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{Reyrinted from Stereotype plctes.] 



CLX. Conrad the Fourth and Conradin. 

The news of the emperor's death was received with exult- 
ation by the pontiff: "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the 
earth be glad." With insolent triumph he wrote to the city 
of Naples, declaring that he took her forthwith into his pos- 
session, and that she should never again be under the control 
of a temporal sovereign. He also declared the Hohenstaufen 
to have forfeited their right upon Apulia and Sicily, and even 
upon Swabia. The Alemannic princes made a lavish use of 
the freedom from all restraint granted to them by the pope. 
The Alpine nobles became equally lawless. Baso, bishop of 
Sion, a papal partisan, whom William of Holland had em- 
powered to confiscate the lands of the Ghibeiiines, counte- 
nancing the tyranny exercised by Mangipan, lord of Mori 11, 
over the Valais peasantry, they applied for aid to Peter, earl 
of Savoy, by whom he was humbled [a. d. 1251]. In 1255, 
the Ghibelline bishop, Henry of Coire, took the field against 
the Rhaetian dynasts, who discovered equal insolence, and de- 
feated them and their allies, the Lombard Guelphs, at Enns. 
The imperial cause was sustained in Upper Italy byEzzelino, 
in Lower Italy by Manfred. This prince, Enzio's rival in 
talent, valour, and beauty, was a son of the emperor by his 
mistress Blanca Lancia, whom he afterwards married. Born 
and educated in Italy, he was the idol of his countrymen, and 
as prince of Tarento, was by no means a despicable antagonist 
to the pope. 

vol. u* B 




Conrad IV., Frederick's eldest son and successor, every 
where driven from the field in Germany, took refuge in Italy, 
and, trusting that his father's death had conciliated the pope, 
offered in his necessity to submit to any conditions he might 
impose, if he were recognised emperor by him. His advances 
were treated with silent contempt. Manfred, with a truly 
noble and fraternal spirit, ceded the sovereignty of Italy to his 
brother, whom he aided both in word and deed. In 1253, the 
royal brothers captured Capua and Naples, where Conrad 
placed a bridle in the mouth of an antique colossal horse's 
head, the emblem of the city. The terrible fate that pursued 
the imperial family was not to be averted by success. Their 
younger brother, Henry, the son of Isabella of England, to 
whom the throne of Sicily had been destined by his father, 
suddenly expired, and, in 1254, his fate was shared by Conrad 
in his 26th year. Their deaths were ascribed to poison, said, 
by the Guelphs, to have been administered by Conrad to 
Henry, and by Manfred to Conrad. The crime was, neverthe- 
less, indubitably committed by the papal faction, the pope and 
the Guelphs being solely interested in the destruction of the 
Hohenstaufen. Manfred's rule in Italy was certainly secured 
to him by the death of his legitimate brothers, but on the 
other hand it deprived him of all hope of aid from Germany, 
and his total inability unaided to oppose the pope was evident 
immediately after Conrad's death, when he made terms with 
the pontiff, to whom he ceded the whole of Lower Italy, Ta- 
rento alone excepted. He was, nevertheless, speedily neces- 
sitated again to take up arms against the lieutenant of the 
pope, and was driven by suspicion of a design against his life 
to make a last and desperate defence. The German merce- 
naries at Nocera under the command of the Margrave von 
Hochberg, and the Moors who had served under the emperoi 
Frederick, flocked beneath his banner, and on the death of the 
pontiff, [a. d. 1254,] who expired on the anniversary of the 
death of Frederick II., affairs suddenly changed. The car- 
dinals elected Alexander IV., who was powerless against Man- 
fred's party ; and the son of Conrad IV., the young Duke 
Conradin of Swabia, whose minority was passed in obscurity 
at the court of his uncle of Bavaria, being unable to assert his 
claim to the crown of Apulia, the hopes of the Ghibellines of 
Lower Italy naturally centred in Manfred, who was unani- 


mously proclaimed king by Lis faithful vassals, and crowned at 
Palermo, A. D. 1258. 

In Upper Italy the affairs of the Ghibellines wore a con- 
trary aspect. Ezzelino, after making a desperate defence at 
Cassano, was defeated, wounded, and taken prisoner. He died 
of his wounds, [a.d. 1259,] scornfully rejecting to the last all 
spiritual aid. His more gentle brother, Alberich, after seeing 
his wife and children cruelly butchered, was dragged to death 
at a horse's tail. The rest of the Ghibelline chiefs met with 
an equally wretched fate. These horrible scenes of bloodshed 
worked so forcibly upon the feelings of even the hardened Ital- 
ians, that numbers arrayed themselves in sackcloth, and did 
penance at the grave of Alberich : this circumstance gave rise to 
the sect of the Flagellants, who ran lamenting, praying, preach- 
ing repentance, and wounding themselves and others with 
bloody stripes, through the streets, in order to atone for th" 
sins of the world. 

It was in the course of this year that Manfred solemnized 
his second nuptials with Helena, the daughter of Michael of 
JEtolia and Cyprus, who was then in her seventeenth year, 
and famed for her extraordinary loveliness. The uncommon 
beauty of the bridal pair, and the charms of their court, which, 
as in Frederick's time, was composed of the most distinguished 
bards and the most beautiful women, were such as to justify 
the expression used by a poet of the times, " Paradise had once 
more appeared upon earth." Manfred, like his father and his 
brother Enzio, was himself a Minnesinger. His marriage with 
Helena had gained for him the alliance of Greece, and the union 
of Constance, his daughter by a former marriage, with Peter 
of Arragon, confirmed his amity with Spain. He was now en- 
abled to send aid to the distressed Ghibellines in Lombardy ; 
A. d. 1260. They were again victorious at Montaperto, and 
the gallant Pallavicini became his lieutenant in Upper Italy. 
The pope was compelled to flee from Rome to Viterlio. The 
city of Manfredonia, so named after its founder, Manfred, was 
built at this period. 

The Guelphs, alarmed at Manfred's increasing power, now 
sought for foreign aid, and raised a Frenchman, Urban IV., 
to the pontifical throne. This pope induced Charles d'Anjou, 
the brother of the French monarch, who had already " fished 
in troubled waters" in Flanders, to grasp at the crown oi 

b 2 


Apulia. On the death of Urban, [a. d. 1265,] another French- 
man, Clement V., succeeded to the chair of St. Peter, and 
greatly contributed to hasten the projected invasion. Charles 
was gloomy and priest-ridden ; extremely unprepossessing in 
hi3 person, and of an olive complexion ; invariably cold, silent, 
and reserved in manner, impatient of gaiety or cheerfulness, 
and so cold-blooded and cruel as to be viewed with horror 
even by his bigoted brother, St. Louis. This ill-omened 
prince at first fixed his residence in the Arelat, where the 
emperor's rights were without a champion, and then sailed 
with a powerful fleet to Naples, A. D. 1266. France, until 
now a listless spectator, for the first time opposed her influence 
to that of Germany in Italy, and henceforward pursued the 
policy of taking advantage of the disunited state of the Ger- 
man empire in order to seize one province after another. 

Manfred collected his whole strength to oppose the French 
invader, but the clergy tampered with his soldiery and sowed 
treason in his camp. Charles no sooner landed than Riccardo 
di Caseta abandoned the mountain pass intrusted to his de- 
fence, and allowed the French to advance unmolested as far as 
Benevento, where, on the 26th of February, 1266, a decisive 
battle was fought, in which Manfred, notwithstanding his gal- 
lant efforts, being worsted, threw himself in despair in the 
thickest of the fight, where he fell, covered with wounds. 
Charles, on the score of heresy, refused him honourable burial, 
but the French soldiery, touched by his beauty and gallantry, 
cast each of them a stone upon his body, which was by this 
means buried beneath a hillock still known by the natives as 
the rock of roses.* 

Helena, accompanied by her daughter Beatrice and her 
three infant sons, Henry, Frederick, and Anselino, sought 
safety in flight, but was betrayed to Charles, who threw her 
and her children into a dungeon, where she shortly languished 
and died. Beatrice was saved from a similar fate by Peter of 
Arragon, to whom she was delivered in exchange for a son of 
Charles d'Anjou, who had fallen into his hands. The three 
boys were consigned to a narrow dungeon, where, loaded with 

* L'ossa del corpo mio sarieno ancora 
*« co del ponte, presso a Benevento, 
o la guardia della grave mora. 

Dante, Canto III. del Pwrgatorio 


chains, half-naked, ill-fed, and untaught, they remained in 
perfect seclusion for the space of thirty-one years: in 1297, 
tJiey were released from their chains, and allowed to be visited 
by a priest and a physician. The eldest, Henry, died in 1309. 
With fanatical rage, Charles destroyed every vestige of the 
reign of the Hohenstaufen in Lower Italy. 

Italy was for ever torn from the empire, from which Bur- ' 
gundy, too long neglected for the sake of her classic sister, 
was also severed. Her southern provinces, Provence, Vienne, 
and Toulouse were annexed to France, whilst her more 
northern ones, the counties of Burgundy and Savoy, became 
an almost independent state. 

Whilst the name and power of the Hohenstaufen family 
was being thus annihilated in Italy, Germany seemed to have 
forgotten her ancient fame. The princes and vassals who 
mainly owed their influence to the Staufen, had ungratefully 
deprived the orphaned Conradin of his inheritance. Swabia 
was his merely in name, and he would in all probability have 
shared the fate of his Italian relatives had he not found an 
asylum in the court of Louis of Bavaria. 

William of Holland, with a view of increasing his popularity 
by an alliance with the Welfs, espoused Elisabeth, the daughter 
of Otto of Brunswick. The faction of the Welfs had, however, 
been too long broken ever to regain strength, and the circum- 
stance of the destruction of his false crown (the genuine one 
being still in Italy) during a conflagration which burst out 
on the night of the nuptials, and almost proved fatal to 
him and his bride, rendered him an object of fresh ridicule. 
He disgraced the dignity he had assumed by his lavish sale 
or gift of the imperial prerogatives and lands to his adhe- 
rents, whom he by. these means bribed to uphold his cause, 
and by his complete subserviency to the pope. His des- 
picable conduct received its fitting reward : no city, none 
of the temporal nor even of the spiritual lords throughout the 
empire, tolerated his residence within their demesnes. Conrad, 
archbishop of Cologne, ordered the roof of the house in which 
he resided at Nuys, to be set on fire, in order to enforce his 
departure. At Utrecht, a stone was cast at him in the church* 
His wife was seduced by a Count von Waldeck. This wretch- 
ed emperor was at length compelled to retire into Holland, 
where he employed himself in attempting to reduce a petty 


nation, the West Friscians, beneath his joke. This expedition 
terminated fatally to himself alone ; when crossing a frozen 
morass on horseback, armed cap-a-pie, the ice gave way be- 
neath the weight, and whilst in this helpless situation, unable 
either to extricate or defend himself, he was attacked and 
slain by some Friscian boors, to whom he was personally un- 
known. On discovering his rank, they were filled with terror 
at their own daring, and buried him with the utmost secrecy. 
The regency of Holland was committed to Adelheid, the wife 
of John d'Avesnes, during the minority of her nephew, Flo- 
rens V., the son of William. She was expelled by the Dutch, 
who disdained a woman's control. Florens succeeded to the 
government on attaining his majority. On the death of the 
emperor, John d'Avesnes was induced by a political motive to 
conciliate his mother and step-brothers, who were supported 
by France. The departure of Charles d'Anjou was purchased 
with large sums of money. Guy de Dampierre obtained 
Flanders : John d'Avesnes, merely the Hennegau. Namur 
passed from the hands of Philip, the brother of Baldwin of 
Constantinople, by intermarriage, into those of the French 
monarch, but was sold by Louis to Guy de Dampierre, who 
bestowed it on one of his sons. Artois remained annexed to 

The northern Friscians greatly distinguished themselves 
at this period by their spirited contest with the Danes. Wal- 
demar had left several sons, Erich, Abel, Christoph, etc. 
Erich, on mounting the throne, [a. d. 1241,] attempted to 
reconquer Holstein and Liibeck, in which he signally failed, 
and his metropolis, Copenhagen, was burnt to the ground 
[a. d. 1248] by a Liibeck fleet. Erich was basely slain by 
his brother Abel, who cast his corpse, laden with chains, into 
the water, and seized the sovereignty, a. d. 1250 : and this 
monster of infamy was offered the imperial throne by Innocent 
IV., when that pontiff was seeking for a fitting tool to set up 
in opposition to the Hohenstaufen. Abel was a tyrant. The 
heavy taxes imposed by him on the northern Friscians, in the 
west of Schleswig, inducing a rebellion, he invaded their 
country, but was defeated by the brave peasantry, and slain 
vn the Myllerdamm by a wheelwright, named Henner. His 
corpse was interred in the cathedral at Schleswig, but his 
ghost becoming restless and troublesome, it was disinterred, 


pierced with a stake, and sunk in a swamp at G-ottorp, A. D. 
1251. He was succeeded by his more moderate brother, 
Christoph, who was poisoned in 1259 by the canon Arnefast. 
The pope was implicated in the commission of this crime, 
Christoph having refused to submit to the authority assumed 
by the clergy ; his son was consequently rejected by the Dan- 
ish bishops, who raised Erich, the son of Abel, to the throne. 
The pope, the former friend of the lawless Abel, raised 
Chris top h's assassin to the bishopric of Aarhus. Margaretha, 
Christoph's widow, and her infant son, Erich Glipping, the 
blinkard, maintained their station for a while, but the op- 
posing faction being succoured by the Earls Gerhard and 
John of Holstein, they were defeated and taken prisoners on 
the Lohaide near Schleswig, A. D. 1291. Albrecht of Bruns- 
wick, their most active supporter, governed Denmark in 
Margaretha's name. Margaretha also succeeded in obtaining 
pardon from the pope, by a pilgrimage undertaken by her for 
that purpose to Rome. Her son Erich became king of Den- 
mark, and Erich, the son of Abel, duke of Schleswig. Erich 
Glipping was despotic, dissolute, and lawless ; he was mur- 
dered in his sleep, [a. d. 1286,] in revenge for having violated 
the wife of Stigo, the marshal of his empire. By the noto- 
rious Birka Rett, a new code of laws compiled by this mon- 
arch, he had completely deprived the Danes of their ancestral 
rights and liberties, and reduced the peasantry to servitude ; 
a measure that gained for him the favour of the clergy and 
nobility. He was succeeded by his son, Erich Menved. 

On the death of Conrad IV. and of William of Holland, 
fresh competitors for the crown appeared, although un demand- 
ed by the German princes, each of whom strove to protract 
the confusion that reigned throughout the empire, and utterly 
to annihilate the imperial power, in order to increase their own. 
The crown was, in consequence, only claimed by two foreign 
princes, who rivalled each other in wealth, and the world be- 
held the extraordinary spectacle of the sale of the shadow 
crown of Germany to the highest bidder. The electoral princes 
were even base enough to work upon the vanity of the wealthy 
Count Hermann von Henneberg, who coveted the imperial 
title, in order to extract from him large sums of money, with- 
out having the slightest intention to perform their promises. 
Alfonso of Castille sent twenty thousand silver marks from 


Spain, and was in return elected emperor by ' 
Saxony, and Brandenburg. Richard, duke ott - 
ever, sent thirty-two tons of gold from Engtrr • 
chased for him the votes of Cologne, Mayenm 
and, to the scandal of all true Germans, b«- 
neither of whom were present, were simulto"- 
emperor, Alfonso in Frankfurt on the Mail* 
outside the walls of the same city, A. d. 1257. *-r-_ 
in the study of astronomy, never visited Gen*^ 
claimed the throne, without regarding the s++> 
Conradin,* in right of his wife, the sister of 4- . 
the heir of the Hohenstaufen, a claim which • ~ 
the suspicions of the pontiff, who, notwith 
apparent humility, delayed his recognition of i 
In Germany, where he made his first appearan* _ 
of the citizens of Treves at Boppart by his **, ^ 
Cologne, he was merely held in consideration- 
treasury was full. Necessity erelong compelle**.. 
to England. In 1268 he revisited Germany^,^. 
his short stay, he attempted to abolish the cuw. 
the Rhine. J It was during this visit that he bec*^ ~ 
of Gode von Falkenstein, the most beautiful woi*,. 
whom he persuaded to accompany him to Englv _ 

Conradin, the last of the Hohenstaufen, resi^ 1= ^ 
in the court of Louis of Bavaria, at other times** 
tection at the castle of Ravensburg on the B*- ^_ 
cient allod of the Welfs, which had formerly b*, 
by Welf the elder to Barbarossa. In this r^ _ 
ciated with a young man of his own age, Frede*^ 
Hermann, Margrave of Baden. Frederick as*^ 
name " of Austria," on account of his mother, v _ 
scendant of the house of Babenberg ; he cherisk, 

* He released Zurich from her allegiance to Conn 
Count Uliieh (with the thumb) of Wurtemberg, who lur 
the rich county of Uracil, w»th one thousand silver mari*fc 

f The Englishman, Thomas Wikes, even at that peiW 
Rhenish customs " furiosam Teutonicorum insaniam."^^ 
the city of Antwerp is allied with the idea of customs. ^ 
Duion is said to have formerly levied a toll upon passeiL- - 
where the city now stands, and to have cut off one oP** 1 
hands, which he threw into the water; — hence, Htm**\ 
handj — Antwerp. *»'..,. 


% hope }f gaining possession of that duchy, on the restoration 
of the Hohenstaufen. Conradin and Frederick became inse- 
parabld companions; equally enthusiastic and imaginative, 
their ambitious aspirations found vent in song, and sportive 
fancy embellished the stern features of reality. One of Con- 
radin's ballads is still extant. His mother, Elisabeth, who, on 
the death of Conrad IV., had carried him for protection to 
the court of her brother, Louis of Bavaria, had wedded Mcin- 
hard, Count von Gortz, the possessor of the Tyrol. In 1255, 
Munich became the ducal residence, and the metropolis of 
Bavaria. (In 1248, the dukes of Meran-Andechs becoming 
extinct on the death of Otto, their possessions fell to his cousin, 
Albrecht, Count of Tyrol, whose daughter, Adeiheid, brought 
them in dower to her husband, Meinhard I., Count von 
Gortz. Meinhard left two sons, Meinhard II., who wedded 
Elisabeth, and obtained the Tyrol, and Albrecht, who suc- 
ceeded to Gortz.) Bavaria was now the sole supporter of the 
fallen imperial dynasty. Gratitude towards the Hohenstaufen, 
however, was far from being the guiding motive of this selfish 
prince, who solely aimed at turning his guardianship to ad- 
vantage by laying Conradin under an obligation which he was 
bound to repay if restored to his dignity, or in case of his de- 
struction, by seizing all that remained of the Hohenstaufen 
inheritance. Cruel and choleric, he was one day seized with 
jealousy on perusing a letter innocently penned by his con- 
sort, Maria of Brabant, and in a fit of sudden fury stabbed the 
bearer of the letter, the castellain, and a waiting- woman, threw 
the chief lady in attendance out of the window, and ordered 
his unoffending wife to execution, a. d. 1256. When too late, 
he became convinced of her innocence, and was seized with 
such terrible despair, that his hair turned white in one night; 
in order to propitiate Heaven, he founded the wealthy abbey 
of Furstenfeld. 

The seclusion of Conradin's life and the neglect with which 
he was treated became daily more harassing to him as he 
grew up, and he gladly accepted a proposal on the part of the 
Italian Ghibellines, inviting him to place himself at their head. 
He was, moreover, confirmed in his resolution by Louis of 
Bavaria and Meinhard von Gortz, who even accompanied him 
into Italy, but merely for the purpose of watching over their 
own interests, by persuading the unsuspecting youth, in return 


for their pretended support, either to sell or mortgage to the** 
the possessions and rights of his family. Conradin's was still 
duke of Swabia,* and held the ancient Franconian possessions 
of the Salic emperoi-s. The private possessions of the Ilohen- 
staufen having been declared crown property by Frederick 
II., the majority of the petty lords in Franconia,f unawed 
either by the power of the emperor or by that of the duke, 
had asserted their independence as immediate subjects of the 
empire. In Swabia, Conradin's dignity was merely upheld for 
the purpose of legitimating robbery and fraud, and his last 
official act as duke was the signature of a document which 
deprived him of his lawful rights.^ His conviction of their 
eventual loss inclined him to cede them voluntarily, particu- 
larly as the sale furnished him with funds for raising troops. 
In the autumn of 1267, he crossed the Alps at the head of 
ten thousand men, and was welcomed at Verona by the Scala, 
the chiefs of the Ghibelline faction. The meanness of his 
German relatives and friends was here undisguisedly displayed. 
Louis, after persuading him to part with his remaining pos- 
sessions at a low price, quitted him, and was followed by Mein- 
hard, and by the greater number of the Germans. This de- 
sertion reduced his army to three thousand men. 

The Italian Ghibellines remained true to their word. Verona 
raised an army in Lombardy, Pisa equipped a large fleet, the 
Moors of Luceria took up arms, and Rome welcomed the 
youthful heir of the Hohenstaufen by forcing the pope once 
more to retreat to Viterbo. He was also joined by two bro- 
thers of Alfonso, the phantom monarch, Henry and Frederick, 
and marched unopposed to Rome, at whose gates he was met, 
and conducted to the capitol by a procession of beautiful girls 

* According to a curious document in the Allegranza opuscoli eruditi 
latini et italiani, at Cremona in 1781, the emperor, Frederick II., con- 
iirined the annexation of Chiavenna to the duchy of Swabia, to which the 
whole of Switzerland and Alsace belonged. On the fall of the Hohenstau- 
fen this duchy was divided into innumerable petty counties, bishoprics, 
townships, independent societies of knights, and free cantons of peasantry. 

f It was in this manner and at this time that the great forest of Dr«*i- 
eich, which belonged to the crown, came into the hands of the lords o* 
Falkenstein, Hanau, and Isenburg. 

X Ulrich, count of Wiirtemberg, received the office of Marshal of Swa- 
bia and that of imperial governor in Ulm and in the Pyrss ( the free pea- 
gantry of the Leutkirche heath). He nevertheless remained inactive in 
Conradin's cause. 


bearing musical instruments and flowers. The Pisanese, 
meanwhile, gained a signal victory off Messina over the French 
fleet, and burnt a great number of the enemy's ships. Con- 
radin entered Lower Italy and encountered the French army 
under Charles, at Scurcola, where his Germans, after beating 
the enemy back, deeming the victory their own, carelessly 
dispersed to seek for booty, some among them even refreshed 
themselves by bathing : in this condition they were suddenly 
attacked by the French, who had watched their movements, 
and were completely put to the rout, August 23rd, 1268. Con- 
radin and Frederick owed their escape to the fleetness of their 
steeds, but were basely betrayed into Charles's hands at 
Astura, when crossing the sea to Pisa, by John Frangipani, 
whose family had been laden with benefits by the Hohen- 
staufen. Conradin, whilst playing at chess with his friend 
in prison, calmly listened to the sentence of death pronounced 
upon him. On the 22nd October, a. d. 1268, he was con- 
ducted, with Frederick and his other companions, to the 
scaffold erected in the market-place at Naples. The French 
even were roused to indignation at this spectacle, and Charles's 
son-in-law, Robert, earl of Flanders, drawing his sword, cut 
down the officer commissioned to read the sentence of death 
in public, saying, as he dealt the blow, " Wretch ! how darest 
thou condemn such a great and excellent knight ?" Conradin, 
in his address to the people, said, " I cite my judge before the 
highest tribunal. My blood, shed on this spot, shall cry to 
Heaven for vengeance. Nor do I esteem my Swabians and 
Bavarians, my Germans, so low, as not to trust that this stain 
on the honour of the German nation will be washed out by 
them in French blood." He then threw his glove on the 
ground, charging him who raised it to bear it to Peter, king 
of Arragon, to whom, as his nearest relative, he bequeathed all 
his claims. The glove was raised by Henry, Truchsess von 
Waldburg, who found within it the seal ring of the unfor- 
tunate prince, and henceforth bare in his arms the three black 
lions of the Staufen. His last bequests thus made, Conradin 
knelt fearlessly before the block, and the head of the last of 
the Hohenstaufen rolled on the scaffold.* A cry of agony 

* Malaspina, although a Guelph and a papal writer, sublimely de- 
scribes Conrad's wretchea fate, his courage, and his beauty. " Non voce 
querula, sed ad ccelum jungebat palmas. Suum Domino spiritum com* 


burst from the heart of his friend, whose head also fell ; nor 
was Charles's revenge satiated until almost every Ghibelline 
had fallen by the hand of the executioner.* Conradin's un- 
happy mother, who had vainly offered a large ransom for his 
life, devoted the money to the erection of the monastery of 
Stams, in a wild valley of the Tyrol. Charles's next work was 
the destruction of Luceria, where every Moor was put to the 
sword. Conrad, a son of Frederick of Antioch,f a natural 
descendant of Frederick II., alone escaped death. A contrary 
fate awaited Henry, the youthful son of the emperor Richard, 
the kinsman and heir of the Hohenstaufen, who, when tarry- 
ing by chance at Viterbo on his way to the Holy Land, was, 
by Charles's command, assassinated, A. d. 1274.$ The unfor- 
tunate king Enzio was also implicated in Conradin's fate. On 
learning his nephew's arrival in Italy, he was seized with the 
greatest anxiety to escape from Bologna, where he was im- 
prisoned, and concealing himself in a cask, was carried by his 
friends out of his prison, but being discovered by one of his 

mendabat, nee divertebat caput sed exhibebat se quasi victimam et cae- 
soris truces ictus in patientia exspectabat. Madet terra pulchro cruore 
diffuso, tabetque juvenili sanguine cruentata. Jacet veluti flos pur- 
pureus improvida falce succisus." 

* The Germans, nevertheless, looked on with indifference, and shortly 
afterwards elected an emperor, Rudolf von Habsburg, who married his 
daughter to the son of Charles d'Anjou, and who was the tool of the pope 
and of the French monarch. The German muse alone mourned the fall 
of the great Swabian dynasty. Gonradin and Frederick were buried side 
by side to the right of the altar, beneath the marble pavement of the church 
of Santa Maria del Carmine, in the market-place of Naples, where the 
execution took place. About a century and a half ago the pavement of 
the church was renewed, and Conradin was found with his head resting 
on his folded hands. The remains were left in their original state. The 
(modern) inscription on the tomb runs thus ; Qui giacciono Corraduio 
di Stooffen, ultimo de' duchi dell' imperiale casa di Suevia, e Federico 
tTAeburgh, ultimo de' Duchi d? Austria, Anno 1269. The raiser of this 
monument must have possessed more piety than knowledge when he 
made the luckless Frederick the last of the Habsburqs. 

f A daughter of this prince, Isolda, married Berthold von Hohenburg, 
probably the Minnesinger, who comes directly after the princes in 
Maness's collection. 

{His sorrowing father exposed his heart to public view on the Thames 
bridge in London. — Dante mentions this circumstance in the twelfth 
canto of the Inferno : — 

Mostrocci un' ombra dall' un canto sola, 
Dicendo : Colui fesse in grembo a Dio 
Lo cuor che'n su Tamigi ancor si cola. 


long fair locks which fell out of the mouth of the ca»k, he was 
strictly confined, some say, in an iron cage, until his death, 
which happened A. d. 1272. During the earlier part of his 
imprisonment, when less strictly treated, his seclusion, embel- 
lished by poetry and art, had been cheered by the society of 
his beautiful mistress, Lucia Viadagola. From these lovers 
descended the family of the Bentivoglio, who derived their 
name from Lucia's tender expression ; " Enzio, che ben ti 

Thus terminated the royal race of the Hohenstaufen, in 
which the highest earthly dignity and power, the most bril- 
liant achievements in arms, extraordinary personal beauty, and 
rich poetical genius, were combined, and beneath whose rule, 
the middle age and its creations, the church, the empire, the 
states, religion, and art, attained a height, whence they neces- 
sarily sank as the Hohenstaufen fell, like flowers that fade at 
parting day. 

Charles d'Anjou retained Apulia, but was deprived of Sicily. 
In the night of the 30th of March, 1282, a general conspiracy 
among the Ghibellines in this island broke out, and in this 
night, known as the Sicilian Vespers, all the French were 
assassinated, and Manfred's daughter, Constance, and her hus- 
band, Peter of Arragon, were proclaimed the sovereign* of 
Sicily. Charles, the son of Charles d'Anjou, was taken 
prisoner, and afterwards exchanged for Beatrice, the sister of 
Constance. Constance behaved with great generosity to the 
captive prince, who, saying that he was happy to die on a 
Friday, the day on which Christ suffered, she replied, " For love 
of him who suffered on this day will I grant thee thy life." 

It is remarkable that about this time the crusades ended, and 
all the European conquests in the East were lost. Constanti- 
nople was delivered in 1261, by the Greeks, from the bad 
government of the French Pullanes, and, in 1262, Antioch 
was retaken by the Turks. The last crusade was undertaken 
in 1269, by Louis of France, Charles d'Anjou, and Edward, 
Prince of Wales, who were joined by a Friscian fleet, which 
ought to have been equipped instead in Conrad's aid. After 
besieging Tunis and enforcing a tribute, the French returned 
home. The English reached the Holy Land, [a. d. 1272,] but 
met with such ill success, that Tripolis wa r ^S, and 

Accon in 1291. On the reduction of last 


strongholds of the Christians, Tyre voluntarily surrendered 
and Palestine was entirely deserted by the Franks.* 

CLXI. The Interregnum. 

The triumph of the pope over the emperor was complete : 
but the temporal power of which the emperor had been de- 
prived, instead of falling wholly into the hands of his antago- 
nist, was scattered among the princes and cities of the empire, 
and, although the loss of the emperor had deprived the empire 
of her head, vitality still remained in her different members. 

The power of the Welfs had ceased a century before the 
fall of the Hohenstaufen. The princes that remained possessed 
but mediocre authority, no ambition beyond the concentration of 
their petty states and the attainment of individual independ- 
ence. The limited nature of this policy attracted little atten- 
tion and insured its success. Equally indifferent to the down- 
fal of the Hohenstaufen, and to the creation of the mock 
sovereigns placed over them by the pope, they merely sought 
the advancement of their petty interests by the usurpation of 
every prerogative hitherto enjoyed by the crown within their 
states, and thus transformed the empire, which had, up to this 
period, been an elective monarchy, into a ducal aristocracy. 
Unsatisfied with releasing themselves from their allegiance to 
their sovereign, they also strove, aided by their feudal vassals 
and by the clergy, to crush civil liberty by carrying on, as will 
hereafter be seen, a disastrous warfare against the cities, in 
which they were warmly supported by the pope, whom they 
had assisted in exterminating the imperial house. The power 
they individually possessed was, moreover, too insignificant to 
rouse the jealousy of the pontiff, whom they basely courted 
and implicitly obeyed. The people, meanwhile, (at least those 
among the citizens and knights who still ventured freely to 
express their opinions,) bitterly lamented the dissolution of the 
empire, its internal anarchy, the arbitrary rule of the princes, 
their utter disregard of order, public security, and national 
right, and loudly demanded the election of a successor to the 
imperial throne, f 

* The common denomination in the East for all the Western nations 
f The spirit of these times is preserved in Rudiger Maness's collection 
irf the Minnesingers. 


Ottocar of Bohemia, who took advantage of the universal 
anarchy to extend the limits of his Slavonian state, was the only 
one among the princes who strove to raise himself above the 
rest of the aristocracy. The Austrian nobility, sending Ulrich 
von Lichtenstein to Henry of Misnia, in order to offer him 
the country, he was bribed when passing through Prague by 
Ottocar, who found means to induce the Austrians to elect 
him instead, and in order to exclude all other competitors, 
espoused Margaretha, the eldest and now aged sister of Frede- 
rick the Warlike, who left her convent in Treves to perform 
this sacrifice for her country. Ottocar then marched in aid 
of the Poles and of the German Hospitallers against the 
Prussians and Lithuanians. On his return in 1254, on ar- 
riving at Breslau he threw the flower of the Austrian nobility, 
whose allegiance he mistrusted, Ulrich von Lichtenstein not 
excepted, into chains, carried them prisoners into Bohemia, 
and confiscated all their lands. Louis and Henry of Bavaria, 
whose father, Otto, had been formerly nominated to the go- 
vernment of Austria by the emperor Frederick IL, influenced 
by hatred of their dangerous and despotic neighbour, and 
being, moreover, aided by the archbishop Ulrich of Salz- 
burg, raised a faction against and fortunately defeated him at 
Muhldorf, where a bridge gave way beneath the rush of the 
Bohemians, three thousand of whom were drowned, A. D. 
1255. Ottocar, in order to protect his rear, had ceded Styria 
to Bela, king of Hungary. Gertrude, Margaretha's younger 
sister and the widow of Hermann of Baden, had fled for protection 
to the Hungarian monarch, to whom she had, in her infant son's 
name, transferred her claim upon Austria, in return for which 
Bela had procured her a second husband, Roman, a Russian 
duke, by whom she was speedily abandoned. The Styrian* 
vainly opposed the monarch thus forced upon them ; they 
were overpowered ; fifteen hundred men, wlio had taken re- 
fuge within the church at Modling, were burnt to death. 
The cruelty subsequently practised by the Hungarian go- 
vernor, Stephen von Agram, occasioned a fresh insurrection 
in 1254 ; so close was the pursuit of the enraged natives that 
the obnoxious governor merely escaped by swimming acrosa 
the Drave ; the attempt of the gallant Styrians to regain their 
freedom proved vain ; all aid was refused by Ottocar, and 
they again fell beneath the Hungarian yoke and the iron rod 



of their ferocious governor. Four years later, Ottocar com» 
menced a brilliant career. In 1258, the Styrians again re- 
belled, and in eleven days drove every Hungarian out of the 
country,* upon which Ottocar despatched to their aid Conrad 
von Hardegg, an old Austrian noble, who fell valiantly op- 
posing the superior forces of the ibe on the river March, atul t 
in 1259, took the field in person at the head of his whole 
forces, and entirely routed the Hungarians in a pitched battle 
at Oroisenbrunn. Styria was replaced beneath his rule, [a, i>, 
12(jO,J and in the ensuing year peace was further confirmed 
by his marriage with Guniguuda, Beta's wayward niece, for 
whurn he divorced the hapless Margaret ha- This divorce was no 
sooner effected than the Austrians, deeming his right of inhe- 
ritance annulled, attempted to free themselves from his tyran- 
ny ; resistance was, however, vain ; the malcontents were 
thrown into prison, and, as an example to all future offenders, 
Otto of Misnia, the judge of the country, was burnt alive 
in a dungeon filled with straw, Ottoear's power was still fur- 
ther increased by the possession of Car in tin a, which was be- 
queathed to him by Ulrieh von Grtenburg, who expired, a. d, 
1263, leaving no issue. The opposition of Ulrich's brother, 
Philip, the patriarch of Aglar, and of Ulrica of Salzburg, was 
unavailing. They were defeated, and the whole of the moun- 
tain country was annexed to Bohemia. 

Silesia had been partitioned between the sons of the patri- 
otic duke, Henry, who fell on the field of Wahlstatt. A quarrel 
subsequently arose between them, and Boleslaw, on attempt- 
ing to make himself sole master of the country, was reduced 
to submission by his brother, Henry of Breslau, the celebrated 
Minnesinger. Boleslaw was also so passionately fond of singing 
and of music, that he was always accompanied by Surrian, hi*t 
fiddler, who, during his roaster's wanderings, sat behind him 
on horseback. Silesia, notwithstanding the numerous German 
colonists settled by Henry in the country devastated by the 
Tartar war, was ruined by the repeated partitions between 
Ibe &OBS and grandsons of her dukes, and by their consequent 
feuds. One instance will suffice to give an idea of the dis 

♦ The arms of Steyer or Styria are a Steer ; 
" Es gelrieretj wie der Stier Horner treibt r ihm sclber Wfiflen, 
Sltiyr kuna steuern seinom FeLud und den Zom mil Ziu-ne strnferu' 


trous and disturbed state of this wretched country. Henry 
the Thick, the son of Boleslaw, was imprisoned by his cousin 
Conrad von Glogau for six months in a narrow cage, in 
which he could neither sit upright nor lay at full length. 
Wladislaw von Leignitz, the son of Henry the Thick, was a 
wild and lawless wretch, who led a robber's life in his castle of 
Hornsberg, near Waldenburg, and was finally taken captive 
by the outraged peasantry. The germanization of Branden- 
burg advanced. Since the partition of the bishopric of Lebus, 
[a. d. 1252,] between Brandenburg and Magdeburg, the city 
of Frankfurt on the Oder had been made by the former the 
centre of German civilization, and peopled with German set- 
tiers. Whenever the German nobility took possession of a 
i village, the Slavonian peasantry obstinately resisted every inno- 
' vation. Several villages were, in consequence, sold to Ger- 
man citizens and peasants, under condition of their being 
peopled with Germans, in which case, the purchaser became 
the hereditary mayor of the free community.* In 1269, the 
Margrave, Otto, erected on the Polish frontier the wooden 
castle of Zielenzig, exactly opposite to which Boleslaw of Po- 
land instantly built the fortress of Meseritz. Magdeburg ceded 
her part of the bishopric of Lebus to Brandenburg, but merely 
as a fief dependent on the archbishopric. 

Upon the death of Henry Raspe in Thuringia, Sophia, the 
daughter of St. Elisabeth, and widow of Henry duke of Bra- 
bant, brought her infant son, Henry, to Marburg, where fealty 
was sworn to the " child of Brabant," the descendant of the 
great and beloved national saint. The Wartburg and the 
protection of the country were intrusted by Sophia to her 
neighbour the Margrave Henry, surnamed the Illustrious, ot 
Misnia, who proved faithless to his trust, and attempted to 
make himself master of the country, which he also induced the 
mean-spirited emperor, William, to claim as a lapsed fief. So- 
phia hastened into the country on receiving information of his 
treason. The gates of the city of Eisenach, which had already 
paid homage to Henry of Misnia, being closed against her, 
she seized an axe, and with her own hand dealt a vigorous blow 
upon the gate, which was instantly opened by the astonished 
citizens. Negotiations were opened between the contending 
parties ; Henry of . Misnia deceitfully proposed that the 
• Wohlbriick's History of Lebus* 



matter should be left to the decision of twenty Thuringian 
nobles of high standing, and that Sophia should promise to 
cede Thuringia to him, if they swore that his claim was more 
just than hers. Sophia fell into the snare, and the perjured 
nobles took the oath. On hearing their decision the injured 
duchess threw her glove into the air, exclaiming, " O thou 
enemy of all justice, thou devil, take the glove with the false 
counsellors !" According to Imhof's chronicle, the glove van- 
ished in the air. Sophia now implored the aid of the warlike 
duke of Brunswick, Albrecht the Fat, who invaded Thuringia, 
[a. d. 1 256,] and defeated Henry of Misnia ; but Gerhard, 
i archbishop of Mayence, creating a diversion in Henry's favour 

i by invading Brunswick during his absence, he was compelled 

to retrace his steps, upon which Henry of Misnia re-entered 
the country and captured Eisenach, where he condemned tlit 
gallant counsellor, Henry von Velsbach, who had watched 
over Sophia's interests in that city, to be cast by an enormous 
catapult from the top of the Wartburg into the town below.* 
The feud was meanwhile vigorously carried on. Albrecht 
returned, and conquered the whole of Thuringia ; his horrid 
cruelty occasioned an insurrection, which was headed by the 
aged Rudolf von Vargula, and Albrecht was surprised when 
intoxicated on the Saal near Halle, and taken captive, a. d. 
1263. Peace ensued ; Henry of Misnia retained Thuringia, 
and Henry of Brabant, the founder of the still reigning house 
of Hesse, was forced to content himself with Hesse, Brabant 
falling to his nephew John. 

Before the commencement of this war, a contest had arisen 
between Albrecht and his nobles, who were at that period as 
rebellious against their dukes as the dukes were against the 
emperor. Busso von der Asseburg, who bore in his escutcheon 
a wolf with the Welfic lion in his claws, formed a conspiracy 
among the nobles against the Welfs, in which Gerhard, arch- 
bishop of Mayence, joined. Albrecht was, however, victorious, 
Gerhard was taken captive, and Conrad von Everstein, one of 
the conspirators, hanged by the feet, a. d. 1 258. In the bishop- 
ric of Wiirzburg, the noble family of Stein zum Altenstein 
attained great power, and excited the jealousy of the bishop, 

* He is said to have been cast down three times; twice he etuiped 
with his life — but the third time was killed, exclaiming with his last 
breath, " Thuringia belongs to the child of Brabant! " 


Henning, who invited them to a banquet, where they were all 
except one, who, drawing his sword, cut off the bishop's nose 
and escaped, deprived of their heads. The ferocity of the 
nobles manifested itself also in 1257, during a great tourna- 
ment held at Neuss, where the mock fight became earnest, 
and Count Adolf von Berg, thirty-six knights, and three hun- 
dred men at arms, were slain. In 1277, the robber knights 
took the frontier count, Engelbert, captive, and he pined to 
death in prison. Berold, abbot of Fulda, was also murdered 
in 1271, by his vassals, whilst reading mass ; thirty of the 
conspirators were, however, executed. The citizens of Erfurt 
endured several severe conflicts with Sigmund, (surnamed the 
Thuringian devil,) Count von Gleichen, the son of the crusader 
of that name celebrated for his two wives. 

The power of the princes in Germany was counterpoised 
by that of the cities, which, sensible of their inability indi- 
vidually to assert their liberty, endangered by the absence and 
subsequent ruin of the emperor, had mutually entered into an 
offensive and defensive alliance. The cities on the Northern 
Ocean and the Baltic vied with those of Lombardy in dense- 
ness of population, and in the assertion of their independence. 
Their fleet returned from the East covered with glory. They 
conquered Lisbon, besieged Accon and Damietta, founded 
the order of German Hospitallers, and gained great part of 
Livonia and Prussia. A strict union existed among their 
numerous merchants. Every city possessed a corporation, or 
guild, consisting, according to the custom of the times, of 
masters, partners, and apprentices. These guilds were armed, 
and formed the chief strength of the city. Ghent and Brug- 
ges were the first cities in Flanders which became noted for 
their civil privileges, their manufactories, commerce, and in- 
dustry. In the twelfth century, they had already formed a 
Hansa,* or great commercial association, in which seventeen 
cities took part. In the thirteenth century, their example 
was followed by the commercial towns on the Rhine, the Elbe, 
and the Baltic, but on a larger scale, the new Hansa forming 
a political as well as a commercial association, which was com- 
menced by Liibeck, between which and Hamburg a treaty was 

* Hans - **«ociation, the members of which paid a sea* 



made, [a. d. 1241,] in which Bremen and almost every city 
in the north of Germany far inland, as far as Cologne and 
Brunswick, joined. The most distinguished character of these 
times was a citizen of Liibeck named Alexander von Soltwe- 
del, the indefatigable adversary of the Danes, who, besides 
assisting in gaining the victory near Bornhovede in 1227, 
performed still more signal services at sea. He several times 
went in pursuit of Erich IV. of Denmark, who incessantly 
harassed the northern coasts, with the Liibeck fleet; plun- 
dered Copenhagen, or, as Ditmar writes it, Copmanhaven ; 
burnt Stralsund, at that time a Danish settlement, to the ground, 
and returned home laden with immense booty. John, earl of 
Holstein, was taken prisoner by the citizens of Liibeck, whom 
ae had provoked, a.d. 1261. The citizens of Bremen pulled 
down the custom-houses erected by the archbishop and as- 
serted their independence, a. d. 1246. 

A similar league, though more for the purpose of mutual 
protection, was formed between the cities of the Rhine, almost 
all of which favoured the imperial cause, and, by having on 
more than one occasion taken part with the Hohenstaufen 
against the bishops and the pretenders to the crown, had in- 
curred the animosity of the great vassals, with whom they had 
to sustain several severe contests. In 1291, the ancient town 
of Metz carried on a spirited contest against the bishop, and 
subsequently united with Strassburg and other neighbouring 
cities against the pope's stanch adherents, the Dukes Mat- 
thseus and Frederick of Lothringia. In 1263, the citizens of 
Strassburg expelled their despotic bishop, Walter von Gerold- 
seck, and destroyed all the houses belonging to the clergy and 
nobility. Count Rudolf von Habsburg at first aided the 
bishop, but afterwards, on the retention of a bond by Walter's 
successor, Henry, sided with the citizens, not because, as 
modern sentimentalists imagine, he was the friend of popular 
liberty, but from an entirely selfish motive. Rosselmann, 
mayor of Colmar, whom the bishop had expelled, re-entered 
Colmar in a wine cask, incited the citizens to open sedition, 
and opened the gates to the Habsburg. The citizens after- 
wards gained, unassisted, a complete victory over the bishop at 
Eckwersheim. A feud broke out subsequently between Ru- 
dolf and the city of Basel on occasion of a tournament, during 
which the nobles, attempting to insnare the pretty daughter* 


of the citizens, were driven with broken heads out of the city, 
A.D. 1267. 

The civil disturbances that took place in Cologne are most 
worthy of remark. The archbishop, Conrad von Hochstetten, 
(since 1237,) made the dissension between the pope and the 
emperor conduce to his own aggrandizement, by supporting 
himself on the authority of the former. His first great feud 
with Simon, bishop of Paderborn and Osnabruck, and the 
dukes of Saxony, was chiefly carried on in his name by the 
frontier count, Engelbert, who gained a signal victory on the 
Wulfrich near Dortmund!, A. D. 1254. This archbishop after- 
wards attempted to deprive the cities of their privileges. His 
first attack was directed against Aix-la-Chapelle, as the 
weakest point ; but this city had been placed by the emperor 
under the protection of Guillaume, Comte de Juliers, by whom 
the archbishop was defeated and taken prisoner ; his first act, 
on regaining his liberty, was to take advantage of the emperor's 
absence in Italy, in order to encroach upon the privileges of 
the citizens of Cologne by striking a new coinage, which the 
citizens protesting against, he fled to Bonn, where he threw 
up fortifications. His siege of Cologne, during which he at- 
tempted to bombard the city by casting immense stones across 
the Rhine from Deutz, was unsuccessful, and a reconciliation 
took place. It was in the presence of the newly-elected em- 
peror, William of Holland, that Conrad laid the foundation- 
stone to the great cathedral of Cologne. Unable to reduce 
the city beneath his authority by force, Conrad had recourse 
to stratagem, and incited the guilds of mechanics, particularly 
the weavers, (there were not less than thirty thousand looms in 
the city,) against the great burgher families, who were ex- 
pelled, a. p. 1258. Conrad shortly afterwards died, and was 
succeeded by Engelbert von Falkenberg, [a. d. 1261,] who 
pursued the system of his predecessor, seized the city keys, 
fortified the towers of Beyen and Ryle, and surrounded the 
whole city with watch-towers, which he garrisoned with his 
mercenaries, and, relying upon his power, began to lay the 
city under contribution. One of the citizens, Eberhard von 
Buttermarkt, roused to indignation by this insolence, exhorted 
the people to conciliate the burgher families, the guardians of 
the ancient liberties of Cologne and the promoters of her 
glory, and to unite against their common enemy, the arch* . 


bishop. The burgher families were consequently recalled, 
and Mathias Overstolz, placing himself at their head, stormed 
the archbishop's watch-towers and freed the city, A. d. 1262. 
Engelbert made a feigned submission, but subsequently re- 
treated to Rome, whence he placed the city under an interdict. 
On his return, he was anticipated in an attempt to take Co- 
logne by surprise, by the citizens, wha seized his person. On 
his restoration to liberty, he had recourse to his former arti- 
fice, and again attempted to incite the weavers against the 
burgesses ; this time, however, the latter were prepared for 
the event, and being, moreover, favoured by the disinclin- 
ation of the rest of the citizens to espouse the archbishop's 
quarrel, easily overcame their antagonists. Engelbert was 
more successful in his next plan, that of creating dissension 
among the burgesses themselves, by exciting the jealousy 
of the family of Weissen against the more prosperous and 
superior one of the Overstolze. The heads of the family 
of Weissen, Louis and Gottschalk, fell in battle, the rest fled ; 
but a hole being made in the wall during the night by one of 
their partisans, named Habenichts, (Lackall,) they again pene- 
trated into the city. Old Mathias Overstolz was killed in the 
fight that took place in the streets, whence his party succeeded 
in repelling the assailants. After this unnecessary bloodshed, 
the city factions discovered that they were merely the arch- 
bishop's tools, and a reconciliation took place. Aix-la-Chapelle, 
equally harassed by Engelbert, who also possessed that bishopric, 
placed herself under the protection of Guillaume, Comte de 
Juliers, and of Otto, Earl of Gueldres. A bloody feud ensued. 
Engelbert was taken prisoner in the battle of Lechenich and 
shut up in an iron cage, and the Comte de Juliers, attempting 
to rule despotically over Aix-la-Chapelle, fell, together with 
his three sons, beneath the axes of the butchers, a. d. 1267. 
Disturbances broke out in Liege, A. D. 1277. The bishop, 
Henry, erected a fortification in the city, reduced the citizens 
to slavery, and led the most profligate life. He was de- 
posed, but getting his successor, John, who was a very cor- 
pulent man, into his power, had him bound with ropes on a 
horse, and trotted to death. Henry was at length assassinated 
by the citizens. These disputes between the citizens and the 
bishop were of common occurrence in almost every city. The 
inhabitants of Hameln were unsuccessful in their contest with 


the bishop of Minden, to whom [a. d. 1259] the patronage of 
the city had been resigned by the abbot of Fulda. The Count 
von Everstein, the city patron, and the citizens opposed the 
bishop, but were defeated, and several of them taken prisoners. 
In 1252, the citizens of Leipsig destroyed the Zwingburg, the 
fastness of the despotic abbot of St. Augustin ; those of Halle 
protected the Jews [a. d. 1261] against the archbishop, Ru- 
precht von Magdeburg, by whom they were persecuted ; those 
of Wiirzburg compelled the bishop, Tring, [a. d. 1265,] to 
raise the interdict laid upon them, and defeated his successor, 
Berthold, in a pitched battle at Kitzingen, A. d. 1269. The 
citizens of Augsburg also defeated their bishop, Hartmann, 
on the Hamelberg. 

These examples show the spirit then reigning in the cities 
which, more particularly in Swabia and Franconia, were in- 
cessantly at open enmity with the petty nobility, (whose num- 
bers were greatly increased by the subdivision that took 
place within these two duchies,) sometimes on account of the 
numerous Pfahlburger or enfranchised citizens, peasants who 
enrolled themselves among the citizens in order to escape from 
the tyranny of the petty lords ; sometimes on account of the 
merchants, who were either pillaged by the noble knights, 
or allowed a safe passage on payment of a heavy toll. 
The tolls on the Rhine and the Neckar formed a perpetual 
subject of dispute. The ruins of the fastnesses with which 
these robber knights crowned the heights on the banks of 
these rivers, and whence they waylaid the travelling mer- 
chants, still stand, picturesque memorials of those wild and 
lawless times. The cities of Swabia, particularly Reutlingeu 
and Esslingen, carried on a lengthy contest with Ulrich, count 
of Wurtemberg, the bitterest enemy and the destroyer of cities, 
whose example on the Neckar was followed by the nobles on 
the Rhine. The exaction of a fresh and heavy toll on pass- 
ing the Rheinfels, by Count Diether von Katzenellenbogen 
gave rise to the Rhenish league, to which the first impulse w*s 
given by Arnold de Turri, (of the Tkurm, tower,) a citizen of 
Mayence, against the exactions and robberies of the nobles, 
A. d. 1247. The confederation, which at first solely consisted 
of Mayence, Worms, Spires, Basel, and Strassburg, was re- 
newed after the death of Conrad IV., [a. d. 1255,] and was 
•bortly swelled by sixty of the Rhenish and Swabian towns. 


In 1271, it had gained great strength, and a considerable 
number of the fastnesses of the robber knights were destroyed, 
but it never attained the note enjoyed by the great northern 

The hopes of Germany, which lay, as it were, buried in the 
tomb of the last of the Hohenstaufen, revived with the main- 
tenance of civil right by the cities, and a glorious prospect of 
civil Uberty and of common weal opened to view. 



CLXIL The Hierarchy. 

The spirit of religion, originally mild and lowly, had, at the 
period of which we treat, gradually assumed a character of 
fervid devotion and extravagant enthusiasm. The zealots of 
the times sought to realize a heaven upon earth, where God 
was to be represented by his vicegerent the pope, the angels 
by the immaculate priesthood, and heaven itself by the church, 
to which those whose lives were not entirely devoted to the 
service of God, the laity, mere dwellers on the outskirts of 
heaven, were to be subordinate. 

The layman, the emperor, and the empire were thus to be 
subordinate to the priest, the pope, and the church, and the 
whole world was to be governed by a great theocracy, of 
which the pope was the head. The Sachsenspiegel, or Saxon 
code, says : " God sent two swords on earth for the protection 
of Christendom, and gave to the pope the spiritual, to the em- 
peror the temporal one:" the Schwabenspiegel, that was 
shortly afterwards compiled in order to suit the schemes of 
the church of Rome, altered the sense thus : " God, now the 
Prince of Peace, left two swords here upon earth, on his ascen- 
sion into heaven, for the protection of Christendom, both of 


which he consigned to St. Peter, one for temporal, the other 
for spiritual rule. The temporal sword is lent by the pope 
to the emperor. The spiritual sword is held by the pope 

The subordination of all the princes of the world to a higher 
power, and the combination of all the nations of the earth into 
one vast and universal community, was in truth a grand and 
sublime idea ; but unfortunately for its realization, the ecclesi- 
astical shepherds allowed too much of earthly passion and of 
sordid interest to cling to them in their elevated and almost 
superhuman position, and gave an undue preponderance to 
the Italians in the universal community of nations, in which 
men were to regard each other as the children of the God of 
peace and love, in whose presence strife was to cease. That 
mutual concord is productive of mutual benefit has long been 
a received truth. The long-lost vigour restored by the Ger- 
man conqueror to ancient Rome, was repaid by the acquisition 
of learning, and of the knowledge and love of art, for which 
Germany owes, and ever must owe, a heavy debt of gratitude 
to Italy, and especially to the church of Rome ; even the de- 
terioration of German nationality by the preponderance of 
that of Rome may be viewed as the inevitable result of this 
universal and historical fact The national rights of Germany 
nevertheless must not, as too often has been the case, be set 
aside, nor their violation be forgotten. 

The Roman pontiff solely attained his gigantic power by 
undermining the German empire ; and the success attending 
his schemes, far from being the result of the power of mind 
over matter, or of the superiority of the Italian over the Ger- 
man nation, may be chiefly ascribed to the treason of the great 
vassals of the crown, who, at first unable to assert their in- 
dependence, willingly confederated with the pope, whom they 
regarded as a half-independent sovereign, whose power as the 
head of the nations of Italy might serve to counterpoise that 
of the emperor, and countenanced the dismemberment of Lom- 
bardy from the empire, the seizure of Lower Italy and of the 
Burgundian Arelat by the French, and the sole election of 
French or Italian popes. Italy could never have gained this 
novel preponderance without the aid of the princes of Ger- 
many. The election of German popes had been upheld by the 
emperors. If the ancient Roman empire had been overthrown 


by Germans ; if their victories over the Moors, the Hungari- 
ans, and the Slavonians had saved Christendom from ruin, 
and the whole heart of Europe was undeniably their own, 
why then should not Germany also preponderate in the church, 
and the pope be a German by birth ? The germanization 
of the church would have been effected by the emperors 
had they not been abandoned and betrayed by the princes of 
the empire. It has been objected, that the sovereignty and 
tyranny of the emperor would have been a worse evil, and 
that the church of Rome would have been reduced in Ger- 
many to the state in which she now is in Russia ; a consola- 
tory reflection, founded upon an utter misapprehension of the 
national feeling throughout Germany. Had the unity of the 
empire and its external power been preserved under the em- 
peror, civil and mental liberty would, in all probability, have 
reached a much higher pitch than they possibly could un- 
der a polygarchy influenced by the inimical and malicious 

By the destruction of the Hohenstaufen, the popes, at the 
head of the Italians, gained a complete victory over the em- 
perors, who until now had been at the head of the nations of 
Germany, but the means of which they made use in the pur- 
suance of their schemes were exactly contrary to the tenets of 
the religion they professed to teach, nor was their vocation as 
vicegerents of Christ upon earth at all compatible with the 
policy by means of which, leagued with France, they pursued 
their plans in Italy, and continually injured, harassed, and 
degraded the Germans as a nation. For this purely political and 
national purpose, means were continually made use of so glaring- 
ly unjust and criminal, that the measure of offence was at length 
complete, and called forth that fearful reaction of German na- 
tionality, known as the Reformation. From the eleventh to 
the sixteenth century, it was the policy of Rome, as, since that 
period, it has ever been that of France, to weaken, to disunite, 
and to subdue Germany. 

The remainder of the princes of Christendom were, after 
the fall of the German emperors, either too weak still to oppose 
the pope, or entered into alliance with, and supported hiin ; as, 
for instance, the French monarch, whom he treated on that 
account with a condescension never practised by him towards 
*n emperor of Germany. 


The power of the pope over the church was absolute. Hia 
authority over the councils, which he convoked at pleasure, 
was uncontrolled. The canons, (canones,) or public decrees, 
were drawn up under his direction in the general council, and 
his private decrees, drawn up without its assistance, such 
as decretalia, bulla et brevia, were of equal weight. The 
whole of these laws formed the body of the canon or ecclesi- 
astical law (corpus juris canordci S. ecclesiastici). The first 
collection of Gratian, which, in 1151, had been opposed as the 
new Roman law to the resuscitated old civil Roman law 
made use of by the emperor Frederick Barbarossa for the 
confirmation of his power, was, in 1234, completed and ratified 
by the pope, Gregory IX. In order to limit the power of the 
archbishops, which threatened to endanger his authority, the 
pope gradually withdrew the bishops from beneath their juris- 
diction, and rendered them, as well as the monkish orders, 
solely dependent upon the pontifical chair. His next step 
was to give unlimited extension to the right of appeal from 
the lower courts to Rome, and, consequently, exemption or 
freedom from all other jurisdiction except that of the pope. 
Multitudes now poured into Rome with demands for justice, 
and the legates, for still greater convenience, travelled into 
every country and administered justice in the name of the 
pope. The appointment to ecclesiastical offices depended on 
him alone. The exclusion of the imperial vote had been 
gained in the great dispute concerning right of investiture. 
The power of the chapters was limited by papal reservations. 
At first the pope asserted his right to induct, independently 
of the episcopal chapters, successors to those bishops who died 
within a circle of two days' journey round Rome, an event of 
very frequent occurrence, Rome, on account of the right of 
appeal, being always filled with foreign clergy, and no bishop 
being confirmed in his dignity unless he appeared there in 
person. Before long the reservation was extended, and the 
pope decreed that on him alone depended the nomination to 
all ecclesiastical dignities that fell vacant during certain months, 
and finally asserted his right of removing or deposing the 
bishops, and of founding and of holding the nomination to new 
benefices. The pope, moreover, created, since the crusades, 
titular or suffragan bishops, possessed of no real bishoprics* 
but bearing the title of one in the Holy Land, (in partibm 



infidelium,) that had to be conquered before they could be in- 
stalled. These titular bishops were assisted by real bishops, 
who, in fact, acted as papal overseers. The pope also pos- 
sessed the right, as the monarch of the Christian world, of 
taxing the whole of Christendom. The taxes were partly di- 
rect, partly indirect. The former were styled annates or 
yearly allowances, and were merely levied upon the church, 
the laity contributing richly enough in other ways. Since the 
twelfth century, it had been the custom to pay a portion of 
the income of each ecclesiastical office to the pope, who, before 
long, claimed the whole income of the first year of installation. 
The indirect taxes were far more numerous. Both priests and 
laymen were taxed for the crusades and other pious purposes* 
The chattels of the bishops and abbots, which, on their de- 
cease, formerly fell to the emperor, were now inherited by the 
pope. Simony, so heavily visited upon laymen by the pontiff, 
was now practised by himself, and the sale of ecclesiastical 
dignities to the highest bidder, was by no means of rare oc- 

The most terrible weapons wielded by the pope, were the 
ecclesiastical punishments in three classes ; excommunication, 
or simple exclusion from the church ; the bann, by which the 
criminal was outlawed and his murder declared a duty ; and 
the interdict, which prohibited the exercise of church service 

in the city or country in which the excommunicant dwelt. 

These spiritual weapons were supported by an unlimited ter- 
ritorial possession, feudal right, an armed force, and an inex- 
haustible source of ever-increasing wealth. The pope was a 
temporal prince in the state of the church ; the archbishops, 
bishops, and abbots in the empire, were no less temporal 
princes in their dominions. The amount of the pontifical 
treasury was every century swelled by tithes, indulgences, and 
fines, by offerings to the saints, by the gifts of the pious or the 

The external power of the church was, nevertheless, sur- 
passed by its internal, moral power. Had this moral power 
remained untinctured by the insolence resulting from unlimited 
rule, it would have become a blessing to every nation. But 
ordinances merely calculated to increase external authority 
were added to the simple tenets of the Christian religion. 
The most important of these new dogmas was the sanctity of 


celibacy, which, since the time of Gregory IV., had been im- 
posed as a duty upon the priesthood, and which at once broke 
every tie between them and the rest of mankind. The prac- 
tice of celibacy caused them to be regarded in the superstition 
of the times as beings of angelic purity. The ceremony of 
ordination, from which the vow of eternal chastity was in- 
separable, raised the consecrated priest above every earthly 
passion, and bestowed upon him the power of holding direct 
intercourse with the Deity, whilst the layman could only hold 
indirect intercourse with him by means of the priest. In order 
to strengthen this belief, the mass, during which the priest 
holds up the Deity to the view of the layman, and confession, 
in which the layman receives remission of his sins in the name 
of God from the priest, were greatly increased in importance 
and signification. During the celebration of the Lord's sup- 
per, the chalice was at first withdrawn from the lower and 
plebeian classes, and, before long, from all laymen, and the 
priests alone were declared worthy of partaking of it. Thus 
was the equality of all mankind in the sight of God, as an- 
nounced by the Saviour of the world, destroyed. The study 
of the Bible was, for similar purposes, also prohibited to all 

External worship, the Roman liturgy, the solemnization of 
church festivals, were amplified. Innumerable new saints ap- 
peared, all of whom required veneration, particular churches, 
chapels, festivals, and prayers. The number of relics, to which 
pilgrimages were made, consequently, also incrreased.* Pe- 
nances multiplied, among others, the fasts, at first so simple. 
Then came the ceremonies. The poetical feeling of the age, 
the idleness of the monks, and even the jealousy between their 
various orders, demanded variety. J Innumerable particular 
festivals, processions, religious exhibitions, which often de- 

* One of the most extraordinary pilgrimages was founded by Frederick, 
archbishop of Treves, a. d. 1273, to the grave of St. Willibrod at Epter- 
nach, where a general dance in her honour was performed by the pil- 
grims, who, linked together, made two steps forward, one backward, and 
then zigzagged off to the right and left. This custom was kept up until 
very lately. 

t Juliana, a nun at Liege, having, in 1230, seen the full moon with a 
piece out of it in a vision, and being told by a voice from heaven, that 
tiiis signified the want of another great church festival, Urban IV. in* 
•tivited that of Corpus-ChristL 


generated to the most extravagant popular amusements, were 
instituted and varied according to the customs of different 
countries, or according to the peculiar history of the saint. 
Thus, for instance, the ass on which Christ entered Jerusa- 
lem, gave occasion to an ass's festival ; the long fast, com- 
mencing with Easter, was prepared for by the most frantic 
gaiety, the present carnival, as if to wear out old sins by giving 
vent to them. Prayer was, on the other hand, as greatly sim- 
plified, and the rosary, which assisted the repetition of the 
same prayer by counting with the fingers, was introduced. 

The dogma most important in its results, was the remis- 
sion of sins, or absolution. No one by repentance could find 
grace before God unless first declared free from sin by the 
priest, and absolution, at first solely obtained by severe per- 
sonal penance, was ere long much oftener purchased with 
money ; and in order to implant the necessity of absolution 
more deeply in the minds of the people, the power of Satan, 
eternal torments in hell, and the pains suffered in purgatory 
until absolution had been obtained from some priest on earth, 
were forcibly depictured. Still, notwithstanding the mis- 
chievous and bad tendency of these abuses, the enormous num- 
ber of pious institutions and donations by which the church 
was enriched, afford a touching proof of the disposition of the 
people, who disinterestedly sacrificed their worldly wealth for 
the salvation of the dead, for parents, husbands, wives, and 
children. Thus did the church, for its ambitious purposes, 
abuse man's purer and gentler feelings. 

The childlike belief in the direct intercourse between the 
visible and invisible world, and that of men with God, was the 
source of the deep poetical feeling and enthusiasm that cha- 
racterize these times ; and the popular respect for all that was 
or seemed to be holy, is the finest as well as the most striking 
trait of the middle ages.* 

Germany was, at that period, divided into the following 
ecclesiastical provinces : — 1. The archbishopric of Treves, with 

* In 1466, the city of Berne, when the pyx with the holy of hoIie» 
was stolen from the high altar in the cathedral, went into deep mourning 
on account of this proof of the anger of God. Gambling and luxury 
were abolished, splendour in apparel restricted, swearing severely pun- 
ished, the morajs of the citizens thoroughly reformed. — Wirt, History of 


„he bishoprics of Toul, Verdun, Metz. 2. The archbishopric 
of Mayence, the bishoprics of Spires, Strasbourg, Worms, 
Augsburg, Constance, Coire, Wiirzburg, Eichstadt, Pader- 
born, Halberstadt, Hildesheim, Verden, Bamberg. 3. The 
archbishopric of Cologne, the bishoprics of Liege, Utrecht, 
Osnabriick, Munden, Miinster. 4. The archbishopric of 
Salzburg, the bishoprics of Ratisbon, Freisingen, Passau, 
Brixen, Gurck, Chiemsee, Seckau, Lavant, Olmiitz. 5. The 
archbishopric of Bremen, the bishoprics of Lubeck, (Olden- 
burg,) Schwerin, (Mecklenburg,) Ratzeburg, Camin, Schles- 
wig. 6. The archbishopric of Magdeburg, the bishoprics of 
Zeiz, (Naumburg,) Merseburg, Misnia, Brandenburg, Lebus, 
Havelberg. 7. The archbishopric of Besancon, the bishoprics 
of Basle, Lausanne, Sion, Geneva. 8. The archbishopric of 
Prague, the bishoprics of Leutmeritz, Kbnigsgratz. To these 
were added, 9. The archbishopric of Riga, with the bishoprics 
Ermeland, Culm, Pomesania, Samland, Reval, Dorpat, Oesel. 
The bishopric of Breslau was independent In the Nether- 
lands, the bishoprics of Cammerich, (Cambray,) Doornik, 
(Tournay,) and Arras, were under the jurisdiction of the arch- 
bishopric of Rheims. The bishopric of Trent belonged to 
the patriarchate of Aglar (Aquileia). The archbishoprics 
and bishoprics belonging to the empire in Italy and the Arelat 
had long been lost. 

Monasteries and nunneries rapidly increased in number. 
The oldest and richest were canonries or prebends, (similar 
to the episcopal chapters,) generally sinecures for the nobility. 
Even in the common monasteries the harder work was commit- 
ted to the lay-brothers, (fratres,) whilst the actual monks 
(patres) merely prayed and sang.* A reaction in the pride 
and laziness of monastic life was, however, produced by some 
pious men who reformed the Benedictine orders, and reintro- 
duced the severest discipline and complete renunciation of the 
world, as the Carthusians, the Premonstratenses, the Cis- 
tercians, etc.,f and finally, the great begging orders, the 

* In some of the largest and richest monasteries, which contained 
several hundred monks, the choir service was carried on for centuries 
incessantly by day and by night, the monks relieving each other by turns. 
This was the case at Corbey, in Westphalia, and at St. Maurice, in the 
Canton Vaud. 

f The order of the Carmelites was founded during the crusades on 
Mount Carmel, where the prophet Elias formerly dwelt in seclusion. 


Franciscans and Dominicans, of whom mention has already 
been made as the pope's most devoted servants, his spiritual 
mercenaries or church police, who watched over his interest 
in different countries. Before long a jealousy arose between 
these two numerous orders, and a dispute broke out among 
the Franciscans, some of whom wished to modify the severity 
of the rules of their order, and to alter the vow of poverty so 
as to enable them to become, not the possessors, but the man- 
agers of property, whilst others resolved to persevere in the 
practice of the most abject poverty, humility, and penance. 
The latter, thoroughly animated with the spirit of the first 
teachers of Christianity, endangered the pope, by openly 
and zealously preaching against the worldliness and luxury 
of the church, in consequence of which Innocent IV. decided 
against them and countenanced the opposite party, A. d. 1245. 
The Franciscans refused to obey, and became martyrs in the 
cause. The contest was of long duration. They wrote openly 
against the pope, often supported the emperor against the 
church, and although delivered up to their bitterest enemies, 
the Dominicans, by whom they were burnt as heretics, their 
tenets continued to be upheld by some of the monks, and even 
influenced the universities. 

At this period, German mysticism had already ceded to 
Italian scholasticism. The founder of this mysticism was, as 
has already been mentioned, the count and abbot, Hugh de 
St. Victoire. His Gothic system was grounded on the three 
original powers of the Deity, and their effect on the universe. 
The Godhead is triple, as Power, Wisdom, and Goodness ; 
the universe is triple, as heaven, earth, and hell ; the human 
soul is triple, in so far as it can freely revert to each of these 
three. In the chevaleresque spirit of the times, Hugh ad- 
monished men to bid defiance to the double spells of sense, 
(hell,) and of reason, (earth,) with eyes fixed in constant 
adoration on heaven ; like the knight, who, intent upon freeing 
his beloved, fights his way through enchanted forests guarded 
by monsters. The power by which he is enabled to defy 
danger and to rise superior to temptation being pure, spotless 

love. Incited by this example, Honorius, (Augustodu- 

nensis, of Augst, near Basle,) set up another mystical system, 
in which he represented the struggle of the soul, not like 
Hugo, as a courageous rejection of the world, bat as a thorough 


comprehension of the universe. He compared the world to a 
harp, whose discords were all reducible to harmony ; and main- 
tained that, although God might have departed from his ori- 
ginal unity in the hostile contrasts in the world, man, like a 
little god, possessed the power of regaining the sense of di- 
vine unity by a knowledge of the harmony of the universe. — 
Rupert von Duiz, on the other hand, sought fur manifestations 
of the Divine essence not so much in nature as in time, in 
history. He beheld God the Father manifested in the ancient 
pagan times until the birth of Christ, God the Son in the 
Christian and present times, and believed that God the Holy 
Ghost would be manifested at a third and future period Tliua, 
Hugh imaged Divine power, Honoring Divine beauty, and 
Rupert applied both to daily Hie, drew heaven down to the 
earth, the eternal into the finite. The idea of Hugh coincided 
with Christian knighthood, that of Honorius with Christian 
art, that of Rupert with great historical advance in civiliza- 
tion by a transmutation of forms. The thoughts of these 
three men portray the spirit of their tunes. 

These mystic philosophers flourished daring the reign of 
Barbarossa, and were succeeded by another, Albert the Great, 
a Swabian nobleman of the house of Bofts&dt, bishop of Ba- 
tisbon, (1280,) whose name shone brightly as the star of the 
Staufen fell. His mind, although enriched with all the learn- 
ing of the age, (by the ignorant he was suspected of mvagie,; 
was deeply imbued with Italian scholasticism, Still, although 
he joined the Italian philosophers, and became * tfcwoegh 
papist, he was distinguished from the rest of the aetata**''* 
by being the first who again made nature bis study, H* *W/ 
sought to explain the idea of God theoretically, without re- 
ference to the ordinances of the church, hot was weak **K*ȣJb 
to exercise his wit on this apparently open way of reseat for 
the mere purpose of attempting to prove that every yvpwt 

dogma was both natural and ne cessary , Among tfe p*p*M 

zealots in the twelfth century was the oraele of the l/u^M", 
Geroch, provost at Reichersperg, the fomnter of Ckr*.* 
montanism in Bavaria. He preached the 6ts*rw*km «f *ii 
temporal kingdoms and the supremacy of the pope, 'IV lux - 
ury e^he^geJesiastfcs and the stupidity mU )k*a»# of tl,< 
m» waed to the &&£mm tW prvfe** <i. 

n liikvkA by *Jk y*u msi 


pencil. NigeHus Wireker wrote, at the close of the twelfth 
century, a biting satire {Brunellus, sen speculum stultorum) 
against the monks. At a later period, the spirit of ridicule 
gained increased force, being not only tolerated but fostered 
in the court of the emperor Frederick II., and characterizes 
the songs of the Minnesingers.* 

The visions (visiones, revelationes) of ecstatic seers, dreamy 
images supposed to reveal the profoundest secrets of hea- 
venly wisdom, formed the transition from mysticism to poetry. 
The first and most remarkable of these seers are St. Hilde- 
garde of Bingen, and her sister Elisabeth, in the twelfth cen- 
tury ; who were followed, in the thirteenth century, by St. 
Gertrude, and her sister Matilda, in Mansfeld ; and in the 
Netherlands, by Maria von Ognis and Lydtwit. Cassar von 
Heisterbach and Jordan wrote in general upon the visions of 
their times ; and Henry von Klingenberg, a work upon the 
angels. The late discoveries in magnetism confirm the fact 
of these celebrated seers having been somnambulists. Highly- 
wrought poetical imagery pre-eminently distinguishes the 
visions of St. Hildegarde. 

The Virgin Mary, the ideal of chastity and beauty, the 
model of piety for the women and the object of the ecstatic 
devotion of the men, formed the chief subject of the poetry of 
the times. The Latin work of the monk Potho glows with love 
and adoration ; but the most valuable works of the age are, the 
Life of Mary, and hymns in her praise, written in German in 
the twelfth century, by Wernher, Philip the Carthusian, 
Conrad von Wurzburg, Conrad von Hennesfurt, and by several 
anonymous authors ; besides innumerable legends. Unlike 
the later legends distinguished for their wonders, repetitions, 
bad taste, boasting and flattery of many an ecclesiastical ty- 
rant, of many a rich princess, who bequeathed their wealth to 
the church and were consequently canonized, those of this period 
are remarkable for their excellence, especially those in which a 
moral precept or a Christian tenet was artfully wound up with 
the history of a saint. f Most of the legends are written 

* Art also exercised its wit. In the Strasburg cathedral there was 
a group in stone representing a boar carrying the holy water-pot and 
sprinkling brush, a wolf the cross, a hare the taper, a pig and a goat a 
box of relics, in which lay a sleeping fox, and an ass reading mass, whilst 
a cat acted as reading desk. 

f Those legends, for instance, are extremely beautiful in wiich tkit 


in Latin. Several of the German ones are in verse, that of 
St. Gregory by the celebrated poet Hartmann von Aue, that 
of St. George by Reinbot von Doren, that of St. Alexius by 
Conrad von Wiirzburg, that of St. Elisabeth by Conrad von 
Marburg and John Rote, Barlaam and Josaphat by Rudolf 
von Hohenems, and several others. Among the German 
poems on the life of Christ, " The Crucified," by John 
von Falkenstein, is pre-eminent. Besides these there are a 
multitude of parables, prayers, hymns, and pious effusions by 
the Swabian Minnesingers, whose heroic poetry and amorous 
ditties are also pervaded by the fear and reverence of God 
distinctive of their times. Several excellent sermons written 
in the thirteenth century in the Swabian dialect, by Berthold 
von Regensburg, (Ratisbon,) are still extant. Rudolf von 
Hohenems translated the Bible, up to the death of Solomon, 
in verse, for Henry Raspe the Bad, and intermixed it with 
legends and historical accounts. The celebrated Chronicle of 
the Emperors is also similarly interwoven with numerous and 
extremely fine legends ; also Enikel's Universal Chronicle, 

CLXni. Gothic architecture. 

Ecclesiastical architecture took its rise from the Romans 
and Byzantines. After the crusades, and under the Hohen- 
staufen, a new style of architecture arose in Germany, far 
superior to the Byzantine in sublimity and beauty ; the 
churches were built of a greater size, the towers became more 
lofty, lightness and beauty of form were studied, the pointed 
arch replaced the rounded one, and architecture was render- 
ed altogether more symbolical in design. This new and 

divine power of innocence is set forth, such as those of the childhood of 
Christ. Innocence straggling against and overcoming every earthly sor- 
row, as in the legend of the emperor Octavianus ; its victory over earthly 
desires, as in that of St Genoveva. The triumph of Christianity over 
paganism, of faith over worldly wisdom, is often the favourite subject, and 
is well described in the legend of St. Faustinianus. The fidelity with 
which the knight, conscious of his want of spiritual wisdom, serves the 
saint, is praised in that of St. Christopher. Faith and the force of will 
triumph over the temptations of the world in the legend of St. Antony. 
Faith and repentance natch the sinner from the path of vice in that of 
St. Magdalene. And the victory of patient hope and faith over torture 
p*4 /Uath is recorded with bomadkm triumph in that of all the martyrs. 

v 2 

t>r so 



thoroughly German style was denominated the Gothic/ 
art was cultivated and exercised by a large civil corporation. 
At an earlier period every monastery had its working-monk*, 
{operami,) architect, sculptor, painter, musician ; but, in the 
thirteenth century, the great guild of masons and stonemasons 
was formed in the cities, who adopted in the service of the 
church its mystical ideas, and eternalized them in their gigantic 
labours. Their secret was preserved in the guild as the heri- 
tage of its members^ who enjoyed great privileges and wert, 
termed Free-masons, their art the royal one. In Upper Ger- 
many f for instance, at Ulm, this guild even ruled the city fbi 
some time, a circumstance that explains the existence of so 
many fine churches in that city t in all of which the same id 
the same rules may he traced. 

The churches were skilfully adorned with carved wor 
rich ornaments, pillars, and pictures, and built in such a man- 
ner as to echo and give the finest tone to music. At length 
the Germans acquired the grand idea of expressing the sub- 
limity of the Deity by means of architectural designs ; and 
whilst the churches still served their former purpose, the 
rough masses of stone became fraught with meaning. The 
majestic edifices still stand to hear witness to the spirit tu 
which they owed their rise. The buildings were to be lofty 
and large, striking the eye with wonder and filling the heart 
with the feeling of immensity, for the God to whom the tem- 
ple is raised is great and sublime* The appearance of heavi- 
ness was to be carefully avoided, art was to be hidden and its 
creations to spring forth with the apparent ease of a plant 
from the soil, for faith in God is neither forced nor oppressive, 
but free* natural, and sublime. The building must be lofty, 
the columns and the pillars shoot like plants and trees up* 
wards towards the light, and terminate in high and pointed 
towers, for faith aspires to heaven, The altar must stand to- 
wards the East, whence came the Saviour, The chancel, the 
holy of holieSj only trodden by the priest, must be separated 

* The word Gothic has no reference eilher to the ancient Goth?, 
thic architecture having taken its rise under the Hohenstaufen, or to 
the Spaniards, It having been first introduced into Spain by the musters 
John and Simon of Cologne, by whom the cathedral at Burpos was 
erected. The term ''Gothic'* has a later and an Italian origin, iht 
Italians applying it to German architecture to donute its barbarity. 


from the aisle, where stood the people, for the priesthood is 
nearer than the people to the Deity. Finally, the sublimity 
ot* the whole edifice was to be veiled by rich and beauteous 
ornaments, the straight and abrupt lines were to be bent into a 
thousand elegant curves and degrees, manifold as the colours of 
the prism, whilst the massive edifice rose as if from blocks of 
living stone, for God is hidden in the universe, in nature and 
in endless variety. All these ornaments had also one princi- 
pal form, as if the idea of the whole pervaded each minute 
particle. This form is the rose in the windows, doors, arches, 
pillar ornaments ; and borne by it, or blossoming out of it, the 
cross. By the rose is signified the world, life ; by the cross, 
faith and the Deity. A cross within the rose was in the 
middle ages the general symbol of the Deity.* 

The building was the work of centuries. The plan devised 
by the bold genius of one man required unborn generations to 
complete, for the live-long toil of thousands and thousands of 
skilful hands was necessary to impress the hard stone with the 
master's thought. With genuine self-denial and freedom from 
a mania for improvement, artists of equal skill followed in 
spirit and in thought the first kid-down plan, and each in 
turn, ambitious for his work and not for a name, have, almost 
all, the inventor and the perfecter, remained utterly unknown. 
The cathedral of Cologne is, both in size and in idea, the 
greatest of these works of wonder. It was commenced in 1248 ; 
the chancel was finished in 1320. It is still in an unfinished 
state, none of its towers are completed, and yet it is the loftiest 
building in the world, and surpasses all as a work of art. 
Ranking next to it stands the Strasbourg cathedral, begun in 
1015, the plan of its celebrated tower was designed in 1276, 

* The sublimity of Gothic architecture was regulated by a scale ac- 
cording to law. All the archiepiscopal cathedrals had three towers, two 
in front and one over the high altar. All episcopal ones had two on the 
western side. All parish churches one in front, or where the aisle joins 
lh* dhanceL All chapels of ease, merely a belfry. Among the monastic 
churches, those of the Benedictines had two towers, between the chancel 
and the aisle ; those of the Cistercians, one over the high altar ; those of 
the Carthusians, a very high tower on the western side ; those of the 
begging orders* merely a belfry, that of the Franciscans beiore, and that 
of the Capuchins </fer the door. The position of the altar to the east, 
was the same in all churches. The Jesuit and Protestant churches, at a 
later period, awd tfce old Roman architecture, and introduced tasteless 
ornament* uixl *m*p»J*ritjr, 


by Erwin von Steinbach, and the tower itself at length com- 
pleted in 1439, by John Hiitz of Cologne. The other tower 
is still wanting. Among the other great works of this pe- 
riod, may be enumerated the splendid churches of Freiburg in 
Breisgau, Ulm, Erfurt, Marburg, Wiirzburg, Nuremberg, 
Ratisbon, Oppenheim, Esslingen, Wimpfen, Zanten, Metz, 
Frankfurt, Tann, Naumburg, Halberstadt, Misnia, the St. 
Stephen's church at Vienna ; at a later date, the stately edi- 
fices at Prague, and numerous fine churches in the Nether- 
lands. The palaces of Barbarossa at Hagenau and Gelnhau- 
sen have long been destroyed, besides many churches, for 
instance, at Paulinzelle, etc. Many of the town-council 
houses, as well as many of the cathedrals, still retain their an- 
cient beauty. 

Among the other arts in the service of religion, those of the 
sculptor, the founder, and the carver, were early put into re- 
quisition in Germany for the adornment of the churches. 
Fine statues existed as early as the age of the Ottos, for in- 
stance, that of Otto I. at Magdeburg, and that in the church 
at Naumburg of the time of Otto III. In Germany sculpture 
never rose essentially above architecture in merit. The secret 
of the great effect produced by art in the middle ages, was the 
accordance of every separate part with the whole, like the dif- 
ferent organs of life, which, when united, expressed the idea 
no single part could represent, and produced a joint effect in 
which each art assisted the other. As the wondrous pile 
wholly consisted of sculptured materials, sculpture merely ex- 
erted its skill in shafts and decorations, whilst painted win- 
dows and frescoes gave light and colouring to each object, and 
the subject of each picture accorded with all around. Then 
the pile resounded and spoke like God from the clouds, from 
its lofty tower, or alternately sorrowed and rejoiced like man 
in the deep-swelling organ. The art of the founder and of the 
musician was devoted solely to the service of the church. 

The worship of the saints encouraged that of images and 
pictures, which was at first violently opposed as heathenish 
and idolatrous : thus the people's natural sense of beauty saved 
art. The painting of profane subjects was also encouraged, 
as the picture of the battle of Merseburg, celebrated by con- 
temporaries, proves. Painting also rose to greater perfection 
as architecture advanced. The fine old German paintings ap« 


peared after the crusades. The picture of the Saviour, or ot 
the Virgin, or of a saint, ever adorned the high altar. All 
the subordinate pictures were to correspond with and refer to 
that over the altar, and to represent the actions, the miracles, 
or the symbols of the patron Deity of the church. All repre- 
sented sacred objects, or what was holy by profane ones. For 
this reason they were, until the fifteenth century, always 
painted upon a golden ground, which signified the glory and 
brightness of religion. Their subjects, whether landscapes or 
figures, bear a character of repose, for the essence of holiness 
is calm, childlike simplicity, and the truth of nature. The 
first great school of painting appeared in the twelfth and thir- 
teenth centuries at Cologne, and probably resulted from the 
connexion between the Netherlands and Greece. Its most 
celebrated master, in the fourteenth century, was William of 
Cologne. A celebrated painter, Henry of Bavaria, flourished 
as early as the twelfth century ; in the thirteenth, appeared 
Jacob Kern of Nuremberg ; in the fourteenth, a society of 
painters formed at Prague, having at its head, Nicolas Wurm- 
ser, court painter to the emperor Charles IV. Painting on 
glass was afterwards brought to great perfection. Oil paint- 
ing was first introduced about this period. This art ap- 
pears to have been principally practised in the Netherlands, 
and more particularly in the city of Cologne, or, as it was 
called during the middle ages, the Holy City. The excellence 
and fame of the Colognese school remained unrivalled, and 
the works of William unsurpassed, until the commencement of 
the fifteenth century, when painting in oils was invented by a 
Dutchman, John van Eyk, the first master of the pure German 
school. A peculiar style of painting on parchment was prac- 
tised in manuscripts. Charlemagne possessed devotional books 
Afffttuaaented with pictures, and almost all the manuscripts, un- 
ti&yate tb* latter part of the middle ages, are filled with them 
The dburdks were rendered still more imposing in various 
<ither way*, br the management of the light, the fumes of in- 
tense, the lueasur**! movements of the priests, the splendour 
of* their attire, the aaamtooiis plate, etc. The solemn tones of 
ttie organ a<>x*mj/tt**4 Latin hymns of deep and stirring im- 
fKrtt. Under the am of the Salic dynasty, Guido d'Arezzo 
had introduced W*u«y mt o music in Italy. During the 
r»*ign of Barbara**, fraaer, of Cologne improved the writing 
and the -*-- 


CLXIV. The Emperor and the Empire. 

According to the idea of Charlemagne, the German empe- 
ror was to be the chief shepherd of the nations of Christen- 
dom, and to unite the separate races. The supremacy had, 
however, been usurped by the pope, to whom the emperor and 
the rest of the sovereigns and princes of Europe were declared 
subordinate. In the empire itself the officers of the crown 
had become hereditary princes, and their support of the em- 
peror depended entirely on their private inclination. The 
emperor grasped but a shadowy sceptre, and the imperial dig- 
nity now solely owed its preservation to the ancestral power 
of the princely families to whom the crown had fallen. The 
choice of the powerful princes of the empire therefore fell 
purposely upon petty nobles, from whom they had nothing to 
fear ; and even when the crown, by bribery and cunning, came 
into the possession of a great and princely house, the jealousy 
of the rest of the nobility had to be appeased by immense 
concessions, and thus, under every circumstance, the princes 
increased in wealth and power, whilst the emperor was gradu- 
ally impoverished. Imperial investiture had become a mere 
form, which could not be refused except on certain occasions. 
The Pfalzgraves, formerly intrusted with the management of 
the imperial allods, had seized them as hereditary fiefs. The 
customs, mines, and other royal dues had been mortgaged to 
the church, the princes, and the cities ; the cities had made 
themselves independent of the imperial governor, and the free 
peasantry, at length, also lost the protection of the crown, and 
fell under the jurisdiction of the bishops and princes, who 
again strove to enslave them. 

The most productive sources of the imperial revenue were 
presents in return for grants of privileges, for exemptions from 
certain duties, and the legitimation of bastards, or for the set- 
tlement of disputed inheritances, with which a disgraceful 
traffic was often made. Thus the dukes of Austria paid a 
certain sum of money to the emperor for investing them with 
their dignity in their own territory, instead of in the diet. 
The taxes paid by the Jews for toleration within the empire 
also poured a considerable sum into the imperial treasury. 
They were on this account termed the lacqueys of the holy 
Roman empire. As the universities increased in importance 


they were granted imperial privileges, and the emperor held 
the preferment to the professorships, etc., in his gift, which 
was managed in his name by a Ffalzgrave nominated for that 
purpose ; but, as the dignities bestowed upon poor professors 
were not very profitable, the emperors carried on a more lu- 
crative traffic in titles, which they bestowed upon the nobility, 
raising counts to the dignity of princes, lords to that of counts, 
and citizens to the knighthood. By this means there existed 
before long numbers of petty princes, having the title of duke, 
(dux,) who possessed a mere shadow of an army ; counts, who 
were neither provincial nor popular judges ; and all the doctors 
in the universities, although they might never have bestrode a 
horse, were enrolled as chevaliers or knights. These follies 
commenced in the fourteenth century. 

According to the mystical fashion of the times, the different 
grades in the empire were illustrated by the number of the 
planets. The empire was represented as a great camp with 
seven gradations and seven shields, the first of which was 
borne by the emperor, the second by the spiritual lords, the 
third by the temporal princes, the fourth by the counts of the 
empire, the fifth by the knights of the empire, the sixth by 
the country nobility, the vassals of the princes, the seventh by 
the free citizens and peasantry ; the serfs, who were incapable 
of bearing arms, being excluded. 

The ancient distinction between the feudal vassals and the 
freehold proprietors still existed. Every knight who possess- 
ed an ancient allod, however small in extent, considered him- 
self equal in birth to the most powerful counts and dukes. 
These nobles, originally nobles of the empire, were generally 
termed the Semperfreien, ever free. Their privilege consisted 
in their freedom from any bounden duty save to the emperor, - 
whilst they could be feudal lieges over other freemen ; a pri- 
vilege so much the more pertinaciously insisted on by the 
weaker among them, who possessed rank without the ability 
to maintain it. Hence arose the importance attached to the 
ancient allod, to ancestral castles, to ancient names and arms, 
in short, to birth, aod the haughty contempt with which the 
barons of the <mty*m looked down upon the feudal nobility. 
There was, m malfity, * great difference between the Semper- 
freie* tbmmdfo**), m& the powerful dukes might often smile 


at the impoverished counts and barons, (Freiherren,) *ho set 
themselves up as their equals in rank. 

The three spiritual princes, the archbishops of Mayence, 
Cologne, and Treves, had anciently precedence in the election 
of the emperor and in the administration of the affairs of the 
empire. In the fourteenth century, four temporal princes 
associated themselves with them, and seized the exclusive right 
of electing the emperor and the exercise of the imperial offices aa 
their hereditary right. The electors, or Churfiirsten, were re- 
stricted to the number of seven, on account of the mystical idea 
represented by that number. They were, the archbishop of 
Mayence, as arch-chancellor of the German empire ; the arch- 
bishop of Treves, as chancellor of Burgundy ; the archbishop 
of Cologne, as chancellor of Italy ; the Rhenish Palatine, as 
imperial Truchsess, (dapifer,) seneschal, who at the coronation 
bore the imperial ball in the procession, and at the banquet 
placed the silver dishes on the table ; the duke of Saxon- Wit- 
tenberg, as marshal of the empire, who bore the swprd before 
the emperor, and acted as master of the horse ; the Margrave 
of Brandenburg, as imperial chamberlain, who bore the sceptre 
before the emperor, held the ewer and basin, and managed the 
imperial household ; the king of Bohemia, as imperial cup- 
bearer. These Churfursten elected the emperor according to 
custom at Frankfurt on the Maine, and crowned him at Aix- 
la-Chapelle. The first diet was always opened by the emperor 
in person at Nuremberg. 

This princely aristocracy, however, could not succeed in 
totally excluding the rest of the spiritual lords of the German 
church, the jealous nobles of the empire, and the powerful 
cities, from the government of the empire, and they were be- 
fore long compelled to concede seats and votes in the diet to 
the bishops, abbots, petty princes, counts, knights, and bur- 

After the fall of the Hohenstaufen and the Babenbergs, the 
following princely houses or races come chiefly into notice : 
the ancient race of the TVelfs in Brunswick, that of Wittels- 
bach in Bavaria, that of Ballenstadt or Ascanien in Branden- 
burg and Anhalt, the Ziihringer in Baden, that of Wettin in 
Misnia, that of Lbwen in Brabant and Hesse, then those 01 
the counts of Habsburg, Luxemburg, Wurtemberg. those of 


the Truchsesses of TValdburg, Hohenzollern, Nassau, Olden- 
burg, all of which acquired great fame at a later period. The 
reigning families of Holland, Flanders, Gueldres, Juliers, 
Holstein, and Meran became extinct, and only the modern 
houses of Burgundy and Lothringia became celebrated in the 
west of the empire. To the south of the Alps, the Earl of 
Savoy, the Visconti in Milan, the Margraves d'Este in Fer- 
rara, gained great power. In Hungary, the ancient royal 
house of Arpad reigned for a short period longer, and the old 
Slavonian races also in Bohemia, Pomerania, Mecklenburg, (the 
descendants of Niclot,) and Silesia (the ancient house of Piast). 
The prince only ruled as liege lord over his vassals, among 
whom all the clergy, all the counts and knights of the empire, 
the imperial cities, and free peasantry were not included, al- 
though within his demesnes. In his quality as duke, the 
prince had the banner, and a right to summon to the field ; 
but the ancient duchies had been dismembered and divided 
into several fiefs, and the nobles of the empire marched under 
the imperial banner, so that the prince merely took the field 
at the head of his immediate vassals. In his quality as count, 
he had the right of jurisdiction, but merely over his vassals, 
the clergy and all the vassals of the empire being free from 
it. The highest officer who acted in the name of the prince, 
was the Vizdom or deputy, (vice-domus,) also termed the cap- 
tain of the country. The sheriff of the country, who repre- 
sented the prince in feudal matters, and the judge of the court, 
who superintended the private possessions of the princo, held 
sometimes separate offices. Many of the princes gained the 
privilege of no appeal being permitted from their tribunal to 
the emperor (privilegium de non appellandd). The emperor, 
nevertheless, always remained the sole source of legislative 
and executive power, so that a privilege of this description 
can merely be counted as an exception, and the emperor had 
the right of bestowing new privileges, according to his will, 
throughout the whole empire, even on the princes his subjects. 
Below the upper provincial courts of justice, were especial 
provincial courts, answering to the ancient Gau or provincial 
courts, (Judicia provincialia,) over which a sheriff presided ; 
and below these again the old hundred courts, the bailiwicka 
with bailiffs and domain judges. The lower courts judged 
petty offences ; the provincial courts of justice, capital crimes. 



The power of the princes was also considerably increased 
by the royal dues, such as customs, mines, etc., conceded to 
them by the emperor. 

The rule of the princes was most despotic in the Slavonian 
frontier province*, where the feeling of personal indep 
was not bo deeply rooted among the people j the princes of 
Brandenburg, Bohemia, and Austria, consequently, ere long 
surpassed the rest in power. In the western countries of Ger- 
many there were a greater number of petty princes. After 
rendering the emperor dependent upon themselves, the princes 
had to carry on a lengthy contest with the lower e! asses, the 
result of which was the institution of the provincial estates. 
The example of the princes, who had made their great pos- 
sessions independent of the emperor and hereditary, was fol- 
lowed in turn by their vassals, the feudal nobility, who en- 
deavoured to secure to themselves the free possession of their 
estates ; whilst a fixed station, similar to that gained in the 
empire by the imperial towns and free peasantry, was also 
aspired to by the provincial towns and serfs. The tyranny of 
some of the princes, like Frederick the Quarrelsome and Henry 
Raspe, occasioned confederacies to be set on foot between the 
provincial nobility, the cities, and the peasantry, against the 
princes. In other places, the necessities of the princes caused 
the imposition of taxes, which, being at that period unheard 
of, were laid before the people in the form of requests {Beden y 
precaria), Hostile attacks, the encroachments of neighbour- 
ing powers, disputed claims, often rendered it necessary for 
the princes to turn to their subjects, and to purchase their aid 
with grants and privileges. It was in this manner that the pro- 
vincial estates* which stood in the same relation to the prince as 
the imperial estates did to the emperor, and that provincial 
diets, which represented the imperial diet on a small scale, 
arose. At first, separate agreements were made for certain 
purposes. Thus, in 1302, the barons and knights of Upper 
Bavaria granted a tax to their duke ; in 1 307, the clergy and 
the cities did the same ; but each estate separately, and it was 
not until 1396, that the three estates met in a general diet. 
The fourth or peasant class was only free, and therefore pos- 
sessed of a right to sit in the diet, in the Tyrol, Wurtemberg, 

Kempten, Hadeln, Hoja, Baireuth. The provincial dieta 

iecured the privileges of the princes and the estates* and bound 


them together by the ties of mutual interest and mutual pro- 
tection. The maxim of the estates was, "Where we do not 
counsel, we will not act." 

The policy pursued by some of the princely houses is re- 
markable. Primogeniture (the right of the first-born to the 
whole of the inheritance, by which subdivision, so prejudicial 
to family power and influence, was avoided) was, notwith- 
standing the evident advantage, introduced at a later period, 
and became by no means general. The Zahringer and the 
Welfs at first attempted to strengthen themselves by means of 
the cities, in which they were unsuccessful, the cities of Zurich 
and Berne on the one hand, and that of Liibeck on the other, 
making themselves independent. The Wittelsbacher were 
more successful, and increased their authority by favouring 
the institution of the provincial estates. At a later period, 
the Habsburgs chiefly supported themselves upon the pro- 
vincial nobility, the Luxemburgs on the citizen class, on art 
and science, and raised Bohemia to a high degree of civiliza- 
tion ; whilst the Wurtembergs raised themselves imperceptibly 
to greater power, by purging their demesnes as much as pos- 
sible of the ecclesiastical and lay lords and of the cities, and by 
solely favouring the peasantry. 

The laws wholly consisted of treaties and privileges. The 
former were, 1st, Concordates between the emperor and the 
pope, in which the emperor always made concessions to the 
church, and by which the canon law was essentially increased. 
2nd, Laws of the empire concluded in the diet between the 
emperor and the assembled states, and answering to the capi- 
tularies of former times, but now chiefly consisting of resolu- 
tions for the maintenance of public tranquillity, decrees of the 
states for the regulation of the empire. The independent 
spirit of the estates opposed a more comprehensive mode of 
legislation, as had been, for instance, attempted to be intro- 
duced by Frederick II. 3rd, Capitulations, grants, charters, 
negotiations concerning inheritances and divisions, concluded 
between the emperor and the powerful princes. 4th, Feudal 
laws agreed to by the feoffer and the feodary. 5th, Provin- 
cial laws settled beta* +he princes and the provincial 
estates. 6th, Feder 4 * 8 -* ^« federated knights, cities, 

and peasants. 7th, $ges of the citizens and 

peasantry. 8th, I oat and guilds, some 


for the single towns, others for the members of a corporation 
spread throughout the empire.* Every trade imposed its parti- 
cular regulations upon itself ; the customs of the craft wer« 
ijvery where similar, and merely the political privileges of the 
corporation differed in different towns. 

Privileges were conferred by the emperor, and also by the 
princes, and always merely related to single prerogatives. 

The canon law, clear and comprehensive, as greatly con- 
trasted with the confused state of the temporal legislature, as 
did the church with the empire. It was on this account that 
the Hohenstaufen endeavoured to introduce the Roman law, 
and, at all events, favoured the study of this law, which was 
introduced into the university of Bologna by the great lawyer 
Irnerus (Werner). Besides which, the Germans themselves 
endeavoured to compile general codes of law out of the numer- 
ous single laws. Eike (Ecco, Echard) von Repcow was the 
first who, by command of Count Hoier von Falkenstein, (the 
picturesque ruins of whose castle are still to be seen on the 
Harz,) collected all the Saxon laws, and formed them into a 
compilation called the Saxonspiegel, or Saxonlage, written in 
Latin and low German, A. D. 1215. It contained the im- 
perial prerogatives, feudal laws, provincial laws, and ancient 
usages in law matters, andevery Saxon could refer to it for 
information in every legal case. Whenever the ancient 
Saxon law opposed the new papal ordinances, it was defended 
and maintained, on account of which the pope rejected many 
of the rights insisted on in this code. Although the Saxon- 
spiegel was simply a private collection, (first ratified by Fre- 
derick II.,) and was not only far from containing all the Ger- 
man laws, but was also compiled without reference to order, 
the want of a general code of laws was so deeply felt, that this 
code shortly became extremely celebrated, was continually 
copied, and finally completed by the addition of local laws and 
regulations. In 1282, it appeared in a new form as the Schwa- 
benspiegel, or code of Swabian laws, and, as was natural on 

• For instance, the pipers and musicians, who had a distinct court ol 
justice, as also had the singers at a later period. The bee-masters' court 
in Nuremberg, an imperial court of justice for the free corporation of bee- 
masters, who, during war-time, sent a contingence of six arquebusiers to 
serve the empire, and whose honey furnished the celebrated Nuremberg 
gingerbread, was peculiar of its kind* 


the fall of the Hohenstaufen, with a much more decided papist 
tendency ; also with new additions, as the standard law-book 
and imperial law, to all of which the Sachsenspiegei served as 
a foundation.— Among the especial laws, the feudal laws of 
Lombardy of 1235, and the Austrian provincial laws of 1250, 
the municipal laws of Soest and Liibeck, and the Friscian pea- 
sant laws, were the most celebrated. 

The feudal system gradually gained ground. So little was 
it deemed disgraceful to be a feodary, that it often happened 
that the feudal lord was at the same time vassal to his vassals.* 
Hence arose the strange and scarcely accountable symbols of 
enfeoffment. When a wealthy man of rank held a property 
or a privilege in fee of an inferior, he humbled himself merely 
in a laughable manner before him. The same took place be- 
tween equals, and, in this manner, a number of feudal tenures 
became associated with ridiculous customs suggested by chance 
and by good humour.f The feoffee of a church was invested 
by touching the bell-rope. 

In the administration of justice, the right of every criminal 
to choose his own judges was still preserved. Thus, the Schwa' 
benspiegel says, " Every temporal tribunal is raised by elec- 
tion, in order that no lord may impose a judge upon the people 
except the one whom they choose themselves." In the same 
manner, the proceedings were held in public, and conducted 
by word of mouth, both in the imperial courts of justice and 
all others, down to those of the peasantry. Even evidence by 
averment, single combat, and ordeals was still retained in the 
law, and single combat came into still greater practice on ac- 
count of the customs of chivalry 4 

* The emperor Henry VI. was invested by the bishop of Basle, a. d. 
1 185, with the city of Breisach. Och's History of Basle. 

f Diimge has given several examples. A monastery had, when first 
invested, presented the feudal liege with a pair of boots, which he pro- 
bably needed at the moment, and was consequently obliged to present 
him annually with a pair. The emperor Sigmund, when on a journey 
being once well entertained, invested his host with a meadow ; the boat 
in return engaging to meet every emperor who might visit that part of the 
country with a waggon-load of cooked meats served in dishes. The city 
of Nimwegen sent a glove full of pepper as an annual offering to the city 
of Aix-la-Chapelle, in return for the decision of their law cases by tlie 
tribunal of the latter city. Birkenmeyer's Antiquarian Curiosities. 

t Even among the lower classes and among women. In the thirteenth 
century, it was the custom wbea a complaint was brought before tfe* 

The influence of the Roman and Mosaic notions, however, 
introduced a fresh barbarity into criminal law, unknown in 
Germany, even during the earliest ages. All the lower courts 
were not only empowered, as formerly, to fix the Wergild or 
fine at :i certain amount, but also to pronounce over u hide 
;md hair," that is, to adjudge the criminal to be flogged, 
beaten, or shorn ; whilst all the upper courts were empowered 
to pronounce over " head and hand," over life and death. 
The gallows and the rack were ever at work. Chopping off 
the hands, putting out the eyes, etc., became the order of %h& 
*hy. It is remarkable in the transition from the ancient 
Germanic to the Rom an -Mosaic administration of justice, that 
the office of headsman, which, in ancient pagan times, \\ 
priestly function in the name of the Divinit}% was long deemed 
sacred and honourable, and was, consequently* performed by 
the youngest counsellors; and it was not until Roman tortures 
and numerous and cruel bodily punishments and modes of 
death were introduced together with the Doctors of the Ro- 
man law, that the people attached the idea of disgrace and 
infamy to the headsman's office, now become both hateful and 
difficult to perform, and it was for the future committed to a 
newly-formed corporation or society of headsmen, who were 
licensed to follow that bloody and disgusting profession, but 
were, on that account, deprived of all honourable privileges in 
social life.— The mode of crime often furnished the mode of 
punishment. Thus, for instance, coiners were boiled in kettles. 
Heretics were burnt alive» The aristocracy, like the clergy, 
enjoyed privileges. For a high dignitary of the church to be 
convicted of misdemeanour, a greater number of witnesses 
were requisite than could by any possibility be present. It 
gradually became a settled custom, that equals in birth alone 
could prefer a complaint against one another. The emperor 
himself conferred the right upon certain knights of being 
solely amenable to accusations laid to their charge by another 
knight. The same difference was made in punishments ; the 
hanging of a knight has always been cited by historians 
as an exception, and that of the lower classes as a general 

court of the violation of female chastity, and the matte* con Id not be proved 
fur the defendant to be buried in the ground up to bis middle, and, srmnj 
"with a stick an ell in length, to fipbl with the complainant, who struck at 
Lain with a stone tied up in her veiL Garter* Chronicle of Aug$burg. 


rale. TBk Bfanmmn Dcnr sta* amavAneoi die use of the most 

horrid mste <nT m nttim- imn> qtie- (Qesanai administration of jus- 
tice ; anildki^mlkiw-rsiita^wciiaknj ami secret proceedings gra- 
doallrgaDiiHifismniinfi tformsBis ««f sacmflt examinations, written 

fJCCJiiraitfy Sn£ mBSHSt& ttl» fir jgfi<«r <t$<srt&. 

In We^oaum, a* on ffrnksJanji. toe ancient mode of ad- 
ministering jjaBSa* wast flingHsir preserved. There the pro- 
vincial Gratis sttlll fhsM flneir ttri&ojnai in the open air, witn 
the elected jtnfllnseg <nr ^enit&v at the presence of the free pea- 
santry. TUs nffSanail was denaaunated a free coort of jus- 
tice ; the seat ac" jjartfei^m* fee seat ; the Graf, the free Graf ; 
the sheriff fiLe fee sfterifc. Ia\ each district, Gaw, or pro- 
vince, were ssrasall stats «f jiastfee, answering to the ancient 
hundred cnants. ITbe* cents were afterwards replaced by 
the Feamjoie k t, myrr'ar <r high court of judicature, the secret 
tribimal (sacnaw jmOrimj formed wader the great regent of 
the empire, Engd&ert, acdUbishop of Cologne, and duke of 
Westphalia, who federated witai a nmher of honourable men 
of every das Bar the jmrjwBe of secretly judging and punish- 
ing all evS-doen. S o o rocy ne, at that time, highly neces- 
sary, each «f she judges, in case his name was discovered, 
being exposed to the vengeance of the innumerable turbulent 
spirits. The utility of 1^ tribunal was ere long so generally 
recognised, that in the fourteenth ce ntur y it already counted 
10Q.0W members. These member* were bound by a solemn 
oath. A traitor was hanged seven feet higher than other cri- 
Tne dboef jodge presided over the whole of the 
Sext in order were the free Grafs, who elected the 
chief jud^e; then the fee sheriffs, who elected the free Graf ; 
and foartauj and lastly, the messengers who summoned the 
coort and tie accused, and executed the sentence. All the 
mzxribos recognised each other by a secret sign. No eccle- 
wuBtts, exnept the spiritual lord, no Jew, woman, or servant, 
tPtire permitted among the members, nor were they amenable 
\%> the cost. Freeborn laymen alone were, in this manner, 
judged %j their peers. Such accusations were also alone 
brought before this court that either had not been, or could 
not be, brought before any other. The tribunal assembled 
in secret. A aaeaaber came forward as accuser. The ac- 
cused was smwm o nrd three times. There was no appeal 
except in cases of inricvition, and then only to the empetw 
you u. ■ 


or to the pope. If the accused neglected to appear, the oath 
of the accuser was declared sufficient proof of his guilt. On 
the other hand, every member accused by another could 
clear himself by oath. The condemned criminal was secretly 
and mysteriously deprived of life. His body was always 
found with a dagger marked with the letters S S G G (stick, 
stone, grass, grein) plunged into it. 

CLXV. The aristocracy and the knighthood. 

The lower nobility were of three kinds. The old and 
proud families, who still retained their allods and despised 
feudality, were the sworn enemies of the princes, the bishops, 
the abbeys, and the cities. Within the walls of their an- 
cestral castles they bade defiance to all, and acknowledged no 
superior except the emperor. The more powerful families 
strove to place themselves on an equal footing with the 
princes, and took advantage of the disturbances of the times 
to extend their authority, more especially since the fall of 
the duchies of Franconia, Saxony, and Swabia. In this 
manner, noble families, such as those of Habsburg, Luxem- 
burg, Wurtemberg, Hohenzollern, Nassau, Mansfeld, Schwarz- 
burg, etc., which, at first, merely possessed some small castle, 
gradually rose. The weaker families were partly ruined by 
their more powerful neighbours, who attacked and reduced 
them to submission, and partly maintained their independ- 
ence by entering into a mutual league after the example of 
the cities. The mode in which these bold knights existed 
was very romantic* Whenever the labour of their en- 

* The memory of the wild knights still lives in numerous legends. 
The four robber-nests of the notorious knight Landschaden von Neckar- 
Steinach still stand on the Neckar. This knight was put out of the bann 
of the empire, but disguising himself in black armour, and wearing hi? 
vizor always closed, accompanied a crusade to the Holy Land, where he 
distinguished himself by performing prodigies of valour, and at length, 
when the emperor, struck with his bravery, offered him a reward in the 
presence of his other knights, lifted his vizor and discovered the well- 
known features of the old robber. — Who is there throughout Bavaria 
unacquainted with grim Heinz von Stein ? And stories, like the fol- 
lowing, are to be met with in all the old chronicles. A troop of Hes- 
sian robber-knights, headed by the lords of Bibra, Ebersberg, Thiingen, 
ind Steinau, entered the little town of Briickenau concealed in wine-caskn, 


slaved serfs was insufficient for their maintenance and for that 
of their men-at-arms, they robbed the monasteries, and way- 
laid the merchants travelling with their goods from one city 
to another. The citizens often marched against them, and 
sometimes the emperor in person ; many of their castles were 
destroyed, and themselves, whenever they could be caught, 

hanged on the nearest tree, booted and spurred. It often 

happened that several poor neighbouring knights would build 
a castle at their common expense, in which they dwelt toge- 
ther, and which formed the common inheritance of their chil- 
dren. These were termed co-proprietors. In the songs of 
the Minnesingers, the bitter complaints of the poor knights, 
that although equal in birth to the princes, they were so far 
inferior to them in power, are of frequent recurrence. 

The nobles belonging to the different orders of knighthood 
formed a second and distinct class. They also still breathed 
the spirit of ancient freedom and proud independence, and, at 
the same time, acquired an aristocratic influence, equalling 
that of the princes. The first of these orders, the Templars, 
became so powerful in Italy, that the French monarch made 
use of his influence over the pope, in order to annihilate them. 
Had the German order of knighthood settled in the heart of 
Germany, a coalition between it and the whole of the dis- 
contented nobles of the empire would have resulted, and a 
strong opposition have thus been raised against the princes ; 
but by migrating to the utmost limits of the empire, to Prus- 
sia, it ever remained a stranger to the internal affairs of 
Germany, merely recruiting its numbers from the German 

out of which they crept daring the night, and pillaged the place, bnt, be- 
ing delayed by packing the booty, were attacked by the citizens, and, 
after losing all their ill-gotten gain, were chased from the town. The 
independent spirit of the knights, however, was sometimes shown in a 
more worthy manner. The legend of the knight Thede! Umerferden 
Ton Wallmoden, who was said to use the deril as his steed, and was 
famed for his fearlessness, is perfectly in accordance with the age. I Ifory 
the Lion once attempting to startle him by suddenly biting bis finger, he 
gave him in return a hearty box on the ear, aagruy exifcuming, " Hare 
yon become a dog ? " The conduct of the Freii*rr r*a Krenkingen was 
still more independent ; when visited by the ewwror Barbaxoaaa at hi* 
estate at Tengen near Constance, he reeerred his* ssttiag, because he 
held his lands in fee of no one bsrt of the asm, ztA a&thoagfc he f*r«maDjr 
hoaocied the emperor, did not own his a* his Jiegp 16*4* 

z 2 

The feudal aristocracy formed a third class as court no 
bility s and filled all the chief offices of state. This class con- 
sisted of the ancient ministeriales, who actually served at 
court,* and of the vassals, the feudal nobles, whu either held 
lauds in fee of the clergy and of the temporal princes for serviced 
rendered, or who had changed their originally free allods into 
a feudum oblatum* These nobles, although raised by their 
own services, still maintained an aristocratic power, opposed 
to that of the princes. The vassals often rose in arms against 
their liege, as was the case in Thuringia, Austria, Bavaria, 
etc., and at length gained new political rights as provincial 
estates, and yet these nobles were bound botb by their feudal 
oath, by habit, and by interest, to the court of the prince. 
Many fiefs were inseparable from court offices, and those 
knights who could neither live by robbery, support the soli- 
tude of their rocky fastnesses, nor enter the church, were alone 
able (no value being at that period attached to agriculture and 
industry) to satisfy their ambition, their Jove of splendour, 
and their romantic love of adventure, at court. 

The institution of knighthood (ordo mtiilaris) was founded 
during the crusades, and formed an exclusive society, in which 
novices (noble youths* pages, guargune^ armour-bearers) and 
companions (squires, men-at-arms) learnt the art of arras un- 
der the master, (a knight,) and followed him to the field, until 
they had rendered themselves worthy of the honour of knight- 
hood. The ceremony consisted of being invested with the 
weapons sacred to knighthood, and receiving a stroke with the 
flat of the s word, f which was deemed the highest honour that 
even a sovereign could attain. The youthful knight, in sign 
of devoting himself to the service of God, prepared himself 
like a priest by fasting and watching (over his arms at night) 
for the solemnity, and, robed in white, swore, before the altar, 

* It of tea happened that their original vassalage was not removed, 
even when a family was already in the enjoyment of all the other privi- 
leges of the ministerial nobles* hut it was only in law questions that the 
real rank of these aristocrats was brought into notice. HiiJlmatm *" 
collected several cases of this kind. 
f With the words : 

M In honour of God and the Virgin pure, 

This receive and nothing more. 

Be honest, true, and brave, 

Better knight than slave." 


ever to speak the truth, to defend right, religion, and her serv- 
ants, to protect widows, orphans, and innocence, and to fight 
against the infidels. Besides these general duties, each knight 
imposed upon himself the private one of fighting in honour of 
his mistress or his wife, bore her favourite colour and her 
token, and used her name as his war-cry. 

The institution of knighthood was the result of the ancient 
heroic spirit of our pagan forefathers, sanctified by that of 
Christianity. The chivalric school of arms was an imitation 
of the ancient warlike fraternities, in which personal bravery 
and unflinching courage were, as in chivalry, necessary in the 
warrior. The ancient spirit of the people might be traced 
even in the lawless insolence of the wild robber-knights and 
ruffians. It was this spirit that inspired these bold and ven- 
turesome knights with such profound contempt for all law 
save sword-law, according to the motto of that wildest of 
knights, Count Eberhard von Wiirtemberg ; " The friend of 
God and foe of all mankind ! " Like to a race of royal eagles, 
they built their eyries on the summits of the rocks, and looked 
down with proud contempt on the laborious dwellers in the 
vale. It was the same spirit that drove them to the mountain 
tops, there to erect their lordly castles, and thence to rule the 
plain, that in olden time caused mountains to be selected for 
the abode of kings and the seat of gods. The hardy habits of 
these mountain knights, life and continual exercise in the 
open air, the objects by which they were surrounded, the 
sunny height, the forest shade, the rushing stream, the flowery 
mead, also fostered in their bosoms that love of nature, with 
which the German in days of yore was so strongly imbued, 
and tuned the poet's soul. 

The courts of the emperor and of the princes naturally be- 
came the centres of chivalry. It was in these courts, to which 
the assemblage of knights lent splendour, that they sought to 
earn distinction by deeds of prowess in honour of their dames, 
and acquired all the accomplishments of the day. Wherever 
a prince proclaimed a tournament the knights poured in crowds 
to the spot. A herald or king -at -arms examined their gene- 
alogies and right of admission to the noble pastime. After the 
usual forms, the tournament began in the presence of the 
princes, of the ladies, by whom the prize was bestowed, and 
of an innumerable crowd composed of every clans. The 


advantage of ground, light, and sun was rendered as equal at 
possible. The weapons also were alike. A tournament ge- 
nerally signified a mimic fight, of which there were several 
kinds, on foot and on horseback, merely with the sword 
ani the lance. The principal part of the tournament was 
the tilting or breaking of lances, by which the prowess of 
the knights was proved. The knights and their horses were 
clothed cap-a-pie in mail, and ran against each other with long 
heavy lances. The one who bore the fearful blow without 
being unseated, and cast his opponent to the ground, was de- 
clared victor.* This dangerous sport often proved fataLf 
Each knight bore his arms. Each of the nations of Germany 
had originally two colours, into which the shield was divided, 
or one was the ground-colour and the other that of the figure 
represented upon it. These colours were the same in every 
family belonging to the same nation, the figures alone varying. 
The French shields were white and red, those of the Swabi- 
ans red and yellow, those of Bavaria white and blue, those of 
Saxony black and white. The hereditary offices of the em- 
pire and the free imperial towns assumed the colours of the 
reigning dynasty .$ The rapid succession of different reign- 
ing families, the intermixture and exchange of feudal posses- 
sions, had, it is true, been productive of great confusion in the 
ancient colours of the four principal nations of Germany. 

* The old German custom was to tilt freely at each other ; the Italian 
custom was to place a barrier between the knights, along which they 
rode, each on the opposite side, against the other, so that the men and 
not the horses received the blow. As the spirit of chivalry declined, the 
armour became less ponderous — this was termed the modern mode. 
There were four distinctive modes of tilting, the old German, the modern 
* German, the Italian, and the modern Italian. There were also numer- 
ous varieties of tilting, differing from the real fight, that is, from the vari- 
ous modes of fighting on foot with long or short swords, daggers, clubs, 
battle-axes. The best accounts are to be found in Schemel's Book of the 
Tournament, in manuscript, with coloured designs, (the only one of its 
kind,) in the Ambraser collection at Vienna. 

t At a tournament held at Magdeburg in 1175, sixteen knights were 
slain ; at one at Neuss in 1256, thirty-six ; in 1394, at Liegnitz, the duke, 
Boleslaw, lost his life ; and in 1496, twenty-six knights fell. 

X The Imperial colours took from the Saxon dynasty black, from the 
Franconian red, and from the Swabian gold colour. Under the Carlo* 
vingians they were simply Franconian, white and red. Those of Franc* 
were, for the same reason, originally white and red, the blue afterward* 
added was the colour of the Valois. 


The greatest variety reigned in the symbols, each family hav- 
ing its own peculiar sign ; and some individuals again made 
choice of particular ones, as, for instance, Henry the Welf, 
the lion, Albrecht of Brandenburg, the bear. It must fur- 
ther be remarked, that the names of families with the addi- 
tion " von," was originally no sign of nobility of birth, every 
peasant having a right to add to his name that of his birth- 
place or place of abode. 

It was at the courts that the knights aluo learnt to carry 
the feeling of honour to a high degree of refinement, and to 
practise the customs of chivalry. There it was that they 
smoothed down the rough, coarse manners that had accom- 
panied them from their villages, that blood-thirsty cruelty 
was checked, and the difficult art of honour fostered and cul- 
tivated to an incredible excess, with the same assiduous en- 
thusiasm with which the Germans, at that period, pursued 
every object regarded by them as sacred. When at length 
the spirit had vanished that once animated the noble' to deeds 
of chivalry, the dead form of honour alone remained in the 
corrupt system of duelling, and in the foolish prejudices allied 
with birth and station. 

The service of the fair formed an essential part of courtly 
and knightly customs. It originated in the reverence paid 
during pagan times to women, was ennobled by Christianity, 
and, in conformity with the rules of art and manners, prac- 
tised in the courtly circle, and admitted into the code of hon- 
our. To insult or injure a woman was against the laws of 
chivalry, for honour imposed upon the strong the defence and 
care of the weak. Woman, the ideal of beauty, gentleness, 
and love, inflamed each knightly bosom with a desire to serve 
her, to perform great deeds at her bidding or in her name, to 
worship her as a protecting divinity or a saint, to conquer or 
to die under her colours ; and this submission to the gentle 
yoke of women, bred in humility and religion, chiefly contri- 
buted to civilize and humanize the manners of the age. The 
knight of renowned courage and an adept in the rules of hon- 
our was likewise required to understand the rules of female 
society, the service of the fair, courtship or the service of love, 
before he could secure the reward of love, the heart and hand 
of his beloved. Love became an art, a knightly study. The 
rules of love were recorded in verse and in song, and applied 


with the greatest minuteness to every case. There were also 
courts of love composed of select women and knightly poets, 
who gave their judgment with extraordinary sagacity on every 
question of love. This art was in romantic countries termed 
gallantry, a term now merely indicative of the empty, vain 
shadow of the ancient reality. The difference is so great, that 
the term gallantry, which at that period signified modesty 
and virtue, now signifies immodesty and vice. Fidelity was 
the very essence of true love. And the practice of chastity 
and continence bestowed those blessings of health and strength 
on the generations of that period, which the licence of later 
ages, like rust upon iron, could alone destroy. 

CLXVI. The chivalric poetry of Swabia. 

The chivalric poetry of Swabia flourished from the com- 
mencement of the twelfth until that of the fourteenth century. 
The poets sang to the harp, the favourite instrument during 
the middle ages. The violin or fiddle appears to have also 
come into use at an early period, the singers being termed 
harpers or fiddlers. Poetry, of whatever description, was 
generally in rhythm, an ancient German invention, and pecu- 
liar to the German language, it having been unknown to the 
more ancient nations, the Greeks and the Romans, and being 
adopted from the German by the Italians of more modern 
date. By the metre the shortness or length of the vowel was 
merely marked ; rhythm, on the contrary, marked the differ- 
ence between the vowels, and added the charm of harmony^ 
thus converting the monotonous rise and fall of one tone into 
a language varied as the tones of music. Rhythm introduced 
a higher species of poetry, and added richness and expression 
to language. 

Minnelieder, or love songs, were of high antiquity in Ger- 
many. We find, in the time of Louis the Pious, that the Ger- 
man nuns sang Winlieder> ( Win, friend,) which were forbidden 
as too worldly by that pious emperor. In the days of chivalry 
the sun of love once more rose upon Swabia, and awoke thou- 
sands of flowers, a world full of songs of love, which have 
been handed down to us by hundreds of poets. The joy of 
the heart is in these songs compared to spring ; pain, to winter. 


They are full of beautiful comparisons. They are themselves 
flowers, their roots the heart, their sun love, their atmosphere 
fate. The preservation of the most beautiful of the Minne- 
lieder is due to the noble knight, Rudiger Maness von Manek, 
a citizen of Zurich, who, about the year 1300, assiduously col- 
lected them into a manuscript enriched with pictures. This 
collection was left at Paris by mistake in 1815. Another 
valuable collection of MinneUeder is to be seen at Jena, a 
smaller one at Heidelberg. Among the Minnesingers were 
several princes, among whom the Hohenstaufen chiefly distin- 
guished themselves; the emperor Frederick II., Manfred, 
and Enzio always used the Italian language ; MinneUeder, in 
the German tongue, of the emperors Henry VI. and Conrad 
of Swabia, are still extant, besides some composed by Wenzel, 
king of Bohemia, Henry, duke of Breslau, Henry, duke of 
Anhalt, John, duke of Brabant, Henry, Margrave of Misnia, 
Otto, Margrave of Brandenburg, etc. The finest and great- 
est number of Minnelieder were the work of Swabian nobles of 
lesser degree, the most distinguished among whom was 
Walther von der Vogelweide, who sang not only of love, but 
of national glory, and of the corruption that began to prevail in 
the church and state. Next to him came Reinmar von Zwe- 
ter. The most ardent admirers of the sex were Ulrich von 
Lichtenstein, (who, attired as " Dame Venus," travelled from 
Venice into Bohemia, challenging every knight to single com- 
bat,) and Henry Frauenlob of Mayence, who was borne to 
his grave by the most beautiful of the women of that city, 
and wine was poured over his tomb. Hartmann von Owe 
was the finest of the pastoral poets. 

An anonymous poet of the twelfth century blended the finest 
of the old ancestral legends of the Franconians, Burgundians, 
and Goths, bearing reference to Saxony, Swabia, and Bavaria, 
into one great epic poem, that carries us back to the time of 
Attila, (Etzel,) and in the description of the different races 
and of their heroes borrows many traits from later history 
and softens the gloom and cruelty of pagan times by tinging 
the whole with the brighter spirit of chivalry and Christianity. 
This most extraordinary of all German poems is the song of 
the Nibelungen, which has been with justice said to figure in 
Gorman poetry as the epic poem of Homer does in that of 
Greece. The general idea of the Nibelungenlied is similar 


with that of the Edda, nor is the resemblance fortuitous. The 
fate of the ancient heroic age was fixed beforehand ; it was to 
be fulfilled by the universal struggle caused by the migrations, 
and the new and milder age promised in the Edda after the 
conflagration of the world, was to commence with the Chris- 
tian era, and under the wise legislation of Theodoric the Great* 
The composer of the Nibelungenlied took a similar view of 
ancient times. He assembles all the German heroes at Etzel's 
court, and destroys them all, together with the empire of the 
Huns, in one immense conflict, whence Dietrich von Bern 
(Verona) alone issues victorious and becomes the founder of a 
new era. 

The histories of Henry IV., of the Saxon war, and of Fre- 
derick Barbarossa, (Gunther Ligurinus,) written in Latin 
verse, are imitations of the ancient Roman poets. The follow- 
ing heroic legends, written in German rhythm, bear more 
resemblance in their tone and spirit to the ancient book of 
heroes ; the legend of Duke Ernest of Swabia, written by 
Henry von Veldek and others, the wondrous histories of Henry 
the Lion, Louis of Thuringia, Frederick of Swabia, Frederick 
the Quarrelsome, Godfred of Bouillon, etc., and many other 
ancestral legends of both the princes and lower aristocracy. 

To these may be added the chronicles written in rhythm of 
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, in which historical 
facts intermingle with legendary tales. 

The poetry of Germany became gradually influenced by the 
taste prevalent throughout Europe. The orders of knight- 
hood embraced the whole of the Christian aristocracy of Eu- 
rope, without distinction of nation or of language, and the 
conquest of the holy sepulchre united them in one common 
object, and brought them into contact. They became ac- 
quainted with the manners and customs of the East, studied 
the poets of Greece and Rome, and the fantastic magic tales 
of Araby. A new species of poetry, full of warmth and life, 
replaced the old popular legends ; a similar spirit animated 
the poets of Germany and Italy, who mutually borrowed 
from each other. German romance, however, bore away the 
palm, and surpassed that of rival nations both in compass and 

In the twelfth century, the legends of Greece and Rome 
began to be interwoven with those of Germany, and gave 


birth to the chronicle of the emperors, which was written in 
verse. This and other chronicles of the same period are a 
complete medley of ancient legends and classical stories. Lam- 
precht's Life of Alexander the Great is, on the other hand, re- 
markable for beauty and simplicity, but the tone was first 
given to German romance by Henry von Veldek, in the reign 
of Barbarossa, the splendour of whose court he has described 
in his free translation of the JEneid. He was followed by 
several others of the same school. The foreign legends of 
King Arthur of the round table, etc., were also borrowed and 
successfully imitated. These poems, still breathing the spirit 
of those chivalric times, are in themselves a golden key to the 
middle ages. 

In the thirteenth century, Reinecke Fuchs, a satire written 
by Willem de Matoc in the Netherlands, offered a strong con- 
trast with this chivalric poetry, and ridiculed the policy of the 
courts and of the great with surpassing wit. The materials 
from which this fable was composed, belong to a still earlier 
date, and appear to have formerly served as satires upon po- 
litical life. 

The knights, assembled at the different courts, emulated 
each other in feats of arms or in song. The German legend- 
ary bards, in particular, opposed, as national poets, those of the 
holy " Graal" or universal ones. Hermann, Landgrave of 
Thuringia, assembled the most renowned poets of the age of 
either party in the Wartburg, where a prize was to be con- 
tested. Among the number were Henry von Veldeck, Wal- 
ther von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Bitterolf, 
Reinhard von Zwetzen, Henry von Ofterdingen. They first 
tried each other's wit, by proposing enigmas and ingenious 
questions. Henry von Ofterdingen sang in praise of Leo- 
pold, duke of Austria, and Wolfram von Eschenbach in that 
of the Landgrave Hermann. The contest, without doubt, 
aroused bitter feelings ; these two bards had been the most re- 
doubtable champions of German legendary poetry and of that 
of the holy G?*aal, and the feud carried on during those times 
between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines is visible even in 
their songs. This is seen in the names of the German-Rhen- 
ish Nibelungen, and of the Italian- Gothic Wol/inger, Welfs ; 
and a poem of Henry von Ofterdingen, the Little Rose-garden, 
clearly favours the Wolfinger (Welfs or Guelphs). Accord- 


ing to the story, the contest between Wolfram and Henry be* 
came at length one of life and death, and the headsman stood 
in readiness to decapitate the discomfited singer. Eschen- 
bach's metallic notes were victorious, and Henry von Ofter- 
dingen fled for protection to the Landgravine Sophia, who 
covered him with her mantle and saved his life. He received 
permission to visit Hungary and bring thence to his assist- 
ance the celebrated bard and magician, Clingsor, to whose 
art and influence at court he afterwards owed his life. This 
scene took place in the great hall in the Wartburg, which is 
still standing, A. D. 1207. 

The pipers and musicians were distinct from the knightly 
bards, and exercised their art merely at festivals and dances. 
They travelled about in small bands. They also formed a 
particular guild or society, that spread throughout the whole 
empire ; the counts of Rappoltstein in Alsace, who were their 
hereditary governors, were termed the piper-kings, and, 
adorned with a golden crown, annually held a great court of 
justice, the pipers' court, to which all the musicians in Eu- 
rope brought their complaints. 

CLXVII. The cities. 

The cities had, from an insignificant origin, risen to a height 
of power that enabled them to defy the authority of the so- 
vereign, and to become the most powerful support of the 
empire. Increasing civilization had produced numerous wants, 
which commerce and industry could alone supply. The peo- 
ple, moreover, oppressed by the feudal system in the country, 
sheltered themselves beneath the ^Egis of the city corporations. 
The artisans, although orginally serfs, were always free. In 
many cities the air bestowed freedom ; whoever dwelt within 
their walls could not be reduced to a state of vassalage, and 
was instantly affranchised, although formerly a serf when 
dwelling beyond the walls. In the thirteenth century, every 
town throughout Flanders enjoyed this privilege. It was only 
in the villages that fell, at a later period, under the jurisdic- 
tion of the towns that the peasants still remained in a state of 
vassalage. The emperors, who beheld in the independence 
and power of the cities a defence against the princes and the 


popes, readily bestowed great privileges upon them, and re- 
leased them from the jurisdiction of the lords of the country, 
the bishops and the imperial governors. The cities often 
asserted their own independence, the power of a bishop being 
unable to cope with that of a numerous and high-spirited body 
of citizens. They also increased their extent at the expense 
of the provincial nobility, by throwing down their castles, by 
taking their serfs as Pfahtbiirger, (suburbans,) or by purchas- 
ing their lands. 

The imperial free cities had the right of prescribing their 
own laws, which were merely ratified by the emperor. The 
sovereign princes of the country at first projected laws in 
favour of the citizens, as, for instanoe, the Zahringer, the civic 
legislature of Freiburg in the eleventh century, and Henry the 
Lion, that of Lubeck. The celebrated civic laws of Soest 
date from the twelfth century. These were followed by those 
of Stade, earlier than 1204 ; those of Schwerin, in 1222 ; of 
Brunswick, in 1232 ; and by those of Muhlhausen, Hamburg, 
Augsburg, Celle, Erfurt, Ratisbon, etc. To the right of 
legislation was added that of independent jurisdiction, which 
was denoted by the pillars, known as Roland's pillars, and by 
the red towers. The red flag was the sign of penal judica- 
ture, and red towers were used as prisons for criminals, and 
as the practice of torture became more general in criminal 
cases, torture, famine, witch, and heretic towers were erected 
in almost every town. The management of the town affairs 
was at length entirely intrusted to the council, which origin- 
ally consisted of the sheriffs headed by a mayor, but was 
afterwards chiefly composed of members elected from the dif- 
ferent parishes, and was at length compelled to admit among 
its number the presidents of the various guilds; and the 
mayor, the president of the ancient burgesses, was, conse- 
quently, replaced by the burgomaster, or president of the 
guilds. The right of self-government was denoted by the 
bell on the town or council house, in the middle ages the 
greatest pride of the provincial cities, which had gained inde- 

The annual election of all the city officers was an almost 
general regulation, and by this means the communes, at first 
the aristocratic burgesses, and afterwards the democratic guilds, 
always controlled the affairs of the town. At a later period^ 


the most powerful party attempted to render their dignities 
hereditary, and revolutions repeatedly ensued in consequence. 
All the citizens were freemen, bore arms, and could attain 
knighthood. The burgesses formed chivalric guilds accord- 
ing to families, as the Overstolzen at Cologne, the Zoren and 
Muhlheimer at Strassburg ; or free associations, as, for in- 
stance, the Lilien-Vente, in Brunswick, which numbered four 
hundred and two knights. 

Many of the cities were invested with royal privileges, such 
as minting and levying customs. All possessed the right of 
holding large markets, which the country people were obliged 
to attend. On this account, artisans were not permitted to reside 
in the villages, but were compelled to take up their abode ac- 
cording to their craft in the cities. Several of the towns had 
also staple laws, that is, all merchants passing through them or 
along the river on which they were built, were compelled to 
stop and to expose their goods for sale for some time within 
their walls. It was also settled that all great festivals and 
assemblies should be held in the cities. 

The great burgesses in the cities were on an equality with 
the provincial nobility, with whom they continually intermar- . 
ried ; consequently, many of the citizens possessed castles in 
the province, or the knights, who inhabited the castles, had a 
right of citizenship. The interest of the nobility was, how- 
ever, opposed to that of the cities, which they molested either 
in order to serve the prince, or on their own account, and the 
great burgesses were compelled to declare for one party. In 
the cities of Southern Germany, their inclination in favour of 
the aristocracy and of the princes generally terminated in 
their expulsion from the city. In the North of Germany, 
they were animated with a more civic spirit, placed themselves 
at the head of the populace, and in strong opposition to the 
nobility, by which means they more firmly secured their au- 
thority. As time passed on, the number of the artisans, di- 
vided into guilds according to the craft they followed, increased 
to an enormous extent, whilst that of the great burgess fami~ 
lies gradually diminished, numbers of them becoming extinct. 
As the aid of the artisans was indispensable for carrying on 
the feuds between the burgher families of different cities, they 
were compelled to grant them a part of the profit gained in 
trade, hence it naturally followed that the guilds ere long 


grasped at greater privileges, and formed a democratic party, 
which aimed at wresting the management of the town business 
out of the hands of the aristocratic burghers. 

The corporations corresponded with the ancient German 
guilds. The artisan entered as an apprentice, became partner, 
and finally master. The apprentice, like the knightly squire, 
was obliged to travel. The completion of a master-piece was 
required before he could become a master. Illegitimate birth 
and immorality excluded the artisan from the guild. Each 
guild was strictly superintended by a tribune. Every mem* 
ber of a guild was assisted when in need by the society. 
Every disagreement between the members was put a stop to, 
as injurious to the whole body. The members of one cor- 
poration generally dwelt in one particular street, had their 
common station in the market, their distinguishing colours, 
and a part assigned to them in guarding the city, etc. These 
guilds chiefly conduced to bring art and handicraft to perfec- 
tion. The apprentice returned from his travels with a stock 
of experience and knowledge he could not have acquired at 
home. The guilds of different cities had little connexion with 
each other beyond housing their brother craftsmen on their 
arrival in a strange city, and by the general similarity in their 
rules of art and in their corporative regulations. The mer- 
cantile guilds were an exception, and formed the great Hansa 
league in which several cities were included. The society of 
free-masons, whose art called them to different parts of the 
world, were also closely united. They were divided, accord- 
ing to the four quarters of the heavens, into four classes, each 
of which had a particular place of assembly, symbolically 
termed a lodge, where the masters met, for the purpose of de- 
liberating over the mode in which any great architectural de- 
sign was to be executed, of laying down rules, and of giving 
directions in matters relating to art or to the corporation, of 
nominating new masters, etc. The four great lodges were at 
Cologne, Strassburg, Vienna, and Zurich. 

The princes, bishops, and aristocracy, as well as, generally 
speaking, the great burgher families, dreaded the rising power 
of the guild*, and sought to annihilate it by violence. The 
emperor, on the wmtrury, favoured them from prudential mo- 
tives. F&rmr tmA 4i*%r*ce were equally ineffectual ; the 
power pa*tt*a*4 ty ite guilds made its own way. Tina 


burghers, few in number, and disdaining the co-operation of 
the other ancient burgesses of ignoble descent, could not with- 
stand the immense numerical strength of the artisans. Co- 
logne, Aix-la-Chapelle, Strassbnrg, could each raise a body of 
twenty thousand able-bodied citizens and suburbans. At Lou- 
vain, the weavers' guild alone numbered four thousand masters 
and fifteen thousand apprentices. Revolts before long broke 
est in all the cities. The guilds were sometimes victorious, 
and drove the burghers from the towns, or incorporated them 
with their guilds ; sometimes the burghers succeeded in de- 
fending themselves for some time, with the aid of their parti- 
sans and of the neighbouring nobility. The emperor some- 
times attempted to arbitrate between the contending parties, or 
peace was brought about by the neighbouring cities. These 
events gave rise to constitutions varying from each other in 
the different cities, in some of which the burghers retained 
the shadow of their former authority, and in others were ut- 
terly pushed aside and a new council was formed, consisting 
of the heads of each corporation. The whole of the citizens 
were, consequently, divided into corporations, and the lesser 
and less numerous craftsmen of different kinds united into one 
body. But, as the son generally followed his father's busi- 
ness, and, consequently, succeeded him in his guild, particular 
families retained possession of the presidency of the guild, and 
often formed a new order of patricians, which, whenever it 
seemed likely to endanger the liberties of the citizens, was 
associated with a civic committee. The former, in that case, 
was termed the little council, and exercised the executive 
power according to prescribed rules ; the latter, the great coun- 
cil, which had the legislative power, and called the little cue 
to account. 

The guilds first rose to power in the cities of Southern 
Germany ; at Basle and Ulm, in the thirteenth century. In 
Northern Germany, the burghers maintained their power by 
means of the commercial league, which was chiefly between 
themselves. The democratic reaction in the North took place 
as the power of the Hansa declined, and during the general 
struggle for liberty at the time of the first reformation. 

German commerce flourished in the Northern Ocean earlier 
than in the Baltic, which, until the twelfth century, was in- 
fested by Scandinavian and Slavonian pirates. Flanders far 


surpassed the other countries of Germany in her municipal 
privileges, art, and industry, possessed the first great com- 
mercial navy, and founded the first great commercial league 
or Hansa, in the twelfth century. 

This example, the final subjection of the Wends on the 
Baltic, and the crusades, greatly increased the activity of com- 
merce in the thirteenth century, on- the Rhine, the Elbe, and 
the Baltic. The crusades were undertaken in a mercantile as 
well as a religious point of view. In the East, the merchant 
pilgrims formed themselves into the German orders of knight- 
hood, and, on their return to their native country, leagued to- 
gether [a. d. 1241] for the purpose of defending their rights 
against the native princes, and their commerce against the 
attacks of the foreigner. 

This Hansa league extended to such a degree in the thirteenth 
and fourteenth century, as sometimes to include upwards of 
seventy cities ; its fleets ruled the Northern Ocean, conquered 
entire countries, and reduced powerful sovereigns to submission. 
The union that existed between the cities was, nevertheless, 
far from firmly cemented, and the whole of its immense force 
was, from want of unanimity, seldom brought to bear at once 
upon its enemies. A single attempt would have placed the 
whole of Northern Germany within its power, had the policy 
of the citizens been other than mercantile, and had they not 
been merely intent upon forcing the temporal and spiritual 
lords to trade with them upon the most favourable conditions. 

All the cities included in the league sent their representa- 
tives to the Hanse diet at Lubeek, where the archive was kept* 
The leagued cities were, at a later perfod, dfoUUsd \ttUi three 
and afterwards into four quarter* or drekm, tmeh of wfrfch 
had its particular metropolis, md *pwfattf dwfati #tfcttt*m. 
In the fifteenth century they «too4 m foflW# > J*^ 'ftor Weft-* 
dian cities, Lubeck, (the metropoiUj *4 ti# Wffcfc IttNPty #^r*v« 
the directory of the Hansa, the %&wi4 ftfflftw* !+h4 frfimtttfi 
were kept, where the great Htuuus 4u4# **j*. A*W Ay it** m-- 
puties from all the Hauae town*, w w^wi* #&.$ M*ft }tftt 
deliberation commercial speculation, ti.t hw^+% *4 fo*f#, 
peace and war,) Hamburg, &r4uutM t W\ am, &«#**, kifii 
Greifswald, Stralsund, I^uneberg, fcfcjtt.i.-, **#++# Whtkf 
(celebrated for giving tlie inaritium l*wt, tip tf'Wtftft/i it >** 
Ur-recht? to the Hansa) in QtfUmt, 4* JM, Hm ****** 

TCi. II. 9 



cities, Cologne, with the Dutch towns of Nimwegen, S ta- 
vern, Groningen, Dortrecht, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Maastricht, 
Euiden, Ziitphen, etc., with Westphalian Soest, Osnabruek, 
Dortmund, Duisburg, Miinster, Wesel, Mi u den, Pad er born, etc* 
3dly, The Saxon cities, Brunswick, Magdeburg, Halle, Hil- 
deaheim, Goslar, Gottingen, Eimbeck, Hanover, Hameln, 
Stade, Halbenstadt, Quedlinburg, Aschersleben, Erfurt, Nord- 
hatisen, Miihlhausen, Zerbst, Stendal* Brandenburg, Frank- 
furt on the Oder, Breslan, etc, 4thly, The Eastern cities, 
Dantzig, (from Danske-wik, Danish place, having been first 
founded by the Danes,) Thorn, Elbing, Konigsberg, Culm, 
Lauds berg, Riga, Reval, Pernau, etc. The German order 
of Hospitallers also sent its representatives to the diet : its 
close connexion with the Hanse towns was partly due to kg. 
origin and partly to the position of Prussia, to which those towns 
sent German colonists and aid of every description, a union 
between that country and the Germanized mere of Branden- 
borg being still hindered by Wendian Pomerania and Poland, 
lie inly as the Hospitallers and the Hansa were allied, th« 
interests of the two parties were, nevertheless, totally at va- 
riance, that of the former being conquest, that of the latter 
commerce. The cities on the Elbe and Rhine required protec- 
tion against the German princes ; the maritime cities merely 
applied themselves to commerce. Those on the Baltic were 
continually engaged in disputes with the Flemish, who sup- 
ported themselves by their manufactures and their alliance 
with Italy , whilst the more distant towns on the coast of the 
Baltic refused to interfere* At Bruges, the Hansa merely 
possessed a depot tor their goods, which passed thence into the 
hands of the Italians* The Colognese merchants possessed a 
second great depot as early as 1203, in London, still known as 
Guildhall, the hall of the merchants' guild of Cologne. At 
a later period, the Hansa monopolized the whole commerce of 
England. At Bergen, in Norway, the Hansa possessed a third 
and extremely remarkable colony, three thousand Han seat tc 
merchants, masters, and apprentices, living there like monks 
without any women. The Hanseatic colonists were gener- 
ally forbidden to marry, lest tbey should take possession of the 
country in which they lived and deprive the league of it. The 
four tli great depot was founded at Nov og rod in the north of 
Russia, a. d. 1277. By it the ancient commercial relation! 


between the coasts of the Baltic and Asia were preserved, and 
the Hansa traded by land with Asia at first through Riga, 
but on the expulsion of the Tartars from Russia and the 
subjugation of Novogrod by the Czars, through Breslau, Er- 
furt, Magdeburg, and Leipzig. Germany and Europe were 
thus supplied with spices, silks, jewels, etc. from Asia, with 
furs, iron, and immense quantities of herrings from the North. 
France principally traded in salt, whilst Germany exported 
beer and wine, corn, linen, and arms ; Bohemia, metals and 
precious stones ; and Flanders, fine linen, and cloths of every 

The ferocity of the Hungarians, Servians, and Wallachians, 
and the enmity of the Greeks, effectually closed the Danube, 
the natural outlet for the produce of the interior of Germany 
towards Asia. The traffic on this stream during the crusades 
raised Ulm, and, at a later period, Augsburg, to considerable 
importance. The traffic on the Rhine was far more consider- 
able, notwithstanding the heavy customs levied by the barbar- 
ous princes and knights which the Rhenish league was annually 
compelled to oppose and put down by force. Cologne was the 
grand dep6t for the whole of the inland commerce. Goods 
were brought here from every quarter of the globe, and, ac- 
cording to an Hanseatic law, no merchant coming from the 
West, from France, Flanders, or Spain, was allowed to pass 
with his goods further than Cologne ; none coming from the 
East, not even the Dutch, could mount, and none from the 

upper country descend the Rhine beyond that city. The 

high roads were naturally in a bad state, and infested with 
toll-gatherers and robbers. The merchants were compelled 
to purchase a safe-conduct along the worst roads, or to clear 
them by force of arms. Most of the roads were laid by the 
merchants with the permission of well-disposed princes. Thus, 
for instance, the rich burgher, Henry Cunter of Botzen, laid 
the road across the rocks, until then impassable, on the Eisack, 
between Botzen and Brixen, A. D. 1304 ; travellers, up to that 
period, having been compelled to make a wearisome detour 
through Meran and Jauffen. 

The lace and cloth manufactures of the Flemish, which 
lent increased splendour to the courts, the wealthy, and the 
high-born, were the first that rose into note, the Hansa being 
merely occupied with trade and commercial monopoly. XJlna> 

f 2 


afterwards attempted to compete with the Italian manufac- 
turers ; but Nuremberg, on account of her central position, less 
attracted by foreign commerce, became the first town of ma- 
nufacturing repute in Germany. 

The trade with the rich East, and the silver mines discover- 
ed in the tenth century in the Harz, in the twelfth, in the Erz 
mountains in Bohemia, brought more money into circulation. 
The ancient Hohlpfennigs, (solidi, shillings,) of which there 
were twenty -two to a pound, (and twelve denarii to a shilling,) 
were replaced by the heavy Groschen, (solidi grossly) of which 
there were sixty to a silver mark, and by the albus or white 
pennies, which varied in value. The working of the Bohe- 
mian mines in the fourteenth century, brought the broad Prague 
Groschen into note ; they were reckoned by scores, always 
by sixties, the cardinal number in Bohemia. The smaller 
copper coins, or Heller, (from hohl, hollow, halb, half, or from 
the imperial free town, Hall,) were weighed by the pound, the 
value of which was two gulden, which at a later period, when 
silver became more common, rose to three. 

The Jews were greatly oppressed during this period. In 
the cities they were forced to dwell in certain narrow streets 
that were closed with iron gates at night. They were forbid- 
den to purchase land, or to belong to any corporation. They 
were chiefly pawnbrokers and usurers, Christians being strictly 
prohibited by the church from taking interest on money lent, 

CLXVIII. The peasantry. 

In Swabia and Saxony the free communes of peasantry, in 
the Alps, the Tyrol, Wlirtemberg, Friesland, Ditmarsch, and 
some of less importance in the country around Hadel, Baireuth, 
and Hall, retained their liberties for the longest period. These 
communes had been originally either Gaue, districts, or hun* 
dreds under the jurisdiction of the counts and centners, and 
now resembled oases varying in extent, whither liberty had 
fled from the barren waste of vassalage. The peasants of 
Friesland and Switzerland, whose power equalled their love 
of liberty, gained the upper hand in those countries, whilst, in 
other countries, where their power was less, they remained 
unnoted and in obscurity. 

Friesland was divided by the Fly (Zudyer See) into Western 


and Eastern Friesland. The former fell [a. d. 1005] under 
the counts of Holland, and the attempt to suppress the liber- 
ties still proudly upheld by the peasantry, proved fatal to 
more than one of their rulers. The latter enjoyed greater 
freedom under the bishops of Utrecht, Bremen, and Miinster, 
whose spiritual authority they recognised, but administered 
their temporal affairs themselves, the interference of the clergy 
in temporal matters being prohibited by law. The Fries- 
landers, moreover, disregarded the decree of Gregory VII. 
concerning the celibacy of the clergy, and compelled their 
priests to marry for the better maintenance of morality. The 
ancient and still pagan popular assembly was maintained even 
in Christian times, or, at all events, was renewed. The dif- 
ferent tribes assembled during Whitsuntide, at a place near 
Aurich, sanctified by three old oaks, (the ancient Upstates- 
boom, tree of high justice,) for the purpose of voting laws and 
of deliberating over the affairs of the country. During war- 
time, and more especially whenever strange fleets and pirates 
landed, barrels of pitch were set on fire, the alarm spread 
rapidly from village to village, and the people rose en masse 
to defend the coasts. It appears that the Marcellus flood, as 
it was termed, which laid Friesland waste in 1219, and swal- 
lowed up whole villages, occasioned the reinstitution of the 
ancient meeting at the Upstales-boom^ in 1224. The numer- 
ous crusades undertaken by the Friscians at this period were 
partly occasioned by this flood, as the crusaders were accom- 
panied by their wives and children, and were, in reality, emi- 
grants. In 1287, a second and still more destructive flood 
overwhelmed Friesland, and fifty thousand men, with their vil- 
lages and a large portion of the country, sank into the sea, on 
the spot now occupied by the bay of Dollart. A fresh meet- 
ing at the Upstales-boom followed in 1323, in which the older 
laws of the country were formed into a general code. The 
separate tribes among the Friscians were independent free- 
men, as in the ancient days of Germany. They annually 
elected a judge (Rediewa) and a Talemann, whose office it was 
to restrain the power of the former. Each of these tribes had 
its own laws, which were perfectly similar to those of ancient 
Germany. The most important of these are the Hunsingoer 
provincial law, the Riistringer Asega-book, and the Brokmer 
The whole of the laws were popular resolution \" %* 

will the Brock men, so have the people decided," were the sim- 
ple words annexed to them. The common salutation between 
the people was, " Ealafria Fresena /" "Hail, free Friaeian !* 
Nobility and stone houses came into vogue among them at a 
very late period. 

In the rest of the countries of Germany, the peasantry were 
chiefly in a state of servitude* In the ancient Gaue, the Graf 
no longer stood at the head of free-born men and equal, lie 
still exercised the penal judicature, the highest office of a 
judge, and bore the banner, the highest command during war £ 
Init these offices had become hereditary in his family. He 
was, moreover, lord over his ministeriales, who rendered him 
personal service ; the protector of the lew free and independent 
inhabitants of the Gau> who paid a tribute for the protection 
granted ; the manorial and feudal lord of the vassals* (peasants 
who kept horses, and instead of paying ground-rent to their 
lord rendered him average service,) and proprietor of the serf*** 
A governor or mayor was placed over the peasantry in the 
separate villages. Their local customs were, at a later period* 
sometimes termed village regulations, village rights, and were 
laid down by the peasantry themselves. In criminal matters, 
the punishments for the serfs were of a more disgraceful na- 
ture than those for the free-born. The ringleaders of mobs 
Were so called, owing to their being condemned to carry a 
ring or wheel into the neighbouring country, where they were 
put to death** The German* generally speaking, preserved, 
even in servitude, more personal honour than the Slavonian ; 
the peasants in Western Germany were in consequence more 
harassed with dues, while those in the Eastern provinces suf- 
fered a greater degree of persona? ill-treatment. The former 
consequently possessed a certain degree of mental cultivation, 
nay, literature. The finest of the popular ballads were trans 
lated into the country dialect, and well known by every pea 
sant, and numbers of legends and songs forgotten by the uppe* 

classes, became traditional among the peasantry. Heavy 

imposts and dues were levied at an early period. The nobles, 
more particularly since the crusades, appear to have become 
move luxurious, and, naturally, more needy. Several extra^ 
ordinary customs, among others the jus prima- noctis, from 

* Tins was probnbly the rcm;LiJia of the heathen custom of < rushing 
Stalef actors bentuUi the wWU of the sacred car. 


which a conclusion has been drawn of the degraded state of 
the peasantry, have been greatly misunderstood ; the honour 
of the female serfs was guarded by the laws, and, in Lom- 
bardy, a woman whose chastity was violated by the lord of the 
demesne, was instantly affranchized together with her husband, 
who thus acquired a right to revenge his injured honour. The 
misery of the peasantry was by no means so great during the 
middle ages as it became after the great peasant war in 1525. 
The division of the ancient free nation into different classes 
with opposite views and interests, and particularly the subor- 
dination of the peasantry to petty village proprietors, had in 
general a most pernicious effect, and chiefly contributed, since 
the fall of the Hohenstaufen, to lower the high spirit and na- 
tional pride of the German. The parish priest belonged to 
the universal Christian church, the knight to the universal 
European aristocracy, the citizen was solely intent on his 
mercantile affairs, and the cities were, like islets on the 
deep, distinct spots on the surface of the land ; these upper 
classes as ill replaced the ancient and great order of free pea- 
santry, as did their energy and civilization the national vigour 
they had lost ; and to this may justly be ascribed the misfor- 
tunes and disgrace with which the empire was subsequently 

CLXIX. — The liberal sciences. 

The emancipation of the sciences was fast approaching. 
The knowledge spread by the crusades had given rise to a 
general spirit of investigation and research. The monastic 
academies were placed on a more extensive footing, and trans- 
formed into universities. In Paris, independent of Rome, 
theology was particularly studied. Hence spread the Italian 
heresy of the pupils of Abelard, of Arnold of Brescia, and 
here was the birth-place of German mysticism, Hugh von 
Blankenburg being a professor in the Paris university, and 
abbot of the French monastery of St. Victoire. At Bologna, a 
school of law for the study of the resuscitated Roman law 
was formed, under the auspices of the Hohenstaufen, by tho 
great law professor, Irnerius, and thus was laid the founda- 
tion to u * i<iri*prudence of later ages. At Salerno, th* 
first ed f medicin e was founded. The tiiftdkul 



science of the Arabs and Greeks was, after the crusades, also 
adopted by this school. 

The study of the sciences and the university system was 
first introduced into Germany daring the fourteenth century. 
Until then, Virgilius, bishop of Salzburg, and Albertus Mag* 
nus, formed the ideal of German erudition. 

The historiographers, chiefly clergy, by whom the ancient 
Latin chronicles were continued, were extremely numerous. 
Besides Wippo, who wrote a biography of Conrad II., the 
most celebrated among them were, Ilermannus Contractus, 
[a. d. 1054,] who was a lame Swabian count, and afterwards 
a monk at Reichenau ; Marian us Scotus, a Scotchman by 
birth, and monk at Fuldu, who, the legend relates, read and 
wrote by the light of his own finger ; Adelbold, bishop of 
Utrecht, the author of the biography of Henry IIL Henry 
IV. and his times have found many commentators, who ge- 
nerally wrote in a party spirit. The historians who favoured 
the emperor, were Waltram, Conrad of Utrecht, Ben no of 
Jlisnia ; those in favour of the pope, Hugo Blank and Deo- 
datus, two German cardinals, Berthold of Constance, and the 
monk Bruno. The most veracious history of Gregory VIL 
was written by Paul Bernried. Some of the universal histo- 
rians of this time acquired greater fame. Lambert of Aschaf- 
fenburg wrote an excellent German history in Latin, the stylo 
of which is superior to that of his predecessors. Sigebert de 
Gemblours, [a. d. 1112,] besides a violent attack upon the 
emperor, Henry IV., wrote an Universal Chronicle. Hepi- 
danus wrote the Alemannie Annal* ; Eckhart, a History of St, 
Gall. Numerous chronicles of Quedlinburg, Hamerslehen, 
Hildesheim, also belong to this period. The celebrated Adam 
von Bremen [a. d. 1076] is the most valuable writer of that 
age in reference to the histories of the northern arch bishop* 
rics, and of the pagan North, To him succeeded Wibald, chan- 
cellor to the emperor Lothar> and Frederick Barbarossa'a am- 
bassador at Constantinople. He was poisoned in Paphlagonia, 
[a. d, 1158,] and left four hundred letters. Otto, bishop of 
Freysingen, the son of Leopold, Margrave of Austria, and 
step-brother to the emperor, Conrad IIL, died in the same 
year after gaining great fame, and left, beside* »n ITni^-sui 
Chronicle, a Biography of Barbar 
lost, of the House of liabenberg. G ii i 


wrote, in Latin verse, the exploits of Barbarossa **; D pper Italy, 
(Liguria,) whence he received the surname of Ligurinus. 
Barbarossa's deeds were also celebrated by Radewich, a canon 
of Freysingen. Godfred di Viterbo, who lived during his youth 
at Bamberg, and was probably a German, wrote an Universal 
Chronicle, up to the year 1 186 ; another was written, as far as 
the reign of Conrad III., by Honorius von Augst ; a third 
excellent Chronicle (Chronica regia S. Pantaleonis) was 
written by some monks at Cologne ; a fourth, that of Magde- 
burg, by the " Chronographus Saxo;" and another by the 
monk Ekkehart at Bamberg, or Fulda. The best national and 
provincial historians were Cosmas, a deacon at Prague, who 
wrote a History of Bohemia, prior to 1125 ; Helmold, a priest 
at Bosow, near Liibeck, a celebrated Chronicle of the Slavo- 
nians, prior to 1 170 ; an anonymous monk at Weingarten, the 
Chronicle of the Welfs; Conrad, abbot of Moelk, a Chronicle of 
Austria ; there were besides chronicles of the monastery of 
Muri in Switzerland, of Pegau in the Lausitz, of Liege, the 
Annals of Hildesheim, and other monastic chronicles of lesser 

In the thirteenth century, Oliverius, canon of Paderborn, 
who undertook a crusade against the Albigenses, accompanied 
another to Jerusalem, and, in 1227, died a cardinal, wrote a 
history of the Holy Land, and an account of the siege of Da- 
mietta. In 1226, Burchard of Biberach added a continuation 
to Ekkehart's Chronicle. Conrad von Lichtenau, abbot of 
Ursperg, a. d. 1240, wrote a great Universal Chronicle, the 
celebrated Chronicon Urspergense ; another was written about 
the same time by a monk of Neumunster near Liege ; a third 
by Albrecht von Stade, abbot of the same monastery prior to 
1260. A celebrated Chronicle of the Popes and Emperors 
was written by Martinus Polonus, of Troppau in Silesia, A. D. 
1278. The Letters, Conversations, and Controversial Writ- 
ings of Frederick II., and his Chancellor, Peter de Vineis, and 
the History of the Englishman, Matthaeus Paris, particularly 
concerning Frederick II., are of great historical value. An 
ancient Erfurt Chronicle, the Chronicon Schirense, by the prior 
Conrad von Scheyern, contains much interesting matter, be- 
sides several other lesser chronicles, those of Halberstadt, 
•^h and Passau, St. Gall, Mayence, the Friscian Chro- 
.. Emmonis et Manconis, etc 

The historians of the fourteenth century parti y wr/>** 
chronicles in the spirit of the past Age, as, for instance, Henry, 
(Stero,) a monk of Altaich, Sigfried, presbyter of Misnia, 
Matthias von Neuenburg, and Albert of Straasburg, partly 
learned collections, such as the Cosmodronrimn of Gobelin ns 
Persona, deacon of Birkenfeld in Paderborn s [a* d. 1420,] 
and the work de Tem peri bus Memorabilibus, of Henry of 
Herfbrd, who became a professor at Erfurt. Besides the Annals 
of Colmar, and those of Henry von Rebdorf, as well as the 
Ecclesiastical History of Henry von Diessenhofen, some of the 
city and provincial chronicles are in part excellent, These 
chronicles, as soon as the citizens took up the pen, were writ- 
ten in German ; those written by the clergy are, without ex- 
ception, in Latin. The most celebrated of the German writers 
were, Ottocar von Horneck, who composed a History of Aus- 
tria in verse, which reached as far as 1309 ; Peter Suchen- 
wirth of Austria, the author of ballads, in which he hands 
down to posterity the exploits of the heroes of his time ; Ernst 
von Kirchberg, author of the Mecklenburg Chronicle, written 
in verse ; Albrecht von Bardewieh, of the Lubeek S hide 3 
Chronicle ; Closener, of that of Strassburg ; Ktenigshoven, of 
that of Alsace up to 1 386 ; Riedesel, of that of Hesse ; and 
Gensbein, of that of Limburg, finally the Chronicle of the 
sheriffs of Magdeburg. In 132(5, Peter von Duisburg penned, 
in Latin, the first History of Prussia, and Li ebb old von Nor- 
tha one of the frontier counts, and a catalogue of the arch- 
bishops of Cologne. 

The knowledge of geography was gTeatly increased by t be 
crusades. Some bold adventurers penetrated, even at that 
period, into the heart of Asia, The most celebrated travels 
are those of Marco Polo, the Venetian ; but eighteen years 
earlier, in 12.53, a German monk, named Ruisbrock, frater 
Willielmus of the Netherlands, travelled through Great Tar- 
tary as far as China, confirmed for the first time the account 
given by the ancients of the position of the Caspian Sea, and 
brought the first news of the existence of a native Asiatic 
people with whom the Germans were related hj descent* See 
the works of Roger Bacon, Bergeron, and Humboldt Wil- 
liam von Balden si even, a German nobleman and monk, tra- 
velled [a. d. 1315] into the Holy Land, and thence ^into 

part xm. 


CLXX. Rudolf von Habsburg. 

The triumph of the pope over the emperor entirely changed 
the aspect of affairs. The emperors became the mere tools of 
a princely aristocracy under the -dEgis of the pope. Weak- 
ness and treason overwhelmed the ancient empire with dis- 
grace. But, whilst the princes were engaged in appropriating 
to themselves the fragments of the shattered diadem, the 
people gradually acquired greater independence, formed them- 
selves into federations without the aid of the princes, or into 
estates under them, and finally broke the papal yoke by the 
great Reformation. 

Years had elapsed since the death of Frederick II. ; his 
unfortunate son, Conrad, had been, like William, Richard, 
and Alfonso, a mere puppet on the throne. Alfonso was still 
living in Spain, completely absorbed in the study of astronomy. 
The people, un forgetful of their ancient glory, again desired 
an emperor, and the legendary superstition concerning the 
return of Barbarossa once more revived. The lower and 
weaker classes throughout the empire were bitterly sensible 
of the want of the protection of the crown, but the election of 
a successor to the throne would have been still longer neg- 
lected by the princes, had they not felt the necessity of setting 
a limit to the ambitious designs of Ottocar of Bohemia. A 
conference accordingly took place between them and the pope, 
and the election was not proceeded with until a fitting tool 
for their purposes had been discovered, and their prerogatives 
guarded by conditions and stipulations. The qualities required 
in the new emperor were courage and warlike habits, in order 
to insure a triumph over Ottocar ; a certain degree of popu- 
larity, for the purpose of cajoling the people ; and the blindest 
submission to the authority of the pope and princes. 

This political tool wa» found in Rudolf, Count von Habt* 



burg, who had been held at the font by Frederick II., a mark 
of distinction bestowed by that monarch for his father's faithful 
services, Rudolf had fought in Prussia, (whither he hud un- 
dertaken a crusade in expiation of the crime of burning down 
a convent during a feud with Basle,) for Ottocar, by whom 
he had been knighted, and had, since that period, fought with 
equal bravery and skill for every party that chanced to suit 
his interests, at one moment aiding the nobles iu their Enu- 
merable petty feuds against the cities of Strassburg and Basle, 
at another fighting under the banner of Strassburg, against the 
bishop and the nobility, or making head in his own cause 
against the abbot of St. Gall, and his own uncle, the Count 
von Eyburg, on account of a disputed inheritance, etc. Wer- 
ner, archbishop of Mayenee, whom Rudolf had escorted across 
the Alps, mediated in his favour with the pope. He had 
also personally recommended himself, as a zealous Guelph, 
the pope, Gregory X., at Mugello in the Apennines, and, 
notwithstanding the feuds he had formerly carried on with the 
bishops and abbots, now played the part of a most humble 
servant of the church ; he gained great fame, on one occasion, 
by leaping from his saddle and presenting his horse to a priest 
who was carrying the pyx. He agreed, if elected, to yield 
unconditional obedience to the pope, to renounce all claim 
upon or interference with Italy, and to enter into alliance 
with the House of Anjou. Frederick von Hoheuzollern, 
Burggrave of Nuremberg, (the ancestor of the Electors of 
Brandenburg and of the royal line of Prussia,} acted as his 
mediator with the princes, to three of the most powerful among 
whom he offered his daughters in marriage, to Louis of Pfalz- 
Bavaria, {the cruel murderer of his first wife,) Mechtilda, to 
Otto of Brandenburg, Hedwig, and to Albert of Saxony, 
Agnes, He moreover promised never to act, when emperor, 
without the consent of the princes, on every important ocea- 
biod to obtain their sanction in writing, and confirmed them 
all, Ottocar of Bohemia excepted, in the possession of the 
territory belonging to the empire, and of the hereditary lands 
of the Stan fen illegally seized by them* That the election i 
a new emperor by the pope and the princes merely hinge 
upon these conditions was perfectly natural, the whole power 
lying in their hands. This was the simple result of the 
dowufal of the S tauten, and of the defeat of the Ghibellines. 


Rudolf, who was engaged in a feud with the city of Basle 
when Frederick von Zollern arrived with the news of his elec- 
tion, instantly concluded peace with that city, marched down 
the Rhine, and was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle, A. D. 1273. 
The real imperial crown and the sceptre were still in Italy ; 
the latter was supplied, by way of flattery to the church, by a 
crucifix. The ceremony of coronation was enhanced by that 
of the marriage of his three daughters. Henry of Bavaria, 
the brother of Louis, was, after some opposition, also won 
over, and his son Otto wedded to his fourth daughter, Cathe- 
rina. The lower classes in the empire were, nevertheless, 
filled with discontent. The coalition between the great vas- 
sals inspired them with the deepest apprehension. They 
were, however, pacified. The lower nobility, who had ren- 
dered themselves hated by their rapine and insolence, were 
at strife with the towns. Rudolf, who had, up to this period, 
been a mere military adventurer, a robber-knight, now headed 
the great princes against his former associates, and reduced 
them all, even the wild Count Eberhard of Wurtemberg, to 
submission. This policy flattered the cities, which Rudolf also 
sought to win by affability ; he bestowed the dignity of knight- 
hood with great solemnity on Jacob Muller of Zurich, in order 
to gain for his Swiss possessions the protection of the neigh- 
bouring towns ; he was, nevertheless, viewed with great mis- 
trust by many of the cities. 

Gregory X. hastened to bestow his benediction on his new 
creature, and, in order to deprive him at once of any pretext 
for a visit to Rome, and of effectually closing Italy against 
the Germans, came in person to Lausanne. Rudolf knelt 
humbly at the pontiff's feet and vowed unconditional obe- 
dience, an action he afterwards attempted to palliate by a jest, 
saying that " Rome was the lion's den, into which all the foot- 
steps entered, but whence none returned. He therefore pre- 
ferred serving to fighting with the lion of the church." 

The subjection of Ottocar had been one of the conditions 
annexed to the possession of the crown. The vote of the 
king of Bohemia, although that of the most powerful vassal of 
the empire, had therefore been omitted in the election, or 
rather, the whole scheme of Rudolf's accession had been man- 
aged too secretly and rapidly for interference on his part. Ot- 
tocar having rendered himself hateful by his severity* Stephen 


of Hungary, the son of Bela, made a fresh attempt [a. d, 1270] 
to gain possession of Styria. The Styrians, however, bated 
the Hungarian even more than the Bohemian yoke, and he 
was repulsed. Whilst pursuing the fugitives across the Neu- 
siedler lake, the ice gave way, and numbers of the Styrians 
were drowned. The Hungarians made fresh inroads, and Otto- 
car redoubled his tyranny. Among other acts of cruelty, he 
ordered the Styrian knight Seyfried von Mcehrenberg, whom 
sickness had hindered from coming to his rencontre, to be 
dragged at a horse's tail, and then hanged by the feet. He 
also continued to seize the castles of the nobility, and threat- 
ened to cast the children of the expelled lords, whom he re- 
tained as hostages, from the roofs. The Austrians and Sty- 
rians were, consequently, fully justified in laying a solemn 
accusation against their blood-thirsty tyrant before the diet at 
Wurzburg, A. D, 1275, Bern hard von Wolkersdorf and Hart- 
nid von Wildon spoke in their name. Rudolf, after sealing a 
compact with Henry of Bavaria and with Stephen of Hun- 
gary, took the field at the head of a numerous army, and Ot- 
toear, conscious of guilt and surrounded by foes, yielded, 
again ceded Austria, Styria, Cnrinthia, and Carniola to the 
empire, and was merely allowed to hold Bohemia and Mora- 
via in fee of the emperor. In 1276, he came, attired in the 
royal robes of Bohemia, to an island on the Danube, where 
Rudolf, meanly clad as a horse-soldier, received him under a 
tent, which, whilst the king was kneeling at his feet, and 
taking the oath of fealty, was raised at a given signal, in order 
to degrade the monarch in the eyes of the people ; a mean and 
dastardly action ; and the reproach of vanity can alone be cast 
upon the emperor, the king of Bohemia having merely ap- 
peared in a garb suited to bis dignity, on an occasion which, 
iur from elevating his pride, deeply wounded it; nor can hii 
high-spirited queen be blamed for inciting him to revenge the 
insult. Rudolf, meanwhile, sought to secure his footing in 
Austria. Unable openly to appropriate that country as family 
property,, he gradually and separately won the nobility, cities, 
and bishops over to his interest, and induced the spiritual 
lords more especially to bestow a number of single fiefs on his 
sons, whom he by this means firmly settled in the count ry, 
OttocMr, instigated by his queen, Cuni^unda, at length de- 
clared war, ind marched at the head of his entire force against 


Rudolf. His plan of battle was betrayed to Rudolf by his best 
general, Milota von Diedicz, who thus revenged the execution 
of his brother. The Hungarians also came to Rudolf's assist- 
ance, and Ottocar, defeated on the Marchfeld near Vienna, 
[a. d. 1278,] by treachery and superior numbers, fell by the 
hands of the two young Mcehrenbergs, who sought him in the 
thickest of the fight. 

Rudolf held a triumphal festival at Vienna, where the cen- 
tagenarian knight, Otto von Haslau, broke a lance with one 
of his own great-grandsons. The greatest hilarity prevailed. 
Rudolf, meanwhile, cautiously made use of passing events in 
order to enrich his family. His son Rudolf was elevated to 
the dukedom of Swabia, and his hand forced upon Agnes, the 
daughter of Ottocar. Bohemia's rightful heir, Wenzel, the 
infant son of Ottocar, was given up to Otto of Brandenburg, 
the emperor's son-in-law, by whom he was utterly neglected, 
whilst, under the title of his guardian, the duke plundered Bo- 
hemia and carried off waggon loads of silver and gold. Rudolf's 
second son, Albert, received the duchy of Austria and the 
hand of Elisabeth, daughter of Meinhard, count of Tyrol, who 
was created duke of Carinthia. Rudolf also gave his fifth 
daughter, Clementia, in marriage to Charles Martell, the son 
of Charles d'Anjou, by whom the last of the Hohenstaufen 
had been put to death at Naples. This marriage was a sa- 
crifice made to the pope, whose jealousy of the increasing 
power of his house he thus sought to appease. In 1280, a 
Frenchman was raised, under the name of Martin IV., to the 
pontifical chair. The hatred borne by this pope to the Ger- 
mans was such, that he openly said that " he wished Germany 
was a pond full of fish, and he a pike, that he might swallow 
them all." Rudolf, nevertheless, deeply humbled himself be- 
fore him. The hand of Gutta, Rudolf's sixth daughter, 

was forced upon the youthful heir to Bohemia, who was ran- 
somed at a heavy price by his subjects. His mother, Cunigun- 
da, had, meanwhile, married a Minnesinger, named Zawitch, 
whom, on his release, he instantly ordered to execution, as a 
•light reparation for the injured honour of his father. 

The emperor continued, henceforward, to suppress petty 
feuds in person, and travelled from one diet to another for the 
purpose of passing resolutions for the peace of the country, 
And from one province to another for that of enforcing peace. 



He was surnamed the living or wandering law, (lex animata,) 
and numbers of his magnanimous and just actions and saying 
became proverbial. The people, ever inclined to judge by 
single actions, and equallj blind to their motive and their 
tendency, valued a quaint anecdote concerning the emperor 
Eudolf far more highly than a great institution founded by 
his predecessors, and the papular admiration of this ebivalric 
emperor lias been handed down from one generation to another. 
The empire, nevertheless, remained in a state bordering on 
Anarchy, might was right, and Rudolf, notwithstanding hit 
efforts, merely succeeded in re-establishing peace during sho 
and broken intervals* 

At Neuss on the Rhine, [a* d. 12S5,] appeared a certain 
T 1 1 i I e C o J u \ \ or Frederick Holzs ch uih, ( wood en -sb oe, ) wh o g a ve 
himself out as Frederick IL, declaring that he had risen iron 
the dead. He held a court for a abort time at Wetzlar. 
Swabia, Eberhard of Wtirtemberg, Rudolf of Baden , and eix- 
■ pther counts renewed their predatory attacks upon the 
cities. They were reduced to submission [a* d. 1286] by the 
emperor, who burnt the castle of Stuttgart to the ground* He 
also made a successful inroad into Burgundy, less for the pur- 
pose of connect! rig that country more closely with the empire 
than fur that of extending, or at all events of protecting, his 
Swiss possessions on that side. In bis old age, he marric 
Agnes of Burgundy, (Franche comtt%) who was then in her 
fourteenth year,* and reduced his rivals, the Plulzgrave Otto, 
(a descendant of another branch of the same family,) and the 
Count Reginald von Miimpelgard, to submission. The latter 
had attacked the people of Basle, and taken their bishop 
prisoner in a bloody battle, in which a fourth of the citizen 
were slain. The partition among the counts, however, con- 
tinued to exist, and the eastern side of ancient Burgundy wab 
seized by Savoy, the Swiss confederations and, above all, by 
Berne, which, even at that period, refused to furnish the 
imperial contingency, and made such a valiant defence that 
Rudolf was compelled to retire from before the walls. The 
beArs in the city arms were placed in a bloody field in memor 

* The bishop of Spirea, by whom she was conducted after the cere, 
mony to th> r-Nrriuge, was so enchanted with her buauty that he kbscd 
iitr, upon which Lhe emperor said that it was the Ajpaus Dei, not Ajpie*, 
that Hi tuighl la kiss. 


ef the blood shed on this occasion. Rudolf merely advanced 
northwards as far as Thuringia, where he destroyed sixty-six 
robber castles, and, in 1290, condemned twenty-nine of the 
robber knights to be hanged at Ilmenau. 

The efforts of the emperor were confined to this narrow 
circle, whilst bloody feuds, with which he did not interfere, 
were carried on in every quarter of the empire. His chief 
object was the confirmation of the Austrian possessions to his 
family. He was also desirous of making the imperial crown 
hereditary, and of naming his son, Albert, his successor to 
the throne. The chagrin produced by the refusal of the 
princes hastened his death, which took place a. d. 1291. 
Rudolf was tall and thin, had a hooked nose, which occasioned 
popular jokes at his expense, and a bald head. 

The greatest anarchy and want of union prevailed through- 
out the other provinces of the empire, which had completely 
fallen a prey to petty interests and petty feuds. The Hansa 
alone sustained the dignity of the German name both at home 
and abroad, but merely in pursuance of its own interests, with- 
out reference to the weak and mean-spirited emperor. The 
Hanseatic flag ruled the Northern Ocean. Its fleets captured 
every vessel belonging to Erich, king of Norway, and blocked 
up the Scandinavian harbours. The treaty of Colmar, a. d. 
1285, confirmed its commercial monopoly. The whole of 
Northern Germany, meanwhile, senselessly wasted its strength 
in intestine strife. The counts of Holstein again attempted 
to subjugate the free Ditmarses, and suffered a shameful de- 
feat, a. d. 1289. Florens V. of Holland revenged the death 
of his father on the Western Friscians, over whom he gained 
a signal victory at Alkmaar, when the secret of his father's 
burial-place was discovered to him. His firm support of the 
citizens and peasantry rendered him the darling of the people, 
and roused the hatred of the nobles, who conspired against 
and murdered him, a. d. 1296. 

A violent feud was at that time also carried on on the Rhine. 
Siegfried von Westerburg, who had succeeded Engelbert in 
the archbishopric of Cologne, opposed the Count Adolf VII. 
von Berg, who coveted the archbishopric for his bother Con- 
rad, and was, moreover, supported by the citizens. About 
this time, Adolf took possession of the duchy of Limburg in 
his right as grandson to Henry, duke of Limburg, who had 

VOL. II. o 



in Let ited Berg ; Count Remold of Gueldres aha churned the 
duchy in right of his wtte, another grandchild of tbo duke, 
Henry, and the archbishop, confederating with him, exert- 
ed his influence in his favour with the Net her land nobility, 
more particularly with Henry von Luxemburg, and Adolf ran 
Nassau, the future emperor, Adolf von Berg, unable to meet 
the rising storm, ceded his claims upon Limburg to the brave 
duke, John of Brabant, and, aided by him and by the valiant 
citizens of Cologne, gave battle to the archbishop at W«- 
ringen near that city, where Henry IV* of Luxemburg and 
his three brethren were slain, and the archbishop, Keinhold, of 
Gueldres, and Adolf von Nassau were taken prisoners, a. tX 
1288, John retained possession of Limburg. Siegfried, the 
fo men tor of the broil, was imprisoned, armed cap-a-pie, in :i 
cage, where he remained in that state for seven years. On 
regaining his liberty, he feigned a reconciliation with Adolf 
\<n Berg, whom, in an unguarded moment, he suddenly cap- 
tured, and sentenced to be stripped naked, smeared from head 
to foot with honey, and exposed in an iron cage to the stings 
of insects and to the open sky* After enduring this martyrdom 
for thirteen months, the wretehed count was released, but 
shortly afterwards died of the consequences- His sufferings 
were avenged by his brother and successor, William, who 
was victorious over the archbishop of Cologne, near Bonn, 

[a. d. 1 296,] and peace was finally made. Feuds of a similar 

description, in which bishops played the chief part, w T ere com- 
mon throughout the e topi re. 

In Misnia and Thuringia, Albert the Degenerate persecuted 
his wife, Margaret ha, of the noble house of Ilohenstaufen, and 
bis children, with the most rancorous hatred, on account of 
the disappointment of the hopes of aggrandizement which had 
formed the sole motive of his alliance with that family. He 
even despatched one of his servants to the Wartburg for the 
purpose of assassinating her; but the countess, warned by him 
of his lord 1 * intention, fled secretly (after biting her eldest 
eon, Frederick, in the cheek, in token of the vengeance she 
intended to take) to Frankfurt,, where she shortly afterwards 
died of grief. Albert persecuted his brother Dietrich with 
equal enmity* Their father, Henry, (who fought so long with 
Magdeburg agaixurt the Branden burgs,) had divided his poa- 
•essions between the two brothers, giving Misnia and Tim 



ringia to Albert. Pleissner with the margraviate3 of Lands- 
berg and Lausitz to Dietrich. Albert, when attempting to 
expel his brother, was defeated near Tennstedt, [a.d. 1275,] by 
him and his ally, Conrad, archbishop of Magdeburg. Dietrich 
was surnamed the Thick, and was a Minnesinger. Conrad 
died a. d. 1276 ; his successor, Gunther, was attacked by Otto, 
margrave of Brandenburg, whose brother, Erich, coveted the 
mitre. Otto was defeated at Aken, and subsequently taken 
prisoner, [a. d. 1278,] in an engagement on the Siilz. He was 
imprisoned in a narrow chest. On being ransomed for an in- 
significant amount, he haughtily observed, ** Had ye placed 
me armed cap-a-pie on horseback, and buried me in gold and 
silver coin to my lance's point, ye would have had a ransom 
worthy of me." He speedily infringed the treaty, and again 
took up arms. He was surnamed Otto with the Arrow, on ac- 
count of a wound he had received in his head, whence the 
arrow-point could not be extracted, during the siege of Mag- 
deburg. Bernhard, who succeeded Gunther in the archiepis- 
copal dignity, quarrelled with Dietrich the Thick, who at- 
tempting to seize his person by stratagem, he withdrew to the 
castle of Werfen, which he fortified, a. d. 1282. Dietrich ex- 
pired shortly afterwards without issue, and his possessions fell 
to Albert the Degenerate. Bernhard, however, avoided an- 
other bloody feud with Brandenburg by voluntarily resigning 
his dignity in Erich's favour. Erich had long been an object 
of hatred to the citizens, whose hearts he, nevertheless, after- 
wards so completely gained, that being taken prisoner by 
Henry the Whimsical of Brunswick in a feud concerning the 
possession of a castle, they voluntarily ransomed him, in re- 
turn for which he bestowed upon them great privileges. He 

died in peace and honour. Otto the Severe, of Brunswick - 

Luneburg, (the Welfs were much weakened by sub-division,) 
carried on a feud with the city of Hanover, a. d. 1292. 
Saxon-Lauenburg was governed during the repeated absence 
of its duke, Albert, by the knight, Hermann Riebe, who prac- 
tised common highway robbery, and whose castles were de- 
stroyed by the citizens of Lubeck, A. d. 1291. In Nurem- 
berg, two of the Burggrave's sons, who had hunted a child to 
death with their hounds, were killed by the scythe-smiths, 
A. d. 1298. 

In Mecklenburg, the princes were divided into sereral 
o 2 


branches, and were at feud not only with the cities of Rostov 
and Wismar, but also with each other. The aged princ 
Henry von Giistrow, was murdered at Ribnitz, [a. d. 1291,] 1 
his sons, when hunting. Henry the Pilgrim, of Mecklenbur 
accompanied Louis IX. of France [a. d. 1276] to the Ho 
Land, where he was taken prisoner. During his prolong* 
absence, his wife, Anastasia, was ill-treated by her brothe 
in-law, John von Gadebusch, and saved the lives of her infa 
sons (the eldest of whom, Henry, was afterwards surname 
the Lion) by concealing them beneath the gowns of h< 
female attendants. These sons afterwards avenged the 
mother's sufferings on their wicked uncle, whom they defeate 
together with his allies, the princes of Brandenburg, Lauei 
burg, and Luneburg, on the Rambeeler heath, a. d. 1283. Tl 
Pilgrim, after remaining for twenty-six years in slavery, wi 
released [a. d. 1302] by a miller's son from Gadebusch, wl 
had once served under him as an arquebusier, and who, c 
being captured by the Turks, had embraced Mahommedanisx 
and been created sultan of Egypt. On the Pilgrim's returi 
no one recognised him. Two impostors, who had attempt* 
to personate him, had been executed, one by fire, the other t 
water. His wild spirit, unbroken by long slavery, howeve 
ere long proved his identity. Finding his son, the Lion, ei 
gaged in the siege of the castle of Glessen, he instantly a< 
vised the erection of a high gallows at its foot, in sign of tl 
disgraceful death that awaited its defenders. He also b 
sieged the castle of Wismar ; his efforts, however, proved ui 
successful, and he expired during the same year, A. D. 130 
During his absence, his daughter, Luitgarde, had wedd< 
Pribizlaw, duke of Poland, by whom she was condemned 
be hanged on a bare suspicion of infidelity .— < — In Pomerani 
the duke, Barnim IV., was stabbed by a certain Muckewit 
whose wife he had dishonoured, A. p. 1295, The whole 
Europe's chivalry protected the assassin* 

CLXXL Adolf of Nassau, 

Rudolf of Swabia, the eldest son of the deceased emperc 
died early, leaving an infant, Johannes, who was utterly nej 
lected. The second son, Albert* inherited the Habsburg po 


sessions; the third, Hartmann, was drowned in the Rhine 
near Lauffen. 

Albert's conduct, even during his father's life-time, made 
the Austrians and Styrians bitterly repent their acceptation 
of him as duke. In 1287, the citizens of Vienna revolting 
against his tyranny, he besieged them from the Calenberg, 
and when famine at length forced them to capitulate, deprived 
them of all their privileges, and condemned numbers of them 
to have their eyes and tongues torn out, and their fingers 
chopped off. Iban, Count von Gunz, his equal in cruelty, 
who was supported by Hungary, alone ventured to set him at 
defiance. Ladislaw, king of Hungary, died, a. d. 1290. Al- 
bert had been invested at a venture by his father with that 
crown, but the Hungarians, headed by their new king, An- 
dreas, invaded Austria, and compelled him to purchase a dis- 
graceful peace by the cession of Pressburg and Tirnau.* The 
brave Styrians stood by him in this emergency, nor was it 
until peace had been concluded that they brought forward 
their grievances, and accused him of issuing base coin, of rob- 
bing private individuals, and of countenancing the licentious 
practices of his stadtholder, Henry, abbot of Admont. Albert, 
no longer in awe of the Hungarians, treated the complainants 
with contempt, upon which Frederick von Stubenberg ex- 
claimed, that " they had done wrong in expelling Ottocar, 
having merely exchanged one tyrant for another." Hartnid von 
Wildon, who had at first sued the Habsburgs for protection, 
now again took up arms against them. Admont was taken by 
storm, and the abbot expelled. Rudolf, archbishop of Salzburg, 
protecting the mountaineers, Albert invited him insidiously to 
Vienna, where he caused him to be poisoned. His successor, 
Conrad, and Otto of Bavaria, Albert's son-in-law, from whom 
he had withheld the dowry, promised their aid to the Styrians. 
Albert, however, obviated their plans, by causing the Alpine 
passes to be cleared of the snow during the winter, and sud- 
denly attacked the rebellious nobles : Stubenberg was taken 
prisoner. The nobles were, for the most part, compelled to 
surrender their castles to the duke, who, on this occasion, 
acted with unwonted lenity, his object being to conciliate the 

^ • The Chron. Leobiense bitterly reproaches Albert with the devasta- 
tion caused by the Hungarians : " Talis pestilentia sex septimanis in 
terra ista duravit Dura superbit impius, incenditur pauper." 


people, and to guard his rear whilst attempting to gain posses* 
sion of the imperial throne. 

The helm of the state had fallen into the most worthless 
hand9. The creatures of the pope and of France, who had 
risen to power since the fall of the Hohenstaufen, emulated 
each other in baseness and servility. Gerhard, archbishop of 
Mayence, the arch-chancellor of the empire in the name of the 
pope, craftily managed the election of a successor to the late 
emperor, by inducing the electors, who were divided in their 
choice, to commit it to him alone, and deceived them all by 
placing his own cousin, Adolf, count of Nassau, whom none 
had thought of as emperor, on the throne, A. D. 1291. Albert 
was the most deeply deceived, Gerhard having spared no flat- 
tery, and even invited him, as he believed, to his own corona- 
tion. On learning, midway, the election of Adolf, he pru- 
dently yielded to circumstances, and took the oath of fealty to 
the new emperor at Oppenheim, but refused the proposal of 
affiancing their children. An open contest for the possession 
of the throne would have raised too many and too powerful 
foes, he therefore patiently waited until, as he hoped, Adolf 
might create enemies against himself, and commit errors capa- 
ble of being turned to advantage. 

The emperor Adolf was a poor count, brave, but a slave 
to the lowest debauchery, and misguided by his intriguing 
cousin of Mayence, whose chief object in electing him was 
the aggrandizement of the house of Nassau, by the increase of 
its territorial possessions, the first step to which was the pro~ 
motion of intermarriages with the great families. Rudolf, the 
son of Adolf, consequently, wedded Jutta of Bohemia, and his 
daughter, Mechthilda, the youthful Pfalzgrave, Rudolf the 
Stammerer. England offered money for the purpose of en- 
gaging the emperor on her side against France. Adolf, how- 
ever, had the meanness to accept it, and instead of forwarding 
the interests of England, purchased with it Misnia and Thu- 
ringia from Albert the Degenerate. This duke viewed his 
own offspring with the deadliest hatred. His unfortunate 
children, Frederick with the bitten check, and Diezmann, fled 
from their cruel parent, who craftily regained possession of 
them, and would have starved them to death had not his own 
servants taken compassion upon them, and saved their lives. 
On attaining manhood, they took up arms against their un- 


natural father, and, supported by the enraged people, took him 
prisoner. By the persuasions of Cunna von Isenburg, his 
mistress, he was induced to offer his possessions for sale to the 
emperor, for the sake of disinheriting his sons, a proposal 
greedily accepted by Adolf, who also aided him with troops 
against his children. The greatest cruelties were practised 
by the imperial forces. On one occasion, they pitched and 
feathered two women, and drove them through their camp. 
The complaints of the Count von Hohenstein were unheeded 
by the emperor, by whom licence was encouraged to such a 
degree, that the Thuringians, excited to frenzy, exercised the 
most horrid barbarities on every imperialist who chanced to 
fall into their hands. In Muhlhausen, where the emperor 
was peaceably received, he behaved with such brutality, that 
the citizens expelled him the city. After a long struggle, 
Frederick and Diezmann were compelled to seek safety in flight. 

Albert's apparent disgrace by the election of Adolf, raised 
a party against him in his oldest hereditary possessions. The 
peasants of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden, formed a defen- 
sive alliance, in 1291 ; whilst William, abbot of St. Gail, an 
ancient foe to the house of Habsburg, the bishop of Constance, 
the counts of Savoy, Montfort, Nellenburg, and the city of 
Zurich, in the hope of freeing themselves from their encroach- 
ing neighbour, by placing themselves under the protection of 
the emperor, attacked Albert's town, Winterthur ; Count Hugh 
von Werdenberg, the one-eyed, armed the Habsburg vassals 
in defence, and Albert, speedily appearing in person, laid siege 
to Zurich, but as quickly retreated in order to quell a revolt 
to his rear among the Styrians, on whom he took a fearful re- 
venge, but was compelled to make peace, his son-in-law, Louis 
of Carinthia, being taken prisoner by the rebels. Louis was 
exchanged for Stubenberg. Salzburg and Bavaria again took 
part with Styria, and a diet was held at Trubensee, A. d. 1 292. 
The nobles demanded the dismissal of his governors, von 
Landenberg and Waldsee, who harassed the country. Albert 
refused, and bade them defiance ; Adolf remained an indiffer- 
ent spectator ; Salzburg and Bavaria were lukewarm : the 
citizens of Vienna also refused to aid the nobility, by whom 
they had formerly been deserted, and Albert again succeeded 
in quelling the insurrection. 

Adolf, roused either by the derision with which he was 


treated by his subjects, by whom be was nick-named tlie 
Priest-king, or weary of bis fetters, imprudently quarrelled 
with bis cousin Gerhard, and with Wenzel of Bohemia, who 
claimed Pleissen as big share of the Misnhin booty* Albert 
had no sooner quelled the sedition in his hereditary lands, and 
entered into amicable relations with Bohemia and Hungary, 
than Gerhard, fearing lest he might share the fate with which 
the universally and justly detested emperor was threatened, 
resolved to abandon him, and to be the first to lay the crown 
of Germany at his rival's feet. Under pretext of solemnizing 
the coronation of the youthful king of Bohemia, he visited 
Prague with the whole of his retinue, and there devised mea- 
sures with Albert, who also arrived with a crowd of adhe- 
rents. The duke even threw himself on his knees before 
Wenzel, in order to sue for his vote. His party was very 
numerous; there were 1^0,000 horses in the city. Every 
street was hung with purple; in the new market -place the 
wine flowed from a fountain. Albert thence visited Press- 
burg, [a. d. 1297,] for the purpose of wedding his daughter, 
Agnes, to his ancient enemy, Andreas of Hungary. Thus 
secure to the rear, and followed by numerous and powerful 
adherents, he advanced to the Rhine ; Salzburg joined his 
party, Bavaria remained tranquil, Wurtemberg and numbers 
of the Swabian nobility ranged themselves beneath his stand- 
ard Adolf, although merely aided by the Pfalzgrave Rudolf 
and by the cities, marched boldly against his antagonist, whom 
he compelled to retreat up the Rhine, upon which Otto of 
Bavaria declared in his favour, and defeated Albert's party in 
a nocturnal engagement near Oberndorf, in which Albert** 
uncle and trusty counsellor, the aged Count von Heigerloch, 
was slain. Notwithstanding this disaster, Gerhard convoked 
the electors or their deputies to Mayence, deposed his cousin, 
and proclaimed Albert emperor, Adolf's unworthy conduct 
served as an excellent pretext for that of the electors whose 
votes had been bought. The two armies watched each other 
for some time on the Upper Rhine ; Albert threw himself 
into Strassburg, whose gates were opened to him by the 
bishop, and then into the Pfalx, whither he was followed by 
Adolf, who came up with him at the foot of the Donnerberg, 
at a ftpot known as the Hasenbuhel, upon which Albert spread 
a report that he and Gerhard had been slain, and making a 


feigned retreat, Adolf hastily pursued with his cavalry, and 
was no sooner separated from his infantry, than Albert sud- 
denly turned and fell upon him. According to his orders his 
soldiery stabbed the horses of the enemy, so that most of the 
cavalry was speedily dismounted and compelled to fight in 
their heavy armour on foot. Adolf, whose horse had been 
killed under him, and who had lost his helmet, searched unre- 
mittingly for his rival, and after attacking several knights 
disguised in Albert's armour, was slain, when faint and 
weary, as Albert himself confessed, not by his hand, as has 
often been believed, but by that of the Raugraf,* a. d. 1298. 

CLXXII. Albert the First 

This monster had at length, when hoary with age, attained 
his joyless aim. A life of intrigue, danger, and crime had 
lent an expression of gloom and severity to his countenance, 
which even the brilliance and splendour of his coronation an 
Nuremberg could not dispel, and he cruelly repulsed AdolPs 
unhappy widow, who fell at his feet to beg the life of her son 
Ruprecht, who had been taken prisoner in the battle. Agnes 
of Burgundy, his stepmother, was reduced by him to poverty, 
and at length found a refuge among her relations at Dijon. 
His first act on mounting the throne was directed against the 
youthful king of Bohemia, whose pride he sought to humble. 
During the coronation, Wenzel had performed the office of 
cup-bearer, mounted on horseback, his crown upon his head, 
in order to preserve his dignity while performing that menial 
office. The emperor also levied a- large sum upon the cities of 
Franconia on account of the murder of the Jews, caused by 
the desecration of the holy wafer by one of their nation. 

An opportunity at this time offered for intermeddling with 
the foreign policy of the empire, so long and so shamefully 
neglected. The pope, Boniface VIII., had quarrelled with 
Philip the Handsome of France, who had attempted to use him 
as his tool. This pope was also highly displeased with Albert 
for having accepted the crown without paying homage to him 
as to his liege. "lam the emperor," wrote the pope to him* 

• A title borne by one of the Rhenish Grafs or Counts.— Tbahslitqi^ 


Upon this Albert confederated with Philip against the pope, 
met his new ally at Tours, where he affianced his son, Rudolf 
with the Princess Blanca, Philip's daughter, and solemnly in- 
vested Philip himself with the Arelat, which had in fact been 
long severed from the empire.* This alliance with France 
greatly diminished the influence and roused the anger of 
Gerhard of Mayence ; Albert, however, acted with extreme 
prudence by reconciliating the cities, until now inimical to 
him, by the abolition of the Rhenish customs, whence the 
ecclesiastical princes, and, more particularly, Gerhard, liad 
derived great wealth. Gerhard formed a papal party against 
him by confederating with his neighbours of Cologne and 
Treves, and with the Pfalzgrave Rudolf, Adolfs ancient ally ; 
but Albert was supported by the cities, by Reinhold the "War- 
like, count of Gueldres, whose daughter he wedded to his son 
Frederick, and by French troops, who laid waste the beautiful 
Rhenish provinces. The archbishops, last of all that of 
Treves, which endured a hard siege, were compelled to yield. 
Fresh intrigues were meanwhile carried on in the Nether- 
lands. John, the last count of Holland, and his wife were 
poisoned, [a. d. 1299,] and John d'Avesnes, count in the Hen- 
negau, the son of a sister of the emperor William, backed by 
France, laid claim to the inheritance, whilst Albert, on the 
other hand, attempted to seize the fiefs of the empire for the 
purpose of bestowing them on his sons. When on a visit, 
with this view, to Reinhold of Gueldres at Nimwegen, he ran 
the greatest danger of being seized by John d'Avesnes, who, 
in concert with France, intended to force him to concede to 
his desires, or, it is even probable, to remove him from Philip's 
path, that monarch cherishing the hope of procuring the 
crown of Germany for his own brother, Charles, the electors 
being base enough to encourage the project. Reinhold was 
also on his part deeply offended on account of Albert's refusal 
to wed his son Frederick, who afterwards mounted the im- 
perial throne, with his daughter, by whom the emperor was 
generously saved. He escaped by her assistance from 

* Caesar Gallo rem is it, quicquid Imperio Germanico majoris ill his in 
regno Arclatensi eripuisse Germani agre ferebant. — Petri Saxii pontif. 
Are la tense, ad an. 1294. Albert was also reproached for being in the pay 
of France, to which he replied, " That is no disgrace, for was not Adolf in 
that of England 1" 


Nimwegen, but was compelled to cede Holland to John 

Albert, thus deceived by France, now turned to the pope, 
who had just proclaimed the great jubilee. Rome was throng- 
ed with pilgrims, and the wealth poured on the altars was so 
enormous that the gold was absolutely collected thence with 
rakes. By a disgraceful formula, Albert recognised the pope's 
supremacy, and vowed to procure the crown of Hungary, va- 
cant since the death of Andreas in 1301, for the French 
house of Anjou in Naples, which was more submissive to the 
pontiff than Philip the Handsome. Although Albert's real 
object had been to place the crown of Hungary on his own 
head, he sacrificed his own hopes for the sake of gaining the 
favour of the mighty pontiff, and from the dread of being 
overpowered by his numerous enemies, for Wenzel of Bo- 
hemia also claimed Hungary, and at length openly vented his 
long-concealed wrath upon him. The houses of Habsburg 
and of Anjou, united beneath the pope, invaded Bohemia with 
an immense army of half-pagan Cumans, who devastated not 
only Bohemia but Austria. They were defeated by Wenzel 
before Kuttenberg, and in Austria the Count von Ortenburg 
raised the country and deprived the plunderers of their booty. 
Wenzel died suddenly, bequeathing, with his last breath, his 
claims upon Hungary to Otto of Bavaria, who rode alone and 
in disguise, with the sacred crown and sceptre of Hungary in 
his pocket, through Austria to that country, where he found 
Charles Robert of Naples already firmly seated on the throne. 
He gained but few adherents, and was taken prisoner. It is a 
remarkable fact, that the Saxons of Siebenburg twice revolted 
against the new French dynasty on the throne of Hungary ; 
in 1325, under their count, Henning von Petersdorf, who was 
defeated and murdered by the wild Cumans, and in 1342, 
when the king, Louis, entered their country at the head of a 
large army and succeeded in conciliating them. 

The example of the French monarch inspired Albert with a 
desire for absolute sovereignty, at all events, in his hereditary 
lands, and with a determination to break the power of the 
bishops, the nobility, and the cities. With this intent, he 
purchased a countless number of small estates, fiefs, privileges, 
from the other princes, bishops, and even from knights ; the 
smallest portion of land, the meanest prerogative that could 


in anyway increase his territory or his sovereign rule, 
in it overlooked. He drew the nobles from their castles, and 
formed them into a brilliant cortege around his person. He 
also introduced uniforms, and formed five hundred knights* 
who were distinguished by a particular dress, into a sort of 
body-guard. He placed governors over the lands, towns* 
and castles he had either purchased or which had been ceded 
to him, and also carefully guarded against the division of the 
Habsburg possessions among the various members of the 
family, withholding, for that purpose, from his youthful ne- 
phew, Johannes, the allods to which he had a right in Zwit- 
zerland* His encroachments brought him in collision with 
Eberhard of Wurtemberg, who was also engaged, although on 
a smaller scale, in increasing his family possessions. Albert* 
however, seduced by the prospect of greater gain, quickly ter- 
minated this feud, in order to turn his undivided attention 
upon Thuringia and Meissen, where he hoped to reinstate him* 
self, and which he intended, together with Bohemia, to annex to 
his hereditary estates. Wenzers son, the last of the ancient 
race of Przurizl, was murdered by the magnates of the king- 
dom at Olmiitz^ a, D, 1305, He had an) used himself by break* 
ing pots, to each of which he gave the name of a Bohemian 
noble, and had, by these means, incurred their suspicions, 
Albert's son, Rudolf, whose wife, Bianea, was dead, was in- 
stantly compelled to espouse Elisabeth, the widow of Wenzel, 
who died shortly afterwards, and Henry of Carinthia, who ha<~ 
married one of WenzeVs sisters, laid claim to the throw 
Frederick of Thuringia also valiantly defended his inheritance 
Frederick with the bitten cheek, whose gigantic iron ar< 
mour is still preserved in the Wartburg, the descendant, 01 
the female line, by his mother, Margaret ha, from the Hohen 
staufen, had, after a brave resistance, been deprived of .Mis 
nia and Thuringia. He took refuge in Italy, the country oi 
his great ancestors, where he was received by the Ghihellin 
with open arms ; the example of Conradin, however, deterr 
them from opposing a foe their superior in power. Frederic 
returned to Germany, and, on the death of the emp^ro] 
Adolf, again fixed himself in Thunngia, His now aged fathei 
had, on the death of Ins mistress, Cunna, married the wealth 
widow of the Count von Arnshove, whose daughter, Elisa- 
beth, a young woman <>f surpassing beauty, was loved and 


curried off by Frederick. His marriage with his step-sister 
now served as a pretext to the emperor for renewing his 
claims, as Adolf's successor, on Thuringia, and Frederick was 
once more expelled from the Wartburg.* The Thuringians, 
nevertheless, crowded beneath the standard of their former 
darling, and Albert was defeated at Luchau, A. d. 1307, and a 
second time at Borna, A. d. 1309. The people, whose rights 
were no longer protected against the usurpations of the princes 
by the emperor, who, moreover, abused the authority of the 
crown in order to tyrannize over them, now aided the princes 
against their sovereign. Frederick reconquered the whole of 
his inheritance, with the exception of the Lausitz, which his 
brother, Diezmann, had ceded to Brandenburg. 

The pretensions of the Habsburgs to Bohemia sank on the 
death of Rudolf, Albert having rendered himself so universally 
hated, that the Bohemian estates unanimously refused to ac- 
knowledge one of that obnoxious family as their sovereign, 
and on Tobias von Bechin venturing to speak in Albert's fa- 
vour, Ulrich von Li ch ten stein ran him through the body with 
his sword. The crown was bestowed upon Henry of Carin- 
thia. Albert marched against Prague, and revenged himself 
by laying the land waste, but was compelled to retreat. Dis- 
appointed in his hopes in this quarter, he repaired to Upper 
Swabia, where the greatest danger threatened. His former 
expedition against Zurich was still fresh in the minds of the 
people ; his neighbours, jealous of his power, and the people, 
harassed by his provincial governors, viewed him with the 
deadliest hatred. His nephew, Johannes, imbittered against 
him by his unjust deprivation of the ancient ancestral property 
in Switzerland, which he claimed as son of the eldest brother, 
conspired against him with some Swabian knights, separated 
him, when crossing the Reuss not far from the ancient castle 
of Habsburg, from his retinue, and gave the signal for the 
bloody deed. "How long is this corpse still to ride?" in- 
quired von Wart. " Do your purpose ! M shouted Johannes in 

* With his new-born daughter, who cried incessantly during their 
flight : although the enemy was close at hand, he stopped and asked the 
nurse what ailed the babe. The nurse replied, " My lord, she will not be 
quiet until she is suckled : " so he ordered his men to halt, saying, " My 
child shall have her desire though it cost me all Thuringia ; " and, draw* 
ing his men up in front, remained by his babe's side until she had been 
■uckled. — Rohte. 


reply ; and in an instant von Eschenbach had seized the em- 
peror's bridle, whilst von Palm on one side, and von Wart 
on the other, simultaneously dealt him a blow on the head. 
The aged emperor cried out for assistance to his nephew, who 
ran his sword through his back, and he expired on the road- 
side, in the arms of an old woman, before his warlike son, 
Leopold, who was on the opposite bank of the Reuss, could 
cross the stream, a. d. 1308. This emperor had six sons, 
Rudolf, Frederick the Handsome, Leopold the Glorious, Al- 
bert the Lame, Henry the Amiable, Otto the Joyous ; and five 

CLXXIII. The encroachments of France. The Battle 
of Spurs. 

In France, Philip the Handsome realized the projects vainly 
attempted by the Hohenstaufen in Germany ; he suppressed, 
in the interior, the independence of the great vassals, gave to 
his kingdom union and peace, and extended his influence 
abroad. The popes, who had formerly cast themselves into 
the arms of the French monarchs, were now unable to escape 
from their toils. It was now in vain that Boniface VIII. de- 
clared himself, in the Bull unam sanctam, lord over every 
human creature, " subesse Pontijici Romce, omnem creaturam 
humanam" etc. ; the proud pontiff, then in his eightieth year, 
was, at Philip's command, seized in Rome herself by some 
French knights, assisted by Romans, and so ill-treated that he 
died mad, a. d. 1303. His successor, Benedict XL, bent be- 
fore Philip, but afterwards attempting to shake off his fetters, 
was removed by poison. The next pope, Clement V., was a 
Frenchman by birth, and so completely Philip's tool, that he 
removed his seat of government from Rome to Avignon, which 
belonged to Arelat, and appertained to the house of Anjou ; 
in 1348 the city and territory of Avignon were sold by John 
of Naples for ever to the pope. Philip, at that period, abol- 
ished the rich and powerful order of Templars, and caused the 
grandmaster, Molay, and several knights, whom he had insidi- 
ously induced to visit France, to be burnt alive. This order 
had greatly supported the aristocracy against the throne, and 
was, consequently, dangerous to monarchical power ; and the 


pope, to whom it was useful as a counterpoise against the 
authority of the sovereigns, weakly allowed it to be annihilated. 
The half Mahomedan or Graeco-gnostic heresy of the Templars 
served as an excuse for their destruction. The principal part 
of their possessions were inherited by the knights of St. John, 
who fixed themselves in the island of Rhodes. 

Philip also revived his former project of annexing Flanders, 
which at that time had been raised by German industry, and 
by the national spirit of its rulers, above every other country 
in the world in prosperity and civilization, immediately to 
France, its mere feudal dependence on that kingdom and its 
independent government (by its own counts and its own laws) 
putting it out of his power to drain it as he desired by means 
of governors and tax-gatherers. 

Guillaume de Dampierre bequeathed Flanders to his son, 
Guido the Incapable, who attempted to place the wealthy 
towns under contribution, which gave rise to the revolt at 
Bruges, the great Moorlemaey, a. d. 1282. He also refused 
to take the oath of fealty for Imperial Flanders to the em- 
peror Rudolf, and was on that account placed under the 
interdict by the pope, Rudolf's patron. This event was turn- 
ed to advantage by Philip, who raised a party in his favour in 
that country. Guido sought the protection of England, and 
offered his daughter, Philippa, in marriage to the English 
prince, Edward, but, blinded by Philip's dexterous flat- 
tery, was persuaded to visit Paris, accompanied by his 
daughter and the flower of the Flemish nobility, a. d. 1296, 
where they were all retained prisoners. Guido, by dint of 
great promises, regained his liberty ; Edward I. of England 
offered to negotiate terms for him, and, in order to gain the 
emperor Adolf over to his interest, gave him a large sum of 
money, of which, as has already been seen, he made such a 
bad use. It was in vain that the princes of Brabant, Juliers, 
and Holland took up arms ; the emperor, whom they expected 
to join them, never appeared. Every thing went wrong ; 
Edward marched singly in advance with his English troops 
and was defeated ; the Dutch followed and suffered the same 
fote at Fumes, where William, count of Juliers, was taken 
prisoner, A. D. 1297. The defeated English, reduced to ex- 
treme want, plundered the country, and three hundred Eng- 
lish knights were slain by the enraged citizens of Ghent 


Guido again submitted to the French king, who, contrary to 
his plighted word, threw him into close imprisonment. 

Philip now hastened to gain over by flattery the clergy 
and the great burgher families in the Flemish towns, when 
the papal interdict and the im position of taxes had render 
inimical to Guido, in the hope of inducing the whole of Flanden 
by their aid to acknowledge him as their sovereign prince, and 
of thus setting aside the ruling families. The adherents to the 
royal party in Flanders were denominated Li Hards, from the 
lily in the arms of France. The scheme proved successful, 
and Philip, entering Flanders at the head of a large ariny, 
received the oath of fealty from the different towns on his 
route. The queen, on reaching Bruges, was welcomed by 
six hundred of the wives of the citizens, all of whom equalling 
or surpassing her in the richness of their apparel, she angrily 
exchimed, "I expected to see but one queen, and here are 
six hundred!" The Liliards found their expectations de- 
ceived, Philip depriving them of the power they enjoyed, and 
attempting not only to drain the rich country of its wealth, 
but also to place the Flemish, habituated to liberty and self- 
government, under the yoke of a despotic French stadtholder, 
Jacques de Chatillon, His treatment of Philippa, Guide's 
daughter, whom he dishonoured in order to compel her father 
to cede Flanders, chiefly contributed to im bitter the minds of 
the people against him, and they rose to a man, resolved to 
avenge their disgrace and to cast off the yoke of the foreigner 
Peter de Konink, the head of the corporation of clothiers at 
Bruges, being arrested, together with twenty-five of his 
fellows, for rein sing to contribute to the maintenance of the 
French, the people set him free, and, placing him at their head, 
expelled the traitorous town -council, the stadtholder Chatil- 
lon, and all the French, from the city* Chatillon, however, 
quickly assembled a larger force, and again forced bis waj 
into the city, whence Peter de Konink was compelled to re- 
treat. The people of Ghent had, meanwhile, followed the 
example of the citizens of Bruges, and expelled their town- 
council and all the French* The news of this proceeding 
no sooner reached Bruges than a fresh tumult ensued. 
One Breyel, a butcher, having killed a servant of Mons. 
d'Epinoi, the French commandant at Ma'e, not far from 
Bruges, the commandant attempted to seize him, b it Breyel 


defended himself with the greatest fury, and the citizens 
rushing to his assistance, Mons. d'Epinoi and every French- 
man in Male were murdered. Chatillon, in the mean time* 
negotiated matters with the citizens of Ghent, whom he in- 
duced by promises to oppose the people of Bruges. In con- 
sequence of this, on the arrival of Peter de Konink at the 
head of a mob before Ghent, the gates were closed against 
him, and he returned to Bruges, where, finding the gates also 
closed, he forced his way into the city, and shouting " Strike 
the false foreigners down ! " murdered every Frenchman whom 
he encountered in the streets, and stationed his men at every 
gate and corner with the watch-word, " Schild en Vriend," 
which no Frenchman could pronounce, so that all who had 
concealed themselves and attempted to get away secretly were 
by that means discovered and killed. This massacre took 
place the 14th of May, 1302. Chatillon escaped by swimming 
through the city moat. Ghent, where the Liliards triumphed, 
remained true to the treaty. The citizens and peasantry, 
however, flocked from every quarter to Peter de Konink. 
Guido, a son of the captive count, also arrived, and William 
of Juliers, the younger brother of the William of Juliers 
taken prisoner at Furnes, and canon at Maastricht, abandoned 
his church in order to place himself at the head of the citi- 
zens. The Flemish nobility, (with the exception of those 
who were imprisoned at Paris,) and Gottfried of Brabant, 
were, however, induced, by their hatred of the citizens, to 
side with France. Philip, impatient to revenge the insults 
heaped upon his stadtholder, despatched forty-seven thousand 
men, the flower of the French chivalry, under the command 
of Robert d'Artois, against the little army of undisciplined 
citizens and peasants, led by a priest. At Kortryk, on the 1 1th 
of July, 1302, William of Juliers, guarded by a deep fosse, 
awaited the onset of the enemy. Guido, too young to take 
the command in person, had delegated it to William, who, as 
commander-in-chief, had, on the rise of that bloody day, so- 
lemnly bestowed the honour of knighthood on Peter, the 
weaver, and Breyel, the butcher. Robert d'Artois, at sight 
of this undisciplined mob, treated the advice of the constable 
of Nesle, who attempted to dissuade him from making too 
rash an onset, with contempt, and hinted that his connexion 
by marriage with Guido cooled his zeal in the French cause. 



The constable, touched to the quick by this insult, angrily ej> 
claimed, " Well ! I will lead you further than you will ever 
return ! " and dashing furiously forwards at the head of the 
knights, plunged headlong into the muddy fosse, which was 
quickly filled with the dead bodies of men and horses, those 
in advance being pushed by those behind, who, blinded by the 
dust, could not see what took place in front. At this mo- 
ment, the Flemish infantry advanced and bore down all be- 
fore them. No quarter was given. The noble constable fell 
Artois begged for his life, but his antagonists replied to his 
entreaties, " There is no nobleman here to understand your 
gibberish !" and struck him down. With him fell the bravest 
and best of France's chivalry, and twenty thousand men. 
Two German princes, Gottfried of Brabant and Theobald of 
Lothringia, who fought under French colours, found here a 
dishonourable death. The Brabant knights, in the hope of 
saving their lives, flung themselves from horseback, and joined 
in the Flemish war-cry, " Vlaendren ende Leu !" The Flem- 
ish, among whom there were no knights, quickly discovered 
the stratagem, and instantly shouted, "Down with all who 
wear spurs ! " The victors collected five thousand golden spurs 
belonging to the princes and knights who had fallen on this 
occasion, and hung them as trophies in the church of Kortryk. 
This dreadful day was thence called " The battle of spurs." 

William of Juliers, who had fought until forced, from very 
weariness, to be carried from the field, returned to his solitary 
cell. Philip, deeply humbled, sent his prisoner, Count Guido, 
to negotiate terms, but the proud victor refused to listen, and 
Guido nobly returned to his prison, where he died, at a great 
age, not long after. John II., the new duke of Brabant, and 
William, bishop of Utrecht, meanwhile, joined the Flemish, 
and the German party became so powerful, that it was re- 
solved to take vengeance on John d'Avesnes, who had until 
now been intriguing in favour of France against the emperor, 
Albert, and had taken possession of Holland. John lay, at 
that time, sick. His son, William III., was defeated near the 
Ziriksee, A. D. 1304 ; the whole of Holland was conquered. 
The cruelty of the Flemish, however, roused the people to 
rebellion. Witte von Hamsteede, a natural son of the old 
Count Floris, and who shared his father's popularity, raised 
the standard of revolt ; the women even fought in defence of 


their country, and the Flemish suffered a complete defeat near 
Harlem. Philip of France, who had shortly before bribed 
the emperor, to whose son, Rudolf, he had given his daughter, 
Blanche, in marriage, despatched a great fleet under Grimaldi, 
a Genoese, and a large land-army, against the Flemish, for 
the purpose of reducing them to subjection, and of revenging 
the disaster at Kortryk. Grimaldi was victorious, and took 
Guido the younger prisoner. Upon this, William of Juliers 
again quitted his cloister, replaced himself at the head of 
the Flemish, fought with unexampled bravery at Mons-en- 
puelle, captured the Oriflamme, and almost succeeded in taking 
the king, who was wounded and fled. At this moment he 
was himself deprived of life. Philip, who had retreated, 
quickly returned to the charge, but, on beholding the immense 
multitude confronting him, exclaimed, " Do the skies rain 
with Flemish !" and refused to hazard another engagement. 
Peace was negotiated by John of Brabant. Robert, (surnamed 
de Bethune,) the eldest son of Guido the elder, was reinstated 
in Flanders, but ceded Ryssel, Douai, and Lille to Philip. 

John of Brabant, the negotiator of the peace, had to quell 
disturbances in his own country. The cities of Brabant ri- 
valled those of Flanders in industry and wealth, and rose be- 
fore long against the nobility, who, with natural jealousy, 
sought to diminish their privileges. Mechlin, Louvain, and 
Brussels expelled the nobles from their walls, destroyed their 
houses, and even closed the gates against the duke, who took 
part with the nobility. The contest began A. D. 1303, and, 
after Jong negotiation, was terminated, a. d. 1312, by the 
laws of Kortenberg, by which great privileges were secured 
to the cities. 

CLXXIV. William Tell and the Swiss. 

The Alpine peasantry also rose in defence of their liber- 
ties, not as the citizens in Flanders, against the foreign in- 
vader, but against their domestic tyrants. These simultaneous 
events sprang from a similar origin, being produced by the 
reaction of the popular spirit in Germany against the misery 
and disgrace that had fallen like a curse upon the empire 
since the fall of the Hohenstaufen. The peasantry, no longer 

u 2 


protected and counselled by a wise and magnanimous 
peror, betrayed and sold to the foreigner, and oppressed by 
internal tyranny, were compelled to seek for aid in their own 
resources, but their efforts, like those of unconscious instinct, 
were solitary and uncombined, and consequently without mate- 
rial result. As a whole, the German nation was animated by 
no national spirit pervading and combining each kindred race, 
but was so completely absorbed in local and provincial inter- 
ests, that the inhabitant of one part of the empire remained 
ignorant of and indifferent to the events that took place 
among his brethren in another. 

Around the beautiful lake formed by the Reuss, on its de- 
scent from the St. Gothard, lie the four forest towns, as they 
are called, and from which this lake takes its name — vier 
Waldstcetter See — the lake of the four cantons — Uri, Schwyz, 
Unterwalden, and Lucerne. The shepherds in the valley of 
Uri were originally free-born Alemanni, who held their lands 
in fee of the nunnery at Zurich, and the monastery of Wet- 
tingen in the Aargau, but preserved their ancient communal 
right of self-government, a situation corresponding with that 
of the free Friscians and Ditmarses, who were subordinate to 
the bishops of Utrecht and Bremen. The shepherds of Schwyz 
and Unterwalden were claimed as serfs by the counts of 
Habsburg, a claim they stoutly opposed, appealing to their 
ancient liberties, and to a document drawn up in confirmation 
thereof by the emperor, Frederick II., and ratified by the em- 
peror Adolf. They consequently held with the free peasants 
of Uri, with whom they had formerly been allied. (Lucerne 
was incontestably Habsburgian.) The counts of Habsburg 
exercised at this time, in the name of the emperor and of the 
empire, the right of penal judicature (the provincial govern- 
ment) throughout the whole district of the Aar, as far as the 
St. Gothard, consequently also over Uri, over which they 
formerly possessed no right. On the accession of the Habs- 
burgs to the throne, they placed deputy governors over the 
country, who bore the double office of crown-officers, by their 
exercise of the right of penal judicature, and of administrators 
of the possessions of the Habsburg ; between which, as may 
easily be understood, they did not always draw a broad enough 
line of distinction. The peasant was to them merely a pea- 
sant* whether a freeman of Uri or a serf of Lucerne. It ia 


well known, that the object of the emperor Albert was the 
abolition of local differences and privileges, and the subjection 
of the free communes to his rule ; and the governors, as the free 
peasants of Uri were doomed to experience, were neither un- 
willing to obey nor tardy in executing the will of their sovereign. 

The events that ensued we give in the words of the naive 
chronicle of Tschudi : "In the year of our Lord 1307, there 
dwelt a pious countryman in Unterwald beyond the Kernwald, 
whose name was Henry of Melchthal, a wise, prudent, honest 
man, well to do and in good esteem among his country-folk, 
moreover, a firm supporter of the liberties of his country and 
of its adhesion to the holy Roman empire, on which account 
Beringer von Landenberg, the governor over the whole of 
Unterwald, was his enemy. This Melchtaler had some very 
fine oxen, and, on account of some trifling misdemeanour com- 
mitted by his son, Arnold of Melchthal, the governor sent hi3 
servant to seize the finest pair of oxen by way of punishment, 
and in case old Henry of Melchthal said any thing against it, 
he was to say, that it was the governor's opinion that the pea- 
sants should draw the plough themselves. The servant ful- 
filled his lord's commands. But, as he unharnessed the oxen, 
Arnold, the son of the countryman, fell into a rage, and, 
striking him with a stick on the hand, broke one of his fingers. 
Upon this Arnold fled, for fear of his life, up the country to- 
wards Uri, where he kept himself long secret in the country 
where Conrad of Baumgarten from Altzelen lay hid for 
having killed the governor of Wolfenschiess, who had insulted 
his wife, with a blow of his axe. The servant, meanwhile, 
complained to his lord, by whose order old Melchthal's eyes 
were torn out. This tyrannical action rendered the governor 
highly unpopular, and Arnold, on learning how his good father 
had been treated, laid his wrongs secretly before trusty people 
in Uri, and awaited a fit opportunity for avenging his father's 

" At the same time, Gessler,* the governor of Uri and 
Schwyz, treated the people with almost equal cruelty, and 
erected a fortress in Uri, as a place of security for himself and 
other governors after him, in case of revolt, and as a means of 
keeping the country in greater awe and submission. His reply, 

* Etterlyn names him Grissler ; Schilling, a Count von Seedorf. N« 
contemporary document, containing his name, has yet been discovered. 


on being asked, * what the name of the fortress was to be V 
'Zwing Uri,' (Uri's prison,) greatly offended the people of 
Uri ; on perceiving which, he resolved to degrade them still 
further, and, on St. Jacob's day, caused a pole to be fixed in 
the market-place, which was the common thoroughfare, by the 
lime-trees, at Altdorff, and a hat to be placed at the top, to 
which every one who passed was commanded, on pain of con- 
liscation of his property and of corporal punishment, to bow 
lowly and to bend the knee as if to the king himself, and 
placed by it a guard whose duty it was to mark those who 
refused obedience, thinking to gain great fame, if by this 
means he should succeed in degrading this brave and un- 
conquered nation to the basest slavery. It so chanced that 
when the governor, Gessler, rode through the country to 
Schwitz, over which he also ruled, there lived at Steinen in 
Schwitz, a wise and honourable man of an ancient family, 
named Wernherr von Stauffach, who had built a handsome 
house near the bridge at Steinen. On the governor's arrival, 
the Stauffacher, who was standing before the door, gave him 
a friendly welcome, and was asked by the governor to whom 
the house belonged ? The Stauffacher, suspecting that the 
question boded nothing good, cautiously replied, ' My lord, 
the house belongs to my sovereign lord the king, and is your 
and my fief.' Upon this, the governor said, 'I will not allow 
peasants to build houses without my consent, or to live in 
freedom as if they were their own masters. I will teach you 
to resist ! ' and, so saying, rode on his journey. These words 
greatly disturbed the Stauffacher, who was a sensible, intelli- 
gent man, and had moreover a wise and prudent wife, who, 
quickly perceiving that something lay heavy on his mind, did 
not rest until she had found out what the governor had said. 
When she heard it, she said, ' My dear Ee-Wirt, you know 
that many of the good country-folk also complain of the go- 
vernor's tyranny, it would therefore be well for some of you, 
who can trust one another, to meet secretly, and take counsel 
together how you may throw off his wanton power.' Stauf- 
facher agreed to this and went to Uri, where, perceiving that 
all the people were impatient of the hateful yoke of the go- 
vernor, he trusted his secret to a wise and honourable man of 
Uri, named Walter Furst, who mentioned to him their coun- 
tryman of Unterwald, Arnold of Melchthal, who had taken 


refuge in Uri, but had often gone secretly back to Unterwald 
to see his family, as one who might be trusted. He waa 
therefore called in, and these three men agreed that each of 
them should secretly assemble all the trust-worthy people in 
their own country, in order to take measures for regaining 
their ancient liberties and expelling the tyrannical governor. 
It was also agreed that they should meet at night by the 
Mytenstein, that stands in the lake beneath Sewlisberg, at a 
place called 'in the Roedlin.' Thus the ground-work to the 
famous Swiss confederation was laid in the country of Uri, by 
these three brave men.* 

"On the following Sunday, the 18th of the winter-month 
after Othmari, 1307, an honest peasant of Uri, William Tell 
by name, who was also in the secret confederacy, passed 
several times before the hat, hung up in the market-place at 
AltdorfF, without paying it due homage. This was told to 
the governor, who, on the following morning, summoned Tell 
to his presence, and asked him haughtily, why he disobeyed 
his commands ? Tell replied, * My dear lord, it happened un- 
knowingly and not out of contempt, pardon me ; if I were 
clever, I should not be called Tell, J I beg for mercy, it shall 
not happen again.' Now Tell was a good marksman, and 
had not his equal in the whole country ; he had also beautiful 
children, of whom he was very fond : the governor sent for 
them, and said, ' Tell, which of your children do you love the 
best?' Tell answered, 'My lord, they are all alike dear to 

* Hence the old rhyme, 

" When the lowly wept and tyrant* stormed, 
The Swiss confederacy was formed." 

f Tell (toll, dull, stupid, Tolpel) has a similar signification -with the 
Northern Toko, (Docke, sly fellow, or dissembler, in the 8wiss dialect, 
Tockeli — a silly butterfly,) a simpleton or fool. Both the name and the 
story of Tell agree so precisely with those of the Danish 1'alnotocke, the 
assassin of King Harald, that Tell's history has been sometimes deemed 
a mere fabulous imitation of the Danish one* Both stories are, accord- 
ing to Ideler, founded on one of stili higher antiquity, 'fell's history lias 
been, undeniably, adorned with much poetical fiction, but its principal 
features are, nevertheless, true. The personal description of Tell ap- 
pears to be perfectly genuine, for (an Monnich, in his treatise coneeniintf 
Tell, Nuremberg, 1**41, remarks) his yanntutUUkti nmmiers, his perplex* 
ity and timidity at the first moment, his ignoble and miideal character, 
prove Tscln><*»'« h"ttork*J accuracy, A fictitious hero would haru bees 
more ideally 


me.' Upon this, the governor said, * Well ! Tell, you are •" 
good and true marksman, as I hear, and shall prove your 
skill in my presence, by shooting an apple off the head of one 
of your children, but take care that you strike the apple, for 
should the first shot miss, it shall cost you your life.' Tell, 
filled with horror, begged the governor for God's sake to dis- 
pense with the trial, 'for it would be unnatural for him to 
shoot at his own dear child. He would sooner die.' But the 
governor merely replied, ' Unless you do it, you or your child 
shall die.' Tell now perceived that the trial must be made, 
and inwardly praying God to shield him and his dear child, 
took up his cross-bow, set it, placed the arrow in it, and stuck 
another behind in his collar, whilst the governor placed the 
apple with his own hand on the head of the child, who was 
not more than six years old. Tell then aimed at the apple, 
and shot it off the crown of the child's head without inflicting 
the slightest injury. The governor was greatly astonished at 
his wonderful skill, and praised him, but asked, 'what he in- 
tended by sticking another arrow behind in his collar?' TeU 
was afraid, and said, * it was the custom among marksmen.' 
The governor, however, perceived that Tell avoided his ques- 
tion, and said, ' Tell, speak the truth openly and without fear, 
your life is safe, but I am not satisfied with your answer.* 
Then William Tell took courage, and replied, 'Well, my 
lord, I will tell you the whole truth ; if I had struck my child, 
I would have shot at you with the other arrow, which would 
certainly not have missed its mark.' 

" When the governor heard this, he said, ' Very well, Tell ; 
I have promised you your life, and will keep my word, but 
now that I know your evil intentions against me, I will have 
you taken to a place where you shall never again behold 
either sun or moon ;' and commanded his servants to take him 
bound to Fluellen. He also went with them ; and, with his 
servants, and Tell with his hands bound, got into a boat, in- 
tending to go to Brunnen, and thence to carry Tell across the 
country through Schwitz to his castle at Kiissnach, (accord- 
ing to Kopp, Kiissnacht never belonged to a Gessler ; the go- 
vernor, nevertheless, might have the right of entry into the 
castle,) where he was to remain for the rest of his life in a 
dark dungeon. Tell's cross-bow lay in the boat by the side 
of the steersman. When they had got well into the lake* 


and had reachpd the corner at Achsen, it pleased God to raise 
Buch a fearful and violent storm, that they all despaired of 
safety, and expected to drown miserably. Upon this, one of 
the servants said to the governor, ' My lord, you see your and 
our need, and the danger of our lives ; now Tell is a strong 
man, and can manage a boat well, let us make use of him in 
our necessity.' The governor, who was in mortal dread of a 
watery grave, then said to Tell, ' If you truly bring us out of 
this danger, I will- release you from your bonds.' To which 
Tell replied, ' Yes, my lord, I trust, with God's aid, to bring 
you safely out of this peril.' Thereupon he was unbound, 
and, standing at the helm, guided the boat well, but watched, 
meanwhile, for an opportunity to seize his cross-bow, which 
lay near him, and to jump out ; as he approached a rock, 
(since known as TelPs rock, on which a small chapel has been 
erected,) he called to the servants, that they must go carefully 
until they came to this rock, when the worst danger would be 
past, and, on reaching the rock, drove the boat, for he was 
very strong, violently against it, snatched up his cross-bow, 
and springing upon the rocky shelf, pushed the boat back 
again into the lake, where it lay tossing about, whilst he ran 
through Schwitz to a hollow way between Art and Kiissnach, 
with a high bank above where he lay hid, and awaited the 
coming of the governor, who, he well knew, must take that 
road to his castle. The governor and his servants, after great 
danger and trouble in crossing the lake, reached Brunnen ; 
and riding thence through Schwitz, entered the hollow way, 
plotting as they went along all sorts of designs against Tell, 
who, nothing heeding, drew his cross-bow and shot the go- 
vernor through the heart with an arrow, so that he fell heavily 
from his horse, and from that hour never breathed more. On 
the spot where William Tell shot the governor, a holy chapel, 
that is standing at this day, was built." 

Tschudi further relates, that on new-year's day, 1308, the 
peasantry got possession of the fortresses of Sarnen and Rotz- 
berg in Unterwald by stratagem, and that those of Uri de- 
stroyed the new fortress of Zwing-Uri, and those of Schwitz 
the castle of Lowers. After which it is said they formed at 
Brunnen on the lake, on the 6th of January, 1308, the first 
Swiss confederation, for the period of ten years, and with 


the reservation of their allegiance to the emperor and tbe 

The peasantry in the Tyrol also tried their strength at this 
period. The Italians at Feltre attempting to deprive the 
Germans at Fleims of some Alps in Southern Tyrol, the 
Fleimsers attacked Feltre, took it by storm, and burned the 
town to the ground, A. d. 1300. These peasants form the 
most Southern German outpost on the Italian side, and dis- 
tinguished themselves in all the wars, up to 1809. 

CLXXV. Henry the Seventh of Luxemburg. 

On the death of Albert, the crown of Germany was claimed 
by Philip the Handsome of France, for his brother Charles ; 
the princes, however, dreaded his power, and refused to elect 
him. The Habsburgs were as little favoured, the late em- 
peror's authority appearing to his jealous subjects to have 
acquired too great weight. They consequently resolved to 
place another petty count upon the throne, and, in order to 
flatter the church, to recognise him as emperor, to whom the 
ecclesiastical electors gave the majority of votes. 

The city and archbishopric of Treves was, at that time, on 
a good footing with the neighbouring count, Henry of Lux- 
emburg. Henry was known to fame as the best knight of the 
day in the lists. His alliance with Treves was necessitated by 
the attacks of his neighbour of Brabant. The city of Treves 
bestowed upon him the rights of citizenship, and his brother 
Baldwin gained the mitre by means of his former medical 

* This history is not confirmed by any contemporary -writer, neither 
has it been disproved. Henry von Hiinenberg alone mentions it in an 
epigram, the authenticity of which we cannot vouch. 

" Dum pater in puerum telum crudele coruscat 
Tellius, ex jussu, sseve tyranne, tuo 
Pomum, non natum figit fatalis arundo 
Altera mox, ultrix, te periture petet." 

In 1388, in the provincial assembly at Uri, one hundred and fourteen 
of the country people declared that they had known Tell personally, and 
that in 1354 he was drowned at Burglen during a flood, whilst attempt- 
ing to save some persons. This declaration was even then necessary, in 
order to confirm the authenticity of Tell's history. 


attendant, Peter Aichspalter, a Trevian by birth, his prede- 
cessor on the archiepiscopal throne. Baldwin consequently 
recommended his brother, who, being favoured by Mayence, 
the archbishop of Cologne, who sided with France, was left 
in the minority, and the princes, faithful to their plighted 
word, accepted Henry for their emperor. 

Henry VII. was proclaimed emperor at Rense, [a. d. 1308,] 
near Braubach, on the left bank of the Rhine, and the royal 
crown was placed upon his brows. The two other crowns, 
the iron one of Lombardy and the imperial crown, were still in 
Italy. Henry was one of the noblest monarchs who sat on 
the throne of Germany Deeply conscious of the duties im- 
posed upon him by his station, he followed in the steps of 
Charlemagne and Barbarossa, and worthily upheld the dig- 
nity and honour of the empire, ever remaining a stranger to the 
petty policy of his late predecessors, who sacrificed the state 
for the sake of increasing the wealth and influence of their 
own houses. Sensible of his inability to cope with his jealous 
vassals at home, he sought to extend his authority abroad, and 
to cover himself with the glory of the ancient emperors by re- 
pelling the assumptions of France, and repairing the losses 
sustained by the empire since the fall of the Hohenstaufen, in 
order to acquire the power necessary for restoring and main- 
taining order in the interior of the empire. The Italians 
were weary of French usurpation and intrigue ; the pope even 
sighed for release from French bondage ; the times seemed 
more than ever propitious for the restoration of Italy to the 
empire, and the emperor would have neglected his duty had he 
not created this diversion against the plotting king of France. 
Henry acted both as a wise statesman and a great sovereign, 
and shame upon the princes of Germany who withheld 
their aid. 

Before setting out for Italy be did bis utmost to restore 
peace and tranquillity to the empire. Bohemia was in a state 
of complete anarchy. Henry of Carinthia filled every office 
in that kingdom with CarJiitbiaa*, draiued the country of 
money, took the beads of the H*A##u'i*u uri*UM;rwy primmer* 
at a banquet, %xA forvw Klisa-betb, Ww/*#% mswtud sister, into 
a dungeon, [ju b, VtfJk^ lu vrdur to for*** her into a ajarriage 
with a low-bora Jkiiight, *u4 thu* exclude her from the succes- 
sion. 4* JtaHftg*'', m oJki *ud faithful ehaplaij), this 


princess contrived to escape, and roused the people to rebellion. 
Henry of Luxemburg was, at this conjuncture, raised to the 
Imperial throne, and the Bohemians, resting their hopes on 
him for aid, sent ambassadors, bearing with them the Prince* 
Elisabeth, then in her eighteenth year, to him, in order to offer 
her in marriage to his son, John, a boy of fourteen. Hie 
princess made the offer in person ; the emperor, struck with 
the indecency of the demand, at first tauntingly rejected th* 
proposal, but afterwards, won by her spirit and innocence, con- 
sented to the marriage, and despatched his son, John, a boy 
of uncommon bravery and promise, at the head of a body of 
troops, to Bohemia, where he was joyfully welcomed. The 
Carinthians were expelled. 

The position of the emperor in respect to the house of 
Habsburg, at the head of which stood Albert's elder sons, 
Frederick the Handsome, and Leopold, besides a daughter, 
Agnes, the widow of the last of the Hungarian dynasty of 
Arpad, was replete with difficulty. The Austrians had not 
yet become habituated to their yoke. In Vienna, Albert's 
death was the signal for an insurrection, which Frederick was 
merely enabled to quell by the infliction of the most horrid 
punishments; numbers of the citizens were executed, de- 
prived of sight, and mutilated. Otto of Bavaria, whom Al- 
bert had formerly expelled from Hungary, now revenged 
himself upon Frederick by invading Austria, where he car- 
ried all before him and laid the country waste. Styria was, 
meanwhile, restored to tranquillity by the governor, Ulric 
von Waldsee. The Habsburgs had also numerous enemies 
in the Alps. The emperor, Henry, solemnly released the 
peasants of Uri, Unterwald, and Schwitz, from the Habsburg 
rule, and placed them under the immediate jurisdiction of the 
crown ; an act completely contrary to the policy of the Habs- 
burgs, but strictly just and in accordance with the prerogative 
and duty of the sovereign, who alone possessed the right of 
nominating the governors, and was in duty bound to remove 
those who gave just cause of complaint to the people. The 
Habsburgs exercised hereditary jurisdiction over their vassals 
and serfs, but not over free subjects of the empire, whom 
they merely governed in the name and at the pleasure of the 
emperor. Henry, with equal justice, put the murderers of 
the late emperor out of the bann of the empire, and offered 


peace and friendship to his sons. A grand and solemn funeral 
service was performed by Henry's command at Spires, where 
the remains of the emperors, Adolf of Nassau, and Albert of 
Habsburg, were deposited in the old imperial vault. Both of 
their widows and Albert's daughter were present, A. D. 1309 ; 
Elisabeth of Nassau, who had once vainly pleaded on her 
knees to Albert for her son ; Elisabeth of Habsburg, who 
sat weeping at the foot of the same Albert's coffin. The 
empress, Margaretha, sought to comfort the widowed mourn- 
ers, and, with a misgiving heart, entreated Heaven to guard 
her from a similar calamity. Frederick the Handsome was 
also in Spires with a numerous retinue, and a reconciliation 
was assiduously attempted between the nouses of Luxemburg 
and Habsburg. After a long dispute, the two parties agreed 
to certain terms, and reciprocally guaranteed to each other the 
quiet possession of their several territories. 

Elisabeth fearfully revenged the murder of her husband. 
Johannes had fled to Italy ; his accomplices, Ulric von Palm, 
and Walter von Eschilbach, secreted themselves, one in a 
penitentiary at Basle, the other for several years as a cowherd 
in Swabia ; Rudolf von Wart fell into the hands of his pur- 
suers, and was condemned by Agnes to be bound alive to the 
wheel. He lived in this state for three days, during which 
his faithful wife, Gertrude, sat at his feet weeping and praying 
until he expired. Elisabeth's vengeance even overtook the 
innocent ; all the relations and vassals of the murderers were 
killed, to the number of a thousand men, and with their con- 
fiscated property she built the convent of Koenigsfelden, (now 
a mad-house,) in which her daughter Agnes took the veil, in 
order to pass the remainder of her days in mourning for her 

The emperor also attempted to persuade Count Eberhard* 
of Wurtemberg to desist from further violence, and repre- 
sented to him at the diet at Spires the ruinous consequences 
of internal feuds. " Enemies multiply abroad, when those 

• This Eberhard was usually surnamed " the Enlightened." Peter 
von Kcenigssaal (cron. aulse regise) terms him more properly "fomea 
perfidiae, vas perditionis, pacis destructor." This wild knight had ail 
extremely beautiful daughter, who lies buried at Rottenburg : 
"Hicjacet ecce Rosa quondam nimium speciosa, 
Innengard grata de Wirtemberg generata." 


before whom they were wont to tremble are engaged in di*» 
tension at home, and the bitter feelings roused by feuds be* 
tween the different races in Germany, will, ere many years 
elapse, become deeply and ineradicably rooted." Eber- 
hard, who had been escorted to the diet by two hundred 
knights, unmoved by the emperor's persuasions, openly set 
him at defiance, and, saying that he owned no master, rode 
away. Henry instantly put him out of the bann of the em- 
pire, and carried the sentence into effect with the aid of the 
Count Conrad von Weinsperg, A. d. 131 1, and of the Swabian 
cities, which, since 1307, had entered into an offensive and de» 
fensive alliance against Eberhard. Esslingen, the most pow- 
erful of the allied cities, had the insolence to receive the 
homage of the whole county of Wurtemberg. The ancient 
castle of Wurtemberg was destroyed, Stuttgard taken, and 
Eberhard, chased from one robber castle to another, was at 
length compelled to lie concealed in the castle of Besigheim 
until the death of the emperor. 

The Ghibellines earnestly desired the emperor's arrival in 
Italy,* and assembled under Visconti, the Milan exile, in 
order to bid him welcome. The majority among them, never- 
theless, were simply desirous of making use of the emperor, 
for the purpose of lowering the power of the Guelphs ; very 

* Danle places the emperor Albert in purgatory, and thus reproachet 

" Ahi serva Italia, di dolore ostello, 
Nave senza nocchiero in gran tempesta ; 
Non donna di provincie, ma bordello I 

Ahi gente che dovresti esser devota, 
E lasciar seder Cesar ne la sella, 
Se bene intendi ci6 che Dio li nota ! 

Guarda com* esta fiera e fatta fella, 
Per non esser corretta dagli sproni, 
Poiche ponesti mano a la predella. 

O Alberto Tedesco. c* abbandoni 
Costei ch* e fatta indomita e selvaggia, 
E dovresti inforcar li suoi arcioni ; 

Giusto giudicio da le stelle caggia 
Sovra '1 tuo sangue, e sia nuovo e aperto, 
Tal che '1 tuo successor temenza n* aggia : 

C avete, tu e '1 tuo padre, sofferto, 
Per cupidigia di costa distretti, 
Che '1 giardin dello 'mperio sia diserto. 

Del Purgatorio, Caoto vi 


few among them still cherished a wish for the restoration of 
the ancient empire. Among the latter was Dante, who im- 
mortalized Arrigo (Henry) the Pious as the shepherd of his 
people, as the restorer of justice, and in his work " de Mon- 
archic" again exhausts all the arguments with which Fre- 
derick II. had defended his temporal dominions against papal 

tyranny. When [a. d. 1310] Henry, at the head of a 

petty German force, and solely accompanied by Duke Leopold 
of Austria and Count Amadeus of Savoy, crossed the Alps, 
the Ghibellines flocked beneath his standard. The Milanese 
Guelphs, panic-struck, opened the city gates, and the emperor, 
entering the ancient capital of Lombardy, caused the lost iron 
crown to be replaced by a new one, which he placed upon his 
head, and marched in triumph through the streets with his 
empress Margaretha, on whose long flowing golden locks a 
diadem also shone, on an ambling palfrey at his side. The 
Guelphic chiefs della Torre, meanwhile, encouraged by the 
discontent raised in Milan by the promulgation of the strict 
imperial edicts, the imposition of a tax and the expense caused 
by the emperor's prolonged stay, set a conspiracy on foot, 
which was, however, discovered, and the Germans, under 
Leopold of Habsburg, drove the Torres from the city. Guido 
della Torre fled to Cremona, whither he was pursued by the 
emperor, who took the city and levelled it with the ground, 
A. D. 1311. 

Dante complained in a public letter of the emperor's trifling 
in Upper Italy, instead of hastening to Rome to crush his 
enemies at a blow. Henry, by his over-cautious and tem- 
porizing policy, merely allowed the Guelphs time to recover 
from their first surprise. Tibaldo de Brussati, whom he 
had greatly favoured, faithlessly deserted him, and armed 
the city of Brescia against him. Enraged at this act of treach- 
ery, the emperor resolved to make of him a fearful example, 
and, on taking him prisoner during a sally, sentenced him to 
be dragged to death round the walls. The death of Henry's 
brother, Count Walram, who fell before this city, roused his 
vengeance, and he vowed to deprive every inhabitant of Bres- 
cia of his nose ; his camp was, however, devastated by a pesti- 
lence, and Brescia yielded on condition that the noses of tlje 
statues with which the city was adorned should be sacrificed, 
instead of those of the inhabitants, to the emperor's revenge. 


His stay in Upper Italy was lengthened for the sake of re- 
ducing the whole country to subjection. The citizens of Pa* 
via came to meet him, and delivered to him the golden imperial 
crown, lost there by Frederick II. In the winter he visited 
Genoa, which still remained true to her allegiance. During 
his stay in this city, he lost his empress, Margaretha. It was 
either here or at Pavia that Johannes, the murderer of the 
emperor Albert, presented himself in the garb of a monk be- 
fore him when sitting at table, and fell at his feet to beg for 
pardon, but was angrily repulsed and thrown into prison, 
where he shortly afterwards expired, [a. d. 1313,] and was 
buried in the Augustin monastery at Pisa. 

Robert, king of Naples, favoured by the delay on the part 
of the emperor, despatched his brother, John of Achaja, with 
a body of picked troops to Rome, for the purpose of defending 
that city in the name of France and of the pope against the 
German invader. He was also strongly upheld by the power- 
ful Guelphlc faction of the Orsini. Henry, leaving the gal- 
lant knight and Minnesinger, Count Werner von Homburg, 
governor over Lombardy with Philip, the nephew of the earl 
of Savoy, whose alliance he sought to fortify, as a colleague, 
set off instantly, at the head of merely two thousand men, for 
Rome, A. I). 1312. The Roman nobility came, with feigned 
professions of friendship, to meet him, but, already fully ac- 
quainted with Italian perfidy, he ordered them, with a con- 
tempt unusual to him, to be thrown into chains, forced his way 
into the city and stormed the Capitol, whence he was repulsed 
with serious loss. St. Peter's church also proving impregna- 
ble, he was compelled to solemnize his coronation in the La- 
teran. The ceremony was disturbed by the arrows and shouts 
of the Guelphs. 

The abandonment of Rome was now his only alternative* 
With unshaken spirit he, nevertheless, repulsed the Tuscans, 
who attempted to cut off his retreat near Ancisa, laid waste 
their beautiful country, which refused to own his sway, and 
at length fixed his camp in a lonely spot, near Poggibonzi, 
which he named the Kaisersberg, where he wished to found a 
city. Whilst here, he put Robert, king of Naples, out of the 
bann of the empire as a faithless vassal, and sentenced him U 
death. The pope, Clement V., however, imposed his com* 
viands upon him from France to keep peace with Robert 


whom the Tuscan league, on perceiving the weakness of the 
emperor, proclaimed their protector. Henry also divided, as 
if in peace and security, the Italian imperial offices and pos- 
sessions among the faithful Ghibellines, sued for the hand of 
the beautiful Catherine von Habsburg, a daughter of the em- 
peror Albert, and made great preparations in Sicily, Genoa, 
and Germany, for the renewal of the war on all sides. His 
son John, king of Bohemia, was on the point of escorting his 
father's bride, and of conducting a fresh body of German 
troops across the Alps, and Henry's hopes seemed on the point 
of being fulfilled, when, after an unsuccessful attack upon 
Siena, he was poisoned at Buonconvento during supper by a 
monk, August 24th, 1313. With his expiring breath he said 
to his murderer, " You have given me death in the cup of life, 
but fly, ere my followers seize you ! " At Pisa, Catherine 
received a corpse instead of an imperial bridegroom. 

Philip playing the traitor in Lombardy was seized by 
the throat by Werner von Homburg, who was wounded in 
the scuffle by Philip's attendants. The Ghibelline Visconti, 
nevertheless, maintained their authority in Milan, and that 
faction gained the upper hand in Tuscany. Robert of Naples, 
on the other hand, retained possession of Naples, and even 
succeeded in winning the favour of the Habsburgs, and Henry's 
luckless bride, Catherine, again crossed the Alps in order to 
wed Charles, the son of Robert. She died a few years after 
of sorrow and disappointment, leaving no issue. 

Whilst these events were passing in the South, Waldemar, 
Margrave of Brandenburg, vied with the Hansa in subjugating 
the North. The noble Ascanian family had merged in the 
lines of Stendal and Salzwedel, and been greatly weakened by 
the powerful archbishops of Magdeburg. Otto with the Ar- 
row, the Minnesinger, died childless, and was succeeded by 
his nephew, Waldemar the Bold, [a. d. 1308,] who also placed 
himself at the head of the Stendal family, by poisoning his 
youthful relative, John, the rightful heir. Sole master over 
the march, he speedily gained great power, and pursued the 
plan of conquering the whole of the coast of the Baltic. In 
1 309, he had already gained possession of Pomerelia, Dantzig, 
and the mouths of the Vistula, which he made over provision- 
ally to the German order, in order to gain them on his side 
against the Hansa, against which he instantly tamed hi* arm*. 
vol. u. I 


Under pretext of solemnizing his nuptials at Rostock with 
his cousin, Agnes, he perfidiously attempted to take that city 
by surprise ; but the wary citizens closed the gates against 
him, and he and his ally, Eric Menved of Denmark, with 
some petty princes and bishops, hostile to the Hansa, vainly 
sought to reduce it to submission, a. d. 1310. The city com- 
munes, suspecting the lower council of treasonable correspond- 
ence with the enemy, revolted under Henry Runge, and de- 
posed the members of the council, of whom they murdered 
several ; but, being unexpectedly attacked by Henry of Meck- 
lenburg, a bloody skirmish took place in the streets, and their 
leader was taken and beheaded, a. d. 1314. During this year, 
the citizens of Magdeburg revolted against their tyrannical 
archbishop, Burkhard. The allied princes of Northern Ger- 
many seized this as a pretext for attacking the city, but the 
citizens made such a brave defence, so warmly pressed the 
hungry princes to leave their camp and partake of their ban- 
quets, and received the Margrave, Frederick with the bitten 
cheek, who ventured to accept their invitation, so graciously, 
that the siege was discontinued. A reconciliation took place ; 
but the archbishop becoming still more despotic, confiscating 
all heritages in the name of St. Maurice, the city patron, he 
was finally [a. d. 1329] taken prisoner by the citizens, and 
put to death by four men selected for that purpose from the 
cities of Magdeburg, Halle, Calbe, and Burg. 

Frederick the Bitten, taking advantage of Waldemar's ab- 
sence in the North, invaded his territory from the South in 
the hope of regaining possession of the Lausitz, but was de- 
feated by Waldemar at Grossenhayn and taken prisoner, 
Waldemar then [a. d. 1312] attacked Witzlav, the Wendian 
duke of Pomerania, who attempted to seize Stralsund, and, 
assisted by the dukes of Mecklenburg, Brunswick, and 
Saxon-Lauenburg, by the counts of Schwerin, and by the 
united Poles, Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians, resolved to 
humble the proud Margrave of Brandenburg, A. D. 1316. 
Waldemar, unable to cope with this overwhelming force, was 
defeated in Mecklenburg, and solely enabled to save himself 
from utter destruction by raising a rebellion in Denmark, and 
entreating the aid of the Hansa. The allied princes attacked 
Stralsund, but were repulsed by the brave citizens, who took 
Eric, duke of Saxony, captive in a sally, and raised their fine 

msK\ • ff^nir. mwiprm of Luxemburg. 1 IS 

town-boose w&h Ins irmssmL Tht league was broken up, 
[a. d. 1318,] and WaflctomT -fed sodden! j, leaving no issue. 
Frederick with the Hxtaeai dfaedk also expired, [a. d. 1319,] 
worn out with toS amd laden with years, after having suc- 
ceeded in restoring ins femly to their rights. He was suc- 
ceeded in lEsxoa %y fois aoo, Frederick the Stern. Bran- 
denburg, now a vacaaitfieC, became an apple of discord between 
the factions ecatendixg for the imperial throne. A side- 
branch of the Aseamaa family still reigned in Anhalt. The 
Lausitz submitted to John of Bohemia. 

About this time the free Ditmarses were at violent feud 
with the counts of Holstein, who incessantly sought to reduce 
them to submission. The peasants insolently invaded Holstein, 
revelled in plunder, and bathed in the immense beer vats. 
Count Gerhard defeated them by stratagem ; his soldiers were 
ordered to break off the boughs of trees, undercover of which 
they surprised the enemy, who mistook them for a wood. 
Emboldened by this success, Gerhard invaded their country, 
and again taking them by surprise by the rapidity of his 
movements, once more defeated them. A small number of 
men still defending themselves in the church of Olden waerden, 
he ordered the building to be set on fire, but the melted lead 
no sooner began to pour upon the heads of the besieged pea- 
sants, than, making a furious sally, they repulsed the superior 
forces of the enemy, and, rallying their scattered countrymen, 
fell upon the Hoteteiners, who suffered a defeat as shameful 
as it was unexpected, and long afterwards left them unmo- 
lested [a. d. 1319]. On the nomination of the Dane, John 
Fursat, to the archbishopric of Bremen by the pope, he was 
mocked by the Ditmarses, beaten with sticks by the East Fris- 
cians, and compelled to flee to Avignon, The East Frisians 
were nominally given by Kudolf of HaWbur*, t)*j b^editary 
foe to liberty, to Reinhold tin? Warlike <vf (iuddr**, but that 
count never ventured to oViiitttid tlt^k 1*wu*%h, JJj» son, 
Reinhold the Black, who hod ti*; im*tf'*y tv to*k», tJ*j at- 
tempt, was signally defatted m tU> Wttk vf VvJW**eau 
a- D. 1323. ^ 


CLXXVI. Louis the Bavarian, and Frederick of Austria, 

On the death of the noble-hearted emperor, the empire 
again fell a prey to the adverse factions of the Guelphs and 
Ghibellines. The rancour of the Papal-Gallic party had 
been again excited by Henry's expedition to Rome, and the- 
Habsburgs once more appeared on the scene as its supporters 
and tools. Frederick the Handsome was, consequently, 
zealously recommended by the pope as the successor to the 
crown, for which a competitor also appeared in the person of 
John of Bohemia, the son of the late emperor, whose preten- 
sions were warmly upheld by his uncles, Baldwin of Treves 
and Peter of Mayence ; his youth, however, proved the chief 
obstacle, and, after some consideration, he ceded his rights in 1 
favour of Louis of Bavaria.— Frederick was remarkable for> 
the beauty of his person, but was inferior in mental energy to 
his brother, Leopold, whose diminutive person enclosed a bold 
and hardy spirit. Fate had, at an early age, brought Louis of ■■ 
Bavaria and Frederick together. Their childhood had been 
spent together, and a strong affection had subsisted between 
them. Political events pioduoed a separation. The posses- 
sions of the house of Wittelsbach, united under Otto, the friend, 
of the la3t of the Hohenstaufen, had been divided between his . 
sons Louis and Henry, the former of whom succeeded to the 
Rhenish Pfalz and Upper Bavaria, the latter to Lower Ba- 
varia. A fresh subdivision took place between the sons of 
Louis, Rudolf receiving the Pfalz, and Louis, who mounted 
the imperial throne, Upper Bavaria. Otto, the son of Henry, 
the ex-king of Hungary, died in Lower Bavaria, leaving 
several children still minors. Otto, who had been reduced to 
poverty by the Hungarian war, had replenished his treasury 
by the grant [a. d. 1311] of great privileges to his Estates, 
which now interfered, the cities demanding Louis, the no- 
bility, Frederick, as guardian over the children. Both the 
guardians met at Landau as early friends. Louis maintained 
his right, but Frederick refused to let the opportunity for 
extending his sway over Bavaria slip, and the conference 
terminated by their drawing their swords upon each other, 
and being forcibly separated to meet again on the battle-field. 
Louis, favoured by the justice of his cause and the bravery of 


the citizens, gained * complete victory at Gamelsdorf over 
the Bavarian nobility and the arrier-bann of Austria, led by 
Ulric of Walbee, beneath whom the bridge over the hat 
gave way, and thousands were drowned, A. D. 1313. This 
victory rendered Louis highly popular among the people, and 
particularly among the citizens. He, neverthele»», brought 
about a reconciliation with Frederick, their ancient friendship 
revived, and at Salzburg they shared the same bed. 

The election of an emperor was canvassed. Louis, tmnm* 
picious of his own elevation, promised his vote to Frederick, 
but, when unexpectedly elected by the Luxemburg party 
instead of John, forgot his promise, and allowed hif»*elf to be 
elected emperor by the majority of the prince* in Franc/wri 
on the Maine, whilst Frederick was merely proclaimed etn* 
peror outside of the city gates by the archbishop of (>>!/# n«, 
a papal partisan, by Henry of Uarinthia, who was jcafotj* of 
John on account of Bohemia, by the l'fakgrave, HwUAf f w1*o 
was also jealous of his brother, and by the HaxotW/ Wsd/kr* 
mar of Brandenburg favoured Frederick. Urn &M\m*wUtf t 
Nicolas Bock, however, voted for Louia, and w«* *m\&ww\ 
on his return to be chained fasting to the wall of \An tft$t*i#t f * 
banquetting-room, and compelled to look on whiUl bv fatfrtwi, 
Every other vote was in favour of Louis, who*? MmitoHl'um 
was solemnized with ancient splendour at Ki%An4%*\tf\\e,, 
whilst Frederick was crowned at Bonn by tto? H$<iMri*t*fp tJ( 
Cologne, Henry von Virneburg. The Cologne**, wf*/ fa+Mttwi 
Louis, expelled their archbishop from tbfc city, U* wUUh S& 
was permitted to return in 1321, i'tff i\%*, fmrp***, *4 t*wYin% 
the first mass in the chancel (then fir*t MfHtuUdwtj *# lim 
cathedral. Louis was compelled to r*WHft\ tm *Mti)t<** trf 
John of Bohemia by the cession of th* Uh\wW\ ftuu Umu '4 
Eger, and to bestow Boppard Al//rv, (tStH kuigM, tfaitry vm 
Alzey, had attempted Louis's life and \#mh JM Mt ti*u m'k t )uUh 
in pledge on Baldwin. 

The long war that ensued between iSm um^ft^n f* ruHmtk - 
able for proerasti nation and jndfccf*ton, Mm* cofwjM'tncjf of 
their want of confidence in tMr hSWhm, hutfHtM Uii*.hta\ Mtu 
first campaign, in the summer //f Jtfjtf, by *M\iv\*}hH Jx/ul« 
in Augsburg, and compel!^ UUn Ut fam by night from lUt* 
city. In his anger at t\\t fc*/#j* trf his anfflgofdrt lift t\wi 
all the neighbouring village, *h*\ i\mu \ftvmuUu\ to Uu*\h Jii 


order to celebrate the nuptials of his brother Frederick wiA 
Elisabeth of Arragon, and his own with a countess of Savoy. 
In the autumn of the same year he led his troops against the 
Swiss, who favoured Louis. 

War had long been fomenting in the mountains. As early 
as 1313, the Habsburg vassals of Lucerne had undertaken an 
unsuccessful expedition against Uri, Schwytz, and Unter- 
walden, and the peasants of Schwytz had attacked the monas- 
tery of Einsiedeln and taken the monks captive. The mur- 
dered and disconcerted governors were still unrevenged, and 
the confederates, confident of imperial favour, and proud of 
the success of their first attempts, openly stood up in defence 
of their liberties. Leopold, resolved to quell their insolence, 
assembled his troops in the Argau and called a council of war 
to deliberate on the mode of crossing the Alps. His court 
fool, Jenni von Stocken, gravely remarked on this occasion, 
" It is more advisable to deliberate upon the means of getting 
out of them again." On reaching the Engpass, Leopold was 
opposed by fifty men of Schwytz, who had been banished their 
country for debt, and who, rolling stones down the mountain 
sides, crushed both men and horses ; they were speedily re- 
inforced by thirteen hundred of their countrymen, a dreadful 
slaughter ensued, and Leopold was compelled to seek safety 
in flight. This success was followed by another on the same 
day over the count of Strassburg, who had crossed the Briinig 
and entered Unterwald. The confederates afterwards entered 
into an eternal league, [a. d. 1315,] and nominated a Landam- 
man or chief magistrate. 

Louis, meanwhile, remained undisturbed, and succeeded in 
overcoming his brother Rudolf, and other malcontents. In 
1317, a skirmish took place between Frederick, Leopold, and 
Eberhard of Wurtemberg, who had ventured from retirement, 
on one side, and Louis and John on the other, in which the 
victory remained undecided. John was called into Bohemia, 
where the nobles were in full revolt, but were pacified by the 
mediation of the emperor, 1318. Disturbances continued rife 
in Switzerland. The power of the Habsburgs, meanwhile, 
increased. The Visconti, the emperor's Italian partisans, were 
hard pushed by the pope, John XXII., and by Henry of 
Habsburg. In 1321, Frederick, aided by the wild Hungari- 
ans and Cumans, laid the whole of Bavaria waste ; and Jobs 


of Bohemia, ever fickle and restless, was at length induced to 
join his forces with those of Louis. The cities also contri- 
buted both money and troops, and [a. d. 1 322] Frederick was 
overtaken at Miihldorf in Lower Bavaria, before Leopold was 
able to join him with a body of fresh troops. The battle was 
rashly commenced by Frederick, who, at the onset, drove back 
the Bohemians, but was quickly surrounded and taken pri- 
soner. The flower of the Austrian nobility, among others 
three-and-twenty of the family of Trautmannsdorf, strewed 
the field. After the battle, Louis gratefully acknowledged the 
services of his commander-in-chief, Schweppermann, to whose 
skill he entirely owed his success. A basketful of eggs being 
all that could be found for the imperial table, the emperor dis- 
tributed them among his officers, saying, " To each of you one 
e ggi to our gallant Schweppermann two ! " Schweppermann 
was of diminutive stature, old and lame, but skilled in the 
tactics of the day. The emperor's words on this occasion may 
still be read on this officer's tombstone at Castel, near Am- 
berg. Frederick was imprisoned in the castle of Trausnitz, 
near Landshut. 

Thus freed from his most dangerous opponent, and victori- 
ous in Switzerland, Louis was enabled to despatch eight hun- 
dred lances to the aid of the Visconti, now sorely pressed by 
the Guelphs. Eberhard of Wurtemberg also declared in his 
favour, and was rewarded with the government of Swabia and 
Alsace. The investment of the young prince, Louis, with the 
vacant electorate of Brandenburg, suddenly changed the aspect 
of affairs. John of Bohemia, roused to jealousy, entered into 
a treasonable correspondence with the Habsburgs, and set 
Henry the Amiable, Frederick's younger brother, who had 
fallen into his hands at Miihldorf, at liberty. France, Naples, 
Hungary, and the Guelphic faction implored the pope to shat- 
ter the power of an emperor inclined to pursue the dreaded 
policy of the Hohenstaufen ; and, in 1323, John XXII. inso- 
lently summoned the emperor to appear before him at Avig- 
non, the focus of French intrigue, and on being disobeyed, 
solemnly placed him under an interdict, A. D. 1324. The 
schism between the Franciscans, part of whom opposed the 
luxury and vices of the clergy, nevertheless, raised friends for 
the emperor even in the church, who defended him in their 
sermons and writings, and, in open defiance of the papal in- 


terdict, performed the church service for him and his adhe- 
rents. Among others, Occam, an Englishman, the greatest 
scholar of the age, demanded Louis's protection, exclaiming, ( 
*' Defend me with the sword, and I will defend you with mj' 
words ! " The Dominicans, the pope's faithful servants, were, 
consequently, persecuted throughout Germany. 

The pope, maddened with rage, incited the Poles £a. d. 
1825] and the pagan Lithuanians to invade Brandenburg, 
where they burnt one hundred and fifty villages, and prac- 
tised the most horrid atrocities. The pope, at this time at 
the summit of his power, asserted in his extravagant bulls his 
supremacy in the empire. Barnim of Pomerania acknow- 
ledged him as his liege. The pope again acted in unison with 
Charles IV. of France, whose hopes of gaining the crown of 
Germany once more revived on the imprisonment of Frederick 
and the interdiction of Louis. Leopold, who gave his brother 
up as lost, held a conference with Charles at Bar-sur-Aube, 
in which he assured to him the imperial crown, on condition 
of his aiding the emperor's overthrow. An alliance was also 
formed between John of Bohemia, France, and Naples, on 
whose sovereigns he bestowed his sisters in marriage. His 
intention, however, was, not to sell himself to, but to make 
use of Charles in case of a fresh election. The princes of the 
empire were also induced to listen to the proposals of the pope 
and his allies, and the election of Charles by the diet held at 
Rense, was solely controverted by the representations of Count 
Berthold von Bucheck. The majority of the nation, in fact, 
favoured Louis, and compelled the priests to perform service 
in the churches. 

Louis, convinced that a reconciliation with Frederick offered 
the only means of salvation for Germany, visited him in his 
prison in the Trausnitz, and sued for reconciliation in the 
name of their youthful affection and the weal of the empire ; 
and Frederick, swearing on the holy wafer to own him as his 
sovereign, and to bring his brother Leopold to his feet, re- 
turned to his own castle, where his wife, Elizabeth, had wept 
herself blind during his absence, and, cutting off his beard, 
which had grown an immense length during his captivity, sent 
it by way of memorial to John of Bohemia. Leopold, insti- 
gated by the pope, refused to do homage to Louis, and Fre- 
derick, although publicly released from his oath by the pontiff 


remained true to his plighted faith, and voluntarily presented 
himself as a prisoner before Louis ; the two friends, now rivals 
alone in generosity, secretly agreed to share the imperial 
throne. Louis, once more freed from difficulty, nominated 
the Margrave, Frederick of Misnia, to whom he had given 
his daughter, Matilda, in marriage, governor of Brandenburg, 
in the name of his son Louis, for the purpose of freeing that 
unfortunate country from the depredations of the Poles, 

whose deeds of cruelty were countenanced by the pope. 

In the ensuing year, Leopold died mad, and was shortly after 
followed by his brother, Henry the Amiable. The fourth 
brother, Otto the Joyous, accompanied Frederick to Munich* 
[a. d. 1326,] and wedded the princess Elisabeth of Bavaria, 
whilst Henry of Lower Bavaria, then a youth, married one 
of Frederick's daughters. John of Bohemia was appeased 
by the possession of Silesia. 

Tranquillity being thus secured in Germany, Louis ventured 
to undertake an expedition to Rome for the purpose of receiv- 
ing the imperial crown from the hands of a pope elected by 
him in opposition to the pontiff at Avignon. The first op- 
position he encountered was at Milan, where he seized and 
imprisoned the Visconti whose fidelity he suspected. He was 
also compelled to carry Pisa, where the gates were closed 
against him, by storm. After declaring Robert of Naples out 
of the bann of the empire, and creating Castruccio, the gallant 
Ghibelline leader, duke of Lucca, he proceeded to Rome, 
caused himself to be proclaimed in the capitol lord of the 
eternal city, to be crowned with his wife Margaretha of Hol- 
land in St. Peter's by two bishops, deposed the pope, John 
XXII. of Avignon, who was burnt in effigy, and placed a 
loyal Franciscan, under the name of Martin V., on the pon- 
tifical throne. Margaretha shortly afterwards gave birth to 
a son, Louis, surnamed the Roman. Robert, meanwhile, pre- 
pared for war ; Castruccio died, and the Germans became so 
unpopular on account of the expense of their maintenance, 
that Louis was compelled to retrace his steps. Milan closed 
her gates against him, and he was constrained to restore the 
Visconti to liberty in order to procure money for the payment 
of his troops. Martin V. was deposed and carried to Avignon, 
where he was, with feigned compassion, pardoned by the pope, 
who thus sought tD evince his superiority over the emperor. « 


Louis the elder was, meanwhile, defeated on the Cremmer 
Damm in Brandenburg by the papal partisan Barnim of 
Pomerania. John of Bohemia had also been engaged in 
Lithuania with his allies, the German Hospitallers. Frederick 
the Handsome, deeply wounded by the refusal of the princei 
to recognise him as the emperor's colleague on the throne! 
expired four weeks before Louis's arrival in Munich from his 

Italian expedition. About the same time, [a. d. 1328,] 

Charles IV. of France, the last of the Capetian dynasty, also 
expired, and was succeeded by his relative, Philip of Valois, 
who pursued a similar policy in regard to Germany, and 
entered into a close alliance with the pope. 

CLXXVII. The electoral diet at Rense. 

Difficulties seemed to gather around the path of Louis, 
now sole emperor, and he again found it necessary to renew his 
alliance with John of Bohemia, to whom he craftily offered the 
vice-regency of Italy, which was greedily accepted, and John, 
ever enamoured of adventure, instantly crossed the Alps. 
Otto the Joyous, on the other hand, jealous of the emperor's 
popularity in Switzerland and in the cities, renewed the 
Habsburg feud, and a battle was on the point of taking place 
at Colmar between him and the imperial forces, when Albeit 
the Lame, his elder brother, interposed, and a treaty was con- 
cluded, by which the Habsburgs were to hold Schaffhausen, 
Rheinfelden, Breisach, the bulwarks of the Upper Rhine, in 
fee of the empire, and Otto to receive the empty title of vice- 
gerent of the empire. John of Bohemia, enraged at these 
conditions, instantly joined the Italian Guelphs. 

The emperor, upon this, convoked a great diet at Nuremberg, 
in which he urgently pointed out to the princes the necessity 
of union. John, who speedily found himself deserted by his 
Italian allies, and in want of money and troops, also appeared, 
dexterously excused his conduct, and drew the Habsburgs, 
whom he found on friendly terms with the emperor, over to 
his side, giving his daughter, Anna, in marriage to Otto the 
Joyous, whilst he himself wedded Elisabeth, the daughter of 
the emperor Albert, whom he had ever bitterly hated and 
opposed. Louis attempted to make use of John as a mediator 


between him and the pope, who refused to come to terms, and 
John, placing himself at the head of the French chivalry, re- 
crossed the Alps and defeated the Ghibellines at Felice, where 
his son Wenzel (afterwards the emperor Charles IV.) gained 
his first spurs ; after which he returned to Germany, to carry 
on feuds with the petty counts. 

The emperor, in the hope of inducing the pope to release 
him from the interdict, now offered to perform public penance, 
to sacrifice the faithful Minorites, and to abdicate in favour of 
his cousin, Henry of Lower Bavaria. These undignified con- 
cessions and the folly of Henry, who, in the hope of securing 
his succession to the throne, entered into a base alliance with 
France, merely served to furnish the pope with fresh weapons, 
to rouse the suspicions of the electoral princes, and to increase 
his unpopularity. 

John XXII., after declaring Italy for ever independent of 
the empire, expired, [a. d. 1334,] at Avignon, leaving im- 
mense wealth, most of which had found its way into his cof- 
fers from Germany, whence he had also drawn the enormous 

Sums lavished by him upon France. Louis was, meanwhile, 

favoured in Germany by public opinion, averse to the papal 
intrigues at Avignon, by Albert the Lame, whose love of 
peace counterbalanced the restlessness of John of Bohemia, 
and by a quarrel that again broke out between the houses of 
Luxemburg and Habsburg. 

Henry of Carinthia and Tyrol, ex-king of Bohemia* died, 
1335, leaving a daughter, the celebrated Margaretha Maul- 
tasche, (with pouting lips, a name she received either on ac- 
count of her large mouth, or from her residence, the castle of 
Maultasch, between Botzen and Meran,) whom John of Bohe- 
mia instantly wedded to his son John Henry, then in his 
eighth year, with the intention of extending his sway over the 
territories of her late father. The emperor and the Habsburgs, 
jealous of this addition to the power of the Luxemburg family, 
instantly leagued against him, and the Habsburgs were de- 
clared Henry's successors. Margaretha chiefly distinguished 
herself by laying siege to the castles of the opposite party 
during this feud, which was put an end to in 1336, by the 
division of the disputed inheritance between the rival houses, 
to which the emperor was forced to give his assent. Dread- 
ing lest the union of the late rivals might be turned against 


himself, he entered into negotiation with the pope, Benedict 
XII., the tool of France, who compelled him to refuse the 
emperor's petition, upon which Louis degraded himself so fir 
as to address the French monarch personally, and to promise 
not to ally himself with any of that king's enemies. Philip, 
notwithstanding these concessions, still refusing his assent to 
Louis's release from the interdict, the emperor broke off the 
negotiation, and offered to aid the pretensions of Edward, king 
of England, to the throne of France. War was declared be- 
tween the empire and France, and the restoration of the Arelat 
was demanded ; and so powerful was the force of public opinion 
among the citizens and the lower orders throughout the empire 
in favour of the emperor, that the princes at length took the 
part of their long-neglected sovereign, and, following the ex- 
ample of the bishops, who had met at Spires under the presi- 
dency of Henry of Mayence, until now a zealous Guelph, and 
had agreed to effect his release from the interdict, assem- 
bled at Rense, where, moved by the emperor's remonstrances 
against their base submission to a pope, a creature of France, 
they declared that the supremacy of the German emperor 
above all other sovereigns of the earth was exclusively be- 
stowed by the election of the German princes, without its be- 
ing ratified or the emperor being crowned by the pope ; that 
the emperor was not the vassal, but the protector of the 
church ; that, on the demise of the emperor, the pope should 
no longer usurp the vicegerency of the empire ; and finally, 
prohibited the publication of the papal bulls within the em- 
pire without the previous consent of the German bishops. 
These resolutions of the electoral princes were supported by 
the cities ; and the priests, who refused to uphold the em- 
peror, were expelled. The hopes of the people, raised by the 
conference that took place between the emperor and the 
English monarch at Coblentz, were, however, deceived ; the 
princes, lately so energetic, were devoid of sincerity, and 
Louis greatly diminished his popularity by his acceptance of 
a sum of money from the British king, whose alliance he was 
shortly afterwards, to the extreme discontent of the people, 
induced to abandon by John of Bohemia, in the vain hope of 
a reconciliation with France, and of a release from the papal 

The discord that prevailed among the princes had, mean* 


while, encouraged the free spirit of the Swiss. The con- 
federated peasantry had gained skill and discipline in the 
incessant warfare with their noble and ecclesiastical neigh- 
bours, and strength by their union with the inhabitants of 
other cantons and towns, which had, like them, thrown off the 
yoke. Berne joined the confederation, A. D. 1339. 

The emperor, whilst carrying on his wretched negotiations 
with the pope, had withdrawn to Bavaria, on which he be- 
stowed an excellent code of laws. Lower Bavaria also fell 
to him on the extinction of the reigning house on the death 
of Henry, and the conduct of Margaretha Maultasch, who, 
dissatisfied with her youthful husband, John Henry, had di- 
vorced herself from him, and wedded Louis the Elder, brought 
the Tyrol into the imperial family. John of Bohemia, at that 
time engaged in opposing the Polish party in Silesia, in which 
he was aided by his son Wenzel, (surnamed Charles after the 
French king, at whose court he had been educated,) no sooner 
learned the defection of the Tyrol, than, hastening to Albert 
the Lame, he entreated him to unite with him against the 
house of Wittelsbach. Albert consented, and the confederates 
were naturally joined by France and by the pope, Clement V., 
who dwelt at Avignon, like a Turk in his harem, surrounded 
by his mistresses. A fearful anathema was hurled against the 
emperor, whose courage again sank, and he yielded to every 
condition prescribed by the pope, namely, to lay the crown at 
his feet, to place the whole of his possessions at his disposal, 
to perform every penance he thought fit to impose, and to 
make every concession he chose to demand for France ; not- 
withstanding which, the pope still refused to raise the inter- 
dict, on account of the disinclination of the French monarch. 
Louis, nevertheless, succeeded in pacifying John of Bohemia, 
by indemnifying him for the loss of the Tyrol by the posses- 
sion of the Lausitz, which, in point of fact, belonged to Bran-' 
denburg. The death of William IV., earl of Holland and 
Hennegau, who was drowned together with two hundred and 
fifty knights and ten thousand men, [a. d. 1345,] during an 
expedition against the West Friscians, brought Holland and 
Hennegau to the emperor in right of his wife, Margaretha, 
the late earl's sister ; and he accordingly sent his son, William, 
to Holland, where he gained great popularity among the peo- 
ple by the grant of great privileges, and the friendship of hit 


neighbours, the counts of Juliers and of Gueldres, whom hi 
created dukes of the empire. 

This accession of wealth and influence greatly enraged the 
anti-imperial party, more particularly John of Bohemia, whttj 
moreover, suspecting that Louis had been the instigator of a 
conspiracy formed against him by Casimir of Poland during 
his absence in Prussia, set up his son Charles, in revenge, ar 
a competitor for the throne, and the pope, delighted with the 
scheme, raised Prague to an archbishopric. The assent of 
Louis's numerous enemies was quickly gained. His cousin, 
Rupert of the Pfalz, sumamed the Red, attempted to seta 
Bavaria, but was repulsed ; and Charles, who had laid siege 
to the Maultasche in her castle in the Tyrol, was also speedily 
compelled to retreat before Louis the Elder. John of Bohe- 
mia, who had, meanwhile, received permission from the pope, 
who merely acted in the name of France, for his son's elec- 
tion, in return for which he promised to aid France against 
England, now canvassed the German princes, and convoked 
them to Rense, where shortly before they had so energetically 
supported Louis, but where they now proclaimed Charles em* 
peror, a. d. 1346. The people, however, rebelled. Frank- 
furt and Aix-la-Chapelle closed their gates against the usurper, 
and, notwithstanding the aid given by the archbishops, the 
defeat of his opponents near Coblentz, and the power of his 
Guelphic partisans in Austria, Hungary, and Italy, he was 
unable to gain possession of the Tyrol, whence he and his 
mercenary troops were expelled by Margaretha Maultasche. 

Whilst these events were passing, Louis expired during a 
bear hunt at Furstenfeld, in the vicinity of Munich, in the 
arms of a peasant, A. d. 1347. 

CLXXVHL The battle of Crecy.— The blach death.— Tk* 
Flagellants. — The murder of the Jews. 

France and the pope regarded the emperor given by them 
to Germany as their tool. Their whole power, however, 
failed in reducing the Flemish citizens, although abandoned 
by the rest of Germany, and on ill terms with their nobility 
and rulers, to subjection. Bruges, unaided by the neighbour- 
ing towns, was [a. d. 1328] compelled to yield to the allied 


forces of France and Bohemia ; but the French did not long 
triumph. Jacob von Artevelde, a wealthy brewer of Ghent, 
but a man of noble birth, opposed the attempts made by Louis 
of Nevers, earl of Flanders, to humble the pride of the citi- 
zens, and, in unison with Siger von Kortryk, concluded a 
commercial treaty in the name of the Flemish cities with 
Edward, king of England. Siger fell into the hands of Louis, 
who ordered him to execution, upon which a general insur- 
rection, headed by Artevelde, ensued, and this popular leader 
speedily acquired greater influence in Flanders than had ever 
been enjoyed by her earls. 

Charles IV., the tool of Papal and French policy, now found 
himself constrained, owing to his dependence upon his father, 
to serve the French monarch against England, although, as 
will hereafter be seen, he was too prudent a politician and 
too sensible of his dignity to allow himself to be long enchained 
to the petty interest of a French king. Lothringia had long 
favoured France. The duke, Frederick, had fallen in Philip's 
cause in Flanders, and his son, Rudolf, was also that mon- 
arch's ally. Edward of England, on landing in Flanders, 
was, notwithstanding the death of Artevelde, who, falsely 
suspected of a design of selling Flanders to England, had 
been assassinated by his countrymen, received with open arms 
by the citizens, and joined by Henry the Iron, of Holstein. 
The French suffered a total defeat at Crecy, August 26th, 
1346. The emperor, uninterested in the fate of the battle, 
fled, whilst his brave father, King John of Bohemia, who had 
been blind for many years,* bound between two men-at-arms, 
plunged headlong into the thickest of the fight, in the vain 
hope of turning the battle. With him fell Rudolf of Loth- 
ringia, Louis of Nevers, and all the Germans who had so 
uselessly ventured their honour and their lives in a stranger's 
cause, in that of their hereditary foe. When the death of the 
German princes was told to the English king, he exclaimed, 
•* O ye Germans ! how could ye die for a French king ! " 
The sword of the blind Bohemian king bore the inscription, 
"Ich dien" " I serve," that is, "God, the ladies, and right," 
which was on this occasion assumed by the Prince of Wales 
as his motto. 

* John had lost one of his eyes during his Polish expedition, the 
fcrough the ignorance of his medical attendants. 


The alliance between the English and Flemish proved Ml 
of short duration, and Louis II. of Male, the son of Louis oil 
Nevers, was raised to the earldom on solemnly swearing tol 
respect the liberties of the citizens. France was compelled tel 
restore Ryssel, Douai, and Bethune. Lothringia, and Henrj, I 
bishop of Verdun, who had made a formal cession of ha I 
bishopric to France, returned to their allegiance to the em- 
pire. The Hansa greatly distinguished itself, [a. i>. 1344,] 
under Henry von Lacken, whom Louis had sent to command 
its troops, by sea and by land, against the Swedes. Thuringit 
was a prey to intestine feuds, A. D. 1342. 

Fearful natural visitations and signs now filled all Europe 
with alarm. In 1337, appeared a great comet ; during the 
three ensuing years, an enormous multitude of locusts ; in 
1348, the end of the world seemed at hand ; an earthquake of 
extraordinary violence devastated Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and 
the Alpine valleys as far as Basle. Mountains were swal- 
lowed up. In Carinthia, thirty villages and the tower of 
Villach were reduced to heaps of ruins. The air was thick, 
pestilential, and stifling. Wine fermented in the casks. Fiery 
meteors appeared in the heavens. A gigantic pillar of flame 
was seen hovering over the papal palace at Avignon. A second 
earthquake, that destroyed almost the whole of Basle, occur- 
red In 1356. These horrors were succeeded by a dreadful 
pestilence, called the black death, its victims being suddenly 
covered with black spots like burns, and often instantly drop* 
ping down dead. It first appeared in China, whence it 
traversed Asia and spread over Europe. At Basle fourteen 
thousand people fell victims to it, at Strassburg and Erfurt 
sixteen thousand, and so on in proportion throughout Ger- 
many ; and yet, according to the historians of that period, 
Germany suffered less than other countries. In Osnabruck, 
only seven married couples remained unseparated by death. 
Of the Franciscan Minorites in Germany, without including 
those in foreign parts, there died 124,434, whence a con- 
clusion may be drawn both of the fury of the pestilence and 
of the amazing number of this order, in which all took refuge 
to whom the courtly manners and luxury of the rest of the 
priesthood were obnoxious. Traces of the moral reformation 
of the church were, even at that period, perceivable through* 
out Germany. Besides the fathers and the lay brothers, 


there arose a third class of these monks, the Tertiarians, who 
had no monasteries, hut lived freely among the laity, and 
practised the severest penance. Their number was without 
doubt increased by the repeated disturbance of divine ser- 
vice,* which the interdicted laity performed for themselves on 
the refusal of the priests ; and the idea of atoning for sins by 
the performance of severe penance naturally occurred when 
absolution was no ionger dispensed in the churches. Thus 
arose the orders of Beguines, who, besides the imposition of 
penance, attended the sick ; the Beghards, probably so termed 
from their founder, a man from Picardy; Lollards, (gebett 
lallende, prayer-mutterers,) etc., whose sincere piety, which 
sometimes degenerated to mere enthusiasm, strongly contrasted 
with the levity, licence, luxury, and pride of the ecclesiastics. 
These ideas and sects were already common throughout 
Germany, when the great pestilence, which swept away a 
third of the inhabitants of Europe, appeared. The day of 
judgment was declared to be at hand, and a letter, said to 
have been addressed from Jerusalem by the Creator of the 
world to his sinning creatures, was dispersed throughout 
Europe by a wandering tribe of penitents or Flagellants, who, 
like their Italian predecessors in the thirteenth century, cru- 
elly lashed themselves as they went along singing penitential 
songs. They marched in good order under various leaders, 
and were distinguished by white hats with red crosses. These 
penitents at first created great enthusiasm, which gradually 
decreased as the pestilence died away, and [a. d. 1349] Cle- 
ment VI., who rightly beheld in them the commencement of 
a great reformation, launched a bull against and persecuted 
them as heretics. They preached, confessed, and forgave sins, 
pronounced the absolution granted by the church to be of no 
avail, upbraided the priests for their hypocrisy and luxury, and 
taught that all men were brethren, and equal in the siprht of 
God. Persecution raised their enthusiasm to frenzy, awl the 
truths they at first inculcated were perverted by pride and 
hatred ; some even gave themselves out as the Messiah. The 
enthusiasm of the Beghards was allied with the greatest li- 
cence, which, at a later period, so strikingly reappeared in the 
Adamites and Anabaptists. In a council held at Vienne, i\wy 

• In quibus amis homines plures nati et mortui fueruni, qui 4*rioft 
efficia nunquam celebrari viderunt. — Malleolus. 

VOL. II. * 


were charged with believing every thing to be right and drvint 
to which their natures inclined them, for instance, community 
of wives (an idea resuscitated by the Socialists of modern days). 
According to Cornerus, they believed God to be neither bad 
nor good, and, what was termed bad to be divine ; that man 
was God, and that God could not have created the world 
without him : " homo operatur quod Deus operatur, et creavit 
una cum Deo coelum et terram, et est genitor verbi eterni, et 
Deus sine tali homine nihil facere potest," like the idea of 
Hegel, of God's first attaining consciousness in man. Man 
could therefore only act by the inspiration of God, and when 
man's inclinations led him to sin, it was a divine impulse on 
which he acted, and real penance consisted in giving way to 
this impulse, in order not to resist the will of God, "et quia 
Deus vult me peccasse, ideo nollem ego quod peccata non 
commisissem, et hsec vera est poenitentia." 

The Flagellants, so long as they possessed the power, 
greatly tyrannized over the Jews. The hatred of this perse- 
cuted race had slumbered since the crusades, but now awoke 
with redoubled fury in Austria and Bavaria, on account of 
the desolation caused by the prodigious quantities of locusts, 
(which spread over a space of three German miles* in breadth, 
and more miles in length than the most rapid horse could 
gallop in a day,) which was declared to be a punishment in- 
dicted by Heaven on account of the desecration of the Host by 
the Jews, and a dreadful massacre ensued in both these coun- 
tries, A. D. 1337. The severe penalties inflicted upon the 
murderers by the emperor Louis put a stop to the slaughter. 
In 1349, the appearance of the pestilence and of the Flagel- 
lants was again a signal for massacre ; the pestilence was de- 
clared the effect of poison administered by this unhappy peo- 
ple ; the infatuated populace could no longer be restrained; 
from Berne, where the city council gave orders for the 
slaughter to commence, it spread over the whole of Switzer- 
land and Germany ; thousands of Jews were slain or burnt 
alive, and mercy was merely extended to children who were 
baptized in the presence of their parents, and to young maid- 
ens, some of whom escaped from the arms of their ravishers 
to throw themselves headlong into the flames that consumed 
their kindred. All who could, took refuge in Poland, where 
* Nine Englis?i. 


Casimir, a second Ahasnerus, protected them from lore for 
Esther, a beautiful Jewess. Poland has, since this period, 
swarmed with Jews. The persecution, however, no sooner 
ceased, than they reappeared in Germany. 

CLXXIX. Charles the Fourtfi. 

Charles IT. was the first of the emperors who introduced 
the foreign policy against which his predecessors on the 
throne had so manfully and unsuccessfully striven. The 
Habsburgs had made some weak attempts of a similar natur<», 
but it was not until this reign that modern policy took deq» 
root in Germany. This emperor appeared to think that 
honour had vanished, leaving caution in its stead. 

Louis the Elder bad succeeded to the claims of the Iioum* 
of Wittebbaeh, wind* it was Charles's primary object to de- 
stroy. Hie firinwe <c/f the Hobenstaufen, of his grandfather 
Henry, and «a* Lrais «f Bavaria, clearly proved to him the im- 
possibflky <j£ sasoem as emperor, and induced him, like th<; 
emperor jUbert, to <&» \m utmost to rai*e his bouse on the 
wreck «f the ^nnure s aswakad, however, like that emperor, of 
increasing Ins jpower \jf vym. rvAeaee, he empoisoned Ger* 
man policy -wMx eawy hjyvarm&l art, by the practice of 
courtly treachery and «eorat aararder, in which he had become 
an adept in Jranee. lPriunogaaifcare, first introduced by him 
into his family, afterward* yim*>& auto that of Ilabsburg, and, 
at all events, ^reveirt«(l 1ihe 'dimuauxbermeQt of the exxipin-. 
whose exteruul power wiistiufcpttbr increased, rKrtwathetai>dJjLȣ 
the moral pnmlyssutitni of .rtt *rnVjt. 

The A4*cttnierfc and <irt; trcnftiftfiiti>> wf Majrck^urg, tin- 
natural rivals -to Jbrmiti*nhnrT, Jiitf ■rWt*!! V the «mjim:r. 
raised a pretends . u .mlbf. in** -f«W) jfriiiW^ik, vIkhb thrr 
declared to t* V,fcf#<rWrt r » *i vli^m le wr* * £7*sct remnu* 
blance, in op*****!** *' .Un?*-he 2"/der. V10.. inqirtipnmd ft»r 
this attack, Jot* 1^ ^»>wfc» <V ^rmdenhnnr -v-ltji ^ rx'ifqftiou 
of Briezeu r*i»*> : .w «*»}?. »>> irvonnt ■if* :r<* ir!«*!itr*\ 1'wmnn- 
briezen, ^) l"**fr*iw vr-M «VTer v'licii -v» mwiiWHsftriUlfer 
besiege*! by •■»*' w%-^t./i- i 

The V\ ; iUi:^; r «f.A» .n,r*r, e : r ^^^^ 3 nTTf f ffllhnr? >*&<*. 
Have***, *""■ w^< v!lfl ^ : #, ref ? :he :nmw , :ffi OT^i „, i lie 


conqueror of Crecy, which the English parliament, fearing 
lest an emperor of Germany might forget his duty as king of 
England, would not permit him to accept. Their choice then 
fell upon Gunther von Schwarzburg, a knight distinguished 
for his feats of arms, in whose favour they gained over the 
Poles, the ancient foes of the house of Luxemburg. Charles 
IV., however, craftily entered into negotiation with Edward, 
to whom he proved the necessity of an alliance between them 
against France, drew the Habsburg army on his side by 
giving his daughter, Catherine, in marriage to Rudolf the 
son of Albrecht the Lame ; and, with equal skill, dissolved the 
AVittelsbach confederacy by wedding Anna, the daughter of 
the Pfalzgrave Rupert, by ceding Brandenburg to Louis the 
Elder, and declaring Waldemar, whom he had himself invested 
with that electorate, an impostor; Louis the Elder, with 
equal perfidy, sacrificing Gunther, who was shortly afterwards 
poisoned by one of Charles's emissaries, a. d. 1347. Gunther 
was a bold and energetic man, and had acquired great popu- 
larity by a manifesto, in which he had pledged himself to 
maintain the imperial prerogative and to pursue the policy of 
the Hohenstaufen. 

Charles stood alone at the head of the house of Luxem- 
burg, whilst that of Wittelsbach was weakened and disunited 
by subdivision, and the rest of the princes of the empire were 
either intimidated or engaged in family feuds. By his diplo- 
macy, marked as it was by fraud and cunning, he raised not 
only the power of his own family but also that of the empire, 
and by means of these petty arts succeeded where the Hohen- 
staufen with all their valour and magnanimity had failed. He 
dissolved the alliance between the pope and France, and 
gained more by this diplomatic stroke than many a campaign 
could have effected.* His stay during his youth at the 
French court, and at the papal palace at Avignon, had ren- 
dered him acquainted with the jealousy secretly existing be- 
tween the two allies, with the desire of the pontiff to escape 
from thraldom and to return to Rome, from which the dread 
of again falling under the imperial yoke alone withheld him. 
By the most fawning humility, feigned piety, and genuine 
patience, Charles at length succeeded in winning his son- 

* His motto was, " Optimum, aliena insania frui." 


fidence. The dangerous position in which France was gra- 
dually placed by England also aided his plans, and he bestowed 
great favours upon Philip the Bold, the younger son of John 
king of France, who bad inherited Burgundy, and whoMi 
ambitious extension of his newly-acquired dominions was ill 
viewed by France, A. D. 1358. 

Charles's views upon Italy, far from extending to the re- 
annexation of that country to the empire, were circumscribed 
to the ceremony of coronation at Rome, which he entreated 
as a favour in order to prove to the pope bis little re*»pect for 
the electoral assembly at Rense, and bis profound reverence 
for the papal sanction. With this intention, be visited Rome 
in a private capacity, without heeding the Italian factions, and 
submitted to every command sent by the pope from Avignon, 
even to the degrading condition of quitting the city immedi- 
ately on the conclusion of the ceremony. During the ab- 
sence of the pope, the Romans had rebelled against the tyranny 
of the nobility, and had formed a republic, at the bead of 
which stood Cola di Rienzi, who, on the emperor's arrival, 
hastened to his presence in the hope of bringing about the 
restoration of the ancient Roman empire ; but Charles, taking 
advantage of the confidence with which this enthusiast bad 
placed himself within his power, instantly threw him into 
chains and delivered him to the pope, Innocent VL, who sent 
him back again to Rome, there to work as his tool ; the Ro- 
mans, however, speedily perceived that Cola, instead of foster- 
ing the ancient rights of the people, was a mere papal instru- 
ment, and an insurrection ensued, in which he was assassinated. 
The Ghibelline faction gained an unexpected accession of 
strength ; weary of the wretched state of disunion, their hope* 
centred in Charles as the restorer of the national unity of 
Italy, whilst the pope, in order to retain his supremacy in 
that country, incessantly promoted dissension and division, 
In the same spirit with which Dante had formerly addressed 
Henry VII., did Petrarch now implore Charles IV. to restore 
Italy to the empire ; a step that would solely have produced 
a re-alliance between the pope and France ; the fate of hi* 
predecessors had, moreover, taught Charles but too well t\m 
measure of Ghibelline faith. He therefore contented U\uw\i 
with bestowing great marks of distinction upon Vtstoriwh, und 
with publicly beautiful and celebrated Laura, \m* 


mortalized in his sonnets. He even fomented the dispute! 
between the petty Italian princes and states, by the free sale 
of privileges and declarations of independence, and collected • 
vast number of relics in order to flatter the pope, and to adorn 
the churches in Bohemia. The Ghibellines, enraged at his 
conduct, set fire to the house in which he lodged at Pisa, and 
lie narrowly escaped with his life. On reaching Rome, lie 
was received with great demonstrations of friendship and 
respect by the papal legates, and, the day after the corona- 
tion, secretly quitted Rome, under pretext of following the 
chase, in order to avoid being proclaimed her temporal sove- 
reign. — Ten years later, he reaped the fruit of this policy 
in the favour of Urban V., whom he visited at Avignon, and 
who, even more than his predecessor, strove to free himself 
from the trammels in which he was held by France. When 
[a. d. 1365] Charles was crowned king of Burgundy (Arelat) 
at Aries, he pacified France by ceding the hereditary posses- 
sion of that country to the Dauphin, so called from the Del- 
phinat, which fell to the crown prince of France in 1348. 
Two years after, [a. d. 1367,] Urban V. re-entered Rome, 
and, in the following year, was visited by Charles, whom he 
met at Viterbo. The emperor afterwards conducted him to 
St. Peter's, holding the bridle of his horse. Success had at- 
tended his schemes. The disunion between the pope and 
France, and his own reconciliation with the former, had been 
effected. The next pontiff, Gregory XL, resided at Rome, 
and was universally recognised as the successor of St. Peter, 
whilst the antipope at Avignon, elected by the French cardi- 
nals, was merely acknowledged in France. 

With the same skill with which he had disunited the pope 
and France, Charles now strove to reintegrate the empire, and 
to quell her internal dissensions ; but he degraded his object 
by the means by which he sought its attainment. His policy 
towards the house of Wittelsbach was truly diabolical. The 
Habsburgs and some other princely houses escaped by retiring 
into obscurity. Several of the petty princes, as, for instance, 
Luxemburg and Bar, received an accession of dignity. He 
also contrived to place the ecclesiastical princes under his in- 
fluence, and to remain on good terms with the pope by means 
cf his legate, Cardinal Talleyrand. 

The golden bull drawn up a. d. 1356, is a circumstantial 


proof of the power to which Charles had, at that period, at- 
tained. By it the number of electoral princes was definitively 
reduced to seven, including the three spiritual electors of 
Mayence, Cologne, and Treves, and the four temporal ones 
selected by Charles for political purposes, Bohemia, Bran- 
denburg, Saxon-Wittenberg, and Rhenish Pfalz. Charles 
already possessed Bohemia, and was on the point of taking 
possession of Brandenburg, whilst the weak and servile side- 
branches of Wittelsbach and of Ascan reigned in the Pfalz 
and in Wittenberg- The electors were also declared almost 
independent sovereign princes, and exercised the jus de non 
evocando, which deprived their subjects of the right of ap- 
peal to the emperor ; privileges bestowed by Charles, not as 
personal favours, but with the intention of enlarging his 
hereditary possessions, and by intermarriage, heritage, pur- 
chase, etc-, of re-establishing the unity of the empire, which 
explains the exclusion of the house of Habsburg, to which 
Charles was unwilling to grant the same advantage, from the 
number of electoral princes. This bull is silent in respect to 
the supremacy of the emperor in Italy. It was in great part 
drawn up by Cardinal Talleyrand. 

Charles was named (falsely, for he did more for the empire 
than any emperor since the Hohenstaufen) the step-father of 
the empire, but the father of Bohemia. His person discover- 
ed his Bohemian descent, his resemblance to his mother being 
stronger than that to his father. He was of diminutive sta- 
ture, but thickset, carried his head ill and drooping forwards, 
had high cheek-bones and coal-black hair. His Slavonian 
appearance curiously contrasted with his sumptuous attire, for 
lie seldom laid aside the imperial crown and mantle, and with 
his French manners and education. He spoke five languages, 
and was deeply versed in all the learning of the times. Part 
of his biography, written by himself, is still extant. He also 
drew out the plan for the new part of the cities of Prague and 

In 1348, he bestowed a new code of laws upon Bohemia, 
and, in 1355, declared Moravia, Silesia, and the Lausitz in* 
separable from that country. He also granted the greatest 
privileges to the aristocracy and to the cities, encouraged 
mining and agriculture, rendered the Moldau navigable as far 
as the Elbe, brought German artificers into the country, and 


converted the whole of Bohemia into a garden. In the midst 
of the smiling country stood the noble city of Prague, whose 
fine public edifices, the regal Hradschin, etc. ; the celebrated 
bridges, are his work. Carlsbad was also discovered by and 
named after him. He bestowed equal care upon Silesia, 
where he introduced the cloth manufactures of Flanders, and ! 
laid the foundation of the linen manufacture for which it 
became noted. German privileges and the German language 
quickly spread throughout Lower Silesia. In order to pre- 
serve his amicable relations with Poland, he wedded, on the 
death of Anna, a daughter of the house of Piast, Elisabeth, 
the niece of Casimir of Poland, a woman of such extraordinary 
strength that she could wrench a horse-shoe in two. In the 
other provinces of his empire he gave a great impulse to 
agriculture, manufacture, and trade, and Balbin remarks of 
him, that his age was that of masons and architects. Nor 
were the moral interests of his subjects neglected. He 
founded the first German university at Prague, April 6th, 
1348. The Habsburgs followed his example, and [a. d. 1365] 
founded an university at Vienna, and the Pfalzgrave founded 
another [a. d. 1386] at Heidelberg. The ecclesiastical 
princes emulated their example, and Cologne also received an 

university in 1388; Erfurt, in 1392. The instruction 

was divided into four faculties, the three first of which were 
the sciences, theology, jurisprudence, and medicine, the pro- 
fessors of these sciences received the title of doctor. The 
fourth faculty comprehended the liberal arts, grammar, rhe- 
toric, music, dialectics, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, 
whose professors were termed magistri. Numbers of the ; 
aristocracy, and still greater numbers of the citizens, crowded 
the new lecture-rooms. The university of Prague ere long 
contained seven thousand students. 

The spirit of the new universities was, in consequence of 
Charles's policy, at first wavering and undecided. Numbers 
of Minorites still, as in the time of Louis of Bavaria, impa- 
tient for the reformation of the church, crowded to them. 
The school-divines of Oxford, and even those of Paris, since 
the escape of the pope from the shackles imposed by France, 
had declared against popery. The terras on which the em- 
peror stood with the pontiff, however, rendered the first 
teachers in the German universities, notwithstanding their 


^ardent desire for reformation in the church, fearful of prom ul- 
^ gating their doctrines. Henry of Hesse, and Marsilius ab 
m Inghen, the heads of the universities of Vienna and Heidel- 
— berg, by whom scholasticism was spread throughout Ger- 
M many, acquired great note 5 but the moderation for which 

they were distinguished was not long imitated. Hierarchical 

; power still strove for the ascendency ; the universities were 

J: gradually tilled with papal adherents, and, in the ecclesiastical 

provinces, were merely founded as ultramontane schools. 
: Roman sophistry quickly spread throughout Germany, but 
■ was opposed [a. d. 1391] by John Tauler, a monk of Strass- 
^ burg, who, struck with horror at the lies beneath which the 
I pure doctrines of the Christian faith lay concealed, attempted 
*; to introduce purer tenets among the people. This popular 
. preacher of German mysticism was, however, too mild, and 

his followers were too much wrapped up in ecstatic devotion, 

to effect the slightest reformation in the church. 

CLXXX. Contests between the citizens and the aristocracy. — 
Wars of the Hansa. 

Albert the Lame [a. d. 1358] had four sons, Rudolf the 
Handsome or the Founder, who succeeded to the Tyrol, Leo- 
pold the Pious, who fell at Sempach, Albert with the Tuft, 
(so named from the tuft of hair he bore on his helm in memory 
of his wife, in whose honour he founded an order of knight- 
hood,) and Frederick. This family no longer ventured to 
contest for the throne, but sought to extend and to maintain 
its possessions by means less likely to attract attention. Its 
authority was supported by the pope and by the nobility, and 
it, consequently, suppressed every heretical tendency among 
the people, persecuted the Waldenses, and deprived the cities 
of their privileges. Vienna lost her ancient constitution and 
corporative regulations, and was raised to higher importance 
by becoming the ducal residence. The university, founded 
by Rudolf, had 2 papal tendency. The nobility, meanwhile, 
acquired greater power by their support of the ducal family, 
and the peasantry were gradually reduced to deeper servility. 

In Switzerland, where liberty had made rapid progress, a 
fresh contest broke out between the confederated cities and 


the Habsburgs. Zurich, Glaris, and Zug joined the cob*! 
federation. Peace was, however, at length restored by thi 
intervention of the emperor. The confederation retained the 
freedom and privileges it had gained, which were recognised 
by the emperor, to whom it swore fealty. No injustice 1 
committed ; the Habsburgs were paid their due, and the an* 
cient right of the free peasantry to be under the jurisdiction 
of the crown, without infringing their peculiar obligations Id 
the monasteries or their governors, was confirmed. Rudolf 
built, in expiation of his conduct, the long bridge across the 
lake of Zurich near Rapperschwyl, for the convenience of pil- 
grims to Einsiedeln. 

Hostilities between England and France meanwhile ceased, 
and the emperor, during his stay at Strassburg, on his return 
from his second visit to Rome, was offered by the knight de 
Cervola a body of forty thousand mercenaries freshly dismissed 
from the service of the English king. These mercenaries 
were termed Giiglers, from their Gugel hats or pointed hel- 
mets. The emperor refusing to take them into his pay, they 
began to plunder the country, but were defeated and dispersed 
by the imperial troops, by Wenzel of Luxemburg and the 
duke of Brabant. Nine years later a fresh and numerous 
body of Guglers under Ingelram de Coucy, who claimed part 
of Alsace in right of his mother, Catherine of Habsburg, be- 
sieged Leopold in his castle of Breisach, and laid waste the 
country, in which they were unopposed by Leopold, probably 
from the hope of their attacking the Swiss confederation, for 
which purpose John de Vienne, bishop of Basle, invited them 
into the Bernese territory. The pass of the Hauenstein was 
left open by the Count Rudolf von Nidau, who fled on their 
approach, and forty thousand men, including six thousand 
English knights, the wildest of whom was Jevan ap Eynion 
ap Griffith " with the golden hat," poured across the Jura, and 
laid the country waste by fire and sword as far as the Biittis- 
holz, near Lucerne, where three thousand of them were slain 
by six hundred peasants ; the rest were cut to pieces in 
two engagements by the Bernese, A. D. 1376. Coucy escaped 
bad; to France. The bishop of Basle was punished by the 
defection of Biel, which he had caused to be set on fire, and 
which now joined the confederation. Leopold was afterwards 
expelled Basle, on account of his insolence, by the citizens. 


b Freiburg in the Briesgau was illegally sold to the Habsburgs 
t by the imperial governor, A. D. 1366 ; a transaction unnoticed 
m by the emperor, who desired to keep on good terms with . 
3g that house. 

^ The Habsburgs were more fortunate in the East, where 
-j they had gained Carinthia and the Tyrol, and entered into 
g alliance with the counts of Gorz (Goritzia*) and the Visconti. 
— The citizens of Trieste [a. d. 1369] implored the aid of 
£ Austria against Venice, and [a. d. 1380] that splendid city 
m - and harbour fell into the hands of the Habsburgs. Whilst in 
£ Upper Germany the Habsburgs opposed the confederated 
* - peasantry and the cities, the aristocracy and the cities con- 
M tested for superiority in the central and northern provinces, 
u and a struggle took place equally great and important in its 
J- results as that between the church and the empire. 
j Had all the cities in Germany confederated against the 
j nobility, they might easily have overturned the empire, but 
f they were scattered too far apart, and were, moreover, too 
, jealous of each other's prosperity to tolerate such a concentra- 
tion of power or the pre-eminence of any single city. Lubeck 
! might have become the Venice of the North, had not the other 
Hanse towns been blinded by petty jealousy to their political 

The power of the cities was, nevertheless, very great. 
The citizens, proud of their newly-gained liberties, emulated 
the knights in skill and bravery, and far surpassed them in 
military knowledge; fighting in serried ranks, etc. New 
tactics and improvements in the art of siege were introduced 
by the burghers, and the well-disciplined city regiments, 
each distinguished by an uniform in the colours of their city, 
first founded the fame of the German infantry. The use 
of fire-arms, destined to destroy chivalry by rendering 
personal strength unavailing against art, was first intro- 
duced by the citizens. In 1354, Berthold Schwarz, a monk 
at Freiburg in the Breisgau, by chance discovered gunpow- 
der, and was killed by the explosion. The first powder- 
mill was erected at Lubeck, A. D. 1360. John of Aarau 
was the first celebrated cannon-founder, and founded his 
first cannon [a. d. 1372] for the city of Augsburg. Stones 

* Now famous as the retreat of the Bourbon dynasty and the burial* 
place of Charles X., ex-king of France, a. d. 1837. — T&ah&latck. 


wt»re at first made use of instead of balls, which came i 
use a. d. 1387. 

The contest was carried on with the greatest obstinacy ill 
Swabia, where Eberhard the Riotous, who equalled his father I 
in wild independence, had been confirmed by Charles in the I 
government of Lower Swabia. His tyranny roused the citiei 
to open rebellion, and Charles came in person to Esslingea I 
for the purpose of restoring peace ; the publication of the 
jrolden bull, and its prohibition of the reception of fresh 
Pfuhlbiirger, (suburbans,) however, raised a suspicion of his 
intention to deprive the cities of their corporative privileges, 
and to reinstate the great burgher families, and the citizens 
of Esslingen rose in open insurrection. Charles was com- 
pelled to seek safety in flight, but was revenged by Eber- 
hard, who reduced the city, A. d. 1360. For this service, 
lie was rewarded with the government of Upper Swabia, and 
the debts he had contracted with the Jews were declared null 
by the emperor. Notwithstanding these favours, he leagued 
with Habsburg and refused obedience to his liege, upon which 
he was put out of the bann of the empire, but being defeated 
at Scharndorf, [a. d. 1360,] and imploring the emperor to 
allow him to retain his possessions in Bohemia as his vassal, 
he was, consequently, not only pardoned, but restored to his 
government and permitted to demand reparation from the 
cities, whose power the emperor willingly saw humbled. 

The tyranny of the Swabian governor at length incited 
the nobility against him, and, in 1367, the Margrave of Baden 
and the Rhenish Pfalzgrave leagued with the count of 
Eberstein against him ; whilst in Upper Swabia two orders 
of knighthood conspired against the cities, which renewed 
their confederation in 1370, and vainly sought to persuade 
Eberhard, who was now sorely pressed, to join their alliance. 
The nobles, seeing their danger, made peace with their foe, 
and the citizens suffered a signal defeat, a. d. 1372. Charles 
once more favoured the victor, and empowered him to levy an 
imperial tax upon the humbled cities, which again revolted. 
Ulm was unsuccessfully besieged by the emperor in person, 
and a fresh and more extensive confederation was formed 
between the cities. It was in vain that the emperor pre 
nounced them out of the bann of the empire ; they refused tc 
lav down their arms, and the troops of Wurtemberg were de 


feated in a Moody engagement, in which eighty-six nobie 
knights Jell, at Reutlingen, A. D. 1377. The citizens were 
again victorious at Kauf beuren, and those of Ulm levelled all 
the neighbouring castles with the ground. 

In the ensuing year, [a. d. 1378,] the emperor expired, 
and the contest between the cities and the aristocracy burst 
out with redoubled fury in every part of the empire. The 
Hansa had, meanwhile, greatly distinguished itself, and had 
forced Waldemar III. of Denmark, and Hakon of Norway, to 
9ue tor the most disgraceful terms of peace. The princes of 
Holstein and of Lower Germany, at strife among themselves, 
vainly sought to humble the cities. Magdeburg, the most 
powerful city of central Germany, withstood the repeated 
attacks of the nobility, until the city-council, erroneously 
imagining that a system of defence would put a stop to all 
further attempts, inscribed upon the city-flag, " We fight not, 
but defend," and foolishly followed that maxim. Had the 
cities of Germany imitated the example set them by those of 
Italy, they must, like them, have ruled the whole country. 
Charles IV., unable to check the disorder prevalent through- 
out the empire, meditated the future restoration of order by 
means of an alliance with the Hansa, and in order to gain a 
firm footing in the North, made the valuable acquisition of 
Brandenburg, and fixed his royal residence at Tangermiinde, 
whence he commanded the entrance to the Northern Ocean. 
It was his desire to be declared the head of the Hansa, and 
had the Hansa, alive to its true interests, formed this potent 
alliance at a period when the princes were weakened by in- 
testine broils, the whole of Germany must have presented a 
far different aspect at the present day. But the cities, proud 
of the power they had gained by their industry and valour, 
deemed the emperor's alliance unnecessary, and, although 
they treated him with the greatest personal respect, refused to 
make the slightest concession, misunderstood his great po- 
litical schemes, and rejected his proposals. 

CLXXXI. Wenzel. — Great struggle for freedom. 

Charles IV. sought by every means in his power to secure 
to his sons the possessions he had acquired. The eldest, 

142 WENZEL. 

Wenzel, was brought up in pomp and luxury, at an early age 
initiated into the affairs of the empire, and, during his father's 
life-time, declared his successor on the throne by the bribed 
electors. The second, Sigmund, was united to Mary, the 
daughter of Louis, king of Hungary and Poland, in the ex- 
pectation of succeeding to those countries, and received 
Brandenburg. The third, John, was invested with the 
Lausitz, and surnamed "Von Gorlitz." Charles also be- 
stowed Luxemburg on his brother Wenzel, and Moravia on 
his younger brother, Jodocus. 

Wenzel, called at too early an age to participate in the 
government of the empire, treated affairs of state with ri- 
dicule or entirely neglected them, in order to give himself 
up to idleness and drunkenness. At one moment he jested, at 
another burst into the most brutal fits of rage. The Ger- 
mans, with whom he never interfered beyond occasionally 
holding a useless diet at Nuremberg, deemed him a fool, 
whilst the Bohemians, who, on account of his residence at 
Prague, were continually exposed to his savage caprices, re- 
garded him as a furious tyrant. The possessions with which 
the Bohemian nobility had formerly been invested by the 
crown exciting his cupidity, he invited the whole of the aris- 
tocracy to meet him at Willamow, where he received them 
under a black tent, that opened on either side into a white and 
a red one. The nobles were allowed to enter one by one, and 
were commanded to declare what lands they possessed as 
gifts from the crown. Those who voluntarily ceded their 
lands were conducted to the white tent and feasted, those who 
refused were instantly beheaded in the red tent. When a 
number of these nobles had thus been put to death, the rest, 
perceiving what was going forward, obeyed, A. d. 1389. The 
massacre of three thousand Jews in Prague, on account of 
one of that nation having ridiculed the sacrament, gave 
Wenzel the idea of declaring all debts, owed by Christians 
to Jews, null and void ; thus putting into effect the Jewish 
law, which enjoined all debts to be forgiven every seven years ; 
a law they had never put into practice towards Christians. 
The queen, Johanna, being killed by one of the large hounds 
that ever accompanied her husband, he wedded the princess 
Sophia of Bavaria, a. d. 1392. It was in the ensuing year 
that the notorious cruelty with which he treated St. Nepo- 

WENZEL. 143 

muck was enacted. One of the royal chamberlains having 
caused two priests to be put to death for the commission of 
some dreadful crime, the archbishop refused to tolerate this 
encroachment on the prerogative of the church, and placed the 
chamberlain under an interdict. Wenzel was roused to fury 
at this proceeding, and the archbishop sought safety in flight. 
Several of the lower dignitaries of the church were seized. 
The dean, Krnowa, dealt the king such a heavy blow on the 
head with his sword-knot as to draw blood. Two lower eccle- 
siastics, John von Nepomuck (Pomuk) and Puchnik, were 
put to the rack in order to force them to confess the designs 
of the archbishop, and by whom he had been instigated ; 
Wenzel, irritated by their constant refusal, seized a torch, and 
with his own hand assisted to burn the sufferers. They still 
persisted in silence. John von Nepomuck was cast, during 
the night, headlong from the great bridge over the Moldau 
(where his statue now stands) into the stream. He was after- 
wards canonized by the church as a martyr, and made the 
patron saint of all bridges. Puchnik escaped with his life, and 
was led by the king, now filled with remorse for his horrid 
cruelty, to the royal treasury, where he aided him to fill his 
pockets, and even his boots, so heavily with gold, as to render 
him unable to stir. 

Sigmund, at length conscious of the ruin into which the 
folly of the king's conduct was hurrying his family, concerted 
measures with Jodocus, Albert of Austria, and William of 
Misnia, and suddenly seizing his brother at Znaym, [a. d. 
1393,] carried him prisoner to the castle of Wiltberg in Aus- 
tria. John von Gorlitz, however, induced the princes to set 
him at liberty on account of the scandal raised by such a 
transaction. Wenzel was no sooner free, than, inviting the 
Bohemian nobles, who had assisted at his incarceration, to a 
banquet, he caused them to be beheaded, and poisoned his 
brother John, who had undertaken the control of his affairs 
in Bohemia. 

The foreign relations of the empire were at this period ex- 
tremely favourable, and merely required a skilful statesman 
at the head of affairs to turn them to advantage. The dan- 
gerous alliance between the pope and France had become 
gradually weaker, and when, on the demise of Gregory in 
1378, the Italians and Germans placed Urban VI. on the pon- 


t ideal throne in Rome, the French raised an an ti pope, Cle* 
ment VII., at Avignon, a great schism arose in the church 
herself. The popes thundered their anathemas against each 
other, and an opportunity was now afforded for temporal sove- 
reigns to intervene between them, as the pope had formerly 
mediated between rival princes. France was fully occupied 
with England, and the views of Naples upon the succession to 
the throne of Hungary had failed. On the death of Louis of 
Hungary and Poland, [a. d. 1382,] Sigmund hastened into 
Poland in order to lay claim to the throne of that country 
in right of his wife, Maria, Louis's eldest daughter. The 
Poles, however, expelled him the country, and compelled him 
to deliver up to them Hedwig, Louis's younger daughter. 
Maria and her mother, Elisabeth, Louis's widow, were, mean- 
while, exposed to great danger in Hungary, where Charles 
the Little of Naples had arrived in person, laid claim to the 
throne as nearest of kin on the male side, and seized the 
crown. Elisabeth, a Bosmian by birth, and habituated to 
scenes of blood, feigned submission, and, during a confidential 
interview, caused him to be seized by two Hungarian nobles, 
Niclas Gara and Forgacz. His cowardly Italian retinue fled, 
and he was assassinated in prison, A. d. 1386. Elisabeth now 
grasped the sceptre, and induced Maria, who regarded her 
husband with antipathy, to give him a cold reception on his 
arrival from Poland, and he was shortly after sent back to his 
brother in Bohemia. Horwathy, in the hope of gaining pos- 
session of the two queens, placed himself at the head of the 
Neapolitan faction, and, suddenly attacking their retinue when 
on a journey near Diakovar, slew Forgacz and Gara after a 
brave resistance, caused all their women to be cruelly tortured 
and put to death, and Elisabeth to be strangled in the pre- 
sence of Maria, whom he imprisoned at Novigrad on the 
Adriatic, with the intention of delivering her up to the venge- 
ance of Margaretha, the widow of Charles the Little ; this 
project was, however, contravened by the Venetians, who, 
dreading the union of Naples with Hungary, instantly shut up 
Novigrad. Jagello of Lithuania, meanwhile, wedded Hedwig, 
between whom and William the Courteous of Austria a mu- 
tual attachment subsisted. But the Poles, bribed by Jagello's 
promise to embrace Christianity and to unite Lithuania with 
Poland, gave him the preference, and William, whom Hedwig 


had secreted in the castle of Cracow, was expelled the coun- 
try. Dalwitz, a Polish knight, who had been William's bosom 
friend and counsellor, afterwards accused the wretched Hed- 
wig of having carried on too intimate a correspondence with 
that prince. Hedwig swore that she was innocent, and Dal- 
witz was condemned to creep under a table and to bark like a 
dog. The Hungarians, in order not to fall into the power of 
Jagello, who counted upon Maria's condemnation in order to 
unite Hungary with Poland, induced Horwathy to restore her 
to her husband, Sigmund, on a solemn assurance of security 
from vengeance on her part. Maria was no sooner restored 
to liberty than Sigmund quarrelled with her, shut her up and 
treated her with great severity, on account of her refusal to 
cede to him the sole sovereignty, and her indignation at his 
licentious conduct. She possessed, nevertheless, sufficient 
nobility of mind to frustrate a conspiracy against his life, and 
he gratefully restored her to liberty. She expired shortly 
afterwards, a. d. 1392. Dalmatia, Bosnia, Moldavia, and 
Wallachia, meanwhile declared themselves independent of 
Hungary, to which they had hitherto belonged, and were en- 
couraged in their rebellion by Horwathy, who was at length 
taken prisoner and put to a cruel death. Sigmund, in order 
to devote his undivided attention to Bohemia, mortgaged the 
mere of .Brandenburg to his Moravian cousins, Procop and 
Jobst, the sons of his uncle Jodocus. 

An enormous Turkish army under Sultan Bajazet now 
suddenly appeared on the frontiers of Hungary, after reducing 
almost every province in Greece to subjection, although Con- 
stantinople had been besieged in vain. In 1365, Bajazet had 
been opposed by Louis of Hungary, who was defeated on the 
Marizza.* The enthusiasm caused by the crusades had long 
died away, and it was with difficulty that Sigmund raised 
sixty thousand men, among whom were six thousand Bur- 
gundians and French, for the siege of Nicopolis, A. D. 1396. 
Bajazet advanced at the head of two hundred thousand men to 
the relief of that city, and after a long and terrible engage- 
ment, in which sixty thousand Turks fell, gained the victory 
by his enormous numerical superiority. Enraged at the loss 
he had suffered, and at the cruelty with which the Christians 

* In gratitude for his preservation lie founded the shrine of Mariazell 
in Styria to which crowds of pilgrims still annually flock. — T&lnslatob 



mordered their Turkish prisoners, he caused te itt&rf 

the Christian captives to he executed in hie presence. The 
bloody scene had lasted four hours when the pachas, struck 
with horror, cast themselves at his feet and sued for the lives 
of the remainder* Coucy, one of the Dumber, died in cap- 
tivity* Sigmund escape' I. The Turks did not follow up their 
victory. Hungary again became a prey to intestine f Actions, 
Ladblaw of Naples renewed his pretensions to that country, 
a, d. 1399. Sigmund was thrown into prison s whence he 
was liberated by Hermann von Cilly, on condition of accept- 
ing his daughter Barbara in marriage. 

One of the first mistakes committed by "Wen z id, waa the 
conferment of the government of Swabia [a. i>. 13H2] on 
Leopold, duke of Austria* by which the hatred of the cities 
to the house of Habsburg was still further imbittered. Both 
parties flew to arms, Eberbard of Wurtemberg, with the 
intent of preventing the Habsburgs from gaining possession 
of Swabia, prudently intervened, and conciliated himself with 
the knights, the cities, and the princes ; Leopold also attempted 
to negotiate terms with the cities, in order to strike with 
greater security at the Swiss peasantry, The cities, not- 
withstanding the proposals of peace and amity made to 
them in 1382 and 1384, regarded them with suspicion, and 
in 1385> thirty-one of the cities of Switzerland and Swabia 
formed a confederation, which they invited the peasantry and 
petty nobility to join for the purpose of making head against 
the Habsburg i the confederated peasantry, however, dis- 
covered great lukewarmness, replying that it was harvest and 
they had no time, upon which the cities accepted the alliance 
proposed to them by the German princes and left the Swiss 
peasantry, who were instantly attacked by Leopold, unassisted 
in the hour of need. The battle of Sempach, in which the 
peasants owed the victory to the patriotic valour of Arnold 
von Winkelried, a peasant of Unterwald, (who made a path 
with his body over the lances of the enemy,) and in which 
Leopold fell, with six hundred and fifty-six of the nobility, 
took place, a. d» 1386. This success was followed by the 
battle of Nrefels, during which the peasants of Glarus rolled 
stones on the Austrian squadrons, [a. d, 1388,] and setting lire 
to the bridges across which they fled, two thousand five hundred 
of the enemy, including one hundred and eighty-three of the 


nobility, were killed. The Swiss confederation gained a great 
accession of strength by the adhesion of other cities. The pea- 
sants of Valais also defeated the earl of Savoy at Visp, during 
this year, and put four thousand of his men to the sword. 

In 1380, the Swabian cities, which, after the battle of Sem- 
pach, had become aware of the impolicy of petty jealousy, 
gained courage to break off their alliance with the princes, 
and again sued for that of the Swiss peasantry, which being 
refused, they formed a great league with their sister cities on 
the Rhine. Innumerable feuds ensued between them and the 
nobility, until the defeat of the citizens of Frankfurt at Esch- 
born [a. d. 1388] by the Pfalzgrave Rupert, when most of 
the cities concluded peace with their opponents. By an im- 
perial edict, [a. d. 1389,] they were forbidden to form a fresh 
confederation, but neither their ancient hatred of the nobility 
was allayed nor their strength broken, and frequent outbreaks 
continued to take place. 

Peace was scarcely restored, [a. d. 1392,] when the Alpine 
herdsmen again, and with renovated vigour, arose in defence 

of their liberties. The little hut built by St. Gall had, in 

course of time, sprung up into a stately monastery, whose 
proud abbot, Cuno, ruled the whole of the Alpine country un- 
der the high Santis, and allowed his governors to tyrannize 
over the people. The governor of Appenzell ordered a corpse 
to be disinterred for the sake of its good coat. That of 
Schwendi hunted all the peasants, who could not pay their 
dues, with his dogs. One day, meeting the little son of a 
miller, he asked him " what his father and mother were do- 
ing?" "He bakes bread that is already eaten; she adds bad 
to worse," answered the boy ; " that is, my father lives on his 
debts, my mother mends rags with rags." " Why so ?" again 
inquired his interrogator. " Because," said the boy, " you 
take all our money from us ;" and when the governor set his 
dogs upon him, he raised a milk-can, under which he had hid- 
den a cat, which instantly flew out, and drew off the dogs. 
The boy took refuge in his father's cabin, where he was killed 
by the irritated governor. 

The peasants, attracted by the cries of the unfortunate 
father, raised a tumult, attacked the castle of Schwendi, and 
burnt it to the ground. The governor contrived to escape. 
AIL the other castles in the vicinity were speedily levelled 

l 2 

149 RUPERT. 

with the ground, and the whole country was freed from its 
oppressors. The citizens of St. Gall also joined the peasants 
against the abbot, a. i>. 1400. The Swabian cities were called 
upon to decide the matter, and decreed that St. Gall could 
only confederate with cities, not with peasants, upon which 
the Appenzellers were abandoned to their fate. The brave 
herdsmen now resolved to fight their own battle, and, aided 
by those of Glarus, defeated both the abbot and the citizens of 
St. Gall, a. D. 1402. Delighted with their success, they sum- 
moned the neighbouring peasantry to join the banner of liberty, 
and Rudolf, Count von Werdenberg, Austria's foe, voluntarily 
laid aside his mantle to take the herdsmen's dress and join 
their ranks. Frederick of Austria was again repulsed ; but 
the Appenzellers, imboldened by success, ventured too far 
from their country, and laid siege to Bregenz, whence, after 
suffering great loss, they were compelled by the nobility to re- 
treat. They afterwards joined the confederation, a. d. 1407. 

CLXXXIL Rupert— The Netherlands. 

The incapacity of the emperor Wenzel was regarded with 
indifference by the princes of the empire, who were, conse- 
quently, unrestrained by his authority, but when his folly ex- 
tended to a visit to Paris, where, in a drunken frolic, he ceded 
Genoa to France and recognised the antipope at Avignon as 
pope, instead of Boniface IX., who then wore the tiara at 
Rome, John, archbishop of Mayence, a zealous papal adherent, 
began to tremble for his mitre, and urged the princes to de- 
pose him. The Pfalzgrave Rupert, ambitious of restoring 
the faded glories of the house of Wittelsbach, offered himself 
as a competitor for the throne, and was supported by the 
princes of the upper country and of the Rhine, whilst those of 
Northern Germany favoured Frederick of Wolfenbiittel, the 
only man of note in the family of Welf. Wenzel was cited to 
appear before the tribunal of the princes of the empire at 
Oberlahnstein, and, on refusing to appear, was formally de- 
posed, and Rupert was proclaimed emperor. His rival, Fre- 
derick, was, at the same time, [a. d. 1400,] also proclaimed 
emperor by the Saxons, at Fritzlar. This noble prince, who 
was beheld with great enmity by the nobility, was, with the 

RUPERT. 149 

consent of John of Mayence, whose object it was to avoid every 
species of schism, attacked and murdered by a Count von 
Waldeck when on his way to Fritzlar. Rupert was so great 
a favourite with the nobility, that the citizens, on his election, 
instantly oifered to uphold the deposed emperor, who, never- 
theless, remained in complete inactivity at Prague. Aix-la- 
Chapelle closed her gates against Rupert, who was, conse- 
quently, crowned at Cologne. Wenzel was counselled to 
bring about a reconciliation with Boniface, but treated the 
matter with indifference. He was now disturbed by his 
Bohemian subjects, and the nobles took advantage of the dis- 
respect into which he had fallen to wrest from him the 
greatest privileges. Procop and Jobst of Moravia declared in 
Rupert's favour, in the expectation of gaining possession of 
Bohemia. Procop, who was on bad terms with his brother, 
however, quickly returned to his allegiance. During this 
confusion, Sigmund unexpectedly appeared, and made Wenzel 
and Procop prisoners. Whilst occupied in restoring Bo- 
hemia to tranquillity, he incautiously intrusted Wenzel to 
the keeping of the Habsburgs, who, delighted with the dis- 
union prevailing in the house of Luxemburg, instantly set 
him at liberty, and the Bohemians, with whom he was, not- 
withstanding his cruelty and folly, more popular than Sig- 
mund, replaced him on the throne. His madness increased 
from this period. 

Rupert no sooner mounted the imperial throne than he de- 
clared against France, and sought to win the favour of the 
cities by the abolition of the customs on the Rhine, which 
had merely the effect of turning from him the affection of the 
nobility. The princes were, moreover, faithless to him, and 
he was viewed with jealousy by his Bavarian cousins. Un- 
aided by his own family and at enmity with the house of 
Luxemburg, he naturally sought an ally in that of Habsburg ; 
and in the expectation of being warmly welcomed by Boni- 
face IX., who still smarted under the insults heaped upon 
him by Wenzel, undertook an expedition to Rome for the 
purpose of receiving the crown from the hands of that pontiff. 
Leopold the Proud, whose father, Leopold, had fallen at 
Sempach, accompanied him across the Alps with the inten- 
tion of attacking the Visconti, who had rendered themselves 
greatly obnoxious to him as neighbours. Leopold was, in this 



expedition, assisted with Florentine gold. The Viscontt, 
however, who had been created dukes of the empire by 
vVenzel, were victorious at Brescia, [a. d. 1401,] Leopold 
was taken prisoner, and Rupert was compelled to retrace his 
steps after vainly suing the Venetians for aid. 

Rupert expired, A, D. 1411, deserted by all his partisans 
and treated with universal disrespect ; his acceptance of 
Offenbach and the Ortenau from William, bishop of Strass- 
hurg, as a bribe for his aid against the citizens, had rendered 
him utterly contemptible; the citizens were victorious, the 
bishop was compelled to flee, and his allies were taken pri- 
sonera. Signiund had, meanwhile, made peace with the 
Habsburgs, and, assisted by Albert of Austria, laid siege to 
Znaym, which was defended by some robber-knights, Procop's 
partisans. Wenzel, trembling for the Bohemian crown In 
case of his brother's success, went to Breslau, and formed an 
alliance with Jagello, who had received the Christian name of 
Wladislaw on his accession to the throne of Poland, a. d. 
1404, Sigmund and Albert were, at the same time, poisoned 
in the camp before Znaym. Sigmund escaped death by being 
suspended for twenty- four hours by his feet, so that the 
poison ran out of his mouth. Being deserted by William the 
Courteous, he was forced to give up Bohemia, after poisoning 
Procop in his prison. The German faction being, mean- 
while, victorious over the Neapolitan party in Hungary, Sig- 
mund regained that country; and the Turks, having been 
defeated by Timur in Asia, Bosnia and Dalmatia once more 
sought the protection of Hungary, The order of the dragon 
and the university at Ofea were founded by Sigmund in 
memory of these events. 

Ernest the Iron of Styria, the youngest of the four sons of 
Leopold of Austria, had confederated with his brother Leo- 
pold against his infant nephew Albert, afterwards the em- 
peror Albert II., whom they sought to deprive of his 
inheritance, hut who was successfully defended by Sigmund 
and the Viennese. Ernest s independent of his perfidy to* 
wards his nearest relatives, was a man of no mean intellect, 
lie wedded Cymburga, a Polish princess, a woman of great 
beauty and wit, and of such extraordinary strength as to be 
able to break horse-shoes in sunder and to knock nails into the 
wall with her bare hand. She was remarkable for the large 



underlip that, even at the present day, characterizes the family 
of Habsburg. 

In the Netherlands, family feuds had been carried on with 
great virulence. Gueldres fell [a. d. 1361] -to the countess 
of Blois, the daughter of Duke Iteinhold, and Brabant was in- 
herited by Johanna, who married Wenzel, duke of Luxem- 
burg, who dying [a. d. 1383] without issue, Brabant and 
Luxemburg fell to Antony of Burgundy. Thus the house of 
Luxemburg lost its ancient ancestral possessions, without any 
opposition on the part of the emperor Wenzel, Rupert alone 
protesting against the encroachment of Burgundy upon the 

Flanders had become a scene of still wilder disorder, and a 
furious contest was carried on between Ghent, her allies, and 
the cities that favoured the earl, Louis II., of Male. Peace 
was made, A. d. 1381, but Louis, incited by the Child of 
Edinghen, (Enghien,) attempting to take vengeance, Ghent 
again revolted. Grammont was reduced to ashes by the Child, 
who shortly afterwards fell before Ghent. That city being 
reduced to great straits by the coalition of the citizens of 
Bruges, her rival city, with the earl, Philip von Artevelde, 
the son of the celebrated brewer, was placed, with unlimited 
power, at the head of the citizens. Famine raged within the 
walls, and the women were insisting upon a surrender, when 
Artevelde returned from an unsuccessful parley with the be- 
siegers, and thus addressed the people : " Shut yourselves up 
in the churches, recommend your souls to God and die of 
hunger, or bind yourselves with chains and yield to the cruel 
earl, or — seize your arms and drive back the foe ! " Choose 

one of these three ! " " Choose for us," was the reply ; 

and Artevelde, placing himself at the head of the citizens, 
made a desperate sally, defeated the troops of the earl and the 
citizens of Bruges, who were pursued into their city, where a 
terrible slaughter took place, a. d. 1382. Louis was concealed 
by an old woman, and escaped ; nine thousand of the citizens 
of Bruges were slain, and the city was plundered. Artevelde 
became lord over the whole of Flanders. 

Louis, whose daughter, Margaretha, had married Philip of 
Burgundy, uncle to Charles VI. of France, now turned to 
that country for aid, and a numerous French army was des- 
patched against Artevelde, who, although successful at Co- 


mines, was defeated and fell with twenty thousand of tbe 
Flemish at Ro9ebecke, A. D. 1 382. The English afterwards 
aided Ghent, and the war was carried on with such fury, that 
numbers of the Flemish migrated to England and Holland. 
It was continued on the death of Louis, who was stabbed in a : 
broil at Artois by the duke de Berry, [a. d. 1384,] by Phi- 
lip of Burgundy, the French and the nobles against the citi- 
zens and the English. Peace was at length concluded, A. i>. 
1385. Flanders retained her ancient liberties, but hencefor- 
ward appertained to Burgundy. 

Two extraordinary women were mixed up with the in- 
trigues of this period, Jacobea of Holland and Johanna of 
Naples. Jacobea, the only child of William of Wittelsbach, 
the heiress to Holland and the Hennegau, married John, the 
son of Charles VI. of France, who dying early, she wedded 
John of Brabant, the imbecile son of Antony. Her uncle, 
John the Merciless, however, leagued with the pope, who, at 
his request, dissolved Jacobea's second marriage on the plea 
of too near a relationship, with Philip of Burgundy, England, 
and the reigning faction of the Kabeljaus in Holland, with the 
design of depriving her of her rich inheritance. Abandoned 
on almost every side, and with a husband brutal and inca- 
pable, this beautiful young woman, already deprived of part 
of her possessions, now sought the protection of the English, 
in the hope of receiving aid from one of their princes, Hum- 
phrey, duke of Gloucester, to whom she offered her hand. 
Philip of Burgundy interposed, and Gloucester had scarcely 
landed in Holland when he again retreated to England. Ja- 
cobea was betrayed into Philip's hands and carried prisoner to > 
Ghent, whence she escaped in man's attire. During the same 
year [a. d. 1425] John the Merciless expired, and bequeathed 
his claims upon Holland to Philip, who, already in possession 
of Flanders and heir presumptive to Brabant and Luxemburg, 
spared no means, by fraud or violence, to gain possession of 
the rest of the Netherlands, in which he was solely opposed 
by the unfortunate Jacobea. Gloucester remained in England, 
and merely sent some troops to her aid, who were joined by 
the city faction of the Haecks, and defeated by the Burgun- 
dians at Brouwershaven, A. D. 1425, John the Imbecile, of 
Brabant, died in the ensuing year, and was succeeded bv 
Philip. Gloucester married an Englishwoman, and Jacobea'a 


Dutch partisans being again defeated in a naval engagement 
near Wieringen, she was compelled to resign the government 
of Holland to Philip, and to promise not to contract another 
marriage without his consent. An annual pension was al- 
lowed her, A. D. 1436. In this necessity, she found a faithful 
friend and prudent counsellor in a handsome knight, Frauk 
von Borselen, whom she secretly married. Philip, who had 
surrounded her with spies, gained intelligence of the con- 
spiracy, threw the knight into prison,, and compelled Jacobea 
to purchase her husband's liberty with the renunciation of her 
claims in Philip's favour. Frank was appointed head forester, 
and Jacobea, after living some years with him in that station, 
died at the early age of thirty-six, A. d. 1439. 

Not long before this, Otto the Welf, of Brunswick, a hand- 
some young prince, had been, whilst on a visit to Italy, chosen 
by Johanna of Naples for her fourth husband* and by this 
means implicated in the bloody intrigues of the house of 
Anjou. Otto was wounded and imprisoned by Charles of 
Durazzo, whom the pope had raised as his rival, and Johanna 
was strangled. Otto was afterwards permitted to return to 
Brunswick. His daughter by Johanna married a king of 
Cyprus. The crown of Naples fell to Rene of Anjou, who 
was driven from his throne by Philip of Arragon, who had 
long been in possession of Sicily, A. i>. 1442. 

Norway, Sweden, and Denmark were declared inseparable 
under the queen, Margaretha, the daughter of Waldemar UL 
af Denmark, by the Calmar Union, a. d. 1397. 


If ay God now help us, and give us one of the trumpets with which the walls ofl 
Jericho were thrown down, that we may also blow round these paper walla and 
loosen the Christian rods for the punishment of sins, in order that we may comet 
ourselves by chastisement. — Luther. 


CLXXXIII. Sigmund. 

We have now arrived at that stormy period when the worn- 
out empire of the middle ages, shaken from within and with- 
out, fell in ruins, when the degenerate church waded through 
crime, and Heaven, in anger, emptied the viol of wrath over 
Germany, until, after centuries of sorrow and suffering a 
new era, with a new faith, a new constitution, new manners 
and men, rose from the ruins of the past. 

Physical strength and love of adventure had, in the earlier 
ages, given rise to the German migrations, and, at a- later 
period, had given place to lofty aspirations of chivalry, faith, 
and love, which, carried to excess and abused, now yielded 
in their turn to the sovereignty of reason. The pious sim- 
plicity and confidence of the people, more and more practised 
upon by the popes and their scholastics, were at length so 
shamefully abused for purposes of the meanest ambition and 
avarice that reason finally revolted against the chains of 
habitual belief. The ideas inculcated by Arnold of Brescia 
and by Petrus Waldus had annually spread ; men saw that 
the church had gone astray, and demanded that, cleansed 
from her temporal lust of power and luxury, from her scho- 
lastic lies and deceit, she should return to her primitive sim- 
plicity and truth. The learned Englishman, Wycliffe, was, 


at that period, the soul of the reforming party. Heresy had 
spread throughout Germany. Two hundred heretics were 
burnt at Augsburg. 

The circumstances of the times were far from unfavourable 
for a reformation in the church. The pontifical chair had 
been deprived of much of its supremacy by the schism in the 
church, consequent on the election of the antipopes at Avig- 
non by France, in opposition to the successor of St. Peter at 
Rome, and the popes were reduced to the necessity of creating 
a party in their favour among the clergy and in the universi- 
ties, by which means the papal despotism, introduced by Inno- 
cent IV., yielded to an ecclesiastical democracy, which now 
assumed a right to settle the dispute between the popes, and 
[a. d. 1410] the council of Pisa, composed of bishops and 
doctors of the universities, boldly deposed the antipopes, Gre- 
gory XII. and Benedict XIII., and elected another pope, 
Alexander V., who, shortly afterwards dying, was succeeded 
by John XXIII. Respect for the pontiff had, however, be- 
come so deeply rooted in the minds of the people, that the de- 
posed popes were able to maintain their authority, and the 
world was scandalized by beholding three popes at once, as if 
in mockery of the Trinity. The youngest of the three, John 
XXIIL, who had formerly been a pirate, a man sunk in guilt 
and the lowest debauchery, was the most detestable, but the 
clergy were too deeply depraved to feel any repugnance at his 
election, and the cardinal, Peter d'Ailly, said openly, that the 
church had become so bad that a good pope would be out of 
his sphere, and that she could only be ruled by miscreants. 

On the death of the emperor Rupert, the house of Wittels- 
bach, weakened by division, remained in a state of inactivity, 
and the powerful one of Luxemburg continued to occupy the 
throne, Sigmund being elected in preference to Wenzel, who 
contented himself with Bohemia, A. D. 1412. 

Vain, arrogant, deceitful, and ever undertaking more than 
he had power to perform, Sigmund discovered his trut, cha- 
racter from the very onset. In the electoral assembly he 
voted for himself, with these words, " There is no prince in 
the empire whom I know better than myself. No one sur- 
passes me in power, or in the art of governing, whether in 
prosperity or adversity. I, therefore, as elector of Branden- 
burg, give Sigmund, king of Hungary, my vote, and herewith 


elect myself emperor." He united in bis person many of the 
qualities for which his relations were noted, possessing the 
subtlety of Charles IV., the thoughtlessness of king John, the 
licence of his brother Wenzel, with this difference, that, whilst 
Wenzel was a worshipper of Bacchus, he was a votary of Ve- 
nus. Endowed with beauty, eloquence, and energy, he was 
totally devoid of real power or of reflection. He ever pursued 
a temporizing policy, and for a present advantage would 

thoughtlessly sacrifice a greater future gain. At first he 

discovered a praise-worthy zeal for the church and state, and, 
in order to devote himself entirely to the regulation of public 
affairs, even sacrificed his private interests. The Turks, for- 
tunately, made no further attempt upon Hungary, and Ladis- 
law of Naples, the competitor for that crown, died. Sigmund, 
anxious to secure himself to the rear, concluded peace with 
Wladislaw of Poland, whom he entertained with great splen- 
dour at Ofen. Annoyed by the successes of the Venetians in 
Dalmatia, Friuli, and on the frontiers of Lombardy, he des- 
patched against them a small number of troops under Pippo 
of Hungary, who being defeated, he deemed it more advan- 
tageous to make peace, and to cede Zara in Dalmatia to 
Venice for 200,000 ducats. He then passed through the Ty- 
rol, and visited the duke, Frederick, at Innsbruck, which he 
quitted in great displeasure, and, proceeding to Italy, held a 
conference at Lodi with the pope, whom he persuaded to con- 
voke a new council. His attempt to reduce the Visconti to 
submission failed, but at Turin he secured the allegiance of 
Amadeus, earl of Savoy, after which he flattered the Swiss 
with a visit. 

Having thus settled the affairs of the state, and having re- 
plenished his treasury by mortgaging Brandenburg to Fre- 
derick of Hohenzollern, Burggrave of Nuremberg, he resolved 
to become the reformer of the church, a scheme in which he 
had the sympathies of Europe, and for this purpose convoked 
a great council at Constance. The necessity of a reformation 
was universally felt, and was even participated in by the 
clergy, who desired the termination of the schism in the 
church, and, moreover, hoped to extend their power by means 
of a great council. Sigmund, fearing the party-spirit of the 
clergy, sought to attract the laity, and to give to the council 
more the appearance and authority of a general European 


congress, in which the votes were regulated, not by classes, 
but by nations, and voluntarily ceded his prerogative, now a 
mere delusion, as Roman emperor, and placed the nation of 
the holy Roman empire no longer above, but on an equality 
with the rest of those represented in this council. After in- 
cessant, efforts, he at length succeeded in uniting all the tem- 
poral and spiritual sovereigns and princes of Europe fol 
this purpose, without being himself qualified to take the lead 
in such an assembly, where his undignified conduct drew upon 
him, and upon the church, the well-merited contempt of his 
brother sovereigns. 

CLXXXIV. The Council of Constance. 

A. D. 1414, the spiritual and temporal powers of Catholic 
Europe held a great general congress at Constance, either in 
person or by their representatives. The temporal powers 
consisted of the emperor,* of almost all the electors, of most 
of the great vassals of the empire, of members of the nobility, 
of the ambassadors of all the catholic sovereigns, and even of 
those of Greece and Russia in their strange attire. Of the 
spiritual dignitaries, there were three patriarchs, thirty-three 
cardinals, forty-seven archbishops, one hundred and forty-five 
bishops, one hundred and twenty-four abbots, eighteen hun- 
dred priests, seven hundred and fifty doctors, and a crowd of 
monks. Gregory and Benedict merely sent their legates, 
John XXIII. alone appearing in person. The Spaniards at 
first absenting themselves on account of their holding with 
Benedict XIII., the council was merely composed of four 
nations; the Germans, including the Danes, Swedes, Nor- 
wegians, Poles, Hungarians ; the Italians, French, and Eng- 
lish, who formed two opposing parties, that of the Italians 
under Pope John, supported by Frederick of Austria, John 

* Sigmund entered Constance on Christmas eve, and rode by torch- 
light to the church, where, with the imperial crown on his head, he 
served as deacon to the pope whilst reading mass. He showed himself 
more vain than efficient in the council. When, addressing the assembly, 
he said, " Date operam, ut ilia nefanda schisma eradicetur," a cardinal 
remarking to him, " Domine, schisma est generis neutrius," he replied, 
" Ego sum rex Romanus et super grammaticam." In this council Jm 
lowered his dignity in matters of far greater importance. 


Df Burgundy, John, archbishop of Mayence, and Bernard, 
Margrave of Baden ; and that of the Germans, French, and 
English. The French, unable to forget the subserviency 
of the pope to their rule, still secretly set up Avignon in 
opposition to Rome ; the Germans and English favoured the 
French party for the purpose of deposing the notorious pope, 
John, and some among them sincerely wished for a reform- 
ation in the church ; whilst all the northern nations, without 
exception, jealous of the preference ever given to Italians in 
the appointment to ecclesiastical benefices, unanimously re- 
solved to lower their pride on the present occasion ; accord- 
ingly, when the northern party, headed by the French car- 
dinal, Peter d'Ailly, and Gerson, the celebrated chancellor of 
the university of Paris, actively seconded by the German 
clergy under the influence of the emperor, had carried the 
question of voting according to nations, (which deprived the 
majority of the Italian cardinals and bishops of their power of 
influencing the number of votes,) it advanced a step further, 
and declared that the popes were subservient to the council, 
and that each of the three must either voluntarily resign the 
tiara or be deposed. It was in vain that Roeder, a German 
by birth, a Parisian doctor, implored the council to take the 
question of the reformation first into consideration. The 
spiritual lords, who ruled the assembly, solely intent upon 
putting an end to the scandal of a papal trinity, and upon 
restoring the external dignity of the church, were by no means 
inclined to meet the demands of the people by reforming her 
intprnql ohnspo 

Pope John, threatened with a public trial for the crimes he 
had committed, dissimulated his rage, and resigned the pon- 
tifical tiara. A statement of his misdemeanors had already 
been made public. His attempt to bribe the emperor failing, 
he confederated with Frederick of Austria, who held a tourna- 
ment outside of the city walls, and the pope, favoured by the 
crowd, fled, disguised as a groom, with a cross-bow on his 
shoulder, and merely accompanied by a page, to SchafFhausen, 
where he was speedily joined by Frederick. John now so- 
lemnly protested against his enforced abdication, and dissolved 
the council. The terror caused by this step, however, 
quickly subsided. Frederick was, in return, declared out of 
the bann of the empire, and Sigmund, summoning the Swiss 


to bis ai<l, bestowed the Austrian possessions upon them, on 
condition of their invading that territory, and thus satisfied 
his rancour as a Luxemburg against the house of Habsburg. 
The Waldstaette had made peace with Austria, and refused, 
but Berne, ever greedy of gain, instantly infringed the treaty 
and began the attack ; upon which the citizens of Zurich and 
the Alpine peasantry, filled with envy of the promised booty, 
also invaded the Habsburg territory, which was speedily re- 
duced to submission, and partitioned among the confederates. 
Sigmund shortly afterwards visited Zwitzerland, and received 
the oath of fealty from the confederation. Frederick was taken 
prisoner at Freiburg by the Pfalzgrave, Louis, who com- 
manded the imperial troops. On being carried to Constance, 
he fell at the emperor's feet to sue for pardon ; Sigmund said 
to him, "We regret that you have committed these offences ;" 
and, turning to the ambassadors of Venice and Milan, ob- 
served, " You know how powerful the dukes of Austria are, 
see what a German king can do ! " The Tyrolese attempted, 
when too late, to rise in favour of their duke. Frederick was 
compelled to resign the territory of which he had been de- 
prived, and to pay a heavy fine. Pope John was also taken 
prisoner at Freiburg, and carried back to Constance, where 
he was publicly brought to trial before the council, and his 
profligacy and irreligion were fully divulged. He remained 
in imprisonment in the castle of Heidelberg until 1418, 
when he again took his place among the cardinals. Gregory 
XII. submitted to the council, and retained his cardinal's 
hat. Benedict XIII. still bade his opponents defiance from 

The insolence of the popes was no sooner humbled than the 
council attempted to stifle the popular zeal for reform, for 
which the heresy, kindled by John Huss in Bohemia, offered 
a good opportunity. The Bohemians, an intuitively lively 
and intelligent people, had gained a rapid advance in civiliza- 
tion over the Germans, since the reign of Charles IV. The 
university of Prague, endowed with the most valuable privi- 
leges, had become noted for the learning of its professors. 
The marriage of Anna, Wenzel's sister, with Richard, king of 
England, rendered the Bohemians acquainted with the writ- 
ings of Wickliffe, who, since 1360, had boldly ventured to at- 
tack the abuses of the church in England. Jol n, who, al- 


though a serf by birth, had raised himself by his talent to a 
professor's chair :it Prague, and hud been chosen oonJVwi 
to the queen, roused by these writings, zealously preached 
Against papal depravity in Prague* The dispute between the 
emperor Wenzel and the pope aided his effbrta, and the Bo- 
hemian students quickly adopted his tenets, whilst those From 
Saxony, Bavaria, and Poland as sturdily opposed them. A 
violent opposition arose, and was terminated by the new con- 
stitution given to the university by the emperor Wenzel, by 
Which the votes of the Saxons, Bavarians, and Poles, on all 
public acts, were combined into one, and those of the Bohe- 
mians tripled, All the foreigners, professors, and students, 
amounting to several thousand, instantly quitted the university 
and returned to their several countries, where the Saxons 
founded [a, d, 1408] the university at Leipsic, the Bavarians 
enlarged that of IngoLstadt, and the Poles that of Cracow. 
Huss was triumphantly proclaimed Rector of Prague. 

Emboldened by success, and confident that inquiry into the 
abuses of the church once roused would continue to be pi 
cuted, Huss now denounced from the pulpit the anti-biblical 
dogmas promulgated as Christian doctrine, and the temporal 
usurpations of the church, in open defiance of the archbishop, 
Sbinco, who virulently persecuted him. Some Englishmen 
painted on the wall of an inn a picture, in which Christ was 
on one side represented, meek and poor, entering Jerusalem 
mounted on an ass ; on the other, the pope, proudly mounted 
on horseback, glittering with purple and gold. The people 
came in crowds to see this picture. Sbinco revenged himself 
by committing all the heretical books that he could discover 
to the flames, upon which the students shouted in the streets, 
u The ABC protector burns the books he does not under- 
stand." Three students were arrested, and, notwithstanding 
the promise of their safety given to Unas by the town-council, 
were beheaded in prison. Not long afterwards, Hieronymus 
Fmilfisch, or **of Prague," a bold friend of the reformer, seized 
a wretched man, who, accompanied by two dissolute females, 
publicly sold the papal dispensation, hung the letters of dis 
pensation on the bare bosoms of the women, whom be drove 
in this plight through the streets of Prague, and finally burnt 
the papal bull under the gallows. The wrath of the papists at 
thij insult became so violent, that Wenzel withdrew his pro- 




tection from the reformers, and banished them from the city. 
Huss found an asylum with Hussinez, his feudal liege. 

The preaching and writings of the freethinking Bohemian 
had excited such universal attention that John XXIII. cited 
him to Rome. Huss refused to obey, but appeared before the 
council, whose authority he alone recognised, and from which 
he apprehended no danger, Sigmund having promised him a 
safe-conduct, a. d. 1414. On his way to Constance, he dis- 
puted at Nuremberg, where he elicited great applause, but 
had scarcely reached Constance, than by a sermon he heed- 
lessly afforded to his opponents an excuse, eagerly sought for, 
for seizing his person, and was imprisoned in a narrow dun- 
geon on the banks of the Rhine, where the common sewers 
emptied themselves. The pestilential atmosphere speedily 
engendered a fever. His noble friend, von Chlum, enraged at 
the ill faith of the prelates and princes, vainly appealed to the 
safe-conduct ; the repeated addresses of the estates of Bohemia 
to the council in behalf of their protege, and their demands 
for his restoration, proved equally futile ; Huss was, for greater 
security, carried to the castle of Gottlieben in the Thurgau, 
where, by command of the bishop of Constance, he was chained 
hand and foot to the wall of his dungeon ; in this state he re- 
mained whilst the council were engaged in settling the papal 
and Austrian affairs, which were no sooner concluded than Huss 
was remanded before it. The unfortunate reformer could 
hardly expect lenity from an assembly that had just bidden 
defiance to the popes. The emperor, justly proud of standing 
at the head of the council independent of the pope, was at that 
time endeavouring to win over the Spaniards, whose king, 
Ferdinand of Arragon, fanatically insisted upon the condemna- 
tion of the heretics. The affair of Huss was, consequently, 
regarded as an interruption, and his case was hurried over. 
Sigmund refused the petitions of the Bohemian Estates, and 
excused his want of faith by saying, that he had merely pro- 
mised Huss a safe-conduct until his arrival at Constance, 
when his promise was of no further avail, owing to his in- 
ability to protect a heretic. As Huss entered the assembly- 
room a solar eclipse darkened the air. Addressing the emperor, 
he thanked him for the safe-conduct he had granted; the 
blood rushed to the face of the emperor, who made no reply. 
Huss then attempted to defend his doctrine* but was silenced ; 


the articles of accusation were read aloud, and he wa« ordered 
to recant. The most irrational charges were made against 
him, such as that of his having maintained the existence of 
four gods, at which he could not suppress a smile. The car- 
dinals and bishops laughed loudly in concert whenever pas- 
sages commenting upon their criminal mode of life were read, 
and as often as Huss, in the midst of this scandalous uproar, 
rose to speak in his own defence, the tumult increased, and he 
was condemned unheard, on his stedfast refusal to recant, to 
the stake. The noble-minded Chlum said to him, " Be com- 
forted, teacher of virtue, truth is of higher value than life ! " 

Independent of the false charges brought against him, 
Huss had, in fact, promulgated doctrines condemned as here- 
tical by the church ; as, for instance, that laymen, as well as 
priests, might freely participate in the Lord's supper ; that a 
priest unworthy of his office could not dispense the sacra- 
ment ; that the Holy Ghost rested upon the whole congrega- 
tion, and not merely upon the priesthood ; that every pious 
layman was fitted, without receiving ordination, to act as a 
spiritual teacher and guide ; that the authority of the bishop 
of Rome did not extend over foreign nations. He had, more- 
over, greatly offended the temporal lords, by teaching that 
obedience was as little due to a wicked prince as to a wicked 

In the midst of the solemn council, over which the em- 
peror, seated on his throne, presided, Huss was deprived of his 
priestly office, and crowned with a paper cap, an ell in height* 
on which three devils were painted, with this inscription, 
" the arch-heretic." He simply observed, " Christ wore the 
crown of thorns." The elector of the Pfalz headed the pro- 
cession to the place of execution. Huss, when bound to the 
stake, on seeing a peasant zealously heaping on wood, ex- 
claimed, " O sacred simplicity ! " The pile was kindled, and 
the martyr's voice was heard singing a psalm until he was 
stifled by the flames. He is said to have prophesied on the 
day of his death, " To-day you will roast a goose, (the meaning 
of the word ' Huss,') but a hundred years hence a swan, that 
you will not be able to kill, will appear." He suffered on his 
forty-second birthday, A. D. 1415. 

Hieronymus of Prague, who had also come to Constance, 
terrified at the fate of his friend, fled, but was retaken and 


thrown into prison, where he wis induced by hunger, torture, 
and sickness, to recant. This momentary weakness was, 
however, nobly expiated : " I will not recant, 9 said he to the 
council, with such unexpected firmness, that the Italian, Pog- 
gio, struck with admiration, named him a second Cato ; *• I 
will not recant, for my blessed master has, with perfect jus- 
tice, written against your shameful and depraved mode of life, 
and with truth attacked your false ordinances and your evil 
customs. I wOl not deny this befieC although you will kill 
me." He was condemned to the stake ; the weak attempt 
made to save him by Caspar Schlick, Sigmund's chancellor, 
who advised greater lenity on account of Bohemia, was un- 
listened to. When the executioner was about to set fire to 
the pile from behind, Hieronymus ordered him to set fire to it 
in front, " for," said he, " had I dreaded fire, I should not 
have been here," A. D. 1416. 

The emperor, after the execution of Huss, projected a visit 
to Spain for the purpose of personally persuading Benedict 
Xlll. to submit, and, in order to meet the expense of this 
extraordinary journey, sold the whole of Brandenburg, toge- 
ther with the electorship, to Frederick of Zollern for 300,000 
ducats, and, for a smaller sum, created the Truchsesses of 
Waldburg governors of Swabia. At Perpignan he was met 
by Ferdinand of Arragon, and there finally succeeded in ef- 
fecting the deposition of Pope Benedict. At Chambery he 
raised Amadeus VIIL, earl of Savoy, to the ducal dignity. 
At Paris, where he was sumptuously entertained as the high- 
est potentate on earth, he vainly endeavoured to make peace 
between France and England, at that time engaged in bloody 
warfare, and, for this purpose, visited England, where he was 
received with distrust, the English imagining that he intended 
to set himself up as umpire between the sovereigns of Europe, 
and to assert his supremacy over England. On his arrival on 
the English coast, the Duke of Gloucester, advancing into the 
water with his sword drawn, demanded "whether he in- 
tended to exercise any sort of jurisdiction in England," and, 
on receiving an answer in the negative, permitted him to 
land. His proposals for peace were ill received and refused. 
William of Bavaria, count of Holland) came to London, in or- 
der to be invested with his dignity by Sigmund, who re- 
fused, and the Wittelsbacher 4 *o Holland, taking with 


him the whole of his fleet, so that until it pleased Henry of 
England to furnish the emperor with the means of transport, 
he was in some sort retained a prisoner in London, whence 
the insolence of the mob, on one occasion, compelled him to 
flee to Canterbury, where he was detained until he had signed 
a treaty with England against France, upon which he never 
afterwards acted. 

On his return to Constance, he had at least the gratification 
of adding the fifth vote, that of Spain, to the council ; har- 
mony, however, was thereby unrestored, and the emperor's 
authority had deeply fallen. A fresh and violent dispute 
arose in the council, one party advocating the reform of the 
abuses that had crept into the church, the other as eagerly 
evading the question, and insisting on the election of a fresh 
pope. Frederick von Zollern and the majority of the Ger- 
mans and English strongly advocated reform, although far 
from agreeing in their ideas how far reform ought to extend. 
Peter d'Ailly placed himself at the head of the papal party, 
which consisted of the higher church dignitaries, the French, 
Italians, and Spanish, who, after some time, being joined by 
the English, the Germans were compelled, after making an 
energetic protest, to yield, Peter d'Ailly saying with his 
habitual and open sarcasm to the German clergy, " Ye 
want to reform others, although ye well know how good for 
nothing ye are yourselves." What expectation more futile 
than the correction of the abuses of power by its possessors ! 
It was the folly of the age to expect reformation from a 

An Italian cardinal was elected pope, [a. d. 1417,] under 
the name of Martin V., and scarcely felt the weight of the 
tiara on his brow before he concerted measures for the pre- 
vention of every degree of reform, and, by concluding separate 
concordats with the different nations of which the council was 
composed, succeeded in dissolving it, and in reinstating the 
papal authority. The question of reform was no longer agi- 
tated ; the Germans formally renounced their connexion with 
the Bohemians ; popular opinion was treated with contempt ; 
the emperor was no longer energetic in the cause ; the bishops 
and doctors alone acted ; the former were won by the pope's 
amicable proposals, whilst the courage of the latter had been 
visibly cooled by the fate of Huss, and thus miserably termin- 


tied the council of Constance, on which so many hopes had 

CLXXXV. Disturbances in Bohemia. — Zizka. 

Popular opinion had been disregarded by the council of 
Constance, which vainly deemed that the name of Huss had 
been swept from the earth when his ashes were borne away 
by the rapid waters of the Rhine. But his doctrines had 
taken deep root in Bohemia, and would undoubtedly have also 
spread into Germany had not the jealousy of the Germans 
been roused by the favour with which the emperors, Charles 
IV. and Wenzel, had distinguished the Bohemians, who had, 
moreover, often treated them with haughty insolence, and had 
Huss preached not in the Bohemian but in the German tongue. 
Germany was, perhaps, at that period, unfitted to receive his 
doctrines ; the grossest ignorance still prevailed, and the Ger- 
man universities, far from spreading enlightenment among the 
people, were the abodes of papal superstition. 

The Bohemian estates, influenced by Ulricvon Rosenberg, 
after vainly protesting against the faithless and illegal manner 
in which Huss had been condemned, passed a resolution, [a. d. 
1416,] authorizing every manorial lord to have the doctrines 
of the murdered reformer preached within his demesnes. The 
numerous adherents of the martyr of Constance took the name 
of Hussites, and the preacher, Jacob of Miesz, gave them the 
distinctive sign of the cup, by teaching, that as the Spirit of 
God rested not on the priesthood alone but also on the whole 
community, the people ought to partake, as in the early 
Christian times, of the Lord's supper, in both forms, (sub 
utraque,) not merely of the bread, but also of the wine in the 
chalice, until now partaken of by the priest alone. The Huss- 
ites were hence termed Utraquists or Calixtines, brethren of 
the cup. The people were at first pacified by the freedom 
of preaching granted by the Estates. The plunder of some 
monasteries by robber bands alone demonstrated their secret 
hatred of the Roman clergy. 

On the conclusion of the council of Constance, Martin V., 

* The city of Constance was ruined by the council, the emperor 
meanly refusing to pay a farthing of his personal debts, and the miwder 
of Huss lay like a curse upon the city, which never after flourished. 

166 SlZKA. 

in the vain hope of crushing the heresy with spiritual weapons, 
hurled his fulminations against the Hussites. This was, how- 
ever, merely the signal for strife. In the spring of 1419, 
the cardinal-legate, Dominici, having condemned a Hussite 
preacher, whose cup he cast to the ground, to the stake, the 
Hussites, now in great numbers, secretly brooded over revenge. 
There lived at that time in Wenzel's court an experienced 
officer, named John Zizka (Tschischka) von Trocznow, who 
had lost one of his eyes during his childhood, had long served 
against the German Hospitallers in Poland, and was now the 
chamberlain and favourite of the aged emperor. The seduc- 
tion of one of his sisters, a nun, by a priest, had inspired him 
with the deepest hatred towards the whole of the priesthood, 
and he viewed the Germans with national dislike. Since the 
death of Huss, he had remained plunged in deep and silent 
dejection, and on being asked by Wenzel why he was so sad, 
replied, " Huss is burnt, and we have not yet avenged him ! w 
Wenzel carelessly observing that he could do nothing but 
that Zizka might attempt it himself, he. took the jest in earn- 
est, and, seconded by Niclas von Hussinez, Huss's former lord 
and zealous partisan, roused the people. Wenzel, in great 
alarm, ordered the whole body of citizens to bring their arms 
to the royal castle of Wisherad that commanded the city of 
Prague, but Zizka. instead of the arms, brought the armed 
citizens in long tiles to the fortress, and said to the emperor, 
** My gracious and mighty sovereign, here we are. and await 
vour commands; against what enemy are we to fight?" 
WenzeL upon this, took a more cheerful countenance, and 
dismissed the citizens. All restraint was now at an end. 
Hussinez was banished the city. but. instead of obeying, 
assembled forty thousand men on the mountain of Hradistie 
in the district of Beehin. which henceforward received the 
biblical name of Mount Tabor, where several hundred tables 
were spread for the celebration of the Lord % s supper. July 
22. 1419. An attempt made by Wenzel to depose the Hussite 
city-council in the Ncustadu where the chief excitement pre- 
vailed, and to replace it by another devoted to his interests, 
created, at the same time, the greatest discontent throughout 
Prague ; and on the imprisonment of two clamorous Hussites 
by this new council. Zuka assembled the f^ople. marched, on 
the 30th of July* in prvv^ssiou. and bearing the cup, through 


the streets, and, on arriving in front of the council-house ot' 
the Neustadt, demanded the liberation of his partisans. The 
council hesitated ; a stone fell out of one of the windows, and 
the mob instantly stormed the building and flung thirteen of 
the councillors, Germans by birth, out of the windows. The 
dwelling of a priest, supposed to have been that of his sister's 
seducer, was, by Zizka's order, destroyed, its owner hanged, 
the Carthusian monks, crowned with thorns, were dragged 
through the streets, etc. A few days afterwards, the emperor, 
Wenzel, was suffocated in his palace by his own attendants, 
Aug. 16th, 1419. His death was the signal for a general ou1 
break. On the ensuing day, every monastery and church it 
Prague was plundered, the pictures they contained were d& 
stroyed, and the priests' robes converted into flags and dresses 
It is impossible at this day to form an idea of the splendouv 
of these buildings, and of that of the royal palaces, on which 
Charles IV. and Wenzel had lavished every art. iEneas 
Sylvius mentions a garden belonging to the royal palace de- 
stroyed during this period of terror, on whose walls the whole 
of the Bible was written. Whilst the work of destruction 
proceeded, a priest, Matthias Toczenicze, formed an altar of 
three tubs and a broad table-top in the streets, and, during 
the whole day, dispensed the sacrament in both forms. The 
zeal of the wealthy citizens, however, was speedily cooled 
by the dread of being deprived of their riches, and they en- 
tered into negotiation with Sophia, Wenzel's widow^ who still 
defended the Wisherad, and even sent a deputation to Sig- 
mund with terms of peace, to which Sigmund replied by 
swearing to take the most fearful revenge. Zizka, finding the 
citizens of Prague too moderate for his purposes, now invited 
into the city the peasants, who were advised by his most 
active partisan, the priest Coranda, to arm themselves with 
their flails. In October, they plundered the Kleine Seite of 
Prague and besieged the castle, whence the queen fled. Zizka 
being, nevertheless, forced by the moderate party to quit the 
city, fortified Mount Tabor and placed himself at the head of 
the peasantry, who took the name of " the people of God," and 
termed their Catholic neighbours, " Moabites, Amalekites," 
etc., whom they deemed it their duty to extirpate, whilst their 
leader entitled himself " John Zizka of the cup, captain, in 
the hope of God, of the Taborites. ,, 


The Bohemian Estates, anxious for the restoration of tran- 
quillity, now had recourse to the emperor, who, on the con- 
clusion of the council of Constance, had made terms with the 
Habsburgs in order to make head against the Turks, who had 
invaded Hungary and Styria, and whom he had successfully 
repulsed at Radkersburg in 1416, and at Nissa in 1419. He 
received the Bohemian deputation at Brunn, and had the folly, 
on their earnestly petitioning him to secure to them free com- 
munion, and submissively representing the great danger with 
which the country was threatened, and their desire, in unison 
with him, to restore tranquillity by means of moderate con- 
cessions, to allow them to remain for a length of time on their 
knees, and to refuse their proposals. Instead of joining the 
moderate party, the nobility and citizens, against the fanatical 
peasantry, he insulted them all ; and, although he intended to 
use violence, neglected the opportune moment, in order, ac- 
cording to his usual policy, to secure himself to the rear, for 
which purpose he visited Poland, where he made terms with 
Wladislaw and the German Hospitallers, Jan. 6th, 1420. 
Symptoms of reaction, meantime, appeared on the frontiers. 
Hussite preachers, who ventured to cross from Bohemia, were 
burnt as heretics. 

These acts of cruelty excited reprisals on Zizka's part, and, 
after swearing publicly with Coranda, at Pilsen, never to re- 
cognise Sigmund as king of Bohemia, he began to destroy all 
the monasteries in the country, and to burn all the priests 
alive, generally in barrels of pitch, in open retaliation of the 
burning of the heretics. He is said to have exclaimed on 
hearing the agonizing cries of his victims, " They are singing 
my sister's wedding song ! " Sophia, who had garrisoned all 
the royal castles and assembled a strong body of troops, des- 
patched the lord of Schwamberg against him in the hope of 
seizing him before he was joined by still greater multitudes. 
Schwamberg came up with him near Pilsen, and surrounded 
the multitude, great part of which consisted of women and 
children, on the open plain. Zizka instantly ordered tke 
women to strew the ground with their gowns and veils, in 
which the horses' feet becoming entangled, numbers of their 
riders were thrown, and Zizka, taking advantage of the con- 
fusion, attacked and defeated them. The superior numbers 
of the imperial troops, however, compelled him to shut himseli 

ZIZKA. 169 

in Pilsen, whence he was allowed free egress to Tabor, and he 
gained another advantage over an army commanded by Peter 
von Sternberg, by whom he was attacked on his march thither. 
The citizens of Prague still closed their gates against him, but 
admitted another body of peasantry, collected by Hinko 
Crussina, on the newly-named Mount Horeb, near Trzebecho- 
wicz, and thence denominated Horebites, for the purpose of 
storming the castle of Prague, it being their custom to make 
use of the peasantry in cases where negotiation failed. The 
attack was unsuccessful, and the citizens, after a second time 
vainly attempting to mollify the emperor, found themselves 
compelled to recall Zizka, and to confederate with him. 

Sigmund assembled an army in Silesia, whither Sophia also 
went, whilst a body of imperial troops was slowly raised. The 
citizens of Breslau had joined those of Prague, thrown their 
ancient councillors out of the windows of the town-house, 
[a. d. 1420,] and permitted the priest, Krasa of Prague, to 
preach in their city. Sigmund condemned Krasa to the stake, 
and twenty-three of the new councillors to be beheaded. 
Inspirited by his vicinity, the Bohemian Catholics inflicted 
great cruelties upon the Hussites dwelling among them. At 
Xuttenberg, the German miners flung sixteen hundred of the 
Hussite inhabitants down the mines. The Taborites, mean- 
while, entered Prague, May the 20th, and rebuilt the fortifi- 
cations, although the castle was still occupied by the imperial 
garrison. Sigmund awaited the arrival of the German troops. 
A convoy, sent by him to the garrison at Prague, was cap- 
tured by the Hussites ; Tabor, besieged by Ulrick von Rosen- 
berg, who had gone over to the emperor, was relieved by 
Hussinez. Konigingratz fell into the hands of the Hussites, 
and Slan was burnt to the ground. Both sides treated their 
prisoners with equal cruelty, the Imperialists cutting a cup, 
the Hussites a cross, on their foreheads, etc. In June, the 
imperial army at length made its appearance, commanded by 
the electors of Mayence, Treves, Cologne, Brandenburg, etc., 
one hundred thousand men strong, and joined the Silesians 
and Hungarians, already assembled by the emperor. On the 
30th, the emperor reached Prague, and took up his abode in 
the castle. Zizka instantly threw up fortifications on the 
mountain of Witkow, since named the Zizkaberg, which com- 
mands the city, and the Imperialists found when too late that 



the city was impregnable, unless this post was first gained. 
An attack made upon it by the Misnians failing, Sigmund 
made no iurther attempt, and, in the hope of coming to terms 
with the moderate party, who were greatly obnoxious to the 
wild peasantry, and of thus gaining a bloodless victory, so- 
lemnized his coronation, on the 28th July, in the castle of 
Prague, caused 1 himself to be proclaimed king of Bohemia, and 
paid his Slavonian and Hungarian troops with the jewele 
taken from the imperial palaces and churches. The German 
troops remained unrewarded, and, in August, quitted Bohe- 
mia in discontent, Sigmund followed. 

The emperor's hopes were speedily gratified. Strife broke 
out between the citizens, the nobility of Prague, and Zizka 
and his adherents* The Taborites ruled the city with a rod 
of iron, not only destroying all that remained of the former 
magnificence of the churches, but also prohibiting every 
symptom of wealth or pleasure among the laity. Rich attire, 
gambling, and dancing, were declared punishable by death, 
and the wine-cellars were closed. The peasants and their 
preacher harboured the fearful belief of their being the des- 
tined exterminators of sin from the earth* All church pro- 
perty was declared public property, and the possessions of the 
wealthy seemed on the point of sharing the same fate. The 
citizens and nobility rising in self-defence, Zizka deemed it 
advisable to withdraw, and to form an encampment in the 
open country, and accordingly, quitting the city on the 22nd 
of August, destroyed the celebrated monastery of Kcenigsaal, 
and the tombs of the Bohemian kings. Sigmund, who had 
impatiently awaited this event, now sought to conciliate the 
faction he had so lately insulted, by seizing the monast .* 
and bestowing their lands on the nobility. Emboldened by 
Zizka's departure, he again approached Prague, but Kussinez, 
who coveted the Bohemian crown, and had placed himself at 
the head of the Horebitea, who preferred his rule to that ©1 
the strict and republican Taborites, guarded the city, and, 
aided by Crussina, laid aiege to the Wisherad. Sigmund 
attempted to surprise them on the 18th October, but suffered 
a shameful defeat and fled Into Hungary. The Wishera<" 
capitulated, and its palace and church, splendid works of art, 
were destroyed. 

This blow put a reconciliation between the moderate partj 





and Sigmund out of the question, and the former once more 
made terms with the wild peasantry, whose leaders were at 
variance. The most deadly abhorrence of every existing in- 
stitution had taken deep root within Zizka's breast, and he at 
once condemned the ancient church, royalty, and inequality 
of rank. A fraternity, composed of the children of God, 
formed his ideal of perfection, and he expected to bear down 
all opposition with the strokes of the iron flail. Hussinez was, 
on the contrary, tormented by ambition, and his late success 
had emboldened his pretensions to the crown. The moderate 
party now skilfully opposed him to Zizka, whom they hastily 
recalled. The city of Prachaticz, which had mocked that 
leader, had meanwhile been burnt, together with the whole 
of the inhabitants, and the bishop of Nicopolis, who by chance 
fell into his hands, was drowned. On his return to Prague, 
he joined the moderate party in the great n<*:ional assembly, 
in order to hinder the usurpation of Hussinez; Ulric von 
Rosenberg was also present. The nobility, clearly perceiving 
that Sigmund would never be tolerated by the people, pro- 
posed to offer the crown to Wladislaw of Poland ; but Zizka's 
republican spirit refused to do homage to any monarch, and 
Wladislaw was, moreover, far from aspiring to a throne en- 
tailing heavy cares and the hatred of the whole of Christen- 
dom. Hussinez, deeply wounded by these proceedings, quitted 
the city, fell from horseback, broke his leg, and died. 

In the ensuing spring, Zizka prosecuted his war of exter- 
mination against sinners, that is, against all who refused to 
join his banner. Every city that ventured to resist was car- 
ried by storm and laid in ashes, its inhabitants were mur- 
dered, and the priests burnt alive. Taborite virtue also in- 
duced another species of excess. Whilst Martin Loquis taught 
that all the enemies of Christ were to be exterminated, that 
Christ would appear and found the millennium exclusively for 
them, some enthusiasts thought proper to anticipate that 
blessed season by the introduction of the innocence of paradise, 
by going naked like Adam and Eve, and giving way to the 
maddest excesses. These Adamites, however, stood in great 
terror of Zizka, by whom they were cruelly persecuted for the 
ridicule they brought upon his system 

The moderate party was no less active, and persuaded the 
majority of the adverse or wavering nobles, and even the Bo- 



be mi an ecclesiastics, to coalesce. A new and great diet w: 
held at Czaslau, in which the nobility and clergy again dl 
clared in favour of Huss's doctrines, and completely renounces 
Si ground as their king. Tins diet ratified four of the " art ides 
of Prague," free preaching ; the communion in both forms ; 
the evangelical poverty of the priests and the seculanswition 
of all ecclesiastical property; the extirpation of sins. With* 
out the last article, the Taborites could not have been gained, 
July 7th, 1481. 

SiiHimnd, enraged at the defection of the moderate pa] 
incited the Silesians to invade Bohemia, and twenty thousand 
men poured into that unhappy country ; even women and 
children fell victims to their cruelty. The rumoured approach 
of Zizka, however, struck them with terror, and they retreat cil, 
after acceding to the articles of Prague. Shortly after this, 
Zizka wu3 deprived of his remaining eye by the splinter of 
tree struck by a cannon-ball, during the siege of the castle 
Iiaby. Notwithstanding this misfortune, his knowledge 
i lie whole of Bohemia was so accurate, that he continued 
lead his army, to draw his men up in battle order, and 
command the siege. He always rode in a carriage near t] 
great standard. His war regulations were extremely severe. 
Although blind, he insisted upon being implicitly obeyed. 
On one occasion, having compelled his troops, as was often his 
wont, to march day and night, they murmured and said to 
him, M That although day and night were the same to him, 
he could not see, they were not so to them : " " How ! yi 
cannot see 1 " said he, " well I set fire to a couple of villages. 

In September, 1421, the imperial army at length tool 

the field, and vainly besieged Saatz, whilst Sigmund assem 
bled reinforcements in Hungary, The army, meanwhile, h 
came discontented at his prolonged absence, and, on the news 
of Zizka*s approach, dispersed* In November, Sigmund en- 
tered the country at the bead of a horde of eighty thousand 
savage Cumans and Servians, and inspired the moderate pa; 
with s ich terror that its chiefs threw themselves on his mere; 
Zizka was surrounded and shut up near Kuttenberg, bi 
broke his way through the enemy during the night* On ne 1 
year's day, 1422, Zizka, drawing up his army in battle -arm; 
near Kullin, awaited the onset of the foe, when the liu 
garian*, seized with sudden panic, fled without a sirok< 

ZIZKA. 173 

They were overtaken by their unrelenting pursuers on the 5th 
of January near Deutschbrod, where numbers of them were 
drowned whilst crossing the Sazawa, by the breaking of the 
ice. Deutschbrod was burnt down, and its inhabitants were 
put to the sword. 

Bohemia remained for some years after this unharassed 
save by intestine disturbances. Loquis the prophet was con- 
demned to the stake by the archbishop. One of his secret 
adherents, John, a Praemonstratenser monk, had, however, 
gradually acquired such influence in Prague as to cause a 
nobleman, Sadlo von Kostenberg, to be beheaded, and the 
moderate party, dreading his power over the people, had him 
secretly seized and put to death, a. d. 1422. The town -house 
was instantly attacked by the populace ; the judge and five 
councillors were murdered, and John's head was borne in 
mournful procession through the city. The great college and 
the valuable library, founded by Charles IV., were destroyed. 
Prince Coribut, the nephew of Witold of Lithuania, aspired 
to the crown, placed himself at the head of the moderate 
party, and laid siege to the imperial castle of Carlstein ; but 
the fickle nobles and Zizka refused to recognise him, and, on 
his departure from Prague, the former leagued with the citi- 
zens against Zizka, who, disgusted with their half-measures, 
no longer spared them, and laid their lands waste. In 1423, 
he discomfited the confederates at Horzicz, and gained pos- 
session of Kbnigingratz, where, notwithstanding his blind- 
ness, he killed the priest, who bore the host in front of the 
enemy's ranks, with a blow of his club. His next step was 
the invasion of Moravia and Austria in order to keep his 
troops employed, and to strike Albert, Sigmund's son-in-law, 
with terror ; he suffered great losses before Iglau and Kremsin. 
In the ensuing year, [a. d. 1424,] the moderate party once 
more took up arms against him, and pursued him to Kutten- 
berg, upon which he feigned a retreat, and, suddenly turning, 
ordered his battle-chariot to be rolled down the mountain 
aide upon the advancing foe, and, attacking them during the 
Confusion that ensued, captured their artillery, and, in sign ol 
triumph, set Kuttenberg in flames. Coribut now re-visited 
Prague, and found the discomfited nobility more inclined in 
tis favour, but was in his turn defeated at Kosteletz on the 
Elbe by Zizka, who followed up his victory ly marching 


directly upon Prague, which he threatened to level with the 
ground ; but sedition broke out in his own army. Procop, 
Zizka's bravest associate, clearly perceiving the disastrous 
consequences of civil warfare, confederated with the young 
and highly-gifted priest, Rokizana, who had attained great 
consideration in Prague. Peace was unanimously demanded, 
and alone opposed by Zizka, who, mounting upon a cask, thus 
addressed his followers : " Fear internal more than external 
foes ! It is easier for a few, when united, than for many, 
when disunited, to conquer ! Snares are laid for you ; you 
will be entrapped, but without my fault !" Peace was con- 
cluded, and a large monument was raised on the Spitelfeld, in 
commemoration of the event, with stones heaped up by the 
opposing parties. Zizka entered the city in solemn proces- 
sion ; Coribut came to meet him, embraced and called him 
father. Sigmund now sought to mollify the aged warrior, and 
entered into negotiation with him. Zizka, however, re- 
mained immovable, planned a fresh attack upon Moravia, and 
died en route, the 12th of October, 1424.* 

CLXXXVI. The Reign of Terror.— The Council of Basle. — 
End of the Hussite war. 

On the death of Zizka, the republican Hussites separated 
into three bodies, the Taborites under Procop Holy, the 
Orphans, or the orphan children of Zizka, who dwelt in their 
waggon camp in the open country, vowed never again to sleep 
beneath a roof, and elected as their leader Procop the Little, 
and the ancient Horebites. Coribut and Rokizana headed 
the imperial Hussites in Prague. 

The emperor had, meanwhile, vainly implored the aid of 
the great vassals against them. In 1425, Procop gained a 
signal victory in Misnia ; fifteen thousand of the Misnians 
strewed the field, and twenty-four nobles, who were overtaken 
in the pursuit, knelt in a circle round their banner and sur- 
rendered, but were mercilessly struck down with the iron 

* Zizka was short and broad-shouldered, with a large, round, bald 
head ; his forehead was deeply furrowed, and he wore long fiery-red 
moustaches. His tomb was destroyed by order of Ferdinand II., the 
Jesuitical hyaena, who raged against both the dead and living. 


•flails of the peasantry. Procop Holy, inspirited by this suc- 
cess, re-entered Moravia, where he laid siege to the castle of 
Kemnitz, which was valiantly defended by Agnes, the youth- 
ful daughter of Zezima von Rosenberg, who had bequeathed 
it to her. Unmoved by the fearful shouts of the Hussites, 
who enclosed the keep on every side, and by the failure of the 
attempt made by her uncle, Meinhart von Neuhausz, to re- 
lieve the garrison, she undauntedly persevered in the defence, 
and so greatly excited the admiration of the enemy, that Pro- 
cop granted her free egress with all her people, and sent her 
in safety to her uncle, von Neuhausz. — After devastating 
Austria, [a. d. 1427,] whilst the Orphans and the Taborites 
invaded the Lausitz, and laid villages and monasteries in 
ashes, Procop besieged Prague, whence Rokizana had expelled 
a Taborite preacher, but was conciliated by the promised sa- 
crifice of Coribut, who was seized by the populace and 
treated with great ignominy, notwithstanding the attempt of 
the nobility, in which Himko von Waldstein was killed, to 
liberate him; and Coribut, after solemnly renouncing the 
crown of Bohemia, returned to Poland. Martin V., on the 
failure of this plan, again preached a crusade against the 
Hussites, and sent Henry de Beaufort, bishop of Winchester, 
to stir up the Germans. Sigmund also implored the princes 
to ward oif the increasing danger, and a large army was re- 
assembled, to which Swabia, the Rhenish provinces, and even 
the Hanse towns, sent troops. But the Bohemians also re- 
united; the nobility laid aside their animosity, and joined 
Procop's army. The Saxons, at that time besieging Mies, fled 
on his approach, but were overtaken, and ten thousand of 
their number slain, July, 1427. 

On new-year's day, 1428, the Hussite factions held a re- 
ligious meeting at Beraun, where Procop Holy distinguished 
himself as a theologian. The people of Prague, desirous of 
a reconciliation with the church, proposed the recognition of 
the priesthood, as such, on condition of its reformation, which 
Procop and the republican party stedfastly rejected, maintain- 
ing the right of every individual to read the Mass. They also 
rejected the sacraments. Procop, finding unanimity impos- 
sible, and fearing fresh disturbances, wisely led his warlike 
followers across the frontiers, and spread the terror of the 
Hussite name throughout Silesia and Austria. 


Sigmund, weary of the war, now offered the government of 
Bohemia to Procop, as he had formerly done to Zizka, on con- 
dition of the restoration of order. In the spring of 1429, the 
Bohemian estates again met at Prague, and openly negotiated 
with Sigmund, who had come as far as Presburg. All parties 
sighed for tranquillity, and Procop, at the head of a deputa- 
tion, waited upon him, and again tendered to him the crown 
of Bohemia, on condition of the free exercise of their religion 
being conceded to the nation. The emperor hesitated. The 
ancient feelings of hatred, meanwhile, revived ; the Taboriteu 
and Orphans decided the matter by refusing obedience to any 
sovereign, and the negotiation was broken off. 

The weakness of the German potentates in the adjoining 
provinces, the egotism and listlessness of those in the more 
distant parts of the empire, the discouragement and voluptu- 
ous habits of the emperor, and the unwillingness of the Ger- 
mans to fight in a cause they deemed unjust, had left the 
Hussites without an opponent, and had enabled them to exe- 
cute their revenge on a systematic plan. Saxony was invaded, 
the cities were sacked and burnt, every inhabitant, generally 
speaking, was murdered. On the burning of Altenburg, the 
Hussites said, " That was the answer to the death of Huss," 
and when they bathed in torrents of German blood, exclaimed, 
" Here is the sauce for the goose (Huss) you roasted !" Sile- 
sia, Hungary, and Austria were invaded. A fresh negotia- 
tion opened between Sigmund and Procop at Eger, and a new 
intrigue of the nobility, who offered the crown of Bohemia to 
Frederick of Habsburg, proved equally futile. 

About this time the pope, Martin V., expired. His suc- 
cessor, Eugenius IV., spared no means for the termination of 
this fearful war. On the 1 9th of July, a. d. 1 43 1 , a great coun- 
cil was convoked at Basle, and negotiations were opened with 
the Hussites, whilst the cardinal, Julian, preached a fresh 
crusade against them, and Sigmund persuaded the princes 
and Estates of the empire at Nuremberg to use every effort in 
the cause. The Maid of Orleans, who had just driven the 
English out of France, and who was revered as a saint 
throughout Europe, also sent an admonitory epistle, written 
in the spirit of popery, to the Hussites, who replied to the 
friendly propositions of the pope and of the princes, " You 
well know what separates us from you, you preach the gospel 


with your mouths, we practise it in our actions;" and when 
threatened, thus admonished the nations gathered against them, 
"If you submit to the deceitful priests, know that we submit 
to God alone, and fight with his arm ; the power of the flesh 
will be on your side, on ours that of the Spirit of God ! " 

The imperial army, one hundred and thirty thousand men 
strong, paid with the common penny, which, in 1428, was 
fixed by the diet at Nuremberg as the first general tax 
throughout the empire, commanded by Frederick of Branden- 
burg, entered Bohemia, burnt two hundred villages, and com- 
mitted the most horrid excesses. The Hussites came up with 
it near Tauss, the 14th of August, 1431, but scarcely was 
their banner seen in the distance than the Germans, notwith- 
standing their enormous numerical superiority, were seized 
with sudden panic ; the Bavarians, under their duke, Henry, 
took to flight, and were followed by all the rest. Frederick 
of Brandenburg and his troops took refuge in a wood. The 
cardinal alone stood his ground, and, for a moment, succeeded 
in rallying the fugitives, who at the first onset of the enemy 
again fled, and, in their terror, allowed themselves to be un- 
resistingly slaughtered. One hundred and fifty cannons were 
taken. The free knights of the empire, filled with shame at 
this cowardly discomfiture, vowed to restore the honour of 
the empire, and to march against the Hussites, on condition 
of no prince being permitted to join their ranks. The nobility 
cast all the blame on the cowardly or egotistical policy pur- 
sued by the princes ; the flight, however, chiefly arose from 
the disinclination of the common soldiers to serve against the 
Hussites, whose cause was deemed by them both glorious 
and just. 

These dreadful disasters drew a declaration from Sigmund 
that the Bohemians could only subdue themselves, that peace 
must be concluded with them at any price, and that in time 
they would destroy each other. In consequence of these de- 
liberations he assumed a supplicating attitude, and hypo- 
critically assured them in writing of his good will and of his 
present inclination to OOl -ms ; to which they replied, 

that his real intention irt n from the truth. He 

then committed to the M * s task of carrying on 

the negotiations, and 

The council, led t 1 irds > who 

vol. u. 


were fully aware of the importance of the cause at 3take, 
shared his opinion, and were, consequently, far more inclined 
to make concessions than was the pope, who refused to yield 
to any terms, preferring to throw the onus of the peace on 
others. The council therefore acted without reference to the 
pontiff, who in the mean time amused himself with solemnizing 
a farcical coronation of the emperor at Rome. The emperor re- 
mained, during the sitting of the council in Italy, engaged with 
love affairs, although already sixty-three years of age. After 
openly procrastinating the ceremony, the pope at length gave 
full vent to his displeasure, [a. d. 1433,] by causing the crown 
to be placed awry on Sigmund's head by another ecclesiastic, 
and then pushing it straight with his foot as the emperor 
knelt before him. 

Whilst these ridiculous scenes were enacting in Italy, 
negotiations were actively carried on at Basle. The cardinal, 
Julian, well versed in Bohemian politics, led the council, in 
which Frederick of Brandenburg exerted his influence in 
favour of the Hussites. The Bohemians were invited to 
Basle with every mark of respect, and all their proud con- 
ditions were ceded. They were granted a safe-conduct, the 
free exercise of their religion on their way to and even in the 
council, no terms of ridicule or reproach were to be permitted, 
all deliberations were to be suspended until their arrival, and 
the pope was to be treated as subordinate to the council. 
These concessions appear to have been intended to flatter the 
pride of Procop and of the republicans in order to induce them 
to negotiate terms of peace. Rokizana appears to have entered 
into the projects of the council, and, possibly, owing to a be- 
lief that the favourable moment had arrived for securing 
religious freedom to Bohemia by an honourable peace, for 
he certainly knew that that country began to sigh for peace, 
and that the moderate party had secretly gained strength. 
Procop was secured by being placed at the head of the em- 
bassy to Basle, and the republican brethren were wearied and 
dispersed by being sent upon fresh predatory incursions; a 
number of the Orphans wore even sent into Poland to aid tlML^d! 
Poles against the German Hospitallers, in return for w 1^MH| 
the Poles zealously upheld the Hussite cause at Basle. ^^^^ 

On the 9th of January, 1433, throe hundred Bohe* 
mounted on horseback and accompanied by an imme? 


tfcude, entered Basle. Procop Holy, distinguished by his 
hawk nose, his dark and ominous-looking countenance, accom- 
panied by John Rokizana, the head of the Bohemian clergy ; 
Nicolas Peldrzimowski, surnamed Biscupek, the little bishop, 
the head of the Taborite preachers ; Ulric, the head of the 
Orphan preachers ; and Peter Peyne, surnamed the English- 
man, headed the procession, and were graciously received by 
the council, which patiently listened to their rough truths. 
Procop, being reproached with having said that the monks 
were an invention of the devil, replied, " Whose else can they 
be ? for they were instituted neither by Moses, nor by the pro- 
phets, nor by Christ." The dispute was carried on for fifty 
days with the unbending spirit common to theologians; nei- 
ther side yielded, and the Bohemians, weary of the futile de- 
bate, turned their steps homewards. A solemn embassy was 
instantly sent after them, and the terms of the Hussites were 
conceded, but with reservations, which, it was trusted, would 
eventually undermine their cause. By this compact, the four 
articles of Prague were modified as follows: 1st, That the 
communion should be tolerated under both, but also under one 
form ; 2nd, That preaching was certainly free, but that regu- 
lar priests alone were to exercise that office ; 3rd, That the 
clergy, although forbidden to possess lands, might administer 
property ; 4th, And that sins were to be extirpated, but only 
by those possessing legal authority. On the acceptance of 
these articles by the Hussites, the council hypocritically styled 
them the " first children of the church," such gross deceit did 
the fear inspired by these wild upholders of religious freedom 

The proclamation of peace, and on such honourable terms, 
after such long and terrible commotions, exercised a magic 
influence on the crowd, and, added to the ill success and pre- 
datory incursions of the republican Hussites during Procop's 
Absence, raised a general feeling against them ; and Procop, 
on his return from Basle, found the other Hussite leaders 
either suspicious of his conduct or rebellious against his au- 
Dissensions broke out in the camp, and, during a 
, the plates were hurled at Procop's head. He 
moodily to Prague, but afterwards yielded to tho 
of his soldiers, and returned to the camp b* forvv 
i moderate party in Prague under Rokizana, and 
n 2 


the nobility under Meinhart von Neuhauss, now be Idly at 
tempted to gain the upper hand. Procop the Little wad 
driven from the Neustadt, after losing fifteen thousand men, 
and fled to the camp before Pilsen ; Procop Holy instantly 
raised the siege and marched upon Prague. Neuhauss ad- 
vanced to his rencontre, and a decisive battle was fought at 
Lippan, four miles from Prague, May 28th, 1434. The two 
Procops fell, fighting side by side. Neuhauss, unmindful of 
Procop's generosity towards his niece, Agnes, caused all the 
prisoners, to whom he had promised safety, to be locked into 
barns and burnt to death, two days after the battle. The 
fugitives rallied at Comnicze, and were again defeated. 

The nobility now placed themselves at the head of affairs, 
supported by Rokizana, who thoughtlessly sacrificed political 
freedom in order, as he imagined, to confirm that of religion. 
Caspar Schlick, Sigmund's crafty chancellor, managed the 
rest, and, by means of these two a treaty was concluded, 
[a. d. 1435,] which bestowed the Bohemian crown upon Sig- 
mund, freed Bohemia from the papal interdict, ratified the 
compact entered into by the Hussites and the council of Basle, 
nominated John Rokizana archbishop of Prague, and declared 
the Catholic religion subordinate to that of Huss, by com- 
pelling Sigmund to have HoSsite preachers in his court. The 
emperor, with his wonted hypocrisy, accepted the conditions, 
but had scarcely entered Prague [a. d. 1436] with a large 
concourse of followers, than he threw off the mask, reinstated 
the Catholic religion, and ungratefully deposed and banished 
John Rokizana, to whom he owed the crown. The fanatics, 
notwithstanding their weak number, again flew to arms, and, 
after a desperate struggle, were completely annihilated. The 
last of the Taborites, Pardo von Czorka, was hunted down 
like a wild beast, found under a rock, and hanged. 

The nobility, freed from their fanatical opponents, turned 
their attention homewards, and resolved to curb the violence 
of the emperor and to secure the maintenance of peace by a 
system of moderation. Sigmund was old, and his son-in-law, 
Albert of Habsburg, pu#uaj| umpromising policy, 

They therefore conspired 1 the empress, 

Barbara, to proclaim Win lessor to the 

throne. Sigmund, <m I ;• i, perceived 

the false step he had uAi ti t < >, and, t-ud- 


denly entering Moravia, seized the person of the faithless 
empress. He shortly afterwards expired at Znaim, sitting in 
state " as lord of the world," as he vaingloriously boasted, a. d. 
1437. Albert, aided by the subtlety of Caspar Schlick, 
secured the succession, on condition of protecting the religious 
freedom of the Utraquists. 

CLXXXVIL Disturbances in the Hanse Towns. — Albert 
the Second. — Frustration of the Reformation. 

Germany, occupied with her own internal affairs, took 
little interest in those of Bohemia. The princes and cities 
were every where at feud. In Liibeck, the metropolis of the 
Hansa, dissensions broke out between the artisans and the mer- 
chants, and spread to Hamburg, Stade, Rostock, and Stettin. 
The pirates and Friscians regained courage and recommenced 
their depredations. In 1418, the people of Bremen captured 
two Friscians, Gerold Liibben, and his brother Didde, and 
condemned them to execution. Gerold kissed the fallen head 
pf his brother. The citizens, touched at the scene, offered 
him his life on condition of his marrying one of the citizens' 
daughters, to which he replied, "lam a noble Friscian, and 
despise your shoemakers' and furriers' daughters.'* His head 
was struck off. 

The defeat of the Hanseatic fleet in the Sound by the 
Danes, [a. d. 1427,] was a signal for fresh disturbances, the 
artisans laying the blame on the petty jealousy of the rich mer- 
chants. The town-councillors were murdered in almost all 
the cities, and the people, maddened with revenge, attacked 
the Danish king, Eric, whom they signally defeated. Had 
the Hansa leagued with the numerous and powerful cities of 
Upper and Lower Germany, the power of the princes, at that 
time weakened by dissension, must inevitably have sunk. 
Sigmund, although well aware of this, supported Denmark 
ggainst the Hansa, instead of aiding the cities, which, misled 
by petty commercial jealousies, were ever engaged with in- 
ternal dissensions, instead of acting in concert. 

Elisabeth, the daughter of Sigmund, brought in dower to 

? husband, Albert of Austria, the whole of the Luxemburg 
itance, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, the Lausitz, and 


Hungary. The wealth and great possessions of the house of 
Habsburg had ever been chiefly acquired by marriage, hence 

the proverb, " Tu felix Austria nube ! " Albert was elected 

as Sigmund's successor on the throne of Germany. He was 
extremely dignified in his demeanour, tall and stout, grave 
and reserved. At the diet held at Nuremberg, [a. d. 1438,] 
he divided the provinces, with the exception of the imperial 
and electoral hereditary possessions, into four circles, Fran- 
conian-Bavaria, Rhenish- Swabi a, Westphalian -Netherlands^ 
and Saxony, whose representatives swore to maintain peace. 

Albert found, meanwhile, no adherents in his newly-ac- 
quired territory. Fresh dissensions broke out in Bohemia. 
Albert did not disguise his Catholic fanaticism. In 1420,' 
one hundred and ten heretics were burnt in Vienna alone, and 
thirteen hundred Jews in Austria, for having aided the 
Hussites. The efforts made by Caspar Schlick, Albert's ne- 
gotiator, to pacify the Bohemians, were almost contravened 
by this false policy. The Utraquists elected Wladislaw of 
Poland king, and intrenched themselves under Ptaczek von 
Rattay on Mount Tabor, where they were besieged by 
Albert, who was compelled to raise the siege by George von 
Podiebrad. The Poles also making an inroad into Silesia,' 
Albert hastened to make terms with Wladislaw, and, for that 
purpose, held a conference with him at Breslau, where he fell 
down some steps and broke his leg. Affairs also wore a seri-' 
ous aspect in Hungary. Shortly after the death of Sigmund, 
every German in Ofen was murdered by the Hungarians^ 
The danger with which they were threatened by the Turks, 
however, rendered a union with the now powerful house of 
Habsburg necessary. As early as 1431, the Turks had re-' 
crossed the Kulpa and invaded Croatia. The irruption of 
the Turks under Sultan Murad caused still greater devastation ; 
the Hungarians were defeated near Semendria, and such a 
vast number of people were reduced to slavery, that a pretty- 
girl was sold for a boot. Albert marched into Hungary, 
[a. a). 1438,] but his troops fled the moment the Turks came 
in sight. This emperor died [a. ». 1439] of eating melons. 

The empress, Elisabeth, gave birth to a posthumous son,' 
Ladislaw, who was placed under the guardianship of his cou- 
sin of Habsburg, Frederick of Styria, the son of Ernest and 
Cimburga, of whom little was known beyond his having xnada 


a quiet pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and his having carried on a 
feud with the insolent count of Cilly, nor was it until he had 
"been raised to the throne as the head of the most powerful 
family in the empire, that his incapacity was fully discovered. 
His influence was null, even in Austria, that country swarm- 
ing with robbers. 

Frederick III. considered eleven weeks before accepting 
the crown. He was a slow, grave man, with a large pro- 
truding under-lip, moderate and sedate on every occasion, 
averse to great actions of every description, and a stranger to 
the passions of the human heart ; he delighted in scientific fol- 
lies, such as dabbling in astrology and alchymy, in cultivating 
his garden, and in playing upon words. This emperor, never- 
theless, reigned for fifty-three years over Germany during a 
period fraught with fate. Like his two predecessors, he was 
certainly aided by Caspar Schlick, a doctor who rose from 
among the ranks of the citizens to be chancellor of the em- 
pire ; but this man, whose desert lies far beneath his fame, 
never performed one great deed, never understood the spirit 
of his times nor the duty of the crown, but solely occupied 
himself with decently veiling the incapacity of his three suc- 
cessive masters, and with deferring by his plausible negotia- 
tions the decision of the great questions that agitated the age 

Germany, during the long and almost undisturbed peace, 
indubitably gained time for the development of internal im- 
provement in respect to her social welfare, art, and industry, 
and even for the partial regulation of the empire by the 
federative system, by the union of the lesser and greater Estates 
of the empire in the circles, that of the ecclesiastical orders 
with those of knighthood and of the citizens in the provincial 
diets, by the government of the electorates and duchies, by the 
new method of judicature, and finally, by the corporative system 
in the cities ; it is, nevertheless, impossible to speak in terms 
of admiration of an age, during which so many unnatural cir- 
cumstances became second nature to the German, and during 
which the empire was transformed into a helpless and often a 
motionless machine, incapable of improvement save by de- 
struction. So long as the Estates of the empire held an un- 
decided position in respect to each other, so long as it still 
appeared possible for this enormous mass of spiritual and tem- 
poral, great, less, and petty members of the empire, to con- 


glomerate, so as finally to form one mass, or, at all events, Co 
confederate, according to their original nationalities, in lew 
compact masses, the wildest of the feudal times was not with- 
out a raj of hope, but, when the members of the state, great 
and petty, petrified as they stood, in varied disorder, the dis- 
ease under which the empire laboured turned from acute to 
chronic, a passing evil was transformed into a stationary, ap- 
parently natural one, and the holy empire, like the incurable 
paralytic, had merely dissolution left to hope for. 

The council at Basle still sat. On the settlement of the 
Bohemian question, that for the introduction of the long* 
sighed for reform in the other parts of the empire, and for the 
abolition of the most glaring of the church abuses, was agi- 
tated. The example of the Hussites had rendered the assem- 
bled heads of the church sensible of the necessity of measures 
being taken for the prevention of a more general outbreak. The 
open immorality of the priests (the chief charge made against 
them by the Hussites, who had undertaken to extirpate the sins 
protected by the church) was, consequently, restrained, be- 
sides the desecration of churches by revels, fairs, and licentious 
festivals, and the most notorious of the papal methods of ex- 
tracting money, such as annates, etc. These resolutions were 
adopted by the council in 1435, and ratified by the imperial 
diet held at Mayence, A. d. 1439. Eugenius IV. openly op- 
posed them, and was, in consequence, deposed by the council, 
and Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, was elected in his stead, as 
Felix V.* An able sovereign at this period, by taking ad- 
vantage of the favourable disposition of the council, might 
have produced a bloodless reformation in the church, but the 
imperial crown was on a slumberer's brow, Roman wiles were 
again triumphant, and the horrors of the Hussite war seemed 
scarcely to have left a trace. 

The emperor, during his first diet held at Frankfurt on the 
Maine, solemnly placed the poet's wreath with his own hand 
on the brow of iEneas Sylvius Piccolomini, the private secre- 
tary of the council, a witty Tuscan, whose poems had brought 
him into note. He was a friend of Caspar Schlick. When 
commissioned by the council to act as their negotiator with 

* A dreadful pestilence raged at that time in Basle, and carried off 
five thousand persons. The celebrated picture of the Dance of Death* 
afterwards renewed by Holbein, was painted in memory c£ this calamity 


Frederick HL, he qnatted their service m order to become 
his private secretary and hkgnpber, and being sect by him 
to Rome for the purpose o£ indnVing Engenins IV. to submit 
to the council of Bode, abandoned bis imperial master, be- 
came private secretary to the pope, entered the church, and 
ever afterwards exerted bis talents in defence of the tiara 
against both the coancQ and the emperor, and endeavoured to 
win the latter, who was extremely bigoted, over to the ptpal 
cause. In this plan be was aided by Caspar Schlick, and the 
consequent onion between the pope and the emperor speedily 
disarmed the council, whose seal in the cause of reform, never 
very sincere, had gradually become more lukewarm. The de- 
fection of the once energetic cardinal, Julian, was followed 
by that of almost all the rest, with the exception of the tern* 
pond princes of Germany, who still insisted upon the main* 
tenance of the former resolutions passed by the council and 
accepted by the imperial diet at Mayence, and earnestly 
pointed out the danger of fresh disturbances on the part of 
the people in case the old abuses were again tolerated. The 
archbishops of Cologne and Treves, who sided with them, 
being arbitrarily deprived of their mitres by Eugenius, [a. rx 
1445,] the electors convoked a fresh assembly at Frankfort 
on the Maine, [a. d. 1446,] and despatched George von 
Heimburg at the head of an embassy to Rome, where he 
boldly addressed the pope in terms inspired by his sense of 
the insults offered to the dignity of the empire, and the in- 
juries inflicted upon her by the hypocritical Roman. .Apneas 
Sylvius, who had preceded him to Rome, however, found 
means to pacify the pope, and craftily counselled him to dis- 
semble his wrath and to amuse the infuriated German*, 
whilst he worked upon the council by means of the apostate 
Nicolas of Cusa. Terms had already been made with the 
emperor, and nothing more was wanting for the success of 
their plans than to instigate the people against the princes. 
The jealousy of the citizens of Frankfurt was aroused, and 
they formally declared themselves subservient to the em- 
peror alone. JEneas Sylvius finally succeeded in bribing 
John von Lisura, the chief counsellor of the electors of 
Mayence, one of the principal founders of the federation, 
(foederis auctor et defensor,) the counsellors of Brandenburg, 
the archbishops of Salab ' Magdeburg, etc. The falsa 


step taken by the remaining electors of Cologne, Treves, 
Pfalz, and Saxony, who sought the support of France, and to 
conclude a treaty with that power at Bourges, [a. d. 1447,] 
naturally rendered the originally just and national cause of 
the electoral assembly extremely unpopular, and placed the 
victory in the hands of the papal party. The four electors 
were compelled to submit, and declared their determination to 
maintain the resolutions ratified at Mayence with the reserv- 
ation of an indemnity to the pope. Eugenius expired at 
this conjuncture, and Felix was compelled to abdicate. His 
successor, Nicolas V., emboldened by these precedents, con- 
cluded a separate Concordat, that of Vienna, with the emperor, 
[a. d. 1448,] to which the princes gave their assent, not pub- 
licly in the diet, but singly as they were gradually won over, 
and by which every resolution of the council of Basle, relating 
to the restriction of papal abuses, was simply retracted. 

Thus by an impious diplomacy were the people deceived, and 
thus was the warning voice of history, the great lesson taught 
by the Hussite war, despised. But, at the moment when the 
hopes of the people for a reformation in the church by its 
heads fell, a new power rose from among themselves, John 
Guttenberg discovered the art of printing. 


CLXXXVIIL The Suriss wars. — The Armagnacs. — George 
von Podiebrad. 

During the century that elapsed from the first unsuccessful 
attempt of the Bohemian reformers to the great and signal 
triumph of those of Saxony, history merely presents a succes- 
sion of petty and isolated facts. The emperor slumbered on 
bis throne ; the princes and cities were solely occupied in pro 


noting their individual interests, and popular outbreaks had 
become rare, the people finding a vent for their fanatical rage 
in combating the French and Turks. The insolence of the 
pope, now totally unopposed, overstepped all bounds, and the 
hierarchy, far from gaining wisdom or learning caution from 
the past, fondly deemed their strength invincible, and shame- 
lessly pursued their former course the moment the storm had 
passed away. 

War was carried on with various success, between the free 
cantons of Switzerland, the French and Italians, from 1402 to 
1428. The peasants in the Rhaetian Alps also asserted their 
independence at this period, and [a. d. 1396] formed a con* 
federacy against the nobility and clergy at Truns ; this con- 
federacy, denominated the grau or grey Bund, from the grey 
frocks worn by the peasants, gave name to the whole country 
of the Grisons, or Graubundten. This was followed by the 
war between Schwytz and Zurich, occasioned by the refusal 
of the latter to join the confederation and the maintenance of 
its claims on the country of Toggenburg. The emperor, 
Frederick III., in the hope of regaining the Habsburg pos- 
sessions, invited [a. d. 1439] a body of French mercenaries, 
the Armagnacs, so named from their leader, to invade Switzer- 
land. The pope, who thought this a good opportunity for 
dispersing the council at Basle, also countenanced the scheme, 
but, instead of four thousand mercenaries, an army of thirty 
thousand men, headed by Louis, the French Dauphin, crossed 
the German frontier, for the purpose, not of aiding, but of 
conquering Germany. Shortly before this, Charles VII. of 
France had mulcted the city of Metz without any resistance 
being offered on the part of the emperor. The Armagnacs, 
the majority of whom consisted of the dregs of the populace, 
of escaped and branded criminals, met with a friendly recep- 
tion from the nobility of the upper country, who even conde- 
scended to gamble and carouse with them on an equal footing, 
but they no sooner approached Basle than the confederated pea- 
santry, at that time besieging Zurich, despatched fifteen thou- 
sand men to Basle, where the citizens manfully protected 
their walls. An unexpected rencontre taking place on the 
Birs between this small troop and the whole of the French 
army, a dreadful struggle ensued ; the Swiss were overpow- 
ered, and the remnant, five hundred in number, taking refug* 


in the hospital of St. Jacop, withstood the siege for a whole 
day. Six thousand of the French were slain. The Swiss 
were at length cut to pieces by the Austrian cavalry ; ninety- 
nine were suffocated in the hospital, which had been set on 
fire by the besiegers ; one only of the fifteen thousand, JEbli 
of Glarus, escaped death. On recovering from his wounds, 
he was chosen Landamman by his fellow-countrymen. Six- 
teen Swiss, who had escaped by flight, were branded and 
banished. The red wine produced from the vineyards on the 
Birs has since borne the name of Sckweizerblut, Swiss blood. 
The Dauphin, dispirited by his dearly-won victory, hastily 
retreated on learning the advance of the main body of the 
confederated army, and retraced his steps down the Rhine, 
pillaging and burning on his route. One hundred and ten 
villages were reduced to ashes, and several thousands of the 
peasantry inhumanly butchered. The emperor's ambassadors 
were contemptuously dismissed. The citizens of Strassburg 
sallied forth, defeated the Armagnacs, and regained the ban- 
ner taken from the Swiss at St. Jacob. The Rhenish princes 
were, nevertheless, so imbittered against the cities as even to 
prohibit their serfs to furnish the citizens with the necessary 
provisions, and to allow the enemy, unopposed, to lay the 
country waste. In the Weilerthal, five hundred peasants 
rolled great stones upon the heads of the foe as they wound 
through the pass. Metz was besieged by the Armagnacs, 
who were at length induced by a bribe to recross the frontiers. 

The Austrians again attempted to aid Zurich, but being 
defeated at Ragaz, Zurich concluded peace, and renounced 
her alliance with the emperor, a. d. 1446. Toggenburg pass- 
ed by inheritance into the family of Raron, by whom it was 
sold [a. d. 1469] to St. Gall. The confederates destroyed 
several castles belonging to the Austrian nobility, particularly 
Falkenstein, and [a. d. 1471] the three confederated cantons 
entered into a treaty of mutual defence with the Grisons. 

In Hungary, the new-born prince, Ladislaw, had been 
crowned king by the German faction. His mother, Elisabeth, 
according to JSneas Sylvius, had fostered a wish to wed 
Wladislaw of Poland for the greater safety of her son. She 
is said to have been poisoned at the emperor's instigation^ 
A. i>. 1442. The Hungarians, ever harassed by the Turks 
shortly afterwards elected 19 Mng. This monarch 


was killed during the same year, [a. d. 1444,] at Varna, 
where his army was defeated by the overwhelming forces of 
the Turks, who afterwards turned towards Austria, where 
they contented themselves with pillaging and devastating the 
country, and carrying off the inhabitants. Frederick III*, 
peaceably occupied with his garden, left them unopposed, nor 
once dreamt of seconding the efforts of the noble John 
Hunyadi, who, unaided, made head with the Hungarians 
against the barbarian invader. 

In Bohemia, Ladislaw was universally recognised king, but 
the Estates, between whom a reconciliation had taken place in 
a great diet held at Prague, a. d. 1440, governed in his stead. 
The chiefs of the two factions, Meinhard von Neuhauss and 
Ptaczek, divided the government. The Utraquists, however, 
gradually regained the upper hand ; Rokizana was reinstated 
in the see of Prague, and George von Podiebrad, a descend- 
ant of the German house of Bernegg and Nidda, which had 
migrated to Bohemia, ruled in the field. On the death of 
Ptaczek, he placed himself at the head of the free-thinkers, 
and, on the refusal of the Pope to recognise the articles of 
Prague, and the theft of the original documents by Cardinal 
Carvajel, suppressed the rising power of the Catholic faction, 
took Prague by surprise, threw Meinhard von Neuhauss into 
prison, where he expired, [a. d. 1448,] and seized the sole 
government The example of Hunyadi and George found an 
imitator in Austria, in one Eitzinger, a Bavarian by birth, 
who ruled in that province at the head of the Estates. t 

The emperor, incapable of wielding the sceptre, and jealous 
of his youthful competitor, Ladislaw, kept him under strict 
surveillance, and, in the hope of transmitting the crown to a 
descendant of his own, wedded Eleonora of Portugal, a princess 
of great beauty and wit. The bridal pair met at Siena, were 
crowned at Rome, and celebrated their wedding at Naples, 
where the fountains were made to flow with wine, and thirty 
thousand guests were feasted, a. d. 1452. The successful at- 
tempt of the Tyrolean Estates to release their duke, Sigmund, 
then a minor, from the hands of Frederick, inspired Eitzinger, 
and the Count von Cilly, with a similar design in favour of La- 
dislaw, and Frederick no sooner reached Neustadt, his usual 
place of residence, than he was compelled to deliver him into 
their hands; Ladislaw was instantly proclaimed king of Hun- 


gary and Bohemia, where he was received with the greatest 
rnani testations of delight, but, misled by the Count Ulric von 
Cilly, he speedily acquired a disinclination for grave affairs, 
and having the folly to act as a zealous upholder of Catholi- 
cism in Bohemia, where he publicly treated the Utraquist fac- 
tion, and their archbishop, Rokizana, with contempt, he quick- 
ly lost the confidence of the people, who once more turned to 
their ancient favourite, George von Podiebrad. This leader 
had, meanwhile, defeated the sons of Meinhard von Neuhauss 
with their allies of Meissner, and had carried his victorious 
arms into the heart of Saxony. Disturbances also took place 
, in Silesia, where the petty princes of the race of Piast refused 
to do homage to Ladislaw and besieged the city of Liegnitz, 
which was, in reward for its fidelity, chartered by Ladislaw, 
A. D. 1453. Austria also became a scene of intrigue. Ulric 
von Cilly was deprived of his power by Eitzinger, whom he 
had treated with great ingratitude, and by the Austrian 
Estates. Ladislaw was compelled to part with his favourite, 
who was driven by the mob out of Vienna, but shortly af- 
terwards found means to regain his former station, and 
Eitzinger was exiled. 

Hungary was equally misgoverned. The people, however, 
possessed in John Hunyadi a powerful leader, equal to the 
exigencies of the times. In 1453, the capture of Constanti- 
nople and the consequent destruction of the Grecian empire 
by the sultan, Mohammed III., struck Christendom with 
terror. Nicolas V., iEneas Sylvius, and their chief tool, an 
Italian monk, John Capistrano, general of the Capuchins, 
preached a crusade, and attempted to rouse the fanaticism of 
the people against the Turks, Capistrano travelling for that 
purpose through the greater part of Germany ; but his elo- 
quence, although it influenced the bigotry, failed to rouse the 
military ardour of the people. In Silesia, where he preached 
with great vehemence against the Jews, every individual be- 
longing to that hapless race was burnt alive. The princes, 
instead of joining the crusade at his summons, contented them- 
selves with praying and ringing the Turkish bells, as they 
were called. A force of 3000 petjjyat i, armed with flails 
and pitchforks, whom he inspire*? ~~~* dinary enthu- 

siasm, was all he succeeded in Tmany, and 

with this he saved Belgrade, < s lost bj 


Hunyadi, as if by miracle ; the Turks were repulsed from 
the walls, their entrenchments carried, twenty-four thousand 
of them slain, their camp and three hundred cannon taken, 
and the sultan was wounded. Capistrano, in the one hand a 
stick, in the other a crucifix, was seen in the thickest of the 
fight, A. d. 1455. Hunyadi expired, and was shortly after- 
wards followed by Capistrano. Ladislaw and Matthias Cor- 
vinus, Hunyadi's two sons, now became the objects of their 
sovereign's jealousy. A letter sent by Ulric von Cilly to the 
despot of Servia, in which he promised to send him ere long 
two balls to play with, (the heads of the youthful Hunyadi,) 
becoming known to them, Ladislaw Hunyadi slew Ulric, and 
was in revenge beheaded by the king ; Matthias, who lay in 
prison in expectation of a similar fate, was liberated by the 
death of the king, Ladislaw, who fell a victim to excess at the 
age of eighteen, and was placed by the Hungarians on the 
throne, [a. d. 1457,] the emperor displaying his usual indif- 
ference on the occasion. 

The Bohemians now raised their favourite, George von 
Podiebrad, to the throne, and an alliance was formed between 
him and Matthias of Hungary, to whom he gave his daughter 
Caterina in marriage. The loss of both these kingdoms was 
peaceably submitted to by the emperor, to whom Matthias 
had presented 60,000 ducats, whilst George aided him against 
his brother, Albert the Squanderer. The Austrian nobility 
treated the emperor with insolence, and Albert intrigued 
against him. An electoral assembly was even held at Eger, 
[a. d. 1461,] for the purpose of raising George von Podie- 
brad to the imperial throne, but the confusion consequent on 
the war in the Pfalz caused the matter to drop. Vienna, 
meanwhile, revolted against the emperor ; the town-council 
was thrown out of the windows of the town-house ; Wolfgang 
Holzer, the former instigator of the tumult against Ulric von 
Cilly, again took the lead, and the emperor degraded himself 
so far as to flatter the rebellious citizen in order to be per- 
mitted to enter his castle. The empress Eleonora, revolted 
by this conduct, said to her little son, Max, " Could I believe 
you capable of demeaning yourself like your father, I should 
lament your being destined to the throne." Some knights 
firing from the castle upon the citizens, the emperor was, at 
the instigation of Albert, formally besieged. George von 


Podiebrad, however, took the part of the unfortunate emperor; 
and raised the siege. His son, Victorin, was, in return for 
this service, created duke of Munsterberg. Peace was con- 
cluded, and the emperor consented to cede Vienna to his bro- 
ther Albert, who, forgetful of the services of the citizens, 
ruled them with a rod of iron, and condemned Holzer, who 
now favoured the emperor, to the wheel. Albert died, [a. d. 
1463,] leaving Austria in a state of great confusion, and fre- 
quented by robbers. Matthias of Hungary, whom the em- 
peror called to his aid against them, caused two hundred and 
eighty to be hanged, and five hundred (three hundred of 
whom were women) to be drowned in the Danube ; notwith- 
standing which, the empress was robbed whilst taking the 
waters at Baden, by the knights von Stein and Puchheim. 

George defended the Lausitz against the claims of Saxony, 
and sought to maintain the alliance anciently subsisting be- 
tween Silesia and Bohemia. The German citizens of Breslau, 
whom he had unintentionally offended, alone viewed him 
with implacable hatred, and defended their town against the 
whole of his forces, A. d. 1459. The pope, Pius II., who still 
favoured George, sent his legate, Hieronymus of Crete, to 
negotiate terms of peace, but the citizens refused to yield. 
The pope, who had meanwhile succeeded in winning over 
Matthias of Hungary, and in separating him from George, 
now threw off the mask, revoked the articles of Prague, and 
placed George under an interdict. This act of treachery re- 
mained at first without result, Matthias being still too power- 
less to attack Bohemia. Pius expired, a. d. 1465. His suc- 
cessor, Paul II., carried his zeal against the Bohemian heretics 
to a more violent degree, caused George's ambassadors to 
be driven with rods out of Rome, and despatched another 
legate, Rudolf, bishop of Lavant, to Silesia, Saxony, and Bo- 
hemia, for the purpose of preaching a crusade against the 
heretical king ; and a murderous war consequently sprang up 
on the frontiers of Bohemia between the Catholics and the 
I Hussites, each party branded their prisoners with the cup or the 
cross. George was, nevertheless, victorious in every quarter, 
[a. d. 1467,] but, being ungratefully abandoned by the em- 
peror, his son-in-law, Matthias. *"* U M him, and caused him- 
self to be proclaimed king in ' Catholic faction 
and by the Silesians. Geor >d him in the 


forests of Wylemow, where he caused the trees, within an 
enormous circle, to be half sawn through, and the moment 
Matthias entered the circle, to be suddenly thrown down, and 
shut him up so closely that he agreed to make peace, and to 
pay the expenses of the war. Matthias no sooner found him- 
self in safety than he infringed the peace, sent George a chest 
full of sand instead of the promised gold, every oath taken to 
a heretic being pronounced disobligatory by the pope, and 
collected his forces for a fresh attack, a. d. 1468. George 
fell sick ; excommunicated, surrounded by innumerable foes, 
and plainly foreseeing that the Bohemian crown could not re- 
main in his family, he entreated the Bohemians to place 
Wladislaw of Poland, their ablest defender, on the throne. 
The news of the capture of his son, Victoria, by the Hunga- 
rians, reached him shortly before his death, a. d. 1471. 

Wladislaw became king of Bohemia, and, in order to con- 
ciliate the pope, persecuting the Utraquists, a revolt took place ; 
the, citizens of Prague threw their burgomaster out of the 
window, and deprived several of the town-councillors of their 
heads. Their most furious attacks were directed against the 
monks and priests. Tranquillity was at length restored by 
the sons of the late king, Victorin and Henry, who had re- 
gained their liberty, and Wladislaw consented to treat the 
Utraquists with less rigour, A. d. 1 483. 

CLXXXIX. Fritz the Bad.— The German Hospitallers.— 
Hie Burgundian wars. — Mary of Burgundy. 

Frederick, the Rhenish Pfalzgrave, surnamed by his 
enemies Fritz the Bad, was a man of an impetuous, decisive 
character, and sided with the Upper Germans against the em- 
peror and the pope. In 1461, he and George von Ileimburjr 
were actively engaged in forwarding the election of George 
von Podiebrad by the electoral assembly convoked at Eger, 
which being violently opposed by the pope and the emperor, 
the war in the Pfalz broke out. Fritz the Bad built a tower 
at Heidleberg, named by him Trutz-Kaiser, in defiance of 
the emperor. Mayence fell into the hands of the imperialists, 
and was deprived of her charter, Adolf of Nassau saying to 
the citizens, as he pointed to a large stone in the market- 


place, "Your privileges shall not be restored until this stone 
shall melt." Ulric of Wurtemberg and Charles of Baden, 
the emperor's confederates, committed the most terrible de- 
predations in the Pfalz, tying large branches of trees to their 
horses' tails in order the more effectually to destroy the corn 
through which they rode. Fritz, seconded by the enraged 
peasantry, was victorious at Seckenheim, where Ulric, George, 
bishop of Metz, and Charles fell into his hands, [a. d. 1462,] 
and Albert Achilles being afterwards defeated by Fritz's ally, 
Louis of Bavaria, who, on this occasion, took the imperial 
banner, peace was concluded between the contending parties. 
Fritz sumptuously entertained the captive princes, but left 
them unfurnished with bread, saying, on their complaining of 
this treatment, that they had destroyed all the corn on the 
ground with their own hands. On their refusal to pay the 
ransom demanded, he put them, lightly dressed, into an icy- 
cold room with their feet in the stocks. Ulric and Charles 
cost their Estates 100,000 florins each, whilst the bishop was 
merely valued at 45,000. 

Fritz the Bad rendered himself still further remarkable by 
his marriage, notwithstanding the prejudices of birth, with 
Clara Dettin, the daughter of a citizen of Augsburg, re- 
nowned for her extraordinary beauty and vocal powers. Their 
children, compelled to cede the Pfalz to Bavaria, took the title 
of Lcewenstein, and founded the present princely house of 
that name. 

At the diet held at Ulm, 1466, the pope attempted to per- 
suade the princes to make head against the Turks, now at the 
summit of their power. War, more especially when foreign, 
was at this period carried on by means of mercenaries. 
These mercenaries were, however, well paid, and on the 
present occasion each Estate sought to lay the expense on the 
other, the princes demanding that the greater part of the ne- 
cessary supplies should be furnished by the cities, which on 
their part refused not so much from avarice as from hatred of 
the princes. The nobility, merely intent upon emancipating 
themselves, constituted a counts' union as an intermediate 
power between the princes and the cities, which, in 1512, 
occupied a separate bench in the diet. A promise of 20,000 
mercenaries was all the pope could obtain. 

In the ensuing year the emperor performed a pilgrimage 


to Rome, not for the purpose of regulating the affairs of Italy, 
not on account of Venice, which, since 1463, had b<jen at 
war with Trieste, nor on account of Sforza, the bold mercenary 
leader, who, since the extinction of the house of Visconti, had 
seized the duchy of Milan, but solely and simply in perform- 
ance of a pious vow. By his personal subserviency to the 
pope he rendered himself ridiculous, and on his return [a. d. 
1469] found his empire in a state of general disturbance. 
Continually in want of money, he had already caused false 
coin to be struck, and, nevertheless, left the mercenaries, fur- 
nished for him by his adherents, unpaid. The murmuring 
soldiery found an advocate in Andreas Baumkirchner, the 
emperor's true-hearted servant, but Frederick, instead of 
satisfying their just claims, invited Andreas to a conference 
at Grafttz, promising him safety until vespers, and detained him 
in conversation, until Baumkirchner, at length perceiving that 
the day was drawing to a close, rushed out, and leaping into 
his saddle, galloped towards the gate ; at that moment the 
vesper bell rang, the portcullis dropped, he was disarmed 
and beheaded beneath the gate- way. Thus did a Habsburg 
reward fidelity. 

In the same year, [a. d. 1469,] the Turks again invaded 
Carniola ; the aid promised by the diet had been procrasti- 
nated, and on their evacuating the country, and the breaking 
out of dissension between them and Matthias of Hungary, if 
still continued to be so. The question was again laid befort 
the diet held at Ratisbon, [a. d. 1471,] but the emperor fell 
asleep during the first debate. The ten thousand men voted 
on this occasion were never raised. 

Frederick indemnified himself for the obloquy he had in- 
curred as emperor, and for the losses of his house, with the 
new title of archduke, which, in 1453, he bestowed upon the 
house of Habsburg. A complaint in his feet, the consequence 
of a bad practice of kicking open every door that happened 
to be closed, chiefly contributed to his isolated residence at 
Neustadt. One of his feet having mortified, he was obliged 
to submit to amputation: "Ah," exclaimed he, "a healthy 
boor is better than a sick Roman emperor ! " 

The German Hospitallers in Prussia were, meanwhile, 
totally deprived of their power. In 1412, a great revolution 
broke out. The provincial nobility, oppressed by their 

o 2 


tyranny, rebelled and threw off their yoke. In 1440, a league 
was publicly entered into by the Prussian cities and the pro- 
vincial nobility, for the purpose of " appeasing the internal 
dissensions of the Order, of protecting the country against the 
Poles, of securing their persons and their property, and of 
defending right." This league was vainly prohibited by the 
Order, and invalidated by the pope's bull. The contending 
parties referred the matter to the emperor, who at first favoured 
the popular party, and afterwards [a. d. 1453] put the con- 
federates out of the bann of the empire, in consequence of 
which the Prussians threw off their allegiance to the Order, 
and placed themselves under the protection of Poland. A 
furious war instantly broke out : Casimir of Poland entered 
the country, where he was received with acclamations of de- 
light ; more particularly by the citizens of Dantzig, who be- 
held in their union with Poland an increase of commercial 
prosperity on account of the opening of the Vistula. This 
city alone furnished fifteen thousand mercenaries towards 
the war. 

The arrival of a body of fifteen thousand German mercena- 
ries in the following year, 1454, to the aid of the Order, 
turned the tide of war. The Poles suffered a signal defeat. 
The elector of Brandenburg, who dreaded the increasing 
power of his Polish neighbours, vainly attempted to negotiate 
terms of peace, in the hope of saving the Order from utter 
destruction. The Bohemian mercenaries, no longer paid by 
the impoverished grand-master, seized his person, and sold 
him and the whole of western Prussia to Casimir for 436,000 
florins. The German population, however, speedily rebelled 
against the Polish rule, and a petty war was carried on until 
1466, when peace was finally concluded at Thorn, and the 
grand-master, completely deserted by his German allies, was, 
besides ceding Western Prussia, compelled to hold Eastern 
Prussia in fee of the Polish crown. 

A war of thirteen years had transformed Prussia into a 
desert; one thousand and nineteen churches had been de- 
stroyed, those that remained standing, plundered and dese- 
crated ; out of twenty-one thousand villages but three thou- 
sand and thirteen remained, and, as if to render the misery 
complete, a dreadful pestilence broke out in 1463, which car 
ried off twenty thousand persons in Dantzig alone. 


The dukes of Burgundy had, at this period, risen to a 
great degree of opulence and power ; Charles the Bold, who 
succeeded his father, Philip the Good, [a. d. 1467,] destroyed 
Liege, whose citizens were encouraged by his mortal foe, Louis 
XI. of France, [a. d. 1468,] put all the male inhabitants re- 
maining in the city to the sword, and threw several thousand 
women tied back to back into the Meuse. In 1472, he liber- 
ated the duke Arnold of Gueldres, who had been imprisoned 
by his wife, Catherine of Cleves, and his unnatural son, 
Adolf, and was in consequence declared heir to Gueldres. 
Nimwegen, Aix-la-Chapelle, and Metz were laid under con- 
tribution, a. d. 1473. 

The emperor, Frederick HI., had again lost the whole of the 
rich Luxemburg inheritance, Bohemia, and Hungary, was de- 
spised throughout the empire, had been more than once attacked, 
and was at length threatened with great danger by the Turks. 
His hopes now solely centred in his son, Maximilian, a youth of 
great promise, for whom he aspired to the hand of Mary, the 
lovely heiress of Charles the Bold. It was on this account 
that Sigmund of the Tyrol was compelled to hypothecate the 
government of Alsace to Charles, who was also on this account 
allowed, unopposed, to destroy Liege, to mulct Aix-la-Chapelle 
and Metz, and to seize Gueldres. These preliminary civilities 
over, the crippled emperor went to Treves in order to hold a 
conference with the bold duke, who far outvied him in mag- 
nificence. The negotiation, nevertheless, remained uncon- 
cluded. Charles demanded the title of king of Burgundy, but 
on the emperor's insisting on the marriage being concluded 
beforehand, procrastinated the matter ; Louis XI. of France 
having also sued for the hand of Mary for his son, and it 
being to his advantage to keep the rival monarchs in a state 
of imkwiMion. The pope, who not long afterwards sided with 
Churl*** against the emperor, appears to have willingly aided 
in hindering a marriage by which the power of a German 
boijtw would receive so considerable an accession. Frederick 
1 J J,, «fl**nd«d ut this treatment, suddenly quitted Treves, [a. d. 
H7»VJ without taking leave of or bestowing the royal dignity 
on tilwles, who revenged the insult by attacking Cologne, 
whence ha was repulsed with great loss. 

The tyrannical conduct of Peter von Hagenbach, governor 
Of Alt**"*** had meanwhile rendered f ~ m .ndian rule de- 


tested by the Alsacians and their neighbours the Swiss. This 
circumstance afforded the emperor an opportunity for taking 
up arms as protector of the empire, and he accordingly took 
the field against Charles the Bold, who was at that time be- 
sieging Neuss, whilst Sigmund of the Tyrol raised a power- 
ful conspiracy against Burgundy in Upper Germany ; Basle, 
Strassburg, and the cities of the Upper Rhine as far as Con- 
stance, laying aside their ancient hatred of the Austrian dy- 
nasty, in order to repel their common foe. Sigmund released 
the government of Alsace, the cities furnishing the necessary 
sum, 80,000 florins. Charles's refusal to accept it was totally 
disregarded ; the whole of Alsace threw off her allegiance to 
Burgundy, and raised the standard of the Habsburg. Hagen- 
bach was beheaded at Breisach, A. d. 1474. 

The emperor had meanwhile encamped before Neuss. The 
two camps lay in such close vicinity, that balls fell from that 
of Charles into the emperor's tent and carriage. A truce was 
agreed to on the intervention of the pope, Charles promising 
to withdraw without coming to a battle, and the emperor not 
to follow him ; that is, to leave the Swiss, whom Charles was 
about to attack, to their fate. The execution of Hagenbach, 
who had been condemned by the confederation, furnished him 
with a plausible pretext, and he accordingly entered into a 
close alliance with Iolantha of Savoy, who governed in the 
name of her infant children, and with Sforza of Milan, who 
sympathized in his antipathy to the bold Swiss peasantry. 
His adversaries, Rene II. of Lothringia, who took refuge in 
Zwitzerland, and Henry of Wurtemberg, who resided at 
Mumpelgard, fell into his hands. Mumpelgard, however, re- 
fused to surrender. The Swiss rose en masse, slew two thou- 
sand five hundred of the Burgundians, whom they totally 
defeated at Ericourt, [a. d. 1474,] garrisoned the whole 
of Valais belonging to Savoy, and formed a league with the 
Vallisers, who guarded the passes towards Lombardy, and 
defeated two thousand Lombards and Venetians, who were 
marching to Charles's aid, A. d. 1475. 

The Swiss had dispersed to their several cantons, leaving 
the forts strongly garrisoned, when Charles undertook a se- 
cond campaign against them, [a. d. 1476,] at the head of an 
rverwhelming force. The emperor, instead of sending aid, 
permitted Sigmund to seize Engadin, a fort appertaining to 


the Grisons. Louis XI. promised them pecuniary assistance. 
Strassburg was the only city to which the confederation ap- 
plied that sent effectual aid. The little garrison of Granson 
was faithlessly butchered by Charles, to whom it had surren- 
dered on a promise of safety. This perfidy was nobly 
avenged by the confederated Swiss, who gained a signal tri- 
umph, completely routed the Burgundians, despoiled their camp, 
and took their artillery. Charles was, however, speedily re- 
inforced from Savoy and Italy, and laid siege to Murten on 
the lake, beneath whose walls a furious engagement took place, 
in which twenty-six thousand of the Burgundians were either 
slain or driven into the lake, whose waters were dyed with the 
frightful carnage, a. d. 1476. 

Charles, maddened with rage, vented his fury on his ally 
lolantha of Savoy, whom he threw into prison together with 
her children with the intent of depriving them of their inhe- 
ritance. When attempting to reduce Nancy by famine, he 
was attacked by the Swiss and Austrians, who, seeing Charles's 
star on the wane, had joined their former confederates, and 
was completely routed. His horse fell with him into a morass, 
where he was suffocated. His frozen corpse was cut out 
with the hatchet, A. d. 1477. Louis XL presented the Swiss 
confederation with 24,000 florins. Engelbert of Nassau, 
who fell into their hands, was ransomed with 50,000 florins. 
The Valais was restored to Savoy. Unter Valais joined the 

The duchy of Burgundy was, immediately on the death of 
Charles, seized by Louis XL, who was only withheld from 
occupying the county of Burgundy by the Swiss, who refused 
to tolerate him in their neighbourhood. He was also rejected 
by the Netherlands. His infamous favourite, Olivier de 
Dain,* was expelled Ghent, and his field-badge, the white 
cross, was exposed at Arras on the gallows. Arras was 
taken and destroyed, but Ghent stoutly bade him defiance. 
The heads of the Burgundian town -councillors, and of several 
of the nobility who favoured the French, fell ; among others, 
those of Humbercourt and Hugonet, the chief councillors 
of the youthful duchess, notwithstanding her passionate en- 
treaties. Adolph of Gueldres, in the hope of regaining the 

* His barber, a monster in miman form, like his master. 


possessions of which he had been so justly deprived, placed 
himself at the head of the Flemish, who promised to reward 
his success with the hand of the Duchess, but fell at Tournay 
opposing the French. His son Charles, then a minor, fell 
into the hands of the French king, A. D. 1477. 

Mary of Burgundy, anxious alike to escape the merciless 
grasp of this royal monster and the rule of the wild demo- 
cracy of Ghent, at first endeavoured to conciliate the Dutch 
by the promulgation of the great charter, in which she vowed 
neither to marry, nor to levy taxes, nor to make war, without 
their consent, and conceded to them the right of convoking 
the estates, of minting, and of freely voting on every question. 
In the hope of gaining a greater accession of power by a 
foreign marriage, she skilfully worked upon the dread with 
which the French were viewed by her subjects, to influence 
them in favour of Maximilian, the handsomest youth of his 
day, whom she is said to have seen at an earlier period at 
Treves, or, as some say, of whose picture she had become 
enamoured. Max inherited the physical strength of his 
grandmother, Cimburga of Poland, and the mental qualities 
of his Portuguese mother, surpassed all other knights in 
chivalric feats, was modest, gentle, and amiable. Mary con- 
fessed to the assembled Estates of the Netherlands, that she 
had already interchanged letters and rings with him, and 
the marriage was resolved upon. Max hastened to Ghent, 
and, mounted on a brown steed, clothed in silver gilt armour, 
his long blond locks crowned with a bridegroom's wreath re- 
splendent with pearls and precious stones, rode into the city, 
where he was met by Mary. The youthful pair, on beholding 
one another, knelt in the public street and sank into each 
other's arms. " Welcome art thou to me, thou noble German," 
said the young duchess, " whom I have so long desired and 
now behold with delight ! " 

This event greatly enraged the French monarch, who at 
length succeeded in persuading the Swiss to enter into alli- 
ance with him, and to cede to him the county of Burgundy, A. D. 
1478. Max speedily deprived him of the territory he had 
seized in the Netherlands, A. d. 1479. Louis, finding other 
means unsuccessful, now attempted to kindle the flames of 
civil war, and instigated the faction of the Hoecks against 
that of the Kabeljaus, which Max favoured. This young 


prince, unaccustomed to civil liberty, had recourse to violence, 
and gave his mercenaries licence to murder and pillage. The 
heads of the faction were executed at Leyden. The protec- 
tion granted by him to the young Count von Hoorn, the mur- 
derer of John von Dudselle, the popular ringleader at Ghent, 
increased the wrath of the people. The marriage that had 
commenced under such happy auspices also found a wretch- 
ed termination. On the convocation to Herzogenbusch of all 
the knights of the Golden Fleece, an order instituted by 
Philip the Good of Burgundy, [a. b. 1430,] a scaffolding fell 
in and numbers of the spectators were killed. This was re- 
garded as an unlucky omen. Cheerfulness was, however, 
restored by another and a better omen on the knighting of 
Mary's little son, Philip, who, during the ceremony, drew his 
sword to defend himself against the knight who had touched 
him on the shoulder. Mary had, besides this son, given 
birth to a daughter, Margaret, and was again pregnant, when 
she was, whilst hunting, thrown from horseback, and danger- 
ously hurt by the stump of a tree, against which she was 
squeezed by her fallen horse. From a false feeling of deli- 
cacy, she concealed her state until surgical aid was unavailing, 
and expired in the bloom of life, A. d. 1482. The death of 
the beauteous duchess was a signal for general revolt, and 
Max, perceiving his inability to make head both against 
France and his rebellious subjects, concluded the peace of 
Arras with the former, and promised his daughter, Margaret, 
to the Dauphin, with Artois, Boulogne, and the county of 
Burgundy in dowry, a d. 2482. Margaret was sent to Paris. 
Burgundy and the Arelat were united to France. 

Peace being thus concluded with his most formidable op- 
ponent, Max turned his whole forces against the rebellious 
Hoecks, who had taken possession of Utrecht. They were 
defeated, a. d. 1483. The Flemish, nevertheless, refused 
submission to the Habsburg, by whom their ancient liberties 
were neither understood nor respected, and seized the person 
of the young duke Philu they alone recognised as 

Mary's successor. A rejH ce at Bruges, where Max 

was taken prisoner by^^B >is com *ere put 

to the rack in the pub* on tt he ap- 

proach of an army to Hi aded. 

Maximilian's celebrate de ptod 


to release his master, and swam by night across the fosse of 
the castle where he was confined, but was attacked and driven 
back by the swans, A. D. 1488. 

The emperor summoned the whole of the vassals of the 
empire to the field in order to liberate his son, and the pope 
hurled his fulminations against the rebels. The princes, en- 
raged at the temerity of the burgesses to imprison one of their 
order, assembled in great numbers beneath the imperial ban- 
ner, and bore all before them. The first burgher of Ghent 
who fell into the emperor's hands was nailed to a door, with 
the inscription, " Thus will be treated all who have imprisoned 
the Roman king," and sent floating down the stream to Ghent. 
The defeat of the citizens of Bruges struck the rebels with 
dismay, and their royal captive was set at liberty on binding 
himself by oath not to take revenge nor to injure their privi- 
leges. Max, who had been four months a prisoner, took the 
oath demanded, and went into the Tyrol, to escape the neces- 
sity of breaking it. But his father refused to comply with 
these terms, and notwithstanding the aid furnished by the 
French, the Flemish were defeated at Bertborg, A. D. 1489. 
Nieuport repulsed the attack of the French army. The Hoecks, 
under Franz von Brederode, secured themselves in Rotterdam, 
and were supported by Philip of Cleves. Albert of Saxony, the 
imperial stadtholder, vainly besieged Brussels, until seconded 
by a pestilence which carried off almost the whole of the 
inhabitants. The power of the Hoecks now declined. Rot- 
terdam was taken, and Brederode retired to Flanders, where 
he turned pirate and greatly harassed the imperialists. He 
was taken in a naval engagement off Brouvershaven, and died 
a few days after of his iaismanaged wounds, aged 24, A. d. 
1490. Philip of Cleves took refuge in France. 

The flames of war appeared to rage with redoubled fury 
in Flanders, on the rape of Anna of Brittany, whom Max had 
demanded in marriage, and who was captured by Charles of 
Fiance when on her way to Germany, and compelled to 
marry him, in revenge for the loss of Mary of Burgundy, of 
whose hand he had been formerly deprived by Maximilian. 
The projects of the French monarch upon Italy, however, 
inclined him to yield the Netherlands, and Max was speed- 
ily pacified. Peace was concluded at Senlis, [a. d. 1493,1 
and Margaret was restored to her father. France also resigned 


•11 claims upon her stipulated dowry. Ghent, Bruges, and 
Ypern submitted and were pardoned. Forty cituccn* of 
Bruges, who had most grievously insulted the royal person, 
being alone executed. On Maximilian's return to the Nether* 
lands in 1493, Albert of Saxony led his two children to him 
at Maestricht, with these words, " God has granted me sue- 
cess, therefore I bring you these two children aud an obedient 
land." Albert had vowed not to sliave his chin until the 
Netherlands enjoyed the blessings of peace. During the 
festival at Maestricht, Margaret the elder, the widow of 
Charles the Bold, the grandmother to the two children, cut 
off a part of his beard, and he had tlie rest shaved off. Maxi- 
milian owed him a heavy debt of gratitude, for he hud fur- 
nished the means for carrying on the war in the Netherlands 
from his private property, tlie mines in the snow niountuius. 

CXC. Matthias of If uwjary, — Affair* in Ituly. — 
Maximilian Uie l r n*t. 

On the death of George von l'odiebrad, Matthias, king of 
Hungary, laid claim to Bohemia, but wus solely able to hold 
Silesia, where he fixed his head-quarter* with his bluek guard, 
a picked troop of mercenaries. Casiiuir of Poland, und his 
son, Wladislaw of Bohemia, vainly attempted to dislodge hiin. 
The most terrible reprisals were taken on the unfortunate 
prisoners. John, duke of Sagan, also luid Glogau waste, A. l>. 
1488. Matthias, occupied with the west, neglected to defend 
his eastern frontiers against the Turks, who made numerous 
inroads into Carniola, Cariuthia, and Styria, whence they were 
sometimes repelled with great loss by the peasantry. These 
destructive inroads continued without intermission for up- 
wards of twenty years, from 1471 to 14Utf, during which 
these countries were luid wuMe, ami numbers of the inhabit- 
ants carried iawuy captive, without attracting the attention of 
the rest of Qwuauy 

« ^^■■^fc^ed r H*J between the Kmperor 

' u I 7^^V aW( again*! their 

Ioe > M-^^^^«— -r- .. uU;il lu;ai . Jin|ck ou 

1 Jf .Jgth and laid siege 

10 VM ,red aid from the 


emperor, who replied to their entreaties, " You also allowed 
me to starve when I was besieged by you ! " The city fell into 
the hands of Matthias, a. d. 1485. The emperor at length 
iound a friend in Albert of Saxony, who, generously saying, 
'• It is better for all the princes of Germany to be beggars than 
tor the Roman king to want money !" furnished him with the 
necessary supplies from his mines, and defeated the superior 
Hungarian force at Negau, a. d. 1487. The return of Max 
from the Netherlands now compelled Albert to repair thither, 
whilst Max went to the Tyrol, where Sigmund had com- 
menced a doubtful war with Venice, known as the Rovereiter 
war, which took its rise from a frontier dispute between the 
Venetian inhabitants of Riva, and the Tyrolean Count von 
Arco. Bombs were first used in the siege of Botzen by the 
Count von Metsch Roveredo. Sigmund, offering to yield, 
notwithstanding the unflinching courage of the Tyrolese, was 
deposed by the Estates, who provisionally elected Frederick 
Kappler as their captain, and, with a thousand men, com- 
pletely routed the Venetians near Calliano. Their general, 
the famous Roberto di San Severino, was drowned in the 
Adige. The whole of the Tyrol hastened to pay homage to 
Max on his arrival, and he ever afterwards clung with affec- 
tion to this country, where he eternalized his memory ; he 
used to say of it, " The Tyrol is only a coarse boor's frock, 
but it keeps one warm." On the death of Matthias, [a. d. 
1490,] he hastened to liberate Austria, took Vienna, where he 
received a wound in the shoulder, by storm, and penetrated 
into the heart of Hungary. Long Conrad, a Swabian in his 
army, boasted of having murdered three hundred persons with 
his own hand at the taking of Stuhl-Weissenburg. The blood 
stood half a hand high round the tomb of Matthias. The in- 
fantry collected so much booty that they abandoned their 
youthful commander and returned home. The Hungarians 
now elected Wladislaw of Bohemia king, and tranquillity was 
restored. Wladislaw bestowed great privileges and the right 
of being governed by a native stadtholder on Silesia, by the 
Colowrat treaty, which was chiefly managed by the Bohemian 
noble of that name. 

War also broke out between the Swiss and the Milanese, 
who attempted to regain possession of the Livinenthal. The 
confederation took up arms, but again dispersed, on account of 


the severity of the winter. Six hundred men under Frisch- 
hans Theiling of Lucerne alone kept the field, near Irnis, 
(Giornico,) against sixteen thousand Milanese under Count 
Borello. The advice of one of the peasants, named Stanga, 
to flood the country, was followed by his companions, and the 
whole of the valley was converted into one vast sheet of ice. The 
Milanese, on arriving at the spot, found it impossible to keep 
their footing, and were speedily put into confusion and utterly 
defeated by the iron-shod Swiss, of whom, notwithstanding 
their numerical inferiority, two only were slain, one of whom 
was Stanga. Milan purchased peace, A. D. 1479. 

Max had scarcely begun to regulate the affairs of Austria, 
when his aged father expired, A. D. 1493. No emperor had 
reigned so long and done so little as Frederick HI. Max was 
proclaimed his successor on the imperial throne without a dis- 
sentient voice, and speedily found himself fully occupied. 

France at that time cast her eyes upon Italy. Nepotism, 
the family-interest of the popes, who bestowed enormous 
wealth, and even Italian principalities, on their nephews, rela- 
tives, and natural children, was the prevalent spirit of the court 
of Rome. The pope's relations plundered the papal treasury, 
which he filled with the plunder of the whole of Christendom, 
by raising the church taxes, amplifying the ceremonies, and 
selling absolution. Alexander VL, who at that period occu- 
pied the pontifical throne, surpassed all his predecessors in 
wickedness. He died of poison, [a. d. 1503,] laden with 
crimes. The royal house of Arragon again sat on the throne 
of Naples. In Upper Italy, besides the ancient republics of 
Venice and Genoa, and the principalities of Milan and Fer- 
rara, Florence had become half a republic, half a principality, 
under the rule of the house of Medicis. 

France, ever watchful, was not tardy in finding an oppor- 
tunity for interference. In Milan, the young duke, Giovanni 
Galeazzo Bforza, had been murdered by his uncle Luigi, who 
seized the ducal throne. Ferdinand of Naples, Galeazzo's bro- 
ther-in-law, declaring against the murderer, Luigi claimed the 
assistance of the French king, Charles VJJLL, who promised 
him his protection, and at the same time asserted his own 
ciairn to the Neapolitan throne as the descendant of the house 
of Anjou. A. i>. W ^expectedly entered Italy at the 

head of an iinmeii' *ly composed of Swiss merce- 


naries, and took Naples. Milan, alarmed at the overwhelm 
ing strength of her importunate ally, now entered into a league 
with the pope, the emperor, Spain, and Naples, for the pur- 
pose of driving him out of Italy, and Alexander VI. astonished 
the world by leaguing with the arch-foe of Christendom, the 
Turkish sultan, against the "most Christian" king of France. 
Charles yielded to the storm, and voluntarily returned to 
France, a. d. 1495. Maximilian had been unable, from want 
of money, to come in person to Italy, and three thousand men 
were all he had been able to supply. He had, however, se- 
cured nimself by a marriage with Bianca Maria, the sister of 
Galeazzo Sforza, and attempted, on the withdrawal of the 
French, to put forward his pretensions as emperor. Pisa 
[a. d. 1496] imploring his aid against Florence, he undertook 
a campaign at the head of an inconsiderable force, in which 
he was unsuccessful, the Venetians refusing their promised 
aid. His marriage with Bianca, a woman of a haughty, cold 
disposition, unendowed with the mental and personal graces 
of Mary of Burgundy, was far from happy. Max had several' 
illegitimate children, three sons, ecclesiastics, who died in ob- 
scurity, and five daughters. 

A still closer alliance was formed with Spain, where the 
whole power had, as in France, centred in the monarch. 
The last descendants of the ancient petty kings of this coun- 
try, Ferdinand of Arragon and Isabella of Castile, had mar- 
ried, and by their united force had expelled the Moors, a. d. 
1492, a year also famous for the discovery of America, whose 
mines so greatly enriched Spain, by Columbus the Genoese. 
The marriage of Philip, Maximilian's son, with the Infanta 
Johanna, and that of his daughter Margaret, with the Infant 
Don Juan, [a. d. 1496,] brought this splendid monarchy into 
the house of Habsburg, the Infant Don Juan expiring shortly 
afterwards, and the whole of Spain falling to Philip in right 
of his wife. 

Maximilian was distinguished for personal bravery; his 
disposition was benevolent, cheerful, and enthusiastic ; he was 
of an active turn, well-informed, full of wit, spirit, and ani- 
mation, the very reverse to his pedantic parent. He had, 
nevertheless, inherited a portion of his father's frivolity, his 
thoughts, like his actions, being totally deficient in greatness. 
Ever occupied, he never accomplished any really useful de- 


sign ; ever preserving the mien of a genial autocrat, he still 
permitted himself to be swayed bj others. Macchiavelli, the 
greatest politician of his time, says of him, " He believed that 
he did every thing himself, and yet allowed himself to be misled 
from his first and best idea." He cherished all sorts of projects, 
which, when pat into execution, turned out exactly contrary to 
his intention. He was, in reality, completely out of his ele- 
ment in the council and in the field ; chivalric feats, in which 
he could display his personal courage and gallantry, were his 
delight, and for which he was best fitted by nature. His 
biography, written under his dictation, is merely an account of 
feats of this description. His condescending manners, al- 
though rendering him the darling of the people, greatly less- 
ened his dignity, and was often unfitting to him as the 
emperor of the holy Roman empire, and drew upon him the 
mockery of his jester, Kunz von der Rosen. A diary, written 
by the emperor himself, has been preserved ; it contains in- 
numerable little hints, how a certain fish should be caught 
and cooked, such a weapon be fabricated, how much the chas- 
tellain of a distant imperial castle should be paid, and many 
a scandalous anecdote, — but not One word concerning the great 
questions of the day, the church and the state. His biography 
is that of an adventurous knight, not that of an emperor. 

Maximilian ever intended well, and would sometimes kindle 
with the fire of the ancient Hohenstaufen when planning the 
execution of some great project. He fervently desired to 
march against the Turks, to re-annex Italy to the empire, to 
chastise the insolence of France, in a word, to act as became 
a great German emperor ; but he was a prisoner in the midst 
of the weapons of Germany, a beggar in the midst of her 
wealth ; the vassals of the empire, sunk in shameless egotism, 
coldly refused to assist their sovereign, and rendered him the 
laugh ing-fttock of Europe. 

Eberhard im Bart, count of Wurtemberg, a petty, but wise 
and influential prince, whose follies had been expiated by a 
pilgrimage to the Holy Land, ever seconded the good inten- 
tions of the emperor, and aided in carrying several of his pro- 
jects into e*eeutjon. In 1477, Eberhard founded the uni- 
versity ttt Tiibingen, whose most distinguished scholars were 
his Mctuh t The emperor, sensible of his merit, raised him 
[a, i>< 1495] to the duke. On his first appearance 


after his elevation in the diet, a dispute arising concerning the 
seat that was his due, he declared his willingness to sit even 
behind the stove if the diet would only discuss and pass some 
useful resolution. One of the most essential services rendered 
by this duke was his attempt to restore peace and order to the 
whole empire, as well as to Wurtemberg. It was to him that 
the Swabian league chiefly owed its rise, A. d. 1488. This 
league was originally an aristocratic society, known as that of 
St. George's shield, which, by the incorporation of the 
clergy and of the citizens within its ranks, became a general 
union of all the princes, counts, knights, bishops, abbots, and 
cities in Swabia for the maintenance of peace and right. At 
the diet held at Worms, Maximilian zealously laboured to 
increase the external power of the empire by promoting its 
internal union, order, and peace, but only succeeded in render- 
ing the confusion systematic, the absurdities, hitherto unrecog- 
nised by law, legal, and the external weakness and internal 
anarchy of the empire eternal. The empire was one confused 
mass of electorates, duchies, earldoms, bishoprics, abbeys, 
imperial free towns, and estates of the nobility, which, whether 
great or small, refused to yield to one another, and jealously 
asserted their independence. None possessed sufficient power 
to maintain order by force, or sufficient confidence to intrust 
that power to another. Order could therefore alone arise from 
the mutual necessity and voluntary alliance of all. The ex- 
ample given by the Swabian league was followed, and the 
whole empire was divided into ten circles, each of which was 
to form a league similar to that of Swabia. These circles 
were, Swabia, Bavaria, Franconia, the Upper Rhine, West- 
phalia, Lower Saxony, Austria, Burgundy, the Rhenish 
Electorate, and Upper Saxony, without comprising Bohemia, 
Silesia, Moravia, the Lausitz, and Prussia. As a point of 
union for all these circles, Maximilian demanded the estab- 
lishment of a government, or imperial council, over which the 
emperor was to preside, and in whose hands the supreme 
power was to be lodged during his absence. This plan was 
never put into execution. An imperial chamber with salaried 
councillors, who took cognizance of legal matters, was alone 
established, but its decisions, owing to want of power, also 
remained without authority. 

The regulation of the imperial revenue was rendered still 


more urgent by the fact, daily becoming more notorious, that 
money was power, that without that necessary article the em- 
peror was powerless, and the necessity of a general imperial 
treasury wherewith to meet the general outlay was clearly 
visible. The greater portion of the revenue formerly enjoyed 
by the crown, had been seized by the Estates. A new mode 
of taxation, as in France, was, consequently, necessary. The 
instates, meanwhile, either refused to contribute or disputed 
the division of the contribution, and it was with great diffi- 
culty that Maximilian at length induced them to grant the 
common penny for four years, that is to say, the payment by 
every subject of the empire of one penny out of every thou- 
sand pence he possessed, thus a tenth per cent., towards the 
maintenance of the state. This tax was, however, notwith- 
standing its insignificant amount, seldom regularly paid, and 
the emperor was ever poverty-stricken. Another regulation, 
the establishment of the post for the purpose of facilitating 
communication, the management of which was intrusted to 
the Count von Thurn and Taxis, also failed on account of the 
bad state of the roads. 

It is undeniable that by the federation of every class, the 
petty and great, the weak and strong, were alike represented 
in the diet. The great dukes no longer ruled the whole as- 
sembly ; the other princes of the empire besides the electors, 
the counts and other grades of nobility, the prelates, and, above 
all, the cities, asserted their authority, and by this means many 
a man and many an idea appeared in the diet, totally distinct 
from those appertaining to the court ; but ideas however ex- 
cellent, purposes however honest, whether harboured by the 
emperor or by the meanest of his subjects, were alike unavail- 
ing against the torrent of opposing interests. Hence the 
wearying prolixity of affairs. Seats and titles had to be con- 
tested before the real question could be investigated. Verbal 
proceedings were succeeded by endless written ones, so that 
before the representatives in the diet could lay the question in 
debate before their constituents, and then before the diet, the 
moment for action had generally passed. The interminable writ- 
ing also introduced a crowd of lawyers, who explained every 
thing according to the Roman law, and took advantage of the 
contradiction between the German and Roman jurisprudence 
to create such a chaotic state of confusion, that people were no 


longer able to trust to their own senses, and were compelled 
to have recourse to the sophistry of a set of pettifogging 

Instant aid was demanded against the Turks. But all the 
Estates, instead of granting aid, unanimously joined in com- 
plaining of the conduct of their sister Estates in Italy, Bur- 
gundy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, which separated 
themselves more and more from the empire, and no longer 
contributed their quota to the maintenance of the state. The 
nobility declined contributing in money, the cities refused to 
furnish men. After a long debate it was at length resolved 

to levy a tax of 24,000 florins, to defray the expense of 

defending the empire against the Turks. This sum, like the 
former ones granted, was never raised. When the emperor, 
in 1497, convoked the Estates to Lindau, in order to take 
measures against the French in Italy, they came unfurnished 
with troops and unsupplied with money. 

CXCI. Separatum of Switzerland from the Empire. — Wart 
of the Friscians and Ditmarses. — Civil dissensions. — The 
Bundschuh. — Wars of Venice and Milan. 

The empire, like the oak whose topmost branches first show 
symptoms of the decay spreading from its roots, first lost the 
finest of her German provinces, and her holy banner was 
hurled from those glorious natural bulwarks, whence, mid ice 
and snow, our victorious forefathers had looked down upon the 
fertile vales of Italy. Unlike the defection of the Slavonians 
and Italians from the empire, that of the Swiss inflicted a 
heart-felt wound. Their desertion has been explained and 
justified by time, but how much nobler would it not have been 
had they at least attempted to remodel the empire, by creating 
an energetic interposition on the part of the people ! 

The Swiss confederation had been declared an int 
part of the Swabian circle, but, influenced by distrust < 
Swabian cities, which had ever preserved a false ne 
towards them, and of the princes and nobles, their 1 
foes, they refused to enter into the league. Their 
against Burgundy had, moreover, rendered them insol 
presumptuous, whilst France incessantly imitH 

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under the Count von Filrstenberg, whilst he advanced toward* 
Geneva, and was occupied in crossing the lake when the newi 
of Fiirstenberg's defeat and death, near Dornach, arrived. 
The princes, little desirous of staking their honour against 
their low-born opponents, instantly returned home in great 
numbers, and the emperor was therefore compelled to make 
peace. The Swiss retained possession of the Thurgau and of 
Basle, and SchafFhausen joined the confederation, which was 
not subject to the imperial chamber, and for the future be- 
longed merely in name to the empire, and gradually fell under 
the growing influence of France, A, d. 1499, 

Some years after the Swiss war, Maximilian was involved in 
a petty war of succession in Bavaria, A. d. 1504, Disturbances 
had also arisen in the Netherlands, [a. d. 1494,] where the 
people favoured Charles of Gueldres to the prejudice of tin 
xhiksburg, Maximilian's son* Philip the Handsome, at length 
concluded a truce with his opponent, and went into Spain for 
the purpose of taking possession of the kingdom of Castille, 
whose queen, Isabella, had just expired, in the name of her 
daughter, his wife, Johanna- Ferdinand of Arragon, bis 
father-in-law, however, refused to yield the throne of Castille 
during his life -time, and, in his old age, married a young 
Frenchwoman, in the hope of raising another heir to the 
throne of Arragon. Johanna had been imprisoned during 
Philip's absence, by command of her cruel father, in Medina 
del Campo. Animated by a strong desire to rejoin her hus- 
band, whom she passionately loved, she placed herself under 
the gateway, whence she refused to move, notwithstanding 
the inclemency of the weather, and remained there night and 
day until she was liberated* She was reported to her hus- 
band as crazed, but his messenger disproved the fact, and he 
rejoined her, but shortly afterwards died, either of a sudden 
chill, or of poison, which Johanna was accused of having ad- 
ministered, but a heavier suspicion falls upon Ferdinand, 
Johanna refused to quit the body of her husband, which she 
constantly held in her embrace and watched over, taking it 
every where with her, so that, as had been once foretold to him, 
he wandered more about his Spanish kingdom after his death 
than during his life-time. She was at length persuaded 
permit his interment ; but the body had scarcely been removed 
-**e she imagined herself at Medina del Campo, her belo< 



Philip m the Netherlands, and that the wm not allowed to 
join Maa, and her attendants were compelled to beg of her to 
order the vault to be reopened, in order to convince herself of 
his death. She did to, but had the coffin once more placed at 
her aide. She then eonso&ed herself with a nurse's tale of a 
dead long, who, after a lapse of fourteen years, waa restored 
to life, and with childish delight awaited the day. On finding 
her hopes disappointed she became ineurablj insane, and was 
pot under restraint. She survived her husband fifty jears. 

Philip left two sons, Charles and Ferdinand. His sister, 
Margaret, became regent of the Netherlands, whence Albert, 
the brave duke of Saxony, had been expelled by Philip, and 
been degraded to a mere stadtholder of Western-Friesland. 
Eastern-Frieslaad was a prey to civil dissension, [a. d. 1454,] 
and bravely defended itself against Oldenburg and Western- 
Friesland until 1515, when it submitted to the emperor, and 
Henry of Nassau, who had wedded the heiress of the French 
boose of Orange and had taken that name, became stadtholder 
of Holland, where be acquired great popularity, a. d. 1516. 

The Ditmarses sustained a far more serious war with Den- 
mark, wbieb eommenced a. d. 1500. The invading army, 
thirty thousand strong, was completely cut to pieces [a. d. 
1511] by three hundred peasants. But their hour also came. 
Success had rendered them insolent, and civil dissensions 
breaking out among them, they fell under the rule of Fre- 
derick, king of Denmark, [a. v. 1559,] who wisely endea- 
voured to win them by exempting them from wtsry war-tax, 
by raising no fortresses In their country, and by feavlng them 
to their own jurisdietion, 

The tumults that eontinu*! to <mur in i\m qHUm hn4 no 
influence on the course of «v<*nfs, and umiAy mtfo mtitm s# 
indications of the insolent r«*ultinjf from MVtymityt Quar- 
rels broke out in the Hanss, whiuh *l*o wUmUhA tlm repeated 
attacks of the neighbouring power*, Mo*i of toe dUtUFMRntwi 
that took place within tha aMtm M'o*e from t\m dimmtfflifc of 
the people, on account of th<* fmuonitkm flf fre»b to*0»i find 
the egotism of the muniuipsl gwwnumtot Tto 0*»mpte trf 
the Burgundian court had Umatmmi tha lusury mA oMmtn- 
taon of the higher doss**, and tha maintonanoo pf paaoa and 
order ealW " * (greater outlay In Iba adminiit.ration, and 
consequi ha ganoral Imposition of tAxa* duet, etc, 



These charges fell more heavily on the peasant than on the 
citizen* and occasioned continual disturbances. The first ex- 
tensive conspiracy of the peasants was formed in 1498, at 
Schlettstadt, in Alsace* Their banner was the Bundsvhnh y 
a peasant's shoe stuck upon a stake , the symbol of the pea- 
santry, as the boot was that of the knights. Their object was 
the abolition of the ecclesiastical and Roman courts of law, of 
the customs and enormous imposts. This conspiracy was dis- 
covered and put down by force, but Appeared again at differ- 
ent periods under various names. The most violent demon- 
stration of this description was made [a* d. 1514] in the 
Kemsthal, simultaneously with the fearful revolt of the pea- 
sants in Hungary. Both had a sanguinary close. 

Charles had been succeeded on the throne of France by 
Louis XII., who renewed the projects upon Italy, and main- 
tained his claims upon Milan in right of his grandmother, a 
Visconti. Venice, ever at strife with that city, gladly fa- 
voured his pretensions ; and the pope, Alexander VI., in the 
hope of gaining by his means an Italian throne for his son, 
the notorious Csesar Borgia, also sided with him. Louis in- 
vaded Italy, [a. d. 1500,] and took possession of Milan. Sforza 
taking eight thousand Swiss mercenaries into his service, and 
regaining his duchy* Louis also turned to them for aid, and* 
strengthened by a body of ten thousand of these troops, shut 
up Sforza in No vara. The Swiss, however, refusing to fight 
against each other, Sforza's mercenaries were permitted to 
march unmolested out of the city. The duke, disguised as 
one of the number, quitted the place with them, hut was sold 
by a man of Uri, named Turmann, to the French monarch, 
who sent him prisoner to France, The confederation sen- 
tenced the traitor to execution, but the good name of the 
^wiss had suffered an irreparable injury, not only by this in- 
cident, but by their mercenary habits, Anshelm the historian 
observes, that they returned to their mountains laden with 
booty and covered with disgrace* 

Maximilian beheld the successes of the French monarch in 
Italy, and Ferdinand of Naples dragged in chains to France, 
with impotent rage, and convoked one diet after another with- 
out being able to raise either money or troops* At length, in 
the hope of saving his honour, he invested France with the 
duchy of his brother-in-law, Sforza, and, by the treaty of 


Blois, [a. d. 1504,] ceded Milan to France for the sum of two 
hundred thousand francs. The marriage of Charles, Max* 
imilian's grandson, with Claudia, the daughter of Louis, who 
it was stipulated should bring Milan in dowry to the house of 
Habsburg, also formed one of the articles of this treaty, and 
in the event of any impediment to the marriage being raised 
by France, Milan was to be unconditionally restored to the 
house of Austria. The marriage of the Archduke Ferdi- 
nand with Anna, the youthful daughter of Wladislaw of 
Hungary and Bohemia, was more fortunate. Ferdinand of 
Spain, unable to tolerate the Habsburg as his successor on the 
throne, entered into a league with France, who instantly in- 
fringed the treaty of Blois, and Claudia was married to 
Francis of Anjou, the heir-apparent to the throne of France. 
Maximilian, enraged at Louis's perfidy, vainly called upon the 
imperial Estates of Germany to revcmgu the Insult * tie was 
merely enabled to raise a small body of trmtm t with which he 
crossed the Alps for the purponw of taking possession of 
Milan and of being finally crowned hy the \rn\w* The Ve- 
netians, however, refused to grant, him u (Vhm parage* defeated 
him at Catora, and compcllm! him Im Mm** his steps* At 
Trient, Matthaeus Lang, urclibMiup ijf ftillhttrgj {liaised the 
crown on his brow in th« 11111110 uf thu pMpn, A-. \U lfldfli The 
Venetians, inspirited by numitfM, MIuWmiI up thei? victory by 
the reduction of Triontti ami V\nm j Mlri a great; revolt of the 
people in Genoa, who fttvoui'iui Jim impMritth'nMftei against the 
aristocracy, the partUami ttf |*V*HMtf» Wrn Mipprpwd by the 
Swiss mercenaries in UmW* pay, Tlw MimlwWatton, over- 
whelmed with reproiwhe* ami muvul tu rthanm by tl»« earnest 
appeal of the emparor to thair" Imimmup art tlci'ttMn*, m\% am- 
bassadors to Constant**, to toy exmitfrm IW their tmmlttot be'fbra 
the emperor, but thtft wmM'flialiNh thttt Mintlt*i1 WttA wpoedily 
forgotten on the unoMpmiM ttmilillt'ltttluH of the alliance of 
the emperor with FnuM»M, 

The insolence and tfi*»Mp(Mtf polity of Veiiloe had rendered 
her univ ersally obnoaioutf, MitttlmflUit lind \w\\ Insulted and 
robbed JtftauLoulii drtiadal lier vicinity to his newly* 
gainoA^^^BlCUan 1 1 ''Willi mini, III* pope, and the 

rest-^^^^ — wr- \ m > with similar enmity. 

The* «f ilit* lengue of Cam* 



bray, A. d. 1508, in which all the contending parties ceased 
their strife to unite against their common foe. The French 
gained a decisive victory at Agtiadello* Yicenza was taken 
by the imperial troops, a. d> 1510* The Swiss, who had at 
first aided Venice, being forced to retreat during the severe 
winter of 1512, revenged themselves by laying Lombardy 
waste, Venice, deprived of their aid, humbled herself before 
the emperor, and the senator Giustiniani fell in the name of 
the republic at his feet, and finally persuaded both him and the 
pope to renounce their alliance with France. The new con- 
federates were, however, defeated at Ravenna by the French 
under Gaston de Foix, The Swiss confederation, gained over 
by the bishop of Sion, who was rewarded with a cardinal's 
hut, now took part with the emperor and the pope, and, march- 
ing into Lombardy, drove out the French and placed Max 
Sforza on the ducal throne of Milan, A. D, 1512, The sub- 
sequent tyranny and insubordination of the Swiss in Lom- 
bardy, and the great preparations for war made by France, 
induced Venice, ever watchful over her interests, again to 
enter into alliance with that country. The fresh invasion 
of Lombardy in 1513, by the French under Larremouille, and 
the German lancers of Robert von der Mark, terminated 
disastrously to the invaders, and the Swiss, after plundering 
Lombardy, united with a small body of imperialists under 
Ulric, duke of Wurtemberg, and, penetrating into Franee B3 
far as Dijon, made the king tremble on bis throne. Their 
departure was purchased at an enormous price. 

The emperor, although unable to offer much opposition to 
France in Italy, was more successful in the Netherlands, where, 
aided by the English, he carried on war against Louis and gain- 
ed a second battle of spurs at Teroanne.* He also assembled 
a troop of lancers under George von Frnndsberg, who besieged 
Ye nice, and fought his way through an overwhelming force 
under the Venetian general, Alviano, at Ceratia. On the 

* Peter Daniel says, in his History of France, " because our cavalry 
made more use nf their spurs than of their swords/* The Clu'vuJu-r 
Bayard, on perceiving the impossibility of escape, tonk an English knight, 
who had just dismounted, prisoner, in ordeT instanlly to surrender him- 
self to him. Maximilian, on being informed of this strange adventure 
restored Bayard to liberty* 


death of Louis, [a. d. 1515,] fortune once more favoured 
France. Francis I., immediately after his accession to the 
throne, invaded Italy in person, at the head of an immense 
force, among which were six thousand (Germans) of the 
black band, so called from their harness, under Robert von 
der Mark, and twenty thousand under the duke of Gueldres. 
By a shameful treaty at Galera, the Swiss agreed to deliver 
up to him the city of Milan for three hundred thousand 
French crown dollars, and the small Swiss force, still defend- 
ing that duchy, was, consequently, recalled. The Bernese 
obeyed, but the Zurichers and the peasantry of the four can- 
tons preferred annihilation to dishonour, and stood their 
ground. The battle of Marignano, between the Swiss and the 
French, took place on the 14th of September, 1515. Schin- 
ner, the cardinal-bishop of Sion, mounted on horseback and 
arrayed in his purple robes, headed the confederation. This 
engagement lasted a day and a half, and the victory was at 
length decided by the arrival of the Venetians, who fell upon 
the rear of the Swiss. Zwingli of Zurich, who shortly after- 
wards appeared as the great reformer, was also in this battle. 
The confederated Swiss, notwithstanding their enormous num- 
ber of killed and wounded, made an orderly and honourable 
retreat, but were reproached on their return home for having 
broken the treaty of Galera. The French party triumphed. 
Domo d'Ossola was delivered up to them by the Bernese go- 
vernor. Francis unsparingly showered gold upon the con- 
federation, and, in 1516, Berne, Lucerne, Unterwalden, Zug, 
Glarus, Fryburg, Solothurn, and Appenzell concluded the so 
called "eternal alliance" with France. Zurich, Uri, Schwytz, 
and Basle alone disdained this disgraceful traffic in blood. 
Frundsberg, left unaided in Italy, was shut up in Verona by 
the French, where, in spite of famine and pestilence, he 
bravely held out until relieved by a small force under Rogen- 
dorf. Maximilian entered Lombardy in person, [a. d. 1516,] 
with twenty thousand men, ten thousand of whom were Swiss, 
under the loyal-hearted Stapfer of Zurich, but was compelled 
to retreat, owing to want of money, and the superior numbers 
of Swiss in the service of France. Unable to save Milan, he 
made a virtue of necessity and ceded that duchy to Francis. 
In his old age, he zealously endeavoured to raise means for 
carrying on the war against the Turks, but the princes re- 


fused their aid, and the first symptoms of the reformation be- 
gan to stir among the people. " Let us march," wrote Ulri* 
von Hutten, "not against the Turk, but against the pope I* 



CXC1L The Church.— The Humanists.— The art of Print- 
ing. — Luther. 

The self-subjugation of Bohemia and the Vienna concordat 
had effectually checked every demand for reformation in the 
church, and Rome once more breathed freely. The people 
were reduced to silence, and the popes redoubled their pre- 
tensions and more shamelessly exhibited their vices. After 
Pius II. (JEneas Sylvius) had proved to the world that dis- 
loyalty was the best recommendation to the pontifical throne, 
Paul II. demonstrated by his all-despising brutality, splen- 
dour, and arrogance, that he could still further abuse the vic- 
tory gained by his predecessor, and by his fury against the 
Bohemians the implacability of the despotism self-denominated 
the loving mother of all the nations of the earth. Sixtus IV. 
bestowed the fiendish institution of the Inquisition on Spain, 
and public brothels on Rome. Innocent VIII. enriched his 
sixteen illegitimate children from the treasury of St. Peter, 
replenished by the offerings of the faithful, and publicly de- 
clared that, "God, instead of desiring the punishment of sin- 
ners, only called upon them to pay for their sins." Alexander 
VI., whose horrid crimes have been recorded by his master of 
the ceremonies, John Burkhard of Strassburg, surpassed all 
his predecessors in profligacy. His daughter, the infamous 
Lucretia Borgia, was termed " Alexandri filia, sponsa, nurus." 
Stained with blood, unnatural crime, intemperance, and treach- 
ery towards both friend and foe, this monster at length fell a 

iiiiiu: ZL vmvs&isr.' a::-.^ 

M , t ...... ■ • i... • ■ ■ 

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with which they emulated the sovereigns of France in the ai 
of political perfidy, of diplomatic falsehood, of insidious trea- 
ties, of treachery towards their allies, and of systematic ty- 
ranny, of fraudulent or violent suppress! on of ancient popular 
liberty. Political craft was, it is true, also practised by the 
potentates of Germany ; the emperor, Charles IV*, was, never* 
tbelesSj owing to the lessons he had heen taught during his 
youth at Avignon, the only perfect adept in the art, the rough 
honesty of the German character ever displaying itself in the 
actions, whether good or evil, of the princes of the empire. 
In France and Italy deceit was, on the contrary, the guiding 
maxim in diplomacy, the spirit of which has heen faithfully 
portrayed hy Maa:hiavelli in his work, "The Prince, " whose 
political ohject is unlimited despotism, whose means are sol- 
diers for conquest and oppression, money for raising an army 
and for bribing opponents, assassination, treachery, falsehood, 
for getting rid of a rival or for deceiving him, diplomatic spies 
in the person of ambassadors at the courts of brother mon- 
archs, (the papal legates were patterns for ambassadors of this 
description,) and the promotion of popular ignorance by the 
diffusion of superstitious doctrines, least believed by those 
who taught them. 

The depravity of the church was the inevitable result ol 
the enormous multitude of idlers and hypocrites fostered in 
her bosom. The bishoprics had, generally speaking, gradually 
become sinecures for princes and counts, and the canonries 
were, consequently, as was the case at Strassburg, usually be- 
stowed upon nobles of high birth, who revelled in wanton 
luxury. Men of talent could alone attain distinction in the 
service of the pope. The priests were proverbially ignorant* 
and brutal, and their ignorance was countenanced by the 
popes, who expressly decreed that out of ten ecclesiastics one 
alone was to study* Their morals were as depraved as their 
minds were besotted. Celibacy was eluded by the main- 
tenance of housekeepers, and drunkenness was a elerictd vice 
commonly alluded to in the satires of the day. Wealthy 
priests had poor vicars, travelling students, in their pay* who 
preached for them, and the hopes of these hirelings, wh< bore 

• The anecdote of the pries t s who, having once heard the expression, 
"St. Benedietus bercedicat," ignorantly eaid, "St. Bernharduii beraJiai* 
dat,' had long been a popular jest. 



the whole burthen of the office for the merest pittance, may 
be easily conceived, on the outburst of the Reformation. Most 
of the travelling preachers belonged to this class. The most 
horrid disorder prevailed in the monasteries and convents. 
It was proverbially said in reference to the triple vow, " the 
monks are only poor in the bath, obedient at table, and 
chaste at the altar," and also, " the abbots have, by means of 
their poverty, become the wealthiest proprietors, by means of 
their obedience, mighty potentates, by means of their chastity, 
the husbands of all the women." The princely abbots of St. 
Gall, Fulda, etc, who had a seat in the diet, were in fact power- 
ful and real princes. The nuns were not much better than 
the monks, who, John von Goch said at Mechlin, " did what 
the devil was ashamed to think ! " Scholasticism had intro- 
duced fresh symbols into religion. The Virgin had become 
an object of deeper devotion than either God or the Saviour, 
and the people were habituated to gross and obscene repre- 
sentations. The veneration paid to relics was rendered 
ridiculous by the practice of deceit and the fabrication of sub- 
stitutes. The saints had generally three or four different 
bodies, and innumerable limbs, all of which were declared 
genuine ; there was a chemise, belonging to the holy Virgin, 
six feet in length ; the drum on which the march was beaten 
when the Jews crossed the Red Sea dry-shod ; hay from the 
manger ; a piece of the head of Tobias's fish, etc. etc. : added 
to which were the coarse buffooneries enacted in the churches, 
partly by the priests in self-mockery, the shameless burlesque 
sermons, the fools' and asses' festivals, and other spectacles of 
a similar description. The sale of indulgences was, however, 
more revolting than all ; it was intrusted by the pope to the 
begging monks on account of their intercourse with the peo- 
ple, and the matter became a complete quackery. Tetzel, the 
best known of these dealers in absolution on account of his 
having been the first who was attacked, carried about a 
picture of the devil tormenting poor souls in hell, and wrote on 
his money-box, 

" As the money in you pop, 
The souls from purgatory hop." 

The indulgence was at that period generally termed "The 
Roman pardon," and was purchased more from fear than 

stupidity* The emperor Wenzel and Hieronymus f Prague 
were not solitary in their disapprobation, numbers regarding 
it as an obnoxious tribute to Rome, and fear alone rendering 
the popular discontent inaudible* It was, nevertheless, mani- 
fested in an imperial decree of 1500 r which declared that 
a third of the immense sums raised by the sale of indul^ 
should alone be granted to the pope, and that the remaining 
two-thirds should be applied by the government for the de- 
fence of the empire against the Turks, but no one, except 
Wimpheling, who presented a work of his composition to the 
emperor Maximilian during the diet held at Augsburg, A. d« 
1510, in which he said, "that the church wits intrusted to 
people who knew better how to drive mules than to guide 
men, and that Germany wasted money on the foreigner that 
she required for herself," ventured to protest against this 
system of peculation* 

The old German universities, and those that had arisen since 
the abandonment of that of Prague by the German professors 
and students* were peopled with the most decided foes to the 
Bohemian cause, and their doctors had been Huss's most viru- 
lent antagonists in the council of Constance, Every species 
of nonsense was at this period capable of being proved sense 
by means of scholastic logic- Learning* however^ speedily 
revenged herself on her unworthy professors. The solemn 
fools pretending to the title of professors and doctors were too 
idle to learn even ordinary Latin, and men of superior intellect 
gradually succeeded, under the unsuspicious pretext of im- 
proving the languages in the universities, in elevating their 
tone. A school, in which genuine piety went hand in hand 
with enlightenment, had formed in obscurity, independent o\~ 
the universities. It was founded at Deventer, in the I4tf 
century, by Gerard de Groote, under the form of a monical 
community, which bore the simple title of " Brethren of com- 
mon life." This school sent forth Ruysbroek* who founded a 
learned university in Gruntbal, near Cambniy* The younger 
generation of students attained still greater distinction fr 
the study of the dead languages, by means of which they ob- 
tained admission into the universities, and strongly opposed 
scholasticism. The new study of the dead languages was 
termed " Humaniora/' on account of the historical aesthetic 
philosophy introduced by its mean? in opposition to that ] 







theological. The church at first took no offence at this in- 
novation, the Humanists merely improving the church Latin, 
whilst the study of the ancient heathen writers was simply 
regarded as an amusement likely to wean men from the 
practice of the strict morality inculcated by the Reformers. 
The pure study of the classics was especially promoted in 
Heidelberg and Erfurt by Lange, but its greatest patrons 
were, at the end of the 15th century, Erasmus of Rotterdam 
at Basle, and Reuchlin of Pforzheim in Tubingen, the former 
of whom possessed all the subtlety, the latter all the solid 
learning, requisite for deep investigation.* The study of 
Hebrew in addition to Greek and Latin, however, roused the 
suspicion of the church, which feared lest the study of the 
Bible text might render the infallibility of the papal ordinances 
doubtful, and [a. d. 1479] Burchard of Oberwesel was con- 
demned to perpetual imprisonment for venturing to assert that 
the Bible ought to be read in Hebrew. An attempt made to 
burn all Hebrew books was controverted by Reuchlin, who 
said "that it would certainly do no harm to destroy some 
irrational books of the Jewish Talmud, but that whatever was 
good in Hebrew ought to be perused like every thing that 
was good in other languages." To the great vexation of the 
opposite party, Leo X., who patronized learning, was of a 
similar opinion. 

The art of printing was invented in the first half of the 15th 
century. The first step to it was the art of carving on wood ; 
pictures of saints, cards for playing, elementary school-books, 
had been printed from wooden tablets. This art was greatly 
practised at Haarlem. The art of printing with movable 
letters was first invented by John Guttenberg at Mayence ; 
was improved upon by John Fust, with whom Guttenberg, on 
account of his poverty, entered into partnership ; and still 
further perfected by Peter Schoeffer. Before the time of 
Luther the Bible had already been translated and printed in 
both High and Low Dutch, and the comparison between the 

* Erasmus was reputed the greatest scholar in the world. A statue 
was erected to his memory by his fellow-citizens at Rotterdam, where it 
is still to be seen. It was asserted in the popular superstition of the day, 
that from time to time he turned over a leaf of the book he is represented 
holding in his hand, and that when the last leaf shall turn over the worH 
wiL be at an end. 



overdrawn ordinances of the church and the simple gogpel 
was thus greatly facilitated- The press quickly became the 
organ of controversy, and the empire was ere long inundated 
with works for and against the Humanists- The celebrated 
Erasmus, without deviating from the dogmas of the church, 
taught the students to read the Bible in the original text mT 
to investigate its meaning, whilst his Latin satirical poems, 
the wittiest of those times, spread throughout civilized Europe, 
and accustomed the reader to laugh at many things hitherto 
viewed with reverential awe** The increasing diffusion of 
satirical works first demonstrated the power of the weapon 
placed by Guttenberg in the hands of the people. The monks 
perceived their danger, and, as the untaught people were un- 
able to read or write, and books consequently fell merely into 
the bands of the literati and the small educated portion of the 
nobility and citizens, they sought to prejudice the people 
against this novel invention by ascribing it to the devil* and 
hence arose the story of Dr. Faust, in whose name that of 
Fust the printer at May e nee is hardly recognisable* Bert hold, 
archbishop of Mnyence* first introduced the censorship and 
prohibited printed books* 

Humanism was greatly promoted by the foundation of the 
university at Wittenberg, [a, d. 1502*] by the elector of 
Saxony, Frederick the Wise. Reuchlin sent thither young 
Philip Melancthon, ( Sch warzerde, black earth,) who possessed 
both his solid acquirements and the subtle penetration of 
Erasmus, and greatly surpassed them both in £eal for truth. 
This university was opposed [a* d, 1506] by another 
founded by Joachim, elector of Brandenburg, at Frankfurt oo 
the Oder, with a papal tendency* 

The discovery of the passage to the East Indies and 
America opened a fresh field for investigation, and also greatly 
contributed to the enlightenment of the age, befure which scho- 
lastic sophistry could no longer stand. Still, notwithstand- 
ing the advance in the learning of the age, the people, far 
removed from its influence, remained in a state of men 1 
darkness, and the scholars of the day*, liberal-minded as the; 

* Erasmus whs, At d. 1510, invited to England by Henry VIJL, wxo! 
hia *' Praise of Folly " whilst residing- with Sir Thomas More, and wt 
appointed Margaret professor of divinity and Greek lecturer at Cam- 
bridge. — T RAM S L ATOR . 













LUTHER. 225 

frequently were, either wanted the power or the courage to 
gpeak openly and freely. The veneration and awe generally 
inspired by the authority of the pope restrained the discon- 
tented, until a man, belonging to the lower classes, gave the 
example, and animated even princes in the cause. Martin 
Luther, the son of a poor miner in Saxony, an Augustin 
monk, Doctor and Professor of Theology at the new uni- 
versity of Wittenberg, a fiery and daring spirit, a hero in the 
garb of a monk, resolved, alone and fearlessly, to promulgate 
the convictions common to him and to many others. Uncon- 
scious of his high destiny and as yet totally devoid of ambi- 
tion, his first actions were solely inspired by wrath on seeing 
the shameless conduct of John Tetzel, the retailer of indulg- 
ences, in Saxony. 

Luther was born at Eisleben, and lived for some time with 
his parents at Moera, near Schmalkald ; on the improvement 
in their circumstances, consequent on his father being taken 
into the service of Count von Mansfeld, he was sent to the 
academies, and at first devoted himself to the study of juris- 
prudence at Erfurt, which he abandoned for that of theology 
on the death of his friend Alexius, who was struck with light- 
ning when at his side. He afterwards entered the order of 
St. Augustin, a branch of Franciscans, whose strict morality 
and learning strongly contrasted with the licence, ignorance, 
and perverting sophistry of the other monastic orders. In 
1509, Luther visited Rome on business relating to his order, 
and took up his abode outside the Porta del Popolo, in the 
little monastery that is still to be seen there. On his return, 
"a. d. 1512,] he was appointed doctor at Wittenberg, and 
^A. d. 1516] published the " German Theology," a work writ- 
ten in the simple, severe style of the best mystics, among 
whom he sought shelter and encouragement against the scho- 
lastics. As yet he had neither joined the witty and learned 
Humanists, nor did his inclinations sympathize with theirs ; 
he attacked the follies and depravity of the age, not with sa- 
tire and irony, but with the earnest gravity of a mystic monk, 
a stranger to the world. He acted with perfect independence, 
to the astonishment of both his antagonists and his friends. 

On the 3 1 st of October, 1517, Luther publicly brought for- 
ward in the castle-church at Wittenberg ninety-five These* 
against the indulgence, the principal of which were, "that by 


226 LUTHER. 

sincere repentance and penance alone, not by the payment of 
a sum of money, could sins be remitted, and, consequently, 
that the pope had no right to dispense absolution for money ; 
moreover, that the pope, being merely the vicegerent of God 
upon earth, could only remit the external penances ordained 
by the church on earth, not the eternal punishment awarded 
to the sinner after death." This bold assertion, like a spark 
of vivid light amid profound darkness, rendered the truth fully 
visible, and thousands, once the spell of silence broken, ven- 
tured to utter their secret thoughts ; thousands became clearly 
aware of facts of which they had before timidly doubted. The 
whole of Germany and Europe was inundated with copies of 
the Theses, and unanimously showered applause upon the bold 
monk. The ancient church, undermined by advancing know* 
ledge and her own depravity, tottered to the base. The ex- 
citement caused by these Theses was so great that Tetzel 
found himself forced to attempt a defence, which, however, 
merely consisted of coarse abuse of his antagonist, and a 
haughty appeal to the authority of the pope. Prierias, Hoch- 
straaten, and Eck wrote in a similar spirit At Rome, the 
atfair was merely viewed as a monkish dispute, and the Car- 
dinal Thomas of Gaeta, (Cajetanus,) the general of the Do- 
minicans, was commissioned to examine into it. The old 
emperor, Maximilian, had, exactly at that period, [a. d. 1518,] 
opened a diet at Augsburg, at which several of the princes 
and cities complained of the sale of indulgences and of other 
ecclesiastical disorders, and the emperor, deeming it politic to 
make use of Luther as a means of humbling the pontiff, and 
of compelling him to retract some of his inordinate demands, 
refused to deliver him up, although he had been cited to ap- 
pear at Rome, and, on the conclusion of the diet, a discussioi 
took place between Luther and Cajetanus at Augsburg. Ii 
was in vain that the cardinal demanded unconditional recant- 
ation, Luther was firm, and Cajetanus at last terminated the 
discussion by saying, *' I will no longer talk to this beast ; he 
is deep-sighted, and has wonderful ideas." Luther appealed 
" from the ill-informed pope to those better informed," and, 
besides maintaining his Theses, increased the boldness of his 
scrutiny and of his words as his antagonists augmented, and 
turned the arguments they brought forward in defence of the 
papal ordinances against themselves. The politics of the day 

LUTHER. 227 

also momentarily insured his personal safety, and allowed 
time for his friends to assemble before his enemies could take 
any decisive step against him. The pope and all the temporal 
princes were at that period deeply interested in the election 
of a successor to Maximilian, who, on the close of the diet and 
after assisting at the marriage of Albert Achilles, Margrave of 
Brandenburg, with Susanna of Bavaria, had quitted Augsburg 
for Innsbruck, where the citizens, enraged at the licentious 
conduct of his officers, closed the gates against him and com- 
pelled him to remain during the whole of the wintry night, 
January, 1519, in his carriage in the open street. Mortifica- 
tion and chill brought on a fever, and he expired at Wels on 
his way to Vienna. 

Frederick of Saxony became regent of the empire ; by many 
he was even destined for the throne ; at all events his vote at 
the election was of great weight, and the pope consequently 
presented him with a golden rose and acted with extraordinary 
lenity towards Luther, between whom, his friends Melancthon 
and Carlstadt on one side, and the terrible dialectic Eck on 
the other, a religious discussion took place at Leipzig. 
Luther, powerful in body and mind, spoke with manly, clear 
precision ; Carlstadt, a diminutive, dark man, with bitterness 
nnd heat; whilst Melancthon, with his pale countenance, 
slight and drooping form, impressive tones, and deep learning, 
breathed gentle persuasion ; but Eck, overpowering in person 
as in lungs, drowned their voices, and with great acuteness 
pointed out the contradictions inseparable from the Protestant- 
ism of later days. This discussion, like its predecessors, was 
merely productive of increased hatred. 

Luther's partisans, meanwhile, increased in number and 
courage. The Bohemians wrote to him with great delight t 
the Humanists also declared in his favour ; Ulric von Huttei. 
addressed to him a letter with the superscription, " Awake, 
noble freedom ;" and Franz von Sickingen offered him shelter 
and protection, in case of necessity, in his hidden castles ; but 
Luther's hopes were centered in Charles V., the youthful 
grandson of the late emperor, who had just been proclaimed 
his successor, aided by whom the reformation of the church 
would be secured. With this intention he addressed to him 
a letter of admonition, but full of reverence and suited to the 
spirit of the age, which the imperious youth, confident of the 

Q 2 

228 LUTHER. 

infallibility of his commanding genius, and blind to the exi- 
gencies of the times, did not comprehend, and treated with 

Inspirited by public sympathy, Luther gave to the world 
his two celebrated works, " To the Christian Nobility of the 
German Nation," and, " Of the Babylonian Captivity of the 
Church," the boldest that had yet appeared. The words of 
the hero of Wittenberg struck dumb his antagonists and con- 
firmed the wavering. He addressed the pope, the emperor, 
the aristocracy, the people, reminding them of the duty they 
had to perform in these agitated times, and requiring each to 
aid in placing Christianity and the German empire on a 
firmer basis. He wrote in Latin to potentates and savants, 
in German to the people, and his enthusiasm suddenly raised 
that language, which had deteriorated since the Swabian 
period, and laid the foundation to the High German of more 
modern times. His introduction of a German in the place of 
the Latin liturgy, until now used, of German psalm-singing in 
churches, and his abolition of the Latin service, were justly 
considered as some of the most essential reforms. 

Rome now lamented her tardiness, and the pope, at the 
urgent request of the German theologians, who saw the 
danger close at hand, published, in the beginning of 1520, the 
bull " Exurge Domine," in which Luther's doctrines were con- 
demned. Cardinal Alcander carried the bull to Germany, 
where his life was endangered by the almost universal popu- 
larity of the bold Reformer, who now solemnly renounced all 
obedience to the pope and to the ancient church. Convoking 
the professors and students of Wittenberg before the Elster- 
thor, he publicly delivered the papal bull and the books of 
the canonical law to the flames, December 11th, 1520; the 
elector not only countenancing this proceeding, but also blam- 
ing Alcander for having promulgated the papal bull in Ger- 
many without his knowledge, and declaring the papal bull 
unjust, and that the pope, by listening to Luther's personal 
enemy, Dr. Eck, had forgotten his duty as a judge by not 
hearing the opposite side, and by needlessly agitating the peo- 
ple. Shortly after this, on Christmas day, Carlstadt, publicly 
and unopposed, administered the sacrament in both forms, 
giving the cup to the laity after the manner of the Hussites. 


CXCIII. Charles the Fifth.— The Diet at Worms.— Thomas 
Munzer. — Zwingli. — Pope Adrian. — Internal feuds. 

Whilst the people were thus busied with the Reformation, 
the attention of the princes was wholly bestowed on the elec- 
tion of a successor to the throne, on which the balance of 
power in Europe depended. 

The house of Habsburg had become the most powerful in 
Europe. Maximilian died, A. D. 1519; his only son, Philip, 
in 1506, leaving two sons, Charles and Ferdinand, to the 
elder of whom fell all the Habsburg possessions, and, on the 
demise of Ferdinand the Catholic, the whole of Spain and 
Naples, together with the late Spanish conquests in America. 
This monarch boasted that the sun never set on his dominions. 
A Persian ambassador addressed him as "the monarch pro- 
tected by the sun." He also bore two globes in his escutcheon. 
Although naturally desirous of wearing the imperial crown on 
the death of his grandfather, he had, notwithstanding his 
youth, the ability to perceive that his election would rouse 
the fear and jealousy of the other potentates of Europe, and 
cautiously to veil his ambitious project of gaining the supre- 
macy in Europe. His motto was "nondum." Francis I., 
who had reaped laurels whilst Charles was yet a boy, his 
equal in ambition, but his inferior in intellect and power, at 
first boldly confronted him in the lists, and competed for the 
imperial throne. Had the crown of Germany been placed on 
his brow, the power of the Habsburg would have found an 
equipoise ; his ill success, on the contrary, placed him, as if in 
a giant's grasp, between Germany and Spain, and limited him 
to a mere defensive policy. 

Each of the competitors sought to incline the election in his 
favour, and, as the issue was doubtful, to secure himself in 
case of ill success. The pope dreaded Charles's supremacy 
and opposed him, at the same time carefully guarding against 
converting him into an enemy, whilst the electoral princes 
dreaded the power of both of the aspirants and offered the 
crown to Frederick the Wise, elector of Saxony, who, con- 
scious that the little power possessed by his house would in- 
capacitate him from acting with the energy requisite on the 
throne, steadily refused it. Francis was upheld by the dukes 


of Wiirtemberg, Brunswick, Gueldres, and Mecklenburg, and 
for a short time by the celebrated knight Franz von Sickingen. 
His partisans, bribed by promises and gold, however, merely 
injured his cause. The traitors were viewed with universal 
abhorrence, and Francis being rejected on the grounds of 
his not being a German, the choice consequently fell upon 
Charles, who accorded a capitulation to the princes, by which 
they carefully guarded their rights, a. d. 1519. He left Spain 
for Germany, A. D. 1521. 

A great diet, to which all the princes and estates of the 
empire flocked, was convoked at Worms, for the purpose of 
receiving the emperor, of regulating the affairs of the empire, 
but principally for that of deciding the Lutheran controversy. 
The dignified demeanour, gravity, gentleness, and condescend- 
ing manners of the youthful emperor, inspired the assembly 
with reverence. The dislike of the Spaniards to their Ger- 
man ruler, and the inimical preparations of his unsuccessful 
rival, Francis L, rendered the confidence of the Germans and 
the maintenance of peace and unity throughout the empire 
important ; the new religious controversy was, consequently, 
obnoxious to Charles, who, perceiving the indifference felt to- 
wards it by the princes of the empire, deemed it a heresy easy 
to suppress, and as offering a means of winning over the pope. 
So blind was this emperor, talented in other respects, to the 
tendency of the age. Recent events alone might have proved 
to him that the Reformation was inevitable, and if, instead of 
aiding the pope, he had placed himself at its head, it might 
have been preserved from the errors produced by partiality, 
have been carried through with power and moderation, and 
have attained its aim without terminating in a schism. 

Charles, anxious to retain the friendship of the elector of 
Saxony, imagined that the Lutheran question might be quietly 
set aside, and that the insignificant monk would seek to shel- 
ter himself in obscurity from the proud imperial assembly at 
Worms, before which he was cited to appear. Luther's 
friends, alarmed for his safety, vainly advised him not to ap- 
pear. On his arrival at Worms, two thousand people collected 
and accompanied him to his lodging. He was summoned be- 
fore the council, April 18th, 1521. His demeanour as he 
confronted this imposing assembly was dignified and calm. 
On being commanded to retract the charges he had made 


against the church, he addressed them at great length in 
German, and, at the emperor's request, repeated all he had 
said in Latin, openly declaring that he should be guilty of the 
deepest sin were he to recant, as he should thereby strengthen 
and increase the evil he opposed, and urgently demanding to 
be refuted before being condemned. This was refused. The 
emperor, impatient for the termination of the affair, insisted 
on a simple recantation, which Luther steadily rejected. The 
manly courage. with which he spoke was beheld with admira- 
tion by the princes, and with delight by the German nobility, 
and it was rumoured that four hundred of their number had 
pworn to defend him at all hazards ; papers were even found 
on which the significative word " Bundschuh " was inscribed. 

Luther was now put out of the ban of the empire, but the 
emperor, who, in after years, bitterly lamented his not having 
got rid of him by condemning him to the stake, pacified the 
people by a solemn assurance of the inviolability of the safe- 
conduct granted to him, observing, that "if truth and faith 
abode no where else they ought ever to find a refuge in the 
courts of princes." Luther returned home, but was on his 
way carried off by a troop of horsemen to the Wartburg, 
where, safe from the artifices of his enemies, he remained in 
concealment under the protection of his friend and patron, 
Frederick of Saxony. 

The emperor, after forming a new government, in which 
the elector of Saxony had great influence, returned to Spain, 
leaving his brother, the Archduke Ferdinand, in possession of 
Wur tern berg and of his more ancient hereditary possessions 
in Germany. 

Luther's party had already acquired such strength that his 
works were even published at Worms, during the emperor's 
stay. His friends, although imagining him lost, zealously 
followed in his steps, but the want of a leader and the inde- 
cision that prevailed in the exposition of the new doctrines 
produced, like the rising storm as it beats the surface of the 
ocean, a confused murmur throughout Germany. The literati 
endeavoured to render the new Lutheran doctrines clear to 
the dull comprehension of the people. Melancthon drew up 
the principal articles of the Christian doctrine, (the loci com- 
munes,) which greatly contributed to the harmony of the party, 
and formed the groundwork of their system. Ulric von 


Hutten continued his attacks upon the pope. Luther, never- 
theless, in his retirement in the Wartburg, where he was 
known as the Chevalier George, and amused himself sometimes 
by hunting in the neighbourhood, far more aided his cause 
by the translation of the Bible into German, which, besides 
rendering the Scriptures accessible to men of every grade, 
greatly improved the language, and laid the foundation to the 
whole of High German literature. 

The illiterate and the enthusiastic, however, far outstripped 
Luther in their ideas ; instead of reforming they wished to 
annihilate the church, and to grasp political as well as religious 
liberty, and it was justly feared lest these excesses might 
furnish Rome with a pretext for rejecting every species of 
reform. "Luther," wrote their leader, Thomas Munzer, 
" merely draws the word of God from books, and twists the 
dead letters." Nicolas Storch, Munzer's first teacher, a 
clothier, who surrounded himself with twelve apostles and 
seventy-two disciples, boasted of receiving revelations from 
an angel. Their rejection of infant baptism and sole recog- 
nition of that of adults as efficacious, gained for them the ap- 
pellation of Anabaptists. Carlstadt joined this sect, and fol- 
lowed the example already given by Bartholomew Bernhardi, 
a priest, one of Luther's disciples, who had married. The 
disorder occasioned by Carlstadt, who, at the head of a small 
number of adherents, destroyed the images and ornaments in 
the churches, forced Luther, who, regarding himself as the 
soldier of God fighting against the power of Satan upon 
earth, saw the works of the devil not so much in the actions 
of his enemies as in those of his false friends and of those 
who gave way to exaggerated enthusiasm, to quit his retreat, 
and [a. d. 1522] he returned to Wittenberg, where he 
preached for eight days, and at length succeeded in quelling 
the disturbance. The moderate party regained its former 
power. Luther continued to guide the Reformation. His 
influence over the people and his moderation inclined the 
princes in his favour, and strengthened their disposition to aid 
his projects. Henry VIII. of England, although he wrote 
with a coarseness against him which he equalled in his re- 
ply, reformed the English church and threw off the papal yoke, 
a step, which he would, in all probability, not have ventured 
upon without Luther's precedent. Brandenburg, Hesse, and 


Saxony, where Frederick introduced the service in the Ger- 
man language, and, in 1524, the first German Psalm Book, 
into the churches, warmly espoused the cause of the Reforma- 
tion. The cities also declared in its favour. In 1523, Mag- 
deburg, Wismar, Rostock, Stettin, Dantzig, Riga, expelled 
the monks and priests, and appointed Lutheran preachers. 
Nuremberg and Breslau, where almost all the priests married, 
hailed the Reformation with delight. 

In Switzerland, [a.d. 1516,] Ulric Zwingli of Toggenburg 
began to preach against ecclesiastical abuses, but was silenced 
by a papal pension. Luther's example, however, again roused 
his courage, and, since 1519, he exercised the greatest influ- 
ence in Zurich, where the citizens generally favoured the Re- 
formation. Their example was followed by those of Berne, 
Basle, Strassburg, Constance, Muhlhausen, St. Gall, G-larus, 
SchafF hausen, and a part of Appenzell and the Grisons. In 
Zurich, Zwingli destroyed the pictures and organs in the 
churches, whilst Luther protected and honoured art. His 
marriage with a widow, Anna Rein hard t, was solemnized, 
a. d. 1524. He administered the sacrament without the holy 
wafer, with common bread and wine. The Anabaptists, re- 
pulsed by Luther, encouraged by these precedents, drew near 
to Zwingli, and their leader, Thomas Miinzer, who had been 
expelled from Wittenberg, went to Waldshut on the Rhine, 
where, countenanced by the priest, Hubmaier, the greatest 
disorder took place. Zwingli declared against them, and 
caused several of them to be drowned, [a. d. 1524,] but was, 
nevertheless, still regarded by Luther as a man who, under 
the cloak of spiritual liberty, sought to bring about political 
changes. Faber preached at Berne, that the Reformers had 
begun with the clergy, but should end with the rulers. 
Luther, on the contrary, cherished an almost biblical reverence 
for the anointed of the Lord, by whose aid he hoped to suc- 
ceed in reforming the church. Zwingli also went much fur- 
ther than Luther in his attack upon the ancient mysteries, 
teaching, for instance, that the bread and wine in the Lord's 
supper merely typified the body and blood of Christ, whilst 
Luther maintained their being the real presence. 

In 1521, Charles V. had raised his ancient tutor, Adrian 
of Utrecht, to the pontifical throne. This excellent old man 
tully acknowledged the evils that prevailed in the church, 


accepted the hundred grievances of the Germans, and pro* 
jected a comprehensive reform in the outward observances of 
the church, independent of its doctrine. He shared the fate 
of almost every German pontiff who had ventured to reform 
the Church of Rome, and expired, A. d. 1523. His successor, 
Clement VII., declared with great truth that " the separation 
of the North from the church was far less perilous than a 
general Reformation, and that it was better to lose a part than 
:he whole." His endeavours were therefore chiefly directed 
to the isolation of the Reformation, an idea, which he sought, 
by means of his coadjutors, Matthew Lang and the Archduke 
Ferdinand, to instil into the mind of the emperor. The per- 
secution of the Lutherans, several of whom were condemned 
to death, began at this period. 

The tranquillity of Germany was at this time disturbed by 
the Wiirtemberg, Hildesheim, and Sickingen feuds. To the 
numerous nobility of the empire in Swabia, Franconia, and 
the Rhenish provinces, the opening Reformation presented a 
favourable opportunity for improving their circumscribed po- 
litical position, seizing the rich lands belonging to the church, 
and raising themselves to an equality with, if not deposing, 
the temporal princes. Ulric von Hutten vainly admonished 
their union with the citizens and the peasantry as the only 
means of success, a policy which their pride of birth and dread 
of the encroaching democracy forbade them to pursue. Franz 
von Sickingen,* a man of diminutive stature and of surpass- 
ing valour and wit, celebrated for his private feuds with Metz, 
"Worms, and Lorraine, had, in the commencement of the war 
between Charles V. and Francis I., been intrusted with the 
command on the Rhine, where he was opposed by the Cheva- 
lier Bayard, whom he shut up in Mezieres and was solely 
prevented taking prisoner by the jealousy of the count of 
Nassau. Francis I. seized this opportunity to make pro- i 
posals to Sickingen and to the German nobility, who, in the : 
hope of succeeding in their schemes by his aid, willingly 
listened, and Sickingen convoked the whole of the immediate 
nobility of the empire of Swabia, Franconia, and the Rhine, 
to a great diet at Landai' "22,] where he was nomin- 

ated captain of the co ' ^en whispered 

* His portrait and that * Ourer, are in 

the Munich gallery. 


that, in case of success, he was destined to the imperial throne, 
His opponents termed him the anti-emperor ; Luther, the anti- 
pope. Cleves,Limburg, and Brunswick rose in his favour, 
but were reduced to submission by the princes of Cleves, Co- 
logne, and Hesse. In 1522, he besieged Richard of Treves 
at the head of twelve thousand men, but was repulsed by the 
princes of Hesse and of the Pfalz. Deserted by Fiirstenberg 
and Zollern, the chiefs of the confederacy, he bravely defended 
his fortress of Landstuhl against the overwhelming forces of 
the enemy, until it was reduced to a mass of ruins by the 
heavy cannonade. Mortally wounded by a splinter, he lay on 
his death-bed, bitterly exclaiming, " Where now are my 
friends Arnberg, Fiirstenberg, Horn, etc. !" when the princes 
of the Pfalz, of Hesse and Treves, who had gained possession 
of the fortress, entered his chamber. Richard of Treves loaded 
him with reproaches, to which he merely replied, "I have 
now to speak with a greater Lord than you," and immediately 
expired. The three princes knelt and prayed for the salva- 
tion of his soul. The taking of the Landstuhl decided the 
triumph of the new over the old mode of warfare, of artillery 
over the sword, the lance, and walled fortress, and that of the 
princes over the nobility. Ulric von Hutten fled to Switzer- 
land, and died at Ufnau, on the lake of Zurich, A. D. 1525. 
Several other feuds of minor importance also disturbed the 
empire. During the period intervening between the defeat 
of Sickingen and the great insurrection of the peasantry, the 
papal faction was unremitting in its attacks against that of 
Saxony. The government of the empire, over which Fre- 
derick of Saxony exercised great influence, being unable 
to maintain tranquillity during the emperor's absence, its 
authority consequently diminished, and was finally destroyed 
by the disunion that prevailed among the Estates at the diet 
held at Nuremberg, a. d. 1524. The disinclination of the 
emperor to countenance the Reformation, the discord that 
broke out among the princes at the diet, and their inability to 
guide the Reformation and to hold the reins of government, 
necessarily produced popular anarchy on the one hand, and a 
fresh attack on the part of the pope on the other. Before the 
outbreak of the great peasant war, immediately on the disso- 
lution of the Nuremberg diet, Clement VII., by the cession 
of the fifth of all the revenues of the church to the Bavarian 


dukes, induced them to promise to take up arms in case of ne- 
cessity against the heretics, and to make the university of 
Ingolstadt a bulwark of Ultramontanism. The Archduke 
Frederick also received in donation from the pope a third of 
the church revenues within his possessions, and appears, ac- 
cording to Ranke, in his account of the Reformation in Ger- 
many, to have also acceded to similar terms, A. D. 1524. 

CXCIV. The peasant war. — Defeat of the peasants. 

The example of the nobility, who revolted singly against 
the princes, was followed by the peasantry, who had not re- 
mained undisturbed by the general movement. The religions 
liberty preached by Luther was understood by them as also 
implying the political freedom for which they sighed. 

Their condition had greatly deteriorated during the past 
century. The nobility had bestowed the chief part of their 
wealth on the church, and dissipated the remainder at court. 
Luxury had also greatly increased, and the peasant was con- 
sequently laden with feudal dues of every description, to which 
were added their ill-treatment by the men-at-arms and mer- 
cenaries maintained at their expense, the damage done by the 
game, the destruction of the crops by the noble followers of 
the chace, and finally, the extortions practised by the new law 
offices, the wearisome written proceedings, and the impoverish- 
ment consequent on law-suits. The German peasant, de- 
spised and enslaved, could no longer seek refuge from the 
tyranny of his liege in the cities, where the reception of fresh 
suburbans was strictly prohibited, and where the citizen, 
enervated by wealth and luxury, instead of siding with the 
peasant, imitated the noble and viewed him with contempt. 

Attempts had already been made to cast off the yoke, when 
the Reformation broke out and inspired the oppressed pea- 
santry with the hope that the fall of the hierarchy would be 
followed by that of the feudal system. In 1522, they raised 
the standard of revolt, the golden shoe, with the motto, "Who- 
ever will be free, let him follow this ray of Tight," in the 
Hegau, but were reduced to submission. In the autumn of 
1524, a fresh insurrection broke out and spread throughout 
Upper Swabia. Donau-Eschingen was unsuccessfully be- 


sieged by the insurgents. During the winter, George Truch- 
sess (dapifer) von Waldburg was nominated by king Ferdinand 
to the command of the Swabian confederacy against the pea- 
santry, and ordered to use the utmost severity in order to 
quell the revolt. Negotiations were at first carried on be- 
tween the Truchsess and the peasants of Stuhlingen, not- 
withstanding which, in the spring of 1525, the insurrection 
again burst out on every side under George Schmidt and 
George Toeubner, who formed a confederacy including all the 
neighbouring peasantry, and fixed a stake before the house 
door of every man who refused to join, in sign of his being an 
enemy to the common cause. The Algauer under Walter- 
bach von Au, and the citizens of Memmingen under their 
preacher, Schappeler, joined the insurgents. The serfs of 
the Truchsess besieged his castles. Ulric, the smith of Sul- 
mentingen, encamped at the head of eighteen thousand men at 
Baldringen. The most numerous and the boldest band of 
insurgents assembled under Eitel Hans Miiller, on the lake 
of Constance. Ulric, the ex-duke of Wurtemberg, seized this 
opportunity and raised a body of fifteen thousand Swiss mer- 
cenaries, in the hope of regaining possession of his territories. 
The Swiss, bribed by the Truchsess, who was shut up in 
Tuttlingen between them and the insurgent peasantry, de- 
serted Ulric when marching upon Stuttgard, sold his ar- 
tillery, and compelled him to seek refuge within the walls of 
Rotweil. The Swiss, although themselves peasants, disco- 
vered little inclination to aid their fellows, and monopolized 
their freedom. The peasants, abandoned by the Swiss, were 
now exposed to the whole of the Truchsess's forces, con- 
sisting of two thousand cavalry and seven thousand in- 
fantry, well supplied with artillery furnished by the large 
towns, and were slaughtered in great numbers at Leipheim 
and Wurzach ; but their opponent was in his turn shut 
up in Weingarten by Eitel Hans Miiller, and compelled to 
negotiate terms. The peasantry discovered extreme mo- 
deration in their demands, which were included in twelve 
articles, and elected a court of arbitration consisting of the 
Archduke Ferdinand, the elector of Saxony, Luther, Me- 
lancthon, and some preachers, before which their grievances 
were to be laid. 

The twelve articles were as follows : — 1. The right of the 

25*8 the peasant war. 

peasantry to appoint their own preachers, who were to be 
allowed to preach the word of God from the Bible. 2. That 
the dues paid by the peasantry were to be abolished, with the 
exception of the tithes ordained by God for the maintenance 
of the clergy, the surplus of which was to be applied to 
general purposes and to the maintenance of the poor. 3. The 
abolition of vassalage as iniquitous. 4. The right of hunting, 
fishing, and fowling. 5. That of cutting wood in the forests. 
6. The modification of soccage and average-service. 7. That 
the peasant should be guaranteed from the caprice of his lord 
by a fixed agreement. 8. The modification of the rent upon 
feudal lands, by which a part of the profit would be secured to 
the occupant. 9. The administration of justice according to 
the ancient laws, not according to the new statutes and to 
caprice. 10. The restoration of communal-property, illegally 
seized. 11. The abolition of dues on the death of the serf, by 
which the widows and orphans were deprived of their right. 
12. The acceptance of the aforesaid articles, or their refutation 
as contrary to the Scriptures. 

The princes naturally ridiculed the simplicity of the pea- 
santry in deeming a court of arbitration, in which Luther was 
to be seated at the side of the archduke, possible, and Luther 
himself refused to interfere in their affairs. Although free 
from the injustice of denying the oppressed condition of the 
peasantry, for which he had severely attacked the princes and 
nobility, he dreaded the insolence of the peasantry under the 
guidance of the Anabaptists and enthusiasts, whom he viewed 
with deep repugnance, and, consequently, used his utmost 
endeavours to quell the sedition ; but the peasantry, believing 
themselves betrayed by him, gave way to greater excesses, 
and Thomas Miinzer openly accused him " of deserting the 
cause of liberty, and of rendering the Reformation a fresh ad- 
vantage for the princes, a fresh means of tyranny." 

The whole of the peasantry in Southern Germany, incited 
by fanatical preachers, meanwhile revolted, and were joined 
by several cities. Carlstadt, expelled from Saxony, now ap- 
peared at Rotenburg on the Tauber, and the Upper German 
peasantry, inflamed by his exhortations to prosecute the Re- 
formation independently of Luther, whom he accused of 
countenancing the princes, rose in the March and April of 
1525, in order to maintain the twelve articles by force, to com* 


pel the princes and nobles to subscribe to them, to destroy the 
monasteries, and to spread the gospel. Mergentheim, the seat 
of the unpopular German Hospitallers, was plundered. The 
counts of Hohenlohe were forced to join the insurgents, who 
said to them, " Brother Albert and brother George, you are 
no longer lords but peasants, we are the lords of Hohenlohe ! n 
The ringleaders were Florian Geyer, a notorious captain ot 
mercenaries, Bermeter, Metzler, a tavern-keeper in the Oden- 
wald, and Jaechlein Rohrbach. Numbers of the nobility were 
forced, under pain of their castles being plundered and de- 
stroyed, to join the insurgents. The castle and city of Wein- 
sperg, in which a number of Swabian nobles had taken refuge 
with their families and treasure, were besieged, and the former 
was stormed and taken by Geyer. The citizens retained the 
nobles, who, on seeing all was lost, attempted to flee by force, 
and they fell together into the hands of the victorious pea- 
santry, by whom the nobles, seventy in number, were con- 
demned to run between two ranks of men armed with spears, 
with which they pierced them as they passed. 

This atrocious deed drew a pamphlet from Luther " against 
the furious peasantry," in which he called upon all the citizens 
of the empire " to strangle, to stab them, secretly and openly, 
as they can, as one would kill a mad dog."* The peasantry 
had, however, ceased to respect him. Florian Geyer returned 
to Franconia, where he systematically destroyed the castles of 
the nobility. The main body of the insurgents, meanwhile, 
held a great council of war at Gundelsheim, in which Wendel 
Hippler, who had formerly been in the service of the counts 
of Hohenlohe, by whom he had been ill-treated, advised them 
; to seek the alliance of the lower nobility against the princes, 
and to take the numerous troops of mercenaries, inclined to 
favour their cause, into their pay. The avarice and confi- 
dence of the peasantry caused the latter proposal to be re- 
jected, but the former one was acceded to, and the chief 
command was accordingly imposed upon the notorious robber- 
knight on the Kocher, GceU von Berlichingen with the iron 
hand. Goetz had carried on several feuds with the temporal 
and spiritual princes, and was reputed a bold and independent 

* Caspar von Schwenkfeld said, " Luther has led the people out of 
Egypt (the papacy) through the Red Sea (the peasant war), but has de- 
serted them in the wilderness." Luther never forgave him. 


spirit ; his cojrage was, however, the only quality befitting 
him for the office thus imposed upon him, his knowledge of 
warfare being solely confined to the tactics of highway rob- 
bery. His life had been spent in petty contests ; and in the 
candid biography, still extant, written by himself, he never 
even alludes to the great ideas of the times, but details with 
extreme zest the manner in which he had way-laid and plun- 
dered not only armed, foes, but also peaceable wayfarers and 
merchants. With this extraordinary leader, or rather pri- 
soner, at their head, the multitude crossed the Neckar, and, 
advancing into the valley of the Maine, spread terror as far a& 
Frankfurt, where the communes rose and deposed the council. 
AschafFenburg was forced to subscribe to the twelve articles. 
The peasants around Spires and Worms, and in the Pfalz, on 
either bank of the Rhine, meanwhile revolted under Frederick 
Wurm, and a citizen of Weissenburg, nicknamed Bacchus. 
The insurrection in the Pfalz was quelled by the Elector 
Louis, who listened to the demands of the peasantry, and in- 
duced them to return to their homes. The eastern part of 
Swabia was completely revolutionized, and fresh multitudes 
assembled at Gaildorf and Ellwangen, under Jacob Bader, 
who needlessly destroyed the fine old castle of Hohenstaufen, 
and, on the Neckar side of the Alp, Matern Feuerbacher as- 
sembled twenty-five thousand men. Had those multitudes, in- 
stead of plundering monasteries and castles, aided their bre- 
thren of Upper Swabia, the force of the Truchsess, before 
which Eitel Hans Muller was retreating, must have been 

The main body of the peasantry, under Goetz, Metzler, and 
Geyer, now marched upon Wiirzburg, within whose fortress the 
clergy and nobility had secured their treasures. The whole 
country was in open revolt as far as Thuringia. In the city 
of Wiirzburg, Hans Bermeter had already incited the citizens 
to rebellion, and had plundered the houses of the clergy. The 
city was easily taken, but the strongly-fortified castle of 
Frauenberg was gallantly defended by the feudal retainers of 
the bishop. Several bloody attacks proving unsuccessful, 
Goetz advised his followers to retreat, and either to aid the 
Swabian peasantry against the Truchsess or to overrun the 
whole of Franconia and Thuringia, and to spread the revolu- 
tion to the utmost limits of the empire. But bis advice ' 


overruled by Geyer, and the peasants continued to expend 
their energy on the impregnable fort until the news of the un- 
successful defence of their brethren in Swabia against the 
Truchsess was brought by Hippler, in consequence of which 
the siege was suddenly raised, and the united force of the 
peasantry was turned against the Truchsess. 

The elector, Louis, would, notwithstanding the counsels of 
the refugee nobility, the bishops of Wurzburg and Spires, 
who continually admonished him to break his plighted word, 
to follow the example given by the Truchsess and others of 
the nobility, and to head his troops against the peasantry, 
have remained true to his promise, had he not applied for 
advice to Melancthon, who declared him free from guilt in 
case he broke his knightly word, and zealously exhorted him 
to make head against the rebels. He joined the Truchsess, 
who now found himself at the head of a well-armed force of 
twelve thousand men, and marched to the relief of Wurzburg. 

When too late, the Franconian peasantry resorted to 
diplomatic measures by the convocation of a Franconian diet 
at Schweinfurt, composed of all the Estates and nobles by 
whom they had been joined, and which was opened by an 
energetic manifesto. Negotiation was, however, unavailing 
in the face of a victorious imperial army. Battle or flight 
were the only alternative, and the diet was dissolved after 
sitting a few days. Hippler vainly loaded the peasants with 
bitter reproaches for their rejection of the counsel he had so 
wisely given, and endeavoured to maintain some degree of 
discipline and order. Goetz von Berlichingen secretly re- 
gained his home during the following night, May 28th, 1525, 
and a general dispersion took place among the different 
bodies of peasantry. On the 2nd June, the Truchsess 
attacked Metzler, who had encamped near Koenigshofen. 
Metzler fled, and the peasantry were cut down by thousands. 
This defeat was chiefly caused by the disunion that prevailed 
among them and by the absence of Geyer and his followers, who 
were engaged in negotiating terms with the Margrave Casimir 
von Culmbach, and in besieging the castle of Wurzburg. Geyer 
reached the field of batt le too late to turn the day, and was 
himself defeated ■WtHtUi »nd desperate engagement that 
took place a fi " » escaped to the vicinity of 

Limburg, whe l slain. 


' Thousands of the peasantry had fallen, and all opposition 
now ceased. The city of Wurzburg threw open her gates to 
the triumphant Truchsess, who held a fearful court of judg- 
ment, in which the prisoners were beheaded by his jester, 
Hans;* nineteen citizens and thirty-six ringleaders were 
among the number. Similar horrors were enacted through- 
out the country, and were followed by a systematic persecu- 
tion on the part of the bishop. The Rhenish princes were, 
nevertheless, speedily recalled in order to quell a fresh insur- 
rection that had broken out in their rear, and were again 
victorious at Pfeddersheim. The Margrave, Casimir of Bran- 
denburg-Culmbach, who had kept his father a close prisoner 
for several years under pretext of insanity, treated the pea- 
santry with the most refined cruelty, and reduced them to 
such a state of desperation that the peasant lads would ask 
him as he rode along, whether he intended to exterminate 
their class. The Truchsess, after the execution at Wiirz- 
burg, joined Casimir at Bamberg, which had been lately the 
scene of a fresh defeat of the wretched peasantry, who, to- 
gether with some of the citizens, suspected of co-operating 
with them, were cruelly butchered. Hundreds of heads fell 
on the return of the expelled nobility. The spiritual princes 
surpassed their lay brethren in atrocity. Another insurrec- 
tion in Upper Swabia was put down. Goetz was retained a 
prisoner for two years. Hippler died in prison. Nor did 
the cruelty of the Truchsess remain unretributed. His son, 
a student in the French university, was carried off, and, in all 

* The peasants knelt in a row before the Truchsess, whilst Hans the 
^ester, with the sword of execution in his hand, marched up and down 
behind them. The Truchsess demanded, " which among them had been 
implicated in the revolt ?" None acknowledged the crime. " Which of 
them had read the Bible ?" Some said yes, some no, and each of those 
who replied in the affirmative was instantly deprived of his head by 
Hans, amid the loud laughter of the squires. The same fate befell those 
who knew how to read or write. The priest of Schipf, an old gouty 
man, who had zealously opposed the peasantry, had himself carried by 
four of his men to the Truchsess in order to receive the thanks of that 
prince for his services, but Hans, imagining that he was one of the 
rebels, suddenly stepping behind him, cut off his head ; " upon which," 
the Truchsess relates, •* I seriously reproved my good Hans for his un- 
toward jest." See Hormayr. A young peasant said, as he was about to 
be beheaded, " Alas ! alas ! must I die so soon, and I hare scarcely had 
a bellyful twice in my life !" Stump/. 


probability, murdered, (as he never reappeared,) by a Chevalier 
von Rosenberg, whom he had insulted. 

At the same time, in the summer of 1525, an insurrection, 
bearing a more religious character, broke out in Thuringia, 
where Thomas Miinzer appeared as a prophet, and preached 
the doctrines of equality and fraternity. The insurgents were 
defeated by Ernest, Count von Mansfeld, whose brother Albert 
had conceded all their demands ; and afterwards at Fulda, 
by Philip of Hesse, who, reinforced by Ernest, the Duke 
George, and the Elector John of Saxony, marched on Fran- 
ken hausen, the head-quarters of the rebels, who, infatuated 
with the belief that Heaven would fight for them, allowed 
themselves to be slaughtered whilst invoking aid from God. 
Five thousand were slain. Frankenhausen was taken and pil- 
laged, and three hundred prisoners were beheaded. Munzer 
was discovered in a hay-stack, in which he had secreted 
himself, put to the rack, and executed with twenty-six of his 

The revolt had, meanwhile, spread from Strassburg through- 
out Styria, Carinthia, and a part of the Tyrol, and Count 
Sigmund von Dietrichstein was despatched thither by the 
Archduke Ferdinand, at the head of a small troop of merce- 
naries, for the purpose of restoring tranquillity. The merce- 
naries, however, refusing to face the insurgents, he was com- 
pelled to retreat and to reinforce himself with Hussars,* who 
practised the greatest atrocities in the Alps. Whilst carous- 
ing with his followers at Schladming, celebrated for its mines, 
he was surprised during the night by the peasants under 
Michael Gruber. Three thousand of his soldiers were slain, 
thirty-two nobles beheaded, and he was himself taken prisoner. 
, His life was spared at the request of the mercenaries, who 
had deserted to the rebels, but all the Bohemians and Hussars 
in his army were put to death. 

Ferdinand now attempted to pacify the peasantry by con- 
cessions and promises, and sent to them, as mediator, George 
von Frundsberg, the idol of the mercenaries, who succeeded 
in quelling the rebellion in the Salzburg territory. Nicolas 
von Salm, however, refused to make terms with the insur- 

* So named from the Hungarian number "huss," twenty; these 
troops of cavalry having been originally formed by the enrolment of every 
twentieth man in Hungary. Translator. 

a 2 


gents, and burnt Schladming with all its inhabitants, forcing 
those who attempted to escape back into the flames. He was 
also victorious over the rebel chief, Geismayr, at Radstadt. 
Fearful reprisals were taken. The whole country became one 
scene of devastation, and young children were cast as " Lu- 
theran dogs" into the flames. 

Thus terminated this terrible struggle, during which more 
than one hundred thousand of the peasantry fell, and which 
reduced the survivors to a more degraded state of slavery. 

CXCV. Increasing power of the House of Habsburg. — Vic- 
tories in Italy, — The intermixture of diplomacy with the 
Reformation. — The Augsburg Confession. 

The emperor, Charles V., and his brother, Ferdinand, en- 
gaged in extending the power of their family abroad, took 
merely a secondary interest in the events that agitated Ger- 
many. The rescue of Italy from French influence and in- 
trigue, the alliance of the pope as a means of promoting the 
interest of the house of Habsburg, and the possession of the 
Luxemburg inheritance, (Hungary and Bohemia,) formed the 
chief objects of their ambition ; and the royal brothers, conse- 
quently, solely took a serious part in the internal movements 
of the empire, or made use of them, for the purpose of in- 
fluencing the pope. 

Austria was by no means free from the general state of 
fermentation, and demanded the greatest caution on the part 
of her ruler. A new government had been formed by the 
Estates on the death of Maximilian, and their recognition of 
his grandson was declared dependent upon certain conditions. 
The doctrines of Luther were also preached at Vienna,, by 
Paul von Spretten, (Speratus,)and were generally disseminated 
throughout Austria. Charles V., unable at that moment to 
turn his attention to that portion of his dominions, intrusted 
its management to the archduke, who visited Vienna in 1522, 
seized the persons of the new counsellors at a banquet, and 
deprived them and six of the citizens of their heads. Spera- 
tus was banished, and his successor, Tauler, condemned to the 
stake. Hubmaier of Waldshut was also burnt. Lutheranism, 
nevertheless, rapidly progressed, and fresh preachers, patron- 


iced and protected by the nobility, upon whom Ferdinand could 
not retaliate, arose. The disputes between the emperor and 
the pope, moreover, inclined him to leave the Beformers un- 
harassed, nor was he altogether uninfluenced by the hope of 
enriching himself with the plunder of the church. During 
his church visitation in 1528, he discovered that almost the 
whole of the Austrian nobility had embraced Lutheranism ; 
and in 1532, the Estates demanded religious liberty, and re- 
iterated their demand with increased energy in 1541. When, 
in 1538, Cardinal Alcander visited Austria, he found several 
hundred curacies vacant, the priests having either run away 
or married, leaving their posts to be gradually refilled by 
Lutheran preachers. For ten years past, not a single student 
in the university of Vienna had turned monk. 

Louis, the unfortunate king of Bohemia and Hungary, fell, 
in his twentieth year, in the great battle of Mohacz, fighting 
against the Turks, and his possessions were inherited by 
Ferdinand in right of his wife, Anna, Louis's sister. The 
Bohemians, unwilling to give up their Hussite compacts, as 
admonished by Luther, who urged them to make common 
cause with Saxony, were flattered and caressed by the arch- 
duke, who promised toleration in religious matters. In Hun- 
gary he behaved with still greater liberality, and placed 
himself at the head of the Reformers ; the Catholics, supported 
by the pope, attempting to place John Zapolya on the throne. 
This competitor was defeated, and Ferdinand solemnized his 
coronation at Stuhlweissenburg, A. D. 1527. William of 
Bavaria, another aspirant to the throne of Bohemia, was re- 
jected by the Bohemians in favour of the more tolerant arch- 
duke, and ever afterwards distinguished himself as a cruel 
persecutor of the Lutherans. 

Whilst these disturbances afflicted Germany, the youthful 
emperor was busily engaged with Spain and Italy. On the 
conclusion of the council of Worms he had hastened into 
Spain to quell a revolt that had broken out against the Habs- 
burg rule. Order was speedily restored, and, after fortifying 
himself by an alliance with England against France, he des- 
patched a Spanish army under Pescara into Italy. The con- 
stable, Charles de Bourbon, who was on ill terms with his 
cousin, the French king, also exerted his distinguished talents 
as a commander in his favour. The pope, Adrian, was a 


vAivolsstk umL at* the emperor ; but his successors OnnesxJi an* 
itSLvrjurai to hold die balance; between, the empecrjir anal 
F ramie, wiiiluc die pecry Icaiian stares dreaded tiieaTOEwfiemw- 
:n?r power oc tint dsrmer more than, tint inifummfr at' tmc 
laxter.. Tint French, under Lantra^ azkieti by Swi» mar- 
cenarieay were. iioa**«^iienj±x r enabled tu cake- ttrm. thtfttiigj? im 
Iraly, ami Pe»r.ara, was hard poshed. Georr* win. Fromfe- 
!v»rz ami his German. Lancers unexpectedly came to his msont 
across, die Veldixu ami an t»n^r^n>m 1*111^ tn which, ifwa? ta&wiH 
*ond oc* die Swiss tfeU, took place at Bieocca* jl. d*. Li*2l. "Eat 
Flemish, ami Fngdish. also- invaded France, ami aiircmcerfl as 
car a* Paris, ju ix Lii-k la die enwiiritr year. JBnur&uiL ami 
P*scara expelled the French, nrom. Icily. Fnmifaber<t xuaJk 
1 >*rji-ja by jtorm, bun Marseilles made a sternly resHtmab. 
Twelve diAoaumi «;t die Lancer* were carried on: by peatnfisue 
ami famioe *iixrimz die futile sfeee. 

Li the ensuing *ear„ Francis L took the tfeLi afi t&e? head 
■;{ a tfnj* army, supported by eight thousand Sww muAer 
Di.^boch* ami die Black GoanL tire thousand stnanaj. <bub>- 
po*ed <it" German meriynariies. Bourbon, Pescara* and: Fmndb- 
'■■erg awaited the enemj at Pavia. where a decxtarve- bulddtt- was 
: ^iit. Fehriary i-feca. L-iiS. Francis Encreduliaai* otf dietieax, 
r*?-3aeii to -v—t die deiii ami was taken, prisoner. Toe wdude 
x dje Black Giaz^i was «:ut t>> pieces by their enraged! uja i aa - 
:?7^iet. Twenry tLocsami ct" the French, ami their ftQnai 
*":-~wed die iefci. 

P-is £u;ri.;ik* victory, however, exposed the emperor aa 
:':&:. 'ianjrer. His power was viewed with. mciversol appve*- 
L>scsi::ii. Fj gland ^nirei with. France : the pope, the Itajffiaa 
prin«5fc» T mot excepting Francesco Scona. wbo- owed his re- 
aeration to the dacaf thrcce ct Milan to Charfefc. &I&9v*4 
"r.er example, ami Pescara* tS-iellty was attempted a> be 
*j^ken. France tock up arms tLr her captive mouarteft* wmd 
Cr.ar : .es, with r:Laracteri?tfc pr^iecce. «-crfadeii peace: at 
Ma Iri-i with LL* priaccer. a. d. I-iiTa. ws» «w>}re to- rerwwaee 
all -jLurn up&Q Iuly and Bzrzrmdy. an-i to wed the emperors 
>L-:er. ELeorora, the wi.iowai coeea ct' PormsaL Bat &ha 
?«i.i ^e»i fr&m. cccrts. Firancfs no «ocaer regained his Ebertr 
tr.ar, he sought to era^ie his caih. trea. which the pope. awn. 
orer. released him. CLaries, meanwhile, retained h£§ soaa ia 


Pescara dying, Charles de Bourbon was created generalis- 
simo of the imperial forces in Italy, and fresh reinforcements 
were granted at the diet held at Spires by the princes, [a. d. 
1526,] who in return were allowed freedom of conscience, the 
edict of Worms being abrogated, if not in form, at least in 
fact. George von Frundsberg, himself a Lutheran, and Se- 
bastian Schertlin, another celebrated captain, speedily found 
themselves at the head of a picked body of troops. A mutiny, 
however, caused by the emperor's delay in furnishing the sum 
required, broke out in the camp. Florence, trembling for her 
safety, sent 150,000 ducats, and Charles of Bourbon conde- 
scended to demand aid, which was refused, from the pope. 
Frundsberg vainly attempted to quell the mutiny. His Lanoers 
turned their arms against him. He fell senseless with rage, 
and never after sufficiently recovered to retake the command, 
which deferred to the constable. The Lancers, ashamed of 
their conduct, demanded to be led against the pope, and aston- 
ished Rome suddenly beheld the enemy before her gates. 
Charles de Bourbon was killed by a shot from the city. The 
soldiery, enraged at this catastrophe, carried it by storm, a. d. 
1527. The pillage lasted fourteen days. The commands of 
the officers were disregarded, and Frundsberg fell ill from 
vexation. The Lutheran troopers converted the papal chapels 
into stables, dressed themselves in the cardinals' robes, and 
proclaimed Luther pope. Clement was besieged in the Torre 
di San Angelo and taken prisoner. The numbers of unburied 
bodies, however, produced a pestilence, which carried off the 
greater part of the invaders. The survivors, headed by the 
Prince of Orange, marched to Naples, which he valiantly de- 
fended against the French. The Germans under Schertlin 
fought their way back to Germany. The French again in- 
vaded Italy, and regained Genoa, but being defeated at Pavia 
by Caspar, the son of George von Frundsberg, Naples still 
holding out, Henry of Brunswick marching to the emperor's 
aid, and Andreas Doria, the celebrated doge of Genoa, de- 
claring in Charles's favour, Francis I. concluded a treaty at 
Cambray, [a. d. 1529,] known as the ladies' peace, his mother 
and the emperor's aunt, Margaret, stadtholderess of the Ne- 
therlands, being the chief negotiators. Eleonora of Portugal 
restored the two hostages to their father, by whom she wai 
received as a bride. 


The defeat of the nobility and peasantry had crashed the 
revolutionary spirit in the people, and the Reformation, strip- 
ped of its terrors, began to be regarded as advantageous by 
the princes. Luther also appeared, not as a dangerous inno- 
vator, but in the light of a zealous upholder of princely power, 
the Divine origin of which he even made an article of faith ; 
and thus through Luther's well-meant policy, the Reformation, . 
the cause of the people, naturally became that of the princes, 
and, consequently, instead of being the aim, was converted 
into a means of their policy. In England, Henry VIII. fa- 
voured the Reformation for the sake of becoming pope in his 
own dominions, and of giving unrestrained licence to ty- 
ranny and caprice. In Sweden, Gustavus Vasa embraced the 
Lutheran faith as a wider mark of distinction between the 
Swedes and Danes, whose king, Christiern, he had driven out 
of Sweden. His example was followed [a. d. 1527] by the 
grand-master, Albert, of Prussia, who hoped by that means to 
render that country an hereditary possession in his family. 
His cousin, the detestable Casimir von Culmbach, sought to 
wipe out the memory of his parricide by his confession of the 
new faith. Barnim of Fomerania, Henry of Mecklenburg, 
the Guelphic princes of Brunswick, "Wolfgang von Anhalt, 
and the counts of Mansfeld appear to have been actuated by 
nobler motives in favouring the Reformation. John, elector 
of Saxony, and Philip of Hesse, adhered to Luther's cause 
with genuine enthusiasm. Lubeck, Schleswig, Holstein, and 
the majority of the northern cities, had already declared in 
favour of the Reformation. Joachim, elector of Brandenburg, 
Henry of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, and George, duke of 
Saxon -Thuringia, formed the sole exceptions among the north- 
ern potentates, and remained strictly Catholic, partly through 
dread of the emperor and of the pope, partly through jealousy 
of their relatives and neighbours. 

The elector John, Luther's most zealous partisan, immedi- 
ately on his accession to the government of Saxony, on the 
death of Frederick the Wise, empowered Luther to undertake 
a church visitation throughout his dominions, and to arrange 
ecclesiastical affairs according to the spirit of the doctrine he 
tuught. His example was followed by the rest of the Lutheran 
princes, and this measure necessarily led to a separation from, 
instead of a thorough reformation of the church. The first 


step was the abolition of monasteries and the confiscation of 
their wealth by the state, by which a portion was set apart for 
the extension of the academies and schools. The monks and 
nuns were absolved from their vows, compelled to marry and 
to follow a profession. The aged people were provided for 
during the remainder of their lives. These measures, arbi- 
trary as they appear, were hailed with delight by multitudes 
of both sexes, who sometimes quitted their convents without 
receiving permission, and Luther, in defiance of the ancient 
prophecy that antichrist would spring from the union of a 
monk and nun, wedded [a. d. 1525] the beautiful young 
nun, Catherine von Bora, who brought him several children. 

The whole system of the church was simplified. The 
sequestrated bishoprics were provisionally administered, and 
the affairs of the Lutheran church controlled by com- 
missioners selected from among the Reformers, and by the 
councils of the princes, Luther incessantly promulgating the 
doctrine of the right of temporal sovereigns to decide all 
ecclesiastical questions. His intention was the creation of a 
counterpoise to ecclesiastical authority, and he was probably 
far from imagining that religion might eventually be deprived 
of her dignity and liberty by temporal despotism. Episcopal 
authority passed entirely into the hands of the princes. An 
ecclesiastic, who received the denomination of preacher or 
pastor, (shepherd,) was placed over each of the communes. 
The churches were stripped of their ornaments, and the 
clergy, like Luther, assumed the black habit of the Augustins, 
over which they placed the white surplice when before the 
altar. The German language was adopted in the service. 
Luther edited the first book of hymns, the most beautiful 
among which were his composition. The church catechism 
was also placed in the hands of the schoolmaster, who was 
under the surveillance of the pastor. The schools were 
greatly improved by Luther. 

Luther carried on a long and bitter dispute with Eras- 
mus, which was rendered more violent by the papist party, 
who poured oil upon the flames of discord. 

In the diet held at Spires, [a. d. 1529,] the Catholic princes, 
who had entered into closer union with the emperor, and 
were in the majority, prohibited all further reform, and de- 
creed that the affairs of the church should remain in statu quo 


until the convocation of a council. Against this an energetic 
protest was made by the Lutheran princes, from which they 
and the Lutheran party received the name of Protestants, 
April 19th, 1529. The ambassadors deputed to present this 
protest to the- emperor, who was at that time in Italy, were 
thrown by him into prison. 

The Landgrave, Philip, weary of the slow advance of the 
Reformation, notwithstanding the general feeling in its favour, 
now projected the union of all the Reformers in the empire, 
and, for this purpose, concerted a meeting between Luther 
and Zwingli at Marburg, a. d. 1529. Luther's invincible 
repugnance to the tenets of the latter, however, proved an 
insuperable obstacle to concord. He was, moreover, infatu- 
ated with the idea of gaining over the emperor to his cause, 
on his return from Italy. The elector, John, sued for the 
hand of the emperor's sister, Catherine, for his son. 

Charles V., after his triumph at Pavia and the conquest of 
Rome, had arranged the affairs of Italy and entered into 
alliance with the pope, on whose natural son, Alessandro di 
Medici, he bestowed his natural daughter, Margaret, and the 
duchy of Florence. Francesco Sforza was permitted to retain 
Milan. In reference to religion, the pope openly preferred a 
schism to a council, whence a general reformation might re- 
sult ; and Charles, intent upon weakening the opposition of 
the princes, (divide et impera f ) unable to crush the Lutheran 
party without resorting to open and bloody warfare, and com- 
pelled by necessity to direct the whole of his forces against 
the invading Turk, fully shared his views. 

The Turks, then at the height of their power, had, under 
Suleiman II, , taken Rhodes and driven thence the knights of 
St. John, a. d. 1522. Suleiman, prevailed upon by France, 
recognised John Zapolya as king of Hungary, A. d. 1529, 
entered that country at the head of two hundred and fifty * 
thousand men, took possession of it and laid siege to Vienna. ' 
The siege lasted twenty-one days. After a last and furious 
attempt to take the city by storm, Suleiman, after laying the 
country waste as far as Ratisbon, withdrew, carrying thou- 
sands of the inhabitants away captive. 

The news of the retreat of the Turks no sooner reached the 
emperor in Italy than his projects for reducing the Germans 
*» qobmiision revived. After solemnizing his coronation at 


Bologna, he returned to Germany, where, on the 18th June, 
1530, he opened the great diet at Augsburg. The hopes 
cherished by Luther and by Saxony were completely frus- 
trated, the proud emperor refusing to bestow the hand of 
his sister on the elector, or to invest him, as was customary, 
with the electorate, whilst Luther, owing to his being still 
under the bann of the empire, was unable to appear in person 
at Augsburg. Lutheran preaching was also strictly pro- 
hibited in the city during the sitting of the diet. The princes, 
nevertheless, openly confessed their resolution to remain true 
to the faith they professed, and the emperor found himself 
compelled to hear the accused before deciding the Lutheran 
question. The confession of faith, known as the Augsburg 
Confession, drawn up by Melancthon, and remarkable for pre- 
cision, vigour, moderation, and forethought, was, consequently, 
publicly laid [a. d. 1530] before him by the princes. Charles 
expressed a desire to have it read in Latin, which was op- 
posed by the elector, John, who exclaimed, " We stand on 
German ground, his Majesty will therefore surely permit us 
to use the German language." Charles assented, and Bajer, 
the chancellor of Saxony, read it in a loud, clear tone, that 
was distinctly heard, even in the castle-yard. The cities of 
Upper Germany, more Zwinglian than Lutheran, presented a 
particular confession, and a third party sent a printed copy 
of Zwingli's creed. The result was, the adhesion of William 
of Nassau to the Protestants the instant he became acquainted 
with their tenets, and a counter-declaration or confutation, 
remarkable for weakness, on the part of the emperor. 

A last attempt, made by Melancthon, and supported by 
Luther, to bring about a general reformation in the church 
by means of the pope, with the view of securing the church 
from the authority of the temporal princes, failed, owing to 
the extreme demoralization of the clergy, and Luther was 
speedily reduced to silence by the princes intent upon the 
secularization of the bishoprics. 

The Landgrave, Philip, equally averse to the conferences 
both with the emperor and the pope, (the Germans, according 
to him, wanting the spirit and not the power to help them- 
selves,) secretly quitted the diet and returned home, filled with 
anger at the weakness of his friends in subscribing to the 
decree by which the disciples of Zwingli were put under the 

harm of the empire. He had, however, the melancholy grati 
fication of seeing the failure of the projected reconciliation 
the Protestants, after long and vainly demanding the acknow* 
ledgment of their confession of faith from the emperor, re* 
fusing to grant the aid he in his turn demanded against the 
Turks, and the diet being dissolved in anger on both sides. 
The edict of Worms, condemnatory of the whole of the 
Lutheran innovations, was confirmed hj the emperor, Thia 
edict was rejected by the Protestants, and the city of Augs- 
burg, notwithstanding the emperor's presence, refused to 
subscribe. The emperor, unable to contend against the spirit 
of the Protestant and the jealousy of the Catholic party, was 
compelled to yield. The election of his brother as king of 
Germany, for the greater security of the power of his house 
in Germany and Hungary during his almost constant ab- 
sence, was effected, after the dissolution of the diet, by the 
Catholic electors, in January, 1531, at Cologne, Saxony re- 
fusing to vote, and the dukes of Bavaria, the most zealous 
among the Catholic party, siding, on this fresh confirmation of 
the hereditary power of Austria and the consequent fall of 
their hopes for the possession of the crown, with the oppo- 

The warlike projects of the Landgrave were now upheld 
by the whole of the Protestant party, and Luther, who had 
formerly maintained that obedience to the emperor, as su- 
preme ruler, was a Divine command, openly declared war 
against the emperor to be agreeable to the will of God. In 
1531, an offensive and defensive alliance was entered into at 
Seh malk aid by John, elector of Saxony, Philip of Hesse, 
Philips Ernest and Francis of Brunswick, Wolfgang of An- 
halt, the counts of Mansfeld, and the cities of Strassburg, 
Ulm, Constance, Rending en, Memmingen, Lindau, Biberach, 
Isni, Lubeck, Magdeburg, and Bremen. Brunswick, Goet- 
tingen, Gosslar, and Eimback gradually joined the alliance ; 
Bavaria declared herself willing to favour the Protestants, 
and drew Zapolya in Hungary and the French monarch into 
their interest. On the 2(>th May, 1532, a formal treaty was 
signed at Scheyern between France, Bavaria, Saxony, and 
Hesse, which drew a protest (Vom I/jtuer, whose national 
feelings revolted at a league with France, his country's 
hereditary foe. His words found an echo in the hearts oi 


the electors ; the French plenipotentiaries were dismissed, and 
a reconciliation with the emperor, who, alarmed at the double 
danger with which he was threatened from the French and 
Turks, no longer held aloof, took place, and [a. d. 1532] a 
treaty for the settlement of existing religious differences was 
signed at Nuremberg, the emperor acknowledging Protestant- 
ism in statu quo, but merely until a future and definitive set- 
tlement, and strictly prohibiting every fresh reform, as well as 
excluding the Zwinglians, who were a second time put under 
the bann by their Lutheran brethren ; the Protestants, in 
consideration of this concession, granting the aid demanded 
by the emperor against the Turks. 

It was high time. Suleiman had again presented himself on 
the frontier, at the head of an immense army, with the avowed 
intention of placing himself on the throne of the "Western em- 
pire. All Germany flew to arms. The news of the termin- 
ation of intestine dissension in Germany no sooner reached 
the sultan's ears, than he asked, with astonishment, " Whether 
the emperor had really made peace with Martin Luther ?" 
and, although the Germans only mustered eighty thousand 
men in the field, scarcely a third of the invading army, sud- 
denly retreated. A body of fifteen thousand cavalry, under 
Casim Beg, laid the country waste as far as Linz, but were 
cut to pieces by the Germans. Gratz fell into the hands of 
Ibrahim Pacha, [a. d. 1532,] but the citizens, throwing them- 
selves into the castle, made a brave resistance, until relieved 
by an imperial army under Katzianer. The Turks were 
routed. The Pacha was killed at Firnitz. Peace was con- 
cluded between the emperor and the sultan, who was at that 
time engaged in a fresh contest with Persia. A part of Hun- 
gary was ceded to Ferdinand, Zapolya retaining possession 
of the rest, but the Persian war was no sooner brought to a 
conclusion, than hostilities broke out anew. 

A violent struggle was, meanwhile, carried on in Switzer- 
land. The Alpine shepherds, the four cantons, and Zug, since 
known as the Catholic cantons, leagued together, and with 
the Archduke Ferdinand. The whole of Switzerland took up 
arms. Negotiation was unavailing, Zwingli being averse to 
peace. He fell at Albis, where his party suffered a total de- 
feat. Geneva rejected the Catholic service, Ta. d. 1535,] as- 


sorted her freedom, and placed herself under the government 
of the great Reformer, Calvin, whose tenets spread thence into 
France, where they were upheld by the Huguenots (Eidgenos- 
sen, confederates). 

Philip of Hesse, dissatisfied with the treaty of Nuremberg, 
speedily infringed the conditions of peace by leaguing with 
the Swabian confederation, and with Wurtemberg, against 
Ferdinand. The emperor, threatened by fresh dangers, mean- 
while lay sick, having broken his leg when hunting. A con- 
ference took place at Marseilles between the pope and the 
French monarch, both of whom smarted beneath the supre- 
macy of the Habsburg, nor was it without the permission of 
the former that the latter entered into alliance with the Ger- 
man Protestants, and advanced 100,000 dollars in aid of the 
attempt made by Ulric, the young duke of Wurtemberg, to 
regain his duchy, at this time incorporated with Austria. A 
meeting took place between Philip of Hesse and Francis L at 
Bar le Due, after which Philip, secure of his ally, took the 
field with twenty thousand men, with the view of reinstating 
Ulric on the throne of Wurtemberg. The Pfalzgrave Philip, 
Ferdinand's stadtholder at Stuttgard, who had been merely 
able to assemble a body of ten thousand men, was defeated at 
Lauffen, and Ulric took possession of Stuttgard, A. D. 1534. 
The emperor and the archduke, anxious to avoid a general 
war, yielded, on condition of the latter being recognised as 
Roman king, and of Wurtemberg remaining in fee of Austria. 
Peace was made at Kadan, and, by a treaty at Linz, Bavaria 
was induced to recognise Ferdinand as king of Germany. 
The Protestant faith was established in Wurtemberg by Ulric, 
who also ratified the ancient liberties of his subjects. Wur- 
temberg, consequently, formed a point of union between the 
Lutherans in the North and the Swiss ; and the Landgrave, 
Melancthon, and the citizens of Basle again revived the nego- 
tiations broken at Marburg, for the purpose of uniting the 
whole of the Reformers in one great party. Luther was this 
time more compliant, and gave his assent to the Wittenberg 
concordat drawn up by Melancthon, which conciliated the 
most essential differences between the Swiss and Lutherans. 
A secret feeling of animosity, nevertheless, still existed, aaJ ' 
the concessions made by the Zwinglians merely brought 0" 


Calvinists in more striking opposition to the Lutherans, and 
ranged all the free-thinkers and the republican spirits of the 
day, opposed to Luther's doctrines, on their side. 

CXCVI. Disturbances in the cities. — The Anabaptists in 
Munster. — Great Revolution in the Hansa. — Dissolution 
of the German Hospitallers. — Russian depredations. 

Each of the estates had successively attempted to bring 
about the Reformation. The clergy had commenced it by 
raging among themselves; the nobility and the peasantry 
hud separately endeavoured to turn it to their own advantage 
and had been defeated ; the attempts of the cities, still more 
limited and isolated, were also destined to fail, for it was de- 
creed that among all the Estates the princes alone should reap 
the benefits it produced. 

In 1523, a great movement took place among the cities of 
Lower Germany. Lutheran preachers were every where 
installed, the Catholic priests expelled, and the refractory 
town councils deposed. The cities of Upper Germany also 
favoured the Reformation. Strassburg, Constance, and the 
cities of the Upper Rhine adhered to Zwingli. CEcolam- 
padius reformed Basle, A. d. 1529. 

The Anabaptists had, since the defeat of the peasantry, 
rarely ventured to reappear. The cruelty with which they 
were persecuted by the Lutherans induced them to emigrate 
in great numbers to the Netherlands, where the sedentary 
occupations of the greater part of the inhabitants, chiefly 
artisans and manufacturers, inclined them the more readily 
to religious enthusiasm. The people were, at a later period, 
secretly instigated to revolt by individuals of this sect. The 
emperor, Charles, never lost sight of the Netherlands, which 
he highly valued, and sought to secure both within and with- 
out. For this purpose, he concluded peace with the restless 
Charles of Gueldres, on whom he bestowed Gueldres and 
Zutphen in fee, and published the severest laws or Placates 
against the heretics, which sentenced male heretics to the 
stake, female ones to be buried alive. Margaret, the stadt- 
holderess of the Netherlands, died, [a. d. 1530,] and was 


succeeded by Maria, Charles's sister, the widow of Lous 
of Hungary, who was compelled to execute her brother's cruel 

The Anabaptists, persecuted in the Netherlands, again emi- 
grated in great numbers, and were received [a. d. 1532 ] by 
the citizens of Munster, who had expelled their bishop and 
been treated with great severity by Luther, who, true to Ijis 
principles, ever sought to keep the cause of the Reforma- 
tion free from political revolutions.* The most extravagant 
folly and licence ere long prevailed in the city. John 
Bockelson, a tailor from Leyden, gave himself out as a pro- 
phet, and proclaimed himself king of the universe ; a clothier, 
named Knipperdolling, and one Krechting, were elected bur- 
gomasters. A community of goods and of wives was pro- 
claimed and carried into execution. Civil dissensions ensued, 
but were speedily quelled by the Anabaptists. John of Ley- 
den took seventeen wives, one of whom, Divara, gained great 
influence by her spirit and beauty. The city was, mean- 
while, closely besieged by the expelled bishop, Francis von 
Waldeck, who was aided by several of the Catholic and 
Lutheran princes; numbers of the nobility flocked thithei 
for pastime and carried on the siege against the Anabaptists, 
who made a long and valiant defence. The attempts of 
their brethren in Holland and Friesland to relieve them 
proved ineffectual. A dreadful famine ensued in consequence 
of the closeness of the siege ; the citizens lost courage and 
betrayed the city by night to the enemy. Most of the fanatics 
were cut to pieces. John, Knipperdolling, and Krechting 
were captured, enclosed in iron cages, and carried for six 
months throughout Germany, after which they were brought 
back to Munster to suffer an agonizing death. Divara and 
the rest of the principal fanatics were beheaded. 

The disturbances produced throughout Germany by the 
Reformation concluded with a revolution in the Hansa, more 
extensive in nature than any of the preceding ones, and which> 
had it been less completely isolated from the southern part of 

* It is a remarkable fact that the tricolour was, even at this period, the 
revolutionary symbol. Uniforms were either grey or green, the arms 
white ; grey, in remembrance of death ; $reen, in sign of regeneration ; 
white, in token of innocence. A golden ring was also worn in sign, of a 
common marriage. 


the empire, might easily have produced the most important 

In 1528, Luther's works were publicly burnt at Lubeck by 
the common hangman, but, two years later, the people rebelled, 
compelled the town-council to grant religious liberty, pro- 
hibited the Catholic service in the churches, and drove the 
burgomaster, Nicolas Broemser, out of the city. His flight 
was a signal for the expulsion of the whole of the town-coun- 
cillors ; the artisans seized the government, [a. d. 1 520,] and 
placed at their head Jiirgen Wullenweber, a poor tradesman, 
whose genius was far in advance of his times. His nomina- 
tion to the burgomastership of Lubeck rendered him, accord- 
ing to statute, president of the Hansa, and, perceiving at a 
glance the political position of the North, he projected the 
lasting confirmation of the power of the Hansa by a great 

Shortly anterior to these events, the Hansa had made vari- 
ous attempts to dissolve the union of the three kingdoms of 
the North, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden under Christiern 
II., and had aided the Swedes under Gustavus Vasa, and the 
Danes under Frederick of Holstein, to shake off his yoke. 
Christiern was treacherously seized by the Danes, and im- 
prisoned in the castle of Sunderburg, a. d. 1532. The aid 
received from the Hansa was speedily forgotten by the Swedes 
and Danes, and Gustavus leagued with Frederick against 
their common ally. Frederick expired in the ensuing year, 
and "Wullenweber instantly planned the restoration of Chris- 
tiern to the vacant throne, and in his name organized a fear- 
ful revolution against the Danish nobility. The liberty of the 
people, was the general cry. The cities of the Baltic, Stral- 
. sund, Rostock, and Wismar, imitated the example set by 
Lubeck, and formed popular committees, all of which were 
subservient to Wullenweber, who, aided by the burgomaster 
of Copenhagen and the minter of Malmoe, the capitals of 
Denmark, instigated the people to revolt. Mark Meyer, who 
had risen from the forge to the command of the forces of the 
city of Lubeck, the handsomest man of his time, defended the 
Sound against the Dutch and English, and being wrecked on 
the English coast, was thrown into the Tower and sentenced to 
be hanged as a pirate. He, however, persuaded Henry VIIL, 
who was at that time on ill terms with the pope and the em 
vol. u. • 


'j~.:rzc\: ?j rxx i^^^*. 

V-r »• ini» p ps»ififiu it* *:m inr-iu»n iratvft. ii nfrr ii» : 

«'iii»^»;! *.i:oiir mil «snr wrv' r-.ra -*r-«"7 nor:* 11 iismiRiia 
,y -:»e ?wAnh tuvuhvo. it*7'*r. in !iw rain. s*nr*V"iilea- 
r»»,*~ v, ^urvU**. vrti riv* ^#»flr it 3wc:n»r rr.vn. i leaesnimc 

••v.'i- w .»p. w.**r* v.nv.'.isini*. tr,n. urjy.uijii *. WW- se?i "if "iie Ivnai 
ajw..~t "V, v^*r fc .< ~Me vrwn v. 'Ihrvcim- v.unc :c JEuisteiiu 
**>ti/, ^vw.'.Afrv. .■.". •-.■ini^n. Tft Lwie* *t*t7 -vier* tthiic 
*;/.»■. v*r V.*> ww,-. •-.■;•'. ru*,r»te* t-ri -.wrx.CA. fl':r-.acan. in »- 
;,■• «*. *:<<-s*aj f'*w%*f. 'U'A 'dzj \i Li-.vy.x. vie :if ill *nr- 
*..i.yv.i'U*r.*v* v^vvir. r.**? asvi ?iu* %»;r.r?j- itj* f*»scr37»E The 

.-■■••*.",.•** V, * ***** <j? ;jr*a£ 'il*xr-^.n. V-rui ^: ;iann;ur 
:\- ly-v*, try. *V-.^>r.nr*r>yr, <*■* r^&vrr.ir.z fr*:^ f .ipauoipsiL. 
" .!".«» t4i :At\ *t/fx:.y*x. : *A tte cr/int, w*» F.L 7«*t^rr-»tL iniL 
•'.*w.v.tf*/.4ir.jr :..* vxs/Afi&xia, V^acA, enri^ ^: die aufc- 
' . '.*v,r,* f,{ f.v: a.*'.*v/?r*ije party, jrradaally >s= popular. 
f ,;.;.'*.*;.. 'iimup/V**!*.? aftxr the cr>r*cla»ion ct ±5* partial 
p* *//■, * M v:k^J th* I/»r.i»h peasantry, ww were 3. rwots 
»r.f, ./*/,.•. Jutland, arid behead"! their leader. Mwm 
*• tray/I ir.f// hi* har,d» at Hel.»ir*gborj?, and imprisGoed m 
VwUn+.ty^ trtw- !>'' v?C\u*A ov<-,r the garri^n, expeilei the 
///r/i//i%o'krit. T »ri'J M:i^-/J the e«ule. A decisive engagement, 
in //hi'-ii th<; Han ** v/a^i defi'Ate'], t/^k place at Aureus. The 
L'i^<',k fl"4, whi^rh favour^] the aristocratic faction, was, at 
th'< *arne time, 'U-i'<;tiU'A ),y the un'iU-A ftfjuadrortt of Denmark 
nnd Svr«'den. Hanihurjr eonvoke/1 an Hanseatic diet, before 
which W ttWo n w*:)f*-.r fi])\r*:tir<*] and implored the deputies to 
pf09u*eut4', the wur, Th#; ari it erratic faction, nevertheless, 
tri urn phed, and a <Ur,w wnn ]mnn*u\ f threatening Lubeck with 
e x'-liuion from the empire, tinleHi the people were compelled 
to nhdieate their wiverei^nty. The destruction of the Ana- 
InipiUtii in MitunU'j inenmm^l the inwdence of the aristocratic 
hi'-tinn in JjitH'ek ; the municipality was compelled to resign 
U* Timet imin f and DnnriifWT was triumphantly reinstalled. 

VViilliuiwetHT, deserted by the fickle citizens, was treacher- 
fiiinly Nidtu'tl by the archbishop of Hremen, and delivered to 
tin* rrurl duke, Henry of Brunswick, by whom he was three 


times put to the rack and then beheaded. Peace was, to the 
truin of the Hansa, concluded with Christian, and the Ger- 
mans were withdrawn from Copenhagen, which was com- 
pelled by famine to surrender. Meyer, forced to yield by his 
followers, was put to the rack and quartered. The glory of 
the Hansa fell, never again to rise. 

The Lutheran clergy, however, celebrated their triumph 
over the Anabaptists and the Calvinists. The maintenance 
of the Confession of Augsburg and of the Lutheran Cate- 
chism was confirmed by the Hanse towns, at a great convo- 
cation at Hamburg, a. d. 1535. 

The empire of the German Hospitallers, founded by the 
Hansa, suffered far greater reverses. Albert, duke of Bran* 
denburg, brother to Casimir von Culmbach and George von 
Anspach-Jaegerndorf, was elected grand-master, a. d. 1511 
The Poles, instigated by the bishops, invaded Prussia, a. d. 
1520. A truce was concluded, [a. d. 1521,] although Al- 
bert was, at that time, supported by a body of fourteen 
thousand German mercenaries. The Order had fallen into 
such great disrepute that the knights never ventured to wear 
their dress in public. The pride of the aristocracy had 
fallen ; the knights had voluntarily elected a prince as their 
leader. The pope even, on the complaint of the duke against 
the bishops, reproached him with the degraded condition of 
the Order and demanded its reformation, a demand with 
which he complied in a manner little intended by his monitor, 
by yielding to the desire of the people for the admission of 
Lutheran preachers, the use of the German language in the 
church-service, and the abolition of enforced celibacy. In 
1525, he concluded a treaty at Cracow with Poland, by 
which the Order was dissolved, and he was declared hereditary 
duke of Prussia, which he held in fee of Poland. He also 
strengthened himself by an alliance with Denmark by wed- 
ding the Princess Dorothea, the daughter of Frederick II. 

Livonia and Courland, where the Teutonic Order still main- 
tained a shadow of authority, were devastated by a horde of 
one hundred and thirty thousand Russians under their czar, 
Ivan Wasiliewicz II., the most bloodthirsty monster that 
ever raged on earth. The Hansa, jealous of the prosperity of 
the colony she had herself founded, refused her aid. Got bard 
Kettler, the last master of the Order in Livonia, made a de- 

8 2 


termined resistance, and was at length assisted by Poland^ 
Denmark, and Sweden, who partitioned the country between 
themselves, leaving Courland and Semgall as an hereditary 
duchy to Kettler. The jealousy that prevailed among the 
new possessors was turned to advantage by the czar, who 
invaded Livonia [a. d. 1572] at the head of two hundred 
thousand men, plundered and ravaged the country, and mas- 
sacred the inhabitants. A fresh invasion took place in 1577, 
and the most horrid barbarities were again perpetrated. The 
&erman garrison of the castle of Wenden, on learning the 
fate of their countrymen, destroyed themselves by blowing 
the castle into the air. Hans Buring of Brunswick, the 
hero of Livonia, alone made head with a small troop of fol- 
lowers against the Russians, whom he greatly harassed. 
The fortune of the czar, however, turned at Wenden. 
The Swedes despatched an army against him under the 
French general Pontus de la G-ardie, who speedily drove him 
out of the country. Sweden was rewarded by the possession 
of Esthonia ; Livonia remained annexed to Poland, and Cour- 
land under Kettler, whilst Denmark retained the island of 
(Esel. The power of the two last was, however, very incon- 
siderable, and before long a war broke out between the rival 
powers, Poland and Sweden, from which Russia, ever on the 
watch, alone reaped benefit. 

CXCVIL The council of Trent— The Schmalkald war.-^ 
The Interim. — Maurice. 

Before the settlement of the great question that agitated 
Christendom, the infidels had again to be combated. Not- 
withstanding the aid promised by the Estates of the empire, 
the Turks had met with but trifling opposition in Hungary, 
where the imperial troops under Katzianer suffered a dis- 
graceful defeat near Esseck. Katzianer, although evidently 
innocent, walT by order of Ferdinand imprisoned at Vienna, 
whence hi escaped to Zriny, the Ban of Croatia, by whom 
he wau wt mted •,& he mt at table under pretext of his 
intenitf ! r w fth tne Turks f a step counselled 

by hi Thin defeat compelled Ferdinand 

to rj king of Hungary, on condition o! 


the crown reverting on his demise to the house of Habsburg. 
The reconciliation of the factions that agitated Hungary was, 
however, prevented by the sultan, who overran the whole 
country, converted Ofen into a Turkish city with mosques, 
and partitioned the territory into Turkish governments. At 
the same time, Haraddin Barbarossa, a Turkish pirate, found- 
ed a kingdom in Algiers and seized Tunis, whence his ves- 
sels struck terror along the coasts of Italy and Spain and 
scoured the Mediterranean. Tunis was taken by Charles and 
his ally, Admiral Doria, [a. d. 1535,] but the distant con- 
quest could not be maintained, and the pirates speedily reap- 
peared. A second expedition undertaken by Charles [a. d. 
1541] against Algiers proved unsuccessful 

War again broke out with France. Francis I. renewed 
his claims upon Milan on the death of Francesco Sforza, 
[a. d. 1535,] and invaded Italy, whence he was forced to re- 
treat by Charles and the duke of Alba, who, in reprisal, en- 
tered Provence, whence they were in their turn driven by 
pestilence. Peace was once more concluded, a. d. 1537. The 
emperor retained Milan. Three years after this, he journeyed 
from Spain to the Netherlands, and having the intention to 
visit Henry VIII. of England, had the boldness to pass through 
France, where he was sumptuously entertained by Francis, 
who accompanied him from Paris to the frontier. 

The Lutherans, meanwhile, increased in strength, if not in 
unity. John, elector of Saxony, was succeeded [a. d. 1532] 
by his son, John Frederick, who surpassed him in zeal for the 
Reformation : he was also continually at feud with Philip of 
Hesse. Christian, king of Denmark, joined the Schmalkald 
confederacy, A. d. 1538. Brandenburg embraced Lutheran- 
ism, [a. d. 1 539,] and Thuringia followed the example. The 
nobility in most of the northern states upheld the Catholic, 
the burghers the Lutheran, faith. *The Protestant party de- 
manded a council, independent of the pope and held on this 
side of the Alps, and therefore refused to recognise the au- 
thority of that convoked by the emperor for the settlement of 
religious differences, for which it was moreover clear a 
council was utterly inadequate. The Catholic princes also 
openly entered into a holy alliance in opposition to that of 
Schmalkald, a. d. 1538. This alliance consisted of the Arch- 
duke Ferdinand, William and Louis of Bavaria, Eric and 


Henry of Brunswick, and the ecclesiastical princes. Each 
side narrowly watched the other and equally avoided a strug- 
gle, whilst the moderate party again attempted to conciliate 
matters with the aid of the emperor and without the pope. 
Philip of Hesse was, at that period, also disposed to make 
concessions. John Frederick of Saxony revived his former 
project of allying himself with the house of Habsburg. The 
emperor, moreover, still threatened by the Turks and French, 
was, like the Protestants, far from disinclined to peace. 

A tolerably peaceable discussion took place between Me- 
lancthon and Eck at the diet held at Ratisbon, [a. d. 1541,] 
at which the Ratisbon Interim was proposed by Granvella, 
the chancellor of the empire, in Charles's presence, for the 
provisional accommodation of religious differences. The 
princes of Anhalt were sent as imperial ambassadors to make 
proposals to Luther, who, falsely regarding the whole affair 
as an intrigue intended to mislead the Protestants, obstinately 
refused to concede to the emperor's wishes. The French 
monarch, meanwhile, anxious to separate the pope from the 
emperor, and to hinder any concession on the part of the 
former to the Protestants, pledged himself for the maintenance 
of the purity of the Catholic faith, in which he was joined by 
Bavaria, jealous of the restriction upon her power consequent 
upon the union of the contending parties under the emperor. 

Fresh disputes speedily broke out, and a wordy contest was 
for some time carried on between the elector of Saxony and 
Henry, duke of Brunswick. Blows quickly followed. The 
Schmalkald alliance flew to arms, was victorious at Kalfelden, 
[a. d. 1542,] and expelled the weak duke from Brunswick. 
The city of Hildesheim expelled her bishop and embraced 

The emperor again appeared in person at the diet held 
during the ensuing year, [a. d. 1543,] at Spires, and per- 
suaded the Schmalkald confederacy to aid him against the 
French monarch, who had once more taken up arms. The 
elector ofijfl y was appointed generalissimo of the imperial 
forces, ^H -t William ufCli. i \>'.-.wljo, irritated 

at the ^H invest him with the countship of 

Gueldflfl ^^Hfcxing it to the Netherlands, 

had en^ feice. The city of Daren was 

jpJMbitaiita were put to the 


word, and William, in order to save his country, flung him- 
self at the emperor's feet at Venloo, ceded Gueldres, and, to 
the great mortification of the Protestants, who had so strongly 
aided in his discomfiture, swore to maintain Catholicism 
throughout his dominions. He shortly afterwards wedded 
the emperor's niece, Maria, one of king Ferdinand's daughters. 
The French were driven from Luxemburg, which they had 
seized, and pursued almost to the gates of Paris, when the 
treaty of Crespy was suddenly concluded between Charles 
and Francis, the former of whom, with the view of humbling 
the Protestants, once more sided with the pope, urged the 
instant convocation of the council, and took measures to curb 
the growing power of the Schmalkald confederation, whose 
members neither turned their favourable position to advan- 
tage nor perceived the monarch's wiles. Henry of Bruns- 
wick again attempted to regain possession of his territory, but 
was defeated and taken prisoner at Nordheim [a. d. 1545] 
by the leagued princes, who gained an ally in the elector ol 
the Pfalz. 

The council of Trident was opened by the pope, [a. d. 
1545,] and the emperor convoked a diet for the ensuing year 
at Ratisbon, with the view either of entrapping the Protest- 
ants or of putting them down by force. Before the opening 
of this memorable diet, Luther expired at Eisleben, 18th 
February, 1546. He died in sorrow, but in the conscientious 
belief of having faithfully served his God, and, although the 
great and holy work, begun by him, had been degraded and 
dishonoured partly by his personal faults, although the Re- 
formation of the church had been rendered subservient to the 
views of a policy essentially unchristian, the good cause was 
destined to outlive these transient abuses. The seeds, scat- 
tered by this great Reformer, produced, it is true, thorns 
during his life-time and during succeeding centuries, but burst 
into blossom as the storms through which the Reformation 
passed gradually lulled. 

France being humbled, England gained over, and the sultan 
pacified by the cession of Hungary, the pope and the emperor 
turned their united strength against the Protestants. In 1540, 
the pope had taken into his service in Spam a newly-founded 
monkish order, that of Jesus, which he had commissioned, by 
means of the French and Italian policy practised by it as 


morality, to extirpate heresy. The motto of this new order 
was, " The aim sanctifies the means." The Jesuits made their 
first appearance at the council of Trent. The pope, more- 
over, prepared a new bull, the publication of which he re- 
served until a fitting opportunity. 

The emperor, unwilling to have recourse to violent mea- 
sures, tried by every method of subterfuge and hypocrisy to 
induce the Protestants, at the diet held at Ratisbon, to recog- 
nise the council, meanwhile secretly assuring the pope, in the 
event of war, of his intention to extirpate the Lutheran 
heresy. The pope, fully acquainted with Charles's duplicity, 
deceived him in his turn, by publishing these secret promises, 
to his extreme mortification, throughout Germany. The 
anger of the Protestants was justly roused by the perfidy of 
the emperor, who, true to his policy, now endeavoured to 
breed disunion among them by putting the elector of Saxony 
and the Landgrave of Hesse out of the bann of the empire, 
whilst he spared the rest of the confederates, with some of 
whom, for instance, Joachim II. of Brandenburg, who had 
ever been lukewarm in the cause, Albert Alcibiades of Calm- 
bach, and Maurice of Saxon-Thuringia, on whom Philip 
had bestowed one of his daughters, he entered upon a secret 
understanding. The publication of the bull, and the bann, 
meanwhile, roused the most phlegmatic members of the 
Nchmalknld confederacy from their state of quiescent ease 
and inspired them with unwonted energy. The gallant 
Selicrtlin von tturtenbach assembled an army in the service 
of Augsburg and of the rest of the cities of Upper Germany ; 
the Landgrave Philip hailed the outbreak of war with open 
delight, and oven the Saxon elector, unwieldy as he was in 
person, mounted his war-steed with alacrity. 

These vigorous measures took Charles, whose troops were 
still unassembled, by surprise. In August, 1546, the princes 
of Saxony and Hesse united their forces at Donauwoerth with 
the burghors under Schcrtlin and the Wurtembergers under 
Hans von Ileidok. They numbered forty-seven thousand 
men, and might easily have surprised the emperor, who had 
merely nine thousand, of which two thousand were Spaniards, 
at Ratisbon, had the advice of Schertlin, who invaded the 
Tvrol, to advance with the whole of their forces been 
I ' " j princes, who, unwilling to disturb Bavaria, 


that had declared herself neutral, allowed the emperor tc 
escape and to place himself at Landshut at the head of twenty 
thousand men, sent to his aid from Italy, with whom he threw 
himself into Ingolstadt The disunion that prevailed among 
the confederates, meanwhile, rendered their superior numbers 
unavailing, and, after vainly bombarding Ingolstadt, they 
withdrew with the intention of intercepting the reinforcements 
brought from the Netherlands by the Count von Buren, who 
eluded their search and joined the emperor with fifteen thou- 
sand men. 

The Saxon elector was now recalled into Saxony by an at- 
tack on the part of Duke Maurice, who was secretly instigated 
by the emperor, and the rest of the confederates dispersing, 
Upper Germany was exposed to the whole wrath of the em- 
peror. The cities, deaf to Schertlin's remonstrances, offered 
no opposition. The princes of Upper Germany also submit- 
ted. John Frederick of Saxony was taken prisoner on the 
Lochauer heath, [a. d. 1547,] and Wittenberg was induced, 
by the emperor's threat to decapitate his prisoner, to open her 
gates. The elector steadily refused to recant. His prison 
was voluntarily shared by his friend, the celebrated painter, 
Lucas Cranach. Philip of Hesse was also treacherously seized 
at Halle by the emperor, from whom he had received a safe- 
conduct. The Protestant party was thus deprived of its last 
support. Wolfgang of Anhalt voluntarily quitted his posses- 
sions, and lived for some time incognito as a miller. Schert- 
lin fled to Switzerland, and Bucer, the Strassburg Reformer, 
to England, where his remains were, under the reign of Mary, 
exhumed and burnt. 

The emperor returned to Augsburg in order to regulate the 
affairs of the empire, whilst his brother Ferdinand went to 
Prague for the purpose of revenging himself upon the Bohe- 
mians for the negative aid granted by them, during the late 
contest, to the Protestant party. The bloody diet was opened, 
and the heads of a confederacy formed at Prague, February 
15th, 1547, by the Estates in defence of their constitution and 
religious liberty, were publicly executed. Numbers of the 
nobility were compelled to emigrate ; others purchased their 
lives with the loss of their property. The cities were mulcted, 
deprived of their privileges, and placed under imperial judges. 
Numbers of the citizens were exiled and whipped across the 


frontier by the executioner. All the Hussites belonging to 
the strict sect of the Taborites, the "Bohemian Brethren, 9 
were sentenced to eternal banishment and sent in three bands, 
each of which numbered a thousand men, into Prussia. The 
whole of Austria favoured the doctrines of Luther, but had 
remained true to her allegiance. The pope, Paul III., terror- 
stricken at the successes of the emperor, instead of being de- 
lighted at the triumph of Catholicism, removed the council 
from Trident to Bologna on the emperor's return [a. d. 1546] 
to Augsburg, where, true to his former policy, he treated the 
heretics with great moderation. His arbitrary abolition of 
corporative government and restoration of that of the ancient 
burgher-families in all the cities of Upper Germany gave a 
death-blow to civil liberty. In the spring of 1547, Francis L 
of France expired. His son and successor, Henry II. , in- 
stantly confederated with the pope against the emperor, and 
even affianced his natural daughter to a Farnese, one of the 
pope's nephews. Charles V., meanwhile, boldly protested 
against the removal of the council to Bologna, declared its de- 
cisions invalid until its return to Trent, and, in the mean 
time, endeavoured to accomplish a church-union, without the 
pope, with the now humbled and more tractable Protestants, 
but all his diplomacy failed in reconciling principles diametri- 
cally opposed. 

The Augsburg Interim, chiefly drawn up by Joachim, the 
lukewarm elector of Brandenburg, and his smooth-tongued 
chaplain, John Agricola, and proposed as his ultimatum by 
the emperor to the Protestants, was a master-piece of incon- 
gruity, and utterly failed in its intention. Ulric of Wurtem- 
berg and the Pfalzgrave Frederick, harassed by the imperial 
troops, accepted it unconditionally, but the elector Maurice 
attempted to replace it by another, the Leipzig Interim, drawn 
up by Melancthon. The majority of the other princes also 
highly disapproved of it. The captive elector of Saxony 
steadily refused to subscribe, but the Landgrave, Philip of 
Hesse, complied. The Interim was neither Catholic nor 
Lutheran, and was viewed with suspicion by the people, by 
whom it was regarded as a sign of retrogression. 

The cities openly rejected the Interim, which the emperor 
merely succeeded in imposing on the South, where his troopt 
were encamped. Constance was surprised by the Spaniard^ 


[a. d. 1548,] converted into a provincial town of Austria, and 
compelled to embrace Catholicism. Flaccius, Luther's most 
faithful disciple, until now a teacher at Leipzig, quitted that 
city in disgust at the Leipzig Interim, which, in truth, was 
not much superior to that of Augsburg, and took refuge in 
Magdeburg, where the bold citizens set the emperor and the 
pope equally at defiance. 

The little approbation bestowed upon the Interim, and the 
intrigues of William, duke of Bavaria, against his power, 
now induced Charles to abandon his plan for the reconcilia- 
tion of the Protestants without the interference of the pope, 
and for their conversion by his means into mere political 
tools. This change in his policy was, by chance, masked by 
the death of Paul III., who was succeeded by Julius III., a 
weak and slothful prince, who, bribed by the emperor's pro- 
mise of bringing the Protestants to him, opened, [a. d. 1551,] 
apparently of his own accord, the council at Trent, whither 
the Protestants were compelled to send their deputies. The 
elector of Brandenburg most deeply humbled himself, by pro- 
mising, as a good son of the church, to obey every decree of 
the council. The emperor, unwilling to concede too much to 
the pope, however, beheld this excessive servility with dis- 
pleasure, and would, in all probability, have defended the 
Protestants with greater ability than they displayed on their 
own behalf, had not the whole tissue of impotence and fraud 
been suddenly rent asunder by the rebellion of Maurice of 
Saxony, whom the emperor had commissioned to execute the 
bann pronounced upon Magdeburg, but who, secretly assem- 
bling an immense force, entered into alliance with Henry II. 
of France, and, together with Albert von Culmbach, raised 
the standard of revolt, and published a manifesto, in which, 
unmindful of their own treasonable correspondence with 
France, they bitterly reproached the emperor for the numbers 
of Spaniards and Italians brought by him into Germany. 

Maurice, after granting peace to Magdeburg, marched, 
[a. d. 1552,] with William of Hesse, the son of the captive 
elector, and Albert the Wild of Culmbach, upon Innsbruck, 
where the emperor lay sick. The Ehrenberg passes were 
stoutly disputed by the Austrians, three thousand of whom 
fell. A mutiny that broke out in the electoral army gave the 
emperor time to escipe from Innsbruck, whence he was car* 


ried in a litter across the mountains to Villach, in Carintbi*. 
John Frederick of Saxony was restored to liberty on condition 
of negotiating terms of peace. The emperor wag, at this 
conjuncture, without troops, the enemy was in full pursuit, the 
whole of Germany in confusion at this unexpected stroke! 
the Catholics were panic-struck, the Lutherans full of hope. 
Every city, through which Maurice passed, expelled the 
priests, and the ancient burgher families rejected the Interim, 
re-established the pure tenets of the gospel, and restored 
corporative government. Had the reaction spread, the em- 
peror would, infallibly, have been compelled to sue for peace. 

Henry II. at the same time took the field as "the liberator 
of Germany." His first care was to secure his promised 
prey. Toul was betrayed into his hands. Metz was taken 
by stratagem, and was henceforward converted into a French 
fortress. The young duke, Charles of Lorraine, was sent 
captive to France. Strassburg refused to open her gates to 
the invader. Hagenau and Weissenburg were seized. The 
people, far from countenancing the treachery of their rulers, 
every where gave vent to their hatred against the French, 
who were warned by their ally, the Swiss confederation, not 
to attack the city of Strassburg. Maria, stadtholderess of 
the Netherlands, meanwhile, sent a body of troops across the 
French frontier, and Maurice making terms with the emperor, 
the "Liberator" hastily retreated homewards, seizing Verdun 
en route. 

At the first news of the revolt of the elector, Ferdinand 
had attempted to prevent war by negotiation, to which 
Maurice refused to listen until the emperor's flight from Inns- 
bruck had placed him in a position to dictate terms of peace. 
A treaty was, consequently, concluded at Passau, August 2nd, 
1552, by which religious liberty was secured to the Protest- 
ants, and the princes, John Frederick and Philip, were re- 
stored to freedom, Maurice binding himself in return to 
defend the empire against the French and the Turks. He 
accordingly took the field against the latter, but with little 
success, the imperial commander, Castaldo, contravening all 
his efforts by plundering Hungary and drawing upon himself 
the hatred of the people. 

Charles, meanwhile, marched against the French, and, 
without hesitation, again deposed the corporative governments 


reinstated by Maurice, on his way through Augsburg, Ulrn, 
Esslingen, etc. Metz, valiantly defended by the duke de 
Guise, was vainly besieged for some months, and the emperor 
was at length forced to retreat The French were, neverthe- 
less, driven out of Italy. 

The aged emperor now sighed for peace. Ferdinand, averse 
to open warfare, placed his hopes on the imperceptible effect of 
a consistently pursued system of suppression and Jesuitical ob- 
scurantism. Maurice was answerable for the continuance of 
the peace, the terms of which he had prescribed. Philip of 
Hesse, and John Frederick, whose sons had, during his im- 
prisonment, founded a new university at Jena, similar to that 
at Wittenberg, had already one foot in the grave. Ulric of 
Wurtemberg had expired in 1550 and been succeeded by his 
son, Christopher, who wisely sought to heal the bleeding 
wounds of his country, upon which, in unison with his 
Estates, he bestowed a revised constitution; provincial Estates, 
solely consisting of Lutheran prelates and city deputies, with 
the right of rejecting the taxes proposed by the government, 
of controlling the whole of the state property, etc., and ren- 
dered permanent by a committee ; a general court of justice, 
and numerous other useful institutions. Peace was, conse- 
quently, a necessity with this prince. The weak elector of 
Brandenburg was, as ever, ready to negotiate terms. Albert 
the Wild was the only one among the princes who was still de- 
sirous of war. Indifferent to aught else, he marched, at the 
head of some thousand followers, through central Germany, 
murdering and plundering as he passed along, with the intent 
of once more laying the Franconian and Saxon bishoprics 
waste in the name of the gospel. The princes at length 
formed the Heidelberg confederacy against this monster and 
the emperor put him under the bann of the empire, which 
Maurice undertook to execute, although he had been his old 
friend and companion in arms. Albert was engaged in plun- 
dering the archbishopric of Magdeburg, when Maurice came 
up with him at Sievershausen. A murderous engagement 
took place [a. d. 1553]. Three of the princes of Brunswick 
were slain. Albert was severely wounded, and Maurice fell at 
the moment when victory declared in his favour, in the thirty- 
third year of his age, in the midst of his promising career, 
Albert fled, pursued by Henry of Brunswick breathing venge- 



ance for the untimely fate of his sons, to France, but, h 
proud to eat the bread of dependence, he returned to Ger- 
many, where he found an asylum at Pforzheim under the 
protection of the Margrave of Baden. He died, worn out 
by excess, [a. d* 1557,] m his thirty -fifth year. 

Every obstacle was now removed, and a peace, known as 
the religious peace of Augsburg, was concluded hy the diel 
held in that city, A, i>. 1555. This peace was naturally 
mere political agreement provisionally entered into hy tin 
princes for the benefit, not of religion, but of themselves. 
Popular opinion wag dumb, knights, burgesses, and peasan 
bending in lowly submission to the mandate of their sove- 
reigns. By this treaty, branded in history as the most law* 
less ever concerted in Germany, the principle "cujus regii 
ejus religio," the faith of the prince must be that of thi 
people, was laid down. By it not only all the Heformed su 
jects of a Catholic prince were exposed to the utmost cruelty 
and tyranny, but the religion of each separate country wi 
rendered dependent on the caprice of the reigning prince ; ol 
this the Plate offered a sad example, the religion of the peopli 
being thus four times arbitrarily changed. The struggles ol 
nature and of reason were powerless against the executioner, 
the stake, and the sword. This principle was, never the lei 
merely a result of Luther's well-known policy, and conse- 
quently struck his contemporaries far less forcibly than after- 
generations. Freedom of belief, confined to the immediate 
subjects of the empire, for instance, to the reigning princes, 
the free nobility, and the city councillors, was monopolized by 
at most twenty thousand privileged persons, including the 
whole of the impoverished nobility and the oligarchies of the 
most insignificant imperial free towns, and it consequently 
follows, taking the whole of the inhabitants of the empire at 
twenty millions, that, out of a thousand Germans, one only 
enjoyed the privilege of choosing his own religion. 

The ecclesiastical princes, to the great prejudice of the 
Reformation, did not participate in this privilege. By the 
ecclesiastical, proviso, they were, it is true, personally 
mitted to change their religion, but incurred thereby the 
privatior of their dignities and possessions. 




CXCVIII. Preponderance of the Spaniards and Jesuits.— 
Courtly vices. 

The false peace concluded at Augsburg was immediatelj 
followed by Charles V.'s abdication of his numerous crowns. 
He would willingly have resigned that of the empire to his 
son Philip, had not the Spanish education of that prince, his 
gloomy and bigoted character, inspired the Germans with an 
aversion as unconquerable as that with which he beheld them. 
Ferdinand had, moreover, gained the favour of the German 
princes. Charles, nevertheless, influenced by affection to- 
wards his son, bestowed upon him one of the finest of the 
German provinces, the Netherlands, besides Spain, Milan, 
Naples, and the West Indies (America). Ferdinand received 
the rest of the German hereditary possessions of his house, 
besides Bohemia and Hungary. The aged emperor, after thus 
dividing his dominions, went to Spain and entered the Hie- 
ronymite monastery of Justus, where he lived for two years, 
amusing himself, among other things, with an attempt to make 
a number of clocks keep exact time ; on failing, he observed, 
" Watches are like men." His whim for solemnizing his own 
funeral service proved fatal ; the dampness of the coffin in 
which he lay during the ceremony, brought on a cold, which 
terminated a few days afterwards in death, A. d. 1558 
Charles, although dexterous in the conduct of petty intrigues, 
was entirely devoid of depth of intellect, and ever misunder- 
stood his age; magnanimous in some few instances, he was 
unendowed with the greatness of character that had empower- 
ed Charlemagne to govern and to guide his times. Possessed 
of far greater power than that magnificent emperor, the half 
of the globe his by inheritance, he might, during the thirty 
years of his reign, have moulded the great Reformation to his 
will ; notwithstanding which, he left at his death both the 


church and state in far more wretched disorder than at hii 
accession to the throne of Germany. Frederick III. was too 
dull of intellect to rule a world ; Charles V. was too cunning. 
He overlooked great and natural advantages, and buried him- 
self in petty intrigue. Luther remarked of him during his 
youth, " He will never succeed, for he has openly rejected 
truth, and Germany will be implicated in his want of suc- 
cess." Time proved the truth of this opinion. The insuffi- 
ciency of the Reformation was mainly due to this emperor. 

Ferdinand I., opposed in his hereditary provinces by a pre- 
dominating Protestant party, which he was compelled to to- 
lerate, was politically overbalanced by his nephew, Philip II., 
in Spain and Italy, where Catholicism flourished. The pre- 
ponderance of the Spanish over the Austrian branch of the 
house of Habsburg exercised the most pernicious influence 
on the whole of Germany, by securing to the Catholics a sup- 
port which rendered reconciliation impossible, to the Spaniards 
and Italians admittance into Germany, and by falsifying the 
German language, dress, and manners. 

The religious disputes and petty egotism of the several 
Estates of the empire had utterly stifled every sentiment of 
patriotism, and not a dissentient voice was raised against the 
will of Charles V., which bestowed the whole of the Nether- 
lands, one of the finest of the provinces of Germany, upon 
Spain, the division and consequent weakening of the powerful 
house of Habsburg being regarded by the princes with delight. 

At the same time that the power of the Protestant party 
was shaken by the peace of Augsburg, Cardinal Caraffa 
mounted the pontifical throne as Paul IV., the first pope who 
following the plan of the Jesuits, abandoned the system of de 
fence for that of attack. The Reformation no sooner ceased 
to progress, than a preventive movement began. The pontiffs, 
up to this period, were imitators of Leo X., had surrounded 
themselves with luxury and pomp, had been, personally, far 
from bigoted in their opinions, and had opposed the Reform- 
ation merely from policy, neither from conviction nor fana- 
ticism. But the Jesuits acted, whilst the popes negotiated ; 
and this new order of ecclesiastics, at first merely a papal tool 
in the council of Trent, ere long became the pontiff's mas- 
ter. An extraordinary but extremely natural medley existed 
in the system and the members of this society of Jesus. Tlie 


most fervent attachment to the ancient faith, mysticism, as- 
cetic extravagance, the courage of the martyr, nay, desire for 
martyrdom, reappeared in their former strength the moment the 
church was threatened ; the passions, formerly inspiriting the 
crusader, burst forth afresh to oppose, not, as in olden times, the 
sensual pagan and Mahommedan, but the stern morality and 
well-founded complaints of the nations of Germany, to which a 
deaf ear was turned ; and religious zeal, originally pure, but now 
misled by a foul policy, indifferent alike to the price and to 
the means by which it gained its aim, sought to undermine the 
Reformation. Among the Jesuits there were saints equalling 
in faith the martyrs of old ; poets overflowing with philan- 
thropy ; bold and unflinching despots ; smooth-tongued di- 
vines, versed in the art of lying. The necessity for action, in 
opposing the Reformation, naturally called forth the energies 
of the more arbitrary and systematic members of the order, 
and threw the dreamy enthusiasts in the shade. Nationality 
was also another ruling motive. Was the authority of the fo- 
reigner, so long exercised over the German, to be relinquished 
without a struggle ? This nationality, moreover, furnished an 
excuse for immoral inclinations and practices, for all that was 
unworthy of the Master they nominally served. The attempts 
for reconciliation made by both parties in the church no sooner 
failed, and the moderate Catholic party in favour of peace 
and of a certain degree of reform lost sight of its original 
views, than the whole sovereignty of the Catholic world was 
usurped by this order. The pope was compelled to throw 
himself into its arms, and Paul IV., putting an end to the 
system pursued by his predecessors, renounced luxury and 
licence, publicly cast off his nephews, and zealously devoted 
himself to the Catholic cause. At the same time he was, not- 
withstanding the similarity in their religious opinions, at war 
with Philip of Spain, being unable, like his predecessors, to 
tolerate the temporal supremacy of the Spaniard in Naples. 
Rome, besieged by the duke of Alba, was defended by Ger- 
man Protestants, and the pope was reduced to the necessity 
of seeking aid from the Turk and the French. Peace was 
concluded, A. D. 1 4&7* Philip afterwards treated the pope 
with extreme VffflHh ** confederated with him for the 
restoration of • 
The aettlem V >ut the whole of Ca- 

VOL. 11. 


tholic Germany was the first result of this combination. "Wil- 
liam, duke of Bavaria, granted to them the university of 
Ingolstadt, where Canisius of Nimwegen, the Spaniard, Salme- 
ron, and the Savoyard, Le Jay, were the first Jesuitical pro- 
fessors. Canisius drew up a catechism strictly Catholic, the 
form of belief for the whole of Bavaria, on which [a. d. 1561] 
all the servants of the state were compelled to swear, and to 
which, at length, every Bavarian subject was forced, under 
pain of banishment, to subscribe. This example induced the 
emperor Ferdinand to invite Canisius into Austria, where 
Lutheranism had become so general that by far the greater 
number of the churches were either in the hands of the Pro- 
testants or closed, and for twenty years not a single Catholic 
priest had taken orders at the university of Vienna. Canisius 
was at first less successful in Austria than he had been in Ba- 
varia, but nevertheless effected so much, that even his oppo- 
nents declared that without him the whole of southern Ger- 
many would have ceased to be Catholic* Cardinal Otto, 
bishop of Augsburg, a Truchsess von Waldburg, aided by 
Bavaria, compelled his diocesans to recant, and founded a Je- 
suitical university at Dillingen. In Cologne and Treves the 
Jesuits simultaneously suppressed the Reformation and civil 
liberty. Coblentz was deprived of all her ancient privileges, 
a. d. 1561, and Treves, A. d. 1580. 

Ferdinand I. was in a difficult position. Paul IV. refused 
to acknowledge him on account of the peace concluded be- 
tween him and the Protestants, whom he was unable to op- 
pose, and whose tenets he refused to embrace, notwithstanding 
the expressed wish of the majority of his subjects. Like his 
brother, he intrigued and diplomatized until his Jesuitical con- 
fessor, Bobadilla, and the new pope, Pius IV., again placed 
him on good terms with Rome, a. d. 1559. He also found a 
mediator in Carlo Borromeo, archbishop of Milan, who had 
gained a high reputation for sanctity by his fearless and phi- 
lanthropic behaviour during a pestilence, and who was, more- 
over, a zealous upholder of the external pomp of the church 
and of public devotion. 

Augustus, elector of Saxony, the brother of Maurice, 
alarmed at the fresh alliance between the emperor and the 
pope, convoked a meeting of the Protestant leaders at Naum- 

* He was in consequence mockingly termed " canis Auatriaciis." 


bsrg. His fears were, however, allayed by the peaceful pro- 
posals of the emperor, [a. d. 1561,] and, in point of fart, ttte 
fitting moment for another attempt at reconciliation had ar- 
rived. The great leaders of the Reformation were dead, ttte 
seal of their successors had cooled or they were at variance 
with one another. Disgust had driven several tiieolngian* 
back to the bosom of the Roman Church. The emperor, and 
even Albert of Bavaria, William's successor, were willing to 
concede marriage to the priests, the sacrament under both 
forms to the people, the use of the German tongue in Die 
thiirch-service, and several other points, for the sake of ter- 
minating the schism in the church ; and even the pope, through 
his talented nuncio, Commendone, made several extremely 
touching representations to the assembly «t Kaumburg. All 
was vain. Commendone was treated with great indignity by 
the assembled Protestants. His subsequent attempt to gain 
the princes over one by one also failed, Brandenburg alone 
giving him a favourable reception. 'JV assembly at Naum- 
burg was, nevertheless extremely peaceful in comparison with 
the convocation held samuhaneouiriy at JLtineburg, where the 
strictest Lutherans, the pope's inosi irreconcilable foes, chiefly 
preachers from the H*t*e town*, had wsembled. John Fre- 
derick, duke of Weimar, l*ad also separated himself from th* 
meeting at Xaomtorg, through hatred of tlie electoral boiwe. 
The reco»ejlj#t*«j so aroeutly hoped for by the moderate 
party on both »de«< wa» m fouqvr possible. The *ehi«n had 
been too cuueb w'&#M wvr again to close. Tlie Prt/te*t*riK 
instead of awa&jj* a #meraJ oukjimwivu of e*x-le«ia*t)eal mut- 
ters by a council, bad, on their own re*poi>«W)Hy« founded n 
new church with new wowoui** and U*»**. The Catholic 
had, on their aide, pUw»d tin; oouwiJ not w**r the pope, but 
the pope over the <a>uu4jiJ, in o*-<W to yjw il#mmh»* a head 
and greater unity, and thi* 4H>vuw;iJ, VA by tlw Jemitta, li&'l 
already pa***d **v*r*il resolution* tv whuih lU< jVitefrtanH 
■could not accede. JSiiitlu^ puiiy would 4ot.rtw« lent more 
^^^^ \m U*t, «od ouch vutwi^i tuv oUuy with the dwueat di«- 

&&•** JSWfc') hialiou of hu'lmluxlf, uttij in the 
'ft if diMJjjWll "^ JuunH* Uiv dtmuuul* of tlie Pro- 

* *y W'WiJ Uiuu." Jjotb parties 

$ U> iiiuiuluui fchv aWiiaw. A 

f J.lu-* fjwuiwi tihurt'b, in the 


e\ent ot its separation from that of Rome, was made by Per* 
dinand, who convoked the spiritual electoral princes, the arch* 
bishops and bishops, for that purpose to Vienna, but the con* 
sideration with which he was compelled to treat the pope 
rendered his efforts weak and ineffectual ; those made by 
Albert of Bavaria, independently of the Protestants, in the 
council, for the abolition or restriction of the most glaring 
I abuses in the church, were more successful, although the whole 
of his demands were not conceded. The council clearly per* 
ceived the necessity of raising the fallen credit of the clergy 
by the revival of morality. A number of abuses in this 
respect, more particularly the sale of indulgences, were abol- 
ished ; the local authority of the bishops was restored, and 
the arbitrary power of the legates restricted ; a catechism for 
the instruction of the Catholics was adopted in imitation of 
that published by the Lutherans, and, by the foundation of 
the Order of Jesus, talent and learning were once more to be 
spread among the monastic orders. But the council also drew 
the bonds of ancient dogmatism closer than ever, by its con- 
firmation of the supremacy of the pope and of his infallibility 
in all ecclesiastical matters. "Cursed be all heretics," ex- 
claimed the cardinal of Lorraine at the conclusion of the 
council, which re-echoed his words with thunders of applause, 
a. d. 1563. Pius IV., who closed the council, and, by his 
reconciliation with the emperor and with Spain, had weakened 
the opposition of the hierarchy and strengthened that of the 
Protestants, was succeeded by Pius V., a blind zealot, who 
castigated himself, and, like Philip in Spain, tracked the here- 
tics in the State of the Church by means of the Inquisition, 
and condemned numbers to the stake. 

The Protestants, blind to the unity and strength resulting 
from the policy of the Catholics, weakened themselves more 
and more by division. The Reformed Swiss were almost mora 
inimical to the Lutherans than the Catholics were, and the 
general mania for disputation and theological obstinacy pro- 
duced divisions amongst the Reformers themselves. When, 
in 1 562, Bullinger set up the Helvetic Confession, to which 
the Pfalz also assented, in Zurich, Basle refused and main- 
tained a particular Confession. A university, intended by 
Ferdinand I. as a bulwark against the Reformation, was 
founded by him at Besancon, then an imperial city, ▲. D. 1564. 


Ferdinand expired, [a. d. 1564,] and was succeeded on the 
imperial throne by his son, Maximilian II., who had gained 
great popularity throughout Germany by his inclination to 
favour the Lutherans ; but, unstable in character, he commit- 
ted the fault of granting religious liberty to his subjects with- 
out embracing Lutheranism himself, and consequently exposed 
them to the most fearful persecution under his successor. No 
one ever more convincingly proved how much more half- 
friendship is to be dreaded than utter enmity. 

The empire was, at this period, externally at peace. 
France, embroiled by the Catholics and Huguenots, was 
governed by a female monster, the widow of Henry II., the 
Italian, Catherine di Medicis, who, sunk in profligacy, and 
the zealous champion of the ancient church, reigned in the 
name of her sons, Francis II. and Charles IX. The Hugue- 
nots turned for relief to Germany. In 1562, six thousand 
Hessians, and, in 1567, the Pfalzgrave, John Casimir, with 
seventeen thousand men, marched to their aid. The queen 
was, on her side, assisted by the Swiss Catholics, and, to his 
eternal disgrace, by John William, duke of Weimar, who 
sent a reinforcement of five thousand men. John Casimir 
reaped still deeper shame by his acceptation of a royal bribe, 
and his consequent desertion of the Huguenots. 

The Turks also left the empire undisturbed. They were 
opposed in Hungary by an imperial army under Castaldo, 
which, instead of defending, laid the country waste. The 
monk, George Mertenhausen, (Martinuzzi,) was more in- 
fluential by his intrigues. On the death of Zapolya, to 
whom he had acted both as temporal and spiritual adviser, he 
found himself at the head of affairs in Hungary, and proposed 
a marriage, which never took place, between Zapolya's son, 
John Sigismund, and one of Ferdinand's daughters. His 
first condition was the emancipation of the peasantry by the 
emperor, on the grounds that " the Turks offered liberty to 
the Hungarian serfs, and thereby induced numbers to aposta- 
tize, and, in this apostacy from Christianity, those alone who 
tyrannized oyMJfcfcjpeasantry were to blame." Ferdinand 
naturally rew^^^Blten to these remonstrances, and George 
was short]'* MB^HHBfca used of a treacherous correspond- 
ence with as f J d by CastaldVs bravos. 
The pope, <ented him, at Fer- 


dinand's request, with a cardinal's hat, merely observed on 
this occasion, " He ought either to have been less strongly re- 
commended or not to have been assassinated." The Hunga- 
rians, roused to desperation by the tyranny of Castaldo, and by 
the devastation committed by his soldiery, at length attacked 
him, killed the greater part of his men, and declared in favour 
of John Sigismund Zapolya. This demonstration was ren- 
dered still more effective by an invasion of Carniola by the 
Turks, A. d. 1 559. Maximilian II., on his accession to the 
throne, purchased peace by an annual tribute of 300,000 
guilders, and by the recognition of John Sigismund as prince 
of Transylvania. The sultan infringed the treaty ; the peace 
of Germany, nevertheless, remained undisturbed, the grey- 
headed sultan expiring before the walls of Sigeth, which were 
gallantly defended, to the immortal honour of his nation, by 
the Hungarian, Nicolas Zriny. The Turks withdrew, and 
were kept in check by Lazarus Schwendi, an old and experi- 
enced general of the time of Charles V. 

Maximilian, insensible to the advantages presented by the 
peaceful state of the empire, and incapable of guiding events, 
merely ventured upon a few timid steps that might easily be 
retraced. After having, in 1565, invited Pius IV. to abro- 
gate the celibacy of the clergy, against which he protested, 
his next step should have been the prosecution of the Re- 
formation independent of the pope ; instead of which, uncon- 
scious of the deadly suspicion and of the dark assassin that 
dogged his every step, he used his utmost efforts to preserve 
amicable relations with him, whilst, on the other hand, he 
granted the free exercise of their religion to the Austrian no- 
bility, and to the cities of Linz, Steyer, Enns, Wels, Frei- 
stadt, Gmunden, and Vcecklabruck, and tolerated the intro- 
duction of the new Protestant church into Austria by Chytraeus 
von Rostock, A. d. 1568. He afterwards allowed the Bible 
to be translated for the use of the Slavonians in Carniola, 
Carinthia, and Styria, and prof* d, i ienna, the 

Protestants as well as the Jesuit 
a box on the ear on his son, af 
II., for having attacked a Protei 
of the Jesuits. Half measnrei 
actly calculated to excite the re 
on the decease of his father. * 


Lutheran faith, or, at all events, extended freedom in religious 
matters indifferently to every class, had he sanctioned it by a 
solemn decree, and placed it under the guarantee of the rest 
of Protestant Germany, his concessions would have met with 
a blessed result and have defied the sovereign's caprice, in- 
stead of acting, as they eventually did, as a curse upon those 
among his subjects, who, under his protection, demonstrated 
their real opinions, and were, consequently, marked as victims 
by his fanatical successor. He also tolerated the grossest 
papacy in his own family. His consort, Maria, the daughter 
of Charles V., entirely coincided with the opinions of her 
brother Philip, and instilled them into the mind of her son. 
His brothers, Ferdinand and Charles, were zealous disciples 
of the Jesuits. Maximilian also gave his daughters in mar- 
riage to the most bloodthirsty persecutors of the heretics in 
Europe, Anna to Philip IL of Spain, Elisabeth to Charles 
IX. of France, who, on St. Bartholomew's night, aided with 
his own hand in the assassination of the Huguenots, who had 
been treacherously invited by him to Paris. This event filled 
Maximilian with horror ; he, nevertheless, neglected to guard 
his wretched subjects from the far worse fate that awaited 
them during the thirty years' war. For the sake of treating 
each party with equal toleration, he allowed the Jesuits, during 
a period when hatred was rife in every heart, full liberty of 
action, and thus encouraged a sect, which, solely studious of 
evil, and animated by the most implacable revenge, shortly 
repaid his toleration with poison. 

A female member of the imperial family was also an object 
of the hatred of the Jesuits. During the reign of Ferdinand 
I., his son, Ferdinand of the Tyrol, became enamoured of the 
daughter of an Augsburg citizen, Philippina Welser, the nn«t 
beautiful maiden of her time, whom he secretly married. 
Philippina went to the imperial court, and, throwing herself 
under a feigned name at the emperor's feet, petitioned him to 
guard her from the danger with which she was threatened i in 
case her marriage was discovered by an intolerant father- in- 
law. Ferdinand, moved by her beauty, raided her and pr<>- 
to plead in her favour. Upon this Philippina di.*- 
W •■»<&, and the emperor, touched to the heart, 
tl The pope confirmed the nmrriajr**. and the 

J fbof delight at the cattle of Ambra*, in 


the Tyrol, not far from Innsbruck, until it was poisoned by 
the venom instilled by the Jesuits. Their children were 
created Margraves of Burgau. The family became extinct 
in 1618. 

The Protestants also allowed the opportunity offered to 
them by the emperor to pass unheeded, and, although they 
received a great accession in number, sank, from want of 
unity, in real power and influence. The rest of the German 
princes, Charles and Ernest of Baden, and Julius of Bruns- 
wick- Wolfenbuttel, the son of Henry the Wild, embraced 
Lutheranism. Austria, Bavaria, Lorraine, and Juliers re- 
mained Catholic. The Reformers were devoid of union 
and energy, and oppressed by a sense of having abused and 
desecrated, instead of having rigidly prosecuted, the Reform- 
ation. • Was their present condition the fitting result of a 
religious emancipation, or worthy of the sacred blood that had 
been shed in the cause ? Instead of one pope, the Protestants 
were oppressed by a number, each of the princes ascribing 
that authority to himself; and instead of the Jesuits they had 
court chaplains and superintendents-general, who, their equals 
in venom, despised no means^ however base, by which their 
aim might be attained. A new species of barbarism had found 
admittance into the Protestant courts and universities. The 
Lutheran chaplains shared their influence over the princes 
with mistresses, boon-companions, astrologers, alchymists, and 
Jews. The Protestant princes, rendered, by the treaty of 
Augsburg, unlimited dictators in matters of faith within their 
territories, had lost all sense of shame. Philip of Hesse married 
two wives. Brandenburg and pious Saxony yielded to tempta- 
tion. Surrounded by coarse grooms, equerries, court-fools of 
obscene wit, and misshapen dwarfs, the princes emulated each 
other in drunkenness, an amusement that entirely replaced 
the noble and gallant tournament of earlier times. Almost 
every German court was addicted to this bestial vice. 
Among others, the ancient house of Piast in Silesia was 
utterly ruined by it. Even Louis of Wurtemberg, whose 
virtues rendered him the darling of his people, was continually 
in a state of drunkenness. This vice and that of swearing 
even became a subject of discussion in the diet of the empire, 
[a. d. 1577,] when it was decreed, " That all electoral princes, 
nobles, and Estates, should avoid intemperate drinking as an 


example to their subjects." The chace was also folk wed to 
excess. The game was strictly preserved, and, during the 
hunt, the serfs were compelled to aid in demolishing their 
own corn-fields. The Jews and alchymists, whom it be- 
came the fashion to have at court, were by no means a slight 
evil, all of them requiring gold. Astrology would have been 
a harmless amusement had not its professors taken advantage 
of the ignorance and superstition of the times. False repre- 
sentations of the secret powers of nature and of the devil led 
to the belief in witchcraft and to the bloody persecution of its 
supposed agents. Luther's belief in the agency of the devil 
had naturally filled the minds of his followers with super- 
stitious fears. Julius, duke of Brunswick, embraced the 
Reformation, lived in harmony with his provincial Estates, 
founded the university of Helmstaedt, and, during a long peace, 
raised his country to a high degree of prosperity, but had 
such an irresistible mania for burning witches, that the black- 
ened stakes near Wolfenbuttel resembled a wood. The con- 
sort of Duke Eric the younger was compelled to fly for safety 
to her brother Augustus of Saxony, Julius having, probably 
from interested motives, accused her of witchcraft. 

The Ascanian family of Lauenburg was sunk in vice. The 
same licence continued from one generation to another ; the 
country was deeply in debt, and how, under these circum- 
stances, the cujus regio was maintained, may easily be con- 
ceived. The Protestant clergy of this duchy were proverbial 
for ignorance, licence, and immorality. 

The imperial court at Vienna offered, by its dignity and 
morality, a bright contrast to the majority of the Protestant 
courts, whose bad example was, nevertheless, followed by 
many of the Catholic princes, who, without taking part in the 
Reformation, had thereby acquired greater independence. 

CXCIX. Contests between the Lutheran Church and the 

The whole Reformation was a triumph of temporal over 
spiritual power. Luther himself, in order to avoid anarchy, 
had placed all the power in the hands of the princes. The 
memory of the ancient hierarchy had, however, not been con* 


signed to oblivion, and the new passions roused by the Re- 
formation constantly gave the preachers an influence of which 
they well knew how to avail themselves in opposition to the 
weaker princes. Had they not been defeated by their own 
want of union, they might, at all events, have rendered the 
triumph of the temporal power less easy. 

The strict Lutherans, by whom the least tenable and least 
practical theses of Luther, which fostered disunion among the 
Reformers, were rigidly defended against the attacks of the Ca- 
tholics, the Zwinglians, and the Calvinists, had fixed them- 
selves at Jena under the youthful John Frederick, the son of 
the expelled elector of like name. The Illyrian, Flacius, the 
spiritual head of this university, was an energetic but narrow- 
minded man, by whom Luther's doctrine concerning original 
sin was so extremely exaggerated, that he declared " original 
sin not only innate in man, but his very essence, and that he 
was thoroughly bad ; an image, not of God, but of the devil." 
He was, it is true, driven to this extreme by the exaggerated 
assertions of Agricola at Berlin, and of Osiander at Koenigs- 
berg, who maintained that man had the privilege, when once 
touched by grace, of being no longer subject to sin, whatever 
his actions might be. Between these two extremes stood the 
Wittenberg party under the aged and gentle-minded Melanc- 
thon, and that of Tubingen under the learned Brenz, who 
was shortly to be followed by the diplomatizing Jacob Andrea. 

The relation in which these theological parties stood to 
temporal politics was extremely simple. The doctrine of 
grace taught by Agricola Osiander placed man in a high po- 
sition, flattered him, facilitated the forgiveness and also the 
commission of sin by the doctrine of justification, and there- 
fore exactly suited the licentious princes. The founders of 
this doctrine also manifested the utmost servility in the exter- 
nal observances of the church, and conceded every thing to 
their sovereign. This sect would have triumphed over the 
more gloomy tenets of the Flacians, who, inflexible in the 
maintenance of external observances, bade defiance to the 
princes, had it not in its pure theological dogma more resem- 
bled Calvinism than genuine Lutheranism. The majority of 
the princes, decidedly biassed against Calvinism on account 
of its republican tendency, preferred Lutheranism and the 
hateful contest with its theologians. 

CETavTH JlNO TV.* :'K'.V f- 

John Frederick and hL* chttivrVnMr. Him k. m iitn»* » J *'* t,u 

reditary hatred of the ekvtor, Au^tinhm. •■■ ■•• •«»•••• •-•* "**• 

attacks of the theologians of tlnm upon llmw nl VV • t # * h^»»k 
The Interim furnished Fhieiu* with im n|i|n*»hini»y '*" '"- 
fending the Adiaphora, (samfWwJ hy f >.- If,l;##wi». " f i/Ij 
lancthon at Wittenberg as fcuW'Jirmii if, *i.# J ? .-/ • • , *" 

he maintained as essential ; *.r>d for »*-—-.■.« «#■ » • • ;• ••■ 

cerning the efficacy of go*>3 **. »•>.*. v • .-.- •.* r . ■ , • ■ J 

and declared to be a d vrrri.v* '/ i^n- !*•:..- n V ..* •..-*■• - • 

wretch, posseting filv. ^l». »«•:•. r'.:-.ir , 

ferred before the ir.o-: -? .--.ji -ii* in ; .*»:;*-: .:■ *.. .»»/». r * 
appearing at Jena l:. v.«* 3*m-.n \t' *ti ir.-.» r i :.,/,,... »• Jr.. 
lancthon, a Philip: *\ ^irjijnrv^ ^ . -< . i.^^-? , « ' ■-. 

both tO be throw.", .r.TVi }»-*r : n .a ■ ■.*»•:..:• ,,.■;.»:..*. -. i 

Scliroeter, however. pr,inr;n*r *'nt « \\* »,.i^ i, r . ..,. 

of making u.*e oft h«* ^jprj/ .n^^/» i ,,.,-,-. r 1...... « 

use of him," he 4XiMh«Im1 *ne . «-'./■* / i ti , r ,-. ■ ,, 

from the oon-^Torv. -vhioh ;,•» \.». y «,' / 

midst of th**'"-: '1;«V.»- , .*T4. M**iff*!' a f '•'.-'• .* .- ..,* . r - • # 

for relief from ^^.l^iiBtin^i i^utjijt^i : ; . ... y. .,»., ^ 

A. D. 1559. 'f V.* 1 ! FlW'ifnH friiitp^l.^r.f'.. ... ...-., 

conciliatory profs**'^ •w/,f..t'.|!ly pw"-^-.: • .» 

but, deceived by th* v-?'*-*' *.\' *},«.; r „.:,„'.-... 
rebelling a^air»*t ti,* 4.k"Mt n.f f i,*]sit* ':,-" .-■ 

deprived of nil ^^sifiiif',^,; i,i|t > r .f ;r ;ty a f i; r . 

expelled tli<: wmritry, a. f#. i W>. |«\ tr-:.;* - . 

by his former pupi;*. '-*^-^; : , 1 " I y i>.- 1 ],#. „„ ■ 

in misery at Frankfort on th* M:iin#». a. ■. 

The Tiiliifijr'-T. party, ir, 1 .",.X |„ Hf |',. , i., ,. . 

position of plnririg a *<ip*r',nt<»nd'-nt./< 

Protestant pop*-, ov*r th* whol#» ,,f t \ u . ..... 

position, howf.vM-, tiiiM, tin- priiiw-4 .-i- , 
render thuiiiRclvr^ mi'-" r M om m»ln,r.| : . p# / 

Albert, dnk(! of I'ru^i,,, W|H „ .... ,. ■ f 
foundation of l\,i\ itnivrr.jir/ of f.,y. f >,->. ."" 
standing thf, #:o»i,foihil»W- dor-tn,,. ,/■ , 
by thejeuloiuy of H><- piof. m,,. .< Hl . /.■ ., 
of Flaciui, efltupii %l iu*. H,i )S / r ,VM / r 

of the "" " tin unUif, Uttt h t : 

into 11 ri, %%\A roMMft n " * , 

takm* (MVi^ / , ; 


the duke published a mandate ordaining peace. Mcerlin Lade 
him defiance, was deposed* and fled to Brunswick, upon which: 
the nobility, cities, and clergy confederated, and assumed such 
a threatening aspect that all the Osiandrists quitted the 
country. Skalich, a Croatian by birth, the duke's privy 
counsellor, fled. The court chaplain, Funk, and some of the 
counsellors, deeming themselves in security, remained. Mcer- 
lin's adherents, however, compelled the duke to discharge his 
mercenaries, the duchess to retract her former declaration in 
Osiander's favour, and seized the persons of the counsellors in 
the presence of their sovereign. Horst, one of his favourites, 
embraced the knees of his master, who wept in his helpless-, 
ness. Horst, Funk, and others were beheaded, and the duke 
was compelled to recall Moerlin, [a. d. 1566,] whose in- 
solence broke the heart of the aged duke and duchess, both of 
whom expired on the same day, a. d. 1568. Their son, 
Albert Frederick, a boy fifteen years of age, was driven in- 
sane by the treatment he received from Moerlin and the 
nobility. Moerlin died, [a. d. 1571,] and bequeathed his 
office to Heshusius, a man of congenial character, possessing 
all the instincts of the dog except his fidelity. Such were 
the horrid natures produced by the passions of the age ! 

The feud carried on by John Frederick against Augustus, 
elector of Saxony, terminated in blood. John Frederick, 
implicated in an attempt made by a Franconian noble, Wil- 
liam von Grumbach, to revive Sickingen's project for the 
downfai of the princes, was put with him under the bann of 
the empire, which Augustus executed upon him. John 
Frederick was taken prisoner in Gotha, borne in triumph t<r 
Vienna, and imprisoned for life at Neustadt. Grumbach and 
Briick were quartered, and their adherents hanged and ex- 
ecuted. On the death of John William, John Frederick's 
brother, who died, A. d. 1573, his infant children fell under 
the guardianship of the elector, Augustus, who expelled all 
the Flacian preachers, one hundred and eleven in number, 
from Weimar, and reduced them to beggary. The Philipists 
triumphed. Their leader, Peucer, Melancthon's son-in-law, 
the elector's private physician, was in great favour at court. 
Emboldened by success, they attempted to promulgate their 
tenets, in which they approached those of the Calvinists, and 
published a new catechism in 1571, which aroused the sua- 


picion of Julius of Brunswick, who warned the elector against 
his crypto-calvinistic clergy. Augustus instantly convoked 
his clergy, and a satisfactory explanation took place, but, in 
1574, influenced by his consort, Anna, a Danish princess, 
who ascribed the death of their infant son to the fact of his 
having been held at the font by Peucer, the crypto-calvinist, 
he threw both him and his adherents, on a supposition of 
treachery, into prison, assembled the whole of the clergy at 
Torgau, and compelled them to retract the tenets they had so 
long defended in the pulpit and by the press. Six of their 
number alone, Riidiger, Crell, Wiedebram, Cruciger, Pegel, 
and Moller, refused obedience to the electoral mandate, and 
were sent into banishment. Peucer remained for twelve years 
in a narrow, unwholesome dungeon, without books or writing 

The fanaticism with which the Calvinists were persecuted 
was increased by other causes. Their tenets being embraced 
by Frederick, elector of the Pfalz, by whom the French 
Huguenot refugees were protected, a confederacy was formed 
against him by Christopher, duke of Wurtemberg, Wolfgang, 
duke of Pfalz-Neuburg, and Charles, duke of Baden. Frederick, 
rendered more obstinate by opposition, published [a. d. 1563] 
the notorious Heidelberg Catechism as form of belief, the 
most severe bull in condemnation of sectarians called forth by 
the Reformation, and the dispute would have taken a serious 
turn had not the emperor, Maximilian H., avoided touching 
upon every fresh ecclesiastical innovation at the diet held at 
Augsburg, a. d. 1566. Frederick remained isolated, and 
maintained Calvinism throughout his dominions with extreme 
severity. A Socinian clergyman, Sylvan, a disciple of the 
Pole, Socin, who denied the Trinity, and merely admitted 
one person in the Godhead, was, by his orders, beheaded at 
Heidelberg, A. d. 1572. Frederick died, a. d. 1576. His 
son, Louis, a zealous Lutheran, destroyed his father's work. 
On entering Heidelberg he ordered all among his subjects 
who were not Lutheran to quit the city, and those among the 
Calvinistic preachers who refused to recant were expelled 
the country. 

The various parties were now sufficiently chastised, and 
the clergy demoralized, for the safe publication of a fresh 
formula or concordat, by the Lutheran princes. In Bran- 


denburg the clergy had been taught blind submission to the 
court by Agricola, and, in 1571, the elector, John George, 
placed the consistory under the presidency of a layman, 
Chemnitz. Augustus, elector of Saxony, found a servile tool 
for a similar purpose in Selneccer, who, with Andrea of Wur- 
temberg, the son of a smith of Waiblingen, completed the 
♦triumvirate, who, in the name of the Lutherans of Southern 
Germany, drew up the formula, [a. d. 1577,] without the 
convocation of a synod, in the monastery of Bergen, and im- 
posed it upon the whole of the Lutheran world. William of 
Hesse, whose father, Philip, had died, laden with years, in 
1567, Pomerania, Holstein, Anhalt, and some of the cities, 
alone protested against it. The people obeyed. 

Harmony had existed amongst the Reformers since the 
covenant, by which all essential differences were smoothed 
down, entered into [a. d. 1563] by the obstinate elector of 
the Pfalz and Bullinger, Zwingli's successor in Zurich. 
Basle alone maintained a separate confession between Luther- 
anism and Zwingliism. The disputes among the Reformers, 
although less important than those among the Lutherans, 
nevertheless equalled them in virulence. 

CC. Revolt in the Netherlands. — The Geuses. 

Charles V. had assiduously endeavoured to round off the 
Netherlands, and to render them a bulwark against France 
and the Protestants. Gueldres resisted the Habsburg with the 
greatest obstinacy.* The aged and childless duke, Charles, 
was compelled by the Estates, when on his death-bed, to name 
William, duke of Juliers, his successor, in preference to 
the Habsburg. Ghent also revolted against the enormous 
taxes imposed by the emperor, who appeared [a. d. 1514] in 
person before the gates, forced the citizens to submit, and be- 
headed twenty of the principal townsmen. Gueldres was 
also reduced, and William of Juliers was compelled to re- 
nounce his claim in favour of the Habsburg. 

* Hoog van moed, 
Klein vangoed, 
Een Zwaard in de hand 
1st wapen van Gelderland. 


The emperor vainly attempted to keep the Netherlands free 
from heresy by the publication of the cruel Placates. Tyranny 
merely rendered zeal extravagant, and gave rise to secret sec* 
tarianism. In 1546, a certain Loy was executed for promul- 
gating the extraordinary doctrine of the existing world being 
hell. From Basle, his place of refuge, the influence of David 
Joris, and of another Anabaptist, Menno Simonis, greatly 
spread. The Mennonites were distinguished from the rest of 
the Anabaptists by their gentleness and love of peace, which 
caused their renunciation of the use of arms. The French 
Calvinists, who had found their way into Flanders, were, 
however, far more intractable and bold. Such numbers were 
thrown into prison and sentenced to the stake, that the mer- 
cantile class addressed a petition to the emperor, represent- 
ing the injury thereby inflicted on industry and commerce. 
Material interests, nevertheless, predominated to such a de- 
gree in the Netherlands, that the victims of the Placates, 
numerous as they were, excited little attention among the 
mass of the population, and amid the immense press of busi- 
ness.* Charles drew large sums of money from the Nether- 
lands, which he at the same time provided with every means 
for the acquisition of wealth. Commerce and manufactures 
flourished. He also rendered himself extremely popular by 
his constant use of his native tongue, Flemish, his adoption of 
that dress, and the favour he showed to his countrymen even 
in foreign service. His father, Maximilian, had greatly con- 
tributed to bring Low Dutch, which under the Burgundian 
rule had ceded to French, into general use. Under the 
Habsburgs the literature of the Netherlands was greatly fos- 
tered, and chambers of rhetoric were formed in all the cities. 
Charles V., a thorough Fleming at heart, did still more for 
the country, notwithstanding which, he abandoned his Ger- 
manic system, and sacrificed the fine provinces of the Nether- 
lands to the stranger. 

* The cities were at the height of their prosperity ; hence the epi- 
thets, Brussels the Noble, Ghent the Great, Mechlin the Beautiful, Na- 
mur the Strong, Antwerp the Rich, Louvain the Wise (on account at 
her university). 

" Nobilibus Bruxella viris, Antwerpia nummis, 
Gandavum laqueis, formosis Brugga puellis, 
Loyanium doctis, gaudet Mechlinia stultis." 


The petty policy with which this monarch coquetted durrog 
his long reign, with which he embarrassed instead of smooth- 
ing affairs, the great cunning and power with which he exe- 
cuted the most untoward and the most useless projects, was 
not contradicted by his ill-starred will, by which he arbitrarily 
bestowed the Netherlands on his son, Philip II. of Spain, de- 
prived Germany of her finest province, and laid a heavy 
burthen upon Spain. By it the natural position of the nations 
in regard to one another was disturbed and an artificial con- 
nexion created, the dissolution of which was to cost torrents 
of blood. 

Philip II. at first received the most brilliant proofs of the 
fidelity of the Netherlands by their opposition to the French, 
who had renewed the war, and were again aided by the Swiss. 
Their general, Count Egmont, victorious at St. Quintin and 
Gravelines, concluded a favourable peace at Cambresis, 
[a. d. 1559,] which restored Dunkirk, that [a. d. 1540] had 
been taken by the English, who [a. d. 1558] had been de- 
prived of it by the French, to Philip. The breast of this 
monarch, nevertheless, remained impervious to gratitude. 
During the battle of St. Quintin, whilst others fought for him, 
he remained upon his knees, and vowed, were he victorious, 
to raise a splendid church in honour of St. Laurence, and, in 
performance of this vow, erected, in the vicinity of Madrid, 
the famous monastery of the Escurial, on which he expended 
all the treasures of Spain. Being overtaken by a storm during 
a sea-voyage, he took a solemn oath, in case of safety, to ex- 
terminate all the heretics in honour of God, and, in fulfilment^ 
of this vow, spilt torrents of the blood of his subjects with 
the most phlegmatic indifference. His principal occupation 
consisted of repose in solitary chambers. The gloom of the 
Escurial formed his ideal of happiness. The bustle of public 
life, the expression of the popular will, were equally obnoxious 
to him. He therefore endeavoured to maintain tranquillity 
by enforcing blind obedience or by death.* 

Philip, on his departure from Spain, left his half-sister, a 
natural daughter of Charles V., Margaret of Parma, a woman 
of masculine appearance, stadtholderess of the Netherlands, 

* The best portraits of this monarch, particularly those at Naples, 
near by no means a gloomy or austere expression, but rather one of ceol 
impudence. The features are of a common, nay, almost knavish cast 


and placed near her person the Cardinal Granvella, a man of 
acute and energetic mind, blindly devoted to his service. This 
appointment greatly offended the Dutch, who, instead of re- 
ceiving a native stadtholder, either the Prince of Orange or 
Count Egmont, in compliance with their wishes, beheld a 
base-born stranger at the head of the government. Philip, 
instead of making use of the nobility against the inferior 
classes, by this step impolitieally roused their anger; sus- 
picious and wayward, he preferred a throne secured by vio- 
lence to one, like that of his father, ill-sustained by intrigue. 
With the view of effectually checking the progress of heresy, 
he decreed that the four bishoprics, until now existing in the 
Netherlands, should be increased to seventeen. This uncon- 
stitutional decree gave general discontent ; to the nobility, 
whose influence was necessarily diminished by the appoint- 
ment of an additional number of churchmen ; to the people, on 
account of their secret inclination to and recognition of the te- 
nets of the Reformed Church ; and to the clergy, whose ancient 
possessions were thus arbitrarily partitioned among a number 
of new-comers. The representations made by every class were 
disregarded ; Granvella enforced the execution of the decree, 
erected the new bishoprics, and commenced a bitter persecu- 
tion of the heretics. The Dutch, nevertheless, did not over- 
step the bounds of obedience, but revenged themselves on the 
Cardinal by open mockery and the publication of caricatures,* 
which rendered the country hateful to him, and he took his 
departure, A. d. 1564. 

The Netherlands had patiently permitted the imposition of 
the useless bishoprics, the doubly severe Placates, the new 
resolutions of the council of Trent, and would indubitably 
have remained tranquil but for the attempt made to introduce 
the Inquisition by Philip, which at once raised a serious op- 
position. The very name of this institution was not heard 
without a shudder. The manner in which it had in America 
sacrificed thousands of Indians in bloody holocaust to the 
Christian idols of Spain, and the auto-da-fes, great execu- 

• They imitated his cardinal's hat with a fool's cap ; represented him 
under the form of a hen, brooding over seventeen eggs,- and hatching 
bishops. Egmont'3 servants, even at thai time, wore a bundle of arrows 
embroidered on their sleeves, a symbol of union, afterwards adopted tin 
the arms of Holland. 



tional festivals, during which thousands of heretics were burnt 
alive, and over which the king, in his royal robes, presided, 
were still fresh in men's minds. " We are no stupid Mexi- 
cans," exclaimed the Dutch, " we will maintain our ancient 
rights ! " The nobles signed the compromise, a formal pro- 
test against the Inquisition, which they laid in the form of 
a petition before the regent, A. d. 1566. The procession, 
headed by Count de Brederode, went on foot and by two and 
two to the palace. Count de Barlaimont, a zealous royalist, 
on viewing their approach, said jeeringly, " Ce n'est qu'un. 
tas de gueux ! " Margaret gave them a friendly reception, but, 
incapable of acting in this affair without authority from the 
king, promised to inform him of their request. Barlaimont's 
remark being afterwards repeated at a banquet attended by 
the nobility, Brederode good-humouredly sent a beggar's wal- 
let and a wooden goblet round the table with the toast, " Vi- 
vent les gueux ! " The name was henceforth adopted by the 

The nobles, offended at the contemptuous silence with 
which their petition was treated by the king, now ventured to 
prescribe a term for the reception of his reply. A great po- 
pular tumult, in which the nobles were partially implicated, 
broke out simultaneously. The captive heretics were re- 
leased by force, the churches and monasteries were stormed, 
and all the pictures, to the irreparable injury of native art, 
destroyed. The nobles were, however, finally constrained by 
the stadtholderess to come to terms. The Calvinists in Va- 
lenciennes and Tournay alone made an obstinate defence, but 
were compelled to yield. Egmont, anxious for the mainten- 
ance of tranquillity and for the continuance of the royal favour, 
acted with great seventy. 

Philip, without either ratifying or declaring against the 
terms of peace, proclaimed a general amnesty, and announced 
his speedy arrival in the Netherlands, and his desire to fulfil 
the wishes of his people. Lulled suspicion was, however, 
speedily reawakened by the news of the approach, not of the 
king, but of his ferocious commander-in-chief, the duke of Al- 
ba, at the head of a powerful force. The more spirited 
among the nobles advised instant recourse to arms, and the 
defence of the frontier against the approaching army, but 
were overruled by the moderate party, who hesitated to rebel 


against "a monarch whose intentions were merely suspected. 
William of Orange, count of Nassau, the wealthy possessor of 
Chalons-Orange, stadtholder of Holland, Seeland, and Utrecht, 
surnamed the Silent, on account of his reserve, whose talents 
had endeared him to Charles V., vainly warned his friends of 
the danger they incurred. The Counts Egmont and Horn 
remained incredulous, and William, unable to persuade the 
States to make a resolute opposition before the mask was 
openly dropped by the king, resolved to secure his safety by 
flight. On taking leave of Egmont he said, " I fear you will 
be the first over whose corpse the Spaniards will march ! " 
Some of the nobles mockingly calling after him as he turned 
away, " Adieu, Prince Lackland ! " he rejoined, " Adieu, 
headless sirs ! " Numerous adherents to the new faith and 
wealthy manufacturers, alarmed at the threatening aspect of 
affairs, quitted the country. The majority withdrew to Eng- 
land.* One hundred thousand men, more than would have 
sufficed for the defence of the country against the Spanish 
army, had the States been resolute and united, emigrated. 
Brederode also fled, and died shortly afterwards in exile. 

Alba, a monster both in body and mind, entered Brussels 
in the summer of 1567, at the head of a picked force of twelve 
thousand Spaniards and a body of German troops which he 
raised on his march from Milan. He was received with a 
death-like silence. Fear had seized every heart. He com- 
menced by displaying the greatest mildness, received Egmont 
and the rest of the nobles with open arms and overwhelmed 
them with civility, called no one to account, took no step 
without convoking the Estates, and inspired the Dutch with 
such confidence that numbers of the more timid, who had 
withdrawn, were induced to quit their strong-holds and to re- 
turn to Brussels. For three weeks the same part was en- 
acted ; the certainty of the intended absence of the Prince of 

* They -were rejected by the Hanse towns from an old sentiment of 
jealousy, and on account of their Calvinistic tenets. England, more 
clearsighted, gave the industrious and wealthy emigrants a warm recep- 
tion. It was in this manner that William Curten of Flanders carried his 
art and his capital to England, to whose monarch he lent enormous 
sums ; he also settled a colony of eighteen thousand men in the island of 
Barbadoes, and opened the trade between England and China. He died 
poor, but his grandson presented a number of valuable antiques and a 
tollectlon of natural history to the British Museum. 

u 2 



Orange then caused him to throw off the mask, and, inviting 
*he Counts Egmont and Horn to a conference, he unexpect- 
edly placed them under arrest, September 9th, 1567, and 
from this moment cast away the scabbard to bathe his sword 
in the blood of the unsuspecting Dutch. 

The regent, Margaret, was, under pretext of a secret order 
from the ting, sent out of the country, and a criminal court, 
Thich passed judgment upon all the Dutch, who confessed 
heretical tenets, had signed the compromise, or been impli- 
cated in the disturbances, was appointed. This court was 
solely composed of Spaniards, to whom some Dutch traitors, 
for instance, Hessels and the Count de Barlaimont, served as 
informers. The confiscation of property was the principal 
purpose for which this court was instituted, and numerous 
wealthy proprietors were accused and beheaded, though 
guiltless of offence. The secret of their hidden treasures was 
extorted by the application of the most horrid tortures, after 
which the unhappy victims were delivered over to the ex- 
ecutioner. Blood flowed in torrents, Egmont and Horn were 
executed, a* d. 1568, and two noble Dutchmen, Bergen and 
Montmnrency-Montigay, sent as ambassadors to Madrid, were 
by Philip's command put to death, the one by poison, the 
other in his secret dungeon. 

CCI. William of Orange. 

William had fled into Germany to his brother, John the 
Elder of Nassau -Di lien burg, one of the noblest men of his 
day, who was unfortunately sovereign over merely a petty ter- 
ritory* He was the first who, from feelings of humanity and 
respect for his fellow Christians, abolished bond-service. He 
also engaged with his whole forces in the Dutch cause, and 
nided William, who found no sympathy among the Lutheran 
princes, to levy troops. The high Giinsburg, in the solitary 
forests, was the spot where the leaders secretly met. They 
succeeded in raising four small bodies of troops, composed of 
exiles, friends of liberty, and Huguenots* John, William, and 
their younger brothers, Louis, Adolf, and Henry, generously 
mortgaged the whole of their possessions, and entered the 


Netherlands with their united forces.* Alba instantly seized 
William's son, Philip William, a student at Louvain, and sent 
him a prisoner to Spain. The struggle commenced, A. d. 
1568. The princes of Nassau gained a victory at Heiligerlee, 
which cost Adolf his life, but the Spaniards were victorious 
at Groningen, where Louis lost six thousand men, and nar- 
rowly escaped by swimming. A merely desultory warfare 
was afterwards carried on by petty bands in the forests, (the 
Bush or Wood Geuses,) or on the sea, by the Water Geuses. 
Hermann de Ruyter, the grazier, boldly seized the castle of 
Loewenstein, which he blew up when in danger of falling 
again into the hands of the Spanish. 

There being nothing more to confiscate, Alba imposed a 
tax, first of the hundredth, then of the tenth, and afterwards 
of the twentieth penny. He boasted that he could extract 
more gold from the Netherlands than from Peru, and, never- 
theless, withheld the pay from his soldiery in order to incite 
them still more to pillage. Close to Antwerp he erected his 
principal fortress, the celebrated citadel, from which he com- 
manded the finest city in the Netherlands, the navigation of 
the Scheldt, Holland on one side, and Flanders on the other. 
It was here that he caused a monument, formed of the guns he 
had captured, to be raised in his honour during his life-time. 
The pope, in order to reward his services and to encourage 
his persecution of the heretics, sent him a consecrated sword. 
The number of victims executed at his command amounted to 
eighteen thousand six hundred; putrid carcases on gallows 
and wheels infected all the country-roads. The appearance 
of a new and enormous star, (in Cassiopeia,) which for more 
than a year remained motionless and then disappeared, filling 
the whole of Europe with terror and astonishment, and a 
dreadful flood on the coast of Friesland, by which twenty 
thousand men were carried away, added to the general misery. 
On the latter occasion, [a. d. 1572,] the Spanish stadtholder, 
Billy, gave a noble example by the erection of excellent dikes, 
which found many imitators, and his memory fo still venerated 

* Four of these noble-spirited brethren shed their life-blood in the 
eause of the freedom of conscience and of the independence of the 
Netherlands, Adolf, Louis, and Henry falling on the battle -field, William 
by the hand of the assassin. John was for some time stadtholder of 
Gueldres, but returned to his native Nassau* 


on the coasts of the Northern Ocean. Happy would it havd 
been for Germany had all her enemies resembled him ! 

It was not until 1572 that William regained sufficient 
strength to retake the field. Men were not wanting, but they 
were ill-provided with arms, and too undisciplined to stand 
against the veteran troops of the duke. By sea alone was 
success probable. William von der Mark, Count von Lumay, 
Egmont's friend, who had vowed neither to comb nor cut his 
hair until he had revenged his death, a descendant of the cele- 
brated Boar of Ardennes, quitted the forests for the sea, cap- 
tured the richly-freighted Spanish ships, and took the town 
of Briel by a ruse de guerre. Alba, on learning this event, 
remarked with habitual contempt, " no es nada " (it is 
nothing). These words and a pair of spectacles (BrUle 9 Briel) 
were placed by the Geuses on their banners. No sooner had 
a fortified city fallen into their hands than the courage of the 
Dutch revived. The citizens of Vliessingen, animated by the 
public admonitions of their pastor, rebelled, put the Spaniards, 
who had laid the foundation of another citadel commanding 
the town, to death, and hanged the architect, Pacieco. The 
whole of Holland followed their example. The Spaniards 
were every where slain or expelled, and were only able to 
keep their footing in Middelburg. 

William of Orange had again raised an army in Germany, 
and his brother Louis another in France. The faithless 
French court offered its aid on condition of receiving the 
southern provinces, whilst William was to retain those to the 
north. Louis consented, and invaded the Hennegau, whilst 
William entered Brabant ; but this negotiation had been 
merely entered into by the Catholic party in France, for the 
purpose of attracting the Huguenots to Paris, where they 
were assassinated. The news of the tragedy enacted on the 
night of St. Bartholomew opened the eyes of the princes of 
Nassau to the treachery of France, and they hastily withdrew 
their troops. A plot laid for William's capture at Mons was 
frustrated by the fidelity of a small dog belonging to him, 
which is still to be seen sculptured on his tomb. 

Alba, burning with revenge, now marched in person upon 
Mechlin, where he plundered the city and put all the inhabit- 
ants to the sword, whilst his son, Frederick, committed still 
more fearful atrocities at Ziitphen. Holland was, howeTer 


destined to bear the severest punishment. Frederick was des- 
patched thither with orders to spare neither age nor sex. The 
whole of the inhabitants of Naarden, contrary to the terms of 
capitulation, were treacherously butchered. Haarlem was gal- 
lantly defended by her citizens and by a troop of three hun- 
dred women, under the widow Kenan Hasselaar, during the 
whole of the winter. William von der Mark and William of 
Orange vainly attempted to raise the siege, and the town was 
at length compelled by famine to capitulate, A. d. 1573. 
Frederick had lost ten thousand of his men. The inhabitants 
were sent to the block, and when the headsmen were unable 
from fatigue to continue their office, the remaining victims, 
three hundred excepted, were tied back to back and thrown 
into the sea. Frederick then marched upon Altmaar, which 
was so desperately defended by the inhabitants, both male 
and female, that one thousand of his men, and some of the 
three hundred Harlemites, fell in the trenches, and he was 
compelled to withdraw. The Water Geuses were at the 
same time victorious in a naval engagement, in which thirty 
of the great Spanish ships were beaten, and the enormous 
admiral's ship, the Inquisition, and six others, taken by 
twenty-four of the small Dutch vessels. A Spanish fleet of 
fifty-four ships was afterwards beaten, and a rich convoy of 
merchantmen taken. The captured vessels were manned 
with Dutchmen, and Holland ere long possessed a fine fleet of 
one hundred and fifty sail, which effectually kept the Spaniards 
at bay. 

The Spanish court at length perceived the folly of its 
cruelty and severity. Alba was recalled, and replaced by 
Requesens, [a. d. 1574,] who sought by gentleness and 
mildness to restore tranquillity. The Dutch, however, no 
longer trusted to Spanish promises, and continued to carry on 
war. Middelburg fell into their hands, and a Spanish fleet, 
hastening to the relief of that town, was annihilated. Suc- 
cess, nevertheless, varied. During the same year, the princes 
were beaten in an open engagement on the Mookerheath 
near Nimwegen, where Louis and Henry fell, covered with 
glory. Requesens pacified his mutinous soldiers, who de- 
manded their pay, with a promise of the plunder of the rich 
city of Leyden, to which Valdez suddenly laid siege before it 
could provide itself with provisions. The city, surrounded 



by sixty -two Spanish forts, quickly fell a prey to famine, the 
Dutch land-army had been dispersed, and the ships of the 
Water Geuses were unavailable. In this distress, William's 
advice to cut the dikes and to flood the country was eagerly- 
put into practice. ''Better to spoil the land than to lose it," 
exclaimed the patriotic people. The sea poured rapidly over 
the fields and villages, bearing onwards the ships of the gal- 
lant Geuses. It wlis, nevertheless, found impossible to reach 
the still distant wails of Leyden, which were viewed with 
hitter rage by the rough and weather-beaten skippers, on 
whose broad -brimmed hats was worn a half- moon with the 
inscription, "Liever turcx dan pausch," "Better Turkish 
than popish." Buisot and Adrian Wilhelmssen headed the 
expedition. The most profound misery reigned, meanwhile, 
in the city. Six thousand of the inhabitants had already died 
of hunger* The prayers of the wretched survivors were at 
length heard. A sea-bree^e sprang up. The water* im pellet! 
by the north-east wind, gradually rose, filled the trenches of 
the Spaniards, who sought safety in flight, and reached the 
city wails, bearing on its brond surface the boats of the brave 
Geuses, who* after distributing bread and fish to the famish- 
ing citieens collected on the walls, went in pursuit of tht- 
Spaniards, of whom one thousand five hundred were drowned 
or slain, a. d. ] 575. The university at Ley den was erected 
in memory of the persevering fidelity of the inhabitants, and 
in compensation for their losses. The anniversary of this 
glorious day is still kept there as a festival. 

Holland was henceforth free, William was elected stadt- 
holder by the people, but still in the name of their obnoxious 
monarch, and the Calvinistic tenets and form of service were 
re-established, to the exclusion of those of the Catholics and 
Lutherans. As early as 1574, the Reformed preachers had, 
in the midst of danger, opened their first church -assembly at 
Dordrecht. The cruelties practised by the Catholics were 
equalled by those inflicted on the opposing party by the Re- 
formers. William of Orange endeavoured to repress these 
excesses, threw William von der Mark, his lawless rival, into 
prison, where he shortly afterwards died, it is said, by poison, 
and occupied the wild soldiery, during the short peace that 
ensued, in the re-erection of the dikes torn down in defence 
of Leyden. The most horrid atrocities were, nevertheless, 


perpetrated by Sonoi, by whom the few Catholics remaining 
in Holland were exterminated, A. D. 1577. A violent com- 
motion also took place in Utrecht, but ceased on the death of 
the last of her archbishops, Frederick Schenk (cupbearer) von 
Tautenburg, A. d. 1580. ^ 

Spain remained tranquil. The armies and fleets furnished 
by Philip had cost him such enormous sums that the state 
was made bankrupt by the fall in the revenue. Requesens, 
who was neither able nor willing to take any decisive step, 
suddenly expired, A. d. 1576. His soldiery, unpaid and im- 
patient of restraint, now gave way to the most unbridled 
licence, dispersed over Flanders, sacked one hundred and 
twenty villages, and, driving in their van numbers of cap- 
tive women and girls, approached the gates of Maestricht, 
where the citizens refusing to fire upon the helpless crowd, 
the Spaniards forced their way into the city, where they 
practised every variety of crime. This event caused the long- 
suppressed wrath of the citizens of Ghent to explode. The 
German citizens of this town, who favoured the tenets of 
the Reformers, had unresistingly submitted to Alba, and, al- 
though the gallows had remained standing for years in each of 
the city squares, and numbers of Iconoclasts, Reformed preach- 
ers, and Geuses had been hanged, beheaded, and burnt, Ghent 
had suffered comparatively less than her sister-cities. The ru- 
moured advance of the Spanish troops roused the whole of the 
inhabitants, the men flew to arms, the women and children 
lent their aid in tearing up the pavement, in order to fortify 
the town against the castle, commanded by Mondragon, the 
brave defender of Middelburg. The troops of the Prince of 
Orange were allowed to garrison the city. — The Spanish sol- 
diery, however, intimidated by those preparations, and con- 
scious of their want of a leader, turned off towards Antwerp, 
which they took by surprise, November 4th, 1576. They laid 
five hundred houses in ashes, murdered five thousand of the 
inhabitants, and completely sacked the city. Numbers of the 
citizens fled to Frankfurt on the Maine, which they enriche< 
by the introduction of their arts and manufactures. 

William of Orange, meanwhile, took advantage of the ab- 
sence of a royal stadtholder and of the universal unpopularity 
of the Spaniards, to seize, by means of his friends Lalaing and 
Glimes, the town-council of Brussels that favoured the Span* 


turds, and to propose a union of all the Netherlands for the 
confirmation of peace, the equal recognition of both confes- 
sions of faith, and the expulsion of the Spaniards. This was 
accomplished by the pacification of Ghent, the 8th No vera* 
ber 157G. Ghent was the centre of the movement, having 
for aim the union of the southern to the northern provinces. 
Mon dragon vainly attempted to defend the citadel against the 
enthusiastic populace, and finally capitulated. 

Don Juan, a natural son of Charles V, by Barbara Bam- 
berger, the daughter of a citizen of Augsburg, the new Span- 
ish st&dt holder, a man already known to fame by the great 
victory of Lepanto, gained by him [a. ih 1571] over the Turk- 
ish fleet, arrived at this conjuncture. The mutinous soldiery 
instantly submitted to him, but the Estates insisted upon his 
confirmation of the pacification of Ghent in the name of the 
king, to which he assented and marched to Brussels. The 
Spanish troops were, in consequence of this peace, sent out of 
the country, Don Juan dissembling his real projects, and 
yielding to every demand with the view of weakening the in- 
fluence of the Prince of Orange, of limiting him to Holland 
and Seeland, and of reconciling the southern provinces to 
Spain. Several of the nobles were jealous of William of 
Orange, among others, the duke of Aerschot, who, as governor 
of Flanders, garrisoned the citadel of Ghent in Don Juan's 
name, and secretly corresponded with him. Don Juan also 
broke his word, secretly quitted Brussels, threw himself into 
the fortified castle of Narnar, and recalled the Spanish troops. 
The Estates, indignant at this act of treachery, deprived him 
of his office, and called William of Orange to the head of af- 
fairs, but that prince, conscious of the jealousy with which he 
was beheld by the rest of the grandees, and less intent upon 
his personal aggrandizement than desirous of the welfare of 
the country, ceded his right in favour of the Archduke Mat- 
thias, the second son of Maximilian IL, by whom the Nether- 
lands might once more be united with Germany, and 
moreover, appeared far from disinclined to advance the cause 
of the Reformation, Matthias was received with open arms 
by the German party, and the foreign and Spanish friction 
completely succumbed on the capture of the citadel of Ghent 
by the enraged populace, October 28th, 1577. The govern- 
ment of this city became a pure democracy, Iconoclasm and 




the assassination of Catholic priests recommenced, and a vio* 
lent feud was carried on with the Walloon nobility, the zeal- 
ous supporters of Catholicism. These events were beheld with 
great uneasiness by Matthias and the Prince of Orange, whose 
efforts were solely directed to the union of all the Netherlands, 
whether Catholic or Reformed, under a German prince against 
Spain. William visited Ghent in person, for the purpose of 
preaching reason to the Calvinists and of renewing the article 
concerning religious toleration contained in the Pacification 
of Ghent. 

Soon after this, in the February of 1578, the Dutch army 
under Matthias and Orange, was, whilst attempting to take 
Don Juan's camp at Gemblours by storm, defeated by the 
Spanish, principally owing to the bravery and military science 
of the young Duke Alexander of Parma, the son of Margaret. 
This misfortune again bred dissension and disunion among 
the Dutch ; Matthias lost courage, and endeavoured by hu 
promises to induce the Catholics to abandon the Spaniards, 
whilst the citizens of Ghent, with increased insolence, again 
attacked monasteries and churches, committed crucifixes and 
pictures of the saints to the flames, and burnt six Minorites, 
accused of favouring the enemy, alive. The French, with 
customary perfidy, now attempted to turn the intestine dis- 
sensions of the Dutch to advantage, and Francis, Duke 
d'Alencon, the brother of the French monarch, Henry III., 
offered aid, in the hope of seizing the government of the 
Netherlands. Elizabeth, queen of England, made a futile 
attempt to assist the Reformers by sending large sums of 
money to the Pfalzgrave, John Casimir, whom she com- 
missioned to raise troops for the Prince of Orange ; but the 
Pfalzgrave, actuated by jealousy of the fame of that prince, 
joined the demagogues of Ghent. Alencon, rejected by every 
party, withdrew from the country, and, in revenge, allowed 
the French soldiery, several thousands in number, raised for 
this expedition, to join the Walloons, who, under the name of 
malcontents or beadsmen, had just commenced a bitter war 
against the people of Ghent, who, under their leader, Ryhove, 
gained the upper hand, took Bruges, and required the united 
efforts of the Prince of Orange and of Davidson, the English 
ambassador, to keep within bounds. Don Juan expired at 
this period, [a. d. 1578,] and the Dutch, had harmony sub- 



aisled among them* might easily have seized this opportunity, 
during the confusion that consequently ensued in the Spanish 
camp, to expel the duke of Parma. The bigotry of the peo- 
ple of Ghent long rendered every attempt at reconciliation 
between them, the Walloons, and the rest of the Cat holies, 
abortive, and it was not until William of Orange again ap- 
peared in person at Ghent, that a religious convent ion was 
Agreed to and peace was onoe more restored, December 
16th, 1578. 

The moment for action had, however, passed* The duke 
of Parma had already taken a firm looting in the southern 
provinces, and, aided by the implacable Walloons, was steadily 
advancing. Matthias and the German Catholics tottered on 
the brink of destruction. The return of the Catholic priests 
to Ghent was a signal for a fresh popular outbreak, and the 
treaty, so lately concluded, was infringed. The northern 
provinces, resolute in the defence of their liberties kept aloof 
from these dissensions, and, on the 22nd January, 1579, sub- 
scribed to the Union of Utrecht, renounced all allegiance to 
Spain, and founded a united republic, consisting of seven 
free states, Gueldres, Holland, Seeland, Zutphen, Fiiesland, 
Oberyssel, and Gr tin in gen, the states -gene nil of Holland, 
over which William of Orange was placed as stadtholder- 
geueral. This step had been strongly advised by Elizabeth 
of England, as a means of raising a strong bulwark on the 
mouths of the Rhine against both France and Spain. The 
Dutch declaration of independence, like that of the Swiss 
confederation, contained the preamble, that by this step Hoi 
land had no intention to separate herself from the holy 
Roman empire, The aid demanded by both the Dutch and 
the Swiss against foreign aggression had been refused, owing 
to the egotism of the princes and the mean jealousy of the 
cities. The emperor wanted the spirit to act with decision ; 
his brother, Matthias, entered the country and quitted it with 
equal secrecy* The Lutherans refused all fellowship with the 
followers of Calvin* 

The Prince of Parma, a man distinguished both as a warrior 
and as a statesman, formed a coalition with the Walloons, with 
the discontented nobility, even gained over William's friend, 
the influential Lalaing, and commenced operations without 
delay* Dunkirk was taken within sir days ; Maastricht 


stormed, the inhabitants were put to the sword, and the city 
was reduced to ruins. Herzogenbusch and Mechlin fell by 
stratagem. The underhand system of seduction pursued by this 
prince was opposed by an open manifesto on the part of the 
stadtholder of Holland, in which the revolt of the provinces 
against their legitimate sovereign was justified, on the grounds 
that the people were not for the prince but that the prince was 
for the people, and that Philip had injured, not benefited his 
subjects. This manifesto was answered by another on the part 
of Philip II., in which, without touching upon the just com- 
plaints of the people, he ascribed the revolt of the Nether- 
lands to the intrigues of William of Orange, who had wickedly 
seduced his happy subjects from their allegiance. He, at the 
same time, set a price of twenty-five thousand ducats on the 
head of this arch-rebel, and promised to bestow a patent of 
nobility on his assassin. 

William of Orange for a third time visited Ghent, [a. d. 
1580,] and appeased the civil broils. Ghent and Bruges 
subscribed to the Union of Utrecht. Matthias had volun- 
tarily retired ; and William, in order to raise a fresh enemy 
to the rear of Parma, who continued rapidly advancing, ad- 
vised the election of a French prince to the stadtholdership. 
Alencon instantly hastened into the country, and delayed the 
duke's progress by the siege of Cambray. The Spanish 
manifesto had not, meanwhile, vainly appealed to the basest 
passions of the human heart. A Frenchman, named Jaure- 
gui, ambitious of the promised guerdon, shot the Prince of 
Orange in the head, in the March of 1581. The wound, 
although dangerous, was not mortal. 

The Prince of Parma, favoured by the state of inactivity to 
which William was reduced in consequence of his wound, re- 
doubled his efforts, took Toumay and Oudenarde, and was 
even more successful by intrigue than by force of arms. The 
French were equally obnoxious to both the German and 
Spanish factions, and Alencon was compelled to retire, a. d. 
1581. Parma, meanwhile, skilfully took advantage of the 
national dislike of the Germans to the French to pave the 
way to a reconciliation with Spain, and William of Orange, 
on his recovery, perceived with alarm the inclination of the 
southern provinces to accede to his proposals for the sake of 
peace. His faction in Ghent was defeated, [a. d. 1583,] but 


the treason of Hembyze, the head of the Spanish party, who 
offered to deliver up the city to Parma, being discovered, the 
Orange faction was recalled, the treaty concluded at Tournay 
between Ghent and Parma annulled, and the duke's letters 
were, by way of answer, publicly burnt. Bruges, instigated 
by the Duke von Aerschot, opened her gates to the Spaniards. 
Orange, true to his motto, " calm in the midst of storms," 
still hoped for success, but scarcely had he recovered from 
the effects of his wound than a second assassin was sent by 
the Spanish monarch. Balthasar Gerard presented himself 
, as a suppliant before him and received a handsome present, 
in return for which he lodged three balls in his body. " Oh 
God, have mercy upon me, and upon this poor nation ! " were 
the last words of the dying prince. This deed of horror took 
place the 17th July, 1584. His last wife, Anne de Coligny, had 
seen her murdered father, the celebrated admiral, and her first 
husband, Teligny, expire in her arms. Gerard was quartered, 
but Philip II., in imitation of the pope, who, on receiving the 
news of the murder of the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's 
night, ordered public rejoicings, ennobled his family, and 
bestowed upon it the title of " destroyer of tyrants." 

The perfidious Hembyze, who, although in his seventieth, 
year, had just married a young woman, was, as if in expia- 
tion of this base assassination, almost at the same time, Aug. 
4th, beheaded at Ghent as a traitor to his country. The 
Orange faction in the city was, nevertheless, compelled to. 
submit to the duke and to comply with the general desire 
for tranquillity and peace, A. D. 1584. Parma prohibited 
the Calvinistic form of worship, threw four hundred of the 
citizens into prison, closed the academies and printing-presses, 
and established the Jesuits in the city. The house of Hem- 
byze was converted into a Jesuit college. Brussels and Ant- 
werp were taken, after sustaining a lengthy siege. 

The southern Netherlands were thus lost to the Reforma- 
tion and to liberty, and, by their separation from the northt3rn 
provinces, gave rise to that unnatural distinction between na- 
tions similar in descent that still keeps Holland and Belgium 
90 widely apart. 



CCII.— The Republic of Holland. 

Peace was, on the death of the Prince of Orange, offered 
by the duke of Parma to Holland, by whom it was steadily 
rejected and Spain was declared a faithless friend, whom she 
would oppose to the last drop of her heart's blood. Fortune, 
meanwhile, favoured Parma. Maurice, William's son, an 
inexperienced youth, had been raised by the grateful people 
to the stadtholdership, and Leicester, the English envoy, had, 
by his incapacity and arrogance, rendered himself obnoxious 
to the Dutch, whom he would willingly have reduced beneath 
the British sceptre. The declining power of the Reformers 
was, nevertheless, renovated by the destruction of the in- 
vincible Armada, which, shattered by a storm, was completely 
annihilated by the Dutch and English ships under the ad- 
mirals Howard and Drake,* A. d. 1588. This success ani- 
mated the Dutch with fresh courage, and Parma, compelled to 
raise the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom, which had for some time 
resisted his efforts, fell ill with chagrin. The castle of 
Bleyenbek yielded to the Dutch, a. d. 1589. Breda was 
taken and sacked by Maurice, who defeated the Spaniards 
under Verdugo at CoBworden, freed Groningen from her 
tyrannical governor, the Count von Rennenburg, and took 

The war dragged slowly on. Philip II. again had recourse 
to intrigue, and, restoring Philip William, Maurice's elder 
brother, whom he had long detained a prisoner in Spain, to 
liberty, sent him unexpectedly back to the Netherlands, in 
the hope of dissensions breaking out between the brethren ; 
but Philip William, although refused admission into the coun- 
try by the Dutch, who feared the disturbance of their repub- 
lic, nobly rejected Philip's proposals, and even preferred re- 
nouncing his right to his Burgundian estates to holding them 
on dishonourable terms, a. d. 1595. 

The duke of Parma expired, [a. d. 1596,] and was sue* 
ceeded by another Spanish stadtholder, Albert, also a son of the 
emperor Maximilian II. Albert had married Philip's daugh- 
ter, Isabella. Peace was equally desired by all parties in the 
Netherlands, and remained alone unconcluded from want of 
♦ This officer brought the first potatoes from America. 


unanimity. The war was, meanwhile, mechanically carried 
on, principally by foreigners, French, English, and eastern 
Germans ; and it was in this school that most of the great 
military characters daring the ensuing wars acquired their 
science and skill. The most remarkable event during this 
war was the siege of Ostend, which Albert, or rather his 
wife, Isabella, " the only man in her family," resolved to gain 
at whatever price ; she even vowed not to change her under- 
garment until success had crowned her endeavours. The 
siege commenced, a. d. 1602, and was at length terminated by 
Spinola, a. d. 1605 ; the city had, during this interval, been 
gradually reduced to a heap of ruins, and one hundred thou- 
sand men had fallen on both sides. The tint known as Isa- 
bella-colour was so named from the hue acquired by the gar- 
ment of the Spanish princess. 

A truce for twelve years was at length concluded, [a. d. 
1609,] but war broke out afresh on the commencement of the 
religious war that convulsed the whole of Germany. The 
seven northern provinces retained their freedom, the southern 
ones remained Spanish. The latter lost all their inhabitants 
favourable to the Reformation, and with them their prosperity 
and civil liberties. The cities stood desert ; the people were 
rendered savage by military rule, or steeped in ignorance by 
the Jesuits; and in this melancholy manner was Germany 
deprived of her strongest bulwark, of the most blooming and 
the freest of her provinces. Holland, on the other hand, 
blessed with liberty, quickly rose to a high degree of pros- 
perity. Her population, swelled by the CaJvinistic emigrants 
from the Spanish Netherlands, from France and Germany, 
became too numerous for the land, and whole families, as in 
China, dwelt in boats in the vicinity of the larger towns. The 
over-population of the country gave rise [a. d. 1607] to that 
Herculean enterprise, the draining of the Bremstersee, by which 
a large tract of land was reclaimed, and to the excellent 
Waterstaat or system of canals and dikes, which prevented 
the entrance of the sea, and was superintended by Dteichgrafs. 
The navy created by the Water Geuses furnished means for the 
extension of the commercial relations of the republic Amster- 
dam became the great emporium of Dutch commerce and the 
outlet for the internal produce of Holland. The trade long car* 
ried on between the merchants of Spain and of Holland had 


secretly continued during the war. The traffic of the former 
with the East Indies and America was carried on with the 
capital of the Dutch, who, out of their share of the profit, 
armed their countrymen against the Spanish troops. This 
traffic being discovered and strictly prohibited by Philip II., 
the Dutch carried it on on their own account, and speedily 
rivalled the merchants of Spain in every part of the globe. 
5n 1583, Huygen van Linschoten made the first voyage to 
the East Indies, whither, in 1595, Cornelius Houtmann sailed 
with a small fleet and planted the banner of the republic in 
Java, where it still flutters in the breeze. In 1596, the 
united fleets of Holland and England took the rich com- 
mercial town of Cadiz and burnt it to the ground. During 
the same year Linschoten and Heemskerk set out on an ex- 
pedition for the discovery of a north-eastern passage to China. 
The Dutch had long maintained commercial relations with 
Russia and Archangel had been founded by Adrian Kryt ; 
the enterprise, nevertheless, failed, the ships being ice-bound 
in the Frozen Ocean, and Heemskerk compelled to winter on 
Nova Zembla. In 1599, Stephen van der Hagen opened the 
spice trade with the islands of Molucca ; in 1601, van Neck, 
the tea trade with China, and van Spilbergen, the cinnamon 
trade with Ceylon. An incessant struggle for the empire of 
the sea was meanwhile carried on between Holland, Spain, 
and Portugal, the two latter of which had already colonized 
parts of the New World. The English Channel was, in 1 605, 
blockaded by Houtain, the Dutch admiral ; no Spanish ship 
was permitted to reach the coast of Holland, and all the 
Spaniards who fell into his hands were drowned. The Dutch 
fleets incessantly harassed the Spanish coasts. In 1608, Ver- 
hoeven settled in Calicut, on the Coromandei coast. One of 
his ships visited Japan in 1609, and discovered a Dutch 
aailor, named Adam, who had been cast on the shore, living 
there in great repute. A connexion with this country was 
formed at a later period by van den Broek, who, aware of the 
great importance of the island of Java as the centre of the 
Dutch possessions in the East Indies, erected [a. d. 1618] the 
fortress of Batavia, which speedily grew into an extensive 
city. In 1614, van Noordt followed on the track of the 
Spaniards in the southern ocean, and, in 1615, Schouten 
•ailed round the southern point of America, named by him 

VOL. II. x 



Cape Horn, in honour of hb native town, Hoorn. New Zca 
land was discovered about the same time and named after the 
province of Seeland. Hudson, in 1610, had also discovered 
the extreme north of America, and the bay named after him. 
The English, jealous of hia success, seized and starved him to 
death. Numbers of his countrymen followed in his track, 
and, in 1614, added the whale fishery to those of codfish and 
herrings, which were almost exclusively in their hands, 

The mean jealousy of the Hansa towns met with its fitting 
reward, their commerce gradually declining as that of Hol- 
land rose. Their prohibition of English manufactures caused 
the expulsion oP all the Hnnseaties from England and the 
instalment of the Dutch in their stead, a. d. 1598. 

Maurice inherited little of the noble sincerity of his father, 
and viewed with jealous eyes the despotic power wielded by 
the neighbouring princes* The peace, to which he had been 
forced to accede by Henry IV, of France, the friend of reform, 
the commercial prosperity, the increase of the navy, the colo- 
nial and civil wealth, and the republican spirit of Holland, 
were alike distasteful to him, but, compelled to relinquish the 
hope of executing his tyrannical projects by force of arms, he 
concealed them beneath a mask of religion, and made use of 
means the best calculated, in those fanatical times, to work 
upon the multitude. 

At the new university of Ley den , Justus Lipsius had gainei 
<_rreat fame for learning, and Gomarus, the Calvinist, for or- 
thodoxy and zenl. Another deeply-learned and talented 
preacher, Arm inius T (Harmsen,) who had successfully combat- 
id the doctrine of predestination, being also appointed to a 
professor's chair at Leyden, Gomarus, who, like the rest oi 
his Calvinistic brethren of that period, professed ultra-liberal- 
ism, but acted with a bigotry equalling that of the Catholics 
and Lutherans, instantly raised aery of heresy. The attempts 
made by Huso Grotius, the mo*t eminent scholar and states- 
man of the age, to reconcile the adverse parties, were rendered 
iu tile by political intrigue. Maurice, instigated by resent- 
ment against Olden Barneveidt, the most popular and influ- 
ential of the statesmen of Holland, declared in favour of ~ 
marus.* The Arminians defended themselves in a reinon- 

* Hb ignorance was such tliat he, on one occasion, demanded of I 
Aiuuaka " how be could uphold such nonsense as a belief in predestii 




Btranoe to the states-general, whence they gained the name of 
Remonstrants. The Gomarists, supported by Maurice, how- 
ever, gained the victory, and Olden Barneveldt, Hugo Gro- 
tius, with their friends Hogerbeet and Ledenberg, were, at 
Maurice's command, arrested in the name of the states-gener- 
al, which were in utter ignorance of the affair. The Remon- 
strants, fearful of sharing the fate of their leaders, fed the 
country. The town-councils and the states-general were 
biassed by the creatures of the prince, and the prisoners were 
judged by a criminal court acting solely under his influence. 
By the great synod convoked at Dordrecht as a cloak for hie 
crime, the Remonstrants were condemned unheard as abomin- 
able heretics, whilst Maurice loaded the Gomarists with 
favours, a. d. 1619. Ledenberg, in order to escape the rack, 
stabbed himself with a knife. Olden Barneveldt, an old man 
of seventy- two, the most faithful servant of the republic, 
the founder of its real grandeur, of its navy, was condemned 
to death, as a disturber of the unity of the state and of the 
church of God. He addressed the people from the scaffold in 
the following words, "Fellow citizens, believe me, I am no 
traitor to my country. A patriot have I lived and a patriot 
will I die." Maurice, by whom the people had been deceived 
with false reports against their only true friends, pretended 
to mourn for his death and to lament the treason that had led 
to his condemnation, A. D. 1619. Hogerbeet and Grotius 
were condemned to perpetual imprisonment. The latter 
escaped from the castle of Lowenstein, in which he was im- 
mured, by means of his wife, Maria von Reigersberg, who 
concealed and had him carried away in a chest of books. 

Popular disturbances ensued. Several insurrections were 
quelled by force ; the secret assemblage of the Remonstrants 
was strictly prohibited and the censorship of the press estab- 
lished. The two sons of Olden Barneveldt conspired against 
the life of Maurice, were discovered and executed, A. d. 1623. 
Maurice expired, A. D. 1625. Conscious of the inevitable 
discovery of the artifice with which he had studiously slan- 
dered his victims and deceived the Dutch, and of the infanij 
attached to his name, he enjoined his brother and successor, 
Frederick, with his dying breath, to recall the Remonstrants. 

ation ?" and on being told that was the doctrine of the Gomarists and 
not of the Arminians, pretended to disbelieve the assertion. 

x 2 



CCITI. Rudolph the Second. 

The rest of Germany beheld the great struggle in the 
Netherlands with almost supine indifference* The destruc- 
tion of the Calvin is tic Dutch was not unwillingly "beheld by 
the Lutherans, The demand for assistance addressed [a, u. 
1570] by the Dutch to the diet at Worms received for re- 
ply, that Spain justly punished them as rebels against the 
principle of cujm regm^ ejm religio* The Lutheran princes, 
either sunk in luxury and vice, or mere adepts in intrigue, 
ahared the peaceful inclinations of their Catholic neighbours. 
The moderation of the emperor, Maximilian II., also greatly 
contributed to the maintenance of tranquillity, but still far 
more so the cunning policy with which the Jesuits secretly 
encouraged the internal dissensions of the Reformers whiLrt 
watching for a fitting opportunity again to act on the offensive. 

Maximilian II. had, shortly before his death, been elected 
king of Poland, and great might have been the result had he 
been endowed with higher energies* The Jagellons be- 
came extinct with Sigiamund Augustus, A* p. 1572* The 
capricious Polish nobles, worked upon by the agents of the 
French monarch, raised Henry of Anjou to the throne, which 
that prince speedily and voluntarily renounced fur that of 
France* ■ Maximilian was elected king b) one faction, and 
Stephen Bathori, prince of Transylvania, by another. Max* 
imilian ceded his claim and expired shortly afterwards, a. d. 
1575. The Jesuits were accused of having taken him off by 
poison, through jealousy of his inclination to favour the Re- 
formation. The beautiful Philip pin a Welser is also said to 
have been murdered in the castle of Ambras by opening her 
veins in a bath, A. D. 1576* 

Maximilian wan succeeded by his son, Rudolph II. T a second 
Frederick III. This prince devoted his whole thoughts to 
his horses, of which be possessed an immense number, al- 
though he never mounted them ; to the collection of natun " 
curiosities and pictures ; to the study of alchymy and 
astrology, in which he was assisted by the Dane, Tycho 
de Brahe, and by Kepler,* the great German astronomer 

* This extraordinary man, to whom we are indebted for the discovery 
pf the laws which regulate the movement* of the utaueuiry bodies, their 


Tycho is said to have drawn his horoscope and to have fore* 
told his death by the hand of his own son, in consequence of 
which he forswore marriage and lived in constant seclu- 
sion. He was subject to fits of fury resembling madness. 
His sleeping apartment was strongly barred like a prison, so 
great was his apprehension of a violent death. 

Rudolph bestowed no attention upon the empire ; he, never- 
theless, permitted Melchior Clesel, bishop of Vienna, and the 
Jesuits, to attempt to bring about a reaction in his hereditary 
provinces against the Protestants, who, deeming themselves 
secure under his father's sceptre, had, contrary to agreement, 
erected churches on spots not immediately belonging to the 
privileged nobility. In 1579, every unprivileged cure was 
seized and the public instruction placed exclusively in the 
hands of the Catholics, a proceeding extremely mild when 
compared with the merciless extirpation of the Calvinists in 
Saxony, of the Lutherans in the Pfalz, etc 

The great victories of the Dutch, the decided inclination of 
Elizabeth, queen of England, and of Henry IV. of France, to 
Calvinism, suddenly raised that sect to a high degree of influ- 
ence, which was further increased by the defection of several 
of the princes from Lutheranism through disgust at the doc- 
trines taught by the clergy. Immediately after the triumph 
gained by the Lutherans by means of the concordat, the only 
Calvinistic prince remaining in Germany, the Pfalzgrave, 
John Casimir, brother to Louis, the Lutheran elector, had, at 
a congress held at Frankfurt a M. [a. d. 1577,] demanded 
aid from England and France. He had himself levied a 
troop of German auxiliaries for the French Huguenots. On 
the death of his brother, he undertook the guardianship of his 
infant nephew, Frederick IV. [a. d. 1585] ; all the Luther- 

ellipticity, etc., was born in 1571, at Wiel, in Swabia. Whilst a boy* 
tending sheep, he passed his nights in the fields, and by his observation 
acquired his first knowledge of astronomy. His discovery was con- 
demned by the Tiibingen university as contrary to the Bible. He was 
about to destroy his work, when an asylum was granted to him at Graetz, 
which he afterwards quitted for the imperial court. He was, notwith- 
standing his Lutheran principles, tolerated by die Jesuits, who knew how 
to value scientific knowledge. He was solely persecuted in his native 
country, where he with difficulty saved his mother from being burnt as a 
witch. He was also in the service of the celebrated General Walk** 
stein. He died [a. d. 1630] at Ratisbon. 



ans were instantly expelled the Pfalz and the tenets of Calvin 
imposed upon the people. 

It was about this period that Gebhard, elector of Cologne, 
horn Count Truchsess (dapifer) von Waldburg, a young, 
gentle-hearted, but somewhat thoughtless man, embraced Cal- 
vinism, His equally worldly-minded predecessor, Salentin 
von Ysenburg, had, [a. d. 1577, J after persecuting the Lu- 
therans, suddenly renounced his office and wedded a Countess 
von Ahremberg, an example Gebhard was inclined to follow, 
but without relinquishing his position. He had already be- 
come notorious for easy morality, when, one day, looking 
from his balcony, he beheld, in a passing procession, the 
Countess Agnes von Mansfeld, canoness of the noble convent 
of Gerrisheim near Dusseldorf, the most beautiful woman of 
the day, and becoming violently enamoured, called her into 
his presence, and, by his united charms of rank, youth, and 
beauty, quickly inspired her with a corresponding passion* 
The Lutheran Counts von Mansfeld, speedily informed of the 
connexion between their sister and the archbishop, hastened 
to Bonn, where they were holding court together, and com- 
piled the archbishop to restore their sister's honour by a> 
formal marriage. The Calvinists in the Pfalz, in Holland, 
and France, however, promising him their aid on condition of 
his reforming the whole of the Colognese territory, and in- 
spiring Mm with the hope of rendering his possessions here* 
ditary in his family, lie embraced the tenets of Calvin, and 
consequently deprived himself of the support of the strict 
Lutherans. He was himself completely devoid of energy. 
The bishop of his cathedral, Frederick von S axon -La uen burg, 
who grasped at the arc hiepis copal mitre, almost the entire 
chapter and th*e citizens of Cologne, declared against him. 
His predecessor, Salentin von Ysenburg, actuated by jealousy, 
also opposed him. On the day on which Gebhard solemnized 
bis wedding at Bonn, the bishop took possession of the city of 
Kaiserswerth, Feb. 2nd, 1583, The majority of the people 
were against him, The pope put him under an interdict ; the 
emperor and the empire were bound by the ecclesiastical 
proviso ; the Lutherans refused their aid through jealousy of 
the Calvinists. Ernest, duke of Bavaria, bishop of Liege 
and Freysingen, was elected archbishop in his stead, and in* 
ruled his territory. The Pfalzgrave, John Casimir, to wlum 




he had in his terror mortgaged the whole of the electorate of 
Cologne, was too deeply engaged in the expulsion of the Lu- 
therans from the Pfalz to lend him the requisite aid, and left 
him to his fate. The whole of the electorate was speedily in 
the hands of the Bavarian duke, and Gebhard took refuge in 
Ziitphen, whence he escaped to William of Orange. Agnes 
secretly visited England and applied for assistance to Essex, 
the queen's favourite, but was instantly expelled the country 
by the jealous queen, who refused to see her. Gebhard's ad- 
herents, meanwhile, ravaged the country around Neuss, but 
were forced to capitulate by the Spanish under the duke of 
Parma, to whom Ernest had turned for aid. The cause of 
the expelled archbishop now became hopeless, and [a. d. 
1589] he withdrew with Agnes, to whom he ever remained 
faithful, to Strassburg, where he had formerly held the office 
of deacon. He died, [a. d. 1601,] leaving no issue. Agnes 
survived him ; the period of her death and her burial-place 
are unknown. 

Ernest of Cologne, who became at the same time bishop of 
Munster, Liege, and Hildesheim, favoured the Jesuits, and 
persecuted the Protestants with the greatest rigour in Aix- 
la-Chapelle. The Catholic league, meanwhile, incessantly 
carried on hostilities against the Huguenots, whose leader, 
Henry of Bourbon, the first of that line, mounted the throne 
of France, A. d. 1589. This monarch was greatly seconded 
in his war with the league by the Reformed Swiss, under Louis 
von Erlach, and by the Calvinistic prince, Christian von An- 
halt. The Landgrave, Maurice of Hesse-Cassel, openly em- 
braced Calvinism, a. d. 1592. The separation of Hessian 
Darmstadt from Cassel took place, a. d. 1614. It was brought 
about by the Lutheran prince, Louis of Darmstadt, Maurice's 
cousin, in direct opposition to the will of the provincial Estates. 
Maurice* was one of the most eminent among the princes of 
his time, witty and learned, deeply versed in classic literature 
and art, well acquainted with modern and foreign cultivation 
and customs, and not the less zealous for the improvement of 
Germany. The Margrave, Ernest Frederick of Baden-Dur- 
lach, became a convert to Calvin, and imposed his tenets on 
his Lutheran subjects. He died of apoplexy, [a. d. 1604,j 

* This prince was the first inventor of the telegraph, an invention thai 
did not come into use until long after. 





when marching upon Pforzheim, whoso citizens had resisted 
Lis tyranny. John Sigisniuud, elector of Brandenburg, also 
embraced Calvinism, the faith of the citizens of Juliers, Cleve, 
and Berg, his subjects by inheritance. He incurred great un- 
popularity by his toleration of Lutheranism in Brandenburg. 

The Catholic party had gradually gained internal strength* 
Paul IV. commenced the restoration ; Pius IV. gave a new 
constitution to the Catholic world by the resolutions of the 
council of Trent ; Pius V, exchanged the shepherd's staff 
ibr the faggot and the sword, and, by his example, sane ti tied 
the cruelties perpetrated by Philip II. ; Gregory XII L, the 
representative of Jesuit learning, put the Protestants to 
shame with his improved Calendar , which was published, 
a. d. 1584, and violently protested against at the imperial 
diet by the Lutherans, who preferred an erroneous computa- 
tion of time to any thing, however accurate, proceeding from 
a pope ; and finally, Sixtus V. again displayed the whole 
pomp of the triumphant church from 1585 to 1590, 

The Jesuits had rapidly spread over the whole of the Ca- 
tholic world, and, solely opposed by the Dominicans, jealous of 
the power they had hitherto possessed, had placed all beneath 
their rule. The Franciscans, so influential over the people, 
were replaced by another Jesuitical body of begging monks, 
drawn from their ranks, the Capuchins, who were commis- 
sioned to work upon the lower, as the Jesuits did upon the 
higher* classes. Permanent nunciatures, as advanced posts 
noting the movements of the enemy and of the confederation, 
were stationed, in 1570, at Luzerne, in 1588, at Brussels, 
Cologne, and Vienna. 

The Reformers had entirely lost sight of the ancient ehurch 
in the midst of their internal dissensions, nor was it until the 
publication of Cardinal Bellarmin's subtle criticism on the 
lie format! on in 1581, and that of Pope Gregory's celebrated 
bull in catna Domini in 1584, on the one aide, and of the history 
of the order of Jesus by the renegade Jesuit, Hasenmuller, in 
which he lays bare all its evil practices and exaggerates its 
crimes, in 1586, on the other side, that polemics again raged 
and the press vented its venom on both parties. 

The bishoprics continued a material object of discord ; those 
to the north of Germany bad irrecoverably fallen into the hands 
af the princes of Brandenburg, Brunswick, Mecklenburg, and 



Saxon- Lau snburg. The possession of others was a matter of 
uncertainty. In Upper Germany and in Switzerland, the 
Catholics greatly increased in strength and daring, and the 
confederates, instigated by the Jesuits, took up arms against 
one another. In 1586, the Catholic cantons, influenced by 
Louis Pfyffers of Lucerne, the head of the Catholics, sur- 
named the Swiss king, concluded the golden or Borromean 
league with St Charles Borromeo for the extermination of 
heretics. This league raged so fearfully in Italy that num- 
bers of Reformers fled thence to Zurich ; hence the celebrated 
Zurich names of Pestalozzi, Orelli, etc. 

The favour lavished by Stephan Bathori, king of Poland, 
upon the Catholic party, afforded the Jesuits an opportunity 
to spread themselves over Livonia and Polish -Prussia. They 
were, however, driven out of Riga by the Lutheran citizens, 
A. D. 1587, and out of Dantzig in a similar manner, a. d. 1606. 

Clement VIIL, meanwhile, intent upon extending his tem- 
poral sway in Italy, had, on the death of Alfonso, the last 
Marches of the house of Este, [a.d. 1595,] seized Ferrara 
and forcibly annexed that duchy to the dominions of the 
church. His successor, Paul V., zealously persecuted the he- 
retics, and, during his long reign, from 1605 to 1621, inces- 
santly encouraged discord and dissension. 

Bavaria displayed the greatest zeal in the Catholic cause. 
Baden-Durlach, whose Margrave, Philip, had fallen at Mont- 
oncourt fighting for the Huguenots, had been re-catholicized 
by Duke Albert, the guardian of Philip's infant son. Albert's 
successors, William [a. d. 1579] and Maximilian, [a. d. 
1598,] befriended the Jesuits. In 1570, all the wealthy in- 
habitants of Munich took refuge in the Lutheran imperial 
cities. These proceedings were far from indifferent to the 
Calvinists, the most courageous among the Reformers. Frede- 
rick IV., elector of the Pfalz, exhorted the Lutherans to make 
common cause with the rest of the Reformers, but was solely 
listened to by Wurtemberg and the Margraves of Franconia, 
who entered into a union with him at Anhausen, [a.d. 1608,] 
which was joined [a. d. 1609] by Brandenburg and opposed 
by Maximilian of Bavaria, who convoked the Catholic princes, 
with whom he concluded a holy alliance. Party hatred was 
still further inflamed [a. d. 1610] on the death of the last 
duke of Juliers, Cleve, Berg, aid Ravensperg, when 



those splendid countries fell to the nearest of kin, John Sigia 
round, elector of Brandenburg, and Wolfgang William, Pfak* 
grave of Neuburg, both Reformed princes. The majority of 
the people was also Reformed, The Catholic party, led by 
Bavaria, had^ in the hope of frustrating the expectations of 
their antagonists, compelled Jacobea of Baden } * who was edu- 
cated at Munich, to bestow her hand upon the imbecile duke, 
John William, a, d. 1585. This scheme, however, failed; 
the duke went completely mad, and Jacobea remained child- 
less. The government was seized by his sister, Sibylla, an 
elderly maiden, totally devoid of personal graces, who, jealous 
of Jaeobea's beauty and aided by the Catholic party, set the 
now useless victim aside, Jacobea was, under a false pre- 
text, seized, accused of sorcery, and strangled in prison, after 
undergoing a variety of tortures. Antonk of Lorraine was 
the next victim bestowed upon the duke, in the hope of rais* 
ing a progeny in the Catholic branch, but also remaining 
childless, she was sent back to Lorraine, and Sibylla, in her 
forty- ninth year, wedded Charles, Margrave of Burgau. Her 
hopes of issue were also frustrated, and, on the death of John 
William, in 1G09, the whole of the rich inheritance full to the 
Reformed branchy which, aided by France, finally succeeded in 
expelling Sibylla's faction, which was supported by the Span- 
ish Netherlands, 

The united princes, meanwhile, took the field, hut again 
laid down arms on the death of the elector of the Pfalz and 
the murder of Henry of Navarre by Eavaillae, the tool of the 
Jesuits, Brandenburg and Neuburg remained in peaceable 
possession of the Juliers-Cleve inheritance, until a quarrel 
breaking out between them ? the Pfalzgrave embraced Catho- 
licism and called the League and the Spaniards to his aid. 
The matter was, nevertheless, settled by negotiation, Bran- 
denburg taking Cieve, Mark, and Ravensberg ; Neuburg, Ju- 
Hers and Berg, a. d. 1614* They were, however, still des- 
tined not to hold the lands in peace, the emperor attempting to 
place them under sequestration as property lapsed to the 

* Her portrait is still to be seen at Dusseldorf. She was uncomni on- 
ly beautiful and captivating. She loved n Count vun Manderscheid, ttIio, 
en the nev,< of her marriage, became insane. The pope stint his benedic- 
tion on the marriage of this lovely wonauii with the imb^Lite dukt\ and 
f resented the unhappy bride with a golden rose. 


Vtovni ; the Dutch and Spaniards again interfered in the dis- 
pute that ensued, and shortly afterwards the great war broke 
out John Sigismund succeeded the imbecile duke, Frederick 
Albert, on the throne of Prussia, [a. d. 1614,] where, during 
that stormy period, the Brandenburgs with difficulty secured 
their footing. 

part xvm. 


CCIV. Great religious disturbances in Austria. — Defeat of 
the Bohemians. 

The projects laid by the emperor Maximilian II. were, even 
during his life-time, frustrated by his brother, Charles, the 
ultra-Catholic archduke in Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola. 
This energetic man, who, by his settlement of the military 
colonies in Croatia, in the heart of which he erected [a. d. 
1580] the metropolis of Carlstadt, had greatly served the 
empire, violently opposed the Protestants, established the 
Jesuits at Graetz, and by his virulent persecution of the 
Lutheran communes in the mountain districts drove them to 
rebel, a. d. 1573. The peasantry throughout Styria and 
Carniola revolted, but were reduced to submission by the 
Uzkokes,* wild Slavonian robbers, called for that purpose 
from the mountains of Dalmatia. 

The violent abolition of the religious liberty of the privi- 
leged cities by Rudolph II. called forth an energetic remon- 
strance from the whole of the provincial Estates, that drew 
from him the grant of four privileged churches at Graetz, 
Judenburg, Clagenfurt, and Laibach, A. d. 1578, which were, 
nevertheless, destroyed by the Archduke Charles, at whose 
command twelve thousand German Bibles and other Lutheran 

• These barbarians afterwards greatly annoyed his son, the emperor 
Ferdinand II., who, at the entreaty of Venice, interdicted their piracy in 
tfo Adriatic. 


books were burnt by the public executioner at Grcefrz, A. tK 
1579. The Lutheran preachers were gradually superseded 
by Catholic clergy in all the cities, the chartered towns not 
excepted, and the citizens were compelled to recant. The 
privileges of the nobility were still held sacred, but the prin- 
ciple, ctfjus regio^ ejm religm, was in some measure even 
applied to them, no Lutheran lord being permitted to take a 
Catholic peasant into his service unless born on his estates. 
The Estates, perceiving their demands unheeded by their 
sovereign, laid their complaints [a. d. 1582] before the diet 
of the empire, in the hope of being protected by the Lutheran 
princes. But here also their hopes were frustrated by the 
pitiless axiom, cujus regiOy ejus rellgio. The Jesuits, em- 
boldened by this defeat, redoubled their attacks ; numbers of 
Lutheran preachers were incarcerated, but were partly re- 
stored to liberty by the enraged peasantry. The movement 
gradually increased, and [a. ft. 1588] the archduke was merely 
saved from assassination at Judenburg by the magnanimity 
of a Lutheran preacher. An insurrection broke out simul- 
taneously in the archbishopric of Salzburg. Tumultuous 
meetings, the violent seizure of the preachers and the armed 
opposition of the peasantry, were annually renewed in Austria 
from 1594. 

The persecution of the Austrian Protestants raged with re- 
doubled violence on the accession of the Archduke Ferdinand, 
a. d. 1596. His Jesuitical preceptors had carefully prepared 
him from his earliest childhood for the part they intended him 
to perform, and he had solemnly vowed at the shrine of 
the Virgin at Loretto to extirpate heresy from his dominions. 
The actions and principles of his uncle, Philip II,, the model 
on which he formed himself, were mercifal in comparison with 
his. Unwarlike, nay s effeminate in his habits, ever surrounded 
by Jeauits and women, he, nevertheless, possessed a bigoted 
obstinacy of character that nought had power to soften, an 6^ 
whilst tranquilly residing in Vienna, willing tools were easily 
found to execute his horrid projects. His first act, in answer 
to the renewed petitions of the Estates for religious liberty, 
was the erection of gallows throughout the country for the 
evangelical preachers, the demolition of their churches, nay, 
the desecration of the churchyards by the disinterment of 
t lie dead. In Laibach, where the most resolute resistance* 



was offered, the pastors were torn from their pulpits, the 
citizens that refused to recant expelled, and their goods con- 
fiscated. The opposition of the Estates was weakened by the 
dissolution of their union, those of Upper and Lower Austria, 
Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola being compelled to hold separ- 
ate assemblies. The Estates, refused aid by their brethren 
in belief, were driven by necessity to demand assistance from 
their foreign neighbours. Venice was too Catholic, Hun- 
gary too deeply occupied with her internal affairs and the 
war with the Turks, to listen to their entreaties. Bethlen 
Gabor, Prince of Transylvania, took advantage of the gradual 
decadence of the Turkish empire, on the one hand, and of the 
religious war in Germany, on the other, to found an independ- 
ent power in Hungary. The German Transylvanians had 
been converted to Lutheranism, [a. d. 1533,] and were, at 
this period, in close alliance with the German Lutherans. Ru- 
dolph II., with the view of reconverting them to Catholicism, 
instigated the Hungarians against them, and the Saxons were 
actually declared in the Hungarian diet [a. d. 1590] serfs to 
the Hungarians, there being no noblemen among them. The 
national Graf, Hutter, however, rose in their defence, and 
openly told the magnates before the whole assembly, that 
u Labour was nobler than robbery," and succeeded in repeal- 
ing their decision. The Transylvanian Saxons, as a protec- 
tion against the Jesuits, formed a union, [a. d. 1613,] and 
bound themselves by oath to stand up as one man in defence 
of their political freedom and of the Augsburg Confession,, 
never to accept of nobility, and ever to preserve their equality, 
the condition of their freedom. 

Thus, Tyrol alone excepted, all the hereditary possessions 
of the house of Habsburg had favoured the Reformation, and 
were, in point of fact, Reformed. Catholicism was, neverthe- 
less, reimposed, by means of political intrigue, on the whole 
of this immense population. 

The archdukes, less influenced by the discord that prevailed 
throughout the empire than by the disturbances in the here- 
ditary provinces, which caused the Habsburgs to totter on the 
throne, resolved [a. d. 1606] to install Matthias in the place 
of his spiritless brother, the emperor Rudolph. This event af- 
forded a glimmer of hope to the onnressed Protestants. Mat- ; 
tbias speedily found himself t' \ of an army, and com* 



pelted the emperor to cede Hungary and Austria, Rudolph, 
shaken from his slumbers, hastened unexpectedly to Prague, 
where, sacrificing the priociple on which he had hitherto go- 
verned, the exclusive rule of the Catholic form of worship, to 
his eatnity towards his brother, he fully restored the privi- 
leges anciently enjoyed hy the Utraquists, and [a. p. 1609] 
promulgated the famous letter patent, the palladium of Bohe- 
mia, by which her political and religious liberty was con* 
firmed. The storm had, however, no sooner passed than, 
regretting his generosity, he allowed his cousin, the Arch- 
duke Leopold, bishop of Passau, whom, notwithstanding hia 
priestly office, he destined for his successor on the throne, to 
assemble a considerable body of troops at Fassau, invade and 
devastate Bohemia, and take possession of theKleine Seite of 
Prague, The Bohemians under Matthias, Count von Thurn, 
made a gallant defence, and several bloody engagements took 
place- The rage of the Bohemians was, however, chiefly di- 
rected against the Jesuits, who were accused of having insti- 
gated this attack upon their liberties, and Rudolph, deeply sus- 
pected by the citizens of Prague of participating in the plot, 
was kept prisoner by them until Leopold voluntarily retreated 
on the news of the approach of Matthias from Hungary. 
Rudolph was compelled to abdicate the throne of Bohemia in 
favour of his brother, whose coronation was solemnized amid 
the joyful acclamations of the people, on whom lie lavished 
fresh privileges. " Ungrateful Prague ! " exclaimed the de- 
posed monarch, as he looked down upon the gorgeous city 
from his palace window, ** Ungrateful Prague ! to me dost 
thou owe thy wondrous beauty, and thus hast thou repaid my 
benefits. May the vengeance of Heaven strike thee, and my 
curse light upon thee and the whole of Bohemia I" 

The Bohemians, enchanted with Matthias's liberality, pru- 
dently sought to draw a real advantage from, and to strength- 
en their constitution by, his deceptive concessions. The fal- 
lacy of their hopes is clearly proved by the fact of Ferdinand's 
having annihilated in the mountains every trace of the liberty 
so deceitfully planted by his uncles and sovereigns in Bohe- 
mia, Shortly before the Christmas of the same year, 1610, 
the Passau troops made a second incursion into Upper Aus- 
tria and cruelly harassed the Protestant inhabitants, 

Matthias succeeded to the imperial crown on the death of 


Rudolph II., [a. d. 1612,] and, unable to recall past events* 
peaceably withdrew from public life, committing the govern- 
ment to his nephew, Ferdinand, whom he caused to be pro- 
claimed king of Bohemia, and who was destined to discover 
the little accordance between the system of oppression pur- 
sued by him in the mountains and the letters patent issued by 
Rudolph. Ferdinand treated his uncle with the basest ingrati- 
tude, depriving him of the society of his old friend, Cardinal 
Clesel, and treating him with the deepest contempt. The 
poor old man was at length carried off by gout, a. d. 1617; 
Clesel had drawn upon himself the ill-will of the youthful ty- 
rant, by expressing a hope that Bohemia might be treated 
with lenity, to which Ferdinand replied, " Better a desert than 
a country full of heretics." The only descendants of the house of 
Habsburg still remaining in Germany, were Ferdinand II., his 
two brothers, Leopold, bishop of Passau, and Chavies, bishop 
of Breslau. The throne of Spain was [a. d. 1621] mounted 
by Philip IV., (grandson to Philip II.,) whose brother, Fer- 
dinand, became a cardinal and the stadtholder of the Nether- 

The arrival of Ferdinand with his Jesuitical counsellors at 
Prague filled Bohemia with dread, nor was it diminished by 
his hypocritical oath to hold the letters patent granted by 
Rudolph sacred ; for how could a Jesuit be bound by an oath ? 
the principles on which he acted had been clearly shown by 
his behaviour at Graetz and Laibach. The Jesuits no longer 
concealed their hopes, and the world was inundated with 
pamphlets, describing the measures to be taken for the extir- 
pation of heresy throughout Europe, and for the restoration 
of the only true church. 

Ferdinand speedily quitted Bohemia, leaving the govern- 
ment in the hands of Slawata (a man who, for a wealthy 
bride, had renounced Protestantism, and who cruelly perse- 
cuted his former brethren,) and Martinitz, who sought to in- 
snare the people and systematically to suppress their rights. 
A strict censorship was established • 'itical works were 
alone unmutilated. Religious lib* 'h legally pos-» 

sessed by the nobility alone, had, 1 torn, extended 

to the Protestant citizens, more- e the grant of 

the letters patent by the empero but they no 

•ooner ventured to erect new aunar 

Klostergrab, than an order for their demolition was issued by 
Ferdinand, who, treating the representations of the Estate 
with sik-nt contempt, their long-suppressed discontent broke 
forth, and, at the instigation of Count Thurn, they flung 
Slawata and Marti nitz, after loading them with bitter re- 
proaches, together with their secretary, Fabricins, according 
to old Bohemian custom, out of the window o*' the council- 
house on the Radschin. They fell thirty -five yards, Mar- 
tinitz and the secretary* escaped unhurt, being cast upon & 
heap of litter and old papers; Slawata was dreadfully shat- 
tered, and was earned into a neighbouring house, that of a 
Princess Sch warden berg, where he remained unmolested. 
Tins event occurred May the 23rd, 1618, and from this day 
dates the commencement of the thirty years' war* 

The first act of the Bohemian Estates under the direction of 
Count Thurn was the expulsion of the Jesuits, in which they 
were imitated by the rest of the hereditary provinces, Silesia 
under the rule of John George, duke of Brandenbur^- 
Jtegerndorf, Moravia under its principal leader, the Boron 
Frederick von Teuuenbach, Austria, whose chief representa- 
tive was Erasmus von Tschernembl, and Hungary under 
Bethlen Gabor (Gabriel Bathory)* A list of grievances was 
sent to Vienna, and religious liberty was demanded as the con- 
dition of their continued recognition of Ferdinand's authority, 

Ferdinand, without deigning a reply, instantly raised two 
small bodies of troops, which he intrusted to the command of 
Da m pi err e and Bouquoi* the former a Frenchman, the latter 
a Spaniard, whilst he continued to levy men in Italy, Spain, 
and the Netherlands ; but Thurn, marching at the head of the 
Bohemians upon Vienna, he avoided falling into his hands by 
going to Frankfurt on the Maine, [a. d. 1619,] where the 
Lutheran princes, gained over by his Jesuitical artifices, elect- 
ed and crowned him emperor of Germany* Every trace cf 
the scruples formerly raised against the election of Charles V 
and of Ferdinand I, had vanished. 

The Estates of Bohemia, Silesia, Moravia, Hungary, Aus- 
tria, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola, abandoned as usual in 
the moment of need by their Protestant brethren, now closely 

* He afterwards received the title of HohenfalL He is said to ha?e 
falien upon Martinttz, and, noiwithstundinp the horror of the mumem, to 
Lite politely asked pardon fur his involuntary rudeness. 



confederated, and took Count Ernest von Mansfeld, who had 
served with distinction in the Netherlands, with fourteen 
thousand German mercenaries, into their service. Bouquoi, 
after defeating Mansfeld at Pilsen, marched into Hungary 
against Bethlen Gabor, whilst Dampierre, worsted in Mora- 
via by Teuffenbach, retired upon the Danube, where the Up- 
per Austrians, under Stahremberg, lay in wait for the empe- 
ror on his return from Frankfort. Ferdinand, however, 
avoided them by passing through Styria to Vienna. That city 
was instantly besieged by Thurn and Bethlen Gabor, and the 
Viennese, who, notwithstanding the practices of the Jesuits, 
were still evangelically inclined, stormed the palace and de- 
manded a formal grant of the free exercise of their religion. 
At this moment Dampierre's cavalry entered the palace-yard. 
The citizens withdrew, and the Bohemians and Hungarians, 
weakened by famine and sickness, and threatened to the rear 
by a fresh enemy raised against them by Ferdinand's diplo- 
matic arts, also speedily retreated. The Cossacks, (not those 
of the Ukraine,) the rudest of the Lithuanian tribes, were in- 
vited into Austria by the emperor for the purpose of convert- 
ing the people by fire, sword, and pillage. A Spanish army 
under Verdugo also crossed the Alps and defeated Mansfeld at 
Langen-Loys. The Bohemians and Hungarians were, mean- 
While, victorious over the Poles, and, in the midst of the tu- 
mult of war, elected Frederick V., elector of the Pfalz, king of 
Bohemia, and Bethlen Gabor king of Hungary, in the stead 
of the emperor, A. d. 1620. 

The behaviour of the German princes during the war in 
Austria was more deeply than ever marked by treachery and 
weakness. Never has a great period produced baser charac- 
ters, never has a sacred cause found more unworthy champions. 
The projects harboured by the pope, the emperor, Spain, and 
France, for the complete suppression of the Reformation, were 
well known, and could alone be frustrated by a prompt and firm 
coalition on the part of the Protestant princes. George Wil- 
liam of Brandenburg, John George of Saxony, Louis of Darm- 
stadt, John Frederick of Wurtemberg, and the Margrave, 
Joachim Ernest, of Brandenburg, bribed by personal interest 
or actuated by cowardice and by jealousy of the Pfalzgrave, 
abandoned their brethren to their fate, and took part with the 
emperor. Maximilian, duke of "^"uria, who, notwithstand- 


ing his \ outh, was at the head of the Catholic League, had, 
through jealousy of his cousin the Pfalzgrave, sacrificed the 
brilliant prospects of his house, and headed the Wittelsbachi 
against the Wittelsbach in a war profitable alone to the Habs* 
burg. Conscious of this false step, he endeavoured, although 
the ally of the Habsburg, to curb the power of the emperor, 
and to retain his position as the head of Catholic Germany. 
For this purpose, he long delayed advancing to his aid, until 
actually compelled, by the fear of losing the laurels he hoped 
to win, to take the field at the head of his whole force, after 
concluding an alliance at Wurzburg with his brother Ferdi- 
nand in Cologne, and Schweighart, elector of Mayence, in which 
Lothar of Treves and Louis of Darmstadt also joined, and after 
protecting his rear by making terms, as creditable to him as a 
statesman as they were scandalous in the opposite party, in 
the name of the League with the Union, the duke of Wurtem- 
berg promising to discharge the troops of the Union, Bavaria 
on her part undertaking to leave the Lutheran and Reformed 
countries, including the Pfalz, Bohemia alone excepted, un- 
harassed by the League. 

Frederick, elector of the Pfalz, a young and ambitious man, 
whose projects were ever seconded by his wife, Elizabeth, a 
zealous Calvinist, the daughter of James I. of England, had 
placed himself without difficulty, owing to the supine indif- 
ference of the rest of the united princes, at the head of the 
Union. His ineptitude for government was, however, speedily 
discovered by the Bohemians, by whom he had been elected 
king and received with the greatest enthusiasm. Frederick 
was merely fitted for parade, and was, perhaps, the most in- 
capable of the reigning princes of his time, for he never allow- 
ed others to govern in his name. The Lutheran princes, 
jealous of the increased importance of the Pfalz, and inimical 
to him on account of his Calvinistic tenets, abandoned, him. 
His introduction of the French tongue and of French customs 
and fashions into his court created great dissatisfaction 
among his Bohemian subjects, which was still further increas- 
ed by his encouragement of the attacks made from the pulpit 
by his chaplain, Scultetus, upon the Utraquists and Luther- 
ans, and by the demolition of the ornaments still remaining in 
the churches at Prague. The crucifixes and pictures were 
torn down and destroyed. The attempt to demolish the great 


•tone crucifix on the bridge over the Moldau caused a revolt, 
which Thurn was alone able to quell. Peace was restored, 
but Frederick had forfeited the affection of his subjects. In- 
stead of attaching the Bohemian aristocracy to his person, he 
showered favours upon two poor nobles, distinguished neither 
by their talents nor by their characters, Christian, prince oi 
An halt, and George Frederick, Count von Hohenlohe, by 
whom Count Mansfeld, whose birth was illegitimate, was 
treated with such marked contempt, that he withdrew with 
his troops from the royal army. The terms stipulated [a. d 
1620] between the League and the Union also deprived Fre 
derick of the aid of the latter, Bohemia being expressly given 
up as a prey to the former. His alliance with Turkey, more- 
over, greatly contributed to increase his unpopularity with 
every party. 

Whilst the Protestants were thus weakened by their own 
treachery and disunion, the Catholics acted with redoubled 
vigour. Spinola marched from the Netherlands at the head 
of twenty thousand men and systematically plundered the 
Pfalz. The cries of the people at length struck upon tb<* 
dulled sense of the united princes. Wurtemberg tremblingly 
demanded, " Why the late stipulation was thus infringed ? " 
and remained satisfied with the reply that Spinola, not being 
included in the League, was not bound to keep its stipula- 
tions ; and the Union made a treaty with Spinola at Mayence, 
by which they consented to his remaining in the Pfalz on 
condition of the neighbouring princes being left undisturbed. 
Heidelberg, Mannheim, and the Frankenthai were defended 
by the troops of Frederick Henry of Orange, who was aban- 
doned by the rest of the united princes. Maximilian and his 
field-marshal, John T'serclaes,* Count von Tilly, a Dutch- 
man, who had served under Alba, next invaded Upper 
Austria with a force of thirty thousand men. Linz yielded ; 
the Estates were compelled to take the oath of fealty to the 
duke as the emperor's representative; Tschernembl fled to 
Geneva, where he died in want, A. D. 1626. The mountain 
peasantry, enraged at the capitulation of Linz by the panic- 
Btruck nobles, took up arms, but were unable to overtake the 
duke, who had, in the mean time, entered Bohemia, where 

• T'aerclaes signU Sir Nicolas. 



numbers of the inhabitants were, on account of their deter* 
mined resistance, cruelly butchered. 

Dampierre, sacrificing himself for the emperor, kept Bethlen 
Gabor at bay, though with an inferior force, but was finally 
defeated and slain before Presburg. The Hungarians poured 
in crowds around Vienna, whilst the League, joined by Bou- 
quoi, Verdugo, and the whole of the imperial forces, left 
Vienna to the right and marched straight upon Prague, where 
the king, Frederick, little anticipated battle. Anhalt and 
Hohenlohe had fixed an encampment on the Weissen Berg, 
famed for Zizka's deeds of prowess ; Mansfeld and the flower 
of the army were far away at Pilsen, and, before it was possi- 
ble for him to advance to {he relief of the metropolis, the 
enemy unexpectedly stormed the Weissen Berg, Oct. 29th, 
1620. Christian of Anhalt rushed to the encounter and was 
wounded; the Hungarian auxiliaries fled and drew the 
Bohemians in their train. The Moravians made a valiant but 
futile resistance. The battle rolled onwards to the gates of 
Prague, where the confusion was still further increased by the 
panic of the king. Prague was well fortified ; the troops had, 
after suffering a trifling loss, entered the walls ; an immense 
Hungarian army lay around Vienna; Mansfeld was at 
Pilsen 5 Upper Austria in open insurrection ; four thousand 
men and ten cannons, left in the hurry of the moment on the 
Weissen Berg, comprised the whole amount of loss. But fear 
had paralysed the senses of the monarch. Instead of, like the 
Hussites, intrenching himself behind his fortifications and 
awaiting the arrival of his friends, he yielded his metropolis 
without a blow, merely demanding twenty«-four hours to pre- 
pare for his departure, notwithstanding which he left behind 
him his crown and most important documents, the whole ar- 
chive of the Union, which fell into the hands of the imperial* 
ists. Frederick fled to Breslau, then farther, never to return. 
One winter brought his reign to a close, hence he received 
the soubriquet of the winter-king.* Thurn also escaped. 

The elector of Saxony, who had, meanwhile, occupied the 
Lausitz with his troops and had taken Bautzen and Zittau, 
now expelled the fugitive king of Bohemia from Silesia and 
Mwnpelled Breslau to do him homage as the emperor's repre- 

* Comes palatums palans sine comite. He was pursued with satiric*, 
pooga and caricatures. 


tentative. Frederick took refuge in Holland with his consort, 
whom the elector of Brandenburg had unwillingly permitted 
to remain at Frankfort on the Maine until after the birth of 
her son, Prince Maurice. The castle of Rhenen, in Holland, 
was granted as a residence to the exiled pair by the Prince of 

Mansfeld, driven from Pilsen by Tilly, entered into a pre- 
tended negotiation with the emperor, who vainly attempted 
to bribe him to enter into his service, and had no sooner pro- 
Tided himself, by pillaging the country around Tachau, with 
horses, ammunition, and money, than, forcing his way through 
Bamberg and Wurzburg, he escaped the imperialists under 
Maximilian and General Cordova, who had been left by 
Spinola, on his return to the Netherlands, in the Pfalz where 
he had wintered. Tilly vainly pursued the fugitives ; Mans- 
feld passed the Rhine and fixed himself in Alsace and Lor- 
raine, ready, in case of necessity, to retreat upon Holland. 

Bethlen Gabor, driven from both Vienna and Presburg by 
Bouquoi, was, in his turn, victorious over the Austrian fac- 
tion under Count Palffy in Hungary, and was reinforced by 
Jaegerndorf, who again took the field in Silesia. Bouquoi fell 
before Neuhausel. Mansfield's expulsion, the open perfidy of 
the Union, and the threatening aspect of Poland, however, in- 
clined Bethlen Gabor to make terms with the emperor, to 
whom he, consequently, resigned the Hungarian crown on 
condition of receiving seven districts and the title of prince of 
the empire. Jaegerndorf, who now stood unaided and alone, 
was compelled to dismiss his troops, and the Silesian Estates 
credulously accepted the proffered mediation of the elector of 
Saxony, who promised to protect their religious liberty. 

Ferdinand's apparent lenity greatly facilitated the subjec- 
tion of Bohemia. For three months vengeance slumbered. 
With the cold-blooded hypocrisy of Alba, his master in deceit, 
he patiently waited until the Bohemians, lulled into security, 
had retaken their peaceful occupations, and the fugitives had 
regained their homes. On the 20th of February, 1621, the 
storm burst forth. All the popular leaders, who had not 
escaped, were arrested. Thurn was not to be found, but his 
friend, Count John Andreas von Schlick, a descendant of the 
celebrated chancellor, to whom the Habsburgs owed so much 
of their grandeur, was delivered by the perfidious elector of 


Saxony, to whom he had fled for shelter, to the headsmen of 
Prague. His right hand and his head were struck off. 
Twenty-four nobles were beheaded, three citizens hanged, 
etc. Seven hundred and twenty-eight of the nobility, who 
were induced by a promise of pardon to confess their partici- 
pation in the rebellion, were deprived of their estates. Forty 
million dollars were collected by confiscation alone. Five 
hundred noble and thirty-six thousand citizen families emi- 
grated. Bohemia lost the whole of her ancient privileges. The 
letter patent granted by Rudolf was destroyed by the emperor's 
own hands. His confessor, the Jesuit Lamormain, (Laemmer- 
mann,) searched for and burnt all heretical works, particularly 
those of the ancient Hussites. Nor did the dead escape ; 
Rokyzana's remains were disinterred and burnt ; Zizka's 
monument, every visible memorial of the heroism of Bohemia, 
was destroyed. Every trace of religious liberty was annihilated, 
and the emperor, disregarding his promise to the elector of 
Saxony in regard to the Lutherans, declared himself bound in 
conscience to exterminate all heretics. Saxony, for form's sake, 
protested against this want of faith. The churches throughout 
Bohemia were reconsecrated by the Catholics ; the Hussite pas- 
tors, who failed in making their escape, fell a prey to the savage 
soldiery. The peasantry were imprisoned by the hundred and 
compelled by famine to recant. The few Catholic nobles, Sla- 
wata, Martinitz, Mittrovski, Klenau, Czeyka, who had formerly 
been expelled the country, took a fearful revenge. The 
emigrants were the most fortunate portion of the population. 
At Lissa, the citizens set fire to their own homes and fled into. 
Saxony. A desperate resistance was here and there made by 
the people. The most valuable of the confiscated property 
was granted in donation to the Jesuits, who were triumphantly 
re-established in the country for the purpose of drugging the 
minds of the enslaved people, and so skilfully did they fulfil their 
office, that ere one generation had passed away, the bold, free- 
spirited, intelligent Bohemian was no longer to be recognised 
in the brutish creature, the offspring of their craft, that until 
very lately has vegetated unnoted by history. 

A similar plan was pursued in Silesia, which had submitted 
on the guarantee of its religious liberty by the elector of 
Saxony. Jesuits or other monks, accompanied by a troop of 
the Lichtenstein dragoons, under Count Hannibal von Donna, 


went from village to village, from one house to another, for 
the purpose of converting the inhabitants; pillage, torture, 
the murder or robbery of children, were the means resorted 
to. Emigration was prohibited. The emperor, not satisfied 
with suppressing religious liberty, also restricted the civil 
liberty of the Estates and metamorphosed the Silesian pro- 
vincial Estates into a body of commissioners nominated by 
and subservient to him. Breslau and the duchies of Liegnitz, 
Brieg, and Oels, which were still governed by their petty im- 
mediate princes, were alone spared. Ferdinand, unable to 
suppress Protestantism in Hungary, secured his hereditary 
provinces from infection by commercial interdictions. His 
offer of pardon to a fugitive nobleman, Frederick von Rog- 
gendorf, on condition of his return to his country, received 
for answer, "What sort of pardon ; a Bohemian one ? Heads 
off! A Moravian one? Imprisonment for life! An Austrian 
one? Confiscation!" These horrors were enacted at Ferdi- 
nand's command, under the superintendence of his confessor, 
Lamormain, who styled himself, in reference to the immense 
confiscations that took place, " God's clerk of the exchequer." 
Saxony received the Lausitz in pledge; Brandenburg was 
invested with Prussia. Frederick of Bohemia, John George 
von Jaegerndorf, and Mansfeld, (on whose head a price wa3 
fixed,) were put under the bann of the empire. Anhalt and 
Hohenlohe were pardoned. The Protestant Union voluntarily 
dissolved, a. d. 1621. 

Disturbances, caused by the attempt made by the emperor to 
get the passes of the Grisons into his hands, on account of the 
communication with Spain and Italy, but more particularly 
for the purpose of cutting off that between Switzerland and 
Venice, which countenanced the Reformers, broke out simul- 
taneously in Switzerland. The inhabitants of Veltlin were 
butchered [a. d. 1620] by the Spanish and Italian troops under 
the Archduke Leopold and Feria, governor of Milan, but 
the peasantry, excited to desperation by this outrage, rising 
en masse, the imperialists were driven out of the country, 
a. d. 1622. Teuffenbach, who had taken refuge in Switzer- 
land from the troubles in Moravia, and who lay sick at Pfaef- 
fers, was, durin" *"* ~ test, seized by the people of Sargans, 
sold to Ferdi 'utioners, and beheaded at Inn- 




CCV. Revolt of the Upper Austriam* — Count Man&feld, 

The Austrian nobility, impelled by fear and by the hope of 
reward, had yielded. Death and confiscation struck them 
with terror, whilst the splendid recompence bestowed by 
Ferdinand on the Count of Liechtenstein, whom he created 
prince and endowed with the whole of the confiscated lands 
of Jregerudorf and with Troppau in Silesia in return for his 
fidelity, induced many among the rest of the aristocracy to 
declare their adhere ace to the crown. The most resolute of 
the opposite party hade an eternal farewell to their country. 
The last resolution published by the emperor, in February, 
1625, was as follows; "His imperial Majesty reserves to 
himself, to his heirs and successors, the complete control of 
religion," according to the principle of "cujus regio, ejus re- 
Hgio," perfectly independent of the pope, in right of his 
political, not of his ecclesiastical supremacy. The Estates were 
for ever prohibited the discussion of religious matters under 
pain of a fine of one million florins on the whole assembly, 
and a court of correction, empowered to confiscate the estates 
of all political offenders, was established at Vienna, The 
numbers of the nobility were by these means considerably re- 
duced, and their confiscated property served to reward the few 
proselytes of the crown* In Austria, as in Bohemia, the 
numerous independent nobility possessed of petty estates was 
replaced by a small number of favourites and upstarts, some 
of whom introduced new and foreign races into the country, 
and on whom large tracts of land were bestowed. The people 
were for ever deprived of their only organ, the Estates, on 
which they had reposed implicit confidence, by the flight and 
defection of the nobility ; they were, notwithstanding, at that 
time far from being the blind, dull mass they afterwards 
became, and amongst their ranks there were many men de- 
void neither of spirit nor intelligence. 

Upper Austria had been consigned by Ferdinand to Max- 
imilian of Bavaria by way of indemnification for the expenses 
of the war. The Count von Herherstorf, a man of an> austere 
and cruel disposition, possessed of great personal courage, the 
Htadt bolder appointed by Bavaria over Linz, gave his soldiera 
licence to plunder, vex, and murder the heretical peasantry. 


The whole country being Lutheran, the re-establishment of 
Catholicism was necessarily gradual. The magistracy, cor- 
porative privileges, the use of hospitals, the right of guardian- 
ship, were one by one withdrawn from the Lutherans ; their 
children were torn from them and educated in the Catholic 
faith, their wills were declared invalid, etc. In 1624, all 
Lutherans, who still publicly professed their faith, were com- 
pelled to emigrate ; in 1625, the external ceremonies of the 
Catholic Church, the fasts, the accompaniment of processions 
with banners, etc., were strictly enforced, and the Easter of 
1626 was fixed as the term for the entire suppression of heresy 
throughout the country. 

This decree was a signal for a last and desperate struggle. 
The people resolved to shed the last drop of their blood for 
the gospel rather than pollute themselves by participating in 
the devilish idolatry of their tyrannical master. The pea- 
santry of the mere of Frankenburg first revolted, and ex- 
pelled the priests engaged in purifying the church at Zwies- 
palten, by fumigation, from the smell of heresy. Herberstorf 
was, however, at hand, and, ordering seventeen of the pea- 
sants to be seized, had them hanged as ornaments on the 
tower and beneath the eaves of the sacred edifice. This 
sacrilegious deed caused a general insurrection. Herberstorf 
was defeated at Peurbach, where he lost twelve hundred of 
his men, and was forced to seek shelter within the walls of 
Linz. Stephen Fadinger, a wealthy peasant, formerly a hat- 
maker, was placed at the head of the insurgents, who divided 
themselves into regiments, some of which wore a black uni- 
form in sign of sorrow for their country, fixed upon certain 
places of meeting, and maintained the most perfect order, 
without having a single member of the ancient Estates either 
at their head or among their ranks. A collision took place at 
Hausruckviertel between the scattered soldiery and the pea- 
santry, which terminated in a general assassination of the 

The Estates wer e Sfly convoked for the purpose of medi- 
ating between tbejjijHh and "his trusty peasantry," to 
whose complainta^^^M to turn a " lenient ear," whilst 
he made fresh m 1 *^^^^ ons, the presence of his troops 

being at that til \er pp^' \e empire. The 

peasants, meant in *£, and seized 



three vessels bearing Bavarian troops up the Danube to t! 
relief of Linz. No quarter was given. Fadinger 3 on his part, 
took advantage of the truce to gather in the harvest and to 
provide for the future want a of his followers. The alternative 
offered by him to the emperor was, "liberty of conscience or 
renunciation of allegiance to the house of Habsburg.** 

The attempt to compel Linz, Enns, and Freistadt to capi- 
tulate by famine failing, Fadinger formally besieged them in 
the summer of 1626, when he was killed by a cannon-ball 
whilst reconnoitring the fortifications of Linz. The attacks 
of the enraged peasantry proved futile. Wiellinger, their new 
leader, was unpossessed of the talent of his gifted predecessor. 

Another body of insurgents under Wolf Warm had, moan* 
while, gained possession of Freistadt, and Enns had been re- 
lieved by a troop of imperialists under Colonel Lcebel, whose 
soldiery set the villages in flames and butchered their inha- 
bitants, Wiellinger;, instead of opposing them with his for- 
midable numbers, foolishly marched the main body of his 
forces upon Linz, where he met with insurmountable diffi- 
culties and a determined resistance. His attempts to take tfo 
place by storm were signally defeated. A thousand of tin 
peasants were killed and numbers wounded. A night- attack 
by water also failed, and a ship, crowded with peasants, was 
blown into the air. Fresh regiments of imperialists and Ba- 
varians, meanwhile, poured into the country, Loebel was sup- 
ported by the Colonels von Auersperg, Freuner, and Schaff- 
tertberg. Premier took Freistadt by a coup de main and 
defeated a body of peasantry at Kerschbaum. Wiellinger, 
compelled to raise the siege of Linz, during which he had lost 
all his ammunition and his array had been reduced to two 
thousand men, when too late, attacked Loebel, and a dreadful 
battle took place at Neuhofen> where one thousand of the pea- 
sants fell and Wiellinger was severely wounded* He was re- 
placed by a fresh leader, *■ the Student," whose real name w; 
never known, although he was the greatest character that ap 
peared in this tragedy. The peasants, inspired by hi no witf 
fresh courage, undauntedly opposed the troops now pourinj 
upon them from every quarter, Adolf, duke of Holstein, tto 
emperor's ally, was surprised by the Student during the night 
near Wesenufer ; a thousand of his men were slain, and he 
was constrained to flee in his shirt to Bavaria* Gem 






Lindlo, who was sent by Maximilian to avenge this disgrace, 
fell into an ambuscade laid by the Student in the great Pram 
forest. Lindlo contrived to escape, but almost the whole of 
his officers and three thousand of his men were cut to pieces. 
Another body of peasantry defeated Loebel on the Welser- 
heath. Preuner was, however, victorious in the Muhlviertel 
and at Lambach. The Student divided his men into three 
bodies and took up a strong position at Weibern, Eferding, 
and Gmunden, at which latter place rocks and stones were 
rolled upon HerberstorTs troops, which were put to flight, 
leaving one thousand five hundred men on the field. 

The celebrated general, Henry Godfrey von Pappenheim, 
whose fame as a distinguished commander of the League was 
only second to that of Tilly, was now despatched into the 
mountains at the head of fresh troops against the invincible 
Student, whom he attacked in his second position at Eferding, 
and at length, after a hard and dubious contest, in which two 
thousand of the peasantry were slain, defeated. He then 
marched upon Gmunden, whence he succeeded in dislodging 
the enemy, who instantly took up a strong position in a wood. 
The whole of the imperial forces stood here opposed to the 
little body of peasantry, and in such close vicinity that the 
psalms sung by them and a sermon delivered by the Student, 
in which he exhorted them to be of good courage, were 
plainly'heard by the foe. The charge made by the peasantry 
upon the flank of the imperialists was at first successful, the 
whole of the right wing taking to flight and being pursued as 
far as the streets of Gmunden, notwithstanding which, after a 
murderous battle of four hours, Pappenheim kept the field 
and four thousand peasants were slain. This defeat was fol- 
lowed by the battles of Vcecklabruck and Wolfsegg, in which 
several thousands of the peasantry fell, among others the un- 
known Student, whose head was presented to the general. 
An enormous mound that was raised over the fallen brave 
near Pisdorf, and which is still known as the Peasant Mound, 
is the only record that remains of those bloody times. 

The country was placed under martial law. A number of 
captive peasants were dragged to Vienna, whence they never 
returned. Many thousands had fallen. The remainder were 
converted to Ca< by the military and by the Jesuits.; 

The remains oi id Zeller were, at the emperor'* 



command, exhumed arid burnt by the hangman, Wiellinger 
and twelve of the other ringleaders were executed ; n urn herb 
of the peasants were butchered by the soldiery, and, in con- 
clusion, the emperor, unable to deny himself the pleasure, 
ordered Madlfeder, Hausleitner, and Hokm idler, the poor 
peasant commissioners, who had formerly entered into nego- 
tiation with him and the Estates and who had received a safe* 
conduct signed with his royal hand, to be seized, quartered 
alive, and their limbs exposed on gallows on the high roads 
in different parts of the country. 

The obstinacy with which the people, notwithstanding the 
success of the League and the treachery of the princes, assert- 
ed their liberty of conscience, had, by the great concourse of 
soldiery beneath their banners, enabled some of the minor 
nobility, among others, Count Mansfeld, to keep the field. 
This diminutive, sickly-looking, deformed man, possessed a 
hero's soul The Protestants flocked in such crowds beneath 
his standard, that. In the autumn of 1621, he found himself 
in Alsace at the head of twenty thousand men ; but, deserted 
by all the powerful princes, who alone possessed the means of 
supporting an army, he was compelled by necessity to main* 
tain his troops by pillage, an example that was imitated by 
all the leaders during this terrible war. In the ensuing spring, 
seconded by some of the minor princes, who had ventured to 
join him during the winter, he took the field again si Tilly. 
George Frederick, Margrave of Baden -Durlach, had taken up 
arms against the emperor on account of the protection afforded 
by him to his cousin William of Baden-Baden, whom he 
sought, under pretext of the illegitimacy of his birth, to de- 
prive of his inheritance. Christian of Brunswick, the youngest 
brother of Frederick Ulric of Wolfenbuttel, another of his 
allies, was an adventurer, who, having become enamoured of 
Elisabeth, ex-queen of Bohemia, wore her glove in his hat, 
and fought for " God and his lady/' He entered West- 
phalia and plundered the wealthy churches and monasteries. 
Numbers of the towns escaped pillage on payment of ransom ; 
he lost, however, one thousand two hundred men before the 
tittle town of Geseke. — Mansfeld was also joined by John 
Ernest, Frederick and William of Saxe- Weimar, who were 
filled with indignation at the guardianship attempted to be 
imposed upon them by the treacherous elector of Saxcny. 


Their youngest brother, Bernard, served, in his eighteenth 
year, in his brother William's regiment. Magnus of Wurtem- 
berg also took up arms in Mansfeld's favour, against the 

wish of his brother, John Frederick, the reigning duke. 

Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse- Cassel, also showed great zeal 
in the cause, but was not supported by his provincial Estates, 
the prelates and the nobility, who entered into a separate ne- 
gotiation with the Spaniards, between whom and the nobility 
a treaty was concluded at Bingen, [a. d. 1621,] in the name 
of the Landgrave, who angrily protested against it. He was 
unable, owing to the defection of the Estates, to bring a suf- 
ficient number of troops into the field. 

The ex-king of Bohemia ventured in person into the camp 
of Mansfeld, who, united with the Margrave of Baden, de- 
feated Tilly, who was murdering and burning in the Pfalz, 
near Wisloch or Mingelsheim ; but the Margrave, separating 
from him, was attacked at Wimpfen by Tilly, who, mean- 
while, had been joined by Cordova, and was completely routed. 
His flight was covered by four hundred of the citizens of 
Pforzheim, under their burgomaster, Deimling, who were cut 
down to a man. Magnus of Wurtemberg fell, covered with 
glory. Bernard of Weimar greatly distinguished himself in 
this action. Mansfeld had, in the mean time, taken prisoner 
Louis, Landgrave of Darmstadt, who had refused him a free 
passage across his territory. Christian of Brunswick, when 
attempting to join Mansfeld, was surprised and defeated at 
Hoechst on the Maine, where a terrible slaughter took place, 
Christian having rendered himself peculiarly obnoxious to the 
Catholics. Mansfeld's operations were rendered less effective 
by the unexpected desertion of the ex-king of Bohemia, who, 
at the instigation of Saxony, implored the emperor's pardon 
and dismissed his troops. Mansfeld, without money or credit, 
had now but one alternative, and threw himself, with Chris- 
tian, into Champagne, for the purpose of inspiring Louis 
XIII., who had begun to persecute the Huguenots, with 
alarm, and of providing himself with the means of subsistence, 
and marched thence into the Netherlands with the intention 
of attacking Spinola, who had forced the Dutch to retreat 
upon the Rhine, taken Juliers, and was besieging Bergen-op- 
Zoom. Although pursued by Cordova, they fought their 
way in the Ardennes through the insurgent peasantry, gained 



& brilliant victory over the united forces of Cordova and 
Spinola at Fleurus, and raised the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom. 
Frederick of Weimar, who had ventured to join the evan- 
gelical fugitives, fell in this battle, and Christian was severely 
wounded. The winter was passed in East Friesland, where 
the maintenance of the troops fell heavily on the unremu- 
nerated peasantry, Mansfeld visited London? where he was 
received with great acclamations, in the hope of gaining as* 
sistauce from England. He was wrecked during his return, 
and saved by the fidelity of his friends and attendants, sixty- 
six in number, who ceded to him the only chance of escape, 
a frail boat, which bore him safely to land, whilst they calmly 
resigned themselves to a watery grave. 

Mansf eld's retreat left the Upper Rhine a prey to TiIl} J s 
vengeance. Heidelberg was stormed by his savage soldiery, 
by whom the wretched inhabitants were treated with horrid 
cruelty. The valuable library was sent by Maximilian, whose 
possession of Upper Austria began to excite the displeasure 
of Ferdinand, to the pope, Gregory XV., as a means of re- 
taining that pontiffs favour. The precious ancient German 
manuscripts, contained in this library, readied Rome in 
safety, and were thus saved from sharing the destruction that, 
during later wars, awaited the castle of Heidelberg, where 
they had been kept, which fell a prey to the flames. They 
were sent back to Heidelberg in 18 J 5, Mannheim was taken 
by storm and burnt to the ground* Frankenthal capitulated. 
The inhabitants of Germersheim, although the troops of the 
Pfalz had evacuated the place, were butchered by the impe- 
rialists. Catholicism was re- imposed upon the whole of the 
Pfalz. Nor did the opposite side of the Rhine escape. 
Strassburg mainly owed the preservation of her liberty of 
conscience to the strength of her walls, but the greater part 
of the inhabitants of Hagenau and Colmar (Protestants) were 
compelled to emigrate. 

Ferdinand* with the view of realizing the projects, the exe- 
cution of which he had commenced by force, by means of ne< 
gotiation, and the promulgation of new Jaws, convoked tin 
electoral princes [a. D. 1623] to Rati s bo n* This was in 
longer a diet, but an aristocratic assembly, whence the other 
Estates of the empire were, during this reign of terror, arbi- 
trarily excluded by the emperor, who hoped to succeed in " 


schemes by the sole aid of the princes. His first object was 
the conclusion of a treaty with Bavaria, whom he hoped to 
supersede as the head of the Catholic party, and on whom, 
being compelled to reward him for his services, he bestowed 
the Upper Pfalz in fee and the electoral dignity, but, jealous 
of his power and influence, retained Rhenish Pfalz under pre- 
text of the offence a grant of that country would give to 
Frederick's father-in-law, the English monarch. In order to 
attach the minor princes to his person and by their means to 
create a counterpoise to Bavaria, he bestowed at this diet the 
title of prince on the Counts von Hohenzollern and great 
privileges on the Counts von Fiirstenberg. Rhenish PfaLs 
merely lost the wealthy monastery of Lorsch, which was 
ceded to Mayence. Maximilian, forced to content himself 
with the Upper Pfalz, of which he took possession to the 
great dissatisfaction of the inhabitants, immediately abolished 
the ancient constitution and banished all the Protestant in- 
habitants. Thus ended the first act in the thirty years' 
tragedy, the Calvinistic and Hussite movement in Upper 
Germany, which the Lutherans in Lower Germany, instead 
of favouring, had aided the Catholics to oppose. 

Peace was, nevertheless, still out of the question. All the 
bulwarks of the Reformation in the South had been destroyed. 
The North, that fondly deemed herself secure, was next to be 
attacked. The cruel fanaticism of the emperor and the 
perfidy of Saxony had weakened every guarantee. The 
dread of the general and forcible suppression of Protestantism 
throughout Germany, and shame for their inaction, induced 
the circle of Lower Saxony to take up arms and to seek aid 
from their Protestant brethren in England, Denmark, and 
Sweden. Richelieu was at this time at the head of affairs in 
France, and, although as a cardinal a zealous upholder of 
Catholicism, he was not blind to the opportunity offered, by 
supporting the German Protestants against the emperor, for t 
weakening the power of that potentate, partitioning Germany, 
and extending the French territory towards the Rhine. The 
German Lutherans, insnared by his intrigues, blinded by 
fear, and driven to this false step by the despotism and per- 
fidy of the emperor, little foresaw the immeasurable misfor- 
tune foreign interference was to bring upon their country. 
Bellin, the French plenipotentiary, at first wished to place the 



warlike Swedish monarch, Gnstavus Adolphus, at the bead 
of the German Protestants, entered into alliance with Eng* 
land, and gained over the elector of Brandenburg, who pro- 
mised his sister, Catherine, to the Russian cmr, in order to 
keep a check upon Poland, at that period at war with Sweden ; 
bnt these intrigues were frustrated by Christian IV., king of 
Denmark, who anticipated the Swedes by taking up arms 
and placing himself at the head of the movement* Gustavus, 
at that time engaged with Poland, was unable to interfere. 
The Russian match was broken off, [a. d. 1625,] and the 
luckless hride was given in marriage to the aged 1'ethlem 

CCVI. Waltenstein. — The Danish campaign. 

War with Denmark no sooner threatened* than Ferdinand, 
to the great discontent of Bavaria, raised an army, independent 
of the League, by the assistance of a Bohemian nobleman, 
Albert von Wallenstein (properly, Waldstein). This noble- 
man belonged to a Protestant family, and had been bred in 
that faith. He had acquired but a scanty supply of learning 
at the university of Goldberg in Silesia, which he quitted 
enter as a page the Catholic court of Eurgau. Whilst he: 
he fell, when asleep, out of one of the high castle windows 
without receiving any injury. He afterwards studied the dark 
sciences, more especially astrology, in Italy, and read his fu 
ture destiny, of which he had had a secret presentiment froi 
his early childhood, in the stars. He commenced his a 
in the emperor's service, hy opposing the Turks in Hungary, 
where he narrowly escaped death from swallowing a lovi 
pi it inn administered to him by Wiezkowa, an aged hut ex 
tremely wealthy widow, whom he had married, and with 
whose money he raised a regiment of curassiers for the em- 
peror. His popularity was so great in Bohemia, that tin 
Bohemians, on the breaking out of the disturbances in Pragn 
appointed him their general* He, nevertheless, remained 
attached to the imperial service and greatly distinguishe< 
himself in the field against Mansfeld and Bethlen Gal 
By a second and equally rich marriage with the Count* 
Harrach and hy the favour of the emperor, who bestowed ir L 
him Friedland and the dignity of count of the empire, bi 



chiefly by the purchase of numberless estates, which, on 
account of the numerous confiscations and emigrations, were 
sold in Bohemia at merely a nominal price, and by the adul- 
teration of coin,* Wallenstein became possessed of such 
enormous wealth, as to be, next to the emperor, the richest 
proprietor in the empire. The emperor requesting him to 
raise a body of ten thousand men, he levied forty thousand, 
an army of that magnitude being solely able to provide itself 
in every quarter with subsistence, and was, in return, created 
duke of Friedland and generalissimo of the imperial forces. 
A few months sufficed for the levy of the troops, his fame 
and the principles on which he acted attracting crowds be- 
neath his standard. Every religion, but no priest, was toler- 
ated within his camp ; the strictest discipline was enforced 
and the greatest licence permitted ; merit met with a princely 
reward; the commonest soldier, who distinguished himself, 
was promoted to the highest posts ; and around the person of 
the commander was spread the charm of mystery ; he was 
reported to be in league with the powers of darkness, to be 
invulnerable, and to have enchained victory to his banner. 
Fortune was his deity and the motto of his troops.. In his 
person he was tall and thin ; his countenance was sallow and 
lowering ; his eyes were small and piercing, his forehead was 
high and commanding, his hair short and bristling. He was 
surrounded with mystery and silence. J 

Tilly, jealous of Wallenstein's fame, hastened to anticipate 
that leader in the reduction of the circle of Lower Saxony. 
The Danish monarch, who held Schleswig and Holstein by 
right of inheritance, and Ditmarsch by that of conquest, whilst 
his son, Frederick, governed the bishoprics of Bremen and 
Verden, attempted to encroach still further on the German 

* He purchased property to the amount of 7,290,000 florins, a fifth ox 
its real value, and the coin with which he paid for it was, moreover, so 
bad, that the emperor was compelled to secure him against enforced 
restitution by an express privilege. 

t Two portraits of this singular man are to be seen at Dux near Toep- 
litz, one of the country residences of the present counts of Waldstein. 
One represents him as a fair youth, whose smooth and open brow is still 
unsullied by crime ; the other bears the dark and sinister aspect of a 
man whose hands have been imbrued in blood, whose seared conscience 
hesitates at no means, however base, cruel, or unholy, for the attainment 
of his purpose. Translator. 



empire and long carried on a contest with Lubeck and Ham- 
burg. During peace time, in 1619, he seized the free town 
of Stade, under the pretext, customary in those times, of pro- 
tecting the aristocratic council against the rebellious citizens. 
He also built Gluckstadt, and levied high customs on the citi- 
zens of Hamburg. The avarice and servility of the princes 
of Wolfenbuttel and Luneburg-Zelle had also at that period 
rendered them contemptible and deprived them of much of 
their former power and influence. Christian the Wild, of 
Brunswick, was appointed generalissimo of the circle of Lower 
Saxony, but was no sooner opposed by Tilly than his brother, 
George Frederick Ulric of Wolfenbuttel, and the Danish king, 
withdrew their troops and dissolved the confederacy. Chris- 
tian, nevertheless, still kept the field with those of his allies 
who remained faithful to him, among others, William and 
Bernard of Weimar, and a bloody engagement took place at 
Stadtloo, in which Tilly was victorious and William of Wei- 
mar was wounded and taken prisoner. He returned to East 
Friesland to Mansfeld. The noble Danish body-guard, that 
had been sent to Wolfenbuttel, was attacked and driven across 
the frontier by the enraged German peasantry, and the Hanse 
towns, flattered by the emperor and embittered against Den- 
mark by the erection of Stade and Gluckstadt, were almost 
the first to* recall their troops and to desist from opposition, 
whilst George of Luneburg, attracted by the report of the 
great arrondissements projected by the emperor, preferred 
gain to loss and formally seceded. 

The Danish monarch now found himself totally unprotected, 
and, in order to guard his German acquisitions in case Bruns- 
wick followed the example of the Hansa and embraced the 
imperial party, set himself up as a liberator of Germany, in 
which he was countenanced and upheld by England, Holland, 
and Richelieu, the omnipotent minister of France. He, never- 
theless, greatly undervalued the simultaneous revolt of the 
Upper Austrians, to whom he impolitically offered no assist- 
ance. The German princes remained tranquil and left the 
Dane unaided. The Hessian peasantry rose in Tilly's rear, 
and those of Brunswick, enraged at the cowardly desertion of 
the cause of religion by the princes and the nobility, killed 
numbers of his soldiery in the Sollinger forest, captured the 
garrisons of Dassel and Bodenwerder, seized a large convoj 


near Eimbeck, destroyed the castles of all the fugitive nobility, 
and hunted George's consort, the daughter of the treacherous 
Louis of Darmstadt, from one place of refuge to another. The 
citizens of Hanover, where the magistrate was about to capi- 
tulate to Tilly, also flew to arms and appointed John Ernest 
of Weimar commandant of their city, a. d. 1625. 

Tilly, at first worsted at Niemburg by the Danish general, 
Obentraut, who fell shortly afterwards at Seelze, spread the 
terror of his name throughout Hesse, Brunswick, and the rest 
of the Lutheran provinces. The Spaniards in the Nether- 
lands, encouraged by this example, again resorted to their an- 
cient practices, and, during the winter of 1626, Henry, Count 
von Berg, made an inroad, still unforgotten by the Dutch, into 
the Velau, where he burnt down the villages, butchered all 
the men, and left the women and children naked and houseless, 
exposed to the inclemency of the season. 

In the ensuing year, the approach of "Wallenstein caused 
Tilly, anxious to bind the laurels of victory around his own 
brow, to bring the Danish campaign to a hasty close, and, 
taking advantage of the state of inactivity to which the Danish 
monarch was reduced by a fall from horseback, seized Hameln 
and Minden, where the powder magazine blew up during the 
attack and destroyed the whole garrison, consisting of twc 
thousand five hundred men, A. D. 1627. Havelberg, Gottin- 
gen, and Hanover next fell into his hands, and a pitched bat- 
tle was fought on the Barenberg near Lutter, which termin- 
ated in the rout of the whole of the Danish forces and the 
surrender of Holstein. 

Mansfeld and John Ernest of Weimar, too weak, notwith- 
standing the reinforcements sent to their aid by England and 
Holland, to take the field against Wallenstein, who, at the 
head of a wild and undisciplined army of sixty thousand men, 
was advancing upon Lower Germany, attempted to draw him 
through Silesia into Hungary and to carry the war into the 
hereditary provinces of the emperor, but were overtaken and 
defeated on the bridge of Dessau. Mansfeld, nevertheless 
escaped into Silesia, where his popularity was so great, that 
in the course of a few weeks he found himself once more at 
the head of an army consisting of twenty thousand evangeli- 
cal volunteers, four thousand Mecklenburgers, and three thou- 
sand Scots and Danes. Wallenstein pursued him, and the 

z 2 



contending armies lay for some time in sight of each other on 
the Waag, without venturing an engagement Wallenstein, 
meanwhile, gained over the Hungarian king, and Mausfeld^ 
once more abandoned, attempted to escape to Venice, but, 
worn out by chagrin and fatigue, expired, standing upright in 
his armour, at Draco wicz, in Bosnia, He was buried at Spa- 
latro. His ally, John Ernest of Weimar, died in Hungary. 
A body of his troops under Colonel Baudis fought their way, 
although opposed even by Brandenburg, to Denmark. Beth- 
ien Gabor expired, a. D. 1629, leaving no issue. 

The triumph of the Catholics was complete. As early i 
1625, a jubilee had been solemnized and public prayers for 
the extirpation of the heretics had been ordained throughout 
the whole of the Catholic world by the pope, Urban VIIL, 
who also founded the celebrated Propaganda, congrngatio de 
propaganda fide^ whose members were instructed in the task, 
whenever violence failed, of alluring apostates, more especially 
the princes, back to the bosom of the one true church. 

The Protestant cause was lost. The more powerful and in* 
fluential among the princes of the Lutheran Union had turned 
traitors ; the lesser potentates bad, after a futile contest, been 
compelled to yield. Christian of Brunswick expired at Wolf* 
enbiitteh The Margrave of Baden had fled into Denmark* 
Maurice of Hesse was finally reduced to submission by Tilly, 
and died, [a, d. 1632,] after abdicating in favour of his son, 
William, who, not bound, like his father, by an oath to main- 
tain tranquillity, was free to seize any opportunity that offered 
during the war for his restoration to power. The Hessian no- 
bility, supported by Tilly, had acquired great privileges by 
the stipulations of the peace concluded between that general 
and Maurice, of which they made use to Taise a tumult against 
their sturdy opponent, Wolfgang G-unther, the Landgrave's 
privy-counsellor, whom they sentenced to execution. 

The opposition offered by the people had also been stifled in 
blood. The peasants in Upper Austria and Brunswick had 
bUen a prey to the soldiery, and an insurrection of the Bohe 
mi an peasantry, under Christopher von Eedern, who had 
taken Kcenigpgrcetz by storm and laid waste the property i 
Wall en stein's brother^n-Iaw, Terzki, was speedily quelled | 
Ave hundred were slain, tfae rest branded and deprived of their 


Wallenstein became the soul of the intrigues carried on in 
the camps and in the little courts of Northern Germany, and 
had not the Catholics, like the Protestants at an earlier period, 
been blinded by petty jealousies, Europe would have been 
moulded by his quick and comprehensive genius into another 
form. He demanded a thorough reaction, an unconditional 
restoration of the ancient imperial power, a monarchy abso- 
lute as that of France and Spain. In order to carry out his 
project for securing the submission of the southern provinces 
of Germany to the imperial rule by the firm and peaceable 
possession of those in the north, the seat of opposition, he in- 
vaded Holstein, defeated the Margrave of Baden near Aal- 
borg, and made Christian IV. tremble in Copenhagen. Tilly, 
meanwhile, garrisoned the coasts of the Baltic and seized 
Stade, whilst Arnheim, with the Saxon troops sent by the 
elector to Wallenstein's aid, held the island of Riigen. Ros- 
tock fell into the hands of Wallenstein, John Albert . and 
Adolf Frederick of Mecklenburg were driven out of the 
country, Stralsund was besieged, and the people were laid 
under heavy contributions. Wallenstein had already come to 
an understanding with Poland, and the Hanse towns were 
drawn into his interests by a promise of the annihilation of 
the Dutch, of the traffic of the whole world being diverted 
from Amsterdam to Hamburg,* and of the monopoly of the 
whole of the commerce of Spain. The emperor, in order to 
counterpoise the power of the ancient princely families which 
threatened to contravene the schemes laid for his aggrandize- 
ment by his favourite, bestowed upon him the principality of 
Sagan, in Silesia, and the whole of Mecklenburg, whilst he in 
his turn proposed to gain the crown of Denmark for his 
master, to create Tilly duke of Brunswick-Calenberg and 
Pappenheim duke of Wolfenbuttel, and, in order to evade 
George's pretensions, that prince was sent to Italy under pre- 
tence of securing the succession of the petty duchy of Mantua 
for the emperor. 

Wallenstein's projects were, nevertheless, frustrated by his 
own party. The emperor objected to the Danish crown as 
too precarious a possession, whilst Tilly, a zealous Catholic 
and Jesuit, the slave of his order, by which the schemes of the 

* These promises were indeed vain ; the last Hanseatic diet was held, 
A. D. 1630. The Hansa had fallen never again to riw. 


duke of Friedland were viewed with suspicion, and which 
solely aimed at the suppression of the Reformation, not that of 
the princely aristocracy, which it hoped to restore to the 
Catholic Church, gave him but lukewarm aid, and his attempts 
upon Stralsund were, consequently, unsuccessful, and, after 
losing twelve thousand men, he was compelled to raise the 

The Danes were, meanwhile, forced by the treaty of 
Liibeck [a. d. 1629] to abandon the Protestant cause. Den- 
mark, actuated by jealousy of Sweden, consented to all the 
terms proposed, and a marriage between Ulric, the crown 
prince of Denmark, and Wallenstein's only daughter, was even 
agitated. Arnheim was sent to aid Poland against Sweden, 
England, whose king, James L, had been won over by 
the Jesuits, also abandoned the Protestant cause. 

The heroic defence of Stralsund decided the fate of Eu- 
rope. Wallenstein's pride received a deep blow. The emr 
peror, already doubtful of his fidelity, now lost his belief in 
his unvarying good fortune and threw himself into the arms 
of the Jesuits, who chiefly dreaded a schism among the 
Catholics. Maximilian of Bavaria, jealous of the supremacy 
of Austria, had already entered into negotiation with Riche- 
lieu and even with the Lutheran princes, and threatened to 
take the field against the emperor, were Wallenstein further 
permitted to exercise arbitrary rule throughout the empire 
and to treat the dignities and privileges of the princes with 
contempt. Richelieu also dreaded the unity of Germany, and 
offered to invade the empire in order to curb Wallenstein, 
whose genius he dreaded, by force. 

The emperor, undeterred by repeated warnings, abandoned 
his great general, and published, [a. d. 1629,] in the spirit of 
the League, the infamous edict, enforcing the restitution of all 
ecclesiastical property confiscated since the treaty of Passau. 
By this edict the Protestant archbishoprics of Magdeburg and 
Bremen, the bishoprics of Halberstadt, Minden, Liibeck, 
Ratzeburg, Merseburg, Misnia, Naumburg, Brandenburg, 
Havelberg, Lebus, Cammin, and numberless monastic lands, 
were restored to the Catholics. The imperial commissioners 
intrusted with the execution of the edict, protected by the 
Friedlanders and Leaguers, exercised the greatest tyranny, 
enforcing the restoration of lands confiscated prior to the term 


fixed and the recantation of their proprietors. The Catholic 
ritual was re-established in all the free imperial cities, even 
in those where, as for instance in Augsburg, it had been 
abolished and replaced by that of Luther long before the 
treaty of Passau. The emperor appropriated the greater part 
of the booty to his own family, and encouraged plurality by 
appointing his son, Leopold, archbishop, and bishop of Bre- 
men, Magdeburg, Halberstadt, Passau, Strasburg, and abbot 
of Hersfeld, which placed all those rich ecclesiastical demesnes 
in his hands, and thus, whilst seemingly defending religion 
against the political egotism of the Protestant princes, emulated 
them in stripping the church. The whole of the confiscated 
monastic property, without distinction, fell to the Jesuits. 

Lay property snared a similar fate. Every nobleman who 
had served under Frederick of Bohemia, Mansfeld, or Bruns- 
wick, was deprived of his estates, and the emperor's and the 
Leaguers' troops, under pretext of protecting the commissioners 
in the performance of their duty, were stationed in and 
allowed to pillage the Protestant provinces. The Catholics, 
nevertheless, generally viewed their success with distrust, and 
it was remarked that, in Wurtemberg, the monasteries, instead 
of being taken into possession, were merely plundered, that the 
booty was carried into Bavaria and Austria, that even the 
forests were cleared and the timber sold. John Frederick, 
duke of Wurtemberg, had expired, A. D. 1628, leaving his 
infant son, Eberhard III., under the guardianship of his uncle, 
Louis Frederick, who died shortly afterwards of chagrin at 
the devastation of his territories. 

The cruelty and tyranny practised by the emperor remained 
wholly unopposed by the Protestant princes. The city of 
Magdeburg alone maintained her ancient fame by defending 
her walls against the whole of the imperial forces. The free 
imperial cities had been delivered up to the emperor and were 
purposely unrepresented in the council of princes, which 
usurped the prerogatives of a diet of the empire, held at Ratis- 
bon, A. d. 1630. The restoration of the ecclesiastical property 
sorely displeased the Lutheran princes. Saxony and Branden- 
burg beheld with pain the archbishoprics and bishoprics in 
the north torn from their families and bestowed upon the Arch- 
duke Leopold, Hildesheim on Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria, 
elector of Cologne, Minden and Verden on Francis William, 



Count von Wurtenberg, (a side-branch of the Bavarian dj* 

nasty,) who, as commissioner for the whole of Northern Ger- 
many, superintended the execution of the edict. But their 
dread of Wallenstein smoothed every difficulty. The elector 
of Saxony and all the Lutheran princes, bribed with Wallen- 
stein'a dismissal^ gave their consent to the edict and tolerated 
its transgression in the free imperial cities* The complaints 
against his administration were studiously brought forward, 
as if to veil the robberies committed under the edict. The 
duke of Friedland was made the scapegoat for the crimes of 
others. The man, to whom the emperor owed all he possessed, 
was dismissed, a, d. 1630. Nor was this the least important 
triumph of the princely aristocracy over all the contending 
parties in Germany in the course of this century, The hope 
of restoring the unity of the empire was once more frustrated 
and the ancient polyarchy saved, 

Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, landed at this con- 
juncture on the coast of Pomerania. His arrival was viewed 
with pleasure by the cabinet of Vienna, as a means of hum- 
bling Bavaria and the League, and, in case of necessity, Wal- 
lenstein would still be able to raise the Austrian standard when 
Bavaria and Sweden should have mutually weakened one on- 
other, Wallen stein's offer to defend the coasts in his right 
as Prince of Mecklenburg was rejected, and he withdrew, 
with the wealth he had amassed, to Prague, 

A groundless fear of opposition on the part of Wallenstein 
had induced the emperor to draw oil* twenty thousand of his 
men, and to send them into Italy in order to secure to the 
imperial house the succession to the duchy of Mantua, to 
which Charles, duke of Nevers, a French prince, laid claim- 
France eagerly seized this opportunity to take a footing in 
Italy. The pope, Urban VIII., a worldly-minded, warlike, 
intriguing prince, and Venice, alarmed at the emperor's suc- 
cesses in Germany and dreading anew the supremacy of 
Austria in Italy, leagued with France and countenanced the 
invasion of Northern Germany by Sweden. The concessions 
made by the emperor to Bavaria probably arose from a dread 
of Maximilian's open accession to this dangerous confederacy, 
Ferdinand, meanwhile, enraged at the defiance of his power 
by the Italians, levied a numerous body of troops for the re- 
lief of Spinola, who with difficulty kept his ground in Upper 


Italy, and, after gallantly defending Casale, died of chagrin, 
caused by the ingratitude with which he was treated by the 
Spanish court. The imperialists were victorious, took Man* 
tua, which was strongly fortified, by storm, and committed 
the most horrid outrages in the city and its vicinity, Th* 
duchy was, nevertheless, ceded to Nevers for the purpoar of 
conciliating France and of securing the allegiance of Bavaria, 
which threatened to side with France unless Mantua waa 
sacrificed. The accession of Savoy to his party, through 
dread of the supremacy of France, little availed the emperor, 
that duke being compelled to cede to France some of the moat 
important passages into Italy, Piquerol, Riva, and Porouaa. 
In this war, six thousand Swiss fought under French colour*. 
It also appears that the Catholic generals at that period in 
Italy, Gollas, Altringer, Colalto, Egon von FUratcmWg, en- 
tered into the Jesuitical conspiracy and were ever faint* frlwul* 
to Wallenstein. George von Liineburg, who had bwro atutt 
to Italy, and had there become acquainted with the trcaohw- 
ous projects cherished by the pope and the JomiiU and tho 
chequered fate of his inheritance, repented of hi a t re anon, 
sought a pretext for his return, and fled to the Swede. 

The cowardly Lutheran princes, before the diaaolutlon of 
the council of princes at Ratisbon, deemed thcninclvcm cmlltnl 
upon to make some demonstration in favour of their oppreMtnl 

religion, and protested against the improved («rt<Korliiii 

calendar, for which they evinced far deeper horror than lor 
the edict of restitution. 

CCVIL Gustavus Adolphus. 

From Holland to the mountains of Carniola, from Prussia 
to the Bernese Alps, wherever German was spoken, had the 
tenets of Luther and Calvin spread and found a harbour in 
the hearts of the people. Bavaria and the Tyrol excepted, 
"ace throughout Germany had battled for liberty 
*~ ~ yet the whole of Germany, notwithstand- 
ation for the Reformation, had been 
^nd imperial edict seemed likely 
vileges spared by the edict of 
ne, with unflinching persever* 
aperial commands. 


Gustavus Adolphus, one of the most zealous and conscien- 
tious of the advocates of the Reformation, reigned at that 
time in Sweden. His father, Charles, a younger brother of 
King John, of the house of Wasa, had been placed on the 
throne by the Protestant Swedes instead of the actual heir, 
Sigismund, king of Poland, who had embraced Catholicism. 
The attempt made by Maurice of Hesse, in 1615, to place 
Gustavus, then a youth, at the head of the Union, had been 
frustrated by the jealousy of Denmark and the war between 
Sweden and Poland, which terminated in Sigismund's defeat 
and the annexation of Livonia to Sweden. Riga fell into the 
hands of the Swedish monarch, A. D. 1621. Elbing shared 
the same fate. Dantzig offered a successful resistance. The 
elector of Brandenburg, Poland's vassal, preserved a strict 
neutrality. Gustavus, on the defeat of Denmark, no longer 
hesitated in joining the German Protestants. His flag speedily 
waved in Stralsund. Arnheim, (Arnim,) sent by Wallenstein 
to the aid of Poland, was at first successful, but was after- 
wards defeated at Marienburg by Gustavus, whose army was 
reinforced by numbers of imperial deserters. The elector of 
Brandenburg, bribed by the cession of Marienburg and Wer- 
der, forgot his jealousy and passed from neutrality to demon- 
strations of amity. Peace was, by the intervention of France, 
finally concluded with Poland and Denmark, and Gustavus, 
urged by his sincere piety, resolved to take up arms in de- 
fence of Protestantism and to free Germany from the yoke 
imposed by the Jesuits. The love of fame and the chance of 
placing the imperial crown on his own brow were other, but 
secondary inducements. His military genius, developed in 
the war with Poland, the internal state of Germany, and the 
excellence of his well-disciplined troops, inured to hardship 
and fatigue, accustomed to victory, and filled with enthusiasm 
for their faith and for their king, vouched for his success. In 
his army were several German refugees of distinction, the 
grey-headed Count Thurn and his gallant son, who died of 
fever during this expedition, Otto Louis, Rheingrave of Salm, 
and the three brave Livonian brothers, Rosen. The cause for 
which he fought had, it is true, gained for him the hearts of 
the Protestant population throughout Germany ; his arrival 
was, nevertheless, viewed with greater dissatisfaction by the 
Protestant princes than by either of the Catholic parties. The 


League, France, Bavaria, and the pope hoped, by mean* of the 
Swede, to reduce the emperor to submission, whilst the cm 
peror and Wallenstein on their side secretly aimed at wtmkmi* 
ing the League by similar means ; both sides, consequently, 
greatly favoured Gustavus's chance of success bv their limi- 
tation in taking strong measures against him. The grratnat 
obstacles were, on the contrary, thrown in his way by the 
Protestant princes, whom he came to defend, and who refWil 
to second his efforts. The extension and confirmation of tim 
power of Sweden to the north were, in point of fact, at th« 
sole expense of Brandenburg, of the house of Guelph, and of 
that of Saxony. The jealousy with which the Gorman pritWM 
viewed the entry of a warlike and powerful neighbour on 
their territory was also natural ; their late reconciliation with 
the emperor, moreover, rendered them peculiarly dirtincliriwl 
to favour the Swedish expedition, by which tho ffamnft of war 
were again to be lighted throughout unhappy Gormuuy, wlwit 
every province, ancient Bavaria and the Tyrol ttloiiM ex- 
cepted, had been ravaged by fire, sword, and pillugu during 
the religious war. A dreadful famine, caused by the Man*- 
feld expedition, by the rapine of Wallenstein's soldiery, and by 
the pillage carried on by the Jesuits, raged in Hilesia j tht* 
citizens and peasantry died by thousands of starvation, and 
many instances occurred of parents devouring their children, 
and of brethren destroying one another for the last mouthful 
of bread. This misery, fearful as it was, was, however, a 
mere prelude to the horrors that ensued. The arrival of the 
Swedish king was but the opening of the war. 

Gustavus Adolphus cast anchor on the 24th of June, 1630, 
the anniversary of the Confession of Augsburg, near to the 
little island of Ruden, and landed, during a violent thunder- 
storm, at Usedom. His army consisted of sixteen thousand 
men, comprising forty German companies, under Colonels 
Falkenberg, Diedrich, Holl, Knipbausen, Mitchefahl. His 
first object was to take firm footing in Pomerania and Meck- 
lenburg. Bozislaw, duke of Pomerania, was, accordingly, 
compelled to join his cause, and the imperial garrisons were 
driven out of the minor towns during the winter of 1631. 
Torquato Conti, the imperial stadtholder in Pomerania, un- 
able to keep hip 1 laid the whole country waste during 
his retreat. 1 no anxiety to oppose the advance 



of the Swedes, but Pappenheim, unable to restrain his im- 
patience, attacked Charles, duke of Lauenburg, who had ven- 
tured, in the service of the Swedes, as far as Eat zebu rg, and 
carried him off prisoner. New Brandenburg, Demniin, where 
he took the duke di Savelli captive, Gartz, Wolgast, And am, 
Stargard, Colberg, fell into the hands of the Swedish king. 
Mecklenburg, and the ancient Hanse towns, Griefs wald and 
Rostock, were still maintained by the imperialists. 

The vain negotiations between Bavaria* the pope, and France 
were at length terminated by the necessity of opposing the 
Swedes, and Tilly received orders to take the field. New 
Brandenburg was speedily retaken, but the perfidy with which 
he, contrary to the terms of capitulation, butchered two 
thousand of the Swedes, was bitterly avenged on the capture 
of Frankfurt on the Oder by Gustavus, who, as a warning to 
Tilly to desist from imitating the cruel practices of the Croa- 
tians during war, put two thousand of the imperialists to the 
sword* Numbers of the fugitives were drowned in the Oder, 
the bridge giving way beneath the crowd, 

A treaty was, meanwhile^ concluded at Baerwald between 
Gustavus and the French monarch, who promised to pay him 
annually the sum of four hundred thousand dollars and to 
grant him his aid, now rendered requisite owing to the luke- 
warmness of the Lutheran princes ; and Gustavus, deeply 
disgusted at their conduct, was alone withheld from aban- 
doning his purpose, from returning to Sweden and coming to 
terms with the emperor, by the consciousness that to him 
alone did Magdeburg and the people throughout Germany 
look for succour. The electors of Brandenburg and Saxony 
brought about a council of princes at Leipzig, in which they 
sought to persuade the princes of Northern Germany, Lu- 
therans and Calvinists, who, on this occasion, offered an ex- 
ample of rare unity, to maintain a system of armed neutrality 
and to await the course of events in order to turn them to 
their own advantage. The emperor, who, meanwhile, pur- 
sued a similar policy, made every effort to gain over the 
neutral princes, more particularly Saxony, who, in return 
insolently reuewed his ancient complaints. The urgent en- 
treaties of Gustavus Adolphus for aid from Saxony before 
Magdeburg fell were equally futile ; the elector shared the 
hatred cherished by the rest of the princes against the free 


towns and gloried in their destruction. The citizens of Mag- 
deburg, meanwhile, performed prodigies of valour. Although 
twice besieged since 1629 by Altringer and by Pappenheim, 
they repulsed, unaided, every attack. As early as 1621, the 
citizens had given themselves a more liberal constitution, and 
it was not until they were threatened with destruction that an 
imperial party * created a schism among them. Falkenberg 
was sent by Gustavus to take the command of the city, which 
he entered after passing through the enemy's camp disguised 
as a skipper. The princes of Hesse and Weimar were alone 
withheld from aiding the city by their inability to cope with 
Tilly, who, at the head of an immense body of troops, closely 
blockaded the walls, and, notwithstanding the desperate de- 
fence made by the citizens, gradually took all the outworks. 
During the night of the 20th of May, 1631, whilst Falkenberg 
was engaged in the council-house opposing the imperial party 
among the citizens, who loudly insisted upon capitulating, Pap- 
penheim, unknown to Tilly, mounted an unguarded part of the 
walls, and, being speedily followed by the rest of the imperial 
troops, poured suddenly through the streets. Falkenberg in~ 
stantly rushed to their rencontre and was shot. The citizens, 
although without a leader or a plan of defence, fought from 
street to street with all the energy of despair, until over- 
whelmed by numbers. The soldiery, maddened by opposition, 
spared neither age nor sex. Some of the officers, who entreated 
Tilly to put a stop to the massacre, were told to return to him 
on the expiration of an hour. The most horrid scenes were 
meanwhile enacted. Every man in the city was killed, 
numbers of women cast themselves headlong into the Elbe 
and into the flames of the burning houses in order to escape the 
brutality of the soldiery ; fifty-three women were beheaded 
by the Croatians whilst kneeling in the church of St. Cather- 
ine. One Croat boasted of having stuck twenty babes on his 
pike. One hundred and thirty-seven houses and the fire-proof 
cathedral, in which four thousand men took refuge, were all 
that remained of the proud city. The rest of the inhabitants 
had fallen victims to the sword or to the flames. The slaughter 
continued until the 22nd, when Tilly appeared and restored 
discipline and order. The refugees in the cathedral were 
pardoned and for the first time for three days received food. 
Tilly, a tall haggard-looking man, dressed in a short slashed 


green 9atin jacket, with a long red feather in his high<rowned 
hat, with large bright eyes peering from beneath his deeply 
furrowed brow, a stiff moustache under his pointed nose, 
ghastly, hollow-cheeked, and with a seeming affectation of 
wildness in his whole appearance, sat, mounted on a bony 
charger, on the ruins of Magdeburg, proudly looking upon the 
thirty thousand bodies of the brave citizens now stiffening in 
death, which, at his command, were cast into the Elbe. The 
river was choked up by the mass near the Neustadt. 

The news of this disaster filled Gustavus with rage and 
sorrow, and, probably reckoning upon aid from the people, 
panic-struck by the destruction of Magdeburg, in case the 
princes still maintained their neutrality, he entered Prussia, 
surrounded Berlin, and, stationing himself sword in hand be- 
fore the city gates, demanded a definite declaration. The re- 
lation in which he stood with the elector, George William, was 
somewhat extraordinary. This prince had an extremely beau- 
tiful sister, named Eleonore, whose hand had, ten years before 
the present period, been demanded by Wladislaw of Poland and 
by the Swedish monarch, then the bitterest foes. The elector, 
who merely held Prussia in fee of Poland, naturally favoured 
the former suitor, but Gustavus, habitually bold and daring, 
visited Berlin, [a. d. 1620,] during the elector's absence, 
gained the princess's affection, and returned with her as his 
queen to Stockholm. The Polish king, in revenge, incited the 
fanatical Lutherans in Prussia against the elector. Jaegern- 
dorf, the heritage of Brandenburg, was, on the other hand, 
bestowed by the emperor on Lichtenstein, but the elector, in- 
stead of openly ranging himself on the side of his brother-in- 
law, allowed himself to be swayed on the one hand by his 
dread of Poland, whilst on the other he was indemnified with 
the imperial party by the intrigues of his minister, Adam von 
Schwarzenberg, a tool of the Jesuits, and by those of his 
favourite, Conrad von Burgsdorf. The female part of the 
family, encouraged by the presence of Gustavus, now opposed 
the obnoxious favourites, and the elector, to whom the Swedish 
monarch offered the alternative of his alliance or the reduction 
of Berlin to a heap of ashes, was compelled to yield. Berlin, 
Spandau, and Kiistrin were garrisoned by the Swedes. 

The cruel persecution was, meanwhile, unavailing totalis 
to repress the courage of the citizen and the peasant. Strass* 


burg followed Magdeburg's glorious example and took up 
arms in defence of the gospel. Numbers of Swabians, trem- 
blingly countenanced by the regent of Wurtemburg, Julius 
Frederick, flocked to the aid of their brethren in belief. Egon 
von Fiirstenberg was, consequently, recalled from Mantua and 
despatched by the emperor into Swabia, at the head of fifteen 
thousand men. Memmingen, Kempten, and the little Pro- 
testant settlement of Austrian refugees, Freudenstadt in the 
Black Forest, fell a prey to the licence of his soldiery. Julius 
Frederick yielded without a blow. Strassburg, nevertheless, 
proved impregnable, and Fiirstenberg hastened to join his 
forces with those of Tilly, at that time hard pushed in the 
north. The insurgent peasantry of the Harz had greatly 
harassed him on his passage through the mountains. His in- 
vasion of Hesse had been opposed by the Landgrave William. 
The important fortress of Wesel had been taken by the Dutch. 
Gustavus had also advanced to the Elbe and intrenched him- 
self near Werben, where Tilly, venturing an attack, was re- 
pulsed with considerable loss. The troops under Fiirstenberg, 
Altringer, etc., sent to his aid by the emperor, alone enabled 
him to make head against the Swede ; this aid was, however, 
coupled with the condition of the pillage of Saxony in order 
to imbitter the wavering elector, John George, against Bava- 
ria and the League, and to compel him to declare himself. 
Halle, Merseberg, Zeiz, Weissenfels, Naumburg were, accord- 
ingly, plundered, and the great plain of Leipzig was laid 
waste. John George, roused by this proceeding, obeyed the 
pressure of circumstances and fulfilled the warmest wishes 
of his Protestant subjects by entering into alliance with 
Sweden. Arnheim, who had quitted the imperial service, and 
whose diplomatic talents well suited the intriguing Saxon 
court, was placed at the head of his troops. Eighteen thou- 
sand Saxons coalesced with the Swedish army near Diiben on 
the Heath, and the confederated troops marched upon Leip- 
zig, which had just fallen into Tilly's hands. 

The Swedes and imperialists stood opposed to each other 
for the first time on the broad plains of Leipzig. The Swedes 
were distinguished by their light (chiefly blue) coats, by the 
absence of armour, their active movements, and light artillery ; 
the imperialists, by their old-fashioned close-fitting (generally 
yellow) uniforms, besides armour, such as cuirasses, thigh- 



pieces, and helmets, their want of order and discipline, thei 
slower movements, and their awkward, heavy artillery. The 
battle was commenced, contrary to the intention of Tilly, win 
awaited the arrival of the corps u rider Altringer and Fuggi 
(Furstenberg had already joined him,) by Fappenheim, wh< 
being attacked whilst reconnoitring, Tilly was compelled 
hasten to his aid, Guatavus Adolphus, dressed in a sinipli 
grey great-coat, with a green feather in his white hat* rod* 
along the Swedish ranks animating his men to the fight. Ti 
Swedes were stationed in the right wing, the Saxons in thi 
left* Tilly's army was drawn up, according to ancient cm 
torn s in one long line ; that of Guatavus was, on the contrar 
separated into small movable masses, which, marching off" to 
the right and left, charged Tilly's flank. Adolf von Holstein 
unwarily advancing, was consequently taken between two 
fires, his whole corps destroyed, and himself mortally wounded. 
The Pappenheim cuirassiers were seven times repulsed. The 
Saxons' wing was turned by Tilly, but tlte Swedes, tailing on 
his flank, captured his artillery, turned it upon him and heat 
him off the field, September 7th, 163 1, The imperialists fled 
in wild confusion to Halberstadt, where Tilly, who had been 
rescued by Rudolf, duke of Luneburg, and the Walloons, who, 
since the revolt of the Netherlands, had fought with distinc- 
tion in the Catholic cause, collected the remnant of his army. 
The Saxon peasantry, filled with confidence at Tilly's de- 
feat, rose throughout the country, killed all the fugitives from 
the imperial army, and flocked in numbers under the Swedish 
banner. The princes even regained courage, and all the mi- 
nor aristocracy came in person to offer their aid. The mi 
to Vienna lay open. The annihilation of the imperial powi 
and the ruin of the house of Habsburg appeared inevitabli 
France, and even the pope, Urban VIII., were, consequent! 
zealous in their efforts to bring about a reconciliation betwei 
Sweden and Bavaria, hut Gustavus, aware of the enthusiasm 
with which he was regarded by the whole of Protestant Ger- 
many, too noble to sacrifice the cause of religion to an 
triguing pontiff, and the German empire to French rapacity, 
acted in the spirit of a future Protestant emperor, and, insto 
of joining theGatholic and anti-imperial League, unhesitating! 
fell upon it, crushed Bavaria, intimidated France, and freed 
himself on every side before attempting to annihilate the liti 




remaining power of the Habsburg. George von Luneburg was 
sent into Brunswick to regain that province with troops that 
were still unlevied. Baudis, General Banner, and William. 
Landgrave of Hesse, were ordered to support him and to purge 
the whole of Northern Germany of the Leaguers. Gustavus 
inarched in person through Merseberg, where he cut to pieces 
two thousand of the imperialists, and Erfurt, where he was re- 
ceived with open arms, through the Thuringian forest to Bam- 
berg and Wurzburg, the latter of which he took by storm. 
The garrison and a number of monks were put to death. The 
intervention of France was a second time refused by the 
Swedish conqueror, who advanced on the Rhine with the in- 
tention of throwing himself between France and Bavaria, of 
aiding the Dutch, and of liberating the Protestants in Upper 
Germany. Hanau, Aschaffenburg, Rothenburg opened their 
gates to him. Frankfurt on the Maine was entered in triumph. 
Mayence was taken. The archbishop, Anselm Casimir, fled. 
Charles of Lorraine, who still maintained his position on the 
left bank of the Rhine, and the imperial Colonel Ossa, on the 
right, were repulsed. Spires, Landau, and numerous other 
towns opened their gates to the Swedes. The fortresses of 
Koenigstein, Mannheim, Kreuznaoh, Bacharach, and Kirchberg 
fell into their hands. The whole of the Pfalz was once more 
freed from the Spanish yoke. The garrison of Heidelberg, 
under Henry von Metternich, alone held out. The arrival of 
the Swedes was hailed with open demonstrations of delight 
along the Neckar and the Rhine. Horn, sent by Gustavus 
into Swabia, took Mannheim, Oppenheim, Heilbronn, and 
Mergentheim, and extirpated the bands of robbers, composed 
of the fugitive troops of Charles of Lorraine. The Pfalz- 
grave, Christian von Birkenfeld, raised troops for the Swedish 
army. Frederick, the ex-Pfalzgrave and ex-king of Bohemia 
returned, but was not formally reinstated by Gustavus, who 
hoped by this refusal to spur England into action. The queen 
of Sweden, Eleonore, also came to Frankfurt to share her hus- 
band's triumph.* 

" The old devil" Tilly, as Gustavus wrote to the Pfalzgrave, 
meanwhile retook the field. Rotenburg on the Tauber and 
Bamberg once more changed masters, but he was compelled 

• On meeting him, she threw her arms around him, and, holding him 
fast in her embrace, exclaimed, " Now is Gustavus the Great a prisoner ! 
VOL. II. 2 ▲ 


to raise the siege of "Wurzburg in order to cover Bavaria 
against Gustavus, whilst Pappenheim threw himself alone' 
into Northern Germany. Donauwcerth fell. The battle of 
Rain on the Lech, where Tilly and Maximilian had intrench- 
ed themselves, proved fatal to the former; a cannon-ball 
shattered his thigh, and he expired in excruciating agonies, 
a. D. 1632. His last injunction to Maximilian, at any price 
to garrison Ratisbon, the key to Bohemia, Austria, and Ba- 
varia, without delay, was instantly obeyed. Horn was already 
en route thither, but was forestalled by the Bavarian duke, 
who threw himself with his troops, disguised as Swedes, under 
cover of the night, into that city. 

Gustavus, after restoring liberty of conscience to Augsburg, 
and receiving the homage of the citizens, entered Munich, 
which surrendered at discretion, in triumph with the ex-king 
of Bohemia and Queen Eleonore, at whose side rode a monkey 
with a shaven crown, in a Capuchin's gown, and with a rosary 
in his paws. A fine of 40,000 dollars was laid upon the 
town. One hundred and forty cannons, within which 30,000 
ducats and a quantity of precious stones were concealed, and 
which had been buried for security, were betrayed into the 
hands of the conqueror. Maximilian's proposals for peace 
were scornfully rejected. 

CCVIII. Wallenstewts second command. — The battle ofLut- 
zen. — The Heilbronn confederacy. — Death of Wallenstein. 

The advance of the Swedish king, who, during his Rhen- 
ish conquests, had afforded the emperor time to create a 
most dangerous diversion, now received a check. 

In Northern Germany, the imperial garrisons of Rostock 
and Wismar had capitulated, but Gronsfeld still kept the 
field, George von Liineburg, unaided by his brother, having 
with extreme difficulty succeeded in setting an army on foot. 
William of Hesse also met with little success. The Dutch 
took Maestricht. Pappenheim appeared in the Netherlands, 
but a dispute arising between him and the Spanish leaders, he 
returned to Central Germany, where his presence was loudly 

called for. He retook Hildesheim en route. The arrival 

of the Swedes had roused the fanaticism of the Catholic popu- 
lation in the South, and a general rising, similar to that of the 


Lutheran peasantry against the Catholic soldiery in Hesse and 
the Harz, took place among the Catholic peasantry against the 
Swedes. In Bavaria, every straggler from the main body was 
murdered by the country people ; in Weissenburg, one thou- 
sand men, who capitulated, were butchered. Ossa endeavoured 
to organize a great insurrection of the peasantry in Upper 
Swabia, but was defeated at Biberach by the Swedes, in 
Bregenz, by Bernard von Weimar, and the town of Fried- 
stadt, where several Swedes had been murdered by the people, 
was burnt to the ground by General Banner, and all the in- 
habitants were put to the sword. Horn, on the other hand, 
laid siege to Constance. 

The movement to the rear of the Swedes was, nevertheless, 
of far less importance than the proceedings of France. Riche- 
lieu, after vainly urging Gustavus to spare Bavaria and to 
direct his whole force against the emperor, had thrown fresh 
troops into Lorraine and the electorate of Treves, whose 
prince, Philip Christopher, had voluntarily placed himself be- 
neath his protection, and Gustavus, who was on the point of 
conquering Bavaria and Austria, was compelled to permit the 
occupation of Coblentz, Ehrenbreitstein, and Philipsburg, by 
the French. 

Maximilian, whose correspondence with Richelieu had 
been intercepted by the imperialists and sent to Vienna, now 
saw himself constrained to cast himself unconditionally into 
the arms of the emperor. The Upper Austrian peasantry, 
attracted by the approach of the great northern magnet, once 
more dreamed of liberty, and six thousand men had already 
taken up arms in the Hausruckviertel, when the news of the 
return of the Swedes northwards once more crushed their 

The elector of Saxony had gone into Bohemia ; Arnheira 
into Silesia. The imperial forces, in this quarter numerically 
weak, fell back. Schaumburg was beaten at Stein au in 
Silesia. The retreat of the Croatians was traced by rapine 
and desolation. The elector entered Prague with a number 
of Bohemian prisoners. Wallenstein had withdrawn to 
Znaim. On the death of Tilly, the rapid advance of the 
Swedes and the threatening aspect of Hungary, where a new 
popular leader, Ragoczy, had arisen, all seemed lost. The 
intrigues of France, Bavaria, and the pope, compelled the 


emperor to seek for aid in his own resources, and, notwith- 
standing the efforts of the Jesuits and of Spain, again to have 
recourse to Wallenstein, who, the moment of danger passed, 
was once more to be thrown aside and to be sacrificed to the 
Jesuitical party. Wallenstein, fully aware of the emperor's 
design, coldly refused his aid until his demands, justified by 
" the weakness and disunion of the empire, the duplicity of 
his friends, the perfidy of the confederates, the anarchy con- 
sequent on polyarchy, the necessity of sole command, of a 
dictatorship," had been complied with. His conditions, that 
the imperial troops throughout Germany should be placed 
wholly and solely under his command ; that the emperor 
should in no wise interfere with military affairs ; that every 
conquest made by him should be entirely at his own disposal ; 
that he should be compensated by the formal grant of one of 
the hereditary provinces of Austria and of another ; that he 
should be empowered to confiscate whatever property he chose 
for the maintenance of his troops ; were conceded by the em- 
peror on the day on which his rival, Tilly, expired, April, 
1632, and, within a few months, his wonderful genius had, 
as if by magic, raised a fresh and numerous army from 
the clod. 

The Saxons were speedily driven out of Bohemia. The 
Voigtland was ravaged by Wallenstein's infamous partisan, 
Hoik, who advanced as far as Dresden and burnt the neigh- 
bouring villages as a bonfire for the elector, who was at that 
time solemnizing a festival. Wallenstein meanwhile guarded 
Bohemia. The entreaties of his ancient foe, Maximilian, for 
the liberation of Bavaria, were unheeded ; his views for the 
present turned upon Saxony, and the consequent retreat of 
the Swedes northward, instead therefore of advancing upon 
Bavaria, he forced Maximilian to join him at Eger, where he 
.publicly embraced him, and marched thence to Leipzig, which 
shortly capitulated, 

Wallenstein had now gained his purpose. Gustavus, 
through dread of the defection of the vacillating and timid 
elector, was compelled to renounce his projects against the 
South and to turn his arms against the imperial leader ; but, 
unwilling entirely to cede the South, he took up a strong position 
with sixteen thousand men near Nuremberg, where he await- 
ed the arrival of reinforcements. Wallenstein, although at thq 


head of an army of sixty thousand men, was too well acquainted 
.with the advantageous position of his antagonist to hazard an 
attack, and took up an equally impregnable position on the 
:01d Mountain close to the Swedish camp. Three months 
passed in inactivity, and a famine ere long prevailed both in 
Nuremberg and in Wallenstein's camp. The peasantry had 
fled in every direction from the pillaging troops, who destroy- 
ed whatever they were unable to carry away. The Swedes 
succeeded in seizing a large convoy of provisions intended 
for Wallenstein, and were shortly afterwards reinforced by the 
chancellor of Sweden, Oxenstierna, by Bernard von Weimar, 
and by Banner. The Swedish army now amounted to seventy 
thousand men. Nuremberg, Gustavus's firm ally, could send 
thirty thousand into the field. Wallenstein, who patiently 
awaited the destruction of the enemy by famine, kept close 
within his camp. The Swedes at length, rendered furious 
by want, attempted to take the imperial camp by storm, but 
were repulsed with dreadful loss. The Swedish general, 
Torstenson, was taken prisoner, and Banner was wounded. 
The imperial general, Fugger, was killed whilst pursuing the 
Swedes. Another fourteen days elapsed, when Gustavus, un- 
able to draw his opponent forth, was compelled, after losing 
twenty thousand men, and the city of Nuremberg ten thousand 
of her inhabitants, to quit this scene of death and famine. 
Pestilence had, however, raged with still greater fury in Wal- 
lenstein's camp, and had cut his immense army down to 
twenty-four thousand men, September, 1632. 

Gustavus, in the hope of carrying the war into Bavaria and 
into the heart of the Catholic states, marched southward* ; 
whilst Wallenstein, anxious to render Northern Germany the 
theatre of war, took a contrary direction. Leaving a hundred 
villages around Nuremberg in flames, he marched, with terror 
in his van, through the Thuringian forest to Leipzig, which, 
panic-stricken, threw wide her gates. Pappenheim joined 
him, but, unaware of the rapidity with which Gustnvu* had 
turned in pursuit, again set off for Lower Haxony, Gtistavu*, 
in the hope of bringing Wallenstein to an engagement on the 
plains of Leipzig, now rapidly advanced through the wintry 
lately pillaged by his foe, and gammoned his nny, George voti 
Liineberg, to his assistance. The confidence or that pritim In 
of the ftwede had been, however, sever*!/ shaken 



by the re-appearance of Wallenstein, and he refused to obey, 
Arnheim, who had quitted Silesia, also tarried at Dresdei 
At Erfurt, Gustavus bade adieu to his queen, EleonoTe. 

The battle of Liitzen commenced early in the morning 
the 6th of November, 1632, not far from the scene of Tilly's 
former defeat, Gustavus would have scarcely ventured, with- 
out first awaiting the arrival of reinforcements, to have attacked 
Wa Liens tein, had he not learnt the departure of Fappenheim, 
who was now hastily recalled from Halle, which he had ju 
reached* A thick fog* that lasted until eleven o'clock, hinder 
the marshalling of the troops, and gave the Fappenheimers 
time to reach the field before the conclusion of the bottle. 
Wallenstein, although suffering from a severe attack of gout, 
mounted his steed and drew up his troops. His infantry was 
drawn up in squares, flanked by cavalry and guarded in 
front by a ditch, defended by artillery. Gu stay us, wi thorn 
armour, on account of a slight wound he had received a 
Dirschau, and exclaiming, * £ At them in God's name ! Jesus 
Jesus ! Jesus 1 let us vindicate to-day the honour of thy hoi 
name!" brandished his sword over his head, and charged tl 
ditch at the head of his men. The infantry crossed and seizi 
the battery, The cavalry, opposed by Wallenstein's blae 
cuirassiers, were less successful. lL Charge those black fel- 
lows i "* shouted the king to Colonel Stalhantsch, At thai 
moment the Swedish infantry, which had already broken two 
of the enemy's squares, were charged In the flank by Wallen- 
stein's cavalry, stationed on the opposite wing, and Gustavus 
hurrying to their aid, the cavalry on the nearest wing also 
bore down upon him. The increasing density of the fog un- 
fortunately veiled the approach of the imperialists, and the 
king, falsely imagining himself followed by his cavalry, sud- 
denly found himself in the midst of the black cuirassiers. 
His horse received a shot in the head, and another broke hia 
left arm. He then asked Albert, duke of Saxon-Lauenburg, 
who was at his side, to lead him off the field, and, turning 
away, was shot in the back by an imperial officer. He fell 
from his saddle; his foot became entangled in the stirrup, and 
he was dragged along by his horse, maddened with pain. Th« 
duke fied, but Luehau, the master of the royal horse, shot the 
officer who had wounded the king, Gustavus, who still lived* 
fell into the hands of the cuirassiers* His German 




aan pagc^ 


Lubelfing, a youth of eighteen, refused to tell his master's 
rank, and was mortally wounded. The king was stripped. 
On his exclaiming, "I am the king of Sweden ! " they at- 
tempted to carry him off, but a charge of the Swedish cavalry 
compelling them to relinquish their prey, the last cuirassier, 
as he rushed past, shot him through the head.* 

The sight of the king's charger, covered with blood, wildly 
galloping along the Swedish front, confirmed the report of the 
melancholy fate of his royal master. Some of the Swedish 
generals, more especially Kniphausen, who drew off his men 
in reserve, meditated a retreat, but Duke Bernard of Wei- 
mar, spurning the idea with contempt and calling loudly for 
vengeance, placed himself at the head of a regiment, whose 
colonel, a Swede, he ran through for refusing to obey him, 
and regardless, in his enthusiasm, of a shot that carried away 
his hat, charged with such impetuosity that the ditch and the 
battery were retaken and Wallenstein's infantry and cavalry 
were completely thrown into confusion. The latter fled ; the 
gunpowder carts were blown up ; the day was gained. At that 
moment, Pappenheim's fresh troops poured into the field and 
once more turned the battle. The body of the king, defended by 
Stalhantsch, was sharply contested by Pappenheim, who fell, 
pierced with two bullets. His men fought with redoubled 
rage on the death of their commander; Wallenstein rallied 
his troops, and a desperate conflict of some hours' duration en- 
sued, in which the flower of the Swedish army fell and the 
ditch and battery were lost. Bernard was forced to retreat, 
and the battle was for the third time renewed by Kniphau- 
sen's reserved corps, which pressed across the ditch, followed 
by the rest of the weary Swedes. This last and desperate 
charge was irresistible. Wallenstein, driven from the field, 
fled across the mountains of Bohemia, and his brutal soldiery 
were scattered in every direction. Numbers were slain by 
the Protestant peasantry. Those of his officers who had first 
fled were afterwards put to death at his command. 

The bloody corpse of the king was found by the great stone, 
still known as the Swedish stone. It was laid in state before 
the whole of the Swedish army, which responded to Ber- 

* Gustavus was extremely fine and majestic in person, his eyes were 
blue and gentle in expression, his manners commanding, noble, and con* 
eiliating. His countenance was open and attractive. 


nard's enthusiastic address, with a vow to follow him wherever 
he led. This enthusiasm, however, speedily cooled. Ber- 
nard's sole command of the troops was frustrated by the jea- 
lousy of the Swedish officers. In Sweden, Gustavus had 
merely left an infant daughter, Christina. The ex-king of 
Bohemia died of horror, at Mayence, on receiving the news 
of the death of his friend and protector. His consort, Elisa^ 
beth Stuart, resided for many years afterwards at Rhenen* 
near Utrecht. The battle of Liitzen filled the imperialists, 
notwithstanding their defeat, with the greatest delight. Pub- 
lic rejoicings were held at Madrid. The emperor, Ferdinand, 
discovered no immoderate joy at his success, and even showed 
some signs of pity on seeing the blood-stained collar of his 
late foe. The pope, Urban VIII., ordered a mass to be read 
for the soul of the fallen monarch, whose power had curbed 
that of the emperor. The emperor's foes have, at every pe- 
riod, been regarded with secret good-will by the pope. 

* Elisabeth Stuart dwelt for a considerable period at Rhenen under 
the protection of the States-general, mourning for her husband, whose 
place of burial was unknown, her brother, Charles I. of England, whose 
head had rolled on the scaffold, and her unfortunate children. Her 
eldest son, Henry Frederick, was drowned [a. d. 1629] at Amsterdam. 
The second, Charles Louis, became, on the termination of the war, elec- 
tor of the Pfalz, but lived unhappily with his wife, and, taking a mistress, 
his mother refrained from returning thither. The third, Robert, after 
distinguishing himself against Cromwell and Spain, remained with his 
mother and occupied himself with the study of chemistry. The fourth, 
Maurice, disappeared after a naval engagement with the Spanish flotilla, 
and was supposed to have been lost in a storm at sea. The fifth, Ed- 
ward, dishonoured his family, that had suffered so much for the sake of 
religion, by turning Catholic, and entered the French service. The sixth, 
Philip, a brave adventurer, murdered a nobleman and fled into France. 
He was killed in the French service, during a siege. The seventh, Gus- 
tavus, died in his boyhood. The eldest daughter, Elisabeth, rejected the 
hand of Ladislaw of Poland from a religious motive, studied philosophy, 
was a friend of Descartes and of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylva- 
nia, and died Lutheran abbess of Herford. The second, Henrietta Maria, 
married Ragoczy, Prince of Transylvania, but died shortly after the wed- 
ding. The third, Louisa, had a talent for painting and remained for a 
long time with Robert in attendance on her mother, whom she suddenly 
quitted in order to take the veil. She became Catholic abbess of Man- 
buisson. The fourth, Sophia, married a poor prince, Ernest Augustus 

of Brunswick-Luneburg, the youngest of four brothers. Elisabeth and 

her son Robert, the only one of her numerous family left in her old age, 
repaired to England on the restoration of the Stuarts. She died there, 
▲. n. 1662. Robert also died in England, leaving no legitimate issue. 


Axel* Oxenstierna, Gustavus's minister, and his most faith- 
ful friend, became regent of Sweden during the minority of 
the queen, Christina, arid followed in the footsteps of his 
noble master. But he was merely a statesman, not a military 
leader ; a minister, not a king. Sweden, instead of placing a 
Protestant emperor on the throne of Germany, could hence- 
forward merely endeavour to secure liberty of conscience to 
the German Protestants. Gustavus's ambition had embraced 
the whole of Germany ; that of Oxenstierna simply extended 
to the possession of one of her provinces. Had Gustavus 
lived, Germany might have become great, united, and happy; 
France would have been confined within her limits ; Sweden 
would have become a German province; the German pro- 
vinces on the Baltic would have been incorporated with the 
empire; Livonia would have been saved, and the Russian! 
checked. Oxenstierna, by his project for the dismember- 
ment of Germany and his consequent coalition with France, 
was, instead of the friend, the most dangerous foe to the 
German cause. The coalition of the Catholics and Protest- 
ants for the expulsion of the foreigner was urgently ne- 
cessary for the salvation of the empire, but the Protestants, 
intimidated by the edict of restitution, placed no confidence in 
the promises of their Jesuitical sovereign. The confederated 
princes, bribed by French gold, promises, and grants, still 
carried on the war and remained true to Oxenstierna, who, 
notwithstanding the opposition offered by France and Saxony, 
was elected head of the confederacy in a convocation of the 
princes, held at Heilbronn. 

The Swedish troops were once more thrown into Upper 
Germany, and Bernard von Weimar set off for the Upper 
Danube in order to form a junction with Horn, in the spring 
of 1633. The Bavarian cavalry, under John von Werth, 
vainly intercepted him ; they were repulsed, and a junction 
took place with Horn at Neuburg, where the clamour raised 
by the officers for the payment of their long arrears was 
silenced by the seizure of the ecclesiastical property and its 
partition among them. Bernard received, as his share of the 
booty, the bishoprics of Wurzburg and Bamberg as a new 
Franconian duchy, whilst Horn usurped the government of 
Mergentheim. Night skirmishes conducted by the cavalry 



and light troops became from this period more frequent, an< 
pitched battles of rare occurrence, 

Wallenatem, meanwhile, remained immovable in Bohemi 
France attempted to shake his fidelity to the emperor by 
*>flf j » of the Bohemian crown* Spain, actuated bj her ancient 
distrust, sent an army under Ferio, with orders to join the 
division of WallenstehVs army under Altringer at Kempten, 
in which he succeeded, notwithstanding the advance of French 
troops into the Grisons, Horn, who had, meanwhile, hid 
siege to Constance, now rejoined Bernard, and offered the 
Spaniard battle near Tiitlingen. Feria, however, deelin 
coming to an engagement, and, after entering Alsace and re 
lieving Breisach, at that time besieged by the Rhinegrav 
von Salm, dragged the remainder of his army, which durin, 
the winter had fallen a prey to pestilence and famine, through 
Nwabia to Munich, where he expired, whilst Horn remained 
tranquilly at Balingem 

France, in the hope of confirming her possession of Lorraine, 
still kept that country garrisoned with her troops. In the 
North, George von Liineburg continued to oppose Gronsfeld ; 
'William of Hesse and his brave general, Hotzapfel, took 
Paderborn, and, uniting with George and a small Swedish 
army under Kniphausen, laid siege to Hameln, Gronsfchl 
and his Dutch allies, the Counts Me rode and Geleen, hasten- 
ing to the relief of that town, were completely routed at 
H east ach- Olden dorf. Hatneln and Osnabriick capitulated, 
Boninghausen, the imperial partisan, and Stalhantsch, the 

Swedish colonel, took up their quarters in Hesse. Wallen- 

stein's partisan, Hoik, meanwhile, kid Thuringia waste, took 
and plundered Leipzig, and burnt Altenburg, Chemnitz, and 
Zwickau to the ground. In Zwickau, a pestilence, caused by 
the famine and the heaps of putrid dead, broke out and raged 
like an avenging spirit among Hoik's troops. He sought 
Ittfety in flight, but the pestilence kept pace with his move- 
ments, strewing his path with the dying and the dead, and a 
length made him its victim at Tirschenreuth* Wrung wit" 
anguish and remorse, he sent his horsemen out in every di re c 
tion, and offered six hundred dollars to any one who would 
bring a Lutheran pastor to administer the sacrament before he 
expired ; but shortly before this he had ordered the assassin- 



ttion of every ecclesiastic in the country, and the few who 
remained having taken refuge in the forests, he died in 
agonies of despair before one could be found to perform that 

Wallenstein's officers, Blow, Goetz, and Octavio Piccolomini, 
a venal Italian mercenary, the most depraved wretch that ap- 
peared on the scene during the war, also carried fire and 
sword into Silesia and completely destroyed the city of Rei- 
chenbach. Some thousand Poles under Dohna aided to 
ravage the country. These flying corps, however, retreated 
to Bohemia on the arrival of Arnheim with his Saxons and of 
a Swedish troop under Colonel Duval. The Protestant towns, 
particularly Breslau, gave them a hearty welcome. Dohna, 
who had defended that city, narrowly escaped assassination 
by the enraged citizens. Duval, however, treated the city 
with extreme severity, plundered the Catholic churches and 
ecclesiastical property, destroyed the ancient and magnificent 
cathedral library, and converted the church of St. Bartholo- 
mew into a stable. The bishop, Charles Ferdinand, fled into 
Poland. A multitude of Silesians, who had been compelled 
to embrace Catholicism, again recanted. The whole of the 
imperial garrison in Strehlen was massacred by the Swedes, 
A. D. 1633. Wallenstein now appeared in person in Silesia, 
out-manoeuvred Arnheim, with whom he carried on a secret 
correspondence, and surprised the small body of Swedes re- 
maining at Steinau, where he captured the aged Count Thurn, 
whom he restored to liberty in order to mortify the Viennese, 
and to flatter the national feeling of the Bohemians, whose 
sovereign he might one day become. Grcedizberg, where he 
seized the treasures of Frederick, duke of Liegnitz, was taken, 
Nimptsch burnt to the ground, and the wretched inhabitants 
throughout the country were massacred and tortured, without 
regard to age or sex. Arnheim was pursued into the Lausitz. 
Goerlitz and Bautzen capitulated. Terzky took Frankfurt on 
the Oder, and Wallenstein suddenly returned to Bohemia in 
order to oppose Bernard of Weimar. 

Bernard, unopposed by John von Werth, who had merely 
beaten a few Swedish regiments under Sperreuter from their 
quarters in the vicinity of Augsburg, had marched down the 
Danube, and in November taken possession of Ratisbon. Wal- 
lenstein looked on with indifference, and when at length in* 


duced to return by the urgent entreaties of the Bavarians and 
of the Viennese court, evaded coming to an engagement and 
went back to Bohemia. John von Werth gained a slight ad- 
vantage at Straubing. 

It is a well-confirmed fact that Wallenstein carried on ne- 
gotiations with Saxony and Brandenburg, and that the latter 
hoped by his aid to restore the intermediate power so long 
desired between the emperor and Sweden. It is also indu«* 
bitable that France favoured this intrigue and assured to 
Wallenstein the possession of Bohemia. If, at the same time, 
lie secretly corresponded with Oxenstierna, it was solely fop 
the purpose of compelling the others to accede to better terms ; 
the Swede did not believe him to be in earnest. It is impos- 
sible to discover to what lengths Wallenstein intended to go. 
His first object was at all events to secure a support in case 
he should again fall a victim to the Spanish-Bavarian faction. 
At the same time, he confided the fact of his negotiations to 
the emperor, who, believing their sole object to be to sound all 
parties, authorized him to carry them on. The ambiguity 
and reserve with which he consequently acted rendered him 
an object of suspicion to all parties, and, moreover, no one 
valued his alliance unless he was backed by his army. The 
cessation of hostilities, caused by continual negotiation, was, 
meanwhile, highly distasteful to his soldiery, in whose minds 
prejudices were busily instilled by the Jesuits, who, at the 
same time, whispered to the bigoted Catholics that the duke 
of Friedland was on the point of going over to the Protestants. 
The foreign troops were easily gained ; the German soldiery 
remained firm in their allegiance to Wallenstein. Ulric, 
prince of Denmark, who had entered the camp to negotiate 
with Wallenstein, was shot, as if by accident, by one of 
General Piccolomini's body-guards. Wallenstein, either un- 
able or unwilling to come to terms with the enemy unless 
secure beforehand of the co-operation of his army, endea- 
voured to outwit the Jesuits by offering to resign his com- 
mand. The conduct of the army appeared to meet Wallen- 
stein's highest expectations. A violent commotion ensued in 
the camp at Pilsen ; the whole of the officers entreated Wal- 
lenstein not to abandon them, and, at a banquet given by his 
confidant, Field-marshal Illow, a document, by which they in 
their turn bound themselves never to desert him, was signed 


by them all. The foreign officers also added their signatures, 
but with intent to betray him. 

. The jealousy of the emperor was, meanwhile, inflamed by 
the insinuations of the Jesuits. The Spanish ambassador ex- 
claimed, " Why this delay ? a dagger or a pistol will remove 
him !" His assassination was resolved upon by the emperor, 
who, in perfect conformity with his character, wrote to him 
continually in the most gracious terms, for twenty days after 
having signed the warrant for his death. The voluptuary, 
Octavio Piccolomini, in whom Wallenstein, blinded by a su- 
perstitious belief in the conjunction of their stars, placed the 
most implicit confidence, betrayed all his projects to the em- 
peror, who committed to General Gallas the decree for the 
deposition of Wallenstein, his nomination as generalissimo in 
his stead, and a general amnesty for the officers. This secret 
order was solely confided by Gallas to the foreign officers, to 
the Piccolomini, to Isolani, Colloredo, Butler, etc. ; and the 
general amnesty was afterwards exchanged for a decree, de- 
priving all the German generals of their appointments and 
replacing them with foreigners. 

Wallenstein, suddenly abandoned by Piccolomini and the 
rest of the foreign generals, fled with the few regiments that 
still clung to him (there were traitors among them) to Eger. 
Driven by necessity, he now demanded aid from Bernard von 
Weimar, who had taken Ratisbon and was in his neighbour- 
hood. The astonishment caused by this message was ex- 
treme, and Bernard, who believed Wallenstein in league with 
the devil, exclaimed, " He who does not trust in God can 
never be trusted by man!" Wallenstein's hour was come. 
Colonel Butler, an Irish officer, named Lesley, and a Scotch- 
man, named Gordon, who were probably in league with the 
Jesuits, conspired, in the hope of being richly rewarded by 
the emperor, against the life of their great leader and common 
benefactor. The soldiers used by Butler for this purpose 
consisted of Irishmen, two Scotchmen, and an Italian. Blow, 
Terzk j. Kinsky, and Captain Neumann were murdered during 
a banquet held in the castle of Eger.* The door of Wallen- 
stein's apartment was burst open. Wallenstein sprang from 
his bed and was met by Devereux, who cried out to him, 

* The banqueting-hall; where this tragic scene took place, is now all 
ifcat remains of the castle of Eger. T&ANfiJL*TOa. 


w Are you the villain who would sell the army to the enemy 
and tear the crown from the emperor's head ?" Wallenstein, 
without replying, opened his arms and received a mortal 
wound in the breast, February 25th, 1634.* 

Bernard von Weimar reached Eger shortly after the mur- 
der, and found the town in the hands of the imperialists. 
Butler and Lesley were created counts and richly rewarded 
by the emperor. Neustadt was bestowed upon Butler, the 
whole of Terzky's possessions upon Lesley, those of Kinsky 
upon Gordon. Devereux received a badge of distinction and 
a pension. Wallenstein's possessions were divided among his 
betrayers, Gallas receiving Friedland ; Piccolomini, who, on 
the murder of his former friend had helped himself richly to 
his treasures, being merely rewarded with the gift of Rachod, 
Colloredo with Opotschno, Altringer with Toeplitz, Traut- 
mannsdorf with Gitschin. The emperor appropriated Sagan 
to himself. The money left in Wallenstein's treasury by Pic- 
colomini was scattered as a largesse among the soldiery. The 
officers who had most firmly adhered to their former leader, 
were, although guiltless of participation in his political schemes, 
banished, in order to make room for foreigners ; twenty-four 
of their number were beheaded at Pilsen. The emperor, at 
the same time, published a manifesto, in which he attempted 
to justify Wallenstein's base assassination by loading his 
memory with false aspersions, the very negotiations carried 
on by him at his command and with his knowledge being 
brought forward in proof of the criminality of his designs. 

CCIX. The battle of Ncerdlingen. — The treaty of Prague. — 
Defeat of the French. 

Wallenstein's army, a few regiments excepted, which 
dispersed or went over to the Swedes, remained true to the 
emperor. The archduke, Ferdinand, was appointed general- 
issimo of the imperial forces, which were placed under the 
command of Gallas. Another army was conducted across the 
Alps by the Cardinal Infanto, Don Fernando, brother to Phi- 
lip IV. of Spain, A. D. 1634. Had Bernard been aided by 
th& Saxons or by Horn, the whole of the imperial army might 

* The room in the burgomaster's house, where this murder was com» 
Bitted, may still be seen by the inquisitive traveller. Translator. 


easily have been scattered during the confusion consequent on 
the death of its commander, but the Saxons were engaged in 
securing the possession of the Lausitz, and it was not until 
May that Arnheim gained a trifling advantage near Liegnitz. 
Horn laid siege to Ueberlingen on the Lake of Constance, 
With a view of retarding the advance of the Spaniards. A 
small Swedish force under Banner retook Frankfurt on the 
Oder and joined the Saxons. The little town of Hoexter 
was plundered, and all the inhabitants were butchered by 
(xeleen, George von Liineburg delaying to grant his promised 
aid in the hope of seizing Hildesheim for himself. Hil- 
desheim capitulated in July. The country swarmed with 
revolutionary peasant bands, whom hunger had converted 
into robbers. The upper Rhenish provinces were equally 
unquiet. Bernard remained inactive on the Danube, alone 
disturbed by John von Werth, who once more drove him 
from his quarters at Deggendorf. Feuquieres, meanwhile, 
Strenuously endeavoured to win the Heilbronn confederation 
over to the interests of France, and to dissolve their alliance 
with Sweden. Loeffler had abandoned the Swedish service 
for that of France, and his master, the young Duke Eberhard 
of Wurtemberg, was, like William of Hesse, in the pay of that 

The whole of the Protestant forces were thus scattered 
^rhen the great imperial army broke up its camp in Bohemia 
and advanced upon Ratisbon, with the design of seizing that 
city and of joining the Spanish army then advancing from 
Italy. Bernard vainly summoned Horn to his aid ; the mo- 
ment for action passed, and, when too late, he was joined by 
that commander at Augsburg, and the confederates pushed 
hastily forwards to the relief of Ratisbon. Landshut was 
taken by storm and shared the fate of Magdeburg. Al- 
tringer, whilst vainly attempting to save the city, perished 
in the general conflagration. The castle, which had been 
converted into a powder magazine, was blown up, a. d. 1634. 
The news of the capitulation of Ratisbon on the 26th of July, 
reached the victors midway. Arnheim and Banner appeared 
on the same day before Prague. The imperialists, neverthe- 
less, indifferent to the fate of Bohemia, continued to mount 
the Danube. The advanced Croatian guard committed the 
most horrid excesses. At Ncerdlingen, a junction took place 


with the Spanish troops. The imperial army now amounted 
to forty-six thousand men under Ferdinand III., the Cardinal 
Infanto, the elector of Bavaria, the duke of Lorraine, Ge- 
nerals Gallas and John von Werth. The Protestants, al- 
though reinforced by the people of Wurtemberg, merely num- 
bered thirty thousand. Bernard, too confident of success, 
and impatient to relieve the city of Noerdlingen, at that time 
vigorously besieged by the imperialists, rejected Horn's advice 
to await the arrival of the Rhinegrave, and resolved to hazard 
a battle. On the 26th of August, A. D. 1634, he made a 
successful attack and gained a favourable position, but was, 
on the following day, overwhelmed by numbers. The ex- 
plosion of his powder-magazine, by which numbers of his 
men were destroyed, contributed to complete his defeat. Count 
Thurn the Younger vainly endeavoured to turn the battle 
and led his men seventeen times to the charge. Horn was 
taken prisoner, and twelve thousand men fell. Bernard fled. 
His treasures and papers fell into the hands of the enemy. 
The Rhinegrave, who was bringing seven thousand men to 
his aid, was surprised and completely routed by John von 
Werth and Charles of Lorraine. Heilbronn was plundered 
during the retreat by the Swedish Colonel Senger, who fled 
out of one gate with his booty as the imperialists entered at 
another to complete the pillage. 

The horrors inflicted upon Bavaria were terribly revenged 
upon Swabia. The duke of Wurtemberg, Eberhard IH., 
safe behind the fortifications of Strassburg, forgot the misery 
of his country in the arms of the beautiful Margravine von 
Salm. Waibiingen, Niirtingen, Calw, Kirchheim, Boeblingen, 
Besigheim, and almost every village throughout the country 
were destroyed ; Heilbronn was almost totally burnt down ; 
the inhabitants were either butchered or cruelly tortured. 
To pillage and murder succeeded famine and pestilence. The 
population of the duchy of Wurtemberg was reduced from 
half a million to forty-eight thousand souls. The Jesuits took 
possession of the old Lutheran university of Tubingen. Osi- 
ander, the chancellor of the university, unmoved by the ex- 
ample of his weaker brethren, who recanted in order to re- 
tain their offices and dignities, bravely knocked down a 
soldier, who attacked him, sword in hand, in the pulpit. The 
Catholic service was, in many places re-established by force- 


The whole of Wurtemberg was either confiscated by the em- 
peror or partitioned among his favourites ; Trautmannsdorf 
received Weinsberg ; Schlick, Bablingen and Tuttlingen, etc ; 
Taupadel, who had been left by Bernard in Schorndorf, was 
forced to yield. Augsburg was again distinguished amid the 
-general misery by the loss of sixty thousand of her inhabit- 
ants, who were swept away by famine and pestilence. The 
remaining citizens, whom starvation alone compelled to ca- 
pitulate, were deprived of all their possessions, forced to recant, 
and refused permission to emigrate. Wurzburg, Frankfurt, 
Spires, Philipsburg, the whole of Rhenish Franconia, besides 
Mayence, Heidelberg, and Coblentz, fell into the hands of the 
emperor. The whole of the Pfalz was again laid waste, and 
the inhabitants were butchered in such numbers that two 
hundred peasants were all that remained in the lower country. 
Isolani devastated the Wetterau with fire and sword, and 
plundered the country as far as Thuringia. The places 
whither the Swedes had fled for refuge also suffered incredibly. 
The fugitive soldiery, without provisions or baggage, cla- 
moured for pay, and Oxenstierna, in order to avoid a general 
pillage, laid the merchants, assembled at the fair held at 
Frankfurt a M., under contribution. The sufferings of the 
wretched Swabians were avenged by the imbittered soldiery 
on the Catholic inhabitants of Mayence. 

The imperial army, although weakened by division, by gar- 
risoning the conquered provinces, and by the departure of the 
Infanto for the Netherlands, still presented too formidable an 
aspect for attack on the part of Bernard, who, unwilling to 
demand the aid he required from France, remained peaceably 
beyond the Rhine. The Heilbronn confederacy had, inde- 
pendently of him, cast itself into the arms of France. Loeffler, 
the Swedish chancellor, and the chief leader of the confedera- 
tion, had contrived to secure to France, without Bernard's 
assent, the hereditary possession of Alsace, for which he was 
deprived of his office and banished by Oxenstierna. The 
celebrated Dutchman, Hugo Grotius, replaced him as Swedish 
ambassador in Paris. Wurtemberg and Hesse had long for- 
warded the interests of France. 

The sift committed by the Heilbronn confederation against 
Germany by selling themselves to France is alone to be 
palliated by the desperate situation to which they were re- 

VOL. II. 9 a 



duced by the defection of the Protestant electors, Saxonj 
and Brandenburg again concluded peace, a* d. I6B5, at Prague, 
with the emperor, to whom they abandoned all the Protestants 
in southern and western Germany and the whole of the Heil- 
bronn confederation, under pretext of the urgent necessity of 
peace, of the restoration of the honour of Germany and of the 
happiness of the people by the expulsion of the foreigner* 
Saxony was reinstated in the territory of which she had been 
deprived by the edict of restitution, and received the Upper- 
Lausita as an hereditary fief. Augustus, elector of Saxony* 
was also nominated administrator of the archbishopric of 
Magdeburg in the room of the Archduke Leopold. A Saxon 
princess, the daughter of the elector ess, Magdalen a Sibylla, 
was given in marriage to Prince Christian of Denmark as an 
inducement to that prince to take the field against Sweden. 
Brandenburg received the reversion of Pomerania, whose last 
duke, Bogislaw, was sick and childless. The princes of 
Mecklenburg and Anhalt, and the cities Erfurt, Augsburg, 
Nuremberg, and Ulm, also conformed to the treaty for th< 
sake of preserving their neutrality, for which they were bit* 
terly punished. 

Had the emperor taken advantage of the decreasing power 
of Sweden, of the procrastination on the part of France, and 
of the general desire for peace manifested throughout Ger- 
many, to publish a general amnesty and to grant the free 
exercise of religion throughout the empire, the wounds in- 
flicted by his blood-thirsty policy might yet have been heal- 
ed, hut the grey-headed hypocrite merely folded his hands, 
dripping in gore, in prayer, and demanded fresh victims 
from the god of peace, Peace was concluded with part of 
the heretics in order to secure the destruction of the rest. 
The last opportunity that offered for the expulsion of the 
foreign robber from Germany was lost by the exclusion of 
the Heilbronn confederation from the treaty of Prague by the 
emperor ; and although they in their despair placed the empire 
at the mercy of the French, and their country for centuries 
beneath French influence, their crime rests on the head of the 
sovereign, who by his acts placed the empire on the brink 
of the precipice, and on those of the dastardly electors, who, 
for the sake of securing an enlarged territory to their houses, 
basely betrayed their brethren. The elector of Saxony, for 1 



aeeond time unmindful of his plighted faith, abandoned Protest- 
ant Silesia to the wrath of the Jesuits, and the fate of the re- 
maining Protestant provinces, excluded from the treaty of 
Prague, may be read in that of the Pfalz and of Wurtemberg. 

Oxenstierna hastened in person to Paris for the purpose of 
making terms with Richelieu, and thereby counterbalancing 
the league between the emperor, Saxony, and Brandenburg, 
and Bernard von Weimar was compelled passively to behold 
the dispute between Sweden and France for sovereignty 
over Protestant Germany. The French soldiery were, more- 
over, so undisciplined and cowardly that they deserted in 
troops. Bernard was consequently far from sufficiently rein- 
forced, but nevertheless succeeded in raising the siege of Hei- 
delberg. The death of the energetic and aged Rhinegrave 
took place just at this period. 

Whilst matters were thus at a stand-still on the Upper 
Rhine, success attended the imperial arms in the Netherlands. 
The French, victorious at Avaire, were forced to raise the siege 
of Louvain by the Infanto and Piccolomini, A. D. 1635. The 
Dutch were also expelled the country. Bernard, fearing to be 
surrounded by Piccolomini, retired from the Rhine into Upper 
Burgundy. Heidelberg fell ; two French regiments were cut 
to pieces at Reichenweiher by John von Werth ; Hatzfeld took 
Kaiserslautern by storm, and almost totally annihilated the 
celebrated yellow regiment of Gustavus Adolphus. Mayence 
was closely besieged, and France, alarmed at the turn of affairs, 
sent the old Cardinal de la Valette to reinforce Bernard, who 
advanced to the relief of Mayence and succeeded in raising 
the siege, notwithstanding the cowardice of the French, who 
were forced by threats to cross the Rhine. John von Werth, 
meanwhile, invaded Lorraine, and, with Piccolomini and the 
Infanto, made a feint to cross the French frontier. La Valette 
and Bernard instantly returned, pursued by Gallas and al- 
ready surrounded by Colloredo,* who was defeated by Bernard 
at Meisenheim, where he had seized the pass. Hotly pur- 
sued by Gallas and hard pushed by the Croatians, Bernard 
escaped across the Saar at Walderfingen on a bridge raised on 
wine-casks, before the arrival of the main body of the im- 

* The Colloredo are descended from the Swabian family of Walsee, 
which, in the fourteenth century, settled in the Friaul, and, at a latel 
period, erected the castle on the steep (collo rigido). 

2 b 2 


perialists, which came up with his rearguard at Buulay, but 
met with a repulse. After a retreat of thirteen days, the fu- 
gitive army reached Metz, in September, 1635. Gallas fixed 
his head-quarters in Lorraine, but the country had been al- 
ready so completely pillaged that he was compelled to return 
in November, and to ^x his camp in Alsace-Gabern, where he 
gave himself up to rioting and drunkenness, whilst his army 
was thinned by famine and pestilence. Mayence was starved 
out and capitulated, after having been plundered by the 
Swedish garrison. 

In the commencement of 1636, Bernard visited Paris, where 
he was courteously received by Louis XIII. The impression 
made upon his heart by the lovely daughter of the Due de 
Rohan was no sooner perceived than a plan was formed by the 
French court to deprive him of his independence as a prince 
of the empire. Bernard discovered their project and closed 
his heart against the seductions of the lady. The aid pro- 
mised by France was now withheld. Both parties were de- 
ceived. France, unwilling to defray the expenses of a war 
carried on by Bernard for the sole benefit of Protestant Ger- 
many, merely aimed at preserving a pretext for interference 
in the political and religious disputes agitating that country, 
and, for that purpose, promised Bernard a sum of four mil- 
lion livres for the maintenance of an army of eighteen thou- 
sand men. 

The reconquest of Alsace followed ; at Gabern, which was 
taken by storm, Bernard lost the forefinger of his left hand, 
and the bed on which he lay was shattered by a cannon ball. 
He returned thence to Lorraine, where he carried on a petty 
war with Gallas and took several fortresses. The humanity 
evinced by him at this period, so contrary to the licence he had 
formerly allowed his soldiery from a spirit of religious fanaticism, 
proceeded from a desire to please the French queen, the cele- 
brated Ann of Austria, the daughter of Philip III. of Spain, 
He surprised Isolani's Croatians at Champlitte, deprived them 
of eighteen hundred horses and of the whole of the rich booty 
they had collected, a. d. 1636. 

In the beginning of the year, John von Werth had, inde- 
pendently of Gallas, ventured as far as Louvain, where a re- 
volution had broken out. The Gallo-Dutch faction, never- 
theless, proved victorious, and the imperialists were expelled. 


Werth, unable to lay siege to the town with his cavalry, re- 
venged himself by laying the country in the vicinity waste. 
In April, he joined Piccolomini with the view of invading 
France and of marching full upon Paris. This project was, 
however, frustrated by Piccolomini's timidity and by the tardy 
movements of the infantry. This expedition, undertaken in 
defiance of the orders of the elector of Bavaria, forms one of 
the few amusing episodes of this terrible tragedy. Werth, 
advancing rapidly with his cavalry, beat the French on every 
point, forced the passage of the Somme and Oise, and spread 
terror throughout France. The cities laid their keys at his 
feet, the nobles begged for sentinels to guard their houses, and 
paid them enormous sums. Paris was reduced to despair. 
The roads to Chartres and Orleans were crowded with fugi- 
tives, and the metropolis must inevitably have fallen had 
Werth, instead of allowing his men to remain behind plunder- 
ing the country, pushed steadily forwards. By this delay, 
Richelieu gained time to levy troops and to send the whole 
of the disposable force against him. A part of the French 
troops were, nevertheless, cut to pieces during a night-attack 
at Montigny, and it was not until the autumnal rains and 
floods brought disease into his camp that Werth retired. He 
remained for some time afterwards at Cologne, where he 
wedded the Countess Spaur (of an ancient Tyrolese family). 
Ehrenbreitstein, still garrisoned by the French, who had long 
lost Coblentz, was closely besieged by Werth, and forced by 
famine to capitulate, A. D. 1637. 

William of Hesse, instead of joining Bernard after the bat- 
tle of Noerdlingen, had raised troops with' the money received 
by him from France and had seized Paderborn, which was 
retaken by the imperialists, A. D. 1636. George von Liine- 
burg, who had, in 1634, become the head of the Guelphic 
House on the death of Frederick Ulric of Wolfenbiittel, long 
hesitated to give in his adhesion to the treaty of Prague, but 
Oxenstierna, on becoming acquainted with his intercourse 
with the emperor, depriving him, by means of Sperreuter, of 
his best regiments, his hesitation ceased and he acceded to the 
emperor's terms. Sperreuter, who had deserted with the 
Lower Saxon regiments to the Swedish general, Banner, now 
went over to the emperor, and Baudis to Saxony. A reac- 
tion took place in all the German regiments under the Swedish 



standard, of which the Prague confederation failed to take ad- 
vantage, and their commanders were bribed by Kniphauseu 
to remain in the pay of Sweden, This general fell, in Janu- 
ary 1636, at Haaelune, during an engagement with Geleen, 
who was beaten off the field. Mi n den was betrayed, in May, 
by the commandant Ludingshausen, Kniphausen's son-in- 
law, to the Swedes, 

The remnant of the old Swedish army under Banner found 
itself exposed to the greatest danger by the conclusion of 
peace at Prague. Banner had, together with the elector of 
Saxony, advanced upon Bohemia, whence he was now com- 
pelled to retreat On the alliance between George von Liine- 
burg and Saxony, Baudis was despatched against him, ^Novem- 
ber, 1635, but was defeated at Dcemits, and Banner, dreading 
to be cut off by an imperial corps under the Bohemian, Mar- 
gin, who had taken Stargard by storm and pillaged that town, 
withdrew to Poraerania* During this autumn, the French am- 
bassador, d*Avaux, had succeeded in bringing about a recon- 
ciliation between Wladislaw of Poland and Sweden, and in ter- 
minating the long war between those countries. The Swedish 
regiments under Torstenson consequently evacuated Livonia 
and Prussia and united with those under Banner ; whilst, on 
the other hand, a wild troop of Polish Cossacks marched to 
the aid of the emperor. This cunning policy on the part of 
France caused the war to rage with redoubled fury. Banner 
and Torstenson defeated the Saxons in the depth of winter at 
Goldberg and Kiritz, and, in February, Banner again invaded 
Saxony and cruelly visited the defection of the elector on the 
heads of his wretched subjects. The arrival of Hatzfeld at 
the head of a body of imperialists compelled him to retire 
behind Magdeburg, where Baudis was severely wounded and 
relinquished the command. Each side now confined itself 
to manoeuvring until the arrival of reinforcements. The 
Swedish troops arrived first, and Hatzfeld and the Saxons, 
being drawn into an engagement at Witts tock, before Goetz 
was able to join them, were totally defeated. Hatzfeld was 
wounded, and the elector lost the whole of his baggage and 
treasure* Saxony was again laid waste by Banner's infuriated 
troops. The gallant defence of Leipzig increased their rage. 
All the towns and villages in the vicinity were reduced to 
ashes. A similar fate befell Mtsnia, Wurzen, OsebaU, Col* 


Jits, Liebwerda, and several smaller towns. The peasants 
fled in crowds to the fortified cities and to the mountains, 
and, to complete the general misery, famine and pestilence 
succeeded to the sword and the fire-brand. A bloody revenge 
was taken by Derflinger with a Brandenburg squadron on a 
thousand Swedish horse that ventured into the province of 
Mansfeld. Banner finally assembled his troops and intrenched 
himself in Torgau, which he stored with provisions, whilst 
Gallas, Goetz, Hatzfeld, and the elector of Saxony advanced 
to the attack. 

CCX. Death of Ferdinand the Second. — Pestilence and 
Famine. — Bernard von Weimar. — Banner. 

The favour of the electoral princes being secured by the 
treaty of Prague, they were, in the autumn of 1636, convoked 
by Ferdinand II. to Ratisbon, for the purpose of electing his 
son, the Archduke Ferdinand, as his successor on the throne. 
Ferdinand II. expired A. D. 1637, after having the gratifica- 
tion of quelling the revolt of the peasantry in Carniola and 
Upper Austria. In Erfurt, the imperial general, Hatzfeld, 
seized the government, imprisoned and tortured the Lutheran 
clergy and. drained the coffers of the citizens. Nuremberg, 
Augsburg, and Ulm met with an almost similar treatment. 

Ferdinand bequeathed the empire to his son, Ferdinand III., 
a man of insignificant character, whose mother, Maria, also a 
Habsburg, was daughter to Philip III. of Spain. The late 
emperor, notwithstanding the immense jscale on which he 
performed his part and the unheard-of calamities which, 
worse than the worst of despots, he inflicted upon his subjects, 
did not live to witness the triumph of his party. Napoleon, 
who carried fire and sword almost throughout Europe, brought 
less death and sorrow on the world than this quiet and devout 
emperor, to whose religious and political fanaticism ten mil- 
lions of his fellow men were sacrificed. The people were 
deprived by him of their political and religious liberty. The 
ancient German constitution was annulled, and the principles 
of absolute monarchy, like those of Spain, were for the first 
time carried into practice in the hereditary provinces of the 
Habsburg, and ere long in those of Germany. The assem- 
bling of the Estates became an empty court-ceremony. Had 



the emperor triumphed, Germany would at least have beei 
rewarded with the acquisition of unity for the loss of her 
liberty, but her evil destiny deprived her of the one without 
granting the other. 

During the year in which the old emperor closed his eyes 
that had so long gloated on blood, the misery that reigned 
throughout Germany had reached the highest pitch \ the hor- 
rors of the long war, the destruction of the towns and vil- 
lages by fire, the torture and murder of the citizens and 
peasantry by the soldiery, were accompanied by a famine, 
which depopulated whole districts; the land remained unculti- 
vated, and a pestilence resulted from want, had food, and the 
putridity of the air occasioned by the heaps of un buried dead. 
The soldier, driven by necessity as well as by love of rapine* 
snatched the last morsel from the hands of the famishing 
wretches that remained. Bands of Marauders {Merode-bro- 
thers, so called from their leader, the Count von Merode) 
composed of peasantry and of homeless wanderers, who some- 
times aided one party, sometimes another, cruelly avenginj 
themselves on the soldiery or joining them in their predatory 
excursions, ranged the country, and forced the inhabitants, 
by the infliction of the most horrid tortures* to open their 
concealed hoards of provisions or of treasure, "Whole pro- 
vinces were so completely piUaged as to afford no sustenance 
to the troops, and men and children fought like wolves for a 
morsel of carrion. 

The historians of this period graphically describe this ex- 
cess of misery. Ferdinand IL, on his accession to the thron< 
found Austria Lutheran, thickly populated, and prosperous ; he 
left her Catholic, depopulated, and impoverished, He found 
in Bohemia three million Hussites dwelling in flourishing 
cities and villages, he left merely seven hundred and eighty 
thousand Catholic beggars. Silesia, happy and blooming, wj 
laid desolate ; most of her little cities and villages had bee] 
burnt to the ground, her inhabitants put to the sword. Saxony, 
the Mere, and Pomerania had shared the same melancholy 
fate, Mecklenburg and the whole of Lower Saxony hty 
been ruined by battles, sieges, and invasions. Hesse lay ut- 
terly waste. In the Pfalz, the living fed upon the dead, 
mothers on their babes, brethren on each other, In the 
Netherlands, Liege, Luxemburg, Lorraine, similar seem 






11 ty 





of horror were of frequent occurrence. The whole of the 
Rhenish provinces lay desert. Swabia and Bavaria were al- 
most entirely depopulated. The Tyrol and Switzerland had 
escaped the horrors of war, but were ravaged by pestilence. 
Such was the aspect of Europe on the death of Ferdinand II., 
who, like an aged hyaena, expired amid mouldering bones and 

Bernard von Weimar a second time visited Paris, where 
he was now upheld by Oxenstierna through his friend, 
Hugo Grotius (the Swedes being unable to take any mea- 
sures in the North so long as he remained fixed in the 
South). He, in the mean time, allowed his troops to pillage 
Champagne, which speedily induced the French monarch 
to furnish him with the means of satisfying the demands of 
his soldiery. Charles, duke of Lorraine, and Mercy, the 
Bavarian, had, meanwhile, fixed their quarters in Burgundy. 
A bloody engagement took place with the latter at Besancon, 
in which Bernard, who crossed the Saone on horseback at the 
head of his men in the face of the enemy, was victorious. Isle, 
Lure, and several other Burgundian fortresses fell successively 
into his hands, and [a. d. 1637] he again pushed forwards 
as far as the Rhine, where he strongly fortified the islands. 
Twice surprised by John von Werth, he plunged into the 
stream and escaped by swimming. Still, notwithstanding the 
cowardice of the French troops, almost the whole of whom ran 
away, success crowned his efforts. The winter-quarters on 
the Rhine being insecure, he suddenly crossed the stream with 
his dismounted cavalry, a disease having carried off their 
horses, and threw himself amongst the mountains in the 
bishopric of Basle, where no enemy had yet penetrated, and 
which was well stored with supplies. The opposition made 
by the peasantry and the threats of the Catholic Swiss, whose 
Protestant countrymen sided with him, were equally unavail- 
ing. The fortifications on the Rhine were, meanwhile, speedily 
taken by Werth from the cowardly French garrisons, whilst 
his unworthy colleague, the Duke di Savelli, vainly sought to 
draw Bernard into the emperor's service. Hugo Grotius was 
equally unsuccessful in his project for regaining him for 
Sweden, by marrying him to the young queen, Christina, and 
a fresh dispute arose between Bernard and France on account 
of the cession of Veltlin by that kingdom to the Grisons and 



the consequent abandonment of Due Rohan, who capitulated 
to the Spanish under Serbelloui [a, d, 1637] and took refuge 
in Bernard's camp. 

At the head of a hardy troop, merely six thousand strung, 
Bernard unexpectedly broke up his camp on the Dellsberg, 
January 17th, 1638, and penetrated into the Frickthai, 
firmly resolved to maintain himself on the Upper Rhine, and, 
by success and fresh levies of troops, to win for himself the 
power in Germany which he had so long and so vainly at- 
tempted to gain by means of Prance, Laufenburg and Wald- 
shut were taken by surprise, Rheinfeiden, where four hun- 
dred of the garrison were destroyed by the explosion of a mine, 
made a gallant defence* John von Werth and Savelli hastened 
to its relief, and, on the 18th February, a desperate engage- 
ment took place beneath the city wails, Bernard, overwhelmed 
by numbers, was forced to quit the field ; the brave Rhmegrave 
fell, and Rohan was wounded. But, on the 21st, Bernard 
unexpectedly assailed the enemy whilst celebrating their vic- 
tory in Rheinfeiden and completely routed therm Both the 
leaders, the gallant John von Werth and the worthless Savelli, 
Generals Enkefort and Sperreuter, with almost the whole of 
the army, were taken prisoners. John von Werth, contrary 
to the promise given by Bernard, was sent a prisoner to Paris, 
where he was treated with great distinction, Savelli was sent 
on his parole to Laufenburg, whence he found means to escape* 

Bernard continued to pursue the enemy and to collect rein- 
forcements* His old school -fellow, Guebriont, joined him 
with a small number of French* Rheinfelden and Freiburg 
in the Breisgau fell into his hands, Taupadel took Stuttgard. 
The possession of Breisach, the key to the whole of Upper 
Germany, was keenly disputed. Goetz, the field-marshal of 
the empire, hastening to its relief, was routed at Benfeld by 
Taupadel. The battle of Witten weyer, in which Bernard, whose 
forces were far less considerable, was victorious over Gmtz and 
Savelli and an army of eighteen thousand five hundred men, 
followed, Taupadel, who had rashly ventured too far in pursuit, 
was captured by Savelli, who kept him in close imprisonment. 
Breisach still refused to capitulate, and the besieging army 
suffered a considerable loss from the attacks of the peasants 
cf the Black Forest Horst, who was bringing a supply of 
flour and powder, was forced to retreat, and was deprived of 


part of his stores. Charles, duke of Lorraine, when attempting 
to relieve the city, was taken prisoner at Thann. Bernard, 
who had for some time been suffering from fever, being car- 
ried from the field half dead to his camp, Goetz attempted to 
take him unawares, and had already reached the bridges over 
the Rhine, when Bernard, springing from his couch, bestrode 
his battle-steed, and rushed to the defence. The troops, in- 
spired with enthusiasm at the sight of an eagle hovering 
over his head, pressed forward, and, after a dreadful struggle, 
succeeded in routing the imperialists, numbers of whom were 
drowned in the Rhine. Breisach was driven by famine tc 
capitulate. The garrison was promised food and free egress. 
The treatment of the prisoners, taken by the imperialists 
during the siege, some of whom were starved to death, whilst 
the rest fed upon their comrades, was not known until the 
terms of capitulation had been acceded to ; Bernard, never- 
theless, although his heart burned within him, remained true 
to his given word. 

Savelli, the fitting favourite of the Jesuits and of the 
Viennese court, had, with consistent baseness, effected the 
removal and imprisonment of his worthier rival, Goetz. On 
the fall of Breisach, he had again recourse to diplomacy, and 
called upon Bernard, in the name of his country, to join the 
emperor. Bernard replied, " that a duke of Saxony needed no 
lesson in patriotism from an Italian duca." and, garrisoning 
Breisach with German troops, refused to deliver that fort into 
the hands of the French. But, either for the purpose of paci- 
fying Richelieu, or of providing Breisach with fresh stores, 
he returned to Burgundy during the depth of winter, and 
seized that part of the earldom which had hitherto escaped the 
ravages of war. The peasantry were defeated, the lofty, 
rocky strong-hold of Joux was taken, and an immense num- 
ber of horses and stores of every description were carried to 
Breisach. Richelieu made fresh advances, but, being person- 
ally offended by Bernard's refusal of the hand of his niece and 
heiress, Margaret de Vignerot, he, from that moment, resolved 
upon his ruin. Erlacb, one of Bernard's most confidential 
officers, was bribed with an annuity of 12,000 livres to betray 
his noble-spirited master. Bernard's intention to maintain 
himself independent of France was clearly evident. He placed 
German garrisons in all the strong-holds, received petitions as 


the sovereign of Alsace, negotiated with Sweden, and, unadvised 
by France, sought an alliance with Hesse. His death speedily 
followed. On his way to Pfirt he was suddenly taken ill, and 
was carried to Neuburg, where he expired, a. d. 1 639. Almost 
all contemporary writers assert his having been poisoned by 
a French emissary. " Germany," wrote Hugo Grotius, " was, 
in this prince, deprived of her greatest ornament and of her 
last hope, of almost the only one worthy of the name of a 
German prince."* 

Bernard bequeathed his conquests and the whole of his 
personal property to his brother, to the express exclusion of 
France ; but the traitor, Erlach, to whom he had intrusted 
Breisach, delivered that fortress up to France, seized the 
whole of his treasures, appropriated the most valuable portion 
to himself, and distributed 200,000 dollars among the soldiery 
as a French largesse, in consideration of which they were 
bound to serve France until the question of the inheritance 
was settled. This settlement never took place. The Ger- 
man officers and soldiers were kept in a state of uncertainty, 
and the possibility of a mutiny on their part was obviated 
by the fortresses being garrisoned half with French, half 
with Germans, until the inactivity of the Swedes, the help- 
lessness of the dukes of Weimar, and the seduction practised 
upon the troops, left the German officers no alternative than 
to remain in the French service, to which they yielded the 
more readily on the appointment of their ancient comrade, 
Guebriant, to their command. 

The young Pfalzgrave, Charles Louis, the son of the unfor- 
tunate king of Bohemia, made a futile attempt to replace the 
loss of Bernard. Assisted by the English, and by his gallant 
brother, Robert, (Bernard's rival with the beautiful Rohan,) 
he had raised a little army on the coasts of northern Ger- 
many, but was in October, 1638, defeated at Vlotho by Hatz- 
feld. He escaped with great difficulty. Robert was taken 
prisoner. Charles Louis returned to England, whence, in the 
hope of placing himself, on Bernard's death, at the head of 

* Bernard von Weimar was a handsome man, scarcely in his thirtieth 
year, with a manly, sun-burnt countenance. His hair, which was re- 
markably long, lay in thick, bright curls upon his shoulders. He never 
married, and was equally chaste and pious. He daily devoted several 
hjuxs to the study of the Bible, which he knew almost entirely by heart. 


his leaderless army, he hastened, with a sum of money, to 
Alsace, but — through France, where, by Richelieu's order, he 
was deprived of his treasure, and kept prisoner at Vincennes, 
until Bernard's army had sworn allegiance to France, when, 
on his binding himself by oath never to act against the inter- 
ests of that country, he was contumeliously set at liberty. 

William, Landgrave of Hesse, meanwhile, driven out of his 
territories, which had been confiscated by the emperor, had 
thrown himself into East Frizeland, where he laid the country 
waste and raised fresh troops with the money taken from the 
inhabitants. He died, A. d. 1637. The contest with the em- 
peror was carried on after his death by his widow, Amelia 
Elizabeth, whilst the Hessian Estates and their general Holz- 
appel concluded a truce, in order to spare the country, three 
hundred villages having been burnt to the ground by Geleen. 
The duchess, a zealous Calvinist, demanded, as a pledge of 
the emperor's good faith, the toleration of Calvinism, Luther- 
anism being alone tolerated by the treaty of Prague. Had 
the three forms of worship been at once placed on an equal 
footing, how much needless misery might not Germany have 
been spared ! Her demand was left unnoticed during a whole 
year. — George von Luneburg, although a party to the treaty 
of Prague, remained in close alliance with Sweden, preserved 
a strict neutrality, and guarded his possessions. Konigsmark 
of Brandenburg, a Swedish general, one of the boldest rob- 
bers of the day, devastated the Eichsfeld with German troops 
and levied contributions upon the bishop of Wurzburg, Hatz- 
feld's brother, A. d. 1639. 

The French confining themselves to the occupation of Al- 
sace, the emperor, Bavaria, Saxony, and Brandenburg turned 
their united forces against the Swedes. The claims of Bran- 
denburg upon Pomerania on the death of Bogislaw, the last 
of her dukes, A. d. 1637, had been treated with derision by 
the Swedes, and, from that moment, the elector George William, 
aided by his general Klitzing, had discovered the greatest 
zeal in opposing them. Arnheim, who had thrown up his 
command and was living peaceably at Boitzenburg, was seized 
by the Swedes, who dreaded lest he might replace himself at 
the head of the Saxons, and sent to Stockholm. Gallas, Hatz- 
feld, Goetz, and Geleen, mean^^e. attacked Banner and drove 
him from his entrenchment! * but, although completely 


surrounded, he contrived by means of a ruse to escape across 
the Oder to Landsberg, where, disappointed in meeting Wran- 
gel, he found himself exposed to the most imminent danger, 
shut in between the imperial army, the Warthe, and the Polish 
frontiers, which the fear of involving Poland in a fresh war 
withheld him from crossing. With extraordinary presence of 
mind he made a feigned march towards Poland, drew the im- 
perial army on that side, and succeeded in drawing himself 
out of his perilous situation without incurring the slightest 
loss, July, a. d. 1637. " They caught me in the sack," said 
he, " but forgot to tie it up ! " He retreated to the sea, 
whilst Gallas laid the whole country waste, took Havelberg, 
Doemitz, and Wolgast, where he destroyed the magnificent castle 
of the Pomeranian dukes ; the more ancient one in Schwedt 
had, at an earlier period, been burnt by the Swedes. The 
Mere suffered in an equal degree, and, exactly at this moment, 
Klitzing, offended at the conduct of Burgsdorf, the elector's 
favourite, withdrew from the scene of action. The peasants 
in Droeraling rose against the plundering soldiery and captured 
their artillery. Gallas's men, neglected, as in Alsace, by their 
voluptuous general, were driven by famine to desert in troops 
to Banner, who had in the mean time again drawn George von 
Luneburg on his side with a promise of confirming him in the • 
possession of Hildesheim. A fresh treaty was concluded, A. d. 
1638, between Sweden and France, and, in the spring of 1639, 
Banner again took the field, and, after defeating Marzin, who 
at that time headed the Saxons, near Chemnitz, and taking a 
corps under Hof kirch and Montecuculi prisoner near Bran- 
deis, overran Bohemia as far as Prague, where he encamped 
on the Weissen Berg. A small Swedish corps under Stal- 
hantsch occupied Silesia, where the famine was so dreadful 
that at Hirschberg, for instance, almost the whole of the in- 
habitants died of hunger, and the few who survived attached 
themselves to the Swedish troop for the sake of the rem- 
nants of food left by the soldiers. Banner, disappointed in 
his hope of finding some Hussites still in Bohemia, at 
length quitted that wretched country, which presented a com- 
plete scene of desolation, in order to join Guebriant and to 
prevent the formation of an intermediate party in Northern 
The footsteps of the retreating Swedes were marked by 

BANNER. 363 

Are and blood. In Thuringia the people fled in crowds into 
the Harz forest. The duchess of Hesse sent a reinforcement 
of twenty thousand men, and George of Luneburg sent 
Klitzing, whom he had taken into his service, with the whole 
of his forces, to his aid. The great imperial army, led by the 
Archduke Leopold, the emperor's brother, and by Piccolomini, 
who had stepped into Gallas's place and had just been created 
Duke d'Amaifi on account of a victory gained by him at Die- 
derhoven in the Netherlands over the French, came up with 
Banner at Saalfeld, where both armies remained encamped 
opposite to one another, without venturing an engagement, 
and suffering terribly from famine, the whole country in the 
vicinity having been laid desert. Banner's wife, a Countess 
Erlach, dying in his camp, [a. d. 1640,] he bore her remains, 
accompanied by his whole army, to Erfurt, where his tears 
were speedily dried by a passion for the Princess Johanna of 
Baden-Durlach, whom he met there by chance. Piccolomini 
also quitted Saalfeld in order to join the Bavarians under 
Mercy, who had been employed in watching the movements of 
the Weimarians in Swabia and the Pfalz, and the two armies 
again met near Neustadt, but without coming to an engage- 
ment. Both sides, meanwhile, fell a prey to famine and pes- 
tilence. Holzappel, who had attempted to form a German 
party independent of France and Sweden, threw up his com- 
mission in disgust, and a separate alliance was formed between 
the duchess and George. Banner, equally indifferent to the 
movements of the imperial army and to the remonstrances of 
Guebriant, followed the Princess Johanna to Waldeck, where 
he solemnized his marriage with her. He took up his winter- 
quarters at Hildesheim with George von Liineburg. Both 
George and Banner are said to have been poisoned during the 
festivities that took place ; the ill-health of the former may 
however, be ascribed, on stronger grounds, to mental anxiety, 
that of the latter to debauchery. Taupadel was exchanged 
for Sperreuter. 

An attempt made during this winter by Banner to seize the 
person of the emperor, who had convoked a diet at Ratisbon, 
was frustrated by the rising of the Danube, occasioned by a 
sudden thaw. Guebriant, fearful of the desertion of the Wei- 
mar troops should he quit the Rhine, abandoning him to the 
emperor, who was advancing at the head of an overwhelming 



force, he retreated through Bohemia into Saxony. Three 
Swedish regiments under Colonel Slangen were cut to pieces, 
after gallantly defending his rear, at Wald-Neuburg. Al- 
though rejoined by Guebriant, he was still unable to oop« 
with his antagonists, and, after vainly attempting the defence 
of the Saal near Merseburg, was compelled to take refuge in 
Halberstadt, w