The Thirty Years War — Volume 04
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The Thirty Years War — Volume 04


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The Project Gutenberg EBook The Thirty Years War, by Schiller, Book IV.Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: The Thirty Years War, Book IV.Author: Frederich SchillerRelease Date: Oct, 2004 [EBook #6773] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first postedon January 14, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK 30 YEARS WAR, BY SCHILLER, BOOK IV. ***This eBook was produced by David Widger, widger@cecomet.netTHE WORKSOFFREDERICK SCHILLERTranslated from the GermanIllustratedHISTORY OF THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR IN GERMANY.BOOK IV.The weak bond of union, by which Gustavus ...



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TWhaer , Pbryo jeSccth ilGleurt,e nBboeorkg I VE.Book The Thirty YearssCuorpey triog chth leacwk st haer ec ocphyarniggihnt gl aawll so fvoerr  ytohuer  wcooruldn.t rByebefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.vTiheiws inhge atdhiesr  Psrhoojeulcdt  bGeu ttehne bfierrsgt  tfihlien. gP lseeaesne  wdho ennotremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts***C*oEmBpouotkesr sR, eSaidnacbel e1 9B7y1 *B*oth Humans and By*****These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****Title: The Thirty Years War, Book IV.
Author: Frederich SchillerRelease Date: Oct, 2004 [EBook #6773] [Yes, weare more than one year ahead of schedule] [Thisfile was first posted on January 14, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK 30 YEARS WAR, BY SCHILLER, BOOKIV. ***This eBook was produced by David Widger,widger@cecomet.netTHE WORKSFOFREDERICK SCHILLER
Translated from the GermanIllustratedHISTORY OF THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR INGERMANY.BOOK IV.The weak bond of union, by which GustavusAdolphus contrived to hold together the Protestantmembers of the empire, was dissolved by hisdeath: the allies were now again at liberty, andtheir alliance, to last, must be formed anew. By theformer event, if unremedied, they would lose all theadvantages they had gained at the cost of so muchbloodshed, and expose themselves to theinevitable danger of becoming one after the other
the prey of an enemy, whom, by their union alone,they had been able to oppose and to master.Neither Sweden, nor any of the states of theempire, was singly a match with the Emperor andthe League; and, by seeking a peace under thepresent state of things, they would necessarily beobliged to receive laws from the enemy. Unionwas, therefore, equally indispensable, either forconcluding a peace or continuing the war. But apeace, sought under the present circumstances,could not fail to be disadvantageous to the alliedpowers. With the death of Gustavus Adolphus, theenemy had formed new hopes; and howevergloomy might be the situation of his affairs afterthe battle of Lutzen, still the death of his dreadedrival was an event too disastrous to the allies, andtoo favourable for the Emperor, not to justify him inentertaining the most brilliant expectations, and notto encourage him to the prosecution of the war. Itsinevitable consequence, for the moment at least,must be want of union among the allies, and whatmight not the Emperor and the League gain fromsuch a division of their enemies? He was not likelyto sacrifice such prospects, as the present turn ofaffairs held out to him, for any peace, not highlybeneficial to himself; and such a peace the allieswould not be disposed to accept. They naturallydetermined, therefore, to continue the war, and forthis purpose, the maintenance of the existing unionwas acknowledged to be indispensable.But how was this union to be renewed? andwhence were to be derived the necessary meansfor continuing the war? It was not the power of
Sweden, but the talents and personal influence ofits late king, which had given him so overwhelmingan influence in Germany, so great a commandover the minds of men; and even he hadinnumerable difficulties to overcome, before hecould establish among the states even a weak andwavering alliance. With his death vanished all,which his personal qualities alone had renderedpracticable; and the mutual obligation of the statesseemed to cease with the hopes on which it hadbeen founded. Several impatiently threw off theyoke which had always been irksome; othershastened to seize the helm which they hadunwillingly seen in the hands of Gustavus, butwhich, during his lifetime, they did not dare todispute with him. Some were tempted, by theseductive promises of the Emperor, to abandonthe alliance; others, oppressed by the heavyburdens of a fourteen years' war, longed for therepose of peace, upon any conditions, howeverruinous. The generals of the army, partly Germanprinces, acknowledged no common head, and noone would stoop to receive orders from another.Unanimity vanished alike from the cabinet and thefield, and their common weal was threatened withruin, by the spirit of disunion.Gustavus had left no male heir to the crown ofSweden: his daughter Christina, then six years old,was the natural heir. The unavoidable weakness ofa regency, suited ill with that energy and resolution,which Sweden would be called upon to display inthis trying conjuncture. The wide reaching mind ofGustavus Adolphus had raised this unimportant,
and hitherto unknown kingdom, to a rank amongthe powers of Europe, which it could not retainwithout the fortune and genius of its author, andfrom which it could not recede, without ahumiliating confession of weakness. Though theGerman war had been conducted chiefly on theresources of Germany, yet even the smallcontribution of men and money, which Swedenfurnished, had sufficed to exhaust the finances ofthat poor kingdom, and the peasantry groanedbeneath the imposts necessarily laid upon them.The plunder gained in Germany enriched only afew individuals, among the nobles and the soldiers,while Sweden itself remained poor as before. For atime, it is true, the national glory reconciled thesubject to these burdens, and the sums exacted,seemed but as a loan placed at interest, in thefortunate hand of Gustavus Adolphus, to be richlyrepaid by the grateful monarch at the conclusion ofa glorious peace. But with the king's death thishope vanished, and the deluded people now loudlydemanded relief from their burdens.But the spirit of Gustavus Adolphus still lived in themen to whom he had confided the administration ofthe kingdom. However dreadful to them, andunexpected, was the intelligence of his death, it didnot deprive them of their manly courage; and thespirit of ancient Rome, under the invasion ofBrennus and Hannibal, animated this nobleassembly. The greater the price, at which thesehard-gained advantages had been purchased, theless readily could they reconcile themselves torenounce them: not unrevenged was a king to be
sacrificed. Called on to choose between a doubtfuland exhausting war, and a profitable butdisgraceful peace, the Swedish council of stateboldly espoused the side of danger and honour;and with agreeable surprise, men beheld thisvenerable senate acting with all the energy andenthusiasm of youth. Surrounded with watchfulenemies, both within and without, and threatenedon every side with danger, they armed themselvesagainst them all, with equal prudence and heroism,and laboured to extend their kingdom, even at themoment when they had to struggle for itsexistence.The decease of the king, and the minority of hisdaughter Christina, renewed the claims of Polandto the Swedish throne; and King Ladislaus, the sonof Sigismund, spared no intrigues to gain a party inSweden. On this ground, the regency lost no timein proclaiming the young queen, and arranging theadministration of the regency. All the officers of thekingdom were summoned to do homage to theirnew princess; all correspondence with Polandprohibited, and the edicts of previous monarchsagainst the heirs of Sigismund, confirmed by asolemn act of the nation. The alliance with the Czarof Muscovy was carefully renewed, in order, by thearms of this prince, to keep the hostile Poles incheck. The death of Gustavus Adolphus had putan end to the jealousy of Denmark, and removedthe grounds of alarm which had stood in the way ofa good understanding between the two states. Therepresentations by which the enemy sought to stirup Christian IV. against Sweden were no longer
listened to; and the strong wish the Danishmonarch entertained for the marriage of his sonUlrick with the young princess, combined, with thedictates of a sounder policy, to incline him to aneutrality. At the same time, England, Holland, andFrance came forward with the gratifyingassurances to the regency of continued friendshipand support, and encouraged them, with onevoice, to prosecute with activity the war, whichhitherto had been conducted with so much glory.Whatever reason France might have tocongratulate itself on the death of the Swedishconqueror, it was as fully sensible of theexpediency of maintaining the alliance withSweden. Without exposing itself to great danger, itcould not allow the power of Sweden to sink inGermany. Want of resources of its own, wouldeither drive Sweden to conclude a hasty anddisadvantageous peace with Austria, and then allthe past efforts to lower the ascendancy of thisdangerous power would be thrown away; ornecessity and despair would drive the armies toextort from the Roman Catholic states the meansof support, and France would then be regarded asthe betrayer of those very states, who had placedthemselves under her powerful protection. Thedeath of Gustavus, far from breaking up thealliance between France and Sweden, had onlyrendered it more necessary for both, and moreprofitable for France. Now, for the first time, sincehe was dead who had stretched his protecting armover Germany, and guarded its frontiers againstthe encroaching designs of France, could the lattersafely pursue its designs upon Alsace, and thus be
enabled to sell its aid to the German Protestants ata dearer rate.Strengthened by these alliances, secured in itsinterior, and defended from without by strongfrontier garrisons and fleets, the regency did notdelay an instant to continue a war, by whichSweden had little of its own to lose, while, ifsuccess attended its arms, one or more of theGerman provinces might be won, either as aconquest, or indemnification of its expenses.Secure amidst its seas, Sweden, even if driven outof Germany, would scarcely be exposed to greaterperil, than if it voluntarily retired from the contest,while the former measure was as honourable, asthe latter was disgraceful. The more boldness theregency displayed, the more confidence would theyinspire among their confederates, the more respectamong their enemies, and the more favourableconditions might they anticipate in the event ofpeace. If they found themselves too weak toexecute the wide-ranging projects of Gustavus,they at least owed it to this lofty model to do theirutmost, and to yield to no difficulty short ofabsolute necessity. Alas, that motives of self-interest had too great a share in this nobledetermination, to demand our unqualifiedadmiration! For those who had nothing themselvesto suffer from the calamities of war, but wererather to be enriched by it, it was an easy matter toresolve upon its continuation; for the Germanempire was, in the end, to defray the expenses;and the provinces on which they reckoned, wouldbe cheaply purchased with the few troops they
sacrificed to them, and with the generals who wereplaced at the head of armies, composed for themost part of Germans, and with the honourablesuperintendence of all the operations, both militaryand political.But this superintendence was irreconcileable withthe distance of the Swedish regency from thescene of action, and with the slowness whichnecessarily accompanies all the movements of acouncil.To one comprehensive mind must be intrusted themanagement of Swedish interests in Germany,and with full powers to determine at discretion allquestions of war and peace, the necessaryalliances, or the acquisitions made. With dictatorialpower, and with the whole influence of the crownwhich he was to represent, must this importantmagistrate be invested, in order to maintain itsdignity, to enforce united and combined operations,to give effect to his orders, and to supply the placeof the monarch whom he succeeded. Such a manwas found in the Chancellor Oxenstiern, the firstminister, and what is more, the friend of thedeceased king, who, acquainted with all the secretsof his master, versed in the politics of Germany,and in the relations of all the states of Europe, wasunquestionably the fittest instrument to carry outthe plans of Gustavus Adolphus in their full extent.Oxenstiern was on his way to Upper Germany, inorder to assemble the four Upper Circles, when thenews of the king's death reached him at Hanau.