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Title: History of the Life of Gustavus Adolphus II., the Hero-General of the Reformation
Author: Monroe, Harriet Earhart
Language: English
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                             HISTORY OF THE
                     LIFE OF GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS II.

                          THE HERO-GENERAL OF
                            THE REFORMATION.

                       BY HARRIET EARHART MONROE,



                          COPYRIGHT, 1910, BY


In giving this sketch of the life of Gustavus Adolphus, no attempt has
been made to present a complete life of the great king.

It is a history difficult for young people to understand, and for that
reason only the leading events of a most eventful life have been

It was first written for a lecture and entertainment, after the manner
of my other entertainments on Church epochs, to be illustrated by
stereopticon views, with three dramatic interludes—the first
representing the joy of the Swedish people on Gustavus coming to the
throne; the second showing Gustavus taking leave of his Parliament and
friends as he is about to embark on the Thirty Years' War; the third, an
act called "The Women who Loved Him." The evening was to open and close
with church processionals in the native peasant costumes of Sweden and
other Protestant countries of Europe.

It has been deemed best to present the story in book form, which will
differ somewhat from the original lecture and dramatic representations,
for the reason that pictures do away with the necessity for many words.

With the earnest prayer that this history may stir other heroic souls to
stand for God in life's difficult places this sketch is submitted.

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS.


                              CHAPTER I.

             Family of Gustavus Vasa                     7

                              CHAPTER II.

             Childhood and Youth of Gustavus Adolphus   12

                             CHAPTER III.

             Gustavus as a Man                          17

                              CHAPTER IV.

             Gustavus and His Kingdom                   21

                              CHAPTER V.

             The Character of the King and His Times    28

                              CHAPTER VI.

             The Thirty Years' War                      36

                             CHAPTER VII.

             The Thirty Years' War—Continued            44

                             CHAPTER VIII.

             Conditions in Sweden                       53

                              CHAPTER IX.

             Gustavus in Germany                        61

                              CHAPTER X.

             Gustavus in Germany—Continued              84

                              CHAPTER XI.

             Gustavus in Germany—Concluded              98

                             CHAPTER XII.

             End of a Valuable Life                    115

                             CHAPTER XIII.

             Later History of the Thirty Years' War    132

                         GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS II.

                               CHAPTER I.

Gustavus Adolphus, the hero general of the Reformation, was born at the
royal palace at Stockholm, Sweden, December 9th, 1594, a little more
than one hundred years after the birth of Luther, nearly fifty years
after his death, and five years before the birth of Cromwell.

Washington and Lincoln, as to date of birth, were only seventy-seven
years apart; had Washington lived but nine years more, they would have
been contemporary.

Washington may, in a sense, be said to have made this country, and
Lincoln to have preserved it a united people. Just so Luther brought
about the movement known as Protestantism, but it was given to this
great king of Sweden, known as the Lion of the North, to preserve
Protestantism from extinction on the continent of Europe, even as a
little later it was given Cromwell to stop that curious movement toward
Romanism which is even yet the puzzle of the historian.

Gustavus II. was the son of Charles, Duke of Sudermania, youngest son of
Gustavus Vasa, who may be considered the founder of the Vasa family.

During the entire sixteenth century Sweden was torn by external wars and
internal dissensions. Sweden, by the contract of Calmar, in 1397, had
become a dependency of Denmark. A trade among rulers had made a brave
people the reluctant subjects of an alien power. Gustavus Vasa conceived
the project of freeing his country from Denmark. He made one ineffectual
attempt, and after severe defeat, pursued by the oppressors, he fled to
Delecarlia, whose citizens rallied about him, and, with the help of
these sturdy and valiant mountaineers, the Danes were expelled from
Sweden and his country was restored to liberty.

His grateful countrymen elected him king. Gustavus Vasa saw the moral
degradation of his land, and brought disciples of Luther to the country
to instruct in both religious and secular learning. Among the most
distinguished of these was Olaüs Petri. Of course, the hierarchy of Rome
and priests of Sweden made great opposition to any change.

Gustavus Vasa reduced the gospel to this simple message, which a child
could understand, viz.: "To serve God according to His law; to love God
above all; to believe in Jesus Christ as our only Saviour; to study and
to teach earnestly the word of God; to love our neighbor as ourselves;
to observe the ten commandments." He distinctly said that the Scriptures
speak neither of tapers, nor palms, nor of masses for the dead, nor of
the worship of saints, but that the Word of God, in many places,
prohibited these things. He added, "The sacrament of the Lord's Supper
has been given to us as a token of the forgiveness of sin, and not to be
carried around in a gold or silver frame to cemeteries and other

Now, was not that a clear statement for a youth brought up a Catholic,
whose thought heretofore had seemed only of war?

As in England, politics had a hand in expelling the old form of religion
and bringing in the new, so it had an influence in Sweden.

Geijer, the great church historian of Sweden, says that the Roman Church
at that time possessed two-thirds of the soil, and that the wickedness
of the church was as great as its possessions. Like Henry VIII. of
England, Gustavus Vasa needed the lands to enrich the crown and to
secure the friendship of the nobles. He deeply hated priests because
they were unionists, that is, they desired to keep the three
Scandinavian countries under one crown, which would have left Gustavus

When dying, this great king wrote as his last message: "Rather die a
hundred times than abandon the gospel." He pointed the way to glory for
Sweden for generations yet unborn.

Eric, the son and successor of Gustavus I., seems to have inherited the
barbarous nature of some far-back ancestor. He indulged in dangerous and
murderous folly. He proposed at the same time for the hand of Elizabeth,
Queen of England, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, Princess Renee, of
Loraine, and Christina, of Hessen, and after all that, married a peasant

At last he was declared incapable and was imprisoned. This shortened his
life. His children were excluded by law from the succession, and his
brother John ascended the throne.

John had married Catherine Jagellon, daughter of Sigismund, king of
Poland. She influenced her husband to admit the Jesuits to Sweden, and
he made an effort to restore the Romish Church.

When the Swedes were converted to the Protestant faith it seems to have
been a deep work of grace. They did not fluctuate in their faith. So now
they withdrew their love and friendship from their king, whom they
considered false to the faith he had promised to sustain.

At the death of John the states determined that their rights should not
be invaded, so they forced from his son, Sigismund, a decree prohibiting
any religion in Sweden except the Lutheran. Sigismund (who had become a
Catholic to secure the throne of Poland) signed this decree with great
bitterness of heart.

In spite of this decree, which he had evidently signed with mental
reservations, he ordered a Catholic church to be built in each town in
his kingdom. He further enraged his subjects by refusing to be crowned
by a Protestant prelate, and accepted coronation at the hands of the
Pope's nuncio. He surrounded himself by the nobles of Poland and the
priests of Rome. These foreigners could scarcely appear on the streets
without causing quarrels and bloody encounters.

In the midst of these disturbances he was recalled to Poland, of which
he was also king, his father having secured his election by bribery, and
he left Sweden never to return as a welcome king.

Duke Charles, youngest son of Gustavus Vasa, and uncle to Sigismund, was
the only son of Gustavus Vasa who showed himself worthy of the noble
inheritance to which he had been born. The troubles of the time, the
dangers to Protestantism, caused him to listen to the loud call of the
Estates to act as regent, or ruling king to this much distressed land.

The Augsburg Confession was again proclaimed, and all the Swedes present
cried: "Our persons and our property, and all that we have in this world
will be sacrificed, if it is necessary, rather than abandon the gospel."
Diet after Diet approved of the administration of Duke Charles.

Four years after the departure of Sigismund he returned with five
thousand troops of Poland to reclaim his crown. He was defeated, but the
Swedes agreed to take him (because by heredity he had a just claim to
the crown) as king if he would send away his foreign troops and properly
administer the Lutheran form of religion.

But in a year he proved so unfaithful that he was deposed and sent back
to Poland. His claim to the throne led to long-continued hostility
between Poland and Sweden. On account of the claim of the Swedish Vasas
and the Polish Vasas, brave men were to die, homes were to be desolated,
and both lands were to have weeping widows and fatherless children for
half a century.

In 1604 Charles was crowned king, the crown entailed to the eldest son,
being Protestant, under a law that declared that any ruler who deviated
from the Augsburg Confession should by that act lose his crown.

The heirs of Sigismund were by law forever excluded from the throne, and
it was decreed that the king should forever make his home in Sweden.

                              CHAPTER II.

During the stormy scenes described in the preceding chapter, Gustavus
Adolphus was born. He was baptized on the 1st of January, 1595.

The child was brought up in an atmosphere of war. His father told him
the story of Sweden's wars and of his own campaigns, to which the boy
listened with enrapt attention.

In 1595 the Diet had closed the throne to every Catholic candidate.
Charles IX., as the king was now called, was generous enough to assure
the Estates that if any son of Sigismund should become a Protestant he
should inherit the throne. He also made this reservation in his will,
showing that he had the conscience of a Christian who desires to do
justice, while Sigismund, as king of Poland, never failed to act on the
principle that the end justifies the means.

The Finns, urged to rebellion by the king of Poland, proved to be
troublesome subjects to King Charles. They submitted to his rule only
after a bloody contest. The king took Gustavus, who was barely seven
years old, with him on an expedition against the Finns. The ship became
icebound and had to be abandoned. The child and his father continued
their way on foot in the midst of the severities of a Russian winter.
The exposure seems to have done them no harm.

On one occasion his father took him to visit the fleet at Calmar, and on
being asked by an officer which vessel he preferred, he answered, "The
'Black Knight,' because it has the most guns."

The generosity for which he was so noted in later years began to show
itself in his childhood. A peasant had brought him a handsome little
pony from the island of Oeland. The good man said, "I want you to accept
the pony as a gift; as a sign of my love and devotion to you." The young
prince replied, "I am glad to have the horse, but I will pay you for it,
as the gift would exceed your resources." The child gave the man all the
money in his purse. The peasant was amazed at the amount of the money
and at the child's great liberality.

His father, foreseeing that Gustavus would need to command people of
different nationalities, saw that he had instruction in many languages,
so that at the age of seventeen he spoke fluently the Swedish, Latin,
German, Dutch, French and Italian languages, and could make himself
understood in Russian and Polish. He afterward became proficient in

Special attention was given to the development of a symmetrical
character, and everything possible was done to make him love the
Lutheran faith.

The tendencies of both father and son are well illustrated by a letter,
still extant, from King Charles to his son, as his farewell advice:
"Above all fear God, honor thy father and mother, show for thy brothers
and sisters a deep attachment; love the faithful servants of thy father
and reward each one according to his merits. Be humane towards thy
subjects, punish the wicked, love the good; trust everybody, though not
unreservedly; observe the law without respect to person; injure no one's
well-acquired privileges, if they are consistent with the law."

Character molded on such principles as these would certainly touch the

The mother of Gustavus Adolphus was a German princess of superior
education for the times. A haughty queen, a strict disciplinarian,
thereby developing in her son a quick and ready obedience to the laws of
the family. Who would command must first learn to obey.

She much preferred her second son, Charles Philip, and, had Gustavus
been less generous, or less noble, an unnatural jealousy might have
divided the brothers, but the young Duke of Finland, as Gustavus was
called, acted as though he thought his mother could do no wrong.

Gustavus had three teachers, each of whom left a strong impression upon
his character—John Skytte, a man who had spent ten years in travel, Von
Mörner, an accomplished, traveled man, and Count de la Gardie, a Swedish
noble of a French family, who instructed Gustavus in fencing and in
military tactics.

Gustavus had an attractive personality and won the abiding affection of
his cousin, Duke John, the only one of Sigismund's sons who took the
Swedish side of the religious and family quarrel. Duke John married the
only sister of Gustavus, Mary Elizabeth, and proved a brother, indeed,
after the death of King Charles. For the choice was left to the people
and to the Estates as to whether they preferred John or Gustavus. At the
sincere urgency of Duke John the young Duke of Finland, Gustavus, was

King Charles IX. began early to train his son in public affairs. When
Gustavus was only ten years old his father kept him at his side at all
cabinet meetings and in great public assemblies. He encouraged him to
talk to officers from foreign countries in their own language. The king
permitted him to ask questions on war, special battles and methods of
governing, and the father was proud of the eager, precocious child, in
whom he recognized a mental and spiritual power far beyond his own.

At the age of fourteen he was sent, with his mother, through northern
Sweden, in order that he might become acquainted with the people of his
own country. The king said, "You are only a boy, but listen to everyone
who solicits your protection, help everyone according to your means, and
dismiss no one without a word of comfort."

The gracious boy made many friends in this early journey, men who
afterwards gladly gave life itself to forward his interests.

At the age of fifteen he was greatly disappointed because he was not
permitted to lead an army against the Russians, but for once his father
required him to remain at home to learn affairs concerning the internal
and external policy of the Swedish government. But in 1611, at the age
of seventeen, when Denmark had declared war against Sweden, he was
permitted to command a body of troops. He was sent to deliver the town
of Calmar which was besieged by the Danes. He was afterward joined by
troops under Duke John and the king himself. On August 16th, 1611, the
town and castle were surrendered by a commander who proved to be a
renegade Swede whom King Charles had offended.

The king left the war in order to return to Stockholm to preside at the
Diet. On his journey he was taken violently ill. When it was plain he
could not recover Gustavus was sent for. The king gave the sorrowing boy
his parting blessing, then laying his hand on the bowed young head, he
said, in a voice full of conviction, "Ille faciet"—"This one will do

                              CHAPTER III.
                           GUSTAVUS AS A MAN.

Gustavus, the Grand Duke of Finland and Duke of Estland, as he was now
called, did not at once assume the throne. The kingdom was for two
months without a ruler.

The Diet was convened at Nyköping by the queen and by Duke John, who,
with six lords of the Council, had administered the affairs of the
government. On December 17th, 1611, the queen and Duke John, who was
five years the elder, renounced before each of the assembled Estates all
right and title to the throne of Sweden, and, although the age of
twenty-four was considered the legal majority, Gustavus, though only
eighteen, was declared of legal age, and the reigns of government were
placed in his young hands.

He took the title of his father: "Elected king and hereditary Prince of
the Swedes, Goths and Vandals." He chose for his chancellor, or
Secretary of State, the wisest man of his realm, Axel Oxenstiern, only
ten years older than himself.

Sweden had seen little of peace for fifty years. From the days of
Gustavus I. endless war had prevailed. In the civil strife between rival
branches of the same house, two kings had been overthrown. Gustavus
inherited a blood-sprinkled throne, and, could he have foreseen it, was
to be in almost perpetual warfare during his entire life.

To him came early the great passion which has made bad people good, and
quite as often made good people bad. From early boyhood he had loved a
girl, who became a handsome court lady, called Ebba Brahe. Her family
were of the nobility, though not royal. It was from early youth his
purpose to share his throne with the woman of his choice.

At Skokloster, Sweden, is preserved a fragment of their correspondence,
including some most ardent letters from the young king. When he could
not write to her, he sent the "forget-me-not" flower, which the girlish
heart interpreted aright. He exhibited the symptoms of other lovers in
writing sonnets to her, and at all times in seeking her society.

But his mother, Queen Christina, was a politician, and steadily set
before him that it was his duty to strengthen his kingdom by marrying
into a royal family which would become his friend in peace and his ally
in war. On one occasion, when he was about leaving on a military
campaign, the queen mother forced from him the promise that he would not
write to Lady Ebba for two years. To this he agreed on the condition
that, at the end of two years, all objection to their marriage would be

He had scarcely reached the seat of war until the old queen forced Ebba
Brahe into a marriage with James de la Gardia, a polished noble
gentleman, but not the choice of her young heart.

All through his life the heart of Gustavus turned with unutterable
longing to the love of his youth. This is shown in several letters to
his friend, Chancellor Oxenstiern.

We would like to believe that, at least up to his marriage, he remained
the ideal lover, but truth compels us to say that he had a natural son,
Gustav Gustavson, born in 1616, to a Dutch lady.

That was an age in which morality along sexual lines was unusual among
royal men, but this one instance of immorality is the single instance
that even the worst enemy of Gustavus can bring against his good name.

On November 28th, 1620, in the great palace of Stockholm, Gustavus was
married to Eleanor Marie of Brandenburg. The marriage was one of great
pomp, and Gustavus recognized his duty to the state by marrying into a
strong Protestant royal family, and he also recognized his duty as a
Christian to be a true husband and a good man.

The young queen brought a large dower which greatly assisted the war
fund, but the marriage precipitated another war with Poland.

The marriage was a fairly happy one, as royal marriages go, but the
happiness of the family was clouded by a dead child being the first born
of the union. This great affliction Gustavus seems to have borne with a
truly Christian spirit. The following year a similar event occurred, so
that the royal family feared for the succession. At last, in 1632, after
being married twelve years, he was permitted to hold a living child in
his arms.

As he lavished upon her his paternal caresses, he said, "God be praised!
I hope this daughter may be as good to me as a son. May God who has
given her preserve her to me."

The life of this princess, whose history will be given later, proved
that what we pray too earnestly for, almost as it were forcing the hand
of God, may be given in answer to persistent requests, but the gift is
to our undoing. Like Hezekiah's prolonged life, the boon was given in
answer to prayer. Hezekiah's continued life proved to be full of
anguish, and Manasseh, one of the curses of Judah, was born to him. If
only we could pray: "O Lord, withhold, if not for my permanent good and
Thy ultimate glory."

No woman ever dishonored her parentage more than this daughter, known in
history as Queen Christina of Sweden.

This short history is to deal so much with the history of Gustavus
Adolphus, the hero general of the Reformation, that we have condensed,
for the most part, the history of his loves and domestic life into this
one chapter. Before leaving the subject, we would remind you that Queen
Eleanor Marie always acted as regent when Gustavus was absent on his
campaigns. She seems to have ruled wisely. After the death of Gustavus
she generously sent a portrait of the man they both loved so much to
Lady de la Gardia.



  Daughter of Gustavus Adolphus II.

                              CHAPTER IV.
                       GUSTAVUS AND HIS KINGDOM.

We have now these two young men, Gustavus Adolphus and Axel Oxenstiern,
his chancellor, sitting down to play the game of war against all the
powers of northern Europe. The stake was the national existence of

Buckle thinks that, given the time, the man may be predicated. But the
times did not produce Jesus Christ. Nero was the natural product of that
period. Gustavus Adolphus, like Luther, was a special soul sent of God
to be the incarnation of spiritual force against the evil and awful
indifference of a corrupt age.

First, he enlarged the place of his generous cousin, Duke John, who
doubtless had foreseen the great period of war before them, and gladly
had placed the responsibility in the abler hands of Gustavus.

Then the young king pursued the war with Denmark until the King of
Denmark renounced his claim to the Swedish crown. It took him two years
to secure this concession. During these two years he enlarged the rights
of his people, stirred the patriotism of the peasantry, won the
affections of the nobility of Sweden, and unified his people into a
strong nationality. When Gustavus Vasa introduced the doctrines of the
Reformation into Sweden the inhabitants were a rude people, but fifty
years of instruction on the part of the clergy and independent thinking
on the part of the people had greatly changed this state of affairs.

The revival of learning and the Reformation which caused an active study
of theology and literature, had greatly pushed forward the intellectual
standing of Germany. Lutheranism has always been a scholarly faith; it
was born in universities, and never took on the severities or
iconoclasms of Calvinism.

Sweden now kept all that was brilliant, attractive and energizing in the
ideas of the Reformation, and gave to the Lutheran faith a new impetus,
so that in the time of Gustavus Adolphus the aristocracy of Sweden were
among the most cultivated people of all Europe.

As in Scotland the Reformation changed the very nature of the entire
nation, so now it did the same for Sweden, with this difference, that
the Scots followed the doctrines of Calvin, which stripped religion of
its æstheticism and made it severe and to some degree forbidding, while
the Lutheranism of the Swedes beautified their lives, stirred their
æsthetic taste and improved their intellects, so that from that day to
this Sweden has been regarded as a scholarly country, and has produced
its fair share of literary and scientific men and women, beside many
great inventors, and artists of world-wide renown.

The personality of Gustavus had much to do with his success. He had a
fine physique. In his youth he was of slender figure, pale, fair
complexioned, long-shaped face, fair hair, with a touch of red in it,
and a tawny, pointed beard. Every inch of his fine, tall body was
trained by the judicious use of athletics and out-door exercise. He
radiated health, which of itself made him magnetic.

His tinge of red showed the impetuosity of his nature, which often had
to be restrained by the great Chancellor Oxenstiern. "If my heat did not
put a little life into your coldness we should all freeze up," said the
king on one occasion. The chancellor replied, "If my coldness did not
assuage your majesty's heat, we should all burn up," whereat the king
laughed and acknowledged that his temper was rather quick and his
patience less than he would like.

No sketch of the great king and of his success would be complete without
understanding his two chief advisers. Queen Elizabeth once heard that a
courtier had said, "It is not the queen who is great, but her
counsellors." The queen replied, "Well, who made them counsellors?"
Gustavus had the quality of appreciating greatness in others, of
supplementing his own talents with theirs, and of not being jealous.

Axel Oxenstiern was born at Fano, in Upland, June 16th, 1583. His family
traced their lineage back to the thirteenth century, and had
intermarried with both the Danish and Swedish royal families. His father
died in 1597, and he was sent by his judicious mother to a German
university. This gave him Swedish and German as colloquial tongues, and
he became so proficient in Latin that he could use it equally well with

Latin had for many centuries been the language of the learned, in which
people of different lands could converse intelligibly. The people of
Europe needed no Esperanto while they were proficient in Latin.

Oxenstiern studied theology as thoroughly as if he expected to enter the
ministry. Religion was the absorbing thought of good people during the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He was recalled to Sweden by
Charles IX., who recognized his great ability, and sent him on several
diplomatic missions. At the age of twenty-six he was made house guardian
of the royal children, and the head of the regency, which, in case of
the king's death, might cause him to be called to govern the realm
during the minority of the heir-apparent.

Among the first acts of the young king was to appoint Oxenstiern
chancellor. From this time during the entire life of the king, this
great man became one of the chief factors in ruling Sweden. He was a
true friend, never failing to restrain or reprove the impetuous,
strong-minded, strong-natured boy-king. Oxenstiern was a man of action,
and was as little given to "lying around among the shavings" as Gustavus

But the king had another counsellor of a totally different type, and
that was John Skytte, a fine scholar and a great traveler, who had acted
first as the tutor of Gustavus; and later became a counsellor. The king
made him a senator, and in 1629 made him governor-general of Livonia.

It is very amusing to read some of the letters which passed between the
governor and his king at this time. The governor apologizes for certain
things not being accomplished, Gustavus calls him a man of theories, and
declares, "I expect results and not explanations."

Returning now to the direct history of Gustavus Adolphus, in July, 1621,
Sigismund having denied even the title of king to Gustavus, and having
sent strenuous threats of punishment to the Elector of Brandenburg for
permitting his sister to marry him, Gustavus sailed from Elfsnabb Harbor
with one hundred and fifty sail, manned by fourteen thousand soldiers,
for the purpose of conquering Livonia. At Pernau he was joined by
General de la Gardia with five thousand Finns.

In August, Riga was surrounded, and on September 15th, it surrendered to
the Swedish forces. In October, Mittau, the capital of Courtland, was
entered, and the season being too far advanced, the army went into
winter quarters. After an eight years' bloody campaign Gustavus, with
his brave army and his experienced generals, conquered Sigismund, the
unrelenting enemy of the Swedish Vasas.

The war between the two branches of the house of Vasa extends from 1600
to 1660. Gustavus felt that in his war with Poland, from 1621 to 1629,
he was not fighting for his crown alone, but that he was facing the
great struggle of Protestantism against the Catholic reaction. This war
really should be regarded as part of the Thirty Years' War.

Queen Eleanor, as the wife of Gustavus was now called, suffered much
during this war, for she felt that Sigismund's attitude to the Elector
of Brandenburg for permitting her marriage to her greatly-beloved
husband had much to do with the awful sorrows of the time. The queen
went several times to see the king while he was absent, always carrying
with her money, food and reinforcements. On one occasion she came
suddenly upon him, clasping him in her arms, exclaiming: "Now, Gustavus
the Great, thou art my prisoner."

Gustavus took pains to assure her that the war was now far beyond the
question of their marriage, or even his title to the throne. He made
plain to her that Sigismund, a Roman Catholic prince, who had the Pope
for master, the Hapsburgs for allies, the Jesuits for advisers, should
not and could not be permitted, even though it cost much in blood and
money, to set up any claim to the throne of a Lutheran country.

In our own land it was the small Indian wars which trained our ancestors
to be the nation of warriors who successfully fought England in the
Revolution. So Gustavus Adolphus, his great generals and his brave
troops, had training in small wars for that part of the Thirty Years'
War which was to make him the most prominent figure of his century.

Besides the wars with Denmark and with Poland, he also had a short
campaign (in which he took several Prussian towns) with Brandenburg, the
vassal and ally of Poland, although, like Sweden, a Lutheran country, so
he had really the practical experience of three wars before entering
that which gives him and his country their place in history.

The life of Gustavus was now even more precious to his subjects than at
his coronation, because his brother, Duke Charles Philip, had died
childless, January 25th, 1622.

He was a youth of great promise and of lovely spirit. On one occasion,
when he was ill, he wrote home: "My brother is so attentive and takes so
much pains to entertain me that I almost forget my 'illness.'" The death
of this prince was a severe stroke to the Dowager Queen Christina, who
had always loved him more than she had loved her gifted elder son.

                               CHAPTER V.

Under the stress of war, trial and great exposure of his life, the piety
of Gustavus Adolphus became more marked. On his long campaigns he read
and studied the Bible. He said: "I seek to fortify myself by meditations
upon the Holy Scriptures." No one ever studied God's word, that is able
to make us wise unto salvation, without also gaining worldly wisdom, and
perceptibly increasing in moral beauty of character.

He regarded his high position as a great trust, given to him by his God.
He was not actuated by a love of conquest, but felt that the defence of
his throne and of his country also meant the protection of the
Protestant faith. He waged war to bring about peace.

He repressed all acts of vengeance among his soldiers, he tolerated no
licentiousness, and upheld religion and good morals in the camps of his
army. Divine service was held morning and evening, at which time the
king and the whole army knelt before God, asking His blessing and

He was a strict disciplinarian, but banished the bastinado, which not
only punished but degraded men. He took counsel with his generals, and
made no important move without consulting the Estates of his kingdom.

His physical strength was very great. Once when ordered to bed for fever
by his physician, in the Russian campaign, he went to fencing with one
of his officers. This caused such profuse perspiration that his disease
was cured.

God seemed to visibly protect his life, even as we think He did the life
of General Washington. During the campaign against Poland, a bullet
struck the place that he had just left. At another time his garments
were spattered with blood from men who fell at his side. Again, a bullet
went through his tent just above his head.

At Dantzig seven boats were to take a redoubt. Gustavus commanded one of
them and was shot in the abdomen. He wrote the Estates: "The engagement
was a warm one, and I was wounded, but not unto death. I hope in a few
days to resume my command."

His recklessness in danger greatly distressed his friends, and they sent
Oxenstiern to ask him not to expose his life again in battle. Gustavus
answered: "As yet no king has lost his life by a bullet, moreover, the
soldier follows the example of his leader, and a general who shrinks
from danger will never cover himself with glory. Cæsar was always to be
found in the front rank, and Alexander moistened each battlefield with
his blood."

He was wounded three months later in a battle in Prussia against his
brother-in-law, the Duke of Brandenburg. On this occasion he wrote home:
"We met the enemy on foot and horseback, and our artillery made such
execution that we thought we had put him to flight, but God would not
have it. When we were about to dislodge him, a musket ball struck me at
the shoulder near the neck, and was the chief cause of our losing the
battle. I thank God in my misfortune for the hope of speedy restoration
to health."

Now the officers of his army remonstrated, through Oxenstiern, and
entreated him not to expose his person, calling his attention to the
importance of his life to his country. He replied: "My friends, I cannot
believe my life is so essential as you seem to think, for should the
worst befall me, I am fully convinced that God would watch over Sweden
as He has done hitherto. As God has made me king, I dare not permit
myself to be frightened or to be actuated to my own advantage. Should,
in the vicissitudes of war, death be my lot, how can a king fall more
honorably than in the contest for God and His people?"

Even the surgeon rated him soundly for exposing his life. He replied:
"Ne sutor crepidam!" "Everyone to his trade."

During the war with Poland, Austria sent against the Swedish an army of
eight thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry, under the famous
Wallenstein, Duke of Friedland. Gustavus asked him what motive actuated
Austria to meddle between two foreign countries. Wallenstein insolently
answered, "The emperor, my master, has more soldiers than he wants for
himself, he must help his friends."

Gustavus meant to take Spelter, in Marienburg, which he had conquered
from the Prussians. One of his generals was prematurely attacked by the
Imperial forces, and his division seemed near destruction, when Gustavus
hastened to his assistance. In the midst of rout and loss, he was in
danger of being made a prisoner by one of the enemy's cavalry. His hat
was knocked off and a sword grazed his head. On the other side he was
seized by the arm, when a Swedish dragoon killed his assailants, and led
the king's horse to another part of the field.

Gustavus was deeply grateful to God for sparing his life, and more than
once said in substance: "God has given me a crown, not to dread or rest,
but to devote my life to His glory and to the happiness of my subjects."

Wherever he went he expelled the Jesuits, and required the governors of
the conquered countries to restore to the Protestants the places of
worship which the Catholics had taken from them. He admonished the
Protestant clergy to preach the plain gospel, to administer the
communion, using both bread and wine, and he insisted that the clergy
should see that the people led honest, godly lives, consistent with the
faith they professed.

He provided that a synod should meet each year to consult as to church
affairs, in order to provide common schools for the people, and also for
the higher education of the youth of the country.

The following great principles, showing that Sweden was in advance of
other nations in securing the rights of the citizen, and limiting the
rights of the crown, were incorporated in the king's oath, and placed on
the statute books. No one should be apprehended or condemned upon a mere
assertion, or without knowing his accuser and being brought face to face
with him in a fair trial.

No man was to be degraded from office without a fair trial. The land's
law provided that, without the consent of the people, neither a law
should be made, nor a tax imposed, without the consent of the council
and of the Estates. It took the combined authority of Duke John (during
his life), of the council and of the Estates, to endorse the wish of the
king to make war, peace, a truce or an alliance with a foreign nation.
Think how this law safeguarded the rights of the people in a century
when great absolutism prevailed.

Under Gustavus the council was reinstated in its position as mediator
between king and people, as the Estates deprecated their being burdened
with too frequent Diets or Congresses.

The oath taken by Gustavus had eliminated that part which forbade the
king to alienate or diminish the property of the crown. One of the first
things Gustavus did was to sell the gold and silver plate and all the
jewels of the royal family he could obtain. Many of the nobility did the
same to provide money for his wars.

The winters of Sweden are long, and the roads at that time were bad,
and, of course, no railroads existed, so that it was no wonder the
people of the realm disliked being frequently convened, aside from the
great expense of such convocations. Among the demands of the nobility at
the accession of Gustavus was that, before each Diet, they should be
made acquainted, with the great matters to be discussed, in order that
they might consider them at leisure and without influence from others,
also that they might hold neighborhood conclaves and come to decisions,
so that all need not attend the Diet.

Afterward the presence of military officers at the Diet was ascribed to
Gustavus Adolphus.

In 1664 the knights and nobles, long after the death of the king, say,
"Among other benefits of his reign, he gave us the deputies of the army
for our assistance, who, without votes of their own, have stood so that,
in conjunction with the councillors of state, we have been able to
balance the other orders."

Axel Oxenstiern remarks: "The presence of the military, though having no
votes, strengthened the nobility at the Diets where every nobleman, come
to lawful years, was bound to give attendance."

The spirit of militarism pervaded all Sweden at that time. The writers
of the period speak disparagingly of "old lords reared away from war in
easy lives, who are no soldiers, and have in their councils only a heap
of economists and literates." With such a spirit among the people, and
with a king who felt called of God to stop the extermination of
Protestants, was it any wonder, with the deck cleared for action, and
the wars for his crown ended, that both he and his people should feel
called to study, not local, but European conditions, and to inquire,
"What is our duty in the premises?"

While the thoughts and plans of Gustavus were ripening for action in
Germany, for a few short months he devoted himself to the business of
his kingdom.

In 1627 the king organized a company for work in America.[1] He sent a
small fleet to the West Indies. He encouraged emigration to a New
Sweden, which extended from the mouth of the Delaware to Trenton, New

Footnote 1:

  See Bryant's History of the United States, Vol. I., page 469.

In 1624 the Swedish West India Company had been formed, with the hope of
enriching Sweden and lessening local taxation.

In 1638 two Swedish vessels entered Delaware Bay and founded New Sweden.
They built a fort at what is now Wilmington, Delaware. The most
interesting relics yet remaining of that company are the Old Swedes
Church, in Wilmington, Delaware, and the Gloria Dei Church, in
Philadelphia, in the southern section of the city. They constitute
lasting memorials of the great Swedish king. Unfortunately these two
famous historical buildings have passed out of the possession of the
Lutheran Church. The Swedes had small colonies and strong churches from
the mouth of the Delaware to Trenton, New Jersey. New Sweden existed
under that name for seventeen years, when it was incorporated in the
William Penn possessions.

The Swedes lost their language in America, but kept their sturdy
Christianity. Their fair dealings with the Indians prepared the way for
William Penn to have the name of founding a colony in peace, for which
the Swedes should receive much of the credit.

Gustavus also devoted himself to the improvement of Stockholm, now one
of the most beautiful cities of the world. It is often called the Venice
of the North, being situated on a group of nine islands, connected by
picturesque bridges. Its streets are wider than those of Venice, and the
canals have none of the vile odors of the southern city.

Sweden has been called Sweden ever since people inhabited its territory.
At different periods it has been united to Norway and Denmark, under the
same ruler. It has never been invaded or conquered, or had its
boundaries changed by a foreign power.

                              CHAPTER VI.
                         THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR.

From the time of the abdication of Charles V. of Germany the country
had, for about sixty years, enjoyed comparative peace. Luther's
translation of the complete Bible had appeared in 1634. Nearly one
hundred years had been given the plain people to study the word of God,
to see what Christ said and what Paul preached, and to compare them with
the doctrines of the Church as set forth by the priests of Rome.

The work of Luther was destructive as well as constructive. He tore down
what was false in the worship of God. The greater part of the
constructive work of his life was formulated in the Augsburg Confession.

The Diet of Augsburg met in the city of Augsburg in 1530. It consisted
of leading divines of both Protestant and Catholic faith, and of the
princes who upheld the Reformation.

The Protestants set before the emperor, Charles V., on June 25th, 1530,
their doctrines in a remarkable document known as the Augsburg
Confession, or the Augustana. It is the plain statement of the doctrines
of the Lutheran Church the world over, and is the basis from which all
other Protestant confessions are largely taken.

Then followed twenty-five years of the successful propagation of the
doctrines of the Reformation, and the purified faith was accepted not
only in Germany, but in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, the
Netherlands and in England and Scotland.

The Council of Trent, the eighteenth Ecumenical Council of Rome, met
near the time of Luther's death. If it had been called in 1520, when
Luther entreated for the calling of an Ecumenical Council to correct the
abuses existing in the Church, it is quite possible that Luther would
not have come out of the Church of Rome. If King George III. of England
had yielded, even in part, to the prayer of the colonists, what is now
the United States would probably have remained a colony of Great

The Council of Trent remained in somewhat interrupted session for over
eighteen years. It was called with some idea of coming to some
understanding with the Protestants, and of bringing them back into the
Catholic Church. The Protestants paid little or no attention to the
call, and the Council contented itself with reforming some of the abuses
within the Church, and reformulating the doctrines of Rome.

The reform party at the Council of Trent demanded "wine as well as bread
in the sacrament for the laity, schools for the poor, church hymns,
preaching and Communion in the language of the people, a better
catechism, reform in convents (some of which were mere houses of
immorality), and the right to marry for the priests." The papal power
called this rank heresy, and the entire council from beginning to end
was a disgraceful spectacle. A few subordinate improvements on church
discipline were granted, but no important reformation of church affairs,
and the farce ended by an exultant proclamation calling down curses on
the heretics.

From that day to this it has been Trent _versus_ Augsburg. These two
great councils were the most important events of the mediæval period. It
is quite possible that the common people did not understand the bearing
of the new religious thought, but the great statesmen of Europe saw that
what is now called the Dark Ages had passed forever.

"The Protestants," says Ranke, "guided by the Scriptures, retraced their
steps with ever-increasing firmness toward the primitive forms of faith
and life. The Catholics, on the contrary, confronted with unflinching
opposition and repelled with determined hostility whatever could recall
the idea of Evangelical doctrines."

At the beginning the Thirty Years' War may be called a religious
quarrel, but it soon became for the house of Hapsburg a scramble for
personal aggrandizement. Ferdinand II. fought for territory, power and
money, and he hoped, by recovering all the property which had belonged
to the Catholic Church before the Reformation, he would attain these
three objects. He followed this idea, although the formal edict was not
announced for several years. It was his intention to break down all
princes, both Catholic and Protestant, of the smaller German States, to
incorporate Denmark, Holland and Italy (the old dream of Charles V.)
into one great empire, and thus restore the old German-Roman Empire. It
was a fine opportunity for self-aggrandizement under the guise of
fighting for his church.

It was not to the interest of France to have the house of Hapsburg
further aggrandized. God used this jealousy and ambition to further the
work of the Reformation, so that France, through Cardinal Richelieu,
became the ally of Gustavus Adolphus, and furnished a monthly stipend
for paying Protestant soldiers, but even more valuable to the cause was
the information and advice of this great Catholic ally. It was now
believed that Richelieu[2] even hoped for a confederacy of the smaller
German States and free cities under the protectorate of France.

Footnote 2:

  See Cambridge Modern History, Vol. IV.

Reviewing for a moment the past, we shall remember that Charles V. was
succeeded by his brother, Ferdinand I., who reigned from 1556 to 1564.
Maximilian II., his son, was lenient to the Protestants, and ruled from
1564 to 1576. It was during his reign, in 1572, the St. Bartholomew
massacre occurred in Paris, in which Catherine de Medicis and her son,
Charles IX., caused the murder of over fifty thousand Huguenots, as the
Protestants were called in France. The massacre continued three days and

Pope Gregory XIII., on hearing the news, openly expressed his joy at
"the glorious event," caused public thanksgiving to be made, and had a
coin struck in commemoration of this vile sin. This event gave warning
to the Protestants that Rome would take advantage of whatever
opportunity offered to destroy Protestantism.

During the great war Rudolph II. ruled Germany from 1576 to 1612,
Mathias from 1612 to 1619, followed now by Ferdinand II. Louis XIII.,
the creature of his minister, Cardinal Richelieu, who, though a
churchman, always put the State before the Church, was the ruler of
France. He was followed by Louis XIV., whose mother, Queen Anne of
Austria, and Cardinal Mazarin ruled till the majority of Louis XIV. The
kings of England were James I., from 1603 to 1625, and Charles I., from
1625 to 1649. The Popes were Paul V., Gregory XV., Urban VIII. and
Innocent X.

The Catholics now formed a strong league. The Protestants already had a
weak union.

Mathias, during a reign of seven years, had favored the Catholics, and
caused Ferdinand, one of the most cruel Catholics who ever lived, to be
elected king of Hungary and Bohemia.

The election of Ferdinand was a great blow to Bohemia, and the new king
lost no time in trying to destroy all the Protestants in his kingdom.
Protestants were persecuted as criminals, and when they appealed to the
law of the land, the Jesuits replied that Ferdinand's election as king
of Bohemia canceled all laws in favor of Protestants.

"_Novus rex, nova lex._" This they declared was what was meant by the
_Reservatum Ecclesiasticum_ in the Augsburg Treaty of Peace. The clause
stipulated that the people of each State should follow the religion of
the ruler of the State. It is true the clause was there, but modified by
two things:

1st. Cities were excepted.

2d. The Evangelical princes had not agreed to the clause and had
protested against it.

Ferdinand's action as king, of course, made an insurrection. How could
it fail to do so?

The Emperor Mathias became frightened and fled to Vienna, after
appointing a regency of four Catholics and three Protestants. The
Protestant regents sent a petition to the Emperor, and the Catholic
regents at the same time sent a report. Mathias ordered the implicit and
instant obedience of the Protestants.

While the seven regents were assembled in an upper room in the palace at
Prague to announce the Emperor's decision, Count Thurn, chief of the
Protestant party, entered the room with a company of armed men. He
demanded of each Catholic regent, "Did you advise the Emperor's
arbitrary reply?" Two of them answered evasively, the other two said,
"Yes, we did." At this point the four Catholic regents were seized and
pitched out of the windows from the third story. They fell on a great
heap of barnyard manure and were not killed. But by this the Protestants
took the responsibility of saying, "By this act we pitch out of our
lives the Pope of Rome, the King of Bohemia and the Emperor of Germany."

The Emperor was in feeble health and desired to make peace, but
Ferdinand dissuaded him, and sent an army against these Protestants. The
army was driven by Count Thurn and his men to the very gates of Vienna,
and were only there turned back by the regular army of Austria.

The winter was coming, and no provision having been made for the
Protestant army, the force returned to Prague.

This was to the Thirty Years' War what the firing on Fort Sumter was in
the Civil War, or the skirmish at Lexington to the Revolutionary War.

Just after this Mathias died and Ferdinand, king of Bohemia, became
Ferdinand II., Emperor of Germany. He, with his Jesuits, determined to
retake all property which before the Reformation belonged to the
Catholic Church.

In many places all the people had become Protestants, and the church
having been built by the money of either themselves or their ancestors,
the churches had been used for nearly one hundred years for Protestant
services. Americans can understand the situation by thinking how it
would be and what would happen if England should now demand that all
property owned by the Crown before the Revolutionary War should be

Ferdinand II. was now to force a war upon his subjects which left Europe
a great cemetery. During the Thirty Years' War the population of Europe
was reduced from sixteen millions to less than six million people.
Thirty-five thousand towns and villages were destroyed.

Three-fourths of the population perished in Bohemia, partly by the
sword, but also by pestilence and famine, and many emigrated. The
question had resolved itself into this, "Shall we permit Protestantism
to be forever exterminated?" It took all this sorrow of destruction of
property and of human life to bring about political toleration between
Protestant and Catholic States.

For thirty-three years Germany seems to have been blind to what was
going on around her. The intellectual impetus given by the Reformation
made the theological strife between Lutherans and Calvinists bitter and

Large districts both south and west of them had been forced back under
the dominion of the Church of Rome, and the Germans did not interfere.
They had done but little for the Dutch in their desperate fight against
the Spanish Hapsburgs and Romanism, so that William of Orange, in
bitterness of heart, had said, "If Germany remains an idle spectator of
our tragedy, a war will presently be kindled on German soil which will
swallow up all the wars which have gone before it." That war was now on.

                   "No, true freedom is to share
                   All the chains our brothers wear,
                   And with heart and hand to be
                   Earnest to make others free."

                              CHAPTER VII.
                   THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR.—CONTINUED.

This war is usually divided into five periods: 1. War in Bohemia; 2. War
in the Palatinate; 3. Danish war; 4. Swedish war; 5. Franco-Swedish war.

After their king had been made Emperor of Germany, the Bohemians, in an
effort to make sure of their deliverance from the rule of Ferdinand,
chose for their king Frederick V., Elector Palatine, who being the head
of the Evangelical Union, was considered the chief of the Reformation
party in Germany.

He was elected August 26th, 1619. He was not fortunate in securing the
friendship and support of his own subjects. His conduct was so
unbecoming his profession that it was no wonder God did not prosper him
as a public leader. Frederick V. was son-in-law of James I. of England,
and it was hoped by his election to secure the favor of the Protestants
of England and Scotland.

The Emperor Ferdinand II. now placed Maximilian of Germany and the
ferocious General Tilly at the head of the army of the Catholic League,
to attack the city of Prague.



On November 8th, 1620, the armies met at White Mountain, near the city,
and the Protestant army, composed of Germans, Hungarians and Bohemians,
lacking first of all a good leader, but also lacking unity in action,
courage and goodwill, were defeated in less than an hour by the superior
numbers of the Imperial army.

Frederick, their king, was dining at leisure at Prague, while his army
was being sacrificed. He availed himself of the short armistice of eight
hours granted him by the Duke of Bavaria, to make a flight by night, in
such haste that even his crown was left behind him.

The battle of White Mountain settled the matter so far as Bohemia was
concerned, and Prague surrendered the next day. The Estates did the same
homage as had been done by Silesia and Moravia, but the Emperor had
another matter to settle with Prague. Tilly, with seven thousand men,
principally Spaniards, entered the city. Twenty-seven Protestant chiefs
were instantly executed, others were less publicly killed, and many more
imprisoned or punished.

All the Protestant churches were confiscated and handed over to the
Jesuits, who now came back in full force. The soldiers drove the country
people into the mass, so that a baron of Oppersheim gloried in having
converted, without a sermon, more people than the Apostle Peter, who
through his Pentecostal sermon, had seen three thousand souls converted.

The Emperor, with his own hands, tore up the Letter of Majesty by which
the Emperor Rudolph had granted religious liberty to the Bohemians.

Thirty thousand families left Bohemia during the next two years, and
Maximilian was made Elector Palatine, in place of Frederick V.

This is a very abbreviated history of the first division of that great
war which laid low the country of John Huss.

The second period may be said to extend from 1621 to 1624, and is
usually spoken of as the war in the Palatinate. The war was now carried
into that portion of Germany. It was in vain that each Protestant prince
determined to defend his possessions against the oppressor. Tilly
vanquished them one after another till Ferdinand's scepter was over
every State. The Imperial soldiers ranged over the country, taking
everything of value, also appropriating to Rome every Protestant church
and school, so that the Protestants could readily see that their
extermination had been determined. Ferdinand had taken a vow to the
Virgin, both at Loretto and at Rome, to enforce her worship at the peril
of his life, declaring that he preferred to rule over a wilderness
rather than a nation of heretics. Now, strengthened by his many
successes, it was plain to all Germany that he meant to soon fulfill
that wicked vow. The executions and massacres of that time were without
parallel since the Christian era.

Ferdinand not only revenged himself on all Protestants, but he deeply
humbled the Catholic princes by the exercise of despotic power over
their people. All European statesmen became alarmed at the
aggrandizement, as they called it, of the Hapsburgs. Richelieu, the
great cardinal of France, was glad enough to see Protestantism punished,
as he had no idea of letting Austria overshadow France. Holland was
afraid for Protestantism within her own borders, the slow nature of
James I. of England began to arouse itself, and he planned to reinstate
his son-in-law, Frederick, in the Palatinate, when broken and oppressed
Germany turned to the princes of Scandinavia for succor.

Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, was busy with his wars in Poland. He
would gladly have sent part of his well-disciplined army to the
assistance of the German princes, but they preferred the king of
Denmark, Christian IV., brother-in-law to the Elector Palatine.

He began the third period of the war by entering into an alliance with
England and Holland, and declaring war against the empire, marched to
the help of the Protestant princes, Dukes of Brunswick, Mansfield and

Christian IV. took the field in March, 1625, with sixty thousand troops,
and entered Germany, determined to cover himself with glory and to
reestablish Protestantism.

Tilly had been bad enough in ravaging conquered territory, but now
Wallenstein, Duke of Friedland, appears on the scene. He had
distinguished himself in the battle of White Mountain, and in the war
against the Turks had received most valuable grants of land, and large
revenues from the Emperor. Wallenstein was now put in command of the
Imperial forces. He was a pervert from Protestantism to Rome, and such
are always the most bigoted and intolerant. He had expelled the
Hungarian troops from Moravia, and had accepted as pay the confiscated
estates of his unfortunate countrymen.

He agreed to raise and support his own army for the Emperor at his own
expense. The banditti of all Europe came to him for the promised loot,
and, with an army of over one hundred thousand men, he took the field
against Protestantism, already a divided, cowed, broken body of people.
Not since the Crusades had there been such a war of devastation.

In five years Wallenstein and Tilly, who hated each other, but both
under command of the Emperor, had routed the troops of Mansfield, the
strongest of the auxiliaries of the king of Denmark, and had subdued
Silesia, Lower Saxony and Holstein. As early as August, 1626, Christian
IV. was defeated in the battle of Lutter, and was forced back to his own
country for its defence. He was obliged to abandon his allies to the
vengeance of their enemies. By the end of the five years Mansfield and
Brunswick, the leading Protestant princes, were dead, and their troops
destroyed or scattered. Everywhere the Imperialists laid the country

Wallenstein took possession of Pomerania, and the Imperial forces,
without opposition, marched into Holstein, Schleswig and Jutland,
occupying all Denmark, except the islands. The neutral Protestant
princes had their territories destroyed. This they fully deserved.

The Danish king sued for peace, and his possessions were returned to him
on condition that he would take no further part in the war. This
concession was not from mercy, but because France and Sweden were now
preparing to take arms against the House of Austria.

In the conference at Lubeck, on May 22d, 1629, Wallenstein, with marked
contempt, excluded the Swedish ambassadors while arranging terms with

Wallenstein had been so successful that he had visions of making himself
Emperor, of converting the Baltic Sea into an Austrian lake, and there
having a great fleet to increase his wealth and power. For these reasons
he now set out to take the cities on the Baltic coast. He besieged
Stralsund, a Hanse town. The Hanse towns were the commercial towns of
Germany, associated together for the protection of commercial interests.
Wallenstein now had the title of "Admiral of the Baltic" conferred on
him by the Emperor. The new admiral said, "There are twenty-eight ports
in Pomerania; we must fortify them to keep Sweden from attacking them."

Stralsund represented not alone the Hanseatic League, but the Protestant
faith and liberty of conscience. Wallenstein swore, "I will capture
Stralsund though it were chained to the gates of heaven." He did not
take into the count God and the king of Sweden.

The inhabitants of Stralsund were a deeply religious people. With
Wallenstein besieging their city, and well knowing the destruction of
the country over which they had passed, they took the oath to abide by
the true religion of the Augsburg Confession, to fight for it as well as
for the rights and liberties of the city, and to stand by the Empire as
long as the line of conduct would be justifiable before God, posterity,
and in accordance with their oath to defend the city. This shows their
faith in God; to Him they appealed, and after ten weeks siege,
Wallenstein, at the order of the Emperor, after losing twelve thousand
of his best troops, was forced to abandon the siege.

Wallenstein had threatened to destroy every creature within its walls,
so the women and children had been sent to Sweden, and that country
provided the food from the side of Stralsund opening on the sea.

But the Emperor now considered that his troops were so successful that
he might put into the form of an edict that which they had been
practicing ever since his coronation. He issued what is called the Edict
of Restitution (1629 A. D.), confiscating all Protestant property
obtained from Catholics since the Treaty of Passau. This violated the
Treaty of Augsburg, which had guaranteed that property. This would have
made war in time of peace, now it prolonged a war begun eleven years
before. He further decided "that by the religious peace Catholic princes
were under no further obligations to their Protestant subjects than to
allow them to quit their territories."

Under this edict the Protestant States were ordered to surrender all
church property and all secularized religious foundations to the
Imperial commissioner. The Protestants again quite understood that the
extermination of their religion had been determined. The commissioners
were appointed, and Wallenstein was charged to enforce the edict.

The enforcement began at Augsburg. The bishop was reinstated. He
prohibited all worship of the Protestant form, and erected a gallows in
front of the town hall to show what would happen to those who disobeyed.

Lorenz Forer, one of Wallenstein's captains, said, "Be active, my
friends, if some withstand you, kill and burn them in a fire that shall
make the stars melt, and force the angels of heaven to withdraw their

A cry of agony and terror ran through all Germany. The Emperor's own
brother wrote: "Your Majesty cannot form any idea of the conduct of the
troops. I have myself waged war for a few years, and I know that it can
seldom be carried on without leaving traces of violence. But to break
windows, to overthrow walls, to commit arson, to cut off noses and ears,
to torment, to commit rape, to murder for amusement's sake, are
disorders which field officers can and ought to oppose. I know there are
people who endeavor to persuade your Majesty that these accusations are
unfounded, but I hope that your Majesty will place at least as much
reliance on me as on such gentlemen who fill their purses with the blood
and toil of poor people. I could name you many officers who, a short
time ago, had scarcely the means to clothe themselves, who to-day
possess three or four hundred thousand florins in specie. Discontent
increases threateningly, and my conscience does not allow me to conceal
from your Majesty the true state of affairs."

The Catholic princes and Duke Maximilian of Bavaria entreated that
Wallenstein should be dismissed. This was done, and he went back to his
duchy in Bohemia. Some few of his worst officers were sent away. But
Tilly and Pappenheim, whose names have ever since been the synonym of
pillage and devastation, were now placed in command.

The princes of Germany began to look with one accord toward Gustavus
Adolphus, king of Sweden. The truce between Poland and Gustavus was
concluded August 26th, 1629, the very year of the Edict of Restitution,
and the Swedish king began to shape affairs in his own kingdom to help
his brethren of the Protestant faith in Germany.

His own door to the sea, the Baltic, even the security of his own State
was threatened, but above all, he saw Protestantism in danger of being
as much extinguished as it had been in Spain and Portugal. It is
possible that he had some hopes of securing territory from Germany,
while the war was on between Poland and Russia on one side and Gustavus
on the other, the Emperor Ferdinand II. had declared Gustavus under the
ban, and, no doubt, he was glad, as a man, to measure swords with the
tyrant of Germany.

                             CHAPTER VIII.
                         CONDITIONS IN SWEDEN.

When Gustavus was only twenty-six years of age, in the midst of wars and
struggles, he was laying the foundations for a greater Sweden. In 1620
he inquired of the bishops how knowledge could be disseminated among the
people. He claimed that he had a greater want than that of money,
namely, competent persons for civil and military positions.

He inquired what schools for the common people, what seminaries, what
colleges were necessary to educate the people. He inquired where good
teachers could be obtained from foreign countries, and required that
they should be brought to Sweden. He said, "The instruction in religion
may be passable, but as the clergy do not understand matters of
government and of civic life, they cannot be expected to prepare men for
the State." So men of affairs were now secured to assist in teaching.

In 1625 he granted to the Upsala Academy, as he called what is now the
great University, from his own hereditary estates, three hundred and
fifty manors, besides the crown tithes in several parishes, a stipend
for many professors, and $3,250.00 yearly for the community or student
house, with $2,500.00 yearly for maintenance, besides setting apart
money for prizes.

He transferred to the Library at Upsala his printing plant, and began
the library by presenting his own books. He erected a library building,
and arranged for its endowment. He established four gymnasiums, or, as
we would call them, colleges, and laid the foundation for that general
course of schools, colleges and universities which has made Sweden one
of the best educated nations on earth.

From 1627 Sweden had by letters patent opened the doors to Protestant
exiles. The Dukes of Mecklenburg had there found asylum and honorable
occupation for their sons.

The women and children of wealthy Germans had been sent to Sweden, and
the common people were well informed as to the devastating wars in

Oxenstiern was not favorable to Gustavus going to the relief of Germany.
He feared for the life of his friend, and for the succession of the
Vasas. The same view was taken by Skytte, his old tutor. The daughter of
Gustavus was not yet quite four years of age.

Before the Estates the king did not urge the defence of Protestantism so
much as patriotism. He said, "Denmark is used up. The Imperial army of
Papists have Rostock, Wismar, Stettin, Wolgast, Greifswald and nearly
all the other ports. Rugen is theirs, and they continue to threaten
Stralsund. They aim to destroy Swedish commerce and to plant a foot on
the southern shores of our Fatherland. The fight is for house, home and

The Estates voted at once for regular and heavy taxes for three years.
The nobles renounced their privilege of freeing tenants from service and
taxation. The mercantile companies gave up their subsidies to provide
for the fleet. Many had spoken against the war, but when the vote was
taken all voted to sustain their king.

Gustavus said: "I did not call you together because of any doubt in my
mind, but that you might oppose me if you wished. That freedom you no
longer enjoy. You have spoken. My view is this, that for our safety,
honor and final peace, I see nothing but to make a bold attack on the
enemy. I hope it will be for the advantage of Sweden, but I also hope,
if the day go hard with us, no blame will be laid upon me, for I have no
other end in view but that advantage. I do not underrate the
difficulties, such as the want of means, or the doubtful issue of
battle. It is no idle glory I am seeking, the king of Denmark is
sufficient warning to me against that, besides the judgment of posterity
leaves a man very little glory. I am satisfied with glory and want no
more. Your duty is clear, to exhort all my subjects to continue in their
present devoted attitude. For myself, I see that I have no more rest to
expect but the rest of eternity."

From this time Gustavus Adolphus met no further opposition among his own
people. All Sweden at that time had only about one and a half million
people, not so many as now live in New York City.

Richelieu sent a wily ambassador to Gustavus, but the king was careful
to enter into no hampering alliance with a Catholic power. Charnace, the
emissary of Richelieu, twice visited Sweden, in the winter and spring of
1629 and 1630. He assured the king that the Protestant States would
receive him with open arms. The king replied that such was not the case.
Gustavus well knew that the Elector of Saxony, although a Protestant,
was an ally of the Emperor simply to save his country from devastation,
and that his brother-in-law of Brandenburg was a slothful glutton,
wanting only to be let alone.

As long as Denmark might "bite Sweden in the heel," Gustavus felt loth
to leave his kingdom. He now had a personal interview with Christian IV.
of Denmark and assured himself of goodwill on that side, he renewed the
guards along the side next Russia and Poland, and quietly made ready his
army, both by land and sea, for going to the relief of Germany.

The Emperor said: "We shall now have another little enemy to fight."
Wallenstein said that he could expel Gustavus, with the judicious use of
a rod, as he might have spoken of a recalcitrant boy. At the same time
Wallenstein offered thirty thousand dollars to anyone who would
assassinate the king of Sweden, and thus save him using the rod.

Falkenberg, a Swedish ambassador, visited the courts of Holland and of
different Protestant German States, receiving fine verbal promises of
assistance, but they utterly refused to enter into a written alliance
with Sweden. Lubeck and Hamburg advanced him money and agreed to accept
Swedish copper in return.

Every Swedish regiment was now made up to its full complement. Thirty
men-of-war, two hundred transports and fifteen thousand men were now
ready to take their share in one of the most dangerous campaigns of the
great war. It was a small army, but it was composed of veterans. Every
individual had been seasoned in previous wars, and was perfect in
discipline, courage and in devotion to his commander and king. The army
was composed mostly of Swedes, but had several regiments of Scots and
several more regiments of Germans. The king had a small but
well-equipped corps of artillery. He was also well provided with
shovels, spades and picks, with which to construct earthworks.

Oxenstiern, at the time of the king's embarkation, was also sent, with
ten thousand more men, to guard the frontier of Poland, and almost as
many as Gustavus took with him were left to guard against sudden and
unexpected invasion at home.

He set every part of his kingdom in order, as one who goes forth to meet
the doubtful issues of a great war. The law-making power of Sweden was
vested in the four Estates: Nobility, Clergy, Burghers and Peasants. The
consent of at least three of these was necessary to the king for every
forward movement.

So now, on May 19th, 1630, he called the Estates together, to rehearse
before them the causes and conditions which forced the Swedish nation
into the war. He was accompanied by the queen, also by the Council of
State, in whose hands he was to leave the government. He carried in his
arms his little daughter, Christina, then only four years of age. He
presented her to the Estates as his successor in case of his death, and
secured their renewed allegiance to her should he not return. He read
the ordinances for the government in his absence, or during the minority
of his daughter.

The assembly was in tears, and the king had to wait a few moments to
overcome his own emotion before giving his farewell address:

"Not lightly nor wantonly," said he, "am I about to involve myself and
you in this new and dangerous war. God is my witness that I do not fight
to gratify my own ambition, but the Emperor has wronged me most
grievously in the persons of my ambassadors; he has supported my
enemies, persecuted my friends and brethren; he has trampled my religion
in the dust, and even stretches his arm against my crown. The oppressed
States of Germany call loudly for aid, which by God's help we will give

"I am fully sensible of the dangers to which my life will be exposed. I
have never shrunk from dangers, nor is it likely I shall escape them
all. Hitherto Providence has wonderfully protected me, but I shall at
last fall in defence of my country. I commend you and all my absent
subjects to the protection of heaven, and hope that we shall meet in

"To you, my Councillors of State, I first address myself. May God
enlighten you, and fill you with wisdom to promote the welfare of my
people. You, too, my brave Noblemen, I commend to the divine protection.
Continue to prove yourselves the worthy successors of those brave Goths
whose bravery humbled to the dust the pride of ancient Rome. To you,
Ministers of Religion, I recommend peaceableness and piety; be
yourselves examples of the virtues which you preach, and abuse not your
influence over the minds of my people. On you, the Burghers and
Peasants, I entreat the blessing of heaven; may your industry be
rewarded by a prosperous harvest, your stores be plenteously filled, and
may you be crowned abundantly with all the blessings of this life. For
the prosperity of all my subjects, absent and present, I offer my
warmest prayers to heaven. I bid you all a sincere—it may be an eternal

The whole assembly was in tears, the king himself was weeping, but after
a few moments he said, in a natural voice, the words of the Psalm which
he was accustomed to say aloud before entering on any new undertaking.
We give only the closing part, upon which he seemed to lay most

"Oh, satisfy us early with Thy mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad
all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou hast
afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let Thy work
appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children, and let the
beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish Thou the work of
our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it."

He set apart the first Friday of July, August and September as days of
fasting and for prayer for the nation and for the army.

In about ten days after this, at the beginning of June, he embarked at
Elfsnabbe, surrounded and cheered by a concourse of weeping relatives
and friends, but sent forward with their blessing and best wishes.

                              CHAPTER IX.
                          GUSTAVUS IN GERMANY.

A continued southwest wind kept the fleet from making progress, and the
ships were obliged to return to port. Their provisions ran out and had
to be renewed from seaport towns. On account of contrary winds, it took
five weeks to make that short distance. The landing took place on June
24th, 1630, the one hundredth anniversary of the day on which the
Augsburg Confession had been presented to Charles V., Emperor of
Germany, in the presence of the leading ecclesiastics and ruling princes
and dukes of all Germany. Gustavus looked upon this as a good omen, for
his coming was at a time when all those principles set forth in that
Confession were endangered.

He landed his troops on the islands of Wollin and Usedom. Stepping on
shore he fell on his knees, and in the presence of his staff thanked God
in these words: "O Thou who rulest over the heavens and the earth, over
the wind and the sea, Lord, how can I worthily thank Thee for Thy
miraculous protection which Thou hast graciously vouchsafed to me during
this dangerous passage? My heart is full of gratitude for all Thy
benefits. Oh, deign to bless this enterprise undertaken for the defence
of Thy distressed Church, and the consolation of Thy faithful servants.
Let it redound, not to my glory, but to Thine. O God, who triest the
hearts and the reins, Thou knowest the purity of my intentions. Grant me
favorable weather and a good wind, which will cheer my brave army, and
allow me to continue Thy sacred work. Amen."

A man may talk with reservations to his fellowmen, but who would presume
to be false in prayer before his God? That prayer reveals beyond all
possibility of doubt the real reason of his undertaking this great war.

Joshua himself did not more implicitly rely upon his God than did this
brave king. He so trusted on God's assistance that he marched with scant
supply of food and money, and with what now seems like a mere handful of
soldiers, against the trained troops of a great empire which for twelve
years had met and conquered every foe on its triumphant march from the
south of Germany to the Baltic Sea.

He asked his officers and soldiers to pray much. He said: "The more you
pray the more victories will be ours. Incessant prayer is half a

When Gustavus had finished his prayer, he took a spade and began to work
at the intrenchments. Colonel Munro, commander of the Scots, says:
"Gustavus was ever impatient till his soldiers were guarded from their
enemies, and when he had the fewest soldiers he took more pains with
intrenchments." He well understood the duties of a civil engineer, and
when no other was at hand, directed in person the intrenchment of his
army. When the intrenchments were done he addressed his troops:

"Do not believe I undertake this war for myself or for my kingdom. We
march to the relief of our oppressed brethren. You will by brilliant
victories accomplish this generous project and acquire immortal glory.
Be not afraid of the enemies whom we are going to meet, they are the
same whom you have already defeated in Prussia. Your gallantry has just
forced Poland to conclude a truce of six years. If you show the same
courage, the same perseverance, you will procure for the Evangelical
Church and for our German brethren the peace which they need."

He then had the military laws and regulations proclaimed in which any
outrage on person or property was to be punished with death. But
Gustavus felt that his soldiers must be governed from within and not
from without. To that end he urged the chaplains to preach the gospel
faithfully in camp, and he ordered that prayer meetings should be held
twice each day.

Men fresh from their homes, often homesick and heartsick for the home
folks, were open to the message which their mothers and fathers had so
often laid on their young hearts, so it is not surprising that the
behavior of the Swedish army on a foreign soil is memorable to this day
in Europe, in strong contrast to the Imperial army which embittered even
friendly provinces in its devastating journeys.

Gustavus immediately subdued the country on which he had made his
descent, and having taken possession of Rugen, he expelled the Imperial
troops from all neighboring islands, and made secure his communications
with Sweden.

He then advanced on Stettin, the capital of Pomerania, and forced the
old Duke Bogislaus XIV. to make a quick decision between an alliance
with Sweden or with the Empire. The people of the city hastened
privately to pay their respects to the Swedish king as the true Defender
of the Faith, to which they also subscribed. He talked over with them
the condition of Germany, the affairs of the Church, and of their faith
and love, and completely won their hearts.

His personality at this time was most pleasing, his fair hair, his
handsome beard, his tall, strong, lithe, athletic body predisposed
everyone in his favor.

The gates of Stettin were thrown open to him, but he quartered his
soldiers in their tents and not in the city. The king entered into a
close alliance with Sweden, thus making Pomerania a protecting State for
Sweden, and also for the rearguard of the Swedish army and for its line
of communication with the home country. The army covered the greater
part of Pomerania, in spite of the efforts of General Torquato-Conti,
who had charge of all the Imperial troops stationed in this duchy. As he
retreated he wreaked an awful vengeance upon the innocent people,
capturing women, and even killing children, and leaving desolation in
his wake. The people came out to meet the Swedes, and hailed them as
saviours of the country.

As Gustavus continued his journey through Pomerania his army was greatly
increased. Troops who had fought under Mansfield, under Duke Christian
of Brunswick, and under the king of Denmark, and all those disaffected
because of Wallenstein now enrolled under his victorious banner, so that
by the end of 1630, only a few months after leaving Sweden he ruled in
Pomerania as sovereign. The Estates of the Duchy voted and paid him one
hundred thousand florins.

He was anxious to push on to Mecklenburg, but a severe northern winter
was at hand and it was deemed best to wait and go into winter quarters.

Whatever trepidation of heart the Emperor may have felt at these
advances, he put on a bold front at Vienna and scoffed at the name of
Gustavus Adolphus, declaring that the "Snow King of the North" would
soon melt away with his army as he moved southward, but it is a curious
fact that people of northern climates can accustom themselves to any
latitude, while people born under a hot sun cannot always endure cold,
and the Swedes proved that they could fight in any land.

The Emperor's confidence was by no means shared by the Catholic League.
They now placed General Tilly, who, it was claimed, had never lost a
battle, at the head of the Imperial forces.

Since Wallenstein had been retired great companies of mercenary soldiers
could be had by any commander who could pay them. If Gustavus had
possessed money many of these would much have preferred to fight for
him. But God was to show, as in the case of Gideon, what could be done
with the few. In spite of his faith, however, Gustavus sometimes feared
the future. The winter used up most of the food and the money. In a
letter to Oxenstiern dated December, 1630, he says: "May God, into whose
hands I commit all, help us to live through the winter. Then, thanks to
your care and foresight, the summer will be more prosperous. I would
like to describe our condition to you, but a sabre cut having rendered
my hand stiff, I am prevented from doing so." Let it suffice you to know
that the enemy enjoys every advantage for establishing his winter
quarters, since all Germany has become his prey. If I had more soldiers
with me on the bank of the Oder I would march forward. Although our
cause is good and just the issue is uncertain—uncertain are also man's

"Therefore, I pray you for Christ's sake, be not discouraged if all does
not succeed to our wishes. I most earnestly recommend my family to your
care if misfortune befall me. It is in many respects worthy of interest.
The mother needs advice, she is none too wise. The daughter, a tender
child, will be exposed to many difficulties if she should reign, and to
many dangers if others should reign over her. I commit both of them,
their future, my life and all that I possess in this world, to God's
holy and powerful keeping. I am persuaded that whatever may befall me on
this earth will always be for my good, and after this life I hope to
enjoy eternal peace and joy."

Gustavus Adolphus did not remain inactive, but after conquering
Pomerania he advanced into the Duchy of Brandenburg, for the purpose of
reaching Mecklenburg. He pushed the Imperial troops from Pomerania, so
that Tilly fell back to the Elbe, without venturing to defend
Frankfort-on-the-Oder, which the Swedes successfully assaulted in a
three-days siege about the middle of the winter.

William of Hesse-Cassel in October, 1630, gladdened the heart of the
king by entering into an alliance with him. Aside from this one prince,
not one evangelical prince would come to his assistance.

The Edict of Restitution set hard on the Lutheran churches of Saxony and
Brandenburg, yet these rulers looked upon Gustavus more as a rival than
as a friend, so that they may be said to have forced Gustavus into an
alliance with France. The treaty with France was signed at Baerwalde, in
the Duchy of Brandenburg, January 13th, 1631. The contracting parties
entered into an alliance offensive and defensive to protect their common
friends, to restore the deposed Prince to the Empire, and as nearly as
possible to restore Church and State possessions to the conditions
existing before the disturbance began in Bohemia, and before the Edict
of Restitution.

France now agreed to furnish Gustavus for the payment of his troops four
hundred thousand dollars annually, and paid one hundred thousand dollars
cash for the year past, the object of France being to check the House of
Austria and to retain what is called in Europe "the balance of power."

Gustavus agreed to keep an armed force of not less than thirty-six
thousand in Germany till peace should be agreed upon, and to leave
Catholics alone where he found that religion prevailing. Gustavus had
not the slightest reverence nor patience with the worn out idea of the
Holy Roman Empire. With him religion was an intense incentive to action,
and sloth, indifference, laziness were qualities which made him angry to

But there was a curious allegiance of the smaller German States to that
name—the Holy Roman Empire. It was only after two centuries of having
their territory sacrificed again and again to uphold a crumbling dynasty
that they began to center their eyes on North Germany for a union. Had
Ferdinand turned Lutheran a truly united Germany would have been made in
the seventeenth instead of the nineteenth century, for he came to an
empire in which the majority of his subjects were Protestants. He had
said that he preferred to rule in an uninhabited wilderness rather than
to have a prosperous nation of heretics. When he left it the wilderness
was over what had been a prosperous State.

John George, the Elector of Saxony, was the leader and most powerful
Protestant ruler in North Germany. He was a Protestant, but he announced
that he preferred an alliance with the Emperor. Then George William,
Elector of Brandenburg, was slothful, and although a brother-in-law of
Gustavus, was jealous of the hard-won laurels of the Swedish king.

The jealousy of those Protestant princes show that whatever religion
they may have professed they had very little of the grace of God in
their hearts. The King of Denmark may be ranked with these. He was
anxious to have Gustavus wrecked even as he had been, in order to
curtail the power of the Swedish kingdom.

John George, Elector of Saxony, convened the rulers of the Protestant
States of the Empire at Leipzig, February, 1631, to enter a remonstrance
against the oppressions of the Empire. Gustavus made known to them his
alliance with France and entreated them to join him in protecting the
Protestant faith.[3]

Footnote 3:

  What occurred at this Diet would be a good dramatic chapter.

Richelieu sent his own gifted diplomat, Charnace, to lay before them the
dangers which threatened their religion. Gustavus was even willing to
accept a secret support, if the princes were afraid of the wrath of the
Emperor. But the Elector of Saxony was so filled with the spirit of envy
and jealousy that he not only refused alliance himself but persuaded the
others to at least defer entering into any agreement with the Swedish
king. The Duke of Weimar and his brother urged that Protestantism needed
just such a leader to unite them, and failing to convince the assembly,
they withdrew in anger from the convention.

There were sixty-two princes of the two reformed creeds. There were no
end of committees. All possible grievances were presented to the Emperor
in the form of petition. There was an implied threat that unless their
cry was heard at some future time they would arm for the defence of the
Augsburg Confession, John George agreeing to give eleven thousand men,
and George William five thousand for the cause. The name of Gustavus
Adolphus was carefully kept out of every public document. The Emperor
answered their appeal by ordering them to adjourn at once, or Leipzig
should be blown about their ears.

In the meantime Gustavus learned that Tilly had gone to besiege
Magdeburg, and the king of Sweden made immediate preparation to go to
the relief of that devoted city.

Tilly had taken a town guarded by two thousand Swedes. A surrender was
forced, and the Swedes agreed to lay down their arms on condition of an
oath not to serve again during the war. The poor fellows had failed to
receive a dispatch from their king to retreat and leave the town to its
fate. They were butchered to the last man. The only cruel thing recorded
in the history of Gustavus was his revenge for this crime. When he
captured Frankfort-on-the-Oder two thousand prisoners of war were slain.
Such is war. We shall see how Tilly retaliated on Gustavus for this.
Cruelty, even in war, is always bad policy, aside from being a sin
against God.

He asked at the hand of Brandenburg that he be permitted to hold the
fortresses of Kustrin and Spandau till the siege of Magdeburg could be
raised. But his brother-in-law, afraid of the wrath of the Emperor,
utterly refused. The anger of his Emperor concerned him much more than
the anger of his Lord. King Gustavus wrote him: "My road is to
Magdeburg, not for my own advantage, but for that of the Protestant
religion. If no one will stand by me I shall immediately retreat,
conclude a peace with the Emperor and return to Stockholm. I am
convinced that Ferdinand will readily grant me whatever conditions I may
require. But if Magdeburg is once lost, and the Emperor relieved of all
fear of me, then it is for you to look for yourselves and the
consequences. He who makes a sheep of himself will be eaten by the wolf.
For I tell you plainly, I will not hear a word of neutrality. Your
serenity must be either friend or foe. As soon as I get to your frontier
you will have to declare yourself. Here strive God and the devil. If you
will hold with God, come over to me. If you prefer the devil, you will
have to fight me first. There shall be no neutral party in this war."

It was just what Duke George William wanted, to be the third party. He
hoped he could hold off and eventually be the balance of power between
the Empire and Gustavus, King of Sweden. The Elector of Brandenburg
actually gave orders to the commanders of these fortresses, Kustrin and
Spandau, to let the Imperial troops "pass and repass," but if the Swedes
come "pray them to turn back," but if prayers failed, they were to be
allowed to pass, for their conduct would show their power. Such an order
must have been given while the duke was on one of his after-dinner too
free libations.

As the Swedish army approached Spandau was granted to Gustavus, for the
Elector saw that even without his consent, Gustavus would take it. Then
John George, Elector of Saxony, controlled by his own envy and jealousy,
utterly refused to let Gustavus have free passage through his State,
even forbidding him to cross the Elbe.

Gustavus did not desire to go to war with the prince who was the very
head and front of the Protestant Union, which in the February meeting
had demanded the revocation of the Edict of Restitution.

He had to force his way into Mecklenburg, whose ruling princes were his
kinsmen. He had given them shelter and kindness when they had been
pressed by the Imperial forces. Indeed, his entering the Thirty Years'
War was partly on their behalf, but the Emperor had his Jesuits
everywhere, and when Gustavus landed in Pomerania he found the Dukes of
Mecklenburg more friendly to the Imperialists than to him. He needed
that State to secure his rear and to keep open communications with

In the meantime, while Gustavus was conquering small towns and restoring
order to Pomerania (to which the frightened inhabitants were returning),
and was being harassed, worried and annoyed beyond human words to
express by these two Protestant electors, let us recall what was
happening to Magdeburg.

Gustavus had despatched General Falkenberg, an experienced officer, to
Magdeburg. He had entered the city disguised as a boatman. He found the
people discouraged and disheartened, but this intrepid soldier so
revived them that, with three thousand militia, two thousand of the
regular infantry and one hundred and fifty horsemen, they determined to
resist the Imperialists, consisting of thirty-three thousand infantry
and nine thousand cavalry.

There are pages of pathos in every history, but nothing exceeds the
pathetic picture of that heroic, devoted soldier refusing quarter
because the condition of surrender was that they should become Papists.
There were traitors within the walls. Three hundred of them rushed with
great joy to the invaders as they entered the city, but were mostly cut

Magdeburg was taken May 10th by storm. Their first vengeance was on the
Protestant clergy. They killed them in their homes, and burned them and
their books together. They bound the wives and daughters of the clergy
to the tails of their horses. They dragged them into camp, where they
were outraged and murdered. St. John's Lutheran Church was filled with
women, the Imperialists nailed the doors, shut and burned the church.
They tied the most beautiful women of the city to the stirrups of their
horses and raced each other, with their victims, out of town. They
carried screaming children aloft on their bloody pikes; of the entire
city only the cathedral, the cloister and four or five houses were left.
General Falkenberg perished with his men. When called to surrender, he
replied, "I hold out while I live."

The Imperialists were in momentary fear that Gustavus would arrive, so
that they filled every hour of three days and nights in robbery, rape
and murder, unequaled in all the annals of history. Babes were speared
at their mothers' breasts. One miscreant boasted that he had burned
twenty infants. Fifty-three women were beheaded at one time, while at
prayers. Probably forty thousand perished in this holocaust. In this
manner the ban of the Holy Roman Empire was executed on a German city
for defending the gospel.

Tilly wrote his Emperor: "Not since Troy and Jerusalem has there been
such a victory." On Falkenberg's house a tablet was placed, "Remember
May 10th, 1631," and all Protestants who know history from that day to
this do, with bitterness of heart, remember that dreadful day.

Tilly was born in Brabant in 1559. He had been educated in a college of
Jesuits and well represented their principles. He had distinguished
himself in the Turkish war, and in the war of the Netherlands, under the
Duke of Alva, whom he took for his model. In his private life he was
moral, and like Paul before his conversion, he really thought to kill
heretics was doing God's service. But Magdeburg ruined his reputation,
he became tormented with remorse; the hatred later shown to him and his
retreating forces embittered his later years, and, possibly, may have
caused that remorse.

But where was Gustavus Adolphus during this woeful time? He was held
back by Duke John George of Saxony, and by his own brother-in-law, Duke
George William of Brandenburg. The latter was a weak creature, perfectly
under the influence of his minister, Schwarzenberg, an employé of the
Emperor of Austria.

Neither of these princes dreamed that Magdeburg would be destroyed, they
only expected it to change hands. There was something of hatred among
the princes against the Hanseatic towns, which was a factor in their
detention of Gustavus Adolphus.

The Jesuits circulated the report that the king of Sweden had
voluntarily left Magdeburg to perish. They hoped by that means to
alienate the other Protestants from Gustavus. It was not difficult for
him to clear himself of this charge, and most histories now agree that
the destruction of Magdeburg was due to the prejudices, envies,
jealousies and mistrust of the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg.
Gustavus had written the Elector of Saxony, when Magdeburg was
threatened: "I see myself obliged to lower my pretensions and not to
advance further. To post myself between two wavering powers, or to
abandon the rivers by which all my convoys arrive, would be contrary to
all rules of military science. However, I wish to show Magdeburg how
much solicitude I feel for her, and should I sacrifice my life, I shall
do all I can to deliver her. May God sustain me by His grace, and make
my perseverance triumphant. Before God and before men I declare that I
am innocent of all the blood that will be shed, and of all the
misfortunes that will happen."

The terror and agony caused by the destruction of Magdeburg soon changed
to hot indignation, and the German people raised such a hue and cry
against their princes that they were, for the most part, glad to throw
themselves into the arms of the king of Sweden. But that hopeful
brother-in-law refused even to permit Gustavus to hold the fortress of

Gustavus well knew that if he left Brandenburg, Berlin would follow
Magdeburg, so, as he retreated from Spandau, either as a huge joke or in
earnest, he planted his artillery to command the city of Berlin. The
ladies of the Elector's family came in person to entreat Gustavus not to
move north and leave them to the mercy of the Imperialists, and to beg
him not to shell the city. They assured him that the Elector would treat
with him, make any treaty—only Gustavus must not leave the Duchy to the
fate of Magdeburg. Munro says: "And the king answered, merrily, that if
the Duke did not conclude a treaty with him before night he would send
the Duchess and all the ladies prisoners to Sweden, and that the Duke
should follow." The alliance was concluded June 11th, Gustavus to hold
Spandau during the war, and to have free passage through Kustrin and to
use any other fortresses he might need. A payment of thirty thousand
dollars a month and liberal contributions for the support of the army
were also granted.

About this time Gustavus learned that Greifswald, the only fortress
which the Imperialists yet held in Pomerania, had surrendered to the
Swedish General Ake Tott. The Czar of Moscow sent messengers to
congratulate him, also to renew his alliance and to offer him troops.
Gustavus was much gratified at this attitude of Russia, as it was most
desirable to keep Sweden undisturbed by any foreign foe while its king
was absent from his country.

The latter part of June Gustavus employed in reinstating the Dukes of
Mecklenburg, who were now put into full possession of all their duchy,
except Rostock and Wismar. They proved very ungrateful, and General Ake
Tott had great difficulty in making them furnish their share of
contributions for the war which gave back to them their possessions.

General Tilly now marched direct from Magdeburg to Thuringia, in order
to force the Landgrave of Hesse to disband the troops he had gathered
for the assistance of the king of Sweden, also to force him to receive
Imperial garrisons in his fortresses, and to pay a large war indemnity.
Of course, he refused to comply with these demands. As Tilly passed over
the country everything was laid waste. His army had been almost as
demoralized by the victory at Magdeburg as if it had been a defeat. The
men of the army seem never to have desisted even for a single day from
robbery, arson and all forms of nameless crimes.

Meanwhile, General Bauer, of Gustavus' army, had stormed Havelberg, so
that now the Swedes held nearly all the country north of the Elbe, and
were ready to take the aggressive. But think of it, he had been obliged
to conquer the duchies of Mecklenburg and Brandenburg, whose princes
were Protestants and should have been more interested in bringing the
army supplies, furnishing troops and driving back the Imperialists, than
Gustavus himself. It was not their religion, but their lack of religion
that was at fault.

The Landgrave of Hesse gave Tilly's troops such a severe rebuff that the
Imperial army was ordered immediately into Thuringia, but Tilly, hearing
where Gustavus and his army were located, made his way to that portion
of the country and encamped on the same side of the Elbe River as

The Swedes routed three of Tilly's regiments, carried off most of their
baggage and burned the remainder. But Gustavus' army had been weakened
by much sickness during the winter and he carefully avoided a general
engagement, while Tilly considered the entrenchments of the Swedes far
too formidable for assault. Tilly wasted considerable time before the
Swedish camp, then bent his course toward Saxony. Up to this time this
country had been spared, because of the loyalty of its ruling house to
Austria, and because Emperor Ferdinand II. earnestly desired to keep
Duke John George with his party, but it was a rich country, and now
Tilly and his hordes pounced upon it like birds of prey on a carcass. A
line of two hundred burning villages marked Tilly's march to the
neighborhood of Leipzig.

Now the Elector, when the beak of the enemy was at his own vitals,
turned quickly to Gustavus. He sent Field Marshal Arnheim to request the
immediate help of the king of Sweden. The king must have been gratified,
though no word of history shows any exultation on his part. He replied
to the Field Marshal: "I am sorry for the Elector; had he heeded my
repeated remonstrances his country would never have seen the face of an
enemy, and Magdeburg would not have been destroyed. Now, when necessity
leaves no other alternative, he seeks my assistance. But tell him that I
cannot, for his sake, ruin my own cause and that of my confederates.
What pledge have I for the sincerity of a prince whose minister is in
the pay of Austria and who will abandon me as soon as the Emperor
flatters him and withdraws his troops from Saxony?"

In spite of the coldness of the king, Arnheim persisted, for he had been
ordered to secure the assistance of the king of Sweden at any price.
Arnheim pressed him to name any conditions, saying: "I shall see they
are accepted." At last Gustavus said: "I require that the Elector shall
cede to me the fortress of Wittenberg, deliver to me his eldest son as
hostage, furnish my troops with three months' pay, and deliver up to me
the traitors among his ministry."

"Not Wittenberg alone," said the Elector, when he had read the message,
"but Torgau and all Saxony shall be open to him, my whole family shall
be hostages, and if that is not enough, I will place myself in his
hands. Return and inform him I am ready to deliver to him any traitors
he shall name, to furnish his army with any money he requires, and to
venture my life and fortune in the good cause."

The king had only been testing him, and now, believing in the sincerity
of the Elector's intentions, he very much modified his demands. "The
distrust," said the king, "which he had shown me when advancing to the
relief of Magdeburg, had made me distrustful; his present confidence
demands a return. I shall be satisfied if he grants my army one month's
pay, and even for this advance I hope to indemnify him."

On September 1st, 1631, the princes signed an alliance, and on September
5th the Saxon army joined that of Sweden. Tilly had encamped near
Leipzig and had fired on the city. He said to his army, jubilant with
the hope of plunder, "Hitherto heretics have never gained a victory in a
pitched battle." Gustavus took the opposite course. He assembled all his
field officers about him the evening before the battle, and said: "I
neither despise our enemies, nor represent the affair as more easy than
it is. I do not conceal it; we have before us an experienced, powerful,
victorious enemy, who has hitherto, during his long wars, been always
triumphant. But the more celebrated this enemy is the greater will be
the renown which we shall obtain by conquering him. All honor, praise
and glory which our adversaries have acquired during so many years can,
with the help of God, be our own within twenty-four hours. On our side
is the right. We do not contend for temporal goods, but for the glory
and for the word of God; for the true religion, which alone is able to
save, hitherto grievously oppressed by the Catholics and which they now
intend to entirely destroy. We must not doubt that Almighty God, who, in
spite of all resistance, has led us safely through all kinds of dangers,
will now grant us His efficient assistance." Then he rode through his
camp, cheering with kind words his soldiers, and making each feel that
he was indeed an important factor for his king, for his country and for
his religion.

Munro says the Elector of Saxony and his troops looked as if they were
there to have pictures or portraits taken, while the Swedes, who had
been on a long march and had slept in a dusty field, looked like
servants, and they both looked tame beside the besilvered, begilded and
beplumed Imperialists. The Swedish horses looked like ponies beside the
gigantic German chargers. The king had on a plain buff-colored suit, a
gray hat, with a green plume.

In the meantime, Tilly pushed close to Leipzig and promised to leave it
like Magdeburg if it did not yield. But conditions were not the same. On
September 4th the bombardment began. On the 6th the city sent to offer
Tilly a large sum of money in ransom, then capitulated on condition that
the Protestant religion should not be suppressed and the garrison be
permitted to march out with honors of war. Tilly put three thousand
soldiers in the city and determined to await the Swedes and Saxons, with
his back protected by the city.

On September 9th, 1631, the hostile armies were in sight of each other,
between Breitenfield and Leipzig, and here the great battle of the war
was to be fought. It was not Tilly and Gustavus Adolphus, but the two
systems of religion which that day stood face to face. The Swedish and
Saxon army amounted to about thirty-five thousand men, and the Emperor
and the Catholic League had about the same number. But if all the
millions which each side represented had all been present, the battle
would not have been more representative, more decisive, nor more

Tilly's usual confidence had deserted him, and he said afterward that he
was forced into battle by his own subordinate, General Pappenheim.

The battle began with two hours of cannonading, the wind, being from the
west, blew the smoke, the dust from the plains and from a plowed field,
into the faces of the Swedes. The king quickly moved his forces to the
north, and Tilly left his position and attacked the Swedes, but their
fire was so galling that he moved to the right and attacked the Saxons
with such tremendous impetuosity that their line was broken and the
whole army thrown into confusion. The Elector himself retired to
Eilenberg, but in spite of his defection, a few of his best regiments
held their ground and saved the good name of Saxony.

Pappenheim, the Phil Sheridan of the Imperial army, threw his best
cavalry regiments against the Swedes, where the king of Sweden himself
commanded. Seven times did Pappenheim make his swift charge, seven times
repulsed. He left most of his men on the field, which he abandoned to
his conquerors. In the meantime, Tilly, having routed the remainder of
the Saxons, attacked with his triumphant troops the left wing of the
Swedes, commanded by General Gustavus Horn. The Swedes made a gallant
resistance, until the king, with the troops who had driven Pappenheim
from the field, came to terminate the battle. After driving Tilly and
his troops out of the way, Gustavus reached the eminence on which the
Imperial artillery had been placed, and he turned on the Imperialists
the full destructive play of their own artillery. Tilly forced a retreat
through the midst of his conquerors, and left only four veteran
regiments to meet Gustavus and his victors.

These veterans of Tilly's had never known defeat. By night their numbers
were reduced to only six hundred men. As soon as the darkness came they
fled from the field, leaving the Swedes in undisputed possession. The
king of Sweden threw himself on his knees and gave public thanks to God
in earnest prayer for this wonderful victory. He then rode through the
ranks, shaking hands with his officers and thanking his brave men in
warm words of praise for their heroic actions.

The same day he wrote Chancellor Oxenstiern: "Although we mourn the loss
of many brave men, we must, nevertheless, above all, thank God for this
victory and protection which He has given us, for we have never incurred
greater dangers."

On that battlefield now stands a great monument with this inscription:

                          "Gustavus Adolphus,
                        The Christian and Hero,
                       Saved, near Breitenfield,
                    Religious Liberty to the World."

                               CHAPTER X.

The battle of Breitenfield marks an important epoch in history.
Ferdinand had a dream of annexing all northern Europe to the Holy Roman
Empire. When he failed at Stralsund he saw the limit of his northern
stretch; at Breitenfield he knew the limitations of his army. This
battle really restored to freedom and to Protestantism all northern

It marks an era in military affairs. Gustavus had practiced his army in
great flexibility, or mobility, and this quality had triumphed over
weight and numbers. Colonel Munro says: "Oh! would to God I had once
again such a leader to fight such another day in this old quarrel, and
though I died standing, I should be persuaded I died well."

The united forces of the Emperor and the Catholic League were broken.
Gustavus now reaped the benefit of all his smaller conquests. Of the
great Imperial army but two thousand remained, with Tilly old,
discouraged and discredited. The peasantry fell upon Tilly's retreating
army and almost annihilated it. On every side rang the words of a rude
song of the period, "Fly, Tilly, fly!" It was howled and hissed and
yelled by the peasantry till he had fled far southward. Tilly was
heartbroken as much by the hate shown his men in retreat as by the
disasters of the battlefield.

Gustavus now had full liberty to go wherever he desired. Richelieu
expected the King of Sweden to march at once to Vienna. The Elector of
Saxony urged the same course. When Oxenstiern came, soon after this, on
a short visit and met his king at Mainz he said plainly: "I would rather
have proffered my congratulations at Vienna." But the king thought
differently; he knew the wily electors who might at any time stab him in
the back, and he doubtless understood Ferdinand's hereditary position,
that, though driven from Vienna he would have the heart loyalty of all
Catholics and many Protestants as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and
Gustavus believed such a course would greatly protract the war.

Gustavus said, "First pure, then peaceable;" so as he passed through the
country having churches rebuilt, property restored, and above all,
restoring hope and courage to the desolated provinces, he was everywhere
hailed as a friend and deliverer, and just for a short time in the lull
after the battle, it looked as if his work were really done.

Even after this great battle he continued to preserve perfect
discipline; every morning public prayer was offered to God, and
Gustavus, with bared head stood before his victorious army leading them
in a hymn of thanksgiving. What an object-lesson in godliness it was
alike to the pious and the impious, not alone for that age, but for all
time to come.

The defeat of the Imperialists at Breitenfield settled the fate of the
Edict of Restitution. At Vienna pious Catholics wondered "if God had
indeed turned Lutheran."

At Halle, Gustavus divided his army. He sent the Elector of Saxony into
Bohemia, which was most anxious to shake off the Imperial yoke. The King
of Sweden may have remembered that Bohemia was Ferdinand's crown lands
and the Elector of Saxony would by that act forever exclude himself from
Ferdinand's favor and be most fully committed to the perpetual alliance
with Sweden. Gustavus himself undertook to march over all western
Germany and to crush out the Catholic League in its different centers.

Even the Catholics who had been so badly treated by Tilly's army, seeing
the good conduct of the Swedish troops, came out to meet Gustavus and
greeted him as the liberator of the country. His march through Thuringia
and Franconia to the Main and the Rhine reads like a triumphal

The Duke of Saxe-Weimar now joined forces with Gustavus. He proved to be
a skillful general and was useful in many ways, especially because of
his familiarity with the country.

As Gustavus approached Wurzburg the Catholic bishop of that city, so
noted for his persecution of Protestants, fled and left his people to
the mercy of the invaders. The city surrendered without any resistance.
The king considered that as the country had been abandoned by its rulers
the sovereignty became his, so he appointed a cabinet, one-half of whose
members were Protestants. He restored to the Protestants their churches
and encouraged the Catholics to attend their own churches, and to put
them in repair. Only those who refused to submit were severely dealt
with. He was really the first prince who understood religious
toleration. In every place he claimed that as God's dealing is personal
to each individual, each person should have liberty of conscience.

On one occasion when a Catholic town had been captured, his officers
suggested that here he could revenge Magdeburg. The king answered, "I
have come to break the chains of slavery and not to forge new ones. Let
them live as they have done hitherto."

Gustavus now made a triumphal march, loved and respected by both
Catholics and Protestants, through the garden spot of Germany. After
resting his weary troops in the rich district of Wurzburg, he continued
his march to Frankfort-on-the-Main, which opened her gates at the first
summons. Gustavus crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim and on December 20th he
entered Mainz, having cleared the Palatinate of its Spanish garrison.
The Elector of Saxony and General Armin invaded Bohemia and occupied
Prague. Gustavus now commanded from the Arctic Ocean to the Alps, and
from the Rhine to the Moldau. He encamped at Main with an army of twenty
thousand men. All the Protestant princes here paid him court. It was his
plan to form a Corpus Evangelicum, or Union, under the protection of
Sweden, which would include what is now called Germany and all

France was much disconcerted by these Swedish victories. It was all
right to curtail the pretensions of the House of Hapsburg, but to the
eyes of Richelieu it would be a much worse fate for a new Emperor of
Germany to bear the name of Gustavus than to let the Hapsburgs have
undue sway.

Richelieu now insisted that Gustavus must come to an understanding with
the Catholic League of southern Germany. Gustavus refused to surrender
his conquests till the League saw that Maximilian of Bavaria, who was
the head of the League, was disarmed. Richelieu at that broke his
alliance with Gustavus and renewed his alliance with the Emperor. This
was quite equivalent to a declaration of war. Richelieu declared himself
the protector of the Catholic princes. They again took heart and brought
together their armies in behalf of Austria.

The Jesuits who were at the Protestant courts succeeded in again
stirring up the envy and jealousy of those weak northern Protestant
German Electors. The Elector of Saxony now went back in heart, if not in
force, to Austria.

Gustavus had felt that this would occur, and this was the main reason he
had not pushed his triumph to Vienna. He now quickly conquered
Franconia. Frankfort-on-the-Main, instead of opening her gates in
welcome at his approach, wanted a parley. This city had received special
commercial advantages from the Empire, and now they feared if Gustavus
were well received they would lose their celebrated fairs. When summoned
to surrender they sent a deputation to the King of Sweden explaining
these conditions and hoping he would not urge compliance with his

Gustavus was justly indignant. He said: "I am very much astonished that
when the liberties of Germany and the Protestant religion are at stake
the citizens of Frankfort talk of annual fairs, and postpone for
temporal interests the great cause of their country and their
conscience." He continued: "I have managed to find the keys of every
town and fortress from the Island of Rugen to the Main, and I know where
to find the key of Frankfort. The safety of Germany and the freedom of
the Protestant faith are the sole objects of my invasion. Conscious of
the justice of the cause, I am determined not to allow any object to
impede my progress. I am well aware that the inhabitants of Frankfort
wish to stretch out only a finger to me, but I must have the whole hand
to grasp."

With his army he escorted the deputies back to the city, and in full
battle array awaited the decision of the city. The gates were
immediately opened and the entire army marched through the old imperial
city, making a magnificent procession conducted in wonderful order. Here
again the Protestant princes came to offer congratulations, to secure
favors, or to appease his indignation at their heavy apathy. It was in
Frankfort that the crown was yet voted upon, and placed on the one
selected as head of the Holy Roman Empire.

Queen Eleanor Marie here visited him in company with Chancellor
Oxenstiern. Neither of them approved of the brilliant court surrounding
Gustavus, and the queen, with the swift intuitive knowledge which God
gives to good women, felt that underneath all these protestations these
Protestant princes had envy and jealousy in their hearts. Oxenstiern,
that keen judge of men, came to the same conclusions. The king felt
these things himself, and felt, also, that these princes, so divided
among themselves, had little religion worth defending. He occasionally
broke out in public, showing his surprise and pain at the attitude of
their minds. On one occasion he said: "I wish to make peace if I am
offered honorable conditions, such as will secure the welfare of the
Protestant princes and their oppressed subjects, for whose sake I have
undertaken this war and shed my blood. But I shall never conclude a
peace by which the honor of Protestant princes would be sacrificed,
their unhappy subjects bear an iron yoke, and our religion compromised."

George, Landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt, professed great friendship for the
king, but secretly kept up a continued intercourse with the Emperor. On
one occasion, when an unusual number of traitors happened to be among
his guests, Gustavus said to George of Hesse Darmstadt: "If the Emperor
does not care for me I shall not care for him. You may inform him of
this, for I know you are well disposed towards his majesty." The
landgrave was greatly confused by this unexpected thrust and stammered
some excuse, but Gustavus continued: "He who receives $30,000.00 a year
has indeed a reason to be the Emperor's friend. Were I to make such a
present to anyone he must have well deserved it. It would be easy for me
to enter into negotiations did I not consider the danger to those who
have assisted me in this war for the restoration of the true religion."

That which the friends of Gustavus most feared was assassination. He
suddenly awoke one night and found an armed man who proved to be a
Catholic priest of Antwerp in his room. Jesuits were sent through the
country to circulate calumnies against him. In Menz public prayer was
offered for him, and at the same time an assassin was paid to take his

At Vienna on two successive days all Catholics were urged to pray for
the successful execution of a project which God and one man knew, and on
which the welfare of the Roman Church depended.

Gustavus well knew of all these things, but he declared that he could
not live shut up in a box, and he urged that when he should be called to
his account God would raise up another leader, that it was the cause and
not the individual that God was leading to victory.

The entire Catholic world was now clamoring that Richelieu was
misrepresenting France by being the friend of Gustavus, an enemy of the
Catholic Church. Richelieu tried to persuade the Catholic League to
complete neutrality, and leave Ferdinand and Gustavus to fight it out,
Richelieu's sole object being to limit the ruling house of Austria.

Gustavus now plainly saw that no reconciliation was possible between the
Catholic League and the Protestant Union, if the latter could be said to
exist. He saw that German princes desired to settle with him on a money
basis like a hireling, to give him no representation for Pomerania in
the Diet, that their envy and jealousy at his success was greater than
their love for Protestantism, and that they really preferred the House
of Austria Catholic than him as a Protestant ruler, and that they were
too jealous of each other to secure a Protestant Union if it were to be
under the protection of Sweden. So in order to arrange with Richelieu
for neutrality towards Bavaria he required that the League cease from
all hostilities, that they call in all troops belonging to the League
from the Emperor's army, from all conquered towns and from the
Protestant territory. He also insisted on the reduction of their army,
the exclusion of the Imperial troops from their territory, the
restoration of all property taken from Protestants, the concession of
religious liberty, and the expulsion of the Jesuits.

In order to arrange for the treaty to be fully considered, Gustavus had
agreed for a cessation of hostilities for two weeks, so that Richelieu
might induce the Elector of Bavaria to accept the conditions. But while
the French commissioner was assuring Gustavus of the favorable progress
of these negotiations an intercepted letter between the Elector and
Pappenheim, the commanding general of the Austrian army, showed that the
Elector had no other object in causing the delay than the better
preparation for continued war. Thereupon Gustavus notified Richelieu of
his treachery, with word that he would now invade Bavaria.

When the Pope, Urban VIII., heard of this he said: "The King of Sweden
would commit a great imprudence if he advanced anywhere before crushing
Maximilian." The Catholic League was never able to induce this Pope to
make any public anathemas against Gustavus, for the Pope knew that the
Hapsburgs were striving for personal and family aggrandizement under the
pretence of fighting for the Church. He also knew that religious liberty
prevailed wherever Gustavus conquered.

Gustavus' rest was interrupted by hearing that Tilly was ravaging
Franconia, and was marching on Nuremberg. He hastened to meet Tilly, who
retreated towards the Danube.

Gustavus entered Nuremberg March 21st, 1632, supported by his staff and
a company of cavalry. He left his army at Fürth, a short distance from
the city. His generals and the Protestant princes whose country he had
delivered rode with him through the streets of that ancient city. The
magistrates offered him the keys of the city, and the people made a
great demonstration of rejoicing. The ringing of the bells, the firing
of many cannon and the welcoming shouts of the grateful people stirred
the heart of Gustavus Adolphus so that he showed great emotion. His fine
appearance, his pleasing personality, his cordial manners completely won
the hearts of the people of Nuremberg.

At his hotel he received the presents sent by the town. These consisted
of money and two cannon with ammunition for his army, also two silver
globes of the famous Nuremberg workmanship. The king addressed the
waiting people. His words were put into a circular and sent throughout
the country. He said: "I thank you and the city for these valuable
presents. In return I can wish you nothing better than perseverance in
the evangelical faith. May nothing turn you from it, neither threats nor
promises nor any passion to which human nature is liable. You have given
me the emblems of heaven and earth. May the riches of earth not make you
forgetful of the still more precious treasures of heaven. I ask for you
this grace of God. We have cunning, wicked and powerful enemies. All
their thoughts are bent on the destruction of Protestantism. Apparently
they seek peace, but peace would indeed prove fatal to you, to all
Protestants, and ruinous to many millions of souls.

"God has entrusted you with the administration of a rich and powerful
city. I do not doubt of your governing it so that you need not fear the
account which will one day be required of you before God's tribunal.
Your city, encompassed with dangers and persecutions, has as yet been
miraculously preserved. I have myself been not less miraculously
preserved since arriving in these countries. I had expected to see the
end of the world rather than your city. In the misfortunes which have
befallen your brethren, and in your own sufferings, God intended to make
you feel and acknowledge what great sinners we all are.

"It is for your sake, for the defence of the gospel, that I have left my
peaceful native land and have come to these disturbed countries. It is
for this cause I have sacrificed the resources of my poor subjects,
their blood, exposed my life and renounced domestic happiness. I shall
do all that the grace of God will give me strength to do. On your side,
learn to suffer for a short time if it is necessary for our holy cause.
Remain faithful to it. God will bless you. He will increase your city
and make it prosperous, and your renown will spread everywhere. Let us
together praise, magnify and glorify God here on earth, and in heaven

After dinner the king left the city amid the enthusiastic admiration of
the people. His pictures were scattered throughout the country, poems
were written wherein he was likened to Moses, to Joshua, to Gideon, to
David, and even to Judas Maccabeus, the deliverer of his nation,
showing, at least, that the people knew well their Bible history.

The signal for Gustavus to leave that part of the country was the sudden
advance of Tilly against Gustavus Horn, one of the Swedish generals.
Tilly compelled General Horn to evacuate the bishopric of Bamberg.
Gustavus pursued the Imperialists into Bavaria, forced the passage of
the Danube at Donauwörth, where Tilly's forces retreated under a galling
artillery fire from the Swedish batteries. The conquest of Donauwörth
made the king controller of the Danube, and only the small River Lech
kept him from the States of Maximilian, who seems to have been about all
that was left of the Catholic League.

The Lech is usually a small stream, but the melting snow in the Tyrol
mountains had made it a raging torrent. Tilly's forces were in a
strongly fortified camp protected by this roaring current, so that the
position was impregnable. The armies were within speaking distance of
each other. As the king rode along the bank he called to the sentinel on
the opposite side, "Good morning, sir. Where is old Tilly?" "Praise God,
he is in his quarters at Main," said the man, then added, "Where is the
king, comrade?" "He is in his quarters, too," said Gustavus. "What! you
don't mean to say he has got any quarters, do you?" "Oh, yes. Come over
here yourself and you shall have excellent quarters."

It was just that spirit of humor which endeared Gustavus to his polyglot
army. Gustavus rode up and down the bank reconnoitering. He soon
observed that the side on which his army was located was considerably
higher than the other side, so he arranged three batteries with
seventy-two field pieces, keeping up a ruinous cross fire on the
Bavarians. While this was going on the king's army built a bridge across
the Lech. They kept the Bavarians very busy on account of the
destructive fire of the artillery, and they made a great smoke with wet
straw and wet wood so that their work was concealed for some time from
General Tilly. Gustavus fired over sixty guns with his own hands and
seemed to be everywhere among his men cheering and directing them.
General Tilly, though a much older man, would not leave the opposite
bank of the river; no danger from that cross fire could drive him from
his post, and there he was mortally wounded and carried from the field.
The Bavarians gave way and the dying Tilly advised Maximilian to
retreat. So before a single one of Gustavus' army had crossed the river
Maximilian broke camp and retreated to Neuburg and to Ingolstadt.

When Gustavus arrived in their vacated camp he said, "Had I been a
Bavarian, though a cannon ball had carried away my beard and chin, never
would I have abandoned a position like this and laid open my territory
to my enemies." Gustavus could now have gone through Bavaria, but he
greatly desired to relieve Augsburg, whose very name is dear to the
Protestant world. He entered Augsburg on April 14th, 1632, and found
every Protestant church closed. He found that the Edict of Restitution
had here been enforced with great severity, its administration had been
entrusted to a most bigoted Catholic, and the Protestants had been
outraged in their feelings in the birthplace of their confession of
faith. The King expelled the Bavarian soldiers and put Protestant
magistrates in command of the city.

Then Gustavus, his staff and leading officers, went to Saint Ann's
Church, which with many others he restored to the Protestant faith. His
chaplain, Dr. Fabricus, preached from Ps. 12:5—"For the oppression of
the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the
Lord. I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him." The
citizens were filled with emotion as they sang again the songs of Zion.
Dr. Fabricus gave thanks for their great deliverance, and the whole
congregation chanted the words of the psalms—"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits." "The Lord executeth righteousness and
judgment for all that are oppressed."

The citizens spent several days in rejoicing, but Gustavus felt that he
must follow up the pursuit of the Bavarian army, and did not stay longer
to assist in celebrating their deliverance.

                              CHAPTER XI.

Gustavus seemed to have had all Catholic Europe to fight. While on the
Rhine he wrote home: "We have unexpectedly fallen into collision with
the arms of the Spaniards," who were in the pay of Maximilian of Bavaria
and not that of Spain. He wonders if he shall be obliged to declare war
against Spain. He fervently hoped not, as he has just heard that
Richelieu is sending a large force of soldiers to help Austria, but he
urges them at home to look to the sea coast, particularly Gottenburg. At
the Council of State held at Menz, December 31st, 1631, the king had
said: "The king of Denmark has publicly spoken of the Spanish designs,
and that Farensbach had come to Dunkirk and offered, if he could get
ships, to take Gottenburg." The Swedish cabinet sent a military force
for the protection of that city.

With all these forces of Rome assailing them one would think the hearts
of Protestants would beat as the heart of one man, but selfish interests
still divided them. The Elector of Saxony could not endure taking his
orders from a Swedish king as the September treaty forced him to do. He
could only be true to the faith when his particular State was in danger
of being ravaged, and he now began again to work for a reconciliation
with Ferdinand.

The German States of the second and third rank fully acknowledged
Gustavus as their deliverer. They assisted with both men and money to
the full measure of their ability, and after the death of the king of
Sweden they did not desert the cause. The Electors of Saxony and
Brandenburg, the two chief States, had been forced into the war and did
only such service as Gustavus, and danger to their own possessions,
obliged them to perform.

As one considers that last winter, a survey reveals how very much had
been accomplished. Bernard of Weimar, Christian, Palgrave of
Birkenfield, and the Rhinegrave, Otto Lewis, kept the States of the
Rhine. Horn carried victorious arms from Franconia to the Neckar. Tott
completed the conquest of Mecklenburg, Baner was master at
Magdeburg—what was left of it. Yet with all this to encourage Gustavus
the real sorrow of the invasion was yet before them.

Of all the curious pages of history the relations between Gustavus and
Wallenstein is one of the most curious. It would seem that very soon
after the Emperor had sent Wallenstein home, or retired him, Gustavus
had been in correspondence with Wallenstein, hoping to obtain his
services in the Protestant army. Oxenstiern claimed that the king had
written Wallenstein from Stralsund as early as October 30th, 1630. It is
quite possible that the king hoped that the great general's anger at the
Emperor could be used for the Protestants' benefit.

In February, 1631, Tilly wrote the Emperor that he felt sure that
Wallenstein had been tampered with by the kings of England and Sweden,
that these kings had tried to have Wallenstein take up arms against the
Emperor in Bohemia. "But," said Tilly, "he thanks their majesties for
the great honor they have done him, and when he sees the armies of
England in the Palatinate he will not lose the opportunity."

Count Thurn, the leader of the Protestant party in Bohemia, seems to
have been the friend of both Gustavus and Wallenstein, and acted as the
go-between. In June, 1631, just after the fall of Magdeburg, when
Gustavus was surrounded with great difficulties, Wallenstein made this
demand as necessary to secure his services. Gustavus must victoriously
complete a trip to the sea coast, ally himself with Saxony (which he did
September 1st, 1631), attack Tilly (which he did at Breitenfield), then
send twelve thousand men under Count Thurn, and with this nucleus
Wallenstein was to raise an army of fifty thousand men. To these terms
Gustavus agreed, and promised to make Wallenstein Viceroy of Bohemia.

At the same time Wallenstein was in secret correspondence with the
Emperor of Austria. Never was there a creature of more duplicity than
Wallenstein. He met Gustavus soon after the battle of Breitenfield,
offered what seemed genuine congratulations, told Gustavus the Emperor
thought of reinstating him, possibly to impress the king with the
importance of closing negotiations with him. He said, "You will soon
chase the Emperor out of his empire."

Gustavus seems to have had in mind that Wallenstein (both he and the
Emperor were from Bohemia), would clear Bohemia of Imperialists, while
John George of Saxony would clear Silesia, and that after Gustavus
himself should master western Germany, they would all meet with their
triumphant armies before the walls of Vienna.

It was a beautiful dream, but its fulfillment rested on a man false to
every tie which binds man to God or to his fellow-man. But as Gustavus
made his successful trip through western Germany he began to fear more
and more that such an alliance would not be pleasing to God.

Wallenstein asked for the twelve thousand troops. Gustavus asked delay,
saying he was not in a position to spare that number of men. That
Wallenstein was a traitor to his Emperor who had really made him all
that he was, was a fact well known to the king of Sweden and made him
hesitate to employ Wallenstein. A traitor to one is not likely to be
true to another.

When Gustavus was at Nuremberg he again opened correspondence with this
Bohemian general, but Wallenstein by that time had come to the
conclusion that Gustavus was so far from his base of supplies, was so
poorly sustained by Saxony and Brandenburg, that with an army of fifty
thousand he could drive Gustavus home, and possibly he had the dream (as
he is charged with) that he could make himself Emperor, so that while
Gustavus was at Nuremberg the correspondence closed finally, and it
began to be whispered that Wallenstein would soon be again at the head
of the Imperial army.

General Tilly died of his wounds April 30th, 1632. Gustavus had barely
escaped death on the day that Tilly was wounded. His horse was shot
under him, and his friend, the Margrave of Baden, had his head carried
away by a cannon ball almost at the same moment. As Gustavus sprang from
the wounded horse his followers screamed, for they thought him killed,
but, while covered with blood and dust, he arose from the mêlée, saying,
"The apple is not yet ripe." After his return to camp, his officers
attempted to offer congratulations. He replied: "The Margrave's death
and the ball which came so close to me, recall to my mind my mortality.
Man, thou must die, that is the old law from which neither my high
descent, not my royal crown, nor my arms, nor my numerous victories can
save me. I submit to God's will and guidance. If He removes me from this
world, He will not forsake the holy cause which I now defend."

From this time on he talked to his officers of what should be done in
case of his death. He was not entranced with the glories of earth; he
cared nothing for fame, but he cared very much that he should accomplish
the great work he believed himself called upon to perform. He expected
soon to be called home to God; therefore, he was careful to show mercy
wherever it was possible.

Gustavus now had an army of about one hundred thousand men, this he
expected to greatly enlarge during the coming year. He had eighteen
thousand in his own command. Horn had twenty thousand on the Main;
William of Hesse had eight thousand kept in his own country; Baner, at
Magdeburg, had thirteen thousand. Tott, who had been called from
Mecklenburg to Lower Saxony, had thirteen thousand, and the Dukes of
Mecklenburg had been ordered to send four thousand more. The Saxons in
Bohemia had twenty thousand, besides the twelve thousand engaged in
garrison duty. The army had many languages, the soldiers were not
homogeneous, and were, therefore, hard to manage.

Wherever there was an attack, Gustavus, no difference how much needed
where he happened to be, seems to have dropped everything and rushed to
the weak point. He was the needed man everywhere, and with that small
royal army he seems to have really been blown from one point of attack
to another. In each place, in the midst of victory, he had to turn away
to help, once Nuremberg, then General Horn, then Saxony. All this shows
that, although he had now a large army, he did not regard any part of it
strong enough to sustain itself against the Imperial army without his
presence. It shows how small a foundation he had for his hopes of
delivering Germany, which was so unready, so divided into selfish
factions, that unless God's hand had been as markedly with him as it was
with Moses, Germany would have been forced back into the mental and
spiritual darkness of the age preceding the Reformation.

The occupation of Ratisbon by the Bavarians caused Gustavus Adolphus to
decide that he would attack Ingolstadt, and penetrate into the center of
Bavaria. He hoped to draw the Elector Maximilian from the Danube and
strip it of its protectors. As he was planning for this, France again
sent a diplomat to negotiate a peace for Bavaria. To all the talk now
concerning Maximilian's neutrality, the king only laughed. He knew that
Maximilian was all that was left of the Catholic League, and he replied:
"I clearly see that you have only come to impose upon me. I cannot
believe that the Duke of Bavaria seriously intends to come to a
settlement of our differences. I know him and his priesthood too well.
He wears a double cassock, and according to circumstances he turns it,
to-day the red, to-morrow the blue. This time I shall not be deceived."
The Ambassador ceased to cajole and began to threaten, saying that
France was quite able to throw forty thousand troops into Bavaria for
the help of the Elector.

Gustavus replied: "If France withdraws her alliance, I shall secure that
of the Turks, who are no worse allies than the papists, with their
idolatry. At all events I know that I can rely on the help of Almighty
God, who has sent me into Germany." The plan was to keep him inactive
till Maximilian had brought together his army.

When Tilly died, the Emperor, Ferdinand II., was at his wits' end, and
had appealed to the disgraced Wallenstein to save him. Wallenstein made
the most severe demands, to which the Emperor was obliged to agree.
Immediately Wallenstein stamped his foot, and the robber bands of all
Europe appeared again from Italy, from England and Scotland and from
Poland. From every German State men flocked to the banner of the arch
robber of the middle ages.

The articles of Znaim, in which Wallenstein agrees to take command, are
unique on the page of history. They were completed in April, 1632. In
this writing the Emperor agreed that no army, except that under
Wallenstein, could be introduced into Germany. He alone possessed the
power of confiscation and pardon. He could create a new class of princes
to rule over States, princes who received and held power only under him.
His power was purely military, but by these papers the Emperor
practically put the power out of his own hands.

Wallenstein immediately drove the Saxons from Bohemia, offered to revoke
the Edict of Restitution for John George of Saxony, that weak prince who
was now wavering between his sworn allegiance to Gustavus and
Wallenstein. At his side now appeared an army of sixty thousand skilled
troops, the mercenaries who were promised large pay and all the loot
they could gather.

Wallenstein offered John George of Saxony such terms of peace that
Gustavus feared his adherence to the Protestant cause. Gustavus knew
that, had Tilly offered the same to the Elector of Saxony, the latter
would never have united his fortunes to those of the Protestant States.
Such an alliance was a heart-breaking care to the king of Sweden.

In spite of Richelieu's messenger, the king pressed on into Bavaria, a
country so hostilely Catholic that to kill a Protestant was considered
by the Bavarians to be doing God a service. Gustavus had, up to this
time, been welcomed even in the most Catholic State, because he treated
the citizens better by far than their own army had done, but in Bavaria
he met a different spirit. The priests had stirred them to great
bitterness. He was called by them the Antichrist, and in their public
prayers they asked God to deliver them from "the Swedish devil." If a
Swedish soldier fell into the hands of the peasants he was tortured and
mutilated, which greatly exasperated the army and made it difficult for
the king to keep his men from retaliating in kind, and, indeed, to keep
them from laying waste the entire country.

The king, by his kindness to the towns and to the prisoners of war,
showed that his Christianity was superior to theirs. He never kept
better discipline in his own army than at this trying time, and he never
failed to repay their bitterest hate by added kindness. At Landshut the
angry passions were assuaged by the uniform kindness of the king,
leading citizens came from their hiding places, and, throwing themselves
at the king's feet, they begged for their own lives and for the
protection of their towns. Gustavus answered: "When I think of the
cruelties which you have practiced on my soldiers, I ask myself the
question whether you are men or ferocious animals, and I know not how I
can have compassion on you."

He made no promises. Profound silence fell on the town as Gustavus and
his staff rode out. He was soon overtaken by a great storm of thunder,
lightning and rain. He took that as a personal message from God that he
was not to be harsh in his dealings toward this conquered town, so he
only assessed them to pay one hundred thousand dollars war expenses,
which they considered a complete reprieve, as they had expected the
burning of the town.

From Landshut Gustavus went to Munich. The capital city was greatly
excited, yet knowing his kindness to other places, they hoped for
clemency. Great fear prevailed, but they hoped by an unconditional
surrender to disarm vengeance. For that reason they sent messengers to
meet him at Freysingen, and placed the keys of the city at his feet.

The king replied to the deputation: "You have done well. With justice I
might have avenged Magdeburg on your city. But be not afraid about your
property, your families and your religion. Go in peace."

His army had suffered so much they really desired revenge and plunder in
this Catholic city, but Gustavus kept the strictest discipline. He
conducted the king of Bohemia, the Palatine Frederick, with great pomp
and ceremony, into the very palace of the prince who had driven him out.
At the same time he showed such forbearance toward the citizens that
they paid him marked respect. Even the Jesuits, who had done so much
against him, wrote to Rome praising his magnanimity.

Gustavus at Munich visited the Jesuit college. There the Superior
addressed him in Latin, praising his eminent qualities. The king replied
in the same language, and began an argument concerning the Lord's
Supper. He stated clearly the evangelical position, and showed how fully
he understood the position of Rome. His staff officers felt annoyed, and
told him that he would serve his cause better by driving out the Jesuits
than by holding learned arguments with them. Gustavus replied "Do you
not see they injure the cause they defend, and how useful they are to
that which they oppose?"

The king found the palace at Munich had been robbed of its chief
treasures. It was a very handsome building. As he was being escorted
through it, the king inquired, "Who was the architect of this building?"
The guide replied, "No other than the Elector himself." "I wish," said
the king, "I had this architect to send to Sweden." "That," said the
guide, "the architect will take care to prevent."

When the arsenal was examined they found the gun-carriages with no
cannon in sight. Gustavus was like Cromwell, a shrewd detective himself,
and he had the cellars and adjoining ground examined. He found the
cannon concealed under the floor. The floor was partly raised up, and
the king said: "Rise up from the dead and come to judgment." One hundred
and forty pieces obeyed the summons.

In one of the cannon was found thirty thousand gold ducats, which was a
great help in paying off his soldiers.

Gustavus greatly admired the magnificent city, which he called "a gold
saddle on a bad horse," but felt that he must now push on, for he feared
Wallenstein would throw a large part of his army between himself and his
base of supplies.

As soon as Wallenstein comprehended that, Bavaria being conquered,
Gustavus would march to Vienna, he stirred himself. Gustavus learned
that Wallenstein proposed to attack Nuremberg, which had shown the
Swedish king such great favor and kindness.

Maximilian entreated Wallenstein to come to his help, and signed papers
of allegiance to this upstart general and would-be emperor. Concerning
this Wallenstein said: "At last I forced my mortal enemy to implore my
pardon and support. I am avenged of all the evil he has done me."
Wallenstein now had sixty thousand troops with which to attack
Nuremberg, while Gustavus had about twenty thousand with which to oppose
him. Gustavus could easily have avoided an engagement and left Nuremberg
to the fate of Magdeburg. He preferred to perish with the city rather
than expose this Protestant stronghold to the severities of the Imperial
army. He threw up entrenchments outside the wall, and placed his
soldiers outside the city, so as not to inconvenience the inhabitants.

The citizens came out with shovels and picks and assisted the soldiers,
the women came with good food, so that in two weeks they had an
entrenchment which would protect almost as well as a wall. In the
meantime the authorities were out buying all the provisions possible to
put the city in condition to stand a siege. Then the king had his
officers organize and train the militia as to best methods of
maintaining order, and fitting them to assist in protecting the city.
Gustavus said: "Nuremberg is the apple of my eye, and I shall defend it
to the best of my ability." The soldiers and citizens were in perfect
harmony, and together made preparations to receive the rapidly
approaching enemy.

Wallenstein's army did not at once attack the city, but went into an
almost impregnable camp on a hill three miles away. Wallenstein said:
"Hitherto enough battles have been fought, I shall try another method."
He fully expected famine and pestilence to do his work for him in that
crowded, besieged city. He did not understand that they were in a degree
prepared for siege. On his approach the country people had sold all farm
animals to the city, or had used them to transport themselves and
families far away.

Gustavus sent out for provisions for his army as long as provender for
man or beast could be had; when these supplies could no longer be
obtained, the city opened its magazines to the king, while Wallenstein's
troops had to travel long distances to obtain subsistence.

Once a long train of wagons was bringing supplies for Wallenstein from
Bavaria, and the king, learning of its approach, sent a regiment of
cavalry and intercepted the entire cavalcade. The escort was destroyed,
twelve thousand cattle and a thousand wagon-loads of bread were brought
to camp, and what could not be brought in was destroyed by fire.
Wallenstein began to declare that a battle would have cost him less.

The entrenchments of the Swedes now made an attack almost impossible,
but the crowded city caused diseases common to the army, the inactivity
of soldiers and men began to play havoc with army discipline.

The German troops robbed their countrymen, and Swedish soldiers soon
followed their example. Gustavus remonstrated again and again with the
German officers; at last, on June 29th, he gave them a berating which
they never forgot. He brought them together and said: "Complaint reaches
me on all sides about the conduct of our troops in regard to our allies.
People complain that the Swedes wage war like the Croats. These
reproaches break my heart, especially since I know they are too true. I
am innocent of all these disorders; I have always forbidden and punished
them severely. It is you yourselves, Germans, who lay waste your native
country, ransack your fellow-citizens and drive your co-religionists,
whom you have sworn to protect, to despair. As God is my judge, I abhor
you; my heart sinks within me, even when I look upon you. You break my
orders, you are the cause that the world curses me, that the tears of
poverty follow me, that complaints ring in my ears. They say, 'The king,
our friend, does us more harm than even Wallenstein, our worst enemy.'
If you were true Christians, you would fulfill your duties to your
country, to your brethren, and you would remember what I have done for
you. It is for you that I have ventured my life and sacrificed my peace.
It is for you I have depopulated Sweden, stripped my kingdom of its
treasures, and spent upon you four million dollars in gold, while from
your German empire I have not received the least aid, not even so much
as would buy a miserable doublet. I ask nothing of you, and would prefer
to return home poor and naked rather than to clothe and enrich myself at
your expense. I gave you a share of all that God had given me, and had
you regarded my orders I would gladly have shared with you all my future

"Your want of discipline convinces me of your evil intentions, whatever
cause I might otherwise have to applaud your bravery. If you murmur, if
you forget God and honor so that you forsake me, I shall surround myself
with my Swedes and Finns; we shall defend ourselves to the last man, and
the whole world shall see that being a Christian king, I have preferred
to give up my life rather than to defile by a crime the holy work which
God has entrusted to me.

"I request you, for God's sake, to commune with yourselves, and ask your
consciences. Remember, you must give an account to God of your conduct,
and that you will appear before the judgment seat of the all-seeing
heavenly Judge."

Many were moved to tears, and promised to heed his words. Afterward, as
the king passed through camp, he saw a cow before one of the tents. He
took the young corporal before the court, saying: "Son, it is better I
should punish you for this than that God should punish me and my army
and all of us together." He punished several officers for stealing, so
that while the Nurembergers paid the severe price of war, yet the king
did his best for their protection.

But hunger continually pinched in the city and the camp. The one hundred
and thirty-eight bakeries in the city could not supply the demand. Men
fought for the bread as it came from the ovens. The horses died and
infected the air, pestilence in the form of dysentery attacked both city
and camp, so that twenty-nine thousand died, and graves could scarcely
be found for them.

By August 12th Oxenstiern, Baner and Duke Bernard, also William of
Weimar, brought in enough men to give the king an army of seventy
thousand men, with an addition of sixty cannon, and four thousand wagons
of supplies, clothing and ammunition, but not much food.

Wallenstein also received reinforcements. The lack of food for both
camps was fast rendering the men unfit for service, so that the king now
determined to attack Wallenstein in his stronghold. On August 21st,
1632, Gustavus thought he saw signs of Wallenstein's retiring, and on
the 22d he attacked Wallenstein in his trenches. For twelve long hours
the Swedish army stormed that hill with unbroken courage, but with
dreadful losses. Bernard on the right held his ground. Gustavus
commanded the left, and at his direction the cannon were dragged from
place to place, the king pointing many of them with his own hands. In
the morning of August 23d rain began to fall. The Swedes had lost four
thousand men. Torstenston was prisoner, Baner wounded, the king had the
sole of his boot shot away. They had fought all day and all night with
insufficient food, and the Swedes were forced to retreat.

Nuremberg had lost over ten thousand inhabitants, and Gustavus, during
the siege and battle, had lost twenty thousand of his faithful soldiers.
The air was putrid from the decaying flesh of men and animals dead under
an August sun.

On September 8th the king withdrew from Nuremberg, leaving a sufficient
garrison under Oxenstiern, and four days after Wallenstein broke camp
and left a trail of burning towns which for years marked the line of his
retreat. He had lost fifty thousand men, and now moved northward to prey
upon Saxony. Gustavus still had the desire to finish his work in
Bavaria, but when he heard that Protestant Saxony was again under the
enemy's heel, he prepared at once to move northward.

                              CHAPTER XII.
                        END OF A VALUABLE LIFE.

Wallenstein's letters would not do to use as historic authority, yet his
report of the Nuremberg affair to his emperor probably was a fair
statement from his point of view. He said: "The king lay fourteen days
at Furth, and now having lost nearly one-third of his army from hunger
and discomfort, has to-day departed, whither I cannot learn. For
military reasons I should imagine that he would betake himself to the
Main. I mean, at all events, to follow him and again fix my camp close
to him. I hear that Pappenheim is coming this way too, so that we shall
probably enclose the king from both sides." ... Later, he says: "I did
not follow him first, because my cavalry was too scattered to do so;
secondly, because he is sure to guard all passes in his rear; thirdly,
because I did not wish to risk the fruits I have won. For I believe the
king's course is already downward, that he has completely lost credit,
and that he will be utterly done for as soon as Pappenheim arrives."

As soon as Gustavus got away from the vitiated air around Nuremberg out
into the good atmosphere of the country on horseback he regained all
lost enthusiasm, and was ready for the initiative, and he decided that
only a division under Bernard should go to the assistance of John George
of Saxony, and he would again try for the hereditary lands of both the
emperor and Wallenstein. That would keep the Elector Maximilian with his
little army of ten thousand from being with Wallenstein. Oxenstiern, who
seems to have left Nuremberg soon after the enemy had broken camp and
moved northward, strongly advised a division, one reason being
subsistence. The king then left Bernard with eight thousand men in
Franconia, with orders to move northward in a line nearly parallel with
Wallenstein. One division of ten thousand he sent to garrisons, and with
not more then ten thousand of his choice men he again crossed the Danube
and Lech for the purpose of attacking Ingolstadt. Maximilian made a
great cry to Wallenstein to come to his assistance, but the general
laughed at him, saying, "Protect yourself."

Wallenstein was making for Saxony because it was the richest portion of
the country, and he really hoped Maximilian would be humiliated by a

General Arnin commanded the army of Saxony, which numbered about twenty
thousand men. Much of the fluctuating conduct of the Elector must be
placed to the discredit of this Catholic adviser whose heart was always
with the emperor and not with his king and country.

Oxenstiern came up on the west bank of the river, and in Alsace had
possessed himself of Strasburg, then a free imperial city. He also drove
the Spaniards and Lorainers before him, and they were this time, for the
most part, driven from German soil. Pappenheim and Tott were keeping
each other occupied on the Weser, so that neither could help the main
army to which he belonged, but the Swedes had the Archbishopric of
Bremen, and Gustavus felt that it was necessary to win one great battle
on account of all that floating element which shouts only with the
winner. They must be again brought to shout for the Protestant side.

Wallenstein attacked Schweinfurt after losing Maximilian's division.
Bernard rushed to the defence of the city, and Wallenstein, having
double the number of soldiers, retired.

Then Bernard protected the passes through the Thuringian forests, and
kept the way open for Gustavus and the main body of the Protestant army
to make its way to Erfurth.

Pappenheim was almost if not altogether as ruthless as Wallenstein, but
morally a better man. The latter kept ordering the former to join him,
but Pappenheim had so long been in independent command that he hated to
do this. For one thing, the stealings would have to be reported, and,
for another, General Tott would harass the rear of his army, but at
length a junction of the two armies was made a few days before Gustavus
entered Saxony, which was October 21st.

Wallenstein, as a sort of warning of the coming scourge, sent Colonel
Hölch with the most savage of the Croats into Saxony, and while he wrote
hypocritical letters to the effect that the peasantry should not be
molested, yet the robbers knew they were to leave nothing behind them.

Gustavus was again all ready for his attack on Ingolstadt October 8th,
when a courier from Oxenstiern informed him that not only Hölch's
regiment, but Wallenstein's main army, twenty thousand strong, had
crossed into Saxony on October 5th. He decided at once to call in all
divisions of his army and to concentrate at Erfurth. On the 12th he was
joined by Oxenstiern and Knipenhausen. As they marched through those
great forests he kept his friend and chancellor much by his side. He
talked over with Oxenstiern what should be the terms of peace, when it
could be made, and distinctly told him that in the case of the death of
his king he, as chancellor, must bring the war sooner or later to a
successful close. Also he talked of the government at home, of his wife,
but most of all of the little maid upon whom the sorrow of ruling an
impoverished kingdom would fall, should he lose his life.

On October 28th the army was at Erfurth, having marched from Bavaria in
eighteen days. Wallenstein declared, "To do that they must have flown."

As Gustavus came through the country he received the most enthusiastic
welcome. His soldiers were generously fed and lodged, they held prayers
night and morning with their hosts, and while the people thanked them
for coming, the soldiers thanked the people for their kindness and
hospitality. It was John George who was vacillating, not his people,
they were always true to the evangelical faith.

Gustavus rode at the head of his army on a large white horse, he wore a
plain gray suit, a gray hat on which was a large white feather. This was
the only distinguishing mark of rank in his costume. All soldiers and
sailors are more or less superstitious. An incident which the army took
as a good omen occurred as they passed the Thuringian forest. The king
saw a hawk pursuing a lark, which flew into the bosom of the king, who
took the trembling bird in his hands, holding it till the hawk was out
of sight, then he said, "Go, poor little bird, may God protect you." The
army took this to mean that Austria was the bird of prey, and that
Protestantism had thrown itself into the arms of the king of Sweden for
protection, and the privilege would be given him of God to set it free.

On October 23d the different divisions of his army met in Arnstadt. Here
he and his best loved friend, Chancellor Oxenstiern, parted to meet no
more on this earth. At Erfurth he met his queen, who was waiting for
him. He had but little time to talk with her of the home land, or of the
little maid upon whom their love was lavished. Wallenstein was not far
away, so, on the 28th, he called the town council of Erfurth together,
and addressing them in their own language, he said:

"I intrust you with my most precious jewel, the queen, my well beloved
wife. You know, gentlemen, that all things are subject to vicissitudes,
and above all war, a scourge which God uses to chastise men for their
sins. Like another, I may meet with misfortune, perhaps death. If that
is the will of God, show to my beloved wife the loyalty, the devotion,
of which you have always given me proof."

The queen broke out into weeping. He clasped her in his arms, saying,
"Cheer up! We shall see each other again, if not in this life, it will
be sooner or later in the celestial abodes of eternal bliss."

Then, holding her in his arms a moment in silence (doubtless in prayer),
he sprang on his horse, rode to the head of his moving army, and kept
that place till he reached Naumburg, November 1st, 1632, before the
division which Wallenstein had hastened toward that town could arrive.

The king strongly entrenched himself here, and placed three hundred
cannon to overlook the approaches. The inhabitants fell on their knees
before him. He cried out: "Oh, think not of me; think only of the cause!
God will punish me if I accept such homage from you. Yet, I hope that He
who knows that I take no delight in such honor will not suffer my work
to fail, whatever becomes of me, seeing it is for the glory of His Holy

Wallenstein was preparing to march on Dresden when he learned that
Gustavus was ready to leave Erfurth, so he determined to throw one corps
into Naumburg, and to entrench himself at Weisenfels, about ten miles
from Naumburg. Wallenstein expected the Swedes would now go into winter
quarters, and make no further advance or attack until the warmer weather
of Spring should come.

The first days of November were exceedingly cold, and Gustavus had his
men on the outside of Naumburg brought in for shelter, comfort and food.
All this made Wallenstein think that the king was really hibernating. So
Wallenstein permitted Pappenheim to march away again to the Weser and
Towerkline, where General Baudissin, with a regiment of Swedes, kept
guard for the king. Pappenheim took with him eight thousand men in order
to take Halle on the way. Wallenstein had twenty-five thousand men left,
and he silently made his way toward Lutzen.

The king called his two generals to him to consult. "Fight," said
Bernard. "Wait," said Knipenhausen, "till the Saxon army can join us."
The king knew Saxony too well for that, but he wrote to John George to
bring in his forces at once. The duke replied: "I am deeply sensible of
the importance of the occasion, and I will at once send two regiments to
join you; the rest I need for the maintenance of my own fortresses."

Fifteen hundred men to help the man who was imperiling his life, his
army, his country, to save Saxony! But before the elector had sent that
letter, before the fifteen hundred men had left the Saxon camp, the
fatal battle had been fought at Lutzen, and the sun had seen the noblest
life of that century go out on the field of battle.

On the evening after the council the king heard that Pappenheim had been
sent away; this seems to have decided him. He said: "I believe, indeed,
that God has delivered the enemy into my hand," and, suddenly breaking
camp at Naumburg, he hastened to meet Wallenstein, whose army was
weakened by the loss of Pappenheim. For Gustavus to wait for the Saxons
would also be waiting for the return of Pappenheim.

The spies soon told Wallenstein that the king's army was on the move,
and Wallenstein wrote a frantic letter to Pappenheim. He said: "The
enemy is advancing. Sir, let everything else be, and hurry with all your
forces and artillery back to me. You must be here by to-morrow
morning—he is already over the pass." This letter, all stained with
blood, is yet to be seen at the museum in Vienna. Pappenheim carried it
into the battle in which he lost his life.

Lutzen is located on a plain over which ran great ditches or canals
(which could be waded) for irrigating purposes. Gustavus came up to the
enemy on the evening of November 5th, too late, on account of the rugged
ground, to make the attack. Most writers affirm that could the battle
have taken place on the 5th, before the return of Pappenheim, Gustavus
would, no doubt, have secured a great victory. It was late that night
before Wallenstein could bring his regiments together. They fell into
line of battle just as they came in.

Gustavus had eighteen thousand men, Wallenstein twenty-five thousand,
and was momentarily expecting Pappenheim with troops variously estimated
at from eight to ten thousand men. The king, with Bernard and
Knipenhausen, slept from time to time through the night in the king's
day coach. The two armies, that bitter cold night, faced each other,
lying down to sleep in the order they had marched, with their arms and
equipment within easy reach.

Then the fateful morning of November 6th arrived. It proved to be foggy
and very dark. The king sent for his chaplain and they spent an hour in
prayer. Divine services were held, as usual, in camp. The whole army,
each in his own language, sang Luther's battle hymn, "Ein feste Burg ist
unser Gott," "A mighty fortress is our God." The words in the second
stanza, "'Tis Jesus Christ," which are the words answering the question,
"Askest thou His name?" were usually accompanied with a salute of
artillery, that was omitted on this occasion. Then the king himself

                  "Fear not, O little flock, the foe,
                  Who madly seek your overthrow,
                  Dread not his rage and power," etc.

A hymn composed by himself, a hymn which had been sung by his loving
people on the last convocation in the palace at Stockholm for his
encouragement; now he sang it for theirs.[4]

Footnote 4:

  I have used Geijer's "History of the Swedes" as authority as to what
  occurred that dreadful day—November 6th, 1632.

Since his wound at Dirschau he had not used armor. When his page brought
his accoutrements that morning, he said, "God is my harness." He mounted
his horse without taking any refreshments. He rode along the entire
army, saluting and cheering his officers. When he came to the Swedes and
Finns, he said: "Dear friends and countrymen, this day the moment is
come to show what you have learned in so many combats. There is the foe,
not on a mountain, not behind walls, but on a clear field. How this
enemy hath heretofore shunned the open field ye well know, and that he
lets it now come to battle proceeds not from his free will, nor from
hope of victory, but because he can no longer escape your arms.
Therefore, make yourselves ready, and hold you well as becomes brave
soldiers; stand fast by one another, and fight like true knights, for
your God, for your Fatherland, and for your king. I will then so reward
you all that you may have cause to thank me for it; but if you fight
not, not a bone of you shall ever come to Sweden. God preserve you all."

To the Germans he said: "You, my sincere brothers and comrades, I pray
and exhort by your Christian conscience and your own honor, now do your
duty, as you have done the same with me often before, and especially a
year ago not far from this place. Then you beat old Tilly and his army,
and I hope that this enemy shall not slip for a better bargain. Go
freshly to it. Ye shall not merely fight under me, but with me and
beside me. I myself will go before you, and here venture life and blood.
If you will follow me, I trust in God that you will win a victory which
shall come to good for you and for your descendants. If not, there is an
end of your religion, your freedom, your temporal and eternal welfare."

Wallenstein was carried to the army in a litter, as he could not stand
on his feet from the gout. He made no remarks to his troops; none were
needed. They knew he would reward them in case of victory, and cruelly
punish if they failed.

The fog lay heavy on the field, and did not begin to lift until nearly
noon. The watchword of the Swedes was, "God with us," while the Imperial
forces had the words, "Jesus, Mary." After Gustavus' stirring speeches,
all the army answered with a clash of arms and joyous cheers. The king
looked up to heaven, "Now will we in God's name onward! Jesu, Jesu,
Jesu, may we fight to-day for the honor of Thy Holy Name!" He waved his
sword over his head, gave the command, "Forward!"

The Swedes could see that the town of Lutzen was burning, having been
set on fire by the Imperial troops at the duke's command, to prevent his
troops from being flanked on that side, also to take the heart out of
all local troops in the Protestant army. The Swedes sustained the
onerous attack, facing a battery with undaunted courage. They passed
those terrible trenches with their ice-cold water and carried and turned
a battery against their adversaries. The first five Imperial brigades
were immediately routed, the second soon after, and the third put to
flight. Just then Wallenstein came in person with fresh troops upon the
broken ranks of the Swedes, the fighting was hand to hand, leaving no
room to reload, the guns were clubbed, or used as pikes, the Swedes were
driven back, the battery recaptured and turned upon them, then in
retreat they had again to wade those awful irrigating canals. A thousand
of the Protestant army lay dead, and not a foot gained. In the meantime
the king commanded the right wing, which fell upon the enemy's left.

The Finnish cuirassiers dispersed the Poles and Croats, who fled,
throwing the cavalry into panic and causing death and confusion to the
enemy. At this moment word was brought to the king of the disaster to
his left wing, which was even then retreating across those terrible

He called General Horn to take his command and repaired with a splendid
regiment to the support of the left wing. His good horse sprang over
every ditch just as he came to it, his regiment could not keep up with
him, and only a few of his staff kept at his side, among them Francis
Albert, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg. He rode to where his infantry were most
pressed, and while he was reconnoitering for the point of attack his
nearsightedness led him too close to the enemy's line. An Imperial
corporal noticing that in every place people gave way for him, called to
a sharpshooter, "That is a man of consequence, fire at him!" The soldier
fired and the left arm of the king was shattered. At that moment his
regiment arrived and a cry of anguish went up, "Our king is shot! The
king bleeds!" "Oh, it is nothing," shouted the king, "follow me." He led
a short way, then realizing that he would fall, he said in French to the
Duke of Lauenburg, "Lead my horse, take me out of the battle. I faint."
The duke tried to do this by retiring by the right wing in order to keep
this discouraging sight from the infantry. The king was wounded again,
this time through the back. He said, "Brother, I have enough! Look now
to your own life." At this moment he fell from his horse, which dragged
him some distance, literally riddled with shots, and, in some
unexplainable way, he was separated from all his attendants except his
faithful young page, Lenbelfingen, who was run through the body by a
sword thrust.

The king's last audible words were: "I am the king of Sweden. I seal
this day with my blood the liberty and religion of the German nation."
And that heroic soul ascended to God.

The page, a boy of eighteen, lived long enough to tell the particulars
of that sad story. His father took down his words at his dying bedside.
It is the only authentic testimony of the crucial half hour of that
awful battle.

The field chaplain of Duke Bernard says in a letter to a friend: "By a
first pistol shot Gustavus was wounded in the arm so that the bone stuck
out through the coat. By another ball, which he received in the back
below the right shoulder, he was thrown from his horse and fell dying.
We should not even know the circumstances if we had not them from a
young page who served the monarch."

Word of this awful disaster reached Bernard, Duke of Weimar, who
immediately sent the word to General Knipenhausen, who prepared in some
measure for orders to retreat. But Bernard shouted, "Now for revenge!
Victory or death!" and Knipenhausen's division took new heart and sprang
into the fight.

The death of the commander usually means defeat, but these gallant
Swedes and Germans made it mean splendid victory. They were so enraged
by the king's death that the Imperial army was literally stampeded,
beaten, routed, driven from the field.

Pappenheim had received Wallenstein's letter at Halle, and without
waiting to get his infantry together, he took eight regiments of cavalry
and literally galloped to Lutzen, stopping only under necessity.

Pappenheim hoped for a personal encounter with Gustavus and pressed far
into the midst of the fight, where he was struck by two musket balls and
carried from the field. He was a great cavalry leader, and with his
death success deserted the Imperial arms. The army of Wallenstein, what
was left of it, retreated toward Leipzig, leaving the Swedish army in
possession of the battlefield. More than nine thousand men lay dead on
the field, and historians say of the Imperial army scarcely a man
escaped from that field uninjured. The entire plain of Lutzen was strewn
with men dead, dying, starving, freezing, wounded unto death.

Pappenheim died at Leipzig the day after the battle. When he fell his
troops gave up the fight. He sent a message to Wallenstein: "I die with
joy, because Gustavus, the enemy of my faith, dies with me."

Wallenstein's rage was something fearful. All his officers who had fled
from the field were beheaded the next day at his command. He concluded
Saxony's wealth would not justify the risk of remaining on its soil, and
the victors took possession of all strongholds which had been occupied
by Austrians. Wallenstein's defeat was complete, and the Emperor
Ferdinand, and all the world, knew that chains could never again shackle
northern Europe. It was a victory, but the Protestant army had paid a
fearful price.

As the men returned to camp after the great battle, the loved king came
not to welcome and thank them. After a long search the body of the king
was found with the common crowd of dead on the battle field. The body
had been stripped not only of its ornaments but of clothing by the
plunderers, who at that time were in the wake of every battle. That
beautiful body was covered with blood and wounds and had been trampled
down by horses, so that it was scarcely recognizable.

A funeral service was conducted in the little local church over the body
(which had been placed in a plain coffin) by a schoolmaster, and a
Swedish officer made a short oration, in which he set forth the
Christian character, the high aims, of this divinely-led king, whom
Weber calls "the purest character of that deeply agitated time," that
great king of a brave people, whom history rightly names Gustavus the

The next day the mortal body was taken to Weissenfels, where a druggist
named Kasparins embalmed it. He found nine wounds. After this the
remains were given to his queen and his soldiers. The sorrow seemed
overwhelming, and the generals were simply stupefied by grief and by the
magnitude of their loss.

The body was sacredly kept in a church till the following summer, when
it was sent from Saxony to Sweden. As the procession passed through the
country with the hero's body, accompanied by his queen and a committee
from the Estates of Sweden, every possible honor was paid to the dead
king. After a fairly prosperous voyage the fleet arrived, August 8th, at
Nykjoeping amid the clash of a great rain and thunder-storm. The last, a
salute from heaven's artillery, and the rain an emblem of the tears of a

The queen insisted on keeping the heart with her in a golden case, but
after the clergy had reasoned with her, not till June 21st, 1634, was
his body laid in the old Ridderholm church, which Gustavus had himself
chosen for his last earthly resting place. A beautiful mausoleum covers
his grave. On the different sides of this monument short sentences
concerning his character and his achievements are engraved. Beneath the
cross at the top a pelican feeding its young with its own blood fitly
represents this life with its bloody self-devotion to its religion and
country. It is constantly covered with the flag of Sweden, and few
travelers enter the church without placing a funeral wreath over
Sweden's immortal dead.

Now, what good came of all this sorrow, in which a great country was
laid waste, and more than twelve million people perished? Protestantism
was rescued from extinction on the continent of Europe. A limit was put
to the aggressions of Austria. Since the Thirty Years' War religious
toleration has been the boast of Protestant Germany. The awful loss of
life would seem to show the value God places on the rights of the common
people, in contrast with material prosperity. The spiritual assets of
individuals and nations seem to abide, while their material assets are

But for this war no such State as modern Germany would now exist, and
northern Europe, not only Saxony, Brandenburg and Hanover, but Denmark,
Sweden and Norway would have been swept into the Holy Roman Empire, and
their intellects paralyzed by Romanism, as in Italy, Spain and Portugal.

It was not alone the weeping Swedes who bewailed Gustavus' early death
at the age of thirty-eight years, but his prowess made Greece long for
liberty, prayers were offered for him at the Holy Sepulchre. The Pope
said: "Gustavus was the greatest king in the world." Wallenstein paid
him homage in saying: "It is well for him and me that he is gone. The
German Empire does not require two such leaders."

He was a man of sincere faith, which God graciously honored. He was a
just man, always kind, even to tenderness, and withal he was a military
genius. He transformed the science of war, making the man behind the gun
mean more than the gun. He caused flexibility of movement to take the
place of large massing of men. He was a severe disciplinarian, but he
tried to have the obedience of the soldier to come from within, obeying
the outward voice as the voice of God, country and king. He often said:
"One can be a bold combatant but not a good soldier without being a

In our age, so materialistic, so mercenary, that sees all too little of
the heroic along religious lines, it comes like a breath from heaven to
contemplate such a life, such a service, such a death as that of
Gustavus the Great.

He possessed that peculiar faculty of greatness, the distinct perception
of a distant goal, and an unfaltering determination to reach it. In
generalship he was superior to Wallenstein, the greatest Imperial
commander of that century. In diplomacy and statesmanship he excelled
Richelieu. He dared to follow the vision.

                             CHAPTER XIII.

After the death of Gustavus the Great, Chancellor Oxenstiern became
commander-in-chief; he was also chosen chief of the League of the
Protestant Princes against Austria. Oxenstiern was as earnest as
Gustavus, but the great genius and experience of the Christian soldier,
the large wisdom and sincere honesty of the great king were all missing,
and made the remainder of the war only a bloody record, with little of
the heroic, except the heroism of a steadfast standing to an unpleasant
delegated duty.

Wallenstein soon recruited a new army, but he now began to be distrusted
by both sides.[5] He failed to carry out the Edict of Restitution. He
appointed Protestants to good positions in the army.

Footnote 5:

  Read Schiller's "Drama of Wallenstein."

Proofs yet exist that he was negotiating with Oxenstiern. Count Schlick
openly said: "Wallenstein is playing a double game." He received a
messenger from Richelieu. He was aiming first for the crown of Bohemia,
and it is believed that his astrologers had told him that the stars
proclaimed he would yet be Emperor of Germany. Ferdinand had long
watched him through spies, but Wallenstein, surrounded by his great
generals, was not easy to take in case he should not choose to submit to
arrest. Wallenstein had entered into a bond of friendship with about
thirty of his officers, who promised to be faithful unto death to him,
but even while the astrologer was telling him of coming triumph, an
Imperial proclamation declared that Wallenstein had been found guilty of
treasonable conspiracy, dismissed from the service and his officers
forbidden to take any orders whatever from him.

Wallenstein went to the strong fortress of Eyer in Bohemia, followed by
a good-sized army. Here he hoped to maintain himself till he could close
negotiations with the Duke of Weimar, with the Swedes and with
Richelieu, and carry his army to the other side. But the Emperor was
prepared before he made the proclamation.

Only four of the thirty officers remained true to him; in spite of their
written oaths of allegiance that they would sacrifice their estates and
shed their heart's blood for him. The Emperor offered a reward for him
dead or alive. These false friends proposed a great banquet in his
honor. The banquet lasted late into the night, while they drank to the
general's health and toasted him in fair speech. Suddenly a company of
ruffians burst into the hall, and, with the assistance of the traitors,
the four friends of Wallenstein were assassinated. The general had
retired to rest, not being well. Hearing the confusion he rose, dressed
and prepared for the worst. Suddenly the tramp of many feet were heard,
the door was burst open, and Devereau, at the head of thirty men, cried:
"Are you the villain who would betray our Emperor?" Wallenstein, like a
brave man, opened his arms wide, receiving in the breast his mortal

His vast property was confiscated and divided among his betrayers, all
of whom received offices, honors and wealth. Twenty-four lower officers
who were his friends fled, but were captured and beheaded at Pilsen. He
had a strong personal following. His soldiers laughed at being known as
Protestant, Catholic, German or foreigners; they declared they were
Wallensteiners. He cared for neither friend nor foe, but led his robber
band from State to State till it was laid waste, then moved on to the
next, leaving devastation in his wake.

The fifth and last period of the war was now entered upon, known as the
French-Swedish War. Richelieu made the Rhine the frontier of France, and
concluded an open alliance with Sweden.

Ferdinand II. now died, after having made his son Roman king. This
greatly angered Duke Maximilian, Richelieu and Pope Urban VIII., who had
other plans for that throne. Ferdinand died unmourned, after causing as
great sorrow as any human being who ever lived. During the remaining
eleven years before the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, Ferdinand III.
would gladly have made peace, but Germany was so defenceless that she
was simply in the hands of France and Sweden, one contending for, the
other against the Edict of Restitution, but the awful story of rapine,
murder, pestilence and death of those eleven years need not be told
here. (See Schiller's "Thirty Years' War.")

What was Christian Germany doing all this time? It kept the faith; it
sought consolation in God's word; it wrote the deep spiritual hymns of
the Church, hymns which have comforted the sorrowing from that day to

The negotiations for peace extended over four years. While diplomats in
comfortable rooms were bickering over terms, armies were fighting,
soldiers dying, people starving, and utter misery prevailing. The
parties who had to subscribe to the peace were France, Sweden, the
Emperor, the various German States and princes, Frederick William, who
afterward became known as the great Elector of Brandenburg, Denmark,
Venice, Spain, Switzerland, England and the Netherlands. Sweden did not
receive Pomerania, which she demanded, but secured Western Pomerania,
with Rugen, Stettin and a few other places, and an indemnity of five
million thalers. But what was that to her loss?

The Treaty of Westphalia, in 1648, declared that the treaties of Passau
and Augsburg were confirmed. The Edict of Restitution was canceled. The
great Supreme Court of the Empire was to be half Protestant and half
Catholic. It legalized the break which had been made by Luther and the
other reformers. It gave liberty of conscience to the Protestant part of

Against the Treaty of Westphalia the Pope of Rome made an earnest
protest that does not at this distance of time and place seem important.
This protest, however, was the pontifical declaration that in spite of
the treaty of Augsburg, Rome had never abandoned and never intends to
abandon the claim made by Gregory VIII., Innocent III., Bonifacius VIII.
and their successors, that the Pope of Rome is the supreme and exclusive
source of all ecclesiastical and political authority in all the world.

All the wars, murders, intrigues, massacres and apparent victories of
Charles V., Ferdinand II., of Philip II. of Spain, of Alva in the
Netherlands, the half Roman policy of Charles I. of England, came to
dire judgment in the Peace of Westphalia, and Catholic and Protestant
learned the deep lesson of religious toleration.

It took Luther, Calvin, Knox, Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer, Gustavus
Adolphus and Cromwell, the Huguenots of France, and all God's faithful
plain people of many nations to bring about the religious toleration we
now enjoy.

Sweden practically saved religious liberty to the world. So far this has
been her greatest contribution to history. Protestantism everywhere
means liberty of conscience, Romanism everywhere means absolutism.

Chancellor Oxenstiern, next to Gustavus, deserves the honors of that
war. By his great statesmanship and unfaltering dignity he secured
religious toleration, which was the chief thing fought for, and secured
a fair share of land and money for his impoverished country.

When the Thirty Years' War ended, not one of the great men who began it
was alive. Emperor Ferdinand II., King Christian II., Gustavus the
Great, Wallenstein, Tilly, Pappenheim, James I. of England, and
Richelieu, had all gone to give an account of the deeds done in the
body. For a whole century the remains of burned and ruined towns,
villages and desolated homes and farms marked the sorrows of the
cruelest long war of history.

In the Peace of Westphalia, 1648, ecclesiastical property was determined
by possession in 1624 (six years after the war began), and liberty of
conscience granted to the Protestants. This treaty was decided by France
and Sweden, and in many respects it bore hard on Germany. It was from
rights granted in this treaty that Louis XIV. treated Germany as a
vassal province, and that Napoleon I. brought the Empire to a close.[6]
The House of Hapsburg began to see the necessity of changing the title
of Emperor of Austria, though it kept the shell without the soul for one
hundred and forty years after the Peace of Westphalia. There was a
growing expectation that the young Elector of Brandenburg might become
the real ruler of northern Germany.

Footnote 6:

  In the year 1800, Francis I. took the title Emperor of Austria.

Oxenstiern, supported by a cabinet, ruled over Sweden till Christina,
the daughter of Gustavus, in her eighteenth year, became Queen of
Sweden. This mannish queen was jealous of the fame of the old
Chancellor, and dishonored herself by dishonoring him. It is quite
possible that she was slightly insane. She scattered the crown property,
gave costly gifts to unworthy people, and at last she was in a measure
forced to abdicate in favor of her cousin, one of the Vasa family.
Having lost the love and respect of her subjects, she soon left Sweden
in masculine attire under the name of Count Dohna. She first went to
Brussels, and later to Italy. It had been known for some time that she
was greatly influenced by the Spanish minister at her court, and at
Innsbruck she openly joined the Roman Church, and was rechristened

She made her way to Rome, was well received at the Vatican by the Pope.
In time she began to regret her course, and in 1666 and again in 1667
she returned to Sweden in the vain hope of regaining her crown. In 1668
she laid claim to the crown of Poland. Returning to Rome, she died in
1689, old, poor, neglected, at the age of sixty-three, and was buried in
St. Peter's Cathedral.

Christina was succeeded by Charles X. of Sweden.[7] He proved to be a
good ruler. The family of Vasa remained on the Swedish throne till 1810,
when, the Vasa family having no suitable heirs, the throne was offered
to Field Marshal Bernadotte, a famous general under Napoleon I., whose
favor was supposed to be secured by this act. Bernadotte became a
Lutheran under the title of Charles John, sometimes spoken of as Charles
XIV. In 1814 Norway entered into a union with Sweden which continued
until 1905.

Footnote 7:

  Charles X. was son of John Cassimer, of Palatinate Zwerbrucken, and
  Catherine, granddaughter of Gustavus I.

Charles XI. was succeeded by his son (in 1844), known as Oscar I., who
lived until 1859, when the Crown Prince Charles, who, on account of the
bad health of the king, had been acting as regent, now became king of
the two countries under the name of Charles XV.; he was succeeded by his
brother, the honored Oscar II., September 18th, 1872, and ruled till
December 8th, 1907.

It is not too much to say that Oscar II. was the best loved monarch of
his generation. It fell to his fate to assent to the loss of his
Norwegian crown, but the magnanimous manner in which he did this gained
more world-wide admiration than most rulers acquire by conquering an

It is interesting to know that the only scion of royalty of the Napoleon
dynasty now on a throne is the King of Sweden, through the family of
poor, deeply wounded Josephine. Eugene de Beauharnaise, son of
Josephine, married Augusta of Bavaria, their daughter became the wife of
Oscar I., whose grandson, Gustavus V., who came to the throne December
8th, 1907, now most ably rules over the Swedish people.

Scandinavia has produced great men in every walk of life, but the
proudest name that portion of the world has yet inscribed among the
Imperishables is that of

                          GUSTAVUS THE GREAT.

                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
 2. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the Life of Gustavus Adolphus II., the Hero-General of the Reformation" ***

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