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Title: History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 03
Author: Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881
Language: English
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By Thomas Carlyle



Burggraf Friedrich, on his first coming to Brandenburg, found but a cool
reception as Statthalter. [_"Johannistage"_ (24 June) "1412," he first
set foot in Brandenburg, with due escort, in due state; only Statthalter
(Viceregent) as yet: Pauli, i. 594, ii. 58; Stenzel, _Geschichte des
Preussischen Staats_ (Hamburg, 1830, 1851), i. 167-169.] He came as
the representative of law and rule; and there had been many helping
themselves by a ruleless life, of late. Industry was at a low ebb,
violence was rife; plunder, disorder everywhere; too much the habit for
baronial gentlemen to "live by the saddle," as they termed it, that is
by highway robbery in modern phrase.

The Towns, harried and plundered to skin and bone, were glad to see
a Statthalter, and did homage to him with all their heart. But the
Baronage or Squirearchy of the country were of another mind. These, in
the late anarchies, had set up for a kind of kings in their own right:
they had their feuds; made war, made peace, levied tolls, transit-dues;
lived much at their own discretion in these solitary countries;--rushing
out from their stone towers ("walls fourteen feet thick"), to seize
any herd of "six hundred swine," any convoy of Lubeck or Hamburg
merchant-goods, that had not contented them in passing. What were
pedlers and mechanic fellows made for, if not to be plundered when
needful? Arbitrary rule, on the part of these Noble Robber-Lords! And
then much of the Crown-Domains had gone to the chief of them,--pawned
(and the pawn-ticket lost, so to speak), or sold for what trifle
of ready money was to be had, in Jobst and Company's time. To these
gentlemen, a Statthalter coming to inquire into matters was no welcome
phenomenon. Your EDLE HERR (Noble Lord) of Putlitz, Noble Lords of
Quitzow, Rochow, Maltitz and others, supreme in their grassy solitudes
this long while, and accustomed to nothing greater than themselves in
Brandenburg, how should they obey a Statthalter?

Such was more or less the universal humor in the Squirearchy of
Brandenburg; not of good omen to Burggraf Friedrich. But the chief seat
of contumacy seemed to be among the Quitzows, Putlitzes, above spoken
of; big Squires in the district they call the Priegnitz, in the Country
of the sluggish Havel River, northwest from Berlin a fifty or forty
miles. These refused homage, very many of them; said they were
"incorporated with Bohmen;" said this and that;--much disinclined to
homage; and would not do it. Stiff surly fellows, much deficient in
discernment of what is above them and what is not:--a thick-skinned
set; bodies clad in buff leather; minds also cased in ill habits of long

Friedrich was very patient with them; hoped to prevail by gentle
methods. He "invited them to dinner;" "had them often at dinner for a
year or more:" but could make no progress in that way. "Who is this we
have got for a Governor?" said the noble lords privately to each other:
"A NURNBERGER TAND (Nurnberg Plaything,--wooden image, such as they
make at Nurnberg)," said they, grinning, in a thick-skinned way: "If it
rained Burggraves all the year round, none of them would come to luck
in this Country;"--and continued their feuds, toll-levyings, plunderings
and other contumacies. Seeing matters come to this pass after waiting
above a year, Burggraf Friedrich gathered his Frankish men-at-arms;
quietly made league with the neighboring Potentates, Thuringen and
others; got some munitions, some artillery together--especially one huge
gun, the biggest ever seen, "a twenty-four pounder" no less; to which
the peasants, dragging her with difficulty through the clayey roads,
gave the name of FAULE GRETE (Lazy, or Heavy Peg); a remarkable piece
of ordnance. Lazy Peg he had got from the Landgraf of Thuringen, on loan
merely; but he turned her to excellent account of his own. I have often
inquired after Lazy Peg's fate in subsequent times; but could never
learn anything distinct:--the German Dryasdust is a dull dog, and seldom
carries anything human in those big wallets of his!--

Equipped in this way, Burggraf Friedrich (he was not yet Kurfurst,
only coming to be) marches for the Havel Country (early days of 1414);
[Michaelis, i. 287; Stenzel, i. 168 (where, contrary to wont, is an
insignificant error or two). Pauli (ii. 58) is, as usual, lost in
water.] makes his appearance before Quitzow's strong-house of Friesack,
walls fourteen feet thick: "You Dietrich von Quitzow, are you prepared
to live as a peaceable subject henceforth: to do homage to the Laws and
me?"--"Never!" answered Quitzow, and pulled up his drawbridge. Whereupon
Heavy Peg opened upon him, Heavy Peg and other guns; and, in some
eight-and-forty hours, shook Quitzow's impregnable Friesack about his
ears. This was in the month of February, 1414, day not given: Friesack
was the name of the impregnable Castle (still discoverable in our
time); and it ought to be memorable and venerable to every Prussian man.
Burggraf Friedrich VI., not yet quite become Kurfurst Friedrich I.,
but in a year's space to become so, he in person was the beneficent
operator; Heavy Peg, and steady Human Insight, these were clearly the
chief implements.

Quitzow being settled,--for the country is in military occupation of
Friedrich and his allies, and except in some stone castle a man has no
chance,--straightway Putlitz or another mutineer, with his drawbridge
up, was battered to pieces, and his drawbridge brought slamming down.
After this manner, in an incredibly short period, mutiny was quenched;
and it became apparent to Noble Lords, and to all men, that here at
length was a man come who would have the Laws obeyed again, and could
and would keep mutiny down.

Friedrich showed no cruelty; far the contrary. Your mutiny once ended,
and a little repented of, he is ready to be your gracious Prince again:
Fair-play and the social wine-cup, or inexorable war and Lazy Peg, it
is at your discretion which. Brandenburg submitted; hardly ever rebelled
more. Brandenburg, under the wise Kurfurst it has got, begins in a small
degree to be cosmic again, or of the domain of the gods; ceases to be
chaotic and a mere cockpit of the devils. There is no doubt but this
Friedrich also, like his ancestor Friedrich III., the First Hereditary
Burggraf, was an excellent citizen of his country: a man conspicuously
important in all German business in his time. A man setting up for no
particular magnanimity, ability or heroism, but unconsciously exhibiting
a good deal; which by degrees gained universal recognition. He did
not shine much as Reichs-Generalissimo, under Kaiser Sigismund, in his
expeditions against Zisca; on the contrary, he presided over huge defeat
and rout, once and again, in that capacity; and indeed had represented
in vain that, with such a species of militia, victory was impossible. He
represented and again represented, to no purpose; whereupon he
declined the office farther; in which others fared no better. [Hormayr,
_OEsterreichischer Plutarch_ vii. 109-158, ? Zisca.]

The offer to be Kaiser was made him in his old days; but he wisely
declined that too. It was in Brandenburg, by what he silently founded
there, that he did his chief benefit to Germany and mankind. He
understood the noble art of governing men; had in him the justice,
clearness, valor and patience needed for that. A man of sterling
probity, for one thing. Which indeed is the first requisite in said
art:--if you will have your laws obeyed without mutiny, see well that
they be pieces of God Almighty's Law: otherwise all the artillery in the
world will not keep down mutiny.

Friedrich "travelled much over Brandenburg;" looking into everything
with his own eyes;--making, I can well fancy, innumerable crooked
things straight. Reducing more and more that famishing dog-kennel of
a Brandenburg into a fruitful arable field. His portraits represent a
square headed, mild-looking solid gentleman, with a certain twinkle
of mirth in the serious eyes of him. Except in those Hussite wars for
Kaiser Sigismund and the Reich, in which no man could prosper, he may be
defined as constantly prosperous. To Brandenburg he was, very literally,
the blessing of blessings; redemption out of death into life. In
the ruins of that old Friesack Castle, battered down by Heavy Peg,
Antiquarian Science (if it had any eyes) might look for the tap-root of
the Prussian Nation, and the beginning of all that Brandenburg has since
grown to under the sun.

Friedrich, in one capacity or another, presided over Brandenburg near
thirty years. He came thither first of all in 1412; was not completely
Kurfurst in his own right till 1415; nor publicly installed, "with
100,000 looking on from the roofs and windows," in Constance yonder,
till 1417,--age then some forty-five. His Brandenburg residence, when
he happened to have time for residing or sitting still, was Tangermunde,
the Castle built by Kaiser Karl IV. He died there, 21st September, 1440;
laden tolerably with years, and still better with memories of hard work
done. Rentsch guesses by good inference he was born about 1372. As I
count, he is seventh in descent from that Conrad, Burggraf Conrad I.,
Cadet of Hohenzollern, who came down from the Rauhe Alp, seeking service
with Kaiser Redbeard, above two centuries ago: Conrad's generation and
six others had vanished successively from the world-theatre in that
ever-mysterious manner, and left the stage clear, when Burggraf
Friedrich the Sixth came to be First Elector. Let three centuries, let
twelve generations farther come and pass, and there will be another
still more notable Friedrich,--our little Fritz, destined to be Third
King of Prussia, officially named Friedrich II., and popularly Frederick
the Great. This First Elector is his lineal ancestor, twelve times
removed. [Rentsch, pp. 349-372; Hubner, t. 176.]


Eleven successive Kurfursts followed Friedrich in Brandenburg. Of whom
and their births, deaths, wars, marriages, negotiations and continual
multitudinous stream of smaller or greater adventures, much has been
written, of a dreary confused nature; next to nothing of which ought to
be repeated here. Some list of their Names, with what rememberable human
feature or event (if any) still speaks to us in them, we must try to
give. Their Names, well dated, with any actions, incidents, or phases
of life, which may in this way get to adhere to them in the reader's
memory, the reader can insert, each at its right place, in the grand
Tide of European Events, or in such Picture as the reader may have
of that. Thereby with diligence he may produce for himself some faint
twilight notion of the Flight of Time in remote Brandenburg,--convince
himself that remote Brandenburg was present all along, alive after its
sort, and assisting, dumbly or otherwise, in the great World-Drama as
that went on.

We have to say in general, the history of Brandenburg under the
Hohenzollerns has very little in it to excite a vulgar curiosity,
though perhaps a great deal to interest an intelligent one. Had it found
treatment duly intelligent;--which, however, how could it, lucky
beyond its neighbors, hope to do! Commonplace Dryasdust, and voluminous
Stupidity, not worse here than elsewhere, play their Part.

It is the history of a State, or Social Vitality, growing from small
to great; steadily growing henceforth under guidance: and the contrast
between guidance and no-guidance, or mis-guidance, in such matters, is
again impressively illustrated there. This we see well to be the fact;
and the details of this would be of moment, were they given us: but they
are not;--how could voluminous Dryasdust give them? Then, on the other
hand, the Phenomenon is, for a long while, on so small a scale, wholly
without importance in European politics and affairs, the commonplace
Historian, writing of it on a large scale, becomes unreadable and
intolerable. Witness grandiloquent Pauli our fatal friend, with his
Eight watery Quartos; which gods and men, unless driven by necessity,
have learned to avoid! [Dr. Carl Friedrich Pauli, _Allgemeine
Preussische Staats-Geschichte_, often enough cited here.] The Phenomenon
of Brandenburg is small, remote; and the essential particulars, too
delicate for the eye of Dryasdust, are mostly wanting, drowned deep in
details of the unessential. So that we are well content, my readers and
I, to keep remote from it on this occasion.

On one other point I must give the reader warning. A rock of offence on
which if he heedlessly strike, I reckon he will split; at least no help
of mine can benefit him till he be got off again. Alas, offences must
come; and must stand, like rocks of offence, to the shipwreck of many!
Modern Dryasdust, interpreting the mysterious ways of Divine Providence
in this Universe, or what he calls writing History, has done uncountable
havoc upon the best interests of mankind. Hapless godless dullard that
he is; driven and driving on courses that lead only downward, for him
as for us! But one could forgive him all things, compared with this
doctrine of devils which he has contrived to get established, pretty
generally, among his unfortunate fellow-creatures for the time!--I must
insert the following quotation, readers guess from what author:--

"In an impudent Pamphlet, forged by I know not whom, and published in
1766, under the title of _Matinees du Roi de Prusse,_ purporting to
be 'Morning Conversations' of Frederick the Great with his Nephew the
Heir-Apparent, every line of which betrays itself as false and spurious
to a reader who has made any direct or effectual study of Frederick
or his manners or affairs,--it is set forth, in the way of exordium to
these pretended royal confessions, that _'notre maison,'_ our Family
of Hohenzollern, ever since the first origin of it among the Swabian
mountains, or its first descent therefrom into the Castle and Imperial
Wardenship of Nurnberg, some six hundred years ago or more, has
consistently travelled one road, and this a very notable one. 'We, as I
myself the royal Frederick still do, have all along proceeded,' namely,
'in the way of adroit Machiavelism, as skilful gamblers in this world's
business, ardent gatherers of this world's goods; and in brief as devout
worshippers of Beelzebub, the grand regulator and rewarder of mortals
here below. Which creed we, the Hohenzollerns, have found, and I still
find, to be the true one; learn it you, my prudent Nephew, and let all
men learn it. By holding steadily to that, and working late and early in
such spirit, we are come to what you now see;--and shall advance still
farther, if it please Beelzebub, who is generally kind to those that
serve him well.' Such is the doctrine of this impudent Pamphlet;
'original Manuscripts' of which are still purchased by simple
persons,--who have then nobly offered them to me, thrice over, gratis
or nearly so, as a priceless curiosity. A new printed edition of which,
probably the fifth, has appeared within few years. Simple persons,
consider it a curious and interesting Document; rather ambiguous in
origin perhaps, but probably authentic in substance, and throwing
unexpected light on the character of Frederick whom men call the Great.
In which new light they are willing a meritorious Editor should share.

"Who wrote that Pamphlet I know not, and am in no condition to guess.
A certain snappish vivacity (very unlike the style of Frederick whom it
personates); a wearisome grimacing, gesticulating malice and smartness,
approaching or reaching the sad dignity of what is called 'wit' in
modern times; in general the rottenness of matter, and the epigrammatic
unquiet graciosity of manner in this thing, and its elaborately INhuman
turn both of expression and of thought, are visible characteristics
of it. Thought, we said,--if thought it can be called: thought all
hamstrung, shrivelled by inveterate rheumatism, on the part of the poor
ill-thriven thinker; nay tied (so to speak, for he is of epigrammatic
turn withal), as by cross ropes, right shoulder to left foot; and forced
to advance, hobbling and jerking along, in that sad guise: not in the
way of walk, but of saltation and dance; and this towards a false not
a true aim, rather no-whither than some-whither:--Here were features
leading one to think of an illustrious Prince de Ligne as perhaps
concerned in the affair. The Bibliographical Dictionaries, producing no
evidence, name quite another person, or series of persons, [A certain
'N. de Bonneville' (afterwards a Revolutionary spiritual-mountebank, for
some time) is now the favorite Name;--proves, on investigation, to be
an impossible one. Barbier _(Dictionnaire des Anonymes),_ in a helpless
doubting manner, gives still others.] highly unmemorable otherwise.
Whereupon you proceed to said other person's acknowledged WORKS (as they
are called); and find there a style bearing no resemblance whatever; and
are left in a dubious state, if it were of any moment. In the absence
of proof, I am unwilling to charge his Highness de Ligne with such
an action; and indeed am little careful to be acquainted with the
individual who did it, who could and would do it. A Prince of Coxcombs
I can discern him to have been; capable of shining in the eyes of
insincere foolish persons, and of doing detriment to them, not benefit;
a man without reverence for truth or human excellence; not knowing in
fact what is true from what is false, what is excellent from what is
sham-excellent and at the top of the mode; an apparently polite
and knowing man, but intrinsically an impudent, dark and merely
modish-insolent man;--who, if he fell in with Rhadamanthus on his
travels, would not escape a horse-whipping, Him we will willingly leave
to that beneficial chance, which indeed seems a certain one sooner or
later; and address ourselves to consider the theory itself, and the
facts it pretends to be grounded on.

"As to the theory, I must needs say, nothing can be falser, more
heretical or more damnable. My own poor opinion, and deep conviction on
that subject is well known, this long while. And, in fact, the summary
of all I have believed, and have been trying as I could to teach mankind
to believe again, is even that same opinion and conviction, applied to
all provinces of things. Alas, in this his sad theory about the world,
our poor impudent Pamphleteer is by no means singular at present; nay
rather he has in a manner the whole practical part of mankind on his
side just now; the more is the pity for us all!--

"It is very certain, if Beelzebub made this world, our Pamphleteer, and
the huge portion of mankind that follow him, are right. But if God made
the world; and only leads Beelzebub, as some ugly muzzled bear is led, a
longer or shorter temporary DANCE in this divine world, and always draws
him home again, and peels the unjust gains off him, and ducks him in a
certain hot Lake, with sure intent to lodge him there to all eternity at
last,--then our Pamphleteer, and the huge portion of mankind that follow
him, are wrong.

"More I will not say; being indeed quite tired of SPEAKING on that
subject. Not a subject which it concerns me to speak of; much as it
concerns me, and all men, to know the truth of it, and silently in every
hour and moment to do said truth. As indeed the sacred voice of their
own soul, if they listen, will conclusively admonish all men; and truly
if IT do not, there will be little use in my logic to them. For my own
share, I want no trade with men who need to be convinced of that fact.
If I am in their premises, and discover such a thing of them, I will
quit their premises; if they are in mine, I will, as old Samuel advised,
count my spoons. Ingenious gentlemen who believe that Beelzebub made
this world, are not a class of gentlemen I can get profit from. Let them
keep at a distance, lest mischief fall out between us. They are of the
set deserving to be called--and this not in the way of profane swearing,
but of solemn wrath and pity, I say of virtuous anger and inexorable
reprobation--the damned set. For, in very deed, they are doomed and
damned, by Nature's oldest Act of Parliament, they, and whatsoever thing
they do or say or think; unless they can escape from that devil-element.
Which I still hope they may!--

"But with regard to the facts themselves, 'DE NOTRE MAISON,' I take
leave to say, they too are without basis of truth. They are not so false
as the theory, because nothing can in falsity quite equal that. 'NOTRE
MAISON,' this Pamphleteer may learn, if he please to make study and
inquiry before speaking, did not rise by worship of Beelzebub at all in
this world; but by a quite opposite line of conduct. It rose, in fact,
by the course which all, except fools, stockjobber stags, cheating
gamblers, forging Pamphleteers and other temporary creatures of the
damned sort, have found from of old to be the one way of permanently
rising: by steady service, namely, of the Opposite of Beelzebub.
By conforming to the Laws of this Universe; instead of trying by
pettifogging to evade and profitably contradict them. The Hohenzollerns
too have a History still articulate to the human mind, if you search
sufficiently; and this is what, even with some emphasis, it will teach
us concerning their adventures, and achievements of success in the field
of life. Resist the Devil, good reader, and he will flee from you!"--So
ends our indignant friend.

How the Hohenzollerns got their big Territories, and came to what they
are in the world, will be seen. Probably they were not, any of them,
paragons of virtue. They did not walk in altogether speckless Sunday
pumps, or much clear-starched into consciousness of the moral sublime;
but in rugged practical boots, and by such roads as there were.
Concerning their moralities, and conformities to the Laws of the Road
and of the Universe, there will much remain to be argued by pamphleteers
and others. Men will have their opinion, Men of more wisdom and of less;
Apes by the Dead-Sea also will have theirs. But what man that believed
in such a Universe as that of this Dead-Sea Pamphleteer could consent
to live in it at all? Who that believed in such a Universe, and did
not design to live like a Papin's-Digester, or PORCUS EPICURI, in
an extremely ugly manner in it, could avoid one of two things: Going
rapidly into Bedlam, or else blowing his brains out? "It will not do for
me at any rate, this infinite Dog-house; not for me, ye Dryasdusts, and
omnipotent Dog-monsters and Mud-gods, whoever you are. One honorable
thing I can do: take leave of you and your Dog-establishment. Enough!"--


The First Friedrich's successor was a younger son, Friedrich II.; who
lasted till 1471, above thirty years; and proved likewise a notable
manager and governor. Very capable to assert himself, and his just
rights, in this world. He was but Twenty-seven at his accession; but the
Berlin Burghers, attempting to take some liberties with him, found he
was old enough. He got the name IRONTEETH. Friedrich FERRATIS DENTIBUS,
from his decisive ways then and afterwards. He had his share of
brabbling with intricate litigant neighbors; quarrels now and then not
to be settled without strokes. His worst war was with Pommern,--just
claims disputed there, and much confused bickering, sieging and
harassing in consequence: of which quarrel we must speak anon. It was he
who first built the conspicuous Schloss or Palace at Berlin, having got
the ground for it (same ground still covered by the actual fine Edifice,
which is a second edition of Friedrich's) from the repentant Burghers;
and took up his chief residence there. [1442-1431 (Nicolari, i. 81).]

But his principal achievement in Brandenburg History is his recovery of
the Province called the Neumark to that Electorate. In the thriftless
Sigismund times, the Neumark had been pledged, had been sold; Teutsch
Ritterdom, to whose dominions it lay contiguous, had purchased it with
money down. The Teutsch Ritters were fallen moneyless enough since
then; they offered to pledge the Neumark to Friedrich, who accepted, and
advanced the sum: after a while the Teutsch Ritters, for a small
farther sum, agreed to sell Neumark. [Michaelis, i. 301.] Into which
Transaction, with its dates and circumstances, let us cast one
glance, for our behoof afterwards. The Teutsch Ritters were an opulent
domineering Body in Sigismund's early time; but they are now come well
down in Friedrich II.'s! And are coming ever lower. Sinking steadily,
or with desperate attempts to rise, which only increase the speed
downwards, ever since that fatal Tannenberg Business, 15th July, 1410.
Here is the sad progress of their descent to the bottom; divided into
three stages or periods:--

"PERIOD FIRST is of Thirty years: 1410-1440. A peace with Poland soon
followed that Defeat of Tannenberg; humiliating peace, with mulct in
money, and slightly in territory, attached to it. Which again was soon
followed by war, and ever again; each new peace more humiliating than
its foregoer. Teutsch Order is steadily sinking,--into debt, among other
things; driven to severe finance-measures (ultimately even to 'debase
its coin'), which produce irritation enough. Poland is gradually edging
itself into the territories and the interior troubles of Preussen;
prefatory to greater operations that lie ahead there.

"SECOND PERIOD, of Fourteen years. So it had gone on, from bad to worse,
till 1440; when the general population, through its Heads, the Landed
Gentry and the Towns, wearied out with fiscal and other oppressions from
its domineering Ritterdom brought now to such a pinch, began everywhere
to stir themselves into vocal complaint. Complaint emphatic enough:
'Where will you find a man that has not suffered injury in his rights,
perhaps in his person? Our friends they have invited as guests, and
under show of hospitality have murdered them. Men, for the sake of their
beautiful wives, have been thrown into the river like dogs,'--and enough
of the like sort. [Voigt, vii. 747; quoting evidently, not an express
manifesto, but one manufactured by the old Chroniclers.] No want of
complaint, nor of complainants: Town of Thorn, Town of Dantzig, Kulm,
all manner of Towns and Baronages, proceeded now to form a BUND, or
general Covenant for complaining; to repugn, in hotter and hotter
form, against a domineering Ritterdom with back so broken; in fine,
to colleague with Poland,--what was most ominous of all. Baronage,
Burgherage, they were German mostly by blood, and by culture were wholly
German; but preferred Poland to a Teutsch Ritterdom of that nature.
Nothing but brabblings, scufflings, objurgations; a great outbreak
ripening itself. Teutsch Ritterdom has to hire soldiers; no money to
pay them. It was in these sad years that the Teutsch Ritterdom, fallen
moneyless, offered to pledge the Neumark to our Kurfurst; 1444, that
operation was consummated. [Pauli, ii. 187,--does not name the sum.] All
this goes on, in hotter and hotter form, for ten years longer.

"PERIOD THIRD begins, early in 1454, with an important special
catastrophe; and ends, in the Thirteenth year after, with a still
more important universal one of the same nature. Prussian BUND, or
Anti-Oppression Covenant of the Towns and Landed Gentry, rising in
temperature for fourteen years at this rate, reached at last the
igniting point, and burst into fire. February 4th, 1454, the Town of
Thorn, darling first-child of Teutsch Ritterdom,--child 223 years old at
this time, ['Founded 1231, as a wooden Burg, just across the river, on
the Heathen side, mainly round the stem of an immense old Oak that grew
handy there,--Seven Barges always on the river (Weichsel), to fly to
our own side if quite overwhelmed' _Oak and Seven Barges_ is still the
Town's-Arms of Thorn. See Kohler, _Munzbelustigungen,_xxii. 107; quoting
Dusburg (a Priest of the Order) and his old _Chronica Terrae Prusciae,_
written in 1326.] and grown very big, and now very angry,--suddenly took
its old parent by the throat, so to speak, and hurled him out to the
dogs; to the extraneous Polacks first of all. Town of Thorn, namely,
sent that day its 'Letter of Renunciation' to the Hochmeister over
at Marienburg; seized in a day or two more the Hochmeister's Official
Envoys, Dignitaries of the Order; led them through the streets, amid
universal storm of execrations, hootings and unclean projectiles,
straight, to jail; and besieged the Hochmeister's Burg (BASTILLE of
Thorn, with a few Ritters in it), all the artillery and all the throats
and hearts of the place raging deliriously upon it. So that the poor
Bitters, who had no chance in resisting, were in few days obliged to
surrender; [8th February, 1454, says Voigt (viii. 361); 16th, says
Kohler _ (Munzbelustigungen,_ xxii. 110).] had to come out in
bare jerkin; and Thorn ignominiously dismissed them into space
forevermore,--with actual 'kicks,' I have read in some Books, though
others veil that sad feature. Thorn threw out its old parent in this
manner; swore fealty to the King of Poland; and invited other Towns and
Knightages to follow the example. To which all were willing, wherever

"War hereupon, which blazed up over Preussen at large,--Prussian
Covenant and King of Poland VERSUS Teutsch Ritterdom,--and lasted into
the thirteenth year, before it could go out again; out by lack of fuel
mainly. One of the fellest wars on record, especially for burning and
ruining; above '300,000 fighting-men' are calculated to have perished in
it; and of towns, villages, farmsteads, a cipher which makes the fancy,
as it were, black and ashy altogether. Ritterdom showed no lack of
fighting energy; but that could not save it, in the pass things were got
to. Enormous lack of wisdom, of reality and human veracity, there had
long been; and the hour was now come. Finance went out, to the last
coin. Large mercenary armies all along; and in the end not the color
of money to pay them with; mercenaries became desperate; 'besieged the
Hochmeister and his Ritters in Marienburg;'--finally sold the Country
they held; formally made it over to the King of Poland, to get their pay
out of it. Hochmeister had to see such things, and say little. Peace, or
extinction for want of fuel, came in the year 1466. Poland got to itself
the whole of that fine German Country, henceforth called 'WEST Preussen'
to distinguish it, which goes from the left bank of the Weichsel to the
borders of Brandenburg and Neumark;--would have got Neumark too, had not
Kurfurst Friedrich been there to save it. The Teutsch Order had to go
across the Weichsel, ignominiously driven; to content itself with 'EAST
Preussen,' the Konigsberg-Memel country, and even to do homage to Poland
for that. Which latter was the bitterest clause of all: but it could
not be helped, more than the others. In this manner did its revolted
children fling out Teutsch Ritterdom ignominiously to the dogs, to the
Polacks, first of all,--Thorn, the eldest child, leading off or setting
the example."

And so the Teutsch Ritters are sunk beyond retrieval; and West Preussen,
called subsequently "Royal Preussen," NOT having homage to pay as the
"Ducal" or East Preussen had, is German no longer, but Polish, Sclavic;
not prospering by the change. [What Thorn had sunk to, out of its palmy
state, see in Nanke's _Wanderungen durch Preussen_ (Hamburg & Altona,
1800), ii. 177-200:--a pleasant little Rook, treating mainly of Natural
History; but drawing you, by its innocent simplicity and geniality, to
read with thanks whatever is in it.] And all that fine German country,
reduced to rebel against its unwise parent, was cut away by the Polish
sword, and remained with Poland, which did not prove very wise either;
till--till, in the Year 1773, it was cut back by the German sword! All
readers have heard of the Partition of Poland: but of the Partition of
Preussen, 307 years before, all have not heard.

It was in the second year of that final tribulation, marked above as
Period Third, that the Teutsch Ritters, famishing for money, completed
the Neumark transaction with Kurfurst Friedrich; Neumark, already pawned
to him ten years before, they in 1455, for a small farther sum, agreed
to sell; and he, long carefully steering towards such an issue, and
dexterously keeping out of the main broil, failed not to buy. Friedrich
could thenceforth, on his own score, protect the Neumark; keep up an
invisible but impenetrable wall between it and the neighboring anarchic
conflagrations of thirteen years; and the Neumark has ever since
remained with Brandenburg, its original owner.

As to Friedrich's Pomeranian quarrel, this is the figure of it. Here
is a scene from Rentsch, which falls out in Friedrich's time; and which
brought much battling and broiling to him and his. Symbolical withal
of much that befell in Brandenburg, from first to last. Under
the Hohenzollerns as before, Brandenburg grew by aggregation, by
assimilation; and we see here how difficult the process often was.

Pommern (POMERANIA), long Wendish, but peaceably so since the time
of Albert the Bear, and growing ever more German, had, in good part,
according to Friedrich's notion, if there were force in human Treaties
and Imperial Laws, fallen fairly to Brandenburg,--that is to say, the
half of it, Stettin-Pommern had fairly fallen,--in the year 1464, when
Duke Otto of Stettin, the last Wendish Duke, died without heirs. In that
case by many bargains, some with bloody crowns, it had been settled, If
the Wendish Dukes died out, the country was to fall to Brandenburg;--and
here they were dead. "At Duke Otto's burial, accordingly, in the High
Church of Stettin, when the coffin was lowered into its place, the
Stettin Burgermeister, Albrecht Glinde, took sword and helmet, and threw
the same into the grave, in token that the Line was extinct. But Franz
von Eichsted," apparently another Burgher instructed for the nonce,
"jumped into the grave, and picked them out again; alleging, No, the
Dukes of WOLGAST-Pommern were of kin; these tokens we must send to his
Grace at Wolgast, with offer of our homage, said Franz von Eichsted."
[Rentsch, p. 110 (whose printer has put his date awry); Stenzel (i. 233)
calls the man "LORENZ Eikstetten, a resolute Gentleman."]--And sent they
were, and accepted by his Grace. And perhaps half-a-score of bargains,
with bloody crowns to some of them; and yet other chances, and
centuries, with the extinction of new Lines,--had to supervene, before
even Stettin-Pommern, and that in no complete state, could be got.
[1648, by Treaty of Westphalia.] As to Pommern at large, Pommern not
denied to be due, after such extinction and re-extinction of native
Ducal Lines, did not fall home for centuries more; and what struggles
and inextricable armed-litigations there were for it, readers of
Brandenburg-History too wearisomely know. The process of assimilation
not the least of an easy one!--

This Friedrich was second son: his Father's outlook for him had, at
first, been towards a Polish Princess and the crown of Poland, which
was not then so elective as afterwards: and with such view his early
breeding had been chiefly in Poland; Johann, the eldest son and
heir-apparent, helping his Father at home in the mean while. But these
Polish outlooks went to nothing, the young Princess having died; so that
Friedrich came home; possessed merely of the Polish language, and of
what talents the gods had given him, which were considerable. And now,
in the mean while, Johann, who at one time promised well in
practical life, had taken to Alchemy; and was busy with crucibles and
speculations, to a degree that seemed questionable. Father Friedrich,
therefore, had to interfere, and deal with this "Johann the Alchemist"
(JOHANNES ALCHEMISTA, so the Books still name him); who loyally
renounced the Electorship, at his Father's bidding, in favor of
Friedrich; accepted Baireuth (better half of the Culmbach Territory) for
apanage; and there peacefully distilled and sublimated at discretion;
the government there being an easier task, and fitter for a soft
speculative Herr. A third Brother, Albert by name, got Anspach, on
the Father's decease; very capable to do any fighting there might be
occasion for, in Culmbach.

As to the Burggrafship, it was now done, all but the Title. The First
Friedrich, once he was got to be Elector, wisely parted with it. The
First Friedrich found his Electorship had dreadfully real duties for
him, and that this of the Burggrafship had fallen mostly obsolete; so he
sold it to the Nurnbergers for a round sum: only the Principalities and
Territories are retained in that quarter. About which too, and their
feudal duties, boundaries and tolls, with a jealous litigious Nurnberg
for neighbor, there at length came quarrelling enough. But Albert the
third Brother, over at Anspach, took charge of all that; and nothing of
it fell in Johann's way.

The good Alchemist died,--performed his last sublimation, poor man,--six
or seven years before his Brother Friedrich; age then sixty-three. [14th
November, 1464.] Friedrich, with his Iron Teeth and faculties, only held
out till fifty-eight,--10th February, 1471. The manner of his end was
peculiar. In that War with Pommern, he sat besieging a Pomeranian town,
Uckermunde the name of it: when at dinner one day, a cannon-ball plunged
down upon the table, [Michaelis, i. 303.] with such a crash as we can
fancy;--which greatly confused the nerves of Friedrich; much injured his
hearing, and even his memory thenceforth. In a few months afterwards he
resigned, in favor of his Successor; retired to Plassenburg, and there
died in about a year more.


Neither Friedrich nor Johann left other than daughters: so that the
united Heritage, Brandenburg and Culmbach both, came now to the third
Brother, Albert; who has been in Culmbath these many years already. A
tall, fiery, tough old gentleman, of formidable talent for fighting,
who was called the "ACHILLES OF GERMANY" in his day; being then a
very blazing far-seen character, dim as he has now grown. [Born 1414;
Kurfurst, 1471-1486.] This Albert Achilles was the Third Elector;
Ancestor he of all the Brandenburg and Culmbach Hohenzollern Princes
that have since figured in the world. After him there is no break
or shift in the succession, down to the little Friedrich now
born;--Friedrich the old Grandfather, First KING, was the Twelfth

We have to say, they followed generally in their Ancestors' steps, and
had success of the like kind, more or less; Hohenzollerns all of them,
by character and behavior as well as by descent. No lack of quiet
energy, of thrift, sound sense. There was likewise solid fair-play in
general, no founding of yourself on ground that will not carry;--and
there was instant, gentle but inexorable, crushing of mutiny, if it
showed itself; which, after the Second Elector, or at most the Third, it
had altogether ceased to do. Young Friedrich II., upon whom those
Berlin Burghers had tried to close their gates, till he should sign some
"Capitulation" to their mind, got from them, and not quite in ill-humor,
that name IRONTEETH:--"Not the least a Nose-of-wax, this one! No use
trying here, then!"--which, with the humor attached to it, is itself
symbolical of Friedrich and these Hohenzollern Sovereigns. Albert, his
Brother, had plenty of fighting in his time: but it was in the Nurnberg
and other distant regions; no fighting, or hardly any, needed in
Brandenburg henceforth.

With Nurnberg, and the Ex-Burggrafship there, now when a new generation
began to tug at the loose clauses of that Bargain with Friedrich I., and
all Free-Towns were going high upon their privileges, Albert had at one
time much trouble, and at length actual furious War;--other Free-Towns
countenancing and assisting Nurnberg in the affair; numerous petty
Princes, feudal Lords of the vicinity, doing the like by Albert. Twenty
years ago, all this; and it did not last, so furious was it. "Eight
victories," they count on Albert's part,--furious successful skirmishes,
call them;--in one of which, I remember, Albert plunged in alone,
his Ritters being rather shy; and laid about him hugely, hanging by
a standard he had taken, till his life was nearly beaten out. [1449
(Rentsch, p. 399).] Eight victories; and also one defeat, wherein Albert
got captured, and had to ransom himself. The captor was one Kunz of
Kauffungen, the Nurnberg hired General at the time: a man known to some
readers for his Stealing of the Saxon Princes (PRINZENRAUB, they call
it); a feat which cost Kunz his head. [Carlyle's _Miscellanies_ (London,
1869), vi. ? PRINZENRAUB.] Albert, however, prevailed in the end, as he
was apt to do; and got his Nurnbergers fixed to clauses satisfactory to

In his early days he had fought against Poles, Bohemians and others, as
Imperial general. He was much concerned, all along, in those abstruse
armed-litigations of the Austrian House with its dependencies; and
diligently helped the Kaiser,--Friedrich III., rather a weakish, but
an eager and greedy Kaiser,--through most of them. That inextricable
Hungarian-Bohemian-Polish DONNYBROOK (so we may call it) which Austria
had on hand, one of Sigismund's bequests to Austria; distressingly
tumultuous Donnybrook, which goes from 1440 to 1471, fighting in a
fierce confused manner;--the Anti-Turk Hunniades, the Anti-Austrian
Corvinus, the royal Majesties George Podiebrad, Ladislaus POSTHUMUS,
Ludwig OHNE HAUT (Ludwig NO-SKIN), and other Ludwigs, Ladislauses and
Vladislauses, striking and getting struck at such a rate:--Albert was
generally what we may call chief-constable in all that; giving a knock
here and then one there, in the Kaiser's name. [Hormayr, ii. 138, 140
(? HUNYADY CORVIN); Rentsch, pp. 389-422; Michaelis, i. 304-313.] Almost
from boyhood, he had learned soldiering, which he had never afterwards
leisure to forget. Great store of fighting he had,--say half a century
of it, off and on, during the seventy and odd years he lasted in this
world. With the Donnybrook we spoke of; with the Nurnbergers; with the
Dukes of Bavaria (endless bickerings with these Dukes, Ludwig BEARDY,
Ludwig SUPERBUS, Ludwig GIBBOSUS or Hunchback, against them and about
them, on his own and the Kaiser's score); also with the French, already
clutching at Lorraine; also with Charles the Rash of Burgundy;--lastly
with the Bishop of Bamberg, who got him excommunicated and would not
bury the dead.

Kurfurst Albert's Letter on this last emergency, to his Viceregent in
Culmbach, is a famed Piece still extant (date 1481); [Rentsch, p. 409.]
and his plan in such emergency, is a simple and likely one: "Carry the
dead bodies to the Parson's house; let him see whether he will not bury
them by and by!--One must fence off the Devil by the Holy Cross,"
says Albert,--appeal to Heaven with what honest mother-wit Heaven has
vouchsafed one, means Albert. "These fellows" (the Priests), continues
he, "would fain have the temporal sword as well as the spiritual. Had
God wished there should be only one sword, he could have contrived that
as well as the two. He surely did not want for intellect _(Er war gar
ein weiser Mann),"_--want of intellect it clearly was not!--In short,
they had to bury the dead, and do reason; and Albert hustled himself
well clear of this broil, as he had done of many.

Battle enough, poor man, with steel and other weapons:--and we see
he did it with sharp insight, good forecast; now and then in a wildly
leonine or AQUILINE manner. A tall hook-nosed man, of lean, sharp,
rather taciturn aspect; nose and look are very aquiline; and there is
a cloudy sorrow in those old eyes, which seems capable of sudden
effulgence to a dangerous extent. He was a considerable, diplomatist
too: very great with the Kaiser, Old Friedrich III. (Max's father,
Charles V.'s Great-Grandfather); [How admirable Albert is, not to say
"almost divine," to the Kaiser's then Secretary, oily-mouthed AEneas
Sylvius, afterwards Pope, Rentsch can testify (pp. 401, 586);
quoting AEneas's eulogies and gossipries (_Historia Rerum Frederici
Imperatoris,_ I conclude, though no book is named). Oily diligent
AEneas, in his own young years and in Albert's prime, had of course seen
much of this "miracle" of Arms and Art,--"miracle" and "almost divine,"
so to speak.] and managed many things for him. Managed to get the
thrice-lovely Heiress of the Netherlands and Burgundy, Daughter of that
Charles the Rash, with her Seventeen Provinces, for Max, [1477]--who was
thought thereupon by everybody to be the luckiest man alive; though the
issue contradicted it before long.

Kurfurst Albert died in 1486, March 11, aged seventy-two. It was some
months after Bosworth Fight, where our Crooked Richard got his quietus
here in England and brought the Wars of the Roses to their finale:--a
little chubby Boy, the son of poor parents at Eisleben in Saxony, Martin
Luther the name of him, was looking into this abtruse Universe, with
those strange eyes of his, in what rough woollen or linsey-woolsey
short-clothes we do not know. [Born 10th November, 1483]

Albert's funeral was very grand; the Kaiser himself, and all the
Magnates of the Diet and Reich attending him from Frankfurt to his
last resting-place, many miles of road. For he died at the Diet, in
Frankfurt-on-Mayn; having fallen ill there while busy,--perhaps too busy
for that age, in the harsh spring weather,--electing Prince Maximilian
("lucky Max,") who will be Kaiser too before long, and is already deep
in ILL-luck, tragical and other to be King of the Romans. The old Kaiser
had "looked in on him at Onolzbach" (Anspach), and brought him along;
such a man could not be wanting on such an occasion. A man who "perhaps
did more for the German Empire than for the Electorate of Brandenburg,"
hint some. The Kaiser himself, Friedrich III., was now getting old;
anxious to see Max secure, and to set his house in order. A somewhat
anxious, creaky, close-fisted, ineffectual old Kaiser; [See Kohler
(_Munzbelustigungen,_ vi. 393-401; ii. 89-96, &c.) for a vivid account
of him.] distinguished by his luck in getting Max so provided for, and
bringing the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands to his House. He is
the first of the Hapsburg Kaisers who had what has since been called
the "Austrian lip"--protrusive under-jaw, with heavy lip disinclined to
shut. He got it from his Mother, and bequeathed it in a marked manner;
his posterity to this day bearing traces of it. Mother's name was
Cimburgis, a Polish Princess, "Duke of Masovia's daughter;" a lady
who had something of the MAULTASCHE in her, in character as well as
mouth.--In old Albert, the poor old Kaiser has lost his right hand; and
no doubt muses sadly as he rides in the funeral procession.

Albert is buried at Heilsbronn in Frankenland, among his
Ancestors,--burial in Brandenburg not yet common for these new
Kurfursts:--his skull, in an after-time, used to be shown there, laid on
the lid of the tomb; skull marvellous for strength, and for "having no
visible sutures," says Rentsch. Pious Brandenburg Officiality at
length put an end to that profanation, and restored the skull to its
place,--marvellous enough, with what had once dwelt in it, whether it
had sutures or not.


Albert's eldest Son, the Fourth Kurfurst, was Johannes Cicero
(1486-1499): Johannes was his natural name, to which the epithet "Cicero
of Germany (CICERO GERMANIAE)" was added by an admiring public. He had
commonly administered the Electorate during his Father's absences; and
done it with credit to himself. He was an active man, nowise
deficient as a Governor; creditably severe on highway robbers, for one
thing,--destroys you "fifteen baronial robber-towers" at a stroke; was
also concerned in the Hungarian-Bohemian DONNYBROOK, and did that also
well. But nothing struck a discerning public like the talent he had
for speaking. Spoke "four hours at a stretch in Kaiser Max's Diets, in
elegantly flowing Latin;" with a fair share of meaning, too;--and had
bursts of parliamentary eloquence in him that were astonishing to hear.
A tall, square-headed man, of erect, cheerfully composed aspect, head
flung rather back if anything: his bursts of parliamentary eloquence,
once glorious as the day, procured him the name "Johannes CICERO;" and
that is what remains of them: for they are sunk now, irretrievable he
and they, into the belly of eternal Night; the final resting-place, I do
perceive, of much Ciceronian ware in this world. Apparently he had,
like some of his Descendants, what would now be called "distinguished
literary talents,"--insignificant to mankind and us. I find he was
likewise called DER GROSSE, "John the GREAT;" but on investigation it
proves to be mere "John the BIG," a name coming from his tall stature
and ultimate fatness of body.

For the rest, he left his family well off, connected with high
Potentates all around; and had increased his store, to a fair degree,
in his time. Besides his eldest Son who followed as Elector, by name
Joachim I., a burly gentleman of whom much is written in Books, he left
a second Son, Archbishop of Magdeburg, who in time became Archbishop
of Mainz and Cardinal of Holy Church, [Ulrich van Hutten's grand
"Panegyric" upon this Albert on his first Entrance into Mainz (9th
October, 1514),--"entrance with a retinue of 2,000 horse, mainly
furnished by the Brandenburg and Culmbach kindred," say the old
Books,--is in _Ulrichi ab Hutten Equitis Germani Opera_ (Munch's
edition; Berlin, 1821), i. 276-310.]--and by accident got to be forever
memorable in Church-History, as we shall see anon. Archbishop of Mainz
means withal KUR-MAINZ, Elector of Mainz; who is Chief of the Seven
Electors, and as it were their President or "Speaker." Albert was the
name of this one; his elder Brother, the then Kur-Brandenburg, was
called Joachim. Cardinal Albert Kur-Mainz, like his brother Joachim
Kur-Brandenburg, figures much, and blazes widely abroad, in the busy
reign of Karl V., and the inextricable Lutheran-Papal, Turk-Christian
business it had.

But the notable point in this Albert of Mainz was that of Leo X. and
the Indulgences. [Pauli, v. 496-499; Rentsch, p. 869.] Pope Leo had
permitted Albert to retain his Archbishopric of Magdeburg and other
dignities along with that of Mainz; which was an unusual favor. But the
Pope expected to be paid for it,--to have 30,000 ducats (15,000 pounds),
almost a King's ransom at that time, for the "Pallium" to Mainz;
PALLIUM, or little Bit of woollen Cloth, on sale by the Pope, without
which Mainz could not be held. Albert, with all his dignities, was
dreadfully short of money at the time. Chapter of Mainz could or
would do little or nothing, having been drained lately; Magdeburg,
Halberstadt, the like. Albert tried various shifts; tried a little
stroke of trade in relics,--gathered in the Mainz district "some
hundreds of fractional sacred bones, and three whole bodies," which he
sent to Halle for pious purchase;--but nothing came of this branch.
The 15,000 pounds remained unpaid; and Pope Leo, building St. Peter's,
"furnishing a sister's toilet," and doing worse things, was in extreme
need of it. What is to be done? "I could borrow the money from
the Fuggers of Augsburg," said the Archbishop hesitatingly; "but
then--?"--"I could help you to repay it." said his Holiness: "Could
repay the half of it,--if only we had (but they always make such clamor
about these things) an Indulgence published in Germany!"--"Well; it must
be!" answered Albert at last, agreeing to take the clamor on himself,
and to do the feat; being at his wits'-end for money. He draws out his
Full-Power, which, as first Spiritual Kurfurst, he has the privilege
to do; nominates (1516) one Tetzel for Chief Salesman, a Priest whose
hardness of face, and shiftiness of head and hand, were known to him;
and--here is one Hohenzollern that has a place in History! Poor man,
it was by accident, and from extreme tightness for money. He was by no
means a violent Churchman; he had himself inclinations towards Luther,
even of a practical sort, as the thing went on. But there was no help
for it.

Cardinal Albert, Kur-Mainz, shows himself a copious dexterous public
speaker at the Diets and elsewhere in those times; a man intent on
avoiding violent methods;--uncomfortably fat in his later years, to
judge by the Portraits. Kur-Brandenburg, Kur-Mainz (the younger now
officially even greater than the elder), these names are perpetually
turning up in the German Histories of that Reformation-Period; absent
on no great occasion; and they at length, from amid the meaningless
bead-roll of Names, wearisomely met with in such Books, emerge into
Persons for us as above.


Albert Achilles the Third Elector had, before his accession, been
Margraf of Anspach, and since his Brother the Alchemist's death, Margraf
of Baireuth too, or of the whole Principality,--"Margraf of Culmbach" we
will call it, for brevity's sake, though the bewildering old Books
have not steadily any name for it. [A certain subaltern of this express
title, "Margraf of Culmbach" (a Cadet, with some temporary appanage
there, who was once in the service of him they call the Winter-King,
and may again be transiently heard of by us here), is the altogether
Mysterious Personage who prints himself "MARQUIS DE LULENBACH" in
Bromley's _Collection of Royal Letters_ (London, 1787), pp. 52,
&c.:--one of the most curious Books on the Thirty-Years War; "edited"
with a composed stupidity, and cheerful infinitude of ignorance, which
still farther distinguish it. The BROMLEY Originals well worth a real
editing, turn out, on inquiry, to have been "sold as Autographs, and
dispersed beyond recovery, about fifty years ago."] After his accession,
Albert Achilles naturally held both Electorate and Principality during
the rest of his life. Which was an extremely rare predicament for the
two Countries, the big and the little.

No other Elector held them both, for nearly a hundred years; nor then,
except as it were for a moment. The two countries, Electorate and
Principality, Hohenzollern both, and constituting what the Hohenzollerns
had in this world, continued intimately connected; with affinity and
clientship carefully kept, up, and the lesser standing always under the
express protection and as it were COUSINSHIP of the greater. But they
had their separate Princes, Lines of Princes; and they only twice, in
the time of these Twelve Electors, came even temporarily under the
same head. And as to ultimate union, Brandenburg-Baireuth and
Brandenburg-Anspach were not incorporated with Brandenburg-Proper, and
its new fortunes, till almost our own day, namely in 1791; nor then
either to continue; having fallen to Bavaria, in the grand Congress
of Vienna, within the next five-and-twenty years. All which, with the
complexities and perplexities resulting from it here, we must, in some
brief way, endeavor to elucidate for the reader.


Culmbach the Elector left, at his death, to his Second Son,--properly
to two sons, but one of them soon died, and the other became sole
possessor;--Friedrich by name; who, as founder of the Elder Line of
Brandenburg-Culmbach Princes, must not be forgotten by us. Founder of
the First or Elder Line, for there are two Lines; this of Friedrich's
having gone out in about a hundred years; and the Anspach-Baireuth
territories having fallen home again to Brandenburg;--where, however,
they continued only during the then Kurfurst's life. Johann George
(1525-1598), Seventh Kurfurst, was he to whom Brandenburg-Culmbach fell
home,--nay, strictly speaking, it was but the sure prospect of it that
fell home, the thing itself did not quite fall in his time, though the
disposal of it did, ["Disposal," 1598; thing itself, 1603, in his Son's
time.]--to be conjoined again with Brandenburg-Proper. Conjoined for the
short potential remainder of his own life; and then to be disposed of
as an apanage again;--which latter operation, as Johann George had
three-and-twenty children, could be no difficult one.

Johann George, accordingly (Year 1598), split the Territory in two;
Brandenburg-Baireuth was for his second son, Brandenburg-Anspach for
his third: hereby again were two new progenitors of Culmbach Princes
introduced, and a New Line, Second or "Younger Line" they call it (Line
mostly split in two, as heretofore); which--after complex adventures
in its split condition, Baireuth under one head, Anspach under
another--continues active down to our little Fritz's time and farther.
As will become but too apparent to us in the course of this History!--

From of old these Territories had been frequently divided: each has
its own little capital, Town of Anspach, Town of Baireuth, [Populations
about the same; 16,000 to 17,000 in our time.] suitable for such
arrangement. Frequently divided; though always under the closest
cousinship, and ready for reuniting, if possible. Generally under the
Elder Line too, under Friedrich's posterity, which was rather numerous
and often in need of apanages, they had been in separate hands. But
the understood practice was not to divide farther; Baireuth by itself,
Anspach by itself (or still luckier if one hand could get hold of
both),--and especially Brandenburg by itself, uncut by any apanage:
this, I observe, was the received practice. But Johann George, wise
Kurfurst as he was, wished now to make it surer; and did so by a famed
Deed, called the Gera Bond (GERAISCHE VERTRAG), dated 1598, [Michaelis,
i. 345.] the last year of Johann George's life.

Hereby, in a Family Conclave held at that Gera, a little town in
Thuringen, it was settled and indissolubly fixed, That their Electorate,
unlike all others in Germany, shall continue indivisible; Law of
Primogeniture, here if nowhere else, is to be in full force; and only
the Culmbach Territory (if otherwise unoccupied) can be split off for
younger sons. Culmbach can be split off; and this again withal can be
split, if need be, into two (Baireuth and Anspach); but not in any case
farther. Which Household-Law was strictly obeyed henceforth. Date of it
1598; principal author, Johann George, Seventh Elector. This "Gera Bond"
the reader can note for himself as an excellent piece of Hohenzollern
thrift, and important in the Brandenburg annals. On the whole,
Brandenburg keeps continually growing under these Twelve Hohenzollerns,
we perceive; slower or faster, just as the Burggrafdom had done, and by
similar methods. A lucky outlay of money (as in the case of Friedrich
Ironteeth in the Neumark) brings them one Province, lucky inheritance
another:--good management is always there, which is the mother of good

And so there goes on again, from Johann George downwards, a new stream
of Culmbach Princes, called the Younger or New Line,--properly two
contemporary Lines, of Baireuthers and Anspachers;--always in close
affinity to Brandenburg, and with ultimate reversion to Brandenburg,
should both Lines fail; but with mutual inheritance if only one. They
had intricate fortunes, service in foreign armies, much wandering about,
sometimes considerable scarcity of cash: but, for a hundred and fifty
years to come, neither Line by any means failed,--rather the contrary,
in fact.

Of this latter or New Culmbach Line, or split Line, especially of the
Baireuth part of it, our little Wilhelmina, little Fritz's Sister,
who became Margravine there, has given all the world notice. From the
Anspach part of it (at that time in sore scarcity of cash) came Queen
Caroline, famed in our George the Second's time. [See a Synoptic Diagram
of these Genealogies, infra, p. 388a.] From it too came an unmomentous
Margraf, who married a little Sister of Wilhelmina's and Fritz's; of
whom we shall hear. There is lastly a still more unmomentous Margraf,
only son of said Unmomentous and his said Spouse; who again combined
the two Territories, Baireuth having failed of heirs; and who, himself
without heirs, and with a frail Lady Craven as Margravine,--died at
Hammersmith, close by us, in 1806; and so ended the troublesome affair.
He had already, in 1791, sold off to Prussia all temporary claims of
his; and let Prussia have the Heritage at once without waiting farther.
Prussia, as we noticed, did not keep it long; and it is now part of the
Bavarian Dominion;--for the sake of editors and readers, long may it so

Of this Younger Line, intrinsically rather insignificant to mankind, we
shall have enough to write in time and place; we must at present direct
our attention to the Elder Line.


Kurfurst Albert Achilles's second son, Friedrich (1460-1536), [Rentsch,
pp. 593-602.] the founder of the Elder Culmbach Line, ruled his country
well for certain years, and was "a man famed for strength of body and
mind;" but claims little notice from us, except for the sons he had.
A quiet, commendable, honorable man,--with a certain pathetic dignity,
visible even in the eclipsed state he sank into. Poor old gentleman,
after grand enough feats in war and peace, he fell melancholy, fell
imbecile, blind, soon after middle life; and continued so for twenty
years, till he died. During which dark state, say the old Books, it
was a pleasure to see with what attention his Sons treated him, and how
reverently the eldest always led him out to dinner. [Ib. p. 612.] They
live and dine at that high Castle of Plassenburg, where old Friedrich
can behold the Red or White Mayn no more. Alas, alas, Plassenburg is now
a Correction-House, where male and female scoundrels do beating of
hemp; and pious Friedrich, like eloquent Johann, has become a
forgotten object. He was of the German Reichs-Array, who marched to the
Netherlands to deliver Max from durance; Max, the King of the Romans,
whom, for all his luck, the mutinous Flemings had put under lock-and-key
at one time. [1482 (Pauli, ii. 389): his beautiful young Wife, "thrown
from her horse," had perished in a thrice-tragic way, short while
before; and the Seventeen Provinces were unruly under the guardianship
of Max.] That is his one feat memorable to me at present.

He was Johann Cicero's HALF-brother, child by a second wife. Like his
Uncle Kurfurst Friedrich II., he had married a Polish Princess; the
sharp Achilles having perhaps an eye to crowns in that direction, during
that Hungarian-Bohemian-Polish Donnybrook. But if so, there again came
nothing of a crown with it; though it was not without its good results
for Friedrich's children by and by.

He had eight Sons that reached manhood; five or six of whom came to
something considerable in the world, and Three are memorable down to
this day. One of his daughters he married to the Duke of Liegnitz in
Silesia; which is among the first links I notice of a connection that
grew strong with that sovereign Duchy, and is worth remarking by my
readers here. Of the Three notable Sons it is necessary that we say
something. Casimir, George, Albert are the names of these Three.

Casimir, the eldest, [1481-1527.] whose share of heritage is Baireuth,
was originally intended for the Church; but inclining rather to secular
and military things, or his prospects of promotion altering, he early
quitted that; and took vigorously to the career of arms and business.
A truculent-looking Herr, with thoughtful eyes, and hanging
under-lip:--HAT of enviable softness; loose disk of felt flung
carelessly on, almost like a nightcap artificially extended, so
admirably soft;--and the look of the man Casimir, between his cataract
of black beard and this semi-nightcap, is carelessly truculent. He had
much fighting with the Nurnbergers and others; laid it right terribly
on, in the way of strokes, when needful. He was especially truculent
upon the Revolt of Peasants in their BAUERNKRIEG (1525). Them in their
wildest rage he fronted; he, that others might rally to him: "Unhappy
mortals, will you shake the world to pieces, then, because you have much
to complain of?" and hanged the ringleaders of them literally by the
dozen, when quelled and captured. A severe, rather truculent Herr. His
brother George, who had Anspach for heritage, and a right to half
those prisoners, admonished and forgave his half; and pleaded hard with
Casimir for mercy to the others, in a fine Letter still extant; [In
Rentsch, p. 627.] which produced no effect on Casimir. For the dog's
sake, and for all sakes, "let not the dog learn to eat LEATHER;" (of
which his indispensable leashes and muzzles are made)! That was a
proverb often heard on the occasion, in Luther's mouth among the rest.

Casimir died in 1527, age then towards fifty. For the last dozen
years or so, when the Father's malady became hopeless, he had governed
Culmbach, both parts of it; the Anspach part, which belonged to his
next brother George, going naturally, in almost all things, along with
Baireuth; and George, who was commonly absent, not interfering, except
on important occasions. Casimir left one little Boy, age then only six,
name Albert; to whom George, henceforth practical sovereign of Culmbach,
as his Brother had been, was appointed Guardian. This youth, very full
of fire, wildfire too much of it, exploded dreadfully on Germany by and
by (Albert ALCIBIADES the name they gave him); nay, towards the end of
his nonage, he had been rather sputtery upon his Uncle, the excellent
Guardian who had charge of him.


Uncle George of Anspach, Casimir's next Brother, had always been of a
peaceabler disposition than Casimir; not indeed without heat of temper,
and sufficient vivacity of every kind. As a youth, he had aided Kaiser
Max in two of his petty wars; but was always rather given "to reading
Latin," to Learning, and ingenious pursuits. His Polish Mother, who, we
perceive, had given "Casimir" his name, proved much more important to
George. At an early age he went to his Uncle Vladislaus, King of Hungary
and Bohemia: for--Alas, after all, we shall have to cast a glance into
that unbeautiful Hungarian-Bohemian scramble, comparable to an "Irish
Donnybrook," where Albert Achilles long walked as Chief-Constable. It
behooves us, after all, to point out some of the tallest heads in
it; and whitherward, bludgeon in hand, they seem to be swaying and
struggling.--Courage, patient reader!

George, then, at an early age went to his Uncle Vladislaus, King of
Hungary and Bohemia: for George's Mother, as we know, was of royal kin;
daughter of the Polish King, Casimir IV. (late mauler of the Teutsch
Ritters); which circumstance had results for George and us. Daughter
of Casimir IV. the Lady was; and therefore of the Jagellon blood by her
father, which amounts to little; but by her mother she was Granddaughter
of that Kaiser Albert II. who "got Three Crowns in one year, and died
the next;" whose posterity have ever since,--up to the lips in trouble
with their confused competitive accompaniments, Hunniades, Corvinus,
George Podiebrad and others, not to speak of dragon Turks coiling ever
closer round you on the frontier,--been Kings of Hungary and Bohemia;
TWO of the crowns (the HERITABLE two) which were got by Kaiser Albert in
that memorable year. He got them, as the reader may remember, by having
the daughter of Kaiser Sigismund to wife,--Sigismund SUPER-GRAMMATICAM,
whom we left standing, red as a flamingo, in the market-place of
Constance a hundred years ago. Thus Time rolls on in its many-colored
manner, edacious and feracious.

It is in this way that George's Uncle, Vladislaus, Albert's daughter's
son, is now King of Hungary and Bohemia: the last King Vladislaus they
had; and the last King but one, of any kind, as we shall see anon.
Vladislaus was heir of Poland too, could he have managed to get it;
but he gave up that to his brother, to various younger brothers in
succession; having his hands full with the Hungarian and Bohemian
difficulty. He was very fond of Nephew George; well recognizing the
ingenuous, wise and loyal nature of the young man. He appointed George
tutor of his poor son Ludwig; whom he left at the early age of ten, in
an evil world, and evil position there. "Born without Skin," they say,
that is, born in the seventh month;--called Ludwig OHNE HAUT (Ludwig
NO-Skin), on that account. Born certainly, I can perceive, rather thin
of skin; and he would have needed one of a rhinoceros thickness!

George did his function honestly, and with success: Ludwig grew up
a gallant, airy, brisk young King, in spite of difficulties,
constitutional and other; got a Sister of the great Kaiser Karl V.
to wife;--determined (A.D. 1526) to have a stroke at the Turk dragon;
which, was coiling round his frontier, and spitting fire at an
intolerable rate. Ludwig, a fine young man of twenty, marched away
with much Hungarian chivalry, right for the Turk (Summer 1526); George
meanwhile going busily to Bohemia, and there with all his strength
levying troops for reinforcement. Ludwig fought and fenced, for some
time, with the Turk outskirts; came at last to a furious general battle
with the Turk (29th August, 1526), at a place called Mohacz, far east in
the flats of the Lower Donau; and was there tragically beaten and ended.
Seeing the Battle gone, and his chivalry all in flight, Ludwig too had
to fly; galloping for life, he came upon bog which proved bottomless,
as good as bottomless; and Ludwig, horse and man, vanished in it
straightway from this world. Hapless young man, like a flash of
lightning suddenly going down there--and the Hungarian Sovereignty
along with him. For Hungary is part of Austria ever since; having,
with Bohemia, fallen to Karl V.'s Brother Ferdinand, as now the nearest
convenient heir of Albert with his Three Crowns. Up to the lips in
difficulties to this day!--

George meanwhile, with finely appointed reinforcements, was in full
march to join Ludwig; but the sad news of Mohacz met him: he withdrew,
as soon as might be, to his own territory, and quitted Hungarian
politics. This, I think, was George's third and last trial of war. He
by no means delighted in that art, or had cultivated it like Casimir and
some of his brothers.--

George by this time had considerable property; part of it important to
the readers of this History. Anspach we already know; but the Duchy of
Jagerndorf,--that and its pleasant valleys, fine hunting-grounds and
larch-clad heights, among the Giant Mountains of Silesia,--that is to us
the memorable territory. George got it in this manner:--

Some ten or fifteen years ago, the late King Vladislaus, our Uncle of
blessed memory, loving George, and not having royal moneys at command,
permitted him to redeem with his own cash certain Hungarian Domains,
pledged at a ruinously cheap rate, but unredeemable by Vladislaus.
George did so; years ago, guess ten or fifteen. George did not like the
Hungarian Domains, with their Turk and other inconveniences; he proposed
to exchange them with King Vladislaus for the Bohemian-Silesian Duchy
of Jagerndorf; which had just then, by failure of heirs, lapsed to the
King. This also Vladislaus, the beneficent cashless Uncle, liking George
more and more, permitted to be done. And done it was; I see not in what
year; only that the ultimate investiture (done, this part of the affair,
by Ludwig OHNE HAUT, and duly sanctioned by the Kaiser) dates 1524, two
years before the fatal Mohacz business.

From the time of this purchase, and especially till Brother Casimir's
death, which happened in 1527, George resided oftener at Jagerndorf than
at Anspach. Anspach, by the side of Baireuth, needed no management; and
in Jagerndorf much probably required the hand of a good Governor to put
it straight again. The Castle of Jagerndorf, which towers up there in
a rather grand manner to this day, George built: "the old Castle of the
Schellenbergs" (extinct predecessor Line) now gone to ruins, "stands
on a Hill with larches on it, some miles off." Margraf George was much
esteemed as Duke of Jagerndorf. What his actions in that region were, I
know not; but it seems he was so well thought of in Silesia, two smaller
neighboring Potentates, the Duke of Oppeln and the Duke of Ratibor, who
had no heirs of their body, bequeathed, with the Kaiser's assent, these
towns and territories to George: [Rentsch, pp. 623, 127-131. Kaiser is
Ferdinand, Karl V.'s Brother,--as yet only KING of Bohemia and Hungary,
but supreme in regard to such points. His assent is dated "17th June,
1531" in Rentsch.]--in mere love to their subjects (Rentsch intimates),
that poor men might be governed by a wise good Duke, in the time coming.
The Kaiser would have got the Duchies otherwise.

Nay the Kaiser, in spite of his preliminary assent, proved extortionate
to George in this matter; and exacted heavy sums for the actual
possession of Oppeln and Ratibor. George, going so zealously ahead in
Protestant affairs, grew less and less a favorite with Kaisers. But
so, at any rate, on peaceable unquestionable grounds, grounds valid as
Imperial Law and ready money, George is at last Lord of these two little
Countries, in the plain of South-Silesia, as of Jagerndorf among the
Mountains hard by. George has and holds the Duchy of Jagerndorf, with
these appendages (Jagerndorf since 1524, Ratibor and Oppeln since some
years later); and lives constantly, or at the due intervals, in his own
strong Mountain-Castle of Jagerndorf there,--we have no doubt, to the
marked benefit of good men in those parts. Hereby has Jagerndorf joined
itself to the Brandenburg Territories: and the reader can note the
circumstance, for it will prove memorable one day.

In the business of the Reformation, Margraf George was very noble.
A simple-hearted, truth-loving, modestly valiant man; rising
unconsciously, in that great element, into the heroic figure. "George
the Pious (DER FROMME)," "George the Confessor (BEKENNER)," were
the names he got from his countrymen. Once this business had become
practical, George interfered a little more in the Culmbach Government;
his brother Casimir, who likewise had Reformation tendencies, rather
hanging back in comparison to George.

In 1525 the Town-populations, in the Culmbach region, big Nurnberg in
the van, had gone quite ahead in the new Doctrine; and were becoming
irrepressibly impatient to clear out the old mendacities, and have the
Gospel preached freely to them. This was a questionable step; feasible
perhaps for a great Elector of Saxony;--but for a Margraf of Anspach?
George had come home from Jagerndorf, some three hundred miles away, to
look into it for himself; found it, what with darkness all round, what
with precipices menacing on both hands, and zealous, inconsiderate
Town-populations threatening to take the bit between their teeth, a
frightfully intricate thing. George mounted his horse, one day this
year, day not dated farther, and "with only six attendants" privately
rode off, another two hundred miles, a good three days' ride, to
Wittenberg; and alighted at Dr. Martinus Lutherus's door. [Rentsch,
p. 625.] A notable passage; worth thinking of. But such visits of high
Princes, to that poor house of the Doctor's, were not then uncommon.
Luther cleared the doubts of George; George returned with a resolution
taken; "Ahead then, ye poor Voigtland Gospel populations! I must lead
you, we must on!"--And perils enough there proved to be, and precipices
on each hand: BAUERNKRIEG, that is to say Peasants'-War, Anabaptistry
and Red-Republic, on the one hand; REICHS-ACHT, Ban of Empire, on the
other. But George, eagerly, solemnly attentive, with ever new light
rising on him, dealt with the perils as they came; and went steadily on,
in a simple, highly manful and courageous manner.

He did not live to see the actual Wars that followed on Luther's
preaching:--he was of the same age with Luther, born few months later,
and died two years before Luther; [4th March, 1484,--27th Dec., 1543,
George; 10th November, 1483--18th February, 1546, Luther.]--but in all
the intermediate principal transactions George is conspicuously present;
"George of Brandenburg," as the Books call him, or simply "Margraf

At the Diet of Augsburg (1530), and the signing of the Augsburg
Confession there, he was sure to be. He rode thither with his Anspach
Knightage about him, "four hundred cavaliers,"--Seckendorfs, Huttens,
Flanses and other known kindreds, recognizable among the lists;
[Rentsch, p. 633.]--and spoke there, notbursts of parliamentary
eloquence, but things that had meaning in them. One speech of his, not
in the Diet, but in the Kaiser's Lodging (15th June, 1530; no doubt, in
Anton Fugger's house, where the Kaiser "lodged for year and day" this
time but WITHOUT the "fires of cinnamon" they talk of on other occasions
[See Carlyle's _Miscellanies_ (iii. 259 n.). The House is at present an
Inn, _"Gasthaus zu den drei Mohren;"_where tourists lodge, and are still
shown the room which the Kaiser occupied on such visits.]), is still
very celebrated. It was the evening of the Kaiser Karl Fifth's arrival
at the Diet; which was then already, some time since, assembled there.
And great had been the Kaiser's reception that morning; the flower of
Germany, all the Princes of the Empire, Protestant and Papal alike,
riding out to meet him, in the open country, at the Bridge of the Lech.
With high-flown speeches and benignities, on both sides;--only that the
Kaiser willed all men, Protestant and other, should in the mean while
do the Popish litanyings, waxlight processionings and idolatrous
stage-performances with him on the morrow, which was CORPUS-CHRISTI
Day; and the Protestants could not nor would. Imperial hints there had
already been, from Innspruck; benign hopes, of the nature of commands,
That loyal Protestant Princes would in the interim avoid open
discrepancies,--perhaps be so loyal as keep their chaplains, peculiar
divine-services, private in the interim? These were hints;--and now this
of the CORPUS-CHRISTI, a still more pregnant hint! Loyal Protestants
refused it, therefore; flatly declined, though bidden and again bidden.
They attended in a body, old Johann of Saxony, young Philip of Hessen,
and the rest; Margraf George, as spokesman, with eloquent simplicity
stating their reasons,--to somewhat this effect:--

Invinciblest all-gracious Kaiser, loyal are we to your high Majesty,
ready to do your bidding by night and by day. But it is your bidding
under God, not against God. Ask us not, O gracious Kaiser! I cannot, and
we cannot; and we must not, and dare not. And "before I would deny my
God and his Evangel," these are George's own words, "I would
rather kneel down here before your Majesty, and have my head struck
off,"--hitting his hind-head, or neck, with the edge of his hand, by
way of accompaniment; a strange radiance in the eyes of him, voice
risen into musical alt: _"Ehe Ich wolte meinen Gott und sein Evangelium
verlaugnen, ehe wolte Ich hier vor Eurer Majestat niderknien, und mir
den Kopf abhauen lassen."--"Nit Kop ab, lover Forst, nit Kop ab!"_
answered Charles in his Flemish-German; "Not head off, dear Furst, not
head off!" said the Kaiser, a faint smile enlightening those weighty
gray eyes of his, and imperceptibly animating the thick Austrian
under-lip. [Rentsch, p. 637. Marheineke, _Geschichte der Teutschen
Reformation _ (Berlin, 1831), ii. 487.]

Speaker and company attended again on the morrow; Margraf George still
more eloquent. Whose Speech flew over Germany, like fire over dry
flax; and still exists,--both Speeches now oftenest rolled into one by
inaccurate editors. [As by Rentsch, ubi supra.] And the CORPUS-CHRISTI
idolatries were forborne the Margraf and his company this time;--the
Kaiser himself, however, walking, nearly roasted in the sun, in heavy
purple-velvet cloak, with a big wax-candle, very superfluous, guttering
and blubbering in the right hand of him, along the streets of Augsburg.
Kur-Brandenburg, Kur-Mainz, high cousins of George, were at this Diet of
Augsburg; Kur-Brandenburg (Elector Joachim I., Cicero's son, of whom
we have spoken, and shall speak again) being often very loud on the
conservative side; and eloquent Kur-Mainz going on the conciliatory
tack. Kur-Brandenburg, in his zeal, had ridden on to Innspruck, to meet
the Kaiser there, and have a preliminary word with him. Both these high
Cousins spoke, and bestirred themselves, a good deal, at this Diet.
They had met the Kaiser on the plains of the Lech, this morning; and, no
doubt, gloomed unutterable things on George and his Speech. George could
not help it.

Till his death in 1543, George is to be found always in the front line
of this high Movement, in the line where Kur-Sachsen, John the Steadfast
(DER BESTANDIGE), and young Philip the Magnanimous of Hessen were,
and where danger and difficulty were. Readers of this enlightened
gold-nugget generation can form to themselves no conception of the
spirit that then possessed the nobler kingly mind. "The command of God
endures through Eternity, _ Verbum Dei Manet In AEternum,"_ was the
Epigraph and Life-motto which John the Steadfast had adopted for
himself; "V. D. M. I. AE.," these initials he had engraved on all the
furnitures of his existence, on his standards, pictures, plate, on the
very sleeves of his lackeys,--and I can perceive, on his own deep heart
first of all. V. D. M. I. E.:--or might it not be read withal, as Philip
of Hessen sometimes said (Philip, still a young fellow, capable of sport
in his magnanimous scorn), _"Verbum Diaboli Manet In Episcopis,_ The
Devil's Word sticks fast in the Bishops"?

We must now take leave of Margraf George and his fine procedures in that
crisis of World-History. He had got Jugerndorf, which became important
for his Family and others: but what was that to the Promethean conquests
(such we may call them) which he had the honor to assist in making for
his Family, and for his Country, and for all men;--very unconscious he
of "bringing fire from Heaven," good modest simple man! So far as I can
gather, there lived, in that day, few truer specimens of the Honest Man.
A rugged, rough-hewn, rather blunt-nosed physiognomy: cheek-bones high,
cheeks somewhat bagged and wrinkly; eyes with a due shade of anxiety and
sadness in them; affectionate simplicity, faithfulness, intelligence,
veracity looking out of every feature of him. Wears plentiful white
beard short-cut, plentiful gold-chains, ruffs, ermines;--a hat not to
be approved of, in comparison with brother Casimir's; miserable
inverted-colander of a hat; hanging at an angle of forty-five degrees;
with band of pearls round the top not the bottom of it; insecure upon
the fine head of George, and by no means to its embellishment.

One of his Daughters he married to the Duke of Liegnitz, a new link
in that connection. He left one Boy, George Friedrich; who came under
ALCIBIADES, his Cousin of Baireuth's tutelage; and suffered much by that
connection, or indeed chiefly by his own conspicuously Protestant turn,
to punish which, the Alcibiades connection was taken as a pretext. In
riper years, George Friedrich got his calamities brought well under; and
lived to do good work, Protestant and other, in the world. To which we
may perhaps allude again. The Line of Margraf George the Pious ends in
this George Friedrich, who had no children; the Line of Margraf George,
and the Elder Culmbach Line altogether (1603), Albert Alcibiades,
Casimir's one son, having likewise died without posterity.

"Of the younger Brothers," says my Authority, "some four were in the
Church; two of whom rose to be Prelates;--here are the four:--

"1. One, Wilhelm by name, was Bishop of Riga, in the remote Prussian
outskirts, and became Protestant;--among the first great Prelates who
took that heretical course; being favored by circumstances to cast out
the 'V. D. _(Verbum Diaboli),'_ as Philip read it. He is a wise-looking
man, with magnificent beard, with something of contemptuous patience
in the meditative eyes of him. He had great troubles with his Riga
people,--as indeed was a perennial case between their Bishop and them,
of whatever creed he might be.

"2. The other Prelate held fast by the Papal Orthodoxy: he had got upon
the ladder of promotion towards Magdeburg; hoping to follow his Cousin
KUR-MAINZ, the eloquent conciliatory Cardinal, in that part of his
pluralities. As he did,--little to his comfort, poor man; having
suffered a good deal in the sieges and religious troubles of his
Magdeburgers; who ended by ordering him away, having openly declared
themselves Protestant, at length. He had to go; and occupy himself
complaining, soliciting Aulic-Councils and the like, for therest of his

"3. The PROBST of Wurzburg (PROVOST, kind of Head-Canon there); orthodox
Papal he too; and often gave his Brother George trouble.

"4. A still more orthodox specimen, the youngest member of the family,
who is likewise in orders: Gumbrecht ('Gumbertus, a Canonicus of'
Something or other, say the Books); who went early to Rome, and became
one of his Holiness Leo Tenth's Chamberlains;--stood the 'Sack of Rome'
(Constable de Bourbon's), and was captured there and ransomed;--but died
still young (1528). These three were Catholics, he of Wurzburg a rather
virulent one."

Catholic also was JOHANNES, a fifth Brother, who followed the soldiering
and diplomatic professions, oftenest in Spain; did Government-messages
to Diets, and the like, for Karl V.; a high man and well seen of his
Kaiser;--he had wedded the young Widow of old King Ferdinand in Spain;
which proved, seemingly, a troublous scene for poor Johannes. What we
know is, he was appointed Commandant of Valencia; and died there, still
little turned of thirty,--by poison it is supposed,--and left his young
Widow to marry a third time.

These are the Five minor Brothers, four of them Catholic, sons of
old blind Friedrich of Plassenburg; who are not, for their own sake,
memorable, but are mentionable for the sake of the three major Brothers.
So many orthodox Catholics, while Brother George and others went into
the heresies at such a rate! A family much split by religion:--and blind
old Friedrich, dim of intellect, knew nothing of it; and the excellent
Polish Mother said and thought, we know not what. A divided Time!--

Johannes of Valencia, and these Chief Priests, were all men of mark;
conspicuous to the able editors of their day: but the only Brother
now generally known to mankind is Albert, Hochmeister of the Teutsch
Ritterdom; by whom Preussen came into the Family. Of him we must now
speak a little.


Albert was born in 1490; George's junior by six years, Casimir's by
nine. He too had been meant for the Church; but soon quitted that, other
prospects and tendencies opening. He had always loved the ingenuous
arts; but the activities too had charms for him. He early shone in his
exercises spiritual and bodily; grew tall above his fellows, expert in
arts, especially in arms;--rode with his Father to Kaiser Max's Court;
was presented by him, as the light of his eyes, to Kaiser Max; who
thought him a very likely young fellow; and bore him in mind, when the
Mastership of the Teutsch Ritterdom fell vacant. [Rentsch, pp. 840-863.]

The Teutsch Ritterdom, ever since it got its back broken in that Battle
of Tannenberg in 1410, and was driven out of West-Preussen with such
ignominious kicks, has been lying bedrid, eating its remaining revenues,
or sprawling about in helpless efforts to rise again, which require
no notice from us. Hopeless of ever recovering West-Preussen, it had
quietly paid its homage to Poland for the Eastern part of that Country;
quietly for some couple of generations. But, in the third or fourth
generation after Tannenberg, there began to rise murmurs,--in the Holy
Roman Empire first of all. "Preussen is a piece of the Reich," said hot,
inconsiderate people; "Preussen could not be alienated without consent
of the Reich!" To which discourses the afflicted Ritters listened only
too gladly; their dull eyes kindling into new false hopes at sound
of them. The point was, To choose as Hochmeister some man of German
influence, of power and connection in the Country, who might help
them to their so-called right. With this view, they chose one and then
another of such sort;--and did not find it very hopeful, as we shall

Albert was chosen Grand-Master of Preussen, in February, 1511; age then
twenty-one. Made his entry into Konigsberg, November next year; in grand
cavalcade, "dreadful storm of rain and wind at the time,"--poor Albert
all in black, and full of sorrow, for the loss of his Mother, the good
Polish Princess, who had died since he left home. Twenty months of
preparation he had held since his Election, before doing anything: for
indeed the case was intricate. He, like his predecessor in office, had
undertaken to refuse that Homage to Poland; the Reich generally, and
Kaiser Max himself, in a loose way of talk, encouraging him: "A piece of
the Reich," said they all; "Teutsch Ritters had no power to give it away
in that manner." Which is a thing more easily said, than made good in
the way of doing.

Albert's predecessor, chosen on this principle, was a Saxon Prince,
Friedrich of Meissen; cadet of Saxony; potently enough connected, he
too; who, in like manner, had undertaken to refuse the Homage. And
zealously did refuse it, though to his cost, poor man. From the Reich,
for all its big talking, he got no manner of assistance; had to stave
off a Polish War as he could, by fair-speaking, by diplomacies and
contrivances; and died at middle age, worn down by the sorrows of that
sad position.

An idea prevails, in ill-informed circles, that our new Grand-Master
Albert was no better than a kind of cheat; that he took this
Grand-Mastership of Preussen; and then, in gayety of heart,
surreptitiously pocketed Preussen for his own behoof. Which is an idle
idea; inconsistent with the least inquiry, or real knowledge how the
matter stood. [Voigt, ix. 740-749; Pauli, iv. 404-407.] By no means in
gayety of heart, did Albert pocket Preussen; nor till after as tough a
struggle to do other with it as could have been expected of any man.

One thing not suspected by the Teutsch Ritters, and least of all by
their young Hochmeister, was, That the Teutsch Ritters had well deserved
that terrible down-come at Tannenberg, that ignominious dismissal out of
West-Preussen with kicks. Their insolence, luxury, degeneracy had gone
to great lengths. Nor did that humiliation mend them at all; the reverse
rather. It was deeply hidden from the young Hochmeister as from
them, That probably they were now at length got to the end of their
capability: and ready to be withdrawn from the scene, as soon as any
good way offered!--Of course, they Were reluctant enough to fulfil their
bargain to Poland; very loath they to do Homage now for Preussen, and
own themselves sunk to the second degree. For the Ritters had still
their old haughtiness of humor, their deepseated pride of place, gone
now into the unhappy CONSCIOUS state. That is usually the last thing
that deserts a sinking House: pride of place, gone to the conscious
state;--as if, in a reverse manner, the House felt that it deserved to

For the rest, Albert's position among them was what Friedrich of
Sachsen's had been; worse, not better; and the main ultimate difference
was, he did not die of it, like Friedrich of Sachsen; but found an
outlet, not open in Friedrich's time, and lived. To the Ritters, and
vague Public which called itself the Reich, Albert had promised he would
refuse the Homage to Poland; on which Ritters and Reich had clapt their
hands: and that was pretty much all the assistance he got of them. The
Reich, as a formal body, had never asserted its right to Preussen, nor
indeed spoken definitely on the subject: it was only the vague Public
that had spoken, in the name of the Reich. From the Reich, or from any
individual of it, Kaiser or Prince, when actually applied to, Albert
could get simply nothing. From what, Ritters were in Preussen, he might
perhaps expect promptitude to fight, if it came to that; which was not
much as things stood. But, from the great body of the Ritters, scattered
over Germany, with their rich territories (BALLEYS, bailliwicks), safe
resources, and comfortable "Teutschmeister" over them, he got flat
refusal: [The titles HOCHMEISTER and TEUTSCHMEISTER are defined, in many
Books and in all manner of Dictionaries, as meaning the same thing. But
that is not quite the case. They were at first synonymous, so far as I
can see; and after Albert's time, they again became so; but at the date
where we now are, and for a long while back, they represent different
entities, and indeed oftenest, since the Prussian DECLINE began,
antagonistic ones. Teutschmeister, Sub-president over the GERMAN affairs
and possessions of the Order, resides at Mergentheim in that Country:
Hochmeister is Chief President of the whole, but resident at Marienburg
in Preussen, and feels there acutely where the shoe pinches,--much
too acutely, thinks the Teutschmeister in his soft list-slippers, at
Mergentheim in the safe Wurzburg region.] "We will not be concerned in
the adventure at all; we wish you well through it!" Never was a spirited
young fellow placed in more impossible position. His Brother Casimir
(George was then in Hungary), his Cousin Joachim Kur-Brandenburg,
Friedrich Duke of Liegnitz, a Silesian connection of the Family, ["Duke
Friedrich II.:" comes by mothers from Kurfurst Friedrich I.; marries
Margraf George's Daughter even now, 1519 (Hubner, tt. 179, 100, 101).]
consulted, advised, negotiated to all lengths, Albert's own effort was
incessant. "Agree with King Sigismund," said they; "Uncle Sigismund,
your good Mother's Brother; a King softly inclined to us all!"--"How
agree?" answered Albert: "He insists on the Homage, which I have
promised not to give!" Casimir went and came, to Konigsberg, to Berlin;
went once himself to Cracow, to the King, on this errand: but it was a
case of "Yes AND No;" not to be solved by Casimir.

As to King Sigismund, he was patient with it to a degree; made the
friendliest paternal professions;--testifying withal, That the claim
was undeniable; and could by him, Sigismund, never be foregone with the
least shadow of honor, and of course never would: "My dear Nephew can
consider whether his dissolute, vain-minded, half-heretical Ritterdom,
nay whether this Prussian fraction of it, is in a condition to take
Poland by the beard in an unjust quarrel; or can hope to do Tannenberg
over again in the reverse way, by Beelzehub's help?"--

For seven years, Albert held out in this intermediate state, neither
peace nor war; moving Heaven and Earth to raise supplies, that he might
be able to defy Poland, and begin war. The Reich answers, "We have
really nothing for you." Teutschmeister answers again and again, "I
tell you we have nothing!" In the end, Sigismund grew impatient; made
(December, 1519) some movements of a hostile nature. Albert did not
yield; eager only to procrastinate till he were ready. By superhuman
efforts, of borrowing, bargaining, soliciting, and galloping to and fro,
Albert did, about the end of next year, get up some appearance of an
Army: "14,000 German mercenaries horse and foot," so many in theory;
who, to the extent of 8,000 in actual result, came marching towards him
(October, 1520); to serve "for eight months." With these he will besiege
Dantzig, besiege Thorn; will plunge, suddenly, like a fiery javelin,
into the heart of Poland, and make Poland surrender its claim. Whereupon
King Sigismund bestirred himself in earnest; came out with vast clouds
of Polish chivalry; overset Albert's 8,000;--who took to eating the
country, instead of fighting for it; being indeed in want of all things.
One of the gladdest days Albert had yet seen, was when he got the 8,000
sent home again.

What then is to be done? "Armistice for four years," Sigismund was still
kind enough to consent to that: "Truce for four years: try everywhere,
my poor Nephew; after that, your mind will perhaps become pliant."
Albert tried the Reich again: "Four years, O Princes, and then I must
do it, or be eaten!" Reich, busy with Lutheran-Papal, Turk-Christian
quarrels, merely shrugged its shoulders upon Albert. Teutschmeister did
the like; everybody the like. In Heaven or Earth, then, is there no hope
for me? thought Albert. And his stock of ready money--we will not speak
of that!

Meanwhile Dr. Osiander of Anspach had come to him; and the pious young
man was getting utterly shaken in his religion. Monkish vows, Pope, Holy
Church itself, what is one to think, Herr Doctor? Albert, religious
to an eminent degree, was getting deep into Protestantism. In his many
journeyings, to Nurnberg, to Brandenburg, and up and down, he had
been at Wittenberg too: he saw Luther in person more than once there;
corresponded with Luther; in fine believed in the truth of Luther. The
Culmbach Brothers were both, at least George ardently was, inclined to
Protestantism, as we have seen; but Albert was foremost of the three
in this course. Osiander and flights of zealous Culmbach Preachers made
many converts in Preussen. In these circumstances the Four Years came to
a close.

Albert, we may believe, is greatly at a loss; and deep deliberations,
Culmbach, Berlin, Liegnitz, Poland all called in, are held:--a case
beyond measure intricate. You have given your word; word must be
kept,--and cannot, without plain hurt, or ruin even, to those that took
it of you. Withdraw, therefore; fling it up!--Fling it up? A valuable
article to fling up; fling it up is the last resource. Nay, in fact, to
whom will you fling it up? The Prussian Ritters themselves are getting
greatly divided on the point; and at last on all manner of points,
Protestantism ever more spreading among them. As for the German
Brethren, they and their comfortable Teutschmeister, who refused to
partake in the dangerous adventure at all; are they entitled to have
much to say in the settlement of it now?--

Among others, or as chief oracle of all, Luther was consulted. "What
would you have me do towards reforming the Teutsch Order?" inquired
Albert of his oracle. Luther's answer was, as may be guessed, emphatic.
"Luther," says one reporter, "has in his Writings declared the Order to
be 'a thing serviceable neither to God nor man,' and the constitution
of it 'a monstrous, frightful, hermaphroditish, neither secular nor
spiritual constitution.'" [C. J. Weber, _Daa Ritterwessen_ (Stuttgard,
1837), iii. 208.] We do not know what Luther's answer to Albert
was;--but can infer the purport of it: That such a Teutsch Ritterdom was
not, at any rate, a thing long for this world; that white cloaks with
black crosses on them would not, of themselves, profit any Ritterdom;
that solemn vows and high supramundane professions, followed by such
practice as was notorious, are an afflicting, not to say a damnable,
spectacle on God's Earth;--that a young Herr had better marry; better
have done with the wretched Babylonian Nightmare of Papistry altogether;
better shake oneself awake, in God's name, and see if there are not
still monitions in the eternal sky as to what it is wise to do, and wise
not to do!--This I imagine to have been, in modern language, the
purport of Dr. Luther's advice to Hochmeister Albrecht on the present
interesting occasion.

It is certain, Albert, before long, took this course; Uncle Sigismund
and the resident Officials of the Ritterdom having made agreement to
it as the one practicable course. The manner as follows: 1. Instead
of Elected Hochmeister, let us be Hereditary Duke of Preussen, and
pay homage for it to Uncle Sigismund in that character. 2. Such of the
resident Officials of the Ritterdom as are prepared to go along with us,
we will in like manner constitute permanent Feudal Proprietors of what
they now possess as Life-rent, and they shall be Sub-vassals under us
as Hereditary Duke. 3. In all which Uncle Sigismund and the Republic of
Poland engage to maintain us against the world.

That is, in sum, the Transaction entered into, by King Sigismund I.
of Poland, on the one part, and Hochmeister Albert and his Ritter
Officials, such as went along with him, (which of course none could do
that were not Protestant), on the other part: done at Cracow, 8th April,
1525. [Rentsch, p. 850.--Here, certified by Rentsch, Voigt and others,
is a worn-out patch of Paper, which is perhaps worth printing:--

     1490, May 17, Albert is born.
     1511, February 14, Hochmeister.
     1519, December, King Sigismund's first hostile movements.
     1520, October, German Mercenaries arrive.
     1520, November, try Siege of Dantzig.
     1520, November 17, give it up.
     1521, April 10, Truce for Four Years.
     1523, June, Albert consults Luther.
     1524, November, sees Luther.
     1525, April 8, Peace of Cracow, and Albert to be Duke of
     Prussia.] Whereby Teutsch Ritterdom, the Prussian part of it,
     vanished from the world; dissolving itself, and its "hermaphrodite
     constitution," like a kind of Male Nunnery, as so many female ones
     had done in those years. A Transaction giving rise to endless
     criticism, then and afterwards. Transaction plainly not
     reconcilable with the letter of the law; and liable to have logic
     chopped upon it to any amount, and to all lengths of time.
     The Teutschmeister and his German Brethren shrieked murder;
     the whole world, then, and for long afterwards, had much to say
     and argue.

To us, now that the logic-chaff is all laid long since, the question is
substantial, not formal. If the Teutsch Ritterdom was actually at this
time DEAD, actually stumbling about as a mere galvanized Lie beginning
to be putrid,--then, sure enough, it behooved that somebody should
bury it, to avoid pestilential effects in the neighborhood. Somebody or
other;--first flaying the skin off, as was natural, and taking that
for his trouble. All turns, in substance, on this latter question! If,
again, the Ritterdom was not dead--?

And truly it struggled as hard as Partridge the Almanac-maker to rebut
that fatal accusation; complained (Teutschmeister and German-Papist part
of it) loudly at the Diets; got Albert and his consorts put to the Ban
(GEACHTET), fiercely menaced by the Kaiser Karl V. But nothing came of
all that; nothing but noise. Albert maintained his point; Kaiser Karl
always found his hands full otherwise, and had nothing but stamped
parchments and menaces to fire off at Albert. Teutsch Ritterdom,
the Popish part of it, did enjoy its valuable bailliwicks, and very
considerable rents in various quarters of Germany and Europe, having
lost only Preussen; and walked about, for three centuries more, with
money in its pocket, and a solemn white gown with black cross on its
back,--the most opulent Social Club in existence, and an excellent
place for bestowing younger sons of sixteen quarters. But it was, and
continued through so many centuries, in every essential respect, a
solemn Hypocrisy; a functionless merely eating Phantasm, of the nature
of goblin, hungry ghost or ghoul (of which kind there are many);--till
Napoleon finally ordered it to vanish; its time, even as Phantasm, being

Albert, I can conjecture, had his own difficulties as Regent in
Preussen. [1525-1568.] Protestant Theology, to make matters worse
for him, had split itself furiously into 'DOXIES; and there was an
OSIANDERISM (Osiander being the Duke's chaplain), much flamed upon by
the more orthodox ISM. "Foreigners," too, German-Anspach and other, were
ill seen by the native gentlemen; yet sometimes got encouragement. One
Funccius, a shining Nurnberg immigrant there, son-in-law of Osiander,
who from Theology got into Politics, had at last (1564) to be
beheaded,--old Duke Albert himself "bitterly weeping" about him; for it
was none of Albert's doing. Probably his new allodial Ritter gentlemen
were not the most submiss, when made hereditary? We can only hope the
Duke was a Hohenzollern, and not quite unequal to his task in this
respect. A man with high bald brow; magnificent spade-beard; air
much-pondering, almost gaunt,--gaunt kind of eyes especially, and a
slight cast in them, which adds to his severity of aspect. He kept his
possession well, every inch of it; and left all safe at his decease
in 1568. His age was then near eighty. It was the tenth year of our
Elizabeth as Queen; invincible Armada not yet built; but Alba very busy,
cutting off high heads in Brabant; and stirring up the Dutch to such
fury as was needful for exploding Spain and him.

This Duke Albert was a profoundly religious man, as all thoughtful men
then were. Much given to Theology, to Doctors of Divinity; being
eager to know God's Laws in this Universe, and wholesomely certain of
damnation if he should not follow them. Fond of the profane Sciences
too, especially of Astronomy: Erasmus Reinhold and his _Tabulae
Prutenicae_ were once very celebrated; Erasmus Reinhold proclaims
gratefully how these his elaborate Tables (done according to the latest
discoveries, 1551 and onwards) were executed upon Duke Albert's high
bounty; for which reason they are dedicated to Duke Albert, and called
"PRUTENICAE," meaning PRUSSIAN. [Rentsch, p. 855.] The University of
Konigsberg was already founded several years before, in 1544.

Albert had not failed to marry, as Luther counselled: by his first Wife
he had only daughters; by his second, one son, Albert Friedrich,
who, without opposition or difficulty, succeeded his Father. Thus was
Preussen acquired to the Hohenzollern Family; for, before long, the
Electoral branch managed to get MITBELEHNUNG (Co-infeftment), that is
to say, Eventual Succession; and Preussen became a Family Heritage, as
Anspach and Baireuth were.


One word must be spent on poor Albert, Casimir's son, [1522-1557]
already mentioned. This poor Albert, whom they call ALCIBIADES, made a
great noise in that epoch; being what some define as the "Failure of
a Fritz;" who has really features of him we are to call "Friedrich the
Great," but who burnt away his splendid qualities as a mere temporary
shine for the able editors, and never came to anything.

A high and gallant young fellow, left fatherless in childhood; perhaps
he came too early into power:--he came, at any rate, in very volcanic
times, when Germany was all in convulsion; the Old Religion and the New
having at length broken out into open battle, with huge results to
be hoped and feared; and the largest game going on, in sight of an
adventurous youth. How Albert staked in it; how he played to immense
heights of sudden gain, and finally to utter bankruptcy, I cannot
explain here: some German delineator of human destinies, "Artist" worth
the name, if there were any, might find in him a fine subject.

He was ward of his Uncle George; and the probable fact is, no guardian
could have been more faithful. Nevertheless, on approaching the years
of majority, of majority but not discretion, he saw good to quarrel with
his Uncle; claimed this and that, which was not granted: quarrel lasting
for years. Nay matters ran so high at last, it was like to come to war
between them, had not George been wiser. The young fellow actually sent
a cartel to his Uncle; challenged him to mortal combat,--at which George
only wagged his old beard, we suppose, and said nothing. Neighbors
interposed, the Diet itself interposed; and the matter was got quenched
again. Leaving Albert, let us hope, a repentant young man. We said he
was full of fire, too much of it wildfire.

His profession was Arms; he shone much in war; went slashing and
fighting through those Schmalkaldic broils, and others of his time; a
distinguished captain; cutting his way towards something high, he saw
not well what. He had great comradeship with Moritz of Saxony in the
wars: two sworn brothers they, and comrades in arms:--it is the same
dexterous Moritz, who, himself a Protestant, managed to get his too
Protestant Cousin's Electorate of Saxony into his hand, by luck of the
game; the Moritz, too, from whom Albert by and by got his last defeat,
giving Moritz his death in return. That was the finale of their
comradeship. All things end, and nothing ceases changing till it end.

He was by position originally on the Kaiser's side; had attained great
eminence, and done high feats of arms and generalship in his service.
But being a Protestant by creed, he changed after that Schmalkaldic
downfall (rout of Muhlberg, 24th April, 1547), which brought Moritz an
Electorate, and nearly cost Moritz's too Protestant Cousin his life as
well as lands. [Account of it in De Wette, _Lebensgeschichte der Herzoge
zu Sachsen_(Weimar, 1770), pp. 32-35.] The victorious Kaiser growing
now very high in his ways, there arose complaints against him from all
sides, very loud from the Protestant side; and Moritz and Albert took to
arms, with loud manifestos and the other phenomena.

This was early in 1552, five years after Muhlberg Rout or Battle. The
there victorious Kaiser was now suddenly almost ruined; chased like a
partridge into the Innspruck Mountains,--could have been caught, only
Moritz would not; "had no cage to hold so big a bird," he said. So the
Treaty of Passau was made, and the Kaiser came much down from his lofty
ways. Famed TREATY OF PASSAU (22d August, 1552), which was the finale of
these broils, and hushed them up for a Fourscore years to come. That was
a memorable year in German Reformation History.

Albert, meanwhile, had been busy in the interior of the country; blazing
aloft in Frankenland, his native quarter, with a success that astonished
all men. For seven months he was virtually King of Germany; ransomed
Bamberg, ransomed Wurzburg, Nurnberg (places he had a grudge at);
ransomed all manner of towns and places,--especially rich Bishops and
their towns, with VERBUM DIABOLI sticking in them,--at enormous sums.
King of the world for a brief season;--must have had some strange
thoughts to himself, had they been recorded for us. A pious man, too;
not in the least like "Alcibiades," except in the sudden changes of
fortune he underwent. His Motto, or old rhymed Prayer, which he would
repeat on getting into the saddle for military work,--a rough rhyme of
his own composing,--is still preserved. Let us give it, with an English
fac-simile, or roughest mechanical pencil-tracing,--by way of glimpse
into the heart of a vanished Time and its Man-at-arms: [Rentsch, p.

     Das Walt der Herr Jesus Christ,
     Mit dem Vater, der uber uns ist:
     Wer starker ist als dieser Mann,
     Der komm und thu' ein Leid mir an.

     Guide it the Lord Jesus Christ, [Read "Chris"
               or "Chriz," for the rhyme's sake.]
     And the Father, who over us is:
     He that is stronger than that Man, [Sic.]
     Let him do me a hurt when he can.

He was at the Siege of Metz (end of that same 1552), and a principal
figure there. Readers have heard of the Siege of Metz: How Henry II.
of France fished up those "Three Bishoprics" (Metz, Toul, Verdun,
constituent part of Lorraine, a covetable fraction of Teutschland) from
the troubled sea of German things, by aid of Moritz now KUR-SACHSEN, and
of Albert; and would not throw them in again, according to bargain, when
Peace, the PEACE OF PASSAU came. How Kaiser Karl determined to have them
back before the year ended, cost what it might; and Henry II. to keep
them, cost what it might. How Guise defended, with all the Chivalry of
France; and Kaiser Karl besieged, [19th October, 1552, and onwards.]
with an Army of 100,000 men, under Duke Alba for chief captain. Siege
protracted into midwinter; and the "sound of his cannon heard at
Strasburg," which is eighty miles off, "in the winter nights." [Kohler,
_Reichs-Historie,_ p. 453;--and more especially _Munzbelustigungen_
(Nurnberg, 1729-1750), ix. 121-129. The Year of this Volume, and of the
Number in question, is 1737; the MUNZE or Medal "recreated upon" in of
Henri II.]

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

She partook once, by some secret opportunity, of the "communion under
both kinds;" one of her Daughters noticed and knew; told Father of it.
Father knits up his thick lips; rolls his abstruse dissatisfied eyes,
in an ominous manner: the poor Lady, probably possessed of an excitable
imagination too, trembles for herself. "It is thought, His DURCHLAUCHT
will wall you up for life, my Serene Lady; dark prison for life, which
probably may not be long!" These surmises were of no credibility: but
there and then the poor Lady, in a shiver of terror, decides that she
must run; goes off actually, one night ("Monday after the LAETARE,"
which we find is 24th March) in the year 1528, (Pauli (ii. 584); who
cites Seckendorf, and this fraction of a Letter of Luther's, to one
"LINCKUS" or Lincke, written on the Friday following (28th March,

"The Electress [MARGRAVINE he calls her] has fled from Berlin, by help
of her Brother the King of Denmark [poor Christian II.] to our Prince
[Johann the Steadfast], because her Elector had determined to wall her
up, as is reported, on account of the Eucharist under both species. Pray
for our Prince; _the pious man and affectionate soul gets a great deal
of trouble with his kindred."_ Or thus in the Original:--

_"Marchionissa aufugit a Berlin, auxilio fratris, Regis Daniae, ad
nostrum Principem, quod Marchio statuerat eam immurare (ut dicitur)
propter Eucharistiam utriusque speciei. Ora pro nostro Principe;_ der
fromme Mann und herzliche Mensch ist doch ja wohl geplaget" (Seckendorf,
_Historia Lutheranismi,_ ii.? 62, No. 8, p. 122).) in a mean vehicle
under cloud of darkness, with only one maid and groom,--driving for
life. That is very certain: she too is on flight towards Saxony, to
shelter with her uncle Kurfurst Johann,--unless for reasons of state
he scruple? On the dark road her vehicle broke down; a spoke given
way,--"Not a bit of rope to splice it," said the improvident groom.
"Take my lace-veil here," said the poor Princess; and in this guise she
got to Torgau (I could guess, her poor Brother's lodging),--and thence,
in short time, to the fine Schloss of Lichtenberg hard by; Uncle Johann,
to whom she had zealously left an option of refusal, having as zealously
permitted and invited her to continue there. Which she did for many

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Schmalkaldic War having come all to nothing, the Saxon Elector
sitting captive with sword overhead in the way we saw, Saxon Wittenberg
was besieged, and the Kaiser was in great hurry to get it. Kaiser in
person, and young Johann George for sole attendant, rode round the place
one day, to take a view of the works, and judge how soon, or whether
ever, it could be compelled to give in. Gunners noticed them from the
battlements; gunners Saxon-Protestant most likely, and in just gloom
at the perils and indignities now lying on their pious Kurfurst Johann
Friedrich the Magnanimous. "Lo, you! Kaiser's self riding yonder, and
one of his silk JUNKERS. Suppose we gave the Kaiser's self a shot,
then?" said the gunner, or thought: "It might help a better man from his
life-perils, if such shot did--!" In fact the gun flashed off, with due
outburst, and almost with due effect. The ball struck the ground among
the very horses' feet of the two riders; so that they were thrown, or
nearly so, and covered from sight with a cloud of earth and sand;--and
the gunners thought, for some instants, an unjust, obstinate Kaiser's
life was gone; and a pious Elector's saved. But it proved not so. Kaiser
Karl and Johann George both emerged, in a minute or two, little the
worse;--Kaiser Karl perhaps blushing somewhat, and flurried this time,
I think, in the impenetrable eyes; and his Cimburgis lip closed for the
moment;--and galloped out of shot-range. "I never forget this little
incident," exclaims Smelfungus: "It is one of the few times I can get,
after all my reading about that surprising Karl V., I do not say the
least understanding or practical conception of him and his character and
his affairs, but the least ocular view or imagination of him, as a fact
among facts!" Which is unlucky for Smelfungus.--Johann George, still
more emphatically, never to the end of HIS life forgot this incident.
And indeed it must be owned, had the shot taken effect as intended, the
whole course of human things would have been surprisingly altered;--and
for one thing, neither FREDERICH THE GREAT, nor the present HISTORY
OF FRIEDRICH, had ever risen above ground, or troubled an enlightened
public or me!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

One can forgive him for declining the Bohemian-King speculation, though
his Uncle of Jagerndorf and his Cousins of Liegnitz were so hearty
and forward in it. Pardonable in him to decline the Bohemian
speculation;--though surely it is very sad that he found himself so
short of "butter and firewood" when the poor Ex-King, and his young
Wife, then in a specially interesting state, came to take shelter with
him! [Solltl _(Geschichte des Dreissigjahrigen Krieges,_--a trivial
modern Book) gives a notable memorial from the Brandenburg RATHS,
concerning these their difficulties of housekeeping. Their real object,
we perceive, was to get rid of a Guest so dangerous as the Ex-King,
under Ban of the Empire, had now become.] But when Gustavus landed, and
flung out upon the winds such a banner as that of his,--truly it was
required of a Protestant Governor of men to be able to read said
banner in a certain degree. A Governor, not too IMperfect, would have
recognized this Gustavus, what his purposes and likelihoods were; the
feeling would have been, checked by due circumspectness: "Up, my men,
let us follow this man; let us live and die in the Cause this man goes
for! Live otherwise with honor, or die otherwise with honor, we
cannot, in the pass things have come to!"--And thus, at the very worst,
Brandenburg would have had only one class of enemies to ravage it; and
might have escaped with, arithmetically speaking, HALF the harrying it
got in that long Business.

But Protestant Germany--sad shame to it, which proved lasting sorrow
as well--was all alike torpid; Brandenburg not an exceptional case.
No Prince stood up as beseemed: or only one, and he not a great one;
Landgraf Wilhelm of Hessen, who, and his brave Widow after him, seemed
always to know what hour it was. Wilhelm of Hessen all along;--and a few
wild hands, Christian of Brunswick, Christian of Anhalt, Johann George
of Jagerndorf, who stormed out tumultuously at first, but were
soon blown away by the Tilly-Wallenstein TRADE-WINDS and regulated
armaments:--the rest sat still, and tried all they could to keep out of
harm's way. The "Evangelical Union" did a great deal of manifestoing,
pathetic, indignant and other; held solemn Meetings at Heilbronn, old
Sir Henry Wotton going as Ambassador to them; but never got any redress.
Had the Evangelical Union shut up its inkhorns sooner; girt on its
fighting-tools when the time came, and done some little execution with
them then, instead of none at all,--we may fancy the Evangelical Union
would have better discharged its function. It might have saved immense
wretchedness to Germany. But its course went not that way.

In fact, had there been no better Protestantism than that of Germany,
all was over with Protestantism; and Max of Bavaria, with fanatical
Ferdinand II. as Kaiser over him, and Father Lammerlein at his right
hand and Father Hyacinth at his left, had got their own sweet way in
this world. But Protestant Germany was not Protestant Europe, after
all. Over seas there dwelt and reigned a certain King in Sweden; there
farmed, and walked musing by the shores of the Ouse in Huntingdonshire,
a certain man;--there was a Gustav Adolf over seas, an Oliver Cromwell
over seas; and "a company of poor men" were found capable of taking
Lucifer by the beard,--who accordingly, with his Lammerleins, Hyacinths,
Habernfeldts and others, was forced to withdraw, after a tough


The enormous Thirty-Years War, most intricate of modern Occurrences in
the domain of Dryasdust, divides itself, after some unravelling, into
Three principal Acts or Epochs; in all of which, one after the other,
our Kurfurst had an interest mounting progressively, but continuing to
be a passive interest.

Act FIRST goes from 1620 to 1624; and might be entitled "The Bohemian
King Made and Demolished." Personally the Bohemian King was soon
demolished. His Kingship may be said to have gone off by explosion;
by one Fight, namely, done on the Weissenberg near Prag (Sunday, 8th
November, 1620), while he sat at dinner in the City, the boom of the
cannon coming in with interest upon his high guests and him. He had
to run, in hot haste, that night, leaving many of his important
papers,--and becomes a Winter-King. Winter-King's account was soon
settled. But the extirpating of his Adherents, and capturing of his
Hereditary Lands, Palatinate and Upper-Palatinate, took three years
more. Hard fighting for the Palatinate; Tilly and Company against the
"Evangelical-Union Troops, and the English under Sir Horace Vere."
Evangelical-Union Troops, though marching about there, under an Uncle of
our Kurfurst (Margraf Joachim Ernst, that lucky Anspach Uncle, founder
of "the Line"), who professed some skill in soldiering, were a mere
Picture of an Army; would only "observe," and would not fight at all.
So that the whole fighting fell to Sir Horace and his poor handful of
English; of whose grim posture "in Frankendale" [Frankenthal, a little
Town in the Palatinate, N.W. from Mannheim a short way.] and other
Strongholds, for months long, there is talk enough in the old English

Then there were certain stern War-Captains, who rallied from the
Weissenberg Defeat:--Christian of Brunswick, the chief of them, titular
Bishop of Halberstadt, a high-flown, fiery young fellow, of terrible
fighting gifts; he flamed up considerably, with "the Queen of Bohemia's
glove stuck in his Hat:" "Bright Lady, it shall stick there, till I get
you your own again, or die!" [1621-1623, age not yet twenty-five; died
(by poison), 1626, having again become supremely important just then.
_"Gottes Freund, der Pfaffen Feind_ (God's Friend, Priests' Foe);"
_"Alles fur Ruhm und Ihr (All for Glory and Her,"_--the bright Elizabeth,
become Ex-Queen), were mottoes of his.--Buddaus IN VOCE (i. 649);
Michaelis, i. 110.] Christian of Brunswick, George of Jagerndorf (our
Kurfurst's Uncle), Count Mansfeldt and others, made stormy fight once
and again, hanging upon this central "Frankendale" Business, till they
and it became hopeless. For the Kaiser and his Jesuits were not in
doubt; a Kaiser very proud, unscrupulous; now clearly superior in
force,--and all along of great superiority in fraud.

Christian of Brunswick, Johann George and Mansfeldt were got rid
of: Christian by poison; Johann George and Mansfeldt by other
methods,--chiefly by playing upon poor King James of England, and
leading him by the long nose he was found to have. The Palatinate became
the Kaiser's for the time being; Upper Palatinate (OBER-PFALZ) Duke Max
of Bavaria, lying contiguous to it, had easily taken. "Incorporate
the Ober-Pfalz with your Bavaria," said the Kaiser, "you, illustrious,
thrice-serviceable Max! And let Lammerlein and Hyacinth, with their
Gospel of Ignatius, loose upon it. Nay, as a still richer reward,
be yours the forfeited KUR (Electorship) of this mad Kur-Pfalz,
or Winter-King. I will hold his Rhine-Lands, his UNTER-PFALZ: his
Electorship and OBER-PFALZ, I say, are yours, Duke, henceforth KURFURST
Maximilian!" [Kohler, _Reichs-Historie,_ p. 520.] Which was a hard
saying in the ears of Brandenburg, Saxony and the other Five, and of
the Reich in general; but they had all to comply, after wincing. For the
Kaiser proceeded with a high hand. He had put the Ex-King under Ban of
the Empire (never asking "the Empire" about it); put his Three principal
Adherents, Johann George of Jagerndorf one of them, Prince Christian of
Anhalt (once captain at the Siege of Juliers) another, likewise under
Ban of the Empire; [22d Jan. 1621 (ibid. p. 518).] and in short had
flung about, and was flinging, his thunder-bolts in a very Olympian
manner. Under all which, what could Brandenburg and the others do; but
whimper some trembling protest, "Clear against Law!"--and sit obedient?
The Evangelical Union did not now any more than formerly draw out its
fighting-tools. In fact, the Evangelical Union now fairly dissolved
itself; melted into a deliquium of terror under these thunder-bolts that
were flying, and was no more heard of in the world.--


Except in the "NETHER-SAXON CIRCLE" (distant Northwest region, with its
Hanover, Mecklenburg, with its rich Hamburgs, Lubecks, Magdeburgs, all
Protestant, and abutting on the Protestant North), trembling Germany lay
ridden over as the Kaiser willed. Foreign League got up by France, King
James, Christian IV. of Denmark (James's Brother-in-law, with whom he
had such "drinking" in Somerset House, long ago, on Christian's visit
hither [Old Histories of James I. (Wilson, &c.)]), went to water, or
worse. Only the "Nether-Saxon Circle" showed some life; was levying an
army; and had appointed Christian of Brunswick its Captain, till he was
got poisoned;--upon which the drinking King of Denmark took the command.

Act SECOND goes from 1624 to 1627 or even 1629; and contains drunken
Christian's Exploits. Which were unfortunate, almost to the ruin of
Denmark itself, as well as of the Nether-Saxon Circle;--till in the
latter of these years he slightly rallied, and got a supportable
Peace granted him (Peace of Lubeck, 1629); after which he sits quiet,
contemplative, with an evil eye upon Sweden now and then. The beatings
he got, in quite regular succession, from Tilly and Consorts, are
not worth mentioning: the only thing one now remembers of him is his
alarming accident on the ramparts of Hameln, just at the opening of
these Campaigns. At Hameln, which was to be a strong post, drunken
Christian rode out once, on a summer afternoon (1624), to see that the
ramparts were all right, or getting all right;--and tumbled, horse and
self (self in liquor, it is thought), in an ominous alarming manner.
Taken up for dead;--nay some of the vague Histories seem to think he was
really dead:--but he lived to be often beaten after that, and had many
moist years more.

Our Kurfurst had another Uncle put to the Ban in this Second
Act,--Christian Wilhelm Archbishop of Magdeburg, "for assisting
the Danish King;" nor was Ban all the ruin that fell on this poor
Archbishop. What could an unfortunate Kurfurst do, but tremble and
obey? There was still a worse smart got by our poor Kurfurst out of Act
Second; the glaring injustice done him in Pommern.

Does the reader remember that scene in the High Church of Stettin a
hundred and fifty years ago? How the Burgermeister threw sword and
helmet into the grave of the last Duke of Pommern-Stettin there; and a
forward Citizen picked them out again in favor of a Collateral Branch?
Never since, any more than then, could Brandenburg get Pommern according
to claim. Collateral Branch, in spite of Friedrich Ironteeth, in spite
even of Albert Achilles and some fighting of his; contrived, by pleading
at the Diets and stirring up noise, to maintain its pretensions: and
Treaties without end ensued, as usual; Treaties refreshed and new-signed
by every Successor of Albert, to a wearisome degree. The sum of which
always was: "Pommern does actual homage to Brandenburg; vassal of
Brandenburg;--and falls home to it, if the now Extant Line go extinct."
Nay there is an ERBVERBRUDERUNG (Heritage-Fraternity) over and above,
established this long time, and wearisomely renewed at every new
Accession. Hundreds of Treaties, oppressive to think of:--and now the
last Duke, old Bogislaus, is here, without hope of children; and the
fruit of all that haggling, actual Pommern to wit, will at last fall
home? Alas, no; far otherwise.

For the Kaiser having so triumphantly swept off the Winter-King, and
Christian IV. in the rear of him, and got Germany ready for converting
to Orthodoxy,--wished now to have some hold of the Seaboard, thereby
to punish Denmark; nay thereby, as is hoped, to extend the blessings of
Orthodoxy into England, Sweden, Holland, and the other Heretic States,
in due time. For our plans go far! This is the Kaiser's fixed wish,
rising to the rank of hope now and then: all Europe shall become Papist
again by the help of God and the Devil. So the Kaiser, on hardly any
pretext, seized Mecklenburg from the Proprietors,--"Traitors, how durst
you join Danish Christian?"--and made Wallenstein Duke of it. Duke of
Mecklenburg, "Admiral of the EAST SEA (Baltic);" and set to
"building ships of war in Rostock,"--his plans going far. [Kohler,
_Reichs-Historie,_ pp, 524, 525.] This done, he seized Pommern, which
also is a fine Sea-country,--stirring up Max of Bavaria to make
some idle pretence to Pommern, that so the Kaiser might seize it "in
sequestration till decided on." Under which hard treatment, George
Wilhelm had to sit sad and silent,--though the Stralsunders would not.
Hence the world-famous Siege of Stralsund (1628); fierce Wallenstein
declaring, "I will have the Town, if it hung by a chain from Heaven;"
but finding he could not get it; owing to the Swedish succor, to the
stubborn temper prevalent among the Townsfolk, and also greatly to the
rains and peat-bogs.

A second Uncle of George Wilhelm's, that unlucky Archbishop of Magdeburg
above mentioned, the Kaiser, once more by his own arbitrary will, put
under Ban of the Empire, in this Second Act: "Traitor, how durst you
join with the Danes?" The result of which was Tilly's Sack of Magdeburg
(10-12th May, 1631), a transaction never forgettable by mankind.--As
for Pommern, Gustav Adolf, on his intervening in these matters, landed
there: Pommern was now seized by Gustav Adolf, as a landing-place and
place-of-arms, indispensable for Sweden in the present emergency; and
was so held thenceforth. Pommern will not fall to George Wilhelm at this


And now we are at Act THIRD:--Landing of Gustav Adolf "in the Isle of
Usedom, 24th June, 1630," and onward for Eighteen Years till the Peace
of Westphalia, in 1648;--on which, as probably better known to the
reader, we will not here go into details. In this Third Act too, George
Wilhelm followed his old scheme, peace at any price;--as shy of Gustav
as he had been of other Champions of the Cause; and except complaining,
petitioning and manifestoing, studiously did nothing.

Poor man, it was his fate to stand in the range of these huge
collisions,--Bridge of Dessau, Siege of Stralsund, Sack of Magdeburg,
Battle of Leipzig,--where the Titans were bowling rocks at one another;
and he hoped, by dexterous skipping, to escape share of the game.
To keep well with his Kaiser,--and such a Kaiser to Germany and to
him,--this, for George Wilhelm, was always the first commandment. If the
Kaiser confiscate your Uncles, against law; seize your Pommern; rob you
on the public highways,--George Wilhelm, even in such case, is full of
dubitations. Nay his Prime-Minister, one Schwartzenberg, a Catholic,
an Austrian Official at one time,--Progenitor of the Austrian
Schwartzenbergs that now are,--was secretly in the Kaiser's interest,
and is even thought to have been in the Kaiser's pay, all along.

Gustav, at his first landing, had seized Pommern, and swept it clear
of Austrians, for himself and for his own wants; not too regardful of
George Wilhelm's claims on it. He cleared out Frankfurt-on-Oder, Custrin
and other Brandenburg Towns, in a similar manner,--by cannon and
storm, when needful;--drove the Imperialists and Tilly forth of these
countries. Advancing, next year, to save Magdeburg, now shrieking under
Tilly's bombardment, Gustav insisted on having, if not some bond of
union from his Brother-in-law of Brandenburg, at least the temporary
cession of two Places of War for himself, Spandau and Custrin,
indispensable in any farther operation. Which cession Kurfurst George
Wilhelm, though giving all his prayers to the Good Cause, could by
no means grant. Gustav had to insist, with more and more emphasis;
advancing at last, with military menace, upon Berlin itself. He was met
by George Wilhelm and his Council, "in the woods of Copenick," short way
to the east of that City: there George Wilhelm and his Council wandered
about, sending messages, hopelessly consulting; saying among each
other, _"Que faire; ils ont des canons,_ what can one do; they have got
cannon?" [_OEvres de Frederic le Grand_ (Berlin, 1846-1856 et seqq.:
_Memoires de Brandebourg_), i. 38. For the rest, Friedrich's Account of
the Transaction is very loose and scanty: see Pauli (iv. 568) and his
minute details.] For many hours so; round the inflexible Gustav,--who
was there like a fixed milestone, and to all questions and comers had
only one answer!--_"Que faire; ils ont des canons?"_ This was the
3d May, 1631. This probably is about the nadir-point of the
Brandenburg-Hohenzollern History. The little Friedrich, who became
Frederick the Great, in writing of it, has a certain grim banter in
his tone; and looks rather with mockery on the perplexities of his poor
Ancestor, so fatally ignorant of the time of day it had now become.

On the whole, George Wilhelm did what is to be called nothing, in the
Thirty-Years War; his function was only that of suffering. He followed
always the bad lead of Johann George, Elector of Saxony; a man of no
strength, devoutness or adequate human worth; who proved, on these
negative grounds, and without flagrancy of positive badness, an
unspeakable curse to Germany. Not till the Kaiser fulminated forth his
Restitution-Edict, and showed he was in earnest about it (1629-1631),
"Restore to our Holy Church what you have taken from her since the
Peace of Passau!"--could this Johann George prevail upon himself to join
Sweden, or even to do other than hate it for reasons he saw. Seized by
the throat in this manner, and ordered to DELIVER, Kur-Sachsen did, and
Brandenburg along with him, make Treaty with the Swede. [8th February,
1631 (Kohler, _Reichs-Historie,_ pp. 526-531.) in consequence of which
they two, some months after, by way of co-operating with Gustav on
his great march Vienna-ward, sent an invading force into Bohemia,
Brandenburg contributing some poor 3,000 to it; who took Prag, and some
other open Towns; but "did almost nothing there," say the Histories,
"except dine and drink." It is clear enough they were instantly
scattered home [October, 1633 (Stenzel, i. 503).) at the first glimpse
of Wallenstein dawning on the horizon again in those parts.

Gustav having vanished (Field of Lutzen, 6th November, 1632 [Pauli,
iv. 576.]), Oxenstiern, with his high attitude, and "Presidency" of the
"Union of Heilbronn," was rather an offence to Kur-Sachsen, who used to
be foremost man on such occasions. Kur-Sachsen broke away again; made
his Peace of Prag, [1635, 20th May (Stenzel, i. 513).] whom Brandenburg
again followed; Brandenburg and gradually all the others, except the
noble Wilhelm of Hessen-Cassel alone. Miserable Peace; bit of Chaos
clouted up, and done over with Official varnish;--which proved to be the
signal for continuing the War beyond visible limits, and rendering peace

After this, George Wilhelm retires from the scene; lives in Custrin
mainly; mere miserable days, which shall be invisible to us. He died in
1640; and, except producing an active brave Son very unlike himself, did
nothing considerable in the world. _"Que faire; ils ont des canons!"_

Among the innumerable sanguinary tusslings of this War are counted Three
great Battles, Leipzig, Lutzen, Nordlingen. Under one great Captain,
Swedish Gustav, and the two or three other considerable Captains, who
appeared in it, high passages of furious valor, of fine strategy and
tactic, are on record. But on the whole, the grand weapon in it, and
towards the latter times the exclusive one, was Hunger. The opposing
Armies tried to starve one another; at lowest, tried each not to starve.
Each trying to eat the country, or at any rate to leave nothing eatable
in it: what that will mean for the country, we may consider. As the
Armies too frequently, and the Kaiser's Armies habitually, lived without
commissariat, often enough without pay, all horrors of war and of being
a seat of war, that have been since heard of, are poor to those then
practised. The detail of which is still horrible to read. Germany, in
all eatable quarters of it, had to undergo the process;--tortured, torn
to pieces, wrecked, and brayed as in a mortar under the iron mace of
war. [Curious incidental details of the state it was reduced to, in the
Rhine and Danube Countries, turn up in the Earl of Arundel and Surrey's
TRAVELS ("Arundel of the Marbles") as _Ambassador Extraordinary to the
Emperor Ferdinando II. in 1636_ (a small Volume, or Pamphlet, London,
1637).] Brandenburg saw its towns sieged and sacked, its country
populations driven to despair, by the one party and the other. Three
times,--first in the Wallenstein Mecklenburg period, while fire and
sword were the weapons, and again, twice over, in the ultimate stages of
the struggle, when starvation had become the method--Brandenburg fell to
be the principal theatre of conflict, where all forms of the dismal
were at their height. In 1638, three years after that precious "Peace of
Prag," the Swedes (Banier VERSUS Gallas) starving out the Imperialists
in those Northwestern parts, the ravages of the starving Gallas and his
Imperialists excelled all precedent; and the "famine about Tangermunde
had risen so high that men ate human flesh, nay human creatures ate
their own children." [1638: Pauli, iv. 604.] _"Que faire; ils ont des


This unfortunate George Wilhelm failed in getting Pommern when due;
Pommern, firmly held by the Swedes, was far from him. But that was not
the only loss of territory he had. Jagerndorf,--we have heard of Johann
George of Jagerndorf, Uncle of this George Wilhelm, how old Joachim
Friedrich put him into Jagerndorf, long since, when it fell home to
the Electoral House. Jagerndorf is now lost; Johann George is under
REICHS-ACHT (Ban of Empire), ever since the Winter-King's explosion, and
the thunder-bolts that followed; and wanders landless;--nay he is long
since dead, and has six feet of earth for a territory, far away in
Transylvania, or the RIESEN-GEBIRGE (Giant Mountains) somewhere.
Concerning whom a word now.


Johann George, a frank-hearted valiant man, concerning whom only good
actions, and no bad one, are on record, had notable troubles in the
world; bad troubles to begin with, and worse to end in. He was second
Son of Kurfurst Joachim Friedrich, who had meant him for the Church.
[1577-1624: Rentsch, p. 486.] The young fellow was Coadjutor of
Strasburg, almost from the time of getting into short-clothes. He
was then, still very young, elected Bishop there (1592); Bishop of
Strasburg,--but only by the Protestant part of the Canons; the Catholic
part, unable to submit longer, and thinking it a good time for revolt
against a Protestant population and obstinately heterodox majority,
elected another Bishop,--one "Karl of the House of Lorraine;" and there
came to be dispute, and came even to be fighting needed. Fighting;
which prudent Papa would not enter into, except faintly at second-hand,
through the Anspach Cousins, or others that were in the humor.
Troublesome times for the young man; which lasted a dozen years or
more. At last a Bargain was made (1604); Protestant and Catholic Canons
splitting the difference in some way; and the House of Lorraine
paying Johann George a great deal of money to go home again.
[_OEuvres completes de Voltaire,_ 97 vols. (Paris, 1825-1832),
xxxiii. 284.--Kohler (_Reichs-Historie,_ p. 487) gives the authentic
particulars.] Poor Johann George came out of it in that way; not
second-best, think several.

He was then (1606) put into Jagerndorf, which had just fallen vacant;
our excellent fat friend, George Friedrich of Anspach, Administrator
of Preussen, having lately died, and left it vacant, as we saw. George
Friedrich's death yielded fine apanages, three of them in all: FIRST
Anspach, SECOND, Baireuth, and this THIRD of Jagerndorf for a still
younger Brother. There was still a fourth younger Brother, Uncle of
George Wilhelm; Archbishop of Magdeburg this one; who also, as we have
seen, got into REICHS-ACHT, into deep trouble in the Thirty-Years War.
He was in Tilly's thrice-murderous Storm of Magdeburg (10th May, 1631);
was captured, tumbled about by the wild soldiery, and nearly killed
there. Poor man, with his mitre and rochets left in such a state! In
the end he even became CATHOLIC,--from conviction, as was evident, and
bewilderment of mind;--and lived in Austria on a pension; occasionally
publishing polemical pamphlets. [1587; 1628; 1665 (Rentsch, pp.

As to Johann George, he much repaired and beautified the Castle of
Jagerndorf, says Rentsch: but he unfortunately went ahead into the
Winter-King's adventure; which, in that sad battle of the Weissenberg,
made total shipwreck of itself, drawing Johann George and much else
along with it. Johann George was straightway tyrannously put to the
Ban, forfeited of life and lands: [22d January, 1621 (Kohler,
_Reichs-Historie,_ p. 518: and rectify Hubner, t. 178).] Johann George
disowned the said Ban; stood out fiercely for self and Winter-King; and
did good fighting in the Silesian strongholds and mountain-passes: but
was forced to seek temporary shelter in SIEBENBURGEN (Transylvania); and
died far away, in a year or two (1624), while returning to try it
again. Sleeps, I think, in the "Jablunka Pass;" the dumb Giant-Mountains
(RIESEN-GEBIRGE) shrouding up his sad shipwreck and him.

Jagerndorf was thus seized by Ferdinand II. of the House of Hapsburg;
and though it was contrary to all law that the Kaiser should keep
it,--poor Johann George having left Sons very innocent of treason, and
Brothers, and an Electoral. Nephew, very innocent,--to whom, by old
compacts and new, the Heritage in defect of him was to fall,--neither
Kaiser Ferdinand II. nor Kaiser Ferdinand III. nor any Kaiser would let
go the hold; but kept Jagerndorf fast clenched, deaf to all pleadings,
and monitions of gods or men. Till at length, in the fourth generation
afterwards, one "Friedrich the Second," not unknown to us,--a sharp
little man, little in stature, but large in faculty and renown, who is
now called "Frederick the Great,"--clutched hold of the Imperial fist
(so to speak), seizing his opportunity in 1740; and so wrenched and
twisted said close fist, that not only Jagerndorf dropped out of it,
but the whole of Silesia along with Jagerndorf, there being other claims
withal. And the account was at last settled, with compound interest,--as
in fact such accounts are sure to be, one way or other. And so we leave
Johann George among the dumb Giant-Mountains again.


Brandenburg had again sunk very low under the Tenth Elector, in the
unutterable troubles of the times. But it was gloriously raised up again
by his Son Friedrich Wilhelm, who succeeded in 1640. This is he whom
they call the "Great Elector (GROSSE KURFURST);" of whom there is much
writing and celebrating in Prussian Books. As for the epithet, it is not
uncommon among petty German populations, and many times does not mean
too much: thus Max of Bavaria, with his Jesuit Lambkins and Hyacinths,
is, by Bavarians, called "Maximilian the Great." Friedrich Wilhelm,
both by his intrinsic qualities and the success he met with, deserves it
better than most. His success, if we look where he started and where he
ended, was beyond that of any other man in his day. He found Brandenburg
annihilated, and he left Brandenburg sound and flourishing; a great
country, or already on the way towards greatness. Undoubtedly a most
rapid, clear-eyed, active man. There was a stroke in him swift as
lightning, well-aimed mostly, and of a respectable weight, withal; which
shattered asunder a whole world of impediments for him, by assiduous
repetition of it for fifty years. [1620; 1640; 1688.]

There hardly ever came to sovereign power a young man of twenty under
more distressing, hopeless-looking circumstances. Political significance
Brandenburg had none; a mere Protestant appendage dragged about by a
Papist Kaiser. His Father's Prime-Minister, as we have seen, was in the
interest of his enemies; not Brandenburg's servant, but Austria's.
The very Commandants of his Fortresses, Commandant of Spandau more
especially, refused to obey Friedrich Wilhelm, on his accession; "were
bound to obey the Kaiser in the first place." He had to proceed softly
as well as swiftly; with the most delicate hand to get him of Spandau by
the collar, and put him under lock-and-key, him as a warning to others.

For twenty years past, Brandenburg had been scoured by hostile armies,
which, especially the Kaiser's part of which, committed outrages new
in human history. In a year or two hence, Brandenburg became again the
theatre of business; Austrian Gallas advancing thither again (1644),
with intent "to shut up Torstenson and his Swedes in Jutland," where
they had been chastising old Christian IV., now meddlesome again, for
the last time, and never a good neighbor to Sweden. Gallas could by
no means do what he intended: on the contrary, he had to run from
Torstenson, what feet could do; was hunted, he and his MERODE-BRUDER
(beautiful inventors of the "Marauding" Art), "till they pretty much all
died (CREPERTIN)," says Kohler. [_Reichs-Historie,_ p. 556; Pauli, v.
24.] No great loss to society, the death of these Artists: but we can
fancy what their life, and especially what the process of their dying,
may have cost poor Brandenburg again!--

Friedrich Wilhelm's aim, in this as in other emergencies, was sun-clear
to himself, but for most part dim to everybody else. He had to walk very
warily, Sweden on one hand of him, suspicious Kaiser on the other; he
had to wear semblances, to be ready with evasive words; and advance
noiselessly by many circuits. More delicate operation could not be
imagined. But advance he did: advance and arrive. With extraordinary
talent, diligence and felicity the young man wound himself out of
this first fatal position: got those foreign Armies pushed out of his
Country, and kept them out. His first concern had been to find some
vestige of revenue, to put that upon a clear footing; and by loans or
otherwise to scrape a little ready money together. On the strength of
which a small body of soldiers could be collected about him, and drilled
into real ability to fight and obey. This as a basis: on this followed
all manner of things: freedom from Swedish-Austrian invasions, as the
first thing.

He was himself, as appeared by and by, a fighter of the first quality,
when it came to that: but never was willing to fight if he could help
it. Preferred rather to shift, manoeuvre and negotiate; which he did in
a most vigilant, adroit and masterly manner. But by degrees he had grown
to have, and could maintain it, an Army of 24,000 men: among the best
troops then in being. With or without his will, he was in all the great
Wars of his time,--the time of Louis XIV., who kindled Europe four times
over, thrice in our Kurfurst's day. The Kurfurst's Dominions, a long
straggling country, reaching from Memel to Wesel, could hardly keep out
of the way of any war that might rise. He made himself available, never
against the good cause of Protestantism and German Freedom, yet always
in the place and way where his own best advantage was to be had. Louis
XIV. had often much need of him: still oftener, and more pressingly, had
Kaiser Leopold, the little Gentleman "in scarlet stockings, with a red
feather in his hat," whom Mr. Savage used to see majestically walking
about, with Austrian lip that said nothing at all. [_A Compleat History
of Germany,_ by Mr. Savage (8vo, London, 1702), p. 553. Who this Mr.
Savage was, we have no trace. Prefixed to the volume is the Portrait
of a solid Gentleman of forty: gloomily polite, with ample wig and
cravat,--in all likelihood some studious subaltern Diplomatist in the
Succession War. His little Book is very lean and barren: but faithfully
compiled,--and might have some illumination in it, where utter darkness
is so prevalent. Most likely, Addison picked his story of the _Siege of
Weinsberg_ ("Women carrying out their Husbands on their back,"--one
of his best SPECTATORS) out of this poor Book.] His 24,000 excellent
fighting-men, thrown in at the right time, were often a thing that could
turn the balance in great questions. They required to be allowed for at
a high rate,--which he well knew how to adjust himself for exacting and
securing always.


When the Peace of Westphalia (1648) concluded that Thirty-Years
Conflagration, and swept the ashes of it into order again, Friedrich
Wilhelm's right to Pommern was admitted by everybody: and well insisted
on by himself: but right had to yield to reason of state, and he could
not get it. The Swedes insisted on their expenses: the Swedes held
Pommern, had all along held it,--in pawn, they said, for their expenses.
Nothing for it but to give the Swedes the better half of Pommern.
FORE-Pommern (so they call it, "Swedish Pomerania" thenceforth), which
lies next the Sea: this, with some Towns and cuttings over and above,
was Sweden's share: Friedrich Wilhelm had to put up with HINDER-Pommern,
docked furthermore of the Town of Stettin, and of other valuable
cuttings, in favor of Sweden. Much to Friedrich Wilhelm's grief and just
anger, could he have helped it.

They gave him Three secularized Bishoprics, Magdeburg, Halberstadt,
Minden, with other small remnants, for compensation; and he had to be
content with these for the present. But he never gave up the idea
of Pommern: much of the effort of his life was spent upon recovering
Fore-Pommern: thrice-eager upon that, whenever lawful opportunity
offered. To no purpose then: he never could recover Swedish Pommern;
only his late descendants, and that by slowish degrees, could recover it
all. Readers remember that Burgermeister of Stettin, with the helmet and
sword flung into the grave and picked out again:--and can judge whether
Brandenburg got its good luck quite by lying in bed!--

Once, and once only, he had a voluntary purpose towards War, and
it remained a purpose only. Soon after the Peace of Westphalia,
old Pfalz-Neuburg, the same who got the slap on the face, went into
tyrannous proceedings against the Protestant part of his subjects
in Julich-Cleve: who called to Friedrich Wilhelm for help. Friedrich
Wilhelm, a zealous Protestant, made remonstrances, retaliations: ere
long the thought struck him, "Suppose, backed by the Dutch, we threw out
this fantastic old gentleman, his Papistries, and pretended claims and
self, clear out of it?" This was Friedrich Wilhelm's thought; and he
suddenly marched troops into the Territory, with that view. But Europe
was in alarm, the Dutch grew faint: Friedrich Wilhelm saw it would not
do. He had a conference with old Pfalz-Neuburg: "Young gentleman,
we remember how your Grandfather made free with us and our august
countenance! Nevertheless we--" In fine, the "statistic of Treaties" was
increased by One: and there the matter rested till calmer times.

In 1666, as already said, an effective Partition of these litigated
Territories was accomplished: Prussia to have the Duchy of Cleve-Proper,
the Counties of Mark and Ravensburg, with other Patches and Pertinents:
Neuburg, what was the better share, to have Julich Duchy and Berg Duchy.
Furthermore, if either of the Lines failed, in no sort was a collateral
to be admitted: but Brandenburg was to inherit Neuburg, or Neuburg
Brandenburg, as the case might be. [Pauli, v. 120-129.] A clear Bargain
this at last: and in the times that had come, it proved executable so
far. But if the reader fancies the Lawsuit was at last out in this way,
he will be a simple reader! In the days of our little Fritz, the Line
of Pfalz-Neuburg was evidently ending: but that Brandenburg and not a
collateral should succeed it, there lay the quarrel,--open still, as if
it had never been shut: and we shall hear enough about it!--


Friedrich Wilhelm's first actual appearance in War, Polish-Swedish War
(1655-1660), was involuntary in the highest degree: forced upon him for
the sake of his Preussen, which bade fair to be lost or ruined, without
blame of his or its. Nevertheless, here too he made his benefit of
the affair. The big King of Sweden had a standing quarrel with his big
Cousin of Poland, which broke out into hot War; little Preussen lay
between them, and was like to be crushed in the collision. Swedish King
was Karl Gustav, Christina's Cousin, Charles Twelfth's Grandfather; a
great and mighty man, lion of the North in his time: Polish King was
one John Casimir; chivalrous enough, and with clouds of forward Polish
chivalry about him, glittering with barbaric gold. Frederick III.,
Danish King for the time being, he also was much involved in the thing.
Fain would Friedrich Wilhelm have kept out of it, but he could not. Karl
Gustav as good as forced him to join: he joined; fought along with
Karl Gustav an illustrious Battle; "Battle of Warsaw," three days long
(28-30th July, 1656), on the skirts of Warsaw,--crowds "looking from the
upper windows" there; Polish chivalry, broken at last, going like chaff
upon the winds, and John Casimir nearly ruined.

Shortly after which, Friedrich Wilhelm, who had shone much in the
Battle, changed sides. An inconsistent, treacherous man? Perhaps not,
O reader; perhaps a man advancing "in circuits," the only way he has;
spirally, face now to east, now to west, with his own reasonable private
aim sun-clear to him all the while?

John Casimir agreed to give up the "Homage of Preussen" for this
service; a grand prize for Friedrich Wilhelm. [Treaty of Labiau, 10th
November, 1656 (Pauli, v. 73-75); 20th November (Stenzel, iv. 128,--who
always uses NEW STYLE).] What the Teutsch Ritters strove for in vain,
and lost their existence in striving for, the shifty Kurfurst has now
got: Ducal Prussia, which is also called East Prussia, is now a free
sovereignty,--and will become as "Royal" as the other Polish part. Or
perhaps even more so, in the course of time!--Karl Gustav, in a high
frame of mind, informs the Kurfurst, that he has him on his books, and
will pay the debt one day!

A dangerous debtor in such matters, this Karl Gustav. In these same
months, busy with the Danish part of the Controversy, he was doing a
feat of war, which set all Europe in astonishment. In January, 1658,
Karl Gustav marches his Army, horse, foot and artillery, to the extent
of twenty thousand, across the Baltic ice, and takes an Island without
shipping,--Island of Funen, across the Little Belt; three miles of ice;
and a part of the sea open, which has to be crossed on planks. Nay,
forward from Funen, when once there, he achieves ten whole miles more
of ice; and takes Zealand itself, [Holberg's _Danemarkische
Reichs-Historie,_ pp. 406-409.]--to the wonder of all mankind. An
imperious, stern-browed, swift-striking man; who had dreamed of a new
Goth Empire: The mean Hypocrites and Fribbles of the South to be coerced
again by noble Norse valor, and taught a new lesson. Has been known
to lay his hand on his sword while apprising an Ambassador (Dutch
High-Mightiness) what his royal intentions were: "Not the sale or
purchase of groceries, observe you, Sir! My aims go higher!"--Charles
Twelfth's Grandfather, and somewhat the same type of man.

But Karl Gustav died, short while after; [13th February, 1660, age 38.]
left his big wide-raging Northern Controversy to collapse in what way
it could. Sweden and the fighting-parties made their "Peace of Oliva"
(Abbey of Oliva, near Dantzig, 1st May, 1660); and this of Preussen was
ratified, in all form, among the other points. No homage more; nothing
now above Ducal Prussia but the Heavens; and great times coming for
it. This was one of the successfulest strokes of business ever done by
Friedrich Wilhelm; who had been forced, by sheer compulsion, to embark
in that big game.--"Royal Prussia," the Western or POLISH Prussia: this
too, as all Newspapers know, has, in our times, gone the same road as
the other. Which probably, after all, it may have had, in Nature, some
tendency to do? Cut away, for reasons, by the Polish sword, in that
Battle of Tannenberg, long since; and then, also for reasons, cut back
again! That is the fact;--not unexampled in human History.

Old Johann Casimir, not long after that Peace of Oliva, getting tired of
his unruly Polish chivalry and their ways, abdicated;--retired to Paris;
and "lived much with Ninon de l'Enclos and her circle," for the rest of
his life. He used to complain of his Polish chivalry, that there was no
solidity in them; nothing but outside glitter, with tumult and anarchic
noise; fatal want of one essential talent, the talent of Obeying; and
has been heard to prophesy that a glorious Republic, persisting in such
courses, would arrive at results which would surprise it.

Onward from this time, Friedrich Wilhelm figures in the world; public
men watching his procedure; Kings anxious to secure him,--Dutch
printsellers sticking up his Portraits for a hero-worshipping Public.
Fighting hero, had the Public known it, was not his essential character,
though he had to fight a great deal. He was essentially an Industrial
man; great in organizing, regulating, in constraining chaotic heaps
to become cosmic for him. He drains bogs, settles colonies in the
waste-places of his Dominions, cuts canals; unweariedly encourages trade
and work. The FRIEDRICH-WILHELM'S CANAL, which still carries tonnage
from the Oder to the Spree, [Executed, 1662-1668; fifteen English miles
long (Busching, ERDBESCHREIBUNG, vi, 2193).] is a monument of his zeal
in this way; creditable, with the means he had. To the poor French
Protestants, in the Edict-of-Nantes Affair, he was like an express
Benefit of Heaven: one Helper appointed, to whom the help itself was
profitable. He munificently welcomed them to Brandenburg; showed really
a noble piety and human pity, as well as judgment; nor did Brandenburg
and he want their reward. Some 20,000 nimble French souls, evidently of
the best French quality, found a home there;--made "waste sands about
Berlin into potherb gardens;" and in the spiritual Brandenburg, too,
did something of horticulture, which is still noticeable. [Erman (weak
Biographer of Queen Sophie-Charlotte, already cited), _Memoires pour
sevir a l'Histoire den Refugies Francais dans les Etats du Roi de
Prusse_ (Berlin, 1782-1794), 8 tt. 8vo.]

Certainly this Elector was one of the shiftiest of men. Not an unjust
man either. A pious, God-fearing man rather, stanch to his Protestantism
and his Bible; not unjust by any means,--nor, on the other hand, by any
means thick-skinned in his interpretings of justice: Fair-play to myself
always; or occasionally even the Height of Fair-play! On the whole, by
constant energy, vigilance, adroit activity, by an ever-ready insight
and audacity to seize the passing fact by its right handle, he fought
his way well in the world; left Brandenburg a flourishing and greatly
increased Country, and his own name famous enough.

A thick-set stalwart figure; with brisk eyes, and high strong
irregularly Roman nose. Good bronze Statue of him, by Schluter, once a
famed man, still rides on the LANGE-BRUCKE (Long-Bridge) at Berlin; and
his Portrait, in huge frizzled Louis-Quatorze wig, is frequently met
with in German Galleries. Collectors of Dutch Prints, too, know him:
here a gallant, eagle-featured little gentleman, brisk in the smiles of
youth, with plumes, with truncheon, caprioling on his war-charger, view
of tents in the distance;--there a sedate, ponderous, wrinkly old man,
eyes slightly puckered (eyes BUSIER than mouth); a face well-ploughed
by Time, and not found unfruitful; one of the largest, most laborious,
potent faces (in an ocean of circumambient periwig) to be met with
in that Century. [Both Prints are Dutch; the Younger, my copy of the
Younger, has lost the Engraver's Name (Kurfurst's age is twenty-seven);
the Elder is by MASSON, 1633, when Friedrich Wilhelm was sixty-three.]
There are many Histories about him, too; but they are not comfortable to
read. [G. D. Geyler, _Leben und Thaten Friedrich Wihelms des Grossen_
(Frankfort and Leipzig, 1703), folio. Franz Horn, _Das Leben Friedrich
Wilhelms des Grossen_ (Berlin, 1814). Pauli, _Staats-Geschichte,_ Band
v. (Halle, 1764). Pufendorf, _De rebus gestis Friderici Wilhelmi Magni
Electoris Brandenburgensis Commentaria_ (Lips. et Berol. 1733, fol.)] He
also has wanted a sacred Poet; and found only a bewildering Dryasdust.

His Two grand Feats that dwell in the Prussian memory are perhaps none
of his greatest, but were of a kind to strike the imagination. They both
relate to what was the central problem of his life,--the recovery
of Pommern from the Swedes. Exploit First is the famed "Battle
of FEHRBELLIN (Ferry of BellEEN)," fought on the 18th June, 1675.
Fehrbellin is an inconsiderable Town still standing in those peaty
regions, some five-and-thirty miles northwest of Berlin; and had for
ages plied its poor Ferry over the oily-looking, brown, sluggish stream
called Rhin, or Rhein in those parts, without the least notice from
mankind, till this fell out. It is a place of pilgrimage to patriotic
Prussians, ever since Friedrich Wilhelm's exploit there. The matter went

Friedrich Wilhelm was fighting, far south in Alsace, on Kaiser Leopold's
side, in the Louis-Fourteenth War; that second one, which ended in the
treaty of Nimwegen. Doing his best there,--when the Swedes, egged on
by Louis XIV., made war upon him; crossed the Pomeranian marches, troop
after troop, and invaded his Brandenburg Territory with a force which
at length amounted to some 16,000 men. No help for the moment: Friedrich
Wilhelm could not be spared from his post. The Swedes, who had at first
professed well, gradually went into plunder, roving, harrying, at their
own will; and a melancholy time they made of it for Friedrich Wilhelm
and his People. Lucky if temporary harm were all the ill they were
likely to do; lucky if--! He stood steady, however; in his solid manner,
finishing the thing in hand first, since that was feasible. He then even
retired into winter-quarters, to rest his men; and seemed to have left
the Swedish 16,000 autocrats of the situation; who accordingly went
storming about at a great rate.

Not so, however; very far indeed from so. Having rested his men for
certain months, Friedrich Wilhelm silently in the first days of June
(1675) gets them under march again; marches, his Cavalry and he as first
instalment, with best speed from Schweinfurt, [Stenzel, ii. 347.] which
is on the river Main, to Magdeburg; a distance of two hundred miles. At
Magdeburg, where he rests three days, waiting for the first handful of
foot and a field-piece or two, he learns that the Swedes are in three
parties wide asunder; the middle party of them within forty miles of
him. Probably stronger, even this middle one, than his small body (of
"six thousand Horse, twelve hundred Foot and three guns");--stronger,
but capable perhaps of being surprised, of being cut in pieces, before
the others can come up? Rathenau is the nearest skirt of this middle
party: thither goes the Kurfurst, softly, swiftly, in the June night
(16-17th June, 1675); gets into Rathenau, by brisk stratagem; tumbles
out the Swedish Horse-regiment there, drives it back towards Fehrbellin.

He himself follows hard;--swift riding enough, in the summer night,
through those damp Havel lands, in the old Hohenzollern fashion: and
indeed old Freisack Castle, as it chances,--Freisack, scene of Dietrich
von Quitzow and LAZY PEG long since,--is close by! Follows hard, we
say: strikes in upon this midmost party (nearly twice his number, but
Infantry for the most part); and after fierce fight, done with good
talent on both sides, cuts it into utter ruin, as proposed. Thereby
he has left the Swedish Army as a mere head and tail WITHOUT body; has
entirely demolished the Swedish Army. [Stenzel, ii. 350-357.] Same feat
intrinsically as that done by Cromwell, on Hamilton and the Scots, in
1648. It was, so to speak, the last visit Sweden paid to Brandenburg, or
the last of any consequence; and ended the domination of the Swedes
in those quarters. A thing justly to be forever remembered by
Brandenburg;--on a smallish modern scale, the Bannockburn, Sempach,
Marathon, of Brandenburg. [See Pauli, v. 161-169; Stenzel, ii. 335,
340-347, 354; Kausler, _Atlas des plus memorables Batailles, Combats
et Sieges,_ or _Atlas der merkwurdigsten Schlachten, Treffen und
Belagerungen_ (German and French, Carlsruhe and Freiburg, 1831), p. 417,
Blatt 62.]

Exploit Second was four years later; in some sort a corollary to
this; and a winding-up of the Swedish business. The Swedes, in farther
prosecution of their Louis-Fourteenth speculation, had invaded Preussen
this time, and were doing sad havoc there. It was in the dead of winter,
Christmas, 1678, more than four hundred miles off; and the Swedes, to
say nothing of their other havoc, were in a case to take Konigsberg, and
ruin Prussia altogether, if not prevented. Friedrich Wilhelm starts
from Berlin, with the opening Year, on his long march; the Horse-troops
first, Foot to follow at their swiftest; he himself (his Wife, his
ever-true "Louisa," accompanying, as her wont was) travels, towards the
end, at the rate of "sixty miles a day." He gets in still in time, finds
Konigsberg unscathed. Nay it is even said, the Swedes are extensively
falling sick; having, after a long famine, found infinite "pigs, near
Insterburg," in those remote regions, and indulged in the fresh pork

I will not describe the subsequent manoeuvres, which would interest
nobody: enough if I say that on the 16th of January, 1679, it had become
of the highest moment for Friedrich Wilhelm to get from Carwe (Village
near Elbing) on the shore of the FRISCHE HAF, where he was, through
Konigsberg, to Gilge on the CURISCHE HAF, where the Swedes are,--in a
minimum of time. Distance, as the crow flies, is about a hundred
miles; road, which skirts the two HAFS [Pauli, v. 215-222; Stenzel, ii.
392-397.] (wide shallow WASHES, as we should name them), is of rough
quality, and naturally circuitous. It is ringing frost to-day, and for
days back:--Friedrich Wilhelm hastily gathers all the sledges, all
the horses of the district; mounts some four thousand men in sledges;
starts, with the speed of light, in that fashion. Scours along all
day, and after the intervening bit of land, again along; awakening
the ice-bound silences. Gloomy Frische Haf, wrapt in its Winter
cloud-coverlids, with its wastes of tumbled sand, its poor frost-bound
fishing-hamlets, pine-hillocks,--desolate-looking, stern as Greenland or
more so, says Busching, who travelled there in winter-time, [Busching's
_Beitrage_ (Halle, 1789), vi. 160.]--hears unexpected human noises,
and huge grinding and trampling; the four thousand, in long fleet
of sledges, scouring across it, in that manner. All day they rush
along,--out of the rimy hazes of morning into the olive-colored clouds
of evening again,--with huge loud-grinding rumble;--and do arrive in
time at Gilge. A notable streak of things, shooting across those frozen
solitudes, in the New-Year, 1679;--little short of Karl Gustav's feat,
which we heard of, in the other or Danish end of the Baltic, twenty
years ago, when he took Islands without ships.

This Second Exploit--suggested or not by that prior one of Karl Gustav
on the ice--is still a thing to be remembered by Hohenzollerns and
Prussians. The Swedes were beaten here, on Friedrich Wilhelm's rapid
arrival; were driven into disastrous rapid retreat Northward; which they
executed, in hunger and cold; fighting continually, like Northern bears,
under the grim sky; Friedrich Wilhelm sticking to their skirts,--holding
by their tail, like an angry bear-ward with steel whip in his hand. A
thing which, on the small scale, reminds one of Napoleon's experiences.
Not till Napoleon's huge fighting-flight, a hundred and thirty-four
years after, did I read of such a transaction in those parts. The
Swedish invasion of Preussen has gone utterly to ruin.

And this, then, is the end of Sweden, and its bad neighborhood on these
shores, where it has tyrannously sat on our skirts so long? Swedish
Pommern the Elector already had: last year, coming towards it ever since
the Exploit of Fehrbellin, he had invaded Swedish Pommern; had
besieged and taken Stettin, nay Stralsund too, where Wallenstein had
failed;--cleared Pommern altogether of its Swedish guests. Who had tried
next in Preussen, with what luck we see. Of Swedish Pommern the Elector
might now say: "Surely it is mine; again mine, as it long was; well won
a second time, since the first would not do!" But no:--Louis XIV. proved
a gentleman to his Swedes. Louis, now that the Peace of Nimwegen had
come, and only the Elector of Brandenburg was still in harness, said
steadily, though anxious enough to keep well with the Elector: "They are
my allies, these Swedes; it was on my bidding they invaded you: can I
leave them in such a pass? It must not be!" So Pommern had to be given
back. A miss which was infinitely grievous to Friedrich Wilhelm. The
most victorious Elector cannot hit always, were his right never so good.

Another miss which he had to put up with, in spite of his rights,
and his good services, was that of the Silesian Duchies. The
Heritage-Fraternity with Liegnitz had at length, in 1675, come to fruit.
The last Duke of Liegnitz was dead: Duchies of Liegnitz, of Brieg,
Wohlau, are Brandenburg's, if there were right done! But Kaiser
Leopold in the scarlet stockings will not hear of Heritage-Fraternity.
"Nonsense!" answers Kaiser Leopold: "A thing suppressed at once, ages
ago; by Imperial power: flat ZERO of a thing at this time;--and you, I
again bid you, return me your Papers upon it!" This latter act of duty
Friedrich Wilhelm would not do; but continued insisting. [Pauli,
v. 321.] "Jagerndorf at least, O Kaiser of the world," said he;
"Jagerndorf, there is no color for your keeping that!" To which the
Kaiser again answers, "Nonsense!"--and even falls upon astonishing
schemes about it, as we shall see;--but gives nothing. Ducal Preussen
is sovereign, Cleve is at Peace, Hinter-Pommern ours;--this Elector has
conquered much: but the Silesian Heritages and Vor-Pommern, and some
other things, he will have to do without. Louis XIV., it is thought,
once offered to get him made King; [Ib. vii. 215.] but that he declined
for the present.

His married and domestic life is very fine and human; especially with
that Oranien-Nassau Princess, who was his first Wife (1646-1667);
Princess Louisa of Nassau-Orange; Aunt to our own Dutch William, King
William III., in time coming. An excellent wise Princess; from whom
came the Orange Heritages, which afterwards proved difficult to
settle:--Orange was at last exchanged for the small Principality of
Neufchatel in Switzerland, which is Prussia's ever since. "Oranienburg
(ORANGE-BURG)," a Royal Country-house, still standing, some twenty miles
northwards from Berlin, was this Louisa's place: she had trimmed it
up into a little jewel, of the Dutch type,--potherb gardens,
training-schools for young girls, and the like;--a favorite abode of
hers, when she was at liberty for recreation. But her life was busy and
earnest: she was helpmate, not in name only, to an ever-busy man. They
were married young; a marriage of love withal. Young Friedrich Wilhelm's
courtship, wedding in Holland; the honest trustful walk and conversation
of the two Sovereign Spouses, their journeyings together, their mutual
hopes, fears and manifold vicissitudes; till Death, with stern beauty,
shut it in:--all is human, true and wholesome in it; interesting to look
upon, and rare among sovereign persons.

Not but that he had his troubles with his womankind. Even with this his
first Wife, whom he loved truly, and who truly loved him, there were
scenes; the Lady having a judgment of her own about everything that
passed, and the Man being choleric withal. Sometimes, I have heard, "he
would dash his hat at her feet," saying symbolically, "Govern you, then,
Madam! Not the Kurfurst-Hat; a Coif is my wear, it seems!" [Forster,
_Friedrich Wilhelm I. Konig von Preussen_ (Potsdam, 1834), i. 177.] Yet
her judgment was good; and he liked to have it on the weightiest things,
though her powers of silence might halt now and then. He has been known,
on occasion, to run from his Privy-Council to her apartment, while a
complex matter was debating, to ask her opinion, hers too, before it was
decided. Excellent Louisa; Princess full of beautiful piety, good-sense
and affection; a touch of the Nassau-Heroic in her. At the moment of her
death, it is said, when speech had fled, he felt, from her hand which
lay in his, three slight, slight pressures: "Farewell!" thrice mutely
spoken in that manner,--not easy to forget in this world. [Wegfuhrer,
_Leben der Kurfurstin Luise_ (Leipzig, 1838), p. 175.]

His second Wife, Dorothea,--who planted the Lindens in Berlin, and did
other husbandries, of whom we have heard, fell far short of Louisa
in many things; but not in tendency to advise, to remonstrate, and
plaintively reflect on the finished and unalterable. Dreadfully thrifty
lady, moreover; did much in dairy produce, farming of town-rates,
provision-taxes: not to speak again of that Tavern she was thought to
have in Berlin, and to draw custom to in an oblique manner! What scenes
she had with Friedrich her stepson, we have seen. "Ah, I have not my
Louisa now; to whom now shall I run for advice or help!" would the poor
Kurfurst at times exclaim.

He had some trouble, considerable trouble now and then, with mutinous
spirits in Preussen; men standing on antique Prussian franchises
and parchments; refusing to see that the same were now antiquated,
incompatible, not to say impossible, as the new Sovereign alleged; and
carrying themselves very stiffly at times. But the Hohenzollerns had
been used to such things; a Hohenzollern like this one would evidently
take his measures, soft but strong, and ever stronger to the needful
pitch, with mutinous spirits. One Burgermeister of Konigsberg, after
much stroking on the back, was at length seized in open Hall, by
Electoral writ,--soldiers having first gently barricaded the principal
streets, and brought cannon to bear upon them. This Burgermeister,
seized in such brief way, lay prisoner for life; refusing to ask his
liberty, though it was thought he might have had it on asking. [Horn,
_Das Leben Friedrich Wilhelms des Grossen_ (Berlin, 1814), p. 68.]

Another gentleman, a Baron von Kalkstein, of old Teutsch-Bitter kin, of
very high ways, in the Provincial Estates (STANDE) and elsewhere, got
into lofty almost solitary opposition, and at length into mutiny proper,
against the new "Non-Polish SOVEREIGN," and flatly refused to do homage
at his accession in that new capacity. [Supra, pp. 383, et seqq.]
Refused, Kalkstein did, for his share; fled to Warsaw; and very
fiercely, in a loud manner, carried on his mutinies in the Diets and
Court-Conclaves there; his plea being, or plea for the time, "Poland is
our liege lord [which it was not always], and we cannot be transferred
to you, except by our consent asked and given," which too had been a
little neglected on the former occasion of transfer. So that the Great
Elector knew not what to do with Kalkstein; and at length (as the case
was pressing) had him kidnapped by his Ambassador at Warsaw; had him
"rolled into a carpet" there, and carried swiftly in the Ambassador's
coach, in the form of luggage, over the frontier, into his native
Province, there to be judged, and, in the end (since nothing else would
serve him), to have the sentence executed, and his head cut off. For the
case was pressing! [Horn, pp. 80-82.]--These things, especially this of
Kalkstein, with a boisterous Polish Diet and parliamentary eloquence in
the rear of him, gave rise to criticism; and required management on the
part of the Great Elector.

Of all his Ancestors, our little Fritz, when he grew big, admired this
one. A man made like himself in many points. He seems really to have
loved and honored this one. In the year 1750 there had been a new
Cathedral got finished at Berlin; the ancestral bones had to be shifted
over from the vaults of the old one,--the burying-place ever since
Joachim II., that Joachim who drew his sword on Alba. "King Friedrich,
with some attendants, witnessed the operation, January, 1750. When the
Great Kurfurst's coffin came, he made them open it; gazed in silence on
the features for some time, which were perfectly recognizable; laid his
hand on the hand long dead, and said, _'Messieurs, celui-ci a fait de
grandes choses_ (This one did a great work)!'" [See Preuss, i. 270.]

He died 29th April, 1688;--looking with intense interest upon Dutch
William's preparations to produce a Glorious Revolution in this Island;
being always of an ardent Protestant feeling, and a sincerely religious
man. Friedrich, Crown-Prince, age then thirty-one, and already married
a second time, was of course left Chief Heir;--who, as we see, has not
declined the Kingship, when a chance for it offered. There were four
Half-brothers of Friedrich, too, who got apanages, appointments. They
had at one time confidently looked for much more, their Mother being
busy; but were obliged to be content, and conform to the GERA BOND and
fundamental Laws of the Country. They are entitled Margraves; two of
whom left children, Margraves of Brandenburg-Schwedt, HEERMEISTERS (Head
of the Malta-Knighthood) at Sonnenburg, Statthalters in Magdeburg, or
I know not what; whose names turn up confusedly in the Prussian Books;
and, except as temporary genealogical puzzles, are not of much moment to
the Foreign reader. Happily there is nothing else in the way of Princes
of the Blood, in our little Friedrich's time; and happily what concern
he had with these, or how he was related to them, will not be abstruse
to us, if occasion rise.


We said the Great Elector never could work his Silesian Duchies out of
Kaiser Leopold's grip: to all his urgencies the little Kaiser in red
stockings answered only in evasions, refusals; and would quit nothing.
We noticed also what quarrels the young Electoral Prince, Friedrich,
afterwards King, had got into with his Stepmother; suddenly feeling
poisoned after dinner, running to his Aunt at Cassel, coming back on
treaty, and the like. These are two facts which the reader knows: and
out of these two grew a third, which it is fit he should know.

In his last years, the Great Elector, worn out with labor, and harassed
with such domestic troubles over and above, had evidently fallen much
under his Wife's management; cutting out large apanages (clear against
the GERA BOND) for her children;--longing probably for quiet in his
family at any price. As to the poor young Prince, negotiated back from
Cassel, he lived remote, and had fallen into open disfavor,--with a very
ill effect upon his funds, for one thing. His father kept him somewhat
tight on the money-side, it is alleged; and he had rather a turn for
spending money handsomely. He was also in some alarm about the proposed
apanages to his Half-brothers, the Margraves above mentioned, of which
there were rumors going.


Now in these circumstances the Austrian Court, who at this time (1685)
greatly needed the Elector's help against Turks and others, and found
him very urgent about these Silesian Duchies of his, fell upon what I
must call a very extraordinary shift for getting rid of the Silesian
question. "Serene Highness," said they, by their Ambassador at Berlin,
"to end these troublesome talks, and to liquidate all claims, admissible
and inadmissible, about Silesia, the Imperial Majesty will give you an
actual bit of Territory, valuable, though not so large as you expected!"
The Elector listens with both ears: What Territory, then? The "Circle of
Schwiebus," hanging on the northwestern edge of Silesia, contiguous to
the Elector's own Dominions in these Frankfurt-on-Oder regions: this the
generous Imperial Majesty proposes to give in fee-simple to Friedrich
Wilhelm, and so to end the matter. Truly a most small patch of Territory
in comparison; not bigger than an English Rutlandshire, to say nothing
of soil and climate! But then again it was an actual patch of territory;
not a mere parchment shadow of one: this last was a tempting point to
the old harassed Elector. Such friendly offer they made him, I think, in
1685, at the time they were getting 8,000 of his troops to march against
the Turks for them; a very needful service at the moment. "By the bye,
do not march through Silesia, you!--Or march faster!" said the cautious
Austrians on this occasion: "Other roads will answer better than
Silesia!" said they. [Pauli, v. 327, 332.] Baron Freytag, their
Ambassador at Berlin, had negotiated the affair so far: "Circle of
Schwiebus," said Freytag, "and let us have done with these thorny

But Baron Freytag had been busy, in the mean while, with the young
Prince; secretly offering Sympathy, counsel, help; of all which the poor
Prince stood in need enough. "We will help you in that dangerous matter
of the Apanages," said Freytag; "Help you in all things,"--I suppose he
would say,--"necessary pocket-money is not a thing your Highness need
want!" And thus Baron Freytag, what is very curious, had managed to
bargain beforehand with the young Prince, That directly on coming to
power, he would give up Schwiebus again, SHOULD the offer of Schwiebus
be accepted by Papa. To which effect Baron Freytag held a signed Bond,
duly executed by the young man, before Papa had concluded at all. Which
is very curious indeed!--

Poor old Papa, worn out with troubles, accepted Schwiebus in liquidation
of all claims (8th April, 1686), and a few days after set his men on
march against the Turks:--and, exactly two months beforehand, on the
8th of February last, the Prince had signed HIS secret engagement, That
Schwiebus should be a mere phantasm to Papa; that he, the Prince, would
restore it on his accession. Both these singular Parchments, signed,
sealed and done in the due legal form, lay simultaneously in Freytag's
hand; and probably enough they exist yet, in some dusty corner, among
the solemn sheepskins of the world. This is literally the plan hit upon
by an Imperial Court, to assist a young Prince in his pecuniary and
other difficulties, and get rid of Silesian claims. Plan actually
not unlike that of swindling money-lenders to a young gentleman in
difficulties, and of manageable turn, who has got into their hands.

The Great Elector died two years after; Schwiebus then in his hand. The
new Elector, once instructed as to the nature of the affair, refused to
give up Schwiebus; [19th September, 1689 Pauli, vii. 74.] declared
the transaction a swindle:--and in fact, for seven years more, retained
possession of Schwiebus. But the Austrian Court insisted, with emphasis,
at length with threats (no insuperable pressure from Louis, or the
Turks, at this time); the poor cheated Elector had, at last, to give up
Schwiebus, in terms of his promise. [31st December, 1694.] He took act
that it had been a surreptitious transaction, palmed upon him while
ignorant, and while without the least authority or power to make such a
promise; that he was not bound by it, nor would be, except on compulsion
thus far: and as to binding Brandenburg by it, how could he, at that
period of his history, bind Brandenburg? Brandenburg was not then his to
bind, any more than China was.

His Raths had advised Friedrich against giving up Schwiebus in that
manner. But his answer is on record: "I must, I will and shall keep my
own word. But my rights on Silesia, which I could not, and do not in
these unjust circumstances, compromise, I leave intact for my posterity
to prosecute. If God and the course of events order it no otherwise than
now, we must be content. But if God shall one day send the opportunity,
those that come after me will know what they have to do in such case."
[Pauli, vii. 150.] And so Schwiebus was given up, the Austrians paying
back what Brandenburg had laid out in improving it, "250,000 GULDEN
(25,000 pounds);"--and the Hand of Power had in this way, finally as it
hoped, settled an old troublesome account of Brandenburg's. Settled
the Silesian-Duchies Claim, by the temporary Phantasm of a Gift of
Schwiebus. That is literally the Liegnitz-Jagerndorf case; and the
reader is to note it and remember it. For it will turn up again in
History. The Hand of Power is very strong: but a stronger may perhaps
get hold of its knuckles one day, at an advantageous time, and do a feat
upon it.

The "eventual succession to East Friesland," which had been promised by
the Reich, some ten years ago, to the Great Elector, "for what he had
done against the Turks, and what he had suffered from those Swedish
Invasions, in the Common Cause:" this shadow of Succession, the Kaiser
now said, should not be haggled with any more; but be actually realized,
and the Imperial sanction to it now given,--effect to follow IF the
Friesland Line died out. Let this be some consolation for the loss of
Schwiebus and your Silesian Duchies. Here in Friesland is the ghost of
a coming possession; there in Schwiebus was the ghost of a going one:
phantasms you shall not want for; but the Hand of Power parts not with
its realities, however come by.


Poor Friedrich led a conspicuous life as Elector and King; but no
public feat he did now concerns us like this private one of Schwiebus.
Historically important, this, and requiring to be remembered, while
so much else demands mere oblivion from us. He was a spirited man;
did soldierings, fine Siege of Bonn (July-October, 1689), sieges
and campaignings, in person,--valiant in action, royal especially
in patience there,--during that Third War of Louis-Fourteenth's,
the Treaty-of-Ryswick one. All through the Fourth, or Spanish
Succession-War, his Prussian Ten-Thousand, led by fit generals, showed
eminently what stuff they were made of. Witness Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau
(still a YOUNG Dessauer) on the field of Blenheim;--Leopold had the
right wing there, and saved Prince Eugene who was otherwise blown to
pieces, while Marlborough stormed and conquered on the left. Witness the
same Dessauer on the field of Hochstadt the year before, [Varnhagen von
Ense, _Biographische Denkmale_ (Berlin, 1845), ii, 155.] how he managed
the retreat there. Or see him at the Bridge of Cassano (1705); in
the Lines of Turin (1706); [_ Des weltheruhnden Furstens Leopoldi
von Anhult-Dessau Leben und Thaten_ (Leipzig, 1742, anonymous, by one
MICHAEL RANFFT), pp. 53, 61.] wherever hot service was on hand. At
Malplaquet, in those murderous inexpugnable French Lines, bloodiest of
obstinate Fights (upwards of thirty thousand left on the ground), the
Prussians brag that it was they who picked their way through a certain
peat-bog, reckoned impassable; and got fairly in upon the French
wing,--to the huge comfort of Marlborough, and little Eugene his brisk
comrade on that occasion. Marlborough knew well the worth of these
Prussian troops, and also how to stroke his Majesty into continuing them
in the field.

He was an expensive King, surrounded by cabals, by Wartenbergs male and
female, by whirlpools of intrigues, which, now that the game is over,
become very forgettable. But one finds he was a strictly honorable man;
with a certain height and generosity of mind, capable of other nobleness
than the upholstery kind. He had what we may call a hard life of it;
did and suffered a good deal in his day and generation, not at all in
a dishonest or unmanful manner. In fact, he is quite recognizably a
Hohenzollern,--with his back half broken. Readers recollect that sad
accident: how the Nurse, in one of those headlong journeys which his
Father and Mother were always making, let the poor child fall or jerk
backward; and spoiled him much, and indeed was thought to have killed
him, by that piece of inattention. He was not yet Hereditary Prince, he
was only second son: but the elder died; and he became Elector, King;
and had to go with his spine distorted,--distortion not glaringly
conspicuous, though undeniable;--and to act the Hohenzollern SO. Nay
who knows but it was this very jerk, and the half-ruin of his nervous
system,--this doubled wish to be beautiful, and this crooked back
capable of being hid or decorated into straightness,--that first set
the poor man on thinking of expensive ornamentalities, and Kingships in
particular? History will forgive the Nurse in that case.

Perhaps History has dwelt too much on the blind side of this expensive
King. Toland, on entering his country, was struck rather with the
signs of good administration everywhere. No sooner have you crossed the
Prussian Border, out of Westphalia, says Toland, than smooth highways,
well-tilled fields, and a general air of industry and regularity, are
evident: solid milestones, brass-bound, and with brass inscription, tell
the traveller where he is; who finds due guidance of finger-posts, too,
and the blessing of habitable inns. The people seem all to be busy,
diligently occupied; villages reasonably swept and whitewashed;--never
was a better set of Parish Churches; whether new-built or old, they are
all in brand-new repair. The contrast with Westphalia is immediate
and great; but indeed that was a sad country, to anybody but a patient
Toland, who knows the causes of phenomena. No inns there, except of the
naturally savage sort. "A man is very happy if he finds clean straw
to sleep on, without expecting sheets or coverings; let him readily
dispense with plates, forks and napkins, if he can get anything to
eat.... He must be content to have the cows, swine and poultry for his
fellow-lodgers, and to go in at the same passage that the smoke comes
out at, for there's no other vent for it but the door; which makes
foreigners commonly say that the people of Westphalia enter their houses
by the chimney." And observe withal: "This is the reason why their beef
and hams are so finely prepared and ripened; for the fireplace being
backwards, the smoke must spread over all the house before it gets to
the door; which makes everything within of a russet or sable color, not
excepting the hands and faces of the meaner sort." [_An Account of the
Courts of Prussia and Hanover,_ by Mr. Toland (cited already), p. 4.]
If Prussia yield to Westphalia in ham, in all else she is strikingly

He founded Universities, this poor King; University of Halle; Royal
Academy of Berlin, Leibnitz presiding: he fought for Protestantism;--did
what he could for the cause of Cosmos VERSUS Chaos, after his fashion.
The magnificences of his Charlottenburgs, Oranienburgs and numerous
Country-houses make Toland almost poetic. An affable kindly man withal,
though quick of temper; his word sacred to him. A man of many troubles,
and acquainted with "the infinitely little (L'INFINIMENT PETIT)," as his
Queen termed it.


Old King Friedrich I. had not much more to do in the world, after
witnessing the christening of his Grandson of like name. His leading
forth or sending forth of troops, his multiplex negotiations, solemn
ceremonials, sad changes of ministry, sometimes transacted "with tears,"
are mostly ended; the ever-whirling dust-vortex of intrigues, of which
he has been the centre for a five-and-twenty years, is settling down
finally towards everlasting rest. No more will Marlborough come and
dexterously talk him over,--proud to "serve as cupbearer," on occasion,
to so high a King--for new bodies of men to help in the next
campaign: we have ceased to be a King worthy of such a cupbearer, and
Marlborough's campaigns too are all ended.

Much is ended. They are doing the sorrowful Treaty of Utrecht; Louis
XIV. himself is ending; mournfully shrunk into the corner, with his
Missal and his Maintenon; looking back with just horror on Europe four
times set ablaze for the sake of one poor mortal in big periwig, to
no purpose. Lucky if perhaps Missal-work, orthodox litanies, and even
Protestant Dragonnades, can have virtue to wipe out such a score against
a man! Unhappy Louis: the sun-bright gold has become dim as copper; we
rose in storms, and we are setting in watery clouds. The Kaiser himself
(Karl VI., Leopold's Son, Joseph I.'s younger Brother) will have to
conform to this Treaty of Utrecht: what other possibility for him?

The English, always a wonderful Nation, fought and subsidied from side
to side of Europe for this Spanish-Succession business; fought ten
years, such fighting as they never did before or since, under "John Duke
of Marlborough," who, as is well known, "beat the French thorough and
thorough." French entirely beaten at last, not without heroic difficulty
and as noble talent as was ever shown in diplomacy and war, are ready
to do your will in all things; in this of giving up Spain, among
others:--whereupon the English turn round, with a sudden new thought,
"No, we will not have our WILL done; it shall be the other way, the way
it WAS,--now that we bethink ourselves, after all this fighting for our
will!" And make Peace on those terms, as if no war had been; and accuse
the great Marlborough of many things, of theft for one. A wonderful
People; and in their Continental Politics (which indeed consist chiefly
of Subsidies) thrice wonderful. So the Treaty of Utrecht is transacting
itself; which that of Rastadt, on the part of Kaiser and Empire,
unable to get on without Subsidies, will have to follow: and after
such quantities of powder burnt, and courageous lives wasted, general
AS-YOU-WERE is the result arrived at.

Old Friedrich's Ambassadors are present at Utrecht, jangling and
pleading among the rest; at Berlin too the despatch of business goes
lumbering on; but what thing, in the shape of business, at Utrecht or at
Berlin, is of much importance to the old man? Seems as if Europe itself
were waxing dim, and sinking to stupid sleep,--as we, in our poor royal
person, full surely are. A Crown has been achieved, and diamond buttons
worth 1,500 pounds apiece; but what is a Crown, and what are buttons,
after all?--I suppose the tattle and SINGERIES of little Wilhelmina,
whom he would spend whole days with; this and occasional visits to a
young Fritzchen's cradle, who is thriving moderately, and will speak
and do aperies one day,--are his main solacements in the days that are
passing. Much of this Friedrich's life has gone off like the smoke of
fire-works, has faded sorrowfully, and proved phantasmal. Here is an old
Autograph Note, written by him at the side of that Cradle, and
touching on a slight event there; which, as it connects two venerable
Correspondents and their Seventeenth Century with a grand Phenomenon of
the Eighteenth, we will insert here. The old King addresses his older
Mother-in-law, famed Electress Sophie of Hanover, in these terms
(spelling corrected):--

"CHARLOTTENBURG, den 30 August, 1712.

  "Ew. Churf. Durchlaucht werden sich zweifelsohne mit uns
erfreuen, dass der kleine Printz (PRINZ) Fritz nuhnmero (NUNMEHR) 6
Zehne (ZAHNE) hat und ohne die geringste incommoditet (-TAT). Daraus
kann man auch die PREDESTINATION sehen, dass alle seine Bruder haben
daran sterben mussen, dieser aber bekommt sie ohne Muhe wie seine
Schwester. Gott erhalte ihn uns noch lange zum trohst (TROST), in dessen
Schutz ich dieselbe ergebe und lebenslang verbleibe,

  "Ew. Churf. Durchl. gehorsamster Diener und treuer Sohn,


[Preuss, _Friedrich der Grosse (Historische Skizze,_ Berlin, 1838), p.

Of which this is the literal English:--"Your Electoral Serenity will
doubtless rejoice with us that the little Prince Fritz has now got his
sixth tooth without the least INCOMMODITE. And therein we may trace
a pre-destination, inasmuch as his Brothers died of teething [_Not of
cannon-sound and weight of head-gear, then, your Majesty thinks? That
were a painful thought?_]; and this one, as his Sister [WILHELMINA]
did, gets them [THE TEETH] without trouble. God preserve him long for a
comfort to us:--to whose protection I commit DIESELBE [_Your Electoral
Highness, in the third person_], and remain lifelong,

  "Your Electoral Highness's most obedient Servant and true Son,


One of Friedrich Rex's worst adventures was his latest; commenced some
five or six years ago (1708), and now not far from terminating. He was a
Widower, of weakly constitution, towards fifty: his beautiful ingenious
"Serena," with all her Theologies, pinch-of-snuff Coronations and other
earthly troubles, was dead; and the task of continuing the Hohenzollern
progeny, given over to Friedrich Wilhelm the Prince Royal, was thought
to be in good hands. Majesty Friedrich with the weak back had retired,
in 1708, to Karlsbad, to rest from his cares; to take the salutary
waters, and recruit his weak nerves a little. Here, in the course of
confidential promenadings, it was hinted, it was represented to him
by some pickthank of a courtier, That the task of continuing the
Hohenzollern progeny did not seem to prosper in the present good hands;
that Sophie Dorothee, Princess Royal, had already borne two royal
infants which had speedily died: that in fact it was to be gathered
from the medical men, if not from their words, then from their looks and
cautious innuendoes, that Sophie Dorothee, Princess Royal, would
never produce a Prince or even Princess that would live; which task,
therefore, did now again seem to devolve upon his Majesty, if his
Majesty had not insuperable objections? Majesty had no insuperable
objections; old Majesty listened to the flattering tale; and, sure
enough, he smarted for it in a signal manner.

By due industry, a Princess was fixed upon for Bride, Princess Sophie
Louisa of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, age now twenty-four: she was got as
Wife, and came home to Berlin in all pomp;--but good came not with her
to anybody there. Not only did she bring the poor old man no children,
which was a fault to be overlooked, considering Sophie Dorothee's
success; but she brought a querulous, weak and self-sufficient female
humor; found his religion heterodox,--he being Calvinist, and perhaps
even lax-Calvinist, she Lutheran as the Prussian Nation is, and strict
to the bone:--heterodox wholly, to the length of no salvation possible;
and times rose on the Berlin Court such as had never been seen
before! "No salvation possible, says my Dearest? Hah! And an innocent
Court-Mask or Dancing Soiree is criminal in the sight of God and of the
Queen? And we are children of wrath wholly, and a frivolous generation;
and the Queen will see us all--!"

The end was, his Majesty, through sad solitary days and nights, repented
bitterly that he had wedded such a She-Dominic; grew quite estranged
from her; the poor She-Dominic giving him due return in her
way,--namely, living altogether in her own apartments, upon orthodoxy,
jealousy and other bad nourishment. Till at length she went quite mad;
and, except the due medical and other attendants, nobody saw her, or
spoke of her, at Berlin. Was this a cheering issue of such an adventure
to the poor old expensive Gentleman? He endeavored to digest in silence
the bitter morsel he had cooked for himself; but reflected often, as an
old King might, What dirt have I eaten!

In this way stands that matter in the Schloss of Berlin, when little
Friedrich, who will one day be called the Great, is born. Habits of the
expensive King, hours of rising, modes of dressing, and so forth, are
to be found in Pollnitz; [Pollnitz, _Memoiren zur Lebens-und
Regierungs-Geschichte der Vier letzten Regenten des Preussischen
Staats_ (Berlin, 1791). A vague, inexact, but not quite uninstructive or
uninteresting Book: Printed also in FRENCH, which was the Original,
same place and time.] but we charitably omit them all. Even from foolish
Pollnitz a good eye will gather, what was above intimated, that this
feeble-backed, heavy-laden old King was of humane and just disposition;
had dignity in his demeanor; had reticence, patience; and, though
hot-tempered like all the Hohenzollerns, that he bore himself like
a perfect gentleman for one thing; and tottered along his high-lying
lonesome road not in an unmanful manner at all. Had not his nerves
been damaged by that fall in infancy, who knows but we might have had
something else to read of him than that he was regardless of expense in
this world!

His last scene, of date February, 1713, is the tragical ultimatum of
that fine Karlsbad adventure of the Second marriage,--Third marriage,
in fact, though the First, anterior to "Serena," is apt to be forgotten,
having lasted short while, and produced only a Daughter, not memorable
except by accident. This Third marriage, which had brought so many
sorrows to him, proved at length the death of the old man. For he
sat one morning, in the chill February days of the Year 1713, in his
Apartment, as usual; weak of nerves, but thinking no special evil; when,
suddenly with huge jingle, the glass door of his room went to sherds;
and there rushed in--bleeding and dishevelled, the fatal "White Lady"
(WEISSE FRAU), who is understood to walk that Schloss at Berlin, and
announce Death to the Royal inhabitants. Majesty had fainted, or was
fainting. "Weisse Frau? Oh no, your Majesty!"--not that; but indeed
something almost worse.--Mad Queen, in her Apartments, had been seized,
that day, when half or quarter dressed; with unusual orthodoxy or
unusual jealousy. Watching her opportunity, she had whisked into the
corridor, in extreme deshabille; and gone, like the wild roe, towards
Majesty's Suite of Rooms; through Majesty's glass door, like a catapult;
and emerged as we saw,--in petticoat and shift, with hair streaming,
eyes glittering, arms cut, and the other sad trimmings. O Heaven, who
could laugh? There are tears due to Kings and to all men. It was deep
misery; deep enough "SIN and misery," as Calvin well says, on the one
side and the other! The poor old King was carried to bed; and never rose
again, but died in a few days. The date of the WEISSE FRAU'S death, one
might have hoped, was not distant either; but she lasted, in her sad
state, for above twenty years coming.

Old King Friedrich's death-day was 25th February, 1713; the unconscious
little Grandson being then in his Fourteenth month. To whom, after this
long, voyage round the world, we now gladly return.

By way of reinforcement to any recollection the reader may have of these
Twelve Hohenzollern Kurfursts, I will append a continuous list of them,
with here and there an indication.


1. FRIEDRICH I. (as Burggraf, was Friedrich VI.): born, it is inferred,
1372 (Rentsch, p. 350); accession, 18th April, 1417; died 21st
September, 1440. Had come to Brandenburg, 1412, as Statthalter. The
Quitzows and HEAVY PEG.

2. FRIEDRICH II.: 19th November, 1413; 21st September, 1440; 10th
February, 1472. Friedrich IRONTEETH; tames the Berlin Burghers. Spoke
Polish, was to have been Polish King. Cannon-shot upon his dinner-table
shatters his nerves so, that he abdicates, and soon dies. JOHANNES
ALCHYMISTA his elder Brother; ALBERT ACHILLES his younger.

3. ALBERT (Achilles): 24th November, 1414; 10th February, 1471; 11th
March, 1486. Third son of Friedrich I.; is lineal Progenitor of all the
rest.  Eldest Son, JOHANN CICERO, follows as Kurfurst; a Younger Son,
FRIEDRICH (by a different Mother), got Culmbach, and produced the Elder
Line there. (See Genealogical Diagram.)

4. JOHANN (Cicero): 2d August, 1455; 11th March, 1486; 9th January,
1499. Big John. Friedrich of Culmbach's elder (Half-) Brother.

5. JOACHIM I.: 21st February, 1484; 9th January, 1499; 11th July, 1535.
Loud in the Reformation times; finally declares peremptorily for the
Conservative side. Wife (Sister of Christian II. of Denmark) runs away.

Younger Brother Albert Kur-Mainz, whom Hutten celebrated; born 1490;
Archbishop of Magdeburg and Halberstadt 1513, of Maim 1514; died 1545:
set Tetzel, and the Indulgence, on foot.

6. JOACHIM II. (Hector): 9th January, 1505; 11th July, 1535; 3d January,
1571. Sword drawn on Alba once. ERBVERBRUDERUNG with Liegnitz. Staircase
at Grimnitz. A weighty industrious Kurfurst.

Declared himself Protestant, 1539. First Wife (mother of his Successor)
was Daughter to Duke George of Saxony, Luther's "If it rained Duke
Georges."--Johann of Custrin was a younger Brother of his: died ten days
after Joachim; left no Son.

7. JOHANN GEORGE: 11th September, 1525; 3d January, 1571; 8th January,
1598. Cannon-shot, at Siege of Wittenberg, upon Kaiser Karl and him.
Gera Bond.

Married a Silesian Duke of Liegnitz's Daughter (result of the
ERBVERBRUDERUNG there,--Antea, p. 231). Had twenty-three children. It
was to him that Baireuth and Anspach fell home: he settled them on his
second and his third sons, Christian and Joachim Ernst; founders of the
New Line of Baireuth and Anspach. (See Genealogical Diagram.)

8. JOACHIM FRIEDRICH: 27th January, 1546; 8th January, 1598; 18th July,
1608. Archbishop of Magdeburg first of all,--to keep the place filled.
Joachimsthal School at old Castle of Grimnitz. Very vigilant for
Preussen; which was near falling due.

Two of his Younger Sons, Johann George (1577-1624) to whom he gave
JAGERNDORF, and that Archbishop of Magdeburg, who was present in Tilly's
storm, got both wrecked in the Thirty-Years War;--not without results,
in the Jagerndorf case.

9. JOHANN SIGISMUND: 8th November, 1572; 18th July, 1608; 23d December,
1619. Preussen: Cleve; Slap on the face to Neuburg.

10. GEORGE WILHELM: 3d November, 1595; 22d November, 1619; 21st
November, 1640. The unfortunate of the Thirty-Years War. _"Que faire;
ils ont des canons!"_

11. FRIEDRICH WILHELM: 6th February, 1620; 21st November, 1640; 29th
April, 1688. The Great Elector.

12. FRIEDRICH III.: 1st July, 1657; 29th April, 1688; 25th February,
1713. First King (18th January, 1701).



FRIEDRICH, second son of Kurfurst Albert Achilles, younger Brother of
Johannes Cicero, got CULMBACH: Anspach first, then Baireuth on the
death of a younger Brother. Born 1460; got Anspach 1486; Baireuth 1495;
followed Max in his VENETIAN CAMPAIGN, 1508; fell IMBECILE 1515; died
1536. Had a Polish Wife; from whom came interests in Hungary as well as
Poland to his children. Friedrich had Three notable Sons,

1. CASIMIR, who got BAIREUTH (1515): born 1481; died 1527. Very
truculent in the Peasants' War.  ALBERT ALEIBIADES: a man of great mark
in his day (1522-1557); never married. Two Sisters, with one of whom he
took shelter at last; no Brother.

2. GEORGE THE PIOUS, who got ANSPACH (1515): born 1484; died 1543; got
Jagerndorf, by purchase, from his Mother's Hungarian connection, 1524.
Protestant declared, 1528; and makes honorable figure in the Histories
thenceforth. The George of Kaiser Karl's _"Nit-Kop-ab."_ One Son,
GEORGE FRIEDRICH; born 1539; went to administer Preussen when Cousin
became incompetent; died 1603. Heir to his Father in ANSPACH and
JAGERNDORF; also to his Cousin Alcibiades in BAIREUTH. Had been left a
minor (boy of 4, as the reader sees); Alcibiades his Guardian for a
little while: from which came great difficulties, and unjust ruin would
have come, had not Kurfurst Joachim I. been helpful and vigorous in his
behalf. George Friedrich got at length most of his Territories into
hand: Anspach and Baireuth unimpaired, Jagerndorf too, except that
Ratibor and Oppeln were much eaten into by the Imperial chicaneries in
that quarter. Died 1603, without children;--upon which his Territories
all reverted to the main Brandenburg line, namely, to Johann George
Seventh Kurfurst, or his representatives, according to the GERA BOND;
and the "Elder Culmbach Line" had ended in this manner.

3. ALBERT; born 1490; Hochmeister of the Teutsch Ritters, 1511; declares
himself Protestant, and Duke of Prussia, 1525; died 1568.  One Son, ALB
declared MELANCHOLIC 1573; died 1618. His Cousin George Friedrich
administered for him till 1603; after which Joachim Friedrich; and then,
lastly, Joachim Friedrich's Son, Johann Sigismund the Ninth Kurfurst.
Had married the Heiress of Cleve (whence came a celebrated Cleve
Controversy in after-times). No son; a good many daughters; eldest
of whom was married to Kurfurst Johann Sigismund; from her came the
controverted Cleve Property.


Kurfurst Johann George settled Baireuth and Anspach on Two of his
Younger Sons, who are Founders of the "Younger Culmbach Line" (SPLIT
Line or Pair of LINES). Jagerndorf the new Kurfurst, Joachim Friedrich,
kept; settled it on one of his younger sons. Here are the two new
Founders in Baireuth and Anspach, and some indication of their "Lines,"
so far as important to us at present:


(1.) CHRISTIAN, second son of Kurfurst Johann George: born 1581; got
Baireuth 1603; died 1655. A distinguished Governor in his sphere. Had
two sons; the elder died before him, but left a son, Christian Ernst;
who (2.) succeeded, and (3.) whose son, George Wilhelm: 1644, 1655,
1712; 1678, 1712, 1726 (are BIRTH, ACCESSION, END of these two); the
latter of whom had no son that lived.  Upon which the posterity of
Christian's second son succeeded. Second son of Christian notable to us
in two little ways: FIRST, That HE, George Albert, Margraf of CULMbach,
is the inscrutable "Marquis de LULENbach" of _Bromley's Letters_ (antea
p. 184, let the Commentators take comfort!); SECOND and better, That
from him came our little Wilhelmina's Husband,--as will be afterwards
explained. It was his grandson (4.) that succeeded in Baireuth, George
Friedrich Karl (1688, 1726, 1735); Father of Wilhelmina's Husband. After
whom (5.) his Son Friedrich (1711, 1735, 1763), Wilhelmina's Husband;
who leaving (1763) nothing hut a daughter, Baireuth fell to Anspach,
1769, after an old Uncle (6.), childless, had also died. SIX Baireuth
Margraves of this Line; FIVE generations; and then to Anspach, in 1769.


(1.) JOACHIM ERNST, third son of Kurfurst Johann George: born 1583; got
Anspach 1603; died 1625. Had military tendencies, experiences; did not
thrive as Captain of the EVANGELICAL UNION (1619-1620) when WINTER-KING
came up and THIRTY-YEARS WAR along with him. Left two sons; elder of
whom, (2.) Friedrich, nominally Sovereign, age still only eighteen,
fell in the Battle of Nordlingen (worst battle of the Thirty-Years War,
1634); and the younger of whom, (3.) Albert, succeeded (1620, 1634,
1667), and his son, (4.) Johann Friedrich (1654, 1667, 1686); and (5,
6, 7.) no fewer than three grandsons,--children mostly, though entitled
"sovereign"--in a PARALLEL way (Christian Albert, 1675, 1686, 1692;
George Friedrich, 1678, 1692, 1703; Wilhelm Friedrich, 1685, 1703,
1723). Two little points notable here also, and no third:

FIRST, That one of the grand-DAUGHTERS, full-sister of the last of
these three parallel figures, half-sister of the two former, was--Queen
Caroline, George II.'s wife, who has still some fame with us.

SECOND, That the youngest of said three grandsons, Queen Caroline's
full-brother, left a son then minor, who became major, (8.) and wedded
a Sister of our dear little Wilhelmina's, of whom we shall hear (Karl
Wilhelm Friedrich, 1712, 1723, 1757); unmomentous Margraf otherwise. His
and her one son it was, (9.) Christian Friedrich Karl Alexander (1736,
1757, 1806), who inherited Baireuth, inherited Actress Clairon, Lady
Craven, and at Hammersmith (House once Bubb Doddington's, if that has
any charm) ended the affair.

NINE Anspach Margraves; in FIVE generations: end, 1806.


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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.