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Title: Pictures of German Life in the XVth XVIth and XVIIth Centuries, Vol. II.
Author: Freytag, Gustav, 1816-1895
Language: English
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                        PICTURES OF GERMAN LIFE

                                 IN THE


                           *   *   *   *   *

                                VOL. II.



                              GERMAN LIFE

                 In the XVth XVIth and XVIIth Centuries.

                             GUSTAV FREYTAG

                    Translated from the Original by
                             MRS. MALCOLM.


                                VOL. II.

                   CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193 PICCADILLY.




Introduction--Retrospect of the results of the sixteenth
century--Greater development of individuality--Defects of
Protestantism--A more elevated tone in Catholicism--Contrast of the
Roman and German systems--Political weakness of Protestantism--The
Hapsburgers--Discontent in the people

                               CHAPTER I.

The Thirty Years' War (1618 to 1638). The Army--Strength of
the Army--Cost--Method of conducting the war--Political events
of it--Organization of the army--The officers and the
banners--Pay--Discipline--Punishments--Camp followers and their
discipline--Description of a Soldier's Life before the War, by Adam

                              CHAPTER II.

The Thirty Years' War. Life and Manners of the Soldiers (1618
to 1648)--Intermixture of nations--The camp; gambling; luxury;
scarcity--Superstition--Vices--Camp language--The cartel--Booty--
Partisan service and spies--Marauders--Oppression

                              CHAPTER III.

The Thirty Years' War. The Villagers and their Pastors (1618 to
1648)--State of the villages--Position and manners of the
peasantry--Effects of the war; money perplexities; quartering of
troops; tortures--Fear; insolence; lawlessness--Love of home--The
pastors and their endurance--Fate of the Pastor Bötzinger

                              CHAPTER IV.

The Thirty Years' War. Clippers of Money and Public Opinion (1618 to
1648)--The commencement of newspapers--Struggle of the press at the
beginning of the war--The _kipper_ time--Money coining--Depreciation of
the coinage in 1621, and its effect upon the people--Discovery of the
danger; excitement; storm in the press--Specimen from the flying sheet
_expurgato der kipper_--Theological controversial writings--Enthusiasm
for Gustavus Adolphus--Character of that king--Dialogue between
the king and the envoy of Brandenburg--The fate of Gustavus
Adolphus--Opposition of the press to Sweden--Patriotism of the German
press--The Flying Sheet, the German Brutus--The benefit of Sweden to

                               CHAPTER V.

The Thirty Years' War. The Cities (1618 to 1648)--Aspect of the cities
in 1618--Effects of the war; luxury; contributions; sieges--Religious
persecution--The Ladies of Löwenberg

                              CHAPTER VII.

The Thirty Years' War. The Peace (1650)--Festivities of the Ambassadors
at Nuremberg--Festive Fair in a Thuringian Village--Condition of the
country after the war--Its devastation--Attempted estimation of it--The
consequences to the Austrian provinces

                              CHAPTER VII.

Rogues and Adventurers--Their increase during the war--Their
history--The strollers of the middle ages--Gipsies and their
language--Gibberish and beggars--Travelling scholars--Robbers and
incendiaries--Foreign jugglers--Description of Strolling Players,
by Garzoni--Comedians, and influence of adventurers on
literature--Swindlers of distinction--Alchemists

                             CHAPTER VIII.

Engagement and Marriage at Court (1661)--Fashion and gallantry, a
foreign means of preserving decorum--Courtly Wooing and Marriage at
Vienna--The Royal families--The Elector Palatine Carl Ludwig--Letter of
the Electress Palatine Charlotte to the Emperor--Judgment upon her and
her husband

                              CHAPTER IX.

Of the Homes of German Citizens (1675)--Order and decorum in
wooing--Narrative of Friedrich Lucä--Change in expression of feelings
of the heart--Life at home--Prosperity of Hamburg--Letter of
Burgomaster Schulte to his Son in Lisbon--Strong sense of duty in
men--Berend Jacob Carpfanger--Sorrowful tidings from Cadiz

                               CHAPTER X.

German Life at the Baths (1690)--Distinction of ranks--Forms of
society--Bath life--Poggio--Baths in the Fifteenth Century, by
Poggio--In the Sixteenth, by Pantaleon--In the Seventeenth, by de
Merveilleux--In the Eighteenth, by Hess

                              CHAPTER XI.

Jesuits and Jews--Decay of the Church--Protestants and Catholics--The
Jesuits also weaker--Position of the Jews since the middle ages--Their
lucrative business--The Jews at Prague Story of Simon Abeles--Victory
of humanity over religious intolerance

                              CHAPTER XII.

The Wasunger War (1747)--Weakness of the German Empire--Division
of classes wider--Anthony Ulrick von Meiningen and Philippine
Cesar--Quarrels at the Court of Meiningen--Cause of the war--Diary of
the Gotha Lieutenant Rauch

Conclusion. From Frederick the Great up to the present time--Object of
these pictures--The mind of the people

                        PICTURES OF GERMAN LIFE.


The year 1600 dawned upon a people who had gone through a vast change
in the last century. Everywhere we perceive marks of progress. Let us
compare any learned book of the year 1499 with one of 1599. The former
is written in bad Latin, poor in diction, ponderous in composition, and
not easy of comprehension. Of independent spirit and individual
conviction we find little trace. There are undoubtedly exceptions, but
they are very rare. Even the Latin of the earlier Humanitarians reminds
us of the subtle vapidness of monkish language, almost as much as of
the artistic phrases of ancient rhetoricians. We are sometimes
surprised to find in the theology, an undercurrent of deep-thinking
speculations of elevated grandeur; but it is a kind of secret doctrine
of souls depressed under the constraint of the cloister. It is
certainly philosophy, but deprived of vitality.

A century later we discover, even in mediocre authors, a certain
independent individuality. The writers begin to reflect on human life
and faith; they understand how to represent their own feelings and the
emotions of the soul, and struggles for their own convictions. Yet
still they remain too much bound by general prescription, and there is
still much that is monotonous, according to our views, in their
judgment and learning, and the cultivation of their minds. But in their
prose we find a peculiar and often original style, and almost always a
stronger and more active common sense. Three generations struggled for
their faith, many individuals perished for their convictions, and
thousands were plunged in misery. Martyrdom was no longer a monstrous
and unheard-of thing, and men maintained their own judgment on the
highest questions. There were few souls strong enough to do this a
century earlier; then, among the people, individuals passed their lives
without any community of ideas or activity of mind, seeking in the
narrow circle of their associates no advantage save that of support
against insufferable oppression; that alone was the purport of their
struggles. But now enthusiasm had been called forth in the nation, the
individual felt himself in close connection with millions, he was
carried along the stream by the unanimous impulse of all who were
like-minded; he acted and suffered for an idea; this was especially the
case with the Protestants; and even Roman Catholics partook of this
blessing: so much nobler had men become.

But every higher development produces new defects; the child is free
from many complaints which attack the youth. Protestantism, which had
done so much for the people, did not for a long time achieve its
greatest results. It required the unceasing inward workings of the
minds of individuals; it gave an impulse everywhere to self-decision,
and yet it could not raise itself above the worst principles of the old
Church. It wished still to dominate over the faith of its disciples and
to persecute as heresy every deviation from its convictions. Luther's
giant nature had been able to keep zealous spirits united, but he
himself had predicted that after his death they would not remain so. He
knew his faithful adherents accurately; their weaknesses, and their
eagerness to carry out their own views. Melancthon, who though firm in
his theology and in the every-day troubles of life, was embarrassed and
uncertain in matters of great import, could not command the fiery
spirits of more determined characters. At that Imperial Diet which was
held at Augsburg in 1547, the victorious Emperor had endeavoured, in
his way, to compose the disputes of the Churches, and had pressed upon
the vanquished Protestants a preliminary formula of faith, called the
Interim. From the point of view of the Roman Catholics, it was
considered as extreme toleration, which was only bearable because it
gradually led back to the Old Church; from the point of view of zealous
Protestants, it was held to be insupportable tyranny, which ought to be
withstood. The ecclesiastical leaders of the opposition rose everywhere
against this tyranny; hundreds of preachers were driven from their
benefices and went about with their staffs as miserable pilgrims, and
many fell victims to the furious reaction. It was the heroic time of
the Protestant faith; simple preachers, fathers with wives and
children, manfully suffered for their convictions, and were soon
followed by thousands of laity.

But this enthusiasm was fraught with danger. The Interim was the
beginning of vehement theological disputes, even among Luther's
followers. The struggle of individuals became also the struggle of the
Universities. The successors of Frederick the Wise lost the University
of Wittenberg as well as the Electoral dignity; Melancthon and the
Wittenbergers were under the influence of Maurice and his brothers;
while the most zealous Lutherans were assembled at the new University
of Jena.

This race of vehement men was followed by another generation of
_Epigonen_. At the end of the century German Protestantism appeared in
most of the provinces to be secure from outward dangers. Then the
ecclesiastics became too self-sufficient and fond of power--the
failings of a privileged order. Influential counsellors of weak
princes, and rulers of public opinion, they themselves persecuted other
believers with the weapons of the old Church. They sometimes called
down the civil power upon heretics; and the populace stormed the houses
of the Reformers in Leipzig; at Dresden a courtly ecclesiastic was
executed on account of heresy, though perhaps there may also have been
political reasons. Thus this new life threw deep shadows over the souls
of the people.

In Roman Catholic territories also, a vigorous and extraordinary life
was roused. The Roman Catholic Church gave birth to a new discipline of
the mind, a mode of human culture distinctly opposed to Protestantism.
Even in the old Church a greater depth of inward life was attained. A
new system of rapturous excitement and self-denial, with high duties
and an exalted ideal, was offered to satisfy the needs of the souls of
the faithful. In Spain and Italy this new religious zeal was aroused,
full of resignation and self-sacrifice, full of great talent, eagerness
for combat, and glowing enthusiasm, and rich in manly vigour. But it
was not a faith for Germans. It demanded the annihilation of free
individuality, a rending from all the ties of the world, fanatical
devotion, and an unconditional subjection of the individual to a great
community. Each one had to make an offering of his life for a great
aim, without criticism or scruple. Whilst Protestantism formed a higher
standard, and imposed on each individual, the duty of seeking
independently by an effort of his own mind, the key to divine and human
knowledge, the new Catholicism grasped his whole being with an iron
hand. Protestantism was, notwithstanding all the loyalty of the
Reformers, essentially democratic; the new Catholicism concentrated all
the powers of men, of which it demanded the most unhesitating
submission, in a spiritual tyranny, under the dominion of the head of
the Church, and afterwards under that of the State.

The great representatives of this new tendency in Church and State were
the Jesuits. In the impassioned soul of a Spanish nobleman smouldered
the gloomy fire of the new Catholic teaching; amidst ascetic penances,
in the restricted intercourse of a small brotherhood, the system was
formed. In the year 1540 the Pope confirmed the brotherhood, and
shortly after, the first members of the order hastened across the Alps
and the Rhine into Germany, and began already to rule in the council of
Trent. Their unhesitating determination strengthened the weak, and
frightened the wavering. With wonderful rapidity the order established
itself in Germany, where the old faith still subsisted along with the
new; it acquired favour with the higher classes, and a crowd of
adherents amongst the people. Some princes gave up to it the spiritual
dominion of their countries, above all the Hapsburgers; and besides
them, the German princes of the Church, who could not uphold by their
own intrinsic strength, the wavering faith of their subjects: and
lastly the Dukes of Bavaria, who for more than a century had been in
the habit of seeking advantage for their house in a close union with
Rome. When the brotherhood first entered Germany the whole nation was
on the point of becoming Protestant; even at the beginning of the
Thirty years' war, after losses and successes on both sides, three
fourths of Germany were Protestant; but in the year 1650, the whole of
the new Imperial state, and the largest third of the rest of Germany,
had again become Roman Catholic. So well did these foreign priests
serve their Church.

The way in which they worked was marvellous; cautiously, step by step,
with endless schemes, and firm determination, never wavering, bending
to the storm, and indefatigably returning again, never giving up what
they had once begun, pursuing the smallest, as well as the greatest
plans at any sacrifice, this society presented the only specimen of an
unconditional submission of the will, and surrender of everything to
one idea, which did not find expression in individuals, but only in the
society. The order governed, but no single member of it was free, not
even the General of the order.

The society gained honour and favour; it understood well how to make
itself beloved, or indispensable wherever it came; but it never found a
home in Germany. Its fearful principle of mystery and secrecy was felt,
not only by the Protestants, who endeavoured to break its power by
their paper weapons, the flying-sheets, and made it answerable for
every political misdeed, whether far or near, but also in the Roman
Catholic countries. Even there it was only a guest, influential
certainly, and much prized, but from time to time ecclesiastics and
laity felt that it was a thing apart from them. All the other spiritual
societies had become national,--the Jesuits never. It is not unnatural
that this feeling was strongest among the Roman Catholic ecclesiastics,
for their worldly prospects were often injured by the Jesuits.

Thus from the middle of the sixteenth century two opposite methods of
mental cultivation, two different sources of morals and working power
have struggled against one another. Devotion and unconditional
subjection, against feelings of duty and thoughtful self-assertion;
rapid and unhesitating decision, against conscientious doubts; a spirit
of energy, working laboriously with much deliberation and scheming
after distant aims, against defective discipline; and an urging to
unity, against a striving for separation.

These opposing powers appeared everywhere, especially in politics and
at the courts of princes. Protestantism in its unfinished shape, though
it had elevated the people, was no help to the formation of the
character of the German princes; it had raised higher their external
power, but it had lessened their inward stability; their youthful
training became in general too theological to be practical. However
immoral many of them were, they all suffered from conscientious doubts;
and there was no ready answer for these doubts, such as the Roman
Catholic confessor had always in store for them. The Protestant princes
stood isolated; there was no firm bond of union between the Churches of
the different states, but much trivial quarrelling and bitter hatred,
not only between Lutherans and Reformers, but even amongst the
followers of the Augsburg confession; and this diminished the strength
of the princes. Whilst the priests of the Roman Catholic Church did
their best to unite their rulers, the Protestant ecclesiastics helped
to increase the disunion of theirs. So it is not surprising, that the
Protestants for a long time stood at a disadvantage in their political
struggle with the old faith. The Germans had not yet found, and did not
for centuries attain to, the new constitution of State, which transfers
the mainspring of government from the accidental will of the ruler, to
the conscience of the nation, and which places in a regulated path,
citizens of talent and integrity as advisers to the crown; public
opinion was still weak, the daily press not yet in existence, and the
relation between the political rights of the princes and the people
very undefined.

Protestantism had everywhere produced political convulsions, from the
peasant war even into the following century. The Reformation had
unloosed all tongues, it had given the Germans a freer judgment upon
their position as citizens, and had inspired individuals with the
courage to fight for their own convictions. The peasant now loudly
murmured against exorbitant burdens, the members of guilds against the
selfish dominion of the corporations, and the noble members of the
provincial estates against the extravagant demands of the sovereign for
war expenses. The wild democratic disturbances of 1525 were with
Luther's entire approbation easily put down, but democratic tendencies
did not therefore cease, and together with them, anabaptist and
socialist views spread from city to city. Their teaching, which
scarcely forms a system, took a different colouring in different
individuals, from the harmless theorist who imagined a community of
good citizens without egotism, full of self-abnegation, as did the
talented Eberlin, to the reckless fanatic who tried to establish a new
Zion at Münster, with an illusive community of goods and wives. These
excitements lost their power towards the end of the century, but still
continued to ferment among the people, especially in those provinces,
where the Protestant opposition of the estates excited the people
against the old faith of the rulers of the country. Thus it was in
Bohemia, Moravia, and Upper Austria. The more zealously the Hapsburgers
endeavoured, by means of the Jesuits, to restore the old faith, the
more it was kept in check, even in their own country, by the demands of
the opposition in the estates, and the commotions among the people. And
well did they perceive the threatening connection of this opposition to
their house. Two ways only were therefore open to them, either they
must themselves have become Protestants, which they found impossible,
or they must have resolutely destroyed the dangerous teaching and
pretensions which upset the souls of men everywhere, especially in
their own country. The Hapsburger appeared who attempted this.

Meanwhile the spirit of the old Church had been raised, by the great
victories which it had gained in other countries. The Protestant
princes combined against the threatened offensive movement of the Roman
Catholic party, as before at Smalkald, and the Roman Catholic party
answered by the formation of the League; but the object at heart, of
the League was attack, while that of the Protestants was only defence.

This was the political state of Germany before the Thirty years' war; a
most unsatisfactory state. Discontent was general, a mournful tendency,
a disposition to prophecy evil, were the significant signs of the
times. Every deed of violence which was announced to the people in the
flying-sheets, was accompanied by remarks on the bad times. And yet we
know for certain that immorality had not become strikingly greater in
the country. There was wealth in the cities, and even in the country
increase of prosperity; there was regular government everywhere, better
order and greater security of existence, luxury and an inordinate love
of enjoyment had undoubtedly increased, together with riches; even
among the lower strata of the people greed was awakened, life became
more varied and dearer, and much indifference began to be shown
concerning the quarrels of ecclesiastics. The best began to be gloomy,
and even cheerful natures, like the honest Bartholomäus Ringwald,
became prophets of misfortune, and wished for death.

And there was good reason for this gloom. There was something diseased
in the life of Germany, an incomprehensible burden weighed it down,
which marred its development. Luther's teaching, it is true, produced
the greatest spiritual and intellectual progress which Germany had ever
made through one man, but the demands of life increased with every
expansion of the soul. The new mental culture must be followed by a
corresponding advance in earthly condition, a greater independence in
faith, demanded imperiously a stronger power of political development
But it was precisely this teaching, which appeared like the early
dawn of a better life, that conveyed to the people the consciousness
of their own political weakness, and by this weakness they became
one-sided and narrow minded. Germany being divided into countless
territories under weak princes, its people everywhere involved in and
occupied with trifling disputes, were deficient in that which is
indispensable to a genial growth; they needed a general elevation, a
great united will, and a sphere of moral duties, which alone makes men
pre-eminently cheerful and manly. The fatherland of the Germans
extended probably from Lorraine to the Oder, but in no single portion
of it did they live like the citizens of Elizabeth or Henry IV.

Thus already inwardly diseased, Germany entered upon a war of thirty
years. When the war ended, there was little remaining of the great
nation. For yet a century to come, the successors of the survivors were
deficient in that most manly of all feelings,--political enthusiasm.

Luther had raised his people out of the epic life of the middle ages.
The Thirty years' war had destroyed the popular strength, and forced
the Germans into individual life, the mental constitution of which one
may truly call lyrical. That which will here be depicted from the
accounts of cotemporaries, is a sad joyless time.

                               CHAPTER I.

                THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR.--THE ARMY.

The opposition between the interests of the house of Hapsburg and of
the German nation, and between the old and new faith, led to a bloody
catastrophe. If any one should inquire how such a war could rage
through a whole generation, and so fearfully exhaust a powerful people,
he will receive this striking answer, that the war was so long and
terrible, because none of the contending parties were able to carry it
out on a great and decisive scale.

The largest armies in the Thirty years' war did not exceed in strength
one corps of a modern army. Tilly considered forty thousand men the
greatest number of troops that a general could wish to have. It was
only occasionally that an army reached that strength; almost all the
great battles were fought by smaller bodies of men. Numerous were the
detachments, and very great were the losses by skirmishes, illnesses,
and desertion. As there was no regular system for maintaining the
strength of the army, its effective amount fluctuated in a remarkable
way. Once, indeed, Wallenstein united a larger force under his
command--according to some accounts a hundred thousand men--but they
did not form one army, nay, they were hardly in any military
connection, for the undisciplined bands with which, in 1629, he subdued
the German territories of the Emperor, were dispersed over half
Germany. Such large masses of soldiers appeared to all parties as a
terrible venture; they could not, in fact, be kept under control, and
after that, no general commanded more than half that number.[1]

An army in order of battle was considered as a movable fortress, the
central point of which was the General himself, who ruled all the
details; he had to survey the ground and every position, and every
attack was directed by him. Adjutantcies and staff service were hardly
established. It was part of the strategy to keep the army together in
masses, to defend the ranks by earth works, and not to allow horse or
man to be out of observation and control. In marching also, the army
was kept close together in narrow quarters, generally within the space
of a camp; from this arose commissariat difficulties, the high-roads
were bad, often almost impassable, the conveyance of provisions
compulsory, and always ill-regulated: and worst of all, the army was
attended by an intense baggage-train, which, with the wild-robber
system, quickly wasted the most fertile countries.

Great care was therefore taken that no such embarrassment should arise.
Neither the Emperor nor the Princes of the Empire were in a condition
to maintain forty thousand men out of their income even for three
months. The regular revenue of the sovereign was much less than now,
and the maintenance of an army far more costly. The greater part of the
revenue was derived from tithes in kind, which in time of war was
insecure and difficult to realize. The finances of the parties engaged
in this war were even at the commencement of it in a most lamentable

In the winter of 1619 and 1620, half the Bohemian army died of hunger
and cold, from the want of pay and a commissariat; in September 1620,
more than four and a half million of gulden of pay was owing to the
troops, and there were endless mutinies, and the King Palatine
Frederick could not aid his Protestant allies with subsidies. The
Emperor was then not in much better condition, but he soon afterwards
obtained Spanish subsidies. When the Elector of Saxony, whose finances
were better regulated, first hired fifteen hundred men in December,
1619, he could not pay them regularly. What was granted by the estates
in war taxes, and the so-called voluntary contributions of the opulent,
did not go far; loans even in the first year of the war were very
difficult to realize; they were attempted with the banking-houses of
southern Germany, and also in Hamburg, but seldom with success. City
communities were considered safer debtors than the great princes. There
were dealings about the smallest sums even with private individuals.
Saxony in 1621, hoped to get from fifty to sixty thousand guldens from
the Fuggers, and endeavoured in vain to borrow thirty and seventy
thousand gulden from capitalists. Maximilian of Bavaria, and the
League, made a great loan for the war of one million two hundred
thousand gulden at twelve per cent, from the merchants in Genoa, for
this the Fuggers became responsible, and the salt trade of Augsburg was
given to them for their security. Just one hundred years before, this
said banking-house had taken an important share in the election of the
Emperor Charles V., and now it helped to secure the victory of the
Roman Catholic party; for the Bohemian war was decided even more by the
want of money than by the battle of the Weissen-Berge. Thus the war
began with the governments being in a general state of insolvency; and
therefore the maintenance of great armies became impossible.

It is evident that there was a fatal disproportion between the military
strength of the parties and the ultimate object of every war. None of
them could entirely subdue their opponents. The armies were too small,
and had too little durability, to be able to control by regular
strategic operations, the numerous and warlike people of wide-spread
districts. Whilst a victorious army was ruling near the Rhine or the
Oder, a new enemy was collecting in the north on the shores of the
Baltic. The German theatre of war, also, was not so constituted as to
be easily productive of lasting results. Almost every city, and many
country seats were fortified. The siege guns were still unwieldy and
uncertain in their aim, and the defence of fortified places was
proportionably stronger than the attack. Thus war became principally a
combat of sieges; every captured town weakened the victorious army,
from the necessity of leaving garrisons. When a province had been
conquered, the conqueror was often not in a position to withstand the
conquered in open battle. By new exertion the conqueror was driven from
the field; then followed fresh sieges and captures, and again fatal
disruption of strength.

It was a war full of bloody battles and glorious victories, and also of
excessive alternations of fortune. Numerous were the dark hero forms
that loomed out of the chaos of blood and fire; the iron Ernst von
Mansfeld, the fantastic Brunswicker, Bernhard of Weimar; and on the
other side, Maximilian of Bavaria, and the generals of the League,
Tilly, Pappenheim, and the able Mercy; the leaders of the Imperial
army, the daring Wallenstein and Altringer; the great French heroes,
Condé and Turenne, and amongst the Swedes, Horn, Bauer, Torstenson,
Wrangel, and above all the mighty prince of war, Gustavus Adolphus. How
much manly energy excited to the highest pitch, and yet how slow and
poor were the political results obtained! how quickly was again lost,
what appeared to have been obtained by the greatest amount of power!
How often did the parties themselves change the objects after which
they were striving, nay even the banner for which they desired victory!

The political events of the war can only be briefly mentioned here;
they may be divided into three periods. The first, from 1618 to 1630,
is the time of the Imperial triumphs. The Protestant estates of
Bohemia, contrary to law and their own word, refused the Bohemian crown
to the Archduke Ferdinand, and chose for their ruler the Elector
Palatine, a reformer. But by means of the League and the Lutheran
Electors of Saxony, Ferdinand became Emperor. His opponent was beaten
in the battle of the Weissen-Berge, and left the country as a fugitive.
Here and there, the Protestant opposition continued to blaze up, but
divided, without plan, and with weak resources. Baden-Durlach, the
Mansfelder, the Brunswicker, and lastly the circle of lower Saxony with
the Danish King, succumbed to the troops of the League and the Emperor.
Ferdinand II., who though Emperor, was still a fugitive in the states
belonging to his house, obtained through the assistance of an
experienced mercenary commander, Wallenstein, a large body of troops,
whom he maintained in the territory of the principality by contribution
and pillage. Ever greater did the Emperor's army continue to swell;
ever higher rose his claims in Germany and Italy: the old idea of
Charles V. after the Smalkaldic war became a living principle in the
nephew; he would subdue Germany, as his predecessor had done the
peasants and the estates in the Austrian provinces; he would crush all
independence, the privileges of cities, the rights of the estates, the
pride and family power of princes--he hoped to subjugate all Germany to
his faith and his house. But throughout the whole of Germany sounded a
cry of grief and indignation, at the horrible marauding war which was
conducted by the merciless general of the Hapsburger. All the allies of
the Imperial house rose threateningly against him. The Princes of the
League, and above all Maximilian of Bavaria, looked abroad for help;
they subdued the high spirit of the Emperor, and he was obliged to
dismiss his faithful General and to control the barbarous army. Nay,
more, even the Holy Father began to fear the Emperor. The Pope himself
united with France in order to bring Swedish help to the Protestants.
The lion of the north disembarked on the German coast.

Now began the second period of the war. The swelling billows of the
Roman Catholic power had overflowed Germany even up to the Northern
Sea. From 1630 to 1634 came the Protestant counter-current, which
flowed in a resistless course from north to south over the third part
of Germany. Even after the death of their king, the Swedish Generals
kept their ascendency in the field; Wallenstein himself abandoned the
Emperor, and was secretly murdered. The Roman Catholic party had begun
to lose courage, when, by a last effort of collected strength, it won
the bloody battle of Nördlingen.

Then followed the third period of fourteen years, from 1634 to 1648, in
which victory and reverses were nearly equal on both sides. The Swedes,
driven back to the Northern Sea, girding up their whole strength, again
burst forth into the middle of Germany. Again the tide of fortune ebbed
to and fro, becoming gradually less powerful. The French, greedy of
booty, spread themselves as far as the Rhine; the land was devastated,
and famine and pestilence raged. The Swedes, though losing one General
after another, kept the field and maintained their claims with
unceasing pertinacity. In opposition to them stood the equally
inflexible Maximilian, Prince of the League. Even in the last decade of
the war, the Bavarians fought for three years the most renowned
campaigns which this dynasty has to boast of. The fanatical Ferdinand
was dead, his successor, able, moderate, and an experienced soldier,
persevered from necessity; he also was firm and tenacious. No party
could bring about a decisive result. For years negotiations for peace
were carried on; whilst the generals fought, the cities and villages
were depopulated and the fields were overgrown with rank weeds. Peace
came at last; it was not brought about by great battles, nor by
irresistible political combinations, but chiefly by the weariness of
the combatants, and Germany celebrated it with festivities though she
had lost three fourths of her population.

All this gives to the Thirty years' war the appearance of foredoomed
annihilation, ushered in as it was by the most fearful visitations of
nature. Above the strife of parties a terrible fate spread its wings;
it carried off the leaders and prostrated them in the dust, the
greatest human strength became powerless under its hand; at last,
satiated with devastation and death, it turned its face slowly from the
country which had become a great charnel house.

It is not the intention of this work to characterize the Generals and
battles belonging to this period of struggle, but to speak of the
condition and circumstances of the German people, both of the
destructive and suffering portions of the population, of the army,
alike with the citizen and peasant. Since the Burgundian war and the
Italian battles of Maximilian and Charles V., the burgher infantry had
thrown into the background the knightly cavalry of the middle ages.

The strength of the German army consisted of Landsknechte, freemen,
either citizens or peasants, and among them occasionally a few nobles.
They were for the most part mercenaries, who bound themselves
voluntarily by contract to some banner for a time. They carried on war
like a trade, sternly, actively, and enduringly. But the full vigour of
their power was of short duration: their decadence may be dated from
their revolt against the old Fronsperg; from that hour when they broke
the heart of their father, the gray-headed Landsknecht hero. Many
things combined to corrupt this new infantry: they were mercenaries,
serving only for a time, accustomed to change their banner, and not to
fight for an idea, but only for booty or their own advantage. They were
not called into existence in consequence of the application of
gunpowder to the art of war; but they more especially appropriated this
new invention to themselves. The introduction of fire-arms into the
army, certainly first showed the weakness of their opponents, the old
cavalry of knighthood, but at the same time soon caused the diminution
of their own efficiency, for these weapons were too clumsy and slow to
insure victory on the battle-field. The final result still depended on
the rushing charge of the pikemen and the onslaught of their great
masses on the enemy.

To this was added other detrimental circumstances; there were as yet no
standing armies: when there was threatening of a feud, troops were
assembled by the territorial lords great and small, and by the cities,
and at the conclusion of the war they were dismissed. These wars were
generally short and local; even the Hungarian wars were only summer
campaigns of a few months. The German rulers, always in want of money,
endeavoured to help themselves by the depreciation of the coinage,
striking a lighter coin expressly for the payment of the soldiers, and
also by faithlessly paying them less than had been agreed upon. This
unworthy treatment demoralized the men, no less than the shortness of
the service. Thus the Landsknechte became deceived deceivers,
adventurers, plunderers and robbers.

The infantry at the beginning of the war used either firearms or pikes,
the former to open the enemy's ranks, the latter to decide the battle
by hand-to-hand fighting. At this period we find that the pikemen were
the heavy infantry; they wore breastplates, brassarts, swords, and a
pike eighteen feet long with an iron point, the handles of the best
were of ash; the lance-corporals and subaltern officers had halberds
and partisans. The two species of fire-arms which prevailed in the army
were the musketoon (which with the Imperialists was a heavy weapon six
feet long, with matchlocks and balls, of which there were ten in the
pound) and the short handgun, a weapon of lighter and smaller calibre,
which in the beginning of the war bore amongst the infantry the old
name of arquebuss. The musketeer wore also at his side a hanger, a
weapon with a small curved point, and over his shoulder a bandolier
with eleven cylindrical cases in which the charges were placed, a match
holder, and a musket rest, a staff with a metal point and two metal
prongs, on the top of which the musketeer laid his weapon: his
head was covered with a helmet or morion; this last piece of armour
was soon discarded. The foot arquebussier did not carry a rest or a
shoulder-belt; he loaded from his shot-pouch and powder-horn. There
were pikemen and musketeers in the same company, and long even before
the great war there were companies in which fire-arms alone were borne.
Out of the light infantry were formed, in the middle of the war, what
were called rifle companies, but among whom only a few had rifles. The
grenadiers, who threw hand-grenades, were then formed in small numbers;
for instance, in 1634, by the Swedes at the siege of Ratisbon.

At the beginning of the war the pikemen, as heavy infantry, were
considered of importance, and they were put down in the muster-rolls as
receiving double pay; but in the course of it they were found to be too
unwieldy for long marches, helpless in attack, in short, almost
useless, since the last decision of the battle now devolved upon the
cavalry; thus they gradually sank into contempt, and the clever
judgment pronounced by the jovial Springinsfeld, accurately expresses
the view that was taken of their utility. "A musketeer is indeed a
poor, much harassed creature; but he lives in splendid happiness
compared to a miserable pikeman: it is vexatious to think what
hardships the poor simpletons endure; no one who had not experienced it
themselves could believe it, and I think whoever kills a pikeman whom
he could save, murders an innocent man, and can never be excused such a
barbarous deed: for although these poor draught oxen--they were so
called in derision--are formed to defend their brigades in the open
field from the onslaught of the cavalry, yet they themselves do no one
any injury, and he who throws himself upon their long spears deserves
what he gets. In short, I have during my life seen many sharp
encounters, but seldom found that a pikeman ever caused the death of
any one." Nevertheless the pikemen kept their ground till towards the
end of the seventeenth century. The musketeers who were, however, the
great mass of the infantry, were rendered more agile by Gustavus
Adolphus; he discarded from the Swedish army the musket rests,
lightened their weapons and the calibre of the balls, of which there
were thirteen to the pound, and introduced instead of the rattling
bandoliers, paper cartridges and pockets; but the musketeers, without
bayonets, slow in firing, unaccustomed to fight in close ranks, were
little fitted to decide an engagement.

The influence of the cavalry on the other hand increased. At the
beginning of the war there were two contending principles concerning
them, the method and arming of old knightly traditions were mixed up
with the Landsknechte characteristics, many of whom were also horsemen.
The heavy cavalry were still considered an aristocratic corps, the
nobleman still placed himself with his charger, his knightly armour,
his old knightly lance, and his troop of vassals, for whom he drew pay,
under the standard of the cavalry regiments. But the war made an end
gradually of this remnant of old customs. It was still, however, an
object of ambition to join the army as a soldier of fortune, either
with an esquire or alone, and whoever estimated himself highly or had
made much booty, thronged to the cavalry standard. In the German army
there were four kinds of regular cavalry, the Lancers, in full armour
even to the knightly spurs, without shield, with the knightly lance or
the spear of the Landsknechte, a sword, and two holster pistols; the
Cuirassiers, with similar armour, pistols and sword; the Arquebussiers,
called later Carbineers, half armed, with morion, and pistol proof back
and breast pieces, with two pistols and an arquebuss on a small
bandolier; finally the Dragoons, mounted pikemen, or musketeers, who
fought either on foot or on horseback. Besides these there were
irregular cavalry Croats, Stradiots, and Hussars, who almost a century
before, in 1546, had made a great sensation in Germany when Duke
Maurice of Saxony borrowed them from King Ferdinand of Bohemia. Their
appearance was not displeasing; they wore Turkish armour, a sabre, and
a targe, but they were wild robbers, and in the worst repute. Gustavus
Adolphus brought to Germany only Cuirassiers and Dragoons. His
Cuirassiers were more lightly armed than the Imperial, but far superior
to them in energy of attack. During the whole war the endeavour of the
cavalry was to lighten their heavy armour; the more the army separated
into military companies the more pressing was the necessity for greater

In the sixteenth century the heavy guns were very varied in calibre and
length of barrel, and had divers curious names. The sharp metz, the
carronade, culverin and nightingale, the singer, the falcon and the
falconet, the field serpent and serpentine, with balls from one hundred
pounds down to one pound, besides the organ,[2] mortars large and
small, rifle-barrelled guns and rifles. But in the beginning of the
Thirty years' war the forms were already simplified; they cast
forty-eight, and twenty-four pounders, twelve and six pounders, with
forty-two, twenty-four, twelve and six pound balls;[3] the first were
fortress and siege guns, the last were field guns; besides these,
disproportionately long culverins and falconets, also chamber pieces
for throwing shells, or bomb mortars which were soon called howitzers,
smaller mortars for throwing fire-balls, stinkpots, &c.; and in the
beginning of the war bombarders, which fired pieces of iron, lead,
small shot, and stones. Lastly from forged pieces they fired half-ounce
bullets, double, single, and half-hooks, or grappling irons. But the
length of the barrels of the guns was too long for balls; the powder
was bad, and the aim consequently uncertain. Gustavus Adolphus
introduced shorter and lighter guns; his leather cannon, made of copper
cylinders with thick hemp and leather coverings[4] held together by
iron hoops, soon ceased to be used, probably because they were not
sufficiently durable, but his short four-pounders, two of which were
given to every regiment, and which worked best with grape shot, lasted
over the war. These field pieces fired not only from position but were
moved with tolerable rapidity during action, but the bombardes and
petards were unwieldy; the last were twisted round with ropes more like
a sort of cannon than our bombs and grenades, but were of uncertain
effect because the locks were badly prepared and they did not measure
the time for the explosion. The old disposition of the Germans to give
life to the inanimate had already in earlier times bestowed especial
names on favourite guns, and the custom remained, even after pieces of
the same calibre were cast in greater numbers; then particular guns,
for example, were called after the planets, months, and signs of the
zodiac, like a high sounding alphabet,[5] and in this case indicated by
single letters. There was always a new name given according to the
calibre, which in spite of all the simplification was still very
varied. The progress of artillery and its influence on the conduct of
war was impeded in the last half of the war by the want of experienced
master gunners, the greater portion of them were infantry commanders;
the loss of an artillery officer of capacity was difficult to replace.

The relative numbers of particular branches of the service were changed
during the war. In the beginning the proportion of the cavalry to the
infantry was as one to five, but soon they became one to three, and in
the latter period they were sometimes the strongest. This striking fact
is a proof both of the deterioration of the troops and of the art of
war. In the exhausted country, the army could only be maintained by a
strong force of cavalry, who could forage further and change their
ground with more rapidity. As all who hoped for independence or booty
pressed into the cavalry it was in better condition proportionately
than the infantry, who at last were reduced to support themselves by
reaping the scanty remains left by the horsemen. Undoubtedly the
cavalry also became worse, the want of good horses was at last more
sensibly felt than that of men, and the heavy cavalry could not be kept
up, whilst in the last year the service of the scouts and foraging
parties for the commissariat was brought to great perfection.
Nevertheless the cavalry were the most effective, for it was their task
to decide the battle by their charge. The last army with skilled
infantry and Dutch discipline was that of Bavaria under Mercy, from
1643 to 1645.

The tactics of armies had slowly altered in the course of the
century. The old Landsknecht army advanced to battle in three
great squares,--the advanced guard, the main body, and the rear
guard--disregarding roads and corn-fields; before it went pioneers, who
filled in ditches and cut down hedges to clear the way for the bulky
mass. For battle, the deep square masses of infantry placed themselves
side by side, each square mass consisted of many companies, sometimes
of many regiments; the cavalry formed in a similar deep position at the
wings. There was no regular reserve, only sometimes one of the three
masses was kept back for the final decision; a select body of men, the
forlorn hope, was formed for dangerous service, such as forcing the
passage of a river, covering an important point, or turning the enemy's
flank. Since fire-arms had prevailed over pikes, these great battalions
were surrounded by files of sharpshooters, and at last special bodies
of sharpshooters were formed and attached to them. In the war in the
Netherlands, the unwieldiness of these heavy squares led to breaking
the order of battle into smaller tactical bodies. But it was only
slowly, that formation in line and a system of reserve were organized.
Much of the old method continued in the Imperial army in the beginning
of the war. Still the companies of infantry were united in deep
squares--in battalions. To take firm positions and assume defensive
warfare had become too much the custom in inglorious campaigns against
the wild storming Turks. The weight and tenacity of deep masses might
certainly be effective, but if the enemy succeeded in bringing his guns
to bear upon them, they suffered fearfully, and were very unwieldy in
all their movements. Gustavus Adolphus adopted the tactical innovations
of the Netherlanders in an enlightened way; when in battle he placed
the infantry six, and the cavalry only three deep; he distributed the
great masses into small divisions, which firmly connected together,
formed the unity of the Swedish brigade; he strengthened the cavalry,
placing between them companies of sharpshooters, and introduced light
artillery regiments besides those that were in reserve and position,
and accustomed his soldiers to rapid offensive movements and daring
advances. His infantry fired quicker than the Imperial, and at the
battle of Breitenfeld the old Walloon regiments of Tilly were routed by
their close platoon firing; he also laid down for his cavalry, those
very rules by which a century later Frederick the Great made his, the
first in the world; viz., not to stop in order to fire, but at the
quickest pace to rush upon the enemy.

During the battle the soldiers recognized one another by their
war-cries and distinguishing marks, the officers by their scarfs. For
example, at Breitenfeld Tilly's army wore white bands on their hats and
helmets, and white lace round the arm, and the Swedes had green
branches. The Imperial colour in the field was red, therefore Gustavus
Adolphus prohibited his Swedes from wearing that colour,[6] the scarfs
of the Swedish officers at the battle of Lützen were green, those of
Electoral Saxony during the war were black and yellow, and later, after
the acquisition of the Polish crown, red and white.

The soldiers were formed in troops or companies, and these were
combined in regiments which had administrative unity. The German
infantry regiments consisted of three thousand men, in ten companies of
three hundred men; they seldom reached their normal strength, and lost
their men in the war with frightful rapidity, so that there were
frequently regiments of from a thousand to three hundred, and companies
of seventy to thirty men. Cavalry regiments were required to be from
five hundred to a thousand men strong; the numbers of the troops were
different, and their effective war strength was still more variable.

The titles and duties of officers had already much similarity to the
modern German organization. He who had raised a regiment for his
Sovereign, was called the colonel of the regiment, even if he had the
rank of General; under him were the Lieutenant-colonel and Major. More
important for the object of these pages were the officers of companies;
the Captain of infantry or cavalry, with his Lieutenant, an Ensign,
and sergeant, or troop sergeant-major, non-commissioned officers and
lance-corporals, and finally the provost-marshal.

When an officer at the mustering of his company in a circle, was
installed as chief captain and father, he begged his dear soldiers, in
a friendly manner, to be true and obedient to him, recounted to them
their duties, promised to stand by them in every emergency, and as an
honest man, devote himself to them in life or death, and leave them
whatever he had. Unfortunately the captain's first duty was to be
faithful in money concerns, both towards the colonel and his own
soldiers, to procure clever good soldiers for the reviewing officer,
not to charge for more mercenaries than was right, and to give the
soldiers their full pay; but this seldom happened. The temptation to a
system of fraudulent gain was great, and conscientiousness in the
uncertain life of war was a virtue which quickly disappeared; even the
most honourable fell upon dangerous rocks when the pay had been long in
arrear, or not fully given. Besides this, it was necessary for him to
be an energetic experienced man, just and kind in disposition, but
strict in maintaining rights. During the week, he was, according to the
old proverb, to look severe, and not to smile upon the soldiers before
Sunday; when there was preaching in the camp, the soldiers sat on the
ground, but stood up, taking their hats off, before the captain, but he
who wore a morion kept it on. On the march, the captain rode, but
before the enemy he went on foot, carrying either the pike or the
musket of his company.[7]

The banner of the infantry, which was held sacred by the company, had a
standard about the size of ours, but the silken flag, like an enormous
sail, reached almost to the end of the standard; it was of heavy
material, according to the taste of that time, with allegorical
pictures painted on it, and short Latin sentences beautifully
illuminated. The "_cornete_" of the cavalry, sometimes vandyked, were
smaller, and fixed to the standard like our banners. The regiments were
sometimes called after the colours of the banners; for example, in
Electoral Saxony, where the ground of the banners was always of two
colours, they were called the black and yellow, blue and white, red and
yellow, regiments; each of the ten banners of the regiment also had its
especial emblem and motto, and different combinations of the regimental
colours, grained, striped and in squares, yet the chief standard showed
the regimental colours only on the border. The "_cornete_" of the
cavalry had a ground of only one colour: the corps of cavalry were
denoted according to the colours of their banners, and not by their
uniforms, which they hardly ever wore; for example:--"two corps of
orange-coloured cornet cuirassiers," "five corps of steel-green cornet
arquebussiers." The Swedes also distinguished their brigades, which
were in Germany frequently called regiments, by the colour of their
banners; thus, besides the yellow (Body Guard) there were the green,
blue, white, and red. The colours of regiments were often chosen from
the armorial bearings of the colonel, especially if he had raised the
regiment. Gradually, however, it became the custom in all the armies to
call the regiments after the names of the officers.

The flag was attached to the standard and erected in the midst of the
circle of enlisted soldiers; then the Colonel delivered the banner to
the Ensign, and thus gave it into his charge:--"As your bride or your
own daughter, from the right hand to the left; and if both your arms
should be shot or cut off, you should take it with your mouth; and if
you cannot preserve it thus, wrap yourself therein, commit yourself to
God so to be slain, and die as an honourable man." As long as the
colours were flying, and a piece of the standard left, the soldiers
were to follow the Ensign to the death, till all should lie in a heap
on the battle-field, that no evildoer or blameworthy person should be
sheltered by the flag; if any one should transgress against the banner
oath, the Ensign was to furl the banner, and forbid the transgressor to
march under it or mount guard, and he was obliged to go among the bad
women and children with the baggage till the affair was arranged: the
Ensign was not to leave the colours a single night without permission;
when he slept he was to have them by him, and never to separate himself
from them; if they should be torn from the standard by treachery or
some roguish attendant, the Ensign should be delivered over to the
common soldiers to be judged for life or death, according to their
will. It was necessary for him to be tall, powerful, manly, and
valiant, and a cheerful companion, friendly to every one, a mediator
and peace-maker; he was not to inflict punishment on any one, that he
might incur no hatred. In the open field under the unfurled colours
appointments were declared and the articles of war read. A trooper was
not, without permission, to be out of sight of the colours when the
army was marching or encamped; whoever fled from the colours in battle
was to die for it, and whoever killed him was to be unpunished: if an
Ensign should abandon a fort or redoubt before he had held out against
three assaults without relief, he transgressed the rules of war; a
regiment lost its colours if from cowardice it yielded a fortress
before the time. It was not long since pike-law was given up, the
severe tribunal of the Landsknechte, where, before the circle of common
soldiers, the provost-marshal accused the evil-doer, and forty chosen
men, officers and soldiers, pronounced judgment: at the beginning of
the trial the Ensigns furled their colours, and reversed them with the
iron point in the ground, and demanded a sentence, because the colours
could not fly over an evil-doer. If the transgressor was condemned to
the spear, or to be shot by the arquebussiers, then the Ensign thanked
them for their judgment on the offender, unfurled the colours, and
caused them to fly towards the east, comforted the poor sinner, and
promised to meet him halfway, and thereby to deliver him by taking him
under the protection of the colours. When the line of pikes was formed
they went to the end of it with their backs towards the sun; but the
transgressor had to bless the soldiers and pray for a speedy death,
then the provost gave him three strokes with his staff on the right
shoulder and pushed him into the lane. Whoever had disgraced himself,
if the colours were waved three times over him, was freed from his
disgrace. The Ensign received every three years, money for a new flag
or dress (from eighty to a hundred gulden), and for that he was to make
a present to the company of two casks of beer or wine.

The office of Cornet of cavalry was less responsible. It was his duty
to rush vigorously upon the enemy, and after the attack to raise his
standard on high, that his people might collect round him. In the
Hungarian war the Cornet passed sometimes into the rank of Lieutenant,
and in some regiments (the Wallenstein army for instance) this custom
was kept up.

The most important man of the company next to the Captain was the
Sergeant; he was the drill-master and spokesman for the soldiers, and
had to mark out with flags the position to be taken up by the troops of
the Imperial batons, or Swedish brigades, to arrange the men, placing
in the front and rear ranks and at the sides, the best armed and most
efficient men, to mingle the halberds and short weapons, to lead and
keep with the arquebussiers; he was the instructor of the company, and
knew the proper and warlike use of his weapons.

As the "mob" who came together from for and near under a banner were
difficult to keep in order, the greater part of them not to be depended
on, and unskilled in the exercise of their weapons, the number of
non-commissioned officers was necessarily very great, frequently indeed
they formed more than a third of the troop. Any one who had military
capacity or could be depended upon, was marked out by the subordinate
commander for higher pay and posts of confidence. Amongst the numerous
functions and manifold designations of the subalterns, some are
particularly characteristic. In the beginning of the war every company
had, according to the old _Landsknecht_ custom, their "leader," who, in
the first instance at least, was chosen by the soldiers. He was the
tribune of the company, their spokesman, who had to lay their
grievances and wishes before the Captain, and to represent the
interests of the soldiery. It may easily be understood that such an
arrangement did not strengthen the discipline of the army; it was done
away with in time of war. Even the thankless office of quartermaster
was of greater importance than now; the complaints of the soldiers, who
quarrelled about the bad quarters he had provided for them, he met with
defiance, and inspired them with fear of his usurious practices. When a
company came to a deserted village, the serjeants threw their knives
into the hat of the quartermaster; he then went from house to house,
sticking the blades as they came to his hand in the door-posts, and
every band (of six or eight men) followed their leader's knife. When
poor members of the nobility, candidates for commission, of whom the
number was often great, presented themselves, their names were
inscribed on the list of lance-corporals. Old vagabonds full of
pretension were designated in the military kitchen Latin by the title
of "_Ambesaten_," and afterwards "_Landspassaten_;" they were orderlies
and messengers receiving higher pay, representatives and assistants of
the Corporals. There was a general endeavour to add a deputy to every
office, as the Lieutenant to the Captain, an under Ensign to the
Ensign, to the Serjeant an under Serjeant, and frequently with the
infantry a vidette for the sentinels at out-posts; in the same way
serjeants were deputies to the officers, and the "_Landspassaten_" to
the Corporal, and the provost to the provost-general, &c., &c.

The army consisted, with few exceptions, of enlisted soldiers. The
Sovereign empowered an experienced leader by patent to raise for him an
army, a regiment, or a company; recruiting places were sought for and a
muster place established where the recruits were collected. The
recruits were paid their travelling expenses or bounty; at the
beginning of the war this was insignificant, and sometimes deducted
from their pay, but later the bounty increased, and was given to the
soldiers. At the beginning of the war negotiations were carried on with
every mercenary, about the pay, at the muster-place. The soldier in
quarters received nothing but his pay, which in 1600, for the common
foot soldier, amounted to from fifteen to sixteen gulden a month.[8]
With this they had to procure for themselves weapons, clothing, and
food. Garrisons were provided with stores by the quarter-master, the
cost being reimbursed to him. During the great war, however, the
arrangements about pay were often deviated from, the distribution of it
to the soldiers was very irregular.

In the Imperial army the pay, exclusive of food, was nine gulden to the
pikeman and six to the musketeer. In the Swedish army it was still
lower, but was in the beginning more regularly paid, and there was more
care about the provisions. The whole sustenance of the army was charged
upon the province by a hard system of requisition, even on friendly
territory. The maintenance of the upper officers was very high, and yet
formed only a small share of their income. During the time of service
the troops were entered on the muster-roll by a court of comptrol, the
reviewing officer, or commissary of the Prince; in order to prevent the
officers and commanders drawing too much pay, when they were assembled
round the flag, the names of the deserters were written apart, and
beside each name a gallows was painted. At the time of muster if any
one was unserviceable or had served a long time, he was taken off the
muster-roll, and declared free, given his discharge, and provided with
a pass or certificate. Whoever wished for leave, obtained a pass from
the Ensign. The soldier had to clothe himself, uniforms were only found
exceptionally; the halberdiers of the life-guards, and the heavily
armed cavalry, so far as armour was concerned, were generally furnished
by the Sovereign; but before the war it was only occasionally done, and
then pay was deducted for it, or the Colonel took back the armour after
the campaign.

The military discipline of the Germans was, in the beginning of the
war, in the worst repute. The German soldiers were considered by other
nations as idle, turbulent, refractory bullies;[9] they had been not a
little spoilt by service in half-barbarous countries, as Hungary and
Poland then were, and against the barbarian Turks. When individuals had
to chaffer about their pay, discontent began; when the Captain would
not satisfy the claims of the enlisted mercenary, the malcontent threw
his musket angrily at the feet of the former, and went off with the
money for his travelling-expenses, there was no means of detaining him.
Though the Ensign was bound by oath, the Captain only too frequently
found advantage in favouring plunder and the nightly desertion of the
banner, for he had his share of the soldier's booty; the worst thieves
were the best bees.

The paymasters were always deeply hated, because they generally gave
the regiments short pay and bad coin; they and other commissaries of
the sovereign were exposed to much insult when they came to the camp.
The worst things are related of the Commanders-in-chief, above all,
that they received more pay than they distributed to the soldiers;
still worse were the Generals. Frequently open mutiny broke out, and
then the mutineers placed a Colonel or Captain in the middle of them,
and chose him for their leader. The same thing took place in Hungary.
Indeed it happened, during the armistice preceding the Westphalian
peace, that in a Bavarian dragoon regiment, a corporal of the garrison
of Hilperstein nominated himself Colonel of the regiment, and by the
help of his comrades drove away the officers; the regiment was
surrounded by loyal soldiers, the new Colonel with eighteen of the
ringleaders were executed, the muskets were taken from the regiment, it
was resworn and formed anew as a cavalry regiment. The arrears of pay
were the usual cause of mutiny. In the year 1620, the regiment of Count
Mansfeld mutinied. He began to pay, but meanwhile leaving his tent,
struck down two of the soldiers with his own hands, severely wounding
them; he then mounted his horse, sprang into the midst of the
mutineers, and shot many of them. He alone with three captains subdued
the insolence of six hundred men, after having slain eleven, and
severely wounded six-and-twenty. If it was difficult to secure
obedience to military commands whilst the banner was waving, still
greater was the burst of resentment when it was furled and the regiment
was disbanded. Then the provost, the prostitutes, and the soldiers'
sons hid themselves; the Captain, Lieutenant, and other commanders were
obliged to submit to abusive language and challenges, and to hear
themselves thus accosted: "Ha, you fellow, you have been my commander,
now you are not a jot better than I; a pound of your hair is of no more
importance to me than a pound of cotton; out with you, let's have a
scuffle!" Whenever punishment was administered, the commanders were in
danger from the revenge of the culprit or his friends. The disbanded
soldiers quarrelled amongst each other, as they did with their
officers, and sometimes there were as many as a hundred parties in one
place engaged in duelling. The most wanton death-blows were dealt, and
murders perpetrated, such as have never been heard of since the
beginning of Christianity. When the banner was unfurled, it was
customary for the combatants to join hands and vow to fight out their
quarrel when their term of service was ended, and till then to live
together in brotherly love. When this disbanding took place, the most
disorderly of the soldiers combined together and began an "armour
cleaning" of those comrades to whom, during service, the officers had
shown favour; that is to say, they robbed them of all, deprived them of
their clothes, beat and almost killed them. All these crimes were
tolerated, and the powerless commander-in-chief looked passively on
these proceedings as a mere custom of war.

During the Hungarian campaigns the soldiers adopted the habit of only
remaining by their banners during the summer months; they found their
reckoning in serving a short time, and mutinying if more was desired of
them; for during the autumn and winter they went with two, three, or
more boys as "_Gartbrüder_"[10] through the country, a fearful plague
to the formers in eastern Germany. In the frontier countries, Silesia,
Austria, Bohemia, and Styria, it was even commanded by the sovereigns
to pay a farthing to every soldier who was roving about as
"_Gartbrüder_." Thus by their refractory conduct they daily obtained a
gulden or more; their boys pilfered where they could, and were
notorious poachers. Wallhausen, whilst making other energetic
complaints, reckons that the support of a standing army would cost less
to the princes and states, and secure greater success against the
enemy, than this old bad system.

More than once during the long war, these wild armies were brought
under the constraint of strict discipline by the powerful will of
individuals, and each time great military successes were obtained; but
this was not of any duration. The discipline of the Wallenstein army
was excellent in a military point of view; but what the commander
permitted with regard to citizens and peasants was horrible. Even
Gustavus Adolphus could not preserve for more than a year, the strict
discipline which on his landing in Pomerania was so triumphantly lauded
by the Protestant ecclesiastics. It is true that the military law and
articles of war contained a number of legal rules for all soldiers,
concerning the forbearance to be observed even in an enemy's land
towards the people and their property. The women, invalids, and aged
were under all circumstances to be spared, and mills and ploughs were
not to be injured. But it is not by the laws themselves, but by the
administration of them, that we can judge of the peculiar
characteristics of a period.

The punishments were in themselves severe. With the Swedes,--for the
embezzlement of money intended for the hospitals or invalid soldiers,
the wooden horse with its iron fittings was awarded, or running the
gauntlet (for this hardy fellows were hired to take upon them the
punishment), or loss of the hand, shooting, or hanging. For whole
divisions,--the loss of their banners, cleaning the camp and lying
outside it, and decimation. In the beginning of the war many of the old
Landsknecht customs were maintained, for instance, their criminal court
of justice, in which the law was decided by the people through select
jurymen. And before the war, together with this, court-martials had
been introduced. During the war a military tribunal was organized
according to the modern German method, under the presidency of the
advocate-general, and the provost-marshal superintended the execution.
But even in punishments there was a difference between the army and the
citizens and peasants. The soldier was put in irons, but not in the
stocks or in prison; no soldier was ever hanged on a common gallows, or
in a common place of execution, but on a tree or on a special gallows,
which was erected in the city for the soldiers in the market-place; the
old form by which the delinquent was given over to the hangman was thus
expressed: "He shall take him to a green tree and tie him up by the
neck, so that the wind may blow under and over him, and the sun shine
on him for three days; then shall he be cut down and buried according
to the custom of war." But the perjured deserter was hanged to a
withered tree. Whoever was sentenced to death by the sword, was taken
by the executioner to a public place, where he was cut in two, the body
being the largest and the head the smallest portion. The provost and
his assistant also were in nowise dishonoured by their office; even the
avoided executioner's assistant, the "_Klauditchen_" of the army, who
was generally taken from among the convicts, and who was allowed to
choose between punishment and this dishonourable office, could, if he
fulfilled his office faithfully, become respectable when the banner was
unfurled; he could then receive his certificate like any other gallant
soldier, and no one could speak evil of him.

There was one circumstance which distinguished the armies of the Thirty
years' war from those of modern days, and which made their entrance
into a province like an eruption of a heterogeneous race of strangers:
each soldier, in spite of his short term of service in the field, was
accompanied by his household. Not only the higher officers, but also
the troopers and foot-soldiers, took their wives, and still more
frequently their mistresses with them in a campaign. Women from all
countries, adorned to the utmost of their power, followed the army, and
sought entrance into the camp, because they had a husband, friend, or
cousin there. At the mustering or disbanding of a regiment, even
respectable maidens were, through the most cruel artifices, carried off
by disorderly bands, and when the money was all spent, left sometimes
without clothes, or at some carousal sold from one to another. The
women who accompanied the soldiers cooked and washed for them, nursed
the sick, provided them with drink, bore their blows, and on the march
carried the children and any of the plunder or household implements
which could not be conveyed by the baggage waggons. It is known that
the King of Sweden on his first arrival in Germany would not suffer any
such women in the camp; but after his return from Franconia, this
strict discipline seems to have ceased. Whoever peruses the old church
records of the village parishes will find sometimes the names of
maidens, who, having been carried off, returned at the end of a year to
their village home, and submitted themselves to the severest Church
penances in order to die amongst the ruined population of their
birthplace. The women of the camp were also under martial law. For
great offences they were flogged, and driven out of the camp; the
soldiers too were hard masters, and little of what had been promised
them in the beginning was kept.

The children accompanied the women. In the Swedish army military
schools were established by Gustavus Adolphus, in which the children
were instructed even in the camp. In these migratory schools strict
military discipline prevailed, and a story, which cannot be warranted,
is told of a cannonball having passed through a school in the Swedish
camp, and having killed many of the children, but the survivors
continued their sum in arithmetic.

Some soldiers maintained one or more lads, a crafty, stubborn set of
good-for-nothings, who waited upon their masters, cleaned their horses,
sometimes bore their armour, and fed their shaggy dogs; nimble spies
who prowled about far and near on the traces of opulent people, and on
the look-out for concealed money.

The plundering by the baggage-train was almost worse in a friendly
country. When the soldiers with the women and children came to a
farmhouse, they pounced like hawks upon the poultry in the yard, then
broke open the doors, seized upon the trunks and chests, and with
abusive language, threatened, importuned and destroyed, what they could
not consume or take away. On decamping they compelled the owner to
horse his waggons and take them to their next quarters. Then they
filled the waggons with the clothes, beds, and household goods of the
farmers, binding round their bodies what could not otherwise be carried

"Frequently," says the indignant narrator Wallhausen, "the women did
not choose to be drawn by oxen, and it was necessary to procure horses,
sometimes from a distance of six miles, to the great cost of the
country people, and when they came with the waggons to the nearest
quarters, they would not allow the poor people to return home; but
dragged them with them to another territory, and at last stole the
horses and made off."

In the beginning of the war, a German infantry regiment had to march
for some days through the country of their own sovereign; there were as
many women and children with the baggage-train, as soldiers, and they
stole in eight days from the subjects of their sovereign almost
sufficient horses for each soldier to ride. The colonel, a just and
determined man, frequently dragged the soldiers himself from the
horses, and at last enforced their restoration by extreme severity. But
it was impossible to prevent the women from riding; there was not one
who had not a stolen horse, and if they did not ride them they
harnessed them three or four together to the peasants' carts.

Only a few of the otherwise copious writers of that time make mention
of this despised portion of the army; yet there are sufficient
accounts, from which we may conclude that great influence was produced
by the baggage-train on the fate of the army and the country.
Especially by the enormous extent of it. At the end of the sixteenth
century Adam Junghans reckons, that in a besieged fortress where the
camp-followers were reduced to the smallest possible number, to three
hundred infantry soldiers, there were fifty women and forty children,
besides sutlers, horseboys, &c., &c., somewhat more than a third of the
soldiers. But in the field the proportion was quite different even in
the beginning of the war. Wallhausen reckons as indispensable to a
German regiment of infantry, four thousand women, children, and other
followers. A regiment of three thousand men had at least three hundred
waggons, and every waggon was full to repletion of women, children, and
plundered goods; when a company broke up from its quarters, it was
considered an act of self-denial if it did not carry away with it
thirty or more waggons. At the beginning of the war a regiment of north
German soldiers, three thousand strong, started from the muster-place
where it had remained some time, followed by two thousand women and

From that time the baggage-train continued increasing to the end of the
war. It was only for a brief space of time that great commanders, like
Tilly, Wallenstein, and Gustavus Adolphus were able to diminish this
great plague of the army. In 1648, at the end of the great war, the
Bavarian General, Gronsfeld, reports that in the Imperial and Bavarian
armies there were forty thousand soldiers who drew war rations, and a
hundred and forty thousand who did not; on what were these to subsist
if they did not obtain their food by plunder, especially as in the
whole country where the army encamped, there was not a single place
where a soldier could buy a bit of bread. In the year 1648 the
camp-followers were more than three times the number of the
fighting-men. These numbers tell more significantly than any
deductions, what a dreadful amass of misery surrounded these armies.

Before we proceed to describe the influence which armies thus composed
exercised upon the life of the German people, we must once more remind
the reader, that this monstrous evil was not created by the Thirty
years' war, but for the most part already in existence. Some
observations will therefore be here introduced from the above-quoted
and now rare little book, written by Adam Junghans von der Olnitz, at
that period when the worth and capacity of the old Landsknecht army
passed away into the wild dissolute life of mercenaries. It appears
here as the prologue to the monstrous tragedy which began twenty years

"Each and every officer, captain of horse, or other captain, knows well
that no doctors, magisters, or any other God-fearing people, follow in
his train, but only a heap of ill-disposed lads, out of all kinds of
nations; strange folks, who leave wives and children, abandon their
duties, and follow the army; all that will not follow the pursuits of
their fathers and mothers, must follow the calf-skin which is spread
over the drum, till they come to a battle or assault, where thousands
lie on the field of battle, shot or cut to pieces; for a Landsknecht's
life hangs by a hair, and his soul flutters on his cap or his sleeve.
Besides, three kinds of herbs always grow with war; these are, sharp
rule, fifty forbidden articles, and severe judgment with speedy
sentence, which fits many a neck with a hempen collar.

"It is not enough that a soldier should be strong, straight, manly,
tyrannical, bloody-minded, in his actions like a grim lion, and
behave like a bully, as if he himself would catch and eat the devil
alone, so that none of his comrades should partake of him; but these
trigger-pullers wantonly bring themselves to destruction by their
stupidity, and other good fellows with them. Another is a snorer, and a
kicker, and stamps like a wild horse on the straw, and when he goes
into battle, and the balls whistle about his head, he is a martyr and
poor sinner, who would for very fear soil his hosen, and allow his
weapon to fall from his hand. But when they sit at the tap, or in the
cantinières' stalls, or in public-houses, then they have seen much and
can do nothing but fight, then a fly on the wall irritates them, there
is no peace with them, then they are ready to fight the enemy with
great curses. Such 'bear-prickers' are generally found out; one seldom
finds one who is not maimed in the hands or arms, or has a scar on the
cheek, and they have never really all their lives long, faced the
enemy. The captain may well keep clear of such fellows, for they are
generally seditious mutineers. A wise soldier avoids quarrels and
public-house brawls whenever he can, that he may have his skin whole
and uninjured to bring in front of the enemy. To be wounded by the
enemy is an honour, but he who injures himself wantonly must expect
scorn and derision, and is of no use to any army. Such a fellow must
remain all his life a paltry beggar; he roves about the country, begs
bread and sells it again, feeds like a wolf, and when the rats and mice
are drowned in the countrywoman's milk, he maintains himself on the
cheese made from it, and must submit to the rough words of the
peasants, and herd with other poor beggars to the end of his life.
Besides these, there are many who wish to be soldiers, mothers' sons,
beardless boys, like young calves, who know nothing of suffering, who
have sat beside the stove and roasted apples, and lain in warm beds.
When they are brought to a foreign country, and meet with all kind of
strange arrangements, food, drink, and other things, they are like soft
eggs that flow through the fingers, or like paper when it lies in the
water. It is thus not only with foot Landsknechte, but also with young
nobles. When they are led to the field in devastated countries, where
all is consumed and laid waste, and they can no longer carry their
well-filled bread wallets and drinking-flasks on their necks, they
first pine away, hunger and thirst, then eat and drink unusual things,
from which result all kinds of maladies. These delicate vagabonds ought
to remain at home, attend to the tillage, or sit in the shop by the
pepper-bags, and shift for themselves, as their fathers and mothers
have done, fill their stomachs at eventide, and go to bed; thus they
would not be slain in war. It is truly said that soldiers must be hardy
and enduring people, like unto steel and iron, and like the wild beasts
that can eat all kinds of food. According to the jocose saying, the
Landsknechte must be able to digest the points of their wheel-nails;
nothing must come amiss to them, even if necessity required that they
should eat dogs' or cats' flesh, and the flesh of horses from the
meadow must be like good venison to them, with herbs unseasoned by salt
or butter. Hunger teaches to eat, if one has not seen bread for three
weeks. Drink one may have gratis, for if one can get no water from the
brook, one can drink with the geese out of the pond or the puddle. One
must sleep under a tree, or in the field; there is plenty of earth to
lie on, and of sky for a canopy; such must often be the Landsknecht's
sleeping-room, and from such a bed no feathers will stick to his hair.
Hence arises the old quarrel between the fowls and geese and the
Landsknechte, because the former can always sleep in feathers, whilst
the latter must often lie in straw. There is another animal that
clashes with the Landsknechte, that is the cat; as the soldiers know
well how to pilfer, they are enemies to the cats, and friendly to the
dogs. According to the old doggerel, a Landsknecht should always have
with him a beautiful woman, a dog, and a young boy, a long spear, and a
short sword; he is free to seek any master who will give him service. A
Landsknecht must make three campaigns before he can become an
honourable man. After the first campaign, he must return home wearing
torn clothes; after the second, he should return with a scar on one
cheek, and be able to tell much of alarms, battles, skirmishes and
storming parties, and to show by his scars that he has got the marks of
a Landsknecht; after the third, he should return well appointed, on a
fine charger, bringing with him a purse full of gold, so that he may be
able to distribute whole dollars as he would booty-pence.

"It is truly said, that a soldier must have to eat and drink, whether
it is paid for by the sacristan or the priest; for a Landsknecht has
neither house nor farm, cows nor calves, and no one to bring him food;
therefore he must procure it himself wherever it is to be found, and
buy without money whether the peasants look sweet or sour. Sometimes
they must suffer hunger and evil days, at others they have abundance,
and indeed such superfluity, that they might clean their shoes with
wine or beer. Then their dogs eat roast; the women and children get
good appointments, they become stewards and cellarers of other people's
property. When the householder is driven away with his wife and
children, the fowls, geese, fat cows, oxen, pigs, and sheep have a bad
time of it. The money is portioned out in their caps, velvet and silk
stuffs and cloth are measured out by long spears; a cow is slaughtered
for the sake of the hide; chests and trunks are broken open, and when
all has been plundered and nothing more remains, the house is set on
fire. That is the true Landsknecht's fire, when fifty villages and
country towns are in flames. Then they go to other quarters and do the
like again; this makes soldiers jolly, and is a desirable life for
those who do not pay for it. This entices to the field many a mother's
child, who does not return home, and forgets his friends. For the
proverb says: 'The Landsknechte have crooked fingers and maimed hands
for work, but for pilfering and plundering all the maimed hands become
sound.' That has been so before our days, and will remain so truly
after us. The longer the Landsknechte learn this handiwork the better
they do it, and become circumspect, like the three maidens who had four
cradles made, the fourth as a provision in case one of them had two
children. Wherever the soldiers come, they bring with them the keys of
all the rooms, their axes and hatchets, and if there are not enough
stalls in a place for their horses, it does not signify, they stall
them in the churches, monasteries, chapels, and best rooms. If there is
no dry wood for fire, it matters not, they burn chairs, benches,
ploughs, and everything that is in the house; if they want green wood,
no one need go far, they cut down the fruit trees in the nearest
orchard; for they say, whilst we live here we keep house, to-morrow we
go off again into the country, therefore, Mr. Host, be comforted; you
have a few guests you would gladly be free from, therefore give freely
and write it on the slate. When the house is burnt the account is burnt
also. This is the Landsknechts' custom; to make a reckoning and ride
off, and pay when we return.

"The French, Italians, and Walloons are as adverse to the Germans as to
dogs, but the Spaniards are friendly to them; they however have an
unheard-of weakness for women, and are disposed to profligate and
godless conduct. Altogether, the Germans are but little thought of by
these nations, who call them nothing but drunkards, proud featherpates,
mighty braggadocios, blasphemers of God, '_Hans Muffmaff_' with the
beggar's wallet, who would willingly play the great man. And if one
comes to look at it, it is not far from the truth. For there is a new
custom amongst the North Germans when they go to war, or collect
together under a master, they spend all their goods and possessions on
ostentatious splendour, as if they were going to a bride, or riding to
a banquet. Thus the Germans who were formerly called the Blackriders,
come riding along with silver daggers, seven pound in weight, in velvet
clothes, and shining boots, with short holster pistols inlaid with
ivory, and large wide padded sleeves; they are ashamed of carrying
cuirass or armour, or indeed a spear, or any other murderous weapons,
as in the olden time. Hence it arises, that they never hold together.
Then when Hans Spaniard comes with his tilting spear and proof armour,
these chaw-bacons, with their short holster pistols, must run away or
yield their money and blood.

"Further, it is a misfortune to the Germans, that they take to
imitating, like monkeys and fools. As soon as they come amongst other
soldiers, they must have Spanish or other outlandish clothes. If they
could babble foreign languages a little, they would associate
themselves with Spaniards and Italians. The Germans would like to
mingle with foreign nations, and take pleasure in outlandish dress and
manners, 'but one should not place the vermin in the fur, it comes
there without.' It is clear that foreign people have become our
neighbours, and it is to be feared that they will in a few years come
nearer. The frontier lords, who still rest in tranquillity, fight
against the wind, speak quite wisely thereupon, comfort themselves, and
have in talk, all their cities and villages full of soldiers to defend
the country and withstand all enemies. But I fear that they prefer
sitting by the stove in winter, and in the shade in summer, playing
draughts, or striking the guitar, or dancing with _Jungfrau_ Greta, to
providing their houses with good weapons or armour.

"On this account, and because all foreign nations cry out all over
Germany, '_Cruci, cruci, mordio, mordio!_' and grind their teeth like
ravenous wolves, and desire and hope to bathe in German blood, one must
earnestly pray God not to withdraw his hand, but to take under his
protection this little vessel, tossed on the wild sea, cover it with
his wings, and preserve it from all storms; for we see how the Roman
Empire has declined from day to day, and still continues to do so.
These sufferings come from nothing but the proceedings of the
ecclesiastics, whereof the whole world complains. If one finds one
right-minded preacher there are ten to the contrary; every tradesman
praises his own wares, everyone will feed his own flock, and lead them
the right way to heaven, yet no one knows, save the devil and our Lord,
where the false shepherds go to themselves. Every one abuses, slanders,
and condemns the other; when they stand in the pulpit, the devil is
their preceptor, who helps them to manage so that one kingdom is at
variance with another, one country rebellious against the other;
neighbour can no longer agree with neighbour; nay one finds even at one
table four or five different faiths, one will worship on this mountain
and another on yonder. May the eternal Almighty God strengthen the
hearts of the dear North Germans, give them an upright spirit, and
raise them up again, that they may one day rise from the ashes, and
renew their ancient repute, and their good name. God help the

Thus writes an honourable officer before the year 1600.

                              CHAPTER II.

                            OF THE SOLDIERS.

Almost all the people of Europe sent their least promising sons to the
long war. Not only did foreign mercenaries follow the recruiting drum
like crows to the battle-field, but the whole of Christian Europe was
drawn into the struggle; foreigners trampled on the German soil in
companies and regiments: English and Scotch, Danes, Fins and Swedes,
besides the Netherlanders (whom the people considered as countrymen),
fought on the side of the Protestants. Even the Laplanders came with
their reindeer to the German coast; in the winter months of 1630 they
brought upon their sledges over the ice, furs for the Swedish army. But
still more chequered did the Imperial army look. The Roumaun Walloons,
Irish adventurers, Spaniards, Italians, and almost every Sclavonic race
broke into the country; worst of all the light cavalry,--Cossacks,
Polish auxiliaries (who were for the most part slaughtered by the
country people in 1620), Stradiots (among them undoubtedly some
Mahomedans), and, most hated of all, the Croats. The position of the
Emperor in the beginning of the war was striking in this respect, that
he had almost nothing but Sclavonic and Roumaun soldiers, and only
Roumaun money to oppose the Germans. By them the national rising was
crushed, and it is probable that half the troops of the League
consisted of foreigners.

Each army was a sample of the different nationalities; in each there
was an intermixture of many languages; and the hatred of nations seldom
ceased even when fighting under the same colours. It was especially
necessary in the camp to arrange the regiments according to the good
understanding between them. Germans and Italians were always kept

The Field-marshal or Quartermaster-general chose the site of the camp;
if possible by running water, and in a position which was favourable
for defence. First of all was measured out the place for the General
and his staff; large ornamented tents were raised on the ground thus
set apart, which was divided from the rest of the camp by barriers and
by planting spears, frequently even by fortifications. An open place
was left close to it for the main-guard; if the army remained long
encamped, a gallows was erected there as a warning. The position of
each regiment and company was marked out with branches; the troops were
marched in, the ranks were opened, the colours of each regiment were
planted in the ground in rows side by side; behind in parallel lines
lay the encampment of the company, always fifty men in a row; near the
colours was the Ensign, in the middle the Lieutenant, at the rear the
Captain, and behind all the tents of the superior officers and
officials; the surgeon next to the Ensign, and the chaplain near the
Captain. The officers lived in tents, often in conical forms fastened
with cords to the ground. The soldiers built themselves little huts of
planks and straw. The pikemen planted their pikes in the ground near
the huts; the pikes, short spears, halberds, partisans, and standards
showed from afar the rank and weapons of the inhabitant of the tent.
Two or four soldiers were generally housed in a hut, with their wives,
children, and dogs. Thus they lay encamped, company by company,
regiment by regiment, in great squares or circles, the whole camp
surrounded by a large space which served as an alarm post. Before the
Thirty years' war it was customary to set up a barricade round the
camp; then the train or baggage-waggons were pushed together in double
or more rows, and bound by chains or fastenings to the great square or
circle, leaving free the necessary openings. Then also the cavalry had
their camp next the inner side of the waggons; the necessary partitions
were erected for the horses near the huts and tents of the horsemen.
This custom had become obsolete, and it was only occasionally that the
waggons surrounded the camp, but it was protected by trenches, mounds,
and field-pieces. At the openings sentinels were posted, outside the
camp, troops of horse and a chain of outposts of musketeers or
arquebussiers were stationed. Each Ensign planted the colours before
his tent; near it was the drummer of the company, and a musketeer kept
watch with a burning match in his hand and his musket supported
horizontally on its rest.

In such a camp it was that the wild soldiery dwelt in unbridled
licence, insupportable to the neighbourhood even in a friendly country.
The provinces, cities, and villages were obliged to supply wood, straw,
fodder, and provisions, the waggons rolled along every road, and droves
of fat cattle were collected. The neighbouring villages quickly
disappeared; as all the wood-work and thatching was torn away by the
soldiers and employed in building their huts, only the shattered clay
walls remained. The soldiers and their boys roved about the
neighbourhood, plundering and stealing, and the cantineers drove about
with their carts. In the camp the soldiers congregated in front of
their huts; meanwhile the women cooked, washed, mended the clothes and
squabbled together; there was constant tumult and uproar and bloody
crimes, fighting with bare weapons, and combats between the different
services or nations. Every morning the crier and the trumpet called to
prayer, even among the Imperialists; early on the Sunday the regimental
chaplain performed service in the camp, then the soldiers and their
households seated themselves devoutly on the ground, and it was
forbidden for any one during service to loiter and drink in the
canteens. It is known how much Gustavus Adolphus inculcated pious
habits and prayers; after his arrival in Pomerania he caused prayers to
be read twice a day in his camp, but even in his army, it was necessary
in the articles of war to admonish the chaplains against drunkenness.

In the open space in front of the main guard was the gambling ground,
covered with cloaks and set with tables, round which all the gamesters
crowded. There the card-playing of the old Landsknechte gave place to
the quicker games of the dice. The use of dice was frequently forbidden
in the camp, and stopped by the captain of the guard and the provost;
then the gamblers assembled privately behind the fence, and played away
their ammunition, bread, horses, weapons, and clothes, so that it was
found necessary to place them under the supervision of the main-guard.
Three square dice were rolled on each cloak or table, called in camp
language "_Schelmbeine_;" each set had its croupier; to him belonged
the cloak, table, and dice; he had the office of judge in cases of
dispute, and his share of the winnings, but also frequently of blows.
There was much cheating and cogging; many dice had two fives or sixes,
many, two aces or deuces, others were filled with quicksilver and lead,
split hair, sponge, chaff, and charcoal; there were dice made of
stags-horn, heavy below and light above, "_Niederländer_,"[11] which
must be slid along, and "_Oberländer_,"[12] which must be thrown "from
Bavarian Heights" for them to fall right; often the noiseless work was
interrupted by curses, quarrels, and flashing rapiers. Lurking
tradespeople, frequently Jews, slipped in, ready to value and buy up
the rings, chains, and booty staked.

Behind the tents of the upper officers and the regimental provost,
separated from them by a wide street, stood the shops of the cantineers
in parallel cross rows. Cantineers, butchers, and common victuallers
formed an important community. The price of their goods was decided by
the provost, who received a perquisite in money or in kind; for
example, he received a tongue for every beast that was killed. On every
cask which was to be tapped, he wrote the retail price with chalk. By
these compacts, and the favour of the powerful, which was to be bought
by time-serving, the purveyors of the army maintained a proportionably
secure position, and insured themselves the payment, though irregular,
of their long tallies, which were scored equally for the officers and
soldiers. In good times traders came from afar to the camp with
expensive stuffs, jewels, gold and silver workmanship, and delicacies.
In the beginning of the war especially, the officers set a bad example
to the army by their extreme luxury; every captain would have a French
cook, and consumed the dearest wine in great quantities.

The military signals of the camp were, for the infantry the beat of the
drum, for the cavalry the trumpet: the drum was very large, the drummer
often a half-grown boy, sometimes the fool of the company. In the
beginning of the war, the German army had in many cases a uniform beat.
Every command from the General to the camp, had to be proclaimed by a
herald riding through it with a trumpeter. On such occasions the herald
wore over his dress a "tabard" of coloured silk, embroidered before and
behind with the arms of the sovereign. This proclamation, which
announced to the camp in the evening the work of the following day, was
very destructive to secret and rapid operations; it was also very
injurious to discipline, for it announced to the loiterers and robbers
of the camp, the night when they might steal out for booty.

When times were prosperous, a battle won, a rich city plundered, or an
opulent district laid under contribution, everything was plentiful,
food and drink cheap; and it once happened, in the last year of the
war, that in the Bavarian camp a cow was bought for a pipe of tobacco.
The Croats of the Imperial army in Pomerania, in the winter of 1630 and
1631, had their girdles overlaid with gold, and whole plates of gold
and silver on the breast. Paul Stockmann, a pastor at Lützen, relates,
that in the Imperial army, before the battle of Lützen, one horseman
had his horse decorated with a quantity of golden stars, and another
with three hundred silver moons; and the soldiers' women wore the most
beautiful church dresses and mass vestments, and that some Stradiots
rode in plundered priests' dresses, to the great mirth of their
comrades. In these times also carousers drank to one another in costly
wine from the chalices, and caused long chains to be made of the
plundered gold, from which, according to the old knightly custom, they
severed links to pay for a carousal. But the longer the war lasted the
more rare were these golden times. The devastation of the country
revenged itself fearfully on the army itself; the pale spectre of
hunger, the forerunner of pestilence, glided through the lines of the
camp, and raised its bony hand against every straw hut. Then supplies
from the surrounding districts ceased, the price of provisions was
raised so as to be almost unattainable; a loaf of bread, for example,
in the Swedish army in 1640, at Gotha, cost a ducat. Hollow-eyed pale
faces, sick and dying men, were to be seen in every row of huts; the
vicinity of the camp was pestilential from the decaying bodies of dead
animals. All around was a wilderness of uncultivated fields, blackened
with the ruins of villages, and the camp itself a dismal city of death.

A broad stream of superstition had flowed through the souls of the
people from ancient times up to the present day, and the soldier's life
of the Thirty years; war revived an abundance of peculiar
superstitions, of which a portion continues even now; it is worth while
to dwell a little upon these characteristic phenomena.

The belief that it is possible to make the body proof by magic against
the weapons of the enemy, and on the other hand to make your own arms
fatal to them, is older than the historical life of the German people.
In the earliest times, however, something gloomy was attached to this
art; it might easily become pregnant with fatality, even to its
votaries. The invulnerability was not unconditional, and succumbed to
the stronger counter-magic of the offensive weapon: Achilles had a heel
which was not invulnerable; no weapon could wound the Norse god Baldur,
but the waving of a branch of misletoe by a blind man killed him;
Siegfried had a weak spot between the shoulders, the same which the
soldiers of the Thirty years' war considered also as vulnerable. Among
the numerous Norse traditions are many accounts of charmed weapons: the
sword, the noblest weapon of heroes, was considered as a living being,
also as a slaying serpent or a destroying fire; when it was shattered,
it was spoken of by the Norse poets as dying. It was unnecessary to
charm swords forged by dwarfs, as there was a destroying magic
concealed in them; thus the sword of Hagens, the father of Hilda, was
death to any man when it was drawn from the sheath, magic Runic
character being scratched on the hilt and blade of it.

The introduction of fire-arms gave a new aspect and a wider scope to
this superstition; the flash and report of the weapon, and the distant
striking of the ball, imposed the more on the fancy, the less the
imperfect weapon was certain of hitting: the course of the deadly shot
was considered malicious and incalculable. Undoubtedly the literature
of the Reformation seldom touched upon this kind of magic; it first
made itself heard in the middle of the century, when it served to
portray the condition of the people. But in armies, the belief in magic
was general and widely spread, travelling scholars and gipsies were the
most zealous vendors of its secrets, one generation of Landsknechte
imparted it to the next: in Italy and in the armies of Charles V.,
Italian and German superstitions were mixed, and in the time of
Fronsperg and Schärtlin almost every detail of the art of rendering
invulnerable is to be found. Luther, in 1527, inveighs against the
superstition of the soldiery: "One commits himself to St. George,
another to St. Christopher, some to one saint, some to another; some
can charm iron and gun-flints, others can bless the horse and his
rider, and some carry the gospel of St. John,[13] or somewhat else with
them, in which they confide." He himself had known a Landsknecht, who,
though made invulnerable by the devil, was killed, and announced
beforehand the day and place of his death. Bernhard von Milo, Seneschal
at Wittenberg, sent to Luther for his opinion on a written charm for
wounds; it was a long roll of paper written in wonderful characters.

When the Augsburg gunner, Samuel Zimmermann the elder, wrote the
experiences of his life up to 1591, in a folio volume, under the title
of '_Charms against all Stabs, Strokes, and Shots, full of great
secrets_,' he mentions only the defensive incantations, which he did
not consider as the works of Belial; but it is apparent from his
manuscript that many devilish arts were known to him, which he intended
to conceal. Another well-known Zimmermann, who was hardened, received a
fearful blow from a dagger; there was no wound to be seen, but he died
shortly after from the internal effect of the blow. In 1558 there was
an invulnerable soldier in the regiment of Count Lichtenstein, who,
after every skirmish, shook the enemy's balls off his dress and his
bare body; he often showed them, and the holes burnt through his
clothes; he was at last slain by some foreign peasants.

When the Italians and Spaniards entered the Netherlands in 1568, they
carried along with them, with little success, whole packets and books
full of magic formulas of conjurations and charms. The French found
talismans and magic cards fastened round the necks of the prisoners and
the dead, of the Brandenburg troops who had been led by Burgrave Fabian
von Dohna, in 1587, as auxiliaries to the Huguenots. When the Jesuit
George Scheerer preached at the Court Chapel at Vienna in 1594, before
the Archduke Matthias and his Generals, he found it necessary to exhort
them earnestly against the use of superstitious charms for cuts, stabs,
shots, and burns.

It is therefore unjust in later writers to state, that the art of
rendering invulnerable was introduced at Passau by a travelling scholar
in the seventeenth century, as Grimmelshausen informs us, or as others
will have it, that it was brought into the German army by Kaspar
Reithardt von Hersbruck, the executioner; for when Archduke Leopold,
the Bishop of Passau, raised the reckless and ill-disciplined bands
which spread terror through Alsace and Bohemia by their barbarities,
his soldiers only adopted the old traditions which were rooted in
German heathenism, and had lingered on through the whole of the middle
ages; nay, even the name, "_Passau art_," which has been customary
since then, may rest on a misunderstanding of the people, for in the
sixteenth century all who bore charms about them to render them
invulnerable were called by the learned soldier, "_Pessulanten_," or
"_Charakteristiker_," and whoever understood the art of dissolving a
charm was a "_Solvent_." It is possible that the first of these popular
designations was changed into "_Passauer_."

Even in the first year of the Thirty years' war, the art of rendering
invulnerable was eagerly discussed. A good account of it can be found
in 'The true narrative of the siege and capture by storm of the city of
Pilsen in Bohemia, 1619.' The passage according to our dialect is as

"An adventurer under Mansfeld, called Hans Fabel, once took a tumbler
of beer up to the city trenches and drank it to the besieged. They
saluted him with powder and shot; but he drank up his tumbler of beer,
thanked them, entered the trenches and took five balls from his bosom.
This '_Pilmiskind_,'[14] although he was so invulnerable, was taken
very sick, and died before the capture of the town. This magical art,
'Passau art,' has become quite common; one would sooner have shot at a
rock than at such a charmed fellow. I believe that the devil hides in
their skin. One good fellow indeed often charms another, even when the
person so charmed does not know it, and still less desires it. A small
boy from fourteen to fifteen years of age was shot in the arm when he
was beating the drum, but the ball rebounded from the arm to the left
breast, and did not penetrate; this was seen by many. But those who use
this magic come to a bad end; I have known many such lose their lives
in a terrible way, for one delusion struggles against another. Their
devilish sorcery is expressly against the first and other commandments
of God. Assiduous prayer and faith in God gives other means of support.
If any one in presence of the enemy perishes not, it is God's will. If
he is struck, the angels take him to heaven, but those who are charmed
are taken by Black Kaspar."[15]

Numerous were the means employed by men to make themselves and others
invulnerable. Even this superstition was governed tyrannically by
fashion. Of very ancient date are the charmed shirts, and the Victory
and St. George's shirts; they were prepared in different ways for the
Landsknechte. On Christmas night, according to ancient tradition,
certain virgins used to spin linen thread in the name of the devil,
weave and stitch it; on the breast two heads were embroidered, the one
on the right side with a beard, and the left like that of king
Beelzebub, with a crown, dark reminiscences of the holy heads of Donar
and Wuotan. According to later custom the charmed shirt must be spun by
maidens under the age of seven; it was to be sewed with particular
cross stitches, laid secretly on the altar till three masses had been
read over it. On the day of battle such a charmed shirt was worn under
the dress, and if the wearer received a wound, it was owing to other
thread having been mixed with that which was charmed.

Superstition gladly availed itself of the miraculous power of the
Christian Church, even when in opposition to law. The gospel of St.
John was written elaborately on thin paper and placed secretly under
the altar cover in a Roman Catholic church, and left there till the
priest had thrice read the mass over it; then it was placed in a quill
or the shell of a hazel nut, and the opening was cemented with Spanish
lac or wax, or this capsule was framed in gold or silver and hung round
the neck. Others received the host at the Lord's supper, accompanying
it with a silent invocation to the devil; taking the wafer out of their
mouths again, they separated the skin from the flesh in some part of
the body, placed the wafer there, and let the wound heal over it. The
most reckless gave themselves up entirely to the devil; such people
could not only make other men invulnerable, but even eatables, such as
butter, cheese, and fruit, so that the sharpest knife could not
penetrate them.[16]

There was a change of form and name in the written parchments also
which contained charms.

"_Pope Leo's blessing_" originated in the early Landsknecht times; it
contained good Christian words and promises. Besides this there was the
"_Blessing of the Knight of Flanders_," so called because a knight who
had once worn it could not be beheaded; it was written in strange
characters and types interspersed with signs of the cross. Then there
was "_The benediction_," or charm in time of need, which in a moment of
danger arrested the sword or gun of the enemy.[17]

Similar were the "_Passau charms_" of the seventeenth century, written
on post paper, virgin parchment, or the host, with a peculiar pen in
bat's blood; the superstition was in strange characters, wizard feet,
circles, crosses, and the letters of foreign languages; according to
Grimmelshausen[18] the rhyme runs thus: Devil help me, body and soul
give I thee. When fastened under the left arm they expelled the shot
and closed the guns of the enemy. Sometimes even the charms were eaten.
But opinions concerning their efficacy were fluctuating. Some thought
them safeguards only for four-and-twenty hours; but according to others
their magic did not begin to work till after the first four-and-twenty
hours, and whoever was shot before that time belonged to the devil.
Other charms were also used for protection, everything odious and
dismal was collected together, and what had been fearful in the ancient
mythology continued to retain its old power. A piece of the cord or
chain by which a man had been hung, or the beard of a goat, the eyes of
a wolf, the head of a bat and the like, worn round the body in a purse
of black cat's skin, rendered a person invulnerable. Hair balls (a mass
of hair from the stomach of the chamois), and the caul in which
children are born, gave invulnerability; he who had never eaten kidneys
was secure from shot or pestilence, and it was believed at Augsburg,
that a famous knight and experienced General, Sebastian Schärtlin, had
thus protected himself before the enemy.

Old magic herbs, as endive, verbena, St. John's wort, chickweed,
vervain, mallow, and garlick were used as charms, and the most powerful
of all, the deadly nightshade. It was necessary to dig them up with the
best new sharpened steel, and never to touch them with the bare hand,
least of all with the left, and they were carried like an _Agnus Dei_.
They were circular, and only found on the battle-fields o£ great
battles, and were, as Zimmermann says, sacred for the sake of the dead.
Besides these there was a fire-coloured flower which Cabalists called
"Efdamanila;" it not only protected the wearer from shot, stabs, and
fire, but when it was hung over the wall in a besieged town near the
enemy's cannon, they were spell-bound for a whole month.

Amulet medals also were early in use: in 1555, at the battle of
Marienburg, between the Princes of Orange and Nevers, a little child
was struck on the neck by a shot, a silver medal was doubled up, and
the child remained unhurt; this great effect was then ascribed to an
amulet parchment which the child wore round his neck near the medal.
But about the same time the "Sideristen," who were experienced in
astronomical science, poured out heavenly influence in invulnerable
medals of silver and fine gold, which were worn round the neck.
Thurneisser spread also these kinds of amulets in Northern Germany. An
accidental circumstance brought the Mansfeld St. George's thaler into
repute in the Thirty years' war, especially those of 1611 and 1613,
bearing the inscription, "With God is counsel and action."

Not only the common soldiers, but many great commanders also had the
repute of being invulnerable: not Pappenheim, indeed, who was wounded
in almost every action, but Holk, who was supposed at last to have been
carried away to hell by the devil in person; Tilly, for whom, after the
battle of Breitenfeld, the affrighted surgeon found he had only bruises
to dress; Wallenstein and his kinsman Terzka; even the sword of
Gustavus Adolphus was considered to be enchanted. Ahaz Willenger also,
leader after the death of Fardinger, of the revolted Austrian peasants,
was rendered so hard that a cannon-ball at seven paces rebounded from
his skin without penetrating it; he was at last killed by an officer of
Pappenheim. All the Princes of the house of Savoy were considered
invulnerable, even, after the Thirty years' war. Field-Marshal
Schauenburg tried it with Prince Thomas when he besieged him in an
Italian fortress; the bullets of the best marksmen missed their aim. No
one knew whether the members of that noble house had especial grace,
because they were of the race of the royal prophet David, or whether
the art of rendering themselves invulnerable was hereditary.

There were hardly any who did not believe in the mystic art. The
renowned French General Messire Jacques de Puysegur, in the French
civil war in 1622, was obliged to compass the death of an opponent,
_qui avait un caractère_, by blows of a strong pole on his neck,
because he had no weapon that could kill him; he recounts this
circumstance to his King. At the blockade of Magdeburg in 1629, the
complaint against these practices became so general, that the parties
engaged in this war entered into negotiations concerning it. Gustavus
Adolphus, in his first article of war, earnestly forbade idolatry,
witchcraft, or the charming of weapons as sins against God.

But the dark powers which the soldier invoked to his aid were
treacherous. They did not protect against everything; it was, to say
the least, very unsatisfactory that they did not preserve from the
hand of the executioner: Zimmermann relates many cases in which the
far-reaching hopes of an invulnerable person and his adherents were
disappointed at the place of execution. Certain portions of the body,
the neck, and the back between the shoulders, the armpits, and the
under part of the knee, were considered not hard or invulnerable. The
body also was only charmed against the common metals of lead or iron.
The simplest weapons of peasants, a wooden club, bullets of more
precious metals, and sometimes inherited silver could kill the
invulnerable. Thus an Austrian governor of Greifswald, on whom the
Swedes had fired more than twenty balls, could only be shot by the
inherited silver button that a soldier carried in his pocket. Thus too
a witch in Schleswig was changed into a were-wolf, and shot by
inherited silver.[19] The magic also could be broken by other mixtures,
by cast balls, and by magically consecrated weapons. Rye bread which
had been leavened and baked on Easter night, was rubbed crosswise over
the edge of the steel, and signs were indelibly impressed on blades and
barrels: it was known how to cast balls which killed without injuring
the skin, others which must draw blood, and some which broke every
invulnerability; these were prepared by mixtures of pulverized grains
of corn, antimony, and thunder-stones, and cooled in poison. But these
arts were considered supernatural and dangerous. Besides these they
tried "natural" devices which might be resorted to with advantage, even
by an honourable soldier. They imagined they could prepare gunpowder
with a mixture of pounded dogs' bones, which would make no report.
Powder was also prepared by which the person shot was only stunned for
hours; other powder that did not explode, even when glowing steel was
inserted. By a mixture of borax and quicksilver they produced a mining
powder by which the enemy's pieces were blown up, in case there was not
time to spike them. They sought after the secret of giving a man double
strength without magic.

There was a peculiar and also very old kind of magic, which spell-bound
the enemy by mystic sentences, which were recited in moments of danger.
The adept could fix whole troops of horsemen and infantry: in the same
way, by other sentences, they could dissolve the spell. There was still
another kind of sorcery; horsemen were made to appear on the field of
battle, that is to say, when support was required in imminent danger,
deceptive appearance was produced, as if soldiers were approaching in
the distance. Both these conjurations are relics of the heathen occult
sciences, the echoes of which may still be discovered in manifold tales
and traditions, even up to the present day.

The gloomy provost was the man in the regiment who was held in the most
awe; he was naturally considered as pre-eminently an adept. In 1618, it
was supposed that the executioner of Pilsen could, with the help of an
assistant, fire daily three fatal balls against the camp of Mansfeld;
after the capture of the city, he was hanged on a special gallows. The
provost of the Hatzfeld army of 1636 was still more versed in sorcery:
he was killed by the Swedes with an axe, because he was magically
hardened. It was very much in the interest of these authorities to keep
up amongst the revengeful soldiery the belief in their invulnerability.

We may add to these delusions, the endeavours of individuals to read
from the course of the stars the events and issue of the war, and their
own fate. Prognostics accumulated, the terrors of the approaching year
were unweariedly prophesied from constellations, shooting-stars,
comets, and other atmospheric phenomena; the casting of horoscopes was
general. Some individuals also possessed second sight, they foresaw to
whom the approaching future would be fatal. When in 1636 the Imperial
Saxon army was lying before Magdeburg, there was an invalid
mathematician in the camp who foretold to his friends that the 26th of
June would be fatal to him. He was lying in a closed tent when a
lieutenant rode up, and unloosening the tent cords, forced himself in
and begged the sick man to draw his nativity. After refusing a long
time, the invalid prophesied to him that he would be hanged that very
hour. The lieutenant, very indignant that any one should dare to say
such a thing to a cavalier, drew his sword and killed the sick man.
There immediately arose a great tumult, the murderer then threw himself
upon his horse and tried to escape; it happened however, accidentally,
that the Elector of Saxony was riding through the camp with General
Hatzfeld and a great retinue. The Elector exclaimed, that there would
be bad discipline in the Imperial camp if the life of a sick man in bed
could not be secured from murderers. The lieutenant was hanged.

Whoever was considered the possessor of such secrets was feared by his
comrades, but not esteemed. "For if they were not cowardly, dastardly
ninnies, they would not use such charms." Certain officers in the
sixteenth century caused every prisoner to be hanged upon whom were
found jagged or iron-coated balls, "which were consecrated for the sake
of a soul." In the Thirty years' war, a coward begged of his comrade a
Passau parchment, who wrote on a strip of paper three times: "Defend
yourself, scoundrel," folded it up and made the dastard sew it in his
clothes. From that day every one imagined that he was invulnerable, and
he went about on all occasions amongst the enemies' weapons, as hard as
horn, like a _Siegfried_, and always came out unwounded.

But the soldier had not only to win the favour of the Fates, but still
more the approbation of his comrades. Whoever carefully examines this
period, without ceasing to view with horror the numerous and refined
atrocities which were practised, will at the same time perceive that
this scene of barbarity was occasionally brightened by milder virtues,
and sometimes healthy integrity comes to light. A peculiar code of
soldier's honour was soon formed, which preserved a kind of morality,
though a lax one. We have but few records of the good humour which
arose from consciousness of having the mastery over citizen and
peasant. But the proverbial modes of speech often bear sufficiently the
impress of the same disposition which is idealized in Schiller's
"Reiterlied." "The sharp sabre is my field, and booty making is my
plough." "The earth is my bed, heaven my canopy, my cloak is my house,
and wine my eternal life."[20] "As soon as a soldier is born, three
peasants are selected for him; the first provides for him, the second
finds him a beautiful wife, and the third goes to hell for him."[21]

We have reason to suppose that sensuality was in general unbridled and
shameless; the old German vice, drunkenness, prevailed as much amongst
the officers as soldiers. The smoking and chewing tobacco, or as it was
then called, "tobacco drinking"--"eating and snuffing," spread rapidly
through all the armies, and the guard-room was a disagreeable abode for
those who did not smoke. This custom, which at the beginning of the war
was introduced into the army by the Dutch and English auxiliaries, was
at the end of it so common, that a pipe was to be found in every
peasant's house, and nine out of ten of the day labourers and
apprentices smoked during their work.

The German language also was jargonized in the army; it soon became the
fashion among the soldiers to intermix Italian and French words, and
the language was enriched even by Hungarian, Croat, and Czech: they
have left us besides their "_karbatsche_" and similar words, and also
sonorous curses. Not only was their discourse garnished with these
strong expressions, but gipsy cant became the common property of the
army. It did not indeed begin in the great war, for long before, the
Landsknechte, as "Gartbrüder" and members of the beggars' guild, had
learned their arts and language. But now the camp language was not only
a convenient help to secret intercourse with the bad rabble who
followed the army, with guild robbers, Jewish dealers and gipsies, but
it also gave a certain degree of consideration round the camp fire to
be able to bandy mysterious words. Some expressions from the camp
language passed among the people, others were carried by runaway
students into the drinking-rooms of the universities.[22]

The daily quarrels gave rise amongst the common soldiers also to the
cartel, or duels regulated by many points of honour. Duels were
strictly forbidden; Gustavus Adolphus punished them with death even
among the higher officers; but no law could suppress them. The
duellists fought alone, or with two or three seconds, or an umpire was
selected: before the combat the seconds vowed to one another and gave
their hands upon it, not to help the combatants, either before, in, or
after the encounter, nor to revenge them; the duellists shook hands and
exchanged forgiveness beforehand, in case of the death of either. They
fought on horseback or on foot, with carbines, pistols, or swords; in
the fight, a throw in wrestling or unhorsing was sufficient; stabbing
was considered un-German, above all a thrust in the back was of
doubtful propriety.[23]

As it was so usual to change parties, a corporation feeling was formed
amongst the soldiers which also embraced the enemy. The armies had a
tolerably accurate knowledge of each other, and not only the character
of the upper officers, but of old soldiers was known; any day an old
comrade might be seen in the enemy's ranks, or installed as a tent
companion to a former adversary. Indeed, quarter was often proffered:
but any one who fought against the customs of war, or was suspected of
using devilish acts, was to be killed even if he sued for pardon.
Cartels were concluded between the courteous conquerors and the
vanquished, the conquerors promised to protect, and the prisoners not
to escape; the weapons, scarfs, and plumes were taken away from the
vanquished; all that he concealed in his clothes belonged to the
conqueror, but he who got Dutch quarter, kept what was enclosed in his
girdle; a courteous prisoner himself presented what he had in his
pockets. If a desperate man did not stand by his conditions of quarter,
he was killed, if he did not rapidly escape. During the transport they
were coupled by the arm, and the string taken from their hose, so that
they were obliged to hold their small-clothes with the hand that was
free. The prisoners could be ransomed, and this ransom was fixed by
tariff in each army. Towards the conclusion of the war, when soldiers
became scarce, the common prisoners were summarily placed in the
regiments without giving them a choice. Such soldiers were naturally
not to be depended on; they gladly took the first opportunity to desert
to their former colours, where they had left their women, children,
booty, and arrears of pay. Distinguished prisoners were sometimes
bought from the common soldiers by the colonels of their regiments;
they were treated with great consideration in the enemy's quarters, and
almost every one found there either an acquaintance or a relative.

Booty was the uncertain gain for which the soldier staked his life, and
the hope of it kept him steadfast in the most desperate situations. The
pay was moderate, the payment insecure; plunder promised them wine,
play, a smart mistress, a gold-laced dress with a plume of feathers,
one or two horses, and the prospect of greater importance in the
company and of advancement. Vanity, love of pleasure, and ambition,
developed this longing to a dangerous extent in the army.

The success of a battle was more than once defeated, by the soldiers
too soon abandoning themselves to plundering. It often happened that
individuals made great booty, but it was almost always dissipated in
wild revelry; according to the soldier's adage: "What is won with the
drum will be lost with the fifes." The fame of such lucky hits spread
through all armies. Sometimes these great gains brought evil results on
the fortunate finders.[24] A common soldier of Tilly's army had won
great booty at the capture of Magdeburg, it was said to be thirty
thousand ducats, and was immediately lost in gambling. Tilly caused him
to be hanged after thus accosting him: "With this money you might have
lived all your life like a gentleman, but as you have not understood
how to make use of it, I cannot see of what use you can be to my
Emperor." At the end of the war a man in Königsmark's troop had
obtained a similar sum in the suburbs of Prague, and played it away at
one sitting. Königsmark wished in like manner to despatch him, but the
soldier saved himself by this undaunted answer: "It would be unfair for
your Excellence to hang me on account of this loss, as I have hopes of
acquiring still greater booty in the city itself." This answer was
considered a good omen. In the Bavarian army a soldier in the Holtz
infantry was famed for a similar lucky hit. He had been for a long time
musketeer, but shortly before the peace had sunk to be a pikeman, and
was ill-clad; his shirt hung behind and before out of his hose. This
fellow had obtained at the taking of Herbsthausen a barrel filled with
French doubloons, so large that he could hardly carry it off. He
thereupon absconded secretly from the regiment, dressed himself up like
a prince, bought a coach and six beautiful horses, kept many coachmen,
lackeys, pages, and _valets de chambre_ in fine liveries, and called
himself with dull humour Colonel Lumpus.[25] Then he travelled to
Munich, and lived in an inn there splendidly. General Holtz
accidentally put up at the same inn, heard much from the landlord of
the opulence and qualities of Colonel Lumpus, and could not remember
ever having heard this name among the cavaliers of the Roman empire, or
among the soldiers of fortune. He therefore commissioned the landlord
to invite the stranger to supper. Colonel Lumpus accepted the
invitation, and caused to be served up at dessert, in a dish, five
hundred new French pistoles and a chain worth a hundred ducats, and
said at the same time to the General: "May your Excellence be content
with this entertainment and think thereby favourably of me." The
General made some resistance, but the liberal colonel pressed it upon
him with these words: "The time will soon come when your Excellence
will acknowledge that I am wise in making this gift. The donation is
not ill applied, for I hope then to receive from your Excellence a
favour which will not cost a penny." On this, Holtz, according to the
custom of that time, accepted the chain and money with courteous
promises to repay it under such circumstances. The General departed,
and the fictitious colonel lived on there; when he passed by the guard,
and the soldiers presented arms to do him honour, he threw to them a
dozen thalers. Six weeks after, his money came to an end. Then he sold
his coaches and horses, afterwards his clothes and linen, and spent all
in drinking. His servants ran away from him, and at last nothing
remained to him but a bad dress and a few pence. Then the landlord, who
had made much by him, presented him with fifty thalers for travelling,
but the colonel tarried till he had spent it all; again the host gave
him ten thalers for travelling expenses, but the persevering reveller
answered that if it was money to be spent, he would rather spend it
with him than another. When that also was dissipated, the landlord
offered him another five thalers, but forbade his servants to let the
spendthrift have anything. At last he quitted the inn and went to the
next one, where he spent his five thalers in beer. After that he
wandered away to his regiment at Heilbronn. There he was immediately
confined in irons, and threatened with the gallows, because he had been
away so many weeks. He insisted on being taken before his General,
presented himself to him, and reminded him of the evening at the inn.
To the sharp rebuke of the General he answered that he had all his life
wished for nothing so much as to know what were the feelings of a great
lord, and for that he had used his booty.

In the Hungarian war it was made a law, that the booty should be
equally distributed, but that soon ceased. Still those who were
fortunate enough to make great gains, found it advisable to give a
share to the officers of their company. This common interest in the
booty, as well as the necessity of maintaining themselves by
requisition, in remote countries, developed in great perfection
partisan service. There were not only whole divisions of troops, which
performed in the armies the service of marauding corps, as for example
those of Holk and Isolani in the Imperial, but there were also
individual leaders of companies, who selected the most expert people
for this lucrative employment. A marauding party, departing on a secret
expedition, must consist of an uneven number to bring good luck. These
parties stole far into the country to plunder a rich man, to fall upon
a small city, or intercept transports of goods or money, and to bring
away with them cattle and provisions. There was often an agreement made
with the enemy's garrisons in the neighbourhood, as to what was to be
spared in the districts common to them. Every kind of cunning was
practised in such expeditions; they knew now to imitate the report of
heavy artillery, by firing a hand-gun, doubly loaded, through an empty
barrel; they used shoes with reversed soles, and caused the horses to
be shod in the same manner, the feet of stolen cattle were covered with
shoes, and a sponge was put in the pigs' food to which a packthread was
fastened. The soldiers disguised themselves as peasants or women, and
paid spies amongst the citizens and country people of the
neighbourhood. Their messengers ran hither and thither with despatches,
and were called in camp language "_feldtauben_" (field doves); they
carried these despatches in their ears rolled up as small balls,
fastened them in the hair of shaggy dogs, enclosed them in a clod of
earth, or sewed them with green silk between the leaves of a branch of
oak, that they might be able to throw them away, without suspicion, in
time of danger.[26] These despatches were written in gipsy language or
gibberish, in foreign characters, and if there were runaway students in
the companies, they were written perhaps in French with Greek letters;
they employed, for these purpose, a simple kind of short-hand writing,
displacing the letters of the words, or agreeing that only the middle
letter of the words should have signification.[27] The transition from
such partisan service to becoming dishonourable marauders and
freebooters was easy. In the beginning of the war, the newly raised
regiment of Count Merode was so reduced by long marches and bad
nourishment, that it could hardly set its guard; it dissolved almost
entirely, on the march, into stragglers, who lay under the hedges and
in the byways, or sneaking about the army with defective weapons, and
without order. After that time, the stragglers, whom the soldier wits
had before called "_sausänger_" and "_immemchneider_" (drones), were
now denoted as "Merode-ing brothers." After a lost battle their
numbers increased enormously. Horsemen who were slightly wounded, and
had lost their horses, associated themselves with them, and it was
impossible, from the then state of military discipline, to get rid of

The most undisciplined, abandoned the route of the army, and lived as
highwaymen, footpads, and poachers. Vain were the endeavours of the
sovereigns, at the end of the war, to annihilate the great robber
bands; they lasted, to a certain extent, up to the beginning of the
present century.

Such was the character of the war which raged in Germany for thirty
years. An age of blood, murder, and fire, of utter destruction to all
property which was movable, and ruin to that which was not; and an age
of spiritual and material decay in the nation. The Generals imposed
exorbitant contributions, and kept part in their own pockets. The
colonels and captains levied charges on the cities and towns in which
their troops were quartered, and merciless were the demands on all
sides. The princes sent their plate and stud horses as presents to the
Generals, and the cities sent sums of money and casks of wine to the
captains, and the villages, riding horses and gold lace to the cornets
and sergeant-majors, as long as such bribery was possible. When an army
was encamped in a district, any landed proprietors of importance,
monasteries, and villages, endeavoured to obtain the protection of a
"_salva guardia_." They had to pay dear for this guard, yet had to bear
with much unseemly conduct from them. If a place lay between two
armies, both parties had to be asked for _salva guardia_, and both
guards lived by agreement in peaceful intercourse at the expense of
their host. But it was seldom that either individuals or communities
were so fortunate as to be able to preserve even this unsatisfactory
protection; for it was necessary for the army to live. When a troop of
soldiers entered a village or country town, the soldiers rushed like
devils into the houses; wherever the dung-heaps[28] were the largest,
there the greatest wealth was to be expected. The object of the
tortures to which the inhabitants were subjected, was generally to
extort from them their hidden property; they were distinguished by
especial names, as the "Swedish fleece," and the "wheel." The
plunderers took the flints from the pistols and forced the peasants'
thumbs in their place; they rubbed the soles of their feet with salt,
and caused goats to lick them; they tied their hands behind their
backs; they passed a bodkin threaded with horse-hair through their
tongues, and moved it gently up and down; they bound a knotted cord
round the forehead and twisted it together behind with a stick; they
bound two fingers together, and rubbed a ramrod up and down till the
skin and flesh were burnt to the bone; they forced the victims into the
oven, lit the straw behind them, and so they were obliged to creep
through the flames. Ragamuffins were everywhere to be found who
bargained with the soldiers, to betray their own neighbours. And these
were not the most horrible torments. What was done to the women and
maidens, to the old women and children, must be passed over in silence.

Thus did the army misbehave amongst the people, dishonouring every bed,
robbing every house, devastating every field, till they were themselves
involved in the general ruin. And the destruction of these thirty years
increased progressively. It was the years from 1635 to 1641 which
annihilated the last powers of the nation; from that period to the
peace, a death-like lassitude pervaded the country; it communicated
itself to the armies, and one can easily understand that the bitter
misery of the soldiers called for some consideration for the citizens
and peasants. The remaining population were once more reduced to
despair, as they had to pay the cost, maintenance, and peace subsidies
for the standing army. And the army dispersed itself amongst the

                              CHAPTER III.

                             THEIR PASTORS.

   Oft have the soldier's sword        Into my mouth once or more,
   And jeering Croat horde,            As 'twere a tub, they did pour
   With usage rude and fierce,         A mess of liquid dung;
   Threaten'd my heart to pierce.      Four churls, cords round me
   Yet I drew unhurt my breath,        Yet I drew unhurt my breath,
   No mishap could bring me death.     No mishap could bring me death.
   In water, 'gainst my will,          One of an exile band,
   Plunged deep, I far'd but ill;      There in Thuringia's land,
   Closed in a wat'ry grave,           At Notleben, I dwelt,
   God deign'd my life to save;        Till I God's blessing felt,
   Wond'rous 'tis I was not drown'd;   And to Heubach's parsonage
   Brought to land all safe and        Where kind. Heaven sent peace
     sound.                              at last.

                  God's servant, here have I
                  The church kept orderly,
                  Have preach'd the word therein,
                  The bad expell'd, of sin
                  Absolv'd the penitent heart,
                  And labour'd truth to impart.

       _From 'Four Christian Hymns of Martin Bötzinger_.' (1663.)

Whoever could portray the desolation of the German people, would be
able to explain to us the striking peculiarities of the modern German
character; the remarkable mixture of fresh youth and hoary wisdom,
aspiring enthusiasm, and vacillating caution; but above all, why we,
among all the nations of Europe, still strive in vain after much which
our neighbours, not more noble by nature, not more strongly organized,
not more highly gifted, have long secured to themselves.

The following documents will only furnish an unimportant contribution
to such an explanation. Individual examples will render the ruin of the
village and city communities comprehensible, and what counteracting
power there was, together with the destroying power which supported the
remaining vitality, and prevented the final annihilation of the nation.

From these we shall see thoroughly the condition of one particular
province, which suffered severely from the miseries of war, but not
more than most other parts of Germany, not indeed so much as the
Margravate of Brandenburg and many territories of Lower Saxony and
Suabia. It is the Thuringian and Franconian side of the "Waldgebirge,"
which formed, in the middle of Germany, the boundary between the north
and south; more especially the present Dukedoms of Gotha and Meiningen.
The following details are taken from the church documents and parish
records, and many, from the voluminous church and school stories which
were published by clerical collectors in the former century.

Germany was supposed to be a rich country in the year 1618. Even the
peasants had acquired during the long peace a certain degree of
opulence. The number of villages in Franconia and Thuringia was
somewhat greater than now; they were not entirely without defences, and
were often surrounded by broad ditches and palisades, or clay and stone
walls; it was forbidden to form entrances in them, but at the end of
the main streets were gates which were closed at night The churchyard
was usually defended by particularly strong walls, and more than once
it was used as the citadel and last refuge of the inhabitants. There
were night and day patroles through the villages and fields. The houses
were indeed ill formed and only of wood and clay, often crowded
together in narrow village streets, but they were not deficient in
comfort and household furniture. The villages were surrounded by
orchards, and many fountains poured their clear waters into stone
basins. Small poultry fluttered about the dung-heaps in the enclosed
courtyards, immense troops of geese fed in the stubble fields, teams of
horses stood in the stables, far more numerous than now, probably of a
larger and stronger stamp; they were rustic descendants of the old
knightly chargers, the pride and joy of their owners; and besides these
were the "Kleppers," the small and ancient race of the country. The
large parish herds of sheep and cattle grazed on the stony heights and
on the rich grass marshes. The wool fetched a high price, and in many
places much value was attached to a fine breed; the German cloths were
famed, and these were the best articles of export. This national wool,
the result of a thousand years of cultivation, was entirely lost to
Germany during the war. The district round the village (where the old
Franconian divisions of long strips were not maintained) was divided
into three fields, which were much subdivided, and each division
carefully stoned off. The fields were highly cultivated, and fine
grained white wheat was sown in the winter fields. Woad was still
zealously cultivated with great advantage in the north of the
Rennstiegs. Although even before the war the foreign indigo competed
with the indigenous dye, the yearly gain from the woad in Thuringia
could be computed at three tons of gold; this was principally in the
territory of Erfurt and the Dukedom of Gotha; besides this, anise and
saffron produced much money; the cultivation of the teazel also was
formerly indigenous, and the wild turnips, and (by the Rhine) the rape
seed were sowed in the fellows. Flax was carefully prepared by steeping
it in water, and the coloured flowers of the poppies, and the waving
panicle of the millet, raised themselves in the corn-fields. But on the
declivities of warmer situations in Thuringia and Franconia there were
everywhere vineyards, and this old cultivation, which has now almost
disappeared in those countries, must in favourable years have produced
a very drinkable wine, as now on the lower range of the Waldgebirge;
for the wine of particular years is noted in the chronicles as most
excellent. Hops also were assiduously cultivated and made good beer.
Everywhere they grew fodder, and spurry and horse-beans. The meadows,
highly prized, and generally fenced in, were more carefully handled
than two hundred years later; the mole-heaps were scattered, and the
introduction and maintenance of drains and watercourses was general.
Erfurt was already the centre of the great seed traffic, of garden
cultivation, also of flowers and fine orchards. On the whole, when we
compare one time with the other, the agriculture of 1618 was not
inferior to that of 1818. It must be confessed in other respects also,
our century has but restored what was lost in 1618.

The burdens which the peasants had to bear both in service and taxes,
were not small, and greatest of all on the properties of the nobles;
but there were many free villages in that country, and the government
of the rulers was less strict than in Southern Franconia or in Hesse.
Many ecclesiastical properties had been broken up; many domains, and
not a few of the nobles' estates, were farmed by tenants; leases were a
favourite method of raising the rent of the ground. All this was for
the advantage of the peasant. The damage done by game indeed occasioned
great suffering, and there still continued much of the old bond-service
on the property of the impoverished nobles. But the greater part of the
country people were pronounced by lawyers, newly educated in the Roman
law, to be possessors of their property; it was the greatest blessing
bestowed by Roman law on the Germans in the sixteenth century. It is an
error to suppose that the bureaucratic rule is a production of modern
days; it already prevailed in those times, and the villages had often
to pay the small travelling expenses of the ducal messenger who brought
them their letters. It was already decided by superintending officials
how many fire buckets every one was to procure, and how many doves were
to be kept; they saw to the clearing of the fruit trees from
caterpillars, the cleansing of the ditches, and the annual planting of
young trees. The parish accounts had for nearly a hundred years been
kept in an orderly manner, and inspected by the government of the
country, as also the district certificates and registers of birth.
There was also a good deal of commercial intercourse. A large
commercial road passed through Thuringia, in a line almost parallel
with the mountains, from the Elbe to the Rhine and Maine; and from the
descent of the mountains near to the Werra, lay the military road which
united the north of Germany with the south. The traffic on these
unconstructed roads demanded numerous relays of horses, and brought to
the villages gain, and news from the distant world, and many
opportunities of spending money.

After the Reformation there were schools, at least in all the villages
where there was a church; the teachers were often divines, and
sometimes there were schoolmistresses for the girls. Small sums were
paid for the schooling, and a portion of the inhabitants of the village
were initiated into the secrets of reading and writing. The difference
between the countryman and the citizen was then still greater than now.
The "stupid peasant" was the favourite object of ridicule in the rooms
of the artisans, who attributed to him, as characteristic qualities,
roughness, simplicity, disingenuous cunning, drunkenness, and love of
fighting. But however retired his life then was, and poor in varied
impressions, we should do him great injustice if we considered him
essentially weaker or less worthy than he is now; on the contrary, his
independence was not less, and was frequently better established. His
ignorance of foreign states was undoubtedly greater, for there were as
yet no regular gazettes or local papers for him, and he himself
generally did not wander farther than to the nearest town, where he
sold his products, or occasionally over the mountain when he had to
drive cows; or if a Thuringian, to go to the woad market at Erfurt, if
a Franconian, perhaps to Bamberg with his hops. Also in dress,
language, and songs, he was not fashionable like the citizens; he
preferred using old strong words, which they considered coarse; he
swore and cursed after the ancient style, and his ceremonial of
greeting was different from theirs, though not less precise. But his
life was not on that account deficient in spirit, morals, or even in
poetry. The German popular songs were still vigorous, and the
countryman was the most zealous preserver of them; the peasant's
feasts, his domestic life, his lawsuits, his purchases and sales, were
rich in old picturesque customs and proverbs. The genuine German
pleasure also in beautiful specimens of handicraft, in clean and
artistic heir-looms, was then shared alike by the countryman and
citizen. His household gear was superior to what it is now. Ornamental
spinning-wheels, which still pass for a new invention, neatly carved
tables, carved chairs and cupboards, have in some instances been
preserved to our times, with the earthenware apostle jugs, and similar
drinking-vessels, which may be bought by art collectors. Great were the
treasures of the countrywomen in beds, linen, clothes, chains, medals,
and other ornaments, and not less worthy of note were the numerous
sausages and hams in the chimneys. A great deal of ready money lay
concealed in the corners of chests, or carefully buried in pots or
other vessels, for the collection of bright coins was an old pleasure
to the peasantry; there had been peace as long as they could remember,
and woad and hops brought a high price. The peasant had abundance, and
was without many wants; he bought lace in the city for his clothes, and
silver ornaments for his wife and daughters, spices for his sour wine,
and whatever metal utensils and implements were necessary for his farm
and kitchen. All the woollen and linen clothes were wove and made up by
the women of the house, or the neighbour in the village.

Thus did the peasant live in middle Germany, even after the year 1618.
He heard in the ale-houses on Sunday of the war alarms in Bohemia,
about which he cared little; he bought indeed a flying-sheet of a
crafty dealer, or a satirical song on the outcast King of Bohemia; he
gave some of his bread and cheese to a fugitive from Prague or Budweis,
who came begging to his door, and shook his head as he listened to his
tale of horror. An official messenger brought into the village an order
from the sovereign, from which he found it was expected of him to
deliver into the city, money and provision for the newly raised
soldiers; he was indignant, and hastened to bury his treasures still
deeper. It soon, however, became clear that bad times were approaching
him also, for the money which he received in the town was very red, and
all goods were dear; thus he was involved in the wretched confusion
which after 1620 was brought upon the country by the coinage of bad
gold. He went no longer to the city, but kept his corn and meat at
home: he had constant disputes however with the townsmen and his
neighbours, because he wished to rid himself of the new gold in his own
payments, whilst he would receive only the good old money: his heart
was full of ominous forebodings. Thus it went on till the year 1623. He
then saw evil coming in another quarter; theft and burglary increased,
foreign vagabonds were often seen on the high-roads, trumpeters rushed
into the towns with bad news, hired soldiers, insolent and bragging,
drew up before his farm demanding entertainment, stole sausages, and
carried off his poultry in their knapsacks. _Defensioners_, the newly
raised country militia, galloped into the village, quartered themselves
upon him, demanded provisions, and molested him more than the rogues
whom they were to drive away from the cattle-sheds.

At last began--in Thuringia not till after 1623--the passage, of
foreign troops through his country, and the great sufferings of the war
fell upon him; foreign soldiers of strange appearance, reckless from
blood and battle, marched into his village, occupied his house and bed,
ill treated him and his, demanded provisions and other contributions
besides gifts, and broke, destroyed, or plundered whatever came before
their eyes. Thus it went on after 1626, worse and worse every year,
troop followed upon troop, more than one army settled itself round him
in winter quarters, the requisitions and vexations appeared endless.
The yeoman saw with dismay that the foreign soldier had the power of
tracing--which he ascribed to sorcery--the treasures which he had
concealed deep in the earth; but if he had been too sly for them, his
fate was still worse, for he himself was seized, and by torments which
it would be painful to describe, compelled to make known the place
where his treasure was concealed. On the fate of his wife and daughter
we must remain silent; the most horrible was so common, that an
exception, was extraordinary. Other sufferings also followed; his
daughters, maid-servant, and his little children were not only
maltreated, but were in imminent danger of being carried off by
persuasion or force, for every army was followed by the coarse,
worthless baggage-train of women and children. But the yeoman's
homestead was devastated in still other ways; his farming-man had
perhaps borne for some years the blows of the foreign soldiers, at last
he himself was exposed to them; the team was dragged from the plough,
the cattle were fetched from the meadow, and the tillage of the fields
thus often rendered impossible. Yet pitiful and helpless as was his
position in the beginning of the war, up to the death of Gustavus
Adolphus, its horrors were comparatively bearable; for there was as yet
a certain system even in plundering and destruction, some degree of
discipline kept together the regular armies, and an occasional year
passed without any great passage of troops. It is possible for us to
discover at this time how many exactions were made on particular
parishes, for there were already country authorities who sat in their
offices, and after the passage of troops through a parish, demanded the
usual liquidation of their loans, the amount of which was indeed seldom
returned to them. Whoever will glance over the liquidations in the
parish archives, will find the names of ill-famed commanders, whom he
may know from history or Schiller's Wallenstein, in very near
connection with the history of a Thuringian village.

The effect produced by such a life of insecurity and torment on the
souls of the country people, was very sad. Fear, trembling, and dread
pervaded and enervated all hearts: their minds had always been full of
superstition, now everything was sought for, with impulsive credulity,
which could be significant of the attacks of supernatural powers. The
most horrible countenances were seen in the heavens, the signs of
fearful wickedness were discovered in numerous abortions, ghosts
appeared, mysterious sounds were heard on earth and in the heavens. In
Ummerstadt for example, in the dukedom of Hildburghausen, white crosses
illuminated the heavens when the enemy entered; when they forced their
way into the court of chancery, a spirit clothed in white met them and
motioned them back, and no one could advance; after their departure, a
violent breathing and sighing was heard for eight days in the choir of
the church which had been burnt. At Gumpershausen a maid-servant made a
great sensation through the whole country; she rejoiced in the visits
of a little angel, who appeared, sometimes in a blue, sometimes in a
red shirt sitting on the bed or by the table, cried out "Woe," warned
against cursing and blasphemy, and predicted horrible bloodshed if men
would not give up their vices, their pride, and their stiff blue
ruffs,--then a new fashion. When we look at the zealous protocols which
were drawn up by the ecclesiastics concerning the half-witted maiden,
we find that the only circumstance which was matter of surprise to
them, was that the angel did not visit themselves instead of a simple

Not only terror, but a spirit of defiance and wild despair possessed
all souls. A moral recklessness prevailed fearfully among the country
people. Wives abandoned their husbands, children their parents; the
customs, vices, and maladies of the passing armies left lasting traces,
even when the pillagers had quitted the desolated and half-ruined
villages. The brandy drinking, which had been introduced among the
people since the Peasant war, became a general vice; respect for the
property of others disappeared. In the beginning of the war the
neighbouring villages were disposed to help one another; if the
soldiers had driven away the cattle from one village, and disposed of
them again at their next night-quarters, the buyers often returned
their new purchase to the former proprietors at the purchase price.
This was done in Franconia, by both Catholic and Protestant
communities, out of pure kindness. Gradually, however, the country
people began to rob and plunder like the soldiers; armed bands combined
together, passed the frontiers into other villages, and carried off
whatever they needed. They waylaid the stragglers of the regiments in
dense woods or mountain passes, and often after a severe struggle took
a bloody revenge on the vanquished; indeed, they far surpassed the
skill of the soldiers in the contrivance of barbarities; and there were
wooded hills, in whose shades the most horrible crimes were now
committed by those who had formerly frequented them as peaceful
wood-cutters and stone-breakers, singing their simple songs. There
arose gradually a terrible hatred betwixt the soldiery and peasantry,
which lasted till the end of the war, and caused more than anything
else the ruin of the villages of Germany. There were feuds also between
the provinces and individual towns; that which is related here was only
a harmless one of that gloomy time.

A violent enmity subsisted for many years after the war between the
citizens of Eisfeld and the monastery of Banz, on account of the two
fine-toned bells of their parish church, the "_Banzer_" and the
"_Messe_." A Swedish officer had carried off both bells from Banz and
sold them to the town. Twice, when the Catholic army was stationed at
Eisfeld, the monks had come with waggons and ropes to fetch back their
bells, but the first time they fell into a quarrel with a certain Croat
who was quartered there, because they wished to take away with them the
steeple clock. The Croat rushed upon the pious men with his sword, and
he and his comrades ran up the tower and vehemently pulled the bell, so
that the monks of Banz could not fetch it down, and were only able to
take away the clock with them. The second time they did not succeed
better; at last, after the peace, another bell was offered to them as
compensation. But when they discovered this sentence upon it: "Preserve
us, Lord, by thy word," they returned to their house shaking their
heads. At last the pious Duke Ernest arranged the affair; he took for
himself as a thank-offering the small bell, and hung it on the
Friedenstein in Gotha.

The villages did all in their power to defend themselves from the
rapacity of the soldiers. As long as they had money, they endeavoured
to buy off the officers who were sent forward to seek for quarters, and
many rogues took advantage of their fears, and appearing under the
disguise of quartermasters, levied heavy contributions on the deluded
villagers. Watchmen were placed on the church towers and elevations of
the plain, who gave signals if troops were visible in the distance.
Then the countryman brought whatever he could save, and the women and
children their movable chattels, hasting to some distant place of
concealment. These hiding-places were selected with great sagacity; by
a little additional labour they were made still more inaccessible, and
for weeks, indeed months, the fugitives passed their anxious existence
there. On the dark moor, midst ditches, rushes and elders, in the deep
shade of woody glens, in old clay-pits, and amid the ruins of decaying
walls, did they seek their last refuge. The countryman in many places
still shows with emotion such spots. There is a large vault with an
iron door in an old tower at Aspach, whither the Aspachers fled
whenever small bands of soldiers approached the village; for a more
distant refuge they had a field of many acres, overgrown with thick
hornbeam, and there they planted thorns which from the fertility of the
soil grew into large trees and became like a thick wall. Within this
barricade, which could only be attained by creeping on the belly, the
villagers often concealed themselves. After the war the thorns were
rooted up, and the land changed into hop, and afterwards cabbage
grounds. But a portion of this land is still called the "Schutzdorn,"
"thorn-defence." When the soldiers had withdrawn, the fugitives
returned and repaired with their scanty means what had been laid waste.
Often, indeed, they found only a smoking pile.

All however who fled did not return. The more wealthy sought a refuge
for themselves and their property in the cities, where martial
discipline was a little more rigorous, and the danger less. Many also
fled into another country, and if they were threatened by enemies
there, again into another; and most of them assuredly had not less
misery to suffer there. Those who remained in the country did not all
return to their own fields. The wild life in hiding-places and woods,
the rough pleasure in deeds of violence and pillage, turned the boldest
of them into robbers; provided with rusty weapons, which they had
perhaps taken from some dead marauder, they carried on a lawless life
under the mountain pines, as companions of wolves and crows, as
poachers and highwaymen.

Thus did the population of the plains decrease with frightful rapidity.
Even in the time of the King of Sweden many villages were entirely
abandoned, the beasts of the woods roamed about among the blackened
rafters, and perhaps the tattered figure of some old beldame or cripple
might be seen. From that time ruin increased to such an extent, that
nothing like it can be found in modern history. To the destructive
demons of the sword were added others, not less fearful and still more
voracious. The land was little cultivated and the harvest was bad. An
unheard-of rise in prices ensued, famine followed, and in the years
1635 and 1636 a pestilence attacked the enfeebled population, more
terrible than had raged for more than a century in Germany. It spread
its pall slowly over the whole of Germany, over the soldier as well as
over the peasant, armies were dissipated under its parching breath,
many places lost half their inhabitants, and in some villages in
Franconia and Thuringia there remained only a few individuals. The
little strength which had remained in one corner of the land was now
broken. The war raged on still twelve long years after this time of
horror, but it had become weaker, the armies were smaller, the
operations without plan or stability, from the want of provisions and
animals, but where the fury of war still blazed, it devoured
mercilessly what remained of life. The people reached the lowest depths
of misfortune; a dull apathetic brooding became general. Of the country
people of this last period there is little to be told; they vegetated,
reckless and hopeless, but few accounts of them are to be found in
village records, parish books, and small chronicles. They had forgotten
in the villages the art of writing, nay even their crying grievances.
Where an army had carried devastation and famine raged, men and dogs
ate of the same corpse, and children were caught and slaughtered. A
time had now come when those who had held out during twenty years of
suffering, laid violent hands on themselves; we read this in the
accounts of ambassadors, who for years worked in vain for peace.

It may be asked how, after such sufferings and utter ruin, the
survivors could still form a German nation, who at the conclusion of
peace could again cultivate the country, pay taxes, and after
vegetating in poverty for a century, again engender energy, enthusiasm,
and a new life in art and science. It is certainly probable that the
country people would have entirely scattered themselves in roving
bands, and that the cities would never have been in a condition to
produce a new national life, if three powerful causes had not
contributed to preserve the German countryman from being altogether
lost,--his love of his paternal acres; the endeavours of the
magistracy; and above all, the zeal of those who had the care of his
soul, the village pastors. The love of the peasant for his own field,
which works inimically against the most benevolent agrarian laws, is
even now a strong feeling, but in the seventeenth century was still
more powerful. For the peasant knew very little of the world beyond his
own village, and it was difficult for him to pass the boundaries which
separated him from other vocations, or from establishing himself on the
property of other lords. He ever returned with tenacity from his
hiding-place to his devastated farm, and endeavoured to collect
together the trampled corn, or to sow the few seeds he had been able to
preserve. When his last beast had been stolen, he harnessed himself to
the plough. He took care not to give his house a habitable appearance;
he accustomed himself to dwell amidst dirt and ruins, and concealed the
flickering fire of his hearth from the gaze of marauders, who might
perhaps be seeking in the night for some warm resting-place. He hid his
scanty meal in a place which would disgust even a reckless enemy, in
ditches and coffins, and under skulls. Thus he lived under the powerful
pressure of habit, however little hope there might be that his labour
would prove advantageous to him. If a landed proprietor stood valiantly
by his village, even in times of comparative tranquillity, he
accompanied his beasts to the fields, armed to the teeth, ready to
fight against any robbers who might pounce down on him.

It was no less the interest of the landed proprietor and his officials,
than of the peasant himself, to preserve the villages. The smaller the
number of tax-payers became, the higher was the tax on the few who
remained. The rulers, from the cities in which they resided occupied
themselves during the whole war through their officials, bailiffs, and
receivers, with the fate of the villages, nay even of individuals. The
keeping of the parish records was only interrupted during the most
troubled time, and was always recommenced. Certificates, reports,
memorials, and rescripts passed hither and thither amidst all the
misery.[29] Petitions for remission of rents and liquidation of costs
were incessantly demanded, and many a poor schoolmaster obediently gave
his service as parish writer whilst the snow floated into his
schoolroom through the shattered windows, the parish chests lay broken
in the streets, and the parishioners, whose accounts he was writing,
went armed into the woods with dark illegal projects, which were never
reported to the government. Useless as this system of writing in many
cases was, it formed numerous links which bound individuals more
closely to their states; and in the pauses of the war, and at the
conclusion of it, was of the greatest importance, for it had preserved
the mechanism of the administration.

It was however to the country clergy and their holy office that the
maintenance of the German people is chiefly owing. Their influence was
undoubtedly not less in the Catholic than in the Protestant provinces,
though there remain few accounts of it; for the Catholic village
pastors were then as averse to writing as the evangelical were fond of
it. But the Protestant pastors had a far greater share in the mental
cultivation of their time. The Reformers had made the German learned
education essentially theological, and the village clergy were, in the
estimation of the noble proprietors and peasantry, the representatives
of this intelligence. They were generally well skilled in the ancient
languages, and expert in writing Latin and elegiac verses. They were
powerful disputants, and much experienced in dogmatic controversy,
stubborn and positive, and full of zealous indignation against the
followers of Schwenkfeld, Theophrast, Rosenkreuz, and Weigelia, and
their teaching was more full of hatred to heretics than love towards
their fellow-creatures. Their influence on the consciences of the laity
had made them arrogant and imperious, and the most gifted among them
were more occupied with politics than was good for their characters. If
an order may be considered responsible for the imperfection of the
mental cultivation of the period, which it has not formed, but only
represents, the Lutheran ecclesiastics were deeply and fatally guilty
of the devastation of mind, the unpractical weakness, and the dry
wearisome formalism which frequently appeared in German life. The
ecclesiastics, as an order, were neither accommodating nor especially
estimable, and even their morality was narrow-minded and harsh. But all
these errors they atoned for in times of poverty, calamity, and
persecution, more especially the poor village pastors. They were
exposed to the greatest dangers, hated in general by the Imperial
soldiers, and obliged by their office to bring themselves under the
observation of the enemy; and the rough usage which they, their wives,
and daughters had to suffer, fatally injured their consideration in
their own parish. They were maintained by the contributions of their
parishioners, and were not accustomed, and ill fitted to obtain their
daily food by bodily labour; they were the greatest sufferers from any
decrease in the wealth, morality, or population of their villages. One
must bear witness that a very great number of them endured all these
dangers as true servants of Christ. Most of them adhered to their
parishes almost to the very last man. Their churches were plundered and
burnt, chalice and crucifix stolen, the altar desecrated with
disgusting ordures, and the bells torn from the towers and carried
away. Then they held divine service in a barn, or an open field, or in
the cover of a green wood. When the parishioners had almost perished,
so that the voice of the singer was heard no more, and the penitential
hymns were no longer intoned by the chanter, they still called the
remains of their congregation together at the hour of prayer. They were
vigorous and zealous both in giving comfort and in exercising
discipline; for the greater the misery of their parishioners, the more
reason they had to be dissatisfied with them. Frequently they were the
first to suffer from the demoralization of the villagers: theft and
insolent wantonness were willingly practised against those whose
indignant looks and solemn admonitions had heretofore overawed them.
Hence their fate is particularly characteristic of that iron time, and
we happily possess numerous records concerning them, frequently in
church documents, in which they bemoaned their sufferings, when no one
would listen to them. From such records of Thuringian and Franconian
village pastors, only a few examples will here be given.

Magister Michael Ludwig was pastor at Sonnenfeld, about 1633; there he
preached to his parishioners in the wood under the canopy of heaven;
they were called together by the sound of the trumpet, instead of the
bell, and it was necessary to place an armed watch whilst he preached;
thus he continued for eight years, till his parishioners entirely
disappeared. A Swedish officer then appointed him preacher to his
regiment; he was afterwards made president of the army consistory at
Torstenson, and superintendent at Wismar. Georg Faber preached at
Gellershausen, read prayers daily to three or four hearers, always at
the risk of his life: he rose every morning at three o'clock and
learned his sermon entirely by heart; besides that, he wrote learned
treatises upon the books of the Bible.

In the neighbouring towns of the interior, the clergy had as much to
undergo. For example, the rector at Eisfeld, about 1635, was Johann
Otto, a young man who had just married; he had in the worst times kept
the whole school during eight years, with only one teacher, and
provided the choir also gratis. The smallness of his income may be seen
from the notes which the excellent man has written in his Euclid: "2
days thrashing in autumn, 1 day working in the wood in 1646. 2 days
thrashing in January, 1647. 5 days thrashing in February, 1647. 4
marriage letters written. Item, 1/2 day binding oats, and one day
reaping," and so on. He persevered, and administered his office
honourably for forty-two years. His successor, the great Latin scholar,
Johann Schmidt, teacher of the celebrated Cellarius, had become a
soldier, and when on guard at the Royal Castle was reading a Greek
poet; this was perceived by his officer with astonishment, and was
mentioned by him to Ernest the Good, who made him a teacher.

The superintendent at the same place, Andreas Pochmann, was, when an
orphan, carried off with two little brothers by the Croats. He escaped
with his brothers in the night. Later, when a Latin scholar, he was
again taken prisoner by the soldiers, was made an officer's servant,
and then a musketeer. But he continued to study in the garrison, and
found among his comrades students from Paris and London, with whom he
kept up his Latin. Once, when a soldier, he was lying sick by the watch
fire, under his sleeve was the powder pouch, with a pound and a half of
powder, the flames reached the sleeve and burnt half of it; the powder
pouch was unconsumed. When he awoke he found himself alone, the camp
was abandoned, and he had not a penny of money. Then he found two
thalers in the ashes. With this he struck across to Gotha; on the way,
he turned off to Langensalza, to a lonely small house near the walls:
an old woman received the wearied man, and laid him on a bed. It was
the plague nurse, and the bed was a plague bed, for the malady was then
raging in the city; he remained unhurt. His life, like that of most of
his cotemporaries, was full of wonderful escapes, sudden changes, and
unexpected succour, of deadly perils, penury, and frequent changes of
place. These times must be accurately observed, in order to understand
how, just at a period when millions were brought to ruin and
destruction, there was fostered in the survivors a deep belief in that
Divine Providence, which, in a wonderful way, encompassed the lives of

From almost every village church one can obtain reminiscences of the
sufferings, self-devotion, and perseverance of their pastors. It must
be said, that only the strongest minds came out unscathed in such
times. The endless insecurity, the want of support, the lawless
proceedings of the soldiers and of their own parishioners, made many of
them petty in their ideas, cringing and beggarly. We will give one
example among many. Johanne Elfflein, pastor at Simau after 1632, was
so poor that he was obliged to work as a day labourer, to cut wood in
the forest, to dig and to sow; twice he received either alms from the
poor-box at Coburg, or what was placed there at the baptism of
children. At last the consistory at Coburg sold one of the chalices of
the church to procure bread for him. He considered it an especial piece
of good fortune, when he had once to perform the funeral of a
distinguished noble, for then he got a good old rix-dollar, and a
quarter of corn. When shortly afterwards he confidentially complained
to a neighbour of his want of food, and the latter replied with
desperate resolution, he knew well what he should do in such a case,
then, firm in faith, Magister Elfflein said, "My God will provide means
that I shall not die of hunger; He will cause a rich nobleman to die,
that I may obtain money, and a quarter of corn." He considered it was
ordained by Providence, when soon after, this melancholy event actually
occurred. His situation was so pitiable, that even the rapacious
soldiers, when they sent their lads in the neighbourhood after booty,
emphatically ordered them to leave the pastor at Simau unmolested, as
the poor simpleton had nothing for himself. At last he got another

At the source of the Itz, where the mountains decline in high terraces
towards the Main, lies the old village of Stelzen, a holy place even in
heathen times. Close to the church, from the corner of a spacious
cavern, overshadowed by primeval beech and lime trees, springs up a
miraculous well; near the well, before the Reformation, stood a chapel
to the Holy Virgin, and many a time did hundreds of counts and
noblemen, with numberless other people, flock together there as
pilgrims. The village was entirely burnt down at Michaelmas, 1632, only
the church, the school, and shepherd's hut remained standing. The
pastor, Nicholas Schubert, wrote to the authorities in the winter as
follows: "I have saved nothing but my eight poor, little, naked, hungry
children. I continue to dwell _ex mandato_ in the very old, and on
account of the want of a chimney, a floor and so forth, dangerous
school-house, where I can neither attend to my studies, nor do anything
for my support. For I have neither food nor clothes, _longe enim plura
deficiunt_. Given at my castle of misery, Stelzen, 1633. Your willing
servant, and obedient poor burnt-out pastor, Nicholas Schubert."
Shortly he was removed. His successor likewise was pillaged, and
stabbed in the left hip with a rapier; he too was removed; a second
successor also was unable to maintain himself there. After that, the
parsonage house was uninhabited for fifteen years, but the neighbouring
pastor, Götz of Sachsendorf, came every third Sunday, and performed
service in the ruined village. For two years there came no pence to the
church coffers. At last, in 1647, the church was entirely burned to the
bare walls.

Gregory Ewald was pastor at Königsberg; in 1632, Tilly burnt down the
city, and Ewald was taken prisoner in a vineyard by two Croats, and
robbed; when they could not withdraw a gold ring from his finger they
prepared to cut off the finger, but at last had so much consideration
that they took only the skin with the ring, and demanded a thousand
dollars ransom. Ewald released himself by this stratagem; he took the
simple soldier, who was left with him to fetch the ransom, first to the
door of a cellar in order to give him a drink of wine, and under the
pretext of fetching the key he escaped. In his great necessity he took
an appointment as Swedish army chaplain, and after the battle of
Nördlingen, lived as an exile for a year in a foreign country, from
thence he returned to his ruined parish, where for some years he and
his family endured want and misery.

Among the most instructive of the biographical accounts of Protestant
pastors, is that of the Franconian pastor, Martin Bötzinger. We see
with horror, both the village life in the time of the war, and the
demoralization of the inhabitants, distinctly portrayed in his
narrative. Bötzinger was not a man of great character, and the
lamentable lot he had to bear did not strengthen it; indeed, we can
hardly deny him the predicate of a right miserable devil. Nevertheless
he possessed two qualities which render him estimable to us, an
indestructible energy with which there was not the slightest frivolity
united; and that determined German contentment which takes the
brightest view of the most desolate situations. He was a poet. His
German verses are thoroughly pitiful, as may be seen by the specimen
heading this chapter, but they served him as elegant begging letters by
which, in the worst times, he endeavoured to procure sympathy. He
celebrated all the officials and receivers of the parish of Heldburg in
an epic poem, as also the melancholy condition of Coburg, where he
tarried for a certain time as a fugitive.

Of the career which he noted down, the beginning and the last portion
were already torn out when Krauss, in 1730, incorporated it in his
history of the Hildburghaus church, school, and province. The following
is faithfully transcribed from this fragment; only the series of events
which are intermingled in his autobiography are here arranged according
to years. Bötzinger was a collegian at Coburg and a student at Jena,
during the _Kipper_ time;[30] and in 1626, he became pastor at
Poppenhausen. In the spring of 1627, the young pastor entertained the
idea of marrying the only daughter of Michael Böhme, burgher and
counsellor at Heldburg, whose name was Ursula.

"In the year 1627, on the Tuesday after the Jubilate, all necessary
preparations being made, on this very day, a body of eight thousand
men, people from Saxe Lauenburg, together with the Prince himself,
encamped before Heldburg; pitched their camp on the cropped ground, and
in eight days ruined the city and land belonging to the corporation, so
that neither calf nor lamb, beer nor wine, could any more be procured.
Provisions were brought from all the neighbouring districts, and yet
even the royal officers and officials could hardly be maintained. They
were, on account of the cold, quartered some days in the city and
villages. It was then, for the first time, I was plundered in the
parsonage house at Poppenhausen, for not only had I not secured
anything, but rather had I made preparation as if I had to lodge an
honourable guest or officer; I lost my linen, bedding, shirts, and so
forth, for I did not yet know that the soldiers were robbers, and took
everything away with them. The prince of the country, Duke Casimir, was
himself obliged to journey to Heldburg; he ordered for the Lauenburger
a princely banquet; he presented him with fine horses and eight
thousand thalers if he would only take himself away. After this
misfortune, the blessing of God made itself miraculously visible
everywhere. Owing to the thousands of huts, quarters and fires, which
made the fields look like a wilderness, it was thought that the winter
seed was lost in the ground. Nevertheless, there grew from these burnt
huts and ditches so thick a crop, that in the same year, there was a
superfluity of winter food. A miracle! Thus my wedding could take place
on the Tuesday after the _Exaudi_, and was celebrated at the Town Hall.

"For five years there was rest in the land till 1632, except that
several Imperial corps, consisting of two, three, or more regiments,
passed to and fro, who often took up their quarters in the township of
Heldburg, and exhausted it. I wanted for nothing at Poppenhausen. I
could wish that I was now as well off as I was before the war. As,
however, the fury of war at last arrived, the neighbouring bishops
began to reform vigorously; sent Jesuits and monks with diplomas into
the country, and examined the ecclesiastical benefices and monasteries.
The princes had their militia here and there, who now and then pilfered
in the neighbouring Papal states, and stirred up the hornets there.
Every intelligent person could discover that things would become worse.
The noblemen also fled with their pastors, bailiffs, and all belonging
to them, to our little towns and villages, hoping for greater security
there than in their own places.

"In 1631, at Michaelmas, King Gustavus came from Sweden suddenly
through the wood, just as if he had wings. He took Königshofen and many
other places, and went on very flourishingly. Our nobles enlisted
people for the king, who were as bad as the enemy in pilfering and
robbing. They more especially took from the neighbouring Catholics
their cows, horses, pigs, and sheep; then was there a great sale; a
ducat for one cow, and a thaler for a pig. The Papists often came
hither and saw how and who bought their cattle, and frequently redeemed
them themselves. They were however so often taken, that they wearied of
redeeming them, and it went ill with the poor neighbouring Papists. We
all at Poppenhausen preserved for those in the neighbourhood, their
bits of property in churches and houses, as far as we could. But when
in the year 1632, the tables were turned, and the three Generals, the
Friedlander, Tilly, and the Bavarian prince, took possession of Coburg
and the country, the neighbouring Papists helped to rob and burn, and
we found no faith or safety with them.

"When on the eve of Michaelmas, all the guns were heard from Coburg, as
a signal that the enemy was approaching, and every one took care of
himself, I went with all those whom I had lodged for some weeks, to
Heldburg, where I had previously sent my wife and child. The town was
on its guard, but did not imagine what evil would betide it; the
burgomaster and some of the councillors ran away, my father-in-law of
blessed memory, having the charge of the powder, lead, and linstocks,
which he served out to the guard as need required, was obliged to
remain in the town. I had a great desire to leave the town with my wife
and children, but he would not let me go, and still less his daughter,
and bade us remain at home; he had a tolerable purse of thalers with
which he intended to make off in case of disaster. But before midday on
the feast of St. Michael, fourteen horsemen presented themselves; they
were supposed to be Duke Bernhard's people, but it was very far from
the case. These they were obliged to admit without thanks for it. They
were soon followed by some infantry, who from the beginning searched
about everywhere, and knocked down and shot whoever resisted them. In
the middle of the market, one of these fourteen struck my father-in-law
with a pistol on the head, so that he fell down like an ox. The
horseman dismounted, and searched his hosen, and our citizens who were
at the Town Hall saw that the thief drew out from thence a large mass
of money. When the stupefaction from the blow had passed away, my
father-in-law stood up: he was made to go to the Star Inn, where they
found somewhat to eat, but nothing to drink; then he said he would go
home and bring some drink. Now as they thought he might escape them,
they took the platters and food with them, and accompanied him to his
house. It was not long before one of them demanded money; and when he
excused himself, the scoundrel stabbed him with his own bread-knife in
the presence of his wife and mine, so that he sank to the ground. 'God
help us!' screamed out my wife and child. I, who was hid in the
bath-house, in the straw over the stable, sprang down and ventured
amongst them. The wonder was that they did not catch me in the parson's
cap. I took my father-in-law, who was reeling about like a drunken man,
into the bath-room, that he might be bandaged. I was obliged to look on
whilst they took off from your mother[31] her shoes and clothes,
and laid hold of you, my son Michael, in their arms; hereupon they
quitted the house and the street. I went from the little court of the
bath-house to my father-in-law's room; I carried over there pillows and
mattresses, whereon we laid him. I had to venture still further. I went
into the cellar, wherein his brother, Herr George Böhm, pastor at
Lindenau, had placed in three large butts, two tons of good wine. I
wished to fetch a refreshing drink for my father-in-law, but the vent
peg was so carefully and firmly driven into the butt that although I
pulled out the spigot nothing would flow. I was obliged to stay a long
time, at great risk, before I could get a spoonful. I had hardly gone
over there, before a scoundrel went into the bath-house, threw the
invalid off the bed, and searched everywhere. I had crept under the
sweating bench, where indeed I got a good sweating, for the day before
had been the bath day.

"As there was now a great butchery and shooting down in the town, so
that no one was secure, divers citizens came at intervals to have
themselves bandaged. Then my father-in-law consented that I should seek
for a hiding-place and leave the town, but would not let my wife and
children accompany me. So I went to the castle garden, and ascended the
height behind the castle, that I might look out towards Holzhausen and
Gellershausen, to see if it was safe. Then the citizens and their wives
came to me for comfort and to journey with me. Thus I crossed over the
Hundshanger lake into the wood, and wished to go up to Strauchhahn.
When we came to the common, eight horsemen, who were Croats, rode up
the heights. As soon as they saw us they hastily galloped up to us. Two
citizens, Kührlein and Brehme, escaped; I had most to endure. They took
off my shoes, stockings, and hosen, and left me only my cap. With my
hosen I had to give up my purse full of money, which I had hid there
three hours before, and thus had preserved from the first pilferers.
The danger was so urgent that I did not think of my purse till I saw it
for the last time. They demanded first a thousand thalers, then five
hundred, and lastly a hundred, for my life. I had to go with them to
their quarters, and to run with them a whole hour barefoot. At last
they perceived that I was a _pap_ or _pfaff_, which I also confessed;
then they began to thrust at me with their sabres without discretion,
and I held my hands and arms towards them, and through God's protection
only got a few wounds on the wrist.

"Meanwhile they discovered a peasant who had hidden himself in some
bushes. It was the rich Kaspar of Gellershausen, so they all rode off
to him, and only one remained with me, who was by birth a Swede, and
had been made prisoner. This one said to me, 'Priest, priest, run, run,
otherwise you must die.' He was a good Swede: I placed confidence in
his counsel, and begged of him to feign to ride after me, as if he
would fetch me back. Thus it happened that I escaped the Croats. But
the rich Kaspar met a miserable death at that place; for as he would
not come forth from thence, they hewed off his legs, as I saw, at the
knees. Therefore he was obliged to lie in that place, where after their
withdrawal he was found. But I ran through a great oak wood for almost
an hour, and could see no thick bushes wherein to conceal myself, and
fell at last into a pool of water out of which an oak root had grown,
and I was so tired of running that I could go no further, and my heart
beat so that I knew not whether it was the horses' hoofs that I heard,
or my heart.

"Thus I sat till it was night; then I rose up and continued in search
of a thick cover, till I came out and could see Seidenstadt. I slipped
into the village, and as I heard dogs bark, I hoped to find people at
home, but there was no one; I therefore went into a shed, and was
desirous of passing the night on the hay. But God granted that the
neighbours, who had hid themselves in Strauchhahn, had come together
behind this shed, and took counsel where they should reassemble, and
where they should go to. This I could distinctly hear. I therefore
descended and went to the house. The peasant had just come in, had
struck a light, and was standing in the cellar taking the cream off the
milk, which he intended to drink. I was standing above the opening,
spoke to him and greeted him; he looked up and saw the under part of my
body, namely, my shirt and naked legs, and it was dark above. He was
much frightened; but when I told him that I was the pastor at
Poppenhausen, who had been carried off by the soldiers, he brought the
milk up, and I begged him to procure me some clothes of his neighbours,
as I wished to accompany them wherever they were going. He went out,
and meanwhile I regaled myself on his pot of milk, and entirely emptied
it. In my whole life no milk had ever tasted so good. He came back with
others, and one of them brought me a pair of old leather hosen, which
smelt badly of cart-grease, another a pair of old latchet shoes, and
another two woollen stockings, one green and one white. This livery was
not suitable either for a traveller or for a pastor; yet I took it with
thanks, but could not wear the shoes, for they were frozen too stiff.
The soles of the stockings were torn, thus I went to Hildburghausen
more barefooted than shod. When we looked around us we saw that many
places in Itzgrund were in flames. At that time, Ummerstadt, Rodach,
Eisfeld, and Heldburg were burnt to the ground.

"I was, on my arrival, such a spectacle as to create terror and fear
at Hildburghausen; no one--though many thousand strangers had come
there--felt secure, although the city had a strong guard. My only
anxiety was to get a respectable dress, stockings, shoes, &c., before
we departed from thence. I went, therefore, barefoot to the
burgomaster, Paul Walz, and to the curate, and begged them to give me
something to clothe me respectably. Herr Walz gave me an old hat which
was almost an ell in height, which disfigured me more than anything
else; nevertheless I put it on. Herr Schnetters Eidam, now curate at
Römhild, gave me a pair of hosen, which came over my knees, these were
still good, Herr Dressel a pair of black stockings, and the sexton a
pair of shoes. Thus I was rigged out, so that I could appear without
being ashamed before so many thousand strangers, who had sought
security in the town; and could show myself amongst the citizens. But
the hat disfigured me very much, therefore I sought an opportunity to
obtain another. Now it came to pass that the whole ministry, the
authorities of the high school and councillors, had agreed, without the
knowledge of the citizens generally, that they would have the gates
opened at nine o'clock at night, and go away with their wives and
children: having learned this, I went to the lodging of the town-clerk,
where the gentlemen were all assembled; but no one knew or noticed me.
I placed myself alone by a table in the dark; there I discovered that a
good respectable hat was hanging on a nail. I thought that if this
should remain hanging on the breaking up of the assembly, it would suit
me. What matter; all would be ruined after the flight. What I wished
and thought came to pass: then there began a wailing and leave-taking
on their departure, and I laid my head on the table as if I were
asleep. Now when almost every one was gone, I hung the long stork on
the wall, made the exchange, and went with the other gentlemen into the

"The arrangements for flight now became known to the people. Countless
numbers therefore sat with their packages in the streets; horses were
put also to many waggons and carts, all prepared to go out of the gate
with those who were departing. When we came into the open country we
saw that the good people were all dispersed about the streets. There
were thousands of lighted torches to be seen, some had lanterns, some
burning wisps of straw, others links. In short some thousands came
mournfully out. I and my flock came about midnight to Themar, the
townspeople there rose up and joined us, so that some hundreds more
were added to us. The march proceeded to Schwarzig and Steinbach, and
when towards morning we arrived at a village, the people were so
terrified that they abandoned their houses and farms and accompanied
us. When we had been about an hour at an inn, the news came that the
Croats had fallen upon Themar this very morning, had cut up the escort
and plundered the carrier's goods; had split the burgomaster's head,
robbed the church, and carried the organ pipes off to the market; and
it was high time for us to have evacuated it. Hildburghausen had
afterwards to ransom itself by a large sum of money and its chalices,
otherwise the town would like all the others have been reduced to
ashes. During this wandering I got also a present of a pair of gloves,
a knife, and a sheath.

"This lasted five or six days, then came the news announcing that the
enemy had departed from Coburg. Now I could not remain any longer. I
went speedily to Römhild, where lived my honoured godfather Cremer, the
town clerk. I had to report to the worthy magistrate what had happened
to me. This little town alone remained unplundered. The worthy
magistrate had ordered the enemy to be fired upon, and by his foresight
God preserved this little town. Meanwhile Römhild became full of
refugees, who were partly known and partly unknown. But I did not then
care for any society; so I set off for Heldburg, and passing many
hundred men, arrived there first, just when the slain were being
brought on carts to the burial-ground. When I perceived this I went to
the burial-ground, and found seventeen persons lying in one grave,
among them were three councillors, one my father-in-law, the precentor,
some citizens, a tutor, the country beadle, and town constable. They
were all horribly disfigured. After this I went to my mother-in-law's
house; I found her so ill and so disfigured from being broken on the
wheel, and pinched with pistol screws, that she could hardly speak to
me; she made up her mind that she should die. So she desired me to seek
my wife and children whom the enemy had carried away with them. The
children were you, Michael, a year and a half, and your eldest sister,
five years old. I would gladly have eaten something at Heldburg, but
there was nothing either to eat or drink. I speeded therefore hungry
and terrified to Poppenhausen, not only to refresh myself there, but to
procure a messenger who would seek and recover my wife and children.
But I learnt there that the Poppenhausen children had also been carried
away, and that there were marching columns on many roads, so that the
life of a messenger would be in deadly peril. Meanwhile my parishioners
dressed a cow for me, which had escaped the soldiers; this I looked for
with a hungry stomach. So we had meat enough to eat, but without salt
and bread. After my repast I learned by post that my wife was come, and
thus it had come to pass. She had been taken with her two children, by
some musketeers, to Altenhausen, where, from fear of dishonour, she and
her children had sprung over the bridge into the water. From thence she
was drawn out by the soldiers, and brought into the village, where she
was made to help in the kitchen to prepare the supper. Meanwhile there
came another troop of soldiers who were higher in rank and more in
number, and drove the others from their quarters. My wife took this
opportunity to escape. She wended her way out, and left the two
children with the soldiers. A poor beggar-woman led her through secret
byways out of the village, and brought her to an old cave in a wood,
where she passed that night and remained the next day till evening. On
that day the people came forth from all quarters, and thus my wife set
out and came safe and unharmed to me, so that we were all joyful and
thankful to God.

"How murder and fire meanwhile had gone on at Heldburg, I will also
relate. The town of Heldburg had militia and trained bands, and it was
ordered that if the enemy came there, the city should be defended. For
it was always hoped that Duke Bernhard's people were not far distant,
and that the country would be relieved. When therefore the town was
fired, my honoured father-in-law, with many citizens and other folks,
hastened out of the town, and arrived in the night with my wife and two
children to Poppenhausen, and my wife prepared him a good invalid bed.
For my parsonage house had been filled with all kinds of furniture left
by noblemen and magistrates in their flight; and although pilferers had
been there, there was enough still left. The following day a whole
troop of horsemen came to the parsonage, examined my belongings, but
let them alone because there was one there who was wounded: they
ordered supper and went out to plunder, and returned towards evening,
bringing all kinds of booty; then it was necessary to boil and roast,
and the neighbouring women helped thereto with good will. When the
horsemen were about to depart, they advised my father-in-law not to be
too confident, as this tumult would last yet eight days, and as the
road led past there, he and his daughter might suffer violence, and as
the neighbouring villages were Popish, he had better remove to a
Protestant one. This my father-in-law did, and went at night in the fog
for security to Gleichmuthrusen; but the ungodly neighbours screamed
out that the horsemen wished to burn and slay the Lutherans, but they
did it for their advantage, as the Papists had gone with the troopers
into our villages and houses and stolen as much as others. Then my
father-in-law did not like to remain there any longer, he went with his
belongings to Einöder wood and remained there day and night. He
occasionally went forth to examine the road between Heldburg and
Einöder. When therefore one day he saw no one especial on the road,
either travelling or riding, and heard the little bell which was wont
to be sounded when children were baptized, he thought, such being the
case, he might creep nearer the town, and see whether there was any
hindrance along the road. As soon as he came to the town his steps were
watched. Then a whole body of camp followers came and took him, my
mother-in-law, and my wife to the house of Herr Göckel. Ah! there was
banqueting and revelling! Being now urged to give money and making
various excuses, they singed and smeared his eyes, beard, and mouth
with tallow candles, and endeavoured shamelessly to maltreat my wife in
the room before every one, but she screamed so that her mother sprang
violently into the room and drew her out through the door, which indeed
was fastened, but the under panel had been ingeniously covered with
list, and was fractured. Then the cook had compassion upon her, and
brought her out of the house; and when my wife gave him some ducats,
which she had for a whole week concealed in the cuff of her sleeve, he
brought to her my father-in-law, who however was horribly disfigured.
Thus they left the town more dead than alive, and being too weak to go
further, went into the hospital. Not only the poor sick folk were
there, but many respectable citizens and women in hopes of finding
it a safe asylum. But it was far from being the case. Although my
father-in-law was lying on a bed nearly dying, and every one saw that
he was bleeding and had been evil treated, yet he was dragged hither
and thither, some wicked people having betrayed that he was a rich man.
They broke him on the wheel; they brought my wife and children
prisoners into the town, where they had to make shirts for the
soldiers. As she was sitting in the churchyard, one of them brought her
a piece of linen to cut out, he said to one of his comrades: 'Go and
make sure that the peasant, meaning my father-in-law, is dead.' He
went, and returned again soon, having in his arms my father-in-law's
hosen and waistcoat, and said to my wife, 'Your father is done for.'
What barbarity! When the pilferers had sufficiently pillaged the church
of clothes and linen, they left the town, and would carry my wife with
them whether she would or no.

"Not long after they received their reward at Leipzig and Lützen, as
may be read in other places. After this every one returned home, and
people found each other again; but the sheep and cattle were all gone.
I did not preserve more than three calves out of eight, without
counting my forty-eight sheep which, with the whole herd, had been

"Duke Johann Casimer died in the year 1633, and was buried, on the same
day on which the funeral sermon was preached for Gustavus King of
Sweden, in that country. At that time great robbing and plundering went
on, amongst others by Duke Bernhard's soldiers, nine regiments of which
were stationed at Itzgrund, to enable the princely corpse to be buried
in safety.

"In 1634 things became much worse, and one could well perceive that in
a short time everything would be topsy-turvy. I therefore removed what
I could to the parsonage at Steltzen, my beds, two cows, clothes, &c.
But this being in the autumn, after Lamboy had quartered himself with
every one and everywhere, my winter quarters cost me more than five
hundred gulden in thirty-five weeks, which I had to settle with Captain
Krebs. I had eleven persons in my house, not counting camp-followers
and maid-servants. It is not to be described what I and my wife had to
suffer and endure for a length of time. At last I could no longer feel
secure on account of them; I ran away sick and came to Mitwitz and
Mupperg, where I had as little rest as at Heldburg. My stepmother
especially tormented me (she had been struck by lightning), she would
not let me remain in my exile with my old father. I was obliged to go
to Neistadt to the rector, M. Val. Hoffmann, now superintendent. But I
was not only very poor; but became daily more ailing, therefore I only
thought how I could return to Poppenhausen or Heldburg and die there,
for I was weary of my life.

"It is miraculous how I passed along the roads and through the villages
in the darkness of night, for it was still unsafe everywhere; at last I
reached Poppenhausen. There my poor parishioners and schoolmaster were
as joyful at sight of me, as if our Lord God had himself appeared among
them. But we were all in such great weakness and want, that we looked
more dead than alive. Many died of hunger; and we were frequently, each
day, obliged to take to our heels and conceal ourselves. And although
we hid our lentils, corn, and poor food in the ditches and old coffins,
nay, under the skulls of the dead, yet all was taken away from us.

"Then were the survivors obliged to leave house and home, or die of
hunger. At Poppenhausen most of the inhabitants were in their graves;
there remained only eight or nine souls, who fled from it in the year
1636. The same circumstances occurred at Lindenau, the cure of which
was committed to me vicariously in 1636, by the Royal Consistory. I
could obtain no income; apples, pears, cabbage, turnips, &c., were my
only pay. Thus I was pastor at Lindenau from 1636 to 1641. I had the
parsonage arranged, but could not, on account of the insecurity and
turmoil, dwell constantly there, and performed the duties from
Heldburg. I have still the testimony of the Lindenauers, wherein they
acknowledge that I did not in five years get ten gulden in money; but
they have since honestly paid me the arrears in wood and apples.

"In the year 1640, between Easter and Whitsuntide, the Imperial and
Swedish armies fought a battle at Saalfeld; and Franconia and Thuringia
were devastated far and wide. At four o'clock in the morning of the
Sunday before Whitsunday, strong bodies of Imperialists fell upon
Heldburg, when most of the citizens were still resting in their beds.
My whole street, in every direction, was full of the turmoil of horses
and riders; just as if some one had taken pains to show them my house.
I and my wife were taken prisoners five times in one hour; when I was
released from one, I was taken by another. Then I took them into my
room and cellar, that they might themselves seek what they required. At
last they went off, leaving me alone in the house; yet my terror and
anguish were so great that I never thought of my ready money, which I
might have saved ten times over, if I had had sufficient confidence to
take it with me. But all the houses and streets were full of horsemen;
and if I had taken my Mammon with me, it might so have happened that I
should have been caught. But in my dismay I thought not of money. Many
men and women were convoyed out of the town by an escort of Hasisch
horsemen, who had been quartered there. I then returned to my wife and
children; we betook ourselves to the nearest wood towards Hellingen;
there old and young, ecclesiastics and laymen, remained day and night.
Our chief sustenance was black juniper berries. Now certain of the
citizens ventured into the town, and brought back with them food and
other things that they required. I thought, ah! if thou also couldst go
to thy house and get hold of thy small cash in pence, and therewith
support thyself and thy children! I ventured it, slipped in, and went
through the Spittel Gate to the Mühl Gate, which was closed in with
palisades. Within, there were some who caught me by surprise, as a cat
does a mouse; they bound me with new cords so that I could neither help
myself with hands or feet, and must either give money, or betray rich
people to them. The thieves obliged me to toss the fodder for their
horses at the Herrnhof, to lead them to drink, and other odd work. Then
imagining myself more at liberty, I ran from thence, being unaware that
a whole troop of soldiers were standing at the gate of the courtyard,
so I ran into their arms. They beat me well with their swords and
bandoliers, kept me still more strictly with cords, led me from house
to house, that I might tell them to whom this or the other house
belonged. Thus I was also led to my own house, there I saw the copper
water-can lying on the floor, in which had been placed my ready money,
three hundred thalers, and I thought, hadst thou known that the birds
and the foxes were in the way, thou wouldst have remained outside. Now
because I would not betray any one, they put upon my head my own cap,
which was lying on the ground in my house, and gave me a blow on the
head with a cutlass, so that the blood ran down to my ears, but no hole
was made in the cap, for it was of felt. Still more; the same man
wantonly drew the cutlass across my stomach, in order to try whether I
was invulnerable; he pressed tolerably hard, yet God willed not that he
should draw more blood from me. Twice in one hour, namely, in
Schneiderinn, at the farm of the tailor's wife Wittich, on the
dung-heap, and in the forest ranger's stable, they gave me the Swedish
drink mixed with dung water, whereby my teeth became all loose. I
defended myself as well as a prisoner could, when they forced a great
stick into my mouth. At last they led me along with cords, and said
they would hang me up: they brought me out to the Mühl Gate on the
bridge; then one of them took the cord wherewith my feet were bound
together, and another the cord on my left arm, and pitched me into the
water, holding the cord so that they might draw me up and down. Now
whilst I was groping around me in search of a support, I caught hold of
a hay-rake, which however gave way with me, and I could find no help
thereon; but by God's providence an opening was made for me, so that I
slipped under the bridge. Whenever I tried to hold on, they battered me
with these said hay-rakes, so that they snapped in two like a school
cane. When they were not only weary of their labour, but thought they
had done for me, as I should drown in the water, they let go both
cords, when I dived under the bridge like a frog, and no one could
touch me. Then I searched the pocket of my hosen and found a little
knife, such as could be closed, which they had not chosen to take,
though they had often searched me; I therefore cut the cord which bound
my two feet, and sprang down to the floor of the mill, where lay the
wheels. The water covered half my body; then the rogues threw sticks,
brickbats, and cudgels at me, in order to put an end to me completely.
I was anxious to work my way to the miller's back door, but could not,
either because my clothes being saturated with water held me back, or
more likely, because God would not permit me to die there. For as a
drunken man reels to and fro, thus did I, and came up on the other side
at the back of the brewery. When they perceived that I was about to get
into the narrow lane, they all ran into the town, collected more
companions, and watched at the tan-house to see whether I would come
thither. But as I perceived this, and was now left to myself, I
remained lying in the water, and placed my head under a thick willow
bush, and rested in the water four or five hours, till it was night and
the town quiet; then I crept out half dead, and could hardly breathe,
on account of the blows I had had. I went down to the tan-house and
found that there was as yet no safety, as there was one there cutting
grass, and another picking hides out of the tan-pits, and I almost
stumbled upon them, so I was obliged to hide there till late in the
night; I went then over the conduit, always following the course of the
stream, and climbed over a willow stem by which I reached the other
side, towards Poppenhausen.

"When I came to the Poppenhausen or Einöder road, it was strewed here
and there with linen, which the soldiers had thrown away or lost, but I
could not stoop to pick anything up. I came at last to Poppenhausen,
and found no one at home but Claus Hön, whose wife was lying-in; he was
obliged to cut the clothes from off my body, for I was swollen, and he
put aside the wet clothes to be dried. He also lent me a shirt, and
then examined my head, which was of all colours from the blows I had
received; afterwards my back and arms became quite black and blue. The
following day my parishioner bade me go away, for he feared they might
lie in wait for me, and that he should get into trouble on my account.
So with his assistance I put on my wet clothes, and went quite slowly
to Lindenau, always through the densest thicket, and kept on the other
side in the Lindenau garden, from which I could see the village. At
last I discovered some people going into a house; I went thither, but
they would not admit me, for they were too much afraid, but finally,
when they saw through the window that it was I, their pastor, who had
come, they admitted me, and I remained with them some days; for there
was quartered there one who was a Lindenauer, which helped a little.
But I met with a new misfortune. When those who were quartered here
went to the castle of Einöd with the Lindenauers, to fetch away what
could yet be found of their goods, the magistrate, the smith, and I
were keeping guard the while on the tower; as we were all three
performing this duty, certain horsemen came into the village, they saw
us on the tower, went straight up to it, and found us there together.
As they ascended the stairs we discovered from their blustering and
talking that they were troopers, so, in bad plight as I was, I
endeavoured, alas! to climb. I clambered up into the belfry and curled
myself like a cat behind the clock; but one of the thieves climbed up
at the same time and found me. My parishioners said I was their
schoolmaster, and entreated for me, as I had already been badly beaten
by the soldiers. It was however of no avail. They insisted on this
schoolmaster descending. The magistrate went first, after him a
trooper, the smith followed, then another trooper, and lastly I
followed, lingering. Now when they all came out through the door of the
church, I remained within, bolted the little door, and ran out of the
other, and crept into a turnip pit. God help me! How woeful it was for
me to be obliged to stoop and lie on all-fours for a whole hour! Thus I
was saved, but my dear fellow-watchers were taken to a mill and obliged
to fill the flour sacks.

"On the Friday before Whitsuntide I came with many citizens to Coburg.
A thief had carried off my shoes, and left me a pair of old bad ones
instead; I had nothing else to wear for almost a week, and both soles
had fallen out, and when it became necessary to take to one's heels,
the shoes turned round hindforemost, so that often I could not help
laughing outright. Thus I came to Coburg. The news of my torments had
reached Coburg some days before, together with the report that I had
been killed; when therefore I came myself, the citizens and my old
acquaintance were much astonished. Dr. Kesler, general superintendent,
_item_, consul Körner, invited me several times during the Whitsuntide
festival, and for a whole month the Coburgers showed great kindness to
me, my wife, and children, which I lauded in print on St. John's day.

"Ah, how great was the grief and misery to be seen and heard in all the
surrounding small towns at that time! the inhabitants of Eisfeldt,
Heldburg, and Neustadt, together with the villagers, had to make shift
miserably in the town. Asking and begging was no shame. Yet I did not
wish to burden too much my good host, Herr Hoffman the apothecary. I
went out into the wide world with the pastor of Walburg, Eisentraut,
for three weeks, _victum quærendi gratia_, to Culmbach, Bayreuth,
Hirschheid, Altorf, and Nuremberg, and again back to Coburg. I then
found that my wife had returned to Poppenhausen, accompanied again by
the Hasische trooper, but there was nothing to eat or reap there. What
God had provided me with on my journey, I was obliged to carry to the
town hall and give to the soldiers, and the children were well-nigh
dying of hunger. They had not been able to buy bran enough for bread.
My superintendent, Herr Grams, died from the effects of the Swedish
drink, at the castle four or five weeks after this turbulent time.

"Now as exactions and extortions still continued, I could get no
stipend, and yet had to assist in the superintendence of the parish of
Heldburg, as well as my own, I went _cum testimonio et consilio_ of Dr.
Kesler, and also with letters of recommendation to Duke Albert, to
Eisenach, and represented my poverty in divers ways to the Consistory.
I got a presentment and other recommendations to their Princely
Highnesses, the two brothers, that I might obtain advancement in their
dominions. So I went from Eisenach to Gotha, just as our honoured
prince and lord, Duke Ernest, fixed his residence at the Kaufhaus: for
I was present when they paid him homage at Gotha. The royal Consistory
soon offered to me the parish of Notleben; but as the Notlebers were at
strife with their old pastor, and there was to be a month's delay to
carry on their contest, Dr. Glass persuaded me in the interim to go
with my recommendation to Weimar, and to collect somewhat for my poor
family. My wanderings, however, lasted till the year 1641. I returned
on Tuesday the 18th of January to Gotha, and found the cure of that
parish still vacant for me, which I undertook with the greatest
humility and thankfulness, and preached my first sermon on the parable
of the vineyard, from the 20th of Matthew. But I not only lived in
great insecurity at Notleben, as one had daily to think of flight, but
had also many disputes with the peasantry, who in church and school
affairs had always a hankering after Erfurt, and to whom all royal
ordinances with respect to the catechism were odious. I, the pastor,
had to bear this from the council and peasants, and as all the stipend
was paid in kind, and I was neither a tutor, nor had any other means
whereby I could get on well, I humbly sought for a change of cure.
When, therefore, our honoured lord, after the division of property,
obtained the parish of Erock and the village of Heubach, he offered to
me to become pastor there, which I had expected more than a year
before. Thus in 1647, I in all humility accepted this removal, and
preached my trial sermon on Judica Sunday, in the presence of the
parishioners and commissaries. I received the call on the following
day, and thus under God's providence brought hither my wife and child.
This was my fourth piece of church preferment, where for my own part I
desire, God willing, to live and die; but my wife wishes herself away,
in a better place in the plains, on account of the difficulty of
getting servants. I leave it in the hands of God and my superiors."

Thus far extends what is preserved of Bötzinger's biography. He
finally found rest at Heubach, and administered his office there for
six-and-twenty years. He died in 1673, at the age of seventy-four,
after having led for forty-seven years a life which cannot be
designated as peaceful. Heubach was a new parish which had been formed
at Gotha by Duke Ernest the Good, and Bötzinger was the first pastor.
He was obliged to dwell in the royal shooting lodge, which had been
built by Duke Casimir in the forest, for grouse shooting. In the
neighbouring forester's house lived an insolent forester; the country
was in a wild state, little inhabited, and the people, corrupted by the
war, led a lawless forest life. It appears that the new pastor was not
particularly welcome to these denizens of the woods, the forester
especially was his vehement opponent, and the pastor secretly
complained, in Latin distiches which he inscribed in the church
records, to his successor, of the bitter sufferings which this servant
of the woods occasioned him. He in a brotherly way warned his successor
against the wickedness of the man and his bad wife. But in spite of
this contention, it may be concluded that this long-tormented sufferer
was not altogether unhappy, and a harmless self-contemplation is to be
perceived in his Latin verses. When at last he died, laudatory poems by
some of his noted clerical brothers were written, as was then the
custom; some of them are extant both in Latin and German. Even Herr
Andreas Bachmann, the court preacher at Gotha, a distinguished man,
yielded a tribute of respect to his "Dear old, now deceased clerical
brother;" it begins with the following verses, which will conclude this

      Martin Bötzinger, God's servant, faithful and true,
        Upright as Job--was long time pastor I ween;
      A much tormented man with crosses not a few,
        As will, in the record of his life, be seen.

                              CHAPTER IV.

                          AND PUBLIC OPINION.

Monotonously did the death wail sound in the chronicles and records of
fellow-sufferers. Where thousands were saved, millions were ruined and
destroyed. The war was destructive of house, wealth, and life, alike in
town and country. Manifold was the work of the destroying forces, but a
higher force was unceasingly at work to ward off final ruin.

It is a marvellous circumstance, that in the same year in which the war
in Germany expired, the interest of the people in public affairs was so
far developed as to originate the first newspapers. In matters of
faith, moral feeling and the judgments of individuals had for a century
worked, but in politics it was only rarely and feebly that serious
diversity of opinion was ventured to be expressed by private
individuals. It was just when the recruiting drums of the princes were
beating at every muster-place that public opinion began its first
political struggle in the press. On an important social question, the
intellectual leaders of the people rose up against the immorality of
their own Sovereigns. We shall endeavour here briefly to exhibit the
course of public opinion, and show what was stirred up and carried away
by it during the war. It may more especially be discovered in the
literature of the flying-sheets, which contended for and against the
Bohemian King, condemned the _Kipper_ and _Wipper_, and did homage to
the great Gustavus Adolphus, but at last became itself, like the
nation, meagre and powerless.

It was after the beginning of the sixteenth century that the people
began to receive news through the press, in a double form. One of these
forms was a single sheet printed on one side, almost always ornamented
with a woodcut, and after the sixteenth century, with a copper-plate
engraving, under which the explanatory text was generally rendered in
verse. In these flying leaves were communicated the appearances in the
heavens, and comets; very soon also battles by land and sea,
portraitures of the celebrities of the day, and the like. Much of the
good humour, and coarse jests of the Reformation time are to be found
in them. The art of the wood carver was in constant activity, and we
find many characteristic peculiarities of the talents of the great
painters impressed upon it. The other form was that of pamphlets,
especially in quarto, frequently also ornamented with woodcuts. They
gave information of every novelty; coronations, battles, and newly
discovered countries; by them every striking event flitted through the
country. After the Reformation, they increased enormously in number.
All printing-houses gave birth to them under the titles of newspapers,
advices, reports, and couriers. Besides these, there were the small
controversial writings of the Reformers, sermons, discourses, and
songs. Very soon also the Princes began to make use of the invention of
printing, to inform the public of their quarrels, and to gain
partisans. Private individuals whose rights were injured contended with
their opponents, whether city magistrates or foreign rulers, in
pamphlets. During the whole of the sixteenth century the aim of the
small, not theological, literature, was first to impart news, and
afterwards to serve the interests of individuals or princes, or to make
known the views of those in power. The opinions of individuals upon
political affairs were principally conveyed in a form which was then
considered particularly ingenious, as pasquinades or dialogues. These
small news sheets were innumerable, and their spread was rapid; after
the Reformation it became a separate branch of industry. The
booksellers, or as they were then called, stationers, who offered these
newspapers for sale in their shops and stalls, and introduced them to
the markets of foreign cities, made a dangerous competition with the
printers, bookbinders, and illuminators. Important newspapers were
everywhere pirated. Along the great trade and post roads, more
particularly of the Rhine and southern Germany, certain trading and
printing establishments made special gains from the communication of
the daily news; for example, Wendelin Borsch, at the Tiler's Hut in
Nuremberg, about 1571, Michael Enzinger at Cologne, at the end of the
century, and others. These sheets at first were published very
irregularly, but they already contained a correspondence from different
cities, in which not only political, but mercantile intelligence was
given.[32] At last, in 1612, appeared here and there separate newspaper
sheets in numbers, and in a certain degree of continuity. Meanwhile it
had been long the custom of the merchants to make such communications
to their mercantile friends with some regularity, so that there already
existed news-writers who were in the habit of forwarding written
newspapers. This method of spreading intelligence had come to Germany
from Italy. In Venice, from the year 1536, there were _Notizie
Scritte_, written news in successive series, which continued there till
the French Revolution. There also, appeared the first regular newspaper
shortly before 1600, which it is stated took the name of _Gazzetta_
from a little coin which was the cost of the single numbers.

Soon after, the German newspapers began to appear regularly. In 1615
the first weekly newspaper was published at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, by
Egenolf Emmel, bookseller and printer. In opposition to which, in 1616,
the Imperial deputy postmaster Johann van der Brighden, published a
competing paper called 'Political Notices.' From these two undertakings
resulted the oldest German newspapers, the 'Frankfort Journal,' and the
'Oberpostamts Zeitung.'

But these and other weekly papers were for a long time, only news
sheets in which opinions on the facts communicated were carefully
withheld. The great stream of public opinion still continued for two
centuries to run in the old direction; the flying leaves and occasional

At the beginning of the war even the distant readers were compelled to
be violent partisans. Everywhere appeared controversial writings,
opinions, councils, and deliberations. The nation was rent into large
parties by this intellectual strife, and it is instructive to see how
the writings of the disputants stand in exact relation to the success
which their party had achieved. Till the battle of the Weissen Berge
nine tenths of all the narratives and controversial writings are
Protestant; they reached full a thousand in number. Hatred to the
Jesuits blazed fiercely; bitter was the rancour against the Emperor,
and incessant were the cautions against the League. After Prague,
Strasburg was the centre of their warlike activity. Whilst at Prague
the libel-writer von Rörig, as _Huss-redivius_, made his voice heard
vehemently in many 'Political Discourses' against his adversary Sturm:
the _magisters_ of Strasburg, after the fashion of Boccalini, made
accusations against the same opponent, before Apollo and the high court
of Parnassus; but their Apollo had to deliver human and explicit
oracles. The answers in defence are cautious and uncertain, as during
the whole war the Catholic party were generally not a match for the
Protestants in the serious warfare of the pen. But the speedy flight of
the new King of Bohemia suddenly changed the physiognomy of the
literary market. The secret writings obtained as booty from the
Bohemian party were published by their opponents; and about these bulky
quartos there raged for years a battle of petty flying sheets.
Revengeful, and joyfully triumphant, the Imperialists sounded their
pæan. It is true that in their brochures there was still some
moderation, for they were obliged to spare the Lutheran Saxons; but so
much the more irritably did they attack the enemy, in countless
pictorial sheets and satirical verses. Endless and merciless were the
satires on the fugitive winter King, he, the proud and witless one,
with his wife and children, were depicted in every kind of pitiful
situation, seeking their bread, departing in bad waggons, and digging a
grave for themselves.

This strife was interrupted by another, which will ever be of high
interest. It was the storm of the German press against the "_Kipper_
and _Wipper_."

Of all the terrors at the beginning of the war, nothing gave such vague
apprehension to the people, as the sudden depreciation of the coinage.
To the fancy of the suffering generation, the evil became so much the
greater, as in the gloomy frame of mind of that period it appeared to
occur suddenly, and everywhere roused the most frightful passions,
discord in families, and hatred and strife between debtors and
creditors, leaving behind, hunger, poverty, beggary, and immorality. It
made honourable citizens gamblers, drunkards, and profligates, it drove
preachers and schoolmasters from their offices, brought opulent
families to beggary, plunged every government into miserable confusion,
and threatened the dwellers in cities, in a thickly populated country,
with famine.

It was the third year of the war; its flames had already carried
destruction over Bohemia and the Palatinate, and the ruins were still
glowing, on which the Imperial troops erected the cross of the old
faith. A sultry atmosphere loured over the country; throughout the
empire, in every class, men armed themselves, and anxiety for the
future pervaded all. But intercourse with the provinces in which the
war was at first located, was then comparatively small. The countries
exposed to its fury were, with the exception of the Palatinate,
provinces belonging to the Emperor; and on the Elbe and lower Rhine, in
Thuringia, Franconia, and the territories of lower Saxony, it was still
a question whether the danger was approaching home. In August, 1621,
the peasant had the prospect of a moderate harvest; in trade and
commerce there was some degree of stagnation, but there was much of
that excited eagerness which is the natural offspring of a great
defensive movement, and manly youths were more allured than intimidated
by the wild conduct of the soldiery. It had indeed been long remarked,
that there was something unusual about the money which circulated in
the country. The good heavy Imperial coin became more and more scarce,
in its place much new money was current, badly coined, and of a red
colour. The increasing rise in the price of foreign goods appeared
still more strange. Everything became dearer. Whoever wished to make a
present to a godchild, or to pay foreign tradesmen, had to give an
increasing _agio_ for his old pure Joachim's thaler. But in the local
trade, betwixt town and country, the extensive new coinage was taken
without hesitation, indeed it was exchanged or bartered with an
increased activity. The mass of the people did not observe that the
different kinds of coin with which it was the custom to pay, became in
their hands, worthless lead; but the sharper ones, who had an inkling
of the state of things, became, for the most part, accomplices in the
dishonest usury of the Princes. It may be distinctly perceived how the
people came to a knowledge of their situation, and we still feel
dismayed at the sudden terror, anguish, and despair of the masses, and
are struck by the anxieties and manly indignation of the thoughtful;
and in reading the old narratives, we still feel somewhat of the
indignation with which the guilty were regarded. When we consider
the many wonderful errors of public opinion at that time, and the
well-meaning zeal of individuals who gave good counsel, we may be
permitted in this period of calamity and humiliation, to feel a proud
satisfaction at the sagacity with which even then, some men of the
people discovered the ground of the evil, and, in one of the most
difficult national questions, found the right answer, and by it a
remedy, at least for the worst misfortunes. Before we attempt to give a
picture of the "_Kipper_ and _Wipper_" years, we must make some remarks
on the coining of that period.

In the olden time, all technical dexterity was environed with dignity,
secrecy, and an apparatus of forms. Nothing is more characteristic of
the peculiarity of the German nature, than its virtuosoship; even the
most monotonous handicraft was ennobled by an abundance of lively
additions. As soon as the spirit of the artisan was excited by the
genial pleasure of creating, his imagination was occupied with images
and symbols, and he turned his skill dexterously to high, nay even to
holy things. What we have described as applicable to all the
handicrafts of the middle ages, was so especially to the art of
coining. A feeling of his self-importance was strong in the coiner; the
work itself, the handling of the precious metals fresh from the fire,
was considered ennobling. The obscure chemical processes, which were
surrounded, through alchemy, with a wilderness of fantastic forms, had
a far more imposing effect upon the workers, than can be understood by
the rational fabricators of our century. To this was added the
responsibility of the service. When the coiner took the assay weight
out of its beautiful capsule, and placed the little acorn cup on the
artistically worked assay balance, in order to weigh the remnant in it,
he did this with a certain consciousness of superiority over his
fellow-citizens.[33] When he purified the silver assay from lead in the
cupel, and the liquid silver first overflowed, shining with delicate
prismatic colours, and then, the variegated stream being rent, the
bright gleam of the silver passed like lightning through the molten
mass, this silver gleam filled him with reverential astonishment, and
he felt himself in the midst of the mysterious creations of the spirits
of nature, which, whilst he feared, he was yet able to control by the
art of his handicraft, as far as his knowledge reached. After that
period, in the order of things, the coiners formed themselves into a
close corporation, with masters, associates, and apprentices, and held
jealously to their privileges. Whoever was desirous of stamping the
Holy Roman Imperial coin was first obliged to give proof of his free
and honourable lineage, to do lowly service for four years, during this
period to wear, according to custom, a fool's cap, and to allow himself
to be punished and beaten when inexpert or in the wrong; then at last
he was admitted to the business of coining, and entered as an associate
in the brotherhood of Imperial coiners.

But these strict regulations, which were again confirmed to the
brotherhood by the Emperor Maximilian II., in 1571, had even then
ceased to have the effect of making the corporation honourable and
upright. Equally inefficient were the attempts at control, by the
decisions of the Imperial Diet and the Sovereigns. At the inspection of
every piece of coin the master of the mint had with him a warden, who
proved the texture and weight of the coin. The ten Circles of the
Empire held yearly approbation days, in order, mutually, to compare
their coin and to reject the bad; every Circle was to be represented by
a warden-general; for every Circle an appointed number of mints were
established, in which the lesser rulers were to have their money
specially coined: but all these regulations were only imperfectly
carried out.

There were undoubtedly some Sovereigns and mint-masters then in the
country who were faithful, but they were few in number; and generally a
mint-master, who was considered capable by a German Circle, and worked
in a legal mint, was concerned in many strange practices. It was
difficult to exercise control over these imperfect coining proceedings;
the temptations were great, and morality in general much lower than
now. From the Sovereign down to the understrapper and Jewish purveyor,
every one concerned in coining deceived the other. The Sovereign
allowed the master of the mint for a series of years to work and become
rich; he perhaps permitted in silence the coin of the country to be
debased, in order at the right moment to proceed against the guilty,
from whom then he squeezed out by pressure, like a sponge, all that
they had sucked up for many years drop by drop. It did not avail them
that they had long quitted the service, for after many years greedy
justice would reach them: but the mint-master, who was not in the
convenient position of the lion, to be able to secure his booty by a
single stroke of the paw, was in the habit of industriously
overreaching his masters, the purveyors, nay even his cashiers, the
associates, and the apprentices, not to mention the public. The other
assistants did no better; every man's hand was against the other, and
the curse, which according to the proverb lies on the gold of the
German dwarf, appears in the seventeenth century to have depraved all
who transmuted the shining metal into money. The common method of
transacting the business was as follows.

The master of the mint purchased the metal, defrayed the costs of the
stamping, and paid a tax to the Sovereign for every Cologne mark which
he struck, which it appears amounted generally to about four good
groschen: but he had to pay dear for fine silver, and the wages and
other accessories were continually rising in price. If he paid the tax,
from one to two thousand marks, weekly to the lord of the mint, he
concealed from him the fifty marks which he had struck over and above,
and retained the tax upon them for himself; furthermore, he was a sharp
coiner, that is to say, he deducted from the money about half a grain
in the amount of silver required by the law; he always struck a hundred
marks in weight, two ounces too light, which was remarked by no one,
and when he knew that the money was to be sent directly into foreign
countries, especially to Poland, he was bolder in deducting from the
weight. His dealings with the purveyors who procured the metal for him,
were not more upright. There was carried on then, throughout the whole
of Germany, a secret traffic, which was severely prohibited by the law,
and traced with much sagacity by the gate-keepers of the cities, a
traffic in false money. What was acquired by the soldier as booty, or
stolen by the thief from the church, was smelted by the receivers of
stolen goods into flat cakes or conical masses, which in the language
of the trade were called "ingots" and "kings;" whatever was clipped
from the money in diminishing the proper quantity of silver, or had
otherwise to be carefully consigned under a false name, was poured out
of the smelting crucible over moist birchen-twigs, and thus granulated:
but besides this, by being incessantly bought up, the good coin was
exchanged for bad, the small money-changers, most of them wandering
Jews, journeyed from village to village far across the frontiers of the
German Empire, and collected, as the ragmen do now, their wares from
the soldiers, countrymen, and beggars. All the medals of distinguished
persons, all coats-of-arms and inscriptions, horse and man, wolves,
sheep and bears, thalers and hellers, the saints of Cologne and Treves,
and the medallions of the heretic Luther, were bought up for the mint,
collected and exchanged. The concealed wares were then packed into a
vessel with ginger, pepper, and tartar, and paid toll duty as white
lead, wrapped up in bales of cloth and frankincense. There were
travelling waggons with false bottoms, which were specially prepared
for such transports. A still better safeguard was an ecclesiastic as a
travelling companion; but the best of all was a trumpeter, who gave the
trader the appearance of being a prince's courier. If it happened that
a distinguished lord was travelling towards the same country, it was
expedient to bribe him, for he and his suite, their waggons and horses,
were never examined at the city gates. Sometimes the agent disguised
himself as a distinguished lord or soldier, and caused the burden
to be conveyed by the trooper's horses or his servants. Sometimes the
mint-master was obliged to travel to the frontier to meet the agent,
under the pretext of paying a visit to some friend. Then the costly
goods were carried far from the dwellings of men, across lonely heaths,
or through the clearings of a wood, from one hand to another, on a
merchant's parole.

Meanwhile the petty Jewish dealer carried at night, along byways over
the frontier, his wallet full of old groschen, in the twofold fear of
robbers and of the guardians of the law. The wallet, the broad-brimmed
hat, and the yellow cloth border to the coat, the mark of a Jew of the
Empire, was frequently seen at the mint. There existed between the
dealer and the mint-master a confidential business connection,
certainly not without a mental reservation; for it occasionally
happened to the Jew that false thalers were found in one of the
hundred marks which he delivered in thalers, or that the wallet
together with the coin had become moist during the journey, which added
some half-ounces to their weight, or that fine white sand became
mingled with the granulated silver, and was weighed with it. For this
the mint-master indemnified himself, by hanging the scales so that one
side of the beam was shorter than the other, by causing the scales to
spring up and descend slowly, notwithstanding the perpendicular
position of the balance, in order to make the wares some half-ounces
lighter, or by falsifying the weights altogether. What the masters did
not do, the apprentices of the mint ventured upon. However cautious the
purveyor might be during the smelting assay, they understood how to mix
copper dust with the silver already weighed, in order to make the assay
worse than it really was. Such was the state of the traffic even at
those mints where there was still some respect for the law.

Besides the licensed coiners, there were others in most of the ten
Circles, of easier conscience and bolder practice; not exactly false
coiners in our sense of the term, although this was carried on with
great recklessness; but nobles and corporations who had the right of
coining, and prized it highly as a source of income; for, contrary to
the Imperial decrees, which imposed upon them the duty of having their
money coined in one of the approved mints of the Circle, they coined
actively in their own territory. Sometimes they let their right of
coining for a year's rent, nay, they even disposed of their mints to
other princes as a speculation. These irregular coining places were
called hedge mints, and in them a systematic corruption of money took
place. No inquiry was made as to the right of the coiners; whoever knew
how to manage fire and metal, engaged in this kind of work. There was
little regard for the prescribed fineness of texture, and weight of the
money; it was coined with false stamps, and the head of the ruler, with
the date of a better period, were stamped on light coin; nay, in
regular false coining, the stamps of foreign mints were often
counterfeited. The brightness of the new coin was removed by tartar or
lead water; and all this took place under the protection of the
Sovereign. The disposal of the money thus coined required all the
cunning and circumspection of the agents, and a line of industry was in
this way formed, which we may presume occupied many intermediate hands.
Thundering decrees had been fulminated for seventy years at the
Imperial Diets and Assemblages of the circles, against the hedge mints,
but without success. Indeed, after the introduction of good Imperial
money, they became more numerous and active, for the work paid better.

Such was the state of things even before the year 1618. The sovereigns,
small and great, required more and more money. Then some of the Princes
of the Empire--the Brunswickers, alas! were among the first--began to
outdo the proceedings of the most notorious of the hedge mints; they
caused the coin of the country, both heavy and light, to be struck of a
bad mixture of silver and copper, instead of silver, and soon it was
only copper silvered. At last, as for example at Leipzig, a small
angular coin was issued by the city, no longer of copper, which was of
higher value, but of pure tin. This discovery of making money at little
cost spread like a pestilence. From both of the Circles of Saxony it
spread to those of the Rhine and Southern Germany. Hundreds of new
mints were established. Wherever a ruined tower appeared firm enough
for a forge and bellows, wherever there was abundance of wood for
burning, and a road to bring good money to the mint and carry away bad,
there a band of coiners nestled. Electors and nobles, ecclesiastical
communities and cities outvied each other in making copper money; even
the people were infected with it. For a century the art of making gold,
and treasure digging had occupied the fancies of the people; now the
happy time appeared to have arrived, when every fish-kettle could be
turned into silver in the coiners' scales. A mania for money-making
began. Pure silver and old silver gilt became continually and
strikingly dearer in mercantile traffic, so that at last it was
necessary to pay four, five or more new gulden for one old silver
gulden, and the price of goods and the necessaries of life slowly rose;
but that signified little to the multitude, so long as the new money,
the production of which seemed to increase without end, was willingly
taken. The nation, already excited, became at last madly intoxicated.
Every one thought they had the opportunity of becoming rich without
labour; all applied themselves to trafficking in money. The merchant
had money dealings with the artisan, the artisan with the peasant. A
general craving, chaffering, and overreaching prevailed. The modern
swindling in funds and on 'Change, gives only a weak notion of the
proceedings of that time. Whoever had debts hastened to pay them;
whoever could get money from an accommodating coiner, in exchange for
an old brewing vessel,[34] could buy therewith house and fields;
whoever had to pay wages, salaries, or fees, found it convenient to do
so in plated copper. There was little work done in the cities, and only
for very high pay. Whoever had any old thalers, gold gulden, or other
good Imperial money lying in their chests as a store in case of need,
as was then the case with almost every one, drew out his treasure and
was delighted to exchange it for new money, as the old thalers, in a
most remarkable way, appeared to be worth four, nay even six and ten
times as much as formerly. That was a jolly time. If wine and beer
were dearer than usual, they were not so in the same proportion as
the old silver money. Part of the gains were jovially spent in the
public-house. Every one was disposed to give, in those times. The Saxon
cities readily agreed, at the Diet at Torgau, to a great addition to
the land tax, as money was to be obtained everywhere in superfluity.
People also were very ready to contract debts, for money was offered
everywhere, and business could be done with it on favourable
conditions; great obligations therefore were undertaken on all sides.
Thus a powerful stream carried away the people to destruction.

But a counter stream arose, first gentle, then continually stronger.
Those were first to complain who had to live on a fixed income, the
parish priests most loudly, the schoolmasters and poor misanthropes
most bitterly. Those who had formerly lived respectably on two hundred
gulden, good Imperial coin, now only received two hundred light gulden,
and if, as often undoubtedly happened, the salary of some were raised
about a quarter in amount, they could not even with this addition
defray half, nay even the fourth part, of the necessary expenses. Upon
this unprecedented occasion the ecclesiastics referred to the Bible,
and found there an indisputable objection to all hedge minting, and
began to preach from their pulpits against light money. The
schoolmasters starved in the villages as long as they could, then ran
away and increased the train of vagabonds, beggars, and soldiers; the
servants next became discontented. The wages, which averaged ten gulden
a year, hardly sufficed to pay for their shoes. In every house there
were quarrels between them and their masters and mistresses. Men and
maid servants ran away, the men enlisted and the maids endeavoured to
set up for themselves. Meanwhile the youths dispersed from the schools
and universities, few parents among the citizens being sufficiently
well off to be able to support their sons entirely during the period of
education. There were however a multitude of scholarships founded by
benevolent people for poor students. The value of these now suddenly
vanished, the credit of the poor scholars in foreign towns was soon
exhausted, many found it impossible to maintain themselves; they sank
under poverty and the temptations of that bloody period. We may still
read in the autobiographies of many respectable theologians, what
distress they then suffered. One supported life in Vienna, by cutting
daily his master's tallies for a four-penny loaf; another was able to
earn eighteen batz[35] in the week, by giving lessons, the whole of
which he was obliged to spend on dry bread.

There was increasing discontent. First among the capitalists who lived
on the interest of the money which they had lent, which was then in
middle Germany five, or occasionally six, per cent. For a time they
were much envied as wealthy people, but now their receipts were often
hardly sufficient to maintain life. They had lent thousands of good
Imperial thalers, and now a creditor would pay them on the nail a
thousand thalers in new money. They demanded back their good old money;
they squabbled and laid their complaints before the courts; but the
money which they had received back bore the image of the Sovereign and
the old mark of value; it was legally stamped money, and the debtor
could in justice allege that he had received similar money, both as
interest and capital and for labour. Thus there arose numberless
lawsuits; and the lawyers were in great perplexity. At last the cities
and even the Sovereigns were embarrassed. They had willingly issued the
new money, and many of them had coined it recklessly. But now for all
their taxes and imposts they obtained only bad money, a hundred pounds
of plated copper instead of a hundred pounds of silver, at the same
time everything had become dear, even to them, and a portion of their
expenses had to be paid in good silver. Then the governments attempted
to assist themselves by new frauds. First they endeavoured to retain
the good money by compulsion; now they suddenly lowered the value of
their own money, and again threatened punishment and compulsion to all
who gave less value for it. But the false money still continued to sink
under the regulated value. Then some governments refused to take for
the payment of taxes and imposts, the money of their own country which
they themselves had coined. They declined taking back what they had
stamped in the last year. Now for the first time the people discovered
the whole danger of their position. A general storm broke loose against
the new money; it sank even in daily traffic to a tenth of its nominal
value. The new hedge mints were cried down as nests of the devil; the
mint-masters and their agents, the money-changers, and whoever else
dealt in money concerns, were the general objects of detestation. Then
it was that they obtained in Germany the popular names of _Kipper_ and
_Wipper_. These are Lower Saxon words: _kippen_ comes equally from the
fraudulent weighing, as from the clipping of the money; and _wippen_
from throwing the heavy money out of the scales.[36] Satirical songs
were sung about them; it was supposed that their names were heard in
the call of the quail, and the mob cried out after them "_kippe di
wipp_," as they did "_hep_" after the Jews. In many places the people
combined together and stormed their dwellings. For many a year after
the terrors of the long war, it was considered a disgrace to have
acquired money in the _Kipper-time_. Everywhere disorders and tumults
arose; the bakers would no longer bake, and their shops were destroyed;
the butchers would no longer slaughter, on account of the prescribed
tax; the miners, soldiers, and students raged about in a state of wild
uproar; the city communities, deep in debt, became bankrupt, as for
example the wealthy Leipzig. The old joints of the burgher societies
cracked and threatened to burst asunder. The small literature urged on
and excited the temper of the public mind, and was itself still further
excited by the increasing discontent. The street songs began it, and
the pictorial flying-sheets followed. The _Kippers_ were unweariedly
portrayed with the flames of hell round their heads, their feet
standing on an insecure ball, surrounded by numerous gloomy emblems,
amongst which the cord and the lurking raven were not absent; or in
their mints collecting and carrying off money, and in contrast to them
the poor, begging; the different classes were depicted, soldiers,
citizens, widows and orphans, paying to the money-changers their hard
earnings; the jaws of hell appeared open, and the changers were
assiduously shoved down by devils; all this was adorned, according to
the taste of the times, with allegorical figures and Latin devices,
made comprehensible to every one by indignant couplets in German.

As among the people, so also among the educated, a fierce storm began
to rage. The parish priests were loud in their invectives and
denunciations, not only from the pulpit but also in flying-sheets. A
brochure literature began, which swelled up like a sea. One of the
first that was written against the new money was by W. Andreas Lampe,
pastor at Halle. In a powerful treatise, 'On the last brood and fruit
of the devil, Leipzig, 1621,' he proved, by numerous citations from the
Old and New Testament, that all trades and professions in the world,
even that of an executioner, were by divine ordinance; but the _Kipper_
was of the devil, whereupon he characterizes in some cutting passages
the mischief which they had caused. He had to suffer severe trials, and
though he loyally spared the authorities, yet he was threatened with
proceedings, so that he found it necessary to obtain from the sheriffs'
court at Halle a justification. He was soon followed by many of his
clerical brethren. The controversial writings of these ecclesiastics
appear to us clumsy productions; but it is well to examine them with
attention, for the Protestant priesthood are always representatives of
the cultivation and the rectitude of the people.

The preachers exorcised the evil one, and the theological faculty soon
followed with the heavy artillery of their Latin arguments, and how
bitter was the priestly anger, was shown for example by the consistory
of Wittemberg, when they refused the Lord's Supper and honourable
burial to the Kippers. Lastly we have the lawyers with their questions,
informations, detailed opinions on coining and recapitulations. The
answers which they gave in thick brochures were almost always very
diffuse, and their arguments frequently subtile; still they were
necessary, for the disputes concerning _meum_ and _tuum_ between
creditor and debtor appeared interminable, and numberless lawsuits
threatened to prolong insupportably the sufferings of the people. The
principal subjects of investigation were, whether those who had lent
good money were to be repaid capital and interest in light money; and
again, whether those who had lent light money had a claim for the
repayment of the full capital in good money. It must be remarked here
that, in many cases which the law and the acuteness of lawyers did not
reach, the dispute was ended by that true feeling of equity which was
inherent in the people. For when the governments were generally bad,
and legal justice was very costly and difficult to be obtained, much
had to be accomplished by the practical sense of individuals. A little
flying leaf, in which is related how the sound common sense of the
village magistrate administered justice, was certainly not less useful
than a massive half-Latin, half-German "_Informatio_."

In the flood of paper, which gives us information concerning the
excitement of that period, there are certain sheets which more
especially arrest our attention--the utterances of educated and
experienced men, who know how to tell shortly and effectively in a
popular form, from whence it all arose. Some of these flying-sheets,
written at different periods of the Thirty years' war, have been
preserved to us, in which we may even now behold with admiration, both
energy of character, power of language, and genuine statesmanlike
discernment. In vain do we inquire for the name of the author. We will
only mention here one of these writings. Its title is, 'Expurgatio, or
Vindication of the poor _Kipper_ and _Wipper_, given by Kniphardum
Wipperium, 1622. Fragfurt.'

The author has chosen the valiant Lampe as the object of his attack, as
the cautious zeal of the Saxon ecclesiastic whose distinguished
colleagues were accused of being Wippers--for example, the notorious
court preacher Hoe, the subservient tool of the Elector--had excited
the indignation of a powerful mind. A manly judgment, and a very just
democratic tone appears in the strong expressions of this writing. We
may judge of its peculiar tenour from the following passages:--

"I have never yet seen a single penny, and much less an inferior coin,
on which was to be found the names, arms, or stamp of _Kipper_ and
_Wipper_, still less any inscription from the new quail call,
_kippediwipp_. But one may truly see thereupon a well-known stamp or
image, and the _Kipper_ or _Wipper_ will not appear even in the
smallest letter of the alphabet.

"But if Herr Magister does not rightly understand the matter, let him
ask who has bought the old saucepans at the highest price, in order to
assist the coining; having done so, Herr Magister will truly learn who
has coined the copper and tin money. For truly so many old pans in
which so much good gruel or millet pap has been made, and so many
coppers in which so much good beer has been brewed, are melted down and
coined, and this not by the vulgar _Kipper_, but by the _Arch kipper_.
For the others have no regale to coin, and if they, like the blood and
deer hounds, have scented and hunted out such things, they have done so
by the command of others, and thus are not to be so severely condemned
as those (let them call themselves what they may) who have the regalie,
and misuse it to the perceptible damage of the German States.

"No one now-a-days will bell the cat, or, like John the Baptist, tell
the truth to Herod. Every one heaps abuse upon the poor rogues, the
_Kippers_ and _Wippers_, who nevertheless do not carry on this business
by their own authority, for all that they do takes place with the
knowledge, consent, and approbation of the government. And alas, they
have now-a-days many competitors. For as soon as any one gets a penny
or a groschen that is a little better than another, he forthwith makes
with it usurious profit. Therefore, as experience teaches, it comes to
pass as follows: the doctors abandon their invalids and think far more
of usury than of Hippocrates and Galen; the lawyers forget their legal
documents, lay aside their practice, and taking usury in hand, let who
will peruse Bartholus and Balbus. The same is also done by other men of
learning, who study arithmetic more than rhetoric and philosophy; the
merchants, shop-keepers, and other traders acquire nowadays their
greatest gains by their hardwares which are marked by the mint stamp.

"From this we may perceive that the 'unhanged, thievish,
oath-forgetting, dishonourable,' _Kippers_ and _Wippers_, though not
indeed to be quite exculpated, are not so much to be condemned as if
they were the _causa principalis_ of the ruin of the German States. I
have, alas! assuredly great fears, that if once there is a delivery to
the devil or hangman, the _Kippers_ and _Wippers_, changers and
usurers, Jews and Jew associates, helpers and helpers' helpers, one
thief with another, will all be hurled off to the devil, or be hung up
at the same time together, like yonder host with his companions. Yet
with a difference. For their principals and patrons will justly have
the prerogative and pre-eminence, and indeed some of them have been
already sent there beforehand. The others will shortly follow to the
above-mentioned place, and it will then avail nothing on this journey
downward, whether one treats them with _carmina_ or _crimina_, whether
one passes judgment on them as criminals, or gives them laudatory
poems--_facilis descensus Averni_--they will easily find the way, for
they need no good fortune for that; the devil will couple them all with
one cord, be the rogues ever so big. _Fiat_."

It is not improbable that a similar view of their social prospects in
another world was impressed upon the rulers from many quarters. At all
events, even they discovered that they could only be saved by the most
speedy help; nothing would avail them but the reduction and hasty
withdrawal of the new coinage, and a return to the good old Imperial
coin. Thus the first fears of the princes and cities caused them to
depreciate their new money, and to make use of these verdicts in order
to express their abhorrence--not of very old date--of the bad coin, and
they forthwith had the coin stamped honourably of due weight and alloy,
as prescribed by the Imperial law. In order to put a stop to the
excessive increase of prices, they hastened to put forth a tariff of
goods and wages, which decided the highest price to be permitted. It is
clear that this latter remedy could not be of more lasting use than the
famous edict of Diocletian, thirteen hundred years before. The
compulsion which, for example, it exercised over the city weekly
markets, day labourers, and guilds, was only a temporary help for
restoring the overflowing stream to its old bed.

This state of intoxication, terror, and fury was followed by a dreary
reaction. Men gazed on one another as after a great pestilence. Those
who had rested secure in their opulence had sunk into ruin. Many
worthless adventurers now strutted, as persons of distinction, in
velvet and silk. The whole nation had become poorer. There had not been
any great war for a long time, and many millions in silver and gold,
the savings of the inferior classes, had been inherited in city and
village from father to son; the greater part of these savings had
vanished in the bad times; it had been squandered on carousals,
frittered away on trifles, and at last expended for daily food. But
this was not the greatest evil; it was a still greater, that at this
time the citizen, and countryman had been forcibly torn from the path
of their honest daily labour. Frivolity, an unsettled existence, and a
reckless egotism, had taken possession of them. The destroying powers
of war had sent forth their evil spirits to loosen the firm links of
burgher society, and to accustom a peaceful, upright, and laborious
people to the sufferings and mal-practices of an army which shortly
overran all Germany.

The period from 1621 to 1623 was henceforth called the "_Kipper and
Wipper_" time. The confusion, the excitement, the trafficking, and the
flying-sheet literature lasted till the year 1625. The lessons which
the princes had learnt from the consequences of their flagitious
actions did not avail them against later temptations. Even at the end
of the seventeenth century it seems to have been impossible for them
entirely to avoid hedge mints, and the continual recurrence of a
depreciation of money.

Whilst Tilly was conquering Lower Saxony, and Wallenstein made great
havoc in Northern Germany, small literature flowed in an under-current.
After every engagement, and every capture of a city, there appeared
copper engravings, with a text which described the position of the
troops and the appearance of the city; irregular newspapers, and songs
of lament conveyed the information of the advance of the Imperialists,
and the destruction of the Mansfelders. In the midst of all this the
people were dismayed by terrible decrees of the Emperor, who now from
his secure position threw over the evangelicals, or compelled them by
force to return to his Church, in spite of the fruitless intercessions
of the Elector of Saxony. The Elector at last authorized the
publication of a defence of the Augsburg confession, against the
attacks of the Catholic theologians; this comprehensive work, called,
'The necessary Defence of the Apple of the Eye,' written in 1628,
called forth immediately a theological war; both opponents and allies
hastened in crowds to the field. 'Spectacles for the Evangelical Apple
of the Eye;' 'A sharp round Eye on the Romish Pope;' 'Who has struck
the Calf in the Eye? The Catholic Oculist or Coucher;' 'Venetian
Spectacles on Lutheran Nose,' &c. These are specimens of the defiant
titles of the most readable of the controversial writings. But this
literary strife was drowned in the burst of loud outcries against
Wallenstein, which pierced from Pomerania through all the German
States, on account of the battle near Stralsund, and his shameful
conduct towards the Pomeranian Duke and his country, and finally the
horrible ill treatment of the men and women of Pasewalk. Again these
lamentations changed into a shout of joy from all the Protestants.
Again hope and confidence revived; this time it was a man, whom the
nation, with the genuine German longing to love and honour, welcomed
with shouts of jubilee. What had been wanting to the Germans for a
century, came to them from the North, an idol and a hero. But he was a

Much of that halo of light still surrounds the figure of Gustavus
Adolphus, which distinguished him in the eyes of his cotemporaries so
immeasurably above all other generals and princes. It is not his
victories, nor his knightly death, nor the circumstance that he
appeared as the last help to a despairing people, which makes him
the one prominent figure in the long struggle. It was the magic
of his great nature, as he rode over the field of battle, firm,
self-contained, and as confident as unerring; from head to foot he was
dignity, decision, and nervous energy. If one examines more nearly, one
is astonished at the strong contrasts which combined in this character
to form an admirable unity. No General was more systematic, fertile in
plans, or greater in the science of war. Discipline in the army, order
in the commissariat, a firm basis, and secure lines of retreat in every
strategical operation, these were the requisites he brought with him to
the conduct of the German War. But even he, the powerful prince of war,
was driven by an irresistible necessity from his good system, but with
the whole power of his being he incessantly stemmed the tide of the
wild marauding war that raged around him. And yet this same systematic
man bore within him a rash spirit of daring against the greatest
hazards; his bearing in the battle was wonderfully elevated, like that
of a noble battle steed. His eyes lighted up, his figure became more
lofty, and a smile played on his countenance. Again, how wonderful
appears to men, the union in him of frank honesty and wary policy, of
upright piety and worldly wisdom, of high-minded self-sacrifice and
reckless ambition, of heartfelt humanity and stern severity! And all
this was enlivened by an inward confidence and freedom of mind, which
enabled him to look in a humorous point of view on the distracted
condition of the decaying Princes of the country. The irresistible
power which he exercised over all who came under his influence,
consisted principally in the freshness of his nature, his surpassing
good humour, and where it was necessary, an ironical bonhomie. The way
in which he managed the proud and wavering Princes, and the hesitating
cities of the Protestant party, was not to be surpassed; he was never
weary of exciting them to war, and alliance; he ever reverted to the
same theme, whether to the Envoy of the Brandenburger, or when
flattering the Nurembergers, or chiding the Frankforters.

He was closely allied, both by race and faith, to the Northern Germans;
but he was a foreigner. This was thoroughly and constantly felt by the
Princes. It was not alone distrust of his superior power which, till
the bitterest necessity compelled them to union, kept aloof from him
the irresolute, but it was the discovery in him of a new master; they
revolted at the idea of this mighty non-German power, which so suddenly
and threateningly arose in the empire. There was still to be found in a
few of them somewhat of Luther's national idea of the empire. They had
no hesitation in negotiating with France, Denmark, the Netherlands, nay
with the unreliable Bethlem Gabor; all these were outside the Empire.
Within its boundaries there was the fanatical Emperor and his
insupportable General; they were new people to them, who might pass
away as rapidly as they had become great; but the sovereignty of the
German Empire was old, and they were the pillars of it. This conception
was no longer in accordance with the highest policy, for the German
Emperor had become the most mortal enemy of the German Empire. But such
a feeling is not deserving of contempt; and the nation as well as most
of the Princes, felt to the heart's core that their quarrel with the
Emperor was in fact a domestic one, in which foreigners should have no
concern. But the people, blinded by their delight in the dazzling
heroism of the Protestant King, lost sight of these considerations. For
two years public opinion paid homage to him, as it has never done
since, except to the Great Frederic of Prussia. Every word, every
little anecdote was carried from city to city, and loud acclamations
greeted every success of his arms. It was not only the zealous
Protestants who thus felt; even in the Catholic armies and in the
states of the League, the scorn was quickly silenced which had been
called forth by the landing of the "Snow King," and the number of his
admirers continually increased. Many characteristic traits of him are
preserved to us; almost every conversation that he had with Germans,
gives an opportunity of discovering something of his nature. We will
give here a short conversation, after his landing in Pomerania,
recorded by a clever negotiator.

The Elector of Brandenburg had sent his plenipotentiary, Von
Wilmersdorff, to persuade the King to conclude an armistice with the
Emperor; he further wished to negotiate a peace between them, although
Wallenstein had already deprived him of his dominions, and the Emperor
had shown him every kind of disregard. The conversation of the King
with the Envoy gives a good picture of his method of negotiating. He is
here concise, firm, and straightforward, in spite of some mental
reservation; and so perfectly self-possessed that he can allow his
lively temperament to break forth without danger. The Envoy relates as

"After his Kingly Majesty had listened graciously to me, though when I
came to the proposition of an armistice he rather smiled, he, no one
being present, answered me circumstantially.

"'I had expected a different kind of embassy from my loving cousin;
that is to say, that he would rather have come to meet me and united
himself with me for his own welfare; and not that my loving cousin
should be so weak as to lose this opportunity so providentially sent by
God. My loving cousin will not comprehend the clear and evident
intentions of his enemies; he does not discern the difference between
pretexts and truth, nor consider that when this pretence shall cease,
that is to say, when they have no longer anything more to fear from me,
another will soon be found to establish himself in my loving cousin's

"'I had not expected that my loving cousin would have been so much
terrified at the war as to remain inactive notwithstanding all the
consequences to himself. Or does not my cousin yet know, that the
intention of the Emperor and his allies is not to desist till the
evangelical religion is entirely rooted out of the empire? my loving
cousin must be prepared either to deny his religion or abandon his
country. Does he think that anything else can be obtained by prayers,
entreaties, or the like means? For God's sake let him reflect a little,
and for once take _mascula consilia_. You see how this excellent prince
the Duke of Pomerania was in the most innocent way,--having really
committed no offence but only peaceably drunk his beer,--brought into
the most lamentable condition, and how wonderfully he was saved under
God's providence, _fato quodam necessario_--for he was constrained to
do so--by making terms with me. What he did from necessity my loving
cousin may do willingly.

"'I cannot withdraw, _jacta est alea, transivimus Rubiconem_. I do not
seek my own advantage in this business; I gain nought but the security
of my kingdom; beyond this I have nothing but expenses, trouble,
labour, and danger to body and soul. They have occasioned me enough; in
the first place they have twice sent help to my enemies the Poles, and
endeavoured to drive me away; then they have endeavoured to possess
themselves of the harbours of the Baltic, whereby I could well perceive
what their intentions towards me were. My loving cousin the Elector is
in a similar case, and it is now time that he should open his eyes and
give up somewhat of his easy life, that he may no longer be a
Stadtholder of the Emperor, nay even an Imperial servant in his own
country: "Qui se fait brebis le loup le mange."

"'This is now precisely the best opportunity, when your country is free
from Imperial soldiers, to garrison and defend your fortresses. If you
will not do this, deliver over one to me, if it be only Küstrim. I will
defend it, and you may then remain in the inactivity which your Prince
so dearly loves.

"'What other will you do? For I declare to you distinctly, I will not
hear of neutrality, my loving cousin must be either friend or foe. When
I come to your frontier you must show yourselves either cold or warm.
This is a struggle between God and the devil; if my loving cousin will
hold to God, let him unite with me; but if he would rather hold to the
devil, he must henceforth fight against me, _tertium non dabitur_, of
that he may be assured.

"'Take this commission upon you to inform my loving cousin secretly of
it, for I have none with me whom I can spare to send to him. If my
loving cousin will treat with me, I will see if I can go to him myself;
but with his present arrangements I will have nothing to do.

"'My loving cousin trusts neither in God nor to his good friends. It
has gone ill with him therefore in Prussia and this country. I am the
devoted servant of my loving cousin, and love him from my heart: my
sword shall be at his service, and it shall preserve him in his
sovereignty and to his people, but he must do his part also.

"'My loving cousin has great interest in this dukedom of Pomerania;
this will I also defend for his advantage, but on the same condition as
in the book of Ruth the next inheritor is commanded to take Ruth for
his wife, so must my loving cousin take to him this Ruth; that is,
unite himself with me in this righteous business if he wishes to
inherit the country. If not, I here declare that he shall never obtain

"'I am not disinclined to peace, and have conformed myself to it
contentedly. I know well that the chances of war are doubtful; I have
experienced that, in the many years in which I have carried on war with
various fortune. But as I have now, by God's grace, come so far, no one
can counsel me to withdraw, not even the Emperor himself if he were to
make use of his reason.

"'I might perhaps allow of an armistice for a month. It may appear
fitting to me that my loving cousin should mediate. But he must place
himself in a position, arms in hand, otherwise all his mediation will
avail nothing. Some of the Hanse towns are ready to unite with me. I
only wait for some one in the Empire to put himself prominently at the
head. What might not the electors of Saxony and Brandenburg together
with these cities, accomplish? Would to God that there were a Maurice!'

"Thereupon I replied that I had no commands from his Electoral Highness
to confer with his Majesty, touching an armed alliance. But in my poor
opinion, I doubted much whether his Electoral Highness would be able to
come to an understanding without detriment to his honour and truth,
_salvo honore et fide sua_.

"Then his Majesty interposed promptly: 'Yes, they will honour you when
they have deprived you of your land and people. The Imperialists will
keep faith with you as they have kept the capitulation.'

"I: 'It is necessary to look to the future, and consider how all will
fall to ruin if the undertaking does not prosper.'

"The King: 'That will happen if you remain inactive, and would have
done so already if I had not come. My loving cousin ought to do as I
have done, and commend the result to God. I have not lain on a bed for
fourteen days. I might have spared myself this trouble and sat at home
with my wife if I had had no greater considerations.'

"I: 'As your Kingly Majesty is content that his Electoral Highness
should become mediator, you must at least allow his Electoral Highness
to remain neutral.'

"The King: 'Yes, till I come to his country. Such an idea is mere
chaff, which the wind raises and blows away. _What kind of a thing is
that Neutrality? I do not understand it!_'

"I: 'Yet your Kingly Majesty understood it well in Prussia, where you
yourself suggested it to his Electoral Highness and to the city of

"The King: 'Not to the Elector, but certainly to the city of Dantzic,
for it was to my advantage.'

"After this he returned again to the subject of the Duke of Pomerania,
saying that the good prince had been well content with him. He would
have restored him Stralsund, Rügen, Usedom, Wollin, and all the rest.
The Duke had desired that his Majesty should be his father. 'But I,'
said his Majesty, 'answered, I would rather be his son, as he has no

"Thereupon I answered: 'Yes, Kingly Majesty, that might very well be,
if his Electoral Highness could only maintain the law of primogeniture
in Pomerania.'

"The King: 'Yes, that may be very easily maintained by my loving
cousin; but he must defend it, and not, like Esau, sell it for a mess
of pottage.'"

Thus far goes the narrative.

When the great King, the lord of half Germany, sank into the dust in
battle, the wail of lamentation broke forth in all the Protestant
territories. Funeral services were performed in the towns and country,
endless elegies poured forth; even the enemy concealed their joy under
a manly sympathy, which at that time was seldom accorded to opponents.

His death was considered as a national misfortune; the deliverer and
the saviour of the people was lost: we also, whether Catholic or
Protestant, should not only regard with heartfelt sympathy that pure
hero life, which in the prime of its strength was so suddenly
extinguished, but we should also contemplate with the deepest gratitude
the influence of the King upon the German war; for he had, in a time of
desperation, defended that which Luther had attained for the whole
nation,--freedom of soul, and capacity for the development of national
strength against the most fearful enemy of the German national
existence, against a crushing despotism in Church and State. But we
must also observe concerning him, that the fate which he met strikes us
as more peculiarly tragical because he drew it upon himself. History
makes us acquainted with some characters which, after mighty deeds, are
suddenly struck down at the height of their fame by a rapid change of
fate in the midst of powerful but unaccomplished conception. Such
heroes have a popular mixture of qualities of soul, which make them the
privileged favourites both of posterity and art. Such was the case with
the almost fabulous hero, the great Alexander; and thus it was, in a
more limited sphere, with smaller means, with the Swedish King Gustavus
Adolphus: but however accidental the fever or the bullet which carried
them off may appear to us, their destruction arose from their own
greatness. The conqueror of Asia had become an Asiatic despot before he
died; the deliverer of Germany was shot by an Imperial mercenary when
he was rushing through the dust of the battle-field, not like a General
of the seventeenth century, but like a "Viking" of the olden time, who
fought their battles in wild excitement under the protection of the
battle-maidens of Odin. Often already had the incautious heroism of the
King led him into rash daring and useless danger, and long had his
faithful adherents feared that he would at some time meet his end thus.
It was a wise policy which led him to establish himself on the German
coast, in order to secure to his Sweden the dominion of the Baltic,
also to draw the sea-ports to his interests, and to desire firm points
of support on the Oder, Elbe, and Weser. But what duty did he owe to
the German Empire, whose own Emperor wished to suppress the national
life and popular development by Roman money, and calling thither hordes
of soldiers from half Europe? When Gustavus Adolphus conceived the idea
of making himself lord paramount over the German Princes, when he
proceeded to form an hereditary power for himself in Germany, he was no
longer the great cotemporary of Richelieu, but again the descendant of
an old Norman chieftain. It is possible that the power of the man,
during a longer life and after many victories, might have brought under
his sway, with or without an Imperial throne, the greater part of
Germany; but that Sweden, the foundation of his power, was not in a
position to exercise a lasting supremacy over Germany, a small distant
country over a larger, must have been obvious even then to the weakest
politician. The King might still for some years longer have sacrificed
the peasant sons of Sweden on the German battle-fields, and corrupted
the Swedish nobility by German plunder; but he could not build up an
enduring dynasty for both people, whatever his genius might have
accomplished for a time. Men of ordinary powers would soon have
restored things to their natural condition. We are therefore of
opinion, that he died just when his lofty desires were beginning to
contend against a fundamental law of the new state life, and we may
assume that even a longer life of success would not have made much
alteration in our position. When he died, his natural heir in Germany
was already twelve years of age: this heir was Frederic William, the
great Elector of Brandenburg. Gustavus Adolphus was the last but one of
the northern princes to whom the old Scandinavian expedition to the
south proved fatal. Charles XII., dying before Friedrichshall, was the

As the funeral lament died away in Germany, there began a reaction in
public opinion against the foreigners. The Catholic faction had, during
the whole war, the doubtful advantage that their quarrels and private
dissensions were not brought to light by the press, but their
Protestant opponents were broken into parties. It was more especially
after Saxony, in 1635, had endeavoured, at Prague, to make an
inglorious reconciliation with the Emperor by a separate peace, that
there arose both in the north and south an Imperial and a Swedish
party, and much weak dissension besides. The French endeavoured, but
without success, to gain by means of the press, adherents on the Rhine.
Bernhard von Weimar found warm admirers, who foresaw in him the
successor of Gustavus Adolphus. He possessed great talents as a
General, and some of the winning qualities of the great King; but he
was only in one respect his successor, that he carried on in the most
dangerous way the too great political daring of his instructor. He
wished to make use of, and at the same time deceive, a foreign power
which was greater and stronger than himself: it was an unequal
struggle, and he, as the weaker party, was soon put aside by France,
and these foreigners possessed themselves of his political legacy, his
fortress and his army.

While love and hate were thus divided in this gloomy period, there
arose among the better portion of the nation a characteristic
patriotism, which the German people, in the midst of their great need
and sufferings, opposed to the egotistic interests of the rulers who
helped to destroy each other. There no longer existed any party to
which a wise man could from his heart wish success. Differences of
faith had diminished, and the soldiers complained, without scruple, of
confession. Then began for the first time a new political system,
called a constitution founded on reason, in opposition to the reckless
selfishness of the rulers. But even this constitutional principle, the
basis of which was the advantage of the whole, as it was then
understood, was still without greatness of conception or any deep moral
purport; and there was no repugnance to the employment of the worst
means in carrying it out. Still it was an advance. Even the peaceful
citizen, after eighteen years of troubles, was obliged to take an
interest in this political system. The character of the ruling powers
and their interests became everywhere a subject of deliberation. Every
one was terrified out of his provincial narrowness of mind, and had
urgent reasons for interesting themselves in the fate of foreign
countries. Thousands of fugitives, the most powerful members of the
community, had scattered themselves over distant provinces, the same
misfortunes had befallen them also. Thus, amidst the horrors of war,
was developed in Germany a feeling of distrust of their rulers, a
longing for a better national condition. It was a great but dearly
bought advance of public opinion; it may be discerned more particularly
in the political literature after the peace of Prague. A specimen of
this tendency is here introduced from a small flying-sheet, which
appeared in 1636 under the title of 'The German Brutus: that is, a
letter thrown before the public.'

"You Swedes complain that Germany is ungrateful, that it drives you
away with violence, that the good deeds, done with God's power by
Joshua, are forgotten, the alliance no longer thought of, in short,
that you are less valued, like an old worn-out horse, or decrepit
hound, both of which, when no longer useful, get such thanks as the
world gives. Thus you are treated with great injustice before God and
the world.

"Be of good comfort: there are many remaining who wish you well from
their heart, who pray for you, and show their devotion to you in every
possible way. A country where such people are to be found cannot be
accused of ingratitude; and that there are yet many thousand such
people, even your enemies know right well. But that selfishness, secret
envy, hidden counsels, and clandestine negotiations are stirred up
against you, must not be ascribed to the whole of this praiseworthy
German nation, but only to the causes which have led to such results;
for you have on your part shown a double amount of selfishness.

"In the first place, in raising at your pleasure the toll on the
Baltic; for I have been told by honest trustworthy seafaring folk, that
you have exacted from people, not only from fifteen to thirty, but up
to forty, nay, even to fifty out of a hundred, and have troubled all
hearts by this rapacity; and as no improvement has taken place, but
commerce has been thereby miserably straitened, and many honest people
have been lamentably brought to beggary, the minds of men being thereby
much embittered, your best friends began at first to condemn you
secretly, and at last through their falling fortunes were made your
worst enemies. Would you throw the blame on the toll gatherers? They
are your servants. It is a well-known rule of law: what I do by my
servant is as though done by myself. You appear to me exactly like him
who carried off a pair of shoes secretly and offered them afterwards to
the holy Benno.

"The states and cities of the Empire, so long as they were in your
hands, contributed fully and sufficiently to your maintenance; many,
nay too many, to say the least of it, as a proof of their fidelity,
have lost soul and body, wealth and life, nay all their privileges,
and, in a great measure, religion itself. Ratisbon testifies to this.
Augsburg laments over it. All grieve together over it. You have allowed
the old regiments to dissolve, have completed no companies, nor paid
either new or old, notwithstanding you have demanded, and in fact
received large sums of money from many Diets; I say nothing of what you
have extorted from your enemies in their own countries. How has this
money been spent? In superfluous pomp and luxury which is hateful to
every one. We have observed this silently, and made a virtue of
necessity. The children of Israel, when they had intercourse with the
daughters of their enemies, and afterwards boasted of their victory,
and tormented their brethren of Judah with the hardest yoke of bondage,
were both times severely punished by God. And shall it fare better with
you who have exercised more than Turkish cruelty in many evangelical
places? The corn from the monastery of Magdeburg, the Dukedom of
Brunswick and other places, has been thrashed out and carried off in
heaps from the country, sold at a very high price, and the money spent
for your own use, nothing given to the poor soldiers; the country
people, harassed to death, are dying of hunger; and many fortresses,
from avarice, either not supplied with provisions, or not amply
provided with powder and shot, and, in short, general mismanagement.
Now we see ourselves everywhere abandoned by fortune, so that at last
we discover there is no money in hand, and no people to be got, as
those who were available have run away, and the remainder will no
longer be restrained by martial law. Dear friends, think you of the
saying of Boccalini: 'When the prince leads the life of Lucifer, what
wonder that the subjects become devils!'

"Our politicians know well that the Electors hold kingly rank in the
Empire. But who has exalted himself above them with kingly
magnificence, a great retinue and boundless expense, is it not your
chief (Oxenstiern)? Do you think that this has not been complained of
at every court? His Kingly Majesty of Christian memory never did the
like. From these and countless other reasons the Princes, states, and
cities have become first secretly, and then publicly offended with you;
to this may be added a conduct towards the established inhabitants
which they cannot well bear, when foreigners place themselves higher
than their native princes.

"You say that electoral Saxony should have made peace by force of arms.
Let us leave that uncertain. It is known to every one that certain
persons have helped to shove the cart into the mud, and afterwards left
it there. If electoral Saxony has been wrong, you with your procedures
are not less guilty. In short, every one, be he who he may, has sought
his own advantage; therefore Magdeburg lies in ashes, Wismar is in
ruins, Augsburg is bound with the fetters of servitude, Nuremberg is in
peril of death, Ulm is in quotidian fever, Strasburg has passed to the
French, Frankfort has the jaundice, and the whole Empire is consumed.
The enemy have beaten with rods, but you have chastised with scorpions.
The Wallensteiners inflicted wounds, and you physicians have applied
drawing plasters as a remedy instead of oil, have corrupted the blood
and fastened yourselves on like a crab; such a crab must either be cut
out by force, or satisfied daily by inordinate sums of money. The last
is out of our power, the first we do not wish to do to you, but cannot
help it. If God thus harasses you it is your own fault. Meanwhile, do
you think that God has a flaxen beard, and will allow himself to be led
by the nose? Oh, no, He sees well that you shelter yourselves under the
name of freedom, that you make use of the cloak of the gospel, and at
the same time live as Turks.

"You cry out much about the Spanish monarchy. I have no fears of it.
Give me one of the best chemists who is sufficiently scientific to know
how to mingle earth and ores, so that they will hold together firm and
infrangible, and then let us see whether we have to fear the Spanish
monarchy. But I am afraid that France will be to us Germans, the broken
reed of Egypt, which will pierce the hand of whoever leans on it. All
empires have their fixed time appointed by God, and a boundary across
which they cannot pass. First they arise, then grow like boys; some
improve as youths, remain for a time at a standstill in their manhood,
then decline, become old, languish and at last die; nay, are so utterly
annihilated, that one scarcely knows that they have existed. This
course of things cannot be prevented by any human wisdom. The wise man
sees this, and prepares himself beforehand; the fool does not believe
it, and is ruined, like the surviving Generals of Alexander the Great,
who so long divided his conquests, till the Romans became their
masters. And truly the Empire has great need to rid herself at last of
foreign physicians.

"I have been severe, but a steel axe is necessary to sever such a hard
knot, one cannot cut with a fur coat.

"It is asked what will be the issue? It rests with God. Have you had
too little bloodshed? Let God be the judge, and fly ye from his wrath.
Although the Church still suffers, it is not yet dead. You cannot
complain that you have gained nothing for the money you have spent and
the dangers you have undergone. You have brought copper out of your
country, but carried silver and gold back to it. Sweden, before this
war, was of wood thatched with straw, now it is of stone, and
splendidly adorned, and that you have obtained from the abducted
vessels of Egypt. This no one would grudge you if you would only thank
God yourselves for it. The Germans have indeed been excited to rise
against their Emperor, but they will take no one who is not of their
race and language. If the house of Austria has done evil, God will
truly search it out. As concerns the French, I know well that God will,
through them, punish Germany; for we have daily imitated in manners,
ceremonies, demeanour, and entertainments, in language and clothing,
together with music, this nation of apish behaviour and dress, and
frivolous manners. How can we expect better than to fall into their
hands? But the Frenchman will not therefore become our Emperor. To him
belongs the Lily, the Eagle to the Germans, the East to the Turks, and
the West to the Spaniards. None among them can reach higher.

"I must hope that it will not be taken amiss of me, that I have so
roundly described these transactions. But frankness suits a German
well. Would to God that any one had in good time thus placed the matter
before you. Now we can indeed complain, but help, none either will or
can give. God alone will and can help us; to Him we must pray that He
may at last have compassion on us, and turn the hearts of the high
potentates to love and long-wished-for peace."

Here ends the flying-sheet. The author, without putting sympathy with
the Imperialists in the foreground, evidently belongs less to the
Swedish party than we do now. Undoubtedly the Swedish soldiers and
officers had become merciless devils, like the Imperialists, and, like
them, they ruined the country and people. But it was not their
exorbitant demands which hindered the peace, but the injustice of the
Emperor, who still continued to raise the execrable pretension to
subdue the life and freedom of the nation to his interest. Had it been
possible for the Hapsburgers to assure freedom of faith, and the
independence of the Imperial tribunals, almost all the German princes
would have succumbed to him to drive away the foreigners. But the
struggle stood thus: either the nation must be crushed, and all the
ideas suppressed, which had grown up in the German soil for one hundred
and forty years, or the pretensions of the Imperial House must be
certainly and fundamentally overcome: The last was impossible to the
Germans without the help of Sweden. Thus on a retrospect of those
years, every one will be well disposed to Sweden, who does not consider
it a mere accident that well-known men of later times, like Lessing,
Goethe, Schiller, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Humboldt did not blossom out
of the country in which hundreds of thousands were driven from Church
and school, by the Jesuits of Ferdinand II. But at that period the
patriot undoubtedly felt the weakness of the Empire more than all the
fearful misery of the people. And great ground there was for anxiety
about the future. From this point of view this brochure is to us the
first expression of that feeling which still, in the present day,
unites hundreds of thousands of Germans. That love of Fatherland took
root in the oppressed souls of our ancestors during the Thirty years'
war, which has not yet attained to political life by a unity of
constitutions. Such a feeling indeed only existed then in the minds of
the noblest. But we must honour those who, in a century poor in hope,
left in their teaching and writings, as an inheritance to their
descendants, the idea of a German Empire.

After Banner's devastating expedition all was quiet in Germany. Almost
all the news and State records which the war had left, flowed from the
press. In the last years thousands of printed sheets were filled with
the negotiations for peace. Finally the peace was announced to the poor
people in large placards.

                               CHAPTER V.

                  THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR.--THE CITIES.

When the war broke out, the cities were the armed guardians of German
trade, which was carried on with wealth and bustle, in narrow streets
between high houses. Almost every city, with the exception of the
smallest market towns, was shut out from the open country by walls,
gates, and moats. The approaches were narrow and easy to defend; there
were often double walls, and in many cases the old towers still
overtopped the battlements and gates. Many of the more important of
these middle-age fortifications had been strengthened in the course of
the century, the bastions of stone and brick-work, as well as strong
single towers, were mounted with heavy artillery; and frequently the
old castle of some landed proprietor, or the house of some former
magistrate or count appointed by the Emperor, were fortified. They were
not fortresses in our sense, but they could, if the walls were thick
and the citizens stanch, resist even a great army, at least for a long
time. Thus Nördlingen maintained itself in 1634 for eighteen days,
against the united Imperial armies of King Ferdinand, Gallas, and
Piccolomini--forming together more than 60,000 men: the citizens
repulsed seven assaults, with only five hundred men, Swedish
auxiliaries. For a defence like this, earth sconces were thrown out as
outworks, and rapidly united by trenches and palisades. Many places,
however, far more than at present, were real fortresses. Their chief
strength consisted in their outworks, which were planned by Flemish
science. It had long been known that the balls of carronades were more
destructive to stone and breast-works than to earth-works.

In the larger cities the cleanliness of the streets was much attended
to; they were paved, even in the carriage ways; the pavement was raised
in the centre for carrying away the water; the chief market-place, as
for example in Leipzig, was already paved with stone. Great efforts had
long been made to procure for the cities a certain and abundant supply
of drinking-water; under the streets ran wooden conduits; stone
cisterns and fountains often decorated with statues, stood in the
market-places and principal streets. The streets were not as yet
lighted; whoever went out by night required torches or lanterns; later,
however, torches were forbidden; but at the corner houses were fixed
metal fire-pans, in which, in case of uproar or fire at night, pitch
rings and resinous wood were burnt. It was the custom on the breaking
out of a fire to allow the water to run from the cisterns or the
fountains to the streets which were endangered. For this purpose
flood-gates were hung, and it was the duty of particular trades--in
Leipzig, the innkeepers--to dam up the water with these flood-gates at
the burning-places; at the same time from dung that was heaped up, they
formed a traverse. The street police and patroles had been improved in
the course of the last sixty years. The Elector Augustus of Saxony had
organized this department of administration with no little skill. His
numerous ordinances were used as models by the whole Empire, according
to which the princes and cities regulated their new social life.

The chief market was on Sunday the favourite resort of the men. There,
after the sermon, stood the citizens and journeymen in their festival
attire, chattering, interchanging news, and conferring together on
business. In all commercial cities the merchants had a special room
where they met, which was even then called the Bourse. On the tower of
the Council House, over the clock, there was always a gallery, from
which the warder kept a look out over the city, and where the city
piper blew the trombone and cornet.

The city communities kept beer and wine cellars for the citizens, in
which the price of the retailed drink was carefully fixed; there were
special drinking-rooms for persons of distinction to hold agreeable
intercourse. In the old Imperial cities, the patricians had generally,
like the guilds, their especial club-houses or rooms, and the luxury of
such a society was then greater in proportion than now. There were also
numerous hotels, which, in Leipzig, were already famed for their
grandeur, and splendidly arranged. Even the apothecaries were under
regulations; they had special rules and prices; they sold many spices
and delicacies, and whatever else was agreeable to the palate. Bath
rooms were considered greater necessaries than now. Even in the country
there was seldom a little farm-house without its bath-house, and there
was a bath-room in every large house in the city. The poor citizens
went to the barbers, who acted as surgeons, and kept bagnios. But
besides these the cities maintained large public baths, in which,
gratis, or for a very small payment, warm and cold bathing could be had
with every convenience. This primitive German custom was almost
abandoned during the war, and is not yet restored to its old extent.

In more important cities the houses of the inner town, in 1618, were
for the most part built of stone, three and more stories high, and
roofed with tiles; the rooms in the houses were often noted for their
cleanliness, decoration, and elegance; the walls were generally adorned
with worked and embroidered carpets, even of velvet, and with beautiful
costly inlaid wainscoting and other decorations; and this not only in
the large old commercial cities, but also in some that were in more
youthful vigour. The household gear was elegant and carefully
collected. There was as yet no such thing as porcelain in use. Rich
plate was only found at the courts of great princes, and in a few
wealthy merchant families. In choice pieces of the noble metals, the
artistic work of the goldsmith was of more value than its weight. Among
the opulent citizens, the place of silver and porcelain was supplied by
pewter; it was displayed in great abundance, shining with a bright
polish; it was the pride of the housewife, and together with it were
placed fine glasses and pottery from foreign countries, often painted
and ornamented with either pious or waggish inscriptions. On the other
hand the dress and adornments of the men were far more brilliant and
costly than now. The feeling of the middle ages was still prevalent, a
tendency of the mind for outward display and stately representations
directly opposed to ours, and nothing tended so much to preserve this
inclination, as the endeavours of the authorities to meet it, by
regulating even the outward appearance of individuals, and giving to
each class of citizens their own peculiar position. The endless
sumptuary laws about dress gave it a disproportionate importance; it
fostered more than anything else vanity and an inordinate desire in
each to raise himself above his position. It appears to us a ludicrous
struggle, which the worthiest magistrates maintained for four centuries
up to the French Revolution, against all the caprices and excesses of
the fashion, and always without success.

Surrounded by these forms and regulations, lived a rich, vigorous,
laborious, and wealthy people; the citizens held jealously to the
privileges and dignity of their cities, they liked to exhibit their
riches, capacity, and enterprise among their fellow-citizens.
Handicraft and trade were still very prosperous. It is true, that in
wholesale commerce with foreign countries Germany had already lost
much. The splendour of the Hanse towns had faded. The great commercial
houses of Augsburg and Nuremberg even then existed, only as heirs of
the great riches of their fathers. Italians, French, and above all,
English and Flemish, had become dangerous rivals, the Swedish, Danish,
and Dutch flags floated on the Baltic more triumphantly than those of
Lubeck and other Baltic ports, and the commerce with the two Indies ran
in new currents and into foreign marts. But the German herring fishery
was still of great importance, and the vast Sclave lands of the East
were still an open market to the commerce of the country. But
throughout the whole width of the Empire industry flourished, and a
less profitable but sounder export of the products of the country had
produced a general and moderate degree of wealth. The manufactures of
wool and leather, and linen, harness, and armour with the ornamental
industry of Nuremberg were eagerly desired by foreign countries. The
chief cause of disturbance was the insecurity of the ratio of value.
Almost every town had then its special branch of industry, solidly
developed under the restrictions and control of guilds. Pottery,
cloths, leather work, mining, and metal work, gave to individual
places a peculiar character, and even to smaller ones a reputation
which reached through the country and excited in the citizens a
well-justified pride. But in all, scarcely excepting the greatest,
agriculture was deemed of more importance than now, not only in the
suburbs and farms of the city domains, but also within the towns; many
citizens lived upon the produce of their fields. In the smaller towns
most persons possessed portions of the town lands, but the richer had
other property besides. Therefore there were many more beasts of burden
and of draught than now, and the housewife rejoiced having her own
corn-fields, from which she made her own bread, and if she was skilful,
prepared fine pastry according to the custom of the country. The cities
had a great share also in the cultivation of the vine, which reached
from the north down to Lower Saxony; the right of brewing beer was
considered a valuable privilege by some houses; almost every place
brewed beer of its own kind, numberless are the local names of these
primitive beverages; much value was attached to its having a strong,
sweet, and wine flavour, and oily substance; highly esteemed beer was
sent to great distances.

The people derived more pleasure from their sensations than they do
now, were louder and more unconstrained in their mirth. The luxury of
banquets, especially of family feasts, was legally regulated according
to the rank of the citizens, and he was not allowed to diminish it. The
banquets were arranged in courses as now in England, and in every
course a number of similar dishes. Already, oysters were sent out as
far as they could bear the journey, and sometimes, after the
introduction of French cookery, were formed into delicate sauces;
caviare was well known, and at the harvest feasts Leipzig larks were a
favourite dish. In the popular kitchens, besides the Indian spices,
they had the favourite root of the middle ages, saffron, to colour
with; beautifully ornamented show dishes were highly prized, sometimes
even eatable dishes were gilt, and at tables of pretension the most
distinguished confection was marchpane.

The citizens eagerly sought every opportunity for social enjoyment. The
carnival mummeries were general in Northern Germany, when masks swarmed
through the streets; the favourite costumes were those of Turks, Moors,
and Indians. When during the war the Council of Leipzig prohibited
masks, they made their appearance armed with spears and pistols, and
there were tumults with the city watchers. Sledge parties were not less
popular, and sometimes they also were in costume. Public dances were
less frequent than now, even at the marriage and artisan feasts they
were looked upon with mistrust, as it was difficult to restrain the
recklessness of wild boys. They wished to dance without mantles; they
lifted up, swung, and twirled about their partners, which was strictly
forbidden, and the thronging of the gaping domestics into the saloon
was displeasing to the authorities. At twilight all dancing amusements
were to cease.

The larger cities had lists where the sons of the patricians held their
knightly exercise and ran at the ring, also shooting galleries, and
trenches for crossbow and rifle practice. The shooting festivities were
a great source of enjoyment throughout the country, and on these
occasions booths, tents, and cook-shops were erected. The people also
took a lively interest in the festivals of particular guilds, and
almost every town had its own public feast; for example, Erfurt had
yearly prize races for the poorer classes; the men ran for stockings
and the women for fur cloaks. Tennis was a favourite game of the young
citizens, which unfortunately in the troubles of the century almost
disappeared. There were special tennis courts, and a tennis-court
master, of the town. If any gentlemen of distinction came into the
town, a place in the market was strewed with sand, and a playground
marked off with pegs and cords. There these distinguished persons
played, and the citizens watched with pleasure from the windows, to see
how a young Prince of Hesse threw the ball, and how one of Anhalt did
his best. At the great yearly markets, for more than a century,
Fortune's urn was a favourite game. Sometimes it was undertaken by the
town itself, but generally it was granted to some speculator. How much
the people were interested in this, we learn from the fact that the
town chronicles frequently reported the particulars concerning it.
Thus, in 1624, at Michaelmas, at Leipzig a Fortune's urn of seventeen
thousand gulden was prepared; each ticket cost eighteen pfennige; there
were seventeen blanks to one prize; the highest prize was three hundred
and fifty gulden, and there were three hundred thousand blanks. The
students at last became angry at the number of blanks; they attacked
and broke down the lottery booth. The pleasure of the people in
spectacles was greater than now, at least more easily satisfied;
processions and city solemnities were frequent; plays undoubtedly were
still a rare enjoyment, in these the children of the citizens had
always the pleasure of representing the characters themselves, as bands
of travelling players were still new and rare. The clerical body was
already unfavourably disposed to what were called profane pieces,
therefore ecclesiastical subjects and allegories with moral tendencies
were always interspersed with burlesque scenes, and great was the
number of the actors. At the yearly markets the play booths were more
abundant than now. At the Easter fair at Leipzig in 1630, was to be
seen, amongst other things, a father with six children who performed
beautifully on the lute and violin, a woman who could sew, write, and
convey her food to her mouth with her feet, a child of a year old quite
covered with hair and with a beard; and of strange animals, there were
two marmoset monkeys, a porpoise, and a spoonbill, and, as now, these
monsters were recommended to the people by large pictures. Besides
these there were rope-dancers, fire-eaters, jugglers, acrobats, and
numerous ballad singers and vendors.

But what gave the greatest feeling of independence to the citizen in
1618 was his martial aptitude--almost every one had some practice in
the use of weapons. Every large city had an arsenal; even the heavy
artillery on the fortifications were served by the citizens, who, as a
body, were under ordinary circumstances superior to the young companies
of besieging soldiers. Magdeburg would have made a stronger resistance,
if feeling of duty and discipline had not already become weaker among
the citizens than in former sieges, in one of which the maiden of the
City Arms so valiantly defended her garland.

Besides the city train bands, there was in most of the Circles of the
Empire a regular militia for the defence of the country. About every
tenth man in the city or country was drawn, regularly armed, paid
during service, and appointed for the internal defence of the frontiers
of the country. The beginning of the Landwehr dates from the sixteenth
century. This regulation was recommended by military theorists as most
efficient, and from time to time it was renewed. It was introduced by
the States in Saxony in 1612, and renewed in 1618; there were to be
altogether in the Electorate nine thousand men. The privates were to
receive a daily pay of four groschen, and the serjeants ten and a half,
and the cost was distributed among the houses. But this militia was
found very useless in the war. The discipline was much too lax; the
industrious citizen endeavoured to withdraw himself when danger did not
threaten his own city; the consequence was, that many unsettled people
were scouring the country in arms. If they were required by the
community to defend the ploughs in the field against roving marauders,
they demanded a special gratification, or they evaded it, and very soon
they became more a plague than a benefit to their own country.

What ruin the war brought upon the towns may be learned from every town
chronicle. First, the disorders of the _Kipper_ time inflicted deep
wounds on their morality and prosperity. Then came the sufferings that
even distant war brought upon the citizens, the scarcity and dearness
of provisions. Everything became so insecure that nothing was thought
of but the enjoyment of the day. Rough and wild was the love of
pleasure; and foreign modes, which had been learned from the travelled
courtiers and soldiers became prevalent. From 1626 dandyism began in
Germany after the French fashion; the _Messieurs à la mode_ strutted
about, molesting every one on the paved footpaths of the streets. They
had short pointed beards, long hair in frizzled locks, or cut short on
one side, and on the other hanging on the shoulder in a queue or lock,
a large flapped hat, spurs on their heels, a sword on the left side,
dresses slashed and jagged, a coxcombical bearing, and added to all
this, a corrupt language full of French words. The women were not
behindhand; they began to carry foreign masks before their faces, and
feather fans in their hands; they wore whalebones in their dresses, and
repudiated sables, gold and silver stuffs, and, above all--what
appeared very remarkable--silver, and at last, indeed, white lace. This
conduct raised the indignation of the authorities and pastors, as being
fantastic and immoral. To us it appears as the characteristic evil of a
time when the old independence of the German citizen was crushed.

When an army approached a town, the traffic with the country almost
entirely ceased, the gates were carefully watched, and the citizens
maintained themselves on the provisions that had been collected. Then
began the levying of contributions, the passage and quartering of
friendly armies, with all its terrors. Still worse was the passage of
the enemy. They uselessly endeavoured to purchase safety--it was a
favour if the enemy did not set fire to the town woods or cut them down
for sale, or carry off the town library on his baggage waggon;
everything that was inviting to plunder, such as the organ or church
pictures, had to be ransomed, even to the church bells, which,
according to the custom of war, belonged to the artillery. The cities
were not in a position to satisfy the demands of the Generals, so the
most considerable of the citizens were dragged off as hostages till the
sum exacted was paid.

If a town was considered strong enough to resist the enemy's army, it
was always filled with fugitives at the approach of the enemy, the
number of whom was so great that the citizens could not think of
providing for them. There came to Dresden, for example, in 1637, after
the capture of Torgau in the course of three days, from the 7th to the
9th of May, twelve thousand waggons with fugitive country people. The
enemy surrounded the over-filled place; round the walls the battle
raged, and within, not less voracious, hunger, misery and sickness. All
the fugitives who were capable of bearing arms were employed in severe
siege service; the nobility also of the neighbourhood sometimes
assisted. If the siege lingered long, the high prices were followed by
shameless usury, the millers ground only for the rich, and the bakers
made exorbitant demands. The pictures of famine, such as was then
experienced in many towns, are too horrible to dwell upon. When at
Nördlingen a fortified tower was taken by the besiegers, the citizens
themselves burnt it down, hungry women fell upon the half-roasted
bodies of the enemy and carried pieces home for their children.

But if a town was taken by storm it experienced the fate of Magdeburg;
the mowing down of masses, the dishonouring of women, horrible torments
and mutilations; and, added to all this, pestilence. To what an extent
pestilence then raged in the cities is scarcely credible; it frequently
carried off more than half the inhabitants. In 1626 and the following
years, it depopulated wide districts; from 1631 to 1634 it returned
again, and still worse in 1636.

At all events it gave to each town for years plenty of space, and
proportionate peace; and the places--not very numerous--which were only
once destroyed in the course of the war, were able to recover
themselves. But the most fearful cases of all, were those where the
same calamities were two, three, and four times repeated. Leipzig was
besieged five times, and Magdeburg six, and most of the smaller towns
were more frequently filled with foreign soldiers; thus both large and
small towns were equally ruined.

But this was not all; over wide territories raged a plague of quite
another kind,--religious persecution,--which was practised by the
Imperial party wherever it established itself. The army was followed
everywhere by crowds of proselytizers, Jesuits, and mendicant monks on
foot. These performed their office by the help of the soldiers.
Wherever the Roman Catholics had a footing, the leaders of the
Protestant party, and above all the shepherds of souls, were swept
away, more especially in the provinces which were the Emperor's own
domains. Much had been done there before the war, but still in the
beginning of the war in upper Austria, Moravia, Bohemia, and Silesia,
the active intelligence of the country and the greater part of the
community were evangelical. Their general character was improved.
Whoever, after imprisonment and torture, would not give up his faith
was obliged to abandon the country, and many, many thousands did so.
The citizens and country people were driven in troops by the soldiers
to confession. It was considered a favour when the fugitives were
allowed a short insufficient delay for the sale of their movable goods.

The fate of a small town in one of these provinces, the only one which
was restored at a later period to the spiritual life of Germany, is
here given, not on account of the monotony of misery, but because other
characteristic points of the old burgher life are displayed.

Where the Riesengebirge descend into the Silesian plain, in a fruitful
valley on the shores of the Bober, lies the old town of Löwenberg, one
of the first places in Silesia which was brought under the regulations
of the German law; it had already in the middle ages become a powerful
community, and numbered in 1617, in the city and suburbs, 738 houses
and at least 6500 inhabitants.[37] It rose stately, with its strong
walls, moats, and gate-towers, amidst woods and meadows; it had in
its centre, like almost all the German cities in Silesia, a large
market-place, called the 'Ring,' which included the council-house and
fourteen privileged inns and licensed houses of traffic; the houses
within the town were of stone, high gables projected over the streets,
and they were from four to five stories high. Originally the under
story had been built with trellised porches; these covered passages,
however, had been removed sixty years before; on the under floor the
houses had a large hall, and a strong vault, behind these a spacious
room, in which was the baking oven, and over this a wooden gallery
which occupied the back portion of the room, a staircase led up to it;
the forepart of the room was the sleeping-room of the family, and the
gallery was the eating-room. On the floor above was a good apartment
wainscoted with wood work, all the rest were chambers and lofts for
wares, superabundant furniture, corn and wool. For Löwenberg was a
celebrated cloth-manufacturing town; in the year 1617, three hundred
cloth factories fabricated 13,702 pieces of cloth, and traders carried
their strong work far into Bohemia and the Empire, but especially into
Poland. The city seal, a lion in the town gate, was of pure gold.

In 1629, the town had already suffered much from the war. The citizens,
demoralized and tortured, had lost the greater portion of their old
spirit. Lichtenstein's dragoon regiment--Imperialists--were quartered
in the neighbouring city, and supported the proselytizing Jesuits by
sword and pistol. The burgesses of the town of Löwenberg, dreading
their arrival, were obliged to dismiss their old pastors; they
separated from them with tears, the populace followed them weeping to
their dwellings, bearing with them their last parting gifts as an
expiation. The Jesuits succeeded them; the night before they came, a
horned owl took up its abode in the church tower, to the terror of the
citizens, and alarmed the town all night long by its hootings. The
Jesuits preached after their fashion daily, promising freedom from all
contributions, and from the infliction of billeting, and special favour
and privileges from the Emperor; but to the refractory temporal
destruction. They went so far, that the intimidated burgesses were
driven to the determination of accepting confirmation; most of the men
of the community took the Lord's Supper according to the Roman Catholic
custom, unblessed by the cup. The more steadfast of the citizens,
however, were compelled to go away in misery. Hardly had the Jesuits
left the town, when the people fell back again, the citizens rushed to
the neighbouring villages, where there were still evangelical pastors,
and were there married and baptized; their churches standing empty
under a Roman Catholic priest. There were new threatenings, and new
deeds of violence. The upright burgomaster Schubert was carried off to
severe imprisonment, but the Council now declared boldly that they
would die for the Augsburg Confession; the burgesses pressed round the
governor of the province in wild tumult. The executioners of the
Emperor, "_the beatifiers_" rode through the gates; great part of the
citizens flew with their wives and children out of the town; all the
villages were full of exiles, who were brought back with violence by
the soldiers and apostate citizens, and put into prison till they could
produce certificates of confession; those who fled further, were driven
into Saxony. A new Council was now established--as was the custom in
those times--of unworthy and disreputable men. The houses abandoned by
the citizens were plundered; many waggons heavily laden with furniture
were bought of Roman Catholic neighbours, by the soldiers, and carried
off. The new Council lived in a shameless manner. The King's judge--an
apostate Löwenberger advocate--and the Senators, ill treated the secret
Protestants, and endeavoured to enrich themselves from the town
property. Two hundred and fifty citizens lived in exile with their
families; one side of the market-place was entirely uninhabited, long
grass grew there, and cattle pastured upon it. In the winter, hunger
and cold drove the women and children at last back to the ruined
houses. The leading spirit of the new Council was one Julius, who had
been a Franciscan, a desperate fellow, not at all like a monk, who wore
under his capoche golden bracelets. Then a Roman Catholic priest,
Exelmann, son of an evangelical preacher, was established there. But
however crushed and dispersed the citizens were, the offices of the
priest and the new town council were not undisputed. All the
authorities of the town were not yet under constraint. How the
opposition resisted, will be learned from the narration of a
cotemporary, which was printed by the industrious Sutorius in his
history of Löwenburg, 1782.

"On the ninth of April, 1631, early in the morning, the following
gentlemen met at the council-house: first, the priest, secondly, the
King's judge, who was Elias Seiler, an advocate; thirdly, George Mümer,
a woollen wiseacre and cloth factor; fourthly, Schwob Franze, also a
cloth factor; fifthly, Dr. Melchior Hübner, who had been a miller's
man, and a broken down baker; sixthly, Master Daniel Seiler, a joiner;
seventhly, Peter Beyer, the town clerk; all these took possession of
the councillors' chairs. The worshipful burgomaster was ill of the
gout. Then the priest who had the upper-hand in the council made a
proposal in the following words: 'My beloved children in the Church,
hearing that you intend sending an embassage to the court of his
Kingly[38] Majesty at Vienna, I and the worthy King's judge have, on
mature consideration, come to the conclusion, that before you break up
it would be well for you to compel all the women to adopt our religion.
You would thereby obtain for yourselves great favour at court. Also I
will not fail to give you letters of recommendation, to my highly
esteemed honourable cousin Herr Pater Lemmermann, now confessor to his
Kingly Majesty, who certainly has much influence in all secret
deliberations, representing to him how indefatigable and zealous you
have been, and have brought the women into the right way, so that all
you who are now here together may receive a special gratulation.
Therefore proceed zealously; if they are not willing, you have towers
and prisons enough to compel them.'

"On this proposition votes were taken all round, and first the King's
judge spoke: 'Yea, gentlemen, as I am willing to undertake such a
journey for the advantage of the town, it seems good to me that this
project should be carried out with zeal and earnestness. If they are
not willing, let the most distinguished of them be put in confinement.
I wager that the others will soon give in. They will come and beg that
they may be let out. Many will be glad that their wives run away and
they be quit of them. If we have been able to bring the men into the
right path, why should we not be able to deal with these little

"Herr Mümer, 'the woollen wiseacre,' said: 'I have been a widower six
weeks; I can well tell what cross a man must bear when his conscience
is moved on account of his wife day and night. It would truly be good
if man and wife had one faith and one paternoster; as concerns the Ten
Commandments, it is not so pressing. It would also be good that the
women should do like us, as they enjoy our income, and become
councillors' wives. Only I fear it will be difficult to manage. I would
almost rather consult with the honourable captain-general of the
province hereupon, how he would deal with his own wife. One should be
able to act with better effect when one has a decided command
thereunto. I could never have succeeded with my wife!'

"Now Schwob Franze said: 'Gentlemen, my wife, as you know, died a few
days ago, so that I am now free and a widower; I have also somewhat to
say on this matter, as I have been plagued by my bad wife concerning
the Papacy. Nevertheless I know not how to handle this business
rightly. There are many beautiful women and widows among the Lutheran
heretics. Would it be well, and could one make up one's mind to
confine, or drive them all away at once? Gentlemen, you may do it if it
seems good to you. I am of the same opinion as my honourable colleague,
Mümer. If I marry to-day or to-morrow, my wife must have the like faith
with me, or hold her tongue upon the same.'

"Hereupon Dr. Melchior began: 'Gentlemen, God's sacrament,
im-m-imprison them all together till they assent; le-le-let none out,
though they should all rot alike in prison. I yesterday thrashed my
domestic plague concerning this. The de-e-vil ta-a-ta-ake me, she must
do it or I will drive her entirely away.'

"Master Daniel Seiler said: 'My high and most gracious gentlemen, you
can proceed in such a good work with force alone. The captain-general
of the province can give us no commands herein; let him see to himself
how he can bring his heretical wife into the right way, who is no small
vexation to him, and a mirror to our wives. Therefore I beg of you
proceed with speed against the women.'

"The honourable town clerk Peter Beyer's vote, was as follows:
'Gentlemen, I know not what to say in this matter. I have a notable
shrew, who snaps about her like the devil. I cannot trust myself to be
able to restrain her. If you can do it, try. But I advise, that we
should begin to speak kindly with the women. Let benches be placed in
the council-room, desire them to sit them down, and see whether it be
possible to convert them by good words, or afterwards by threats.
Perhaps they will take it into consideration.'

"Hereupon the priest and the King's judge came to a conclusion. They
said: 'The time is short, much delay cannot be given; it is a saying
here, eat or die.'

"So the King's judge spoke to the town clerk saying: 'Are the women
without?' He answered: 'No, there are as yet none there.' Then the
judge said: 'Go, and you will find them either at my house or with Frau
Geneussin.' The town clerk found no one at the house of the King's
judge, but at that of Frau Geneussin there were about fifteen. To these
he said: 'His reverence the priest, together with his honour the King's
judge, and the honourable council, send greeting to the ladies, and beg
that they will come to the council-house, where the gentlemen are

"Then the wife of the King's judge answered: 'Yea, yea, greet them in
return, and we will come soon.' So the women went two and two, the
judge's and burgomaster's wives foremost, and ascended the stairs of
the council-house, but the other women who had collected at the bread
tables or elsewhere, or in houses, came after them in great numbers, by
troops. Now when the servant had announced to the council that the
women were there, the King's judge said: 'Let them in.' The servant
replied: 'Sir, there will not be room here for them all; I believe that
there are five hundred of them together. The council-house is full of
them, part of them are already sitting on the musicians' stools.'

"Then the priest began: 'Indeed, we must pause awhile, this is not
well. I only intended at first that the most distinguished wives, such
as those of the council, the justices, and jurymen should be called.
Ay, ay, what have you done?' The servant answered: 'Your reverence must
be informed, that yesterday the King's judge commanded that all the
women who had not been converted, or would not be so, should be
summoned, and to begin with his wife; this I have done, and because it
was rather late, I told most of those whom I met that they should
notify this to the others, that they were to come on the morrow without
fail on pain of punishment. I believe I have done no wrong.'

"The priest spoke again: 'Ay, ay, gentlemen, gentlemen, this is not
well. I know not how we shall manage to be rid of a portion of these

"Thereupon the King's judge said to the priest: 'Let your reverence be
content; we will arrange the business, and in the beginning we will
only call in the women of distinction. When they see that they must
really give in or be imprisoned, the others will soon withdraw
themselves and run away.'

"It was therefore determined, and made known to the servant, that the
above-mentioned ladies only should enter.

"Now when the servant announced this, the wife of the King's judge
began: 'We will by no means allow ourselves to be separated; where I
remain, there shall my train remain also. Say that we only beg they
will allow us to enter.' The servant reported this again to the
council. Then the King's judge waxed wrath and said with great
vehemence: 'Go out again and tell these simple women that they must not
show themselves disobedient and refractory, or they will learn how they
will be treated.' Then the servant went out again and delivered the
command seriously, but the goodwives held to their former opinion, and
said that they wished to know why they had been summoned, that none
would separate from the others; as it fared with one so should it fare
with all. On this there was great confusion and murmuring among the
women, which was heard by the gentlemen in the council-room.

"When the servant returned with this answer, they were sore afraid, and
would rather have seen the women I know not where. They therefore
determined unanimously to send out his honour the town-clerk, that he
might persuade them with earnest yet friendly words, that the most
distinguished of the women should enter, and the others return home,
and none should suffer. But it was all in vain. The women remained firm
not to separate from one another. And the judge's wife began, and said
to the town-clerk: 'Nay, nay, dear friend, do you think we are so
simple, and do not perceive the trick by which you would compel and
force us poor women, against our conscience, to change our faith? My
husband and the priest have not been consorting together all these days
for nothing; they have been joined together almost day and night;
assuredly they have either boiled or cooked a devil, which they may eat
up themselves; I shall not enter there. Where I remain, there will my
train and following remain also.' She turned herself round to the
others and said: 'Women, is this your will?' Then once more there were
loud exclamations from the women: 'Yea, yea, let it be so; we will all
hold together as one man.'

"Hereupon his honour the town-clerk was much affrighted; he went
hastily back to the council, and reported woefully the state of
affairs, adding, that the council was in no small danger, for he had
observed that almost every woman had a large bunch of keys hanging at
her side.[39] Upon this their courage utterly and entirely evaporated;
they hung their heads and were at their wits' end; one wished himself
here, another out there. Dr. Melchior took heart and said to the
priest: '_Potz-Sacrament!_ Most reverend sir, if I had now but two
hundred musketeers, I would soon mow down the whole pa-pa-pack, even
those who would fell down on their knees.'

"At last his honour the town-clerk bethought himself of a device.
'Gentlemen, I know a way by which we can descend and escape from the
women. If the gentlemen will close both doors of the council-house, we
will silently make off with ourselves by the under council-room,
through the doors of the tower; thus they will not be aware what has
become of us. But I do not know where the keys of the tower are to be
found.' This good counsel pleased them all well, and the keys were
sought for carefully, but meanwhile the town-clerk was called in, and
commanded to signify to the women, that they should have a little
patience. And the town-clerk was to see how one could slip round to the
front, and the other to the back door, that they might suddenly run out
and close the doors behind them.

"This plan succeeded with the good-wives, of whom two hundred and
sixty-three were thus imprisoned. The town-clerk speedily opened the
tower gates, which had not been done for several years, and running
back exclaimed: 'Away, gentlemen, away, the coast is clear; but
silence, for God's sake silence, that the women may not become aware of
it, otherwise there will be the devil to pay.'

"Thereupon they ran away as fast as they could, part of them without
hats or gloves; some ran home, others to a neighbour's, each, where
in his hurry he thought he should be secure. All could confess to a
state of frightful terror. The priest ran at full trot up the church
lane, looking more behind than before him, to see whether the women
were following and would shake their keys at him during mass; he
closed the parsonage-house behind him, as the town-clerk had done the
council-house. He was so exhausted that he could neither eat nor drink;
both his ladies had enough to do to cool him.

"Now when the imprisoned women, most of whom sat by the window, heard
the rumour which was noised about the town, that the honourable
gentlemen had so cunningly gotten off, the wife of the King's judge ran
to the council-door, unlatched it, and called out with great amazement:
'The devil has carried away the rogues; see, there lies a hat, a
pocket-handkerchief and a glove, and all the doors are open. Come, let
us sit in council ourselves and send for our husbands; they shall come
on pain of punishment, and hear our behests.' Thereupon there was great
screaming and laughter amongst the wives, so that they might be heard
over the whole 'Ring.'

"At last the women divided into small parties by tens and twelves, they
pitied their husbands, children, and babies, who would have nothing to
eat. So they agreed, by means of certain women who were outside the
door, and desirous of joining the prisoners, to beg the King's judge to
free them, and to notify to them wherefore they had that day been
summoned to the council-house.

"In the meanwhile, however, the King's judge discovered, that he had
returned from the council-house a wiser man than when he had entered it
in the morning, and it struck him that all husbands might not be so
evil disposed towards their wives as he was. He saw also a tolerable
concourse of children and mob collecting round the council-house, who
were disposed to carry food and drink to the women; nay, some good
friends had already prepared a whole quarter cask of beer for the
refreshment of the dear women. Besides this also, a number of men had
collected together, desiring to know what their wives had done, that
they should be thus locked up. Then the King's judge took heart again,
and invited the gentlemen _cito citissime_ to his house for a necessary
conference. The four gentlemen of the council and the town-clerk were
found, but with great difficulty; but the priest had thoroughly
concealed himself, and sent to excuse himself on account of his
exhaustion and his need of rest. But it was determined to send another
embassage to him, to call to his mind that he must appear without fail,
as he had occasioned this transaction.

"Meanwhile the usher of the council came running to the council-house,
at whose bidding no one knows, and called through the closed door to
his wife, who was in conclave, and said to her: 'Tell the other women
that the gentlemen have reassembled at the house of the King's judge;
they will soon send out and open the council-house, that every one may
return home.' Thereupon the judge's wife answered: 'Yea, we will
willingly have patience, as we are quite comfortable here; but tell
them they ought to inform us why we were summoned and confined without

"The priest at last allowed himself to be prevailed on, and came to the
judge's house. They all began by complaining bitterly of their
exhaustion on account of the great anguish and danger they had
undergone, therefore a refreshing drink of wine was speedily passed
round amongst them; but what plans they afterwards made I have not been
able to gather distinctly, because all passed standing, and there was
no protocol concerning it. But certain it is, that as is usual with
such ragamuffins, the biters were bitten, and one threw dirt into the
face of the other. At last, however, they became unanimous to send an
embassage to the imprisoned ladies, to release them from the _cito_,
and to bespeak them in all friendship, that they might be induced to
quit the council-house. The persons empowered for this embassage were
Herr Mümer, Master Daniel, and Herr Notarius.

"When these arrived the doors were immediately opened, and the envoys
entered into the midst of the circle of women.

"Then began the town-clerk thus: 'Honourable, very honourable,
excellent, and most especially gracious and dear ladies! his reverence
the priest, together with his honour the King's judge and very wise
council, send greeting to the ladies assembled; they greatly wonder
that the women have so ill conceived and misunderstood their
intentions; and as they have so earnestly desired to know wherefore
this has happened, the aforesaid gentlemen have sent us to explain this
in all truth. First, as now the holy week is approaching, in which
there will be held by the Church special preachings on the Holy
Sacrament, it has been thought advisable to admonish the women
christianly and faithfully, to present themselves zealously thereat.
Secondly, it is requested that at the approaching Easter festival the
women will likewise present themselves collectively and show their
benevolence, as his reverence the priest's dues will be so poor in
amount, owing to the small number of citizens present.'

"After this harangue of the town-clerk, Master Daniel the joiner,
wishing to improve the matter, said: 'My very gracious ladies! Let it
be understood by the women that this is a friendly conference, and that
no constraint will be used; for it is not customary with my masters and
the very wise council to hang a man before they have caught him.'

"At this inconsiderate and incautious speech, which did not in the
least serve the council, Herr Mümer and Herr Notarius pushed him away;
but among the assembled wives there was great laughter and uproar.
'Yea! yea! we understand well enough now; they compare us to people who
are to be hanged. What fellows you are, one with the other! Oh you
faithless rogues! you usurious corn-dealers! you woollen thieves!
Thereupon the judge's wife called out: 'Silence! silence, you women!'
and said to Master Daniel: 'Hear, dear brother-in-law, you do not
understand the matter, and are also too few to compel us against our
conscience. Oh, how God will punish you, and my husband also, who so
openly acts against his conscience! Your dear deceased father, a
dignified Lutheran ecclesiastic, taught you both very differently. Now
you say you are good Roman Catholics. Your new faith is necessary for
your roguish tricks; when you are drunk you speak shamelessly enough of
the mother of God herself, and when you go to your bad women you speak
of yourselves as the brothers of the Virgin Mary. Oh, if your gains
were taken away from you, which you make from your offices and the
common property of the town, and consume again in eating and drinking;
if you were obliged to resume your joiners' trade again, and work
vigorously to keep yourselves warm, how soon you would give up your
Popery. May God punish you! Never shall you deprive us of our faith,
you yourselves will yet be hanged on that account.'

"The burgomaster's wife said: 'If you had nothing else to say to us,
the priest might have done that from the pulpit, and it would not have
been necessary to confine us on that account. It is not thus I could be
compelled to go to church. Under our former pastors and preachers it
was a great pleasure to me to go to church, for I received there
comfort from the word of God; now I am only scandalized and troubled
when I go there. So that it cries out to God in heaven. As concerns the
Easter offerings, every one is free; he who has to give may do so.'
Hereupon the other women screamed out loudly: 'Yea, we will give to the
priest, the devil, as his due.' The honourable envoys were terrified at
such discourse, and begged to be allowed to withdraw, and said not a
word further, but departed.

"Now when the honourable envoys returned to the King's judge, the
priest and the other gentlemen had already gone away; they made their
report, and also went home. The women were now released from their
arrest. But this affair worked seriously in the head of the King's
judge; he took it to heart that he had been so ignominiously led astray
by his ideas, and feared that the upshot would bring him to eternal
ridicule. He paced up and down the room, murmuring to himself; at last
he said: 'Give me somewhat to eat.' When the table was spread, and
dinner served up by his maid-servant and children,--a dish of crab, a
piece of white bread and cheese and butter,--the worthy gentleman waxed
wrath, took first the good bread, then the tin butter-mould with the
butter, and threw them out of the window into the marketplace; he threw
the crab also all about the room, and seized upon the sausage which was
also on the table, which the children would gladly have had, being
hungry, as they had eaten nothing the whole day. Nay, he was so furious
that he ran out of the room, dashing down the dishes and saucepans, and
all that came to his hand, so that a great concourse of neighbours was
brought together. After that, he ran up to his room and went on calling
out and conducting himself as if it was full of people. The following
morning he rose betimes and stole away, having delivered over his
office to Dr. Melchior.

"That day the other gentlemen rested till towards evening; then the
priest sent for the beadle, and commanded him to summon in his name and
that of Dr. Melchior, as the vice King's judge, the wife of the
burgomaster and the frau Geneussin to come to him at the parsonage
early in the morning after mass. This the beadle did. The burgomaster's
wife answered: 'Yea, yea, I will come, but I will first tell my
lord.' But when the beadle came to Frau Geneussin, and announced the
same to her, her son-in-law was with her, Herr Krekler, who was
afterwards burgomaster, who thus answered for her: 'Are the priest
and Dr. Melchior your masters? Are they the masters of my honoured
mother-in-law? Reply that she will not come without the commands of the
burgomaster.' This the beadle told to the burgomaster, who reflected
thereupon, and at last said: 'For my part they may go, I am content, so
the blame cannot be laid upon me.'

"On Friday morning, at the appointed hour, the wife of the burgomaster
went to the priest and likewise the judge's wife, who however was not
summoned, together with Frau Geneussin. Then the priest began to speak
with them in the most friendly way; he begged them very politely to
conform and accept the only holy religion which could make them
blessed, as their lords had done. They would see what comfort they
would find in it, and how well it would fare with them. To this the
women forthwith replied: 'No, we were otherwise instructed by our
parents, and former preachers; according to that we find ourselves
right comfortable. We cannot reconcile ourselves to your religion.'
Thereupon the priest said: 'You women may come to church or to me as
oft as you please, when you have anxieties or scruples, and I will
assuredly instruct you assiduously.' The women answered: 'Your
reverence need not give yourself any trouble on our account, as we will
not do so.' 'Ay,' said the priest, 'then set the other women a good
example, and at least go to church and mass, and do not be a cause of
offence to others who have already declared that they would go if the
women went.' The women replied: 'We will not do it ourselves, but we
will not prevent others from doing so; these are matters of conscience
whereof none can judge but God.' Now when the priest saw that all was
in vain, he entreated them thus: 'Ay, ay, yet at least tell the other
women that you have begged for, and also obtained, fourteen days for
consideration.' Then answered the women almost with indignation: 'No,
dear sir, we were not taught to lie by our parents, and we will not
learn it from you; we beg you will excuse us.' So they departed

"But whilst the three women were with the priest, a great multitude of
women collected together with marvellous rapidity, many more than on
the first occasion. Herr Schwob Franze perceiving this, came running
panting with haste to the burgomaster and said: 'Sir, I pray you for
God's sake have a care, and prevent the priest from meddling with the
women; they have assembled together again in a great multitude, the
whole of the bread-market and all the houses in Kirchgasse are full of
them; God help us, they will slay us, together with the priest. I made
the best of my way out from them.'

"The good burgomaster was so ill in bed that he could neither move hand
nor foot. He sent hastily to the priest and told him in plain German
what a hazardous business he had begun, the like of which had never
been heard of in any town. If he were to meet with any annoyance from
the women the fault would be his own.

"Thereupon the priest said: 'Ah no! Herr Burgomaster, let not your
worship be thus angered. I see that I have been led astray by that
inconsiderate man Dr. Melchior, who represented the matter quite
otherwise. I beg that your worship will signify to the women, that they
may return to their homes; assuredly what has happened shall not happen
again, of that I hereby assure your worship.' When the women heard
this, and that nothing further had happened to the ladies, as has been
related above, the women were well content, went home and laid aside
their bundles and bunches of keys, nevertheless, not out of reach, that
they might have them at hand day or night in case of need."

Here ends the old narrative. The priest was obliged the following year
to leave Löwenberg ignominiously, as he would not desist from his
scandalous proceedings. Amongst other things he had a public chop and
beer-house erected for the old Silesian beer. The spiteful Dr. Melchior
became afterwards in desperation a soldier, and was hanged at Prague.
And the valiant women,--we hope they took refuge with their husbands at
Breslau or in Poland.

After 1632, the town decayed more and more every year, now under
Swedish or Imperial, now under Evangelical, or Roman Catholic
ministers; in 1639, the town contained only forty citizens, and had a
debt of a ton and a half of gold; in 1641, the citizens themselves
unroofed their houses in order not to pay taxes, and dwelt in thatched
huts. When the peace came, the town was almost entirely in ruins. Eight
years later, in 1656, there were again one hundred and twenty-one
citizens in Löwenberg and about eight hundred and fifty inhabitants;
eighty-seven per cent, of the population had perished.

                               CHAPTER VI.

                   THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR.--THE PEACE.

The peace was signed; the ambassadors had solemnized the ratification
by shaking hands, and trumpeters rode about the streets announcing the
happy event.

At Nuremberg the Imperialists and the Swedes held a peace banquet in
the great saloon of the council-house; the lofty vaulted hall was
splendidly lighted; betwixt the chandeliers hung down thirty kinds of
flowers and real fruits, bound together with gold tinsel; four choirs
were stationed for festive music, and the six classes of invited guests
were assembled in six different rooms. On the table stood two
prodigious show dishes, a triumphal arch, and a hexagonal mound covered
with mythological and allegorical figures with Latin and German
devices. The banquet was served up in four courses, in each course were
a hundred and fifty dishes, then came the fruits in silver dishes, and
on real dwarf trees by which the whole table was covered; amidst all
this, fine frankincense was burnt, which produced a very agreeable
odour. Afterwards the upper leaves of the table were taken away by
pieces, then the table was covered again with napkins, and plates
strewed over wish flowers made of sugar, and now came the
confectionery: among these there were gigantic marchpanes on two silver
shells, each of which weighed ten pounds. And when the health of his
Imperial Majesty of Vienna and his Kindly Majesty of Sweden was drank,
together with the prosperity of the peace which had been concluded,
fifteen large and small pieces were discharged from the citadel. When
this peace banquet had lasted far on into the night, the Field-marshals
and Generals present, wished on parting to play once more at being
soldiers. They caused arms to be brought into the hall, chose the two
ambassadors as captains; his Illustrious and Serene Highness Herr
Carl Gustav, Count Palatine on the Rhine, afterwards King of Sweden,
and his Excellency General Piccolomini; but for a corporal they
chose Field-Marshal Wrangel; and all the Generals, colonels, and
lieutenant-colonels were made musketeers. Thus these gentlemen marched
round the table, fired a salvo, went in good order to the citadel, and
there fired off the pieces many times. On their return they were
playfully discharged by Colonel Kraft and dismissed the service, as now
there was to be peace for ever. Two oxen were slaughtered for the poor,
and there was a great distribution of bread, also for six hours red and
white wine flowed from a lion's jaw. For thirty years had tears and
blood flowed from a greater lion's jaw.

Like the honourable ambassadors, the people prepared a festive
celebration in every town, nay in every half-destroyed village. How
great was the effect of the intelligence of peace on the German nation
may be learned from some affecting details. To the old country people
the peace appeared as a return of their youth; they looked back to the
rich harvests of their childhood, thickly populated villages, the merry
Sundays under the hewed-down village lindens, and the happy hours which
they had passed with their ruined and deceased relations and
companions. They saw themselves happier, more manly, and better
than they had been during thirty years of misery and degradation.
But the youth of the country--a hard war-engendered demoralized
race--discovered in it the approach of a wonderful time which appeared
to them like a legend from a distant country. The time when on every
acre of field, the thick yellow ears of corn would wave in the wind;
when in every stall the cows would low, and in every sty a fat pig
would be lying; when they themselves should drive with two horses in
the fields, merrily cracking their whips, and when there would be no
enemy's soldiers to snatch rough caresses from their sisters or
sweethearts; when they would no longer have to lie in wait in the
bushes, with pitchforks and rusty muskets, for the stragglers, nor to
sit as fugitives in the dismal gloom of the wood by the graves of
the slain; when the village roofs would be without holes, and the
farm-yards without ruined barns; when the howl of the wolf would not be
heard every night at the yard gate; when their village churches would
again have glass windows, and beautiful bells; when in the soiled choir
of the church, there should arise a new altar with a silk cover, a
silver crucifix and a gilt chalice; and when one day the young lads
would again lead their brides to the altar, bearing the virgin wreaths
in their hair. A passionate, almost painful joy palpitated through all
hearts; even the wildest brood of the war, the soldiery, were seized
with it. The stern rulers themselves, the Princes and their
ambassadors, felt that this great boon of peace would be the salvation
of Germany. The festival was celebrated with the greatest fervour and
solemnity of which the people were capable. From the same circle of
village recollections from which examples have already been taken, the
following description of a festival is placed, in juxtaposition to that
of the Princes and Field-marshals.

Döllstedt, a fine village in the dukedom of Gotha, had suffered
severely. In 1636 the Hatzfeld corps had fallen upon the place, had
committed great damage, plundered the church, burnt and broken off the
woodwork, as had been prophesied by the pastor Herr Deckner shortly
before. "This dear man," thus writes his successor, the pastor, Herr
Trümper, "had rebuked his flock with righteous zeal on account of their
sins; but they had laughed at his rebukes and warnings, had treated him
with anger and ingratitude, and as he lamented in 1634, with weeping
eyes, had cut down his hops from the poles, and carried off the corn
from his fields. Thus he could only proclaim to them God's righteous
judgment on such hardened hearts. Not only publicly from the pulpit,
but also a few hours before his blessed departure, he had thus
lamented: 'Ah! thou poor Döllstedt! it will go ill with thee after my
decease!' Thereupon he turned, with the assistance of the attendants,
towards the church, and raised his weary head, struggling ineffectually
with death, as if he wished once more, from the corner of his room, to
see the church, in the service of which his life had been passed, and
said: 'Ah! thou dear, dear church! How will it fare with thee after my
death? They will sweep thee up with a besom.'"

His prophecy was fulfilled. The village in 1636 had to liquidate war
damages to the amount 5500 of gulden, and between 1627 and 1637 it
amounted altogether to 29,595 gulden, so that the inhabitants by
degrees disappeared and the place remained quite desolate; in 1636
there were only two married couples in the village. In the year 1641,
after Banner and, again in the winter, the French had been quartered in
it, half an acre of corn was sown, and there were four couples dwelling
there. By the zealous care of Duke Ernest the Good, of Gotha, the
deserted villages in his country were comparatively quickly occupied by
men. In 1650, therefore, the jubilee and peace festival could be
solemnized in Döllstedt. The description of it is given, as it is
recorded in the church books, by the then Pastor Trümper.

"On the 19th of August, at four o'clock in the morning, we, together
with our coadjutors and some of the householders of Gotha, mounted our
tower, and celebrated with music our morning prayer. Towards six
o'clock, as happened the preceding day at one o'clock; they began to
ring the bells for a quarter of an hour, and again, for the same length
of time, at half after seven. Meanwhile, the whole population, man and
woman, young and old, except those who assisted at the ringing,
assembled before the gate: 1st, the women-folk stood on one side;
before them was a figure of Peace, which the noble maidens had dressed
up beautifully, in a lovely green silk dress and other decorations; on
her head was placed a beautiful green wreath intermingled with gold
spangles, and in her hand a green branch. 2nd. On the other side
towards the village stood the men, and in front of them Justice in a
beautiful white garment, with a green wreath round her head, and
bearing in her hands a naked sword and gold scales. 3rd. Towards the
fields on the same side, stood the young men with guns, and some with
naked swords, and before them Mars, dressed as a soldier, and bearing
in his hands a crossbow. 4th. In the middle near me, stood the
scholars, householders, and the coadjutors. Then did the recollection
come across me, of how often we had been obliged to quit our homes and
flee from our gates, our eyes overflowing with tears, and when the
storm was passed, had returned home again with joy, notwithstanding
that we found all devastated, ruined, and turned topsy-turvy. Now we
thought it fitting thus to honour our dear God, going out in front of
our gates, and as He had preserved us from the like devastation and
necessity for flight and escape, by the gracious boon of the noble and
long-desired peace, we desired now to go to his gates with
thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise, and would for that raise
our voices with one accord and sing: 'To God alone most high be honour,
&c.' 5th. Whilst these strophes were being chanted, Peace and Justice
approached one another nearer and nearer. At the words: 'All feuds are
now at an end,' those who held naked swords sheathed them, and those
who had guns fired some salvos and turned themselves round. Peace
beckoned to some who had been hereto appointed; these took from Mars,
who appeared to defend himself his cross-bow, and broke it in twain;
Peace and Justice met together and kissed each other. 6th. Thereupon
the chanting, which had been begun, was continued, and we prepared to
go. Before the scholars, went Andreas Ehrhardt, adorned to the utmost,
with a staff in his hand wound round with green garlands. Then followed
the scholars with green wreaths on their heads and green branches in
their hands, and they wore short white garments; then came the
assistants and musicians; after these, I, the Pastor, together with the
Herr Pastor of Vargula, who had come to me. After us came the maidens,
the little ones in front, and the taller ones behind, all adorned to
the utmost, and green wreaths on their heads. After these went Peace,
and behind her the boys, who carried a basket of rolls and a dish of
apples, which were afterwards distributed among the children; item, all
kinds of fruits of the field.

"These were followed by the noble maidens, together with their
relations, whom they had bidden; after them nobles from Seebach,
Saxony, and others who had accompanied them. After these came Justice,
and behind her, magistrates and assessors, all bearing white staves in
their hands, twined with green garlands. Then followed the Ensign
Christian Heum, in his best attire, with a staff in his hand, on which
he leant, but it was encircled with a green garland. Afterwards came
the men in pairs with green bouquets in their hands; the men were
followed by Mars bound, then the young lads with their guns reversed.
There followed the Sergeant-major Herr Dietrich Grün in his finery,
with a staff in his hand like the Ensign; and after him the women-folk,
all also in pairs in their order, and all passed singing through the
village to the church. When the aforesaid song was finished we sang,
'Now Praise the Lord, my soul.'

"In the church there was preaching and singing conformable to the royal
ordinance. After the service was completed, we went in the former order
from the church to the Platz in front of the inn; there the men on one
side, and the women on the other, in half-circles, closed in, forming a
fine wide circle, and during their progress they sang, 'Now rejoice
together, dear Christians.' When the circle was formed I gave thanks to
all collectively, that they had not only, according to the proclamation
of the high and mighty princely government, obediently observed this
solemnity, but also had gone out at my desire, all together, noble and
humble alike, to the gates, and had followed me in such beautiful order
to church, &c., and I admonished them to attend again zealously the
afternoon service. And truly, as I said that it would be well for every
one to come from their houses to church in the afternoon, they did all
reassemble as before in front of the inn; Peace and Justice also were
there again in their dress, but Mars had disappeared. When I was
informed of this, I went during the last peal of the bells with the
scholars, the coadjutors, and the householders out by the back gate
through the church lane to the church, when every one again, as
before, followed me into the church. There we then sang, 'Now let us
sing unto the Lord,' &c. From the church we returned in the same
order, again singing, 'Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,' &c., to the
above-mentioned place, where I again gave thanks both to strangers and
townspeople, with heartfelt wishes for peace. And here the six
groschen, rolls, and ripe apples were distributed among the children."

It is known that the great peace came very slowly, like the recovery
from a mortal illness. The years from 1648 to 1650, from the conclusion
of the peace to the celebration of the festival, were among the most
grievous of that iron time; exorbitant war taxes were imposed, the
armies of the different countries lay encamped in the provinces till
they could be paid off, the oppression which they exercised on the
unhappy inhabitants was so fearful, that a despairing cry arose from
the people, which mingled itself with the wrangling of the negotiating
parties. To this was added a plague of another kind; the whole country
swarmed with a rabble that had no masters; bands of discharged soldiers
with the camp followers, troops of beggars, and great hordes of
robbers, roved about from one territory to another; they quartered
themselves by force on those villages which were still inhabited, and
established themselves in the deserted huts. The villagers also,
provided with bad weapons and disused to labour, thought it sometimes
more satisfactory to rob, than to till the fields, and made secret
roving expeditions into the neighbouring territories, the Evangelical
into the Catholic countries, and _vice versâ_. The foreign children of
a lawless race, the gipsies, had increased in number and audacity;
fantastically dressed, with heavily laden carts, stolen horses, and
naked children, they encamped in great numbers round the stone trough
of the village green: whenever the ruler was powerful and the officials
active, the wild rovers were encountered with energy. The villagers of
the dukedom of Gotha were still obliged, in 1649, to keep watch from
the church towers, to guard the bridges and fords, and to give an alarm
whenever they perceived any of these marching bands. A well-regulated
system of police was the first sign of that new feeling of
responsibility which the governments had acquired: every one who wished
to settle down was encouraged to do so. Whoever was established, had to
render an account of how much land he had cultivated, of the condition
of his house and farm, and whether he had any cattle. New registers of
the farms and inhabitants were prepared, new taxes on money and on
natural products were imposed; and by the severe pressure of these, the
villagers were compelled to labour. The villages were gradually
reinhabited; many families who had fled to the towns during the war
repaired their devastated farms; others returned from the mountains or
foreign countries; disbanded soldiers and camp followers sometimes
bought fields and empty houses with the remainder of their booty, or
returned to their native villages. There was much marrying and

But the exhaustion of the people was still lamentably great. The arable
land, much of which had lain fallow, was sown without the necessary
manure; not a little remained overrun with wild underwood and weeds,
and long continued as osier land. The ruined districts were sometimes
bought by the neighbouring villages, and in some places two or three
small communities united themselves together.

For many years after the war, the appearance of the villages was most
comfortless; one may perceive that this was the case in Thuringia, from
the transactions with the Government. The householders of Siebleben and
some other communities round Gotha, had held, from the middle ages, the
right of having timber free from the wooded hills. In 1650, the
government demanded from them, for the exercise of this right, a small
tax upon oats: some of the communities excused themselves, as they were
too poor to be able to think of rebuilding their damaged houses. Ten
years after, the community of Siebleben had forty boys who paid small
school fees, and the yearly offering in the church amounted to more
than fourteen gulden. A portion of this offering was spent in alms to
strangers, and it is perceptible, from the carefully kept accounts,
what a stream of beggars of all kinds passed through the country;
disbanded soldiers, cripples, the sick and aged; amongst them were
lepers with certificates from their infirmaries, also exiles from
Bohemia and Hungary, who had left their homes on account of their
religion, banished noblemen from England, Ireland, and Poland, persons
collecting money for the ransom of their relatives from Turkish
imprisonment, travellers who had been plundered by highwaymen, and
others, such as a blind pastor from Denmark with five children; the
strangers came prepared with testimonials. The governments, however,
were unwearied in their efforts against harbouring such vagrants.

Much has been written concerning the devastation of the war; but the
great work is still wanting, that would concentrate the statistical
notices which have been preserved in all the different territories:
however enormous the labour may be, it must be undertaken, for it is
only from this irrefragable computation, that the full greatness of the
calamity can be understood. The details hitherto known scarcely amount
to a probable valuation of the loss which Germany suffered in men,
beasts of burden, and productive power. The following inferences only
attempt to express the views of an individual, which a few examples
will support.

The condition of the provinces of Thuringia and Franconia is not ill
adapted for a comparison of the past with the present; neither of them
were more afflicted by the visitation of war than other countries; the
state of cultivation of both provinces, up to the present time, answers
pretty accurately to the general average of German industry and
agriculture: neither of them are on the whole rich: both were hilly
countries, without large rivers, or any considerable coal strata, with
low lands, of which only certain tracts were distinguished by especial
fertility, and were up to modern times devoted to agriculture, garden
culture, and small mining industry. Thus this portion of Germany had
known no powerful stream of human enterprise or capital, nor, on the
other hand, was it the theatre of the destructive wars of Louis XIV.'s
time, and the rulers, especially the grandson of Frederic the Wise,
were even in the worst times tolerably sparing of the national

There have been preserved to us from these districts, amongst other
things, accurate statistical notices of twenty communities, which once
were in the Hennebergen domain; but now, with the exception of one that
is Bavarian, belong to Saxe Meiningen. It is nowhere mentioned, and
from their condition need not be concluded, that the devastation in
them had been greater than in other portions of the province. The
government in 1649 ordered an accurate report to be given of the number
of inhabited houses, barns, and head of cattle that existed when the
worst sufferings of the war began in 1634. According to the reports
delivered by the magistrates of the places, there had perished in
the twenty communities more than eighty-two per cent, of families,
eighty-five per cent, of horses, more than eighty-three of goats, and
eighty-two of cows, and more than sixty-three per cent. of houses. The
remaining houses were described as in many places damaged and in ruins,
the still surviving horses as lame and blind, and the fields and
meadows as devastated and much overgrown with underwood; but the sheep
were everywhere altogether destroyed.[40]

It is a bloody and terrible tale which these numbers tell us. More than
four fifths of the population, far more than four fifths of their
property were destroyed. And in what a condition was the remainder!

Precisely similar was the fate of the smaller provincial towns, as far
as one can see from the preserved data. We will give only one example
from the same province. The old church records of Ummerstadt, an
agricultural town near Coburg, famed, from olden times, throughout the
country for its good pottery, report as follows:--"Although in the year
1632 the whole country, as also the said little town, was very
populous, so that it alone contained more than one hundred and fifty
citizens, and up to eight hundred souls, yet from the ever-continuing
war troubles, and the constant quartering of troops, the people became
in such-wise enervated, that from great and incessant fear, a
pestilence sent upon us by the all-powerful and righteous God, carried
off as many as five hundred men in the years 1635 and 1636; on account
of this lamentable and miserable condition of the time, no children
were born into the world in the course of two years. Those whose lives
were still prolonged by God Almighty, have from hunger, the dearness of
the times, and the scarcity of precious bread, eaten and lived upon
bran, oil-cakes, and linseed husks, und many also have died of it; many
also have been dispersed over all countries, most of whom have never
again seen their dear fatherland. In the year 1640, during the
Saalfeldt encampment, Ummerstadt became a city of the dead or of
shadows; for during eighteen weeks no man dared to appear therein, and
all that remained was destroyed. Therefore the population became quite
thin, and there were not more than a hundred souls forthcoming." In
1850 the place had eight hundred and ninety-three inhabitants.

Still more striking is another observation, which may be made from the
tables of the Meiningen villages. It is only in our century that the
number of men and cattle of all kinds has again reached the height
which it had already attained in 1634. Nay, the number of houses was
still in 1849 less than in 1634, although, there the inmates of the
smallest village houses, even the poorest, still anxiously endeavour to
preserve their own dwellings. It is true that there is a trifling
increase of the number of inhabitants in 1849 over that in 1634; but
even this increase is dubious when we consider that the number of
inhabitants in 1634 had probably already experienced a diminution from
sixteen years of war. Thus we are assuredly justified in concluding
that two centuries were necessary, at least for this tract of Germany,
to restore the population and productive power of the country to its
former standard. These assumptions are supported by other observations.
The agriculture of the country, before the Thirty years' war, nay even
the relative proportion of the value of corn to that of silver, at a
time when the export of corn was only exceptional, lead to the same

It is true that during the last two centuries, agriculture, owing to
the mighty effects of foreign traffic, has developed itself in an
entirely new direction. The countryman also now cultivates field
vegetables, clover, and other herbage for fodder, which were unknown
before the Thirty years' war, and agricultural produce is more
lucrative for an equal amount of population. Perhaps our ancestors
lived in a poorer style, and farmed less. We can compare the stock of
cattle. The number of cattle kept now in the villages is precisely the
same as before the war; they have still the short, thick, curly-woolled
Spanish herds, which used to be reared in the pens of the peasants; the
old wool fell in long locks; but judging from the value of the cloth
and stuffs woven from it, and the price of sheep at that time, it must
have been good.

On the other hand, the stock of horses has diminished by three fourths
in comparison with 1634. This striking circumstance can only be thus
explained: that the traditions of the troopers of the middle ages
exercised an influence even upon agriculture; that the rearing of
horses was more profitable than now, on account of the bad roads which
made a distant transport of corn impossible, whilst the lowing of
cattle in the narrow farm-yards of the towns was so general that the
sale of milk and butter paid little; and finally, that a larger portion
of the country people were better able to maintain teams. The breaking
up of the ground was then, as may be seen from the old farm books in
Thuringia, somewhat--but not considerably--less than now. In the
present day the number of goats and of cattle belonging to small
farmers has increased, as also the number of oxen, which probably in
Middle and Southern Germany are now finer and higher bred than
formerly. This is a decided progress of the present day. But on the
whole, reckoning the amount of fodder required, the number of beasts
which are maintained with advantage is very inconsiderably larger at
present than in 1634.

Thus Germany, in comparison with its happier neighbours in England and
the Low Countries, was thrown back about two hundred years.

Still greater were the changes which the war made in the intellectual
life of the nation. Above all among the country people. Many old
customs passed away, life became aimless and full of suffering. In the
place of the old household gear the rudest forms of modern furniture
were introduced; the artistic chalices, and old fonts, and almost all
the adornments of the churches, had disappeared, and were succeeded by
a tasteless poverty in the village churches, which still continues. For
more than a century after the war the peasant vegetated, penned in,
almost as much as his herds, whilst his pastor watched him as a
shepherd, and he was shorn by the landed proprietors and rulers of his
country. There was a long period of gloomy suffering. The price of corn
in the depopulated country was, for fifty years after the war, even
lower than before. But the burdens upon landed property rose so high,
that for a long time, land together with house and farm, bore little
value, and sometimes were offered in vain as acquittance for service
and imposts. Severer than ever was the pressure of vassalage, worst of
all in the former Sclave countries, in which the peasantry were kept
down by a numerous nobility. With respect to their marriages, they were
placed under an unnatural and compulsory guardianship; strict care was
taken that the son of the countryman should not evade by flight the
servitude which was to weigh down his future. He could not travel
without a written permission; even ship and raft masters were forbidden
under severe penalties to take such fugitives into their service.

Much to be lamented is the injury to civilization which took place in
the devastated cities, especially the return to luxury, love of
pleasure, and coarse sensuality, the want of common sense and
independence, the cringing towards superiors and heartlessness towards
inferiors. They are the ancient sufferings of a decaying race. That the
self-government of cities was more and more infringed upon by the
princes, was frequently fortunate, for the administrators were too
often deficient in judgment and feeling of duty.

The new constitution of governments which had arisen during the war,
laid its iron hands on town and country. The old territories of the
German empire were changed into despotic bureaucratic states. The ruler
governed through his officials, and kept a standing army against his
enemies; to maintain his "state," that is, his courtiers, officials and
soldiers, was the task of the people. But to make this possible, it was
necessary to promote carefully the increase of the population, and the
greater tax-paying capacity of the subject. Some princes, especially
the Brandenburgers, did this in a liberal spirit, and thus in this dark
period, by increasing the power of their new state, laid the foundation
of the greatness of their houses. Others indeed lavished the popular
strength, in coarse imitation of French demoralization.

It was a mortal crisis through which Germany had passed, and dearly was
the peace bought. But that which was most important had been preserved,
the continuity of German development, the continuance of the great
inward process, by which the German nation raised itself from the
bondage of the middle ages to a higher civilization.

The long struggle, politically considered, was a defensive war of the
Protestant party against the intolerance of the old faith and the
attacks of the Imperial power. This defensive struggle had begun by an
ill-timed offensive movement in Bohemia. The head of the House of
Hapsburg had law and right on his side, so long as he only put down
this movement. His opponents put themselves in the position of
revolutionists, which could only be vindicated by success. But from the
day when the Emperor made use of his victory to suppress by means of
Jesuits and soldiers the sovereignty of the German princes, and the old
rights of the cities, he became in his turn the political offender
whose bold venture was repulsed by the last efforts of the nation. But
here we must take a higher point of view, from which the proceedings of
Ferdinand II. appear still more insupportable. Just a hundred years
before his reign, all the good spirits of the German nation fought on
the side of the Emperor, when he, in opposition to existing rights and
old usages, had founded a German Church and German state. Since that,
the family of Charles V. had for a century, a short time excepted, done
much by laborious scheming, or listless indifference, to destroy the
last source of this new life, independence of spirit, thought and
faith: it was for a century, a short time excepted, the opponent of the
national German life; it had its Spanish and Italian alliances, and had
arrayed the Romish Jesuits against the indigenous civilization of the
nation, aided, alas! by some of the German princes. It was by such
means that it had endeavoured to become great in Germany, and in the
same spirit, an overzealous Emperor called forth the bloody decision.
On his head, not on the German people or Princes, lies the guilt of
this endless war. The Protestant chiefs, with the exception of the
lesser rulers, only sought to submit and make peace with their Emperor.
It was only for a few years they were led into open war, by the
arrogance of Wallenstein, the scorn of Vienna, and the warlike pressure
of Gustavus Adolphus; the alliance of the great electoral houses of
Saxony and Brandenburg with Sweden did not last four years; at the
first opportunity they receded, and during the last period of the war,
neutrality was their strongest policy.

The princes obtained by the peace the object of their defensive
opposition; the extravagant designs of the Imperial Court were crushed.
Germany was free. Yes, free! Devastated and powerless, with its western
frontier for a century the fighting-ground and spoil of France, it had
still to bear the out-pouring of an accumulated measure of humiliation
and shame. But whoever would now clench their hands at this, let them
beware of raising them against the Westphalian peace. The consequences
that followed, the laying in ashes of the Palatinate, the seizure of
Strasburg, the loss of Alsace and Lorraine, were not owing to this
peace. The cause of all this, was long before the Thirty years' war; it
had been foreseen by patriotic men long beforehand. Since the
Smalkaldic war the sovereignty of the German Princes, and the
independence of portions of the empire, were the only guarantee for a
national progressive civilization. One may deeply lament, but can
easily understand this. Now at last this independence had been legally
established by streams of blood. Whoever considers the year 1813,--the
first kindling of the people since 1648,--as full of glory; whoever has
at any time ennobled himself by a sense of duty and enlarged moral
sentiments, acquired from the severe teaching of Kant and his
followers; whoever has at any time derived pleasure from the highest
that man is capable of understanding, and from the nature and souls of
his own and foreign people; whoever has at any time felt with transport
the beauty of the new German poetry, the Nathan, Faust, and Guillaume
Tell; whoever has taken a heartfelt participation in the free life of
our science and arts, in the great discoveries of our natural
philosophers, and in the powerful development of German industry and
agriculture, must remember, that with the peace of Munster and Osnaburg
began the period in which the political foundation of the development
of a higher life was in a great measure secured.

The war had nevertheless consequences which we must still deeply
deplore; it has long severed the third of Germany from intellectual
communion of spirit with their kindred races. The German hereditary
possessions of the Imperial family have ever since been united in a
special state. Powerfully and incessantly has the foreign principle
worked which there prevails. For a long time the depressed nation
scarcely felt the loss. In Germany the opposition between Romanism and
Protestantism had been weakened, and in the following century it was in
a great measure overcome. Even those territories which were compelled
by their rulers to maintain their old faith, had participated in the
slow and laborious progress which had been made since the peace. It is
not to be denied that the Protestant countries long remained the
leaders, but in spite of much opposition, those of the old faith
followed the new stream, and the results of increasing civilization
flowed in brotherly union from one soul to another; joy and suffering
were in general mutual, and as the political requirements and wishes of
the Protestant and Roman Catholics were the same, the feeling of
intellectual unity became gradually more active. It was otherwise in
the distant countries which Ferdinand II. and his successors had
bequeathed as conquered property. The losses which the German races had
experienced were great, but the injury to the Austrian nationalities
was incomparably greater. To them had happened what must now appear, to
any one who examines accurately, most terrible. Almost the whole
national civilization, which in spite of all hindrances had been
developed for more than a century, was expelled with an iron rod. The
mass of the people remained; their leaders--opulent landed proprietors
of the old indigenous race, manly patriots, men of distinguished
character and learning, and intelligent pastors, were driven into
exile. The exiles have never been counted, who perished of hunger, and
the horrors of war; those also who settled in foreign countries can
scarcely be reckoned. Undoubtedly their collective number amounted to
hundreds of thousands. It is thanks to the Bohemian exiles, that
Electoral Saxony recovered its loss in men and capital quicker than
other countries. Yet it is not the numbers, however great, which give a
true representation of the loss. For those who fell into calamity on
account of their faith and political convictions were the noblest
spirits, the leaders of the people, the representatives of the highest
civilization of the time. But it was not the loss of them alone that
made the Emperor's dominions so weak and dormant; the millions also
that remained behind were crushed. Driven by every low motive, by rough
violence or the prospect of earthly advantage, from one faith to
another, they had lost all self-respect and the last ideal which even
the most commonplace man preserves, the feeling that he has a place in
his heart that cannot be bought. Everywhere throughout Germany in the
worst times after the war, there were thousands who were fortified by
the feeling that they also, like their fathers and neighbours, had
resisted armed conversion to the death. In the converted Austrian
territories of the Emperor, this feeling was rare. For almost a century
and a half the Bohemian and German races vegetated in a dreary dream
life. The Bohemian countryman hung the various saints of the restored
church by the side of his pictures of Huss and Zisko, but he kept a
holy lamp burning before the old heretic; the citizen of Vienna and
Olmutz accustomed himself to speak of the Empire and Germany as of a
foreign land; he accommodated himself to Hungarians, Italians, and
Croats, but at the same time he remained a stranger in the new state in
which he was now domiciled. Little did he care for the categorical
imperative, imposed by the new worldly wisdom; later he learned that
Schiller was a German poet. Only then did a new spring begin for the
Germans, in which freedom of mind and beauty of soul were sought for as
the highest aim of earthly life; when the new study of antiquity
inspired them with enthusiasm, when the genius of Goethe irradiated the
court of Weimar, then sounded from dormant Austria, the deepest and
most mysterious of arts, a fullness of melody. There also the spirit of
the people had found touching expression in Haydn, Mozart, and

                              CHAPTER VII.

                        ROGUES AND ADVENTURERS.

The war had fearfully loosened the joints of burgher society. The old
orderly and disciplined character of Germans appeared almost lost.
Countless was the number of unfortunates who having lost house and
farm, maintenance and family, wandered homeless through inhospitable
foreign countries; and not less numerous were the troops of reprobates
who had habituated themselves to live by fraud, extortion, and robbery.
Excitement had become a necessity to the whole living race, for thirty
years the vagrant rabble of all Europe had chosen Germany as their

Thus it happened that after the peace the doings of the fortune
hunters, adventurers, and rogues increased to an extraordinary extent.
A contrast of weakness and roughness is, in the following century, a
special characteristic of the needy, careworn family life, into which
the spirit of the German people had contracted itself. Some particulars
of this wild life will be here related, which will denote the gradual
changes it underwent. For like the German devils, the children of the
devil have also their history, and their race is more ancient than the
Christian faith.

People are hardly aware of the intimate connection between German life
and Roman antiquity. Not only did the traditions of the Roman empire,
Christianity, Roman law, and the Latin language become parts of the
German civilization, but still more extensively were the numerous
little peculiarities of the Roman world preserved in the middle ages.
German agriculture acquired from the Romans the greater part of its
implements, also wheat, barley, and much of the remaining produce. The
most ancient of our finer kinds of fruit are of Roman origin, equally
so our wine, many garden flowers, and almost all our vegetables; also
the oldest woollen fabrics, cotton and silk stuffs, and all the oldest
machines, as for example, watermills, and the first mining and foundry
works; likewise innumerable other things, even to the oldest forms of
our dress, house utensils, chairs, tables, cupboards, and even the
panels of our folding doors. And if it were possible to measure how
much in our life is gathered from antiquity, or from primitive German
invention, we should still, after the lapse of fifteen centuries, find
so much that is Roman in our fields, gardens, and houses, on our
bodies, nay, even in our souls, that one may well have a right to
inquire whether our primeval ancestors were more under the protection
of Father Jove or of the wild Woden.

Thus amongst numberless others, the despised race of Gladiators,
Histrions, and Thymelei--or jesters, were preserved throughout the
storm of migration, and spread from Rome among the barbarian races.
They introduced amongst the bloody hordes of Vandals the dissolute
Roman pantomime; they stood before the huts of the Frank chiefs, and
piped and played foreign melodies, which had perhaps once come with the
orgies of the Asiatic gods to Rome; they intermingled with the Gothic
congregation, which poured out of the newly built church into the
churchyard, and there opened their chests in order to show a monkey in
a red jacket as a foreign prodigy, or produced the grotesque figures of
old Latin puppets, the _maccus_, _bucco_, _papus_, and whatever else
the ancient fathers called our jack-puddings, for the amusement of the
young parishioners, who opened wide their large blue eyes at these
foreign wonders. Meanwhile other members of the band of jugglers
offered on payment, to execute gymnastic games before the warriors of
the community, which they performed with sharp weapons and all the
artifices and cunning of the Roman circus; then these foolhardy men
formed a ring and carried on with passionate eagerness, for the sake of
pay, the dangerous hazards of the combat, which the spectators admired
the more, the bloodier it became, whilst they held the unfortunates,
who thus struggled for money, in no greater consideration than a couple
of wolves or hungry dogs. But for the distinguished spectators there
were other more enticing artists. Women also roved with the men amongst
the German tribes, dexterous and bold, dancers, singers, and actresses,
in brilliant cavalcades. When they shook the Greek tambourine or the
Asiatic castanets, in the licentious mazes of the bacchanalian dance,
they were generally irresistible to the German barons, but were
extremely offensive to serious people. In the year 554 a Frank king
interposed with his authority against the nuisance of these foreign
_rovers_, and the worthy Hinkmar, paternally warned his priests also
against these women, whose foreign sounding designation was expressed
by the true-hearted monk with a very well known but bitter word.

To these foreign jugglers were speedily added numerous German recruits.
The German races had had wandering singers from the primitive times,
bearers of news, spreaders of epic songs and poems. These also moved
from farm to farm, highly welcome in the large houses of persons of
distinction, honoured guests, trusted messengers, who often received
from their hosts a more affectionate reward than golden bracelets or
new dresses. They had once upon a time sung to the harp by the
fireside, of the adventurous expedition of the thunder god to the world
of giants, and of the tragic fall of the Nibelungen, then of Attila's
battle, and the wonders of southern lands. But to the new Christian
faith, this treasure of old native songs was obnoxious. The high-minded
Charlemagne made a collection of the heroic songs of the German race,
but his Popish son Louis hated and despised them. These songs
undoubtedly were so thoroughly heathen, that the Church had reason to
remonstrate against them in synodical resolutions and episcopal
decrees. Together with them, the race of singers who carried and spread
them, fell into disfavour with the church. The songs did not however
cease, but the singers sank to a lower scale, and finally a portion of
them at least fell into the class of vagrants, and the people were
accustomed to hear the fairest heritage of their past from the lips of
despised players.

Another heritage also from German heathendom fell to these strollers.
Even before the time of Tacitus there were simple dramatic processions
in Germany; on the great feast days of the German gods, there already
appeared the humorous ideas of the pious German regarding his world of
deities, associating with them comic processions of mummers, the
figures of goblins and giants, gray winter and green spring, the bear
of Donar, and probably the magic white horse of Woden, which in the
oldest form of dramatic play opposed each other either in mimic combat,
or for their rights. The wandering jugglers, with great facility, added
these German masks to the grotesque Roman figures which they had
brought into the country; and in the churchyard of the new Christian
congregation, the bear of the bacchanalian Asen bellowed beside the
followers of the Roman god of wine, and the satyr with his goats' feet
and horns.

Thus this race of wanderers soon Germanized themselves, and during the
whole of the middle ages roved about amongst the people--in the eye of
the law homeless and lawless. The Church continued to rouse suspicion
against these strollers by repeated decrees; the clergy would on no
account see or listen to such rabble, nay, they were denied the right
of taking a part in the Christian sacraments. The old law books allowed
hired pugilists to kill each other without penance, like stray dogs; or
what was almost worse, they granted to the injured vagrant only the
mockery of a sham penance. If a stroller was struck by a sword or
knife, he could only return the thrust or blow upon the shadow of his
injurers on the wall.

This ignominious treatment contrasted strongly with the favour which
these strollers generally enjoyed. Singly, or in bands, they went
through the country, and streamed together by hundreds at the great
court and Church fêtes. Then, it was the general custom to distribute
among them food, drink, clothes, and money. It was thought advisable to
treat them well, as they were well known to be tale-bearers, and would
publish in satirical songs throughout the whole country the scandalous
conduct of the niggardly man, with a vindictiveness which was sharpened
by the feeling that such revenge was the best means of making
themselves feared. It was rarely that a prince like Henry II., or a
pious bishop, ventured to send away these bands from their fêtes
without a reward. Almost everywhere, till quite into the fifteenth
century, they were to be found wherever a large assemblage of men
sought for amusement. They sang ballads, satirical songs and love
songs, and related heroic tales and legends from foreign lands, on the
stove-bench of the peasant, in tins ante-room of the burgher, or the
hall of the castle. From the latter its lord is absent perhaps on a
crusade, and his wife and servants listen anxiously to the fables and
lies of the wandering player. To-day he is the narrator of foreign
tales of marvel, and to-morrow the clandestine messenger betwixt
two lovers; then he again enters for a time the service of knightly
minne-singers, whose minne-songs he accompanies with his music, and
undertakes to spread them through the country, as a journal does now;
or he dresses himself up more strikingly than usual, takes his bauble
in his hand, places a fool's cap on his head, and goes as travelling
fool to some nobleman, or follower of some distinguished ecclesiastic.

Wherever his fellows collected together in numbers, at courtly
residences and tournaments, or in churchyards at great saints' feasts,
he quickly pitched his tent and booth by the side of those of traders
and pedlers, and began his arts; rope-dancing, jongleur exercises,
sham-fights, dramatic representations in masks, shows of curiosities,
songs, masked artistic dances, and playing for dances and festive
processions. In the churchyard itself, or within the boundaries of some
castle, were heard the sounds of noisy pleasure; and the sun-burnt
women of the band slipped secretly through side doors into the castle
or the priests' house.

Only some of the practices of these vagrants deserve special mention.
The influence which these musicians exercised on the progress of epic
and lyrical popular poetry, has been already mentioned; it is even now
discerned in heroic poetry, for the players often endeavoured to
introduce fellows of their own class into the old poetry, and took care
that they should play no contemptible rôle. Thus in the Nibelungen, the
brilliant form of the hero Volker the fiddler, is the representation of
a musician; similar figures, grotesque in appearance, but rougher and
coarser, hectored in the later poems and popular legends, as for
example the monk Ilsan in the Rosengarten.

But it was not only in the German epos, that the strollers smuggled in,
beautiful copies of their own life; despised as they were, they
contrived, with all the insolence of their craft, to introduce
themselves into the nave and choir of the church, though almost
excluded from its holy rites. For even in the first strict
ecclesiastical beginnings of the German dramas, they crept into the
holy plays of the Easter festivals. Already in the beginning of the
middle ages the history of the crucifixion and resurrection had assumed
a dramatic colouring; alternate songs between Christ and his disciples,
Pilate and the Jews, were sung by the clergy in the church choir; a
great crucifix was reverently deposited in an artificial grave in the
crypt, and afterwards there was a solemn announcement, on Easter
morning, of the resurrection, songs of praise by the whole
congregation, and the consecration of psalms. They began early to bring
forward more prominently, individual rôles in dramatic songs, to put
speeches as well as songs into their mouths, and to distinguish the
chief roles by suitable dress and particular attributes. On other
Church festivals the same was done with the legends of the saints, and
already in the twelfth century whole pieces were dramatically performed
in the German churches, first of all in Latin, by the clergy in the
choir. But in the thirteenth century the German language made its way
into the dialogue; then the pieces became longer, the number of rôles
increased, the laity began to join in it, the dialogues became
familiar, sometimes facetious, and contrasted wonderfully with the
occasional Latin songs and responses, which were maintained in the
midst of them, and which also gradually became German. The personages
in the Biblical plays still appear under the same comic figures, with
the coarse jokes and street wit which the roving people had introduced
into the churchyards. Generally the fool entered as servant of a quack.
From the oldest times these strollers had carried about with them
through the country, secret remedies, especially such as were
suspicious to the Church, primitive Roman superstitions, ancient German
forms of exorcism, and others also which were more noxious and
dangerous. At the great Church festivals and markets, there were always
doctors' booths, in which miraculous remedies and cures were offered
for sale to the believing multitudes. These booths also of the
wandering doctors are older than the Augustine age; they are to be seen
depicted on the Greek vases, and came to Germany through Italy, with
the grotesque masks of the doctors themselves and their attendant
buffoons, and were the most profitable trade of the strollers. These
doctors and their servants were introduced as interludes to the
spiritual plays, with long spun out episodes of the holy traffic, in
which ribaldry and drubbing are not wanting.

But the strollers introduced another popular person into the holy
plays, the devil, probably his first appearance in the church. Long had
this spirit of hell spit out fire under the tents of the churchyard,
and wagged his tail, and probably he had often been beaten and cheated,
to the delight of the spectators, by clever players, before he assisted
in the thirteenth century as a much-suffering fellow-actor, in the holy
Easter dramas, to the edification of the pious parishioners.

Such was the active industry carried on by these strollers through the
middle ages. Serving every class and every tendency of the times,
coarse in manners and morals, as privileged jesters both cherished and
ill treated, they were probably united amongst themselves in firm
fellowship, with secret tokens of recognition; they were distinguished
by their outward attire, and chiefly by fantastic finery, and by the
absence of long hair and beard, the honourable adornment of privileged
people, which they were forbidden to wear.

In the fifteenth century the severity of the laws against them were
relaxed, for the whole life of all classes had become more frivolous,
daring, and reckless; an inordinate longing after enjoyment, an
excessive pleasure in burlesque jesting, in music and dancing, in
singing and mimic representations, was general in the wealthy towns.
Thus many of the race of strollers contrived to make their peace with
the burgher society. They became domestic fools in the courts of
princes, the merry-andrews of the towns, associates of the town pipers,
and players to the bands of Landsknechte.

But besides the players and their followers, there appeared along the
roads of the armies, and in the hiding-places of the woods, other
children of misfortune less harmless and far more awful to the people,
first of all the gipsies.

The gipsies, from their language and the scanty historical records that
there are of them, appear to be a race of northern border Indians, who
lost their home, and their connection with their Indian relatives, at a
time when the transformation of the ancient Sanscrit into the modern
and popular languages had already begun. In their wanderings towards
the west, which had gone on for centuries, they must have lived in
continual intercourse with Arabians, Persians, and Greeks, for the
language of these people has had a marked influence on their own. They
were possibly, about the year 430 but more probably about 940, in
Persia. They appeared about the twelfth century as Ishmaelites and
braziers,[41] in Upper Germany. They were settled in the fourteenth
century in Cypress, and in the year 1370, as bondsmen is Wallachia. The
name of Zingaro or Zitano, is a corruption from their language; they
still call themselves Scindians, dwellers on the banks of the Indus;
their own statement also, that they came from Little Egypt, may be
correct, as Little Egypt appears then to have denoted, not the valley
of the Nile, but the frontier lands of Asia.

In the year 1417, they came in great hordes, with laughable pretensions
and grotesque processions, from Hungary, into Germany, and shortly
afterwards into Switzerland, France, and Italy. A band of three hundred
grown-up persons, without counting the children, proceeded as far as
the Baltic, under the command of a duke and count, on horseback and on
foot; the women and children sitting with the baggage on the carts.
They were dressed like comedians, and had sporting dogs with them as a
sign of noble birth; but when they really hunted, they did so without
dogs, and without noise. They showed recommendations and safe-conducts
from princes and nobles, and also from the Emperor Sigismund. They
asserted that their bishops had commanded them to wander for seven
years through the world. But they were great swindlers, and passed
their nights in the open air, for better opportunities of stealing. In
1418, they appeared in many parts of Germany, and the same year went
under the command of Duke Michael, from Little Egypt into Switzerland.
A rendezvous of many hordes seems to have taken place before Zurich.
They numbered according to the lowest computation a thousand heads.
They had two dukes and two knights, and pretended to have been driven
from Egypt by the Turks: they carried much money in their pockets, and
maintained that they had received it from their own people at home:
they ate and drank well, and also paid well, but they have never shown
themselves again like this. From thence they appear to have turned to
France and Italy; in 1422, a band of them came under a duke from Egypt
to Bologna and Forli. They stated that the King of Hungary had
compelled about 4000 of them to be baptized, and had slain the
remainder; the baptized had been condemned to the penance of seven
years' wandering. They wished to go to Rome to visit the Pope. In 1427,
the same band, probably, appeared before Paris with two dukes. They
asserted that they had letters and a blessing from the Pope. The Pope
had held council concerning them, and had decided that they were to
wander through the world seven years, without lying on a bed; then he
would send them to a fine country. For five years they had journeyed
about, and their king and queen had died during their wanderings, &c.
These were followed by other bands.

In 1424, a new horde appeared Wore Ratisbon, with letters of safe
conduct from the Emperor Sigismund, one of which was dated Zips, 1423,
and was published by the chroniclers. In 1438, another horde passed
through Bohemia, Austria, and Bavaria; this time they were under a
petty king, Zindelo; they also asserted that they came from Egypt, and
declared that they were commanded by God to wander for seven years,
because their forefathers had refused hospitality to the mother of God
and the child Jesus, on their flight into Egypt.

In hordes like these they spread themselves, during the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries, over the whole of Europe. In spite of their
frivolous finery and cunning lies, there were very few places in which
they succeeded in deceiving men. They proved, indeed, everywhere to be
wicked heathens, magicians, fortune-tellers, and most shameless
thieves. They split themselves into small bands during their distant
travels; their leaders, whom they had honoured with all the feudal
titles, in order to give themselves consideration, disappeared. They
themselves were thoroughly decimated by their wandering lives, and the
persecutions of the local inhabitants.

Their language gives the best explanation of their past. The original
homogeneousness of the gipsy language is distinctly visible amidst the
various changes which it has gone through in many countries. It appears
to be the mode of speech of a single and special Indian race. The gipsy
is apparently not the descendant of a mixed Indian people, or of a
single low caste of Indians, but of a distinct race of people. The men
call themselves everywhere, _rom_; and in contradiction to the western
nations, also _calo_, black: their wives, _romni_, and their language
_romany-tschib_. The names which their race have had in different
countries are numerous and various.

Their language is in its origin and internal structure a genuine
daughter of the distinguished Sanscrit, but it has become for many
centuries like a beggar and thief; it has lost much of its beauty, its
elegance, and its resemblance to its mother and sisters; instead of
which it has appropriated something to itself from every country in
which these people have tarried in their wanderings, and its dress
appears covered with the tatters of all nations, so that it is only
here and there that the genuine gold threads are still visible. The
race have lost a great portion of their own words, more especially
those, that express ideas which they could not preserve in their paltry
miserable life in foreign countries. They have lost the Indian
expression for parrot, elephant, and lion, also for the tiger and
buffalo snake, but sugar--_gûlo_, silk--_pahr_, and grapes--_drakh_,
they call by their Indian, and wine--_mohl_, by its Persian name. Nay,
they have also lost the Indian words for many current terms: they no
longer call the sparrow by its Indian name: no fish, and hardly any
plants; but undoubtedly they retain those of many large and small
animals, amongst others _dschu_, the louse. But in all countries, new
representations, images, and ideas offered themselves, and too lazy and
careless to form words of their own, they took those of every foreign
language and adapted them to the necessities of their own tongue. The
result was, that even the gipsies who were in bands, being without firm
union, were split in pieces among the various people, so that what they
still possessed did not remain common to all, and there arose in every
country a peculiar gipsy idiom, in which old recollections were mixed
up with the language of the country, in an original way. Finally the
_rom_ appropriated to himself almost everywhere, besides the common
language of the country that of the rogues, the thieves' dialect, to
which he imparted, in friendly exchange, words from his own language.
In Germany he understood gibberish, or _Jenisch_; in Bohemia,
_Hantyrka_; in French, _Argôt_; in England, Slang; and in Spain,

It is instructive to observe how their hereditary language became
corrupted; for the decadence of one language, through the overpowering
influence of another, proceeds according to fixed laws. First, foreign
words penetrate in a mass, because foreign cultivation has an imposing
effect; next the formation of sentences is taken from the foreign
language, because the mind of the people accustoms itself to think
after the method of the foreigners; and thirdly, they forget their
own inflections; then the language becomes a heap of ruins, a
weather-beaten organism, like a corroded mass of rock which crumbles
away into sand or gravel. The gipsy language has gone through the first
and second stages of decadence, and the third also in Spain.

The life of this race in Germany was far from comfortable. As their
hands were against the property of every one, so did the popular hatred
work against their lives. Charles V. commanded them to be banished, and
the new police ordinances of the Princes allowed them no indulgence.
Yet they were able to gain money from the country people by soothsaying
and secret arts, by doctoring man and beast, or as horse-dealers and
pedlers. Often, united with bands of robbers, they carried on a new
service during the long war, as camp followers. Wallenstein made use of
them as spies, as did the Swedes also later. The women made themselves
agreeable to the officers and common soldiers. The cunning men of the
band sold amulets and shod horses.

After the war they went about through the country audaciously, the
terror of the countryman. In 1663 a band of more than two hundred of
them invaded Thuringia, where they distributed themselves, and were
considered as very malevolent, because it was reported of them that
they reconnoitred the country probably for an enemy. They had in fact
become a great plague throughout the country, and the law thundered
against them with characteristic recklessness. Orders were issued
everywhere for their banishment; they were considered as spies of the
Turks, and as magicians, and were made outlaws; even after the year
1700, in a small Rhenish principality, a gipsy woman and her child were
brought in amongst other wild game which had been slain. A band again
broke into Thuringia in the eighteenth century, and a law in 1722
declared all the men outlawed. In Prussia, in 1710, an edict was
promulgated, commanding the alarm to be sounded, and the community to
be summoned together against them, whenever they should make their
appearance. On the frontiers, gallows were erected with this
inscription: "The punishment for thieves and gipsy rabble, both men and
women." As late as the year 1725 all the gipsies in the Prussian
states, over eighteen years of age, were to be hanged whether they had
a passport or not. Even in 1748 Frederick the Great renewed this strong
edict. The conduct of the civilized nineteenth century forms a pleasing
contrast to this. In 1830 at Friedrichslohra in Thuringia, a
philanthropic endeavour was made, and warmly promoted by the
government, to reform a band of about one hundred men, by the
maintenance of the adults and education of the children. The attempt
was continued for seven years, and completely failed.

The name of Stroller disappeared, and the occupation of these
possessionless rovers became to a certain degree free from the old
defect; but the great society of swindlers maintained a certain
organization. Their language also remained. The gibberish, of which
many specimens remain to us from the latter end of the middle ages,
shows already, before the demoralization of the people by the Hussite
war, a full development of old German rogues' idioms. It consists for
the greater part of Hebrew words as used by persons who were not
themselves Jews; together with these are mingled some of the honoured
treasures of the German language, beautiful old words, and again
significant inventions of figurative expressions, for the sake of
concealing the true sense of the speech by a deceptive figure: thus,
windgap for mantle, broadfoot for goose. Few of their words lead us to
expect an elevated disposition; the rough humour of desperadoes breaks
out from many of them. The practice, like the language of these rogues,
developed itself in greater refinement. The usual form in which the
resident inhabitants were plundered was begging. The works of holiness
of the old Church--an irrational alms-giving--had spread throughout
Christendom an unwieldy mass of mendicancy. In the first century of
German Christendom it is the subject of complaint of pious
ecclesiastics. In churchyards and in public places lay the beggars,
exposing horrible wounds, which were often artistically inflicted; they
sometimes went naked through the country with a club, afterwards
clothed, and with many weapons, and begged at every homestead for their
children, or for the honour of their saints, or as slaves escaped from
the Turkish galleys, for a vow, or for only a pound of wax, a silver
cross, or a mass vestment. They begged also towards the erection of a
church, producing letters and seals; they had much at heart to obtain
special napkins for the priest, linen for the altar cloth, and broken
plate for the chalice; they rolled about as epileptics, holding soap
lather in their mouths. In like manner did the women wander about, some
pretending to give birth to monsters (as for example a toad) which
lived in solitude as miraculous creatures, and daily required a pound
of meat. When a great festival was held they flocked together in
troops. They formed a dangerous company, and even iron severity could
scarcely keep them under restraint. Basle appears to have been one of
their secret meeting-places; they had there their own special place of
justice, and the famed "_Liber Vagatorum_" also, seems to have
originated in that neighbourhood. This book, written by an unknown hand
about 1500, contains, in rogues' language, a careful enumeration of the
rogue classes and their tricks, and at the end a vocabulary of jargon.
It was often printed; and Pamphilus Gengenbach of Basle rendered it
into rhyme. It pleased Luther so well that he also reprinted the clever
little book, after one of the oldest impressions.

To the order of beggars belong also the travelling scholars, who, as
treasure diggers and exorcists, made successful attacks on the savings
of the peasants and on the provisions in their chimneys. "They desired
to become priests," then they came from Rome with shaven crowns and
collected for a surplice; or they were necromancers, then they wore a
yellow train to their coats and came from the Frau Venusberg; when they
entered a house they exclaimed, "Here comes a travelling scholar, a
master of seven liberal sciences, an exorciser of the devil, and from
hail storms, fire, and monsters;" and thereupon they made
"experiments." Together with them came disbanded Landsknechte, often
associated with the dark race of outlaws, who worked with armed hand
against the life and property of the resident inhabitants.

Throughout the whole of the middle ages it was impossible to eradicate
the robbers. After the time of Luther they became incendiaries, more
particularly from 1540 to 1542. A foreign rabble appeared suddenly in
middle Germany, especially in the domains of the Protestant chiefs, the
Elector of Saxony and Landgrave of Hesse. They burned Cassel, Nordheim,
Göttingen, Goslor, Brunswick, and Magdeburg. Eimbech was burned to the
ground with three hundred and fifty men, and a portion of Nordhausen;
villages and barns were everywhere set on fire; bold incendiary letters
stirred up the people, and at last also the princes. The report became
general that the Roman Catholic party had hired more than three hundred
incendiaries, and the Pope, Paul III., had counselled Duke Henry the
younger, of Brunswick, to send the rabble to Saxony and Hesse.
Undoubtedly much wickedness was laid to the credit of the unscrupulous
Duke; but it was then the interest of Pope Paul III. to treat the
Protestants with forbearance, for earnest endeavours were being made on
both sides for a great reconciliation, and preparation was made for it
at Rome, by sending the Cardinal Contarini to the great religious
conference at Ratisbon. The terror, however, and anger of the Germans
was great and enduring. Everywhere the incendiaries were tracked,
everywhere their traces were found, crowds of rabble were imprisoned,
tried for their lives, and executed. Luther publicly denounced Duke
Henry as guilty of these reckless outrages; the Elector and Landgrave
accused him of incendiarism at the Diet before the Emperor; and in vain
did he, in his most vehement manner, defend himself and his adherents.
It is true that his guilt was pronounced by the Emperor as unproved;
but then he was desirous, above all, of internal peace and help against
the Turks. In the public opinion, however, the stain on the prince's
reputation remained. It is impossible to discover how far the strollers
of that time were the guilty parties. The depositions of those arrested
are inaccurately given, and it cannot be decided how much of it was
dictated by torture. One thing is quite clear, they did not form into
any fixed bands, and their secret intercourse was carried on through
the medium of signs, which were scratched or cut on striking places,
such as inns, walls, doors, &c. These signs were partly primitive
German personal tokens, which, as house-marks, may still be found on
the gables of old buildings, but partly also in rogues' marks. Above
all, there was the characteristic sign of the Strollers, the arrow,
once the signal announcing enmity; the direction of his arrow shows the
way which the marker has taken; small perpendicular strokes on it,
often with ciphers above, give probably the number of persons. These
signs are to be found sometimes still on the trees and walls of the
high-roads, and it betokens now, as it did then, to the members of the
band, that the initiated has passed that way with his followers.

In addition to the indigenous rovers came also foreign ones; as in the
middle ages, a stream of Italian adventurers again flowed through
Germany. Together with the German player rose the cry of the Italian
orvietan (Venice treacle) vendor, and side by side with the Bohemian
bear were the camels of Pisa. The marvellous Venetian remedies and the
harlequin jacket, mask, and felt cap of the Italian fool wandered over
the Alps, and were added as new fooleries to our old stock.

The Italian, Garzoni, has given a lively picture of the proceedings of
these strollers in his book, 'Piazza Universale,' a description of all
the arts and handicrafts of his time. His work was translated in 1641,
into German by Matthäus Merian, under the title of 'General Theatre of
all Arts, Professions, and Handicrafts.' The description of the Italian
portrays also in its chief features the condition of Western Germany
after the war. The following extract is given according to Merian's
German translation:--

"The wandering comedians in their demeanour are uncivil asses and
ruffians, who consider that they have performed beautifully when they
have moved the mob to laughter by their coarse sayings. Their
_inventiones_ are such, that if the toads acted thus we might forgive
them, and they all tally together without rhyme or reason; they do not
care whether they are sufficiently polished and skilful so long as they
can only obtain money. Though they could easily curtail or cloak
whatever is coarse, they imagine that they give no satisfaction in
their business if it is not set forth in the coarsest manner; on this
account comedy and the whole comic art has fallen into the greatest
contempt with respectable people, and even the high comedians are
banished from certain places, are treated with contumely in public laws
and statutes, insulted and derided by the whole community. When these
good people come into a town they must not remain together, but must
divide themselves among divers inns; the Lady comes from Rome, the
Magnificus from Venice,[42] Ruffiana from Padua, the Zany from Bergamo,
the Gratianus from Bologna, and they must lurk about for certain days,
till they have begged and obtained permission if they wish to maintain
themselves and carry on their profession; they can with difficulty
obtain lodgings where they are known, every one being disgusted with
their filth, as they leave for a length of time a bad smell behind

"But when they come into a town and are permitted to perform their
tricks, they cause it to be made known by handbills, the beating of
drums, and other war sounds, that this or that great comedian has
arrived; then the woman goes after the drum dressed in man's clothes,
girt about with a sword, and thus the people are invited in every
place: 'Whoever would see a beautiful comedian, let him come to this or
that place.' Thither come running all the curious people, and are
admitted for three or four kreutzers into a yard, where they find a
platform erected, and regular scenes. First there begins splendid
music, just as if a troop of asses were all braying together; then
comes a Prologus, making his appearance like a vagabond; afterwards
come beautiful and ill-adorned persons, who make such a cackling that
every one begins to find the time long, and if perchance any one
laughs, it is more at the simplicity of the spectators than because he
finds somewhat laughable. Then comes Magnificus, who is not worth three
hellers; Zany, who truly does his best, but waddles like a goose
walking through deep mud; a shameless Ruffiana, and also a lover, whom
it would be disgusting to listen to long; a Spaniard who knows not how
to say more than _mi vida_, or _mi corazon_; a pedant who jumbles all
sorts of languages together; and Buratinus, who knows no other gesture
than that of twirling his hat or his hood from one hand to the other.
The best of them has so little capacity as to be unfit either to boil
or roast, so that the bystanders all become weary, and laugh at
themselves for having so long given heed to such insane tricks. And
assuredly they must be idle folk or superlative fools to allow
themselves to be caught there a second time; the incapacity of the
players in the first comedy they perform, is so well known and cried
down, that others of respectability are mistrusted on their account.

"There are now-a-days many genuine dramatic performances in vogue at
almost all the market-places and fairs, namely the plays of Ceretani,
of orvietan vendors, and other similar fellows. They are called
Ceretani in Italy because it is presumed they have their origin and
first commencement in a small spot called Cereto, near Spoleto in
Umbria, and afterwards gradually attained such credit and
consideration, that when they were to be heard there was as great a
concourse of people assembled as were ever collected by the cleverest
doctor of the liberal arts, nay even by the best preacher who ever
entered a pulpit. For the common people run together in crowds, gaping
with open mouth, listen to them the whole day, forget all their cares,
and God knows how difficult it is,--even the peasants find it so,--to
keep one's purse in such a throng.

"When one sees these cheats take a whole lump of arsenic, sublimate,
or other poison, indiscriminately, that they may make proof by it of
the excellence of their orvietan, it should be known that, in the
summer-time before they came to the place, they have filled themselves
with lettuce dressed with so much vinegar and oil that they might swim
therein, and in winter they stuff themselves upon fat ox-brawn well
boiled. And this they do that they may by means of the fat of the brawn
and oiliness of the salad, with the coldness of their nature, obstruct
the internal passage of the body, and thus weaken the sharpness or heat
of the poison. They have besides this also a secure way of managing,
namely, before they enter the place they go to the nearest apothecary,
who generally in the towns is in or near the market; there they ask for
a box of arsenic, from which they select some small bits, and wrap them
in paper, begging the apothecary to deliver the same to them when they
send for it. Now when they have sufficiently extolled their wares, so
that nothing more remains but to make proof of them, they send out one
of the bystanders, in order that there may appear to be no fear of
deceit, to the apothecary, that he may obtain some arsenic for the
money which they give him. This said person runs forthwith, that there
may be no hindrance in such useful work, and as he goes, considers that
though he has been deceived a thousand times, he cannot be so this
time, he will see well to that. Meantime he comes to the apothecary,
demands the arsenic for his money, receives it, and runs with joy to
the orvietan vendor's table to see the marvel; this one holds meanwhile
in his hand little boxes, amongst them one wherein he puts the
aforesaid arsenic, he speaks and addresses the people for a time before
he takes it, for in a case of so much danger there must be no haste;
meantime he changes the aforesaid little box for another, wherein are
small pieces of paste made of sugar, meat, and saffron that they may
appear like the former. These he then eats with singular gestures as if
he were much afraid, and the peasants stand by open mouthed to see
whether he will not soon burst asunder; but he binds himself up firmly
that this may not happen, although he knows that there is no occasion
for it; he afterwards takes a piece as large as a chestnut of his
orvietan or stuff, and all the swelling disappears as if there had been
no poison in question. 'This, dear gentlemen, will be a precious
orvietan to you.' Whereupon the peasants undraw their purse strings,
and thank God that they have such a dear good man, and can obtain in
their village such costly wares for so little money.

"But who would venture to describe all the cunning practices whereby
these strollers contrive to make and collect money? For my own part I
fear I should never get to the end of it. Yet I cannot refrain from
describing some of their tricks.

"One rushes through the street, having with him a young girl dressed in
boy's clothes, who bounds about, jumping through a hoop like a monkey.
Then he begins to tell, in good Florentine, some remarkable jests or
pranks, and meanwhile the little maiden sets to work in every kind of
way, throws herself on all-fours, reaches the ring from out of the
hoop, then bends herself backwards, and picks up a coin from under the
right or left foot, with such graceful agility that the lads have
pleasure in looking at her. But finally he also can do nothing farther
than to bring out his wares, and offer the same for sale as well as he

"But those who boast themselves of being of the race of St. Paul, make
their appearance with much consequence, namely, with a great flying
banner, on one side of which stands St. Paul with his sword, but on the
other a heap of serpents, which are so painted that one fears to be
bitten by them. Then one of the party begins to relate their genealogy,
how St. Paul, in the island of Malta, was bitten by a viper without
injury, and how the same virtue was accorded to his descendants; then
they make divers trials, but always keep the upper hand, having a bond
and seal thereupon. Finally they lay hold of the boxes which are
standing on the table or bench, take out of one a salamander, two ells
long and an arm in thickness, from another a great snake, from another
a viper, and relate concerning each how they had caught it when the
peasant was reaping his corn, who would have been in great danger
therefrom, if they had not come to his relief. Thereupon the peasants
become so frightened that they dare not return home till they have had
a draught of the costly snake-powder, and bought still more to take
home to their wives and children, that they may be preserved from the
bite of snakes and other poisonous reptiles; and the game does not end
herewith, for they have still more boxes at hand, which they open, and
take out of one a rough viper, out of another a dead basilisk, out of
another a young crocodile brought from Egypt, an Indian lizard, a
tarantula from the Campagna, or somewhat of the like, whereby they
frighten the peasants, that they may buy the favour of the Holy Paul,
which is imparted to them by small written papers, for a consideration.

"Meanwhile, because the people are still assembled together, another
comes, spreads his mantle on the ground, places upon it a little dog
which can sing _ut_, _re_, _mi_, _fa_, _so_, _la_, _si_; it makes also
frolicksome somersaults, somewhat less than a monkey, barks at the
command of its master, who is very ill clad, howls when the Turkish
Emperor's name is mentioned, and makes a leap into the air when this or
that sweetheart is named; and finally, for it is done to obtain
hellers, his master hangs a little hat to his paw, and sends him round
on his hind feet to the bystanders, for travelling expenses, as he has
a great journey in prospect.

"The Parmesan also does not neglect the like opportunity with his goat,
which he brings to the _Platz_; he makes there a palisade, within which
it walks up and down, one foot behind the other, and sits up on a
little platform of hardly a hand's breadth, and licks the salt under
its feet. He makes it also go round upon its hind legs, with a long
spear over its shoulder, making fools of all beholders, who present it
with pence for food.

"Sometimes a bold rope-dancer is to be seen, who walks on the rope,
till at last he breaks his leg, or falls headlong; or a daring Turkish
juggler who lies on the ground, and allows himself to be struck on the
chest by a great hammer, as if he were an anvil; or by a jerk, tears up
a big pile which has been driven by force into the ground, whereby he
obtains a good sum for his journey to Mecca.

"Sometimes a baptized Jew makes his appearance, who bawls and cries
out, till at length he collects a few people, when he begins to preach
about his conversion; whereby one comes to this conclusion, that he has
become a crafty vagrant instead of a pious Christian.

"In short there is no market-place, either in village or town, where
some of these fellows are not to be found, who either perform divers
facetious juggling tricks, or sell various drugs.

"These are the tricks of charlatans, strollers, and jugglers, and other
idle people, whereby they get on in the world."

Here ends the narrative of Garzoni. Numberless light-footed people also
of the same class thronged into the German market towns. But besides
the old traders and jugglers, a new class of strollers had come into
Germany, harmless people of far higher interest for these days, the
wandering comedians. The first players that made a profession of their
performances came to Germany from England or the Netherlands, towards
the end of the sixteenth century. They were still accompanied with rope
dancers, jumpers, fencers, and horsebreakers; they still continued to
furnish the courts of princes and the market-places of great cities
with clowns and the favourite figure of jack-puddings, and soon after,
the French "Jean Posset," on bad boarded platforms still continued to
excite the uproarious laughter of the easily amused multitude. Shortly
after, the popular masques of the Italian theatre became familiar in
the south of Germany and on the Rhine. At the same time that the
regular circulation of newspapers commenced, the people received the
rough beginnings of art; the representation of human character and the
secret emotions of restless souls by the play of countenance, gestures,
and the deceptive illusion of action.

It is remarkable also, that almost precisely at the same period, the
first entertaining novels were written for the people. And these
spontaneously invented pictures of real life had reference to the
strolling people; for the adventures of vagrants, disbanded soldiers,
and in short all those who had travelled in foreign countries, and had
seen there an abundance of marvels, and undergone the most terrible
dangers with almost invulnerable bodies, were the heroes of these
imperfect creations of art. Shortly after the war, Christoph von
Grimmelsausen wrote 'Simplicissimus,' 'Springinsfeld,' 'Landstörzerin
Courage.' and the 'Wonderful Vogelnest,' the heroes of which are
gathered from strollers; these were followed by a flood of novels
describing the lives of rogues and of adventurers.

The war had rendered the existence of the settled population joyless,
their manners coarse, and their morals lax. And the craving for
excitement was general. Thus at first these modes of representation
allured, by bestowing what was wanting to this ungenial life. They
endeavoured with much detail to represent either an ideal life of
distinguished and refined persons, under entirely foreign conditions,
such as antique shepherds, and foreign princes without nationalities;
this was done by the highly educated; or they tried at least to ennoble
common life, by introducing into it abstractions not less coarse and
soulless, virtues and vices, mythological and allegorical figures; or
they caught endless materials from the lowest circles of life, to whom
they felt themselves superior, but in whose strange mode of life there
was something alluring: they depicted strollers or represented clowns
and fools; and this last development of art was the soundest. Thus
these rough families of jugglers, buffoons, and rogues were of the
utmost significance to the beginning of the drama, theatrical art, and

But besides the numerous companies, who wandered about either modestly
on foot or in carts, vagrants of higher pretensions rode through the
country, some of them still more objectionable. To be able to
prognosticate the future, to gain dominion over the spirits of the
elements, to make gold, and to renew the vigour of youth in old age,
had for many centuries been the longing desire of the covetous and
inquisitive. Those who promised these things to the Germans were
generally Italians or other foreigners; or natives of the country, who
had, according to the old saying, been thrice to Rome. When the new
zeal for the restoration of the Church brought good and bad alike
before the tribunal of the inquisition in Italy, the emigration of
those whose lives were insecure must have been very numerous. It is
probably from the life of one of these charlatans that the adventures
of Faust have been gathered and formed into the old popular tale. After
Luther's death, it is evident that they penetrated into the courts of
the German princes. It was an adventurer of this kind, "Jerome Scotus,"
who, in 1593, at Coburg, estranged the unhappy Duchess Anna of Saxe
Coburg from her husband, and brought her into his own power by
villainous means. Vain were the endeavours of the Duke to obtain the
extradition of Scotus from Hamburg, where he lived long in princely
luxury. Five-and-thirty years before, the father of the Duke Johann
Friedrich, the Middle-sized, was long deluded by an impudent impostor,
who gave herself out to be Anne of Cleves (the wife who had been
selected for Henry VIII. of England), and promised him a great treasure
of gold and jewels if he chose to protect her. Another piece of
credulity bore bitter fruits to the same prince, for the influence
which Wilhelm of Grumbach, the haggard old wolf from the herd of the
wild Albrecht of Brandenburg, gained over the Duke, rested on his
foolish prophecies concerning the Electoral dignity and prodigious
treasures. A poor weak-minded boy who was maintained by Grumbach, had
intercourse with angels who dwelt in the air-hole of a cellar, and
declared themselves ready to produce gold, and bring to light a mine
for the Duke. It may be perceived from judicial records, that the
little angels of the peasant child had a similarity, unfavourable to
their credibility, to our little old dwarfs.

There was at Berlin, about the time of Scotus, one Leonhard Turneysser,
a charlatan, more citizen-like in his occupation, who worked as gold
maker and prepared horoscopes; he escaped by flight the dismal fate,
which almost always overtook his fellows of the same vocation who did
not change their locality soon enough. The Emperor Rudolph also became
a great adept, and amalgamated in the gold crucible both his political
honour and his own Imperial throne. The princes of the seventeenth
century at least show the intense interest of dilettanti. During the
war the art of making gold became very desirable. At that period,
therefore, the adepts thronged to the armies; the more needy the times,
the more numerous and brilliant became the stories of alchemy. It was
proposed by an enthusiastic worshipper of Gustavus Adolphus, to make
gold out of lead; and in the presence of the Emperor Ferdinand III.
many pounds of gold were to be made, by one grain of red powder, from
quicksilver; a gigantic coin also was to be struck from the same metal.
After the peace, the adepts resided at all the courts; there were few
dwellings where the hearth and the retorts were not heated for secret
operations. But every one had to beware how he trifled with the
reigning powers, as the paws of the princely lions might be raised
against him for his destruction. Those who could not make gold were
confined in prison, and those who were under suspicion, yet could
fabricate something, were equally put in close confinement. The Italian
Count Cajetan was hanged in a gilded dress, on a gallows at Küstrin the
beams of which were adorned with cut gold; the German Rector von
Klettenberg was beheaded at Königstein, where fourteen years before,
Böttiger was kept in strict cloistral confinement, because he had
produced innocent porcelain instead of gold. There is no doubt that it
was the case with the adepts and astrologers, as it ever has been with
the leaders of a prevailing superstition, that they were themselves
convinced of the truth of their art; but they had strong doubts of
their own knowledge, and they deceived others as to their success,
either because they were seeking the means to attain to greater
results, or because they wished to appear, to the world, to understand
what they considered of importance. These however were not the worst of
the lot.

The most mischievous of all were, perhaps, the skilful impostors, who
appeared in Germany, France, and England, with foreign titles of
distinction, shining with the glimmer of secret art, sometimes the
propagators of the most disgraceful vices, shadowy figures, who by
their worldly wisdom and the limited intercourse of nations were
enabled to bring themselves into notoriety. Their experience, their
deceptions, their secret successes, for a long period overpoweringly
excited the fancies of Germans. Even Goethe considered it worth his
while to repair to the spot and set on foot serious investigations as
to the origin of Cagliostro.

The changes in the moral diseases of that society, of which we are the
representatives, can be gradually traced. After the war astrology and
horoscopes fell into disuse. The princes sought for red powder, or the
unknown tincture, whilst the people dug for money pots. Dilettante
occupation with physical science introduced again to the people the
ancient divining rod, by which springs, murders, thefts, and always
concealed gold, were to be discovered. The superior classes again
realized in their own minds the ancient belief in mysterious men, who
by unknown proceedings, in unfathomable depths, had obtained the power
of giving supernatural duration of life, and had confidential
intercourse with the spirit world. Besides the honourable order of
Freemasons, with their Humanitarian tendencies, there arose more secret
unions, wherein the weak minded of the time were enticed to a refined
sensuality and sickly mysticism, and an extensive apparatus of absurd
secret teaching.

Since the end of the last century a vigorous dash of the waves of
German popular strength has washed away these diseased fantasies. The
old race of strollers too have diminished in number and influence. It
is only rarely that Bajazzo, with his pointed felt cap, bewitches the
village youth; the meagre neck of the camel no longer stretches itself
to the flowering trees of our village gardens, the black dog seldom
rolls his fiery eyes at buried chests of silver. Even the impostors
have learned to satisfy higher demands.

                               CHAPTER VIII.


It has ever been part of the German character to maintain propriety of
conduct in intercourse with others, to keep up a good appearance, to do
homage to superiors, and to require a respectful demeanour and address
from inferiors. The forms of intercourse were accurately defined, and
the number of significant turns of speech was not small, which
introduced every social arrangement, and like a boundary stone,
preserved the pathway of life. But the groundwork of all this old
precision was a sound self-respect, which gave to individuals a feeling
of certainty as to what was to be conceded or received, and therefore
civility was generally real. If there was any discord in his soul, the
German did not usually conceal it; and then he became so thoroughly
coarse, that he gained evil repute with all the western nations. It is
true, princes were accosted with much devotedness, words of submission
were used as now; but the prince and the citizen, the nobleman and the
artisan, met together as men, and a strong word or a warm feeling often
broke through the most courtly forms. This, however, changed after the
war. The old feeling of decorum was lost, the egotism of the unbridled
was harsh and wounding; the proper, but often narrow-minded pride of
citizen and nobleman was broken, and the simple patriarchal relation
between prince and subject was lost during thirty years of calamity and
distrust. Men had become more prudent, but weaker, and for the most
part worse.

But the beginning of a new state of society was visible. With all this
ruin Providence had mercifully sent a remedy. By many a roundabout way,
through French and Italian fashions, and after long wanderings in every
foreign nationality, the German mind was to be renewed. It was a
wonderful trial of durability, but it was necessary. Like Prince Tamino
in the magic play, the poor German soul passed through French water and
Italian fire; and from that period a weak flute-like tone sounds only
occasionally in our ears, telling us that the German character has not
yet sunk entirely under foreign phantasies.

It has been customary to consider the intellectual sway of Italy and
France, from Opiz to Lessing, as a great calamity. It is true, it has
given neither beauty nor strength to the German; but we are no longer
in the position of the great man who for a century struggled against
French taste. It was with him a duty to hate whatever caused a
hindrance to the wakening popular vigour. But we should at the same
time remember that this same foreign element protected the German from
the extreme of barbarism. Our imitation was very clumsy, and there was
little worth in the original; but it was to the countless bonds of
international intercourse that the Germans then clung, that they might
not be utterly lost. The moral restraints upon the wilfulness of
individuals had been broken, and the meagre externals gathered from
abroad, of fashion, respect, gallantry, and a taste for foreign
refinements were the first remedy. It was a new kind of discipline.
Whoever wore a large wig, and later, even powder in the hair, was
obliged to hold his head elegantly still, wild movements and violent
running were impossible; if men were not prevented by their own
delicacy of feeling from boldly approaching too near to women, a hoop
and corset were a rampart for them; if the courtesy of the heart was
less, the duty of being gallant in conversation was a benefit. In a
circle where a coarse soldiers' song had been preferred, a polished
song from Damon to Daphne was a great improvement, and even the fade
cavalier, who cut his finger-nails in society with a gilded knife, and
threw himself down with a French flourish, was by far more estimable in
society than an unbridled drunkard, who in his intoxication did the
most unseemly things, and could not open his mouth without an oath.

Those who assumed to be the élite in Germany soon fashioned their life
after the foreign model. Even during the war many foreign customs had
become naturalized; not only in court ceremonials and in the
intercourse with ambassadors, but also in the dress and manners of the
citizens. However great was the influence of France, that of Italy was
not much less. The service of the _cicisbeato_, and the "State"
ceremonials, had penetrated from Italy into France; the Roman court
long remained the highest model, in all questions of etiquette, to the
diplomats of Europe. Both countries took their share in holding sway
over Germany. In the south, Italy ruled till the eighteenth century,
indeed in Vienna it continued still longer to influence the aspect of
the higher society; but in the north, especially in the Protestant
courts, the French model prevailed, and this copy, like the other, was
a clumsy one. But whilst at the great courts, for example Vienna, the
cavalier assumed at least something of the impulsive versatility of the
Italian; in the smaller towns social intercourse was slow and prolix,
carried on in endless phrases, which appeared the more grotesque in
proportion as the men were coarse who endeavoured to set themselves off
by the use of them.

Thus was the sunny path, along which men approached the chosen of their
hearts, charmingly strewn with the flowers of foreign manners. Whatever
of indigenous was retained, was adorned with laborious gallantry, and
became still more tedious. Before we attempt to give a specimen of
honourable German love, it will be fitting to disclose to the
sympathizing reader something of the style of courtly wooing and
marriage. Therefore the following gives the course of wooing of a
cavalier, about the year 1650:--

"When a person of condition at Vienna wishes to marry some one, he begs
of her parents to allow him to wait upon her, but he must already have
made her acquaintance, and know that she is well inclined towards him.
When this has been granted by her parents, the affair is already half
agreed upon, and he gives his servant a new livery, and dresses himself
in his best. Every day he must write to her early, and inquire what she
is doing, what she has dreamt of, when she will drive out, and where
she intends to dine. Besides this, he sends her a nosegay, for which
sometimes a ducat must be paid. Then she returns him an answer, and he
makes his appearance at her door at the right time, helps her into the
carriage, and rides next it with head uncovered, on the side where his
lady sits. When they arrive, he dismounts, opens the carriage door, and
again hands her out. In Austria they generally offer themselves as
guests to the houses of others. When he has learnt where his lady is to
dine, he offers himself also as guest, and does this half an hour
beforehand. When at table, he presents a finger-glass to his love
alone, even though there may be more distinguished ladies there; he
offers, it is true, the water to others, but none accept; his lady
alone does not refuse. Then he places her chair, waits upon and
converses with her; when she desires to have something to drink, he
hands it to her on a plate, which he holds under the glass whilst she
is drinking; he places fresh plates before her and takes the old away,
and he always pledges her health to his left hand neighbour. After
dinner he again hands her the finger-glass, for which reason he sits
next her; he then removes her chair, fetches her gloves, fan, and veil
which she had left, and presents them with a profound reverence. After
the repast is over, the hostess takes his lady with her to her room.
There also he begs for admittance, which is not refused him, and waits
upon her in like manner. From thence they go to vespers, and then in
summer to the Prater, or in winter in sledges with torches. This state
of things continues for at least three months.

"Now when these three months are over, the betrothal is celebrated, and
the marriage invitations are written. Then the bridegroom makes three
presents. First a silver casket, wherein are some pairs of silk
stockings, some pieces of silk stuffs, some pairs of gloves,
handkerchiefs, twelve fans, ribands, and laces. The second present
consists of silver ornaments; the third of jewels, bracelets, earrings,
and pendants of precious stones, or pearls for the neck. He also
presents a dress to his mistress's maid. Some send every day a new
present. Then he gives his servant again a new livery, engages more
servants for himself, and at least one page and two lackeys for his
future wife. Court ladies of high distinction, who drive with six
horses, do not bestow presents on their bridegroom, unless it be from
overflowing liberality; but others present a night-dress to their
beloved, their portrait in a small casket, and on the marriage day
linen; six shirts, six collars, six pocket handkerchiefs, six pairs of
ruffles, and to every servant a shirt. The bride pays the expenses of
the eating and drinking at the marriage, and the bridegroom the cost of
the music.

"On the wedding-day the bridegroom drives, towards evening, in his own
carriage, or that of an intimate friend, dressed entirely in silver
brocade, just as the bride is dressed; he wears a wreath of diamonds
which are put together from the jewels of friends, and afterwards
returned. Behind him drive all the male wedding guests. He waits in the
church till the bride comes. Her bridal train is three ells long, borne
either by a boy of noble birth, or a young lady. The bridegroom goes to
meet her, helps her out of the carriage and leads her in, and thus they
are united together in matrimony. The wedding ring is generally of gold
and silver mixed, and plaited in the form of a laurel wreath; it has a
precious stone in it, in order to signify that their truth and love
shall be endless. Then they betake themselves to the marriage house,
where the feast is to be celebrated. After the meal the men take
forthwith their swords and mantles, and room is made for the dance, and
then come the two bridesmen. Each has a burning torch in his hand; they
make a bow to the bridegroom and the bride, and ask them to dance. Then
they both dance alone. The nearest relations are next asked, and so on
all the rest in succession. These dances of honour are performed to the
sound of trumpets and kettledrums. The cavaliers then lay aside their
swords and mantles, and all dance together. After the dance the
relations accompany the bride and bridegroom to their bedroom, there
the mother commends the bride to her husband with impressive words.
Then all go out."

Thus did the wealthy noble woo and wed at Vienna, which after the war
rapidly filled with landed proprietors who thoroughly enjoyed life. New
families were in possession of the confiscated properties, the Imperial
generals and faithful councillors had abundantly taken care of
themselves. A residence in the desolated country was wearisome, and
many great proprietors had no old family interest in their property.
Besides the Imperial nobles, sons of German princes and many of the old
nobility of the Empire thronged to the Imperial city, to seek
diversion, acquaintances, and fortune at court or in the army.

But in proportion as the devotion of the noble servant to his mistress
was great, the hope of a happy conjugal union was insecure. And the
prospect was not more favourable in the families of the great princes
of the Empire.

The rulers of Germany attained to a comfortable condition, after the
peace, sooner than others. Whatever could be done by the people, seemed
to be for their advantage. To the old taste for drinking, hunting, and
not always very seemly intercourse with women, was now added the
pleasure of having a body guard who were drawn up in uniform before
their castles, and rode by their carriages along the roads. After the
war every great prince maintained a standing army; the old feudal lords
of the country had become Generals. It was in this century that the
great princely families of Germany, the Wettiners, the Hohenzollerns,
the Brunswickers, and the Wittelsbachers, gained their influential
position in European politics. Three of them obtained royal thrones,
those of Poland, Prussia, and England, and the head of the
Wittelsbachers for many years wore the diadem of the Roman Empire. Each
of these houses represents a great European dynasty. But however
different their fortunes may have been, they have also met with a
retributive fate. At the time of the Reformation, the Imperial throne
with supreme dominion over Germany was offered to the house of
Wettiner; the family, divided into two lines, did not listen to the
high call. At the battle of Linien, in 1547, it lost the leadership. A
hundred years later, the possibility of founding a powerful house was
offered to the Wittelsbacher, by the union of the Palatinate with the
old Bavarian province and Bohemia, which even the Hapsburgers have
never attained to. But one son of the house killed the other at the
Weissen Berge. Only the Hapsburgers and the Hohenzollerns have
understood how to keep together.

The general misfortune of the German Princes was, that they found
little in their oppressed subjects to excite awe or regard. For the
soul of man is most easily fortified against encroaching passions when
his worldly position makes a strong resistance possible for those who
surround him. A firm feeling of duty is only formed under the pressure
of strong law. Whoever overrides it will find it easier to do great
things, but incomparably more difficult to do permanently what is

At an earlier period the life at courts was rough, often wild, now it
had become frivolous and dissolute. The combination of refined luxury
with coarse manners, and of strict etiquette with arbitrary will, makes
many of the characters of that time especially hateful.

The sons of Princes were now better educated. Latin was still the
language of diplomacy, to that was added Italian and French; and
besides all knightly arts--in so far as they still existed--military
drills, and above all, _politesse_, the new art which rendered men and
women more agreeable and obliging in society. Some knowledge of state
affairs was not rare, for there were still quarrels with neighbours to
be brought before the supreme court of judicature and the Imperial
Aulic Council, and solicitations to his Imperial Majesty, and
complaints to the Diet, without end or measure. But the person who
exercised most quiet power in the country was the lawyer, who was
generally at the head of the administration; and occasionally a
power-loving court preacher.

The ladies also of the princely houses had the advantage of some degree
of instruction; many of them understood Latin, or at least were
acquainted with Virgil (from a bad translation into German
Alexandrines), and Boccaccio in the original. Quarrels about rank,
ceremonials, dress, the love affairs of their husbands, and perhaps
their own, formed the daily interest of their lives, together with
trivial intrigues and gossiping: the stronger minded conversed with the
clergy on cases of conscience, and sought for consolation in their hymn
book, and occasionally also in their cookery book. But German
literature was little adapted to ennoble the feelings of women, and
such as those times did produce, seldom reached them in their elevated
position; a tasteless court poem, an Italian strophe, and sometimes a
thick historical or theological quarto sent by a submissive author in
hopes of receiving a present of money. The marriage of a princess was
concluded upon reasons of state, and it frequently happened that she
was burdened from the very first day with a dissolute husband.
Undoubtedly not a few of them were consigned to their royal vaults with
most choice and solemn pomp, on whom the sunshine of a deep heartfelt
affection had never shone during life: the care of their own household,
and even that sweetest of all cares, the education of their children,
was taken from them by the new court arrangements. Undoubtedly in many
marriages, a good heart made up for the deficiency of the education of
that time; but scandalous occurrences were frequent in the highest
families at that period.

The domestic relations of these distinguished families belong also to
history, and much is very generally known of them. A picture of one of
these will here be made use of, in order to show that our generation
have no occasion to lose heart in contemplating it.

When the Imperial party, after the year 1620, persecuted the daughter
of the King of England, Elizabeth, wife of the Palatine, with satirical
pictures, they painted the proud princess, as going along the high road
with three children hanging on by her apron, or, as on the bare ground
eating pap from an earthenware platter. The second of these children
obtained, through the Westphalian peace, the eighth Electorate of the
German Empire. After many vicissitudes of fortune, after drinking the
bitter cup of banishment, and seeking in vain to recover his territory,
the new Elector, Karl Ludwig, looked down from the royal castle at
Heidelberg on the beautiful country, of which only a portion returned
into the possession of his line. His was not a nature which bore in
itself the guarantee of peace and happiness: it is true that in his
family he was considered jovial and good-humoured, but he was also
irritable, hasty, and passionate, covetous and full of pretension,
easily influenced, and without energy, inclined to venture rashly on
deeds of violence, and yet not firm enough to effect anything great. It
appears that he had derived from the blood of the Stuarts, besides a
high feeling of his own rank, much of the obstinacy of his ill-fated
uncle Charles. In the year 1650, he had married Charlotte, Princess of
Hesse, the daughter of that strong-minded woman, who, as Regent of her
country, had shown more energy than most men, and whose powerful
matronly countenance we still contemplate with pleasure, in the
portrait by Engelhard Schäffler. The mother described her own daughter
to the Elector as difficult to rule; the Electress was indeed
passionate and without moderation, and must often have disturbed
domestic peace by her frowardness and jealousy. A young lady of her
court, Marie Susanne Loysa von Degenfeld, daughter of one of the
partisans of the Thirty years' war, a person according to all accounts
of great loveliness and much gentleness, mixed with firmness, excited a
passion in the Elector which made him regardless of all considerations.
After many angry quarrels he divorced his wife and at once married his
love, on whom the title of "Raugräfin" was bestowed by the Imperial
Court. The castoff Electress turned in vain to the Emperor Leopold, to
effect a reconciliation with her husband. This petition is here given
according to Lünig, from the rolls of the German Empire, 1714.[43]

"We, by the grace of God, Charlotte, Electress, Countess Palatine of
the Rhine, born Landgravine of Hesse, offer to the most august Prince
and Sovereign of Sovereigns, Leopold, by the grace of God, father of
the fatherland, our most dutiful, obedient, and submissive greeting and

"Although the manifold and weighty business of the Empire with which
your Imperial Majesty is troubled at this time, might well frighten us
from disquieting you with our private affairs, yet we presume with
profound humility to set before your Imperial Majesty our most pressing
distress, and the mighty injuries inflicted upon us at this time
without any fault on our part, because it is well known to us that your
Imperial Majesty is at all times assiduous in helping most graciously
the injured to their rights.

"It is not, I hope, unknown to your Imperial Majesty that we have, for
nearly eleven years, been united in matrimony with his Most Serene
Highness Prince Karl Ludwig, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Elector of
the Holy Empire. At that time his Princely Highness, in frequent
discourse, both before and after marriage, promised us by the highest
oaths, an ever-enduring faith and conjugal love; and we on our part did
the like. Being then animated by such reciprocal love, we have served
his Highness in all conjugal obedience to the best of our power, so far
as our womanly weakness permitted. We have also, by the grace of God,
reared two young princes and a daughter in all love, so that his
Princely Highness ought in justice to have abstained from divorcing
himself from us.

"We submissively beg your Imperial Majesty to understand that, after
three very severe confinements, we clearly traced by many tokens, no
slight alienation in the feelings of our lord and husband, which would
justly have given rise to suspicion in our minds, if our confiding
spirit had not attributed what was good and laudable to his Princely
Highness. For when we once, according to princely custom, presented his
Princely Highness with a beautiful Neapolitan dapple-gray colt with all
its appurtenances, he said to us: 'My treasure, we henceforth desire no
such presents, which diminish our treasury;' and the very same day he
presented the horse to one of the lowest of his nobles. This insult did
so grieve us that, with weeping eyes, we lamented it to our
gentlewoman, Maria Susanna von Degenfeld, of whose secret doings we had
not at that time the slightest idea. She thereupon made answer, 'That
if at any time she should meet with the like behaviour from her future
consort, she would refuse all cohabitation with him.' By these words
she intended nothing else than to incense us against our lord and
master. Not long after, a ring was purloined from us by the said von
Degenfeld out of our drawers. This must without doubt have been a
concerted plan, for our lord and husband had required this ring of us,
and when we could not find it, his Princely Highness was greatly
irritated against us, and thus broke out: 'You make me think strange
things of you as concerns this ring; I had thought you would have taken
better care of it.' Whereupon we answered, 'Ah! my treasure, foster no
evil suspicions against me; it has been purloined by some faithless
person.' But his Princely Highness continued: 'Who may this faithless
person be? Perhaps some young cavalier, on whose finger you may
yourself have placed it.' This caused us so much pain, that we were led
to speak somewhat severely to his Princely Highness, and said, 'No
honest Prince would thus calumniate me.' Whereupon he replied, 'Who
gave you the right to upbraid me as a dishonest Prince? If I hear aught
further of this kind from you, you shall be rewarded with a box on the
ear!' Thereupon we did not answer a word, but wept bitterly. But this
von Degenfeld comforted us deceitfully, and spoke thus: 'Make yourself
happy, Electoral Highness, and be not so much afflicted, it will soon
be found again.' By these words she then tranquillized us. But not long
afterwards a very noteworthy Latin epistle was put into our hand by a
trusty servant, which he had found accidentally in the chamber of our
lord and husband, the contents of which I cannot forbear enclosing. It
is to this effect--

"'To the Most Serene Highness the Elector Palatine Karl Ludwig, Duke of
Bavaria, _dilecto meo_.

"'I can no longer oppose your Electoral Highness, nor any longer
deceive you as to my inclinations. _Vicisti jamque tua sum_, I unhappy

                "'Maria Susanna, Baronissa a Degenfeld.'

"When, by God's Providence, we got this letter, we forthwith perused
the same with great consternation; but as we are not much versed in the
Latin tongue, we despatched the aforesaid trusty servant to the Most
Noble Lord, Johann Jacob Graf von Eberstein, our dear lord and cousin,
who was accidentally stopping at Heidelberg, bidding him come to us,
and beseeching him as a friend and cousin to lend us his aid in the
interpretation of the said note. This he honestly rendered us. It
cannot be told what great sorrow took possession of our hearts, when it
became evident in how unjustifiable and unprincely a way we had been
dealt with. So distracted, therefore, were we in mind, that we ventured
so far as to break open the coffer of the afore-mentioned Degenfeld,
who was not then present, and after earnest search found three
abominable letters of his Electoral Highness, likewise written in
Latin, in which he equally assures the Degenfeld of his love.

"Then we could sufficiently see that our lord and husband was minded to
renounce all truth and love towards us. This we wished at a fitting
opportunity to forestal, and give his Princely Highness to understand
it in a covert way.

"It then came to pass accidentally, that a week after, his Serene
Highness Friedrich, Lord Margrave of Baden, our dearly loved
brother-in-law and brother, together with his loving lady and wife, our
especially beloved cousin and sister, came from Durlach to Heidelberg
to visit us. Now once when we were sitting at table, his Princely
Highness the Lord Margrave, thus spoke to us: 'Wherefore, my lady
sister, wherefore so sorrowful?' To which we answered thus: 'My dear
lord and brother, perhaps there is truly reason for our sorrow.'
Whereupon our lord and husband turning quite red said, 'There is
nothing new in my lady and wife being angry without any cause.' We
could not then, for our honour's sake, leave such a speech unanswered,
but replied, 'It is those that prefer waiting women to wives who make
me angry,' &c. Thereupon our lord and husband was quite taken aback,
turned pale with anger, and gave us, in the presence of the said
princely personages, such a severe box on the ear, that on account of
the vexatious nose-bleeding, brought on by this, we were obliged to
leave the table. But his Princely Highness the Lord Margrave was
mightily indignant thereat, and said to our lord and master: '_Signore
Electore, troppo è questo!_' Whereto our lord and husband answered:
'_Mio fratello, Signore Marchese, ma cosi ha voluto._' But his Princely
Highness the Lord Margrave spoke strongly to our lord and husband, and
said that if he could have supposed his inconsiderate speech would have
occasioned such discord, he would a thousand times rather have been
silent; and if our lord and husband did not become reconciled to us
before sunset, his Princely Highness was firmly determined to leave
Heidelberg at an early hour on the morrow, without bidding him
farewell. This worked so with my lord and husband that he promised his
Princely Highness to pay us a visit, in company with him and his wife.
This took place after the lapse of two hours, when our husband thus
addressed us in our chamber: 'Is my treasure still angry with me?' We
answered: 'I assure you, my treasure, that what happened at table gave
me sufficient reason to be angry; but on account of the presence of my
beloved lord and brother, and my lady and sister, to whom our discord
is displeasing, I will forgive it with all my heart.' Thereupon our
lord and master gave us his hand, and said, with a loving kiss, 'This
shall wipe out my past delinquency,' after which they departed from our
chamber. That night, however, we did not appear at supper, but sent our
bedchamber woman and lord steward to make our excuses, as by reason of
the necessary preparation of certain writings we could not appear. But
as our husband feared we might disclose to our lord and brother what
had before passed betwixt us, he came at ten o'clock in the evening,
accompanied by two pages, to my chamber, and did there knock at the
door. Now when we came to the door and found his Princely Highness, we
were not a little amazed at this unhoped-for visit, and said: 'Why does
my treasure visit us so late?' Thereupon his Princely Highness answered
kindly, and sent back both the pages. But as at that moment those
unseemly letters recurred to our memory, and as the consideration that
we were of such high princely parentage, made it impossible to bear
silently with such impropriety, we said: 'My lord and husband, I am
quite resolved to abide alone till your Princely Highness resolves to
deliver up a certain person into my hands, with full powers to punish
the same for her past wickedness.' Our lord and husband answered: 'I
should be glad at last to know who this person is; but I imagine the
offence is not so great as your Princely Highness interprets it.' But
we answered further: 'The offence is so great that the person can only
atone for it with their blood.' 'Nay, my treasure,' said our husband,
'that verdict is too severe.' But we were minded to reveal fully to his
Princely Highness the cause of our long affliction; we therefore took
out of our pocket the letter which our servant had brought, and began
to read it in an audible voice. Hereupon our lord and husband laughed
and said: 'All a mere jest; my treasure knows right well that the
Fräulein von Degenfeld has from her youth been assiduous in studying
the Latin tongue, therefore I wished to try whether she was
sufficiently versed in it, to answer in the aforesaid language a note
prepared by me for the purpose. This she executed in the like jesting
way; and we are determined to support her on account of her innocence.'
We did not choose to wrangle with his Princely Highness, but said: 'We
have long known how to distinguish between jest and earnest. If it
please my treasure to furnish me with full proof that it was a jest I
will gladly be content.' Hereupon our lord and husband answered: 'Why
is so much proof required? Your Princely Highness is a woman, and has
better means of examining the innocence of Degenfeld than I, in whom it
would not be quite seemly. But I see well that innocent lady has lost
all grace and favour with you. As, however, it is already very late, I
wish my treasure to inform me whether it please her to be reconciled
with me here?' We answered to this: 'I feel myself bound by virtue of
my once given troth not to gainsay you in this.' But our lord and
husband, with a hearty embrace, protested by all that was noble and
holy, that, with the exception of this note, he had not trespassed
against us, and promised yet once more, never henceforth to misbehave
towards us, if we, on the other hand, would again render due obedience
to his Princely Highness. All this we promised, hoping henceforth to
live in peaceful wedlock, which perhaps might have come to pass if the
devil had not sown his tares.

"For, three days after, when his Serene Highness the Lord Margrave of
Baden had departed, a patent came to Heidelberg from your Imperial
Majesty's illustrious Lord Father, Ferdinand of ever-blessed memory,
whereby our lord and husband was summoned to the Imperial Diet at
Ratisbon, whereto we with our lord and husband betook ourselves at the
appointed time.

"We deem it unnecessary to relate what great contumely we there
suffered from our lord and husband, as your Imperial Majesty beheld it
for the most part with your own eyes. This caused us to tarry yet a
long time at Ratisbon after the departure of his Princely Highness. But
when, after the lapse of a few weeks, we returned again to Heidelberg,
we signified in a friendly way through one of the nobles to our lord
and husband, that we were minded to greet his Princely Highness. But
our lord and husband said with great displeasure to the said nobleman:
'Tell the bold Landgravine,' thus it pleased his Princely Highness to
call us, 'I will have nothing to do with any one so pernicious to the

"Now when this was notified to us we did not venture to accost his
Princely Highness, but straightway went through the adjoining saloon to
our chamber. But scarcely had we entered therein, when forty of the
Swiss guard had already established themselves in our antechamber, who
were commanded to keep guard over us, and not let us go out till they
received farther orders from his Princely Highness.

"Then did we learn with great anguish of heart that we, a freeborn
princess, had been made a prisoner. We knew not what to do, for we
could not write to our lord brother the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel,
because we had no confidential person left to us whom we could
despatch. We had thus no opportunity of effecting anything, for
whenever our servants came to or went from us, they were always
searched by the guard. On this account we resolved to write ourselves
to our lord and husband, and to entreat his Princely Highness to
release us from this most intolerable durance. We drew up therefore the
following petition to his Princely Highness, and sent the same by a
noble youth to his Princely Highness while at table.

"'Most Serene Highness, and dear Lord.

"'How great annoyance I have suffered during the time which it has
pleased your Princely Highness to place a prodigious garrison before my
chamber, is not to be described. It moves me to remind your Princely
Highness, that if you so behave to me, a poor princess, you will have
to answer for it before God and the whole world. It would be well
moreover to bethink you, whether it is praiseworthy to keep guard over
one single weak woman, with forty well-armed halberdiers, which might
be sufficiently accomplished by two or three. I cannot imagine what
offence I have committed to deserve such harsh procedure. I therefore
entreat your Princely Highness, for God's sake to set me at liberty.
For during this time I have not been able to sleep three hours by
reason of the noisy blustering and clatter of these indiscreet Swiss.

                "'Your Princely Highness's faithful unto death,

                            "'Charlotta Palatine of the Rhine.'

"After our husband had read this writing, he commanded that all the
Swiss saving four should be withdrawn, which was done forthwith, to our
great content. But his Princely Highness sent us a letter, to the
following tenour.

"'To Charlotta, born Landgravine of Hesse.

"'It surprises me much that you should venture to ask why I have put
you under surveillance. You cannot deny that on my return from Ratisbon
to Heidelberg, I urgently commanded you to follow me without fail the
next day. But you did not do so till some weeks later, and during this
period you spent so much money, that our subjects, who were
sufficiently ruined without this, will for a long time have much, to
endure. You also know well how you disgraced me at Ratisbon by your
hunting parties, and how--because I in my just indignation, on account
of your past frivolity of conduct and wanton indecorum of dress in the
presence of the assembled Diet, have put you only under slight
restraint--you have for the past half-year refused to live with me as a
wife. This culpable conduct has entirely released me from all bonds of
wedlock; and I am fully resolved to separate myself completely from you
by a public act. This, my purpose, has moved me to assure myself of
your person, that you may not as a fugitive, by exasperating your
brother and other friends, bring evil on my country. Finally, if you
will keep quiet and retired, and will consent to the divorce, I promise
you on my Electoral faith, that I will not only entirely free you from
restraint, but will assign you an income which will enable you to
maintain yourself right royally. Thus saying, and expecting a decisive
declaration from you,

                            "'I remain your loving cousin,

                                              "'The Elector.'

"When this writing was put into our hands, we were in such great
affliction we did not know how to decide. At last we sent a noble
bedchamber woman to our lord and husband, commanding her to signify to
his Princely Highness that we were disposed to consent willingly to all
his desires, except as concerning the divorce. For this, being an
affair of conscience, must be well considered. I begged him therefore
for a little time for deliberation. Undoubtedly if his Princely
Highness should please to accomplish a divorce by his own power, we
were much too weak to hinder him. But we thought we had never given his
Princely Highness any sufficient reason for repudiating us.

"The bedchamber woman delivered this in the best way she could. But our
lord and husband thus answered: 'Fair lady, tell your mistress we are
now minded to give her henceforth more freedom, and to withdraw the
four Swiss entirely from her apartment. It shall also be permitted to
her to walk below in the garden if agreeable to her; and she may rest
assured that I will find means to content her, but she must not think
of writing to her lord brother concerning our purposes. She must also
agree to the divorce, for I am minded to marry another.'

"The noble maiden had scarcely given us this answer, when the four
Swiss were with all speed withdrawn from our apartment, and we went the
same evening to breathe the fresh air in the garden. The day following
our lord and husband journeyed to the castle at Ladenburg. In the
evening, about five o'clock, the noble Count von Eberstein, our loving
lord and cousin, came to us. He told us that the von Degenfeld had been
sojourning already three months at the Castle of Ladenburg, and that
our lord and husband had betaken himself thither every week during our
absence; nay he had caused a special road to be made that he might the
sooner reach it. Then we first discovered what had been the aim of our
lord and husband, and we lamented our misfortune with many tears.

"A week after, our lord and husband sent us a note, the contents of
which ran literally thus:--

"'Most Serene Highness,

"'I wish to inform your Highness in a few words, that in consequence of
our afore-mentioned divorce, I have again engaged myself in marriage
with the noble Lady, Marie Susanna von Degenfeld. I therefore hope that
your Highness will be therewith content, as it cannot now be altered.
For I have already sent for our dear and trusty Samuel Heyland,
preacher of the Lutheran community of our city of Heidelberg, to unite
us in Christian wedlock. But as I know well that your Highness has
begotten me three royal children, it becomes me to furnish your
Highness with a princely allowance for the rest of your life. Therefore
we grant unto your Highness the power to make use at your good pleasure
of the half of the castle of Heidelberg, and you may receive from our
lord treasurer sufficient money for your maintenance; only you must
reconcile yourself to my present wife, and inflict no injury upon her,
that I may not have occasion to withdraw my favour from your Highness.

"'I remain your Highness's graciously until death,

                            "'Your Highness's Elector.

"'Ladenburg, April 15, 1652.'

"My answer was as follows:--

"'Most august Prince and high-born Lord,

"'From your Princely Highness's letter I have learnt with the greatest
consternation that your Princely Highness is minded now to cast me off
entirely, and never more to recognize me as your wife. I will commend
my cause, woeful as it is, to God, the righteous judge. I will
henceforth consider myself as a widow; whose husband still lives, led
astray by a wanton worthless person, and drawn away from his lawful

"'For the ample maintenance which your Princely Highness has ordered
for me, I render you hearty thanks. I will also be careful so to behave
myself to your Princely Highness's concubine that she shall have no
cause to complain. Further, a nobleman from Stuttgart is here, who
reports that in ten days his Serene Highness Prince Eberhard von
Würtemberg, our dearly beloved lord cousin and brother, together with
the lady his wife, are coming to visit us at Heidelberg. So your
Princely Highness will undoubtedly come here, and arrange that they
shall have right princely accommodation.

"'Datum Heidelberg, the 16th of April, 1657.

     "'Your Princely Highness's until death, but now deeply afflicted
         lawful Electress of the Rhine.'

"After three days our lord and husband returned, bringing with
him the von Degenfeld, under the escort of a hundred newly enlisted
dragoons. Then indeed were we cut to the heart when we saw our former
waiting-woman usurping our place and presented to every one as
Electress, yet could not venture to say the least word against her. We
kept a separate table, and had our own servants, and a body-guard of
twenty cuirassiers appointed for our own selves.

"At last we bethought us we would once more endeavour to mollify our
lord and husband. We sent for the two Princes our sons, and the
Princess our daughter, dressed ourselves and the children in our best,
and waited near the hall-door till our lord and husband rose from
dinner and came out. Then we, together with our beloved children,
prostrated ourselves before his Princely Highness, hoping thereby to
mollify him. For if his Princely Highness would not recognize us as his
lawful wife, our dearly beloved children after his death might be
considered as bastards.

"Our children wept aloud, as did also the whole surrounding court, for
it would have melted a heart of stone. Our lord and husband let us thus
kneel, and stood in deep thought, not knowing at the moment what to
say. His Princely Highness's eyes were filled with tears. Meanwhile the
mistress von Degenfeld came from within, saw us thus kneeling, and
spoke audaciously to our lord and husband. '_Signore Elettore, servate
la parola di promessa._' At these words our lord and husband clasped
his hands over his head, and went away sighing. We however could no
longer look over such iniquity, but ran into our chamber and seized a
loaded pistol, determined to send a ball through the heart of this
wanton, godless disturber of conjugal rights, this von Degenfeld. But
when we came to her, and were on the point of discharging the pistol,
it was taken away from us by the noble Count and Lord Wolf Julius von
Hohenlohe, and discharged out of a window. But when our lord and
husband heard this shot, he ran hastily out of his apartment, and asked
who had fired. We said: 'Ah, dear treasure, I did it, with the
intention of revenging your Princely Highness's honour on this
monster.' But our lord and husband replied: 'Charlotta, Charlotta,
cease these doings, if you would not be sent away forthwith from
hence.' But we went off without making reply.

"Four days after a postilion came with a report that his Serene
Highness of Wurtemberg would arrive within two hours. Thereupon our
lord and husband sent to notify to us that his Princely Highness, with
Mistress von Degenfeld, would go to meet the said Lord Duke. But we
were to receive his Princely Highness at the castle. And thus it was.
Three days were spent in all kinds of pastimes, in honour of the said
Lord Duke, but we lived neglected, and were not once asked to dinner,
notwithstanding the urgent entreaties of our much-loved lord and
brother Duke Eberhard and his wife.

"At last we caused a repast to be prepared in our apartment, and
invited thereto both these princely personages, as also our lord and
husband, and our eldest son Prince Karolus. All these came except our
lord and husband, who indeed at the intercession of the Duke would have
been willing to come. But his Princely Highness was prevented by
Mistress von Degenfeld, who, as we afterwards learnt, urged his
Princely Highness with hard words, saying, she would no longer allow
his Princely Highness to live with her, if he went to us.

"Our lord and husband said also to our Prince Karolus: 'Go thither and
help your mother to entertain the guests, and tell her from me, that at
this present I am prevented from visiting her by ill health, but by
God's providence might be enabled to do so another time.'

"We discoursed during the repast with both the Princely personages on
the best way of dealing with our affairs, but their Princely Highnesses
advised us not to undertake anything against the life of this von
Degenfeld, since we might thereby make our evil fate worse. Our lord
brother, Duke Eberhard, took our hand, and promised that his Princely
Highness would exert himself to the utmost to unite us again, but his
Princely Highness would especially, immediately on his return home,
write urgently to his vassal, Gustavus von Degenfeld, brother of the
said Archmistress, to require the return of his sister home. If he did
not do this, he would take his feoff from him, and bestow it on
another. Meanwhile I was to supplicate your Imperial Majesty, most
humbly, to move in this matter, and unite us again by your most
gracious mediation.

"We cannot refrain also from adding that our lord and husband has not
in any other way injured us by word or deed these three years, and we
hope his Princely Highness will favourably receive such Imperial
intercession, and again be gracious to us, a much oppressed and
afflicted Princess, and not prostrate us entirely under this heavy

"Therefore we most humbly submit ourselves, praying fervently to God
Almighty that He may grant your Imperial Majesty continual health, long
life, a happy reign, victory over your enemies, and all prosperity.

"Datum Heidelberg, July 26, 1661. Your Imperial Majesty's most humble
and obedient servant, Charlotta Countess Palatine of the Rhine, born
Landgravine of Hesse."

Here the letter closes. We can scarcely feel any warm sympathy with
either of the contending parties. The husband appears thoroughly
unworthy: we find vulgar threats, violence, and ill-usage, a perfidious
attempt to deceive his wife, abject baseness in the evening visit, and
intimidation by the clash of arms, and worse than all, was the manner
of his divorce and re-marriage. The Church constitution of the
Protestants remained an unfinished edifice, the rulers were but too
much inclined to give themselves dispensations and licences as superior
bishops. And of the Electress also! What can we say? How gladly would
we sympathize with the deeply wounded wife and mother; but she appears
at best not very lovable; she also was violent, insolent, strong in
pouting, complaining, and weak at the moment when everything depended
on her defence of her just rights. To say nothing of the remarkable
scene at the Diet, her disobedience in remaining behind, gave the
Elector, at all events according to the ideas of that time, a right to
think of divorce. Not all that is most repugnant in this miserable
history should be laid to the charge of the individuals; much of what
offends us was then usual. The respect for women was small, the
familiar intercourse of the camp was a jealously guarded right of royal
ladies, the evening visit of the husband, an honour which was not
concealed from the court. But however much may be laid to the account
of the manners of the times, there still remains so much individual
imperfection as to leave a painful impression on the reader.

The Electress outlived both her husband and her rival. Soon after this
letter, by the mediation of the Brandenburg court a contract of
separation was concluded by the married couple, which assured to the
Electress a yearly income of eight thousand thalers, with the right of
spending it where she pleased. She resided afterwards at Cassel, and
lived to see her rival give birth to fourteen children. Later she took
the most benevolent interest in these children; and her own daughter,
the celebrated Charlotte Elizabeth Duchess of Orleans, mother of the
Regent of France, was bound by ties of the most intimate friendship
with one of the young Raugravines. We may thank this female friendship
for the beautiful letters of the Princess Charlotte Elizabeth, which
are not only important for the history of that period, but also
valuable, as showing how a prudent, intellectual and honourable German
lady remained uncorrupted in the impure atmosphere of a Parisian court.
The mother of the profligate Regent of France was all her life long a
true German. She speaks with warm affection of her father, and with
filial respect of her mother.

                              CHAPTER IX.

                    OF THE HOMES OF GERMAN CITIZENS.

While foreign guests, courtesy and ceremonial were doing their best to
restrain the aftergrowth of a lawless time in the upper classes, the
German citizen was aided by the innate character of his nation, its
need of order and discipline, its industry and feeling of duty. The
marriage tie and family life, his home and his employment were restored
to him as of old. The wooing still proceeded after the old German
fashion, the matrimonial agent still played his part, and the betrothal
presents of the bride and bridegroom were still recorded with their
accurate worth in money. Nay, the wooing had become still more formal,
even the mode of expression was prescribed. The lover had to think over
his address to the maiden carefully; where his own inventive powers
were deficient, he was assisted by the indispensable compliment book,
the treasured morsel of the library. The same style was adopted by the
modest young lady; even where the marriage had been settled for her, it
was considered desirable that she should not at once consent; nay, the
strictest decorum required that she should at first refuse, or at least
ask time for consideration. Then the lover made his addresses a little
more ardent, in rather a higher strain, and then the interdict was
withdrawn, and she was permitted to say, Yes. But they were not
pedants, they felt that long speeches in these cases were pedantic, and
that both parties who were contemplating matrimony, should express
themselves in few words; the lover had to introduce his proposal
somewhat thus: "Mademoiselle! Forgive me kindly, I pray you, for taking
a liberty of which I myself am ashamed; yet my confidence in your
kindness emboldens me so much, that I cannot refrain from acquainting
you with the resolution I have taken, of changing my present
condition," &c. Then the well-conducted young lady had to answer after
this fashion: "Monsieur! I can hardly believe that what it has pleased
you to propose to me is spoken in earnest, for I well know how little
charm I possess to please so agreeable a person," &c. It had all been
previously arranged by the matrimonial agent, they both knew what would
be the result, but decorum required of the citizen, as courtesy did of
the noble, that he should openly express his wishes by a proceeding
which should make his resolution irrevocable. Of the agitation of the
man, or the heart-beating of the maiden, we find nothing recorded; we
hope that both were happy, when they had gone through the trying scene,
he without faltering, she without an outburst of tears.

In the year 1644, Friedrich Lucä, son of a professor at the Gymnasium,
was born in the capital of the Silesian principality of Brieg. He
studied as a Calvinist, first in Heidelberg, then in the Netherlands
and Frankfort on the Oder, returned after many travels and adventures
to his native city, became the court preacher at Brieg, and, after the
death of the last Piasten Duke at Liegnitz, and the occupation of the
country by the Austrians, was appointed pastor and court preacher at
Cassel. He died after an active life, rich in honours, in 1708. As a
copious historical writer, he was appreciated, but also severely
criticised by his contemporaries. He corresponded with Leibnitz, and
some interesting letters to him from that great man are still preserved
to us. He wrote also an autobiography, which has been piously preserved
in his family for five generations, and was published by one of his
descendants. ('The Chronicle of Friedrich Lucä. A picture of the time,
and its manners,' published by Dr. Friedrich Lucä. Frankfort a. M.
Brönner, 1354.) We will here give Friedrich Luca's account of his
wooing. This event, so replete with excitement, took place the year he
was preacher at Liegnitz.

"Meanwhile, when my mind was least intent on thoughts of matrimony, and
the other proposals made to me had been unheeded, a foreign lady,
Elizabeth Mercer, whom I had never seen or heard of all my life long,
made known to me her intention of receiving the holy sacrament from me
privately, as she could not wait till it was again publicly given, it
having been so only a short time before. The said lady had come hither
with the noble General Schlepusch and his most dear wife, from Bremen,
and resided at their noble country mansion Klein-Polewitz, a mile and a
half from Liegnitz.

"On Sunday, the maiden presented herself at divine service, and after
the performance of the same, came from the church to my house, and the
holy communion being devoutly concluded, I took occasion to discourse
with her concerning the condition of the Church at Bremen, as also to
thank her for two capons which she had sent me for my kitchen, and then
I dismissed her with the Lord's blessing. In this my first interview
however with the maiden, I had not only perceived in her a refined and
seemly demeanour towards me, and discovered a beautiful conformity of
mind with mine, but I found in the effervescence of my feelings, and
emotions of my heart, an evident token that the spirit of love had been
somehow remarkably busy with me, for during my whole life I had never
experienced such an ardent affection for any maiden.

"This my heartfelt but chaste love, I concealed firmly within my
breast, and let no living soul know aught concerning it. The thought of
this maiden accompanied me every evening to my rest, and rose up with
me in the morning. Sometimes I spoke of her to my housekeeper, who was
a well-bred and discreet woman, and she, without adverting to the
motive of my discourse, extolled the maiden highly to me, and the like
did also my sexton. I tormented myself now with secret love thoughts
for a length of time, but at last spoke out my mind, thinking to
myself: 'Why should thy soul afflict itself fruitlessly concerning a
stranger maiden, who will again leave the country, and who will never
fall to thy lot?'

"Half a year after, the good maiden Mercer had entirely passed from my
remembrance, but the already forgotten maiden sent me an amiable
greeting through the page of the Lord Baron Schlepusch, and signified
to me that she was minded to communicate again. This message renewed
the old wounds of my heart, and therefore I made inquiries of the page
at some length concerning the maiden, with respect to one thing and
another; but could learn little or nothing from him. I then sent an
invitation to dinner on the Sunday through my sexton, to the Mistress
Mercer, but this she did not accept, excusing herself by saying that
she was accustomed to fast the whole of the day on which she
communicated. Thus on Sunday, the maiden, all unconscious of my loving
thoughts, came after church to my house. I gave her then, as before,
the communion, and discoursed with her to the same effect on all kinds
of subjects, to give her thereby some diversion. I would gladly in such
discourse have learnt some particulars as to whether she were noble,
and would like to remain in Silesia, but I could not ask such things
this time. After a while the maiden rose to leave my house; and as she
imagined I had a spouse, commended herself to her. I explained to her
forthwith that I was a bachelor, having no wife. During this discourse,
my sexton as well as my housekeeper were present, and to them, as to
myself, the demeanour of the maiden had always given the greatest
contentment, yet they did not fathom my intent.

"Now did my trouble begin again. After maturely reflecting upon the
matter, I could think of no means whereby I might learn the lineage and
circumstances of the maiden, whom I always looked upon as a noble
person, for I did not deem it expedient to open myself to any one.
Meanwhile, I met one day, Herr Tobias Pirner, the pastor at
Nickelstadt, a pious, honourable, and upright man, although of the
Lutheran confession. Now as I knew that the wife of General Schlepusch,
whose husband had lately died and been buried with great pomp in the
church at Liegnitz, went every Sunday, together with the maiden, to
attend divine service in the Lutheran church at Nickelstadt, I begged
of this Herr Pirner, in a way that made it in no wise remarkable on my
part, to inquire concerning the lineage and other circumstances of the
Mistress Mercer. He undertook this, and promised me the following week
a report thereupon. Herr Pirner faithfully fulfilled his engagement,
and at the end of the week reported to me in _optima forma_, what he
had learnt from the _Frau Generalin_. Mistress Mercer was the daughter
of Mr. Balthaser Mercer, formerly parliamentary assessor at Edinburgh,
in Scotland, who had many times been sent to England by King Charles I.
on weighty commissions, and once on a mission to Hamburg, where he was
decorated with a golden medal of honour. Her mother, also called
Elizabeth, was of noble lineage, born a Kennewy of Scotland. When in
1644 perilous troubles broke forth in England, her honoured father and
also her brother, the court preacher Robert Mercer, as they had been
favourites of the decapitated King, fled the kingdom with the whole
family, from fear of Cromwell and his party; he went with all belonging
to him to Bremen, where he lived on his own means, which were pretty
considerable, till his happy end in 1650, leaving his widow, a pious,
godly matron, with three sons and three daughters. The sons had gone
forth into the world, one to India, another to the Canary Islands; of
the daughters the eldest was married in London to a nephew of Cromwell,
of the noble family of Cleipold, and the youngest to a merchant named
Uckermann at Wanfried in Hess, the second was my love. In the year 1660
her lady mother also died in Bremen, and was laid beside her honoured
father in the church of St. Stephen, after which Mistress Elizabeth had
lived for a while with the widow of Herr Doctor Schnellen. Meanwhile
she became acquainted with the _Frau_ Schlepusch, who lived at her
property Schönbeck, near Bremen, and when soon after, the General
Schlepusch and his wife departed for Silesia, they took her with them
as a playfellow for their young daughter, to Klein-Polewitz, where she
was always held in good esteem.

"This report and intelligence increased the ardour of my love for her,
especially as I now knew that she was indeed of distinguished family,
but not of noble extraction, and also because Herr Pirner had highly
commended the maiden on account of her godly behaviour, piety,
prudence, and many domestic qualities; and the _Frau Generalin_ had no
hesitation in trusting her with the whole conduct of the household,
during her many journeys to and fro. Now my whole heart being filled to
overflowing with a stream of chaste love, I poured it out for the first
time to this honourable man, and revealed to his discretion what else I
would not have disclosed to any man in the whole world, namely, that if
it were possible, and provided it were the will of God, I desired to
make Mistress Mercer my wife, and I begged of him to lend me his
faithful aid in this important affair, and help to promote my good

"The good man was willing to esteem it the greatest honour to perform
this service for me; he devoted his heart to the work, and gave
expression to my intentions, first to the _Frau Generalin_. Meanwhile I
exchanged letters with him, and soon entertained good hopes. _In
summa_, the affair advanced in a short time in the most satisfactory
manner, so that nothing remained but for me to visit her in person. One
Monday morning, having first sought aid of the Lord, I proceeded on
horseback to Nickelstadt, called for the Herr Pirner there, and went
with him to Klein-Polewitz, which lay about a quarter of a mile from
thence. The son-in-law of the _Frau Generalin_, Herr Heinrich von
Poser, the royal receiver-general of taxes in the principality of Jauer
and Schweidnitz, received us in the baronial mansion, conducted us with
great politeness to the dining-room, where he entertained us with
various discourse, like a highly-talented and well-educated cavalier.
Soon afterwards the _Frau Generalin_ sent for me to her room, and
welcomed me with much civility, receiving my compliments in return most
favourably. My proposals contented her right well, and she gave me good
hope that my desires would meet with a happy issue. In the mean time
the table was spread, and the _Frau Generalin_ with her maiden
daughter, and Herr von Poser with his spouse, made their appearance,
followed by good Mistress Mercer, who received me most courteously.
During dinner every variety of lively discourse was carried on, and my
love was the true centre to which all were attracted. When dinner was
ended, the whole company absented themselves, and left me and my love
alone in the dining-room. On this occasion I opened my heart to her,
and begged for her sympathy, hoping she might in some degree
reciprocate my chaste love, and allow herself to be persuaded, under
God's providence, to be united with me in wedlock. Now as generally in
love affairs a maiden's No is as good as Yes, so I considered my love's
first uttered No as Yes, and was not thereby alarmed, but pursued my
intent. Meanwhile, however, the _Frau Generalin_ and the Herr von Poser
passed to and fro, and teased us poor lovers with polite jests. At last
our love could no longer hide itself under compliments, but burst forth
like the moon from behind dark clouds, and we exclaimed, 'Yes, I am
thine, and thou art mine!' And now we called together the _Frau
Generalin_, the Herr Poser, and he who was my rightful wooer, who then,
as assistants and witnesses, confirmed our verbal Yes, by joining
together our hands. As a pledge of my affection, I hereupon presented
my love with a small Bible handsomely embossed with silver, and a
ring with ten diamonds, which had been made for me at Breslau for
fifty-three imperial thalers. But my treasure entered into a contest of
love with me, presenting me with a ring with one diamond, which, on
account of its size, was estimated at ninety imperial thalers. Now when
the affair had in such wise come to an arrangement, we sat down again
to table in the evening, and supped together with gladness of heart,
till at nightfall I and Herr Pirner were conducted to two comfortable
bedchambers. The following morning I expressed to _Frau Generalin_ my
thankfulness for all the honour she had shown me, took leave of my love
and all present, and returned with Herr Pirner to Nickelstadt, and from
thence back to Liegnitz. From there I corresponded weekly with my love,
visited her every Sunday after the performance of divine service, at
Polewitz; treated her each time with a special present, and finally
fixed with her upon St. Elizabeth's day, namely the 19th of November,
1675, for the conclusion of our nuptials.

"After this fashion did our courtship continue almost five weeks; then
as the appointed nuptial day was approaching, and everything necessary
had been procured, and the wedding guests invited, and more especially
as my former colleague at Brieg, Herr Dares, whom I had requested to
unite us, had arrived at Klein-Polewitz, the _Frau Generalin_ sent two
coaches, the one with six, the other with four horses, to Liegnitz to
fetch me and my guests; but as these coaches could not bring all, the
Captain General, Herr von Schweinichen lent me one, item the Abbess of
Nonnenklosters, item the city councillor, nay one with four horses,
together with certain calèches, whereupon, by God's will, I with my
guests repaired to Polewitz. After the marriage sermon, in which Herr
Dares introduced the names Friedrich and Elizabeth very ingeniously and
emblematically, the wedding took place by the light of burning torches,
about six o'clock in the evening in the large dining-room, whereunto I
was conducted by the Royal Councillors Herr Kurchen and Herr Caspar
Braun, and my love by Herr von Poser and Herr von Eicke, brother to the
_Frau Generalin_. Before the wedding, Fräulein von Schlepusch had
presented me with the wreath, and I had given her in return a beautiful
gold ring. As soon as the marriage was completed we sat down to supper,
which had been provided by my love at our cost, and were all very
blithe and merry. In such fashion did we entertain our guests for the
space of three days with the greatest gaiety and contentment; and it
all ended in confidential union and harmony. On the fourth day,
accompanied by Herr Rath Knichen and his wife, I brought home my love
to Liegnitz in the coach of the _Frau Generalin_, drawn by six horses."

Here we conclude the narrative of the happy husband; he had won by his
wooing a most excellent housewife. In the midst of flowery expressions
the reader will perhaps discern here the deep emotions of an honourable

But the mode of expressing the feelings of the heart was altered. When
a century before, Felix Platter related the beginning of his love for
his maiden, he expresses his feeling in these simple words: "I began to
love her much;" Lucä, on the other hand, already expresses himself
thus: "That the stream of chaste love filled his heart to overflowing."
The bride of the Glauburger still decorously addressed her bridegroom
in her letters as "Dearly beloved Junker;" but now in a tender epistle
from a wife to her husband, she accosts him as "Most beautiful angel."
In other European nations also, we find the same false refinement; with
them also the finest feelings were overloaded with ornament. Through
the foreign and classical poets this style had been brought into
Germany, partly a bad kind of renaissance, which had originated in an
unskilful imitation of the ancients. But nevertheless it satisfied a
real need of the heart; men wished to raise themselves and those they
loved, out of the common realities of life into a purer atmosphere: as
angels, they placed them in the golden halo of the Christian heaven; as
goddesses, in the ancient Olympus; as Chloe, in the sweet perfumed air
of the Idylls. In the same childish effort to make themselves
honourable, dignified, and great, they wore peruques, introduced
ridiculous titles, believed in the philosopher's stone, and entered
into secret societies; and whoever would write a history of the German
mind might well call this a period of ardent aspirations. These
aspirations were not altogether estimable, by turns they became vague,
childish, fanatical, stupid, sentimental, and at last dissolute; but
beneath might always be discovered the feeling that there was something
wanting in German life. Was it a higher morality? Was it gaiety?
Perhaps it was the grace of God? The beautiful or the frivolous? Or
perhaps that was wanting to the people, which the princes had long
possessed, political life. With the broken window-panes of the Thirty
years' war, and the choice phrases of the young officers who banqueted
in the tent of General Hatzfeld, this period of aspiration began; it
reached its highest point in the fine minds which gathered round
Goethe, and in the brothers who embraced in the east, and it ended
perhaps with the war of freedom, or amidst the alarms of 1848.

The home life of the respectable citizen of the seventeenth century was
as strictly regulated as was his wooing, prudent and circumspect, even
in the most minute particulars. His energies were occupied in strenuous
labour from morning to evening, which afforded him a secret
satisfaction. Thoughtful and meditative, the artisan sat over his work,
and sought to derive pleasure from the labour of his hands. The workman
was still full of anxiety, but the beautiful product of his hands was
precious to him. Most of the great inventions of modern times were
thought out in the workshops of German citizens, though they may indeed
sometimes have been first brought into practical use in foreign
countries. Scarcely was the war ended when the workshops were again in
full activity, the hammer sounded, the weavers' shuttle flew, the
joiner sought to collect beautiful veined woods, in order to inlay
wardrobes and writing-tables with ornamental arabesques. Even the poor
little scribe began again to enjoy the use of his pen; he encircled his
characters with beautiful flourishes, and looked with heartfelt pride
on his far-famed Saxon _ductus_. The scholar also was occupied
incessantly with thick quartos; but the full bloom of German literature
had not yet arrived. Everywhere, indeed, interest was aroused in
collecting materials and details, and the industry and knowledge of
individuals appears prodigious. But they knew not how to work out these
details, it was pre-eminently a period of collection. Historical
documents, the legal usages of nations, the old works of theologians,
the lives of the saints, and stores of words of all languages were
compiled in massive works, the inquiring mind lost itself in the
insignificant, without comprehending how to give life to individual
learning. It wrote upon antique ink-horns and shoes it reckoned
accurately the length and breadth of Noah's ark, and examined
conscientiously the length of the spear of the old Landsknecht Goliah.
Thus we find that industry did not obtain the full benefit of its
labour; yet it assisted much in training the genius of our great
astronomer Leibnitz; it also helped to give an ideal purpose to man, a
spirit for which he might live.

The war had inflicted much injury on the artisan, and it was first in
domestic life that he began to recover from the effects of it. The
weaker minds withdrew entirely into their homes, for there was little
satisfaction in public life, and their means of defence were
diminished. There was now peace, and the old gates of the battered city
walls grated on their hinges, but trivial quarrels distracted the
council-table, and envious tittle-tattle and malignant calumny
embittered every hour of the year to those stronger minds that exerted
themselves for the public good. A morbid terror of publicity prevailed.
When in the beginning of the eighteenth century the first weekly
advertisers sprang up, and the Council of Frankfort-on-Main conceded to
the undertakers of it, a weekly list of baptisms, marriages, and
deaths, there was a general burst of displeasure; it was considered
insupportable that such private concerns should be made public. So
completely had the German become a private character.

There were few cities then in Germany on whose social life we can dwell
with satisfaction. Hamburg is perhaps the best specimen that can be
given. Even there war and its consequences had caused great
devastation, but the fresh air that blew from the wide ocean through
the streets of the honest citizens of a free town, soon invigorated
their energies. Their self-government, and position as a small state in
union with foreign powers, preserved their community from extreme
narrow-mindedness, and it appears that in the period of laxity and
weakness that followed the Thirty years' war, they became by their
energetic conduct the principal gainers. Land traffic with the interior
of Germany, as also nautical commerce across the North Sea and Atlantic
Ocean, recovered their elasticity soon after the termination of the
war. Hamburg envoys and agents negotiated with the States-general, and
at the court of Cromwell. The Hamburgers possessed not only a merchant
fleet, but also a small navy. Their two frigates were, more than once,
a terror to the pirates of the Mediterranean and of the German Ocean.
They convoyed, now Greenland and Archangel navigators, now great fleets
of from forty to fifty merchantmen, to Oporto, Lisbon, Cadiz, Malta,
and Leghorn, in short, wherever there were Hamburg settlements.

This commerce, inferior as it may be to that of the present day, was
perhaps, in proportion to that of other German seaports of the
seventeenth century, more important than now. The young Hamburgers went
then to the seaports of the German and Atlantic Ocean, and of the
Mediterranean, as they now do to America, and founded there commercial
houses on their own account. Thus was formed in Hamburg a
cosmopolitanism which is still characteristic of that great city. But
it was undoubtedly more difficult for that generation to conform
themselves to foreign customs, than for the present. It was not
devotion to the German empire, but an attachment to the customs of
their daily life and family ties, which made the Hamburgers then, as
now, rarely consider a foreign country as their fixed home. When they
had passed a course of years abroad, in profitable activity, they
hastened home, in order to form a household with a German wife. The
warm patriotism and the prudent pliancy to foreign customs, which are
peculiar to the citizens of small republics, were produced by this kind
of life, and also the love of enterprise, and the enlarged views, which
were seldom to be found then in the courts of Princes in the interior.
Thus the family of a Hamburg patrician of that period shows a number of
interesting peculiarities which are well worth dwelling upon.

Such a family was that of the Burgomaster Johann Schulte, whose
race still survives on the female side. Johann Schulte (who lived
1621-1697), was of ancient family, he had studied at Rostock,
Strasburg, and Basle, had travelled, and married whilst secretary to
the city council, and had then acted as envoy from Hamburg to Cromwell.
He became burgomaster in 1668, was a worthy gentleman of great
moderation of character, experienced in all worldly affairs as well as
in the government of his good city, a happy husband and father. Some
letters are preserved from him to his son, who in 1680 entered into
partnership in a Lisbon house. These letters contain many instructive
details. But most interesting, is the pleasing insight we get into the
family life at that period; the terms the father was on with his
children, the heartiness of the feeling on both sides; in the father
the quiet dignity, and wisdom of the much experienced man, with a
strong feeling of his distinguished position, and in all the members of
the family a firm bond of union, which, in spite of all the inevitable
disputes within the circle, formed an impenetrable barrier to all

A journey to Lisbon, and a separation of many years from the paternal
house, was then a great affair. When the son, after his departure amid
the tears and pious blessings and good wishes of parents and sisters,
was detained by contrary winds at Cuxhaven, his father lost no time in
sending him "a small prayer book; item, a book called 'The Merry Club,'
and Gottfried Schulze's Chronicle, also a box of cream of tartar,
and a blue stone pitcher with tamarinds, and preserved lemon-peel for
sea-sickness." The son during his voyage, called to mind that he owed
his brother three marks and six shillings, and anxiously entreated his
mother to withdraw that sum for him from the eight thalers he had left
in her keeping. The father liberally responded, that the eight thalers
should be kept for him undiminished, that his mother would make no
difficulty about three marks. After the son was established at Lisbon,
regular supplies were sent of Zerbster and Hamburg beer, butter, and
smoked meats, as also prescriptions for illnesses, and whatever else
the care of the mother could procure for the absent son; he on the
other hand sent oranges back, and casks of wine. The father accurately
reported the changes which had occurred in the family, and among the
citizens of the good city of Hamburg, and zealously laboured to send
his son, commissions from his Hamburg friends. Soon the son confessed
to his parents from that foreign land, that he loved a maiden at
Hamburg; naturally one of the acquaintances of the family, and the
father sympathized in this love affair, but always treated it as a
matter of serious negotiation, which was to be cautiously and tenderly
dealt with. It is clearly the object of the father to put off the
wooing and proposal till his son had been some years abroad, and with
diplomatic tact he meets his son's wishes just far enough to retain his

What however is perhaps most characteristic of that period, is the
advice given by the father to the son as to the necessity of adapting
himself to the usages of foreign countries. The son is a pious zealous
Protestant, whose conscience was much disquieted at having to live
among strict Roman Catholics, and to join the practices so repugnant to
him of Roman Catholic countries. What the father writes to him on this
subject, is here given from the first letters, with the slight
alterations necessary to make them intelligible.

"Dear Son,

"It is a week to-day since the last meeting of the Council, under
my government, for this year, and I sent in the afternoon to the
post-house to inquire whether the Spanish letters had arrived, and
received for answer, No. The following day, at noon on Saturday, Herr
Brindts sent his servant with your letter of the 11/22 of this month.
As far as concerns your letter, we are in the first place all rejoiced
that, thanks to God, you are in good health, which is a great mercy;
and then that you are well pleased with your partners, and on this
account likewise you should thank the Lord, that you have met in a
foreign country with such honourable and well-disposed men. God grant
that you may henceforth pass your time with all contentment, in peace
and harmony, and also in a sound and prosperous condition till it
pleases God to restore you to your country. Nevertheless, in reading
your letter I have remarked that your place of residence, Lisbon, and
its inhabitants, both clerical and lay, are not altogether suited to
you, and you do not find yourself quite right in your present position,
owing to which I discover in you some traces of impatience. It cannot
be otherwise than that the change from Hamburg to Lisbon, the
difference between the inhabitants of one and the other, their customs
and behaviour, and many other things, should strike you with amazement,
nay, even with consternation and anger; but you must remember that
there and in other places, you have had many predecessors in like case,
with whom it has fared the same, and to whom the great change in
everything, especially in religious matters, has appeared very

"According to the Latin adage, _post nubila Ph[oe]bus_, that is, bad
weather is followed by brighter and more agreeable sunshine, which may
the most benign God in his mercy fulfil to you, and grant that, as you
met with and endured great dangers and bodily weakness by sea, the time
which you may spend in Portugal may sweeten and brighten the former
sour and bitter days, and that you may by degrees forget those bad
days, and be comforted and rejoice in the good ones, which may the
Almighty in his mercy constantly grant and bestow upon you. Amen.

"Brother-in-law Gerdt Buermeister (who loves you as his child) told me
to-day, that many things would indeed appear surprising to you on your
first arrival at Lisbon, especially the seeing on all sides the forms
of white, black, and gray monks and other persons; but it would be only
three or four months, before you would become accustomed to this and
other things. Now it is certainly true that one gets habituated in time
to everything. I was for four years constantly at Strasburg, and got so
accustomed to it that it became alike to me whether I lived at
Strasburg or Hamburg, and was never disturbed about anything.

"Believe me and others, you will find equally that a short time and a
little patience will alter and improve all. I trust in God, therefore,
that I shall in the course of eight or ten weeks receive from you more
satisfactory letters, especially as you gradually make progress in the
language. Brother-in-law Gerdt Buermeister says that he was twelve
years old when he arrived at Lisbon, and he could not sufficiently
describe his dissatisfaction; and whenever he descried the monks he
thought they were devils; he would also have poured water on them from
above, but would have got into difficulties thereby: he says, that when
he was obliged to go out he felt terrified, but he soon overcame his
fears. As regards religion, you must be judicious, and as much as
possible avoid all hypocrisy, and never enter into discourse with your
partner, nor with any one, on religious topics, but continue yourself
at fitting times to read thereon, and also pray to God with devotion
morning and evening, and put your firm trust in Him, that as He has so
wonderfully called you to that place, He will also be, and ever remain
your gracious Father and protector under all apparent crosses.

"You state that you have already once sinned from necessity, when the
consecrated host was carried past--or as it is otherwise called the
venerabile--and ask whether you have well done to pray for yourself,
and whether the good God will hear and forgive you this sin. I cannot
forbear relating to you on this occasion what befel me at Maintz: when,
in 1641, I journeyed from Hamburg to Strasburg, and was obliged to
remain quiet at Frankfort for a fortnight during the fair, I went to
Maintz, which is four miles from thence. It so happened I was there a
Sunday, on which a special feast was kept by the Roman Catholics; so I
ascertained in which church the Elector was to attend mass, betook
myself there, and found in the church many devout people on their
knees. Some had their _rosarium_ or rosaries in their hands, and said
the Ave Maria and Lord's prayer, others smote their breasts with their
hands like the penitent publican, and repented of their sins. I thus in
some sort inspected the people, and thought their devotion commendable,
and wished also that such good devotion in outward demeanour in the
church could be found among us Lutherans. Meanwhile the Elector came,
and entered into the choir. I, as an inquisitive young man, pressed in
together with him, and as I was well dressed, having round me a scarlet
mantle, the halberdiers allowed me to pass, supposing me to be a young
nobleman. In the mean time the Herr von Andlaw chanted the mass in
_pontificalibus_, that is he had a bishop's hat or cap on his head, and
a bishop's staff in his hand. I had good thoughts as I looked on all
these ceremonies, and all was as yet well. But when the Herr von Andlaw
raised the consecrated cup, then all knelt down who were standing by
me, I did the same, and said a Paternoster. To this I was led by my
curiosity, but you were led unavoidably, and I trust in God that He
will forgive me and you this fault. Besides this once, I have been in
the Roman Catholic church frequently in France, and especially at
Orleans on a Sunday afternoon, and have heard good music, but have
never found my limbs tremble as you write that you have experienced.
One should not be like a timid hare, but maintain always a constant
steadfast heart. You mention that in Lisbon there are many priests, and
also many churches and monasteries. Well! let it be so, that is nothing
to you; however many priests there may be there they will not bite you,
only take heed to yourself. No one can compel you to go to mass or into
the church, and if at Easter you can obtain a ticket from an
ecclesiastic, as if you had confessed and communicated, you have no
farther need to care about the priests. But if you see the priests at a
distance coming towards you with the consecrated host, use all caution
and turn into a byway, or go into a house.

"You write to me also, that many are already envious of you, and that
Frick and Amsing are amongst the number. My son! who is without envious
rivals? The more a person prospers, the more there are who envy them.
Therefore the Dutch say: _idt is beter, beniedt als beklaegt, als idt
man onsen lieven Heer behaegt._ What think you of the many who envy me,
but whereof I know only a few, most of them I know not. On that
account one has to pray in the Litany: 'That it may please the Lord to
forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and turn their
hearts.' I should have been glad to see that when Frick and Amsing
invited you twice you had gone to them. You write that they would have
cross-questioned you. But you are not such a child that they could have
cross-questioned you, particularly as you could undoubtedly tell them
what you chose, and what they ought to know. You write also that Frick
did not take off his hat to you; now you are younger than Frick, and
thus it behoved you to greet him first. You tell me also that Amsing
gave good words with his mouth, while gall was in his heart; to that I
answer, that one must set a thief to catch a thief; give always good
words to all, be they ecclesiastics or laymen, and keep to yourself
your own thoughts, that is the way of the world.

"It is particularly satisfactory to us to find from your letter that
you hope soon to make progress in the Portuguese language, which will
cause you great contentment, and although on account of your deficiency
in that language, you cannot yet give any special help and assistance
in buying and selling, yet you can keep the books, and be assiduous in
setting down and registering everything.

"Admonish your young Heinrich to fear God, and to that end to pray and
read, and make him read to you in your room on the forenoon of Sunday
from the _Molleri postilla_.

"Your mother has spoken to Gunther Andreas, and told him he must take
heed, and when a vessel is noted up at the exchange to be laden for
Lisbon, send a ton of beer by it. You have in your mother's hands not
eight marks, ten shillings, but eight good rix-dollars, which I have
before written to you. And if the eight rix-dollars are already gone, a
ton of beer will not signify. You have always as much or more in hand.
We will also, God willing, send you a present of fresh smoked Elbe
salmon, for I have already had two salmon in the smoke three days, one
of which we have destined for you. The salmon fishery promises fair,
though as yet a pound costs one mark.

"Last Monday we held our Peter's, and yesterday our Matthias's
collation, when I had a convenient opportunity to recommend you and
your brother-partner to Herr Brümmelman. The same reported to me that
he had received letters from you, and the good honest man opened
his mind to me thoroughly, and told me that he would answer you by
this post, also that I need not doubt God would bless you and your
brother-partner, and you would have no cause to complain. God grant you
health, patience, and a constant cheerful spirit, also pleasure in and
love for your business and work of superintendence. A common proverb
says: _ora et labora_, and let God be your councillor. This do, and
throw all your cares on the Lord, and it will be well with you.
Wherewith I conclude for this time, as I brought to a close yesterday
my seventh year of administration, and by God's grace and favour have
concluded it; and together with the friendly greetings of all your dear
belongings, I faithfully commend you to the secure protection of the
great God, and remains always

                             "Your kindly affectionate father,

                                         "Johann Schulte, Lt.

"Hamburg, Feb. 25, 1681.

"P.S. I have mentioned, in my letter of the 14th of January, if I am
not mistaken, that the pleasant fellow Heinrich Mein served up to us
and the ship's company a rarity, a dish of fish which had been cooked
in Lisbon. Now you might intend sending me a gift of the like in
future, but do not do it, it would cost you trouble and money, and I
care not much about it. Vale.

"P.S. Your lady mother sends you most kindly greeting from herself, and
is glad to find, _par curiosité_, that you here and there mention in
your letters what kind of weather you have, and what vegetables and
fruit you get in succession; you may also touch lightly upon what meat
and fish or vegetables you eat. And you should look to it that you eat
wholesome food, and above all not too much. Here indeed the Elbe is
open, and there is tolerably mild weather; we have good Elbe and sea
fish, only we have deep muddy roads, and a foggy thick atmosphere,
whilst with you doubtless all is now green and gay and everything in

"P.S. As the price of letters to Spain and Portugal runs somewhat
higher than to other places, I write, contrary to my usual habit and
manner, somewhat small and _compresser_. Write small and light letters,
but tolerably long ones, and _menagire_ also herein. Vale."

Thus far the cautious Burgomaster Johann Schulte. He had the pleasure
of seeing his son return safe from the land of monks, and united after
many family negotiations to the maiden of his choice.

Labour undoubtedly makes men firm and enduring, and it more especially
serves the egotistic interests of men of sound capacity; but to any one
whose vocation it is to be employed for the benefit of others, the
service will be consecrated by a feeling of duty. Every employment
which is capable of maintaining life gives man also a position. The
journeyman is the official of his master, the housewife has the office
of the keys, and every work develops even in the smallest circle a
domain of moral duties. The German has never been deficient in a
feeling of the duties of home and of his trade. There always have been
citizens who were not only ready to die for their city, but who have
sometimes passed a life of self-sacrifice for it. The Reformation
elevated the feeling of duty to a higher domain of earthly action and
the self-denial and self-sacrifice of the pious shepherd of souls
should always be highly esteemed; but on closer observation, we
perceive that the foundation of this more elevated feeling of duty was
more especially of a religious nature. It was the command of God which
men sought to obey; where the Scripture did not command with powerful
voice, the feeling for the universal good was not so strongly
developed, and the perception of the duties of their own position was

It is instructive to notice that it was the armies brought together by
the war which first raised the citizen's idea of the duties of his
calling. The soldier's feeling of honour not only developed itself in a
noble esprit de corps, but became the source gradually of official
honour in the citizen. First of all it gave him honour in the eyes of
others when he fulfilled his duty, but also it afforded himself
internal satisfaction and a just pride. Thus after the fidelity of the
middle ages and the piety of the Reformation there arose a new domain
of moral requirements. There was more of feeling than of the result of
thought in it, but it was still an advance; though at first indeed only
among the best.

Two years after the paternal admonitions of Herr Burgomaster Schulte to
his son, at a little distance south of Lisbon, the life of a Hamburger
was put an end to by a fearful catastrophe. The account of it is given
in an old narrative.

Berend Jacob Carpfanger was one of the captains at Hamburg. He was born
in that city in 1623; he got his schooling, as was the custom, in the
merchant service; he early became a member of the admiralty, and at
last as captain of convoys, commander of one of the vessels of war
which had to defend the merchantmen against pirates. These marine
officers of the city, besides having to exercise the highest official
control in their fleet, had to perform diplomatic negotiations in the
harbours, and sometimes were sent for the same purpose to foreign
courts. It was necessary for them to have some practice in business,
and to know how to associate with great lords, so as to maintain the
honour and fame of their city. Carpfanger was considered in his city an
elegant, smart man, who knew better than most how to conduct himself.
He had an earnest countenance, almost melancholy, a high forehead,
large eyes, and a chin and mouth of great power. His health appeared
rather less strong than was desirable in a seaman. He had given proof
that he understood how to conduct a sea-fight, and had often been in
bloody actions. For the Barbary pirates still continued their
depredations both on sea and land. Not only in galleys, but in large
frigates did these birds of prey bear down upon the swarm of commercial
vessels. It was just at that period that the 'Hund' was the terror of
European seas. Far over the channel, from Gibraltar onwards, on the
great ocean, nay, on the coasts of the Northern Sea, his swift vessels
made their appearance; dreadful were the harbour tales of their
temerity, violence, and bloodthirstiness. In the year 1662, a squadron
of eight Hamburg merchantmen had become the booty of these

In 1674, the burgomaster of the admiralty girded the silver sword on
Captain Carpfanger, and handed to him the admiral's staff. Then the
seaman swore before the senate, that he would manfully defend the fleet
intrusted to him, and sacrifice everything, body and soul, rather than
abandon his ship.

During the ten years that passed after that, up to his death, he made
an annual voyage, starting with his fleet in the Spring and returning
home in August. He had many severe struggles with storm and waves, and
often complained how unfavourable the elements were to him.

Thus he went to Cadiz and Malaga, to the Northern frozen ocean, and to
Lisbon. From an expedition to Greenland, his fleet of fifty vessels
brought home a booty of five hundred and fifty whales. Once when
returning home he was attacked at the north of the Elbe by five French
privateers; in the course of a twelve hours' fight he sent two to the
bottom by his shot, and they sank before his eyes with every man and
mouse on board, the remainder escaped to the open sea. He was also
engaged with the Brandenburg privateers. It happened that the admiral's
red flag of Hamburg floated on the gaff of the Besan threateningly
against the red eagle of Brandenburg; for in 1679 the great Elector was
not favourably disposed towards the Hamburgers, and his little vessels
of war had already captured many of theirs. The opponents met, but
Carpfanger had strict instructions to keep on the defensive, therefore
it came to a good issue. The large ship inspired the Brandenburgers
with respect; they sent the long-boat with two officers to salute him,
and "in order to inspect the arrangements of the ship." The Hamburger
regaled them with wine in his cabin, and then they politely took leave.
Their vessel fired a salute, which Carpfanger answered with equal
courtesy, and then both sailed away.

Again the captain on one of his voyages met with a fleet of Spanish
galleons in fight with Turkish pirates. The combat was taking an
unfavourable turn for the Spaniards; some heavy galleons had been cut
out and overpowered by the pirates. Carpfenger attacked the pirates,
and by a broadside freed the Spanish vessels. He was on this account
invited to the court of Charles II., and presented by the king with a
golden chain of honour.

When in August he exchanged the winds and waves for the narrow streets
of the old city, even there little rest was allowed him. First there
were disputes with the senate about expenses, a writing of reports, the
vindication of particular arrangements which did not appear clear to
the gentlemen of the council table, or injured some private interest,
and all the vexations of the counting office which are so hateful to
the seaman. For there is no lack of petty trading spirit in old
Hamburg. In the winter of 1680, his dear wife died in the prime of

Again and again he convoyed merchantmen to Cadiz and Malaga: in 1683 he
commanded the frigate 'The Arms of Hamburg.' The passage had been
lengthened by a storm, and a leaking vessel in the fleet, but it had
already been made known at the Hamburg Exchange that the captain was
about to return from Spam _viâ_ the Isle of Wight. Then there came
instead of him, sorrowful tidings. These will be here given; it is an
example of the old method by which news was rapidly spread.

                "Sorrowful tidings from Cadiz in Spain.

                                        "From Cadiz 12/22 October.

"Good and dear friend,

"I could have wished that this my letter might have awakened joy rather
than occasioned sorrow. But when we mortal men are in the highest tide
of happiness, and think of nought but gladness, misfortune hovers over
our heads.

"Such, alas! contrary to all expectation, has been the case with me and
all who together with me came in the convoyship 'The Arms of Hamburg.'

"On October 10/20, I and our chief officers, as also the noble
captain's son and his cousin, had the honour of taking supper with our
noble captain. When it was about eight o'clock and we were on the point
of rising from table, our cabin-watch brought the sad tidings that
there was fire in the hold of our ship. Thereupon our noble captain and
we all sprang up terrified from the table and hastened to the spot,
where we found all the cordage in the hold already in full blaze. By
the order of the captain, buckets and water-casks were speedily
brought; much water was poured on it, and some holes opened because
this place was not easily reached; all this in hopes of extinguishing
the fire. Our people, especially the soldiers, who were valiantly urged
on by their commander, worked assiduously, but all in vain, for no
diminution could be perceived in the fire, but only increase. Divers
guns were fired as signals of distress, in order to procure help, but
fruitlessly, as the other vessels afterwards pretended they did not
know what such firing signified.

"Thus the captain was obliged to send our lieutenant in the small
cutter to the surrounding vessels, to acquaint them with our unhappy
condition, to entreat the aid of their cutters and boats, and procure
some pump-hose. They came, it is true, but stopped at a distance; for
the fire was very near the place where the powder, which used to lie in
the fore-part of the ship, was kept, and it was impossible, on account
of the great heat, to bring it away; so every one feared that the ship,
and we all, one with another, should be blown up, if the flames were to
reach it. On this account many of the seamen gave up the work, and
retreated into the boats and the large cutter behind the ship, or made
away in foreign boats, however much we implored of these not to carry
off our people.

"To those in our boat and great cutter, the captain called out from the
cabin window, that they should remember the oath they had sworn to him
and the magistracy, and not abandon him, but return on board, as at
present there was no danger, and by God's help the fire might be

"These certainly obeyed the command, and began to work again earnestly,
but it all was of no avail for the fire increased more and more. After
working assiduously but fruitlessly for two hours, the lieutenant and
shipmaster, as also the other officers, went to the captain, and
informed him that, alas! there was no more help, that it was impossible
to save the good ship, and it was now high time to save themselves, if
they did not intend to be burned in the ship or blown up with it. For
between the fire and the powder there was now only a plank of a
finger-breadth remaining. But the captain, who still thought to
preserve the ship, and prized his honour more than life and everything
in the world, answered that he would not leave the ship, but would live
and die therein. His son fell on his knees before him, and besought him
for God's sake to think better of it, and seek to preserve his life. To
whom he replied: 'Away with you, I know better what is intrusted to

"Thereupon he commanded the quarter-master to place this his son,
together with his cousin, in another vessel, which was then done. He
would not allow the least bit of his own property to be removed, that
the men might not be disheartened thereby.

"Meanwhile it was suggested by some that it would be best to cut a hole
in the ship and let her go to the bottom; to this however the captain
would not consent, but said he had still hopes of saving her. Others
advised to cut the cable and strand the ship. This was at last agreed
to, and the order given to cut the cable. But just as this was about to
be done, when the mizen and foremast were on the point of falling, and
the people were still sitting on the fore-yard, the powder in the
fore-part of the ship caught fire. The force of it however being broken
by the pouring in of a large body of water it only blew up with a
whizz. The fire burnt through the deck almost to the foremast, and as a
stiff east wind blew above, and the vessel lay to the wind, it ran up
the mast into the shrouds and sails, and in a moment over the whole

"When the people who were still in the vessel saw this, they sought to
fly with pitiful shrieks. Some ran to the cabin, hoping to find safety
there; others to the gun-room. At the door of this last, the
lieutenant, by order of the captain, had placed himself, together with
a soldier with a loaded gun, to prevent any one from running through
the room into the large cutter, which lay fastened just behind it. The
lieutenant was pressed through the door, and thus obliged to betake
himself to the cutter, followed forthwith by a throng of people: many
sprang into the boat. As this however, was already pushed off, because
the fire from behind burnt quite over, and as it appeared likely that
the fire would reach the powder at the back of the ship, and all who
were around and near it would be blown up, the poor men who were still
in the ship, and did not wish to be burnt, determined to abandon
themselves to the waves, and sprang into the water. It would have
melted a heart of stone to have heard the cries and shrieks of these
miserable men, driven about in shoals in the water, so that nothing but
heads could be seen. Now whilst the fire was driven by the wind from
the forepart to the stem with great power, its violence increasing with
its duration, I stood in the cabin with divers persons round the
captain; they moaned and wept before him, and at the same time exhorted
him, saying there was no time now to remain any longer.

"I went from them to the window, to see whether there was yet a boat at
hand, and found that the large cutter was still fastened to the ship. I
took my resolution, and commending my life to God, sprang through the
cabin window into the boat; which succeeded so well that I was saved
therein without suffering any damage. As I turned my back to the
captain, he, with the persons remaining by him, among whom were the
commander and some soldiers and seamen, went out of the door. I thought
they were seeking to save themselves, as indeed they were willing to
do; for I perceived that they went to the great blaze with the
intention of forcing the captain into a boat. But finding none, as the
flames were already over their heads they left the captain and sprang

"As soon as I was in the large cutter, the lieutenant became visible; I
asked him whether the captain was out of the ship, he answered that a
Dutch captain had saved him. Now when we thought we were assured
thereof, we loosened the cutter in all haste, for there were many
people swimming about in the water, seeking to save themselves therein;
and the cutter was almost dragged down by them, as many clung to its
side. It was also to be feared that we should be blown up when the
flames reached the powder.

"When we had gone about a cable's length from the ship, many pieces of
it fell asunder by reason of the heat of the fire; and the grenades
sprang one after another. The fire, at last, towards one o'clock,
reached the powder in the powder room, and with one hollow clap the
stern of the vessel blew up; whereupon the remaining portion, with all
that was still therein, went to the bottom, after the good ship had
been burning about five hours.

"Meanwhile we came with our cutter to another ship lying in the bay,
and put out the people who had been saved, with the exception of the
necessary rowers; with whom the lieutenant, during the remaining
portion of the night, sought sorrowfully after the noble captain among
all the vessels in the bay. But in vain, as he was nowhere to be found.

"On the following day, about ten in the forenoon, notice was given by
the English cutter of Captain Thompson's ship, that the body of our
captain, alas! had been driven on to their boat's cable, and had been
rescued by them.

"Thereupon, the now deceased good man was forthwith brought from the
vessel of the said Captain Thompson, and as was fitting, was clothed in
clean linen, for which Captain Thompson was paid with gratitude.

"Of all the men who lost their lives by this great misfortune (of
seamen two-and-forty, of soldiers two-and-twenty), the deceased noble
captain was the first that was found. Preparations were forthwith made
for his funeral, and when everything needful was provided, on Saturday
the 13th of this month, he was consigned to the grave according to
Christian usages, here behind the Puntales, in the place where it is
the custom to bury those of foreign nations. Our _Domine_ first
preached a fine funeral discourse; the body was convoyed by some twenty
cutters, wherein were many distinguished captains and merchants; in
each the flags were half mast high, as a sign of mourning; in like
manner all the English, Dutch, and Hamburg ships lying here, testified
their condolence by hoisting their flags and Jacks half-mast high, amid
the firing of guns, whereof above three hundred were heard.

"Who caused this fearful fire and misfortune, or by what negligence it
originated, is unknown. The boatswain's son, who had been in the hold,
and had to watch the lamp which usually burnt there, stated that he had
gone from the hold upon deck, in order to speak to another youth, and
on his return to the hold, found it in flames. God preserve other ships
from a like misfortune, and comfort the widows and orphans of those who
have been lost."

Here we conclude the news from Cadiz. According to another account the
captain walked alone about his ship up to the last; others declare that
they saw him at an open port-hole, raising his clasped hands to heaven;
and according to others, he last of all committed himself to the waves,
either to be preserved or to sink as God willed it; and it is no wonder
that the weakly old gentleman, after the mental and bodily exertions of
the last hours, should have gone to the bottom. A great marvel had been
observed by the sailors: three doves had for several hours hovered over
the burning ship, to the time of its blowing up.[44] King Charles II.
of Spain caused a monument to be erected on the grave of the Hamburg
seaman; which, according to consular records, was only destroyed in the
Spanish war, the beginning of this century.

We rejoice that the deceased kept his oath. The honour of his calling
demanded his death, and he died. For it is better that once in a while,
a brave, honest, and able man, though he were still able to save
himself, should go down with his good ship, than that mariners should
in the hour of danger want a model of enduring energy. He died as
became a sailor, silent and collected; he laconically dismissed his own
son; his whole soul was in his employment. May the German citizen never
come to such a pass as to consider the deed of this man, strange and
unheard of. In the inland provinces also, many hundreds of peaceable
citizens since his time have died in the performance of their duty to
the utmost of their power, and beyond it; pastors in the midst of
contagion, doctors in the lazar house, and helpful citizens in dangers
from fire. And we hope that the reader will discern that this is the
path of duty, and the general rule with us.

And still our hearts heave with the thought that in the same year in
which Strasburg was so ignominiously lost, a fellow-countryman felt
even as we should feel, namely, that there is not much cause for
astonishment, and no occasion for crying and moaning, when any one dies
in the performance of duty. And his memory should be honoured both by
those who traverse the sea, and those who never hear its roar. The
German had much degenerated after 1648, but he yet deserved a better
life; for he still understood how to die for an idea.

                               CHAPTER X.


Civilization was undoubtedly, in spite of war and devastation, making
continual progress, for it was not as in ancient times carried on by
one people alone, but by large families of nations; and the blessing of
this higher development in Germany first elevated the life of
individuals. The century of the Reformation had increased the
individual independence of men, and developed what was spontaneous and
characteristic in various directions. After the war, the gap between
the classes became greater; not only was there a difference in their
dress, but in their social manners, their language and mode of life;
each class endeavoured to close its ranks against that which was just
beneath it. But this, however objectionable, was the first result of
political progress. At one time the great classes of princes, nobles,
citizens and peasants, lived in established relations to one another.
The religious movement had created a social ferment, which was a bond
of union between the cities and country aristocracy: now during the war
all classes had been shaken together; a large portion of the nobility
had been driven into the cities, and the impoverished landed proprietor
sought a place in the service of the new state, or in the city
community. Undoubtedly there lay within this the beginning of a higher
life, but the old pretensions did not on that account immediately
disappear; the less was the inward ground for social separation, the
more carefully were outward distinctions preserved.

Servility towards persons of distinction became general; it extended
from outward marks of courtesy, such as addressing them by their
titles, to the actual sentiment. It was considered an honour by the
citizen's daughter to receive compliments from a cavalier, and he
expressed his bold addresses more smoothly, than her neighbour the poor
pedantic _Magister_, or the awkward merchant's son.

The social intercourse also of the citizens amongst each other, was
deteriorated by foreign manners. In the past century, the style of
expression when at their ease, was not particularly delicate; but at
that time it was considered thoroughly harmless, and had therefore not
endangered the morality of the women. Now many honourable old words
were proscribed, and in their place _double entendres_ were prevalent;
to be bold and skilful in words, not to speak out what was unseemly,
but to signify it cleverly, became the fashion; and the women and
maidens soon learnt to give a smart answer. The choice pleasantries,
the attacks and repartees that we find in the small compendiums of
civilities, which were for the use of the unassuming citizen, are so
pitiable that they will not be given here.

But there was no want of hearty cheerfulness: the young people long
continued to play the familiar games which are now confined to
children; they journeyed to Jerusalem, and played at blindman's-buff,
which, under the appearance of accident, gave fine opportunities of
venturing on liberties; games of forfeits with witty fines appear not
to have been usual yet, but sarcastic verses and riddles were in vogue;
if at table there was liver served with the roast or fish, rhymes were
made upon it by turns, no trifling affair, for it was necessary to
produce something neat, and a dunderhead or a simpleton exposed himself
dreadfully. Conversation was considered a serious matter, for which one
should be well prepared; anecdotes and remarkable occurrences were with
that view read beforehand, and he was highly esteemed who could
introduce pertinently some pretty German verse.

After the war, dancing was frequent in family circles in the evening;
and waltzing was the favourite dance with the citizens: before the lady
was led to the dance she was greeted with a small speech, and if she
were married or a bride, the bridegroom was so likewise: then the
dancer had to lead her, so that her finger lay lightly on his. In the
dance he was not to spring about, nor to oblige her to make unnecessary
springs, which might toss her dress up to her girdle, nor was he to
tear her dress with his spurs. After the dance there was another short
speech and answer. Finally he was to take her home, and in doing so it
was necessary to be on his guard that there was no rival lurking for
him with a cudgel, as was often the case. When arrived at the dwelling,
he had first to make his excuses to the parents for having, by
escorting her, allowed his homage to be perceived, and then to the
lady, whom he commended to the gracious protection of the Most High,
and tenderly signified that he would wish to kiss her pillow.

It is not easy to form any true idea of the old society from the
general literature, for the numerous writers of comedies and novels
give us mostly caricatures; they find their account in bringing
everything down to a low level. It is for this reason, therefore, that
the unbiassed records of cotemporaries are so instructive.

In the olden time there were as now, baths to which all those resorted
who wished for social amusement; and the bath life shows at least the
forms of easy intercourse away from home; therefore a number of small
pictures will be given here from the baths of Zurich, the most famous
of all the German baths at the conclusion of the middle ages. The
doings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries will be better
explained by comparing with them, the former period of the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries.

Switzerland was by the peace of Westphalia entirely detached from the
Empire; but the political separation had not led the German burgher
life into foreign channels. The unity of mind remained, more than once
have the literary men, the poets and artists of Switzerland, had an
important share in the development of the German mind. Even now is this
inward unity undiminished, and Germans and Swiss alike have reason to
congratulate themselves on it. After the great war, the Swiss had
honestly participated in the pleasures and sorrows of the German; they
also had suffered by the war, and were in political troubles; a
narrow-minded patrician government oppressed the country; there also,
energy, public spirit and conscience, had been weakened.

The following narrative paints the state of things at Baden, and
equally portrays the Bath life of Germans in the interior of the

                      Bath Life in the year 1417.

The Florentine, Francis Poggio (1380-1459), one of the great Italians
who spread the Humanitarian literature throughout their native country,
then held the office of Papal secretary; in this capacity he was
actively employed at the Council of Constance, and visited Baden from
thence. He describes his impressions of travel in an elegant Latin
letter to his friend, the learned Nicolo Nicoli; he himself was then an
ecclesiastic. In order to understand thoroughly how much the
reformation of the Church, which took place a century later, was
brought about by the excited moral feeling of the people, we should pay
attention to the cool, haughty freedom of tone of the following letter.
Poggio was a great scholar and a prudent statesman; he was one of the
most refined among the highly cultivated Italians; nay, more, he had a
fierce, manly spirit, and was always exhorting his literary friends to
seriousness. But with his classical literature he had also adopted the
spirit of a distinguished Roman of the time of Tiberius, and it makes a
disagreeable impression to find how mildly and good-humouredly the
secretary of the Pope, the priest, the scholar, the offshoot of the
civilization of his time, viewed the profligacy of both ecclesiastics
and laity. His letter, which follows here, is abbreviated in some

"Baden itself affords the mind little or no diversion; but has in all
other respects such extraordinary charm, that I could often dream that
Venus had come from Cypress, for whatever the world contains of beauty
has assembled here, and so much do they uphold the customs of this
goddess, so fully do you find again her manners and dissoluteness, that
little as they may have read the speech of Heliogabalus, they appear to
be perfectly instructed by Nature herself.

"About a quarter of an hour's drive from the town, on the other side of
the river, there is a beautiful village, established for the use of the
baths; in the middle of the village is a large _platz_, surrounded by
splendid inns, which contain a multitude of people. Each house has its
own bath, which can only be made use of by those who reside there. The
number of public and private baths amounts altogether to full thirty.
Two special places, open on all sides, are appointed for the lowest
classes of the people; and the common crowd, men, women, boys, and
unmarried maidens, and the dregs of all that collect together here,
make use of them. In these baths there is a partition wall, dividing
the two sexes, but this is only put up for the sake of peace; and it is
amusing to see how, at the same time, decrepit old beldames and young
maidens descend into it naked, before all eyes, and expose their charms
to the gaze of the men. More than once I have laughed at this splendid
spectacle; it has brought to my mind the games of Flora at Rome, and I
have much admired their simplicity who do not in the least see or think
anything wrong in it.

"The special baths at the inns are beautifully adorned, and common to
both sexes. It is true they are divided by a wainscot, but divers open
windows have been introduced therein, through which they can drink
with, speak to, see, and touch each other, as frequently happens.
Besides this, there are galleries above, where the men meet and chatter
together, for every one is free to enter the bath of another, and to
tarry there, in order to look about, and joke and enliven his spirits,
by seeing beautiful women nude when they go in and come out. No guard
watches the avenues here; no door, and, above all, no thought of
impropriety hinders them. In many baths both sexes have access to the
bath by the same entrance, and it not unfrequently comes to pass, that
a man meets a naked woman, and the reverse. Nevertheless, the men bind
a cloth round their loins, and the women have a linen dress on, but
this is open either in the middle or on the side, so that neither neck,
nor breast, nor shoulders are covered. The women eat frequently in the
bath itself, of dishes contributed by all, which are placed on a table
floating upon the water, whereto the men naturally resort. In the house
where I bathed, I also was invited to such a feast; I gave my
contribution, but went away, although they did urge me much to stay.
And truly not from shyness, which we here consider as stupid and
boorish, but because I did not understand the language, for it appeared
to me absurd that an Italian, ignorant of German, should pass a whole
day amongst lovely, fair ladies, in a bath, dumb and speechless, merely
eating and drinking. Two of my friends however, who were present, ate,
drank and toyed, spoke to the ladies through an interpreter, fanned
them, and in short enjoyed themselves much. My friends were clothed in
a linen dress, such as the men wear here when they are invited to a
ladies' bath. I saw all from the gallery, their manners and customs,
their good eating, and their free and easy intercourse. It is wonderful
to see in what innocence they live, and with what frank confidence they
regard the men; the liberties which foreigners presume to take with
their ladies does not strike their attention; they interpret everything
well. In Plato's Republic, according to whose rules everything was to
be in common, they would have behaved themselves excellently, as they
already, without knowing his teaching, are so inclined to belong to his

"Many visit daily three or four of these baths, and pass there the
greatest part of the day, in singing, drinking, nay in waltzing, and
they play the lute if they are not seated deep in the water. But there
can be nothing more charming than to see budding maidens, or those in
full bloom, with pretty kindly faces, in figure and deportment like
goddesses, strike the lute, then they throw their flowing dress a
little back in the water, and each appears like a Venus. It is the
custom of the women to beg for alms jestingly from the men who view
them from above; one throws to them, especially to the pretty ones,
small coins, which they catch with their hands or with the outspread
linen dress, whilst one pushes away the other, and in this game all
their charms were frequently unveiled. In like manner one threw them
down twined wreaths of divers flowers, with which they adorned their
heads while they sat in the bath.

"I bathed only twice a day, but attracted by the rich opportunity of
such a spectacle and such fun, I spent the remaining time in visits to
other baths, and threw coin and wreaths like the others.

"Then the playing of flutes, the tinkling on the guitar and singing
resounded everywhere; there was no time either for reading or thinking;
to have been here the only wise one would have been the greatest folly,
especially for one who will be no self-tormentor, and to whom nothing
human is strange. I was deprived of the highest enjoyment, the main
point, the interchange of speech. So there remained nothing for me but
to feast my eyes on the fair ones, to follow them, to conduct them to
the games, and to escort them back again. There was also such
opportunity for near intercourse, and so great freedom therein, that
one needed not to trouble oneself about regulating it.

"Besides this varied enjoyment, there was yet another of not less
charm. Behind the courtyards, near the river, lies a large meadow
shaded by many trees. Here every one comes after dinner and diverts
himself with singing dancing, and sundry games. The most part played at
ball, but not after our fashion, but the men and women throw to one
another, each to the one he likes best, a ball, wherein are many bells.
All run to catch it; whoever gets it, wins, and throws it again to his
love: all stretch out their hands again to catch it, and whoever
succeeds make pretence as if they would throw it now to one person now
to another. Many other sports I pass over for brevity's sake. I have
recounted this to you, in order to show how completely they are the
disciples of Epicurus.

"But the most striking thing is the countless multitude of nobles and
plebeians, who collect here from the most distant parts, not so much
for health as for pleasure. All lovers and spendthrifts, all pleasure
seekers, stream together here, for the satisfaction of their desires.
Many women feign bodily ailments, whilst it is really their heart that
is affected; therefore one sees numberless pretty women, without
husbands and relations, with two maid-servants and a man, or with some
old beldame of the family who is more easily deceived than bribed. All
the women come attired to their utmost with smart dresses, gold,
silver, and precious stones, not as if for the baths, but as though it
were for the grandest wedding. There are here also virgins of Vesta, or
rather of Flora; besides, abbots, monks, lay-brothers, and
ecclesiastics, and these live more dissolutely than the others, some of
them also live with the women, adorn their hair with wreaths, and
forget all religion. All have the same object, to fly from melancholy
and seek cheerfulness, and to think of nothing but a merry life of
enjoyment; they do not wish to take the property of others, but to
impart their own freely. And it is remarkable that among the great
number, almost thousands of men of different manners and such a drunken
set, no discord arises, no tumults, no partisanship, no conspiracies,
and no swearing. The men allow their wives to be toyed with, and see
them pairing off with entire strangers, but it does not discompose or
surprise them; they think it is all in an honest and housewifely way.

"How different are these manners from ours! We put the worst
construction upon everything: we find a pleasure in slander and
calumny; the slightest suspicion is sufficient for us, and equivalent
to a clear transgression. I often envy the composure of the people
here, and curse our perversity, always restlessly seeking, and
restlessly desiring. We compass heaven, earth, and ocean, to procure
money, are contented with no gain, satisfied with no profit. We are
continually in fear of future disaster, and are cast down by unceasing
mischances and anxieties, and in order to preserve ourselves from being
unhappy, we never cease to be so. But here they live for the day,
contented with a little; every day is a festival, they desire no great
riches, which would be of no use to them, but they enjoy what they
have, and fear not the future. If they meet with misfortune they bear
it with good courage. But enough, it is not my purpose to praise them
and blame ourselves. I wish this letter to be lively in order that you,
my distant friend, may find in it some portion of the amusement I have
enjoyed at the baths."

Here we have the elegant representation of the Italian statesman. The
fifteenth century was truly a time of luxury and refined enjoyment, but
what the foreigner relates is not so bad as the way in which he relates

The Reformation came. It exercised an influence even on the frivolous
people who visited the baths. Life became more earnest and thoughtful,
and the superintendence exercised by the authorities and pastors more
strict. The number of married persons became greater, for it was one of
the favourite tenets of the Protestant opposition, to promote marriage
and domestic discipline. Much fewer became the number of those prelates
and their ladies, monks and roving women, who were not joined in lawful
matrimony. Thus after the time of Luther and Zwinglius, towards the end
of the sixteenth century, we have a very different description of the
baths of Baden, written by an honest German, the doctor of medicine
Pantaleon, a Basle man, rector of the high school and of the
philosophical faculty. Here follow some characteristic fragments.

"Bath life, 1580.--The free bath, called also burgher bath, is under
the open heaven. It is so long and broad, that above a hundred men can
bathe therein at a time. It is bordered round about with stone
pavement, and many seats are disposed therein. One corner, a fourth
part of the bath, is closed in by a wooden lattice, arranged for the
accommodation of the women. But as the women in general come there,
some are wont to go to the larger bath. In this every one, stranger or
native, may bathe gratis, and divert himself for as long or short a
time as he likes. On Saturday, especially, the people from the city and
country come in crowds, and husbands and wives desire to have their
pastime, and to beautify themselves. But herein one is much surprised,
that they in such wise misuse cupping; for every one will be cupped,
and they think for the most part that they have not bathed if they have
not had as many lancets stock in them as the bristles of a hedgehog.
And yet it would be far more useful to them to obtain a little
additional blood.

"Poor people come oft to the baths of St. Verena, especially in May,
some hundreds together. But they must first look about for an inn, that
they may have some sort of home and not be about in the streets, and
there are three or four inns near the baths. The poor are daily
maintained by the alms of pious people. They place their bowls in a
circle on the wall round the bath, and remain sitting in the bath, and
no one may point out his bowl. Then money, bread, wine, soup, meat, or
other things are put in the bowls, and no one knows to whom they
belong. Great hoards are sometimes collected; the warder who has his
little house near the bath, distributes the gifts in due order, and
exhorts the poor to pray and be thankful. After that, each takes what
is in his bowl, and goes out. But as also there are oft mixed up among
the honest, many bad rogues and idlers who will not work, but take the
bread out of the mouths of others who are in need, it would be useful,
were each poor person who is desirous to obtain alms, to bring a
certificate from his magistrate that he is in need of it, and that the
alms will be well applied. Many bad rogues would then be ashamed. If
the poor do aught that is contrary to order and discipline, they are
punished by the warder, and placed in the lock-up that stands below,
near the house called the Lock and Key. When their month's stay at the
bath is ended, they receive a dismissal from the warder; nay he desires
them, according to the nature of their illness, to go away, to make
room for others. They must attend to him also, under pain of severe

"The 'Stadthof' is a large cheerful inn, adorned with many beautiful
rooms, saloons, and chambers. There are two large kitchens, one of
which belongs to the landlord, who provides the guests with all kinds
of meals, or with single dishes, according to every one's need. In the
other, there is a special cook, for all those who buy their own food,
and wish to have it cooked to their own fancy, for this is allowed to
every one. In this house there are eight good baths, of which five are
in common, the remaining three are let out to certain persons by the
week for a fixed sum of money, with the chambers belonging thereto. The
first is the gentlemen's bath, in which men, both noble and others,
ecclesiastics and laymen, young and old, Catholic or Evangelical, come
together without any disputes or quarrels, friendly and peaceably.

"This bath is almost the same height as the court, and whosoever sits
therein, can look out through the doors into the court, and behold
every one. Whoever wishes to use these baths, pays on entrance two
_doppelvierer_,[45] or one _angster_,[46] and three _kreuzers_.
Moreover the members of the bath community give breakfast at six
o'clock every morning by turns, one much, another little, according as
they wish to distinguish themselves. Although much eating and drinking
is not good with the baths, yet it oft happens that many who sit three
or four hours in the bath, need a little soup, and cannot go on without
somewhat to drink. Yet it were well for some rule to be established,
that each person should not have more than a quart of wine; this would
give the baths a better repute, and they could not then openly write
and put in print, that here is a tippling bath wherein drunken matins
are sung. For the members of the bath community can unite to settle
these matters according to their pleasure. They pray before and after
breakfast, and return thanks to the host in a pleasant song, hoping
that he may live long in all honour, till he gives another breakfast.
After that they nominate him whose turn it is to be the next host,
place a garland on him, and threaten him in a song that they will come
to him the morrow with fifes and drums. But on Sundays and great
festivals they discontinue their breakfasts and songs.

"At this bath a mayor is chosen by the majority of the bath community,
likewise a governor, treasurer, chaplain, apparator, bailiff, and
executioner, who after breakfast sit in judgment, in order to put an
end to or punish any offences against order and discipline, which may
have been committed in this or the other baths of the house. Each
member of the bath community must also put his left hand on the mayor's
staff, and swear to obey him. The fines which fall in, they give to the
poor, or for wine, or they spend it amongst one another. Thus passes
the morning in pastime. When any one has finished bathing, he takes a
friendly leave, and gives an honourable farewell present.

"The second bath is the women's bath, in which divers honourable women
and maidens meet together. In this the women also choose, every day, in
turn a hostess, have a cheerful breakfast, thank the hostess, and with
a wreath and pleasant song select another, as in the gentlemen's baths.
They have also a special treasurer who keeps their money and presents
in the treasury, which they spend in a friendly way together. But if
anything unseemly or worthy of punishment takes place, they bring it
before the mayor and court of the gentlemen, that some decision may be
pronounced thereupon, according to old custom.

"In the third bath--the kettle--come all kinds of people, women and
men, as many as fifty people together; they are modest and friendly
with one another, and eat what they can, and what pleases them. These
also are subject to the court of the gentlemen's bath. Any one also,
out of the gentlemen's or ladies' bath, may go into the kettle. On the
other hand, those in the kettle bath, may not go into the others,
unless they pay their share of the breakfasts. This bath has a very
salutary effect, and the lame and paralytic are often brought here, who
soon become vigorous and straight, and are able of themselves to go
away, as in the year 1577, happened to a maiden from Waldshut, who did
not over-eat herself, and bathed according to due order.

"The Margraves' bath was let out to special persons. The serene and
right honourable Jörg Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg, who there
bathed in person in 1575, was painted sitting therein on a horse. When
I think of this bath, I cannot help laughing at a wonderful pleasantry
that took place therein, and which is worth relating. In the aforesaid
year a burgomaster and honourable councillor of the praiseworthy and
far-famed city of Zurich, had sent a handsome bath present to the right
honourable the Prince of Brandenburg, of wine and oats, and commanded
Herr Heinrich Lochmann, the Banneret of Zurich, to present and deliver
this. Now when he appeared with the present at Baden, it happened that
the Prince was somewhat heated and weakened by the bath, so that for
some days he could not appear at table, but kept quiet in his bedroom
or in the bath. Meanwhile he commanded Duke Johann of Liegnitz and his
councillors, to receive the foreign guests and provide them well. Now
what they had made good cheer, and the Banneret was desirous to see the
Prince, it was signified to him that the Prince received no one at
present, but kept in his bedroom or the bath. Then the Banneret swore
and vowed by his honour that he would be received by the Prince, and
would on the morrow before he departed, if it could not be done
otherwise, enter the bath with boots and spurs, and offer the Prince
his hand, that he might tell his superiors he had seen the Prince. Now
as I had sat at the table with him, and had been invited in the morning
to bathe alone with the Prince. I respectfully signified to him what
conversation had been carried on at supper, and what the Banneret
threatened him with. I at the same time told the Prince of the great
age of the Banneret, and his upright, valiant spirit, and begged of his
Princely Grace, in case it should so happen, not to take it
ungraciously. We sat thus together two hours, and spoke with one
another of divers matters, when lo! there comes my good Lochmann, who
like an old simple associate, wished the Prince good day, waded in his
boots and spurs through the water, and offered the Prince his hand. I
remarked that the Prince changed colour. Thereupon the Banneret stepped
back and begged the Prince to forgive him, as he had done it with good
intent, that he might tell his superiors of the benignity and
friendliness of the Prince. Then did the Prince, like a wise and
eloquent gentleman, thank first the Banneret's superiors, and then also
himself for the gift, and commended himself also to the favour of the
men of Zurich. Thus he forgave him this boldness, which had proceeded
from a good true-hearted spirit, and drank to his good friendship in a
large goblet of wine. I received the goblet from the Prince and handed
it to the Banneret, who pledged the Prince and drank to me from the
goblet. He thereupon parted from the Prince quite humbly and joyfully."

Such is the narrative of the prudent Pantaleon. He is not like Poggio,
a stranger who frankly, and in a spirit of curiosity, describes foreign
manners, who perhaps had every wish to draw a friendly picture of the
life at the baths, and who belonged to a nation which, as Poggio
himself says, is surprised at nothing. But in the same degree as his
character and conceptions differ from those of the Italian, so does the
aspect of the baths appear altered in the century of the Reformation. A
greater earnestness, prayer, and an organized self-police are not to be
mistaken. The last, especially at that time, a general German idea,
deserves attention. The state authorities also had taken the bath life
under their supervision. Gifts were presented to the bath travellers in
the sixteenth century, as they still continued to make presents on
their departure to those who remained behind. As these gifts fostered
vanity and luxury to an extravagant excess, the governments took
serious steps to put a stop to them.

In the century of the Thirty years' war and of Louis XIV. much of the
self-control and political feeling of the men, and piety of the women
which had been perceptible at the baths, as a consequence of the
Reformation, was lost. Switzerland suffered like Germany. The
government was narrow-minded and tyrannical, and among the subjects
there was a deficiency of self-respect, an aping of foreigners and of
French manners. Again did enjoyment at the baths become dissolute. But
even this is different from the frivolous, wanton behaviour of the
fifteenth century. The citizens thought it an honour to court the
adventurous cavalier from foreign parts, and to be his parasite; the
coquetry of the women also was more forward and common, and their
almost unblushing connection with the foreign bath visitors showed an
empty heart, and too often a great absence of modesty. There is a
characteristic account of these famous baths at this period also, by a
frivolous Frenchman, De Merveilleux, preserved by a branch of the
German family Wunderlish. 'Amusements des Bains de Bade,' &c., London,

            Life at the Baths at the end of the Seventeenth

"Much had been told us of the splendid entrance of the French
Ambassador at Baden during the Swiss Diet.[47] We hoped to find a
princely court, but the present Ambassador in no respect resembles his
predecessor. He has no pages; the Count de Luc had six, as they tell
me, as many secretaries, and a like number of gentlemen of the
bedchamber. The present man has a secretary, who they assure me has
been a servant, and no gentleman of the bedchamber. His predecessor
kept open table of fifty covers, with three courses, and thus dined and
supped every morning and evening, in order to show honour to the Swiss.
The present one has his table laid with a kind of _déjeûner à la
fourchette_, soup, roast, entremets, and dessert, but no variety; every
day the same, and nothing good or hot. Instead of one silver dish they
would give one, six of pewter. The foreigners and the Swiss do not seem
content with this.

"But what does this signify to us? We live with our Bernerins; and have
good living. They would gladly get rid of some of Bacchus's favourites
from their town; amongst them the son of a delegate, we will endeavour
to get him away if we can.

"We go little into the city; all people of distinction go to the
promenade, where there is pleasant intercourse. As many towns have
Swiss fashions, which are not similar to the French, such as the dress
of the women of Basle, Lucerne, Zurich, and other distant cantons, it
gives one the impression of a right gay masquerade, when all the
visitors at the baths are assembled for a dance. The Swiss men and
women are much given to gallantry. The ladies of Zurich have little
opportunity of amusing themselves, except at the bath season at Baden,
and they understand how to use this opportunity to the utmost. But if
the French Ambassador is not at Baden or does not keep open table,
there is not very much amusement. Every Swiss of any importance, is
accustomed to have good repasts at the Ambassador's yearly at Baden, so
that they are much dissatisfied with the comparison of the present with
the past. The mothers tell their daughters of the pleasures they had in
former times at the baths, and the young maidens are thereby incited to
endeavour to procure some likewise. They labour to this end to the best
of their powers, and the foreign cavaliers who know how to take
advantage of the simplicity of these young city maidens, find
themselves well off. For they are the daughters of magisterial persons,
who have plenty of means to spend in Baden, and their marriages with
the sons of their country are as good as settled, with such at least as
speculate on places in the state, which are conferred principally by
the fathers of these maidens; and thus it comes to pass that these
little flirtations at the baths, cause no disturbance in the
arrangement which has been made concerning their marriage.

"We had the honour of an invitation from the minister, he invited us to
a dinner with many ladies. Among others were two Mademoiselles S----,
from Schaffhausen, daughters of good families. One of them has wounded
more than one cavalier. There was much good entertainment that day;
nay, there was even some table plate won in a lottery. The ambassador
found Mademoiselle S---- charming, and held her on his knee almost the
whole evening of the ball, though he was suffering with his foot. The
dance had one effect on the demoiselles which astonished us much. When
they had danced very vigorously, and were very warm, lice made their
appearance on the locks of their beautiful hair. That was rather
unpleasant; but the maidens had such beautiful skins that it became
quite a pleasure to take off the vermin as soon as they became visible.
The waters of Baden have the effect of producing these with young
people; therefore the Germans apply powder after powder but without
combing themselves properly.

"These demoiselles were not the only beauties of this ball; there were
many pretty women there with their husbands and adorers. The Zurich
ladies also would gladly have been there, but they were not allowed to
visit the house of the French Ambassador, as their canton was averse to
the renewal of the alliance with the King; nay, it was a transgression
for a Zuricher even to enter the French hotel, therefore their wives
and daughters only took a walk in the Ambassador's garden, who did not
fail to betake himself there in an arm-chair on account of his bad
foot. Every one on entering made him a reverence, and that procured him
the pleasure of giving a kiss to each of these pretty city ladies, both
mothers and daughters."

Here we conclude the narrative. These insipid and absurd proceedings
ceased gradually towards the end of the last century. Even before the
fever of the French revolution had seized the nations of Europe, the
forms of social intercourse had changed, and still more so the feelings
of men. The burgher life was still insipid, stiff, and _philliströs_;
but the need of new ideas and deeper excitement had become general.
Even the adventurers and cavaliers could no longer impose upon the
credulity of their cotemporaries, by their old frivolity; it was
necessary for them to be to some extent performers of prodigies, in
order to get hold of the purses of others.

The Germans meanwhile, had found other places of amusement. The
pleasure-seeking youths wandered to Spa and Pyrmont; hardly any now but
the citizens of Switzerland assembled at the baths of Zurich. In
conclusion, the society at Baden, as it was at the end of the last
century, is thus shortly described.

             Life at the Baths at the end of the Eighteenth

"The magistracy stand in high esteem with the citizens, and endeavour
to maintain this by the most formal behaviour. Owing to this adherence
to forms, a journey to Baden was at that period a great state
transaction. Farewell visits were first made to relations and
acquaintances. The distinguished people of Zurich ordered, as early as
possible, the quarters where they were to be accommodated in Hinterhof,
that they might not be mixed up with the common burgher class, who then
put up at the Stadthof. The wealthy artisans whom one met with there,
were still greeted by the title of 'master,' and generally in the
second person; and the patrician families kept exclusively together.
Immediately after an arrival visits of ceremony were paid, each one
made deep obeisance to the other, and observed strictly the customary
etiquette. There was more solemnity than frivolity, and the freer
proceedings of the young people were considered as deviations from the
rule. They always showed themselves also at the baths, dressed to the
best of their power, according to their condition in life, and even the
négligé was carefully chosen, and showed the quality of the person. The
gentlemen appeared in the morning in dressing-gowns of woollen damask,
out of the wide sleeves of which, ruffles of fine cambric fell over the
hands, and the _Badehren_ (bath mantles) of both sexes were trimmed
with lace, and after the bath, in order to be dried, were spread out
ostentatiously as a show, on the bars before the windows of the rooms.
In Zurich they restricted the advance of expenditure by moral laws,
prudent considering the period, but frequently carried to exaggeration.
The material was accurately prescribed in which both sexes were allowed
to be dressed. The women especially were kept under strict observation,
and they were forbidden to wear blond, fringes, thread or silk lace,
except on their caps; all openwork embroidery, all dresses of gauze,
and all trimmings, except of the same material as the dress. The
ordinance on dress says further: 'Married women may be allowed to curl
their hair, but over the curls there must be nothing fastened but a
simple silk ribbon; consequently the wearing of so called tocquets, and
of all feathers and other ornaments for the hair, were altogether
forbidden; farther, the wearing of all enamel work and of portraits
painted in miniature or other representations.' The men were forbidden
not only all upper garments of silk or velvet, but even a lining of the
like material; farther, all gold or silver stuffs and lacing, and all
gallooned or embroidered horse covers and housings, except at the
quarter musterings; and to both sexes most especially all real or mock
jewels on a penalty of fifty pounds. The tribunal, appointed by the
government, which drew up these laws, and was charged to administer
them, was called _Reformation_. Meanwhile the power of the
_Reformation_ did not extend beyond the frontier of the canton,
although in one special article they endeavoured to stretch the mandate
to those Zurichers who lived in other parts of the confederation, and
especially in Baden. Here alone nothing was prescribed, and they
indemnified themselves for restraint elsewhere, by adorning themselves
with just those things which were forbidden at home. Many proud ladies
and gentlemen, procured themselves objects of luxury for a visit to the
baths of a few weeks, which were quite useless to them for the
remainder of the year, and displayed themselves therein, in defiance of
any reformers who chanced to be present. Gallooned dresses, which had
once been worn in foreign parts, were here brought to light again out
of the chests wherein they had been preserved, unused for years. The
few jewels inherited from great-grandmothers were taken out of their
cases to ornament the ears, neck, and stomacher; and in delicately
holding a cup of coffee, the little finger was stretched to the utmost,
that the ring, brilliant with diamonds, rubies, or emeralds, might
glitter before the eye. In great pomp, like the dressed-up altar
figures, they passed along the dirty courts and alleys to admire and be
admired; but in order that their attire might not be injured, they
seldom went further in this beautiful country than to the meadows or to
the play. It was a period of stiff buffoonery! That the young people of
both sexes, often left alone together till late in the night, danced
more perhaps than now-a-days; that the gentlemen sometimes sacrificed
largely to Bacchus; and that all, after their fashion, enjoyed
themselves right well, may easily be understood. People of rank, some
already smartly attired, others in choice morning dresses, assembled
usually before dinner in the Hinterhofe, round a small stone table
called the _Täfeli_, where they usually returned again after the
repast. Here they gossiped good-humouredly on everything far and wide;
no news was left untouched, and many witty and delicate allegorical
jests were ventured upon and listened to. The return from Baden took
place generally in a very slow formal manner. After manifold long,
wordy and drawling compliments, and farewell formularies, packed at
last in the lumbering coach, they go; step by step, slowly, still
making salutations right and left from the coach door, up to the

Now Baden has become a respectable, modest, summer residence, little
different from fifty other similar institutions. Still however one may
observe, not in Baden itself, but at other baths in Switzerland, the
ancient arrangement that persons of the same sex may bathe together in
a bath, amusing themselves without constraint; and not long ago at the
Leuker baths there were galleries round the baths, from which many
strangers might watch the bathers. But everywhere the proceedings of
men, even in these works of idleness, take another form; and the
garlanded maidens of Poggio, the costly suppers of the time of
Pantaleon, and the frivolous patrician daughters, who, in defiance of
father and bridegroom, went about from bath to bath with foreign
cavaliers, have vanished, and forgotten is the tedious ceremonial by
which particular classes were closed to one another.

                              CHAPTER XI.

                           JESUITS AND JEWS.
                             (about 1693.)

The Churches in Germany, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, suffered
from the weakness of the nation. Both had to pass through struggles and
sufferings, which threatened destruction to every exclusive Church
system; they became too narrow to embrace the whole spiritual and
intellectual life of men. Since the war, men had gradually felt the
need of toleration. With the Protestants, Luther's principle again
revived, that only inward conviction could bring men into the Church.
It was later, that the old Church yielded a grumbling toleration.
Science had discovered, amongst other things, that in spite of some
passages of Holy Scripture, the sun does not turn round our earth, but
our earth round the sun. Unwillingly did the Church receive this, after
the discovery had occasioned her many a heart's pang.

The Protestant Church had fewer difficulties to overcome, but the
aristocratic structure of the Roman Catholic Church, again so firmly
united, and supported by great political interests, would naturally
find it far more difficult to yield to necessity.

Whoever should wish to write a history of the religious conscience of
Germans, would have to examine how it was, that after the war there
arose in both confessions, precisely at the same time, a reaction of
the heart against the ruling parties, which in spite of the difference
of dogmas, shows a great similarity in the representations of this
tendency. The need of elevation of soul, in a period which was poor in
feeling, made the Protestant Spener, and the Catholic Spee and
Scheffler into pietists, and mystics. It is true, the restraining power
of the Protestant Church could no longer check the development of
individuality. Through it the scientific man could easily satisfy
himself, when he came, from the study of history, from observation of
the heavens, from the secret of numbers, and through the weighing and
measuring of the powers of the elements, to a new representation of the
world of creation, and thereby to new views of the being of the
Godhead. Thus the genius of the great Leibnitz was the growth of the
Protestant Church. Any one also whose fancy took a wild flight, or to
whom deep thought and meditation disclosed some peculiar aspect of the
Deity, might easily release himself from Church-communion with his
fellow-citizens, and unite himself perhaps with congenial spirits in
some special community. Thus did Böhme, and the eccentric Kuhlmann,
Zinzendorf, and Herrnhuter. This was incomparably more difficult in the
Roman Catholic Church. Whoever attempted to go his own way, had to
experience the anger of a strict mistress, and rarely did a powerful
mind break loose from the restraint.

But the ruling majority of ecclesiastics had even in the old Church
lost much of their energy. The warlike champion of the restored Church,
the order of Jesuits, had itself suffered in its greatness; it had
become powerful and rich, the connection between the provinces and Rome
had been loosened, the independence of individual houses was greater,
and the curse had fallen on it which pursues the prosperous. It became
pre-eminently the representative of modern courtly splendour in church
and school. Even in earlier times the order had not disdained brilliant
displays, nor to enter into the feelings of the great world, but then
it had been like the prophet Daniel, who only wore the Persian dress in
order to serve his God among the heathen; now Daniel had become a
satrap. Through the Westphalian peace, the great mission work of the
order was limited. Still however, did it continue skilfully to draw
within its circle the souls of individuals, whoever was rich or
distinguished was firmly ensnared. Its main object was not the
salvation of souls, but the fame which would accrue to the order. The
greatest amount of work was done in the Emperor's territory. Wherever
heresy still flickered, the lay authorities assisted. But one race,
more stubborn and stiff-necked than the sons of the Hussites, or the
Moravian brothers, incessantly excited the spirit of conversion in the
order, it was the Jews.

Already in the time of the Romans, the Jews may have dwelt within the
colonies on the Rhine, near the temple of Jupiter of golden Maintz, and
the baths of the proud Agrippina; they afterwards established
themselves within the German cities. In respect to German law they were
as foreigners; they were placed under the protection of the Emperor,
who transferred his power over them to the Archbishop of Maintz, the
Chancellor of the Empire. As the Emperor's dear servitors, besides the
other taxes, they had to pay him and the princes a penny offering,
which was raised on Christmas-day. This tax, one of the sources of the
Emperor's revenue, should have been security for his protection, but it
became an opportunity for the worst oppression; and they were drawn
upon for contributions on every occasion that money was wanted. Their
taxes reached to an exorbitant height. On sudden money emergencies, or
as an act of favour, the Emperor sold, or gave away his right of
taxation to the Princes and cities; and the year's rent of three, four,
or even one hundred Jews, was a secure and important income. Thus it
was a source of gain to the Princes and Sovereigns to possess many
Jews, from whom they raised money to the utmost.

On the other hand it was an exclusive right of the Jews to lend out
money on interest for notes of hand or mortgages, which was strictly
forbidden to the Christians of the middle ages by the Pope and Emperor.
Thus naturally the whole of the money dealing came into the hands of
the Jews. And by the high interest which they received--especially on
short loans--they must rapidly have acquired great wealth. But this
boundless right was not secure against sudden attacks, both Pope and
Emperor sometimes took the liberty of giving the creditor a
dispensation from the payment of the interest, nay even of the capital.

Thus they became the financiers of the olden time in both great and
little traffic, the richest persons in the country, in spite of
monstrous imposts.

But this opulence stimulated still more the hate and covetousness of
the multitude. In the early part of the middle ages they appear to have
been seldom persecuted by Christian fanaticism. But after the Crusades,
the declining Church and the populace of the towns vied with each other
in seeking their lives and treasure. A tradition which continues up to
the present day was brought forward against them. They were supposed to
poison wells, to introduce the plague, to murder Christian children,
use their blood at their Passover, and feed on their hearts; and to
whip the consecrated host with rods, &c. Persecutions, plundering of
houses, and extensive murders were almost periodical. Christianity was
forced upon them by the sword, torments, and imprisonment, but usually
in vain. No warlike people ever withstood brutal violence, with more
heroic courage than this defenceless race. The most magnanimous
examples of enduring heroism are mentioned by Christian writers
themselves. Thus it went on during the whole of the middle ages, and
still in the sixteenth century we find the Sovereigns endeavouring to
fill their empty coffers from the money bags of the Jews, and the
populace still storming their houses, as in the wild Jewish outbreak at
Frankfort-on-Main in 1614. Some great scholars, physicians, and natural
philosophers among them, acquired a repute which spread through all the
countries of Europe, inspiring even Christians with involuntary
respect, but these were rare exceptions.

Amidst all these adverse circumstances, the indestructible vital
energies of this people still continued, as we find them among the Jews
of the present day: privileged by the Emperor, helpless before the law
of the country, indispensable, yet deeply hated, desired, but cursed,
in daily danger of fire, robbery, and murder, yet the quiet, masters of
the property and welfare of hundreds, in an unnatural adventurous
position, and yet always steadily occupied, amidst the densest mass of
Christians, yet separated from them by iron boundaries, they lived a
twofold life; in presence of Christians they were cold, stubborn,
patient, timid, cringing, and servile, bowed down under the oppression
of a thousand years: yet all the pride of noble blood, great wealth,
and superior talent, the full glow of southern feeling, every kindly
emotion and every dark passion were to be found in that race.

After the Thirty years' war, the Jews obtained scarcely more protection
from the fury of the multitude, and their spiritual trials became
greater. If the Protestants, who were then weak and embarrassed, vexed
them more by repulsive arrogance than by their arts of proselytism, the
old Church was the more zealous. They were more prosperous in trade and
usury since the Westphalian peace, indeed a splendid prospect had
opened for them. The diminution of international wholesale business,
the ruin of old commercial houses at Nuremburg and Augsburg, the
continued depreciation of the coinage, the unceasing need of money,
with the territorial lords, small and great, was favourable to the
multifarious activity of the Jewish business, which found skilful
instruments throughout all Germany, and connections from Constantinople
to Cadiz. The importance to German trade of the close cohesion of the
Jews amongst themselves, at a period when bad roads, heavy tolls, and
ignorant legislation, placed the greatest limits upon commerce, is not
yet sufficiently appreciated. With unwearied energy, like ants, they
everywhere bored their secret way through the worm-eaten wood of the
German Empire: long before the letter post and system of goods carriers
had spread a great network over the whole circuit of the country, they
had quietly combined for these objects; poor chafferers and travelling
beggars, passed as trusty agents between Amsterdam and Frankfort,
Prague and Warsaw, with money and jewels under their rags, nay
concealed within their bodies. In the most dangerous times, in spite of
prohibitions, the defenceless Jew stole secretly through armies, from
one German territory into another; and he carried Kremnitzer ducats of
full weight to Frankfort, while he circulated light ones among the
people. Here he bought laces and new church vestments for his
opponents, the ecclesiastics; there he smuggled through an enemy's
territory, to some prince, arms and implements of war; then he guided
and accompanied a large transport of leather from the interior of
Russia to the fair of Leipzig, he alone being capable by flattery,
money, and brandy, of overmatching the covetousness of the Sclave
nobles. Meanwhile, the most opulent sat in the well-grated rooms of
their Jewish town, concealing securely, under lock and key, the bills
of exchange, and mortgages of the highest lords, they were great
bankers, even according to our present standard.

The Jews of that period were probably richer in proportion to the
Christians than now, and at all events, from the peculiarities of their
traffic, more indispensable. They had friendly protectors alike at the
Imperial court, in the harem of the Sultan, and in the secret chamber
of the Pope; they had an aristocracy of blood, which was still highly
respected by their fellow-believers, and at bridal feasts they wore
with pride, the jewels which some ancestor, long perhaps before the
days of Marco Polo, had brought from India, while exposing his life to
manifold dangers; or another had got by bartering, from the great
Moorish king at Granada. Bat in the streets the Jew still bore the
degrading mark of the unhonoured stranger; in the Empire, a yellow
cockade on his coat, and in Bohemia the stiff blue cravat; as in the
middle ages he had worn the yellow hat, and in Italy the red mantle. It
is true he was the creditor and employer of numerous Christians, but in
most of the greater cities he still lived closely confined to certain
streets or portions of the city. Few German Jewish communities were
larger or more opulent than that in Prague, and it was one of the
oldest in Germany. Seldom does a traveller neglect to visit the narrow
streets of the Jewish quarter, where the small houses, clustered
together like the cells of a beehive, enclosed at once the greatest
riches and the greatest misery of the country, and where the angel of
death so long caused tears of gall to trickle into the mouth of the
believer, till every inch of earth in the dismal churchyard became the
ashes of men. At the end of the seventeenth century, near six thousand
industrious men dwelt there in a narrow space; the great money lenders,
as well as the poorest frippery dealers and porters, all closely united
in firm fellowship and common interests, indispensable to the
impoverished country, yet in continual warfare against the customs,
coarseness, and religious zeal of the newly converted kingdom.

For the second generation were then living, of the new Bohemia, which
the Hapsburgers by scaffolds, expulsion, and fearful dragooning, had
won back after the battle of Weissen Berge. The old race of nobles was,
for the most part, rooted out; a new Imperial nobility drove in gilded
carriages through the black Hussite city; the old biblical learning had
wandered into foreign lands, or died away in the misery of the long
war; in the place of the chalice priests and the Bohemian preachers,
were the holy fathers and begging monks; where once Huss defended the
teaching of Wickliff, and Zisk rebuked the lukewarmness of the citizens
of the old town, the gilded statue of the queen of heaven now rose
triumphant. Little remained to the people of their past, except the
dark stones of Königsstadt, a rough populace, and a harsh piety.

There remains to us a little pamphlet of this time, for which we are
indebted to two of the Prague celebrities of the order of Jesuits, the
Fathers Eder and Christel, the first of whom, wrote it in Latin, and
the second translated it into German; both writers are otherwise known,
the second as a zealous but insipid German poet. From this writing the
following narrative is taken.

"Thus in a few years a hundred and seventy persons of the Jewish
persuasion, were purified in the saving waters of baptism, by one
single priest of our society, in the Academical church of Our Saviour,
of the college of the Society of Jesus.

"I will by the way, here shortly mention, the wonderful bias of a
Jewish child for the Christian faith. A Jewess in the Zinkower domain
was in the habit of carrying her little daughter in her arms; one day
she accidentally met a Catholic priest, to whom she proposed to show
her child, and taking the veil off its little face, boasted what a
finely-shaped child she had brought into the world. The priest took
advantage of this preposterous and unexpected confidence, to bless the
unveiled child with the sign of the holy cross, admonishing the mother
at the same time to bring up the said child in the love and fear of
God, but leaving all else in the hands of Divine Providence. And behold
this little Jewess had hardly began to walk, when she forthwith
considered herself a Christian, knelt with them when they knelt, sang
with the singers, went out with them into the meadows and woods, made
hay, plucked strawberries, and picked up wood with them; besides this,
she learnt of them the pater-noster and the angel's salutation, as also
to say the belief; in short she made herself acquainted with Christian
doctrine, and desired earnestly to be baptized. The high born and Right
Honorable Countess of Zinkow, in order to fulfil this maiden's desire,
to her great delight took her in her carriage to Prague, that she might
there, out of sight of her parents, more securely obtain the privilege
of baptism. But after the parents had discovered that their daughter,
who had for so long a time carefully kept her designs secret, had
become a Christian, they bitterly lamented it, and were very indignant
with the priest who had blessed her in her mother's arms with the sign
of the cross, for they ascribed to him all their daughter's inclination
for Christianity.

"But by what intrigues the perfidious Jews endeavoured to frustrate
every conversion, I have myself not long since had experience, when for
the first time, a disciple in the faith of the Jewish race, Samuel
Metzel, was placed under me for instruction. The father, who had four
children yet minors, was a true Israelite, out of the Egypt of the
Jewish town, and had endeavoured, much and zealously, to bring them
all, together with himself, out of bondage. But, behold! Rosina
Metzelin, his wife, who then had a great horror of the Christian faith,
would not obey him; and when she found that the four children were
immediately withdrawn from her, this robbery of her children, was, like
the loss of her young to a lioness, hard to bear. She summoned her
husband before the Episcopal consistory, where she sued for at least
two of the four purloined children, which she had given birth to, with
great labour, pain, and weariness, both before, at, and after the time.
But the most wise tribunal of the Archbishop, decided that all the
children belonged to the husband, who was shortly to be baptized. Then
did the wife lament piteously, indeed more exceedingly than can be told
or believed; and as she was afeard that her fifth offspring, which was
yet unborn, would be stolen from her after its birth, she endeavoured
earnestly to conceal from the Christians the time of her delivery.
Therefore she determined first of all to change her place of abode, as
her present one was known to her husband and children. But there is no
striving against the Lord! The father discovered it by means of his
innocent little daughter, who for some months had been constantly kept
in a Christian lodging, and was unwarily admitted by her mother into
her concealed dwelling. On receiving this information, I sought out the
Imperial Judge of the _Altstadt_ of Prague, who, without delay,
despatched his clerk to the house, to demand the new-born child from
the woman, and (in case she refused) from the Elder of the Jewish
people, as belonging to the now baptized father. But as these crafty
Jews would not consent to deliver up the child, a Christian midwife was
ordered for the Jewish woman, that the same might, by some womanly,
pious contrivance, carry off the child from the mother. This midwife
was accompanied by certain prudent matrons. The conductress was to be
Ludmilla, well known for her greet godliness, wife of Wenzeslaus
Wymbrsky, who had gone through the baptism of water and blood. Her
husband Wenzeslaus was, with this his wife and five children, baptized
in our church by his Eminence the Cardinal and Archbishop of Prague in
1464. It was above all displeasing to the furious Jews, to see thirteen
men of other families, following the example of Wenzeslaus, abjuring
Judaism the same year. At last it became insupportable to them that
Wenzeslaus, by whose shop many Jews had daily to pass to their frippery
market, should publicly set up in it the image of the crucified
Saviour, and every Friday keep a burning lamp before it. Therefore he
was greatly hated by the Jewish rabble, and often assailed with
derision and scoffing. Now, once when he went, according to his daily
custom, to the Teynkirche, an hour before day, three armed Jews fell on
him, by whom he was mortally wounded with two poisoned pistol-balls, so
that on the fifth day thereafter, he devoutly departed this life,
without having been persuaded to name the murderers. The ringleader was
caught later, and condemned to the wheel, but acting as his own
executioner hanged himself with a rope. Now the widow of the deceased
man, Ludmilla, could not slip in, with the little troop of pious women,
unperceived, because the Hebrews with their sharp lynx-eyes watched
narrowly. At that moment, many of them combined together and pushed
their way into the room of the Jewish woman about to be confined. But
Ludmilla did not take alarm at their presence, nor at the possible
danger of death. She handed over the consecrated water she had brought
with her, to the midwife, calling upon her in strong language, to
deliver the woman and baptize the child. And so it took place, and the
nurse took the child and baptized it. But the woman who had been
confined sprang frantically from her bed, and with vehement cries, tore
the child violently from the hands of the midwife. Forthwith, the city
judge made his appearance with armed men, in order to separate the now
little Christian son from the mother. But as she, like a frantic one,
held the child so firmly clasped in her arms, that it was feared it
would be stifled in extricating it from her, the judicious judge of the
city contented himself with strictly forbidding the old Jews there
assembled, to make the child a Jew. Thereupon it was commanded, by his
Excellence, the Lord Count of the Empire, Von Sternberg, Chief Burgrave
of the Kingdom of Bohemia, that this fifth child should be delivered
over to the father. Not long after, the mother also, who had so
stubbornly adhered to Judaism, gave in, and was baptized.

"The father of the Jewish boy Simon Abeles, was Lazarus, and his
grandsire Moses Abeles who for many years had been Chief Rabbi of the
Jews. Whilst already of tender years, there had been discovered in this
boy a special leaning of the spirit towards Christianity. Whenever he
could, he separated himself from the Jewish youths, and associated with
the Christian boys, played with them, and gave them sweets which he had
collected from his father's table, in order to gain their good will.
The Jewish cravat, stiffened with blue starch, which the Jews wear
round the neck, thereby distinguishing themselves here in Bohemia from
the Christians, was quite repugnant to Simon. As the light of his
reason became brighter, he took every opportunity of learning the
Christian mysteries. It happened that he was many times sent by his
father, who was a glove dealer, on business to the house of Christopher
Hoffman, a Christian glover. There he tarried in contemplation of the
sacred, not the profane, pictures that hung on the walls, although the
last were more precious and remarkable as specimens of artistic
painting, and he inquired with curiosity of the Christian inmates, what
was signified in these pictures. When in reply they told him, that one
was a representation of Christ, another of the mother of Christ, the
miracle-working mother of God, by Buntzel, and another, the holy
Antonius of Padua, he exclaimed, from his heart, sighing: 'Oh, that I
could be a Christian!' Moreover, a Jew called Rebbe Liebman bore
witness, that the boy sometimes passed whole nights among Christians,
and did not appear at his father's house.

"Now many maintained that this leaning to Christianity arose from a
supernatural source, and was produced by the baptismal sign, which had
been impressed upon him by a Christian, whilst he was in the cradle.
When later this report had been carefully investigated, it was
certified that a preceptor, Stephen Hiller, was once sent to Lazarus
Abeles to obtain payment of a debt, that he there found a child lying
alone in the cradle, and had, from deep impulse of heart, baptized him
with the elemental water which was at hand. On being examined by the
consistory of the Right Reverend the Archbishop, this preceptor, who is
now invested with a chaplaincy, said that he did not know whether the
child was the little son of Lazarus; nay, his supposition had been far
stronger, that it was the son of a Jewish tailor. From such evidence
this weighty point remained doubtful.

"After some years, the steadfast leaning of Simon's spirit to
Christianity, having so much increased that it began to be clearly
perceived at home, the astute boy, foreseeing well that his parents and
relations would spare no pains to put impediments in his way, was
minded to prevent this, by flying from his father's house and Jewish
friends, before the path was closed against him. Now while, on the 25th
of July, 1693, Lazarus the father, kept the solemn day of rest in the
Jewish school, his son betook himself to a Christian house near the
Jewish town, which was inhabited by the newly baptized Jew, Kawka, and
that same evening summoned to him Johannes Santa, a Jew who many years
before had been converted with his whole family, of whom he had already
heard a good repute, as a zealous man and assiduous guide. For this man
had, at the risk of his life, brought away Jews who had a desire for
the Christian faith, and their newly baptized children from the Jewish
town, had placed them under instruction in our college of St. Clement,
had provided them with food, clothes, and lodging, and had for hours
together read spiritual books, especially the Life of Christ, with deep
devotion to such as could not read, and whose greatest pleasure it was
to see them cleansed in holy baptism. To him Simon honestly opened his
heart, and entreated that Johannes would take him to the college of the
Society of Jesus.

"There was no necessity for entreating, the man borrowed clothes of a
Christian youth, covered Simon's head, which was shorn after the Jewish
fashion, with a peruke, and conducted him across the Altstadter Platz
to the college. In the middle of the said Platz, stands the large
richly-gilded image of the holy mother of God, carved out of one stone.
Johannes explained to his Christian scholar, that this richly-gilded
image represented the Queen of heaven, the faithful mediator of
believers with God. This Simon listened to with great eagerness, took
off his hat without delay, bowed his whole body low, and commended
himself with pious sighs, to the blessed mother of God, as her foster
child. Hereupon he turned to his guide and thus addressed him: 'If my
father saw this, he would straightway kill me.' Thus they reached our
college between seven and eight o'clock in the evening. I was called to
the door, and Simon imparted to me his desires with marvellous
eloquence, and at the same time begged with such fervent zeal to be
instructed in the Christian faith, that I was much amazed. I presented
him the same evening to the Reverend Father Rector of the college. It
almost seemed as if this twelve-year-old boy behaved himself, as afore
time Jesus among the doctors, seeing that he answered various questions
with an eloquence, acuteness, and judgment which far surpassed his age.
When it was objected to him, that his arrival excited a suspicion that
he had committed some evil deed in the Jewish town, and sought a refuge
in the ecclesiastical house, Simon answered with cheerful countenance:
'If there is a suspicion of any misdeed, let the truth be searched out
by proclamation, as is usual in the Jew town. If I were conscious of
any evil deed, I should have more hope of remaining unpunished among
the Jews than among the Christians, for I am a grandson of Moses
Abeles, their chief Rabbi.' Then when it was suggested that he had come
among the Christians in order to wear a peruke, a little sword, and
fashionable dress, the boy made a face and said: 'I must confess that
for a long time, I have not worn the Jewish collar. Nevertheless, I do
not desire to shine among Christians in any fashionable clothes, and
will be content with my old rags.' After he had given this earnest
answer, he began to strip his hands of his gloves, to ungird his little
sword, to tear the peruke from his head, and to unhook the clean,
little upper coat, determined were it necessary to follow the destitute
Jesus, unclothed.

"By such unexpected answers and heroic resolution, he drew tears from
the eyes of all present. But when he was commanded to put his clothes
on again, he soon dressed himself, and declared in strong words, which
he oft repeated, that he withdrew from the Jews on account of their
wicked course of life, and associated himself with Christians to secure
his salvation, because he knew well it was impossible to be blessed
without faith. But when he was asked who had taught him, that faith was
necessary to gain eternal life, he answered seven or eight times: 'God,
God, God alone,' therewith he oft sighed and smote his breast with both
hands. Then he went first to one priest, then to another, kissed their
hands, fell on his knees to them, exclaiming: 'Fathers, abandon me not;
do not reject me, do not send me again among the Jews; instruct me
quickly, quickly and' (as if he had a foreboding, and saw the impending
evil floating before his eyes), 'baptize me quickly.' Now when Simon
received the assurance that he would be reckoned among the scholars in
the Christian faith, he clapped his hands, and jumped for joy. His
whole discourse was as mature and discreet, as ready and free from
hesitation, as if he had long beforehand reflected upon it in his mind,
and learnt it by heart from his tablets, so that one of the four
priests present turned with astonishment to another, and said in Latin:
'This boy has a miraculous understanding, which if not supernatural, is
yet truly beyond his age.'

"Meanwhile, the darkness of night had come on. But as there was not
convenient sleeping room at present for this new little Nicodemus, he
was with much inward striving of my spirit, left again in that
Christian house from whence he had been brought hither, in order to
spend the night in peace with the newly baptized Jew, George Kawka.
This one was called to the door of the college, and the boy was
entrusted to him, with an express order to bring him again to the
college at the earliest hour on the following morning, that they might
provide him with a secure dwelling.

"In the interim, Lazarus became aware of the absence of his son. Not
finding him either with his friends nor among other Jews, and being a
person of sound judgment, it occurred to him that his son must have
gone over to the Christians. Early on Sunday Lazarus betook himself to
the Christian house of the glove-maker Hoffmann, whom he did not find
at home. He concealed the loss of his son and his sorrow, and begged
the glove-maker's wife Anna, instantly to call George Kawka there,
because he had some weighty business to transact with him who was his
debtor. After a long Hebrew conversation with Lazarus, George Kawka
came in all haste to the college, but to my great sorrow, unaccompanied
by the Christian disciple. He appeared painfully disquieted, but did
not tell me a word of his conference with the father, but only said
that Simon was not sufficiently secure in his dwelling, and that it was
necessary to take good heed, or he would be entrapped by the crafty
devices of the Jews. After a sharp reproof for not bringing the boy
with him when in such danger, according to my strict orders, I
commanded him to go to the house forthwith and bring the boy hither.
This he promised but did not perform. Now when George Kawka returned
home, he pretended that he wished to go to church, and Simon prayed of
him, as though he foreboded some impending treachery, with many words
and tears, not to leave him behind, as the Jews would without fail lie
in wait for him that day, and seize him in the house; but that he would
take him with him to church and so bring him to the college. Now when
he with great sorrow of spirit perceived that George Kawka only
answered with subterfuges, he withdrew himself again, after the
departure of the same, into his hiding-place under the roof.

"Hardly had George crossed the threshold, when Katherina Kanderowa, a
lodger, came from the country into her lodging-room, which was close to
Simon's hiding-place, and saw the boy in his little Jewish coat, which
he had again been obliged to put on. As therefore the said Katherina
understood from the Jews who were standing round the house-door that
they were seeking for the son of a Jew, who had fled from his father,
and as she did not know that Simon was a disciple of the Christian
faith, she drew him out of his corner, and dragged him down to the
front part of the house. When the father saw his son, he presented to
this woman thirty silver groschen, that she might thrust the boy, who
was not strong enough to free himself from her hands, over the
threshold. The boy called upon the Christians to support him against
such violence, but in vain, for two robust Jews seized upon him each by
an arm, and bore him along as if he floated through the air, to the Jew
town and his father's house. But the father went craftily step by step
slowly behind, in order to chat with the Christians, and make them
believe that his son had only fled to the Christians, in order to
escape lawful and deserved punishment. He easily persuaded the populace
of this.

"But George Kawka betook himself after the end of this tragedy to me,
and related the lamentable kidnapping of Simon with many light
worthless excuses. But I spoke sharply to him, put clearly before his
eyes, how evident it was that he had played with the Jews under the
rose, and sternly charged him if he would not be made answerable before
the tribunal, for the treacherous betrayal of Simon, to use all means
without delay, and on the requisition of a Christian judge to recover
him from the hand, of the Jews, and deliver him up to the college. And
truly it appeared as if he obeyed the command faithfully and
assiduously. Ha searched the whole Jew town many days, and examined
almost all the houses, as was testified of him by the person who
accompanied and was associated with him. He thereby turned almost all
the suspicion of treachery from him; and as Simon was nowhere to be
found, he confirmed the report that he had secretly been removed to
Poland. At a later period, George Kawka himself was driven, by a bad
conscience to take refuge in Poland, and has remained invisible to this

"But Simon was dragged with violence to his father's house, and after
that day, was never seen outside the threshold. After their arrival at
home, the father could no longer control his anger, and beat his son
with a stick so savagely, that the Jews present began already to fear
that he would kill him. They therefore locked up Simon in a room in
which lived Sarah Bresin, afterwards a witness. But the father
endeavoured to break open the door of the room by repeatedly running at
it with violence, and at last angrily left the house. When his anger
was a little allayed, the Jews gave up to him the severely-beaten boy,
advising to tame him by fasting. So Simon was locked up in another
room. There he passed seven painful months, in hunger and imprisonment,
daily loaded with curses and oft threatened with death. But when the
father saw that his son's spirit was inflexible, and that on the
Saturday before Shrove Sunday, Simon again, before all the family,
declared undauntedly, that he would be baptized; he determined to go to
extremities. And that affection might not restrain his hand, he chose
for assistant a Jew, Levi Kurtzhandl, a man of savage spirit and in the
vigour of youth, who had already before advised him to poison the boy.
Levi Kurtzhandl invited the boy into the room of his step-mother, and
held converse with him out of the Talmud, in order to convert him. But
when Simon persevered in his intentions, he was knocked down by Levi,
and dragged by him and the father into the next room; there both fell
upon him furiously, broke his neck, and drove his head violently
against the corner of a wooden chest, whereby the glorious soldier of
Christ received a last blow on the left side of the temple.

"Whilst this barbarity was going on, Lia, the stepmother of Simon,
together with the journeyman Rebbe Liebmann, were occupied in the next
room making gloves. On hearing the moaning of the boy, and the noise of
the murderers, she hastened into the room. There she saw the dead body
on the floor, and both the murderers on their knees by him. Thereupon
the woman was so frightened, that she fainted, and had to be restored
to her senses by Kurtzhandl pouring vinegar over her.

"After the deed, Hennele, Lazarus's cook, came back, who had been sent
out of the house with the little children. These, when supper-time was
approaching, inquired where Simon was. They were obliged to take an
oath to keep the affair secret; whereupon, their father himself told
them that he, with Levi Kurtzhandl, had deprived the boy of life as an
apostate from the law of Moses, after the example of the patriarch

"After that, Lazarus took counsel with Levi how to keep the crime
secret, not only from the Christians, but also from the Jews,
especially from the family of Burianer, who were very hostile to all
that belonged to the Abeles. Levi offered while it was yet night, to
carry the body of Simon to his own house, and bury it himself in the
cellar. But Lazarus feared lest some of the Burian adherents should
discover it. They therefore decided on having the corpse buried in the
public burial-ground of the Jews. And truly, the neck of the body was
discoloured with blood, but otherwise there was no open wound to be
seen, with the exception of a blow on the left temple of about the size
of a ducat; so Lazarus called his household together, instructed and
made them swear, that they would say unanimously that Simon had become
insane, and in that state had fallen against the corner of the chest,
whereby he had been mortally wounded on the left temple.

"On the following morning early, this glorious soldier of Christ was
buried in great secrecy by two Jews, Jerochem and Hirsches Kesserlas,
the coroners.

"After the burial of Simon, from his grave arose the first great
summoner, the worm of conscience, which began to gnaw the heart of the
godless Lazarus. Memory unceasingly persecuted his conscience, and the
fear of worldly punishment ever hovered before his eyes. This fear was
much increased by the journeyman glove-maker, Rebbe Liebmann. The same
had after the deed, straight left Abele's house and made off, and had
only again returned to his work after the burial. When Lazarus began to
relate the particulars, Rebbe interrupted him, protesting that he did
not desire to hear a word about the evil deed, as he had already heard
the whole of yesterday's tragedy, related by the Jewish children in the
public streets. This burst upon the astonished Lazarus like a thunder
clap; without delay he collected and packed up all his light goods,
sold his house in the Jew town, and resigned his hired shop in an
aristocratic house, in order to settle himself in Poland. He was
already prepared, on the following day, to take flight; but it was
providentially ordained that the noble landlord of the house, who had
leased the shop to him, was just then hindered by palsy in his hand
from signing the release himself.

"Meanwhile, on the 23rd of February, one Johel, a Jew, not
evil-disposed towards the Christians, went into the Jew town through
the Sommer-thor, where he met some children playing, who were relating
to one another, how Simon Abeles had three days before been fresh and
healthy, and had early yesterday been buried without any funeral pomp.
Johel betook himself without delay to the burial-ground, and found a
freshly-raised grave; reflected upon all the other circumstances and
reports, and came to the sensible conclusion that Lazarus was the
murderer of his son. This he confided forthwith to a writer of the
royal government in great secresy. After I had received intelligence
thereof, and had earnestly admonished the Jewish informer to give a
faithful report; he wrote down the following day all the lamentable
particulars, in order to deliver them to the most noble government.
They commanded the body of Simon to be disinterred, and to be closely
examined by a doctor appointed for the purpose; and finally to take
into custody those who were suspected of the deed, as also their
accomplices. All this was set on foot cautiously and without delay. The
body was disinterred under an armed guard; the Jews who had collected,
and the Jewish doctor who was called in, declared that a bad blow on
the head, and lastly a fit of insanity, had killed the boy. But the
medical gentlemen gave their opinion, that many indications, the broken
neck and a small round wound on the temple, showed that the boy had
died from a violent blow.

"Thereupon Lazarus Abeles was brought to see the body of his son. He
turned pale and trembled, and was so confused that he remained silent,
and for a good while could not say anything intelligible, nor answer
anything distinctly. At last as the Herr Commissary continued urging
him to say whether he knew the body of the boy, he answered with bent
head and weak voice that it was the body of his son Simon; and when it
was further put to him what was the cause of the wound on the left
temple, he gave a confused and contradictory answer. He was therefore
again taken to prison, but the body of the boy was put into a Christian
coffin, and placed meanwhile in the cellar of the council house. The
_Herren_ commissaries were unwearied in cross-questioning Christians
and Jews. But in spite of all indications, Lazarus, and the women who
were in special custody, Lia, his wife, and Hennele, his cook, were
almost unanimous in their evidence: Simon had not taken flight from his
father's house to become a Christian, but for a long time had been
affected with a disease of the head, and therefore kept in the house;
at last he had felt an extreme repugnance for food, had become subject
to violent fits of insanity, and thus had met with his death. All means
of extracting the truth were unavailing; Lazarus Abeles and the two
only witnesses then known of, remained obstinate.

"One afternoon, the honourable Franz Maximilian Baron von Klarstein,
the official commissary, was reflecting on this matter as he went home,
and ascended the steps of his house; when it suddenly seemed to him
that he received a violent blow on the side, he turned round crossly,
when behold there appeared to him on the landing which divided the
steps from one another, a boy standing, who bowed his head, and smiled
sweetly with cheerful countenance, clothed in a Jewish winding-sheet,
wounded on the left temple, and in size and age like Simon, as this
gentleman had seen him with his own eyes, on inspection of the body,
when a lively image of him had been impressed on his memory. The
gentleman was amazed, and whilst he was sitting at table with his wife
and some guests, pondered in his mind what this might signify. Then he
heard the tapping of a person's finger several times on the door of the
dining-room. The servant was sent out, and informed him that an unknown
maiden desired instantly to be admitted. Having entered, and being
kindly accosted, the little maiden of fourteen answered that her name
was Sarah Bresin, that she now dwelt among the Christians to be
instructed in the Christian faith, and had shortly before lived as
servant to the tenant in the house of Lazarus Abeles; there she had
seen with her own eyes how cruelly Lazarus had attacked his son Simon,
because he had fled to the Christians, in order to be baptized. Upon
this and other evidence Sarah was confronted with Lazarus; before whom
she declared freely, with much feeling and in forcible language, all
that she knew. But Lazarus roundly denied it all; and with frantic
curses called down all the devils upon her head. But when he returned
to his prison, confusion and despair seized his soul; he perceived that
his denials would no longer help him before the court, and determined
by a last expedient to escape judicial proceedings. Although both his
legs and one hand were impeded by his fetters, yet he contrived to wind
the girdle, called a _Tephilim_, wherewith the Jews bind their heads
and arms during prayer, instead of a cord, round the iron window
grating, and strangled himself thereby. Thus on the following morning,
he was found strangled. For the Jews erroneously consider it allowable
to throttle themselves, and oft-times do the like. Judgment was passed
on his dead body.

"After his death his wife Lia and the servant-maid Hennele being
confronted with Sarah Bresin, made a public confession; the fugitive
journeyman glover, Rebbe Liebmann, was also produced and confessed. His
Princely Grace the Archbishop decided that Simon should be buried in
the Teynkirche, in the chapel of St. John the Baptist, by the baptismal
font, within a vault of polished marble, in a fine oak coffin covered
with red velvet, and guarded by a lock and three keys. Further, that
the coffin was to be borne to the burial-place by innocent and noble
youths dressed in purple. The most noble Frau Silvia, born Gräfin
Kinskey, wife of his Excellency the Lord Count of the Empire, Schlick,
had a double costly dress prepared for this day, an under dress of
white satin and an upper one of red, interwoven with gold, trimmed with
gold buttons and adorned with gold lace-work; she provided also
stockings of the like material to cover the feet, and an exceedingly
beautiful garland of gold and silver lilies and roses to crown the head
of the innocent martyr.

"Hardly had his most precious body been attired and laid in the costly
coffin, when the high nobility of both sexes arrived, and pressed with
godly impetuosity into the chapel, where all were amazed, and praised
the God of all marvels when they saw that the holy pledge (the body of
Simon) was unchanged five weeks after his death, that no exhalation of
odour could be discovered or perceived, and that from his death wounds
there dropped continually fresh rose-coloured blood. Wherefore persons
even of the highest consideration caught up this precious liquor with
their pocket-handkerchiefs. But others who were not provided with clean
handkerchiefs, or who could not get near enough for the great throng,
made their way to the old grave and tore away the bloody clippings
which lay therein. Afterwards the revered body was exposed to view on
this and the following day in the great hall of the council house. But
even there it was exceeding difficult to approach it. At last on the
31st of March the funeral was performed. An armed force in three ranks
surrounded the council house for two whole hours; throughout the whole
city resounded the pealing bells of seventy churches. Meanwhile the
synagogue and the whole body of Jews were ready to swoon away with
anguish, because they feared the vengeance of the Christian populace
would fell upon them. It was indeed almost a miracle that no deed of
violence was committed, for in the past year, the Christians had more
than once for the most trifling reasons, fallen upon and plundered the
frippery market and Jew town, and had also, as is well known, attacked
the Jews themselves, severely injuring and even murdering some.

"When towards ten o'clock, the painters had finished a double
representation of the martyr Simon, the church ceremonies began. After
the coffin had been closed, the commissaries prepared to seal up the
keyhole, but as the paper which was to be sealed over the lock might be
injured, they desired to have a suitable silk ribbon, and when this
became known to the most noble persons present, they tore what they had
of such material from their heads, stomachers and arms. His Excellency
the Reichsgraf von Martinez also unbound the ribbon that was hanging
from his sword-hilt. But a ribbon of red satin was chosen for this
purpose, which the most noble and right honourable the Countess
Kolowrat had worn; this was cut in two and placed over the lock and
sealed. After this the martyr's coffin was covered with a costly red
velvet pall prepared for the occasion; in the middle of the funeral
bier was a fine picture of Our Lady, and on both sides angels with palm
branches. Sixteen good youths of noble descent bore the funeral bier on
their innocent shoulders; they wore red mantles with gold lace
glittering on them, and wreaths of silvered roses wound with red silk.
Then the pealing of bells sounded through all the three towns; the
clouds suddenly cleared from off the heavens; the multitude covered
every roof, and occupied every window; they had flocked together, not
only from the three neighbouring vine-clad mountains but from distant
places and cities.

"The city authorities led the host of the funeral train; after them
followed the lately baptized young Jews, adorned with red badges,
before whom two church banners of like material were borne. Next a
countless multitude of schoolboys from all the schools of the three
towns, ranged under eight purple flags; thirdly all the young students
from the under Latin schools. Fourthly above four hundred heads of the
Latin brotherhood from the schools, before whom was carried cross and
banner under a canopy with lighted wax tapers. They were followed by a
fifth of the higher student brotherhood of Our Lady; among them many
doctors, and assessors, and divers nobles of the Empire; before them
also were borne the cross and banner with the canopy, and in their
hands they carried burning wax tapers, and flaming white torches.
Sixthly came the first set of choristers, then the clergy in their
vestments, then the second set of choristers; after them the deacons,
parish priests, and the very reverend the prebendaries with the
officiating priests, and beside them went the city soldiers in long
rows. Seventhly came the sixteen finely attired youths bearing the
glorious corpse of the martyr Simon. On both sides of the coffin went
twelve boys with burning red torches, dressed in exquisitely beautiful
purple linen. Eighthly following the coffin came the most noble the
President and Governor of Königreichs, all holding red torches in their
hands; they were followed by the most distinguished nobility of both
sexes in great numbers, and lastly a countless multitude of God-fearing

"The accomplice of the murderer, Levi Hüsel Kurtzhandl, was the son of
wealthy parents at Prague; he was tall, and twenty years of age, with a
daring countenance, was passionate, had a bold eloquence and ready wit,
and was perfectly acquainted with the Talmud, which he had studied
eleven years. He had concealed himself with his Jewish bride nine miles
from Prague. After diligent inquiries, armed men were despatched there
who put him in irons, and brought him in a carriage to Prague on the
22nd of March. Although the commissaries, having formerly had similar
cases, doubted whether the least atom of truth could be extracted from
this flint, yet they confronted him with the witnesses. But
notwithstanding the affidavits of three witnesses, he acknowledged
nothing. He was threatened with the executioner and the rack, but that
had no more effect upon him than threatening a crab with drowning. For
he trusted he should be able to endure the rack, and so escape. Nay, he
was hardy enough to say, that this trial was carried on contrary to all
law and justice. Thus he was, according to law, condemned to the wheel
on the evidence of three witnesses, though without his own confession.

"He however hindered the execution of the sentence for seven months,
having by means of a Jewish relation brought the affair before his
Imperial Majesty Leopold. The proceedings were now delayed by Jewish
tricks, and so tardily carried on, that it might plainly be seen, that
the culprit was only seeking a delay of some years in order to obtain a
mitigation of punishment or to obviate it by a voluntary death. At last
the tribunal obtained an order that the accused should deliver in his
defence within fourteen days; his frivolous pleas were rejected, and
the sentence of the tribunal confirmed by his Imperial Majesty. He
however adhered to his declaration: 'I am innocent of the blood of the
murdered boy.' This he oft repeated before Father Johannes Brandstedter
of the Society of Jesus, an unwearied apostolical labourer, who met a
blessed death four days after Kurtzhandl, from the virulent poison he
had imbibed in the work of love by a sick bed. When he inquired of the
condemned whether he could meet death with resignation, and exhorted
him to the reception of the saving faith, Levi answered with a cheerful
aspect and without embarrassment: 'I care as little for death as
for this straw'--he held one in his hand, which he thereupon threw
away--'but as concerns the faith, we will now argue out of the holy
Scriptures which of us two holds the true faith. But the father must
not think he has a common simple man before him, for I studied the
Talmud for eleven years.'

"Thus began a controversy concerning the faith; the priest attacked the
Talmud with powerful theological evidence, and Levi apprehended
everything by the strong capacity of his understanding. At last he
threw his Jewish bible away from him, impatiently saying: 'Let it be as
it may, I abide by the faith in which I was born.' As on the following
day the obdurate youth began to harp upon the same string, the priest
set about the matter again in another way; he no longer spoke to him,
but turned to his fellow-prisoners, and read to them divers evidence
from the holy Scriptures, whereby he proved that the Messiah had
already come.

"This, Levi listened to quietly and thoughtfully, and although he gave
no indications of being inclined to the holy faith, yet it might be
seen by his countenance that he was not as averse to the presence of
the priest as yesterday. On the third day Levi, hardened as he might be
in other respects, yet desired that the father should return in the
afternoon, as his presence was a special comfort to him in his
miserable position. When the priest promised him this as an
encouragement, the stony heart appeared softened. In the afternoon, the
father in his holy simplicity placed such reliance on the Jew, that he
removed all the others, and remaining alone with him, kindly and
urgently begged of him to give both himself and him consolation, by
relating at his pleasure, as the greatest secret, truly and faithfully,
what he knew of the death of Simon. At this unexpected address Levi was
quite amazed; he continued long silent; but at last struck with the
rare confidence shown by a Christian priest in a Jew, he conceived a
high esteem for his uprightness, and persuaded by the father's promise
of secresy, confessed before him and one of his fellow-prisoners, with
great signs of sorrow, with bent shoulders and head hanging down on the
left side, that he had, at the instigation of the father Lazarus
Abeles, laid violent hands on Simon, and caused his death from zeal for
the law of Moses.

"Upon receiving this confession the priest was exceeding joyful, and
strove with all his powers, by arguments and urgent entreaties, to
persuade him to turn himself magnanimously to God. But to this Levi
would not return any satisfactory answer; and when, as evening twilight
was creeping on, the priest prepared to go home, Levi raised his eyes
to heaven, and said with a deep sigh: 'Father, where shall I be at this
time to-morrow?' Whereto the priest replied: 'My son, in heaven, if you
embrace the Christian faith; but if you die in Judaism, in hell as a
hardened Jew.' Thereupon he in the most friendly way wished him a good
night and a blessed end, and went away.

"On the following day the priest found the condemned man dressed in
white linen for the impending tragedy, as if he had prepared himself to
be baptized. After a friendly greeting the father asked him in which
faith he had at last resolved to die? Hereunto Levi returned this
answer: 'I will die in the same faith in which Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob died. And as in the olden time Abraham offered up his son, so
will I to-day sacrifice myself for my sins.' When the priest made a
further rejoinder, he said with a pleasant countenance and in a calm
manner: 'I humbly beg of you, father, not to trouble me any more about
baptism, for I will now pray from the Psalms and prepare myself for a
happy death.' Thereupon he began to repeat the Psalms, but without the
girdle called a _Tephilim_, although the Jews usually consider prayer
without binding the forehead and hands a sin. But he prayed with such
contrition of heart and such vehement beating of the breast, and
penitential tears, that his fellow-prisoners and all present were
greatly astonished at his remorse.

"After a prayer that had lasted more than two hours he gave himself up
quickly into the hands of the executioner, and thus accosted him with a
cheerful countenance: 'Do to me what God and my judges have commanded
you.' He then turned to his fellow-prisoners, took a friendly leave of
them, and humbly begged of them to forgive his past failings.

"After ten o'clock they took him, amidst the gaze of countless
multitudes, from the prison, and bound him in a hide, whereat he showed
no sign of impatience or displeasure. Only he sometimes raised his
bound hands in prayer to heaven. Thus was he dragged by a horse to the
field of action. When he perceived that the accompanying priest in the
middle of the Platz was in danger of being severely injured by a horse,
he begged with sympathizing voice that he might go in front to avoid
the danger."

Thus far the Jesuit's narrative. On the scaffold Levi made a manly
confession of his deed before all the people, with a request that the
witnesses who had only spoken the truth should no longer be kept in
prison. The details of the execution were particularly horrible; the
experienced executioner could not--so the writer states--break the
strong body of the criminal on the wheel. At last Levi called to the
priest by his side and asked him in a clear voice what he would promise
if he should consent to be baptized? When the father promised him,
besides forgiveness of all his sins, also a speedy death, Levi
answered: 'I will be baptized.' The Church triumphant hastened to
impart private baptism, much disposed to attribute this unheard of
bodily strength and calm of the malefactor to a special miracle of
Divine Providence. Levi repeated the prescribed formula with a strong
voice, and received calmly the now effective stroke of death.

This is the sorrowful history of Simon Abeles. Whoever judges the
Jesuit narrative impartially will discover in it something which the
narrator wishes to conceal; and whoever contemplates with horror the
fanatical murder, will nevertheless not spend much sympathy on the
fanatical priests. They tear the scarcely born child out of the arms of
its mother; they consider it a pious contrivance to steal the suckling
secretly from her, by means of spies and talebearers; by promises and
threatenings, and excitement of the imagination, they win hosts of
proselytes in baptism to their God, who is very unlike the God of the
gospel; with the skill of experienced managers, they make use of a
miserable murder, for the sake of bringing on the scene a real tragedy,
and of the dead body of a Jewish boy, in order by pomp and glitter and
enormous processions, and if possible by miracles, to recommend their
faith to both Christians and Jews. Their fanaticism, in alliance with
the burgher magistracy and the compliant law, stands in comparison with
that of a despised, persecuted, and impulsive race; cunning, violence,
malice and a corrupt morality, are to be discovered on both sides.

During yet two generations, the zeal of the Jesuits against the Jews
continued to work, the struggle of two foreign communities on German
ground. The one consisted of the sons of the old dwellers in the
wilderness, whose leader, the Lord Jehovah, brought them forth with
their flocks and herds, going before them in the fiery pillar, and
pouring his wrath on all who fell away from him. And opposed to these
were the followers of a Spanish nobleman, who had undertaken the
monstrous task of forming the souls of men like the wheels of a
machine, making all the highest intellectual powers serve the one
single object, of a priesthood to the one appointed officer of the
great head of the church militant, Jesus.

What were Loyola and his school to the ancient Abeles and to Levi
Kurtzhandl? How ancient was Loyola? Their fathers had slaughtered the
sacrificial victim three thousand years before the first Jesuit had
tortured a Jewish heart; their descendants, they were sure, would offer
sacrifice three thousand years later in the kingdom of Messiah, after
the last Jesuit had been collected to his mother Lilith. The fearful S.
J. which shone in gold on the stones of the college, how long would it
last? In the time of their grandfathers it had its origin, in the time
of their grandchildren it would be erased. What was this new device to
the seed of Abraham? An extravagance, a short plague of Egypt. Proudly
did the Roman Catholic church look back on seventeen hundred years of
victory and conquest, but more proudly did the despised Jew look upon
his past, which stretches back to the dawn of the world, for his faith
was seventeen hundred years old when Christ was baptized. Both the
judgment of the pious fathers of the Church and the pious Jews was
narrowed, and their comprehension of the Highest disturbed by old

When Jehovah spoke to Moses on the mountain, his law became the
groundwork of a higher moral law, to the hordes in the desert; when
Jesus proclaimed to the apostles the gracious message of love, his
teaching was a holy treasure for the human race. Since then, the Jews
have continued unweariedly to solemnize their Passover; still do they
shun the meat of the swine, and swing the young cocks on atonement day;
but the foundation of their faith has long vanished, also their
pastoral state on the borders of the Syrian wilderness. For many
centuries also, the pious fathers of the Roman Catholic church have
offered their holy sacrifice daily; but they also, have already ceased
to be the most pre-eminent of those who live under the law of the new
covenant. The Bohemian peasant, who benevolently raised up the sick Jew
on the high road, without tormenting the soul of the stranger with
efforts to convert him, was more Christian than they; that man of
science, who risked his life under the anger of the Church, that he
might understand how the lightning was made by God, and the earth
caused to revolve, was more a proclaimer of the Eternal, than they; and
that citizen who died for his duty, in order to teach that the general
weal is of more value than that of individuals, was nearer the most
perfect pattern, than they. Among them also, undoubtedly, were many
good high-minded men; the Jesuit, Friedrich Spee, met his death in a
pesthouse, like that sailor in the flames. But those who thus lived,
are precious to us because they showed themselves to be good men;
whether they were considered good priests we know not. When this same
Spee protested so vehemently against the burning of witches, which his
Church so zealously carried on, he published his writings, without his
name, in a Protestant place.

Since Moses, and since the first feast of Pentecost, the Lord had never
left himself without witnesses; he had given the nations of the earth a
new culture, had led them to a higher civilisation. He had given them a
new code of morals, he had unlocked the other half of the earth, he had
willed that the new spirit in men should be contained in the narrow
space of one book, which might pass from hand to hand, from one soul to
another, from one century to every succeeding one. Restlessly and
unceasingly did the Divine Spirit agitate and stir the hearts of men;
ever more mighty and more holy did these manifestations of the Eternal,
appear to men of powerful intellect; it was a different manifestation
to that of the old writings, it was also another word of God, another
aspect of the Eternal, which was discovered. Thus men now sought the
God of the human race, of the earth, of the universe, not only in the
old faith but also in science. Together with the Jesuits and Jews there
was Leibnitz.

This new culture has elevated the Jews; their fanaticism has vanished
since the Christian zeal which persecuted them has ceased, and the
descendants of that wandering Asiatic race have become our countrymen
and fellow combatants. But the ecclesiastical community of the Society
of Jesus, already once expelled, then revived again, remains to this
day what it was at the beginning of its emigration into Germany--alien
to the German life.

                              CHAPTER XII.

                           THE WASUNGER WAR.

The great century of enlightenment began with blood and the thunder of
cannon. The Spanish war of succession raged on the western frontier,
within the distracted realm. Bavaria and Cologne fought under the ban
of the Empire, in alliance with Louis XIV. against the house of

The constitution of the Empire had become weak. In the east the
Hohenzollens already held a powerful position by the side of the
Hapsburgers; from the beginning of the century they had become kings
independent of the Empire, and the Electoral house of Saxony, had
shortly before obtained the insecure possession of the Polish Electoral

Condemned witches were still burnt on the funeral pile; the
ecclesiastics of three persuasions still carried on a wearisome strife;
the intolerance of the Church, the pressure of poverty, want of great
political interests, and the pitifulness of the small sovereigns and
their courts, still weighed upon the masses.

Ever wider became the separation of classes. Etiquette only permitted
the princes to have intercourse with the citizens in particular cases,
and under prescribed forms. It therefore occurred sometimes that a good
paternal ruler disguised himself as a private man, withdrew into a
chamber apart, put on his old dressing-gown, and took a pipe in his
mouth, in order to be enabled to have direct intercourse with his
citizens, and thus learn their wishes from themselves. During such
hours his princely dignity was, to a certain degree, suspended, but
instantly he quitted the room he was again within courtly interdict.

Yet it was just at this period that numerous mesalliances took place.
Among many of the higher nobility, wild nature broke through the
restraint of court usage, and more than once a city maiden had the
doubtful advantage of becoming the persecuted wife of a Prince of old
family. Seldom did the wife obtain from the Emperor the rights of equal
birth; the marriages were generally morganatic, and the children
refused the succession.

Among the German princes, the course of whose life was changed by a
union of this kind, was Anthony Ulrich, Duke of Saxe Meiningen; born in
1687, the youngest of three brothers, he became, according to the
custom of his house, joint ruler of the country, that is to say, the
elder brother exercised the rights of sovereignty, but the younger ones
received a portion of the revenues of the country. In his youth, this
prince had travelled; in the war of succession he had served through
some campaigns as an Imperial officer; and at the peace of Rastatt, he
quitted the army with the rank of Major-general. A fiery youth,
courteous and accomplished, affable as becomes young princes, not
without an interest in intellectual pursuits, he had, following the
prevailing fashion, zealously collected objects of art and natural
curiosities; with a lively disposition and chivalrous demeanour, he was
the favourite of the country which he only nominally ruled. Whatever
entered into his head, he carried on wilfully and recklessly, with an
iron perseverance which might have led him to great things. Then it
became his lot to fall in love with Philippine Cesar, the daughter of a
Hessian captain, lady of the bed-chamber to his sister, the Abbess of
Gandersheim; he took her to Holland and married her.

For many years he did not avow his marriage. His life became unsettled;
he kept his wife concealed in Amsterdam, and strictly commanded his
servants to keep secret his place of residence; he received letters
from home in roundabout ways, and was always moving to and fro in the
land of his fathers. But when his wife became more precious to him, and
sons were born, the stubbornness of his nature was brought forth, he
revealed his marriage, and required of his family the recognition of
it, and the right of succession for his children.

The displeasure of his proud house now broke out. The recognition was
denied. Such a marriage was considered by the Court altogether
monstrous, but it was always doubtful whether the decisions of feudal
law were competent to declare this marriage invalid. Therefore the
Dukes of Saxony met together in 1717, and decided that all unequal
unions in their house were to be considered as only morganatic, and the
children were never to be allowed the rights of succession.[48]

Anthony Ulrich remained firm. He solicited the Imperial court, and
strove unweariedly against the council of the country, who took
advantage of this quarrel to diminish the revenues of the Duke. But his
nature was not easily bent. When in 1722, the last feudal tenant of
Altenstein, one Hund von Wenckheim lay dying, and the commissaries of
the government were standing by the death-bed to take possession of the
vacant fief, Anthony Ulrich rode suddenly into the court of the castle,
and in spite of the protest of the councillors, who were also his
servants, entered the chamber of the dying man, sang with him the
evening song and the penitential hymn, and passed the night, armed with
pistols and other weapons, in the castle. As soon as the vassal had
closed his eyes, he entered the room, and according to the old usage
took possession of the vacant fief, and seating himself in a red velvet
arm-chair, said: "I hereby take possession of my third share, without
prejudice to the two-thirds of my brothers." He then called in his
attendants as witnesses, and according to the prescribed usage, struck
his hand forcibly on the table, so that a jug upset, symbolical of the
moveable property, and caused a chip to be cut out of the door of the
chamber of death, and of the dining-room. After this he swore into his
service all who had not fled; he then rode out, cut splinters from the
oak wood, and bits of turf from the meadows, as further tokens of
having taken possession, and went back to Meiningen. But when he
returned to the castle, he found the gates closed and guarded by
grenadiers, and all his threats and protestations were of no avail.

He afterwards wished to take his wife and children to one of his own
possessions, and lead a peaceable life at home. But such was not his
happy lot. His brothers obtained a decision from the Imperial high
court of judicature, according to which he was not to take his wife and
children into the country of his fathers, and if he should venture to
do so, he was never to usurp for them the title of princes. He now
however went himself to Vienna and so worked there, with the help of
large sums of money, and through the medium of his military
acquaintances--the Spanish minister, the Marquis of Perlas was his
supporter--that the Emperor Charles VI. raised his wife Philippine to
the dignity of Princess of the holy Roman Empire, and her sons and
daughters to be dukes and duchesses of Saxony, with all the privileges
and rights, _i.e_. those of the succession.

Against this, the whole house of Saxony, and those of Hohenzollen and
Hesse, who were interested by the settlement of succession, rose in
opposition. At first, however, Anthony Ulrich was victor. His eldest
brother died, and the second was a weak man. So he became in 1729, the
real ruler of the country. Then he brought his wife and eldest son
under the ducal roof at Meiningen. For eleven years the stubborn prince
rejoiced in having established his own will. But the struggle with his
house had embittered him; and added to restlessness and violence, a
litigious spirit had come over him. Peevish and endless were the
disputes about the government, and the discord with his brothers and
his favourites; the little country was divided into two parties;
ministers and officials threw themselves on the one or the other side,
and sometimes the machine of government stood still. The Duke lived
generally with his wife and children out of the country, at Vienna. The
legal proceedings with the agnates about the equality of birth, which
still continued, and vexatious quarrels with neighbours, gave him but a
gloomy satisfaction. He had gained no trifling knowledge of the forms
of public law, and conducted all his suits himself. They seem to have
taken up the greater part of his time.

But the victory was to be followed by a sad reverse. The new Emperor of
the house of Wittelsbacher, Charles VII., was with very evident
reference to Anthony Ulrich's affair, bound on oath not to legitimatize
any notorious mesalliances, and to declare the right of inheritance of
such children null and void. Therefore the rank given to the Duchess of
Meiningen and her children was repealed. Anthony Ulrich had recourse to
the Diet. But in vain. This also declared that his application must be
refused, and the Emperor Francis I. of Lorraine confirmed this

It was a cruel stroke of destiny. The wife of the Duke had the good
fortune not to outlive the last Imperial decision; she died a few weeks
previous to it; whilst her husband was fruitlessly setting heaven and
earth in motion at Frankfort to ward off this fate. But the two parties
quarrelled even over her coffin. The brother, and co-ruler with the
Duke, refused to allow the corpse to be buried in the royal hereditary
vault, nay even denied her the usual tolling of the bells for royal
personages. Anthony Ulrich rushed furiously from Frankfort and
commanded the tolling and the burial in the royal vault. Orders and
counter orders crossed each other during several weeks; now the tolling
began and now it was stopped. As Anthony Ulrich, who had again hastened
to Frankfort, had commanded that the coffin should not be deposited
anywhere but in the royal burial place, it was kept in a room in the
castle covered over with sand; there it remained a year and a half,
till in 1746, Anthony Ulrich's last brother died. Then the Duke in
order to give satisfaction to his wife even in death, caused his
brother's corpse after lying in state, to be placed in the same room
next his wife's coffin and like hers to be covered over with sand.
There the two coffins remained for a year, when they were both quietly
deposited at the same time in the royal burial place.

Now Anthony Ulrich, once the youngest of his family, remained sole
ruler and the eldest of his race, but Meiningen was a source of
annoyance to him. He could not take his dear children home as Dukes,
therefore he went to them at Frankfort. His agnates could scarcely
conceal the impatience with which they awaited for his death in order
to take possession of the inheritance of the last of the Meiningens.
He had passed the greater part of his life in struggle with them; now
he would be revenged. Out of spite to them he married at the age of
sixty-three a Princess of Hesse-Philippsthal. He had ten children by
his first wife and eight by his second. He announced every fresh birth
to the agnates on a sheet of the largest royal folio.

He died at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1763. Even in his last testament
the stubborn determination breaks forth, of bringing the two sons of
his first marriage into the country as co-heirs. All the children of
the first marriage died unmarried.

His was an unprofitable life, but it well deserves the sympathy of a
later generation. A strong passion disturbed his days up to his last
hours. Mixed with a great love, a stream of gall penetrated into his
heart, flowing unceasingly; his time, his money and all his talents
were spent in the most sorrowful of all struggles--in family disputes.
His brilliant youth gave great promise, yet how profitless to others,
nay to himself, was his whole manhood. In his old age he dwelt in a
foreign city, divided between his past and his new domestic life, to
which he could never get thoroughly accustomed. His spirit, once so
lively and active, and his unbending will, were so engrossed with his
personal affairs, that when he became the real ruler of his country he
no longer took an interest in doing his duty.

It was not unnatural that Anthony Ulrich should, from his own
experience, entertain a repugnance to the pretensions of the lower
nobility at court, and it was quite in accordance with his character,
to display his hatred when opportunities offered. This he did shortly
after the death of his first wife, to the bereaved court at Meiningen.

In the royal palace at Meiningen the _Frau Landjägermeisterin_, (wife
of the Grand Master of the chase), Christiane Auguste von Gleichen held
the highest rank. Among the other ladies who had a right to be there,
was a Fran von Pfaffenrath, born Countess Solms, but yet only the wife
of a councillor, who had only just been ennobled, and to whom she had
been married in a not very regular way, for her husband had been tutor
in her parents' house: she had eloped with him, and had after many
troubles accomplished a reconciliation with her mother, and obtained a
diploma of nobility for her husband. Now Duke Anthony Ulrich, who was
residing at Frankfort, protected her, because, as the court whispered,
her sister had the advantage of being in the good graces of the old
gentleman. Naturally, she ought only to have ranked according to the
patent of her husband, but alas! she raised pretensions because she was
of high nobility. When therefore in October 1746, the doors of the
dining-room were to be opened, and the page was standing ready to
repeat grace, the Master-of-the-Horse entered and said to the _Frau
Landjägermeisterin_: "His most Serene Highness has commanded that the
Frau von Pfaffenrath shall take rank before all other ladies." Frau von
Gleichen answered that she would never consent to that, but the Frau
von Pfaffenrath had placed herself favourably and took the precedence
of the _Frau Landjägermeisterin_ before she could prevent it. Yet this
determined lady was far from submitting tamely. She hastened round the
table to the Duke's cabinet minister, and declared to him, as became a
lady of character after such an insult: "If _Frau von_ Pfaffenrath
again goes before me to table, I will pull her back even to the
sacrifice of her hooped gown, and will say a few words which will be
very disagreeable to her." The cabinet minister was in a great
embarrassment, for he knew the resolute character of _Frau von_
Gleichen. At last he advised her to rise from the table before grace,
then she would at all events go out first and so get the precedence.
Thus the _Landjägermeisterin_ maintained her place, but she was much
offended, and so was the whole court, which split into two parties.
This quarrel of the ladies made a commotion in the whole of the holy
Roman Empire, occasioned a campaign between Gotha and Meiningen, and
was only ended by Frederick the Great, in a manner which reminds one of
the fable of the lion which took the royal share for himself.

_Frau von_ Gleichen appealed to the absent Duke for reparation. She
only received a strong and ungracious answer. Irritated at this, she
made inquiries into the former life of her enemy, and propagated an
anonymous writing, in which the love affairs of the Countess were
described with more energy than delicacy. The _Frau von_ Pfaffenrath
complained of this lampoon to the sovereign at Frankfort, and
afterwards began a course of proceedings against the _Frau
Landjägermeisterin_ which even then was considered harsh and cruel. She
was called upon to crave pardon of the _Frau von_ Pfaffenrath, on her
knees entreating her most penitently for forgiveness; and when she
refused with these words: "I would die first," she was taken in
arrest to the council-house and there guarded by two musketeers; her
husband also was put in an unhealthy prison. Unshaken by such great
sufferings the _Frau Landjägermeisterin_, in a beautiful letter full of
self-reliance and noble sentiments, petitioned the Duke for her
husband's freedom, her own dismission from the service of the court,
and permission to institute a legal defence against the Pfaffenrath.
All this was denied her. She was on the contrary carried by two
musketeers into the room of the Pfaffenrath in order to beg pardon, and
when she again refused, she was taken into the marketplace of Meiningen
surrounded by a circle of soldiers, and the sheriff read aloud a
decree, in which it was proclaimed to the people, that the lampoon was
to be burnt before the eyes of the _Landjägermeisterin_ by the hangman,
and every one was forbidden, on pain of six weeks' imprisonment and a
fine of a hundred thalers, ever to speak again on the subject. The
letter was burnt by the hangman and _Frau von_ Gleichen again taken
back to prison.

But now the friends of the Gleichen brought a complaint before the
Imperial chamber. But the repeated mandates of the Chamber to Duke
Anthony Ulrich and his government, to give freedom to the Gleichens and
to proceed according to law, were not obeyed. After that Duke Friedrich
III. of Gotha, received a commission from the same tribunal to defend
_Frau von_ Gleichen and her husband from farther violence, and to
deliver them from imprisonment in Meiningen, yet keep them in
honourable custody. Duke Friedrich demanded the delivery of the
prisoners from Meiningen, but his commissioners were not admitted into
the city, nor his letter accepted; but it was signified to him, that if
Gotha should attempt to free them by force, there was plenty of powder
and shot at Meiningen. Betwixt Meiningen and Gotha there were endless
quarrels and great bitterness.

Thereupon Duke Friedrich of Gotha prepared himself for armed
intervention. He was a warlike Prince, who maintained a subsidiary
force of six thousand infantry and fifteen hundred horse in the Dutch
and Imperial service. He had, besides a large number of guns, a strong
corps of officers and several Generals. On the other hand the military
strength of Meiningen was small; it consisted almost entirely of the
old fortifications and unskilled militia. These were assembled, and
Meiningen was fortified as well as was possible in such haste. But it
was not destined that Meiningen itself should become the scene of
action, for the fury of war raged only about the town of Wasungen. It
was indeed a remarkable coincidence that this place should become the
theatre of war, for scandal says that it was considered the shield or
place of refuge of Meiningen; and in the country there is a lying story
about its councillors and a large gourd. The councillors mistook the
gourd for the egg of a foreign horse which was to be hatched for the
good of the town by the united powers of the councillors.

The struggle which then took place in the centre of Germany, between
the Thuringian states of Gotha and Meiningen, is known by the name of
the Wasunger war. In a military point of view it is of no importance,
but is characteristic of the period. All the misery in the German
Empire, the decaying state of the burgher life, the coarse immorality
of the politics of that time, the meannesses, pedantry, and
helplessness of the Imperial army, are shown to such an extent, that
they might be a source of amusement, if they did not give rise to a
more serious and better feeling, bringing to light the helplessness of
the German Empire.

The narrative is here given by Lieutenant Rauch of Gotha, who took part
in the war. He speaks in his diary as follows:--

"Early on the 15th of February, precisely at one o'clock, our whole
division broke up from Tambach, and marched with burning torches
through the wood beyond the so-called Rosengarten, in order that we
might enter at break of day the Hessian village Flohe; we knew not
whither we were going. We continued our march through the city of
Smalkalden up to Middle Smalkalden.

"When the cavalry came to the Meiningen village Niederschmalkalden, a
Lieutenant, with about four-and-twenty militia men, stood right across
the road, and would not let us pass. Here all three corps were obliged
to halt. Major von Benkendorf, together with the Lieutenant-Colonel,
rode up to the Lieutenant who was commanding there; and the Major asked
him what he meant by not letting us pass, and whether this was not a
public road? The Lieutenant answered: 'Yes! it was a high road, but he
had orders not to let us pass. Major Benkendorf might say what he
liked, the Lieutenant would not listen to him.' The Major then took a
letter out of his pocket which he wished to show him; but neither would
he take that. Whereupon the Major said to the Lieutenant: if he would
not let him pass with his people he would force his way.

"The Lieutenant answered shortly, that we might do so, as he had not
sufficient force to prevent him. The Major rode immediately to the
guards, drew his sword, and approached the Lieutenant to see whether he
would consent to treat; but he would not stir from the spot. The Major
asked him once more, whether he would yield up the ground? But he
remained firm. Thereupon the Major gave his orders to the guard: March!
March! and broke through.

"While they were passing, it happened that one of the horses pushed
against the Meiningen Lieutenant and threw him down. But he soon
recovered himself, seized his weapon, and shot the serjeant-major of
the guards, Starke, and then took to flight. A horseman however, whose
name was Stähm, pursued him forthwith, and would have cut his head in
two, but the Lieutenant held his weapon obliquely over his head, so
that the horseman Stähm cut in half the powder sack on the barrel. But
my good old Lieutenant thought he would run further, and sprang over a
ditch, where the horseman might not be able to follow him, and thought
he was now safe. But the grenadier Hellbich fired and shot my old
Lieutenant Zimmermann behind the right ear as he ran, so that he fell
suddenly to the ground, and not a muscle quivered. The militia still
standing there looked on at the game; but the grenadiers fired some
grenades among them, and they then took to their heels and ran away.

"Meanwhile all the streets of the village had been barricaded with
carts and wagons; but the Mayor and the peasants seeing their old
Lieutenant lying dead, whom they had at all times considered as their
bulwark, and observing that some grenades had fallen into their
gardens, were in great terror, and began to ring the alarm bells that
all the peasants might speedily assemble.

"In a moment all the wagons and carts were moved out of the way so that
we might march. The militia had fled to the village of Schwallungen,
through which also we had to pass, and where again there was an officer
in command of thirty militia, to whom they reported what had taken
place in the village of Niederschmalkalden. So the officer, who was a
shoemaker by profession, when he heard this report from the fugitives,
took such of his men as would go with him and tore off to Wasungen
before he had even caught sight of us.

"When we came to the afore-mentioned village, we formed ourselves in
column, fixed our bayonets, and thought what will now take place? We
marched on, and when we came to the gate the officer and all the troops
had fled, and there to not a single man to make resistance. We marched
straight through with fixed bayonets; then we saw the portion that had
remained of the runaway shoemaker-Ensign's troop in their uniform, with
their cartridge boxes, peeping out of the windows.

"My good shoemaker-Ensign was off, and had posted himself and the men
who thus went out with him at the gate of Wasungen, where again a
Lieutenant, who was a good barber--as I knew by experience, having
myself been shaved by him--had posted himself, and was awaiting us. The
gate of Wasungen was firmly closed with strong double doors, but a
sentinel stood without; so Major von Benkendorf called to him that the
gate must be opened. But the sentinel excused himself, saying he could
not. The said Major asked him, 'Who is there besides?' He answered:
'The Lieutenant.' The Major said he must call his Lieutenant; whereupon
he ran hastily and fetched him out. Then came up my good barber
Lieutenant; the man was already well nigh dead of fright, and his face
was whiter than his shirt. The Major accosted him sharply, asking how
it was that the gates were fastened, and whether a public high road did
not pass through there? He answered, Yes! So Major von Benkendorf said
he must that instant open the gates, or we would do it ourselves. When
he heard this, being half dead with fright, he begged for pardon,
saying it was not he that could open the gates, but the councillors who
had closed them. The answer was, that he must forthwith produce the
councillors. Good gracious! was there ever any one more glad than the
good barber, who ran as if his head was burning; but meanwhile there
was nothing seen or heard of the shoemaker-Ensign.

"At last the councillors came.

"When I saw these men creeping out of the little gate, I thought, 'What
the devil! are these councillors? they are a fine lot!' The councillors
looked a little respectable, but the burghermaster was up to the knees
in cow-dung, and must have been fetched from clearing away the dung in
the stable. Hereupon, Major von Benkendorf asked whether they were the
councillors? They answered: 'Yes, and what did we desire?' The Major
asked whether this was not the highroad to Nuremberg? They said, 'Yes.'
'Why then were the gates closed and barricaded, and we not allowed to
pass through?' Then the president of the council answered: 'They were
commanded by their government not to let any troops pass through,
therefore they must keep the gates closed; they must do what their
master commanded them.' But Major von Benkendorf repeated his former
words, and said to them: 'They must open to us, and that quickly, for
that we must march further; and if they did not open, we would do it
ourselves.' The president of the council answered this, and said: 'We
might do as we liked, but he could not open the gates to us.' But the
dung-bespattered burghermaster then began: 'Nay! if you wish to march
further, you can do so by the back road.' I thought to myself, 'If thou
couldst but kill that cursed dirty fellow!' The Major then forthwith
called to me, and desired that all the carpenters of the whole division
should be summoned; which was done in a moment. Hereupon he asked once
more whether they would amicably open the gate? if not, he would have
them immediately hewn open. They might now see that we ourselves would
open the gates if they did not prefer preserving them whole.

"The Major thought they would resolve to open them, but they said they
would not, and we might do what we liked. Hereupon the Major called
out: 'Proceed carpenters! hew the gates down!' Thereupon the carpenters
set to work. When the knocking and cracking began, it was well worth
seeing how the councillors, among whom was the Burghermaster, and the
frightened barber-Lieutenant, began to ran, as if carried off by the
devil. In a moment both gates were hewn down, and the whole detachment
marched with trumpets, drums, and fifes, into the city.

"As we marched in through the gates, the good barber-Lieutenant, and
the shoemaker-Ensign, with their men, presented arms, and saluted both
the officers of our detachment.

"Here we stopped, just as we were; everyone was hungry and thirsty. We
officers made the citizens fetch us something to drink, and stood
looking at and questioning one another. The snow was lying on the
ground, and our men began to be impatient. I went to the inn where the
Lieutenant-Colonel was in consultation with his officers; they were
deliberating, and I could not speak with them. The citizens were
already beginning to kindle their lights, and it did not appear how the
affair was to end.

"At last the Lieutenant-Colonel came and sent forthwith to the
councillors, who were already assembled in their council-room,
deliberating what report they should make to Meiningen concerning the
hewing down of their gates. But the president of the council had got
scent of it, so he kept apart, and left the others to themselves,
for all men could see that we could not go any further, as it was
night. Now as the president was away, no one would go to the
Lieutenant-Colonel, and each kept calling upon the other to go. At last
one consented, and said: 'Some one must go, let what will happen.' When
therefore he came to the Lieutenant-Colonel, it was represented to him
that the town must provide ns with accommodation for the night, whether
they liked or not. The Lieutenant-Colonel also added, that we should
march very early on the morrow; that the citizens were not bound to
give the smallest thing to the soldiers, who had to live on their pay;
therefore he need not deliberate any more about it. The councillor
begged to be excused, but said he could do nothing himself, he must lay
the matter before his colleagues, and see what they were disposed to

"Hereupon I marched forth again with the good councillor to the
Schlundhouse, where the other councillors were sitting. When I
entered the room with the plenipotentiary, he delivered the
Lieutenant-Colonel's message to them, in his own words: 'That the
Commander desired to have night-quarters for his men, and that on the
morrow at sunrise, they would again march; that he could not help the
citizens; they must do so whether they chose or not; if they would not
do it, they must tell Lieutenant Rauch; in which case, he would quarter
the soldiers in houses according to the custom with troops; they would
get what they wanted, for soldiers must live on their pay. No citizen
was bound to give them anything but a warm room and a place of rest.'

"Now every one shall hear what passed amongst these councillors. The
first who began, said: 'I do not assent to this. Who asked them to wait
so long here? they might long ere now have marched away, if they had
chosen.' Another said: 'You are right, cousin Kurtz; I would rather
tear myself in pieces than consent.' The third then said: 'So, ho!
first they hew down our gates, and then, forsooth, they cannot go
further, and expect us to give them quarters: most decidedly not!' The
fourth now spoke: 'The honourable Commander seems to be an honest man,
but let him say what he will, there is no doubt that we must provide
food for them, for truly they bring nothing with them.' The fifth then
began: 'That is right, cousin Hopf: do you not remember how it fared
with us when the Imperial cavalry came? they behaved in like manner;
and afterwards we could not get rid of them, but were obliged to keep
them with a good grace.' The sixth said: 'This will never do; we cannot
provide them with quarters till we have received orders from our
government, otherwise we shall be punished.' The seventh spoke thus:
'Did I not tell you, gentlemen, what would happen, by keeping these
people so long outside? Truly the President, Herr Läufer, has made off,
and slips his head out of the noose, leaving us to bear the brunt. Take
heed; they say they will be off to-morrow, but they have been marching
yesterday and to-day, and to-morrow they will make a day of rest, as
they will need repose. Rest assured that I am right; what think you,
gentlemen? suppose we were to send a messenger on horseback to

"I had listened to all the discussions of the councillors, and now I
began, and said: 'Gentlemen, you come to no conclusion; I will inform
my Commander of it, let it fare with you as it may.' But he who had
gone with me to the Lieutenant-Colonel, begged me to wait but a little,
and they would just send to the treasurer and city clerk to confer with
them. Here the strife began again, none would go thither. At last one
of them allowed himself to be persuaded, but soon returned again,
saying they had both ridden off when we hewed down the gates. Then I
said, 'Now, gentlemen, do what you like; I will not wait a moment

"Thereupon the eighth and last began to speak, he who had accompanied
me to the Lieutenant: 'Gentlemen, what shall we do; here they are, and
you have heard what the Commander says: if we will allot them no
quarters, he will let his soldiers go into whatsoever houses they
please; if they fill your houses it is no fault of mine. I go home to
close mine. As many as come to my share I will take; the others I will
show to your houses. You have heard of to-day's misfortunes. At
Smalkalden, friend Böhler's brother-in-law, Lieutenant Zimmermann, is
dead; our gates have been hewn down; below are the soldiers thundering
out curses. Gentlemen, let us billet them. The soldiers in the
market-place say they only wish they had shot the peasants who were
with the Lieutenant. What a calamity that would have been! They say
also that more shall be shot; that one shall not be the last. Thus you
see that the same misfortune might come upon us also. Ah! gentlemen, if
we had but such a prince as he of Gotha is! but ours troubles himself
not about us; he lives comfortably at Frankfort, and let what will come
to us, he cares not. And who knows wherefore this has begun? These
soldiers assuredly have not come for a pastime. One can learn nothing
from them. And how soon one night will pass, or even two! They are our
border neighbours too; why should we not give them a night's lodging?'

"They all agreed to this and sought for their old rate of tax;
whereupon I had to tell them the whole strength of our division.

"After that, I received an order to enjoin upon the soldiers, when they
received their billets, that they were not to undress themselves, but
were each of them to place his weapon by his bedside, and soon as a
call was heard, every soldier was instantly to join his commanding
officer fully armed, and if any one was found in a state of
drunkenness, he was to be punished by running the gauntlet of the whole
division; therefore an order was to be given directly to the assistant
executioner, to cut this very evening six hundred rods.

"None of the officers undressed themselves; for the most part they
remained in company together, in order to be alert on the morrow. When
morning approached, the citizens as well as the officers were listening
for the beating of the drum. They also had probably passed an unquiet
night; wherefore? because they were badly provided with beds, and had
given them up perhaps to the soldiers for a douceur. This one might
conclude, as in all the houses lights were to be seen throughout the
night. In the morning, instead of the call from the staff of the
grenadier guards, the reveille was beaten. Now, every soldier knows
well, that beating the reveille signifies remaining quiet, or a day of
rest; so we put our heads together to guess what this might mean. The
citizens, also, when they saw that the soldiers did not break up, and
prepare to march, laid their heads together likewise, and there was a
great amount of whispering among them. My host, himself a councillor,
came and asked me what was the meaning of our not marching further? I
could give him no information.

"Now the misery began; there was only food for him who had brought
bread. The citizens quarrelled with the soldiers, and asked why they
had not marched away yesterday or early to-day, and whither we had
intended to go? They told them the truth. It was such an uproar as is
impossible to describe. The poor citizens who possessed no goods or
houses, fled, and their dwellings were broken open by the soldiers, and
one excess was committed after another.

"Meanwhile, all the councillors and burgermasters were called to
Meiningen, where they were charged by their government, on pain of
punishment, to signify to the citizens that they were not to provide
anything for the Saxe Gotha soldiers. The bakers were not to bake, nor
the butchers to slaughter the beasts; the innkeepers were not to
prepare any food, nor the brewers to brew. This the councillors
actually proclaimed to the citizens. And truly I was not able to get
even three-pennyworth of cheese. The citizens who were prudent people,
begged of us not to take it amiss of them; as we must accept good words
instead of what they would have given us. If I wanted bread I had to
send to Smalkalden for it, and give more pay to the messenger than for
the bread.

"Thus we remained there, expecting the Meiningens, who never came.
Meanwhile we found provisions; we got most of them from Smalkalden; the
beer was bought in the Hessian village of Tambach, and the Jews brought
us meat. At last the Wasungers became disloyal, turned round on their
magistrates and said: 'We have all the troubles, and the other states
the enjoyment; this does not suit us; we have promised to obey our
government, but then they should protect us. If they cannot rid us of
these people, we will bake, brew, and cook.' And from that hour they
began to do all. For many years the citizens had not brewed nor sold so
much beer as after this; every week three and four brews; bakers began
to bake, who had long shut up shop; the butchers did the like. Then the
wise councillors went off again to Meiningen and reported everything;
whereupon the citizens were again cited to the town house, on a penalty
of twenty gulden. But they were refractory and would not go, but sent
thither their barefooted children, and heeded no more commands. When
these wise councillors found this, they themselves began to brew.

"On the 22nd of May, on Whit Monday, 1747, an order must probably have
come from Major S---- of which we officers learnt nothing. Hereupon
there was a running and scampering to the Privy Councillor Flörcke at
the 'Bear,' which was quite astounding; now they ran in and now out. I
thought: 'What the devil is the matter?' yet I thought, if something is
passing, I shall hear of it. The citizens also began to inquire:
'Wherefore is all this running to the commander at the "Bear?"' But I
could give no answer.

"Whilst all this running hither and thither was going on, I went with
Ensign Köhler to inspect the sentinels, and when we arrived at the
upper gate, Majors von S---- and von B---- and Captain von W---- met us.
Major von S---- came straight up to me and asked me secretly, whether I
had heard any news? I answered, No; whereupon he inquired of me,
whether I knew that the Meiningens meant to attack us that night? I
replied: 'Well and good; if they come they must knock pretty loud, we
will be ready for them.' He then said, would I wish to send my wife
away? 'No,' said I, 'she only came on holy Whitsun eve, and will not go
away till the day following Whit Sunday.' 'Indeed,' he continued; 'but
if the Meiningens come?' 'I shall gird a sword round her,' was my
answer, 'and she may defend herself.'

"Then Major S---- continued, saying, 'I was to make my dispositions
here, and see that all the gates and posts were defended.' This is
truly being deceived with one's eyes open; to make dispositions before
the eyes of men and not to keep them!

"When I came down I called out to the soldiers: 'Attention! cease that
chattering.' Then I began to arrange the right wing, but had hardly
placed four or five files, when Captain W---- came running, and asked
me, whether I had not heard that I was to come with him directly. Here
came out the first result of their council of war. I did not delay
long, but ran directly to the Major, and asked what commands he had to
give me; whereunto he answered, that I was to take thirty dragoons and
march them to the 'Bear,' and there report myself to the Privy
Councillor Flörcke, in order to bring him in safety to Schwallungen. I
forthwith replied: 'I beg your pardon, Major, but that is not befitting
me, and I shall not do it; there are other officers there who may be
ordered to do this, but not I.' Now, in short, I heard that the Privy
Councillor wished to have me. Who would have dreamt of such a trick? As
if I would have escorted the Privy Councillor from Wasungen! I would
sooner have taken him into the Werra. But no remonstrances would serve;
they said I must and should go. This was the first trick! Hereupon I
replied to the Major: 'So I must consider it an honour, that the Privy
Councillor places such confidence in me, when there are so many
officers in the division;' hereupon I received an order, to tell the
officer at the lower gate that he should give information as soon as I
had passed through with the Privy Councillor; this was the second
trick. Who could have imagined such a trick? I will not write what I
think of it. When I found it out I wished that all the horses of the
carriages had died, that I might not be taken away from Wasungen by
such cunning.

"Now I went forth, taking with me a corporal named Görnlein, and
nine-and-twenty dragoons, and marched to the 'Bear,' where I found a
carriage at the door, but saw the servant sitting within in the
doorway. I called to him to inform his master I was there; whereupon
the Privy Councillor called out to me from the carriage, 'I am already
here.' Whereupon, I detached the corporal with fourteen men to go
behind the carriage, while I went in advance with the others.

"Now when I came to the lower gate, I called to the serjeant, and bade
him tell the major that I and the privy councillor had passed out.
Meanwhile the soldiers were in great confusion at the rendezvous; but
when the corporal announced that I had passed out with the Privy
Councillor, the major immediately gave orders that all the soldiers
should pile their arms, and go to their quarters to fetch their
baggage; when they had dispersed, he sent to the guard to desire them
to go forthwith and assemble at his quarters, which was done. Thus all
the outposts were forgotten. At last the noise and bawling was so
great, it reached the ears of the outposts, who went off without
orders. Now when the soldiers from the guards came to the market-place,
they saw some of the soldiers coming back from their quarters with
their baggage, so they piled their arms and went off for theirs.

"But this was not enough. Either the time appeared to him too long
before the soldiers were again assembled, or the fear of death had
already come upon him, or he was incited to it by his comrades; but in
short, he determined at once to leave, and going down to the soldiers
he called out, 'Allons! March!' although the men had not nearly all
assembled. Then Captain Brandis, who had not consented to this at their
council of war, asked what this meant? whereto the Major von S----
answered, they were to march into the district of Britungen. The good
man who was standing in front of the Meiningen gate, then ran quickly
to his house, collected his things together, and threw them into his
portmanteau. He had well nigh been left behind.

"Now when Captain Brandis, and the musketeer who had packed up his
things, returned to the place of rendezvous, all were gone, and there
were only a few weapons remaining there. So he sent on his servant, and
waited for the remainder of the men. Now every one should know, in the
first place, that Major von S----, had not waited till all the soldiers
were collected together, still less had he thought of the artillery; he
had thought of nothing but calling out 'March! march!' and the sick
officers (Captain Rupert among them), and sick soldiers were forgotten;
besides this, he never set the troops in order, but marched them out as
a shepherd drives his cattle through the gate; and such a shameful
sight was never seen, nor can it be described.

"Captain Brandis now came marching through the town with the soldiers
he had collected; whereupon the citizens began to call out after him:
'There they run like vagabonds; they entered in the daylight and run
away at night, like thieves and rogues; the good Major von S---- is up
and away.' Captain Brandis swallowed all this patiently, and continued
marching slowly with his troops. When he had come to a height in front
of the town, some Wasungers, who were lying in ambush, fired at him;
and when he had marched a short distance further, he found our
artillery lying in a defile, without a single man to guard it, and it
lay now with the wheels, now with the wagons uppermost, and hardly a
piece was standing; for as there was a deficiency of chains, the
gunners had fastened the guns with tow to the powder wagons, and these
were breaking every moment. Captain Brandis with his men, remained with
the artillery.

"Now I had to make my arrangements carefully. When I arrived at
Schwallungen, I stopped my soldiers and the carriage, and went up to
the Privy Councillor to inquire where I should convey him; whereto he,
half dead with fear, answered, 'To the upper Inn.' Where the devil that
was I did not know, till I found a dragoon, who having been there
formerly, conducted us to the place; for I knew nothing about the
village, nor where the inn lay; it was dark as pitch, and rained as if
the water was poured from heaven in buckets. When I arrived at the inn
he had designated, I caused the gates to be opened, and the carriage to
drive into the court; the Privy Councillor alighted with his clerk who
accompanied him, and retired into an upper room, for he knew the place
better than I. I put a sentry on each side of the carriage, because the
chancery papers lay therein. I desired the rest of the soldiers to
place their arms in the house that they might be safe from the rain,
and placed a sentry to guard both the arms and the Privy Councillor. I
did not care any more about the said Privy Councillor, for I had,
according to the orders of Major von S----, brought him to a place of
security; where he would probably be about as safe as a cake among
rats, for it was a Meiningen village; and according to all accounts
there were no worse rogues in the whole country, than the inhabitants
of Schwallungen.

"Having therefore executed my orders, I sent my sergeant to Lieutenant
Griesheim, who was stationed with forty or fifty dragoons in the said
village, to inform him that I had brought the Privy Councillor hither,
and that he should come and release me from my charge. A short time
after, the Lieutenant made his appearance, and was much amazed that I,
being adjutant, should have come hither with a detachment, and could
not help remarking on it.

"I said, it appeared to me more serious. However, this was now nothing
to the purpose. I begged of him to set to work, and send for his
soldiers, that I might march back to Wasungen with my detachment;
whereupon he took the trouble of going himself for them. When he had
collected about fifteen men, I told him he must take charge of the
posts, as I wished at once to resume my march; the which he did, and so
released me. Now it was right to pay my respects to the Privy
Councillor, and ask him whether he had any commands for Wasungen?
whereupon the man addressed me as if I were a thrasher, and asked me
whether I had no orders to remain here? but I was prepared and answered
him with the most perfect indifference, 'No, the devil has given me no
orders to remain here; and it was no part of my duty to bring you
here.' That he said I might settle with Major von S----. Whereunto I
replied, 'I will most certainly do so.' After that he inquired of me
more kindly what I wished to do at Wasungen, as the whole division were
on the march, and would speedily be here. Then I said, 'Is that the way
the cards are shuffled? that is good, truly.' Now whilst I was still
standing in the room with the Privy Councillor, I heard the tramping of
horses; I rushed down stairs and asked who it was. I received for
answer, 'We are all here.' Then I was so horrified that I almost lost
my senses; there were the two majors, who forthwith dismounted,
hastened up stairs into the councillor's room, and I after them.

"Now they were beginning to relate to each other how fortunately they
had escaped from the besieged Wasungen, but I would not let Major von
S---- say a word, but asked him: 'Herr Major, what manner of conduct is
this, to send me so cunningly away from Wasungen, without telling me
that you were going to march out, and I have left there my wife and
child, and all my property? Is this the custom of war? I know not
whether you have received money for acting thus, or what I am to think
of it. Are these your secret projects which are brought to light
to-day? In the devil's name, I am not so young, nor have only become a
soldier to-day; perhaps I know as well or better than you, what is the
way to do things.' I was in such a rage, I would have staked my life
against him.

"Now my dear reader, you must observe, that up to this moment I had
neither seen nor heard a single man of the whole division, and did not
know how matters stood. Major von S---- tried to comfort me, saying I
need not be unhappy about my things; he would be surety for them; but I
answered him quickly: 'Herr Major, how can you answer for my things?
Why did you not tell me the truth instead of sending me out of Wasungen
by such deceit? that is not allowable.' Then the Privy Councillor would
have his say, and truly to this effect, that the Major was right in
sending me away; that was his opinion. But I replied: 'By ---- I
require no clerks to give me orders; if I were a commander, I would
tell those who were under me, what was going to take place, and what
they were to do; but to act in such a way as this, is not honourable.'

"Thereupon I left the room, and when I came to the guard in the court,
one Pleissner, a citizen of Gotha, a tinman, who had been at that time
on a visit at Wasungen, entered the court, and said to me of his own
accord; 'God help us, Herr Lieutenant, what a sight that was at
Wasungen! it filled me with sorrow and vexation when our people marched
out in that way, for I am a citizen of Gotha. When our soldiers marched
out through the lower gate, the militia of the country entered in
through the upper gate, and visited every house; and sent off to
Meiningen, Christian, Ensign of Captain Brandis's company, who had been
forgotten on guard, and was going to his quarters to fetch his baggage.
The devil is in the militia; they visited every house, and said they
would carry off all to Meiningen.'

"I will ask anyone to think what kind of temper I was in then; Captain
Ruprecht and many soldiers had been left ill at Wasungen; my wife and
child and my small chattels were also there; and now I heard that the
musketeer Huthmann had already been carried off to Meiningen, so
everything wore a black aspect. I asked the citizen where our soldiers
were? 'Ah,' said he, 'they lie without, all in troops under the trees,
and Captain Brandis is still at Wasungen; the field-pieces lie all on
the road upside down; they cannot get on, as they have no chains to
couple them together, but they have made use of the tow for that
purpose, which breaks every minute. I remained near them some time, but
the Wasungers began to fire at us from behind; it was the devil to pay,
and as it also rained heavily, I thought I would get under cover. Our
people are lying so dispersed about the roads, that it would take two
hours to collect them, and I saw no officer but Captain Brandis: the
soldiers were swearing enough to bring down heaven upon them; I was
frightened out of my wits and hastened away.'

"After hearing this I stood there, not knowing what to do; there was
not a man of the whole detachment to be heard or seen, and it rained
terribly. At last the old grenadier corporal came into the village with
about ten grenadiers, wading through the mud; I knew his voice from
afar, and his soldiers were swearing astoundingly; so I called out to
them, 'What is the use of swearing? it cannot be helped now.' 'Aye,
zounds,' said the corporal, 'I have gone through two campaigns, but
never had such a business as this. Is this to be allowed? There is our
captain lying ill at Wasungen, and our major, who ought to take charge
of us, is gone with Major S---- to the devil; we are poor forsaken
soldiers, but, the devil take me, I will march to Gotha with the few
men I have here.' I asked him where the other grenadiers were; but he
did not know whether they were in advance or behind. 'We have not an
officer,' he said, 'and no one took charge of us,' so each one went
where he chose. He did not know that the two majors were at the inn;
but if the old corporal was foul-mouthed, his grenadiers were still

"I had enough to do to mollify the grenadiers, and thus things went on;
every quarter or half-hour a small troop came in, and if the first had
made a clamour, the others were still worse; finally, the artillery
came, though it is usual, under whatever circumstances one may march,
to place the artillery either in front or in the middle, and guard them
as one would guard one's soul. It might plainly be seen that this
commander had never seen a corps or army marching with artillery, which
must, according to the usages of war, always be protected.

"The soldiery became more and more disorderly, and I had to admonish
them to be on their good behaviour before the peasants, who were
looking at and listening to us from their windows, and making their
jests upon us.

"At last, thank God, the rain ceased; a dragoon had led us to a meadow
which lay hard by the road, along which I stationed the right wing, and
taking command, told the force off into divisions and half-divisions.
Whilst I was doing this I heard some horses in the distance coming at a
great pace, so I thought, here comes the enemy; I forthwith called out
to the right wing to send out some men and challenge the new-comers; at
the same time I ran up to one of the grenadiers, and taking his musket
from his hand, as during the process of dividing the men I had given up
mine, I placed myself with some grenadiers in the middle of the road,
and called out, 'Who goes there?' I was answered by a well-known voice,
which I immediately recognized as that of Major von Benkendorf, as he
did mine likewise. When I challenged him, he called to me, 'Do you not
know me?' 'Yes, thank God!' I knew him by his voice, but could not do
so before he spoke, on account of the darkness. Thus did God send to
the children of Israel in the wilderness; here was the word fulfilled:
God forsakes none who trust in him always.

"The first words of the major were: 'Children, what are you doing
here?' I answered, Herr Major, God only knows, not I; we have been
brought away in such a fashion, that we hardly know how we have come
here.' He asked further: 'Did you all march?' 'Yes, there is no longer
any one there except the sick, and those they have taken prisoners.'
'_Oh, mon Dieu!_' exclaimed he, 'we must return thither, even were we
to sit down before the gates; where are your majors?' 'At the
Schwallungen inn.' Then he called out, 'Allons, children! march away;'
and galloped in all haste to the inn, where he may have found them at a
good bottle of wine, but what kind of greeting he gave them, or
compliments, I have not heard."

Thus far we have the valiant Rauch. In the farther part of his diary he
relates how the Gotha troops regained courage, returned to Wasungen and
there drove out the Meiningens, who were equally eager to run away, as
they had done, and again established themselves there.

Immediately after the first capture of Wasungen, the government at
Meiningen, in great consternation, had sent Frau von Gleichen with her
husband there in a carriage, attended by Gotha troops. But it was no
great pleasure to them to see that the cause of the quarrel was done
away with; so the poor court dignitaries met with a cold reception; the
health of both was broken by sorrow, vexation, and long imprisonment.
In 1748, Herr von Gleichen died, and his wife soon after. Meanwhile,
flying-sheets and memorials, mandates of the Imperial chamber, and
ministerial missives concerning this affair, flew all over Germany; the
Gotha troops kept possession of Wasungen. Anthony Ulrich obstinately
refused to acknowledge the claims of Gotha to indemnification, and the
voices of numerous princes were loud in condemning the sentence of the
Imperial chamber, and the execution of it by Gotha, as a violation of
the sovereign rights of a German ruler. Frederick the Great did so

Just then, when the Duke of Saxe-Gotha was in a desperate position, a
new prospect and a new subject of quarrel presented themselves to him.
The Duke of Weimar had died, and had settled that his cousin of Gotha
was to be guardian to his only son during his minority. The Duke of
Gotha speedily entered upon the guardianship, and caused homage to be
sworn to him: upon this, a violent altercation again sprang up between
him, and the Duke of Coburg and Anthony Ulrich, who both contested the
right of the Gotha prince to the guardianship. Then Frederick II. of
Prussia offered his services to the Duke of Gotha, who was reduced to
great extremities, on condition that he should obligingly offer him the
small gift of two hundred picked men from the guards of Weimar. This
was done; thus the Duke of Gotha purchased the administration of this
country, and the settlement of the Wasunger strife, with two hundred
men of the Weimar guards. Two hundred children of the soil of Weimar,
to whom the quarrel mattered not in the least, were arbitrarily given
away like a herd of sheep. Contrary to all justice, they were chaffered
away by a foreign prince.

The two hundred followed King Frederick in the seven Years' war.


This work ends with the name of the great king. The social condition of
the country in his time, although very different from the present, is
well known to us; and even minute particulars, have become, through its
history and literature, the common property of the people. Frederick
became the hero of the nation. The Germans have exalted him even more
than Gustavus Adolphus. He ruled the minds of men far beyond the
boundaries of his limited dominions. In the distant Alpine valleys,
among men speaking another tongue, and holding another faith, he was
reverenced as a saint both in pictures and writings. He was a powerful
ruler, a genial commander, and what was more valued by the Germans, a
great man in the highest of earthly positions. It was his personal
appearance and manners which made foreigners and even enemies admire
him. He inspired the people again with enthusiasm for German greatness,
zeal for the highest earthly interests, and sympathy in a German state.
In the course of three centuries, he was the third man round whom the
national love and veneration had entwined itself; the second to whom it
was granted to elevate and improve the character of the nation. For the
Germans became better, richer, and happier, when they were carried
beyond the narrow interests of their private life, and beyond their
petty literary quarrels, by the appearance of a great character
daringly aspiring to the highest objects, struggling, suffering,
persevering, and firm. He was of their own blood, and in spite of his
passion for what was French, he was a thorough child of Germany, reared
in a hard time, and belonging to them. Under him, the grandsons of
those citizens who had passed through the great war, began for the
first time after a century to feel their own powers. We delight to see,
how the poor poet sings the praises of him, who would so little
appreciate the odes of the German Sappho, or the outpouring of elevated
poetry; still more do we rejoice in seeing the whole people, even in
Austria, contending on his behalf, his image penetrating into every
family, and his name exciting everywhere party spirit, new interests,
and political passions. This has been the greatest blessing of his
whole life. He forced the private individual to take part in political
life; he created a state for the German, which whether loved or hated,
must become a continual object of care and watchfulness.

But though enthusiasm for a hero perhaps gives a capacity for the
development of powers, it does not give stability. The Germans had yet
to go through severe trials after the death of the great king. He had
bequeathed to them the first beginning of a German State, but the ruins
of the Empire of the middle ages lay defenceless against the western
enemy. The curse which since the time of Charles V. had rested on the
German Empire had not yet changed into a blessing. Once more was
Germany overrun by a great army, once more did a league of German
princes unite with a foreign conqueror, even the state of the great
Frederick was shattered, the last hope seemed to have vanished, the
German people were crushed.

But in the rooms of the German peasants, the picture of the old king,
in his three-cornered hat and small pigtail, did not turn his earnest
look in vain on the life he had revived; nor in vain had the mothers of
the present generation run to the churches to pray for a blessing on
his arms. Now it was that the full blessing of his energetic life truly
manifested itself. The spirit of that great man lived again in the
German people. Fifty years after the return of the king from the seven
years' war, three hundred years after Luther strove earnestly to find
his God, the German nation roused itself for the greatest struggle it
had ever yet successfully carried on. The fathers now sent out their
sons, and the wives their husbands to the war; the Germans encountered
death with a song on their lips, to seek a body for the German soul, a
state for the fatherland.

In the year 1813, we find the conclusion of that great struggle which
began in 1517. From the time of the contest of the Wittenburger
Augustine against indulgences, to the march of the German volunteers
against Napoleon, the German spirit carried on a great defensive war
against a foreign influence, which issuing from Rome well nigh
overwhelmed those who had once been the conquerors of the Roman Empire.

From this life-and-death struggle of three hundred years, Germany
passed from the bondage of the middle ages into freedom. But though the
spirit of the people became free, the reality of a German state was
lost to them. The nation was almost annihilated by this unnatural
condition. After a deathlike exhaustion it recovered itself slowly; the
resuscitated spirit was helpless, its form weak and sickly; it was
seeking unity of government. By a powerful development of strength, the
foundation of it was laid in the beginning of this century.

Henceforth German Protestantism became a living, sound, and manly
acquisition, a great national principle, the expression of the German
popular mind, the peculiar German characteristic in every domain of
ideal and practical life.

We all still feel how deficient and unfinished is the development of
this, the highest principle of life in the German nation. But it is
this feeling which gives us courage and leads us to struggle onwards.

What are here given from the old records are narratives of individuals
of past generations. They are some of them unimportant passages from
the lives of insignificant persons. But, as the outward appearance of
any stranger we meet, his mode of greeting, and his first words, give
us an impression of his individuality, an imperfect, an unfinished
impression, but still a whole; so, if we are not mistaken, does each
record, in which the impulses of individuals and their peculiar working
are portrayed, give us with rapid distinctness a vivid picture of the
life of the people; a very imperfect and unfinished picture, but yet,
also a whole, round which a large portion of our knowledge and
intuitive perceptions rapidly concentrate, like the radii round the
centre of a crystal.

If every such picture gives us an impression, that in the soul of each
man a miniature picture may be found of the characteristics of his
nation; something will be learnt from a succession of these narratives,
arranged according to their periods, however much there may be in them
that is incidental and arbitrary. We shall discover the stirring and
gradual development of a higher intellectual unity, which likewise
meets us here in the shape of a distinct individuality; and therefore,
these little sketches will perhaps help us to a more lively
comprehension, of what we call the life of a nation.

Everywhere man appears to us, by his customs and laws, by language and
the whole genial tendencies of his nature, as a small portion of a
greater whole. It is true also that this greater whole, appears to us
as an intellectual unity, which like an individual, is earthly and
perishable, a thing which accomplishes its earthly existence in a
century, as a man does his in a certain number of years. Like an
individual, a people developes its intellectual capacities in the
course of time, but more powerfully and on a grander scale. And
further, a people consists of millions of individuals the tide of human
life flows in millions of souls, but the conscious and unconscious
working together of these millions, produces an intellectual whole, in
which the share of individuals often vanishes from our eyes, so that
the soul of a whole people seems to us, a self-creative living unity.
Who was the man who created languages? who devised the most ancient law
of nations? who first thought of giving poetical expression to an
elevated tone of mind? It was not individuals who invented these for
practical purposes, but a universal intellectual life, which burst
forth among thousands who lived together. All the great productions of
national power, law, customs, and the constitution of states, are not
the work of individual men, but organic creations of a higher life,
which in every period shine forth in individuals, yet in all periods
seem to unite the intellectual capacities of individuals, in one mighty
whole. Each man bears and cultivates within his soul, part of the
intellect of the nation; each one possesses its language, a certain
amount of knowledge, and a sense of justice and propriety; but in each,
this general nationality is coloured, concentrated, and limited by his
individuality. Individuals do not represent the language or the moral
feelings of the whole; they only are, as it were, the single notes,
which joined together produce a harmonious chord as part of the
collective nation. One may therefore fairly, and without mysticism,
speak of a national soul.

And if one examines more narrowly, one perceives with astonishment,
that this law of development of a higher intellectual unity, differs
remarkably from that which binds or makes an individual free. A man
chooses freely for himself, between what will injure or be beneficial
to him and his interests; judiciously does he shape his life, and
prudently does he judge the conceptions which reach his soul from the
great world. But less conscious, less full of purpose and judgment than
the determination of man's will, is the working of the life of the
nation. In history, man represents freedom and judgment, but national
energy, works incessantly with the mysterious instinctive impulse of a
primitive power, and its intellectual conceptions correspond sometimes
in a remarkable way, with the process of formation of the silently
productive powers of nature, which bring forth from the seed, the
stalk, leaves, and flowers of the plant. From this point of view, the
life of a nation passes in unceasing alternations from the whole body
to the individual, and from the man to the whole body. The life of each
man, even the most insignificant, gives a portion of its substance to
the nation, and a portion of the collective powers of the nation lives
in each man; he transmits soul and body from one generation to another;
he adds to the language, and preserves the consciousness of right; all
the results of his labours are beneficial to the nation as well as to
himself. The course of life of millions runs smoothly and imperceptibly
along with the stream. But important personalities develop themselves
from the multitude in all directions, gaining a great influence on the
whole body. Sometimes a powerful character arises, which in some wide
field of action, long rules the spiritual life of the people, and
stamps the impress of its individual mind on the age. Then the life of
the whole nation, which also flows through our heads and hearts,
becomes as familiar to us as is possible for the soul of any individual
man; then the whole powers of the people seem for some years working
for the one individual, and obeying him as a master. These are the
great periods in the formation of a people. Such was Luther to the

But no nation develops its life independent of others. As the life of
one individual works on that of another, so does it happen with
nations. Each nation communicates some of its intellectuality to
another. Even the practical forms of national existence, its state and
its Church, are either advanced, or checked and destroyed by foreign
powers. Close is the union of the minds of the nations of Europe,
though manifold the contradiction of their interests. How constantly
does one nationality derive strength, or experience trouble and
disturbance from another! Sometimes the energetic development of some
particular national characteristic, exercises for centuries a
preponderating influence on another. Thus once did the Jews, the
Greeks, and the Romans. The German nation has experienced this foreign
influence, both for good and for evil. From the ancient world came the
holy faith of the Crucified One, to the wild sons of our forefather
Tuisco: at the same time this warlike race received countless
traditions from the Roman Empire, transforming their whole life.
Through the whole of the middle ages, the nation was earnestly
endeavouring to make these new acquisitions their own. Again, at the
end of this period, after a thousand years had passed, began a new
influence of the ancient world. From it came the ideal of the
Humanitarians, the forerunners of Luther, and the ideal of the German
poets, the forerunners of the war of freedom. On the other hand, from
the Romish world, came upon Germany, with the highest claims, the
pressure of the despotism of Gregory VII., and Innocent III., the
devotion of the restored Church, and the lust of conquest of France.
Then did Germany become depopulated, and the national life was
endangered; but the foreigners who had penetrated into it with such
overpowering force, aided its recovery. All that Italians, French, and
English had attained to in science and arts, was introduced into
Germany, and to these foreign acquisitions did German culture cling,
from the Thirty years' war up to the time of Lessing.

It is the task of science to investigate the productive life of
nations. To her the souls of nations are the highest fields of
investigation that man is capable of knowing. Searching out every
individuality, tracing every received impression, observing even the
broken splinters, uniting all discernible knowledge, more guessing at
truths and pointing out the way, than apprehending them, she seeks, as
her highest aim, to prove the intellectual unity of the whole human
race upon earth. Whilst pious faith with undoubting certainty places
before man the idea of a personal God, the man of science reverently
seeks to discover the Divine, in the great conceptions, which however
they may surpass the understanding of the individual, yet are all
attached to the life of the world. But however little he may consider
their importance, in comparison with that which is incomprehensible in
time and eternity, yet in his limited circle lies all the greatness
that we are capable of understanding, all the beautiful which we ever
enjoy, and all the good which has ennobled our life. But in those
spheres which we do not yet know, and are anxiously investigating,
there remains a boundless work. And this work is to seek the
development of the Divine power in history.


[Footnote 1: Even the great Imperial army that assembled before the
battle of Nördlingen, in 1634, was a combination of several armies;
that of Wallenstein, an Italian army, Spanish auxiliaries, and troops
of Maximilian of Bavaria, altogether perhaps sixty thousand men, they
only remained together a short time.]

[Footnote 2: This machine consisted of a number of short barrels,
which, bound in parallel rows, formed a nearly cubic mass, the front of
which showed from six to ten rows of as many mouths arranged in a
square. This system of barrels rested on a carriage, and was fired in
rows. Every single barrel was loaded with three or more balls, and
could be fired separately or together. Fronsperg boasts that after one
loading there could be a thousand shots from the hundred barrels of the

[Footnote 3: Wallhausen, 'Archiley Art of War,' 1617. For the
corresponding French system of this time, a good description is to be
found in the 'Etude sur le passé et l'avenir de l'artillerie par le
Prince Napoléon Louis Bonaparte.' T. I.]

[Footnote 4: In the battle of Breitenfeld the metal guns of Sweden were
overheated; there the leather cannon did their last great service
against the Croats.]

[Footnote 5: Thus generated the ingenious comparison of guns with birds
of prey; the thirty-six pounders were called eagles, the twenty-four
pounders falcons, twelve pounders vultures, six pounders hawks, three
pounders sparrowhawks, and the sixty-pound mortars owls.]

[Footnote 6: Yet he himself had a brigade which was called red.]

[Footnote 7: The lieutenants carried partisans, the non-commissioned
officers halberds.]

[Footnote 8: About 1600 one gulden of the coin of the Empire was equal
to forty silver groschen of our money; thus sixteen of these was equal
to forty-two of our thalers.]

[Footnote 9: Wallhausen 'On the Art of War.']

[Footnote 10: A name given to bands that went about pillaging the
fields, orchards, and gardens.]

[Footnote 11: Because they slide and skate.]

[Footnote 12: A mocking allusion to the mountainous country of

[Footnote 13: It was especially John the Baptist, who, according to the
third chapter of St. Luke, was the merciful protector of soldiers; but
at the beginning of the Reformation the difference between the Baptist
and Evangelist was little understood by Landsknechte, nor indeed by all

[Footnote 14: Bilwiz-kind, same as child of the devil. Bilwiz is an old
name for magician or hobgoblin.]

[Footnote 15: One is tempted to change this passage to an old
heathenish form: "Whoever falls by honourable weapons on the field of
battle, will be carried to Walhalla by the virgins of battle; those who
contend with the sorcery of the gods of death, Helja takes to herself."
We find the name of Black Kaspar for the devil even in the sixteenth

[Footnote 16: Königl. schwedischer Victorischlüssel a. a. O.]

[Footnote 17: Zimmermann, Goth. Msc. a. a. O.]

[Footnote 18: Grimmelshausen speaks of the art of rendering
invulnerable as credible, but as a thing long known. He was more
interested in the superstition which was prevalent in 1660--the art of
becoming invisible and of witchcraft. At the end of the century magic
rods were common, and familiar spirits powerful. Wunderbares Vogelnest.
ii. Th. Satyrischer Pilgram ii. Th.]

[Footnote 19: Müllenhof, Sagen. S. 231.--Femme, Pommesache Sagen. Nr.

[Footnote 20: Philander von Sittewald, "Gesicht von Soldatenleben."]

[Footnote 21: Grimmelshausen, "Seltsamer Springensfeld."]

[Footnote 22: _Dionys Klein. Kriegsinstitution_, 1598, 8. _S_. 288.]

[Footnote 23: Simplicissimus i. 3, 9, and Philander von Sittenwald,

[Footnote 24: Grimmelshausen, 'Springenfeld.']

[Footnote 25: Lump, German for ragamuffin.]

[Footnote 26: Philander von Sittewald, 'Soldatenleben.']

[Footnote 27: Moscherosoh und Grimmelshausen, a. v. O.]

[Footnote 28: At the beginning of the war it was customary for people
to conceal their treasures in the dung-heaps.]

[Footnote 29: The parish receiver, Johann Martin at Heldburg, writes,
for example, on the 13th September, 1640, on behalf of the helpless
pastor, and proposes his removal, because in this village there
remained only a widow and another woman, and he himself could not
obtain a groschen from the annual fees of his district, which formerly
amounted to some hundred thalers.]

[Footnote 30: This was the time in the Thirty years' war when the
German princes and dukes coined base money. When one prince had
obtained possession of the coinage of another he melted it, and made it
into new money by alloying it with copper and other metals.]

[Footnote 31: Bötzinger gives this account to his children.]

[Footnote 32: In a sheet of this kind, entitled, 'A Noteworthy
Hungarian and the Netherlands New Newspaper,' 1599, has already the
form and contents of a modern newspaper. It contains a short
correspondence with different cities, in the form of eleven letters;
amongst them reports of four vessels which had come to Amsterdam with
spices, and of a new toll which the court at Brussels had levied on
merchants' goods, of ten stivers on each pound of silk.]

[Footnote 33: The sources of the following description were taken from
the flying-sheets and brochures, first of the year 1620-24, and also
from the later writings of the sixteenth century upon coinage, a rich

[Footnote 34: The new money was almost pure copper boiled and blanched;
this lasted a week, and then it became glowing red. The bottles,
kettles, pipes, gutters, and whatever else was of copper, were taken
away to the mint, and made into money. An honest man could not venture
to lodge any one, as he could not but fear that his guest might wrench
away his copper in the night, and carry it off. Wherever there was an
old copper font in a church, it was taken to the mint; its sanctity did
not save it; those sold it who had been baptized in it. Müller,
'Chronika von Sangerhausen.']

[Footnote 35: A batz was four kreuzer.]

[Footnote 36: In the decrees of the Diet the words do not occur before
the Thirty years' war; they appear to be new in 1621.]

[Footnote 37: In 1770 the population was only 2126; but in 1845 it had
increased again to 4500.]

[Footnote 38: The Emperor was sovereign of Silesia, as King of

[Footnote 39: The bunch of keys in the middle ages was not only an
important symbol of right, but also the popular weapon of women.]

[Footnote 40: We have to thank Professor Brückner of Meiningen, for the
communication of the following summary: it is printed in 'Memorials of
Franconian and Thuringian History and Statistics,' 1852.

In nineteen villages of the former domain of Henneberg there were in
the years--
                                    1634       1649         1849

                  Families          1773        316         1916
                  Houses            1717        627         1558
  In 17 villages--Cattle            1402        244         1994
     13    "      Horses             485         73          107
     12    "      Sheep             4616         --         4596
      4    "      Goats              158         26          286]

[Footnote 41: Brazier here means tinker and scythe-sharpener. The
oldest accounts of them are in a free paraphrase of the 1st Book of
Moses, in rude verses, which were at all events written before 1122;
printed in 'Hoffmann's Fundgrubben,' 2. There they are represented as
foreign Jew traders. These remarkable verses are as follows:--

     "From Ishmael come the Ishmaelitish people;
      They go peddling throughout the wide world;
      We call them braziers.
      Oh! what a life and habits are theirs!
      On all they have for sale
      There is a blot, and it is unsound.
      If he, the brazier, buys anything,
      Good or bad, one must give him somewhat over;
      And if he sells his wares
      He never replaces the damaged ones.
      They have neither house nor home--
      Every place is alike to them;
      They rove through the country,
      And cheat the people with their tricks:
      Thus they deceive mankind.
      They rob, but not openly."]

[Footnote 42: Here, and further on, he gives the fixed characters of
the old Italian comedy.]

[Footnote 43: Some tedious passages are shortened, and it is necessary
in one place to soften the angry expressions for the reader of this

[Footnote 44: They did not fail to make an engraving of the mysterious
doves, which appeared shortly after with an interpretation.]

[Footnote 45: A copper coin in the south of Germany.]

[Footnote 46: A Swiss farthing.]

[Footnote 47: The Diet was then held at Baden, because the foreign
diplomatist could best be entertained there.]

[Footnote 48: It was particularly offensive to them, as an elder sister
of Anton Ulrich's wife had just married the master of the Ducal Chapel,
Schurmann, at Meiningen.]

                                THE END.


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