the
Bourbons. With sleepless zeal Leopold coöperated with nearly all the
monarchs in Europe, in combining a resistless force to crush out from
the continent of Europe the spirit of popular liberty. An army of ninety
thousand men was raised to coöperate with the French emigrants and all
the royalists in France. The king was to escape from Paris, place
himself at the head of the emigrants, amounting to more than twenty
thousand, rally around his banners all the advocates of the old regime,
and then, supported by all the powers of combined Europe, was to march
upon Paris, and take a bloody vengeance upon a people who dared to wish
to be free. The arrest of Louis XVI. at Varennes deranged this plan.
Leopold, alarmed not only by the impending fate of his sister, but lest
the principles of popular liberty, extending from France, should
undermine his own throne, wrote as follows to the King of England:

"I am persuaded that your majesty is not unacquainted with the unheard
of outrage committed by the arrest of the King of France, the queen my
sister and the royal family, and that your sentiments accord with mine
on an event which, threatening more atrocious consequences, and fixing
the seal of illegality on the preceding excesses, concerns the honor and
safety of all governments. Resolved to fulfill what I owe to these
considerations, and to my duty as chief of the German empire, and
sovereign of the Austrian dominions, I propose to your majesty, in the
same manner as I have proposed to the Kings of Spain, Prussia and
Naples, as well as to the Empress of Russia, to unite with them, in a
concert of measures for obtaining the liberty of the king and his
family, and setting bounds to the dangerous excesses of the French
Revolution."

The British _people_ nobly sympathized with the French in their efforts
at emancipation, and the British government dared not _then_ shock the
public conscience by assailing the patriots in France. Leopold
consequently turned to Frederic William of Prussia, and held a private
conference with him at Pilnitz, near Dresden, in Saxony, on the 27th of
August, 1791. The Count d'Artois, brother of Louis XVI., and who
subsequently ascended the French throne as Charles X., joined them in
this conference. In the midst of these agitations and schemes Leopold
II. was seized with a malignant dysentery, which was aggravated by a
life of shameless debauchery, and died on the 1st of March, 1792, in the
forty-fifth year of his age, and after a reign of but two years.

Leopold has the reputation of having been, on the whole, a kind-hearted
man, but his court was a harem of unblushing profligacy. His
broken-hearted wife was compelled to submit to the degradation of daily
intimacy with the mistress of her husband. Upon one only of these
mistresses the king lavished two hundred thousand dollars in drafts on
the bank of Vienna. The sums thus infamously squandered were wrested
from the laboring poor. His son, Francis II., who succeeded him upon the
throne, was twenty-two years of age. In most affecting terms the widowed
queen entreated her son to avoid those vices of his father which had
disgraced the monarchy and embittered her whole life.

The reign of Francis II. was so eventful, and was so intimately blended
with the fortunes of the French Revolution, the Consulate and the
Empire, that the reader must be referred to works upon those subjects
for the continuation of the history. During the wars with Napoleon
Austria lost forty-five thousand square miles, and about three and a
half millions of inhabitants. But when at length the combined monarchs
of Europe triumphed over Napoleon, the monarch of the people's choice,
and, in the carnage of Waterloo, swept constitutional liberty from the
continent, Austria received again nearly all she had lost.

This powerful empire, as at present constituted, embraces:

                                     square miles          inhabitants
 1 The hereditary States of Austria,  76,199                 9,843,490
 2 The duchy of Styria,                8,454                   780,100
 3 Tyrol,                             11,569                   738,000
 4 Bohemia,                           20,172                 3,380,000
 5 Moravia                            10,192                 1,805,500
 6 The duchy of Auschnitz in Galicia,  1,843                   335,190
 7 Illyria,                            9,132                   897,000
 8 Hungary,                          125,105                10,628,500
 9 Dalmatia,                           5,827                   320,000
10 The Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom,     17,608                 4,176,000
11 Galicia,                           32,272                 4,075,000

Thus the whole Austrian monarchy contains 256,399 square miles, and a
population which now probably exceeds forty millions. The standing army
of this immense monarchy, in time of peace, consists of 271,400 men,
which includes 39,000 horse and 17,790 artillery. In time of war this
force can be increased to almost any conceivable amount.

Thus slumbers this vast despotism, in the heart of central Europe, the
China of the Christian world. The utmost vigilance is practiced by the
government to seclude its subjects, as far as possible, from all
intercourse with more free and enlightened nations. The government is in
continual dread lest the kingdom should be invaded by those liberal
opinions which are circulating in other parts of Europe. The young men
are prohibited, by an imperial decree, from leaving Austria to prosecute
their studies in foreign universities. "Be careful," said Francis II. to
the professors in the university at Labach, "not to teach too much. I do
not want learned men in my kingdom; I want good subjects, who will do as
I bid them." Some of the wealthy families, anxious to give their
children an elevated education, and prohibited from sending them abroad,
engaged private tutors from France and England. The government took the
alarm, and forbade the employment of any but native teachers. The Bible,
the great chart of human liberty, all despots fear and hate. In 1822 a
decree was issued by the emperor prohibiting the distribution of the
Bible in any part of the Austrian dominions.

The censorship of the press is rigorous in the extreme. No printer in
Austria would dare to issue the sheet we now write, and no traveler
would be permitted to take this book across the frontier. Twelve public
censors are established at Vienna, to whom every book published within
the empire, whether original or reprinted, must be referred. No
newspaper or magazine is tolerated which does not advocate despotism.
Only those items of foreign intelligence are admitted into those papers
which the emperor is willing his subjects should know. The _freedom_ of
republican America is carefully excluded. The slavery which disgraces
our land is ostentatiously exhibited in harrowing descriptions and
appalling engravings, as a specimen of the degradation to which
republican institutions doom the laboring class.

A few years ago, an English gentleman dined with Prince Metternich, the
illustrious prime minister of Austria, in his beautiful castle upon the
Rhine. As they stood after dinner at one of the windows of the palace,
looking out upon the peasants laboring in the vineyards, Metternich, in
the following words, developed his theory of social order:

"Our policy is to extend all possible _material_ happiness to the whole
population; to administer the laws patriarchaly; to prevent their
tranquility from being disturbed. Is it not delightful to see those
people looking so contented, so much in the possession of what makes
them comfortable, so well fed, so well clad, so quiet, and so
religiously observant of order? If they are injured in persons or
property, they have immediate and unexpensive redress before our
tribunals, and in that respect, neither I, nor any nobleman in the land,
has the smallest advantage over a peasant."

But volcanic fires are heaving beneath the foundations of the Austrian
empire, and dreadful will be the day when the eruption shall burst
forth.



INDEX.


ADOLPHUS (of Nassau) election of over the Germanic empire, 36.
  summoned to answer charges against him, 37.
  deposed by the diet, 37.
  death of, 37.

ADRIAN assumes the tiara, 114.

ÆNEAS SYLVIUS, remarks of, 72.

AGNES (daughter of Cunegunda) to marry Rhodolph's son, 31.
  engaged in the massacre, 40.
  enters a convent, 41.

AIX-LA-CHAPELLE, coronation of Albert I. at, 88.
  coronation of Charles V. at, 107.
  taken possession of by Rhodolph, 193.
  peace of, 461.

ALBERT (fourth Count of Hapsburg), 17.
  departure of for the holy war, 17.
  address of to his sons, 18.
  death of, 18.
  the favorite captain of Frederic II., 19.

ALBERT I. succeeds his father, 35.
  his character, 35.
  elected Emperor of Germany, 37.
  victor at Gelheim, 37.
  assassination of, 40.

ALBERT III. rules with Otho, 46.
  acquisitions of, 47.

ALBERT IV., succession of, 51.
  improvements projected by, 58.

ALBERT V. declared of age, 59.
  accepted King of Hungary, 62.
  death of, 65.

ALBERT (of Bavaria) declines the throne of Hungary, 66.

ALBERT (Archduke) the candidate of the Catholics, 229.

ALLIANCE of barons to crush Rhodolph of Hapsburg, 21.
  same dissolved, 22.

ALPHONSO (of Castile) candidate for crown of Germany, 23.

ALPHONSO (King of Naples), abdication of, 84.

AMURATH, conquests of, 64.

ANABAPTISTS, rise of the sect of, 115.

ANHALT (Prince of), dispatched with a list of grievances to the emperor,
    211.
  address to the emperor, 212.
  ban of the empire declared against, 265.

ANN (Princess of Hungary and Bohemia), marriage of to Ferdinand I., 145.

ANNA (of Russia), desire of to secure a harbor for Russia, 400.

ANECDOTES of Rhodolph, 33.
  of Charles V., 144.

APOLOGY of Maximilian, 96.

ASCHHAUSEN, confederacy at, 194.

AUGSBURG, diet of, 24.
  bold speech of the diet at, 102.
  triumphal reception of Maurice at, 133.
  Confession of, 118.

AUGUSTUS II. loses and regains his empire, 382.
  death of, 382.

AULIC COUNCIL, establishment of the, 102.

AUSTRIA, a portion of given as dowry to Hedwige, 25.
  nucleus of the empire of, 27.
  invasion of by John of Bohemia, 49.
  wonderful growth of, 52.
  division of, 72.
  accession of Ladislaus over, 81.
  the house of invested with new dignity, 101.
  becomes a part of Spain, 108.
  the empire of apparently on the eve of dissolution, 286.
  the leading power in Europe, 314.
  dispute as to the succession to the crown of, 352.
  treaty between Spain and, 373.
  Maria Theresa ascends the throne of, 415.
  deplorable state of at that time, 415.
  defeat of by Frederic, 420.
  the proposed division of, 422.
  prosperity of, 444.
  important territory wrested from, 453.
  alliance of with Prussia, 459.
  Joseph II. ascends the throne of, 491.
  situation and character of, 492.
  languages spoken in, 493.
  Leopold ascends the throne of, 500.
  acquisitions of by the battle of Waterloo, 504
  present constitution of, 504.
  doctrines of the government of, 503.
  its future, 506.

AUSTRIANS, triumph of the at Brussels, 340.
  triumph of the at Malplaquet, 341.
  evacuation of Madrid by the, 345.
  prohibited from trading-with Spain, 380.
  the, driven from the Neapolitan States, 388.
  the, defeated at Crotzka, 407.


BADEN, peace of, 359.

BAJAZET, victory achieved by, 64.

BALDER, attack of Rhodolph upon, 22.

BALLOT-BOX, its authority in Poland, 385.

BALNE (Lord), followers of put to death, 40.

BANDITTI, companies of put down by Rhodolph, 32.

BARBARIA, wife of Sigismond, 60.

BARCELONA, capture of by Charles, 354.

BASLE, attack upon the city of, 20.
  demands of the Bishop of upon Rhodolph, 22.
  impious remark of the Bishop of, 23
  aid of the Bishop of to Rhodolph, 29.

BAVARIA (Henry, Duke of), intimidated by Rhodolph, 25.
  marriage of Hedwige to Otho of, 25.
  agrees to carry the edict of Worms into effect, 114.
  his hatred of Wallenstein, 275.
  urged as a candidate for the imperial crown, 279.
  dishonorable despair of, 438.
  death of, 488.

BAVARIA (Charles of), death of, 451.

BAVARIA, Maximilian Joseph ascends the throne of, 451.

BAYARD (Chevalier De), the knight without fear or reproach, 90.

BELGRADE, relief of, 69.
  siege of, 360.
  capture of by Eugene, 363.
  surrendered to the Turks, 408.

BELLEISLE (General), heroic retreat of, 441.

BLENHEIM, massacre at, 334.

BLOODY diet, the, 158.
  theater of Eperies, 325.

BOHEMIA, triumphal march of Rhodolph into, 30.
  the crown of demanded by Albert I., 39.
  revolt in, 89.
  rise of the nobles of against Ferdinand, 127.
  the monarchy of, 154.
  religious conflicts in, 155.
  resistance of to Ferdinand, 156.
  symptoms of the decay of, 160.
  Ferdinand's blow at, 263.
  severity of Ferdinand towards, 270.
  son of Ferdinand crowned king of, 271.
  change of prosperity of during reign of Ferdinand II., 272.
  rise of the Protestants in, 286.
  the Elector of Bavaria crowned king of, 434.
  the Prussians driven from, 450.
  (King of), chosen Emperor of Germany, 431.

BRANDENBURG, reply of the Marquis of to Charles V., 118.

BRITISH MINISTER, letter of the in regard to Maria Theresa, 295.
  letter of the in regard to the affairs in Hungary, 416.

BRUNAU, the Protestant church of, 235.

BRUNSWICK, marriage of Charles VI. to Elizabeth Christina of, 164.

BRUSSELS, diet at, 139.

BUDA taken by the Turks, 147.

BULL (see Pope).

BURGHERS prevented from attending Protestant worship, 188.

BURGUNDY (Duke of), ambition of the, 77.

BURGUNDY (Mary of), marriage of by proxy, 79.
  death of, 79.


CÆSAR BORGIA, plans for, 89.

CALENDAR, the Julian and Gregorian, 192.

CAMPEGIO, a legate from the Pope to, 114.

CAPISTRUN, JOHN, rousing eloquence of, 69.

CARDINAL KLESES, counselor to the king, 241.
  abduction of, 242.

CARINTHIA, dukedom of, 48.

CARLOS crowned as Charles III., 388.

CARLOVITZ, treaty of, 326.

CASSAU captured by Botskoi, 198.

CASTLE (Hawk's), situation of, 17.
  (Oeltingen), the dowry of Gertrude of Hohenburg, 19.

CATHARINE II. ascends the throne of Russia, 480.
  cooperates with Austria. 481.
  desire of to acquire Constantinople, 495.
  grand excursion of, 496.
  places Count Poniatowski on the throne of Poland, 484.

CATHERINE BORA, marriage of to Luther, 114.

CHANCELLOR OF SAXONY, reading of the Confession of Augsburg by, 118.
  reply of to the emperor, 118.

CHARLES OF BOHEMIA, succession of to the kingdom of Austria, 47.
  death of, 47.

CHARLES EMANUEL (King of Sardinia) character of, 386.

CHARLES GUSTAVUS succeeds Christina, Queen of Sweden, 302.
  his invasion of Poland, 303.
  energy of, 305.

CHARLES (Prince), defeat of by Frederic, 254.

CHARLES (Prince of Lorraine) marriage of, 447.

CHARLES II., the throne of Spain held by, 328.
  sends embassage to the pope, 329.
  induced to bequeath the crown to France, 330.
  death of, 331.

CHARLES III. crowned King of Spain, 332.
  army of routed, 340.
  arrival of at Barcelona, 342.
  desperate condition of, 344.
  flight of, 346.
  description of his appearance, 353.
  dilatoriness of, 355.
  crowned king, 356.
  Carlos crowned as, 388.
  (See also Charles VI.)

CHARLES V. (of Spain) inherits the Austrian States, 106.
  petitions to, 106.
  required to sign a constitution, 108.
  ambition of, 109.
  apologetic declaration of, 112.
  refusal of to violate his safe conduct, 112.
  attempts of to bribe Luther, 113.
  determination of to suppress religious agitation, 115.
  interview of with the pope at Bologna, 117.
  call of for the diet at Augsburg, 117.
  intolerance of, 119.
  appeal of to the Protestants for aid, 122.
  in violation of his pledge, turns against the Protestants, 122.
  secret treaty of with the King of France, 123.
  treaty of with the Turks, 123.
  forces secured by against the Protestants, 124.
  alarm of at the preparations of the Protestants, 125.
  preparations of to enforce the Council of Trent, 125.
  march of to Ingolstadt, 126.
  flight of to Landshut, 126.
  triumph of over the Protestants, 126.
  conquers the Elector of Saxony, 128.
  revenge of towards the Elector of Saxony, 128.
  march to Wittemberg, 128.
  visit to the grave of Luther, 129.
  attempts of to settle the religious differences, 129.
  attempt of to establish the inquisition in Burgundy, 129.
  power of over the pope, 130.
  calls a diet at Augsburg. 130.
  failure of to accomplish the election of Philip, 131.
  confounded at the success of the Protestants. 133.
  flight of from Maurice, 133.
  unconquerable will of, 135.
  urged to yield, 136.
  fortune deserting, 137.
  extraordinary despondency of, 138.
  abdication of in favor of Philip, his son, 139.
  enters the convent of St. Justus, 141.
  convent life of, 141.
  death of, 143.
  anecdotes of, 144.
  attempt of to abdicate the elective crown of Germany to Ferdinand, 160.

CHARLES VI. (see also Charles III. for previous information),
  limitations imposed on the power of, 356.
  desertion of by his allies, 357.
  addition of Wallachia and Servia to the dominion of, 364.
  marriage of, 364.
  his alteration of the compact established by Leopold, 364.
  power of, 365.
  involved in duplicity, 377.
  insult to, 380.
  ambition of to secure the throne of Spain for his daughters, 382.
  the loss of Lombardy felt by, 387.
  attempt of to force assistance from France, 390.
  his first acknowledgment of the people, in his letter to Count Kinsky,
    391.
  interference of in Poland, 393.
  sends Strickland to London to overthrow the cabinet, 391.
  troubles of in Italy, 394.
  distraction of, 396.
  proposal of for a settlement with France, 397.
  humbled by loss of empire. 398.
  a scrupulous Romanist, 400.
  removal of all the Protestants from the army, 404.
  fears of for the safety of Maria Theresa, 406.
  anguish of at the surrender of Belgrade, 411.
  letter of to the Queen of Russia, 412.
  death of, 414.

CHARLES VII., death of, 451.

CHARLES VIII. informed of the league against him, 88.
  death of, 89.

CHARLES XII. joins the Austrian party, 335.
  death of, 368.
  conquests of, 382.

CHAZLEAU, battle of, 435.

CHRISTIANA, the succession of Sweden conferred upon, 280.
  abdicates in favor of Charles Gustavus, 302.

CHRISTIAN IV. (of Denmark), leader of the Protestants, declares war, 267.
  conquered by Ferdinand, 268.

CHURCH, exactions of the, 102.

CILLI, influence of Count over Ladislaus, 68.
  driven from the empire, 68.

CLEMENT VII. succeeds Adrian as pope, 116.

CLEVES, duchy of put in sequestration, 213.

COLOGNE, the Archbishop of joins the Protestants, 124.
  deposition of the Archbishop of, 126.

CONDUCT, Luther presented with a safe, 110.

CONFESSION OF AUGSBURG, 118.
  reading of, 119.

CONGRESS at Rothenburg, 226.
  at Hanau, 445.
  at Prague, 1618, and letter of to Matthias, 236.
  of electors at Frankfort, 35.

CONSPIRACY against Albert, 36.
  formed by Albert against Adolphus, 37.

CONSTANTINOPLE, capture of by the Turks, 64.

CONSTITUTION, Charles V. required to sign a, 108.

COUNCIL of Trent, 124.
  of Trent in 1562, 164.
  of State convened in Spain, 331.

CREMNITZ, resistance of, 148.

CREMONIA to be disposed of as plunder, 89.

CROATIA invaded by the Turks, 195.

CROTZKA. battle of, 407.

CRUSADE against the Turks, 64.

CUNEGUNDA (wife of Ottocar), her taunts, 27.
  offer of to place Bohemia under the protection of Rhodolph, 31.


DANUBE, position of Austria on the, 25.

DAUN (Count), honors of at his victory, 473.

DENMARK, the King of obliged to yield to Charles Gustavus, 306.

DIEPOLD thrown from the palace by the mob, 328.

DIET, command of the of Augsburg to Ottocar, 14.
  at Augsburg, 118.
  at Augsburg, 130.
  at Brussels. 139.
  at Lubec, 269.
  at Prague, in 1547, 158.
  at Prague, 179.
  the Protestant at Prague, 209.
  decrees of the, 210.
  at Passau, 137.
  its agreement as to the rights of the Protestants, 138.
  at Pilgram, 66.
  at Presburg, accusation of Leopold by the, 309.
  at Ratisbon, 179.
  at Spires, 116.
  at Stetzim, 349.
  demands of, 350.
  at Worms, 86.
  refusal of the at Worms to cooperate with Maximilian, 96.
  at Znaim, 61.
  power of the Hungarian, 308.

DOCTRINE of the three parties, 190.
  ancient and modern, contention about shadowy points of, 255.

DRESDEN, treaty of, 458.


ERNEST, death of, 202.

ELEONORA (wife of Leopold), her character, 335.
  marriage of, 336.
  her death, 337.

ELFSNABEN, a fleet assembled at by Gustavus Adolphus, 281,

ELIZABETH (wife of Philip V.), ambition of, 371.
  demands of on Charles VI., 372.

ELIZABETH (of Russia), death of, 479.

EMERIO TEKELI invested with the Hungarian forces, 319.

ENGLAND, assistance of against the Turks, 94.
  supports the house of Austria against France, 332.
  curious contradictory conduct of, 346.
  pledge of to support the Pragmatic Sanction, 380.
  supports Austria to check France, 428.
  determines to support Maria Theresa, 436.
  prodigality of, 447.
  war declared against by France, 448.
  purchases the aid of Poland, 452.
  private arrangement of with Prussia, 457.
  remonstrated with for its treatment of the queen, 463.
  alliance of with Prussia, 466.
  a subsidy voted Prussia by, 475.
  alarmed at the strides of Austria and Russia, 499.

EPERIES, tribunal at, 324.

ERNEST, conquests of, 59.

EUGENE (Prince) commands the Austrian army, 332.
  his heroic capture of Belgrade, 363.
  his disapproval of the war, 389.
  death of, 398.
  funeral honors of. 399.

EUROPE, condition of the different powers of, 269.

EXCOMMUNICATION of the Venetians, 97.


FAMILY of Rhodolph, 25.
  the three daughters of the imperial, 364.

FERDINAND (of Austria) invested with the government of the Austrian
    States, 113.
  determines to arrest Protestantism, 114.
  assumes some impartiality, 116.
  chosen King of the Romans, 120.
  Bohemia and Hungary added to his kingdom, 146.
  demands the restitution of Belgrade, 146.
  his siege of Buda, 153.
  tribute of to the Turks, 153.
  his attempts to weaken the power of the Hungarian nobles, 155.
  conditions of his pardon of the Hungarian nobles, 157.
  his punishment of the revolters, 158.
  his establishment of the Jesuits in Bohemia, 158.
  his inconsistencies, 158.
  obtains the crown of Germany, 161.
  opposed by the pope, 162.
  elected Emperor of Germany, 233.
  character of, 234.
  rich spoils of, 273.
  he assembles a diet at Eatisbon, 275.
  perplexity of in regard to the demands of the diet, 277.

FERDINAND (King of Arragon) furnishes supplies for the war against the
    Venetians, 95.

FERDINAND (of Naples), flight of to Ischia, 85.

FERDINAND (King of the Romans)
  crowned at Ratisbon, 302.
  his death, 302.

FERDINAND I.
  illustrious birth of, 145.
  marriage of, 145.
  efforts of to unite Protestants and Catholics, 164.
  attempts of to prevent the spread of Protestantism, 167.
  the founder of the Austrian empire, 168.
  death of, 168.

FERDINAND II.
  manifesto of, 240.
  abduction of Cardinal Kleses by, 242.
  troops of defeated by the Protestants, 243.
  refers the complaints of the Protestants to arbitration, 343.
  unpopularity of with the Catholics, 247.
  unexpected rescue of, 249.
  elected King of Germany, 250.
  concludes an alliance with Maximilian, 254.
  secures the coöperation of the Elector of Saxony and Louis XIII., 256.
  subdues Austria, 257.
  barbarity of the troops of, 258.
  vengeance of, 263.
  meeting at Ratisbon to approve the acts of, 265.
  victories of, 268.
  capture of the duchies of Mecklenburg, 268.
  seizes Pomerania, 268.
  revokes all concessions to the Protestants, 270.
  son of crowned King of Bohemia, 271.
  manifesto of against Gustavus Adolphus, 283.
  decorous appreciation of to the memory of Gustavus Adolphus, 296.
  outwitted by a Capuchin friar, 279.
  succeeds in securing the election of his son Ferdinand, 299.
  his death, 299.

FERDINAND III.
  ascends the throne, 245.
  his proposal for a truce with Prague, 246.
  desire of for peace, 300.
  succeeds in securing the election of his son as Ferdinand King of the
    Romans, 302.
  death of, 303.

FLEURY (Cardinal), ascendancy of over Louis XV., 378.

FLORENCE threatened by Louis XII., 90.

FRANCE
  influence of in wresting sacrifices from the emperor, 279.
  the dominant power, 315.
  fraud by which obtained possession of Spain, 331.
  condition of under Louis XIV., 357.
  refusal of to engage in the Polish war, 390.
  design of to deprive Maria Theresa of her kingdom, 428.
  declares war against England, 448.
  alliance of effected with Austria. 467.

FRANCIS (of France)
  claims Austria, 106.
  perfidy of, 127.
  death of, 128.

FRANCIS I. (Duke of Lorraine) elected Emperor of Germany, 457.

FRANCIS II. ascends the throne, 504.

FRANCIS RAVAILLAC, the assassin of Henry IV., 215.

FRANKFORT, congress at, 35.

FREDERIC (King of Naples), doom of, 92.

FREDERIC (of Saxony)
  friendly seizure of Luther by, 113.
  death of, 114.

FREDERIC I. (the Handsome)
  capture of 43.
  surrender of, 44.
  death of, 45.

FREDERIC II. (of Germany)
  renown of, 18.
  death of, 482.
  curious occupations of, 483.

FREDERIC II. (of Austria)
  treachery of, 75.
  wanderings of, 77.
  death of, 81.

FREDERIC V., character of, 251.
  accepts the crown of Bohemia, 251.
  inefficiency of, 258.
  his feast during the assault, 258.
  renounces all claim to Bohemia, 259.
  flight of, 262.
  his property sequestrated, 264.

FREDERIC (King of Bohemia, Elector of Palatine),
  death of, 296.

FREDERIC (of Prussia),
  demands of, 417.
  seizure of Silesia by, 418.
  triumphal entrance into Breslau, 419.
  his defeat of Neuperg, 420.
  opinions of on magnanimity, 423.
  his indignation at the small concessions of Austria, 424.
  implores peace, 433.
  violation of his pledge, 435.
  capture of Prague by, 419.
  surprises and defeats Prince Charles, 454.
  invasion of Saxony by, 458.
  explanation demanded from Austria by, 469.
  artifice of to entrap the allies, 470.
  defeat of at Prague, 473.
  recklessness of, 476.
  undaunted perseverance of, 477.
  despair of, 479.
  secures an alliance with Prussia, 480.
  letter of to Maria Theresa, 488.
  peaceful reply of, 500.

FRENCH, the, driven out of Italy, 94.
  the, routed near Brussels, 340.
  rout of at Brussels, 340.
  defeat of the at Malplaquet, 341.


GABRIEL BETHLEHEM
  chosen leader in the Hungarian revolution, 152.
  he retires to Presburg, 253.
  compelled to sue for peace, 268.

GELHEIM, battle of, 37.

GALLAS appointed commander in place of Wallenstein, 268.

GENOA, aid furnished Leopold by, 311.

GERMANY,
  its conglomeration of States, 18.
  independence of each State of, 18.
  position of the Emperor of, 19.
  decline of the imperial dignity of, 85.
  its division into ten districts, 101.
  growing independence in of the pope, 162.
  tranquillity of under Ferdinand, 172.
  rejoicing in at the downfall of Rhodolph, 225.
  divided into two leagues, 253.
  distracted state of, 299.
  religious agitation in, 370.
  the Elector of Bavaria chosen Emperor of, 434.

GERTRUDE (of Hohenburg),
  marriage of to Rhodolph of Hapsburg, 19.
  her dowry, 19.

GHIARADADDA to be bestowed on Venice, 89.

GIBRALTAR taken by the English, 339.

GOLDEN FLEECE, establishment of the order of the, 372.

GRAN, capture of the fortress at, 324.

GREAT WARDEIN,
  siege of, 307.
  the Turks retain, 313.

GRENADER, the plot at, 92.

GRIEVANCES complained of by the confederacy at Heilbrun, 192.

GUICCIARDINI, remark of Charles V. about, 144.

GUNPOWDER, its introduction, 82.

GUNTZ, triumphant resistance of the fortress of, 150.

GUSTAVUS YASA (King of Sweden),
  league with against Charles V., 127.

GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS,
  rouses the country against Ferdinand II., 280.
  assembles a fleet at Elfsnaben, 281.
  Stettin captured by, 281.
  Mark of Brandenburg taken possession of by, 281.
  conquers at the battle of Leipsic, 285.
  his tranquil campaign, 286.
  his intrenchment at Nuremberg, 290.
  his attack on Wallenstein, 293.
  his death, 293.
  relics of, 295.


HANAU, conference at, 445.

HANOVER, title of the Elector of to the crown of England, 367.

HAWK'S Castle. (See Castle.)

HEDWIGE,
  wife of Albert of Hapsburg, 18.
  betrothal of, 53.

HELVETIC STATES, independence of acknowledged, 89.

HENRY (Duke of Anjou),
  abdication of the throne of Poland, 180.
  succeeds Charles IX., 180.

HENRY (Duke of Carinthia) chosen king, 39.

HENRY (Count of Luxemburg)
  elected Emperor of Austria, 41.
  his death, 41.

HENRY (of Valois) succeeds Charles IX., 171.

HENRY VIII. (of England) claims Austria, 107.

HENRY IV. (of France),
  efforts of to unite Lutherans and Calvinists, 190.
  political course of, 214.
  assassination of, 215.
  his plans for remodeling Europe, 216.

HOCKKIRCHEN, battle of, 475.

HOLY LEAGUE, formation of, 116.

HUNGARIANS, the, summons a diet, 349.
  the, remonstrate with Leopold, 501.
  (see also Hungary.)

HUNGARY, despotism of Rhodolph III. in, 196.
  new revolt in, 307.
  attempt of Leopold to establish despotic power in, 317.
  rise of against Leopold, 333.
  troubles in observed by Joseph I., 349.
  enthusiastic support of Maria Theresa in, 432.
  (see also Hungarian.)

HUNNLADES (John), regent of Hungary, 68,
  popularity of, 68.
  death of, 71.

HYMN, singing of a by the army of Gustavus on the field of battle, 292.


ISABELLA (wife of Frederic), death of, 45.

ISABELLA (of Spain), determination of to obtain for her son the crown of
    Hungary, 152.
  propositions of to Ferdinand for peace, 154.

IMPERIAL CHAMBER, creation of the, 87.

INGOLSTADT, Charles V. marches to, 126.

INNSPRUCK, arrival of the Duke of Ludovico at, 90.
  the emperor sick at, 103.
  the palace at surrendered to pillage, 134.

INSURRECTION in Vienna, 36.
  of Suabia, 55.

INZENDORF, the Lord of arrested by Matthias, 206.

ISCHIA, flight of Ferdinand to the island of, 85.

ITALY, invasion of by Mahomet II., 82.
  victories of Henry of France in, 136.
  invaded by the Spaniards, 388.
  invaded by the French and Spaniards, 452.


JAGHELLON, the Grand Duke, 53.
  marriage of Hedwige to, 54.
  baptism of, 54.
  (for further reference see Ladislaus.)

JAMES I., matrimonial negotiations of, 266.

JEANETTE POISSON (see Marchioness of Pompadour).

JESUITS, the, expelled from Prague, 239.

JOANNA (of Spain), insanity of, 106.

JOHN (of Bohemia), character of, 46.
  his invasion of Austria, 49.

JOHN SIGISMOND, death of, 178.

JOHN SOBIESKI goes to the relief of Vienna, 320.
  enthusiastic reception of, 322.
  refuses to fight Tekeli, 324.

JOHN (the Constant) succeeds Frederic, Elector of Saxony, 114.

JOHN (of Tapoli), negotiations of with the Turks for the throne of
    Hungary, 151.
  marriage and death of, 52.

JOHN (of Medici) elected pope, 100.

JOSEPH (of Germany) elected as successor of Leopold, 316.

JOSEPH I. secures a treaty with France for neutrality for Italy, 339.
  continues the war against Spain, 338.
  political concessions of in Hungary, 349.
  refusal of to grant the demands of the diet, 350.
  Transylvania again subject to, 351.
  rout of the Hungarians by, 351.
  death of, 352.

JOSEPH II. (of Austria) elected to succeed the Emperor Francis, 481.
  assumes the crown of Germany, 484.
  succeeds Maria Theresa, 491.
  character of, 492.
  death of, 500.
  attempt of to obliterate distinctions in Austria, 493.
  emancipates the serfs of, 494.
  joins the excursion of Catherine II., 497.
  defeat of at Belgrade, 498.
  successes of, 499.

JULIUS III. ascends the pontifical throne, 130.


KAUNITZ (Count) appointed prime minister, 462.

KEVENHULLER (General) given the command of the Austrian army, 405.

KING, nominal power of the, 308.

KINSKY, letter of Charles VI. to, 391.

KLESES. (See Cardinal.)

KONIGSEGG (General), power of in a counsel of war, 404.
  recalled in disgrace, 405.


LADISLAUS I., coronation of, 65.
  visit of to the pope, 67.
  inglorious flight of, 69.
  tyranny of towards the family of Hunniades, 71.
  flight of from Buda, 71.
  his projected marriage to Magdalen, 71.
  death of, 72.

LADISLAUS II. elected King of Hungary, 79.
  assumes the government of Austria, 81.

LANDAU, the Austrians checked at, 47.

LANDSHUT, flight of Charles V. to, 126.

LEAGUE against France, 85.
  of Augsburg, 315.

LEIPSIC captured by Tilly, 285.

LEO X., John of Medici assumes the name of, 100.

LEOPOLD I. (of Austria) succeeds Ferdinand III., 304.
  convenes the diet at Presburg, 309.
  accused by the diet of persecution, 309.
  his desire for peace, 312.
  organizes a coalition against Louis XIV., 315.
  attempt of to establish despotic power in Hungary, 317.
  driven from Hungary, 317.
  flight of with his family, 319.
  humiliation of, 322.
  disgust of the people with, 324.
  vengeance of, 324.
  efforts of to obtain a decree that the crown was hereditary, 325.
  claims Spain, 326.
  declares war against France, 331.
  deserted by the Duke of Bavaria, 334.
  death of, 334.
  canonization of, 335.
  his various marriages, 336.

LEOPOLD II. ascends the Austrian throne, 500.
  despotism of in Hungary meets with a remonstrance, 501.
  interposes against France, 502.
  letter of to the King of England, 502.
  death of, 502.

LEOPOLD I. (of Germany), character and death of, 45.

LEOPOLD I. (of Switzerland), character of, 52.
  death of, 57.

LEOPOLD II., succession of, 57.
  assumes the guardianship of Albert V., 59.
  death of, 59.

LEOPOLD (Archduke) invasion of Upper Austria by, 220.
  defeat of by Matthias, 221.

LEWIS II., excommunication of, 50.

LIBERTY, the spirit of acting in France, 501.

LITHUANIA, duchy of, 53.
  annexation of to Poland, 54.

LOREDO, arrival of Charles V. at, 141.

LORRAINE (Chevalier De), duel between the and the young Turk, 312.

LORRAINE, duchy of demanded by France, 397.

LORRAINE (Francis Stephen, Duke of) compelled to flee from Hungary, 319.
  his engagement with Maria Theresa, 395.
  deprived of his kingdom, 397.
  his marriage, 398.
  appointed commander of the army, 404.
  reply of the to the demand of Frederic, 418.

LOUIS XII., succession of to the throne of France, 89.
  inaugurated Duke of Milan, 90.
  diplomacy of, 91.

LOUIS XIII. espouses the cause of Ferdinand I., 256.

LOUIS XIV., attempt of to thwart Leopold, 304.
  marriage of, 314.
  resolve of to annex a part of Spain, 314.
  responsible for devastation of the Palatinate, 316.
  rapacious character of, 317.
  claims Spain, 326.
  preparations of to invade Spain, 329.
  desire of to retire from the conflict, 341.
  melancholy situation of, 357.

LOUIS XV. begins to take part in the government, 378.

LOUIS XVI., plans of, 502.

LOUIS (of Bavaria) elected emperor, 42.
  excommunication of, 47.
  death of, 47.

LOUIS (of Hungary), death of, 146.

LOUIS (son of Philip V.), death of, 371.

LUBEC, peace of, 269.

LUDOVICO, escape of the Duke of, 90.

LUDOVICO (Duke of Milan), recovery of Italy by the Duke of, 90.
  mutiny of the troops of, 91.
  death of, 92.

LUTHER summoned to repair to Rome, 102.
  bull of the pope against, 108.
  works of burned, 109.
  support of at the diet of Worms, 110.
  summoned to appear before the diet, 110.
  triumphal march of, 111.
  memorable reply of, 111.
  triumph of, 112.
  attempts of Charles V. to bribe, 113.
  his Patmos, 113.
  his German Bible, 113.
  the party of encouraged by Adrian the pope, 114.
  marriage of, 114.
  the Confession of Augsburg too mild for, 119.
  visit of Charles V. to grave of, 128.

LUTHERANS, reply of to Henry IV., 191.
  (see also Luther.)

LUTZEN, meeting of the armies at, 291.
  battle of, 292.


MADRID, evacuation of, by the Austrians, 345.

MAGDEBURG, the city of, espouses Gustavus, 282.
  sacking of, by the imperial troops, 283.

MAHOMET II., siege of Belgrade by, 69.

MAHOMET IV., his foreign war, 307.

MARLBOROUGH (Duke of), the guardian of Anne, 332.

MALPLAQUET, battle at, 341.

MANTUA, aid furnished Leopold by, 311.
  battle at, 387.

MARCHIONESS OF POMPADOUR, arrogance of, 464.

MARIA ANTOINETTE, history of, 487.
  letter of Maria Theresa to, 488.

MARIA THERESA (of Spain), marriage of to Louis XIV., 314.

MARIA THERESA (of Austria), character of, 395.
  her attachment for the Duke of Lorraine, 395.
  marriage of, 398.
  ascends the Austrian throne, 415.
  solicitations of to foreign powers, 417.
  her apparent doom, 421.
  consents to part with Glogau, 424.
  a son born to her, 426.
  desire of that her husband should obtain the imperial crown, 427.
  her coronation at Presburg, 429.
  address of to the diet, 431.
  reinforcements of, 436.
  ambitious dreams of, 439.
  forbids the conference for the relief of Prague, 440.
  attempt of to evade her promise to Sardinia, 446.
  arrogance of excites indignation of the other powers, 449.
  rouses the Hungarians, 450.
  recovers Bohemia, 450.
  interview of the English ambassador with, 454.
  signs the treaty of Dresden, 458.
  indignation of at peace being signed by England, 460.
  chagrin of, 461.
  her energetic discipline, 462.
  secures the friendship of the Marchioness of Pompadour, 465
  reproaches towards England, 466.
  her diplomatic fib, 468.
  victories of, 475.
  loses Russia and Sweden, 480.
  recovers the coöperation of Russia, 481.
  children of, 486.
  letter of to Maria Antoinette, 488.
  letter to Frederic desiring peace, 489.
  charge to her son, 490.
  death of, 491.
  fate of her children, 491.

MARY ANNE (of Spain) affianced to the dauphin of France, 372.
  insulting rejection of, 373.

MARGARET (of Bohemia), engagement of, 46.
  marriage and flight of, 49.
  divorce of, 49.

MARGARET, celebration of the nuptials of, 314.

MARK OF BRANDENBURG, taken possession of by Gustavus Adolphus, 281.

MARTINETS thrown from the palace by the mob, 328.

MASSACRE, the, of St. Bartholomew, 171.

MATHEW HENRY (Count of Thurn), leader of the Protestants, 234.
  convention called by, 236.

MATTHIAS (of Hungary), invasion of Austria by, 75.
  death of, 79.

MATTHIAS, character of, 201.
  chosen leader of the revolters in the Netherlands, 202.
  increasing popularity of, 203.
  announces his determination to depose Rhodolph III., 204.
  his demand that Rhodolph should abdicate, 205.
  distrust of by the Protestants, 205.
  arrest of the Lord of Inzendorf by, 206.
  reluctance of to sign the conditions, 207.
  elected king, 207.
  haughtiness of towards the Austrians, 208.
  political reconciliation between Rhodolph III. and, 219.
  march of against Leopold, 221.
  limitations affixed to the offer of the crown to, 222.
  coronation of, 224.
  marriage of, 225.
  suspicions of the Catholics against, 229.
  elected Emperor of Germany, 229.
  thwarted in his attempts to levy an army, 230.
  concludes a truce with Turkey, 231.
  his revival of the ban against the Protestants, 231.
  efforts of to secure the crown of Germany for Ferdinand, 232.
  opposed by the Protestants, 233.
  defiant reply of to the congress at Prague, 236.
  disposition of to favor toleration, 239.
  death of, 344.

MAURICE (of Saxony), Protestant principles of, 131.
  treaty of with the King of France, 132
  capture of the Tyrol by, 133.
  demands of from Charles V., 135
  death of, 137.

MAXIMILIAN I., ambition of, 84.
  efforts of to rouse the Italians, 88.
  efforts to secure the Swiss estates, 89.
  defeat of at the diet of Worms, 87.
  roused to new efforts, 92.
  superstitious fraud of, 93.
  drawn into a war with Bavaria, 94.
  league formed by against the Venetians, 95.
  abandoned by his allies, 97.
  perseverance of rewarded, 98.
  confident of success against Italy, 99.
  letter of to his daughter, 99.
  success beginning to attend, 100.
  plans of to secure the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia, 101.
  contempt of for the pope, 103.
  peculiarities of exhibited, 103.
  death of, 104.
  accomplishments of, 105.

MAXIMILIAN II. allowed to assume the title of emperor elect, 161.
  character of, 169.
  his letter to the Elector Palatine, 170.
  profession of the Catholic faith, 170.
  address of to Henry of Valois, 172.
  liberal toleration maintained by, 172.
  answer of to the complaints of the diet, 173.
  offer of to pay tribute to the Turks, 174.
  elected King of Poland, 180.
  death of, 181.
  character and acquirements of, 182.
  tribute of honor by the ambassadors to, 183.
  wife of, 183.
  fate of his children, 184.

MAXIMILIAN (brother of Matthias), the candidate of the Protestants, 229.

MAXIMILIAN JOSEPH, ascends the throne of Bavaria, 451.

MEINHARD, legitimate rights of, 50.
  death of, 50.

MELANCTHON, character of, 119.

MENTZ, taunts of the Elector of, 38.

METTERNICH, his theory of social order, 506.

METZ, siege of, 137.

MILAN, captured by Louis XII., 90.
  Louis XII. created Duke of, 90.

MINISTER (see the countries for which the minister acted).

MOHATZ, battle of, 146.

MOLNITZ, the court of Frederic established at, 421.

MONTECUCULI (Prince), commander of the troops of Leopold, 311.

MONTSERRAT, shrine of the holy Virgin at, 355.

MORAVIA, to be held five years by Rhodolph, 81.
  the province of, 208.
  triumphal march of Count Thurn into, 247.

MOSES TZEKELI crowned Prince of Transylvania, 196.

MULHEIM, the fortifications of demolished, 232.

MUNICH captured by Frederic, 449.

MURCHFIELD, meeting of the armies on the field of, 29.


NAPLES, subjugation of, 84.

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, similarity of the plans of Henry IV. and, 216.
  remark of verified, 262.
  remark of concerning Russia, 399.

NETHERLANDS, revolt in the, 201.
  Marlborough in possession of the, 339.

NEUPERG (General), imprudence and insult of, 408.
  arrested by Charles, 413.

NEUSTADT, the emperor's remains to be deposited at, 104.

NICHOLAS (Count of Zrini), heroic defense of Zigeth by, 175.

NISSA, capture of, 402.

NOBLES, the, of Bohemia banished, 271.

NOVARRA, defense of the citadel of, 90.

NUREMBURG, congress at, 227.
  request of, that Rhodolph should abdicate, 228.
  battle of, 290.
  famine in the city of, 290.


OFFICERS, ignorance of the Austrian, 389.

ORLEANS (Duke of), matrimonial arrangements of the, 369.
  death of the, 378.

ORSOVA captured by the Turks, 405.
  surrendered to the Turks, 408.

OTHO marries Hedwige, of Hapsburg, 25.
  harmonious rule of, 46.

OTTOCAR (of Bohemia), candidate for crown of Germany, 23.
  opposition of Rhodolph, 24.
  command of the diet to, 24.
  message of, to Rhodolph, 24.
  power of, 25.
  his contempt for Rhodolph, 25.
  his excommunication by the pope, 26.
  his performance of feudal homage, 27.
  violates his oath, 28.
  the body of found after battle, 30.

OXENSTIERN (Chancellor), appointed commander of the Swedish army, 297.


PALATINATE, territory of the, 250.

PAPPENHEIM (General), death of, 293.

PASSAU, diet at, 187.

PATMOS, Luther's, 113.

PAUL III. (of Russia), alliance of with Prussia, 480.
  assassination of, 480.

PAUL IV. (Pope), death of, 162.

Peace of Passarovitz, 364

PEOPLE, contempt for the, 95.

PEST taken by the Turks, 147.

PETER THE GREAT, ambition of, 399.
  death of, 399.

PETERWARDEIN, strength of, 406.

PHILIP (of Burgundy), obtains the dukedom of Burgundy, 84.

PHILIP III. institutes the order of the Golden Fleece, 372.

PHILIP IV. (of Spain) obtains renunciation of succession in favor of
    Margaret, 314.
  resolve of, to maintain his throne, 341.
  supported by his subjects, 342.
  flight of, from Catalona, 343.

PHILIP V. despondency of, 369.
  abdication of, 370.
  resumes his crown, 371.

PILGRAM, diet at, 66.

PIUS IV. elected pope, 162.

PODIEBRAD (George), assumes regal authority, 66.
  intrusted with the regency of Bohemia, 68.
  elected King of Bohemia, 73.

POLAND, conditions affixed to the throne of, 180.
  Stephen Barthori chosen king of, by the minority, 181.
  attempts of France to place Stanislaus on the throne of, 383.
  Count Poniatowski secures the crown of, 484.
  to be carved out, 485.
  annihilation of, 486.

POMERANIA, seizure of, by Ferdinand, 269.

POMPADOUR (Marchioness of), arrogance of the, 464.

PONIATOWSZI (Count), elected King of Poland, 484.

POPE, the, letter of Rhodolph to, 24.
  character of Pope Gregory N., 24.
  indignation of the, 38.
  capitulation of the, 84.
  (Alexander VI.) bribery of, 89.
  (Julius II.) the, bought over, 92.
    bull of the, deposing the King of Naples, 93.
    demands of the, as booty, 95.
    infamy of, 95.
    infamous acquisitions of, 98.
    proclamation against the, by Maximilian, 98.
    death of, 100.
  John of Medici elected as, 100.
  (Leo X.), command of the, to Luther to repair to Rome, 102.
  Maximilian's contempt for the, 103.
  bull of the, against Luther, 108.
  bull of the, burned by Luther, 109.
  death of Leo X., the, 113.
  (Adrian), accession of, as, 113.
  (Clement VII.) succeeds Adrian, 116.
    offer of pardon by the, for those who assist in enforcing the
      Council of Trent, 125.
  disgust of the, against Charles V., 129.
  (Julius III.) elected as, 130.
  indignation of the, at the toleration of the diet at Passau, 138.
  the, allows Maximilian to assume the title of emperor elect, 161.
  intolerant pride of, 161.
  (Pius IV.) elected as, 162.
  dependence on the, dispensed with, 163.
  refusal of the, to reform abuses, 165.
  attempts of the, to influence Maximilian II., 174.
  aid extended to Leopold by the, 311.
  embassage from Charles II. to the, 329.
  alarm of the, at the innovations of  Joseph II., 494.

PRAGMATIC SANCTION, the, 364.
  the, supported by various powers, 461.

PRAGUE, Ferdinand crushes the revolt in. 156.
  diet at, 158.
  seizure of, by Leopold, 221.
  archbishop of, expelled from the city, 239.
  indignation of the inhabitants of, against Frederic, 262.
  surrender of, to Ferdinand, 262.
  surrender of, to the Austrians, 443.
  suffering in, on account of the siege, 472.

PRAUNSTEIN (Lord of), reasons for the, declaring war, 80.

PRECOCITY, not a modern innovation, 108.

PRESBURG, diet at, 309.

PRESS, success of the, in diffusing intelligence, 102.

PRINTING, the influence of, beginning to be felt, 83.

PRIVILEGES confined to the nobles, 187.

PROTEST of the minority at the diet of Spires, 116.

PROTESTANTISM, spread of, in Europe, 163.
  its working for liberty, 264.

PROTESTANTS, assembly of, at Smalkalde, 121.
  refusal of the, to assist Charles V, 122.
  contributions of the, to expel the Turks, 122.
  increase of the, 123.
  the, reject the council of Trent, 124.
  ruin of the army of the, by Charles V., 126.
  party of the, predominant in Germany, 183.
  shameful quarreling among the, 190.
  union of, at Aschhausen, 194.
  opposition of the, to Matthias, 206.
  their demands on Matthias, 207.
  reasonable demands of, 211.
  forces of the, vanquished at Pritznitz, 259.
  secret combinations of the, for the rising of the, 267.
  concessions to, revoked by Ferdinand, 276.
  the, prefer the Duke of Bavaria to any of the family of Ferdinand, 279.
  loss of the, in the death of Gustavus, 296.
  pleasure of the, at the entry of Frederic into Silesia, 419.

PRUSSIA, inhabited by a pagan race, 20.
  alliance of, with Austria, 459.
  alliance of, with England, 466.
  a subsidy voted to, by England, 475.
  formidable preparations against, 470.

PRUSSIANS, the, driven from Bohemia, 450.


RAAB taken by the Turks, 147.

RAGOTSKY (Francis), leader of the rebellion, 333.
  assembles a diet, 349.
  chosen dux, or leader, 350.
  outlawed, and escape of, 351.

RATISBON, diet at, in 1629, 275.
  refusal of, to accept Ferdinand's word, 276.

REFORMATION, commencement of the, 103.

RELIGION, remarkable solicitude for the reputation of, 98.

REWARD offered for the head of Rhodolph, 30.

RHODOLPH (of Hapsburg), at the time of his father's death, 18.
  presentation of, by the emperor for baptism, 19,
  his incursions, 19.
  marriage, 19.
  excommunication of, 20.
  engaged in Prussian crusade, 20.
  a monument reared to, by the city of Strasburg, 21.
  principles of honor, 21.
  chosen chief of Uri, Schweitz, and Underwalden, 21.
  chosen mayor of Zurich, 21.
  elected Emperor of Germany, 23.
  power of, as emperor, 25.
  family of, 25.
  gathering clouds around, 28.
  address of the citizens of Vienna to, 28.
  death of, 35.

RHODOLPH II., character and court of, 48.
  ostentatious titles of, 51.
  death of, 51.

RHODOLPH III, crowned King of Hungary, 178.
  obtains the imperial throne, 180.
  bigotry of, 187.
  his infringement of the rights of the burghers, 188.
  his blows against Protestantism, 189.
  intolerance of in Bohemia, 193.
  superstition of, 200.
  his favor to Ferdinand; 204.
  demands of the Protestants on, 205.
  his encouragement of filibustering expeditions, 208.
  remarkable pliancy of, 210.
  his terror at the chance of assassination, 212.
  political reconciliation between Matthias and, 219.
  his plot with Leopold, 220.
  Rhodolph taken prisoner, 221.
  his abdication, 222.
  required to absolve his subjects from their oath of allegiance, 223.
  retains the crown of Germany, 225.
  supplication of to the congress at Rothemberg, 226.
  a congress at Nuremberg summoned by, 227.
  death of, 228.

RHODOLPH (of Bohemia), death of, 39.

RHINE, separating Basle from Rhodolph, 23.

RICHELIEU, motives influencing, 267.
  ambassadors of urge the Duke of Bavaria as candidate for the imperial
    crown, 279.

RIPPERDA (Baron), the secret agent of the Queen of Spain at Vienna, 373.
  rise and fall of, 375.
  escape of to England, 376.

ROBINSON (Sir Thomas), interview of with Maria Theresa, 454.

ROTHENBURG, congress at, 226.

RUSSIA, growing power of, 399.
  succession of the crown of, 399.
  instrumental in placing Augustus II on the throne, 400.


SARAGOSSA, battle of, 343.

SAXONY, defeat of the Elector of, 128.
  nobility of, 128.
  degradation of, 129.
  power of, 132.
  the electorate of, passes to Augustus, 137.

SCHARTLIN (General), the Protestants march under, 125.

SCHWEITZ, Rhodolph of Hapsburg chosen chief of, 21.

SCLAVONIA, marriage of the Duke of to the daughter of Rhodolph, 25.

SECKENDORF, (General), the Austrian army intrusted to, 400.
  his plans of campaign broken up by Charles, 402.
  capture of Nissa by, 402.
  condemned to the dungeon, 402.

SECRET ARTICLES of the treaty with Austria, 376.

SEGEBERG, league at, 267.

SCHMETTAU (General), the retreat of Wallis arrested by, 407.
  compelled to yield Belgrade, 409.

SELIM succeeds Solyman, 177.

SEMENDRIA, defense of, 64.
  its capture, 65.

SEMPACH, battle of, 55.

SERFS emancipated by Joseph II., 494.
  his plan for seizing Bavaria frustrated, 495.

SEVEN YEARS' WAR, termination of the, 481.

SICILY, subjugated and attached to the Neapolitan crown, 388.

SIGISMOND (Francis, Duke of Tyrol), his alliance with Rhodolph, 195.
  representation in the diet introduced by, 308.
  death of, 314.

SIGISMOND (of Bohemia), power of, 60.
  address of to the diet at Znaim, 61.
  death of, 62.

SILESIA sold to Rhodolph, 195.
  taken possession of by Frederic, 418.

SISECK, Turks routed at, 195.

SLAVATA thrown from the palace by the mob, 238.

SMALKALDE, assembly of the Protestants at, 121.

SOLYMAN (the Magnificent), victories of, 146.
  reply of to the demand made by Ferdinand, 147.
  his method of overcoming difficulties, 149.
  his attack upon Guntz, 150.
  his price of peace with Hungary, 153.
  death of from rage, 176.

SPAIN decreed by the will of Charles II. to succeed to France, 331.
  espouses the cause of Ferdinand II., 256.
  assistance furnished Leopold by, 311.
  invasion of by the British and Charles III., 354.
  treaty between Austria and, 373.
  the Austrians forbidden to trade in,  380.
  invasion of Italy by, 388.

SPANIARDS, the, routed at Catalonia, 343.

ST. BARTHOLOMEW, massacre of, 171.

ST. GOTHARD, troops stationed at, 311.
  battle of, 312.

ST. ILDEFONSO, the palace of, 370.

ST. JUSTUS, convent of, 140.

ST. PETERSBURG, rearing of the city of, 399.

STANHOPE (General), bearing of, 342.
  desperate position of, 347.

STANISLAUS LECZINSKI, career of, 382.
  daughter of married to Louis XV., 382.
  receives a pension from France, 383.
  elected King of Poland, 383.
  his marvelous journey through Germany, 384.

STAREMBERG (General), bearing of, 342.

STATE, the independence of each German, 18.

STEPHEN, crowning of the infant as king, 152.

STEPHEN BOTSKOI, indignity offered to, 197.
  his manifesto, 198.
  proclaimed King of Hungary, 199.

STETTIN captured by Gustavus Adolphus, 281.

STETZIM, diet at, 349.

STRALSUND, defense of, 269.

STRICKLAND sent to London to overthrow the cabinet, 392.

STYRIA traversed by the Turks, 311.

SWEDEN roused by Gustavus Adolphus
  against Ferdinand II., 280.
  prudent conduct of on death of Gustavus, 297.

SWEDES, sorrow of the at the death of Gustavus, 294.

SWITZERLAND, divisions of, 40.


THURN (Count) leads the mob to the king's council, 237.
  appointed commander of the Protestants, 338.
  invades Austria, 247.

TILLY (Count), the imperial troops intrusted to, 282.

TITIAN, graceful compliment of Charles V to, 144.

TRAUSNITZ, Frederic I. a prisoner at the castle of, 43.

TRANSYLVANIA, rebellion in, 333.

TREASURE abandoned by the Turks, 323.

TREATY of Passau, 136.

TRENT, Council of, 124.
  the second council at, 130.
  council at in 1562, 164.
  declarations of, 166

TRIBUNAL at Eperies, 324.

TRIESTE, arrival of troops at, 94.

TURENNE, the Palatinate devastated by, 315.
  challenged by the Elector of Palatinate, 316.

TURIN, the court of bribed, 89.

TURKS, origin and increase of the, 63.
  defeat of at Belgrade, 70.
  spread of the, 121.
  invasion of Hungary by the, 122.
  the, driven from Hungary, 122.
  treaty of Charles V. with the, 123.
  victorious in Hungary, 136.
  invasion of Europe by the, 145.
  compelled to return home, 148.
  the, retire from Hungary, 177.
  peace made by Maximilian with the, 178.
  invasion of Croatia by the, 195.
  union of the with the forces of Botskoi, 199.
  truce of Hungary with the, 203.
  the, conclude a peace with Austria, 231.
  invasion of Hungary by the, 310.
  defeat of on the field of St. Gothard, 312.
  favorable treaty secured by the, 313.
  the invasion of Sclavonia by the, 360.
  destruction of the army of the, 363.
  the, implore peace, 364.
  Orsova besieged by the, 404.
  the, routed at Einmik, 499.

TUSCANY, subjugation of by Charles VIII, 84.
  aid furnished Leopold by, 311.
  death of the Duke of, 398.

TYROL, marriage of Albert to Elizabeth,
  daughter of the Count of, 25.
  possession of obtained by Rhodolph II., 50.
  its power as the key to Italy, 313.
  death of the Duke of, 314.


ULADISLAUS obtains the throne of Hungary, 66.

ULM, rendezvous of the Protestants at, 257.

ULRIC, the Protestant Duke of restored to Wirtemberg, 122.

UNDERWALDEN, Rhodolph of Hapsburg chosen chief of, 21.

URI, Rhodolph of Hapsburg chosen chief of, 21.

UTTLEBERG, capture of the castle of by Rhodolph, 22.


VALERIUS BARTHOLOMEW, the king's confessor, 248.

VALLADOLID, court of Philip established at, 343.

VENDOME (General) joins Philip, 313.

VENICE bribed, 89.
  Maximilian bound by truce with, 95.
  aid furnished Leopold by, 311.

VICTOR ASMEDEUS, business of, 369.

VIENNA one of the strongest defenses of the empire, 26.
  the king's residence at, 27.
  address of the citizens of to Rhodolph, 28.
  siege of, 74.
  the professors of the university at avow the doctrines of Luther, 114.
  assault of, 320.
  delivered by Sobieski, 322.


WALLENSTEIN made generalissimo of all the forces, 268.
  arrogance of, 273.
  matrimonial alliances of, 274.
  his dismissal from the army demanded, 276.
  he retires from the army 278.
  his regal mode of living, 287.
  his humiliating exactions from the emperor, 289.
  superstition of, 291.
  urges Ferdinand to make peace, 297.
  traitorous offer to surrender to the Swedes, 298.
  his assassination, 299.

WALLIS (Marshal) given the command of the army, 406.
  arrested by Charles, 413.

WAR, its debit and credit account, 359.
  (see also the various campaigns.)

WATERLOO, its advantage to Austria, 404.

WENCESLAUS acknowledged king, 31.
  marriage to Judeth, 31.
  death of, 38.

WESTPHALIA, signing of the peace of, 300.
  conditions of the treaty of, 301.

WHITE MOUNTAIN, battle of, 259.

WILLIAM (son of Leopold), demand of for the government, 58.
  marriage of, 59.

WINKELREID (Arnold), heroism of, 56.

WISMAR, the naval depot of Ferdinand, 268.

WITTEMBERG, procession of the students of, 109.

WORMS, diet at in 1521, 108.
  the diet of inveighs Luther, 110.


ZEALAND, encampment of Charles Gustavus in, 306.

ZIGETH, heroic defense of by Nicholas, 176.
  noble death of the garrison of, 177.

ZINZENDORF, remark of, 393.

ZNAIM, diet at, 61.

ZURICH, Rhodolph of Hapsburg chosen chief of, 21.





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